Razzball Nation!

For the second time, the Baseball Razzball Elite League is here!

We’re doin’ it, and doin’ it, and doin’ it again! Now, stop licking your lips, LL. That’s just creepy. And this is nothing but good news! Get excited!

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The idea of the Baseball Razzball Elite League (REL) was amazing, so good we had to come back for another. If only that was true in other areas of my life. At home. LINDA! But for real, REL1 filled up so fast that unless you were one of the lucky few to read JB’s post within ten minutes of being uploaded to the interwebs…you were left out. And that was most of you. Which left you sad. And we don’t like sad pandas, do we? (The answer is no…)

Once REL1 filled up dozens, nay, hundreds, of people commented on their desire to join the league if someone dropped out. We took many of those comments and were able to fill out a second REL league: REL2! Well, almost fill it up. And that’s why you’re reading this!

But first, here’s a snippet from JB‘s initial post laying out some of the groundwork for just what in the world REL actually is…

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GOTrazzRCLdraftComing

Actually, a few have already happened (and we’ll talk about them a bit after the jump), but, just like the title alludes to, the table is set, the forks and spoons are in their right place, and hopefully there’s food ready and on the way. In terms of the RCL universe (since I’m hungry and if there are any more food metaphors, I’ll eventually end up eating my monitor), the “league” has taken shape and drafts are about to begin. (But that doesn’t mean you still can’t create and join your choice of RCLs!) And, I want to touch on this: when I say “league”, I mean league, not leagues. Because ef pluralization… I mean, what has it ever done for me? Regardless, you have to remember, this is one complete universal league. The Milky Way of Fantasy Baseball if you will, including Mike Trout, Saturn, and of course, Uranus. Don’t roll your eyes, you knew it was coming. I only mention this (not Uranus), because as teams fall out of contention later in the season, owners will begin to pay less and less attention to their roster, and soon, you’ll have a 12-team league that feels like a five-team league. This is actually quite common in free-to-play leagues and perfectly normal for our specific formats, so don’t feel scorned, abandoned, or betrayed. These owners aren’t there to entertain you, only themselves. I mean, that’s why I write, it’s only to entertain myself. And my mother. You guys are the crazy ones reading this. And sure, at the dawn of the season, everyone feels excited, bashful hope abound. Puppies and ice cream everywhere! But as the season moves past the All-Star break, you have to remember that you aren’t necessarily playing against your 12-team league. No, you are playing against 1,000+ teams in one universal league. For some neat prizes I might add, and most importantly, ultimate bragging rights. So don’t feel alone. Enjoy the long journey. Participate as best you can. Be one with the fantasy baseballs (and Uranus). I guess that’s my last bit of advice as the RCL Updates will now be handled by Matt Truss. He will be your in-season storyteller, and starting next week, he’ll begin to tell your story. The RCL story. And I can’t wait. (I’m talking about eating…)

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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Welcome to another season of the Razzball Commenter Leagues! After typing that, I now know why we abbreviate that shiitake mushroom into R-C-L. I’m out of breath and burned 89 calories just from typing that out, and that doesn’t even include trying to figure why I always used to spell it ‘commentator’. Apparently, I added more vowels than I needed.  First world writer problems. Anyhow, let’s get to your first question. No, I’m not J-FOH. He’ll be around during the season doing different things to different people. It’ll be legal. I think. And no, I’m not even VinWins, who has been known to chime in from time to time and provide us with a whole bunch of numbers because math is hard. Heck, I’m not even VinLoses, who, interesting story, is actually the cousin of Vin’s mother’s brother’s second cousin’s friend of a friend. TOO INTERESTING. And heck, just to add one more into the mix, I’m not even Matt Truss, who’ll be taking the RCL reins after you and I have had our time together. And what a time it’ll be! (This may not be 100% accurate.) Regardless, I’m Jay, and I’m here to help launch the most important fantasy story out there this season, and that is the story of YOUR 2016 Razzball Commenter League…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hola Razzball Nation. Much like that Pennsylvanian groundrodent (it ain’t a hog), I’ve been underground prepping the first half of this winter. Though it’s not like I’ve been keeping you in the dark as I posted my 2016 fantasy baseball projections (in collaboration w/ Steamer) and auction dollar values around the actual Groundhog Day.

The middle of February ushers in the most romantic holiday of the year for me – LABR Draft. This year it was Tuesday, February 16th – casting its big shadow over V-Day (I dressed up in sunglasses and a moustache – my wife thought I was Grey) and the “Let’s honor dead leaders by giving your kids the day off from school while non-bank/government employers just consider it Monday” holiday.

For those not familiar, this is a 15 team mixed league snake draft with standard 5×5 roto scoring. Same roster format as we use for RCL except 6 bench spots, 2 starting catchers, and unlimited DL. Rosters can be updated weekly. The free agent budget (i.e., FAAB) is $100 and you can only pick up players on the major league roster (the draft is the only time you can prospect stash).

My 2015 LABR Team came in 5th place – putting up a fight for 3rd place but well behind Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre of Baseball Prospectus who edged out Fred Zinkie of MLB.com. Looking at my 2015 draft is a good reminder how the second half of these drafts is the equivalent of a Joc Pederson at bat. Take a few big hacks and hope for a home run (my big flies last year were Khris Davis in 13th, Danny Salazar in 15th, Santiago Casilla in 17th, and David Peralta in the 26th).

Here are the results of the 2016 LABR Draft. I suggest opening it another tab while reading this post.

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Special Note: Thanks to everyone who showed interest and joined! Unfortunately, this league is now full. But we are taking a list of replacement owners for any unforeseen events that cause a vacancy in the comment section, so be sure to leave your info there… 

Razzball Nation!

The Baseball Razzball Elite League is here!

Oh man, I haven’t been this excited since the Brewers traded for CC Sabathia.  Has anyone thought back on the irony of CC playing for a team named about alcohol creation?  Cust kayin’!

So over on Hoops, we’ve had a ton of fun creating The Razzball Elite League, made for the deepest of deep and faintest of heart.  Or not the faintest…  Don’t you not want faint?!  Worst open ever!

I gotta say, commenters are my heroes.  Who would’ve thought someone named Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo would be the inspiration for what will easily become my favorite fantasy league?!  But last year, seeing their league listed in a comment here, got my balls rolling.  No, not dropping, OK?!  Jo Jo Jr was my flash of genius in creating the REL Baseball League, but it may be my flash of overly-obfuscating, we shall see!

I’m not going to list out the full rules, since that would REALLY be the worst post ever.  So here’s the Cliff’s [Lee] Notes – The Razzball Elite League is a team-based dynasty, where you have to ALWAYS own 15 players from your parent team’s roster.  There’s obviously 30 MLB teams, so it’s a 30-team league, however split into 15-team AL only and 15-team NL only leagues.  The two leagues are Roto, and play through the first 148 games.  Then the final two weeks, the pennant winners of the AL and NL Roto leagues play each other in a H2H World Series.  On top of your 15 player quota from your parent team you manage a full 25-man roster (with a lot of DL and a few NA spots) and manage a farm system with your parent team’s prospects.  It’s going to be a fun way to blend real-life MLB situations (monitoring trade markets, tanking, contacts, etc.) with the standard 5×5 roto fantasy system.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Happy Presidents Day, or as it will be known next year, King Trump Day.  Since you’ve got the day off from that job you tell your wife you’re going to every day only to sit in the car beneath an underpass where they filmed 97% of last year’s True Detective, why not get your fantasy on?  Not your fantasy where it’s you and that girl from high school in a tub of Alphabet Soup!  That fantasy baseball fantasy!  Because you know what would be really cool?  If you could join a fantasy baseball league that was against, like, 1000 other fantasy baseball teams. But not a 1000-person league, where people are trying to figure out who the back-up third baseman is on the Single-A Astros affiliate, the Corpus Christi Amscrayers.  No, this is a 12-person league designed so you compete against eleven other people in your league, then 90 other leagues of twelve.  That would be cool.  Oh, wait, we’ve done that.  It’s called the Razzball Commenter Leagues, and they’re back, and you don’t even have to be a commenter to join it!  For a limited time only, get your loved one a fantasy baseball league!  That’s right, your hearts go pitter-patter or you’re dead on the inside (my condolences).  Since back in June when you abandoned your fantasy baseball team because it was totally sucking and you returned to your cubbyhole of leftover Chinese food and Teddy Grahams, you’ve longed for this day.  As Bob Marley sang, this is your redemption song, mon.  Or womon, for our five girl readers.  It’s time again to join some fantasy baseball leagues. Before you close all of your extraneous porn windows and rush to sign up, let’s explain how these fantasy baseball leagues are going to work.  We’re going to have a bunch of leagues and crown a winner from each, then we’re going to crown ONE winner from all of the winners.  We will be crowning the winner by taking each team’s points and multiplying it against a ‘league competitiveness factor.’  If you want to see how it worked last year, go here.  (You’ll see a name up there that you might recognize as the eighth best — ME!)  So we’re going to fill up as many fantasy leagues as we can for the next seven weeks.  Each fantasy baseball league will be a mixed league, 12 team, snake draft, roto, 5×5, 5 OFs, one Middle Infielder, one Corner Infielder, one Utility, 9 pitchers, 20 game eligibility, 180 Games Started max, 1000 IP minimum. Like last year, we will again be going with TWO DL SLOTS. The only things you need to change from the default settings is the 180 Games Started and the TWO DL SLOTS.  Please be vigilant about having the exact same league rules and setup as everyone else. The lineup is also known as:  C/1B/2B/SS/3B/CI/MI/5 OF/UTIL/9 P/3 BENCH/2 DL with 180 Games Started and 1000 IP minimum.  The fantasy leagues will be played in ESPN and they will be free to join.

We’re going to start with twenty leagues of 12 and see how we do from there. To join a league… Sorry, again for the people in the back of the room:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

One of the great things about playing in a dynasty league is the active offseason. Since most of the players on a roster are kept, the draft is usually just a handful of rounds and consists of other teams’ trash and fresh signees. That means offseason trading can get pretty intense as owners attempt to improve their roster, whittle down their keepers, or accumulate higher draft picks. Razznasty has been no different, and there have been a ton of trades since our offseason opened in November. The league started last year. It’s a 16-team/keep 30 of 40 dynasty league made up exclusively of Razzball readers and writers. I won’t go into every trade in detail, but rather comment on a few of the bigger ones in this post. You can, however, view every trade made this offseason here.

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Last week I joined a league called The Devil’s Rejects. You’ve probably seen posts on this league over at FanGraphs recently. In fact, it must have subconciously rubbed off on me because that is a very FanGraphsy title. Rejects is a 20-team dynasty with 45-man rosters where we keep 28 forever. It’s full of industry talent from sites like FG and Baseball Prospectus. Razzball’s own J-FOH has a team and we’ve already made our first trade with no blood, sweat, or tears spilled. The squad I took over was one that had cycled through a couple of owners in the previous two or three years. So yeah, it’s a bit of a project. But the point of this post is that there’s one name on this roster I have absolutely no idea what to do with, and I’m wondering if other dynasty geeks out there are faced with the same problem. It’s Shohei Otani, the Japanese pitcher who’s tearing it up in the NPB.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So much of life comes down to perspective. There are super successful people that are filled with bitterness and anger while others scrape by and are happy. I constantly have to remind myself how lucky I am – great wife & kids, healthy, have money in bank, love where I live – to avoid getting sucked into the craphole of the daily grind.

It is easy for people that do not play fantasy sports to dismiss our joy or anger at our fantasy baseball teams by saying ‘it is just a game.’ You can reduce just about everything people get passionate about with ‘it is just _____’. But that isn’t productive. Reveling in your successes and dismissing your failures only means you ensure less success because you do not fully learn from your failures. And it takes a healthy perspective to isolate the ‘fault’ from the ‘bad luck’ in one’s failures.

I write all this because my first year in Tout Wars was an excrutiating test to keep perspective. Let’s see how good a job I can do….

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Things can start simply and end up a classic.  Or at the very least, well remembered…ok, just remembered.  I don’t know, it’s Beck, you view him as you see him.  I liked him but never thought he was going to be a superstar.  How does a guy win a Grammy when the first lyrics people heard from him contain, ‘With the plastic eyeballs, spray paint the vegetables, dog food stalls with the beefcake pantyhose?’  Even people tripping on acid would say he’s too far gone with that kind of writing.  Either way, here we are over 20 years after his break into the industry and he has some hardware on his mantle for his 12th studio album.  I’m sure some would say the industry was just saying ‘We didn’t get it 20 years ago’ by giving him the prize now and by ‘some’ I mean ‘Kanye.’  Regardless, we’re not here to talk about Beck but in keeping with the Grammy theme, I just won myself Best New Artist of the NFBC $150 Draft Champions league I was in.  Yup, you can put me up there with the big names now like Hootie & The Blowfish, Paula Cole, Esperanza Spalding…ok, maybe/hopefully this isn’t a trend as I’d love to win more than one in my currently illustrious NFBC career.  It was an interesting league to be a part of and I will break down how I done won it below.  Join me, will you?  (BTW, you might know me as the DFS guy on the site.  You might also know DFS is getting hit hard by people (legislators) trying to get FanDuel and DraftKings to cut states into their kitty.  I’m all about putting hands in the kitty, but not this way.  To offer support, fill out this petition.)  Anyway, here’s a recap of how I came out a champion in my 15 team NFBC league for 2015 Fantasy Baseball…

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