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Diamond is widely acknowledged as the most successful Fantasy Baseball Pick-up Artist in the world – applying the methods of female seduction to the art of winning fantasy baseball league championships. He travels cyberspace with his wing Saber, teaching those who play fantasy baseball how to be fantasy baseball players.

My name and avatar may be unfamiliar to you.  My schedule is too demanding to distribute my daily thoughts in a weblog.  Or to pontificate via podcast.  Or to share my epiphanies via Twitter.

I am not here to provide advice on which player to start today.  I am here to provide advice on which person to be tomorrow.  I don’t change lineups.  I change lives.

It’s been a long time since I’ve graced Razzball with my presence.  I hope that’s provided sufficient time to osmose my advice and you have:  1) established the proper fantasy baseball avatar (mine this year is ninjassasininja) and 2) taken the initial steps towards becoming an AlphaTrader.

I am going to assume that you are in contention for first place (if you are not, I suggest re-reading my previous posts.).  Your team can use some reinforcements and the best way to get them is via trade.

Most RTS’s (RotoSchmos) follow one of these three losing trading techniques:

1) Trader Joe – Look for the organic, win-win trade (e.g,. you need hitting, i need pitching)

2) ShortChanger – Try to trade two quarters for a dollar (e.g., Melky Cabrera and Jeff Francoeur for Ryan Braun)

3) LowBaller – Make an insulting trade offer (e.g., Mike Aviles for Mike Stanton) thinking that might lead to something.

Trader Joe trades are achievable but are often hard to find.  ShortChanger and LowBaller trades help your team but are hard to achieve.

A true AlphaTrader doesn’t acquire their desired target by battling with their trading partner.  They disarm them.  This requires deftly alternating between aggression and seduction.  In the female seduction world, this avatar is known as the Dogmouse (a dog decides on what pussy to chase while a mouse gets the pussy to chase them).

Our AlphaTrading ground work has established which owners are most susceptible to our advantageous trade offers.

Here are four advanced gambits that I teach my students that produce reliable results (all terms mentioned are trademarked to Diamond PUA LLC):

1) The Garden of Eden – Let’s say I need SBs so I target Michael Bourn and want to give up Seth Smith.  Instead of proposing this trade, we entice our trading partner by offering up fair value while hiding Smith behind the fig leaf of temptation.  Something like, “I like Bourn.  Willing to discuss an OF swap that doesn’t include Seth Smith.”  Now let’s say your best OFs are Braun and Pence.  Your trading partner will be enticed to offer a LowBaller trade of Bourn for Braun.  He’s thinking you’re a RotoSchmo!  You correct him gently with an “Of course I didn’t mean Braun.  I meant any comparable OF to Bourn except for Seth Smith.”  This subtle neg has him wanting to gain our respect by making a convincing argument that the next OF he asks for is comparable to Bourn.  So he provides a couple of lines why Pence is comparable to Bourn.  But he’s also thinking “Bourn is just as good as Smith.  Why won’t he offer him?  What does he know that I don’t?”  We’re simultaneously devaluing his asset while boosting our asset.  We close the deal by deflecting the attention away from Pence without negging…”You made some good points….but I need to keep Pence…..is there any other OF you would take?”.  We don’t come out and say “How about Seth Smith?” as that would remove his ‘forbidden fruit’ status.  We don’t pump up Seth Smith’s accomplishments.  We just let our trading partner squirm until he can’t help but take a bite from our apple.

2) Spite and Switch – Proprietary research by my wingman Saber has shown that 70% of fantasy baseball transactions come from a negative place.  This includes negative feelings towards a player, frustration at a leaguemate’s ‘good luck,’ frustration at their team’s ‘bad luck,’ etc.  Negative feelings have no place in our decision-making as they lead to irrational actions.  In my seminars, I refer to this as Rototilting.   Amateur fantasy baseball pick-up artists recommend actively creating friction between two leaguemates in hopes one of them will Rototilt.  But most people are smart enough to sidestep that gambit.  I find it’s more effective to seduce a leaguemate into thinking you are on Rototilt and thinking they will use your spite against you.  An experience AlphaTrader can move from faux Rototilt to an advantageous trade in three e-mails.  You’ll need to attend one of my seminars for the exact verbiage but the basic outline is:  1) This <leaguemate> keeps asking me for <player>.  I like you better.  Make me an offer.  2) I’d TOTALLY take that <Lowballer/Shortchanger trade> but they’ll veto it.  Let’s just swap these two players so they approve it and don’t suspect anything.  3) Okay, how about this variation.  Oh, man, that <leaguemate> is going to be so pissed!

3) The Neglomaniac – This type of trade takes at least 8 weeks to pull off.  Saber has crazy Neglomaniac game.  I’ll let him explain the gambit….

‘Buy low’ offers insult potential trading partners.  A star player has two poor weeks in April and the ‘buy low’ offers start flooding in.  Our trading partner has invested his ego in this player – divesting from this player isn’t easy for them.  What’s the best way to do this?  If you guessed Dogmousing, you must be watching my subscription-only “Saber Rattling” online video service!  While your leaguemate keeps getting Shortchanger offers for his slumping star, you show him the proper respect and clearly identify your interest in the player – e.g. “Tough going so far with Hanley Ramirez but he’ll rebound – he’s solid.” You continue to do this every two weeks – always complimenting your trading partner’s acumen and patience.  At some point, his mind will convert your compliments to negs in much the same way that one’s body converts carbohydrates to sugar.  He starts hating this albatross of a player – looking for some way to divest himself from this choice for the sake of his ego.  And whom is first in line to receive the 80 cents on the dollar trade offer?  The AlphaTrader, that’s who!

4) The Subliminator – This is something I came up with last year during my annual think tank (participants this year include Grey Albright, Alex Anthopolous, Rudy Gamble, Deepak Chopra, aspiring pickup artist SpikeOwnin’, a renowned hypnotherapist, and Boston Rob).  It is similar to the Garden of Eden gambit in that we are subtly increasing the attractiveness of a player we want to trade.  But the Subliminator gambit works by providing non-sequitur content that can be associated with said player.  For example, if I want to trade BJ Upton, I might forward a link to a Kate Upton photo gallery with a “Now THAT’S a five-tool player” note.  Before you know it, your trading partner forgets that Upton lost his power stroke three years ago.  This could work both ways in that I might associate Jay Bruce with Bruce Springsteen if I’m looking to increase his value or Jay Leno if I’m looking to decrease his value (if he’s my trade target).

That’s all for now.  Keep AlphaTrading!

  1. chata says:
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    that elf hat you wear gets me every time .

  2. Stormin' Norman says:
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    I would watch this if this were a VH1 show.

    Much more entertaining than Mystery and his crap techniques.

  3. alldayLT says:
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    krispie young/josh beckett/brandon league for lincecum. who wins?

  4. I-Man says:
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    Love the subliminator, bet you stole it from Deepak.

  5. Steve in NYC says:
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    Thanks! What about someone who hasn’t had a trade offer in two years, and whose emails get ignored and phone calls not returned by other owners? Perhaps, it’s because I’m Canadian and the New Yorkers are jealous of our economy back home?

    I’ve been in a virtual tie all year with another team in our NL only keeper league. I’m tops in most hitting and average – above average in all pitching categories. I have very little room for growth, compared to the other top team.

    I sent an email offering Hanley for Joe Thatcher, but never heard back. I was able to make a couple of trades, giving up Hanigan, Francisco and Luebke for McCann, Nix and Nicasio. I also traded Coco for Brian Wilson (whom I can’t keep next year).

    Any advice?

  6. nmdunkel says:
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    “Amateur fantasy baseball pick-up artists recommend actively creating friction between two leaguemates in hopes one of them will Rototilt.”

    Isn’t this what happened to your buddy Mystery at Project Hollywood?

  7. birrrdy! says:
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    pure genius… keep posting.

  8. johnson butteman says:
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    Is a dual beer dispensing plastic helmet appropriate for a disarming yet subtly intimidating avatar? What if the beer is replaced with a bottle of jack on one side and a can of coke on the other?

  9. CL says:
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    I like yer style! I’d like to take a moment to pat myself on the back here… what do you think of my year-to-date trades; 10 team dynasty:

    -I gave Jesus Montero and got Freeman. WIN

    -I gave Heath Bell and got Dom Brown & Putz. PUSH, leaning towards a win.

    -I gave Latos and got Crow & Pestano. PUSH until I found out Crow may start… maybe I lose this one.

    -I gave Rollins & Morse and got Votto, Hardy, & Rasmus. WIN… and getting Votto was my goal.

  10. Lance Berkman says:
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    Is there a way for me to subliminally convince grey to give me some love and stop ignoring my season just because I was on his ‘do not draft’ list?

  11. Ralph says:
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    @Grey…

    Dexter Fowler or Brett Lawrie?

  12. @Steve in NYC: A league where trade offers go unanswered is not a league you should be in.

    @nmdunkel: Yes. It’s also why I rejected MLB’s offer to be in the Fan Cave.

    @birrrdy!: Thank you.

    @johnson butteman: I don’t think a dual-beverage dispensing helmet connotes pure confidence like, say, my wizard hat does. It connotes man-child to me. I’d suggest a beret instead.

    @CL: Seems like you’re doing well. The Votto trade, in particular, seems like the old reverse Shortchanger.

    @Lance Berkman: Yes. I’d offer Grey a million dollar freelance writing assignment. Upon receipt of the million dollars, he will think “Free Lance” and start writing about him.

  13. Eng says:
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    Rollins and Morse for Votto/Rasmus/Hardy – I’d have vetoed that in a keeper league.

  14. Eng says:
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    Great post btw, Diamond. Gotta run (false time constraint?)

  15. Chris says:
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    With Jordan Zimmerman making just a few more starts, is it worth it to drop him for Jeff Niemann? Not losing much there right?

  16. DANgerous says:
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    Heres a questions……Im currently in 1st place…..by 19 pts….Im short in saves,sb, avg, runs

    I traded Adam Jones & Emiloooooo for Sergio Santos, Joel Hanrahan, & Ryan Madson…so i think I can make good ground and increase my lead there….would love to put the nail in the coffin in this league….

    Am I giving up to much by trading My D.Price, Vogelsong, Peltra, Quentin for his T-Tulow and Beltre? Or not enough….

    He needs pitching bad, his best pitcher is Daniel Hudson….I still Have Tim Hudson, CC and Weaver

    TY

  17. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    great job to THE WIZARD OF RAZZ

  18. genghis chone says:
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    My fantasy baseball handle has been “theeiffeltower” for a long time. It was something I picked when I was like fourteen. I am kind of coming around on it but it’s probably less than ideal. Thoughts?

  19. The spooky thing is that I AM after Bourn, and I DO have Braun and Pence. But not Seth Smith. Dang! I guess I can’t pull that one off.

    Do you have any general comments about when to talk to guys whose starters will soon be useless in a GS limit league? I am conserving starts in hopes of picking up W, K, ERA and WHIP studs on the cheap. Do I wait until my opponents use up their starts, and are dangling? Or do I initiate talks beforehand? Or do I wait until they can’t stand it and just drop them?

  20. Big Magoo says:
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    Nice article. The only problem is if in you’re in a league with knowledgeable owners across the board (i.e. big money league) who don’t succumb to these tactics. The neglomaniac trick works sometimes, but only if you don’t over-do it, then they get suspicious and tighten up. Good suggestions for a standard league though.

  21. Elizabeth says:
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    “the methods of female seduction”

    There’s a method? Other than just standing around and existing? Wow. I never knew.

    “…aggression and seduction…”

    Personally, I’d rather go bowling.

    “ninjassasininja”… LOL.

  22. muchacho says:
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    it still looks like an elf hat to me

  23. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    Haven’t had the pleasure of reading you previously, Diamond, but it’s been fun backtracking to go over your past entries. It was also comforting to know that I’m already an AlphaTrader… with a name like Awesomus Maximus and an avatar like this (http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/5828/28676089.jpg), it’s no wonder I’m enjoying a comfortable lead in my league, and have recently pulled:

    Verlander for Bumgarner/Vogelsong

    and

    Halladay for Haren/Luebke

    Though I don’t share your view that such proficiency for mental dominance can be taught, I do encourage you to continue in your efforts. It should serve to fuel my league mates’ fallacious confidence, ultimately increasing my already staggering advantage.

    Shine on, you crazy Diamond… and we’ll bask in the shadow of yesterday’s triumph.

  24. @AL KOHOLIC: thanks

    @genghis chone: theeiffeltower clearly isn’t a great avatar. how about marquis de lacerate?

    @The Miracles: Great situation to employ the neglomaniac. “smart to max out on innings so you can leverage SPs for later trades. wish I had drafted more SPs to do the same thing.”

    @Big Magoo:
    A true AlphaTrader can make these gambits work – whatever the league. But it’s fair to say that it won’t work on all owners.

    @muchacho: optical illusion

    @Elizabeth: just so you know, these gambits work twice as well for female fantasy baseball managers because most male RotoSchmos have superiority complexes. one or two compliments and they are putty in your hands.

    @Awesomus Maximus: that is a good avatar. not sure how you pulled off two shortchanger trades but kudos. note: probably want to excise the phrase “fallacious confidence” from your speech. sounds like your calling your leaguemates c***suckers.

  25. Colonel Mosby says:
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    Well …. that several minutes of my life I’ll never get back. At least I’m ready for a nap, now.

  26. Matt says:
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    This is amazing. I didn’t realize that I’ve been doing #3 for the last few years. Going to try #4 next, sounds promising. In a roto-league, consider the type of trade where you convince your target that they need a particular category more than they really do (“saves are harder to come by than most people think”), then swoop in and take advantage.

  27. CL says:
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    @Eng: We’re in Year 4 of the Dynasty. We keep our entire roster year-to-year. There is an unspoken rule that no one vetoes any trades. Vetoes don’t exist in the real world. Vetoes come from managers that couldn’t pull off the same deal.

  28. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    @Diamond, The Fantasy Baseball Pick-up Artist: Heh… it shouldn’t be more confusing than any other time I use multisyllabic words, especially when you consider that I actually call some of my league mates c***suckers (it’s a friendly league… that makes sense if you don’t think about it).

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