THE CLIMB TO THE TOP
June 19: Moved into 6th place in the overall standings.
July 11: 3 out of 1st with 108 points.
August 1: Tied for 1st
August 15: 5 ahead.
I was actually trying to find out this very info yesterday. So thanks for that!
Yeah the key moves for my team were obviously the big 8 player trade (which broke down to ARod for CarGo (CarGo was just starting to wake up after a very poor start, while ARod had gotten off to a nice start but had begun to slow down...having Jose Bautista is what made this centerpiece of the trade possible), Gio for Latos (Gio had had a very good start to his season but I managed to get rid of him before he hit his rough patch and Latos had been pretty terrible to start the season, but if I recall had made 1 or 2 decent starts in a row, and finished up the season very strong), Wieters for VMart (Wieters, who I actually had gotten off of waivers early when Mauer went to the DL, ended up hitting for more power after I traded him, but VMart hit for a very high average after I got him, which I ended up needing, and played every day and put up great RBI numbers) and Ibanez for Feliz (Ibanez, who I had gotten off of waivers like a week before, was in the midst of one of his patented scorching streaks, but did very little the rest of the season, while Feliz as we know had started the season very shaky but eventually settled down and provided me with great numbers) which I won hands down (although that was far from a guarantee when the trade was made), adding Shields and Morse early (and Jurrjens, although my trading him for Morrow wasn't great), and being able to secure Jennings and Lawrie for the stretch run. Obviously getting good bargains on draft day with Adam Jones, Josh Beckett, Tim Hudson, even Jimmy Rollins in the 9th round, and Gio (who essentially became Latos after the trade) for the time he was with my team, as well as good old Alex Gordon, along with a willingness to move on from a player who obviously wasn't contributing, all made my team what it was.
Another thing was the fact my team was so far ahead in all of the offensive cats besides steals (which I was down by about 12 somewhere around the end of August), I was able to add players like Maybin, Crisp, Young Jr, and Weeks to overtake that cat and actually win by a decent margin. As expected, my lead in AVG, which must have been about 12 points at the end of August, dwindled to where it settled, around 2 (although it did get down near 1)....but it was enough. Also I started adding quality non-closer relief pitchers (Kenley Jansen for example...his line for my team...16.2 IP, 38 Ks (incidentally the exact
number I won the category by) 1 W, 3 SV, 1.08 ERA, 0.72 WHIP) early in order to make up ground in Ks which I was in danger of finishing 2nd or 3rd in...this strategy also worked very well. I complained about it during the season...that the RCLs use a GS limit rather than a total innings cap...but the rules being what they were...I made them work for me.
What was a bit nerve wracking, was that my team actually pretty much flatlined for all of September. They must have batted about .220 for that stretch with a 4.50 ERA...it was painful. But from the end of May through the end of August, they really, very consistently tore it up. My team only from time to time made it into your daily recaps for best performances, but they did manage good numbers with very few unproductive days during my good stretch from June-Aug almost every day. It was fun to watch.
I also had a very simple draft strategy that seemed to be successful....a generalized variation on the "when everybody else zigs, then you zag strategy": Look for guys that Grey was even slightly down on to fall in the draft and snatch them up a little later than they should be worth. I think that was why I ended up with Rollins in the 9th, Mauer in the 4th (obvious fail there...but it could have worked out), Bautista in the 3rd (although that's pretty much generally where he went...I didn't let him fall any further), CC in the 5th (by the way...I was going to take Ellsbury here but he got sniped one pick before mine...I suppose I should have taken him in the 4th instead of Mauer, lol), Tim Hudson in the 13th, Beckett in the 18th, and Alex Gordon in the 22nd...even though I don't actually like any of those players and didn't end up with a single one of them on any of my other teams. I did, however, make sure to implement Grey's "Corner Infielders in the 1st two rounds" suggested plan of attack in this and all my other leagues. You may wonder why I ended up with Vernon Wells...I effed that up. I let the timer run down to the last seconds and stupidly had no one in my queue...ended up with Wells (although nobody particularly outstanding was taken between this pick and my next...Adam Jones). UGH.
Can't wait for next year!