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Fellow RCL’ers, it’s your narrator for the 2014 season, back to bring you into the fold for everything RCL. And also type RCL as many times possible. Needs more RCL if you ask me. Anyhow, mark this day in your calender folks. It is a day which will (probably not) live in infamy. It is a day where we will chase history for the good of all mankind. Are we curing cancer? No. Solving world hunger? I just ate a Kit-Kat, so we might have some more work to do on that front. Are we creating a foundation to rescue stray animals? Ef no! We’re doing something much-much more important (not really). Today, I am making it our personal goal to create at least 75 RCL leagues for the 2014 Fantasy Baseball Season. Are we close? Darn straight we are. Right now, we are at 63 RCL leagues, and I know we can do this. Together. As one. HOLD ME.

Okay, you can stop holding me now. TOO CLOSE BRO. TOO CLOSE. Now, you might ask, why 75? What’s wrong with 79? Or 82? Or 568,412? I dunno, it’s all arbitrary I guess. But 75 just looks better. And, 12 more leagues should be a cinch. And how do we get to this goal, pray tell? Well, you can start by doing what over 50 of your fellow Razzball commentators have done, and that’s be a Commissioner. It’s easy, I swear. And it’s really not that much work. Set up the league, set up the draft, and BAM, you’re done. Well, I mean, maybe send out a draft reminder if you want… but still, anyone can do it. In fact, I’ve done it like eight times. That’s what she said. You know whose also done it multiple times? Besides your mom? Razzball reader and friend Dug Fister. That’s who. He’s leading by example folks, and is now Commissioner x3. That’s three times the awesome. Be like him. Be like Dug Fister. Be three times the awesome.

Plus, don’t you want to be a Razzball friend? I do, but Grey has a restraining order against me. Thank God Rudy has no idea what the legal system is for. I’m watching you do your dark wizardry math stuff from the bush’s. Because Texas has way too many Bush’s. HAHA. Get it?

So, yeah. RCL’s. Be a commissioner. Join a league. BE A HERO.

Here’s how: (With me quoting Grey. Because he quotes himself way too much. Don’t be such a Grey-hog!)

If you want to see how it worked last year, go here.  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.  Unlike previous years, we will be going with TWO DL SLOTS.  The only things you need to change from the default 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.

TO JOIN A LEAGUE
Click the LINK in the ‘League Link’ column (see below grid) and enter the PASSWORD at ESPN.  Emails are there for some leagues, but you shouldn’t need to email anyone.

TO START A LEAGUE
Please create a league in ESPN based on the league rules reference above.  Step by step:  Hit Create.  Then Create ESPN Custom (middle option), Name League, Change to 12 Teams, Restriction Type: None, Open to All Users, Access: change to Private, create Password, leave as Roto and Snake, Make Draft Date and Time, Create.  From Default settings all you have to do is change to TWO DL SLOTS and 180 Starts by pitchers.  So, you go to ROSTERS and Click “Edit Roster Settings.”  There, change to 2 DL Slots and 180 Starts (the counter will change to 20.0 per slot).  Then SUBMIT Roster Settings.  Finally, Create Your League!  (Important Note: Make sure league is viewable to public but requiring a password to avoid non-Razzballers joining.)   When that’s finished, click here. You will be permissioned shortly so you can add your league info to the Google Doc (the below grid cannot be edited from this page).  On that Google Doc, you will need to enter your name, league link, password and please UPDATE the number of openings as your league fills up.   That’s it.  Oh, and don’t use your bank account password.

  1. brett says:
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    Strategy question. Is hoarding closers and streaming your allowed starts frowned on in RCL. Looks like the format is made for it with min IP and max starts.

    • Jay

      Jay says:
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      @brett: Any strategy that’s allowed under the rules is fair game.

      There’s a lot of streaming that goes on, I will say that.

      • brett says:
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        @Jay: I’m letting the cat outta the bag a little bit, but I was talking to a fellow player about the possibility of drafting 6-9 closers and sitting as many as you had to on your bench while you raced as quickly as possible to get to the 190 starts (or whatever the number is). Hopefully you could stream the 190 starts by all star break. Seems like once you got there you could then fill you pitching slots with your closers and relief pitchers and dominate IP. Agree?

        • Jay

          Jay says:
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          @brett: It would be a fascinating experiment, no doubt. I have so many RCL leagues this year, I was going to dedicate a few to some outlandish ideas. Very similar to this one… maybe not the banking all of the starts ASAP, but picking and choosing my moments.

          All I can say is… sign up for more RCL teams and try these things out. With the data Rudy has been spewing out on these leagues, I’m really excited at the fact that we are basically a lab experiment in some aspects.

          • brett says:
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            @Jay: Definitely. I made the mistake of drafting a few too many bullshit leagues in espn and only have 3 left without paying. I always end up in a mock with a “yay, mike carp first pick” asshole. They never help me so I try to do as many real drafts as possible. I’ll join one more for sure, just wanted to make sure that strategy was allowed before I implement it. May do the reverse too and try to numbers my way to starting with 9 closers and finishing with 190 starts. I could then trade my closers for value instead of just letting them sit on my bench half a year. And pick the teams I trade them too so I won’t have any saves competition. Kind of a fringe strategy but def one I am going to try.

            • Jay

              Jay says:
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              @brett: To be fair, it’s pretty hilarious when looking from the outside.

            • costaricanchata says:
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              @brett:
              “They never help me so I try to do as many real drafts as possible.”
              do you play these leagues through to the finish ?

              • brett says:
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                @costaricanchata: Yea. Its only 10 max they let you into. Standard Espn users blow too so I usually finish top 5 in all of them with minimal effort. Not that that says much. I have 3 main leagues that I can devote waaayyyyyyyy too much time too. RCL will be one this year.

      • brett says:
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        @Jay: I think running 9 closers half a year (and a few when you only stream 7 SP) would win you saves easy and help your whip and era while adding the maximum possible relief innings. A streamed start should be comparable IP wise to a non streamed start I would think. At least comparable enough where you would still garner a major advantage in IP with all the relief innings.

        • Jay

          Jay says:
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          @brett: I wonder how a draft would respond to such a thing? Have you ran any mocks with this strat?

          • brett says:
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            @Jay:Havent tried it in a mock yet. When me and my buddy were talking about it he said it would cause a league uproar. I think it would as well especially if it worked to the tune of 75IP more than the rest of the league and dominating saves. Id think your k/9 would be high because of all the elite closers too.

          • brett says:
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            @Jay: you would think you could get through 4/5 closers early enough, when no one is expecting a closer hoarder, that no one could limit your strategy. Or there will be no closers left by rnd 13. haha

        • Jeff in Southern Indiana says:
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          @brett: I guess that your hitting would be pretty weak or filled with Brad Miller sleeper types.

          The guy who get 2 closers and finishes 2nd in the category with a good offense would probably be the big winner lol.

          • Brett says:
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            @Jeff in Southern Indiana: i’m sure my hitters would be weaker than the mock draft lineups hitters, if for no other reason than the problems with espna mock draft system. However, should still be able to land solid bats without worrying about drafting any starters and only having to reach for a few closers. Kimbrell, jansen, chapman type.

  2. vortexanthony says:
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    any chance of some kind of auction draft rcl set-up?

    • Jay

      Jay says:
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      @vortexanthony: I would support this, but as of right now, nope. Maybe in the future.

      • Shake N Bacon says:
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        @Jay: I would love to get into an RCL auction league. I’ve never (EVER) done an auction draft for any fantasy sport. Only at brothels.

        Looking forward to my first year in an RCL league. I’ve always been a chronic rosterbator so I think I’ll fit in.

        • goodfold2 says:
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          @Shake N Bacon: brothels would likely not be the best place for auctions, unless you happened to be into the least popular whores.

          • Shake N Bacon says:
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            @goodfold2: Don’t judge me and my taste in women…

  3. brett says:
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    Just did the mock with that strategy….wow. Definitely like the team I put together. What do you think? Espn draft ranking special is what my team name would be with this lineup. Had 4th overall pick.

    C Salvador Perez (13,124)
    1B Goldy (1,4)
    2B Gyorko (14,137)
    3B Pedro (9,84)
    SS Segura (8,77)
    MI Hardy (12,117)
    CI Rizzo (10,97)
    OF Harper (2,17)
    OF Upton (4,34)
    OF Granderson
    OF Martin
    OF Yelich
    UT Gattis
    B Arenado
    B Garcia

    P Kimbrell (3,24)
    P Chapman (5,44)
    P Jansen (6,57)
    P Holland (7,64)
    P Rosenthol (11,104)
    P Robertson
    P Freiri
    P Henderson
    P Veras
    B Lincicum (to show you can get a cy young award winner with your last pick)

    • brett says:
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      @brett: By the Math I could run this lineup all but the last three weeks of the season and still get to 180 starts. Is there any way anyone could compete in saves or K/9 if I ran that staff for all but the last three weeks? With punting SP (and the help of espn shit rankings) I was able to put together a good lineup as well. Even without the segura, Rizzo, gyorko steals that team looks solid.

      • Jay

        Jay says:
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        @brett: Yeah, I had been thinking about doing something like this with one of my RCL’s… but not to that degree. Maybe a sort of hybrid, with still some starting pitching.

        But what you did, and with SP depth where it is… I might be formulating something similar to this. Definitely can be a fun experiment.

      • Jeff in Southern Indiana says:
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        @brett: How bad is the average streamer replacement level pitcher vs. a team with 5 drafted starters?

        I imagine that will drag K/9 back down as high strikeout guys will be gobbled up, how much I don’t know.

        • Brett says:
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          @Jeff in Southern Indiana: the avg streamer replacement in a standard ten man league is really good. However , streaming 9 a day for three weeks would put me using well below avg streamers. The strategy is too maximise IP and high k/9 Ip by running closers with twice the k rate of a lot of starters. Even some aces. I ran a similar strategy in a league that had unlimited aquasitions and i dominated k’s saves and wins while finishing middle of the pack in era and whip. Its def do-able. Rcls may make it difficult to put together the hitters i need tho, with a lot of my underated guy being takin. But in a ten man league the player pool on waivers is plenty good enough to survive if i finish first in three pitching cats and middle of pack in era and whip.

          • Jeff in Southern Indiana says:
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            @Brett: I wish you good luck.

            I admire contrarian thinking and innovation.

            Do it in an RCL and let us know how it turns out.

            One Idea:

            You’d def. need Chapman, Kimbrel, Jansen, and Frieri for K/9. What about quitting after grabbing say 5 or 6 elite closers and getting a 3 or 4 good late starters to minimize the volume of crappy streamers needed? Then you could top out innings with elite set-up guys as needed later.

            • brett says:
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              @Jeff in Southern Indiana: For sure. This is definitely the extreme end of the spectrum on this strategy. I’m hoping I would be able to trade kimbrell or chapman, in the last three weeks, for a good starter to use as part of the nine man stream. A fellow player had a good point tho, he said if he figured out what I was doing (which everyone In my rcl will now know) there is no way he would help me with a 2:1 starter trade even if he was in 6th in saves and only 5 saves out of 2nd. Also if the draft didn’t go as planned it would be hard to have a backup strategy to fall on.

    • Jay

      Jay says:
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      @brett: That’s an interesting team. The only worry I have is that you think Lincecum is still a Cy Young guy. Hah!

      • brett says:
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        @Jay: haha… see Bartolo Calon also see Fransisco Liriano. Haha, naaa just kiddin,

        • Jay

          Jay says:
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          @brett: It’s a good point though, the pitching is survivable if the closers give you great rates…

        • brett says:
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          @brett: May have forgotten the word “former”………Maybe…………. or I have found a post hype, post performance sleeper.

          • Jay

            Jay says:
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            @brett: Quite possibly… hah.

    • Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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      @brett: Brett: I like a restrained version of this strategy and have run it for years. The problem begins when you go too deep. The O side suffers.

      You do need a couple or 3 anchor SPs… Late in the season, other owners will be cherry picking starters to fill out their `180 GS needs too . You will suffer much competition for the best SP match-ups. Better to halve that late season GS demand for your team with a limited beginning Anchor SP staff.

      The nice thing about the ESPN GS rule (personally, I believe there should be a 1500 IP cap too) it heightens the value of the RP in general – The McGee-s of the FBB universe. Their IPs are bonus innings. Closers are better to own, of course. Given the recent announced closer role – revolving door – years – we have had, attrition should get you many of your needed openings to pick up SPs along the way – even with a small Closer corps. Closers don’t pitch enough innings to offset for bad SPing in ERA and RAT unless you are punting the 2 CATS – Ks and Ws.

      The MOCK DRAFTS at ESPN are broken. The drafts only validate the ESPN rankings as the 2 or 3 live selection teams drop out at a minimum – by the 3 rd round of the MDs… By rounds, 6 or 7 in most drafts over half the teams are normally gone. It leaves you with a false exercise. Why? Because, the Auto Draft tool follows the ESPN rankings.

      They need to find a way to punish MD sign ups that do not finishing the live drafts – ban them for 2 weeks!!!.

      Yes, it could be argued that these players are testing the Custom Auto Drafts. This is a false argument for 3 reasons 1st: There are Auto Draft only MDs going off all the time to do this in… 3nd: Customized auto drafts are clearly not being used 3: Auto Drafters or those who only are interested in the “first few Star rounds” are ruining the MD tool for the players who are drafting live to see what other owner’s weighting of all the ESPN player’s universe really is.

      I can almost guarantee you, many of the players you drafted in later rounds will not be there for you in the real RazzBall drafts. Gyorko will be gone by the 7th round in most all RazzBall drafts – often higher. (he has been hyped on here) Remember, many RB owners will be using imported RazzBall software for their drafts.

      The MOCK DRAFTS are important only to familiarize yourself with the ESPN template’s design, functions and idiosyncrasies (of which, there are plenty)

      • Jeff in Southern Indiana says:
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        @Ghost of the Disappeared: Maybe fantasypros would be a better solution for the mocks.

        • Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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          @Jeff in Southern Indiana: Jeff: Do they allow you to import ESPN’s rankings… All of this for RazzBall league purposes is about the practicing with template and the flow within the ESPN rankings. Even without the importing of the expected of Razz Draft Sheets – I try and assume for their recommendations when practicing there.

          The permutations of rankings are quite different everywhere you go.

          Even the most statistically “pure?” driven ones are influenced by subjective inputs -or there would not be the significant variations in projections we see everywhere.

          That said, I love them… They are fun… I do like some of the overlay composite rankings – I liked the high, middle, low projections side by side, that were to be had for awhile… Not seen them lately

  4. Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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    My days of misbehaving on RazzBall are over for good.

    I’m going to be a good ghost forever – from now on until the end of time.

    Maybe, if I am, then you can come back here regularly again.

    Would not that be wonderful?

  5. UncleLarryWalker says:
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    Things must be getting crazy. I’m seeing Jay on Reddit now…

    • Jay

      Jay says:
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      @UncleLarryWalker: Yup, Razzball is going to be seen a lot more over there. Weekly AMA’s, events, lot of crossover stuff.

      Get yer popcorn ready.

  6. Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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    Jay: Opening Day of ST and no full local radio in Sacto – the 4th largest metro area of the state – 18th in the nation… About 2,500,000 ..

    I’m driving down to Napa – 60 miles – to be sure to get the game on radio and go for a walk in the rain..

    GO A’s BASEBALL IS BACK!!!!!… Watch a great junior college game yesterday to get in the mood…

    Local baseball here is fantastic – Sacto is a hardball hot spot. We play the game.

    • Jay

      Jay says:
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      @Ghost of the Disappeared: I got my heart broken in college by a girl from Sacto.

      That probably affects my feelings on the area. Which are not good. Needs more ocean access too…

  7. A Hill O' Beans says:
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    Looks like I’ve got a spot available in my RCL again, I guess one of the managers left. I’ve updated the chart, but it’s still buried a little down the list so I figured I’d throw it out there for anyone looking to join still.

  8. Max says:
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    seems I’m unable to add the league I just made to the google doc, can someone help me?

    the link to the league is: http://games.espn.go.com/flb/tools/join?leagueId=72696
    password: razzbone

    side note: ESPN considers ‘razzboner” to be a profanity

    • Jay

      Jay says:
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      @Max: Try it now. Let me know.

      • Max says:
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        @Jay: Worked great, thanks!

        • Jay

          Jay says:
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          @Max: NP. Thanks for creating a league! If that one fills up, don’t be shy about making another one.

  9. John Butte says:
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    Woooo! The Butteman is back! You guys are dead! I got a trophy to defend.

    Now I just need a break at work to catch up on my razzball.

  10. A Hill O' Beans says:
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    Hi Jay,

    I’ve never been a commish on ESPN, only Yahoo, but i know on Yahoo when a league fills you can lock it so teams don’t constantly come and go at random. Any idea if there is a similar function on ESPN or are you at everyone’s mercy right up until the minute you draft? I ask because once again my RCL is down a manager. I’ll update the spreadsheet again once I’m on an actual computer.

    Thanks again Jay.

    • Jay

      Jay says:
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      @A Hill O’ Beans: I’ll update it for you. Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s come and go as you please…

      • A Hill O' Beans says:
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        @Jay: I was afraid of that. Here’s hoping someone doesn’t leave an hour before the draft or something. Thanks Jay.

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