We’re at the 1/4 mark for the first season of Fantasy Razzball – a fantasy baseball game where you try to manage the worst team possible – and we’re on our way to probably the worst collective stat totals ever seen in a Yahoo! public league. With team batting averages as low as .238 and ERAs and ERAs as high as 5.36, it’s no wonder that Alan Trammell keeps bugging us for a chance to manage one of these teams (See 2003 Tigers team totals).

The top 4 are closely bunched but the leader at this point is….me. That’s right. My team sucks more than the rest. Look at me, ma. I’m king of the third world!

No doubt my 48 point offense (out of 60) has prospered at the expense of the real-life lineups that employ my top two picks (Willy Taveras, Michael Bourn). The two of them have combined for 277 ABs and managed 40 Runs, 3 HR (all Bourn), 12 RBI, 60 Ks, and a .206 AVG. Multiply that by two and you’ve got one AWFUL season. Message to Cecil Cooper and Clint Hurdle: Keep those guys at the top of your lineups. Don’t ruin a good thing…for me!

In 2nd place is our amateur entry from Josh the Non-Blogger – Team DFA (Designated For Assignment? Destined For Awfulness?). He’s overcome surprising starts by Scott Olsen, Edwin Jackson, and Ryan Ludwick with draftees like Franklin Morales (6.39 ERA over 25 IP yet only 2 HR?), Jose Castillo, and Brendan Harris (.248/33 Ks/2 HR/9 RBI) and smart pickups like the one-time apple of my eye Eugenio Velez and Tom “I’m Punto’s Backup” Tolbert.

In 3rd place is April league leader Cards In The Attic. Coincidence that his drop from 88 to 78 points started around the time that Pittsburgh dropped the anchor of his staff (and an anchor on their staff) Matt Morris? I blog to differ.

The 4th team of the top quartet is Roto Professor – who is so dedicated that he scouts Razztastic performances in the minor leagues. He’s smartly banking on the Giant offense (Ortmeier, Durham, Winn) but needs to find more AB machines like Kurt Suzuki and Jason Bartlett to avoid the minimum AB penalties (He’s currently about 320 AB off the pace of 5200 AB – the pro-rated stats definitely have an impact…e.g., goes from 20 to 25 HRs after applying 80 ABs of pro-rated 35 HRs.)

Other notes:

5th place Mop Up Duty’s team is looking good (bad?) relying on high AB/low performance middle infielders like Julio Lugo, Felipe Lopez, and David Eckstein. Also liked their recent preview on interleague play.

Biggest gainer in the last 20 days or so has to be the Fantasy Baseball Generals moving from 10th to 6th. Their ridiculous 3.17 ERA / 1.17 WHIP finally regressed (progressed?) to the mean with a move to 3.78 / 1.27. Keep up the bad pitching.

Blogmate Grey has fallen to 8th place. Ha ha…you don’t suck!

The team fielded by the blog formally known as GOTOS – now FantasyPhenoms – is suffering from a roster full of benchwarmers. Stop spending so much time on your fancy new blog and pick up some every day players. Their team’s 14 HR boosts to 31 HR because of the minimum-AB penalties. (BTW, here’s an interesting rank of pitchers they did – a little stat wonky but good.)

And in last place, our occasional contributor Lou and his Defunct Baseball Lab. Defunct indeed. I think you have to spend less time writing about great fantasy baseball players and start reading my Razzball Spotlights!

  1. BSA says:

    Anyone know the story with Jay Bruce? I noticed BVV’s comment about him and realize I want to continue adjusting my outfield for the haul ahead. I currently have Damon, Kemp, Quentin, Vlad, Pence, Wells. My utility is Votto. Victorino is still a FA. I am tired of trying to trade with the aholes in my league (only 2 out of 10 want to trade, others play the weekly add/drop for the next hot pickup. I am considering just dropping Damon for Victorino and maybe even Kemp for Bruce so I could stash Bruce while the others don’t know better and running Pence, Vlad, and Quentin out there and my having a bench with Victorino, Figgins, and Bruce. My infield is Mauer, Morneau, Kinsler, Greene, ARam, and as stated earlier Votto at utility.
    H2H, 10 team

  2. johnson says:

    vincent -aka the queens assassin- ludwick, rules my universe. he totally has the most sought after sperm at the bank. did i mention that he can defy gravity?

  3. Grey

    Grey says:

    @BSA: Jay Bruce might get the call any day now, but Victorino’s sitting on your waivers so I’m not sure anyone’s going to get to Bruce before you. Maybe so, you would know your league tendencies better than me.

    I still like Victorino better than Damon.

    @johnson: I’ve heard that about Vincent. He is quite special.

  4. BSA says:

    re:Jay Bruce – why is a call-up getting such billing. What does he bring to the table? As to knowing my league I have a pretty good handle but there have been a couple of players sitting out there in free agency that L missed because I assumed and waited too long to get in there and drop a player that I wanted to wait on. Kemp has started to cool which could always allow Torre to begin rotating and hurt Kemp’s value.
    Aside from the aforementioned ability to defy gravity isn’t Ludwick playing out of his mind right now?

  5. Baron Von Vulturewins says:

    @BSA: Here’s what I know about Bruce:

    Pros: He’s the consensus top prospect in baseball. He’s most often compared to Larry Walker — i.e. big power potential with speed and high avg., i.e. tasty. Last I looked, he was hitting about .330 in AAA (okay, wait — now I actually did look: he’s currently at .328/.565/.924 with 6 HRs and 7 SBs. And he started slow, so he’s been on an absolute tear of late.) Baseball Prospectus’ notoriously gloomy PECOTA projections put him at 29 HR this year (assuming a full season in the bigs, I’m guessing), which was among its top 10 or 15 players (I should go check this but… I’m lazy.) Once he gets called up — and all the indicators are there: bad team with several trade-bait veteran OFs, a local media clamoring to get this kid to the show — he’ll be playing in one of the NL’s premiere bandboxes, i.e. Cincy. So, a lot to like.

    Cons: Two years ago, Alex Gordon was the CTPiB (consensus top etc.) and, well, we’ve seen that he hasn’t turned into Boog Powell x Willie Mays quite yet. (Some of us have watched this more closely, and more painfully, than others.) Cincy has a long, inglorious history of carrying one too many OFs, and driving fantasy owners insane with idiotic non-platoon OF switcheroos (see: Freel, Ryan). Also: Cincy loves mishandling young OFers (see: Kearns, Austin, though maybe he just wasn’t that good after all). This is all compounded by the fact that Dusty Baker also has a history of mishandling/not trusting young players, though he seems to have put his faith in Joey Votto this year, which augurs well for Bruce.

    Bottom line: Bruce could well go the way of Gordon ’07, or he could just as easily go the way of Braun ’07. Having missed out on the latter last year through pure Yahoo!-induced phenom fatigue (they hype everyone like they’re a young Babe Ruth, so by mid-May, you’re tuning it out) I don’t plan to miss out on it this year. So my money’s on Bruce. Given what you have to invest — i.e. nothing, save a bench spot for a few weeks — it’s a worthwhile gamble, IMO.

    However, I wouldn’t drop Kemp for him… I’d rather trade Kemp away in a two-fer-one, even if you’re not getting equal value back in return. Kemp is a very good player who’s in the majors doing well right now, so probably not worth jettisoning for what’s behind Door #3.

  6. BSA says:

    I actually am trying to pick up Zambrano from a team who is at the bottom of the power pool. I put together Damon and Cueto thinking the opening should make way for Victorino to find his way to my bench. I then will have to be creative about Kemp with a position to upgrade.

  7. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Baron Von Vulturewins: Great breakdown, BVV.

    @BSA: I’m confused why you are trading Damon and Cueto for Z. If you’re looking to upgrade your pitcher, don’t trade Cueto. Also, someone on the bottom of the power pool isn’t going to be helped by Damon.

  8. BSA says:

    Looking to move Damon and open up a position for Victorino. The team I am looking at has Delgado and Howard at first with pitching staff of C Zambrano,D McGowan,
    F Carmona, F Cordero,J Bonderman, Borowski, J Valverde, K Gregg. I have Morneau and Votto at first and pitching staff is B.J. Ryan, E Bedard, J Shields, J Rauch, J Papelbon, J Beckett, R Harden, J Cueto, T Hudson. My outfield is Vlad, Pence, Quentin, Damon, Wells, and Kemp.
    As I am aware people make some crazy, if not stupid trades but I saw another league put together Howard/Zambrano for Morneau/Upton.
    Then again with you managing 15 teams as well as the number of trades people write about I am sure you already have an idea of what a package with Damon would work.

  9. Baron Von Vulturewins says:

    The Jay Bruce line I quoted was actually about a week out of date. Here’s the update from mlb.com:

    Jay Bruce’s season stats: .366 AVG, 8 HR, 33 RBIs, 7 SB, .662 SLG

    Jay Bruce’s last 10 games: .611 AVG, 3 HR, 12 RBIs

    So, like I said: Tasty.

  10. BSA says:

    Great just what we all need more tasties to tempt us.

  11. Grey

    Grey says:

    @BSA: Dooooode, your team is better than this schmohawk’s team. Your outfield looks to be the weakest spot of your team (at least from what I’m seeing). Try and get Borowski for Damon or maybe Gregg. Otherwise, just drop Damon and pick up Victorino, their numbers are comparable and Victorino has better upside. If I remember correctly, you picked up Shields and Votto off waivers. They shouldn’t have been on waivers, so I don’t think anyone’s going to care if you drop Damon, or maybe they will but whatever, he has no upside anyway.

    Who’s starting for Wells on your team? You might consider upgrading your outfield rather than trying to get Big Z.

  12. BSA says:

    OK what kind of packaging would you put together to upgrade the outfield? As to his team sucking more than mine you’re right – he is 1 and 5 and I’m 6-0. I’ll give you credit for some of those wins. Especially the one in which the guy predicted my team lossing for the whole league to see and he had to pass out the congrats before Sunday even finished.
    My active outfield is Quentin, Vlad, Pence and Votto is now my utility player. Damon, Wells, Kemp, and Figgins are sitting on the bench.

  13. BSA says:

    My infield is Morneau/Votto, Kinsler, Greene, and ARam/Figgins. Someone wants to move Carlos Guillen for a one to one player trade. What do you think?

  14. BSA says:

    Hey, I know it is easier to go under the most recent entry so I will move this over there.

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