I truly appreciate someone who is graceful in defeat. The MLBloggers Fantasy League team of Patrick’s over at The Carlson Corner and Some Ballyard Birds were at it all week long. I would go up by one (out of thirty categories), then he would be up. He was ahead 13-12 (ties aren’t counted) on Sunday morning, but apparently his boys had a real bad easter, because by the time the massacre was through I had pulled ahead 17-9.
The founder of the league, Jason over at Baseball and the Boogie Down Bronx, didn’t fare so well, mired in the lower division with Mile High Yankees, Corey Hart for MVP, That’s a Winner and Red Sox. That can change fast, though.
This week I’m up against Baseball and the Boogie Down Bronx. Play Ball!
NOTE: You’ll be able to find links to all the teams and the league page all season long in a Some Ballyard’s list (to the left). Be sure and visit these fine sites. For you rookies, this is a great way to meet some of the old guys and other pre-eminent bloggers here on MLBlogs.
Overall I’m pretty happy with my fantasy lineup for the MLBlogs Fantasy League. I’ve got Brian McCann catching, I’m loaded at first base (Ryan Howard, Justin Morneau). I’ve got Ryan Zimmerman at third. My middle infield consists of Rafael Furcal and Jeff Kent. In the outfield, I’ve got Manny, Vernon Wells and Austin Kearns, with Curtis Granderson, Matt Murton and all purpose player Mark DeRosa in reserve.
I needed another shortstop, so I dropped Reggie Sanders, the 39 year old fourth outfielder for the Royals and picked up Jamey Carroll, the Rockies second baseman who batted .300 last year.
I’ll probably end up shipping Adrian Gonzalez and Shea Hillenbrand since I’m satisfied with my 1B and 3B situation. I’m going to be keeping a close eye on Howard, though. He might have been MVP last season, but he’s batting .203 this spring.
I’m happy with my lineup, but my pitching leaves a lot to be desired. When your ace is the second spot in the rotation for the Giants–and it falls off preciptiously from there–you know you are in trouble. Matt Cain, Rich Hill, John Patterson, Tim Hudson and Mike Pelfrey (Freddy Garcia is on the DL) aren’t exactly your dream staff. Three of my staff come from the Nats (Patterson, Chad Cordero and Emiliano Fruto), who are already apologizing for the pitching. At least Fruto has a better ERA than Jose Valverde–oh, wait, I got him too! Round that out with the Rockies’ Brian Fuentes (I’ll actually take him), Chad Qualls of Houston, and Vincente Padilla of the Rangers, and a couple of promising rooks, Fabio Castro (PHI) and Glen Perkins (MIN).
My son got all the pitching. Guess that’s what you get when you name your team Ballyard Arms, huh?
I open up against The Carlson Corner. Hope he takes it easy on me.
— Michael Norton
I spent part of my day attempting to come up with some sort of roster for my fantasy team, Some Ballyard Birds, or Some Ball Yardbirds, if you will (like the title of this blog, and in the spirit of Rock and Roll, there is a certain innuendo. If you’re clever enough, censorship is irrelevant). The way this draft works is unlike the methodology employed for last year’s fantasy team, where I sat for better than two hours and selected a player when my turn arrived. The MLBlogs Baseball league allows you to specify a list from which players are automatically drafted.
There is a default list, of course, but part of the fun is to order players according to one’s own personal opinion about how they will perform in the coming year. So I immediately moved Alex Rodriguez up to second. Why? If he wants to get out of New York next year it behooves ARod to have a monster year. Not that he doesn’t typically have the kind of year most players would kill for. But because of perceptions, while last year he was ranked number 1 or number 2 (another pun, by the way, in case you missed it), this year he is down to number six. I would place him in second place, behind the consensus top pick this year, Albert Pujols. Can’t go wrong there. Santana, ranked number two, is a pitcher and I got burned picking pitching over hitting last year.
Reyes number three? He doesn’t have the home run or RBI production to merit that ranking. I doubt, having signed that huge contract (as well as playing in Wilting Wrigley) that Soriano, #4, will put up the kinds of offensive numbers from last year. Can’t argue with Beltran at #5.
But after that it starts to get fuzzy. Would you choose Miguel Cabrera ahead of David Wright? Or Carlos Lee over Travis Hafnter? Possibly. But the problem is as you get deeper and deeper into the draft you are starting to deal with mediocrity, where the distinctions between a dozen (or two) players is so blurred one might as well throw darts to select the draft pick.
As Ned the Head says in Groundhog Day, “It’s all a big crapshoot anyhoot.”
So I started thinking: I can only order a small percentage of players such that it might make a difference in the performance of my team this year. Emphasis on the word might. Because next I applied the notion that no matter how I ordered the players, I was still completely subject to randomness. So I put ARod at #2? I have at best a 1 out of 12 (or 14, or 16) chance that I’ll get the #2 pick. And then the random generator (which, by the way, there is no such thing as a truly random computer generated number) hashes all the way through my carefully ordered list.
Finally I just said forget it, I’ll take the default and let randomness, such as it is, dictate my fate. It seems to anyway.
— Michael Norton
Dropped P Jon Lieber (PHI, 0-4, 7.99) . Picked up Kevin Millar (BAL) due to his run production. My pitching has been stellar, but I’m last in the league in runs and homeruns.