Mid Season Performance Review- I SuckJune 20th, 2011 by Chris Hill in Uncategorized
So far, this has been a learning experience. Mostly I learned that everyone else is pretty smart and pretty knowledgable and probably just plain prettier than me. I have also learned that the reason they are called "experts" isn't just because of their ability to publish to a web site, its because they actually do know considerably more about baseball than everyone else and are well ahead of the informational and projection curve. So if I had it to do over (and hopefully I have at least been amusing enough for the invite, and it is my experience that dead money is always welcome at the table), what would I do over?
Hmmm, I suppose first of all I'd skip having a crappy, stupid auction. I hadn't done any AL leagues or any auction drafts prior to this, nor had I done any other 2011 drafting at all. That said, I know not to overbid for closers and pay the extra bucks for the players I want. I also know that over paying for pitching is stupid because of the variance at a high injury/performance risk position. So I buy Feliz for 24 (but was hoping he would be my anchor starter) and then get hung in Papelbon at 19 in the first ten players nominated. Less than brilliant. Tip for the future: experts hate saves and will not pay for them. I also tried to be the auction police and force a 20 plus price for Phil Hughes, a guy I basically detest. He could have just scampered to the DL like a good pitcher but he decided to get shelled four times first. Thanks Phil. So in the first two rounds of the auction I have spent 63 units on three guys and want one of them. Can you spell "tilt" boys and girls? (And if an actual girl does read this, how are you miss? You're pretty much alone on the baseball island). This causes me to bid for Justin Morneau, the theory being that he is a high upside firstbaseman at a discount. Result: I own Morneau and 24 more units have been urinated upon. So when Jose Bautista is nominated, (a player I was determined to own) up jumps the devil in the form of Paul Jones bidding to 30, where I lose my nerve due to my previous idiocies. The upside is Jones/Grey did verify my own Bautista opinion and I drafted him in every other league I was in on the planet as player 35. I also had to let Lind and Alex Gordon go to Derek Carty (but did grab them everywhere else at all after being outbid here). Meanwhile trying to make lemons out of lemonade, or whatever, I decide that my hitting is going to be average anyway (and that turned out to be a generous evaluation) so I should spend most of my remaining money on pitchers and try to own the pitching side of the scoreboard. Nice theory, but I forgot to draft guys that could pitch. My hit parade included Hughes, Lackey, Anderson, Bad Penny, and Ivan Nova. So I spent a ton on nobody any good.
This brings us to step two, where i figure out that I have zero pitching and hitting and try to trade to "improve". Larry "Air Lar" Schecter turns out to be Hannibal Lecter and allows me to turn Jeff Francouer into Franklin "Gutless" Guttierrez. Thanks for that. Mr Kesselman, never one to leave a wounded bird with all its feathers, helps me turn JD Drew and Brennan Boesch into Manny "See Ya" Ramirez, the future owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Frustrated beyond belief, I turn to the waiver wire for help. That's like stepping into a phone booth to become Superman and discovering that your tights are still at the dry cleaners. Just not a good day for anybody but Lois Lane.
So step three turns out to be learning how to waiver bid against experts. They know who everybody is and read everything I do. Heck, they write most of it. So thinking you can get guys like Furbush, Jemile Weeks, Alex Cobb or Andy Dirks for a pittancebecause they are obscure turns out to be a bad idea. Derek cheerfully bids 2 to my 1 for what turns out to be almost half his roster (or it feels like that anyway). Trumbo sells for the budget of a small African nation to Clark, the mad scientist who has out bid and out traded everyone except Larry and already announced his trading retirement because (a) his team is kicking our butt, and (b) Larry beat him on the Blackburn deal so forget trading from here forward. (Well, I did stick him with Brett Anderson, but that was luck not skill).
So lessons learned include:
1. Buy saves cheap (Matt Capps at 3 is the paradigm), 2. Either buy the very top of pitching for a premium (Verlander, Weaver) or buy quantity cheap and hope to get lucky (Bedard, Burnett, Vargas, Fister, Blackburn, Tomlin). Middle pitching (Morrow, Gio G, Lackey Hughes) is too high risk/low reward- you own all the risk of non-peformance and they have to be 85% of projection for you to break even. 3. Hitters with jobs and upside that might gag a maggot in a mixed league are actually pretty valuable in AL expert leagues. 4. Never bid 1 for a top shelf prospect because Derek will always bid 2 or 3. 5). There are no auction bargains against guys who know what you know. Plan on paying for the players you want. Keep the list short and then hold your nose and make the bid. Fill in your roster with players no one is dying to own, as all of those guys are going to be serviceable too. 6) Unless you really don't care about money, playing against these guys is pretty much pig stupid. It is also more fun than I have in all my other leagues combined. Draft and roto (non trade) leagues are for zombies from here forward. I will try to lose one less pot a year and use the money to amuse myself here. Unfortunately, I play poker like I play fantasy baseball. All the other guys are always so good. But I always get invited back. Maybe that isn't a compliment after all.