sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

April 25, 2005

talking fantasy baseball blues
posted by soe 12:02 pm

I am officially a terrible fantasy baseball coach (25-38-9 in our league scoring). My problem is that I actually envision the players on my team being real live human beings sitting on a bench in my living room. (Can you anthropomorphize real people?) Happily, none of them spit tobacco or sunflower seeds on the carpet.

I don’t want to hurt their feelings by not playing them. I drafted poor Craig Counsell last week and he still hasn’t gotten a chance to get on the field. And I feel bad about that. Really.

I understand fully that it doesn’t make sense and that this is not the way to play fantasy baseball. I recognize that this is a game and that I am supposed to strategize by looking at players’ numbers and only play those who are good.

But I didn’t go into my (free) baseball fantasy league looking to play by the pre-established rules. Sam, our league commissioner, advised only picking a few “hot” players in the pre-draft and letting the computer pick the rest of our players for us based on their numbers. So I deliberately went in and found all the Mets I’ve ever liked, plus a few other non-Mets I like (JT Snow because he picked that kid up at home plate and kept him from getting trampled, Jeff Bagwell because he grew up in Connecticut, Omar Vizquel because he’s Rebs’ favorite player, Bernie Williams because he plays jazz guitar, Livan Hernandez because I felt I should support one of the local guys) and drafted them. Luckily, except for a few players, most people don’t want ex-Mets. I don’t know why. And I’m okay with that.

And sometimes it pays off for me. Fonzie (Edgardo Alfonzo) is tearing up the national league.

And sometimes it doesn’t. But I won’t take John Franco out of the game just because Houston doesn’t use him to my advantage. I like John. I resent the Mets having traded him, after a lifetime with the team. Loyalty should count for something. So I put him on my team.

When I need to add players, however, I have tried to be more judicious by only looking at players who’ve posted good numbers in an area I’m lacking (like batters who don’t strike out or pitchers who throw strikes or someone who closes games on a regular basis). But I do have standards — there’s no way you could pay me to take Armando Benitez after the way he played for the Mets all those years, and except for Mike Hampton, who pitched for the Mets for a while, I refuse to draft Braves.

But I do wish the players I do want would reward me for my approach by hitting grand slams on my watch, as opposed to when I sit them to let someone else get a chance to play (David Wright last week) or when they aren’t supposed to be in the game (Jay Paton only starts against lefties, but Trot Nixon had to go and get thrown out of yesterday’s game…).

Oh well. I get a fantasy team that’s 19 1/2 games out of first place in my league. But I get to run it the way I want to, and no one really cares if I lose big. I know more about baseball and players in general this season (and can name a player on almost every team!).

And hopefully Craig will get into a game this week. In fact, I’ll make that a priority.

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a life reformed
posted by soe 12:27 am

On this day in 1898, William S. Porter went to jail for embezzling $5,000 during his time as a bank clerk. During the three years he served, he refined the writing style he is still known for today.

Don’t remember Porter’s work? Think again: he published under a pseudonym. You’ve probably read his clever little tale with the moral of not hawking your most prized possessions as an altruistic gesture because the object of your affection is bound to have no use for the bauble you purchased with the money.

(Thanks to Today in Literature for their heads-up on this item.)

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