Monday, February 23, 2009

Born to Ghostrun: Your Fantasy Baseball Post

I dunno, that's a pretty big shoe...Despite what my own eyes tell me, it is in fact spring. All the scribes are in Florida, alerting us that false Spring is in full swing. It's great, they let fill us in on pitching schedules, batter tip-offs and overweight pranksters. I can see the beautiful cherry blossoms falling from the sky; though they look suspiciously like snowflakes and pile up on the sidewalk like so much frozen joy. Luckily, the other real sign of spring will appear in the coming weeks. It will rear it's pimply head and awaken the dormant animal inside us all: fantasy baseball!

My dabblings in the SABRworld and determination to make sense of the senseless may lead you to assume I'm some sort of fantasy stalwart. You'd be wrong. Sure, I'll dominate a Yahoo public league or two, but when push comes to shove, when the nerdy rubber hits the road, I'm fucked. That doesn't mean you should ignore my sage advice. If it will make you feel better, I'll add expert, guru, or Grand Rotodragon to my Blogger title for some instant fantasy credibility. You can trust me, I finished second last in the Jays blogger pool last year!

Instead I'll offer fantasy advice for the advanced fan. Fantasy advice that will allow you to sleep at night, field a competitive team, keep your fandom liberated, and let you have a good time doing it. Don't worry about tipping your hand to the other feudal lords in your league, you weren't going to win anyway.
  1. Understand the point of the game: Obviously the purpose of fantasy sports is insulting your friends and work associates. If you don't talk trash constantly during the draft, what are you doing? Consulting charts and graphs? For what? If you need to win a fantasy baseball league for bragging rights over your friends, you obviously need to find a group of functional alcoholics and befriend them. If you're the type of degenerate that gambles hard-earned money on fantasy baseball, you should just give it straight to me instead. You've got a lot riding on the ligaments and tendons of Caribbean millionaires, I'm a much better cause.

  2. Beware the homer pick: Everyone knows the danger for picking a player from your favorite team: you're already invested so heavily, why make it worse? There is no need to die two deaths when the Jays lose, why put yourself through that? Additionally, you'll cheer for the Jays forever while dudes on your fantasy teams come and go. Remember that when you're hoping the Jays "only beat Joba 1-0, with a home run from Vernon Wells."

    Note: Roy Halladay is obviously exempt from this rule. He wins every start anyway and is way above the law.

  3. When sleeping with the enemy, doublebag that shit: It is inevitable, as a Jays fan, that you will end up with Red Sox or Yankees on your team. They score many runs, it's in your nature as a baseball dork. Never forget you'll have to reconcile your hatred for them as The Opposition with your desire to send boastful emails to your close friends.

    The key is to take stock of your immediate reaction when the player's name first enters your head; if you want to throw up, pass and deal with the jeering. When drafting closers, remember that Mariano Rivera is a necessary evil. A divine force harnessed and enslaved by Satan himself, committing crimes against nature only out of duty. Jonathon Papelbon is an irredeemable douchebag that I'd rather felate than cheer.

  4. It's never too early to draft Ichiro: During a GROF-based draft a few years ago, El Leal sent the following message to the Reverend as our live draft progressed:
    And draft him I did. With that very pick, without any hesitation. Because cheering for players you actually like will bring you much more pleasure than hoping Michael Cuddyer can bust out of his 6 game homer slump. A obvious as this rule may seem, it comes with an important corollary.

  5. If you love someone, let them go: Loading your team with mancrushes and feel-good stories may sound good, but there is a terrible downside; the off-year. Once you develop the personal bond between overweight fantasy baseball owner and flashing name on computer monitor, you can never go back. You will turn a blind eye to your charge's shortcomings, only to have him submarine your entire season, fostering resentment. Worse yet, it may dent the fake relationship you'd built over thousand and thousands of Sportscentre highlights. You're not the man I thought you were Jeff Francoeur, and now my team's in last.
The only other important thing in fantasy baseball is your team name. Kissing Suzy Kolber always do an amazing job of this, so I'll just gently remind everyone that A-Rod jokes are bad form. Hacky, overdone, and obvious. I recommend something of a sexually ambiguous nature. So far, I've got two teams and both reference Roy Halladay in ways he may not be comfortable with. My Walkoff Walk team "Halladay in Canbodia" is pretty clean, though the lyrical content of the source material isn't likely to appeal to Roy's gentle constitution. Oh, and no matter what format or how far down the table you are, for the love of god maintain your team. Nobody likes to see A.J. Burnett in your starting lineup when he's been on the DL for 6 weeks (whoops), but people dislike the "your trade request has been denied as it hasn't be responded to for 10 days" email soo much more. Don't be that guy.


  1. Brett Pedroia's Cellmates are ready to go for the 2009 season.

  2. The question is ... if Rocco is available in late rounds, do you draft him? Come on Lloyd, break your own rules for him!

  3. I will use this information to crush you in the Tao of Stieb's Roto-Hoedown!

  4. I will of course pick Rocco, I did last year when he was fucking dying. People always exploit my irrational soft spots, but I'm okay with that.

    I'm thinking of naming my next team "Theo Epstein's Promdate."

  5. Last year my roto team was called the Pimlico Rinky-Dinks. It's from a caricature of my grandfather that's currently hanging on my brother's wall, even though he doesn't care for baseball.


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