Thursday, February 28, 2008

Well, at least it isn't a steroid controversy...

YES! I pissed people off! I foresee my ending to life coming violently …

Anyway, it seems like there is a bit of controversy around the Smurfs/Tones (or whatever his name is now) deal, so I’d like to make a few quick explanations and then a proposal.

First, when doing the keepers, I checked with every person personally about who they were keeping before sending the available players to Adam and Kyle. Every person that is, except for Tony who had his preliminary keepers posted since September. I never checked with him to make sure those were his keepers.

Tuesday I received an IM from Jason outlining the trade and noticed David Wright was involved. I was confused because I thought Tony had not kept Wright. After talking to Tony, I realized that I should have talked to him before registering his keepers. Because I’m a pansy, I allowed him to make the switch in keepers because I knew Kyle or Adam would not have kept him if given the opportunity, the trade was fair(ish) and because I felt Wright and Pujols were plausible first round picks for this draft. So that’s that.

As for keepers, it does not matter how many “keepers” one has on their roster if they have traded for them. If one wanted to, they could trade all three of their keepers to me for my first three picks in the draft. The only stipulation is that a draft pick must be involved if one team will receive more players than the other and that one can only select three keepers from his current roster prior to the deadline (a deadline that I did a terrible job of following). The only problem with this trade was that Wright was not “officially” kept when I announce the keepers Tuesday.

With that said, I am thinking about overturning the trade provided I receive a reasonable explanation from three naysayers. If I do we’ll go from there. If not, the trade will stand. It’s up to you. Post your thoughts on the League Page message board.

Now… on with the evaluations!


Keeper Review – Krunk Smurfs (Ugh, what a stupid name...)

Chosen Keepers
Erik Bedard
Aaron Harang
Jose Reyes (via trade with Tones)
David Wright (via trade with Tones)

Draft Picks Lost
1st, 19th and 28th round (Lost 15th round pick in trade with Tones)

Last Year Fantasy Point Total (position rank)
Bedard – 681 (3)
Harang – 632 (6)
Reyes – 546 (1)
Wright – 892 (2)

Players Not Kept of Note
Brandon Webb
Francisco Rodriguez
Jose Valverde
Jimmy Rollins
B.J. Upton
Mark Teixeira
Gary Sheffield
Carlos Pena

The Krunk Smurfs (God I hope he changes that name soon…) based his strategy on Bedard and Harang duplicating their success (while costing him very low draft picks) and that David Wright and Jose Reyes combined are more valuable than AROD and any other shortstop (“A wise premise in my view.” Tim McCarver).

Keeping Bedard and Harang are risks, but safe risks given the draft positions surrendered. Bedard has never gone through a full season without missing a start. He has also never posted an ERA under 4.32 in his four full seasons in the majors. Additionally, his 5.96 career ERA at Safeco Field is third only to Angel Stadium (9.22) and Fenway Park (8.10). Bedard is 6-7 with a 6.66 ERA in his career versus the Angles, Rangers and Athletics (that can’t be a good sign). Bedard will be 29 years old this season.

Harang was the benefactor of good luck last season, going 16-6 for the lowly Cincinnati Reds. However, his 218 strikeouts (two more than his total from 2006) were not luck. Harang’s 4.19 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio was the best in the National League last year. Harang will be 30 years old this year and pitching for a team that did not appear to improve itself much this season. The health of Ken Griffey Jr. and the future of Adam Dunn may negatively affect what is an already terrible team. Harang will have to maintain his excellent strikeout to walk ratio if he is to have another big year for Jason.

I’m not really high on David Wright. I think he will lose RBI’s to a reinvigorated Carlos Delgado and Moises Alou. I also think his power will regress (Shea is just so huge) and he’ll fall back to the mid-20s. I’d also be surprise if he stole more than 34 bases if the lineup in front and behind him is healthy.

As for Reyes, the new point changes will make him a greater force given his ability to steal bases and score runs. His occasional home run power is also nice.

Damn you Jason…

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Big Trade (And Tony too...)

Last night, the Smurfs and the Tones pulled off a preseason trade where the Tones sent David Wright and Jose Reyes to the Smurfs for Alex Rodriguez and a 15th round pick.

In order to trade for Alex Rodriguez, the Tones released keeper rights to Albert Pujols and kept David Wright. This means Albert Pujols is available to be drafted on March 23.

To get an idea what this does to Tony, here is his keeper review.


Keeper Review – Tones

Chosen Keepers
Alex Rodriguez
Johan Santana

Draft Picks Lost
1st and 28th round pick. (Gained 15th round pick via trade with Smurfs)

Last Year Fantasy Point Total (position rank)
Rodriguez – 709 (1)
Santana – 661 (4)

Players Not Kept of Note
Victor Martinez
Albert Pujols
Ichiro Suzuki
Felix Hernandez
Jon Lester


Hmm… keep Alex Rodriguez and Johan Santana and give up David Wright and Jose Reyes. Ok. Interesting. I’m personally okay with this trade for two reasons: I’m not high on David Wright as a top producing fantasy player and I am all for forcing Andrew into passing on Albert Pujols with the first pick. For those who don’t know, Pujols may have Tommy John surgery due to a bad tendon in his throwing elbow. He is going to try to play without the surgery, but that elbow could go at any time. It could also not go and Pujols could go off for 50 home runs and 150 RBI. Either way, I’m interested to see how far he falls. ($10 says Joel picks him. Idiot. Keep Granderson fool!)

As for the players actually kept, Santana is only the games best pitcher, in a pitchers park, in a pitchers league. Oh, and did I mention he plays for the best team in his league? Oh, sorry I forgot that. Uhg…

It is safe to say that Alex Rodriguez will have a big season, this is for certain. How big that season is will rely on Rodriguez’ adjustment to the pressure of New York fans who are bitter about him opting out of his contract. Rodriguez is nearing the end of his prime (he’ll be 32 this season) so it will be interesting to see if there is any noticeable drop off in his performance.

It should be noted that the trade for AROD was made possible by a midseason trade last year by one ANDREW WESSLEY. So kudos to ANDREW WESSLEY who lives at 1965 S MAPLE TREE LANE and SLEEPS on the FIRST ROOM DOWN THE HALL TO YOUR RIGHT. Andrew decided to trade Tony both Albert Pujols AND Jose Reyes for what ended up being nothing (by nothing I mean Todd Helton). God I hate you Andrew…

All donations to the Ben Nielsen’s Gone Insane fund can be made out to CASH and sent to 1526 NE Craigievar CT, Blue Springs, Missouri. 64014 is the zip. Really, feel free to do that.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Let's Get It On! (Oh, and Joel too)

The League is on.

The following is the list of keepers who will not be in the draft.

Tim Lincecum, Ryan Braun, Cole Hamels, C.C. Sabathia, Justin Verlander, Russell Martin, Josh Beckett, Matt Holliday, Garrett Atkins, Johan Santana, Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes, Erik Bedard, Aaron Harang, Alex Rodriguez, Ted Lily, Vladimir Guerrero, Travis Hafner, Prince Fielder, Hanley Ramirez, Jake Peavy, Curtis Granderson, Magglio Ordonez, Gary Sheffield, Jimmy Rollins, Dan Haren, Joe Mauer, Chase Utley, Scott Kazmir and Jonathan Papelbon.

From now through next week I will provide analysis of each team’s keeper selections. This week I give you Joel Schilb.


Keeper Review – Joel Schilb (‘cause his new name sucks…)

Chosen Keepers
Josh Beckett
Matt Holliday
Garrett Atkins

Draft Picks Lost
4th, 6th and 16th round picks

Last Year Fantasy Point Total (position rank)
Beckett – 643 (5)
Holliday – 558 (2)
Atkins – 442 (5)

Players Not Kept of Note
Brian McCann
Placido Polanco
Edgar Renteria
Curtis Granderson
Justin Morneau
Troy Tulowitzki
Roy Halladay
Huston Street


I do not entirely agree with Joel’s decision making here. First, I do understand the Beckett decision given that it only cost him a sixteenth round pick. And while Holliday was the NL MVP runner-up and keeping him costs Joel a 6th round pick, with the other players available, I do not understand why he did not go with someone else instead.

I believe Joel thought Atkins was undrafted. Unfortunately for Joel, Atkins was drafted in the fourth round. I know this because I am the one who drafted him. Joel should have chosen either Troy Tulowitzki (undrafted), Curtis Granderson (21st round), or even Edgar Renteria (20th round). However, Joel in all his wisdom chose Atkins. If he wins the league based off of this decision, I’m going to puke.

It is possible Joel made his decisions foreseeing a terrible draft. Thus wanted to make sure he had someone (Holliday) who would actually do something. Alas, I think this reasoning is terrible. All Joel really needed to do was not draft a St. Louis Cardinal, then he would have been fine.

Holliday and Atkins should provide Joel with solid power numbers (and a lot of strikeouts), while Beckett will win many games for the Red Sox if the first half of the season, before falling off in the second half.

Good luck Joel. Your decisions make me sick. (And so does your face...)

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Start of Season E-Mail

Hey guys.

[Insert cheesy “It’s time for Fantasy Baseball” opener here]

I have some news and notes to go through here to get us into the draft. It is a little long so I apologize, but please read the whole thing.

So, let’s get this thing started:

Anticipated draft date: Sunday, March 23 at 6:30 p.m.
This is a flexible date. However, it sounds as if this is the best time for all members of the league to be involved in the draft. If you have any suggestions or comments, please let me know immediately.

Two New Teams
Kyle Morris and Adam Keller have been invited to join our league. This increases the amount of teams to ten. By doing so, 56 additional players will be taken in the draft which hopefully will add to the competitiveness of the league.

Point Changes
There is an understanding on my part that the scoring system is not perfect. There are certain players who are overvalued and some that are undervalued. So with this in mind, I am mulling a few changes.

Here are the proposed hitting changes I am considering. The number in the parenthesis is the CURRENT value of that statistic.

Runs = 2 (1)
RBI = 2 (1)
Note: players who score or drive in runs should be rewarded. This also, in theory, increases the value of home runs by two points.

Stolen Bases = 3 (1)
Caught Stealing = -1 (- 1)
Note: Speed means nothing in this league. It is about to mean something.

Walks = 2 (2)
Intentional Walks = N/A (2)
Hit By Pitch = 2 (2)
Strikeouts = -1 (-2)
Note: It is easier to strike out than it is to walk. As it stands now, a player could go 3-5 and still lose a point. That seems a little excessive.
Also, additional points should not be added for being walked on purpose. Intentional walks will still be registered as a regular walk, only an extra two points will not be given.

Here are the proposed pitching changes I am considering. The number in the parenthesis is the CURRENT value of that statistic.

Hit By Pitch = -1 (-3)
Note: subtracting three points for hitting a batter seemed excessive to me.

Walks = -1.5 (-3)
Strikeouts = 3 (3)
Note: it is easier to walk someone than it is to strike someone out. I am confident I could walk anyone in the major leagues. I am also confident a two-year-old could walk anyone in the major leagues. Strikeouts are a different deal. Matt Cain was a guy I was thinking of when I made this change. Cain is too good to not have much value in this league.

Earned Runs = -3 (-2)
Note: giving up a run needs to sting more in this league. Subtracting three seems to be the most reasonable.

All of these changes WILL happen unless someone disagrees. If someone does disagree with a point change, please e-mail me with your argument and we will have a league vote. I intend on making these changes Feb. 22 so please send your suggestions by Feb. 18 so we can make a decision before Feb. 22.

New Draft Rules
The draft this year will see at least 250 selections and as many as 280 selections if there are no keepers selected. To help keep the draft moving along, the following rules will be implemented:

1) Each player has a maximum of 60 seconds to make their pick. If a pick is not made, the next best available player on the ESPN list will be selected for you.

Special circumstances (Computer randomly shuts off, internet disconnects, an individual is drafting for more than one team, etc.) will be dealt with on a fair and equal basis as it relates to each individual person and event.

2) Those that choose a player who has already been selected will lose their draft pick in that round. (This rule will probably not be enforced, but if things get out of control, don't complain when you lose a draft pick.)

3) The Draft will start without you if you’re late. No exceptions. If you know you’re going to be late, take the necessary measures to be sure you get the players you want (i.e. Send someone your list of players to be selected, alter your schedule or dump your girlfriend).

Everyone is allowed to select three (3) players to keep from their current roster for the new season. Those selections need to be e-mailed to me by Feb. 21.

I am, on Feb. 22, going to add Adam and Kyle to the league and make the point changes. I have concerns that I may need to reset the rosters in order to make the proposed point changes. I plan on doing that as soon as ESPN allows me to. So, for safety sake, send your keepers now to be sure they remain on your roster.

Proposed Keeper Rule Changes
Here are a few rules for keepers I am proposing (all changes would be put in place after the draft):

1) No one can keep their first or second round selection or an undrafted player. A first or second round player or an undrafted player may be kept this season only.

2) A player can be kept no more than three times (no matter the owner). If a player is kept three times in a row, said player is returned to the draft pool the following season.

If a player is kept two seasons by owner A and then is traded to owner B and kept, the player would still end up back in the draft pool the following season.

3) A player who is kept will cost the owner the pick prior to the round the player was selected. For instance, if a player was drafted in the 10th round and kept, he would cost a ninth round pick the following season. If said player is kept again, he would cost the owner his eighth round pick. If a player is kept a third (and final) time, it would cost the owner his seventh round pick.

4) An owner cannot keep two or more players who were drafted in the same round.

Each proposal requires 7 “No” votes in order to be defeated. None of these changes would affect keepers this season except for proposal number two. The votes will take place on the league page the day after the draft and will be completed after all the necessary votes are in.

Final Thoughts
I am sending an individual e-mail to each of you to discuss the blog. I’ll let those e-mails explain my thoughts.

If any of you have any ideas that were not discussed above, please contact me.

Have a good day and bad luck to all of you.