Fantasy Sports is a big deal. Last year CBS Sportsline made $10 million a year off fantasy sports. Thatís $10 million more than they ever made off professional wrestling. This week magazine racks have up to 8 magazines covering Fantasy Football. Fantasy Football is much more popular than fantasy baseball. This could be because with only one game a week, a person can follow every football game with ease. With many houses now getting the NFL package on TV it is easier than ever to follow your favorite football players.
Fantasy baseball takes a lot more effort. In fantasy football, you only have to change your roster once a week. I spend at least a half hour a day on my 2 fantasy baseball teams. We have daily roster moves that require a lot of attention. I also find myself watching the ticker on the bottom of ESPN2 for countless hours every day. I spend more time on fantasy baseball than I should.
Yet with only 2 teams, Iím not as much of a fantasy nut as others out there. Hundreds of people will attend a fantasy baseball convention this year at Las Vegas at a cost of $1,350 per person. The people in my second league are so crazy, they want to raise the entry fee next year from free to $100 a team. These are the same people who are at the bottom of the standings. I think if you are playing that poorly, now isnít the time to raise the stakes.
Some would say itís immoral to play fantasy baseball in this way. Theyíd say you are buying and selling actual human beings. Youíd be rooting for injuries of real people just so it would help your team. I donít see the problem. Spending money on players is just a good way of predicting outcomes. When your own money is at stake, you are more careful with how you spend it. If the US Government can place bets on certain world events like Sadaam leaving Bagdad, then I can bet on fantasy baseball. (I havenít spent any real money yet, but I could if I wanted to.) Itís not like Iím playing in a deadpool or anything. Last year nobody was happy when Darryl Kile died, even if he was on a first place team.
Seemingly normal people can be driven insane by fantasy baseball. I found out that wacky chat rooms have popped up all over the internet. Their sole purpose is to complain about Skorpio17. These are places where other players form a common bond in their hatred of my fantasy team. I lurk in these rooms surrounded by strangers I thought were my friends as they plot against me. These people need to relax and stop taking this game so seriously.
Everybody can make trades to improve their team. The General Manager of the Aís, Billy Beane, thinks he is smarter than everyone else. He flaunts his great trades in the face of all the other GMs and still they deal with him. People assumed that nobody else will trade with him this year because of his attitude and they were all wrong. His attitude has nothing to do with his team. People donít limit themselves by only trading with their friends. They trade with anyone if it is in their self-interest to do so. The Reds needed young pitching so they got it from the Aís. Real professionals can separate business from personal. Today my coworker needed a report and I got it for him because I am professional. It didnít matter if I was still pissed at him for not eating lunch with me in the cafeteria last week.
Beane is just carrying on the tradition of Aís GM Sandy Alderson. Heíd make great trades to get the Aís to the playoffs year after year. I can relate to Beane. People thought that nobody would be willing to trade with me in my league because I didnít have a humble, ďIím just happy to be hereĒ attitude. In fact, so far Iíve made 8 trades with 7 different teams. The reason is that Iím easy to trade with.
Iíll trade with any team in this league. I answer all trade inquiries promptly. If I reject a trade, Iíll give a good reason or make a counter-offer. I know what people need. In our league everyone is playing with their cards face-up. I can see in the standings their strengths, weaknesses, and injuries. I read all the messages to find out what they feel they need the most. Iím willing to trade anyone on my team for the right price. Iím even willing to make trades that are unfair towards me if it means hurting the other top teams in the league more than it hurts myself.
This is not to say that I am always successful in making trades. In my second league I had the perfect trade all ready and it fell apart. I wanted to trade Jamie Moyer for Andruw Jones. My team had good pitching but was at the bottom in Homeruns and RBIs. His team was 1st in HRs, and RBIs, but last in Wins and ERA. His pitching rotation has Maddux, Benson, and Lidle. That is it, no aces. He already has Jay Payton just sitting on his bench. I needed a replacement for an injured Bernie Williams. Iíve never seen a more perfect match for a trade. He kept refusing to make the deal. So I pressed for an explanation. He said that he didnít want to follow baseball anymore. He is a die-hard Met fan and the Mets have sucked so bad that it killed all his interest in the sport. He just doesnít want to play anymore. So then I posted a message on the leagueís board that Moyer was on the trading block. The best offer I got for Moyer was for Travis Haffner. It was an insult. It seems like Iím the only one in that league actively trying to win. I wonít be joining them again next year.
Off the Wall
Trading Lesson #1: Never Make a Trade with Skorpio During a Live Draft
Here is a mostly true story about the live draft in my second league. It all started when the Ballbusters drafted Toby Hall in the 8th round. I wanted a catcher so I PMíd him with a trade offer. Here is a transcript of what happened starting at the 12th round of our draft. Ballbusters: Commish, Skorpio has agreed to a trade giving me his next 2 picks for Toby Hall. Is that OK? Commish: OK, Iíll allow it. Ballbusters via PM: Skorpio, Pick J. Valentin for me. Skorpio: OK Yahoo: The Skorpions select Javier Valentin
Ballbusters: No you stupid asshole, I said Jose Valentin, not Javier Valentin. Skorpio: You should have been more specific. Ballbusters: You knew what I meant. Skorpio: No, I didnít. Ballbusters: Commishioner, void this trade, this is bullshit. Skorpio: Donít void the trade. In order to void it, both players must agree and I DO NOT agree. Ballbusters: You broke the deal and I didnít get the player I wanted. Skorpio: The trade wasnít for any specific players, just my next 2 picks and that is what you are getting. Commish: OK, the trade stands, but Javier Valentin is really Jose Valentin, so nobody is allowed to draft Jose Valentin, now both of you shut up or Iím taking your next picks.
Ballbusters: Skorpio, You shouldnít have fucked with me. Skorpio: I didnít. How am I supposed to know who you wanted to draft? Ballbusters: You knew I wanted a ss. Skorpio: You are obviously confused, you just said you wanted ass you gay bastard. Ballbusters: I meant a shortstop. Skorpio: You donít know what you want you gay bastard. Ballbusters: Thatís it. Iím not trading with you anymore. Skorpio: Too late you are already stuck with my next pick and Iím going to give you exactly what you want...gay bastard. (5 minutes later) Ballbusters: I want Javy Lopez with your next pick. You better give him to me. Skorpio: Your pitching is looking very weak I really think you need a pitcher more. Ballbusters: Stop screwing around, I know I want Javy Lopez. Skorpio: Thereís only 20 seconds left to pick, I could change my queue, but Iím too busy typing this message. No time left. Yahoo: The Skorpions select Tony Armass.
Ballbusters: WTF!?! I donít want him. Skorpio: You said you wanted ass, so I gave you an ASS. In fact I got you a guy with 4 body parts: toe, knee, arm, ass. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.
Anyway, the draft ended in a clusterfuck. Later on the commish changed the rules mid-draft so he could draft minor league players not available in Yahoo. For example, he would take Rey Ordonez in place of Jose Reyes. He also wound up with Rich Harden and is now in second place in our league.
Who is better?
Armando Benitez or Jeff Nelson
This was a late waiver wire trade where quality talent was swapped by teams unhappy with them. Lets take a look at who is really better. Iím going to project Nelsonís totals because Benitez worked an extra 33% and I want to compare them with equivalent innings.
Benitez is the better fantasy player. The main difference here is that Benitez has more saves. Regardless of everyone harping on his notable failures he is a better closer than Nelson. I think he should still pick up more saves in Seattle than Nelson will in New York. Nelsonís better Ks and WHIP is cancelled out by his worse ERA.
In real baseball the Yankees are glad to have Nelson back. In truth they never should have let him go. They were too cheap to pay him a few million and it cost them. They went through a dozen set-up men like Jay Witasek before coming back to Nelson. Benitez isnít as bad as he is made out to be. He was a good set-up man in Baltimore. He can be effective again with a manager who knows how to use him properly.
Bottom of the Barrell Award:
Best Waiver Pick of the Week: Haz Homers
The last two weeks were very good for teams in need of outfielders. The Apes took Coco Crisp, a very good leadoff hitter for Cleveland. The Panthers took Jack Cust, the outfielder replacing Mora in Baltimore. Last year Cust was a prize prospect on the Rockies because of his immense power.
Another good pick was Seattle reliever Rafael Soriano. Carl Everett was a no-brainer. He somehow slipped onto waivers, but was quickly taken. That pick was too easy for me to appreciate.
My favorite pick was when Haz took Aaron Guiel. His play is a big reason KC is still in the pennant race. He already has 10 Homeruns. Projecting his stats with a full season of 600 Abs, gives him .282, 35 HR, 7 SB, 119 Runs, and 105 RBIs. Those are impressive numbers. I still think the White Sox or Twins have a better chance, but it would be fun if the Royals made the playoffs.
You're sure about that? I held on to Carl for about 2 months too long I reckon.He's ranked 379 in the last month hitting 13 2 11. He's got 6 home runs and 21 RBIs since may 27. I kept him on my bench for a long time waiting for him to turn it around, but I have no regrets about dumping him.
And if you did that draft stuff in the league that's trying to plot your downfall, I'm not surprised they wanna smash you. :)
2) That's some funny shit in that other draft. I would have given him exactly what he wanted with that second pick...Javy Lopez, the RP from Colorado.
3) That's a fucked up league, I don't think I'd play with those guys next year.
Baseball's Sad Lexicon
These are the saddest of possible words: "Tinker to Evers to Chance." Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds, Tinker and Evers and Chance. Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble, Making a Giant hit into a double- Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble: "Tinker to Evers to Chance."
Merc: I still like Everett. I was going to add Brock Fordyce on Tuesday until you beat me to it.
Whitebacon: Thanks for the positive response. Now that everything is kosher between us, I'm free to join your league next year.
I found out about the chat rooms from an unhappy E-Bay customer. He had bought some baseball memorabilia (starting lineup figures, etc.) from me and we had differences in our interpretations of near mint. To him it meant almost mint condition. To me it meant not mint.
He declared war against me and told me about a chat room that really exists where people complain about Skorpio 24-7. He said there were more than a dozen people in there. I only sold stuff on E-Bay to 3 people, so I don't know why the rest of them are bitching. A word of advice to people buying crap on E-Bay, "Don't buy from anyone with a name similar to skorpio."
Originally posted by skorpio17 He had bought some baseball memorabilia (starting lineup figures, etc.) from me and we had differences in our interpretations of near mint. To him it meant almost mint condition. To me it meant not mint.
Originally posted by skorpio17Merc: I still like Everett. I was going to add Brock Fordyce on Tuesday until you beat me to it.
Yeah, I SAY I don't regret it, but I'm still looking at the CWS box scores I can tell you. As for Fordyce, sooner or later I'll get me a catcher that gives me average production at least. 2-4 1 hr and 2 rbis today is a nice start
If the Apes will swing my trade it could be interesting.....
Good on the Chairman for signing off on this, despite no apparent economic justification for boosting the payroll. But I think baseball's always been his passion, where all the success of the Bulls was second in Reinsdorf's heart.