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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    Fantasy Baseball Prose-ings

    In the last fantasy baseball article I looked at how the addiction comes around slowly for many people, including myself. You dust off your favorite websites or buy your glossy new mag and dive in to a similar but ever-changing world. You lolly-gag and drag your feet with an, “If there’s still snow outside then there’s no use getting all excited” attitude. Spring is coming, but it’s not here yet, you think.

    And that’s all well and good. But if you actually want to win some leagues that mindset better wear off quicker than you can say, “pitchers and catchers report.” I took a look at my casual keeper league last time so now it’s time for my yearly redraft league, not so cleverly titled “Winners Winners Winners League.” It’s fantasy baseball, not an exercise in creativity I guess.

    One of the keys to fantasy baseball is getting information from varied sources. If you read the same tried and true analysis and prognostications you might strike it rich one season but perform miserably another time. So for a while I used the Yahoo! Fantasy baseball message boards to see what other people were saying and more importantly, thinking. It helps to know what the general idea on players is. Two years ago I was on the board looking for a league to join when I saw that someone was advertising a competitive winner’s league. The way the individual made it seem, prospective candidates were going to be put through the ringer and challenged to prove that they could cut it in this league. On top of that we were going to need a strong Yahoo rating to prove that we consistently perform well.

    Now, all existing and implied nerdiness aside, that was an exciting challenge. I sent an e-mail that told the story of my usual fantasy baseball dominance and after a couple back and forth emails I was in. My rating wasn’t particularly outstanding because I joined a couple leagues just to draft my team and never paid attention, but this was because I wanted practice for my important leagues.

    The league was and is the most competitive one I have ever been in. The teams are routinely clustered together and any bad move or unfortunate injury can send your team plummeting in the standings. The guy that came in second in the first season, lost by half a point and the next season he drafted three under-performing stars. He spent most of the season in last place because of it.

    Two seasons have run their course and each time I’ve been shocked by how quick the guys are to the waiver wire. There have been times when I think I’ve heard “exclusive” news about an injury that opened up playing time for a guy and when I check he was picked up at 6:00 AM.

    Long story short, I spent most of the first season in fourth only to falter in September (the six month commitment kills me with school and fantasy football starting) and finish eighth. Last season I read more and improved my tactics but the rest of the league improved with me. I spent a large portion of the season in fifth and then Gary Sheffield got hurt. And my pitching, which I believed to be middle of the pack proved to be a mirage. And I traded Jimmy Rollins for Troy Tulowitzki, J.J. Putz and Matt Garza but that didn’t get my struggling staff going. A late season swoon seemingly dropped me one place in the standings a week and by the end I was disheartened. I finished the season in 10th and my team was called Nightmare when it was all said and done.

    Regardless of the fact that I said ‘long story short’ and then produced the longest paragraph of the piece, the important thing to take away is that each league is different. When you’re dealing with very good managers year in and year out, you start to notice trends. The impetus is on you to take advantage of what you learn. I learned that saves and steals are like an open fire hydrant to someone dying of thirst in this league. Exaggerated analogy you say? Spot on analogy I say. These people are maniacs. It’s scary.

    I had to trade away the MVP of the national league in Rollins because my patchwork group of relievers faltered big-time. There are many more reasons but I don’t know if they will give me the whole sports section this issue, so I have to cut it short somewhere. In the end, adding J.J. Putz but losing J-Roll’s steals was like running in place.

    So I’m building up to the “know how” I need to be successful in this league. I started with my easy keeper league and I have another keeper league along with the first inaugural Statesman Fantasy Challenge, which should be tougher. They will all get me up to speed for my battle with the big boys. Wish me luck. Oh and if you haven’t started getting ready for your leagues?you’re in trouble.

    Email if you want to participate in the fantasy baseball challenge. It will be a competitive, 12-team, 5 x 5 rotisserie league on Yahoo!. We will post a league update in The Statesman and talk about the league in our upcoming baseball podcast, including interviews with participants and analysis on the happenings in the league. We have three spots available.

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