Thursday, February 2, 2012

Why My Fantasy Baseball Team Sucked: The Story of Unrealized Potential.

My fantasy baseball team sucks.

I research for hours, days, and weeks ahead of drafting. I buy Bill James guides. I develop a strategy. I can rattle off guys’ OBP, OPS, UZR, WAR, and STD’s (I’m looking at you, Jeter).  Yet somehow, I. Still. Suck.  How could this be? How could I possibly put in all this work, acquire all this knowledge and still finish DEAD LAST? Because, I don’t know a damn thing.  Partially anyway.
No one does. No one could possibly know. You can analyze stats, look to see who’s going to rebound, predict who’s going to falter. It’s still all guesswork and voodoo.

I drafted Casey McGhee, breakout star and lucky bastard in 2010. I knew his numbers indicated a regression. I was expecting it. Was I expecting him to be a candidate for 2011 Worst Player of the Year*? Absolutely not. I took risks, tried to pick up guys who looked likely to rebound, or breakout. Almost every single one of them disappointed me. Andre Ethier, Kelly Johnson, Aaron Hill, Derek Jeter, Travis Hafner, Nick Markakis. Crap, crap, and more crap. Sure Derek Jeter rebounded to have a representative 2nd half, was he worth the 6th round pick I used? Nope.

My pitching strategy similarly faltered. Being a keep league, I had some players I wanted to hold over from the previous year’s team. Like Adam Wainwright. Boom. Tommy John, done for 2011. I was stuck with 139 innings of pretty good Roy Oswalt. Worth keeping? Not a chance.  My strategy was to draft underrated high K rate guys, Brandon Morrow, Colby Lewis, Gavin Floyd. None of whom had an ERA under 4.

Was I merely a victim of bad luck? No. I had too many teams (4), got frustrated and didn’t keep up on the waiver wire as I should have.  I got lazy and irritated. So my full heart wasn’t into it.

I am telling myself this year will be different: new focus, new dedication, new strategy.  I am already off to an inauspicious start of having a maximum of 112 games of Ryan Braun (a for sure keeper) and having the privilege to decide between keeping JJ Hardy, Derek Jeter, or Andre Ethier. 

My only hope is that at this time next year I will be able to write a post entitle: “My Fantasy Baseball Team is Mediocre.”

*See first post.

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