Expert League Update: Trade Season

man and bear.jpg

Tomorrow is May 1st, a date circled annually on
my calendar, for it marks the beginning of my own personal trade season (of
course every date is circled on my calendar. 
Today is my annual “make friends with a bear” day). 

 

You see, I absolutely love trading in fantasy, it’s my
favorite part of the game.  The draft is
the best single day of the year, but it’s over so fast it’s hard to savor.  Thinking about trades on the other hand can
be enjoyed all season long and the prospect of making a move creates an
everlasting spring of hope from which to drink. 
It’s the difference between tearing into a steak with your bare hands
and cutting it up delicately and enjoying each bite with just the right amount
of ketchup (you know, to really bring out the flavor).  Both ways put the meat in your belly, but
the latter is a much more enjoyable experience (and far less embarrassing for
your friends and significant others. 
Umm, not that I would know).

 

But in order to manage my trade-happy ways, I’ve got to put
in some artificial restraints.  The
primary restriction I impose is a no trades til May policy.  I hope doing so allows me to overcome any
over reactionary feelings I may have and allow me to see my players get a few
reps before actually evaluating them. 
It’s a good thing too, as it prevented me from doing a deal last year
that involved me giving up Ian Kinsler and getting back Howie Kendrick, which
would have been like trading Apple stock for shares of Chrysler.

 

I have to admit though, I have absolutely no idea what to
expect when trading in an expert league. 
I imagine it will be the same as most leagues, but without the one token
guy whose team gets picked clean by vultures before the “Lost” season finale
even airs.  Most trade talks will start
with an insulting offer, and then an equally insulting counter and after a
series of condescending emails are exchanged, the first semi-feasible trade
will finally come up.  Then nine times
out of ten, when one party realizes they can’t just completely and utterly rip
off the other guy, they’ll get cold feet and back off.  But somehow, someway, this process equals
good times.

 

travis_snider.jpg

The expert league has had one trade take place already.  In a somewhat questionable exchange, one team
sent Matt Holiday and Cliff Lee (their 2nd and 5th round
picks) packing only two weeks into the season and received back Bobby Jenks and
Travis Snider.  Maybe it works out for
them, but I must admit it made me thankful for my May 1st rule, as
it appears to be a bit of selling low, buying high. 

 

But it did demonstrate the high level of deference granted
in an expert league, as there was only one public complaint.  I guess everyone in these leagues just
assumes that the person must have their reasoning to make such a move and it’s
not their place to second-guess.  It’s
interesting to observe and quite different than what goes down in leagues among
friends.  If a trade like this had
happened in many home leagues, the first “I’m quitting the league” email would
appear like it was generated by MAILER-DAEMON.

 

I’m glad that such deference is present, as I’m sure I’ll
make at least one dumb move before the year is over.  But I’m glad my restrictor plate is off and
I’m ready to start thinking about moves. 
I’ve hit 20 more homers than anyone else in the league and it’s probably
time to turn some of that excess power into a pitcher that will help me lower
my WHIP, which is currently so abysmal that if it was a GPA, my team would
nearly be scholarship-eligible.  But even if
I don’t make a move right away, I’ll still have fun shopping.  In fact, I think I’ll go do some right now.

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