Results tagged ‘ mailbag ’

Mailbag: How To Regain Interest in a Lost Season

Dear Internet Man Who
Lives in My Computer,
I have a question. This is the time in the fantasy baseball season when I have
trouble staying motivated. I start going away on weekends to go to weddings or
bachelor parties or the beach or, more likely, the office, and fantasy baseball
isn’t always the top item on my list of things to catch up on during the week.
Plus, especially in my points league, the status quo seems to be sorting stuff
out so I feel like I’m destined to finish in 4th to 7th place no matter what I
do. Nobody good is available on waivers, at least anybody who will make a real
difference in my performance, and I’m too lazy to trade with anybody but the
guy who low-balls me four times a day. Any advice about how to keep my interest
up and make a move?
PS – okay, maybe more like 6th to 9th place.


Hey, good to hear from you again Krod Mandoon.  How is your epic quest to ruin television
going?  From what I hear, you are almost
there.  Congrats.



Losing interest as the season goes on is a common problem,
though one not always caused by “my life is too awesome to care” syndrome,
which you seem to possess.  If I was
traveling every weekend to hang out with my friends or go to the beach, I’d
probably lose interest too.  Sounds pretty
nice.  Your office is probably on a
boat.  Jerk.


If you are still fielding trade offers and checking the
waiver wire, it sounds like you are not quite a lost cause yet, which is
terrific.  There is nothing worse than
being in a league where guys completely check out in May (Ok, maybe a couple
things are worse – plague, famine, Coldplay). 
I hope no matter how much you stop caring, you always log-in at least
once a week for 30 seconds to set your lineup. 
If you can’t do that, you should give up fantasy baseball as a hobby
because such behavior can ruin it for everyone. 
Now please put your hands up everyone, the only way I exit my soap box
is through crowd-surfing.


But since you seem to care a little about fantasy
baseball (you are reading this blog after all), here are four suggestions on
how to jumpstart your interest.


Mailbag: Can Real Beauty Equal Fantasy Beauty?

Toby, it seems like every year some girlfriend
of a friend ends up in the money in my March Madness Pool when she picked her
teams solely by how attractive their players are. How do you think I would do
in fantasy baseball if I simply drafted the best looking guy for each available
roster slot? I’m fairly confident you have not put together a player hotness
ranking, but some enterprising young girl has here.  Thoughts?


Excellent question. 
Let’s begin with the list you provided. 
That enterprising young girl is now a middle-aged woman, as this list is
from at least 10 years ago.  The domain
was a dead giveaway, as Geocities is like the slap bracelets of the internet
world — All the rage back in the day but irrelevant now (PS – I definitely had
a slap bracelet in elementary school. 
Bendable magnets wrapped in neon fabric? 
Who could resist?).  And if you
couldn’t figure it out from the web address, J.T. Snow is the first baseman and
Manny is listed as playing for the Indians. 
So it’s a bit dated.


Luckily for you, I’m very secure in my masculinity.  So after making absolutely, positively
certain no one could see what I was doing, I hit up Google to try to find
current ballplayers that are swoonie.  If
any of you out there go back to check my work, I implore you to make sure safe
search is turned on.  I cannot stress
this enough.  Some things you can’t



After about an hour of running searches that are certain to
lead to some interesting email offers, I was able to compile a pretty decent
list.  To my surprise, there are plenty
of message board posts dedicated to this very subject and the hard-hitting
journalists over at Cosmo filed an excellent expose blowing the lid off the
whole topic. 


Now that I’ve gathered the player pool, I can consider your
question.  The whole notion that some
secretary can win an office pool based on crazy criteria such as hotness of
players, cuddliness of mascot, or closeness of the school to Mecca is a bit
misguided.  What really happens is they
end up picking favorites early and then maybe an upset or two later for
some wacky reason that happens to work out. 
When asked why they picked it, they end up spouting off some crazy talk
and everyone thinks she was nuts all along. 
The truth is they mixed a lot of chalk with a little luck.


So, to answer your question, I think you could draft
a very competitive team filled with nothing but attractive players as long as
you picked them at their proper value. 
To illustrate, I went back and cross-referenced the list of attractive
players I compiled with their average draft positions (I know, I know, I’m a
loser, I get it) and came up with the following core team that would cause both
hardcore fantasy players and teenage girls hearts to flutter.


Mailbag: Help With Holds

carlos marmol.jpg

I missed the trade
, but you’re right on the money with the insulting initial offer. I’ve
now been offered multiple poopoo platters: JJ Putz for VMart (holds is a need
of mine) and Juan Cruz+Rickie Weeks for Pedroia. I’ve countered the second guy with
what I think is a pretty reasonable offer: Pedroia+Wandy Rodriquez for
Santana+Marmol. Think it has a chance? He also has Ted Lilly, so if he counters
with Lilly instead of Santana do I take it?


It would probably
help to note that I have Alexei Ramirez ready to fill in at 2B, and it’s a 6×6
league that counts Holds. I’m extremely deficient in Holds thus far (5, count
em), and Marmol is obvi a stud in that category + will sneak in some Saves along
the way.


All right, I’m already halfway to my word count!  Thanks guy. 
I’m just kidding, this is actually the level of detail needed for an “expert”
such as myself to have any chance of accuracy when answering a question (and
even then, I’m throwing proverbial darts at a proverbial board that has a
proverbial picture of Julian Tavarez as its proverbial bullseye).  Context is king when evaluating trades and
quirks in league rules can make deals that seem even on their face lopsided in
their results.


Speaking of quirks, holds is a ridiculous category.  In most leagues you are given a hold as long
as the lead still remains when you exit the game.  So you can enter a game with a one run lead,
walk the bases full, get booed lustily by a home crowd and still pick up a
hold.  This is like the guy who orders
the first round of drinks, thus earning him “great guy” status among the group
but then proceeds to order two lobsters and a condor egg omelet for dinner
because he knows someone else is picking up the bill.  Still a great guy?  No sir.


I understand the argument to make middle relievers a factor
in fantasy baseball since they are so important to real-life teams (if you have
any doubt, please look at this list of ERA’s for the Nats bullpen and then look
at their record), but counting holds is fitting a round peg in a triangular
hole and it can make a left-handed relief specialist more valuable than guys
who hit .300 or 30 bombs.  It’s as if “pancake
blocks” became a category in fantasy football and linemen became more
important than wide receivers.  Sure, it
may be a more accurate reflection of their relative value in real football, but
doesn’t it take a lot of the fun out of fantasy?


contra spread.jpg

Anyways, sorry for the tangent, but to be fair, it’s what I
do.  My writing is not very focused.  If it was a weapon in “Contra” it would be
the Spread, not the Laser.


Let’s finally get to your question.  In my experience, guys who make insulting
first offers don’t ever accept your counter-proposal no matter how reasonable
it is.  They typically only want to make
a deal if it’s completely one-sided.  If
he doesn’t back off entirely, he’s likely going to give you a new offer that is
only slightly less insulting (instead of flipping you the bird, this time he’ll
just grab his crotch).  So based on that,
I don’t think he’ll accept your offer.


As for the offer itself, I think it’s very fair and I would
do it if I had your specific need at holds. 
Both Pedroia for Santana and Wandy for Marmol offer roughly
equivalent value and seemingly would fill needs for both teams.  If he switches to Lilly, I probably would pass.  Then you are talking about it being Pedroia
for Lilly and I’ve got to think you could do better than that if you are
shopping the reigning AL MVP.  Also, I
think Wandy and Lilly end up with similar value at the end of the year, in
which case, you’d be trading Pedroia for Marmol.  Yikes.


Another course of action might be to just shop Wandy for a
guy who gets holds in a straight-up trade. 
You should send feelers to the owners of guys like Okajima, Wheeler,
Putz (see if he’ll be more reasonable than VMart), McClellan, and Madson to see
what it would take to get them before you accept anything resembling a desperation
trade.  Or try to buy-low on Scot
Shields, who has started slow after leading the league in holds last year.  After Holiday went yard on him last night,
you might find a fed up owner who is willing to deal.


Hope this helps.  If
you have any follow-up questions or want more advice as your negotiations carry
on, let me know and I’ll be happy to help.

Bonus Mailbag: Top Fantasy Rookies

Since my Expert League matchup is fairly dull right now (I’m
down 2-7-1 going into the weekend, but due to a fluke of scheduling, I’ve only
had one starter pitch so far) and I’ve got to post something or there will be
dozens of people in the world with an extra 45 seconds to kill, here is a bonus
mailbag question.



Long time reader,
third time poster here. Who are your early favorites for fantasy ROY pitcher
and position player?


david price.jpg

Impressive spelling of my name.  I’ve seen it with one “e” before but not
two.  I guess the extra one is short for
“extraordinarily adequate” which is the perfect way to describe me.


You do pose an interesting question though.  The favorites for the Rookie of the Year Award (at least in the AL) are probably Matt Wieters and David Price, but since
both are still in the minors, it’s entirely possible that other players end up
having a greater fantasy impact this year. 
In fact, Wieters and Price are actually hurting fantasy players who
participate in leagues with short benches right now, as they are taking up
valuable real estate without providing any production.


However, the rumor winds are starting to gust saying Price
will be pitching in Tampa by the first week of May.  If they prove true and he joins the rotation
in place of the struggling Jeff Niemann, he’ll throw about 150 innings this
year.  With the backing of that powerful offense
and with Price’s huge strikeout potential, it would be foolish to think another
rookie pitcher will have a bigger fantasy impact this year. 


That being said, Jordan Zimmermann’s debut with the
Nationals, while not spectacular, proved he belongs on the big league level and
with no one pushing him for his rotation spot, he’ll finish the season as a Top
50 starting pitcher and is thus ownable in all but the shallowest of leagues.


octomom poster.jpg

On the hitter’s side, my current crush on Dexter Fowler is
well documented, so he’s got to be my choice. 
Because of Fowler, Seth Smith is becoming irrelevant faster than
Octomom, as Fowler is playing nearly every day.  At the top of that Rockies lineup, he’s going
to score 100 runs, while stealing 25-30 bags and hitting 15-20 homers.  If Wieters doesn’t come up until June, he’ll
likely hit 5-10 more homers than Fowler on the season while stealing 25 less
bags and scoring 30 less runs.  Depending
on your league format, for this year and this year only, I’d rather have Fowler
and his full season’s worth of production over the much-hyped Wieters.

Tomorrow we’ll have an interview with Ryan Hallam of Fighting Chance Fantasy.  If you have any questions for Ryan, leave them in the comments below.


Mailbag – How Soon Is Too Soon?

Hello everyone


Each Wednesday, I’m going to answer a question from the
comments or my email, so if you have a question (about fantasy baseball or
anything else), let it fly in the comment section below.  Here is
this week’s question.

Toby, I have a
question. My problem is that I have no patience. If a guy has a bad couple
weeks, I want to drop him. Every time this happens, some other manager picks
the guy up and naturally he goes on a tear. Of course, I learn from this, and
the next time a guy’s in a slump, I hold onto him. When I do, naturally, he
continues to suck.  So, tell me, please,
Toby, how to solve this problem?




starting lineup.jpg

Well first of all, I’d like to say welcome to the “my
actions can effect real life sports events” club.  I’d like to say we are exclusive, but that’s
a tough claim to make when millions of people feel the same way.  Some people have their lucky t-shirt, others
have a spot on the couch they must sit on. 
One writer here at MLBlogs eats the same meal each day as long as they
Yankees are winning.  Me?  My TV is above my fireplace, so I often build
fires and offer sacrifices to the sports gods. 
So far it’s been innocuous stuff like newspaper articles about the
opposing team, but I’m thinking of simulating human sacrifice by tossing in vintage
Starting Lineup figures this year.


Second of all, I didn’t know Krod Mandoon was a Mets fan,
but I do know I’m bloody sick of those commercials.  When watching “The Daily Show”, I’d rather be
told “size matters” for the 3,000th time by the roided up Bow-flex
guys than see these neverending promos for a show that is so epically bad.


Your question is a great one and it plagues everyone who has
ever picked up the fantasy game (by the way, we need a cool phrase like “laced
up the cleats” or “strapped on a helmet” for fantasy players.  I’m going to toss out “cheered for a kicker”
for now, but I need to give this more thought). 
If you are overly reactionary, you may have done something last year
like trade Ryan Howard for Jay Bruce, in which case you certainly lost your
league.  On the other hand, if you never
make a move, you probably rode Eric Byrnes or Travis Hafner straight into the


Unfortunately, there is no one answer to your
question.  When considering whether to
fish or cut bait, you need to weigh the factors below.


Mailbag – Tips for Beginners

Hello everyone


Each Wednesday, I’m going to answer a question from the
comments or my email, so if you have a question (about fantasy baseball or
anything else), let it fly in the comment section below.  Here is this week’s question.


Toby–starting at square
1, what information that you learned last year did you find to be most
important or most helpful in attempting to analyze/predict a player’s fantasy
worth? I used to be a baseball fan, then lived under a rock for 10 years, and
am trying to rekindle the interest.


Jonas Foxx


Hey Jonas


Welcome back to civilization!  I haven’t lived in the same home for more
than 18 months since I left for college, must have been nice to have that kind
of stability.  Do you miss your


Glad to see you’ve chosen to get back into baseball.  The players look a little……..different now
than when you went into seclusion don’t be alarmed.  You’ll be surprised at how fast you get back
into it, especially if you were a big baseball fan as a kid.  Something about the game seems to nest itself
in your soul when you are young and never really goes away.  It just lays dormant until activated, and as I
can attest, fantasy baseball is a heckuva catalyst.  And if you think this sounds like what
happened to Reggie Jackson in “The Naked Gun,” you’re not far off.


Before we get to analyzing a fantasy player’s worth, I
recommend you make a determination about your goals in playing fantasy.  Namely, are you playing to win or are you
playing to have fun?  Granted, winning is
fun, but it may come at a price.  In
order to really excel at the game, you have to avoid all emotional attachments
to individual players.  Your feelings
will color your decisions and may prevent you from making a move to optimize
your team.  Any one such move can cost
you a title.


On the other hand, playing the fantasy version causes you to
watch a lot more real baseball and it’s no fun always watching dudes you don’t
like.  So another way to approach the
game is to draft some players from your favorite team and other guys you like
to see play.  You probably won’t win this
way, but you’ll enjoy the season a lot more. 
It should be noted that it is possible to still win doing this, but only
if you draft each player at or near his ADP (average draft position – it explains all the fantasy terminology you’ll need to


Basically, you have to decide if you are going to be
original Robocop or end of the movie “Robocop.” 
Original Robocop had zero emotions, he just scanned a situation and made
the optimal move at all times.  But once
he rediscovered who he was, emotions started to cloud his judgment, causing him
to go a bit haywire, but ultimately allowed him to find satisfaction.  So which Robocop will you be?


Either way, you’ll need to be able to make some decisions
regarding your players’ fantasy values. 
Here are a few hints for beginners below.