Thursday Theriots for 2/21/13 – Fantasies do come true

Hey everyone. Seems like there’s a lot to talk about on the fantasy side of the ledger today, so let’s get to it…

ESPN just released its big fantasy package this evening. I always find this to be a great starting point for figuring things out in each of my leagues. What’s really key for me is the auction values they provide. There’s so much variation compared to the auction league that I’m actually in that the next link really helps…

Complete ZiPS projections. It’s the most exhaustive prediction system out there, so if you’re going to pick one to use, this is it.

So the basic strategy as I see it this year. Start with ESPN, update based on ZiPS, modify the numbers to fit the league. Hopefully in some meaningful way. I mean, it can’t go worse than last year…

Definitely suggest checking out Eno Sarris’ Thursday chat on Fangraphs. Lots of fantasy questions, plus a healthy amount of beer.

Patrick Dubuque has a great line related to fantasy and real life:

Your daily life plays a factor in how you build your roster. I can speak of this from experience: as a young naïve college student, I was once free to scour the internet for changes in the wind, and kept myself on top of all the latest rumors. In my twenties, from my cubicle, I could still check every once in a while when I knew the boss wasn’t wandering the halls. Now, my vocation keeps me away from the computer, and baseball essentially dies for eight to ten hours at a time, long enough of a span for both my closers to lose their jobs and get traded for each other as long relievers.

That’s basically how I feel these days. I have an hour at lunch to check non-work things. I’m lucky to spend a few minutes updating my rosters, then catching up on Fangraphs and ESPN.

And to end this all, my other league, which does a slow offline draft with numerous keepers, has started to ramp up. Decisions on keepers are due in a week. More on that in another post…

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Thursday Theriots for 1/31/13 – Why it’s fun to root for mediocre teams

Fewer links and more commentary today.

I definitely suggest checking out all the chats at Fangraphs. But the one from Jeff Sullivan is always the highlight of the week. He’s extremely witty and makes funny responses out of standard questions. For example:

Question: “is it just me or is gio gonzalez’s dad the worst at excuses”

Answer: “he’s probably not the *worst*, but that’s just from the probabilistic perspective”

Classic, just classic.

But there’s a couple lines from the end of the chat that really stand out, as a fan of a team that has been bad for about fifteen years:

fans of bad teams still care because it’s the bad that makes the good. if I were just getting into baseball, and if I had to pick a team to like, I’d pick a bad team over a good team. I want to feel like I earned the success, if and when it ever comes…also, it isn’t just about winning. it’s about the whole experience and the distractions and the coming and going discussion topics that carry us through month after month. baseball is just a thing that goes on and bad teams don’t provide any less material than good teams

I couldn’t have said it better myself. It doesn’t matter if your team is bad or good, you still follow them. It can be frustrating year after year after year, but you don’t give up the hope that next year could be the year it all comes together (like last year for the Orioles). I still get excited when my guys do well and sulk when they hid a bad skid. It’s like we’re in this secret club and those who aren’t in it just don’t get what’s going on.

Back to the links…

I always enjoy skimming the minor league transactions at Baseball America. This time of year, there’s a lot of names you’ll recognize on there. Looks like Charlie Haeger’s getting another shot with the Red Sox.

Why is there still Spring Training in Florida? Because of contracts and politics. Arizona makes so much more sense given the location of all the camps. This article talks about trying to possibly lure another team east, but I don’t see the payoff.

I admit it, I have a thing for rookies in fantasy (football and baseball). I think most of these guys are already gone in one of my leagues where you’re allowed to keep guys their whole careers.

One final thought…I love Craig Calcaterra’s smack down of stupidity in most things he writes. His article on ARod and the idea that he might walk away from his big contract is no different.

RIP Earl Weaver and Stan Musial

Just wanted to pass along a quick note to say goodbye to two of the greatest ever involved in the game.

Growing up as an O’s fan, Earl Weaver was always viewed as a legend. The Orioles have, honestly, never been the same since he left. He was a pioneer, someone who would fit in in today’s baseball world. Get on base, hit home runs, don’t let the little things overshadow how you effectively score and prevent runs.

I don’t have any personal connection with Stan Musial. He was by any measure one of the best players to ever play the game, maybe even a top 10 guy (9th in fWAR among hitters). I can see on Fangraphs that he put up a ridiculous 139.4 career fWAR with a crazy 11.5 in 1948. I imagine that’s one of the top ten seasons we’ve ever seen.

It’s wonderful to think what these men accomplished. I think any of us would be happy to have that kind of impact in our own lives.