Monday, March 22, 2010

Stuff we learned in our fantasy drafts

We're not quite the type to keep and care for numerous fantasy baseball teams anymore, what with the added expectations at work (those carts don't make their way to the corral on their own, you know) and home (the Missus didn't realize we were serious when we added the bit about our roto teams into our marriage vows) and with the blog (infotaining you kids can be a full time job.)

And so, working our way through two fantasy drafts this weekend seems to us to be a bit of a monumental achievement. If only the outcome matched what we perceive as the efforts, then we wouldn't feel quite so bummed out looking at our teams in the cold grey dawn of a Monday morning.

Looking back, it all seemed to fly by so fast, with our preferred players flying off the board quicker than we could queue them up. It was like we were unprepared for what was happening, and never seemed to have the grace to fully pull the moment off. We were left in a puddle of flop sweat and diminished expectations...Hey, this is really starting to sound like the entirety of our dating life!

With all this yammering as prologue, indulge us for a moment as we offer up a few lessons learned from this weekend, if only so that you might avoid some of the same missteps.

Preparation is not optional
Somewhere along the line, we had decided that our problem in the past was that we spent too much time reading the fantasy previews and making up lists and setting our pre-rankings. This year, we decided to go into our drafts completely raw, without any preparation.

It didn't go so well. When you have 60 seconds to make a pick, it's disconcertingly panic-inducing when you're suddenly wracking your brain to remember the points of distinction between Yovani Gallardo and Ubaldo Jimenez, or why you feel so wrong about picking Ryan Franklin (even though you end up picking him twice, and have the same rotten feeling about those low strikeout numbers each time).

If you don't know who's hurtin', you don't know nuthin'
When you're going into the draft blind, you quickly realize that what you don't know is going to overtake your thought processes. If a player was sitting out there a round or two later than we thought they should, we started looking to find out why. Is he hurt? Is he out? Does he have competition for the closer role? With a finite amount of time each round, we ended up frantically attempt to check on the health and wellness of any number of picks, and spent a good deal of time afterwards checking to see who might be of concern.

While we haven't found anyone egregiously hurt, we're reasonably sure that our fellow owners wouldn't have taken them off our hands if we had. (Not that we wouldn't try. Everything we learned about managing trades, we learned from Kenny Williams.)

Old mancrushes die hard
We tell ourselves every year that we're not going back to the well to draft big shining star prospects who are well past their best before dates. We tell ourselves that those dudes who had one or maybe two good seasons earlier in the decade aren't worthy of a pick. We tell ourselves not to fall into that trap again.

And then we go ahead and draft Alex Gordon. And Carlos Guillen. And Stephen Drew and Rickie Weeks. Zach Duke and Paul Maholm and Manny Parra.

Somehow, we managed to avoid drafting either of the Chris Youngs, although at one point, we had the D-Backs centerfielder in our sights, only to have him snatched away one pick before ours.

If there's one thing we learned, it's that experience hasn't taught us a thing.


Anonymous said...

You could do worse, i drafted Rollins in the first round and Wells in the third last year, i still somehow managed to finish in 5th...

Jeff said...

Alex Gordon scares the hell out of me.

And why the love for Pittsburgh pitchers?

Dustin McGowan's Sideburns said...

That draft was fun as hell though... until I looked at my roster afterwards...

KP said...

I had the second overall pick in my draft yesterday and the guy who had the first accidentally took Jon Lester with the first pick.

Jon Lester.

I'll take Han-Ram to the bank thank you very much.

Tao of Stieb said...

I have no idea why I love Pirates pitchers so much.

I used to love the Pirates when I was a kid, primarily because of those awesome caps.

Kent Tekulve left such an indelible mark on me that I've yet to shake.

(And BTW: I drafted Ian Snell two years in a row when he was a Pirate.)

eyebleaf said...

I don't know any Pirates, so I never have to worry about drafting any of them.

I'm just glad I was able to grab Vernon Wells before anyone else. I was holding my breath during a couple of rounds. Thankfully, he slipped and he's mine.

The Ack said...

I actually had Wells queued up in the round you took him, same for Brandon League.

Basically just "spite" picks to jab you and the GROF.

SP said...

That draft was fun as hell though... until I looked at my roster afterwards...

Precisely. It always feels like you're owning it while it's on and then you see your team and start rationalizing for why it won't suck.

Pirates pitchers are bad but I have THREE Reds starters. Bailey, Chapman and Cueto. Boom or bust FTW/L!!!1

Ack, which one is your team?

The Ack said...

Middle Relief Moustache Ride.

Or, the team that will get destroyed in the saves category.

Peter D said...


I actually think you had a pretty good draft, your team 'on paper' may be the best.

This was my first 18 team draft so I wasn't prepared for the fact that it would get to a point where Aaron Rowand looked like a great pick.

Peter D said...

Ack, I'd be willing to deal either Kevin Gregg or Brandon Lyon if you are looking for a (potential) closer.

KP said...

Why is CHONE such a bitter betty compared to Bill James? Did somebody piss in his All Bran?

Anonymous said...

Can you put a link up to the fantasy league so that casual observers can follow you?

Anonymous said...

Can you put a link up to the fantasy league so that casual observers can follow you?

dave said...

I learned I can't count. For whatever reason I thought there was 10 teams in the league. THAT would be why I got every single sleeper pick I bumped up in pre-rankings. Including Ruiz about 10RDs too early.

Also didn't read the new rules and realize there was a 1B/3B position. Was looking to play Overbay/Ruiz as a platoon at 1st.... awkward.


SP said...

I find all of those projection thingies to be completely useless. Has anyone ever done a study on how accurate those things are? What the R-squared on them, like 0.04? Last year, Bill James projected Chris Davis to hit 36/110 or something.

KP said...

Yeah... I'm starting think that Bill James is really just a guy who asks every GM how they think they think their players will do that particular year. I have yet to see a pessimistic ranking.