Monday, April 28, 2008

Bloggers League week 4: The slow climb upward

Remember back at the end of week one when I bitched and moaned about being in last place in my bloggers league? I had 51 points at the time and was all mopey because of it. Today, I find myself with even less points -- 47.5, to be exact -- but my mood couldn't be more different. I'm actually relieved and, just maybe, a bit optimistic.

To understand why, let's look at how the month of April has gone. For starters, after those first-week blues, things only got worse. Much, much worse. Leveled by Sabathia's blow-ups and struggling with two so-called Detroit studs, Miggy and Renteria, who couldn't seem to hit, I watched my total points drop all the way down to the low 20s, where I at one time sat a whopping 22 points out of next-to-last place. It was devastating. I felt like an idiot, a fraud -- what right do I have to be blogging about fantasy baseball when I can't field a team any better than this?

My goal for the season quickly changed from winning this league to just making a run at respectable mediocrity. I frantically started making roster moves, trying to plug the Titanic. (I currently lead the league with 24.) And, amazingly, thankfully -- they started working. Some key free-agent pickups, including Carlos Quentin, Felipe Lopez, Jeff Keppinger, Jorge Cantu, Ryan Church, Manny Acosta and Chad Qualls, have already produced roto dividends. In addition, C.C. remembered how to pitch, Miggy and Edgar remembered how to hit, and my team slowly but surely began reclaiming lost points. Today, for the first time since ... well, since essentially ever ... I'm actually out of the cellar. And it feels good.

That's not to say it's all blowjobs and roses for the Fantasy Hurler squad. For one, I have serious problems in the two categories you cannot afford to have serious problems in -- saves and steals. I was counting on Byrnes for a good percentage of my team's stolen bases, but even though he's been hitting the ball well, an achy hamstring has limited him to only three swiped bags this year. I tried to trade for steals to no avail and am now starting Lopez almost every day with the hope that he can reach 25 for the season. (Still probably not enough to get me competitive, but it sure wouldn't hurt.)

As for saves, I'm stuck with Saito and the Acosta/Soriano combo, which has only been good for a pathetic five saves on the season. (The Rotonomics team is up to 25!) I feel like I'm already chucking the category, and I'm one of those managers who thinks you cannot chuck saves and still win your league. At minimum, it's incredibly difficult. I talked to another owner about trading for Matt Capps and that didn't pan out. I know Bock says never pay for saves on draft day -- and I agree it's a waste of a third-round pick to take Papelbon -- but I'm never drafting a nine-pitcher, daily-lineup team again without locking down three solid closers on draft day. That's perhaps the biggest lesson I've learned so far this year.

So as we move into month two of the season, I'm having serious doubts about whether the team I'm fielding has any chance to win, place or show. But I think it has a chance to finish in the middle of the pack, perhaps even the top half. And considering where I was at two weeks ago, that sounds just fine to me.

The standings after four weeks:

1. Roto Authority 87
2. MVN (1) 78
3. RotoRob 77.5
3. MVN (2) 77.5
5. Fantasy Baseball Mafia 73.5
6. Rotonomics 69
7. Fake Teams 67
8. Fantasy Gameday 62.5
9. Razzball 54
10. Fantasy Hurler 47.5
11. Crooked Pitch 47
12. Brock for Broglio 39.5

1 comment:

Mike Bock said...

Post-draft, it's almost impossible to make up ground in stolen bases without gutting your other offensive categories ... unless you make a trade. Power/speed combo guys typically don't suddenly appear in the middle of the season. You'll need to target an owner who is dominating the stolen base race around the allstar break. Other than that: hang in there.

You could dump Acosta, Soriano, and Saito, and still probably end up in the middle of the pack in saves IF you monitor your waiver wire on a second to second basis. Since you probably can't, keep an eye on the Florida, Colorado, and Toronto pens in the short term, and every team in the long term. Did people drop Corpas or Accardo? What are the chances the Marlins don't trade Gregg for three or four prospects?