Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Bloggers League update: The Hurler team breaks through

It kind of sucks that the league I decided to blog about in detail this year -- my league against other fantasy bloggers from around the Net -- is the one I have virtually no shot of winning. While my other two '08 fantasy teams are currently in third place out of 14 and second out of 16, my bloggers-league team remains mired in the middle of the pack and still handicapped by the fact that I can't make up any ground in steals or saves, categories I've essentially had to dump.

But I continue to write about this league because I figure a look at how the Hurler team is doing against other fantasy-website squads would be the most interesting for you all, our loyal readers. (Nobody really cares how I'm doing in my money league, right? You just want to know whether the guys from Razzball actually play this game as well as they write about it.)

At least this time the news is good, as the Hurler team has, for the moment anyway, achieved its revised goal of placing in the top half of the league. I continue to thrive on timely, successful free-agent pickups. Alexei Ramirez has four home runs and a .337 batting average as a starter for my team. I tallied three home runs from Cody Ross and two from Russell Branyan in limited action. Justin Duchscherer has a 2.11 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in games started for the Hurler team. Jon Lester's nailed down three recent wins for me; Jair Jurrjens two more.

Meanwhile, some of the guys I drafted are putting together notable, if not always consistent, seasons. Fellow Hurler scribe Mike Bock bitched at me for weeks about it, but I finally feel good about drafting Brandon Phillips over B.J. Upton. (So far, Phillips' home run and RBI totals are a clear winner over Upton's strong showing in runs and stolen bases.) Miguel Cabrera's stats are somehow getting better, even as his hip is getting worse. (Two dingers, 4-for-4 yesterday!) Ryan Doumit has smacked six more home runs since coming off the DL at the beginning of June.

So things have been going pretty well for the Hurler team, which was buried at the bottom of the standings for most of April and May. The sad thing is, again, with me almost assuredly taking only one point in steals and two points in saves, I'm not sure how much higher up the standings this team can climb. Still, now that I know I can theoretically finish in the top half, why not move the goal line again? My shorthand name for this league is my "for respect" league, and a top-four finish sounds pretty respectable to me. Let's shoot for that.

The current standings:

1. Roto Authority 90.5
2. RotoRob 82
3. Fantasy Baseball Mafia 77
4. Rotonomics 73
5. Fantasy Gameday 68.5
6. Fantasy Hurler 67.5
7. MVN (1) 66.5
8. Razzball 63.5
9. Fake Teams 62
10. MVN (2) 45
11. Brock for Broglio 44
12. Crooked Pitch 40.5

Here's the Hurler team's current roster:

C - Ryan Doumit
C - Jarrod Saltalamacchia
1B - Justin Morneau
2B - Brandon Phillips
SS - Edgar Renteria
3B - Miguel Cabrera
CI - Jorge Cantu
MI - Alexei Ramirez
OF - Carlos Quentin
OF - Xavier Nady
OF - Jose Guillen
OF - Cody Ross
OF - Mark Teahen
UTIL - Carlos Pena

BN - Jose Bautista
BN - Jeff Keppinger
DL - Ryan Church

P - CC Sabathia
P - James Shields
P - Justin Duchscherer
P - Scott Baker
P - Jeremy Guthrie
P - Jon Lester
P - John Maine
P - Takashi Saito
P - Eddie Guardado

BN - Jair Jurrjens

That's quite the evolved lineup from the team I originally drafted.


Anonymous said...

It looks like you need some more saves... that could be the difference between where you are and finishing top 3... Your really taking it up the ass in that category (no homo).

Bob Taylor said...

I have 22 saves, good for two points, less than half of the 45 saves the guy with four points has. So, at most, I'm getting three points here. At this point, it's really not worth the trouble.

For an in-depth and angry read on how I fucked up the saves category so badly, just go here.

But the short version is this: The relievers I drafted were Saito, Soriano, Jamie Walker and Tom Gordon. Uh, yeah -- not so good. And then I did a miserable job targeting potential closers early in the season.

tim@rotorob said...

Kudo's to you Bob. Nice recovery. I'm going through the same thing in my 20 team league having lost Rollins, Lowell,Victor Martinez, Zimmerman and now McGowan. It isn't easy fighting back but the rewards for perseverance and at least playing the game are much higher and more respected than the guy who just quits and folds up shop. Keep up the good work.

Bob Taylor said...

Thanks, Tim. I appreciate it. And, yeah, I just hate fantasy quitters too much to ever become one myself.

Mike Bock said...

Octavio Dotel picked up yet?

Bob Taylor said...

Yeah, he's been gone. I did get him in my 16-team "for fun" league yesterday. (Which suddenly isn't for fun anymore, as I'm only seven or so points out of first.)