Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Breakfast With T-Dub

We all share a common ground here as owners in PG’s Sportsworld, and that’s a passion for the game of baseball. That passion spills over into fantasy like the boiling lava from the mouth of the volcano … winning is everything, failure is embarrassing, and obsession is generally accepted, if not encouraged. We want to be on top, and make no mistake it will eat us alive if weak, and can cause a man’s chest to puff if strong.

I remember to this day reading a book about the colorful Leo Durocher, heck, probably for a book report if I had to guess, (perhaps BookIt was involved, with a delicious personal pan waiting in exchange for that glorious ticket for all the hard work) … but I digress. Back to the point, I always thought this quote was spot on (and yes, I had to google it for the sake of integrity, save I butcher it trying to paraphrase) … Here goes:

“If I were playing third base and my mother were rounding third with the run that was going to beat us, I’d trip her. Oh, I’d pick her up and brush her off and say “Sorry, Mom” … but nobody beats me”, Leo Durocher.

Classic. (Side thought, would you really trip your mother to win something? I have to think I would strongly consider it, given the right circumstances.) That said, with the established theme being ‘win at all costs’ … let’s introduce a first edition of power rankings, based on franchise performance through the first eight weeks of baseball. The proverbial cream has risen to the top in some cases, while others find themselves face down rounding third … hard to believe it can be said just eight young weeks into the season, but a couple of those guys might already be realizing there isn’t a chance in hell of standing up and making it home by playoff time … without further adieu:

“Nationals” Guard Division – the worst of the worst, be it luck, momentum, skill …

#12 – Lawndale Longhorns: Harken to the likes of the 13 win Nationals (minus the pre-season favorites tag), their pre-season acclaim was wide-spread, but it hasn’t translated to success. Predictor’s (cough … Bisho’s …) golden child has found little to shine about to date, and may need to be thinking about next season … perhaps the “Lawn” needs a good ole-fashioned landscaper to come in for a visit. I do feel bad looking at the YTD’s for NewLinc … no one should have to deal with a pretty solid roster in theory all batting sub-.300, save … get this … Pablo Sandoval. Soto makes my blood boil.

# 11 and 10 – CO Yankees and The Rockpile – This is going to rest a tie in the lower third b/c the basement of PG west might be good for 4th … dare I say, 2nd … in PG East. But these two teams lack an identity to-date … The CO Yanks are in a powerhouse division with good closers (not common throughout the league), but stuck between ‘built for power’ or ‘built for avg/speed’, and find themselves in the basement because they are always hanging around, but never dominating categories. The Rockpile has one heck of a fun pitching staff to look at on paper, and given his division, could rise out of this position pretty easily … Our first upside sighting.

Casio Division – could they buy a rolex? Maybe not … but a Bulova isn’t out of the question, is it? Then why do I look at these roster and see no shine?

# 9 through 6 – Cornholers, Baby Gorillas, Year 2000 and the SwinGERS – I struggle to find something to talk about here. Games will be won … but I see a lack of the luster we all strive for, and maybe its from injuries, too many White Sox players, the futures/youth bug during the draft, any of the above … I think moves have to be made. J-Ger has a really fun pitching staff, but being down 1 every week in saves before it starts is what they call an ‘uphill battle’. Rest easy in this group, though, the playoffs are just a little bit of consistent play away from this pack.

Andy Richter Division – You tried to make PG East a place that fans wanted to watch, stand up on your own if you will, but the only way anyone will watch you is because of PG West … er … Conan.

#5 – Clark & Addison – Though battling for the top spot in PG East, I can’t sit here with a straight face and call Railsplitter a contender when I see either Tim Wakefield or Sean Marshall STARTING on that fantasy roster. Liriano, Ramirez and Ortiz doin’ what they’re doing … or shall I say, what they’re not doing … C&A have shown a tremendous depth and could be dangerous when/if those guys do what they do.

#4 – Jimmy’s Daddy – Great balance in the hitting categories has helped offset the storm of mediocrity on the pitching side. The Daddy rests in first for PG East, and rightfully so. This team is good enough to be battling for 3rd or 4th in PG West, so should be proud of that (thank God I can focus on PG West now) …

# 3 through 1 – Hoosier Heat, Client #9 and Tallcorn Cobras – It is fun when depth is not injured, a lucky closer or two gets added, a subtle trade adds strength … when the proverbial pieces fall into place – these teams certainly have had these attributes to date. I’d dare say these three will be battling it out for PG West supremacy, and then have to avoid a playoff letdown. Speaking of … I get the feeling that Client #9 might be the Cubs of our fantasy world. He is always good, but I don’t remember seeing him in the finals or a championship game – I may be wrong, but strong to the playoffs and out like a light, that’s my Cubbies ... am I wrong about #9? And … in pre-season predictions, Lawndale Longhorns were Kelly Kopowski to Hoosier Heats Lisa Turtle – NO RESPECT. Dude, she was hot … why did no one give her a chance? Guess the point of 1 through 3 together is this, consistency exists here, and though there is a decisive leader in the clubhouse ……….. he still has to come back out and play a lotta holes. I’d be shocked if these teams are hanging around in the end, though.


Cornholers said...

How exactly did the Brewers change from the AL to the NL again?

I feel like if I could only be playing in PG East I would be knocking down doors. Instead I'm lightly tapping so I don't stir the sleeping giants.

Michael said...

Nice work on this. I like the power rankings..

I feel like the Yankees without Arod, but since I do not have Arod coming back, I do not think I will feel like the Yankees with Arod this season...

Maybe Grady does not need elbow surgery and starts playing the like the #1 draft pick I used on him.. Maybe Peavy and Oswalt start pitching like the aces they are.. Maybe I will win the lottery as well..

PG said...

I've never been compared to a Casio before....I kind of like it.

I need some Andy Richter love, gimmie some Andy Richter love!!!!

Mr. Hackman said...

Very nice read T-Dub, I as well like the power rankings and would like to see this continued throughout the year. I have felt like a underdog all year ever since Bisho's preseason predictions, and I prefer it that way. I haven't been winning the catergories by a lot(like T-Dub), but by just enough to sneak by. Before the week started I was checking out PG's matchups this week and was happy, almost giddy, to see that Adrian Gonzalez would be at home all week hitting in the roomy PetCo Park. 2 home runs in 2 days later I am not laughing anymore. Can you imagine If this guy played half his games in Coors or Wrigley? Again nice work T-Dub and would like to see to articles from you in the future.

PG said...

I hate to be trailing 8-1, and I know it's still early, but it makes me nervous. I always fear that I can't close any gap in time (no matter how small it may seem). And getting behind against Mr. Hackman is not a good position to put yourself into.

T-Dub said...

To that point, isn't it weird how if you're down 2 k's with 2 starters to the other guys 1 ... you still feel like a sure loser in fantasy baseball? You are dead right!

Cornholers said...

"I always fear that I can't close any gap (no matter how small it may seem). And getting behind Mr. Hackman is not a good position to put yourself into."

That quote is wrong on so many levels!!!

New Linc said...

No matter what I do my team just cannot catch a break. On paper my team looks solid but they simply aren't performing. Pick ups like Cuddyer and Escobar have gotten hurt before they even register a week in my starting line up.

T-Dub's comparison to the Nationals is way too accurate. I'm certainly not throwing in the towel....yet....because I play in such a bad division but I am listening to trade offers.

PG said...

I'll give you an example....on Saturday, if I'm down in the Runs category by more than 5, I pretty much give up on it. Because when you think about it, the other team is gonna score some runs as well the rest of the way. And you have to outpace him 5 times over. It's just not gonna happen.

Start keeping track of your runs category and see if I'm right.

Cornholers said...

I think come the end of this month it will really get interesting in this league. Some of the lesser teams in the league might really start building for next year.

I would think a team like #9 set themselves up very good by taking Stephen Strasburg (how was he even made available?). Moving a guy like him to a lesser team could really solidify #9's run for the playoffs.

Although I caution the hype-train on Strasburg. Ben McDonald was just as good coming out of college 20 years ago...I saw a great USA Today story on this.

Daddy said...

Excellent and insightful post...I hope the power rankings become a weekly addition to the blog.

PG said...

I would caution teams from rebuilding too soon. We're barely 1/3rd through the season. The complexion of this league could look very different based on injuries, poor play, etc.

Which brings me to another question.

Say if your team is riddled with injuries. Do you keep those players (who you may have under contract for multiple years) and risk having some empty positions or do you go out and fill the void?

T-Dub said...

I only have an actual situation to put out as a response ... I let Byrnes go with a two-year deal because I made a mistake. He was wasted space, I wouldn't start him over 5 OF's I have, and I needed to cut ties.

I think one issue we'll see with owners in this format is too much attention to that total credit value. Heck, if a move makes you better and you don't make it ... you've set your strategy. If that strategy essentially leads you to a lack of immediate depth, I don't know its a good one.

Obviously tough position to be in when you have to consider cutting ties, but I think the owners that have the balls to cut ties with a bad draft pick are going to stay around longer than the guys guarding the credits (in a general sense).

New Linc said...

This discussion leads me to a question. I'm having difficulty understanding the credit system year to year. Currently I'm sitting at -2 credits for dropping a couple players earlier in the year. Does this allow me to "for example" drop a player currently on my roster with a 1 credit and pick up a minor leaguer who ordinarily would be assigned that 1 credit and apply the -2 to them.

I'm just a bit off on the -2 credit impact short and long term.

Railsplitter said...

C&A was bitten with the injury bug this week, but we still don't know the extent of the damage. Victorino and Longoria left games early, but I just can't run down a scenario that makes me drop either of these players. As for me, I'll be stashing studs if (God forbid) they go down for the season.

Cornholers said...

My understanding of the credit system is that if you drop a player that has a 2/3 year contract you receive a "negative" credit for the subsequent season.


Team A drops Taylor Teagarden who they signed for 3 years. Team A receives -2 credits for the subsequent season. Thus instead of having 60 credits to use for their total roster, they only have 58 credits.

The way I see it by having a negative impact it will only mean you will have to sign more players to 1 year contracts. That might not be a bad thing??

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