Monday, April 03, 2006

 

Like D&D, but without the magic powers

Before I put up the world famous Flames Game Day feature, I thought I'd bore you all with an update on how my various fantasy teams are doing.




Hockey

I've had a good year, but I'm 2nd in a 20-team league with only the mathematically remotest possibility of moving up to 1st. Jammy Jagr has been unbelievable for me, as the 36th overall pick in the draft, as have Zetterberg, Tanguay, Gaborik, and Demitra (their various injuries aside). My chance of winning the thing in the last two weeks here probably depends on a very very long shutout streak by Kipper, together with some high-scoring losses by Niittymaki, Kari Lehtonen, and Marturs Gerbe, all goaltenders for the David Johnson squad I'm chasing.

Basketball

I'm in an 8-team head-to-head league with Grabia and some of the Sports Matters fellows, and just won my quarterfinal match. I'm lucky enough to have grabbed Dwyane Wade with my first-round pick, who has been dynamite all year save for the odd 10-turnover performance. The rest of my roster seems to be either finally recovered from lengthy injury (e.g. Jermaine O'Neal), or really rounding into top form (e.g. Yao). Despite having finished 5th in the "regular season", I may actually have a chance in this week's semifinal against the Artest Humanitarians: besides the great team name, they also have a roster that stars Steve Nash, Mike Bibby, and NBA Fantasy God Shawn Marion.

Baseball

I'm in a 12-team head-to-head league with Cosh, Tyler, and a number of the aforementioned Sports Matters dudes (i.e. way too goddamn many Oiler fans). As I was reminded roughly hourly during our weeklong 27-round online draft, my roster is pretty heavy on guys who are old (Javy Lopez, Tom Glavine), fragile (Scott Rolen, Mark Prior, and more), or both (Frank Thomas, Barry Bonds). It's the kind of roster where if the injury gods are on my side, I could darn near dominate the league; if they're not, I'll be fighting for 11th place with waiver pickups like Frank Catalanotto.

Unfortunately, the season didn't get off to a great start, as one of my guys who is both young and relatively rugged had a problem. If you read Cosh's site, you and his 1500+ daily readers already know about it:
Due to an editor's error, the following sentence appeared in my baseball preview yesterday: "Can you believe C.C. Sabathia is still just 25 years old?". This should have read "Can you believe C.C. Sabathia is going to leave the mound with a case of sprained fat seven outs into the season?" ColbyCosh.com regrets the error -- though not as much as Matt Fenwick, who owns Sabathia in my fantasy league.

Thanks for that, Colby. This might be a long, long season. (P.S. While "sprained fat" is a somewhat imprecise diagnosis, it's probably as good a characterization of Captain Cheesburger's ailment as any.)

Comments:

I've been defined as a "hardcore sabermetric extremist." I think I'm adding that to my resume, immediately below the line about once being named Top Oralist.
 


Of course, it's early but I'm also losing every one of my games at the moment. Not a good start.
 


My pool is similar. I'm in 2nd, no chance of first, Tanguay and Demitra were my best players until injuries.

Jagr also went around 36th in ours. Crazy. First place manager has him, Kovalchuk and Thornton. Everyone else deserves to lose.

I shouldn't even be in second. I had the first overall pick, and decided to go with Marty St. Louis (pox on his house). I didn't get to pick again until 18, then chose Sundin who proceeded to get injured 7 minutes into the season.
Lidstrom and Zubov have saved my ass.
 


I'm in the same boat in my hockey pool...I've been lodged in second all year, and was in first at the Olympic break. Then my whole fricken team went down to injury (8 of 20 currently injured, including Demitra, Chara and Redden, and now Alfreddson is apparently out), and I've dropped to 4th. It just isn't fair :P

Only two months until the CFL pool. I can hardly wait for THAT one to start up :P
 


I find it interesting that Cosh also described himself as a "hardcore sabermetric extremist," and then made fun of a guy for being fat. Like that matters. I think I would be pretty happy having a starting pitching rotation of Sabathia, Livan Hernandez, Bartolo Colon and David Wells.
 


I just got eliminated in the semi-finals of my hockey league, which consists of myself, the other five contributors at Sports Matters, and three friends of ours.

I had surged to the top of the standings after my first overall pick, Joe Thornton, started lighting up in San Jose. Eventually I settled into 2nd place overall in the regular season standings.

Then, in an interesting case of fantasy mirroring reality, Big Joe dissapeared in the playoffs, failing to net me even a single point last week despite playing 3 games. Jerk.
 


Oh, and I was in the same basketball league, but my team was horrible. It didn't help that my first round pick (McGrady) was hurt for much of the year, and my third round pick (Artest) held out for two months. I should have drafted more Celtics.
 


Hey, don't forget the March Madness pool that we all sucked in.
 


I find it interesting that Cosh also described himself as a "hardcore sabermetric extremist," and then made fun of a guy for being fat. Like that matters.

You criticizing me on knowledge of sabermetrics is exactly like Stevie Wonder judging a beauty contest. For a power pitcher, fat is one factor for injury risk. It's not the only factor, but people who aren't big readers tend to ignore the plus-sized wreckage strewn around baseball history and cite Sabathia, Wells, and Colon on this issue. Wells is the game's most extreme control pitcher, Colon broke down partially and posted a 5+ ERA the year before last, and Sabathia... well, you can ask Fenwick about him, I guess. Or check with the Royals about Runelvys.

None of this is to say I would hesitate to draft Bobby Jenks as a second reliever just because he's somewhat portly. But our keeper tags only last three years. It's a balancing act.
 


None of this is to say I would hesitate to draft Bobby Jenks as a second reliever just because he's somewhat portly.

No there are lots of good reasons not to draft Bobby Jenks. History of injury problems, interpersonal problems...the list goes on.
 


Yeah, but being able to hit 102 on the Juggs gun is like being 7'7" in the NBA: you can be as slow, clumsy, stupid, and selfish as you like, but you'll keep on getting chances to play until you can't physically do it.

Some of these guys with "interpersonal problems" are, like Boomer or Sheffield or Rob Dibble, able to channel that asshole energy into the game. Some self-destruct. The interaction of personality with success in sport is a real head-scratcher.
 

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