Monday, September 29, 2008

Thoughts on Baseball, Fantasy & Otherwise

Last time we discussed my fantasy baseball prowess, I was tanking in both leagues - one team was in last place, the other in 6th. That was midway through June. The regular season just ended, so both of my teams have now finished playing. Here's how they fared.

After completely tanking the first couple months, my last place team played .500 ball the rest of the year and climbed out of last. Our 8 team league had two divisions of 4 teams each, and each division took 2 teams to the playoffs. So despite having a poor record, I was still in the playoff hunt. It went down to the wire between me and another team. I had a 2 game lead with 2 to play, both against my rival. It would take an epic fail to miss the playoffs. And epic fail I did. I lost both games, and since I lost the season series to that team, I also lost the tiebreaker and he went to the playoffs and I was sent packing.

But I still had my other league to follow, and I was again making a late charge to the top. This league was rotisserie scoring rather than head to head, so all I had to do was concentrate on specific categories in order to make up ground. My stolen bases were too low, so I added Willy Tavares and rode his 60+ steals to the top half of the league. Sadly, he completely stopped hitting over the last month, and then he got hurt so I fell only 4 steals short of gaining all the points in that category and pulling the leaders down.

My pitching staff finally took shape as Ryan Dempster continued his inexplicably great year, Adam Wainwright came back from the DL and pitched well, and I rode the huge second half comebacks of Roy Oswalt and Brett Meyers. I pieced together a serviceable bullpen by adding Jonathan Broxton and Brad Ziegler to Francisco Cordero and Kerry Wood. My ERA and WHIP finally started dropping, while my wins, saves, and strikeouts climbed. I ended with the most wins and third most saves, and it looked like I was going to catch the leaders in WHIP. But then Brett Meyers 2.0 reverted to the old Brett Meyers we all know for his final two starts and killed that chance. In a last ditch effort, I added Hiroki Kuroda and Jesse Litsch for the last day of the season, hoping they could bring my WHIP down. They did well, but it was too little, too late. I was able to tie the leaders in WHIP, but I couldn't get past that mark.

Going into Sunday's final games, I was 4 points off the overall lead with 5 or 6 categories still in play. I wound up 3 runs, 4 stolen bases, and .01 WHIP percentage points short of first place, finishing in 3rd overall, 2.5 points off the lead.

This was by far the worst showing I've ever had in fantasy sports. But it was a lot of fun.

My other baseball thoughts as the regular season closes:

Albert Pujols is the best player in the game. Period.

Josh Hamilton is the best story of the year. And he's a darn good baseball player too.

Yankees suck!

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