March 10, 1999
The only logical explanation for what happened is this: My strategy was apparently sleeping with another man's wife. While they were together, she heard the door open and realized her husband was home. At that point, my strategy did the natural thing.
It went out the window.
That just about sums up what happened to me on Saturday night at the LABR-NL draft in Tampa. About 15 players into the draft, I realized I was sitting there with a list of values that bore little resemblance to what was happening around me - which, in turn, bore little resemblance to what had happened the previous night in the AL auction. Closers were going for roughly 10% less than I had forecasted. No player went for over $38. And many trendy young players - like Scott Elarton ($13) and Darren Dreifort ($12) - were going at nearly double the risk-adjusted values I had pegged for them.
As a result, most of the values I had placed on remaining players were going to be way off, and my usual strategy - punt wins, focus on young talent, load up on setup men and emerging starters - wasn't going to hold. So for the first time in my roto history, I had to forget 90% of my usual shopping habits, and ended having to pursue these strategies:
All that these adjustments bought me was a second chance. The league seems extremely balanced, and the draft as a whole was very tough, with many owners clearly realizing what was going on and making the necessary shift in pricing. This incident just underlines a point made here earlier: that you have to be flexible and constantly aware of sea changes in the market just to stay in the game.