June 16, 2017
Fighting The Last War
There’s an old saying that “generals always fight the last war.” The origin of the saying is unclear, but the idea behind it is not. During their current engagements, people tend to do the things that has worked well and avoid the things that didn’t work well during their previous engagement, rather than choose their course of action based on the current circumstances. And it’s not limited to war—a variation on the statement insists that “economists always fight the last depression.”
In my deep AL-only league keeper league, I’ve had the same issue the past few times I’ve had a contending team. I didn’t trade away my prospects and/or cheep keepers to the teams that dumped early because I didn’t like the prices I was paying. Each time, I felt like the contenders who made those deals overpaid and that I would overtake them when I made subsequent deals at better exchange rates. Each time, I was wrong.
A few things caused problems for me in these scenarios:
• There’s no guarantee that any other teams will dump. Sometimes there is no “next” deal to make.
• There’s no guarantee that teams that end up dumping have assets as good as the ones the first dumpers offer.
• There’s no guarantee the later dumpers won’t hold out for the same exchange rate that the early dumpers got, even to their own disadvantage.