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The fucking balls on those fuckers.
Should I drop Tim Lincecum, Brandon McCarthy or Dan Haren for him? Redraft league, no bench spots, 5x5 plus IP.
Wow, PECOTA really hates Archie Bradley. Hope the scouting take is the accurate one, since I have him stashed in my roto league.
10 team blended league (owners nominate 18 MLB teams to be in the player pool), unlimited DL, no bench slots. I think this set up best avoids the problem in Derek's post -- nobody needs to carry a dead position in order to retain their players, and it keeps the FA pool less crappy.
Which brings us to the central point -- having an unlimited DL doesn't drain the FA pool, having bench slots drains the FA pool. Injured players wouldn't be available to other owners regardless of how many DL slots a league allows, but bench slots take players out of the FA pool that would otherwise be available.
The "forced to make a decision" aspect is when a player returns from the DL (or the minors) -- to activate a player, you need to drop another. If you don't activate a player after one moves period, they automatically go into the FA pool.
Wow. What a classy decision. And smart. The old stuff probably has limited commercial value, but retains its intellectual value.
This policy is the opposite of what many newspapers do with their web sites. Charging per article, and making the transaction cumbersome, has one main result -- people deciding that they can live without reading the newspaper's older material. Result: unless there is a immediate, material need for a particular known article (e.g., reprinting the birth announcements to prove that one was born in a particular place at a particular time), the publications' archives truly down up to the moniker "morgue."
Bag screening at MLB parks is massively expensive, slows entry, and is intrusive. It is a response to a generic and speculative fear of terrorism at the ballpark. To my knowledge, there has never been a terrorist/homicidal incident at a ballpark, in any sport, at any level, in this country (I do not count the ubiquitous fights between fans, some of which result in death, but refer only to incidents where somebody comes to the ballpark armed, with the intention of killing other fans).
If MLB can institute and enforce a bag check policy, it can institute and enforce a policy that would cheaply, and without intrusion, protect fans from a known and routine risk. Unlike the purely speculative terrorist/shooting rampage scenario, it is commonplace to see fans injured by batted balls, and flying bats/bat shards.
At a spring training game two years ago, I had a seat just within the screen, which did not wrap around very far. A foul tip deflected just enough to miss the catcher's glove and smacked a guy about three seats away from me, just outside the protection of the screen. He was on the ground for several minutes, treated by EMTs. Eventually, he was escorted out of the grandstand, with a dazed and frightened expression on his face, holding an ice pack against his head.
Usually the injuries aren't disabling, but serious injuries remain a recurring problem. I cringe when I see a line drive into the seats above the dugout. It is random chance that separates the guy at that spring training game from Bryce Flory.
It is a hallmark of human irrationality that we overemphasize intent when assessing our response to risk. The fact that the batter doesn't WANT a sreaming foul ball, a slipped bat, or a shattered bat shard to injure a fan out of ill will does not change the risk that this will happen. Extending the screens is a wise and overdue policy.
I'm not in a keeper, but shmooville's advice is sound in a redraft auction as well.
There are no bargains for top tier players, only differences in valuation. If anything, the price of the last 1-2 superstars at a position can be far higher than a comparable player nominated earlier, especially where there is a steep drop off.
Value time is when most of the superstars are off the board and some owners are acutely aware that they have $57 left to spend on 14 players.
The beauty of an auction is that it rewards good planning AND the ability to adjust.
There's one other guy in my league I know is a BP subscriber, so I'm hoping he fills 3B/CI before EE is nominated.
I love the changes -- I have been lobbying for customizable player pools for several years, and was delighted when I saw it had been added.
A trade evaluation tool sounds terrific.
Also, I would love to be able to import the inflation feature to my computer -- I was forced to abandon it when I tried using it in the past because my auction league is far too fast-paced. With the code modifications and migration to a stand-alone server, I'll probably give it another shot.
The most important thing about an auction, and I learned it the hard way, is understanding its dynamics. Being able to anticipate the phases of an auction and exploit them will give you a big advantage.
Phase 1 is where the superstars get nominated Everybody has a full bank, and if you have to have Hanley, what's the difference between $44 and $46? The trick here is that you almost always will have to "overpay" for the true superstars. Spend too much here and you will have nothing but filler and gambles for 3/4 of your roster. Spend too little, and you're counting on nice complementary players like Nick Swisher and Vladimir Guerrero to anchor your offense.
The beauty of an auction is that you can obtain multiple "first round" players. Last year, one manager got Albert Pujols, Hanley Ramirez, Carl Crawford, and Roy Halladay in the first hour. In shallow leagues, this is an especially viable approach, because replacement level free agents are still useful players. Much riskier in shallow leagues, where it might mean starting Brendan Ryan, Carlos Gomez and Melvin Mora just because you think they'll get regular ABs.
In phase 1, lots of managers try to get money off the table, nominating high-profile guys they have no interest in but know will go for real money. It is immensely satisfying when I nominate Carlos Zambrano, who I internally value at $4-$5, and somebody pays $15.
Usually, a handful of scrubs are nominated in phase 1. Either the nominating manager thinks he's a sleeper, or he's trying to get someone to waste a couple of precious dollars on complete garbage because "the book" says he's worth $4. If you think that scrub is a sleeper, wait to see if there is any interest. If it's nothing but crickets for 4-5 seconds, you can probably have him for $2. That's how I got 27 HR from a catcher-eligible Brandon Inge two years ago.
After this initial rush, many managers have seriously depleted their funds and have acquired their "must haves," and so they turn timid. They might keep bidding, but they drop out quickly. The ones who were most aggressive acquiring stars might not bid at all for an hour, waiting until more managers are as broke as they are.
This is phase 2, when the bargains happen. Last year, this is when I got Brett Gardner for $3 and Colby Rasmus for $2. Know which guys you like in tiers 2 and 3, and take your shots here.
Be aggressive. Don't get into bidding wars, but don't be afraid to bid $7 for a guy you think is worth $14, just because the guy just before him went for only $5 and you thought he was just as good (and, obviously, the only reason you should have allowed somebody else to buy that guy for $5 is that you had the position filled). The goal isn't to be able to brag about getting the single best bargain, but to get as many cheap contributors as possible. The better and more self-evident the bargains are, the shorter phase 2 lasts. It is rarely more than 20 players, although profit opportunities will crop up, especially for less well known players.
Then, curiously, the prices start to go up. Managers realize they're missing out on bargains so they get back in. Managers realize that there are only two adequate middle infielders left, and four teams need to fill that spot. Managers realize that there are only 3 established stars or quasi-stars left. In this stage of the very same auction last year, Erick Aybar went for $24 -- the same price as Dustin Pedroia a couple of hours earlier.
Then it settles down to mostly dollar picks, with the occasional bidding war between the handful of managers who can bid more than $1 (two years ago I got Andrew McCutchen for $4 at this phase). In my league, this means guys in position battles, middle relievers, rookies who will probably get a call up in June, veterans who will probably come off the DL in May, the half of a platoon that starts against righty pitchers, and second catchers. Some of these guys will return serious value, but all carry high levels of risk or low ceilings. I prefer to go with high risk hitters and middle relievers with good ratios.
There is a generally a premium on players in local markets, and a discount for players on low profile teams in distant markets. If your league members are from California, know the rosters of the Pirates, Orioles, Blue Jays and Marlins cold. Your competition will know who Hanley and Jose Bautista are, but you might be able to get Neil Walker, Gaby Sanchez, Ricky Romero, and Luke Scott for a buck or two (in my league, that would have been serious profit last year)
I'm happy to offer whatever auction wisdom I've accumulated.
I think the "meta" aspect is why I've always loved going to old ballparks so much. The smells, the angles, the rust, the car horns and train screeches, the city beginning again right across the street. So much richer for the senses than any of the new parks, and having absolutely nothing to do with the actual game being played on the field.
Now there are only two left.
Haven't seen any big discrepancies for hitters, but some very weird results for pitching. My league's pitching categories are IP, W-L, ERA, WHIP, K, and a combined relief category (SV+HD-BS) that I did not enter into PFM.
Under these parameters, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee had auction values in the middle of the pack, just below Josh Beckett, Wandy Rodriguez and Phil Hughes. Their projections were better across the board in all scoring categories, which suggests there is something wrong with the auction value algorithm.
Incidentally, Kila looks to be this year's Colby Lewis (can he really be as good as the projections?) It'll be interesting to see what the magazines and other projection systems say. And here I am at work without my Bill James BIS projection thingamawhoozie. I think I feel a cold coming on . . .
As noted in an earlier comment, I play in a league where the owners select a blend of teams from the Al and NL. This year we have 9 owners and 14 teams (5 from the NL, 9 from the AL) in the player pool.
I would love an option in the PFM where you could select specific MLB teams for the player pool rather than the three default options of AL/NL/Mixed. I am able to do a rough and dirty translation by choosing mixed league and overstating the number of owners in my league to get the ratio of teams in the league to teams in the player pool right.
It would love to be able to get PFM values based on my league's actual player pool, especially before the league auction.
I give a hearty second to the suggestion of some sort of in-season ratings that incorporate more than Pecota. I love the Pecota-based PFM updates, but sometimes Pecota just seems "stubborn" -- this is especially true with older players who have begun to decline. For example, using my league parameters, the 7/31 PFM update still has Alex Rodriguez rated as the 7th best hitter and Lance Berkman the 25th (we use a mix of 14 owner-selected MLB teams to draft from, so they might be more like #12 and #45 in regular mixed leagues). As much as I wish it were true (because I paid $39 for him), there is no way Arod warrants that sort of rest-of-year projection after 4 months of obvious decline.
On the flip side, I have to thank you for your preseason player rankings. I took a $1 flyer on Jose Bautista (until I read your rankings I would have guessed he was no longer playing if I had been asked), based solely on your projections. You projected 20 HR, which I thought was a pipe dream but figured what they hey he can't be any worse than Travis Buck. It looks like Bautista will double his projection and then some.
This is exactly the kind of numerical article I value from BP -- it makes a simple but powerful point, and I will be able to apply it with some pretty easy computations instead of performing a regression analysis. The underlying statistical point is fairly basic (K-BB/PA having a higher correlation than K/BB with ERA is pretty straightforward), and the result makes considerable sense upon reflection.
With respect to Syd Finch, K-BB/PA is scalable, as opposed to raw K-BB, precisely because it accounts for the varying workloads of rookies under innings limits and 240 inning horses (keeping in mind that high durability is an extremely valuable trait even when coupled with league average peripherals).
And yeah, I have a renewed appreciation for Schilling's dominance. I have vivid memories of watching Schilling at the Vet in 1997 and 1998. The team was so bad and he was so good.
I think it is unfair in some sense that his mythology is based so much on what he accomplished in Boston, by which time he had clearly declined from great to good, precisely because Boston and baseball in general are consumed with the mythology of the Red Sox. Not to mention that his first season in Boston was by far his best, and that was (not entirely coincidentally) the apex of Red Sox mythology, Thermoplylae, Trafalgar and Little Round Top rolled into one.
For such a deep league, I think you got good prices on your catchers, Bailey, LaRoche and, yes, Hanley.