Rob McQuown's first installment of Scoresheet draft candidates for tomorrow's draft contains 20 names and some theory for smart drafting.
This author's introduction to Scoresheet baseball was charmed, taking over an abandoned team in the “NL 300” league last July which had the first pick in the June draft. For those who play Scoresheet, it's well-known that the draft which follows the MLB Rule 4 Draft is the strongest, as this is when the new talent is made available. Watching the league's first overall pick from last year, Stephen Strasburg, pitch, “charmed” may be understating things. For those unaccustomed to playing Scoresheet baseball, some background is required:
The aforementioned “NL 300” league purportedly contains only National League players (those players whose rights are owned by a National League MLB team). Scoresheet also offers AL and BL (both leagues) teams. The standard configuration is 12 teams in an NL league, which is what “NL 300” has. It's a strong league, having been around for many years, and the rules allow for 2 “crossover” players to be kept in addition to NL players. The standard configuration allows teams to keep many players from year-to-year, with no salary considerations. However, players with MLB experience (beyond “rookie” status) must be kept using one of the team's top 13 picks, while “rookies” can be safely protected using the latter picks. A hypothetical pre-2010 keeper list for a strong NL team might look like:
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It is a time to say thanks to and reflect on the baseball players who contributed to war efforts over the years.
One reason often cited for the birth of the super-hero comic book fad in the late 1930s was that the gaudily dressed characters, gifted with miraculous powers, could solve the problems of the world with a punch, unlike everyone else, who had to sit around and endure the nerve-wracking wait for the rise of Fascism to evolve into World War II, and then for World War II to have a positive resolution for the democracies. The idea of Superman being able to punch out a tank, or even deliver a love-tap to Adolf himself (or failing that, Joseph Goebbels) was reassuring to the younger set and far easier to understand than the movements of massive armies in faraway places.
A baseball lifer and current manager of the Yankees' Double-A club talks about being a minor-league skipper.
The life of a minor-league manager is far from glamorous, but short of holding a similar position in the big leagues, there is little else Tony Franklin would rather do. Currently in his fourth season at the helm in Trenton—the Yankees’ Double-A affiliate—Franklin has been in the game since 1970 when he began his professional career as an infielder in the Reds’ organization. He began his coaching career in 1979 in the Orioles system, and his first managerial job came in 1982 with the short-season Geneva Cubs. Franklin skippered the Thunder to Eastern League titles in 2007 and 2008.
A preview of the Dominican Winter League, taking a look at the teams, stadiums, managers, and players to watch for.
The "National Religion" came back on October 16th, as the Dominican League launched its 56th edition. Reliably praised as having the highest level of talent among the winter leagues, one should expect to watch another mix of highly ranked prospects, mid-level major leaguers, a few recognizable American players, veterans looking for another shot, and some major league stars between now and the end of the Caribbean Series in February. The league format has six teams playing a 50-game regular-season schedule, with the four best records advancing to a long 18-game round-robin playoff, and the two remaining best clubs play a best-of-nine final series to decide the league's champion. Without further ado, here's what this season will bring us:
Tigres del Licey (Licey Tigers)
Home: Santo Domingo
2008-09 record: 26-24, fourth place (tied) regular season; 12-6, first place round-robin; beat the Gigantes in the final series 5-0.
Ballpark: Estadio Quisqueya; strong pitcher's park, with a Park Factor of 92.
The Reds' Single-A affiliate GM holds forth on the success of the Dayton Dragons.
Minor League Baseball set an attendance record last year, and the poster-child team for that success resides in the Ohio Valley. The Dayton Dragons sold out every game for the ninth consecutive season in 2008, with 8,624 fans coming through the turnstiles to watch the Single-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds on a nightly basis. Gary Mayse, the team's Executive Vice President and General Manager, talked about why Dragons baseball is so popular, and the reasons that minor league baseball will continue to thrive despite the economic downturn.
An overview of a series that features all four leagues' champions this time around.
Normally, I'd start this preview by setting the scene in Mexicali, Mexico, the site of this year's Caribbean Series-you know, lightly bragging about the good weather and local hospitality while the bulk of our readership suffers through yet another harsh North American winter. But I can't open with that intro, because I am in fact writing from New York City. Although I was looking forward to finally visiting Baja California, for reasons too boring to get into in this space, unlike the past coupleof years I'll be following this year's series on TV, courtesy of the MLB Network. For that reason, we won't have daily columns on the Series, and most updates on any issues that may arise during the Series will go up on Unfiltered.
For anyone who's new to the Caribbean Series, this is how it works: a field of four national teams, representing the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, face off in a week-long round-robin tournament, each team playing its three opponents twice apiece-that's a doubleheader per day at a single site in the host country. The national teams are their respective winter leagues' champions, "reinforced" with talent from throughout the league. So, for example, if the US were participating in this kind of tourney, their representative would be the Phillies, and the Phils would be free to select an American third baseman or catcher to strengthen themselves at those positions. Ideally, the ultimate effect is something that's better than just a good winter league team, but a bit more cohesive than a hastily assembled national all-star team. I say "ideally" because, particularly in recent years, the reality is that many of the winter league stalwarts who are the property of a major league club are denied permission to participate, or they decide on their own to rest up for spring training, rather than play in the Series. These defections, which seem to have been exacerbated this year by the World Baseball Classic, leave some Caribbean Series teams as an undistinguished patchwork of mediocre talents. Without further ado, here are some quick highlights of the teams who'll be taking the field in Mexicali.
All things being equalized... the new report on the Baseball Prospectus Statistics page.
The bookmark on my browser that brings me to Baseball Prospectus every day is set to the Statistics page. Even if I'm not looking something up—say if I want to go to one of the chats or see what's new on Unfiltered—that's where I start off. Often, I don't really look at the Stats page—either because it's a way station to wherever else I'm headed, or because I'm so familiar with it that I take it for granted. A few days ago, I was en route to the Glossary when something stopped me cold.
Trades are part of what makes fantasy baseball so much fun, but how do you keep the process from being abused?
We've had two hotly-debated topics within the RotoWire community the past week. One centered on the merits of keeper leagues versus redraft leagues, and the other dealt with the fallout from a controversial trade in one particular keeper league. I play in keeper leagues (and there are so many permutations of keeper leagues that it's not one-size-fits-all when discussing pros and cons) and redraft leagues, and enjoy both. While there are many good arguments for the superiority of redraft leagues, I tend to prefer my keeper leagues. They reward long-term planning better, they incorporate minor leaguers and the amateur draft well, and they allow teams to stay involved even over the offseason. One of the reasons to play fantasy baseball in its many forms is that it allows us to simulate the process of operating a baseball team, and the greater complexity and commitment that derives from keeper leagues allows us to come closer to that experience.
Looking a month or two down the line could net your team this year's Ryan Braun or a rehabbing player who might help later on.
How do you get ahead in the free agent market in your league? Adding impact players in a deep league is usually very difficult, and bidding wars early in the season often make it tough to acquire talent. One way to get players cheaply who can impact your roster is to look weeks in advance and speculate who will be called up from the minors or return from a long-term injury. This kind of speculation varies based on your league's size and how many reserve players you can hold onto. So let's take a look at some options out there from now until the All-Star break, when the player universe takes on a new shape before the trade deadline. Some of these players are at the top of any list, and some are sleepers. Remember, Ryan Braun won the NL Rookie of the Year last season, and he wasn't called up until May 24. There's still time to catch lightning in a bottle and finding an impact player.