The final standings for the 2010 LABR season:
|Baseball Prospectus||Clay Davenport||112.0|
|2||NFBC||Greg Ambrosius/ Shawn Childs||94.0|
|3||Baseball Info Solutions||Steve Moyer||90.5|
|4||USA TODAY||Steve Gardner||85.5|
|5||ESPN.com – Ravitz||Nate Ravitz||78.0|
|6||RotoWire||Dalton Del Don||71.0|
|7||Yahoo – Brandon||Brandon Funston||66.0|
|9||FantasyBaseball.com||Perry Van Hook||61.5|
|10||Hardball Times||Derek Carty||52.0|
|11||Baseball HQ||Doug Dennis||47.0|
|12||Sandlot Shrink||Bob Radomski||45.5|
|13||ESPN.com – Cockcroft||Tristan H. Cockcroft||42.5|
Which, I must say, is a pretty good beatin'. For most of the season, LABR was a two-team race between me and Steve Moyer. The two of us were in the 100-110 range, regularly changing places, while third place rotated among several teams struggling for a 90. Steve and I were still tied as late as September 6, before he went into a free fall that ultimately dropped him to third place; my guys finished strong, and ended the season at pretty much the highest point total of the season.
LABR is a 5×5 league, 14 hitters, 10 pitchers, with a $100 FAAB. This team won mainly through a good draft, although there were three key pickups during the season. The worst category was saves, finishing seventh; since my saves came almost completely from Heath Bell, the Padres' two-week losing streak in August caused me some serious heartburn. My batting average was fourth-best, and was gyrating wildly with six teams within two points of each other over the last couple of weeks; I ultimately finished ahead of all but one of them. We were first in runs, second in home runs and RBI, third in steals. Pitching-wise, we finished in a three-way tie for second in wins, seventh in saves, and second in ERA (barely – if Buster Posey's fly off Luke Gregerson was caught instead of going into the seats, I would have finished first in ERA), WHIP, and strikeouts.
The offense consisted of only one player who had 600 atbats, and he was also the only hitter I spent more than $19 on at the draft – Ryan Braun. The hitter I spent $19 on, Corey Hart, was the only other player on the team who made it to 500 atbats. But it had good depth and flexibility (thanks to Hairston, Hinske, and Abreu) The originally purchased roster was:
Catchers: Russ Martin (10), Jason Jaramillo (1)
Extra: Fernando Tatis (1)
I picked up Tony Abreu and Willie Harris in the reserve round, and they filled in for Sanchez and Beltran at the start of the season. Harris was sucking pretty hard though, and at the end of April I made the first offensive dip into my FAAB budget, which turned out to be huge: a winning $4 bid for Andres Torres (who led my team with 26 steals, and was top-5 in HR, R, and RBI). At the trade deadline I made my only other significant offensive move, snatching up Miguel Tejada, who filled in very nicely where Furcal and Hairston were injured. There were other FAAB dollars spent here and there for injuries, with the catcher slot being a particular assortment of nothing (Brian Schneider, Brett Hayes, Jason Castro) after Martin got hurt.
My pitchers were:
I kicked myself pretty hard at the time for taking Zambrano, and for most of the year afterwards; the way he finished the year mostly made up for it. I was shocked at the time that I had gotten Latos for just $7, having him rated in the mid-teens. Lohse and Marquis mercifully got hurt pretty early on, and didn't last long enough to seriously hurt me; the two of them, plus Buckner, plus Bumgarner's for the first few months while he was in AAA, created four holes that were constantly bleeding FAAB. I took chances on Craig Stammen, and Ramon Ortiz, and Dontrelle Willis, on Nelson Figueroa and Esmil Rogers. Blargh. But one of those chances was a $5 bid on R.A. Dickey, and I held onto him for 149 more than solid innings of work. Those meanderings also led to Kameron Loe and Joel Peralta, middle relievers who gave me a few Ks without hurting my ERA and WHIP, which is about all I was looking for by then.
All in all, a very successful season.