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The final standings for the 2010 LABR season:

 

1

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
8 Rotoworld Wolf/ Colton 64.5
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)

Corners: Jorge Cantu (18), Scott Rolen (9), Eric Hinske (3)

Middle: Freddy Sanchez (9), Rafael Furcal (15), Jerry Hairston (5)

Outfield: Ryan Braun (39), Corey Hart (19), Carlos Beltran (16), Cameron Maybin (15), Colby Rasmus (14)

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:

Adam Wainwright (23), Heath Bell (19), Jonathan Sanchez (13), Carlos Zambrano (11), Mat Latos (7), Madison Bumgarner (5), Luke Gregerson (3), Kyle Lohse (3), Jason Marquis (1), Billy Buckner (1)

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.

 

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mhmosher
10/05
Good job. You know what makes me laugh? The guys at Baseball HQ always preach about their way and how successful it is. Yet, every time I see the results of these expert leagues, they're at the bottom. Scott Baker must have let them down.
ckahrl
10/05
Well done, Clay, kudos for a triumph fairly won!
Michael
10/05
Congratulations, Clay. Very impressive win.
Pinson
10/05
Another Batting Average league, huh? Why is it that all you alleged "experts," who know better, don't switch to OBP and just refuse to play in any league that uses BA? Out here among the unwashed starting about 10 years ago, I've convinced over 50 owners in 4 leagues over the years to switch to OBP, and NOT ONE owner has ever expressed regrets. We practice what YOU preach. Y'all get down on guys like Dusty Baker, Dayton Moore, anybody in MLB who is not a stathead, but you're hypocrites yourselves. Maybe among the sheep, somebody with character will take a stand some off-season and just declare that he won't play in any more BA leagues. If I were the "commish" of BP, I'd just order it. Most of the sheep would follow. What is it?...do these lame shills (like Bbl HQ...I agree entirely with "amazin" above) whose incomes depend on idiots subscribing imagine that shifting from BA would hurt their income? How can you live in a world of advanced metrics and even waste your time playing antiquated games? C'mon, BP, somebody make a stand!
FalcoT
10/05
Fantasy is pretty far removed from actual baseball. There's little difference between batting average instead of on base percentage, they're both arbitray ways of helping to define which players will have value.
TADontAsk
10/05
And what else would you cut? He only mentioned batting average, but runs, RBIs, wins and saves all fall under the "not the best way to measure a player" category that is often preached here. Once you start using VORP, WARP, SIERA, etc. as categories in legaues, then you're going to lose the interest of the general public. BP readers make up a very small minority of baseball fans.
clayd
10/05
#1, the point of LABR is to let the experts play in a league that mirrors what many or even most people play in. A person who is asked to join a league doesn't have a right to demand changes in how it is done. To the larger point, I'd argue that a league that uses a rate statistic *of any kind* is doing a stupid thing. It forces you into a box of having to define arbitrary minima on innings and plate appearances.
baserip4
10/05
You have to define minimums? With most standard leagues, I don't know how you would ever hope to compete by punting at least 2 categories. I suppose you try and take only closers to win saves, ERA and WHIP, but I don't think there is any guarantee you'd finish high enough in the batting categories to place.
ScottBehson
10/06
I would have serious regrets if I were in a league with someone like you.
Infrancoeurgible
10/06
"How can you live in a world of advanced metrics and even waste your time playing antiquated games?" Maybe people like to have fun and aren't sabermatricians 24/7?
mhmosher
10/06
The basic problem with Baseball HQ is they charge $100 for content that Fangraphs does better and for free!
BurrRutledge
10/07
If I were asked to play in a league with colleagues who use standard 5x5 fornat (the emphasis being "play"), why would I choose to be a stick in the mud? Play. Enjoy. And I could only hope to dominate the way Clay did. (Good goin', Clay!).
oneofthem
10/06
woot
sam19041
10/06
Nice work, Clay. Good portfolio management.