No seriously! Please remind me. Why does it matter whether or not I can successfully predict whether Jesus Luzardo, Jordan Romano, Stephen Strasburg, Pablo Lopez, Hector Neris, Sean Doolittle or any other athlete will have a bad day at the office? Yes, we all love winning, but I can’t control what happens in a professional baseball game. I can’t control whether Giancarlo Stanton will whiff five times, or if Wil Myers nagging knee injury will reemerge.
I shouldn’t be wasting so much time on all this crap. Once again, I have let myself get way too deep in caring about sports outcomes. And the season isn’t even two weeks old!
I need to take a deep breath, take a step back, and try to just enjoy a baseball game, without worrying about “what did my player do?”. It’s not a reflection on me if they fuck up. And the stupidest part is, this isn’t even about money. I have no money on the line with any of these leagues!
Let’s get this over with, because I’ve really had it with this team. I’m currently sitting in 13th place and 321st overall, so let’s try to figure out what the eff went wrong.
Round 21, Mark Melancon: I guessed right here!!! Melancon is the definitive closer in San Diego and has done well thus far. A rare bright spot for my team.
Round 22, Brad Keller: Total disaster. First two starts have been an utter pile of crap. He’s just serving up hanging sliders to get thumped over the fence. At least he was on my bench for the second start. Looking like a drop for Week 3 FAAB.
Round 23, Tommy La Stella: He’s been injured, but still pinch hitting? Does that mean he can’t play the field? TBD I suppose. As a lefty, he’ll be a strong-side platoon 2nd baseman for the Giants when healthy. Definitely a hold/wait-and-see candidate.
Round 24, Jordan Romano: Another fortunate reliever pick that appeared to win the closer role after the Yates injury. And then Merryweather happened. I still think Romano will get his share of the saves, so I’m starting him every week until proven otherwise.
Round 25, Robbie Grossman: Has delivered as promised, minus the .125 average. He’s leading off and has at least one steal, if memory serves. No major complaints here.
Round 26, MacKenzie Gore: Another stash-and-hold in a round where I really needed a Major League player. Kind of a shithead move by me here.
Round 27, Miguel Rojas: This guy was clutch for me last year. He’ll be my MI this season, as long as he’s healthy. It’s worth it for his shoes alone!
Round 28, Trevor May: this was my bad reliever pick. Even if he eventually gets save chances for the Mets, I have no confidence he can convert them. Borderline drop in 2-3 weeks if he doesn’t start locking shit down.
Round 29, Brett Gardner: I’ve already dropped Gardy and that might have been a mistake. Judge is hurt and more injuries are sure to follow for the Yankees. Tauchman is essentially a pinch runner now, so Gardner might be an everyday player by the end of April.
Round 30, Steven Brault: He got injured right away and I dropped him for Roberto Perez because Sean Murphy had a wrist injury.
So what have we learned? Well, In a 15-team, NFBC-style league, only one draft-and-stash prospect is allowed, and only in the last 3 rounds. I may be in 13th place, but the season is only 8 days old. Some of my players who are sucking (Hiura, Gimenez, Marco Gonzalez) could figure it out, and some of my prospects (Franco, Gore) could get called up soon. But overall, I guess FantasyPros was right to give me an F for this draft. But we press on, into the unknown, and live to fight another day…
The season is already underway, but as promised, here’s a look back at the middle rounds of my TGFBI draft!
Round 11, Taylor Rogers: Nobody knows who the closer in Minnesota will actually be, but Rogers is fine and will get his share of the chances. I could have taken Colome, Will Smith, or apparently even Aaron Civale, so maybe this was a crap pick. At the time of publishing, he’s got a 0.00 ERA, a 0.00 WHIP after two appearances, but no saves. This is a wait-and-see.
Round 12, Sean Murphy: I think I was the last person to take their first catcher. I’m happy with this pick, but he’s a little banged up, so the jury’s still out. Comparatively, I can’t believe how late Mitch Garver fell after last season’s debacle. Maybe shoulda taken him…
Round 13, Andres Gimenez: This guy had such a great Spring Training, winning the shortstop job outright, but he has sucked so bad in his first three games, that Amed Rosario is starting today. I have several shares of Gimenez and this is looking like a potential bust.
Round 14, Marco Gonzales: Definitely took this guy too early. His first start against the Giants was ‘not great’, and things are not gonna get easier, as the M’s pull into Target Field this week. I actually debated not starting him, but ultimately did. Watch this space for mid-week misery if he gets lit up again.
Round 15, Christian Walker: I stand by this pick. The guy is tough as nails, getting hit in the effing face with the ball, bleeding all over, and back in the lineup the next day. He will hit homers for me this season, and that’s what he’s being paid to do.
Round 16, Chris Taylor: We know he’s going to play 4-5 days a week, maybe six sometimes. Look, I’m happy for Gavin Lux that he’s off to such a hot start. I want him to do well. I just need Taylor to do well too. I like to get these guys with a lot of positional options, so I can slot them in to different spots. As of now, Taylor has played in three of the Dodgers’ four games. I’ll live with that.
Round 17, Manny Margot: The player that famously caused our leader Justin Mason to drop an F-bomb on his Main Event stream. I guess I feel lucky to have gotten him here? He’s starting most days in Tampa and has already hit a home run. Solid pick.
Round 18, Zach Davies: With all the inconsistent pitching I have on this squad, I needed my steady guy with great control. Davies is that guy, and he’s my only starter to get a win in Week 1. (Jordan Romano also got one, but not going to count on more from him).
Round 19, Wander Franco: Stupid pick, I’ll admit it. With the shallow team I have, there is no room to stash prospects who may or not be up in May or June.
Round 20, Jorge Alfaro: Like I said in my previous post, gotta love this Marlins squad, so getting Alfaro as my second catcher is great. Does your catcher steal bases, because he does!
We’ll finish up this round-up later in the week!! Good luck all!
Yep, I got accepted into the real TGFBI fantasy baseball league, for industry experts, like me, yeah, um, right. I am so flipping stoked, of course, but enough about that. How did the draft go, you’re asking. Well…
It went real nice, Steve, thanks for asking! But seriously, I had the 13th pick, so that was a little harsh, but can’t dwell on that. Being right near the turn, but not actually on the turn is kinda brutal (spoiler alert). I got sniped by Keaton DeRocher at least three times, and twice in a row, and that’s what makes this fun, right? We play this game for fun! So here we go…
Round1: Jose Ramirez, what is there to say, he’s a top 10 position player in all roto formats (steals, AVG and power) so this was a no-brainer.
Round 2: Bryce Harper, some risk, but the guy crushes the ball and plays with a lot of passion. Bring it on, Harp.
Round 3: Luis Robert, at this point, all the true ace pitchers were gone and so was Eloy Jimenez, so I took Luis Robert, who is just a fun player. He’s going to ruin my AVG, so will need to address that later.
Round 4: Lance Lynn, my first pitcher. Had to do it. Could not wait another 24 picks or whatever it was. He’s fine, he’s good. He tends to stay healthy and pitch deep into games.
Round 5: Zach Plesac, big question mark. Is he as good as he looked last year? Time to just cross your fingers and hope the stuff is for real.
Round 6: Keston Hiura, sort of a panic pick. I started worrying about 2nd base. Even though he’s going to kill my batting average (am I punting AVG?) I like the power upside of this guy. Miller Park, great hitter’s ballpark.
Round 7: Jesus Luzardo, I kinda love this pick. He was sort of slept on. I think he might be the best pitcher in Oakland. I could have taken Matt Olson or Paul Goldschmidt here, but I figure Clegg already has Bellinger, and Keaton isn’t going to take Goldy and Olson….WRONG!!! HE TAKES BOTH!!
Round 8: Max Muncy, misery pick. Both of my 1Bs got sniped, BY THE SAME GUY, so I had to settle for Muncy, who I’m not particularly fond of. As a consolation, he has been crushingrecently in Spring Training, so maybe he’ll be okay.
(This brutal sniping was the point in the draft that I should have realized that you shouldn’t leave key players on the board hoping they’ll come back around to you. With a 60-second timer, maybe more people panic on the turn and miss a trick, but with 4 hours to pick, it’s not an issue.)
Round 9: Pablo Lopez, no brainer, had to get in on the fun-time Marlins rotation. I guess I’m glad I didn’t get Sixto, who will start the year at the alternate site. Some times there’s no predicting these things, I just got lucky. I thought about taking Carlos Correa here, but Keaton has Lindor and Clegg has Gleyber, so he’ll probably last 4 more picks right? WRONG!!! Keaton snipes me once again!
Round 10: Wil Myers. No regrets here. Yes, I got sniped on Correa, and shortstop now becomes a problem for this team, but gotta love Myers. I tried to draft him everywhere in 2021, after losing out on him on a FAAB bid last season and regretting it all year. Slam Diego was the best part of 2020, and it sucked not having a piece of the action. He is coming out of Spring Training red hot, so let’s hope he can keep it up and stay healthy!
So that’s Round 1-10, and at this point in the draft, I like my team, but don’t love it. Stay tuned for more observations on the later rounds tomorrow!!
I just found out I got into the real TGFBI fantasy baseball league for 2021. I’m excited, but nervous. These are the pros, the best fantasy pundits in the game. I am going to try and not come in dead last.
I have about 25 research podcasts to catch up on, and will start recording some of my own here. This is gonna be amazing!
Let’s hope the players can all stay healthy, we get fans back in the stadiums, and 2021 is a return to normalcy for the country and for baseball!
I’m ready for Dominican Winter League (LIDOM) baseball to be back. Like, really ready. Experiencing it from a distance last year, sitting on my couch in Brooklyn, I was enthralled, and truly hooked. I drank Brugal rum, danced to Dominican jams, brushed up on my Spanish, and read along with envy with Jake Mintz’s brilliant tourist journal “Straight to LIDOM” for Baseball Prospectus. I was sure that come November 2020, I would be in Santo Domingo to take in some of the festivities for myself.
Twelve months later, I live in Los Angeles, and almost everything in the baseball world has changed. We got a 60-game MLB season, which had its share of COVID controversy, but the virus is nowhere near under control. In fact, quite the opposite.
So what does this mean for LIDOM 2020-21? Well, no fans in the stands, for starters. It will be interesting to see how much this detracts from what is clearly the most exciting and exuberant baseball league in the entire world.
I’m keeping an open mind. I’ve renewed my annual pass to DR Sports, hoping for the best, and I’m cautiously optimistic. I hope the players are able to stay healthy, and that fans can possibly return before the season ends, but even if they aren’t, LIDOM will certainly make the best of it.
One of these years, LIDOM, I’ll be there for real.
Here’s a theory about the three-batter rule that has come into effect this baseball season. The reason this is a good rule is not because it speeds up the total length of the game by a few minutes, it’s because the game doesn’t necessarily go to a commercial at a very exciting moment in the eighth or ninth inning when the offense is threatening. Just as other sports lose the tension of the moment when time out after time out is called in the final minutes, or when a basketball game grinds to a halt, a baseball game is more exciting if the same pitcher has to stay in there. Keep this rule, MLB!
Bellinger: Kind of a bust, coming off an MVP season, he did not deliver on that kind of level.
Rendon: Started out injured, but played well the rest of the way. No complaints.
Luis Castillo: Please note, this draft took place BEFORE the COVID outbreak, which led to adding the DH to the National League, so NL pitchers had a harder time than they would have in a normal season. Either way, Castillo has good ratios (3.03 ERA, 1.23 WHIP) but only three wins on the season.
Jonathan Villar!? Jeez, this was a mistake. I think I was panicking about steals, which he hasn’t stolen much since being traded to Toronto. He has brought me 12 steals, sooo, great, but so has Dylan Moore.
Tyler Glasnow: 4 wins, 4+ ERA, 83 K’s. Not bad, but not 5th round. Don’t worry. My picks get worse from here actually. (I could have had Trevor Bauer at this stage).
Jeff McNeil: I love this type of player. Hits for average with some power and positional flexibility. But in the 6th round? I feel like this was another panic pick. Someone somewhere told me 2B was thin this year. I could have had Luis Robert in this spot.
Corey Kluber: Missed the season, so we’ll never know.
Madison Bumgarner: Really fell off. Disaster pick. Could have had Dinelson Lamet in this round.
Conforto: Great season, no complaints.
Will Smith, catcher: He platooned a lot, didn’t hit, and I dropped him for Kiner-Falefa. He’s turned it around a bit since.
Will Smith, pitcher: I think he got COVID, then didn’t really get any saves. That’s correct, zero saves. What a disaster pick for this round.
Salvador Perez: Turned into my #1 catcher until he had that weird eye injury. Still turned in a great season returning from injury.
Lorenzo Cain: Opted out. I get it, but this one hurt too.