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Owning Players in Multiple Leagues: Owning Players in Multiple Leagues

Chris Liss

Chris Liss

Chris Liss is RotoWire's Managing Editor and Host of RotoWIre Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius XM radio.

Jeff Erickson

Jeff Erickson

Jeff Erickson is a co-founder of RotoWire.com and the only two-time winner of Baseball Writer of the Year from the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He roots for the Reds, Bengals, Red Wings, Pacers and Northwestern University (the real NU).

Opening Day of the baseball season is usually overblown - it means virtually nothing for your real or fantasy team, and in half the cities the weather's so cold that they probably shouldn't even be playing baseball at all. But for some reason, I found myself glued to the TV and flipping channels like a madman all day, and I actually screamed "Hell Yeah!" when Kosuke Fukudome (who I own both in the Yahoo Friends and Family League and also in my home league) hit a three run homer off Eric Gagne.

I also cheered when Alex Gordon went deep because he's another two-league athlete of mine. I've cut down to five leagues (which isn't a lot for someone with my job), and I made it a point of drafting as many of the same guys as possible. On the one hand, most are players I like, and on the other, all things being equal, it's better not to be overly diversified. I've been in as many as eight leagues in seasons past and felt like I had a stake in half the player pool. Which kills the fun of it because I'm rooting for and against everyone all the time. And what's worse, if you're in 12 leagues and own everyone, how can you even take credit for winning? I mean you're bound to get lucky in one, and so even a title becomes devalued. It's a form of inflation.

When you consolidate, an interesting thing happens. A three-league player home run is as if three different players hit home runs for you. Fukudome was a two-leaguer; hence the outburst of joy. if I had a player on all my of my teams, it would be as if a player on one of my teams hit a home run every day for five days. And five days is almost a week, and a week in baseball is like a game in football. Hence a home run from a five-league player is as big as a fantasy football touchdown. And even Hillary Clinton shows genuine emotion after a fantasy football touchdown.

But that's my point - for some reason Opening Day has the excitement of an NFL Sunday because it's a one-time thing, and we haven't yet settled into the day-to-day rhythm of the baseball season where we learn to discount the day-to-day streaks and slumps as meaninglessly small samples. On the one hand, that's what makes fantasy baseball better than fantasy football - because it's more about what happens over the long haul and not as subject to short-term fluctuations in luck. But it also makes it worse because individual games lose that sense of overwhelming importance. So in the interest of keeping the day to day performances of my players as compelling as possible, I reduced my leagues and drafted the following players on multiple teams:

Which players showed up most frequently on your squads? And more importantly, don't you think the long-haul view of baseball can dampen the appreciation of the individual, day-to-day performances of the players? Don't we *want* to be caught up in the game-to-game frenzy even though we know better? And finally, are there any players
on the list that you were targeting yourself? Or any besides Delgado that you'd be embarrassed to own?

-----Original Message-----
From: jeff@rotowire.com
Sent: April 2, 2008 1:42 pm
To: liss@rotowire.com
Subject: Charging

I cheered both of those homers pretty happily as well. Not only do I have both players in multiple leagues, but I have a bit of a bias in favor of them doing well anyhow. I've detected some backlash in the baseball media against players signing from foreign leagues in the past (Dice-K in particular faced a lot of it), whether that motivation is xenophobic or just a reaction of ignorance. So I'll tend to root for them just a little more as a result. That, and I got into a big bidding war for Fukudome in my NL-only keeper league on Sunday, so it was pretty cool to get some instant gratification.

Gordon's a different case. He had a tough year as a rookie, highlighted by a really difficult first couple of months of the season. At the risk of creating and tearing down my second straw man in as many paragraphs, young players are often up against it. They don't get the benefit of the doubt from their own managers in job competitions (see also, Dusty Baker), they're often dismissed by the baseball punditry when evaluating a team, and on the field they often don't get the calls from umpires that veterans do. Gordon's first-inning strikeout on Opening Day inspired a rant about this topic in our Opening Day live blog. Twice in that game, Gordon got called out on strikes on pitches that were about four inches off the outside corner, only to see Gary Sheffield get those same calls for walks later on.

I find it hard to overrate Opening Day - live baseball is on all day, it finally counts when your guy does something good after months of speculation, and even if you're not a subscriber to MLB Extra Innings, you're going to get the free preview from your chosen provider anyhow. What's not to like? For that matter, sign me up for the cornucopia of day games on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day. When you live on the West Coast, you can basically watch baseball from the time you get up until just before you go to bed. For one day, you get that fantasy football sense, even though I still love the long-term aspect of baseball over football, especially from a fantasy perspective.

On an aside, I wonder if this trend on MLB Extra Innings of being able to choose either the home or away broadcast (when available) will continue. If so, that's pretty darn awesome. If I can go a whole season of choosing the likes of Vin Scully, Matt Vasgersian and Josh Lewin over Hawk Harrelson and the other inveterate homers like him, I'll be a very happy guy. I also finally caved in and got a high-def television and receiver, and it makes such a difference for baseball (and golf, for that matter). I'm not quite sure how I waited this long to take the plunge.

I've tried to cut down on my leagues, but I still am in considerably more than you. That's in part because I'm now also obsessed with Scoresheet Baseball, and picked up two more leagues there. And yet, there's still a pretty big part of the player pool that I haven't touched. I tend to consolidate, not necessarily out of design, but because the guys I like are the guys I like. The benefits to owning them in multiple leagues are as you mentioned, and your motivations for consolidating are pretty valid. Looking at your list, we have a few guys in common - Gordon, Fukudome, Lowe, Hill, Buck and Baker jump out as being on multiple teams of mine.

Here are a few more for me:

Ichiro Suzuki - If you worship at the shrine of high batting average, there's not many better targets. Not only is the high batting average utterly reliable, but are the high number of at-bats, stolen bases and runs scored.

Billy Butler - It looks as if he's not going to end up qualifying at a position, but he still either ended up on my roster a lot, or with me being the second-place bidder for him in my auctions. Interestingly enough, his name almost always came up late in my auctions, so while there were fewer people able to bid on him, there was a "last good hitter available" bidding war on him, so he didn't come for too great of a value in those leagues.

Chad Billingsley - Billingsley's tough spring (particularly with his command of his offspeed pitches) has me worried, but I love his talent, his ballpark and the defense behind him.

Rafael Soriano - Like some of the pitchers on your list, it's not a question of talent, but rather his health. My projection for him this year is admittedly on the optimistic end of the spectrum, but he's a top-10 closer with the potential to land in the top five, but doesn't cost as much as the elite closers.

Dioner Navarro - Drafting Navarro is betting on the come a little, especially because at least a couple of other people in each league have noticed his

I cheered both of those homers pretty happily as well. Not only do I have both players in multiple leagues, but I have a bit of a bias in favor of them doing well anyhow. I've detected some backlash in the baseball media against players signing from foreign leagues in the past (Dice-K in particular faced a lot of it), whether that motivation is xenophobic or just a reaction of ignorance. So I'll tend to root for them just a little more as a result. That, and I got into a big bidding war for Fukudome in my NL-only keeper league on Sunday, so it was pretty cool to get some instant gratification.

Gordon's a different case. He had a tough year as a rookie, highlighted by a really difficult first couple of months of the season. At the risk of creating and tearing down my second straw man in as many paragraphs, young players are often up against it. They don't get the benefit of the doubt from their own managers in job competitions (see also, Dusty Baker), they're often dismissed by the baseball punditry when evaluating a team, and on the field they often don't get the calls from umpires that veterans do. Gordon's first-inning strikeout on Opening Day inspired a rant about this topic in our Opening Day live blog. Twice in that game, Gordon got called out on strikes on pitches that were about four inches off the outside corner, only to see Gary Sheffield get those same calls for walks later on.

I find it hard to overrate Opening Day - live baseball is on all day, it finally counts when your guy does something good after months of speculation, and even if you're not a subscriber to MLB Extra Innings, you're going to get the free preview from your chosen provider anyhow. What's not to like? For that matter, sign me up for the cornucopia of day games on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day. When you live on the West Coast, you can basically watch baseball from the time you get up until just before you go to bed. For one day, you get that fantasy football sense, even though I still love the long-term aspect of baseball over football, especially from a fantasy perspective.

On an aside, I wonder if this trend on MLB Extra Innings of being able to choose either the home or away broadcast (when available) will continue. If so, that's pretty darn awesome. If I can go a whole season of choosing the likes of Vin Scully, Matt Vasgersian and Josh Lewin over Hawk Harrelson and the other inveterate homers like him, I'll be a very happy guy. I also finally caved in and got a high-def television and receiver, and it makes such a difference for baseball (and golf, for that matter). I'm not quite sure how I waited this long to take the plunge.

I've tried to cut down on my leagues, but I still am in considerably more than you. That's in part because I'm now also obsessed with Scoresheet Baseball, and picked up two more leagues there. And yet, there's still a pretty big part of the player pool that I haven't touched. I tend to consolidate, not necessarily out of design, but because the guys I like are the guys I like. The benefits to owning them in multiple leagues are as you mentioned, and your motivations for consolidating are pretty valid. Looking at your list, we have a few guys in common - Gordon, Fukudome, Lowe, Hill, Buck and Baker jump out as being on multiple teams of mine.

Here are a few more for me:

Ichiro Suzuki - If you worship at the shrine of high batting average, there's not many better targets. Not only is the high batting average utterly reliable, but are the high number of at-bats, stolen bases and runs scored.

Billy Butler - It looks as if he's not going to end up qualifying at a position, but he still either ended up on my roster a lot, or with me being the second-place bidder for him in my auctions. Interestingly enough, his name almost always came up late in my auctions, so while there were fewer people able to bid on him, there was a "last good hitter available" bidding war on him, so he didn't come for too great of a value in those leagues.

Chad Billingsley - Billingsley's tough spring (particularly with his command of his offspeed pitches) has me worried, but I love his talent, his ballpark and the defense behind him.

Rafael Soriano - Like some of the pitchers on your list, it's not a question of talent, but rather his health. My projection for him this year is admittedly on the optimistic end of the spectrum, but he's a top-10 closer with the potential to land in the top five, but doesn't cost as much as the elite closers.

Dioner Navarro - Drafting Navarro is betting on the come a little, especially because at least a couple of other people in each league have noticed his second half last year. Still, if I'm going to bid the extra dollar on a risky guy, I'd like for it to be a young guy at a scarce position like this.

Ben Broussard - Look at how thin first base was in the AL this year - so many guys that are nominally first basemen didn't end up qualifying there for this year's drafts, like Jason Giambi. Broussard is mediocre, but sometimes you need a few mediocre guys in deep leagues, so long as they're getting a lot of playing time. In Broussard's case, that playing time is also coming in a good park for him to hit.

Heath Bell - Hells Bells could be tolling for Trevor Hoffman at some point this year, if his declining strikeout rate (and K:BB ratio - his K:BB ratio the last four years has gone 6.63, 4.50, 3.85, 2.93) and poor finish last year is any indicator.

Carlos Guillen - He still rarely gets bid up to his real value.

Jarrod Parker - I'm in four leagues where's eligible to be kept as a minor leaguer, and own him in three. Many have argued that he and not Rick Porcello had the best arm in last year's draft.

Looking at the rest of your list, there's a lot of guys there that I would have liked to own in more leagues. The only guys that I'd shy away from are Delgado, as we talked about last week, and Hoffman.

So now that you've seen Pedro's injury, how do you feel about the consolidation plan?

----Original Message-----
From: Christopher Liss
Sent: Wednesday, April 2, 2008 7:16 pm
To: jeff@rotowire.com
Subject: Re: Charging

Well, Pedro's hamstring could turn out to be a mercy killing of sorts because what was almost more disturbing was the way the Marlins ripped him through the first three innings. Even the outs were hit pretty hard - line drives to the outfield. Now, I know it's a small sample, but it also reminded me of something I was aware of and chose to overlook from his 32:7 K:BB ratio in 28 September innings: that he gave up 33 hits. That's a lot for someone striking out more than a batter an inning. Of course, batting average against on balls in play is usually a function of luck - especially in a small sample - and that's why I dismissed it. But what I saw yesterday seemed like a good explanation for those numbers - anytime he threw anything in the strike zone less than a perfect pitcher's pitch, it was too hittable. How am I feeling about having him on three teams? Not good, thanks for asking.

But the Pedro situation does point out a blind spot in my analysis at times, and that's wanting to believe something's the case. Martinez at his peak is, in my opinion, the greatest pitcher in baseball history, and even though I knew he's throwing 89 at best and not in the mid-90s like he did earlier in his career, I thought he could approach his 2004-05 numbers now that he's "healthy." And so my hunch was polluted by my hope that his upside would translate into huge profits for my team. As I was telling you in a prior email, I'm a "feel" drafter. I look at the numbers to back up (or in some cases debunk) my hunches, but I rarely pick out a player just because the numbers tell me to. Even in our Carlos Delgado debate last week, I only looked up his second-half surge after you challenged me on the pick. I just know who Carlos Delgado and almost every other player is by watching them for the last 10 years and checking boxscores and stats every single day. Essentially, I trust my brain to synthesize all of that info into a generalized feeling, and make that feeling the basis of my drafting.

If you go strictly by the numbers, just like everyone else, then how can you really make a profit? The numbers are priced in already. Even in my home league, the guys know how to evaluate strikeout rate, plate discipline, age, park effects, etc. You're not going to sneak anyone by those guys, and they're not even "experts". So I'll tend to go on feel and believe that my instincts will win me leagues.

The downside to that is when your process of taking in all the data and spitting out a hunch is impeded by a hope or fear. I worry that maybe I was too hopeful that Pedro would bounce back (I'm not even a Mets fan, but I love Pedro as a player and was hoping to see him compete with Johan Santana for bragging rights atop the Mets rotation). You can also close yourself off to certain players who have burned you in the past, too.

And lest I seem unhinged, I don't think anyone can walk in off the street and win your league based on feel - it has to be backed with years of observation and experience and you have to understand and know the numbers. In other words, it has to be an educated hunch, not a random one.

Finally, if Pedro's hamstring injury is only a few weeks, he can still bounce back. [Turns out it's only 4-to-6] He was hittable, but he didn't give up any home runs last year, so maybe Opening Day was just a blip. After watching it, my hunch is that it's otherwise, but I've been wrong plenty of times before.

As for Hoffman, it's ironic that he still comes out to Hells Bells with that 85 mph heater. It should be more like Jingle Bells. Plus that way, they could save Hells Bells for Heath Bell's appearances, and change the lyrics:

I won't take no prisoners, won't spare no lives Nobody's putting up a fight I got my bell, I'm gonna take you to hell I'm gonna get ya, Satan get ya

HEATH'S BELLS

I know Hoffman's skills are sliding, but other than Mariano Rivera - what closer in baseball has more job security? A Padre for life with the all-time saves record - man, it would take a massive collapse for him to lose the job. And in Petco? He still throws strikes, and that's good enough for me. We might as well call him Justice Hoffman.

-----Original Message-----
From: jeff@rotowire.com
Sent: April 2, 2008 10:27 pm
To: liss@rotowire.com
Subject: RE: Charging

I'll get to your point in a second, as I think it's a good one. But first, I want to go back to your original comment, about getting caught up in the moment, even if it's not Opening Day. That feeling of elation hit me tonight while watching the end of the Diamondbacks-Reds game. I only own Edwin Encarnacion in one league, but it's a pretty important one - the NFBC. The fact that he hit a game-winning, three-run homer was awesome enough, but it was the circumstances that really got me excited.

Encarnacion is a player that's been jerked around by previous managers, unwilling to tolerate his occasional defensive lapses and his general streakiness. Yet he's only 25 years old still, and is coming off of a pretty nice second half last year (.309/.360/.488 with 10 homers after the All-Star break). If the Reds are going to contend, they're going to need a pretty good year out of him. Anyhow, he was having a pretty miserable game on Wednesday night, committing his second throwing error of the season, striking out twice and then failing to get a bunt down in two attempts. Reds television broadcaster Jeff Brantley was ripping him in his usual bombastic manner, going so far as to advocate pulling him from the game. It was driving me crazy to see Encarnacion getting run out on a rail - and then, as if by providence, immediately after Brantley's harshest statement yet, he hits the game-winning homer. It was such a righteous moment - I made sure that I could pause it, get my wife from the other room, and make sure she watched it as well. I haven't felt so happy about the result of a game in a long time.

So yeah, I still can get caught up in the frenzy of a single game, even whi

Well, Pedro's hamstring could turn out to be a mercy killing of sorts because what was almost more disturbing was the way the Marlins ripped him through the first three innings. Even the outs were hit pretty hard - line drives to the outfield. Now, I know it's a small sample, but it also reminded me of something I was aware of and chose to overlook from his 32:7 K:BB ratio in 28 September innings: that he gave up 33 hits. That's a lot for someone striking out more than a batter an inning. Of course, batting average against on balls in play is usually a function of luck - especially in a small sample - and that's why I dismissed it. But what I saw yesterday seemed like a good explanation for those numbers - anytime he threw anything in the strike zone less than a perfect pitcher's pitch, it was too hittable. How am I feeling about having him on three teams? Not good, thanks for asking.

But the Pedro situation does point out a blind spot in my analysis at times, and that's wanting to believe something's the case. Martinez at his peak is, in my opinion, the greatest pitcher in baseball history, and even though I knew he's throwing 89 at best and not in the mid-90s like he did earlier in his career, I thought he could approach his 2004-05 numbers now that he's "healthy." And so my hunch was polluted by my hope that his upside would translate into huge profits for my team. As I was telling you in a prior email, I'm a "feel" drafter. I look at the numbers to back up (or in some cases debunk) my hunches, but I rarely pick out a player just because the numbers tell me to. Even in our Carlos Delgado debate last week, I only looked up his second-half surge after you challenged me on the pick. I just know who Carlos Delgado and almost every other player is by watching them for the last 10 years and checking boxscores and stats every single day. Essentially, I trust my brain to synthesize all of that info into a generalized feeling, and make that feeling the basis of my drafting.

If you go strictly by the numbers, just like everyone else, then how can you really make a profit? The numbers are priced in already. Even in my home league, the guys know how to evaluate strikeout rate, plate discipline, age, park effects, etc. You're not going to sneak anyone by those guys, and they're not even "experts". So I'll tend to go on feel and believe that my instincts will win me leagues.

The downside to that is when your process of taking in all the data and spitting out a hunch is impeded by a hope or fear. I worry that maybe I was too hopeful that Pedro would bounce back (I'm not even a Mets fan, but I love Pedro as a player and was hoping to see him compete with Johan Santana for bragging rights atop the Mets rotation). You can also close yourself off to certain players who have burned you in the past, too.

And lest I seem unhinged, I don't think anyone can walk in off the street and win your league based on feel - it has to be backed with years of observation and experience and you have to understand and know the numbers. In other words, it has to be an educated hunch, not a random one.

Finally, if Pedro's hamstring injury is only a few weeks, he can still bounce back. [Turns out it's only 4-to-6] He was hittable, but he didn't give up any home runs last year, so maybe Opening Day was just a blip. After watching it, my hunch is that it's otherwise, but I've been wrong plenty of times before.

As for Hoffman, it's ironic that he still comes out to Hells Bells with that 85 mph heater. It should be more like Jingle Bells. Plus that way, they could save Hells Bells for Heath Bell's appearances, and change the lyrics:

I won't take no prisoners, won't spare no lives Nobody's putting up a fight I got my bell, I'm gonna take you to hell I'm gonna get ya, Satan get ya

HEATH'S BELLS

I know Hoffman's skills are sliding, but other than Mariano Rivera - what closer in baseball has more job security? A Padre for life with the all-time saves record - man, it would take a massive collapse for him to lose the job. And in Petco? He still throws strikes, and that's good enough for me. We might as well call him Justice Hoffman.

-----Original Message-----
From: jeff@rotowire.com
Sent: April 2, 2008 10:27 pm
To: liss@rotowire.com
Subject: RE: Charging

I'll get to your point in a second, as I think it's a good one. But first, I want to go back to your original comment, about getting caught up in the moment, even if it's not Opening Day. That feeling of elation hit me tonight while watching the end of the Diamondbacks-Reds game. I only own Edwin Encarnacion in one league, but it's a pretty important one - the NFBC. The fact that he hit a game-winning, three-run homer was awesome enough, but it was the circumstances that really got me excited.

Encarnacion is a player that's been jerked around by previous managers, unwilling to tolerate his occasional defensive lapses and his general streakiness. Yet he's only 25 years old still, and is coming off of a pretty nice second half last year (.309/.360/.488 with 10 homers after the All-Star break). If the Reds are going to contend, they're going to need a pretty good year out of him. Anyhow, he was having a pretty miserable game on Wednesday night, committing his second throwing error of the season, striking out twice and then failing to get a bunt down in two attempts. Reds television broadcaster Jeff Brantley was ripping him in his usual bombastic manner, going so far as to advocate pulling him from the game. It was driving me crazy to see Encarnacion getting run out on a rail - and then, as if by providence, immediately after Brantley's harshest statement yet, he hits the game-winning homer. It was such a righteous moment - I made sure that I could pause it, get my wife from the other room, and make sure she watched it as well. I haven't felt so happy about the result of a game in a long time.

So yeah, I still can get caught up in the frenzy of a single game, even while trying to mesh with the long view.

Your blind spot is the blind spot of most of us, I would guess. It's a rare owner that doesn't have his pet players that he wants to believe in, even in the face of evidence pointing to the contrary. That's especially true if you've gone out on a limb one way or another before the start of the season. You can curb the influence of that blind spot, and over time, I'm getting better at that, but it's still there.

That said, you have to go by a little bit of feel, especially the deeper you get in these leagues. I concur with the "educated feel" theory you advocated, though I'll throw in the proviso that you need to be really prepared to know the player pool, so that you can adjust where you're going to get your categories from. I'm preaching to the choir here with you, but to clarify for others, it's not just about picking a slew of players we like, without gaming the categories. You still have to know the system you're playing in and manipulate it.

I got to point out the Pedro injury yesterday, so I'll give you a chance to return the favor. How in the world did Joe Torre think that the way he handled Chad Billingsley tonight was appropriate? I understand scratching him because of the fear of the weather, but then why bring him in for the fifth inning, right as the storm is about to hit? How is that protective of one your more valuable assets? It's not that he's never relieved before, but he's been preparing for a start, and that routine is significantly different than jumping in and relieving, for an indeterminate number of innings. I only hope that this doesn't screw up his health.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to crank up a little AC/DC, in honor of future closer, Heath Bell.

----Original Message-----
From: Christopher Liss
Sent: Thursday, April 3, 2008 12:11 am
To: jeff@rotowire.com
Subject: Re: Charging

Of course, Hoffman blows the save in spectacular fashion five hours after I send the email. I almost talked smack about how well A.J. Burnett was pitching earlier but thought better of it. And, by the way, Adrian Gonzalez should have snagged that I'll get to your point in a second, as I think it's a good one. But first, I want to go back to your original comment, about getting caught up in the moment, even if it's not Opening Day. That feeling of elation hit me tonight while watching the end of the Diamondbacks-Reds game. I only own Edwin Encarnacion in one league, but it's a pretty important one - the NFBC. The fact that he hit a game-winning, three-run homer was awesome enough, but it was the circumstances that really got me excited.

Encarnacion is a player that's been jerked around by previous managers, unwilling to tolerate his occasional defensive lapses and his general streakiness. Yet he's only 25 years old still, and is coming off of a pretty nice second half last year (.309/.360/.488 with 10 homers after the All-Star break). If the Reds are going to contend, they're going to need a pretty good year out of him. Anyhow, he was having a pretty miserable game on Wednesday night, committing his second throwing error of the season, striking out twice and then failing to get a bunt down in two attempts. Reds television broadcaster Jeff Brantley was ripping him in his usual bombastic manner, going so far as to advocate pulling him from the game. It was driving me crazy to see Encarnacion getting run out on a rail - and then, as if by providence, immediately after Brantley's harshest statement yet, he hits the game-winning homer. It was such a righteous moment - I made sure that I could pause it, get my wife from the other room, and make sure she watched it as well. I haven't felt so happy about the result of a game in a long time.

So yeah, I still can get caught up in the frenzy of a single game, even while trying to mesh with the long view.

Your blind spot is the blind spot of most of us, I would guess. It's a rare owner that doesn't have his pet players that he wants to believe in, even in the face of evidence pointing to the contrary. That's especially true if you've gone out on a limb one way or another before the start of the season. You can curb the influence of that blind spot, and over time, I'm getting better at that, but it's still there.

That said, you have to go by a little bit of feel, especially the deeper you get in these leagues. I concur with the "educated feel" theory you advocated, though I'll throw in the proviso that you need to be really prepared to know the player pool, so that you can adjust where you're going to get your categories from. I'm preaching to the choir here with you, but to clarify for others, it's not just about picking a slew of players we like, without gaming the categories. You still have to know the system you're playing in and manipulate it.

I got to point out the Pedro injury yesterday, so I'll give you a chance to return the favor. How in the world did Joe Torre think that the way he handled Chad Billingsley tonight was appropriate? I understand scratching him because of the fear of the weather, but then why bring him in for the fifth inning, right as the storm is about to hit? How is that protective of one your more valuable assets? It's not that he's never relieved before, but he's been preparing for a start, and that routine is significantly different than jumping in and relieving, for an indeterminate number of innings. I only hope that this doesn't screw up his health.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to crank up a little AC/DC, in honor of future closer, Heath Bell.

----Original Message-----
From: Christopher Liss
Sent: Thursday, April 3, 2008 12:11 am
To: jeff@rotowire.com
Subject: Re: Charging

Of course, Hoffman blows the save in spectacular fashion five hours after I send the email. I almost talked smack about how well A.J. Burnett was pitching earlier but thought better of it. And, by the way, Adrian Gonzalez should have snagged that Hunter Pence line drive, and the game would have been over. Still, it'll take a lot more than that to cost him the job - but I'd rather not find out exactly how much.

Article first appeared 4/3/08


Of course, Hoffman blows the save in spectacular fashion five hours after I send the email. I almost talked smack about how well A.J. Burnett was pitching earlier but thought better of it. And, by the way, Adrian Gonzalez should have snagged that Hunter Pence line drive, and the game would have been over. Still, it'll take a lot more than that to cost him the job - but I'd rather not find out exactly how much.

Article first appeared 4/3/08