Anyone know offhand if there’s a recent example of an elite team using a batting order that had its three outfielders hitting in the 7-8-9 slots? In fantasy, every team varies but in general your IB and OFers generally are the better hitters, so I find it odd that the best lineup the Yankees have has such a strong position occupying the 7-8-9 slots. And it’s hard to argue this isn’t an elite team. Am I off base that this is a unique situation? Can anyone think of some examples of other top teams with a similar situation?
My WCOFB Debut
By Tim Schuler
RotoWire Chief Operating Officer
As the company finance geek, I thought I was sent to the initial World Championship of Fantasy Baseball to make sure content guru Derek VanRiper didn’t bet the company’s travel budget on red. I quickly found out that not only is Derek a great guy to hit the road with, but a good partnership helps with all the goings on at a high stakes event.
Following a night light on sleep (one in which I learned that using two expensive Palazzo drinking glasses as a replacement contact lens case is better than shelling out $15 for a simple piece of plastic) and an $8 coffee in the morning, we drafted in the Saturday 10AM event. Hats off to the WCOFB guys for staging a sweet program and making everyone feel at home, and a double tip of the cap for knowing your participants’ names. (Sorry if I exceeded the limit on sandwiches and chips and guac, though … if Derek and I win the whole shebang, we’ll reimburse you, say, for the next 30 years.)
Here’s how our team shapes up, picking out of the eight hole in a 14-team league:
Round 1, Evan Longoria, 3B – Rising up Erickson’s Top 350. Had to keep the head baseball honcho happy.
Round 2, Roy Halladay, SP – With 10 pitching starters, the hurlers have some decent value in this format, and we wanted to walk away with Lincecum or Halladay.
Round 3, Dustin Pedroia, 2B – DVR was thinking about the scrappy second baseman in the second round, so we were happy we skated away with him in the third.
Round 4, Justin Morneau, 1B – With an early run on first basemen, we were psyched to get the former MVP.
Round 5, Johan Santana, P – Chris Carpenter was sitting here as well, but we think Santana’s upside as a bounce-back candidate is tremendous.
Round 6, Bobby Abreu, OF – Lots of debate over this one between Abreu and Denard Span. We went with the established veteran, hoping he’ll still run.
Round 7, Carlos Lee, OF – Needed some power, so we’ll hopefully get the usual 25-100 season from the big guy.
Round 8, Denard Span, OF – He was still sitting here after the Round 6 discussion, so we jumped on a third outfielder earlier than planned.
Round 9, Jose Valverde, RP – Very happy here after the top three closers were gone much earlier. Better park, better team.
Round 10, Gavin Floyd, SP – Floyd or John Danks was a total toss-up, and Derek knows the AL Central better than me (and probably the other five divisions as well), so that became the tiebreaker.
Round 11, Carlos Pena, 1B – This is the first time we found ourselves begging a guy would make it to our slot. Wanting more power, we had that sick feeling someone would nab Pena just in front of us. When that didn’t happen, we had our first fist pump, over a likely 35-homer season. Or maybe Derek was just happy they announced lunch was coming up in five rounds.
Round 12, John Danks, SP – This made all the Round 10 discussion moot. Walk strong, South Side hurlers.
Round 13, Pierzynski, C – No, we’re not Sox fans. We just needed a catcher. Badly.
Round 14, Rick Porcello, SP – Advertising Director Shannon McKeown (and head-in-the-sand Tigers fan) will buy Derek a beer for this one. (Side note: In 2009, Shannon bet Derek a week’s worth of lunches the Tigers would win the AL Central. He gave Derek the field. Update: He lost.)
Round 15, Jason Frasor, RP – If we end up in the money, we’ll thank a breaking news update done by president Pete Schoenke an hour before the draft, one that revealed Frasor was named closer. Most of our competitors may not have seen the news.
Round 16, Everth Cabrera, SS – We were in dire need of a speedster, so we bypassed several all-around shortstops to take Cabrera and his upside. If he keeps the job all season, anything less than 35 steals will be a major disappointment.
Round 17, Nolan Reimold, OF – Derek loves his upside, which we could afford after not taking too many risks early.
Round 18, Ryan Theriot, SS – We needed to nab another shortstop with Cabrera being no sure thing. Supposedly Theriot is stronger this year, and he’ll still get us thefts.
Round 19, Jeff Niemann, SP – A friendly, longhaired, pony-tailed dude wearing a Marian Barber jersey in the other Saturday morning draft absolutely loves Niemann. At 19, so do we.
Round 20, Travis Snider, OF – Will the big expectations be met in 2010? On a rebuilding team, he’ll likely be given plenty of opportunity.
Round 21, John Baker, C – At this point, we just wanted a catcher who wouldn’t provide negative value, and Baker wields a good enough bat that he won’t kill us.
Round 22, Kerry Wood, RP – We’ll suck up the first month and hopefully get a third closer by early May.
Round 23, Jason Hammel, SP – A DVR pocket pick. I didn’t like it at first, but a deeper look at the numbers (picture DVR shoving Ron Shandler’s Forecaster about an inch from my face) caused me to remove any veto power.
Round 24, Buster Posey, C – If Molina gets hurt, or the Giants decide to just screw it and give Posey 1B at-bats, this becomes a major score.
Round 25, David DeJesus, OF – We wanted a Steady Freddy to complement the Reimold/Snider higher risk/higher reward in the outfield.
Round 26, Scott Rolen, 3B – Went for a home run here with a veteran in a nice hitter’s park. We’ll be surprised if he stays healthy.
Round 27, Jason Motte, RP – Closer in waiting if Franklin struggles.
Round 28, Paul Maholm, SP – Here we just went for a plug-and-play guy we can use for a spot start once a month. Hopefully we don’t have to use him more than that.
Round 29, Trevor Cahill, SP – Not counting on too much here, but if he can get a grip on his control, we have a viable replacement guy.
Round 30, Ben Francisco, OF – All the starters worth anything were gone here, so we took a guy who’ll do well if one of the Philly regulars gets hit by the injury bug, which they seem to be doing on a regular basis this spring.
Round 31, Chris Getz, 2B – Heading into the sixth hour, it was hard to focus, with the Butler upset taking place in one corner of the large ballroom, and the aforementioned chips/guac still up for grabs in the other.
Round 32, Kris Medlen, RP – Nothing but upside with our final-round dart, but the hidden gem of Atlanta’s staff with the great strikeout rate offers plenty of it.
Guys we wanted at each position just before we could pull the trigger:
C, Geovany Soto
1B, Joey Votto
2B, Rickie Weeks
SS, Asdrubal Cabrera
3B, Chone Figgins
OF, Shin-Soo Choo
SP, Ricky Nolasco
RP, Huston Street (knowing he’ll miss some time, we still wanted him late)
The Nationals went 5-16 in April. Every other team in baseball won at least eight. Their Triple-A squad went 2-16 for the month, tied for the worst in all of minor league baseball. And they have the 29th-ranked farm system. Can it get any uglier?
I keep hearing guys like Berman and Collinsworth saying the fact that the Broncos now have to play the Bolts in a quasi-playoff game completely takes Ed Hochuli’s call off the hook.
First, both teams have a helluva lot bigger reasons that they’re still not a playoff lock despite playing in the second worst division in football. But more important, the Hochuli call is nearly just as huge as it’s always been, media guys. If San Diego had won that previous game, I believe it would’ve clinched the division yesterday and the Broncos would be already out. Right? Why don’t those guys know this?