In my fantasies, the Red Sox are managed by someone other than Bobby Valentine, don’t have two teams’ worth of outfielders on the disabled list, and are in first place. In my fantasies, I am also a size 8 and recently won the lottery. In other words, you can’t always get what you want.
Fantasy baseball is a slightly different story. You can get what you want, most of the time, especially in the private league to which I belong, which enjoys rather lax rules.
The Triumphant Red Sox Fan’s 2012 Llamas had a good run for several weeks, holding first place (albeit in an admittedly weak division). Then things started to fall apart.
Now, I’ve always run my fantasy teams a lot like a real major league team, in the sense that I didn’t make frequent wholesale changes. The same isn’t true of some of the other team owners. I’ve seen owners do a daily dump of starting pitchers and add the best currently available starters who were scheduled to pitch next. That’s an easy way to boost your team’s total innings pitched (one of our stat categories) and always have the hot commodities on your roster. In response to such people, the league’s commissioner limited the number of players who can be added to a roster in a week—12, still a substantial number, and one to which I’ve never come close.
But in the last few weeks, my team has tanked. Previously reliable pitchers have imploded in not only one but sometimes three or four consecutive starts. Consistent bats have gone inexplicably cold. The Llamas sank to last place, which they now hold by a significant margin.
So yesterday and today, I blew up the team. I got rid of players who started out strong but have trended dramatically downward. I got rid of players who started out week and haven’t pulled themselves up. I even ditched one of my “keeper” players. I took a roster of 25 and replaced nine of them.
That’s nine moves (I count a drop and an add as one move) in two days. I had made 21 moves in the previous 12 weeks of the season.
As you will note by the waiving of Felix Dubrount, I try not to let my Red Sox fanship affect my fantasy team decisions. My Yankee hatred is a different story. When the computer drafted Derek Jeter on my behalf back in March, I decided to stick with him initially but cut him loose at the first bump in the road. I do have standards.
Even with the recent surge of activity, I’m still in the lower half of the league in terms of moves made this season. But I don’t intend to stay there. I pledge to be less patient and more aggressive. I plan to spend more time on statistical analysis and trends. I pledge to make this the first season of my fantasy baseball career in which I do not end the season firmly entrenched in the cellar.
Will my new free-wheeling management style produce the desired results? I’ll let you know after this weekend. But I am optimistic. I figure things couldn’t get much worse.