Thursday, April 24, 2008

Like a Virgin: Panic Button Time? By Lora Barnhart

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Now on to Lora's article:
This week was mostly more of the same, you guys. I am doing ok in two of my leagues and pretty darn badly in the third. I got a little discouraged, but this week Evan's article covered exactly this topic: Stinking Up The Joint In April. According to Evan, the stats don't start to matter in most league types until June-ish, so I guess there is still hope. Check out his article if you haven't done so! Anyway, this is what went down in each of my leagues in the last few days.

Roto League (me vs. 7 intimidating owners): Currently 3/8

This team more or less cares for itself. I am sort of in love with my team in this league. Chipper Jones is currently on fire, which is nice; Hanley Ramirez is living up to expectations; Alex Rios has been working for me; Roy Oswalt looks to be on an upswing; and Dan Haren has had quite a few good outings. Overall, this team is pretty solid, so I mostly just leave it alone (except to check the lineups every day to have it be as full as possible, of course). I am giving some thought to dropping Brad Hawpe because he has been in a slump lately, and I am keeping an eye on Heath Bell, who is underperforming a little bit as of now. The problem is, I don't think the guys available on the FA list are any better than those guys, and I doubt anyone would take them in a trade, and I am not willing to part with any of my quality starters just yet. I think I will go with status quo for now in this league.

A trade was proposed to me in this league for the first time, and it required a good ponder. Another owner offered me Rickie Weeks and Paul Konerko for Grady Sizemore and Placido Polanco. I gave this trade some thought, but ultimately I decided to decline the offer. Sizemore is doing pretty well (already 5 SB), but Polanco has been a little injured all year. Weeks has been hitting HRs, but Konerko is off to a bit of a slow start. All things considered, I think Sizemore is the best player in the trade, and that was the determining factor for me. This was a pretty close call, and maybe I will regret it if Konerko turns around, but for now I am standing by my decision.

Points League (me vs. 9 owners from "Albuquerque"): Currently 4/10

I have been doing pretty well in this league so far, but you can't be too careful. I have Jones in this one too, and of course he is off to a good start. Edgar Renteria, Magglio Ordonez, and Ryan Zimmerman are really reliable. Manny Ramirez is doing really well for me (which I appreciate, even though -- of course -- I'm not a Sox fan). Jermaine Dye is hitting really well, which is great. I am watching the situations with Jorge Posada (he's playing 1B now while he rests his shoulder, which is fine, but I need him to get back to C) and Jose Reyes (he hit his head on Chase Utley's knee stealing third and might not be able to play). I am holding onto Ty Wigginton...yeah, he's injured, but he might be back, and I love that he's eligible at so many positions on my lineup. On the pitching side, Jake Peavy is really doing well for me. Otherwise, though, my pitching is rather disappointing. Jason Isringhausen is doing just sort of average, as is Brian Wilson, but I don't think there's anyone better on the FA list now, so I will stick with them. John Maine is not the factor I'd hoped he would be...but I'm going to hold on to him for now. Similarly, J.J. Putz is still on the DL, but I think he's going to be worth the wait. For now, my team is doing well enough on the batting side that I am not too worried, but it is certainly a situation to watch.

Head-To-Head League (me vs. 9 friends of FB101): Currently 9/10

Of course, I am doing the worst in the league in which I actually know the owners personally. Mortifying! I lost my first matchup in spectacular fashion. This league differs from the others in a few ways, but one of the things that annoys me a little is that the lineups are set for the entire week every Monday, and the lineup is the same for every game in the week. In other words, I can't play Polanco when Robinson Cano isn't playing because the Yankees have the day off. This feature makes the league the lowest-maintenance of the three, which I thought would be good, but it is actually quite frustrating. It really changes the strategy for the whole season. I am sure this sounds like I am just making excuses for my ridiculously bad ranking, and I probably am, but that doesn't make it less true!

Anyway, last week I had my first matchup in this league, and I lost in 8 out of 10 categories -- I managed to tie my opponent in HRs and win in saves, but otherwise it was not good, not good at all. It was not even close in any of the 8 categories I lost in. The second matchup is over today, and I am losing in 9 out of 10 categories. It is pretty bad, you guys, especially in light of Evan's article, which said that only in H2H leagues do the April stats matter. Oh no! I am not even sure what to do about this team, because it is clearly weak in so many areas. It is actually a little paralyzing because I don't have any idea where to start.

I did accept one trade in this league this week, picking up SP Jered Weaver for RP B.J. Ryan, so perhaps my pitching stats will improve in my third matchup. It is pretty clear that this team needs the most attention this week. I am going to evaluate the league carefully and might propose some trades. I don't think it can get much worse. It is sort of a mystery to me how this team can be so bad, since I used exactly the same rankings for the autodraft in this league and my Roto League, and I followed those rankings when I did the live draft in my Points League. I don't know if it is an effect of the scoring format or what...I will look into this a little more for next week. I hope to have better news on the H2H front soon!

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