This year’s league

2007 Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Baseball

Okay, I’ve set up a twenty-team league on Yahoo. The rules are:

Weekly Rotisserie scoring, because I don’t want to deal with daily transactions and matchups.
Hitting categories are runs, home runs, RBI, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage. Batting average is stupid and counting stolen bases overrewards a few players who usually don’t help their teams win.
Pitching categories are ERA, wins, saves, strikeouts, and K/BB.
Roster changes can be made on Sundays.

The draft is scheduled for March 17 at 1 PM central time. As in last year’s league, I am imposing a rule that everybody must have at least one Brave on their active roster.

The league ID is 82703 and the password is kali.

121 thoughts on “This year’s league”

  1. I signed up for this, but there’s no way that I’ll be able to make the draft live… anyone have any good auto-ranking strategies?

  2. They are stating that Hampton is sticking with mostly fastballs around 75% or so. What pitches cause the most strain on your elbow? How long before they let him go 75% with the rest of his pitches. I’ve got a funny feeling he might start a couple of games in Richmond before he joins Atlanta. Maybe 6 weeks will be enough for him, maybe not….I hope not

  3. Changeup and slider much harder on the elbow. How long he’ll be will depend on whether he woke up this morning weeping like a school girl.

  4. Sorry, but there is just no way I can take the Mets seriously stating that they’re the team to beat. I am expecting them to finish behind the Braves an Phillies at least, possibly behind the Marlins.

    Vargas, Padilla, Sele and freakin’ Jorge Sosa – There is just no way!!!
    From AP:

    “PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) -Orlando Hernandez left the New York Mets’ spring training camp and returned to New York to have his neck examined.
    El Duque, slated to be the No. 2 starter behind Tom Glavine in the Mets’ shaky starting rotation, felt discomfort in his neck last season and the soreness returned this spring training, New York general manager Omar Minaya said before Thursday’s workout.
    New York already is without Pedro Martinez, out until midseason following rotator cuff surgery. Among those competing for starting jobs are prospects Philip Humber and Mike Pelfrey, and veterans Jorge Sosa, Chan Ho Park, Jason Vargas, Juan Padilla and Aaron Sele.”

  5. Pedro probably wont pitch in 07, what do you think? I’m also going to say Glavine will struggle with the lead role and no one to pick up the slack around him.

  6. I didn’t realize that throwing a changeup was hard on the elbow – it’s never bothered me before. Does it depend on the grip you use?

  7. @7 and @10,

    I always thought the slider was the worst (and caused the most of these elbow injuries), but last year Smoltz did not use his splitter at all early in the season and much less than previous years in the second half because he said that it hurt. Meanwhile, Smoltz continued to regularly use his slider.

    Smoltz’ splitter (as for Hudson and many right handers) is a better pitch against lefthanders than the slider. With righthanders, they know they don’t want to see Smokin’ John Smoltz throw that damn slider.

  8. I don’t think so, Kyle. It’s just physics and anatomy. Swing your arm. What puts more pressure, following through naturally with no stop, or stopping suddenly? The changeup involves pressuring the elbow in the direction opposite the arm movement.

  9. A good changeup pitch uses the upper arm speed of a fastball pitch (to be deceptive) but torques the elbow back (opposite direction of home plate) and different finger pressure to create the ball spin. I’ve read that a slider is even harder on the elbow than a changeup, but have no basis for knowing. The only slider I know how to throw involves vodka and iced tea. http://www.webtender.com/db/drink/1761

  10. I’m excited about the league. I’m commish for the baseball league for the (depressing/depressed) guys over at Hawksquawk, too. We’d be willing to take on any overflow (roto, default 5×5, daily) if there isn’t a 2nd BJ league.

  11. Braves need to get Villareal ready to start .. you heard it here first .. Hampton will not be ready … he seems like he is a bit concerned and still feeling something in his elbow .. dont know id he will ever feel comfortable enough to let go … when you dont have confidence as a pitcher you are doomed … Davies has to step up and show he is worthy .

  12. Ouch…

    A rotation of Smoltz, Huddy, James, Davies, and Villareal or Cormier….

    Its still that better than

    Smoltz Huddy Thomson Sosa Davies

  13. Pffft, if Hampton isn’t going to be 100%, I’d rather have Villarreal start. Besides, that opens up another bullpen spot. It’s not the end of the world if Hampton can’t pitch.

  14. League I.D. 100702
    Pword kolb

    Hitting: Runs, Hits, RBI, HR, Walks, and Total Bases
    Pitching: Wins, Saves, Outs, Earned Runs, Walks, Strikeouts

    It is Weekly Roto with 20 teams and the Live Draft is March 15 at 1:00 CST.

  15. Depends on how long Hampton is out. If it’s beyond the end of April, we should probably go with an actual starter instead of a glorified reliever. Of course, considering our main options there are Sturtze and Johnson, our rotation already looks like a dog’s breakfast as prepared by the Swedish Chef.

    And please let us all know when the second league is ready.

  16. I don’t think the NBA trade deadline exists, either. If it did, you’d have seen some trades today.

  17. Nice Wryn…When Fantasy sports league’s have scalpers the apocalypse will be upon us.

    2007-Braves Journal 2
    League I.D. 100702
    Pword kolb

  18. Stu,

    Actually there have been two trades today. Neither are really significant but they are trades non the less.

    POR- G Fred Jones
    TOR- G Juan Dixon

    and

    ATL- G Anthony Johnson
    DAL- 2nd round pick

  19. The only thing I recall Hampton throwing other than a fastball is his “cutter”. I think that “slider is hard on the elbow” is one of those things that people believe because it’s been said for so long. I don’t know that their is any actual evidence that it’s fact. Neyer James Guide to Pitchers mentioned something to the effect that this belief started sometime around the advent of the pitching coach in the ’50’s. It’s been a while since I read the article but it seemed like pitching coaches have always had something against the slider like it’s a trick pitch or keeps guys from learning “the true art of pitching”, whatever that is. That’s also the same time when the belief that a knuckleball can’t be a part of a regular repertoire started as well.

  20. The nba trade deadline is almost worthless because of the rules involved in trading players. The NBA makes trades over complicated at times.
    Imagine if baseball were the same and the only way the Marlins could get PayRod was to send their active 25 man roster to NY for ARod and some crackerjacks.

  21. Gyroball was another thing they discussed in the Neyer/James Guide. Apparently it’s something that some scientists came up with on a model but hasn’t really been able to be accomplished by a real pitcher yet.

  22. Jay,

    I know about those trades. I’m talking about real trades with any significance. The trades that have gone down today aren’t unlike those that go on well before the deadline.

  23. Why, by the way, did the Hawks go after Johnson when Udreh could likely have been had for the same fare?

  24. The change-up can be thrown like a fastball , ala Johan Santana, by just gripping the ball with more of your fingers (circle-change) and throwing it like a fast ball. The snapping of more fingers on the ball with the created pressure releases the ball at a slower speed yet acts like a fastball coming out of the pitchers hand. At least, this is what we are teaching young Tampa Bay Devil Ray prospects in single A……..hmm…maybe there’s something too that?? haha.

  25. The arm motion for throwing a change up and a fastball should be the exact same, or close to it. That’s what makes the change up so deceiving.

  26. Fantasy question.

    my league has 7 hitting categories + FP%.
    we have 7 pitching + CG.

    its head to head, 1 point for each category. this makes FP% a factor every week and CG the occasional bonus.

    do you think its crap to have FP% in fantasy baseball? I think it keeps the game closer to the real deal, since defense is half of a players game. Some argue that it being fantasy, you should be able to play a bunch of Adam Dunn’s and just watch the stats roll in. Also, they argue FP% is a poor measure of overall defense.

    Any feed back would be helpful.

  27. If anybody wants a good laugh, some baseball guy on Yahoo Sports (interview with Larry Beil) has the Detroit Tigers as MLB’s most improved team because of their acquisition of Gary Sheffield.

    Huh?

  28. Tigers are gonna be tough. As long as Sheffield doesn’t make everyone crazy or get hurt, he’s a great short-term pickup for them.

  29. It would be hard to be “most improved” after you just went from 71 wins to 95. That’s not the same guy that picked Hampton for Cy Young, is it?

  30. Fielding % hurts guys who get to more balls a lot of times. Say, for instance, Rafael Furcal would likely be a guy that FP underrates, whereas a slower SS with the same FP would be rated the same but would actually be quite a bit worse defensively. In the OF, it can sometimes be the same way, and guys who have good arms will probably pick up an odd error or two over guys who toss it to the cutoff every time.

    It’s your league though. FP is somewhat predictable year to year, I would guess, so it’s not like it would ruin the drafting of players. Just bump guys who have had good FP’s up a bit.

  31. Was listening to SI’s Tom Verducci on WFAN. Lotsa A-Rod & Matsuzaka talk, etc. Thinks Manny Ramirez is one of the Top 5 right-handed hitters of all time. Quite a statement, but I wouldn’t argue too much either.

    His 2 sleeper teams in ’07: Arizona & Cleveland. No mention of the Braves. Under the radar—just how I like it.

    Here’s a cool video from The Shins. Sorry, been addicted to their last two albums for the past two weeks.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkITsv3Nk6M

  32. The trouble with the Indians is they’re the Phillies of the AL. While they’re monstrously loaded with talent, and I would never ever want their hitters to face our pitchers, they somehow always manage to come up short. My NL sleeper is the Brewers, again. The Astros, Cardinals, and Cubs all have major, major problems, and the Reds and Pirates are usually pretty easy to beat up on. Don’t really care as much about the AL.

  33. Most Yankee fans are bummed about Bernie, but they also realize that there’s no room at the inn for him. He’s lost in a roster numbers game.

    The Yanks are carrying 2 1Bs, plus Giambi, who will be an exclusive DH this year. They have Melky Cabrera who is a better 4th OF option at this point.

    Although a switch-hitter, Bernie’s never been a good pinch hitter. He’s got above-average speed, but he’s never been a good baserunner–he doesn’t steal bases & he doesn’t really have great instincts on the basepaths. In the OF, he’s never had an arm & his judgement has often been suspect—he tended to outrun his mistakes. He’s had some really embarrassing moments in the OF the past 2 years.

    As great as he’s been, his skill set doesn’t make sense for them now.

  34. if anyone wants a spot in the league in the title, there’s one open now – i don’t want to mess around with autodraft, and probably won’t have time for another league anyway…

  35. ububba,

    I’m glad you’ve become a Shins enthusiast. I love them. I get to see them at the Ryman Auditorium in Music City, USA, in a couple of weeks.

  36. “I didn’t realize that throwing a changeup was hard on the elbow – it’s never bothered me before. Does it depend on the grip you use?”

    It might, Kyle. I throw a circle change, and most circle changers turn their arm over to get movement away from opposite handed hitters. Three-finger changeup throwers may not do that as much, I’m not sure. Personally, though, I’ve always felt much more pressure on my elbow from trying to throw a slider.

  37. Short-term problem/distraction or not, I would take Gary Sheffield right now. The Tigers are very improved by getting Gary Sheffield.

  38. BTW, I read on ESPN that someone has the original TV broadcast of Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series and they are going to show it at the Yogi Berra Museum in New Jersey. That would be so cool. I love watching those things, especially the old commercials and all. That’s the kind of stuff that ESPN Classic is supposed to show, but doesn’t anymore.

  39. You know, I find it really hard to believe that Andy Phillips is that crucial to the Yankees. I know that dragging around an old man like Bernie doesn’t seem like a great idea, but honestly, there’s nothing good about kicking him to the curb. The team’s bench is frayed as it is, he’s a legendary Yankee who has done nothing but good for the team–he saved their ass in the outfield as recently as last year–and while his degraded skills may not seem like much, the man more than makes up for them by simply being Bernie.

    Just let him have one final campaign in the sun… let him have a retirement with decency and honor, for heaven’s sakes. Roger Clemens got one of those, took more steroids and never retired. I don’t usually feel that teams owe something extra to their players, but in this case, Bernie has earned it.

  40. WUHOO! I just got two tickets to see the Arcade Fire in atlanta in row 3 of the freakin’ orchestra pit. I’m so psyched. Anyone else planning on going to that show?

  41. AAR,
    Lotsa love for Bernie up here, but the Yanks feel strongly about carrying those 2 1Bs. (A Giambi-related issue, really.) They want someone who can actually play 1B, but they don’t want to commit to one guy, so they’ll try a platoon. Phillips hit in the minors, but has been really awful at the plate so far, and Mientkiewicz (good as he is with the glove) has been in an offensive downturn for a while.

    What would be Bernie’s role? He doesn’t really have one.

  42. Definitely agree it should be Orr. Woodward has a lot more versatility over Orr, but he may not have the pics. When I say versatility, what I mean is that Woodward is mediocre or below at many positions while Orr is mediocre or below at just 2 positions.

  43. Woodward seems to be the best option over Pena and Orr. Orr’s really fast, but his defense is suspect, he can’t hit, and he can only play 2B and a little 3B, as far as I know. Pena I guess has plus speed, he plays great defense, but the guy couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat. Woodward plays good defense, can play 3 of the 4 infield positions (plus outfield), and he’s not an automatic out at the plate the way Orr and Pena are, so I would say that he’s the best option.

  44. Actually, let me retract one thing: after looking it up, Orr does have better career numbers than Woodward. However, it’s still very similar, and the difference is not enough to make up for Woodward’s versatility.

  45. We don’t need that position on the roster to be able to hit, though. We have either Langerhans or Diaz, Thorman or Wilson, Brayan Pena, and Willy Aybar. We need to maximize our defense with that spot, IMO. Pena does that.

  46. In other words, I think Pena’s late-game defensive contributions would outweigh Woodward’s versatility or the occasional pinch-hit he’d even have a chance to get.

  47. I like Arcade Fire’s first album, but don’t have the second. I like ’em fine, but I can think of about 20 other current acts I like better.

  48. That roster spot will not just be for late-game defensive contributions. He’ll occasionally start at 2B and SS. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want two automatic outs rounding out the bottom of the lineup every 4 or 5 days.

  49. And I suppose one could say that Aybar would get the starts at 2B, but that’s far from a certainty. There has to be some inhibitions about giving Aybar to the second base duties besides “Oh, Chipper could get hurt!”

  50. opening paragraph of Olney’s recent column on the Mets pitching….

    Some roster problems are easily solved. If Scott Thorman doesn’t work out at first base for the Braves and Bobby Cox prefers to not give the job to Craig Wilson, Atlanta general manager John Schuerholz could go out and get an established first baseman with relative ease. You can get corner outfielders; you can get decent middle infielders.

  51. I would imagine that Thorman will be given every opportunity to succeed. I just hope that, if he gets off to a slow start, people don’t freak out. In any case, a platoon with Wilson would be interesting.

  52. Just read that article. Olney isn’t too optimistic about the Mets’ rotation. The above paragraph was all he said about the Braves, though.

  53. That roster spot will not just be for late-game defensive contributions. He’ll occasionally start at 2B and SS.

    I sure hope so.

    I’m not saying that not being able to hit is better than being able to hit, but with 2 starters and our closer being serious groundball pitchers, I think the value of having one exceptional middle infield glove is much greater than a bat that will only get the occasional start and will absolutely be the last or second-to-last option in pinch-hitting situations, anyway.

    Note also that we don’t *need* Woodward’s “versatility.” We have 3 options at C (McCann, Pena, Wilson); 2 at 1B (Thorman, Wilson); 2 at 3B (Chipper, Aybar); 3 in LF (Diaz, Langerhans, Wilson); 2 in CF (Andruw, Langerhans); and 3 in RF (Francoeur, Langerhans, Wilson). Woodward’s ability to play 3B, RF, 1B and whatever else would never come up, because the other reserve options are better choices than him if the starter goes down. That final bench spot only needs to be able to play the middle infield, and Pena is better at that than Woodward is.

    To me, it’s a really simple choice.

    I know Rob’s opinion; what does everyone else here think?

  54. I just had a Met fan come in my office with the following words, “Me & the guys were talking about El Duque & John Maine, and…”

    I interrupted him with, “If you’re gonna talk about those guys, it better end with a punchline.”

  55. One more thing: Woodward isn’t a good hitter. It’s not like we have a Belliard/Blauser situation here.

    Plus, Pena’s not yet reached his prime and is likely, if anything, to improve, whereas Woodward is past his prime and is likely, if anything, to decline.

  56. I can’t agree with you, Stu. You’ve got to combine offense and defense for all the roster spots. Yes, we need a backup SS, but Woodward is a significantly better hitter than Pena- poor is much better than Belliardesque. Even for 100 PAs, the difference will be 10 runs or so- that’s a win, in a division that’s probably going to be very competitive.

  57. Ububba, that back of the Mets’ rotation is a punchline. How the hell did Park or Sosa find another job after the way they pitched last year?

  58. “But the guy couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat”–sorry, Rob, but that’s something Mac said in his LTP write-up a few months back.

    My feelings on the LTP issue are as follows: he should play during Hudson and Hampton starts, taken out for Renteria by the 6th or 7th in a late-inning offensive replacement. By that point Soriano and Gonzo will have taken over the game anyway if we’re winning, so we won’t need the defense as badly because they can blow smoke, and we’ll need the offense if we’re losing.

    Woodward is useless, Orr is uselesser. I don’t think we need either of them on the 25-man roster as long as we have LTP and Aybar healthy. If anyone goes down for a length of time, well, then, they’ll have all the chances they want to win back my heart.

  59. PECOTA for Woodward — .251/.310/.379
    PECOTA for Pena — .244/.279/.337

    Prorate those numbers for, say, 200 plate appearances, and the difference between the two is about 6 or 7 singles. Does Pena’s defense make up the difference? I really don’t know — I think he’s better than Woodward, but Woodward isn’t a hack with the glove. He can play the position.

    The fact that Pena’s an organization guy makes me want to root for him, but that’s my only solid rationale.

  60. Brian J, you’re severely overestimating the difference between their bats. 100 PAs is about 2.5 games worth, so you’re saying that a lineup of Woodwards would score 4 runs per game more than a lineup of Penas. Since a lineup of Woodwards wouldn’t even score 4 runs per game, that’s not likely to be the case. I think the actual difference per 100 PAs would be about 2 runs.

  61. I haven’t had cortisone in the neck, but the comment that El Duque felt better immediately after the shot is hogwash. He felt like the zone of injection was about to explode and was colder than Greenland in winter. If he feels way better tomorrow morning, then that was the cortisone shot.
    Corticosteroids; they shouldn’t be controlled becasue they are so bad, but becaus they are so good. It is just the side effects like deteriorating hip joints, increasing minimal doses, skin rashes, you name it.

  62. Does anyone remember the eephus pitch that El Duque threw to Darryl Ward last year. I was trying to find it on you tube but I guess they dont have it. I remember you could even hear the crowd’s reaction. Great pitch if thrown at the right time. ARod hit that pitch a mile in one game, but it was the 2nd one that he was given also.

  63. its definitely not a good sign if your #2 guy is getting shots in his neck only 2 days into spring training!!

  64. he’s had succes with that pitch early in his career,and by early in his career I mean when he was throwing that pitch in a Cuba’s little league

  65. Fantasy time. I’ve been given the 4th overall pick in my league.

    I know these will be taken in the 1st 3 spots…

    1. Pujols
    2. ARod
    3. Soriano
    4. I’m thinking Santana, who agrees or disagrees?

  66. yeah its either Howard or Santana. I feel like its harder to replace an Ace pitcher than a slugging 1B, but maybe I’m wrong

  67. For a different perspective on the fantasy question…
    If it’s a 5×5 league with steals, you should consider, seriously, Reyes. He’ll win or near-win steals for you, give a ton of runs, a ton of BA at a lot of at-bats, and be excellent as a shortstop in HR and RBI.

  68. from what i understand, macbride is now being considered for a starting job. he has voiced his feelings on becoming a starter, and bobby cox has listened. looks like we add another bit of competition to the 5th starting job. but what does that do to our lefty count in the pen? i am sure this is a longshot and they really have no intention of trying it out this year, but an interesting thought nonetheless.

  69. Nick O’Hern knocks off Tiger at World Golf Championships
    (Match Play – Tiger gets KO’d in the third round)

    That’s horrible for Tomlinson’s family.

  70. McBride might start–soon

    There was talk last year of Macay McBride becoming a left-handed closer, but now Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox believes starting could be in his future. Perhaps even the near future.

    “We’re down to six starters,” Cox said. “If somebody broke down today, [using McBride] would be a thought in my mind.”

    That’s how impressed Cox was while watching McBride on Thursday as he tore through hitters throwing batting practice on the second day of full-squad workouts.

    I don’t like it.

  71. @114

    Well, I think that the Braves have to go somewhere for insurance. It might as well be McBride. Hell, I’ll take anybody. Anyone is good for insurance. Besides, the Braves will be better off in 2008. I wouldn’t mind suffering through this season if that’s what it takes. So try anything at all.

  72. Here are some of my predictions:
    1. Andruw will hit 45+ HR and 125+RBIs
    2. McCann will win the Batting Title
    3. Francoeur will have less than 25 BB
    4. Our Bullpen will be less sucky
    5. We will win the wildcard, or maybe the division
    6. I’ll be the champion of my fantasy league thanks to Andruw, Chipper and McCann
    7. Our right side of the infield will suck big time!

  73. Shoot, the league’s filled up already…. so much for taking first place in last year’s league. I’ll just have to be content with being the reigning champion in retirement.

  74. Whoops. Missed Smitty’s post.

    McBride would probably be a good option at the end of the rotation. He adds another lefty, and he’s young and cheap, so he could be a young and cheap starter for the future, compared to Hampton and Hudson, who are old and expensive.

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