Posts Tagged ‘Jacoby Ellsbury’

Why Winning a Category is Stupid

I already know the counter-argument to this, which is rife with logic. Obviously winning a category nets you an extra point. But you know what it gets you? ONLY ONE EXTRA POINT. That’s it. Having 9 points in home runs is fine. It’s not a tragedy. You still have a powerful team? Why, then, does it become stupid to have an additional point?

Think about it this way: If I’m winning home runs and RBI, and my team includes Ryan Howard, Matt Holliday,

Don't be this guy, look how sad he is.

Ryan Braun, Mark Reynolds and Manny Ramirez. While the OF of this team would be ridiculously amazing, and this could only happen in an auction league, I can pretty much assure you that my team will beat yours in home runs, and I will laugh at you.

You however, should laugh at me. I may be winning home runs, but I doubt I’m winning a league with that lineup. Why, you may ask, with such epic hitters all of whom would be drafted in the top four rounds of most drafts, would this team not thoroughly dominate?

If it’s not obvious already, the rest of the team probably sucks balls. The money I spent on those five took money away from my pitching, run scorers and base-stealers. I may have boatloads of points in homers, RBI and probably batting average, but chances are I have only a few in pitching.

What should I/anyone who’s dominating a category do? Trade from strength. If I trade Braun away, I can likely secure a starter along the lines of Johan Santana and a speed guy who doesn’t come with much pop, such as Brett Gardner, Michael Bourn or Jacoby Ellsbury (if healthy). While you might go down a point in homers (might), you gain points in ERA, WHIP, W, and Ks with just adding Santana. Maybe a point in each, but that’s still four points. You also gain a couple of points in steals as those three (or players like them) yield such high volumes of steals that they can vault you past other managers who didn’t just acquire a speed demon.

Giving up two points in HR, RBI, but gaining six points in other places? That’s a no-brainer. You know what else is a no-brainer? A guy who wins a category in a landslide. You go from the above muscly-dude to this guy. And who doesn’t love him?

Struggles in Grayland and RS Nation

There are two kinds of slumping in fantasy baseball.  One is the kind Ethan is experiencing: fluctuation. An example would be a team hitting around .200 without power. Basically fluctuation just says your team is reeking of sweaty gym socks for a certain period of time and there is a clear correlation between poor numbers and a lack of fantasy points.  The other kind of struggling is a result of strategic weakness. There is no such correlation in the strategy slumps.  Over the last few days, my team has slowly been losing points and has slid from 1st place to 4th.  I now trail the surprisingly respectable Jabula by 4.5 points.  I’ve maxed out my points in homers and RBIs and have respectable numbers in runs and average.  This means hitting will rarely help me gain points, because I already have them.  So despite a day when my team hit over .300 with respectable power numbers, I lost points due to weak pitching and continued sloth-like performances on the basepaths. My strategic flaw was trying to specialize in a few categories to ensure domination rather than aiming to merely compete in every category.

Pitching has also become a huge weakness of the Providence Grays. The pitching deficiency falls more into the fluctuation category.  Wheels are churning on several trade possibilities.  I have less than 5 points in ERA, WHIP and wins.  I will probably lose another point or two in saves before all is said and done as well.

With Ellsbury's speed, points in steals should be coming...

Some of these problems will be self-correcting as the season continues by the law of averages and the law of human bodies recovering.  I only have 4 points in steals, but assuming Jacoby Ellsbury returns in anything resembling a timely manner, I should stand to gain 3 to 4 additional points in steals.  Also, Josh Beckett, John Lackey and Justin Verlander are unlikely candidates to retain ERAs of 5+ and WHIPs of 1.50+.   That being said, movement is needed to ensure upwards movement in pitching categories before it becomes too late.  

With players like Ellsbury, Beckett and Lackey expected to improve (see Lackey’s start tonight), the fate of the Red Sox (this writer’s favorite baseball team) and the Providence Grays are intertwined this year.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What better feeling is there than when two great things intersect?  The success of both your real-life and fantasy baseball teams is up there with the great combos of all time: Russell and Cousy on the same basketball court, peanut butter and jelly on the same sandwich, Collin and Ethan on the same blog.

Some things just can’t be topped.


Pitchers can only be this bad for so long. This video fails to show the rest of the whiffleball season, after the pitcher learns a nasty slider that starts out 6 feet behind the batter and crosses the plate the moment the child hitting falls to the ground, weeping in fear of ball on bone collision.