Posts Tagged ‘Tim Lincecum’

Rudy, but mo’ gangsta

It’s been a frustrating year for me in fantasy baseball. I entered the year mired in a Konerko-esque career slump, having not even gotten a trophy (a top-3 finish) in any baseball league since 2005. Every year I’ve had at least two, sometimes more, teams. I had good keepers, but my team had a desperate lack of pitching. Jair Jurrjens’ injury, Scott Baker’s mental implosion, Tim Lincecum’s worst season to date, and Andre Ethier injured himself when he was leading the NL in all three Triple Crown categories. The luck seemed bad, the odds long.

Gangsta

Rudy

The calendar turned to June. I trade a still DL-stricken Andre Ethier to my older brother for David Wright (at that point, with eight homers, nine steals, a .260-something average and 34 RBI) and John Danks (who had just been blown up for eight runs and 11 hits and walks in four innings). Ed. Note: Ethier keeps for 13, so Jeremy isn’t a jackass. I guess.

Five weeks later, I deal Jason Heyward, an unbelievably good keeper at 8, to another manager in my league who had given up already (he was in a perfectly reasonable fifth place at the time) for Cole Hamels (sporting a 4.20 ERA) and Roy Halladay (cementing himself as the frontrunner for the Cy Young already).

In two big deals, and admittedly some awesome luck with midseason acquisitions (picking up Corey Hart, Paul Konerko, Jose Tabata, Ian Desmond, Mike Leake (early), hitting Josh Willingham on his hot streak, Chris Perez, John Axford, Joel Piñeiro for one start – a complete game shutout – they all helped the cause), my season picked up from a low point of 54 at the end of June.

I shot up the rankings to first place by early August, then was unceremoniously passed by the defending champion, my twin brother (and lifelong arch-rival), a few days leader. Riding fantasy offensive juggernaut-cyborg-roto-terminators Carlos Gonzalez, Albert Pujols and Carl Crawford (Y! season-to-date ranks: 1, 2 and 9 respectively), Roy Oswalt’s ridiculous production after his trade to the Phillies and Josh Johnson and Cliff Lee’s all-important early season contributions, Matt stormed past me and built an intimidating late season lead.

Beating me 79-68 on August 20-something, and 83-74 just ten days ago, Matt looked unstoppable. Climbing from that deficit seemed like an insurmountable task. What’s a ridiculous task that I could use to metaphorize and explain to you…

hmm…

It’s like climbing up….

uuuuuupppppppppp……

THE CLIFFS OF INSANITY!!!!.

But I Man-in-Blacked that shit. I did it. Today, I am in first place. 82-81.5. No, it might not last. I don’t care. Second place pays for both my leagues anyway. I made it back to the top. I caught Matt, and proved that I still got it.

Allow me to re-introduce myself.

Villain-in-Training

Two years ago, I began playing fantasy baseball with some of the owners in my current league.  The fairness of my trades were in question from the beginning.  Arguments about vetoes occurred almost weekly and people claimed I was taking significant advantage of another player, known to you as Team Cy Young.

Apparently, Team Cy Young was taking notes as he made trades with me (I seem to remember one involving Billy Butler, before he was good, for Derrek Lee).  He made a trade today with Grundle Lice.  The trade was a 7 for 7.  One of my trademarks is throwing tons of players at leaguemates to confuse them (true or not, that’s my reputation).  Team Cy Young employed a similar tactic.  Here is the trade Team Cy Young made with Grundle Lice:

Grundle Lice      Team Cy Young

Victor Martinez Matt Wieters

Denard Span Adam Lind

Yunel Escobar Lance Berkman

Francisco Cordero Aramis Ramirez

Matt Lindstrom Brian Fuentes

Jon Lester Matt Cain

Tim Lincecum C.C. Sabathia

Tim Lincecum is a great pitcher, maybe even the best. He's just not worth this, Grundle Lice.

Alright, I’ll give you a second to process this.  I know you probably don’t get it yet, that’s what I bank on when I make trades, the numbers intimidating you too much to focus.  Think about it…

Hopefully you have now reached the conclusion Team Cy Young pulled the wool over Grundle Lice’s eyes.

First, I’ll give you the hero’s analysis of the trade:

“He [Grundle Lice] texted me, of course: ‘v-mart upgrades my catching,’ which is just so stupid.  ‘my pitching overall gets upgraded, im somewhat concerned about Fuentes.  i also really like escobar and span’s upside.’  I don’t know how much upside you can have when you don’t hit home runs and don’t steal many bases, but what do I know…If he wants two Freddy Sanchezes, be my guest.”

Now for my analysis:

His biggest improvement comes at catcher, but Wieters could put up V-Mart numbers.  Not likely, but plausible.  Team Cy Young needed power in this trade and the Lind, Berkman, Ramirez trio may not contain the biggest names, but if you look at the numbers, they substantially improve Team Cy Young’s power.  When Team Cy Young (one of my roommates) made this trade, I saw him looking at his computer with a stunned look on his face saying, “I think I just gained 50 home runs…and I can’t figure out what I lost,” (He lost saves, but this would only dawn on him later).  This is not a good sign for Grundle Lice.  Sure, Lincecum’s better than Sabathia and Grundle dramatically improves his closers, but saves are a single category out of 10.  And Lindstrom sucks.  Team Cy Young improves in 4 of the 5 hitting categories (losing steals).  Also, he might improve by moving from Lester to Cain.  So far this year, Cain has dominated while Lester has not (C’mon Sox, pull yourselves together).

In The Villain’s Playbook, this type of trade is the bread and butter, the run straight up the middle.  Throw a dominant player (Tim Lincecum) in to distract the opponent.  Then, throw in tons of other players, each time saying, “C’mon, I’m giving you Lincecum, I need something back.”  By the time you’re done, they don’t even realize that they’re giving up they’re whole team for a marginal upgrade at starting pitcher.

I was trying to work a trade with Team Cy Young last night with the intent of writing a blog post today about how villains can make fair trades.  We had trouble, and I couldn’t figure out why at the time.  I was making concessions and PrnceFldrUpLstNght agreed the trade was fair.  Team Cy Young would just not do it.  Now I know what he was looking for, and he has truly transitioned from victim to villain.

Team Cy Young just became a contender.

I am so proud.