2010 Fantasy Season Review
Head to Head fantasy baseball is a cruel mistress. A cruel, brutal, thankless, loveless mistress that gently tongues your balls one minute and then mercilessly fist-fucks your asshole the next.
One minute, fantasy baseball looks like her
and the next,
it looks like her.
One minute, you have the best record in the league - then some lesser team gets hot and kicks your ass all over the place.
One minute, you think you've won your playoff matchup on the tiebreaker - then you find out there's a new tiebreaker and you've actually lost.
One minute, you're riding into the playoffs as the comfortable #3 seed - then you're putting up a .541 OPS and a 4.33 ERA and the #6 seed is bashing your skull to mush in an 11-1 rout that ends your season.
It's cruel and unforgiving. And yet we love it.
And so... another season has come and gone and another Danishevsky brother finished the regular season in dead last. After the brothers D both reached the finals in '08, they've gone on to finish the last two regular seasons 8th/10th and 8th/10th. On a positive note, they both managed to avoid drafting Barry Zito this year, so maybe that's an improvement.
There's an expression: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. But what if it's really broken?
We saw another classic Jon Fusco Cinderella run from the #7th seed heading to the final week of the regular season all the way into the semifinals. Perhaps even more impressive, Jon kept alive another streak: 9 years in this league and has still never made a single trade.
We saw Jordan's "Sexwithasianwives" squad continue to win week after week despite mediocre cumulative totals - until he ran into a brick wall in the first round of the playoffs and set the season record for lowest OPS in a week (.541).
We saw Frank's "Too Big To Fail" team struggle with injuries and lack of production from almost everybody besides Cano, yet he became the team nobody wanted to face at the end, going 44-14-2 over the last 5 weeks to get himself out of the basement.
Godsill's League Champion "Sophomore Slumps" team won only once in their first 6 weeks and was under .500 until the LAST WEEK of the regular season. Amazing.
I finished the regular season with a 16 game lead on 2nd place but without Hamilton and Prado, my team was no match for Godsill's squad who got hot at the right time.
Consider this amazing production:
Troy Tulowitzki hit 6 homers with 17 RBI and 9 runs in SIX GAMES!
Shin Soo Choo had his first career 3 homer game, knocked in 11 runs and stole 2 bases!
Adam Jones - who would finish the year with a .760 OPS - almost doubles that, posting an OPS over 1.300!
Jonathan Sanchez made only 2 starts all season in which he didn't walk a batter. This week was one of them as he struck out 12 (TWELVE) dodgers in 7 scoreless innings!
Scherzer, Gallardo and Cueto each posted K/BB ratios over 5.49. For the season, none of their K/BB ratios were above 2.70.
There was no stopping him as he took down the #1 and #2 seeds in the playoffs, giving himself the championship that his beloved, overpaid, overhyped, shitfuck Yankee team could not and finally justifying all the hours of hard work and effort he puts into styling the hair of his Yahoo avatar.
Carlos Gonzalez - 125th Overall - 4th Time's A Charm
After Of's like McLouth, Damon, Beltran, Kubel, Span and Drew, Joshwhite nabbed Yahoo's #1 overall player with the 125th overall pick in the draft. Pretty impressive value, but hey, sometimes you just have to grab McLouth and Span.
David Price - 199th Overall - SexWithAsianWives
Jordan got the 9th ranked SP in the 20th round of the draft. Huge value. Other SP's drafted before Price include: Jeff Niemann, Zambrano, Wolf, Kazmir and Brandon Webb. WEBB! Just a great pick for Jordan which makes it really stand out from the rest of his draft. Which was bad. And included guys like AJ Burnett.
Other Great Selections:
Paul Konerko - 236th overall - 4th Time's A Charm - Another great pick for Joshwhite netted him the 12th overall player in the 23rd round. And after notable fantasy all-stars like Joel Piniero, George Sherrill, Nick Johnson, Takeshi Saito and Russell Branyan.
Vlad Guerrero - 128th overall - Don't Pull - Vlad ended the season ranked 26th overall and was easily the highest ranked offensive player on Jon's team. Where would his struggling offense have been without Vlad?
Alex Rios - 141st overall - Olympdicks - Mike got a huge bounce back year from Rios, who ended the season ranked 27th, providing power and speed to a team lacking in both.
Corey Hart - 209th overall - Sophomore Slumps - Hart was off most people's radar coming into 2010 and rightly so, but Godsill saw something he liked (possibly just white skin) and nabbed the #32 ranked player after the likes of Branyan, Garrett Jones, Matsui, Sean Rodriguez, Hawpe and even Mark DeRosa were taken.
Clay Buchholz - 203rd Overall - Really A Big Papi
I give him a lot of crap - much of it deservedly so - but this was a great pick for Steve as Buchholz ended the year #52 overall.
Ellsbury-Markakis-Abreu-Span - 28, 68, 73, 108th overall - Don't Pull
Hard to pick just one bad pick this year so I went with a position. More balls made solid contact with Jon's chin this year than with the bats of these four players. With these 4 picks, Jon insured himself an OF with less Power than Joshwhite and Godsill have combined in their marriages. When drafted, the best he could have hoped for was 50-55 homers out of these four. He'd get 35 and replace 2 of them. He should have replaced 3.
Damon - 95th overall - Too Big To Fail
You think everybody knew to avoid Damon, whose production was sure to take a huge dive with age and a full season away from homer-friendly Yankee stadium. Almost everybody did. But Frank still took the bait and while the 10th round is late, he left a lot of far more productive players on the board to grab an old OF who would finish the season ranked as the 63rd OF, 234th overall, behind such notable ball-blasters like Will Venable, Cody Ross and Hideki Matsui. By June 10th, Frank realized his mistake and cut Damon loose.
Michael Cuddyer - 59th overall - SexWithAsianWives
While Price was a great pick, Cuddyer was not. Coming off a surprising 32 homers season, Jordan jumped all over Cuddyer - like Joshwhite on a great mouthwash sale - treating him like the offensive keystone that Cuddyer simply was not. Immediately mocked for his choice (and hair style and personality), Jordan endured a "return to earth" season from Cuddyer that saw him hit only 14 homers.
Peavey/Berkman - 70th and 71st overall - Tickle Me Krusty
I remember taking Peavey because "I didn't like Ubaldo's K/BB ratio." Just a bad pick. I'd never owned Peavy and I thought he would be huge in Chicago. He was not. I then compounded that folly by flat out ignoring age and trends in selecting Berkman. I could have had Ubaldo and Ethier/Cruz. These picks were a bigger waste than Joshwhite's honeymoon suite.
Grady Sizemore - 25th overall - 4th Times A Charm
The first three rounds are about guaranteed production. Nothing about Sizemore in 2010 said "guarantee." He was coming off of an injury plagued down season and his status at draft time was encouraging but not definite. Maybe Joshwhite is just one of "Grady's Ladies." Maybe I'm just upset that he made us draft him in another league where we co-manage a team and drafting Sizemore singlehandedly kept us out of first place. But more likely, joshwhite should have taken a more reliable player with this pick like Votto, Zimmerman or Cano. Sure, Grady got hurt, but before that, he put up a .560 OPS - an OPS so low, it would actually lose to Steve and Jon's teams most weeks.
Best Free Agent Addition
Jose Bautista - Give Me My Freedom - May 8th
Who saw 54 homers coming? Nobody. But Dave was the first believer in the league and he cashed in, getting 48 Bautista homers on his roster and enjoying the 9th overall ranked player for almost 5 full months.
Other top additions:
Adrian Beltre - 19th Overall - Sophomore Slumps - Maybe SafeCo Field really did kill Beltre's production...
Mat Latos - 31st Overall - Give Me My Freedom - Dave had the hot hand on the FA Wire this season. He ended up owning the highest ranked hitter (Bautista) and pitcher who were NOT drafted. That's impressive.
Chris Young - 40th Overall - Tickle Me Krusty - I'd never been a big fan of his, but someone had to take over for Berkman and Garrett Jones.
Aubrey Huff - 42d Overall - Really a Big Papi - Great addition for Steve's power-starved squad. Huff ended up hitting the third most homers of anybody on Steve's team. A great FA find for Steve and the Giants.
Trevor Cahill/Delmon Young - 46th, 51st Overall - Too Big To Fail - Not a lot went right for Frank's team this year (i.e. the drafting of Fielder, Rollins, Lind, Bay, Aramis Ramirez, Lackey, Beckham, Stephen Drew and Trevor Hoffman - a veritable who's who of disappointing players). But Young, another player universally given up on, provided a glimmer of hope as Frank saw possibility, grabbed him and enjoyed the career breakout everybody had been waiting for. And Cahill (the second highest ranked undrafted SP) took a huge step forward for a young Oakland team and helped settle Frank's pitching staff for a second half run.
Worst Player Drop:
David Ortiz - The Olympdicks - May 27th
Having acquired Jason Bay in a trade, The Olympdicks cut Ortiz. Perhaps Olympdicks had simply stopped paying attention to Big Papi after his second consecutive slow April, during which Ortiz posted a less than stellar .548 OPS. But surely, Olympdicks had to notice what Ortiz was doing in May. At the time Mike dropped him, Ortiz had already hit 9 homers and knocked in 24 runs since April dropped off the calendar. He was on his way to 32 homers and 102 RBI - numbers eclipsed by only 9 other players.
Meanwhile, Olympdicks spent the rest of the season cycling players like Ian Stewart, Jay Bruce, Beltran, and Colby Rasmus into and out of his Utility spot.
Casey McGehee - Sophomore Slumps - April 4th
It could have been a story about a great draft pick, but instead, Godsill dropped his 24th round selection too soon (in fact, McGehee was the first player Godsill dropped), and Jon's Don't Pull team reaped the benefits as McGehee went on to post his first 100RBI season. But don't feel too bad for Godsill, he dropped McGehee for Matt Capps, who we all know sucks, but still somehow nailed down 40 saves and picked up a key vulture win during the finals to lead Godsill to victory.
* I couldn't find anything to say about Chris Fusco's Dustin Clay Off Papi squad. It featured no particularly great picks and no particularly bad picks. His best FA addition was Vernon Wells just before the season started. He didn't drop anybody foolishly either. While I feel a little bad about this, I take comfort in knowing that he couldn't care less what I think about anything and probably doesn't read this in first place.
Most Dominant Pitching Category Performances:
Tickle Me Krusty - K's: 18-6
4th Times A Charm - K/BB: 18-6
SexWithAsianWives - Wins: 17-5-2
Tickle Me Krusty - K/BB: 17-7
Don't Pull - Saves: 15-6-4
Worst Pitching Category Performances
Olympdicks - Saves: 2-19-3
Dustin Clay Off Papi - K: 3-19-1
Really a Big Papi - K/BB: 7-17
Dustin Clay Off Papi -Saves: 6-14-4
Olympdicks - WHIP: 9-15
Saves are a category that really divided teams. You either got them or you didn't.
Most Dominant Hitting Category Performances
GiveMeMyFreedom - SB: 16-5-3
Tickle Me Krusty - Runs: 15-7-2
Really a Big Papi - SB: 15-7-2
Tickle Me Krusty - OPS: 16-8
Olympdicks - SB: 14-6-4
Sophomore Slumps - Runs: 15-8-2
Dustin Clay off Papi - HR: 14-7-3
Dustin Clay Off Papi was only over .500 in two offensive stats: Homers and OPS. Nothing else. Kind of strange. Steve had 35 more steals than Dave, but still posted the second best record in the category.
Worst Offensive Category Performances
Really a Big Papi - RBI: 7-17
Too Big To Fail - Hits: 8-16
Don't Pull - SB: 6-15-4
Too Big To Fail - SB: 6-14-4
Don't Pull - Runs: 9-16
Surprising to see a playoff team show up twice here. But less surprising considering his outfield.
Really a Big Papi finished the season with the fewest RBI in the league - 122 fewer than the team ahead of him (Olympdicks) and 247 fewer than the league leader (Sophomore Slumps).
Best Single Season Winning Percentage - All Time
1. Dave: .646 - 2006
2. Parsons: .636 - 2006
3. Godsill: .623 - 2009
4. Parsons: .610 - 2010
5. Parsons: .608 - 2009
- For the second consecutive season, Steve (Really a Big Papi) was dead last in the league in total HR, RBI and OPS. He also had the worst K/BB ratio and the second worst ERA. Impressive all around futility.
- Steve lost his first 6 matchups and 9 of his first 10. Frank won his third matchup and then didn't win again until early July, suffering through an amazing ten week losing streak.
- The longest winning streak belonged to my Tickle Me Krusty squad that won 7 weeks in a row.
- The best records against any single opponent were:
Tickle Me Krusty vs Olympdicks: 26-7
SexwithAsianWives vs. Sophomore Slumps: 26-9
- Dave Gass, Frank Chang and Chris Fusco have been in the league all 7 years we've played Head-to-Head and none of them has reached a final. Even Steve and Jon have each been there twice.
- Another #4 seed won the championship. That's three #4 seeds in 7 years. The most of any seed. Still only a single #1 seed has won it all, and only three #1 seeds have even made the final.
- Another year of bad luck for Dave (Give Me My Freedom). Last year, he missed the playoffs because someone missed the innings minimum and gave Jon's team an easy win in the last week. This year, Dave made the playoffs, but was bounced because Yahoo changed the tie-breaker. If the tie-breaker from 2004-2009 (ERA) was in place, Dave advances and Godsill is out in the first round. Dave is starting to resemble the Minnesota Twins of fantasy baseball. Always in contention, but just can't seem to get over the hump.
- Amazingly, it was this same new tie-breaker rule that allowed Godsill to win the final against Joshwhite, when once again, the previous tie-breaker rule would have gone against him.
I would like to discuss the following changes:
1. Going with a weekly format instead of daily OR instituting an innings MAX as well as MIN. Starting 10 different pitchers in a week isn't exactly simulating a real baseball team.
2. I'd like to make the consolation bracket mean something. So in 2011, how about those 4 teams play for the #1 pick. So if you win the consolation bracket, you pick #1 the following year. Maybe they play for $25? Or we can just leave it how it is.
3. How can we make this league more trade friendly? Why don't people trade more?
4. Frank Chang will be leaving us for the greener pastures of a yahoo keeper league. He will likely be replaced by Adam Gittes - whom most of you know. Like Frank, Adam and I went to high school together and Adam was a member of the very first fantasy league Jon and I played in. A league in which we finished 3rd, but will forever be remembered for this statement: "You gotta take McGwire." (If anybody is curious, McGwire finished that year - 2002 - as a pinch hitter, with a BA under .200.)
We say goodbye to Frank Chang and we remember that in 7 years of Head-to-Head he never won a single playoff matchup and we wonder what the action on the waiver wire will be like without him.
The 2011 Draft Order Will Be:
1. Steve Danishevsky (Really A Big Papi)
2. Adam Gittes
3. Mike Danishevsky (Olympdicks)
4. Chris Fusco (Dustin Clay Off Papi)
5. Jordan Beldner (SexWithAsianWives)
6. Dave Gass (Give Me My Freedom)
7. Jon Fusco (Don't Pull)
8. Chris Parsons (Tickle Me Krusty)
9. Joshwhite (4th Time's A Charm)
10. Dan Godsill (Sophomore Slumps)
Enjoy your offseasons.