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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Our Fantasy League in Review

So the 2006 season is over and it saw our own little pussyface joshwhite finally get his first elusive fantasy title. So to anybody who says that Head to head is a lot of luck, you are correct.
In all seriousness, jw did a good job (mostly by adding Tori Hunter the Sunday before the finals started and then riding Hunter's unexpected power streak to the victory) and deserves, well, nothing from us. As has become my custom, I've prepared a season in review, which I'm sure not more than 2 of you will read (counting me).

Best Draft Pick:
Jermaine Dye: This 24th round selection by Beantown Boners ended the season as the 12th overall ranked player with 44 homers, 120 RBI and 1.007 OPS.

Honorable Mentions:
Franciso Liriano - I Laid Gretchen - 22nd Round:
12 Wins, 144 K's, 2.16 ERA, 1.00 WHIP - 45th ranked player overall

Jonathan Papelbon - Beantown Boners - 19th Round
35 Saves, 75 K's, 0.92 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, 14th ranked player overall

Aaron Harang - I Hate Baseball - 24th Round:
16 Wins, 216 K's (Both NL leaders) 3.76 ERA, 34th ranked player overall

Tom Gordon - Getting of the Juice - 19th Round
34 Saves, 68 K's, 3.34 ERA, drafted after Valverde, Dempster, Gonzalez, Foulke, Duchscherer

Jeremy Bonderman - A New Tie Wearing - 25th Round
14 Wins, 202 K's, Ranked 58th Overall ahead of Johnson, Peavy, Lackey, Sabathia, Schmidt

Brandon Webb - The Burrell Train - 13th Round
16 Wins, 178 K's, 3.10 ERA, 1.113 WHIP, 31st overall player.
Drafted after: Tim Hudson, Brett Myers, Zito, Mulder

Note: With arguably the best two picks in the draft, how did Beantown Boners manage to finish the regular season in 6th place, a whopping 51 games off the pace?? Surely part of the blame rests on picks like Helton, Bonds, Ensberg and Isringhausen, part on his general incompetence and the rest on what I can only assume was a busy work schedule which left him able to make only 12 add/drops.

Worst Draft Pick:
Chone Figgins - New Look Same Suck - 3rd Round - 21st Overall
Sure he's versitile and steals bases, but he just crushes you in OPS, HR and RBI. How can you justify taking somebody who hurts you in half the categories with your first non-keeper pick? Still available: Berkman, Soriano, Halladay, Oswalt, Reyes

Honorable Mentions:
Felix Hernandez - New Look Same Suck - 4th Round - 28th Overall
A big gamble that did not pay off. Talk of limited innings and a lack of experience didn't stop Francis from attempting to anchor his staff with a 2o year old rookie with less than half a season under his belt. The result was not good.
Still Available: Zambrano, Berkman, Soriano, Randy Johnson

Juan Pierre - Taking the Plunge - 6th Round - 43rd Overall
Coming off a huge fantasy victory in 2005, Steve started 2006 with arguably the best keeper tandem in the league in Oritz and Manny. Could he mess it up? You bet your ass he could. Steve's first 4 non-keeper picks were Ichiro - Reyes - Harden - Pierre, a veritable murderer's row of the powerless and injury plagued. Why Steve felt the need to add Pierre to a roster teeming with singles hitters is beyond the realm of anyone's understanding. Unfortunately for Steve, it led to the rather amusing double meaning of his team name. Originally intended only to refer to his upcoming nuptials, "Taking the Plunge" also quickly and precisely portrayed his position in the standings.
Still Available: Sizemore, Konerko, Victor Martinez

Morgan Ensberg - Beantown Boners - 8th Round - 36th Overall
Coming off of an unexpected 36 HR season, it's understandable that some people would have high expectations. Ensberg didn't meet them, hitting .235 with 24 HR and whopping 58 RBI.
Still Available: Chipper Jones, Thome, Matsui, Ryan, Smoltz, Damon,

Best Free Agent Addition:
Matt Holliday - A New Tie Wearing - April 15
How was he available? We'll see in a bit. Holliday ended the year as the 9th overall player.
119 Runs, 196 Hits, 34 Homers, 114 RBI, 10 SB, .973 OPS.

Honorable Mentions:
Justin Morneau - The Burrell Train - June 15
A little late, but a huge contributer down the stretch. Morneau's second half is quite possibly the biggest reason this moron won the league.
23rd Overall Rank, 34 - 130, .934 OPS

J.J. Putz - I Hate Baseball - May 5
24th Overall player, 36 Saves, 104 K's (against 13 walks), 2.30 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 4 Wins

Garrett Atkins - Getting off the Juice - ??
19th Overall player; 117 Runs, 198 Hits, 29 HR, 120 RBI, .965 OPS

Others of Note:
Brian McCann (129th - Joshwite), Raul Ibanez (48th - Chris P.), Frank Thomas (98th - Megan)
Takashi Saito (35th - Chris P), Antonio Otsuka (92 - Francis), Bronson Arroyo (47th - Joshwhite), Michael Cuddyer (72nd - Chris F)

Worst Free Agent Drops:
Matt Holliday - New Look Same Suck - April 15th
Dropped the day before starting a 7 game homestand en route to a huge season. Not all was lost, though as Francis replaced him with Jay Gibbons. This decision likely sealed Francis's fate for the 2006 season.

Honorable Mention:
Hanley Ramirez - The Burrell Train - June 23rd
His OPS would be over .900 for the rest of the season and he'd end the year ranked 28th overall. But hey, sometimes you just have to add Anthony Reyes.

Worst Injuries:
Derrek Lee - I Laid Gretchen
Only team to lose more than a month from a postion player keeper. Even when he came back, his power stroke was gone.

Travis Hafner (and Gary Sheffield)- A New Tie Wearing
Certainly the least timely injury as Hafner's broken hand bone was discovered 2 days before the playoffs began. Would Joshwhite have beaten me by 2 RBI if Hafner was healthy? Probably not.
Hideki Matsui - New Look Same Suck
Francis's roster couldn't begin to overcome the loss of this perennial 100 RBI man for over 4 months. But at least he still had Holliday...

Pedro Martinez - Beantown Boners

Some Things of Interest:
So the third season of Head-to-head has come and gone and not once has the regular season champ won in the playoffs. 2006 actually marked the second consecutive year that the team with the best record didn't even make it to the finals. What does this tell us?
Nothing. Our playoffs are just like the MLB playoffs. It's a crapshoot. Whatever team gets hot (i.e. has Morneau) and stays healthy wins.
It's also the third different league winner in the last 3 years, so we definitely have some parity in our league, though some managers are more consistent than others. In the last 4 years, Megan's finishes have gone: 2-1-3-3
While Steve's have rather impressively gone: 8-8-1-8 (and yes, it's out of 8 players).
The rest:
Jon: 7-2-7-5
Chris F: 4-4-8-6
JW: 6-7-2-1
Francis: 3-5-6-7
Dave: 5-6-5-4
Chris P: 1-3-4-2
Is it funny or sad that the person who has averaged the best finish over the last 4 years claims to truly hate fantasy baseball?

Though I doubt a lot of you took notice, there were some cool new features to our league. One such feature showed each team's performance in each category. For example, all of our records in the Runs category. Theoretically this is a good place to look if your team is struggling, because it will show exactly where you need to improve (ex. Steve probably should have tried to trade for some power at some point, but hey, you know what they say about hindsight).

Here are the best and worst records in each stat:
Chris P: 19-6
Chris F: 9-16

Megan: 16-9
Chris F: 6-18-1

Home Runs
Chris P: 18-5-2
Steve: 5-18-2

Chris P: 18-7
Francis: 6-18-1

Steve: 20-5
Joshwhite: 7-14-4

Chris P: 15-10
Francis: 7-18

Dave: 14-9-2
Joshwhite: 6-13-6

Dave: 18-7
Steve: 6-19

Chris P: 18-5-2
Steve: 6-18-1

Chris F: 16-9
Steve: 6-19

Jon: 16-9
Megan: 10-15

Jon: 19-6
Steve: 7-18

What does this tell us? Admittedly, not a lot. But how bad was Steve's team? His pitching was even worse than his hitting. Amusingly enough, Steve actually led the league in total Wins with 107. That tells us that he started a lot of extra pitchers and while he got the wins for it, his ratios paid the price. Something to think about.

Two of the most amusing weeks would have to be week #5 when Steve's team only hit 3 homers, and week #1 when Megan's team ERA was 7.49. The other weekly superlatives are on the leauge site under "record books" and I'm not interested in listing them all here.

For the third straight year, the winning team was very weak on closers and the team that finished second was stocked with them. Still not sure if this is just a coincidence, but I figure that like Jon's heterosexuality, it should probably be looked into.

The finals put on an exciting finish if anybody besides Joshwhite and I were paying attention, and you probably were not. We actually finished tied, with pussyface taking the title on the first tiebreaker, ERA. I'm not one to bitch and moan but the sack of shit beat me by just 2 RBI when I was without my best hitter the whole time, and on the last day of the season 8 (yes eight) of my starting offensive players took the day off. But hey, sometimes you get the breaks and sometimes a fucking piece of shit in Florida gets them. Not much can be done.

Looking toward 2007 those of us with our original keepers get one more year out of them, so on draft day in 2008 Pujols, Manny, Ortiz, Hafner, Arod, Santana, Wright, Crawford etc. will all be back in play.

Enjoy the winter.


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