Monday, April 16 – 11:23 AM
What do Santiago Casilla and Johnny Damon have in common? Meet my first two FAAB acquisitions of the 2012 Tout Wars season! Good thing Tout Wars follows Vickery rules for bids exceeding $10 or I would’ve been out a lot more money than $24 for Casilla. Still, nearly one-quarter of my season FAAB budget is a hefty price to pay for a guy who doesn’t exactly have a strong hold on the newly opened Giants’ closing gig. This is a move I had to make though after coming away from the draft with only one closer. It sounds like Bruce Bochy wants to leave Sergio Romo in his more familiar setup role, so 20 saves from Casilla from here on out sounds like a reasonable expectation. And 20 saves could mean five points in the standings. I don’t regret this decision one bit.
Damon is a different story. Not that I have second thoughts about adding him to my roster, as he’s definitely a starting lineup upgrade over Will Venable or even the now injured Lorenzo Cain. What I do regret is completely overestimating his perceived value, entering in a bid greater than $10 before learning that there were no bids placed on Damon by any of the 14 other owners. Not one. Well, there’s 10 bucks down the drain. Great. All I can say is that it’ll probably take me some time to learn the bidding tendencies of my Mixed Tout peers. Talk about a learning experience.
Wednesday, April 18 – 10:31 PM
What do Kevin Youkilis and Justin Upton have in common? I own both of them in my two most challenging leagues: Tout Wars and NFBC. And, as you can probably figure out, I’m not doing too well in either of these leagues. When your top player is batting .212 with no homers and no RBI through 10 games, it’s not good. When your starting third baseman, a guy who has been a model of intensity and dedication to his craft over the course of his career, is off to such a terrible start that his own manager is publicly questioning his level of commitment, it’s even worse. I’m not all that concerned about Upton, and his bruised thumb doesn’t worry me too much. Youkilis scares me though. He has looked lost at the plate so far and is already nursing a sore groin, this coming off an injury-ravaged 2011 campaign. I knew the risks when I drafted him but for some reason was under the illusion that he was being undervalued. So much for that.
Or maybe I wasn’t crazy. Just noticed that Youk hit his first home run of the year tonight.
You’re a genius, Bobby V!
Friday, April 20 – 3:25 PM
Here we go again with Santiago Casilla. Time to put in our weekly FAAB bids in my NL-only league, and as a Brian Wilson owner you would think that I would make sure to acquire Casilla at pretty much any cost. You would be wrong. It’s all about league format, and since this is a head-to-head points league, it’s not all that important to own at least two closers. One could even go the whole season without owning any closers. Saves are valuable, as a decent closer still scores more points than a high-end setup guy. But since saves isn’t a category, they aren’t essential. Add in the fact that I already own Sergio Romo, I’m not going nuts on this bid. 27 bucks. There you go. A very strong bid being that we use a $100 budget, but I have a feeling that it won’t be a winner.
Friday, April 20 – 3:38 PM
Maybe I should up the bid to 33. Maybe I’m being too cheap. Nah, let’s save some money for the July trading deadline when there will probably be at least a few impact players coming over from the AL. I still have one hour and 22 minutes to change my mind.
Friday, April 20 – 10:56 PM
When a top-shelf closer goes on the shelf due to injury or a mediocre closer gets demoted from the ninth inning role, we can talk all we want about who we think the leading candidate is to replace him. Ultimately though, even when we hear the dreaded “closer by committee” term, we can learn a lot from a manager’s in-game decisions. What starts as a closer by committee usually ends with one guy netting the vast majority of the saves. For the Giants, I thought that guy would be Santiago Casilla. And it still might be. But watching the Giants-Mets game tonight, I cringed when Bochy decided to yank Casilla from a save situation after he gave up a measly infield single, opting instead to play the matchups. Not exactly a great way to instill confidence in your supposed new closer. This situation could get ugly, and the scary thing is that the fate of my Tout squad is very much tied to it.
Saturday, April 21 – 1:50 PM
Apparently, someone in my NL-only league wasn’t worried one bit about the fate of Mr. Casilla. My $27 bid didn’t even come close to the winning bid. $41! And this is a league that devalues closers. This makes me feel a little better about my Tout decision.
Wait, the FAAB deadline was before last night’s game, not after it. Maybe he’s just as uneasy as I am.
I guess that’s what we have in common.