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Sunday 25th Feb 2018

I don’t like to write much about baseball publicly in a non-fantasy sense, since it has led about 99% of the flame wars I have been involved in over the years and quite frankly, I’m too old to argue with asstards who aren’t smart enough to know how dumb they are so I stick to fantasy. While I didn’t necessarily agree with the Nationals decision to shut down Stephen Strasburg, I respected it and assumed there was information I (and everyone else) wasn’t privy to so I privately trusted that Mike Rizzo made the right decision. So maybe that’s in the back of my mind when I roll my eyes at those that contend Washington would have won the NLDS had Strasburg been active. They were one strike away on a pair of occasions, thus more than capable of defeating the Cardinals without their phenom.

Speaking of which, to those that are laying into Drew Storen since it was obvious he was a deer in the headlights, I say “really?” REALLY?!?!?! For years, my pet peeve when watching games has been how great commentators are at telling us what happened, occasionally veering into the psyche of the athlete’s minds. Well, thanks to Twitter and Facebook, this now extends to fans as well. Really? It was obvious? You could tell Storen was afraid of the Cardinals? Sigh.

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For the record, despite the above, I think Facebook and Twitter are great, even though their evolution has rendered the message forum all but useless. I’m still in the lurker stage, but the combination of information, humor and opinion sharing – all in real time – is a blast.

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Good thing I’m not running for office because I’d suck at a debate.

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On a few different occasions, I have hinted that I plan to alter my drafting style, specifically to introduce more risk. Apparently, it is going to be tough to teach this old dog new tricks. I’m involved in the kick-off NFBC draft, appropriately deemed the Pre-Mature League. My recent track record is such that I will not denigrate any pick or call it bad. Instead, I will respectfully disagree with it.

Mike Trout was the first pick and although the person making the pick is one of the favorite people I have met in the NFBC, I would not make Trout the first pick. Some are going to use Trout to make their point that repeating performance is hard and somewhat hyperbolically espouse he is not worthy of a first round pick. I’ll take the stance that I would definitely draft Ryan Braun and Miguel Cabrera before Trout. I would probably take Robinson Cano next. Then all bets are off. I would start deciding between Trout and Joey Votto. By spring, I will have a more definitive analysis, but as of now, Trout just may sneak into the back end of my top-5.

Buster Posey went 15th overall and you know what? I have no issues with that pick. I would not take him that early, but that’s more strategy than potential related. I bet he approaches an ADP of 10-12 by springtime.

The last thing you want to see at this point of the season is an analysis of someone else’s draft, so I will just share my first 16 picks: Prince Fielder, David Wright, Jose Reyes, Corey Hart, Brandon Phillips, Jordan Zimmermann, Mike Napoli, Matt Moore, Dan Haren, Addison Reed, Tom Wilhelmsen, Brian McCann, Neil Walker, Mike Moustakas, Dayan Viciedo and Cody Ross. So much for living on the edge – lather, rinse, repeat. But, I feel the chances taken by others are too extreme, pushing more reliable players my way so I’ll have to wait a bit before I walk on the wild side.

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Last week, I was contacted By Greg Ambrosius of the NFBC who asked Baseball HQ’s Ron Shandler and me our opinions on what to do with standard AL and NL only formats with Houston moving to the AL (standard being 12 team AL and 13 team NL). Keeper leagues obviously have to come up with something that preserves the salary dynamic. However, in redraft leagues, assuming you can drop the NL ownership to twelve without causing a stir, I think the perfect solution is a 12-team league but adding a 24th roster spot with this catch: the spot can be filled with a hitter or pitcher. In terms of player pool penetration, previous to the Astros move, 79% of active American Leaguers are on a fantasy roster with 78% of their National league counterparts active. With my suggestion, the penetration would be 77% and allow for some fun strategy in terms of using a hitter or pitcher as the 24th player.

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Not to get too political, but I have what I believe to be the best means to narrow down the candidates. I refuse to vote for anyone whose name I see toted around on a stick at a busy intersection. Don’t those people know how distracting that is to those driving and texting at the same time?

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While I realize football is more popular that baseball in the mainstream, I did find it a little odd how there was so much water cooler talk about a replacement referee’s decision in an early season NFL game as compared to how an MLB team was eliminated from the playoffs on a questionable infield-fly rule call. I’m not talking about on Twitter or the radio; I’m talking at work and about town. My co-workers (sorry, if you didn’t already know, I don’t do this fantasy stuff for a living) barely mentioned it. Not a sole at my gym brought it up but were talking about the football call for a week. Bringing this to fantasy, I understand that one was a regular season game with fantasy implications while the other was a playoff game, but the dichotomy in the level of scuttlebutt I encountered speaks towards how much the NFL has embraced fantasy and has made it a significant part of marketing and the overall NFL experience while MLB still lags behind. It’s getting better, but there’s still work to do. This will be no more evident than the day Miguel Cabrera is announced as the landslide winner of the AL MVP.


0 #1 John Verdello 2012-10-16 12:30
The Strasburg shutdown is like blaming Bartman for the Cubbies' loss - no bearing. Every one assumes Strasburg would have pitched well ...maybe, maybe not. Bottom line - execute on the field and everything else takes care of itself. BTW - wasn't Washington's game three starter the same guy Boras built a manual on praising his accomplishments when he was looking for something like a 5 year deal? Guess Avenging Agent isn't right all the time (yeah, like notify CNN).

As for Facebook and Twitter - has it's place but are nowhere near equaling the level of importance people have placed on them. 5 years ago, MySpace was hot s**t. S squared D squared.

As for refs versus umps? The baseball call was made in accordance with the rule in place. Late? Maybe - but correct.The football call was made like it was a street game with call your own fouls in place.

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