At first, my goal was to finish in the top-five. By June, when top-five appeared unrealistic, I settled for top-six. And I was in sixth, so how hard could that be? By July, I figured that finishing at or above the FAAB penalty threshold of 75 roto points would be OK. But then came the August collapse, and what began as a promising season in Mixed Tout Wars ended in an 11th place finish that marked a step backwards from my mediocre 10th place showing in 2012, which was acceptable considering that it was my inaugural Tout season. This was unacceptable.
What went wrong? To be honest, I’m still trying to figure it all out. I had a strong draft, definitely a stronger draft than last year. My roster was more balanced. And, unlike last year, I actually liked all of my players, for whatever that’s worth. What went wrong? Maybe I liked all of my players too much. Maybe I liked all of them so much that I was unreasonable in my valuation of them, refusing to cut bait when a disappointing first few weeks became a disappointing first few months. But I don’t want to sound too doom and gloom, as some things did go right. Summing up a six-month long season in less than 1,000 words is no easy task. But let’s give it a try.
THINGS THAT WENT RIGHT
Drafting Brian McCann for $6
I’m usually not the type to take on injury risks on draft day, as I prefer to open the season with as close to a fully healthy roster as possible. But when the bidding on McCann stopped at $5, I couldn’t help but shout out “6”, and I was thrilled to get him at that price. Despite missing the first five weeks of the season as he recovered from shoulder surgery, McCann managed to post his sixth consecutive 20-home run campaign.
Drafting Jhonny Peralta for $4
Peralta had already netted me a huge profit at the time of the PED suspension, but come on, why couldn’t he do me a favor and pull an A-Rod, appealing the suspension in order to play out the rest of the season? Like Nelson Cruz, it probably had something to do with his looming free agency. I mean, what team would want to hand out a significant amount of cash to Peralta only to see him miss the first two months of the 2014 season? Now listen, I can’t be too upset with Jhonny, as he did give me a .361 OBP to go along with 11 homers and 54 RBIs in 104 games. But still, I’m upset. No appeal? Really?
1 FAAB dollar or 30 stolen bases?
I’ll take the latter, thank you. After coming out of the draft a tad light in speed, I wasted no time addressing this need, scooping up Rajai Davis for a buck during the first round of FAAB. And despite the sporadic playing time, this turned out to be a steal (no pun intended), as the 30 swipes that Rajai contributed to my squad equated to seven points in the overall standings.
1 FAAB dollar or 17 wins with a 2.56 ERA and 1.15 WHIP?
Who would’ve thought that my mid-April decision to take a chance on Bartolo Colon would prove to be my best move of the entire year. Yeah, he’s old. Yeah, he’s overweight. But Bartolo has been extremely underrated ever since he put together that solid year for the Yankees back in 2011. I guess the PED factor scared off owners, as it was perfectly understandable to wonder how much of Colon’s 2012 success was real as opposed to drug induced. But the bottom line is that Bartolo proved this season that he’s still a pretty darn good pitcher.
THINGS THAT WENT WRONG
How do you throw $13 out the window?
By drafting Ian Kennedy to serve as your No. 2 SP. What a disaster! The peripherals hinted at a rebound in 2013, not a train wreck. As much as I’d like to turn the page on Kennedy and emphatically declare that I’ll never own him again, chances are I’ll get sucked back in, thanks in large part to the 4-2 record and 3.06 ERA he posted in eight Petco Park starts this year. Maybe a change of scenery is all he needed, and an extreme fly-ball pitcher calling San Diego home isn’t a scary thought. But wait, who am I kidding? This is a trap.
Thinking that Aramis Ramirez was a safe buy at $16
The fact that A-Ram stayed relatively healthy during the previous two seasons convinced me that the injury-prone label was unwarranted. Not quite. Ramirez played in only 92 games this year, and though he performed well while on the field, 92 games just doesn’t cut it. From now on, I’ll stay away from these injury-prone guys.
Drafting Dan Uggla for $16 to serve as my starting 2B
Convinced that Uggla was an underrated commodity, particularly in an OBP league, I chose to ride with him again, even after he drove me crazy last year. Well, he drove me crazy some more and then I traded him in late-May in a mega-deal that sent me Jose Altuve. No more Uggla. What a relief!
Re-acquiring Dan Uggla in a desperation trade
Jhonny Peralta deserves all the blame for this. If it wasn’t for his suspension, I would not have needed a middle infield replacement. And I was in need of a power boost, so Uggla made some sense. But the day after I agreed to this trade, Uggla landed on the DL. And when he returned from “successful” LASIK surgery, a procedure that was supposed to improve his vision, his production at the plate deteriorated even further.
I will never own Dan Uggla again.