Monday, April 6 - 10:35 AM
The concept of vickrey FAAB bidding is no doubt a divisive one, and in my unscientific survey, I've found that there's roughly a 50/50 split between those who prefer vickrey and those who prefer hard bidding. Tout Wars follows a pure vickrey system, this after using modified vickrey rules that included a $10 floor for all bids exceeding $10. But eventually, the Tout Wars LLC, with the support of a majority of the owners, concluded that rather than going halfway, we should choose one or the other, so vickrey it was. I'm a fan of the vickrey system, as I think it adds a unique strategy element to the weekly FAAB decisions, a game within the game so to speak. Since the winning bid gets reduced to the second highest bid plus one dollar, the initial bid amounts, particularly for the flavors of the week (newly anointed closer, top prospect call-up) will usually be significantly higher than what the player is reasonably worth. Critics of the system say that it rewards irrational bidding, and it's hard to argue with that. But at the same time, all it takes is one other owner to submit an irrational bid for the irrational bidders to be punished. I know that Cory Schwartz is not a supporter of the vickrey system, and after the events of the first FAAB period of 2015 in the Mixed Auction league, I don't think his opinion will change anytime soon. You see, in the aftermath of the Craig Kimbrel trade, Jason Grilli is the new closer in Atlanta, and I guess Cory really wanted Grilli, because he entered in a bid of $42, this despite opening the season with a total FAAB budget of $84. But that's OK, right? Maybe Grilli would end up costing 20 bucks? Nope. Scott Pianowski's $40 bid forced Cory to pay $41 for Grilli's services, so he's down to $29, and we're only one week into the season. Now that's rough.
Thursday, April 9 - 8:20 PM
I'm glad I pay so much attention to injury history when assembling my fantasy squads, especially my starting pitching. Ian Kennedy has made at least 31 starts in each of his five full big league seasons. So of course, this year, when I draft him in multiple leagues, including Tout Wars, as a safe, mid-rotation SP who should provide me with roughly 200 strikeouts, he can't even make it through his first start without limping off the field. Hopefully, his mild hamstring strain will not require a DL stint, but that's probably wishful thinking.
Friday, April 10 - 5:42 PM
Yup, wishful thinking. The San Diego Union-Tribune is now reporting that the Padres will place Ian Kennedy on the 15-day disabled list later today. Fortunately, I drafted a deep pitching staff to protect against injuries. And fortunately, this is a mixed league, so there should be at least a handful of decent replacement options available on the waiver wire. Nothing special, but decent. But this isn't exactly a comforting way to kick off the season. Now all I can do is hope that Kennedy will only miss the minimum 15 days. Ugh.
Friday, April 10 - 8:06 PM
Good thing I drafted a deep pitching staff to protect against injuries, because I just lost a second one. Derek Holland was another preseason favorite of mine, as he made a triumphant return late last season from his knee injury and I figured that many owners might overlook just how good he was in 2013. Well, his 2015 innings pitched total will remain at 1.0 for quite awhile following the Rangers announcement that the shoulder injury that bounced him from today's start will keep him out of action for at least 4-6 weeks and almost certainly longer since he's not even expected to pick up a baseball for 4-6 weeks. Seriously, could this season have started out any worse for my Tout Wars pitching staff?
Friday, April 10 - 9:48 PM
My biggest Tout Wars draft day regret is not drafting quite enough speed. I have Elvis Andrus. I have Kolten Wong. And I have Denard Span, when he returns from the DL. But that's it as far as legitimate 20-plus SB guys go. I need more, which is why I submitted what I considered to be an aggressive FAAB bid of $15 to secure Cameron Maybin. As it turned out, $15 was just enough to land the disappointing former top prospect, as Nando DiFino bid $14. I'm tempering my expectations for Maybin, as he is coming off two straight injury-plagued and ineffective seasons. But he did swipe a combined 66 bags from 2011-2012, and perhaps a fresh start in Atlanta will do him some good. If he can just stay healthy and hold onto an everyday job (no guarantee on either), 25 steals is well within reach, which means I won't need to be so desperate in my attempts to trade for speed. Judging from Maybin's performance tonight, which included both a home run and a steal, taking a flier on Cameron might prove to be a genius move. But who am I kidding? I know better than to get overly confident. After all, this is Cameron Maybin we're talking about.