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Saturday 16th Dec 2017

My teams almost always start out slow. I mean slow.

Sometimes they continue to be slow all the way through the end of September. Sometimes they start fast, but in that event as with most front-runners, they usually fade into the middle of the standings and an ignominious finale.

But, most of the time, they start slow. Really slow. Excrutiatingly so, or, so it seems. Last year, for example, my Tout Wars team was in last place this time of the year, and not coincidentally, this year my Tout Wars team is also in last place. And, well, I did ok last year, as did I in 2001, when I was a rookie, and wound up winning after scraping the bottom of the standings for what seemed to be an eternity.

Compounding this slow torture, I never know which teams will get better till they do, if they do.

In addition to my Tout team chugging along at the bottom of the standings, my NFBC team is in last place (of 15), my Bloomberg team in 11th (of 12), and my LABR squad is in ninth (of 12). Only my XFL squad, humming along at sixth (of 15) is performing adequately, but surprisingly, they are the one that worries me most.

"Why," you might ask.

Well, a couple of reasons. More times than not my teams do get hot. They all do. Even the Royals and Pirates have streaks.

And, in some cases, like my LABR team, my bats are slowly awakening, and now I get Ian Kinsler and DiceK back. In Tout my hitters are also picking it up, though I do have my concerns about Jake Peavy, whom I also have on my NFBC team. So, kicking it in gear would be a good thing.

But, either I read it wrong, or that same NFBC team will also pick it up like my Bloomberg team, and the reason I think they will pick it up is that I got everyday players, who still have their jobs and probably will through the course of the season. And, as long as they perform, they will improve, and I know this because I am getting the at-bats.

In these leagues that means somewhere between 35-40 at-bats, per team, a day, and I am getting 40-plus innings a week from my pitchers, and the reality is the best you can hope is to get everyday players--ideally the best possible combination at a given time--and throw them out there each day.

That said, ideally my guys will do their thing and my team will rise accordingly. And, that tells me not to trade or shake things up (if I am still running on empty at the end of June, then acts of desparation can be considered). The principle reason for that is if Jason Kubel hits three-quarters as well as he did last year, should I trade him now, I will be swapping his primary production, which I paid for $23.

On the other hand, my XFL team is starting out well enough, largely on the nice power surge of Vernon Wells, and, though I think Wells will have a nice season, I don't expect him to finish with a .300-30-100 season, and, even if he does, that is say 23 more homers between now and October, which is just over four a month. Which means someone else needs to get hot to continue driving the squad. In other words there is a lot of upside on my remaining players who need to step up.

So, try to hang onto that patience for a while longer. I am, and I am feeling ok about it. Most of the time.


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