The Thinking Chair
I've been vacationing on Kauai for the last two weeks (I know, you weep for me) and one of the best things about taking a vacation this time of year is that it allows me to decompress, refocus and -- of course -- get ready for my fantasy baseball drafts.
Nothing happened in the fantasy world though, did it?
Actually, there were at least two huge developments. The bikinis and waves (and dear god, the roosters -- more on this later) were great, but they didn't distract me from the news on
First, what the hell is hybrid surgery? Does that mean one of his surgeons was a Cylon and one was human? (See, that joke would be so much funnier for you if you actually watched
Second, I'm left wondering about the difference between those two time estimates. Six weeks is a pretty large cushion. What that tells me is that the Yankees, A-Rod and his agent want you to think it's just four weeks -- and those with a bit more knowledge and/or cynicism think it'll take much longer. To me, it means there's no incentive to pay for Rodriguez at this point. If he only misses a month of the season, he'll still be a solid bet at third, but only if he can immediately step in and be A-Rod -- which is a valid, open question at this point.
Then, somewhat out of the blue, the Dallas Cowboys waived Owens, who quickly signed a relatively cheap, one-year contract with the Bills for $6.5 million. I'm a little stunned by this -- it makes me wonder what's going on here. Owens is a notorious clubhouse distraction despite
As soon as Owens was sent packing, my brother said to me, "You know who should sign Owens? The 49ers." It was somewhat of a joke, but he's right about one thing: Owens needed to go to a team that desperately needed a vertical threat, and it turns out that team is Buffalo. This move clearly boosts the value of both
But enough about football, it's the season of the fantasy baseball draft, and that's a whole holiday in itself.
I've been playing fantasy baseball for a preposterously long time --
What I don't like is when folks try to make their leagues look like "real" baseball. And here's why -- real baseball isn't as good as fantasy baseball.
Yeah, I said it. In fantasy baseball, if my players are hitting the juice, stealing signs or punching opposing players in the face, I'm fine with it (unless I own that opposing player, of course). Anything that helps my team win is acceptable, within the rules of my league. If it happens on the real field, I can be assured of two things:
Plus, this line of thinking leads to atrocious decisions like adding errors as a category.
Let me take a moment here -- errors are perhaps the dumbest statistic in all of baseball. They are judged by openly biased "judges" and often reward slow players who can't get to a ball to boot it, rather than the guy with plus range who overthrows first or kicks the ball. They're just dumb. In fact, I'm not a fan of any negative stat in fantasy sports. Caught stealing? Heck, I want my guys running every single time they get on base. (Again, in fantasy baseball only.) A blown save? Crushing -- but if it doesn't count, it's just the absence of an actual save.
I have one exception to my rule of not aping actual baseball, and it's making the switch from Batting Average to On Base Percentage. It's something far too many leagues don't do. How much will
What's more, using BA hides the incompetence of some players. Take, for example, the Crushin' Russian, Padres 3B
OK, so there's that. The next stuff about the drafts is the nitty gritty -- would you rather have Player A, or Player B? There's one example here I spent a lot of time noodling over on the beach, and it's this: Given the chance, would you rather own
OK -- I can't finish up without returning to the rooster. Seriously, if you've been to Kauai, you know what I'm talking about. Apparently, some time in the past a huge storm hit the island and a lot of chickens got loose. At least that's the story I heard, and it sounds about right -- because the island is simply rife with feral chickens. They're everywhere. I've never watched a hen and her five chicks take a stroll along the beach before and it's both funny and annoying -- because there aren't just hens, there are roosters. And they don't limit their wake-up calls to sunrise. In fact, they pretty much never shut up. Do you like bolting awake every morning at about 4:45 AM on vacation? How about to the sound of a wild rooster marking his territory? If so, then rent a house in Poipu Beach, my friend. I'm sure that the lush resorts have fixed this problem (I walked around one that appeared to be chicken-free), but for those of us on a tighter budget, it's all about the rooster.
But you know what? You wake up hours before sunrise in Kauai ... and you're still in Kauai. That's a good way of thinking about your drafts, too. If you end up paying $29 for
Don't fear the rooster.