The fantasy baseball season is over, and I ended up tied for third out of nine. The last few days were very tight as only a few matchpoints separated second from sixth.
Obviously I would have liked to win, but I can't be unhappy given that this is the first time I've played. It's amazing how much I learned about baseball. During the draft I did not even know who Bobby Abreu was. Now I am conversant with the majority of the lineups of the 30 major league teams. (And I have invented the words "Abreutastic" and "Abreuriffic".)
Let's see how my players performed. I list the order in which the player was drafted, the eight statistics used for scoring in the league, and a score that factors in those eight statistics. (This factored score would be 100 for a player who had the 100th best totals in major leage baseball for each statistic.) We'll start with the hitters:
(Next: The Floyd Rage Hurlers.)
|I took Soriano first because I had seen him as monstrously better than any other second baseman. Unfortunately he did not repeat his 2003 numbers and had a rather mediocre season. Soriano was injured in September and I replaced him with Boston's Mark Bellhorn; my combined score for second base was 114.
|Renteria had better numbers last year than any shortstop except A-Rod or Nomar. This year he had half as many stolen bases and a much lower average and OBP.
|Abreuriffic! Abreutastic! Abreulicious! This son a bitch produces runs.
|Another player who was better than average, but not worth a high draft pick.
|Thomas was doing pretty well till he got injured midway through the season. I prorated his numbers for an entire season by doubling his at-bats to 480.
|Pudge had a great year with a monster batting average (and lots of at-bats), some power, and even a few steals. (Don't be fooled by the score; catchers tend to have low scores because they don't get as many at-bats as other players. 105 is quite good for a catcher.) But what's up with all the errors?
|Winn had a horrible start -- he didn't get his first home run till a third of the way through the season -- but he righted the ship and had a decent year.
|I did very well from my catchers. Varitek didn't play as much as Pudge -- he sat every fifth game when the backup catcher caught knuckleballer Tim Wakefield -- but he did well for a middle-of-the-draft pick.
|Polanco, like his teammate Abreu, had a slow start. Abreu then went on a tear, but Polanco turned out to have problems with his quadriceps and spent time on the DL. I then turned to Houston's Morgan Ensberg, who was a good singles hitter but did not play much. I hoped that when Jimy Williams was fired his playing time would improve, but it did not. Finally he got injured -- I think it was a back strain -- and I turned to the Indians' Casey Blake. I present accumulated stats for my three-headed third base monster.
|Wilkerson worked out well for me; he had power, patience, and stole a few bases. Had he played for the 2003 playoff-contending Expos rather than the 2004 cellar-dwellers, he probably would have had more runs and RBIs.
|Encarnacion played outfield on my team for awhile, not doing much. He went on the DL and I replaced him with Richard Hidalgo. I dropped Encarnacion before he was traded to the Marlins. Score pro-rated for 550 at-bats (he had 283 for my team).
|Baldelli was a sophomore ready to have a breakout year for Tampa Bay. His 2004 was somewhat disappointing, but I can't complain considering I drafted him 20th.
|Wacky Bradley was an impressive young player who mouthed his way off the Indians a week before the start of the season. He was traded to the Dodgers and did well for a late draft pick.
In addition to the replacements I listed for Soriano and Polanco, I had to replace other hitters as they became injured. Mike Sweeney and Geoff Jenkins each got me one hit. I picked up the Cubs' Corey Patterson for a month and a half (he hit .194 and had seven home runs). I had the Astros' and Mets' Richard Hidalgo for about two months, and he wasn't much better.
But I did do well off the waiver wire when it came time to replace Frank Thomas. For some reason the Rangers' Mark Teixeira was available, and he brutalized American League for me. (Unfortunately, this included the A's.) Here is his stat line with a projected score: