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Posts from the ‘2. ESPN League’ Category

Grapefruit League Awards handed out

April 3, 2012

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Springtime and Baseball Spring Training.  Is there a better of the year?

There always seems to be plenty of Hope in the Spring.  Just thinking about the possibilities for a new year, a new season, a new team – gives me a me warm inside – even if it still is a bit nippy outside.

Springtime signals changes though – to the weather, to flowers and trees and to our baseball teams.  Evaluating a baseball team in the Spring is easy and fun to do.  Everyone seems to enjoy putting their predictions out there – Bold Predictions on teams, players, managers and even year-end awards.  These predictions more often than not usually turn our incorrect, but in the Spring we can believe anything is possible.

In the Spring you rely more on hope and gut feelings than on known facts to make weather predictions.  For example you believe it will be warm for the weekend – but you’re not sure.  When you pack for a trip in the Spring, you hope you will not need to bring a jacket a long with you.  But you will not be too surprised or too upset if when you arrive you actually need one.  You might think – “ahhh, it’s okay I can tough it out.  At least I am headed home for the weekend where it will be warm”.

The further South you go (Northern Hemisphere) in the Spring, there is probably a good chance the weather will be warmer when you arrive home for the weekend. But it can still be difficult to accurately predict the weather in the Springtime even in the South – unless you live in a climate where each day feels like the last.  Just knowing though that each day IS getting a little warmer, the days staying a little brighter and the tree blossoms budding a little more each day gives you hope.

During Spring Training – there is always Hope

In the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues – where the skies are sunny and the days are warm – baseball teams and fans are always hopeful – eager to greet new players, welcome back returning vets and check out the new rookies.  Fantasy leagues are the same.  You’ve done your homework, attended as many pre-draft parties as you can, and if you are lucky enough, might have even taken in a few games in person.

In a fantasy baseball league, the day you are dealt a new list of players from a computer, or leave a draft party with your winning bids, you can be either very excited, or leave you with an empty feeling and scratching your head.  Sometimes you feel a little of both. You might feel you have some good players on your team – maybe even some of those young super stars every one is talking about.  But you may have some doubts about some others as well.  If you have played in enough fantasy leagues, you’ve more than likely had your share of  “oh no – not him again” feelings.  Hopefully you have also experienced the “YES! – Got HEEEM!” moments as well.

In the Springtime when next weekend’s weather is not always easily predictable, you rely more on gut instincts, unproven facts and if you are wise as much historical and current data as you can possibly process.  Like that guy packing for a trip, you think you can leave the jacket at home – but you aren’t sure.  And you will not be too surprised if those hunches and guts feelings don’t come true.  Because it’s Springtime – and in the Spring there is always hope.  Hope that the weather will turn warmer, and hope that your fantasy baseball team will do well in the upcoming season.

Singapore Grapefruit League Awards

Let’s take some time here to look back on some of those fantasy league Springtime moves and predictions from a few leagues I am in this year.  We’ll keep the Springtime analogy going rather than introduce a drink theme here – as I kinda like the Singapore Grapefruit League Poster.  The citrus on the poster just says Springtime to me – even if the palm trees in the background add a summer flare.  Leave a comment if you are in for a T-Shirt or Coffee mug.  I am sure we can find a vendor somewhere to help us out.

In my ESPN Eleven Jerks Baseball League – a PG-13 rating applied to clear sensors – the following Singapore Grapefruit League Awards were announced April 3rd:

Waiver Wire pick-up of the Year Award ” This Spring Training Award goes to TK for his April 3rd pick-up of Carl Crawford.  Sweet one Tim!  Definitely in the Bold and gut feel category — seeing something in the future that PICK and many others must not.  For the readers who missed it, TK paid $28 for Carl just a few days after PICK cut him.  This for a player who actually is not going to be packing his suitcase and heading north to join the Boston Red Sox for their season opener.  From what I have read Tim, Carl won’t even need to ponder the “should I pack a jacket or sweater question” until at least May – or at the earliest the end of April.  I guess you will be able to tough it out only playing 2 of the 3 outfield positions.

Draft King Award”  This award goes to STEP for his demonstrated command during the live draft.  Even through all the distractions, Brian remained calm and focused and came away with in our opinion with the team to beat.  Brian is in the lead coming out of Spring Training and looks to be in the best all-around shape with the most even balance of good batters and pitchers than anyone except TK.  Brian graded in Top 5 of both batter and pitcher categories and earns this award with his total projected team score for the year.  Simply put, Brian came away with the best collection of players in the draft.  But remember, it’s still Spring and our projections and your giddy feeling are not based on enough data to be sure.  We are advising you to not book another trip to the Far East based on your anticipated winnings!

Head Scratcher Award” The Singapore Grapefruit League to proud to award the inaugural Head Scratcher Award to PICK.   What the heck is going on over with his team Best $ Can Buy Tex in Da Bronx?!?!  You made are selection so easy – in fact no one else came close to earning this award.  You’ve been burin’ up the waiver wire, and burn’ though some actual cold hard cash.  As the Eleven Jerks League Commish keeps remaining us, now that we are past the “Draft Hangover” period the moves count.

No problem at all changing your mind.  By the way, who’s driving the bus anyway over there?  There was a lot of noise coming over the phone on draft day and we want to make sure your T-Shirt arrives with the right size.  Should it be an Adult Large, or Child Medium?  Think about now… take your time man.  For those wondering why PICK earns the Head Scratcher Award, Len has managed to make 6 player moves so far – three dropped players and three added players.  Two of his dropped players were snatched up by other teams before they could clear waivers:  Carl Crawford ($28) and Andre Ethier ($4).  On top of this, Len has actually weakened his team by our calculation from draft day and has moved down from 5th place into 7th place in the league.  These are only Springtime predictions but are still clear examples of a “Fruit Basket” turnover by one manager early in the year.

C’Mon Man! Award”  This Award goes to WEBB and CEDE.  They are bottom and next to bottom in the League breaking Spring Training and headed north for the regular season.  WEBB – manager of Ripken’s Revenge – did make a couple of player decisions involving an RF and SP both of whom play Springtime ball in the Cactus League with the San Diego Padres.   No problem there – just that the moves like PICK’s have his team headed SOUTH down the standings towards CEDE rather than NORTH towards STEP!  Randy, be more like STEP than CEDE and you will have a warmer Spring.  We hate to see good players dropped for unproven players particularly when the season has not started.  This is definitely in the bold prediction category.

CEDE who manages the “Old Goats Inn” certainly is playing his part for a keeping a quaint summer home nestled on quiet cove like the one shown in the link here.  It reads “Quiet neighborhood, street parking plus car port, fully fenced in back yard – reasonable rates for small groups or larger groups.”  Wait a minute Mike, are there any other kind of groups other than small or large we don’t know about?  We are thinking you need to re-do the signage and re-think the team you have coming out of Spring Training.

We admire your steadfastness – not a single move has been made by Mike since draft day.  Unlike PICK, he made his decision at the draft and is sticking to his plan.  He’s has this “feeling”… we could instead give him the “Eternal Hope Award“.  We will pass on this for a few more weeks until we can see some actual data to back up those feelings.  Just recommend that you consider packing a jacket before you heading North.  Or at least think about adding a different first baseman other than Adam Dunn.  You never know.  Some ARE writing some good things about Adam Dunn – a return to his 2010 form is predicted by one noted writer.

But we put this prediction in the “feeling” category vs. the fact-based category and we urge you to take a look at the players you have around Adam Dunn.  For example, you might have a hole at Shortstop  with J.J. Hardy.  He received a cortisone injection in shoulder during Spring Training.  Old Goats Inn is definitely a team “packing without a sweater, jacket heck even a long sleeve shirt!”

All of these moves and non-moves may turn out to be the best the best moves of the year.  That’s the fun of Spring.  There is always Hope – and no body really knows this early in the season what will happen.

Good luck to all this year!