This writer is still trying to figure out the ESPN League Baseball Fantasy league he joined this season. This twelve (12) member league is made up of mostly folks who are in Singapore or the United States – mostly in Texas (I think). The League will be referenced on this blog as the Eleven Jerks League to pass the censors. I am still trying to figure out how to pronounce some of the team names, so it may be awhile before you read us speaking about them.
The format is Head to Head, and players were drafted in a live auction with a salary cap. We play with nine players – but oddly not a first baseman. We are not exactly like the National League which plays without a designated hitter, nor like the American League which fields all positions and a designated hitter. Yes, we have only nine batters, but the first baseman is referenced as a “utility” player and can be from any position player on the field. Odd don’t you think? We play with four (4) pitcher positions: 2 Starting Pitchers (SP) and 1 Relief Pitcher (RF). As we earn points for a save, the non-starting pitcher is usually a Closer. We don’t have “Pitcher” designations which always makes it interesting when the Texas Rangers turn a Closer into a Starting Pitcher, and a Starting Pitcher into a Relief Pitcher. Good Grief! It may be good training for the Texas Rangers GM and Assistant GM to compete a year or two in our league – than battle the Anaheim Angles!
To make the season even more challenging, we re-draw our teams at mid-season. In other words, so that we try to keep things fair and not have the top teams coast from the All-Star break to the end of the season, we break our teams up – keeping up to only two (2) “keepers” and then re-bidding for the players again. One angle this writer has not figured out is how player statistics vary from the start of the year to the end of the year. Take Carl Crawford for example. Is it better to have Carl on your team at the start of the season – when he has not even player a single inning for the Boston Red Sox, or wait until the All-Star game and add him to your team then? Or, is it a better strategy to take him now and designate him as one of your two keepers and have him as one of your three (3) outfielders – or yes even in that utility position? Honestly. Just thinking about the possibilities makes my head hurt!
As you might imagine, this league is also composed of mostly financial types. And as such this writer is hoping he finds the league a fun and challenging league to compete in. They certainly are a lively group of guys!
If any of the about rules of play sound familiar to you, please leave a comment on any advise you can offer. I will be more than happy to share the prize winnings with you!