Friday, March 16, 2007

Winning Ugly

One of the things I've enjoyed most about my 20 years of playing Rotisserie Baseball is that it has increased my knowledge of the game, which as a result has increased my level of enjoyment.

I'm amused now when I hear a fan ragging on Bobby Abreu, something I hear a lot now that I live in Philadelphia (yes, many Phillies fans still can't let go). Here's a guy with a 900+ OPS for his career who has done nothing but produce, yet fans still can't stop complaining.

I'm even more amused when I hear the non-Roto fan talk about what a bum a player from a visiting team is. Yet, when you press that fan for why this player's a bum, you can't get a straight answer. Typically, the player is a bum because he's on the opposing team, and because he struck out twice today. So he must be lousy.

Although we Rotisserie owners are generally far more knowledgeable about baseball, we also have our own blind spots. Yesterday, when talking about the concept of Optimal Bidding, I inferred that you should pay for stars and try to get bargains in the middle and at the bottom of the player pool. At the same time, don't let your prejudices allow you to walk away from potential bargains.

Last year, I froze Ben Broussard for $7. Most of my league thought he was a bum and that he wasn't worth it. While I didn't expect Ben to hit well over .300 for half a season, he did earn much more than the $7 I froze him at.

Juan Uribe disappointed me at $8 last year, but he still didn't lose me money. More importantly, he was the 11th best SS in the American League, and I avoided overpaying Angel Berroa or Orlando Cabrera because the position was so thin.

Todd Jones at $12 was dismissed as a weak pick because every tout and his obnoxious brother thought that Jones was going to lose the job by May. Yet I figured that the Tigers didn't sign him to a 2-year contract so he could mop up in the 5th inning. Sure enough, after some early struggles, Jones nearly put up $30 in earnings for me.

This isn't to say you should chase these players...then you're overpaying and, when you overpay, you lose. But don't forget that these guys exist, and don't take so much off their bid limits that you miss out on potential profits. If a guy's worst case scenario is $8-10 in earnings, don't let him slip to $3, because you're handing your rival profits. Which, in Roto, is like handling your rival stats.

And, Phillies fans, give it a rest on Bobby Abreu. He's gone. Get over it.

And replacing Abreu with Shane Victorino is a big downgrade, no matter what your personal feelings are about Abreu.

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