Toz and I got the word from down on high yesterday. The sixth annual CBS Sportsline expert league will take place next week, and we'll once again be representing Patton & Company. The National League auction is Tuesday and the American League the following day. Like last year, Toz will manage the N.L. auction while I take care of the A.L. side of things.
It's too early for an auction, but having a look at what 12 seasoned fantasy players have to say about bids is often instructive, and a good way to kick off the 2009 season. Although Sportsline isn't as well known as the League of Baseball Reality (LABR) or Tout Wars, this league is still fairly competitive.
Last year, I attempted to emulate a standard 4x4 strategy of mine in this 5x5 league by spending $200 on offense and going cheap on pitchers: getting one ace, filling in with two solid starting pitchers, and then throwing $1 here and there at cheap pitchers and hoping one of them turned into Cliff Lee. Unfortunately, my ace was Erik Bedard (who, at $27, was a "bargain" compared to the $30 he went for in LABR and the $33 he sold for in Tout Wars) and one of my "dependable" starters was Chien-Ming Wang.
The only silver linings for my pitching was that I somehow finished third in ERA and my strategy of dumping saves and churning to pick up relievers netted me 3 1/2 points in saves, as Fernando Rodney, Brad Ziegler and Jensen Lewis were all picked up cheaply through FAAB or at $1 at auction (in Rodney's case).
Given that I spent $200 (more or less) on hitters, I was more disappointed with my middle-of-the-pack results here than on the rubber. I bought a pretty run-of-the-mill Stage Three team, and a run-of-the-mill Stage Three team was what I got, with one good bargain (Melvin Mora at $7) not overcoming two awful picks (Frank Thomas and Josh Fields at $14 each). That's one of the worst things about auctioning this early: things that seem obvious in February are anything but in late March.
So after bouncing between 7th and 10th in the last month, I finished 9th. Honestly, once Bedard and Wang were both down, I stopped paying attention, but that still didn't make me happy about one of my worst Roto showings to date.
But I'm raring to go and looking forward to 2009.