Frustration and fantasy baseballby Paul Singman
May 11, 2010
I'll kick this article off by telling you this article contains no pertinent information to help you win your fantasy league. [Pause] Alright, now that we got that out of the way, allow me to introduce the topic du jour.
Frustration has its part in fantasy baseball, one we must learn to deal with for the sake of the computer screens we might otherwise hurl objects toward. Below is a collection of some of the more hair-pulling situations every fantasy baseballer will eventually counter. For your enjoyment:
Strange situations can arise in fantasy baseball, and perhaps one of the strangest is when a hitter on your team is facing a pitcher on ... your team. No outcome from this encounter can be entirely good for you, only certain outcomes are more favorable than others. I liken it to playing golf with your boss—either way you lose.
Two weeks ago, on April 21, I found myself on one end of the spectrum when a pitcher I happily own, Phil Hughes, was set to face the A's of Oakland. At the time I owned two hitters in the A's lineup, namely Cliff Pennington and Daric Barton.
Hughes wound up throwing a gem. Over 7.1 innings he allowed one run, fanned 10 batters, and most importantly got the win.
For Hughes I was happy, but unfortunately he did not shelter Cliff and Daric from the domination he brought upon the A's lineup. Perhaps it was my fault for having started both of them, since the duo combined to go 0-for-7 and I knew there had to be a better way.
But I would not find out what that better way was two Fridays ago when Ricky Nolasco took the mound against the stealthy Nationals lineup, rejuvenated by the return of its and my slugger, Ryan Zimmerman. Nevertheless, fresh off two dominating performances, I thought Nolasco would Slap Chop his way through their batting order.
And he might have were it not for friendly fire in the form of two Ryan Zimmerman home runs. As a result, Nolasco was done after just four innings with five earned runs charged to his name and again I was angry at my team for not getting along. If there is such thing as fantasy baseball chemistry, my team had none of it.
I did not have to wait long, though, to see my teammates harmonize as the next day Yovani Gallardo faced off against the Padres. Gallardo was filthy, allowing one run over seven innings of work with 11 strikeouts. In the midst of that filth, however, one Padre—my Padre—Chase Headley emerged 3-for-4 with all his hits singles.
Finally despite the civil war raging among my team, I felt as if both sides had won on that night.
Credit here will be attributed where credit is due, which is to the folks over at Razzball—or rather a commenter there—for inventing this term. It means what the name implies, that upset feeling you get when seeing a player on your bench have a tremendous day. I was sonavabenched! Sunday when I sat both of my Phillies hitters, Shane Victorino and Placido Polanco, against Johna Santana in one league.
Santana would end up allowing 10 runs, including home runs to each of Victorino and Polanco. It's a roto league, so stuff like this stings all year.
The double whammy
The double whammy is a specialty of Head-to-Head leagues, when a hitter on the team opposing you for the week gets a home run or big hit off of one of your pitchers. In my one H2H league this year, this has yet to happen, so this paragraph will remain anecdotal-less.
Of course, few things are sweeter than a double whammy occurring in your favor.
The twilight run
This occurs when one of your starting pitchers has pitched tremendously through eight innings, with zero or one run allowed. You are already calculating the positive impact this effort will have on your ratios until in the ninth, your pitchers gives up another run or two to turn his gem into simply a quality outing. Justin Verlander accomplished this feat over the past weekend when he held the Angels scoreless through eight innings, only to give up a run after getting only one out in the ninth.
While I am not complaining with his performance, the timing of the run did irk me.
The trade landmine occurs when you trade for a player and as soon as he comes aboard your team, he forgets how to hit. In effect, the trade blows up in your face, especially if the player you traded away is now raking. I might have sent a landmine over to the Razzball fellows in the Yahoo F&F league when I gave them Polanco for Brett Gardner. Since the trade, Polanco's batting average has dropped 45 points!
Paul has been managing fantasy baseball teams for many seasons and writing for THT Fantasy over the past three years. He is currently a student at UPenn welcomes readers' thoughts at his email here or in the comments below.
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