The 2009 Matewan Massacre

I’m beginning my second season in a Diamondmind simulation league that Fox’s Dayn Perry runs. We had our draft on Saturday. It’s all Chicago people except for me, so the other 11 owners met up at someone’s apartment, while I joined in remotely via Google chat and a shared spreadsheet. Disadvantage: they all got to drink beer and taunt each other as the draft proceeded. Advantage: I got to spread out about 50 pieces of paper and have five windows up obsessing on each pick without being made fun of. Oh, I guess I just blew that. Oh well. Anyway, here’s the 2009 Matewan Massacre (note: I plan to use that name in every fantasy league I ever enter; at some point someone will catch the reference):

C: Geovany Soto
1B: Ryan Howard
2B: Dan Uggla
3B: Aramis Ramirez
SS: Yunel Escobar
RF: Shin Soo-Choo
CF: Rick Ankiel
LF: Carlos Lee
DH: David Ortiz
Bench: Mike Fontenot
Bench: Hank Blalock
Bench: Pablo Sandoval
Bench: Seth Smith
Bench Ryan Spilborghs

SP1: Cliff Lee
SP2: Francisco Liriano
SP3: Ryan Dempster
SP4: Jair Jurrjens
SP5: Clayton Kershaw

BP: Joey Devine
BP: Francisco Cordero
BP: Chad Qualls
BP: Edwar Ramirez
BP: Craig Breslow
BP: Juan Cruz

Inactive Reserve: Travis Snider, Scott Baker, Tommy Hanson, Jason Heyward, Lars Anderson

The inactive guys can be shuffled in to the active, so I have Baker around in case a starter goes down. Snider was going to be my starting right fielder, but this is a sim league not a straight fantasy league, and his projections aren’t looking that fabulous for 2009, so he may need another year (it’s a 10-player keeper league, and I grabbed him last year). The others are plays for 2010. I’m not totally set on right field either. Choo’s Zips projection isn’t stellar. I may try to run some platoon with Smith and Spilborghs. That and defense up the middle are my weak points, no doubt. I also have no idea how that bullpen will shake out. Last year I tried to make a pen that looked like real life and it was positively the worst part of my team. I figured this year I’d just take the best reliever available at any given point and hope for the best. Edwar Ramirez is a stretch, I guess, but I’m a sucker for K/9.

I’m pretty happy with this team, actually. Last year I finished roughly .500 with what I thought to be a worse team. I mean, I had Barry Zito for cryin’ out loud. This year I like my chances to move up. At least I hope I do, because there may or may not be money on the line this time around.

With that draft down, I still have a straight fantasy league draft in Tim Dierkes’ blogger league, which I’m sure I’ll mess up. I’m also on what seems like week 12,289 in an online Scoresheet League draft. Guys get 12 hour windows to pick, and round-wise we’re somewhere deep in the 20s. It’s a pretty full league too, so the pickings are impossibly thin at this point. I need a reliver and a backup corner infielder still, and there’s no one worth a damn left on the board. Probably doesn’t matter as (a) the rest of my team doesn’t look too good; and (b) the rest of the league is full of full time baseball writers and analysts who are going to clean my clock anyway. I do have two centerfielders, though, so maybe I can trade for something.

I know there is nothing more boring than someone talking about their fantasy team, but some people care about this stuff, and between getting to bed late last night and the time change, I’m dragging today, so cut me some slack.

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  1. Chris Kash said...

    I’ll commiserate.

    My 5 year-old keeper league is doing their draft (via email-6 hour window between picks) and I have as strong a team as anyone in my league:

    C – Navarro, Snyder
    1B- Fielder
    2B- Johnson
    3B- Longoria
    SS- Jeter
    OF- Sizemore, Markakis, Burrell
    DH- Thome
    SP- Webb, Santana, Billinglsey, Haren, Snell, Lannan
    RP- Nathan, K-Rod
    prospects- Heyward, Hellickson

    We have 23 man rosters (17 starters, 6 reserves + 2 prospects who don’t count against the roster limit).

    Problem is I traded so many middle round picks to stock-up on starters that I have no depth. It’s a 9 round draft and we are currently just starting our 7th round and I have not picked since the 4th and won’t pick again until the 9th.

    You know you’re screwed when you’re upset that Clint Barmes gets picked and you’ve targeted him as the best remaining middle IF reserve.

  2. Ron said...

    So you’re subscribing to the theory of:

    “defense, we doan need no stinkin’ defense”

    It’s a good things you’re going to outhit everyone because you have no team defense, team speed, and you’re starters don’t eat innings.

    Oh, wait, it’s fantasy. What was I thinking. Never mind.

  3. Craig Calcaterra said...

    Pretty much, Ron.  Last year I had Jeter at short to go along with Uggla.  And guess what: Jeter won the league MVP award!  I didn’t even protect him this year, partially because his projection was bound to be down, but also because I needed to improve at least a little on defense.  Howard, Ramirez, and many others continue to be black holes, but I don’t care.  I’m going Blake Street Bombers/Harvey’s Wallbangers here.

    On the pitching: I had to basically build my rotation from scratch this year, becasue last year I had Smoltz and Bedard and a bunch of other untenable options for 2009.  If I had to choose between quality and durability, I went with quality every time. There are a lot of serviceable starters who went undrafted that I may pick up here and there to help out with innings, probably at the expense of whichever reliever is doing the worst.

  4. Shawn said...

    Oh, I get the reference.  It would be cool to have a ball team and name them that, just the same as I would like to put a team here in Vienna and nickname them the Sausages.

  5. Ron said...

    I acutally like your starting rotation, if they all stay healthy. If they do, they’ll put up big numbers.

  6. Nevin Patton said...

    Pretty solid.
    Love Sandoval’s flexibility, and if he gets off to a hot start, you could trade Soto for a replacement for Choo (or package him with Escobar, maybe, for a bump at SS?  Would those two together be worth Stephen Drew, if you’re comfortable with Sandoval at C?).  And Seth Smith could be a real nice bench player w/ upside.

    A few years of Sandoval, Heyward and Hanson will feel so good.

  7. bpasinko said...

    I like your bench.  Sandoval and Blalock could be legit starters, although they play at your strongest positions.

  8. Craig Calcaterra said...

    Nevin:  A little bit Cooper, a little bit David Strathairn.  No coal company. Because as Cooper’s character says in the movie: there ain’t but two sides in this world – them that work and them that don’t. You work, they don’t. That’s all you get to know about the enemy.

  9. Bill said...

    I can’t imagine that defense holding up in DMB. That outfield is going to kill you, and (totally without checking or really thinking about it at all) aren’t Lee and Liriano flyball pitchers?

    How is Baker not good enough to be in somebody’s starting 5? I know a couple of the projection systems are kind of down on him, but I don’t get it…

  10. Craig Calcaterra said...

    Bill:  I know, I’m toast defensively. I kind of don’t care. I want to score a zillion runs because I think I’ll have a hell of a lot of fun doing that.  If I set a record for runs against at the same time? Eh, so be it.

    Amar: I’m not a Sayles fanatic. I like Matewan and Eight Men Out, but that has more to do with me (a) growing up in Southern West Virginia and becoming really fascinated with the culture and history of mining; and (b) being a baseball freak.  I’m not really that familiar with the rest of his work.

  11. Nevin said...

    What you been doing the last few months in prep for this draft?  Working, or Not Working?

    Good luck, I hope you win.

  12. Ron said...

    “(a) growing up in Southern West Virginia and becoming really fascinated with the culture and history of mining;”

    Just to be fair, I come from a long-line of Welsh coal miners, and even my grandfather would wonder about that statement?

  13. Bob Timmermann said...

    “Matewan” is a movie to watch if you just want to feel good about humanity.

    Or if you want to see Kevin Tighe play the most evil man in the world.

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