THTF fantasy glory: Championships and top finishes

The 2009 fantasy baseball season officially came to a close in many formats last night, leaving a select few owners dousing themselves in coolers of Gatorade (I swear, I’m actually going to do this one of these years) and leaving many others to simply wait for next year. For THT Fantasy, there’s a good deal of celebrating in our virtual office today.

LABR NL — 1st place — Derek Carty (13 teams)
Along with Tout Wars, LABR is one of the top two expert fantasy competitions in the world. In 2009, yours truly is bringing home the trophy (or ring, actually… I bought myself a championship ring to most effectively gloat each time I see one of my fellow participants). In addition to simply winning, this championship makes me the youngest person to ever win a major expert league competition.

I’m especially proud because most have called this one of the toughest LABR fields ever with the likes of Baseball HQ’s Ron Shandler, ESPN’s Nate Ravitz and Tristan Cockcroft, Rotoworld’s Rick Wolf and Glenn Colton, Baseball Prospectus’ Clay Davenport, USA Today’s Steve Gardner, Yahoo!’s Brandon Funston, and several other top competitors. It truly was an All-Star field. Back in March, there were 11 LABR and Tout championships sitting in the draft room with me. They should all still be there next year, but the funny thing is, the target will now be on my back.

Fantasy Sports Invitational Challenge (FSIC) — 2nd place — Derek Carty and Paul Singman (12 teams)
We were in 1st just 10 or 12 days ago, but our team fell flat in the final week. Still, a quality finish against some good competition from FantasyBaseball.com, Fanball, SportingNews, and several others. Perhaps the saying “You can’t win a league in the early rounds, but you can lose it” is true. Paul and I were unlucky enough to pick Jose Reyes and Garrett Atkins 1-2. Considering, I think a finish likes ours is pretty good.

Razzball League — 2nd place — Jonathan Halket (90 teams)
This league wasn’t strictly for experts but, rather, followed the NFBC style of massive amounts of teams, including representatives from ESPN, FanGraphs, Fanball, FantasyPros911, Beyond the Boxscore, MVN, and Razzball (of course), among others. Terrific showing in a huge field, Jonathan.

KFFL Expert League — 3rd place — Derek Carty and Eriq Gardner (12 teams)
Really competitive league that came down to the wire. We were in first entering the week, but this team also fell flat in the final days. No shortage of competition, though, as participants included LABR commish Steve Gardner, KFFL’s own Nick Minnix and Tim Heaney, and reps from Baseball HQ, Baseball Prospectus, CREATiVESPORTS, RotoExperts, and FantasyPros911, among others. Eriq and I actually ended up making 204 transactions throughout the course of the season.

Yahoo! Friends & Family League — 4th place — Paul Singman (14 teams)
Our own Paul Singman was tied for second on Saturday, but just barely got edged out at the last minute. There are some big names here, including Yahoo!’s big four of Funston, Behrens, Evans, and Pianowski as well as Tout Wars vets Jeff Erickson (Rotowire), Chris Liss (Rotowire), Mike Salfino (SNY), and several other industry guys.

Concluding thoughts

Overall, I think it was a very good showing for THTF in expert leagues this season. As you know, we’ve expanded very quickly, going from just one full-time writer (me) at the end of last season to a staff of 12 terrific guys today. For me, to see our guys have the opportunity to participate against such tough competition — and what’s more, to see these kind of results — in what really is the early going of the site, is something I’m very proud of.

Thanks to all of the great writers I now have the privilege of working with and even more thanks to all of the readers who have helped make THTF what it is today — and who will help it continue to grow. Hopefully we were able to help you win your own fantasy leagues this year and will be able to help you again in 2010. If you have any stories you’d like to share, I’d love to hear them. Any suggestions for what you’d like to see from us going forward, I’d love to hear those too.

Unrelated — Where have I been?

For those wondering where I’ve been lately, worry not, I’ll be back soon. I’m currently in Arizona participating in the MLB Scouting Bureau’s Scout Development Program (aka Scout School). I’ll be back and ready to write in another week or so.

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Comments

  1. Andrew said...

    Congrats, Derek. Any chance we could get a list of end-of-season LIPS ERA leaders? I understand if that’s not possible since that stat appears in Heater, though.

  2. Derek Carty said...

    Yoo-Hoo works pretty well too smile

    Yeah, Pat, the FP911 League wasn’t quite as good.  I finished 6th – not bad, but not great.  You can’t win them all, although admittedly, I didn’t have a good feeling about things even before the draft was over.  Some personal issues that week (which were unavoidable, but thankfully everything turned out okay) got in the way of properly strategizing, which spiraled even further by causing a couple of mistakes in the draft.  I didn’t get a lot of the guys I wanted as a result (Branyan, Hill, Cruz, and Morales were the big ones, and also some guys who didn’t pan out like Iwamura and Crisp – though their ‘replacements’ Aybar and Gomez weren’t much better anyway) and ended up with some I really didn’t want.  I’m man enough to admit my mistakes, and I think it’s important to be honest with ourselves at the end of every season, evaluate what went right, what went wrong, and how we can improve next year.  Don’t sugar coat anything and don’t make excuses that don’t exist – simply evaluate your process honestly and thoroughly.  I’ll be going through this process myself with each league I was in over the coming couple weeks.

    … and taking Alex Rios and Big Papi hurt too.

  3. Derek Carty said...

    Austin,
    I’m 22, although I’m not sure of the exact age of the previous youngest.  I’ve been assured by a few people, however, that whoever it was was older than that.  I may even be the youngest to compete, though that hasn’t been confirmed.

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