Thursday, October 15, 2009

Taking Requests (or "Ou sont les Neifis d'antan?")

(That's right, a French subtitle. We here at the GRBG are nothing if not cosmopolitan polygots.)

It has come to our attention that, as is so often the case come the cold rains of autumn, some of our readership are casting their minds back to those halcyon days when the league was young. Specifically, these readers want to get a sense of how the league owners stack up all-time, over the life of the league.

Ordinarily we would just ignore those readers, as we take pride in generating maximum levels of annoyance. Here, though, the public may be on to something. And when someone somewhere is on to something, we here at the GRBG make a chart. So put this marzipan in your pie plate, bingo:

AVG FINISH AVG PTS Cashes Cash % Wins Win %
Tucker (8) 2.1 91.7 6 0.750 4 0.500
Scot (5) 3.8 81.7 4 0.800 1 0.200
Jake (8) 4.6 76.6 4 0.500 1 0.125
Alex (7) 5.3 73.3 2 0.286 1 0.143
Teddy (8) 6.1 69.3 2 0.250 0 0.000
Darrandrew† (7) 6.1 68.2 2 0.286 1 0.143
Angelo (8) 6.4 60.4 2 0.250 0 0.000
Corey* (5-ish) 6.7 63.3 1 0.200 0 0.000
Matty G. (3) 7.2 58.2 0 0.000 0 0.000
Will (7) 7.9 58.9 1 0.143 0 0.000
Jon (7) 8.0 55.6 0 0.000 0 0.000
Sahil (8) 8.4 51.1 0 0.000 0 0.000
Andy (8) 8.6 53.6 0 0.000 0 0.000
Dave (1) 9.0 48.5 0 0.000 0 0.000
Vihar (1) 9.0 48.5 0 0.000 0 0.000
Other Scot (1) 9.0 48.5 0 0.000 0 0.000
Mike* (3) 9.0 47.5 0 0.000 0 0.000
Val (1) 12.0 27.5 0 0.000 0 0.000

† Coupled as an entry because of past joint ownership.
* Split '07 season; finish assigned to Mike.
(Note--more boring methodological stuff at the end of the post)

Obviously there's a lot to digest here. Let's start with the obvious questions: who's been the best and who's been the worst?

On the happy side, there's a pretty clear #1, with Tucker leading in every category except Cash %, where he's edged out by the consistency of Scot, the clear league #2. Five different guys have won the league title, which is actually a sneaky big level of parity given Tucker's long shadow.

On the less happy side, there isn't anything like as clear of a consensus (thankfully). Just going by the numbers, Val has set a floor that cannot be lowered. But is it really fair to hang the goat horns on a guy who was only in the league one year?

Well then maybe M*ke is our man, with his across-the-board worst numbers for multi-year owners. But again, he was only here for 2.5 of the 8 seasons.

Maybe the solution is to do this in tiers. Mike is probably the overall anti-champ. But let's be brave and look at the bottom of the veteran barrel. There are three main contenders: governor lowercase and the Brothers Eldersamozof, each with a unique claim to the throne. Eldersamozov the Lesser has the worst average ordinal finish, gl has the worst average point total, and Eldersamozov the Elder has the worst "best" performance, having finished no better than 5th in any season. We should also note that six different guys have finished last, so it's not as though there's really a habitual punching bag here. Accordingly, we are thrilled to declare it a tie and move on.

What about your humble authors, you might ask? Well, we've both ended up in the middle, though via different routes. As you'll see below in the records section, El Angelo has had a stunning variety of oddball seasons. Teddy, by contrast, has largely been boring--just about all you could hang on him is the dreaded label of "Best Never To Win A Major". Still, there's something oddly fun about the idea of two abject mediocrities offering advice to both ends of the league bell curve.

For your further delectation, here are a few random nuggets from the detailed data we used to create the chart.

Best Single-Season Point Total: 106 (Le Dupont Torkies, 2004)
Worst Single-Season Point Total: 19 (El Angelo, 2007 . . . and 2008)

Most Points By Non-Winner: 98 (Darrandrew, 2008)
Fewest Points By Winner: 84 (Alex, 2003)

Most Points By Non-Casher: 86.5 (El Angelo, 2009)
Fewest Points By Casher: 79.5 (El Angelo, 2003)

Average point totals for each ordinal rank:

1st: 96.1
2d: 90.5
3d: 87.4
4th: 80.4
5th: 73.5
6th: 67.6
7th: 63.6
8th: 58.0
9th: 53.0
10th: 44.2
11th: 38.4
12th: 27.7

OK, we suppose that we ought to explain what all those numbers mean. The number in parentheses next to the owner name represents the number of seasons the owner has participated in. AVG FINISH is derived by adding up the owners ordinal rank for each season, and dividing the total by the seasons participated in. Because the ordinal numbers can sometimes disguise how close (or not) two teams are, we've also thrown in AVG PTS to show the historic average point totals as well. The rest is hopefully self-explanatory.

For the '02 season, we assigned places 1-6 and 12, and put everyone else at T-9. Since we don't have point totals for that year, we used the average ordinal rank point totals above. Selah.


Anonymous said...

Awesome. I will try to find the '02 finish.

Can anyone explain why the point totals have gotten more, rather than less, divergent over time. Some of it, I suppose, it attributable to some owners planning for the future (a la Angelo 07-08). But at least theoretically, our draft is designed to bring teams back towards the middle, but that doesn't seem to be happening as much.


Teddy said...

I noticed that too. My pet theory is that the increased keeper hits have made it more dangerous to take a wait-and-see approach, because if your team never pulls it together you could be looking at losing your best players for nothing.

By contrast, the most "clumped" year was '03, when nobody was in danger of losing anyone on their team because of keeper issues.

Sahil said...

i fucking rule!

El Angelo said...

I think the nature of a keeper league in general leads to the spread out standings in the end. If you're out of it in June/July in a keeper league, there's a clear incentive to makes trades for the future, which then leads to the also-rans losing their best players for either picks or lottery tickets. If it weren't a keeper league, the teams from 6th - 12th place would have no incentive to deal off their studs in July, and the floor would probably be higher.

Also, others can correct me on this, but 2003 I remember being a weird year. I built a huge lead early that was gone by July, and I think Alex, Jake and I were well ahead of the pack until the last few weeks.

Corey said...

I proposed in the initial draft that each round should, after the draft, be given a random keeper year from 1 to 3. I was roundly shot down. The result, however, was that there was very little incentive to make trades the first couple of years, because everyone knew that the first round of the following draft really was akin to the 12th round of a regular draft. As time has passed, the first round in most years really has contained some studs, and even the bottom end of the first round carried top-30 players. With the increased value of getting more picks, as well as to get earlier draft picks, there is a perverse incentive for slow-starting teams to dump their talent and secure as many picks as they can. In the process, they're naturally going to drop in the point standings because their bad teams are now worse, usually before the all-star break. Consequently, a wide divergence of scores between the winners and losers is the EXPECTED behavior.

That said, this is not necessarily a bad thing, as Jake seems concerned about, since this process does tend to allow the worse teams to get better from season to season. However, within any given season, I think we will almost always see a 3-tier set of teams: those contending for money, those dumping early, and those caught in the middle.

On another note, can we assign the name "Grasso" to my first tenure as owner and "Corey" to my second tenure? I think it would make me look much better.

Anonymous said...

Corey, wasn't concerned, just curious.

As to 2003, I remember being about 30 points out in mid-June, as almost everyone on my team had a terrible spring, and then a constant climb into the money where I actually took over first place on the second-to-last day of the season, then dropped back a spot on Sunday.


El Angelo said...

Corey's comment was the first real baseball analysis (fantasy or otherwise) we have ever seen on this blog.

Corey said...

I just reread that poll asking "Who will join Tucker in taking money this year?"... so much for intelligence of the masses.

Tucker said...

1) I'd like to engage in a "strategy" conversation at some point. As in: "I have no idea what mine is but am curious if others employ one." Every year during draft prep we read all sorts of b.s. about how to manage your draft - not as much as during football prep, but it's still out there. I’ve yet to see anything compelling on the fantasy websites about “in season” strategy. Could it be because everyone else, like me, makes it up as they go along every year?

2) How on earth do you guys remember the trajectory of your team’s success 7 years ago?

3) I had totally forgotten until this season that my team used to be called “Toilet Phace.” I still love that name, but it obviously wasn’t really working for me. Remember Rick Fox? He used to have this hairstyle that involved flushing his hair in a toilet! That reminds me – hey Grasseux, guess who gave the Dilla a freezer Weasel after he ran a mini-triathalon a couple of weeks ago?

4) Go Phillies!

El Angelo said...

The only reason I remember 2003 was because I checked my team while checking my work email on vacation in Kilkenny in early June, to find that I had somehow broken the 110 barrier. This, plus the fact that Chad & I rose to money finishes in '02 when both of us were driving across America in a grey Chevy and drinking PBR, lead to the theory that the more you ignore your team the better you do.

I think I just answered #1 and #2 for Tucker.

Corey said...

Well, in season one, I tried to take the counter of the typical draft-hitters-first strategy and took eight or nine straight pitchers. That worked alright for me in '02, but '03 was a disaster as my pitching staff completely fell to pieces. '02 is easy to remember because it was the first year and I was in contention. '04 was easy to remember simply because of the Pujols affair. But I really have no idea about '05 because I was overseas and couldn't watch or listen to nay games, or even see the box scores until about 20 hours after the games ended. Needless to say, I was completely behind the eight ball for free agent pickups, especially early in the season, and specifically for closers, which is why I left for the '06 season.

As for strategy, I tend to overthink things and make dumb decisions, such as releasing Pujols instead of Holliday. Other than that, I just try to do what Tucker does.