Thursday, October 4, 2012

Les Curieux Evenements: A Slightly Sheepish Season Summary

So, um, how was your summer?

Contrary to published reports, we here at the GRBG did not succumb to The Plague. We did, however, have our hands full with new babies and reclusive copper heiresses, to the point where the blog sort of withered on the vine.

We're not sure what that means for our output going forward. But we are sure that we're going to redeem this season as best we can with an omnibus season wrap-up post. We'll start with our usual accountability check on the league's predictions, and finish off with the updated all-time league standings. (Teddy)

I had wanted to do something like this at the end of the season, so kudos to my esteemed co-author for taking the lead here.  In any event, 7800 soiled diapers, 90 depositions, and a dozen inexplicable Taylor Teagarden hits later, here we are.  Let's try to get some year-end commentary together.  (El Angleo)

12: The Moon Colonists (League Prediction: 10th)

We never got a chance to TA the early May trade in which the Colonists traded Matt Kemp, Roy Halladay, Adrian Gonzalez, Matt Grasso, and Mario Manningham to Quoth the Jennings in return for a 1, Ike Davis, Colby Rasmus, Ryan Madson, and the draft rights to five-month-old Garrett Hamm-Garciaparra. At the time many were worried that the trade would ruin the league. Those people turned out to be right, not for the expected reason that the trade put the Jennings over the top.
No, the trade was cataclysmic because it gave Angelo FOUR picks in next year’s first round. If we manage a livedraft next year, the combination of four Angelo #1s plus half a case of Mickey’s grenades should lead to hilarity. In light of that, further analysis of this team is mostly beside the point. (Teddy)

Kudos to those who had predicted me for DAFL and to Teddy for noting in our season-opening post that my squad had a good chance to tank this year because of its odd structure.  What's most notable about my season, other than the uber-trade, is just how putrid my draft was; only Addison Reed can be counted as a remotely useful player that I took.  By contrast, the waiver wire yielded Austin Jackson, Chase Headley, R.A. Dickey, and Kris Medlen.  So maybe those picks next year should be dealt for waiver priority.  (El Angelo)

11. 1st mouse late bird (League Prediction: 3d)

Well, not so much on that prediction. The Cockamouses looked like legit board candidates at the start of the year. But the worst 10 weeks of Albert Pujols’s career torpedoed them before they could even get started, and led to a tear-down trade intended to get the franchise back some of what it had given up in next year’s draft. All of the various trades were defensible based on where the team found itself at the time, although the unfortunate net effect is that they are going to have to reboot using a non-lottery first rounder next year. Luck plays a role here. (Teddy)

Teddy's noted this before but slow starts just annihilate you in rotisserie leagues, because come June, you'll be so far out of it that you have no clue what to do to improve.  The Healer's options to get better as the season went on were limited by the lack of a #1 for next year to use as a chip, but even if he dealt that for 8 useful players, it may not have been enough.  Right idea, some bad luck at the end of the day.  (El Angelo)

10. Spreading Santorum (League Prediction: 12)

 It's not easy to finish in 10th when you own the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years. Or, wait, maybe it is easy as long as you only get 8 pitching points. This was not the year to have drafted Jonathan Sanchez. (Teddy)

In addition to Miggy, this offense also had a bunch of guys who had really good years on offense -- Mark Trumbo, Michael Bourn, Elvis Andrus, and even an out of nowhere comeback for Toriiiiiiii.  But this really turned out to be one of the worst pitching staffs in memory.  When Johan St. Johan went down, Jason Vargas became their stopper.  That's wrong on multiple levels.  (El Angelo)

9. Jeters Never Prosper (League Prediction: 1st(!))

Whoops! Led by a uterly flabbergasting season from Derek Jeter, the shaky preseason IF actually held its own this year. Instead, the great god of Pitcher Variance up and bit them in the ass this year—Josh Johnson and Dan Haren were each among the 15 worst BABIPs in the league among SPs. There’s just not all that much you can do about that. The team rebounded a bit towards the end of the season, even as they traded away their only effective pitcher in Jered Weaver.  Of course, rebounding from 11th to 9th arguably just made things worse. (Teddy)

This roster was laden with guys who a lot of people thought would have huge breakthrough years -- Jesus Montero, Matt Moore, Dexter Fowler, and Yu Darvish.  While Darvish was fine, the others never really elevated their level to the greatness that was hoped for, offsetting a somewhat shocking year -- well, part year -- from Melky Cabrera and Jeter.  This actually strikes me as a team that's going to have a scary keeper list and a good pick to boot next year.  (El Angelo)

8. Quoth the Jennings (League Prediction: 9th)

As team cousin Ken Jennings would quoth in the form of a question, WTF?  So, Roy Halladay and Adrian Gonzalez suck now, I guess? (BTW, what was the Vegas line on Gonzalez getting traded in both fantasy and reality this year?)  I have to say, there but for the grace of Pedro go I, because I would have targeted a lot of the same players back in May if I’d had the chance (did try, unsuccessfully, to poach a few of them in August). The team unwound its position pretty well under the circumstances, but they were selling into a bear market. (Teddy)

The best news for this team is that they didn't burn a year of Bryce Harper's eligibility by keeping him on the prospect list the entire season.  Beyond that cold comfort, few fantasy teams have ever had as large a gap between name recognition and performance.  Wright and Heyward obviously had great years, but other guys regressed incomprehensibly -- namely, Kemp and Gonzalez -- or were quietly underperforming alll year (Starlin Castro, McCann).  Or you could simply say that this team gave nearly 1000 at-bats to Mets, so of course they sucked.  (El Angelo)

7. Le Dupont Torkies (League Prediction: 11th)

Maybe the first genuinely boring season in Torkies history, which can probably be chalked up to the owner's midseason acquisition of another future J. Crew Kids-model baby. The team bumped up against the limits of its closer-centric roster--they could have given up 50 saves and only lost 1 point in the standings. But the real problems were on offense, where they couldn't do anything but run.

BTW, our preview for this team was a hilarious mix of prescient analysis (we nailed the forthcoming offensive problems) and shame-spiraling stupidity (we managed to shit on Gio Gonzalez and Johnny Cueto in the space of a single sentence). Why do we do these accountability posts again? (Teddy)

Since I don't have a ton to add, let's look at those pre-season predictions.  We've taken everyone's predictions and scored them by delta -- i.e., if you picked Chad to finish 4th, you get 2 points for being off by 2 slots.  Amazingly, of the 8 ballots submitted, 6 were in the band of 44 - 48 points, meaning three quarters of the voters were off by basically 3 1/2 to 4 slots per team.  The first outlier was Jon, who had a delta of 39 and correctly picked Scot to win it all (and another finish correctly down the ballot).  The other?  Sir Teddy himself, at a garrish 52 points, which is amazing because it includes two dead-on predictions, albeit of teams we've already covered.  (El Angelo)

6. Wu Tang Financial (League Prediction: 8th)

The first of two eminently respectable finishes for the Elders boys this year. This was the first year since 2008 that both of them finished in the first division (and it's only the second time ever). If WTF can find some table-setter types in the draft next year, they could be frisky. (Teddy)

If the September Tim Lincecum actually is who shows up for the entire year next year, these guys are starting off with a helluva rotation.  A nice season for this team that needs a couple of bats and some luck at the closer slot to make a run at it next year.  (El Angelo)

5. The Spam Avengers (League Prediction: 2d)

A good-looking preseason roster was torpedoed by injuries to Mariano Rivera (a big reason why the team finished DAFL in saves) and Jacoby Ellsbury (whose loss opened up a hole in the OF that they never quite filled. Honestly, looking at their end of season roster, it still seems like they should have done better than a distant 5th. (Teddy)

Their season was caused in party by one of the effects of our keeper structure, as it completely robbed them of any depth.  A deeper team could overcome losing Joey Votto and Ellsbury for over 120 games combined, but that depth was simply hard to come by when they only kept 4 hitters and picked in the 12-slot two straight years.  I also think that this owner saw the writing on the wall early on -- that Scot was going to be hard to catch -- and decided not to make a run at a bronze medal by giving up future assets.  The result was a non-threatening 5th.  (El Angelo)

4. Suicide By Jaguar (League Prediction: 6th)

Ouch, babe. This was the closest 3rd/4th place finish since 2003, when Angelo edged Jon off the board by 2.5 points As you can see here, the team fell off a cliff in August and never made it all of the way back. Still, though, this went a long way toward restoring the reputation of a franchise that has seen some shit.

What I'm saying, I guess, is that Andy is the Pittsburgh Pirates. You're welcome? (Teddy)

It's tough to say that one guy killed your season, but Evan Longoria missing half the season was probably the difference between 3rd and 4th place.  That said, I do want to give the manager a ton of credit for playing the shit out of the season.  This team used SIXTY-ONE different players this year, including contributions by guys named Tyler Moore, Justin Ruggiano and Jeff Locke.  Possibly my favorite of them all was somehow getting 11 innings from Wade LeBlanc with 8 K's to go with a sub-2.00 ERA.  Then again, you could have simply rotated starters that faced the Mets, Cubs and Astros all year and probably finished in the top half of pitching.  (El Angelo)

3.  Paging Dr. Rumack (League Prediction: T4th)

This team had two things going for it. One, it was one of those teams that was pretty good in everything, which let it clunk up past the teams below, all of which had at least one major hole. Two, Buster Posey. They also managed to hit the board without making any win-now trades, so their powder is dry for next year. Can't ask for much more than that. (Teddy)

This team managed to finish fifth in saves with their closers being Alfredo Aceves, Ernesto Frieri, Brett Myers, Santiago Casilla, and something named Jared Burton. If you were looking for an argument against spending high picks on relief pitching, you've found it.

2. Westish Harpooners (League Prediction: T4th)

Given that I got only 47 mostly-shitty games out of Troy Tulowitzki, I'm not entirely sure how this happened.  I will say that I got two things really right: taking a risk on the health of Joe Mauer, and circling, underlining, and highlighting Allen Craig on my draft sheet because of his oddball 2B eligibility. That's a 17th-round pick that will go down in song. (Teddy).

Also taken in the 17th round this year: Jake Peavy, who pitched like he was a '08 Padre again.  The fact that you competed this year while 4 of your first six picks on Jon Lester, Colby Lewis, Mike Minor, and Drew Stubbs is inspiring to us cellar-dwellers.  (El Angelo)

1. Big Damn Heroes (League Prediction: 7th)  

Really just significantly better than everybody else for the entire year. And not really in keeper jail next year either. So, yeah. Pretty good. (Teddy)  

I'm not sure we have ever seen, or will ever see, an outfield/DH quartet as strong as 2012 versions of Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen, Curtis Granderson and Edwin Encarnacion.  The 4 combined for 431 runs, 146 homers, 395 RBIs, and 92 steals.  This was on top of having a guy who should finish in the top 5 in MVP voting (Beltre) and Adam Dunn's resurgent season.  Just a mind-boggling offense.  Congrats to a dominating season.  (El Angelo)

So with all that said, here are the updated all-time standings:

Matty G.7.2+163.400.00000.000
Other Scot9.0-48.500.00000.000
Legend:† Coupled as an entry because of past joint ownership
* Corey split '07 with Mike; finish assigned to Mike


Chad said...

A few miscellaneous points I didn't really have space for:

Congratulations to Ang for becoming the only owner to finish in last place 3 times!

Take heart, though, because we now know it's possible to go from worst to first--Scot just pulled it off for the first time in league history. It's also only the scond time that a team has gone form last place to hitting the board the following year.

Sahil and I kept alive our streaks of having never won or come in last. Although we each pushed the streaks as far as they'd go this year, coming in second and second-to-last.

Andy has now finished 4th three times, tying Will for most bridesmaid finishes.

After having only one 100+ point team in the first seven years of the league, we've now had three in four years. Go big or sell off.

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