NASCER Race – Going, Going, Gone!

AdrianGonzalezI’m not talking about NASCAR where the great strategy is GO FAST & TURN LEFT, very tough concept for redneck fans to grasp. I’m talking about the fantasy baseball league I belong to, NASCER, it’s an acronym for something, but don’t ask me what it stands for. I’ve been away from fantasy baseball for about ten years. When I returned my friend gave me a caveat, he told me, “You’ll love it, until the trading deadline”. Well I’m not sure that’s completely accurate, I didn’t love it when one of my mercenary ballplayers, Brandon Webb, went down for the season after just one start, nor when I lost Alex Gordon & Carlos Delgado to injuries, nor when My Main Manny, Manny Ramirez, was suspended for fifty games.

But I managed to weather those storms, picking up Ubaldo Jimenez, Juan Pierre, & Marco Scutaro, to keep the ship afloat. I was in 3rd place as the trading deadline approached. The only trades that happened thus far were during the season between teams going for it, I was involved in both of them, both centered around, now out for the season hurler, Johan Santana. First I got Santana for fast-starting Raul Ibanez and then I traded Santana, along with Mike MacDougal & Jason Jaramillo, for Jermaine Dye, Frank Francisco, & Kurt Suzuki. Both trades turned out to be classic examples of SPY vs SPY, Johan had the worst week of the season while with me, so I sent him packing, he got hurt shortly after moving on to his 3rd team of the year. While Francisco & Suzuki have been okay for me, neither Ibanez nor Dye have performed for their new squads.

As the trading deadline approached, NASCER had eight of ten teams within fifteen points of first place. The 2nd place team made the first trade sending Mark Reynolds, picked up off the waiver wire, but having a terrific season, despite his whiffs, for Adrian Gonzalez, Yovani Gallardo, Trevor Hoffman, & Huston Street. The next deal had the first place team trading Adam Jones & Wandy Rodriguez in exchange for Joakim Soria, Francisco Cordero, Roy Oswalt, Brian McCann, & Brad Hawpe. Then there were the two deals made by a hard charging team from the middle of the pack that was looking for hitting, they found it in the two deals they pulled off, did they have to wear a mask? They got Jason Bay, Michael Wright, Brandon Phillips, Bengie Molina, & David Price in one trade for Josh Johnson, and throw-ins Carlos Guillen & Jason Varitek in one trade. And because that wasn’t quite enough, they dumped, rather than cutting him, Carlos Quentin for ready-to-go Ian Kinsler. It’ll be difficult to keep these three teams out of first, second, & third place, just because they got to the feeding troff first.

You may ask, where was I during this feeding frenzy, was I asleep in a corner? Blame it on the beer, I was a little slow on the draw, and didn’t come up with a proposed deal until three in the morning, I sent out my offer bright & early Friday morning, Shin-Soo Choo & Ubaldo Jimenez, two young stars, who’ve performed well for me all year would be sent packing in exchange for Felix Hernandez, Curtis Granderson, Adam Dunn, Ian Kinsler, & Francisco Cordero (I’d forgotten that he’d already been gobbled up). When I didn’t hear back from him by Sunday evening, it became obvious I’d have to compete down the stretch without having the benefit of a lopsided trade. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I didn’t make a deal, that’s got me upset. It’s that three deals were made, which in effect ended a great race, a race where anybody from 1-8 could’ve ended up in the money. All teams were playing by the rules, there was no collusion, the bottom feeders were trying to help their teams for next year by acquiring keepers signed cheap, while the teams in the hunt were trying to secure their positions.

While I’m still currently in 3rd place, hoping against all hope, I look toward next year, and look for a solution to what I view as the problem of “getting to the feeding troff first”. I’m asking the question, looking for a solution IMHO something is taken away when the yearly race comes down to, who you can swipe at the trading deadline for stud (or dud) keepers for next year. Maybe, if you trade for a keeper, it has to be a one-for-one trade, at least then you’d only be getting one stud rather than three, four, or five guys. Or perhaps, the salary cap has to be lowered, there is one currently in place, but it’s so high, that nobody really even had to think about it, when these trades were consummated.

All I know is that my team pretty much has the perfect name WTLNXTYR, which is what most of the teams competing for 4th place this year will be doing, rather than competing in one heck of a race, what a shame.

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