WTLNXTYR Sputtering in Fantasy League

manny Following his dominating, eight-inning pitching performance in a 2-0 White Sox victory against the Pirates at U.S. Cellular Field on Friday, Gavin Floyd hoped he’d finally thumbed to a happier chapter in his “Tale of Two Gavins” story this season. Those first few pages, after all, were pretty frightening. They told the account of a pitcher struggling to find his rhythm, a pitcher whose first eight starts resulted in a 2-4 record with a 7.71 ERA, the second-highest ERA among qualifying starters in the Major Leagues. “I hadn’t been performing very well,” Floyd said. “I was able to mentally block it out and just focus on where I’ve been going. I’ve been working at it in the bullpen and pretty much transferring it in the game. I think I was able to do that tonight.”
That was where the other Floyd showed up — the aggressive, dominant pitcher reminiscent of his 2008 season, when he posted a 17-8 record and 3.84 ERA.

FANTASY BASEBALL – two words that strike fear into thinking baseball fans everywhere. I’ve been following the game since the 1968 World Series. I still remember that epic battle between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Detroit Tigers like it was yesterday. Motown’s Mickey Lolich, Denny McLain, Al Kaline, & Bill Freehan, matched up against the Redbirds Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Curt Flood, & Mike Shannon. Taking the knowledge I’ve garnered over the last forty plus years I decided to apply it by matching wits against other baseball geniuses in fantasy baseball.

My team, WTLNXTYR, is in a ten team mixed league format, because I was an expansion team I got to pick from all the discarded players to come up with eight keepers. I chose to keep Kevin Youkilis, Chris Davis, Stephen Drew, Willy Taveras, Roy Halladay, John Danks, Gavin Floyd, & Edinson Volquez. The two high paid free agents I decided to grab were Manny Ramirez & Brandon Webb. I might’ve overpaid for Brian Roberts, but I really wanted him. In addition I decided to pay for three quality closers, Mariano Rivera, Francisco Rodriguez, & Joe Nathan. Then I got into a bidding war for Jason Motte, Carlos Delgado, & Raul Ibanez. I was able to get Vernon Wells, Elvis Andrus, Chan Ho Park, & J.A. Happ after the auction was over. Other bargains on my team were Chin Soo Choo, Mark DeRosa, Paul Konerko, John Baker, & Ramon Hernandez.

As the season progressed I was able to pickup Randy Wolf, Marco Scutaro, Dave Aardsma, Freddy Sanchez, Alberto Callaspo, Juan Pierre, Jair Jurrjens, Ubaldo Jimenez, & Shairon Martis. But in the process, I’d cut loose guys that I wish I could get back, like, Randy Wolf, Dave Aardsma, J.A. Happ, & now Gavin Floyd.

By the 2nd week of the season I was fighting for first place. Then Webb went on the DL & Manny Ramirez got a 50 game suspension. I cut Randy Wolf because despite pitching well, he wasn’t winning. Then I tried, unsuccessfully, to get him back because all of his other numbers were solid. I grabbed Aardsma when Brandon Morrow was hurt, cut him when Morrow came back, and then tried, unsuccessfully, to get him back when he was named Seattle’s closer. Now I cut Gavin Floyd with his 7.71 ERA & 2-4 record, but would like him back after he pitched eight shutout innings last night against the Buccos. Another guy I cut, Happ, is now going to start for the Phillies, so I’d like him back. Then there was Park, whom I cut because he had an ERA over seven with no wins, of course when I cut him, he pitches strong, picking up the victory.

The way fantasy baseball works is like this, there are ten offensive categories & ten pitching categories, you get ranked by how well your team does compared with the other teams in the league. Right now WTLNXTYR is closer to the bottom than to the top, so maybe I’ll end up getting some of my waiver claims, as it goes in reverse order of standings. Fantasy baseball is maddening!

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