Playing in the Sandbox    (04/27/01)

A couple of people have emailed me to see how the Mock League is going.  Apparently Sandbox doesn't allow other browsers, even if they are Sandbox users to see what's going on, which is a shame.  So far, it's been incredibly interesting.  Lot's of transactions and even a trade!

Anyway, since I don't know if they will ever offer public access, I'll try to keep everyone up to date on the latest goings on and standings.  Every Friday, I'll post an update and some commentary to offer some insight into what I am doing and hazard some guesses as to what everyone else is doing.

So, almost 4 weeks into the season, and I feel really good about my team.  I missed out on Nomo's no-hitter because he was sitting on my bench, but I did catch his disastrous start at Yankee Stadium.  yech.  Then I benched him and missed his great start against the Twins.  I also caught Matt Morris' awful start at Coors which was worth negative 13 points. And I missed both of Wade Miller's starts against Milwaukee.  All totaled, I figure I lost out on close to 200 points worth of pitching performances.  And yet I'm still in second with fewer starts than any of the leaders.

I've made some changes to the roster, but I think everyone has been going a little waiver crazy to start with.  It's really weird in a mixed league like this with so few teams.  You drop one guy in favor of another trying to squeeze out a few more points, and both guys are 400+ point players.  It's like trying to decide between a Porsche 911 and a Corvette.  The difference in performance is so small and you'll probably never get a chance to use it all anyway.

For example, I traded Ichiro Suzuki - one of my early waiver pickups - and Andy Ashby for Lance Berkman.  It's not that I don't think Suzuki will do well.  I just felt that his advantage in stolen bases would not make up for Berkman's advantage in extra base power.  Plus, the trade freed up a roster spot so I could pick up Mark Mulder, who looks comparable to Ashby in value at this point.  All that for a few points advantage in the outfield.  Hopefully.

Vinny Castilla helped me a great deal by getting out of the gate poorly, which allowed me to drop him and pick up Aramis Ramirez.  Nothing would have been worse than for him to have a good month and then sour, leaving me with few alternatives for back-up 3rd baseman.  Scott Williamson was lost for the year due to an arm injury and Mitch Meluskey will miss the season due to a shoulder injury.  With Wagner and Rocker both solid to start the season, Yan was a luxury I simply could not afford.  Ramon Hernandez wasn't bad,. but there were numerous catchers who were producing as well and one of them was a Padre.  Couldn't pass it up.  I also got Jose Cruz Jr, who finally is living up to his college and minor league promise, and Julio Lugo, who gives me decent production and roster flexibility.  Miller was a surprise to me after his first start against Milwaukee.  How could a guy come out of nowhere to strike out 11 batters? Then I took a closer look at his minor league numbers.  Very solid.  After his second start and the positive commentary from opposing managers, he was in my rotation to stay.

I'd like to acquire one more quality starter, preferably one with dominant potential.  A rotation of Wood, Morris, Miller and one other ace would really make life much easier.  Burnett is a possibility but more of a wildcard at this point.  Nomo, Vasquez and Rusch are pretty solid, so it's not a pressing need.  Other than ARod and Guerrero, most of the other players are performing about as I expected.  This team is about ready for summer.

The Standings
                                        Starting P          Relief P         Hitters FP
Rank  Team                             FP    G   FP/G    FP    G   FP/G   FP     G   FP/G   Total
1     Jersey Juggernauts              432   25   17.3   118   20   5.9   634   209   3.0     1184
2     ...Jumanji!                     354   22   16.1   157   18   8.7   666   212   3.1     1177
3     Desert Dwelling Scalawags       433   33   13.1    65   20   3.2   661   211   3.1     1159
4     Fantasy Baseball Headquarters   327   22   14.9   227   23   9.9   567   201   2.8     1121
5     Press Room Pundits              398   24   16.6   114   19   6.0   574   213   2.7     1086
6     The Write Stuff                 377   19   19.8   145   19   7.6   507   207   2.4     1029
7     SF Mock Woodmen                 247   23   10.7    89   17   5.2   676   197   3.4     1012
8     Dr. Stats Juggernauts           436   23   19.0    46   16   2.9   520   215   2.4     1002
9     WSS Hurlers                     349   24   14.5    94   16   5.9   508   199   2.6      951
10    Sandbox Sports                  206   25   8.2    111   17   6.5   482   202   2.4      799