Friday, January 28, 2005

Where'd everybody go?

Regular readers of this site (of which there are none) may have been wondering what happened. It's been about three weeks since anything has been posted. Where's the baseball insight? Where's the controversial opinions? Where's the waste of space that the internet has opened in abundance to anyone who wants?

I don't know about other folks' waste, but us here at Dexy's Midnight Maas have been busy with a Diamond Mind baseball league. Well, that's the Can's excuse. He runs the website and has been doing a terrific job at it. Jason lets his job prevent him from using the internet during the week which leaves his Sunday cafe jaunts as his time to write. Me? I've been working on offline baseball projects which I'll share someday.

Nonetheless, the league has been a lot of fun and very interesting so far. The Can simulates three days of games every weeknight and posts the results on the website. The twelve owners in the league are scattered across the countryside so we communicate via e-mail and keep abreast of the season through The Can's work.

Being as we are all scattered and many of us have families and all of us have about two billion other things going on in our lives, we found it difficult to establish a time to hold a draft or auction. We decided we wanted to do an auction to bring in the extra element of putting a value on talent.

An aside....we ran a league last winter which The Can completely dominated. We had a vast number of players from which to select and we all sort of lost interest rather quickly into the season. We limited the talent pool this time to 45 historic teams which made player selection a bit more challenging.

Having a more limited pool, we turned to determining how to distribute said players. We wanted an auction but we couldn't meet to do it. We decided on everyone submitting a player for auction each day and then maximum bids being made by everyone on each player that the owner desired. For example, maybe I suggested Roberto Clemente as a player. Maybe five owners had an interest in him. Each submitted how much they were willing to pay based on desire for the player, positional needs, players remaining, money remaining and value (and maybe some other criteria). Since no one knew how much anyone else was bidding, it made the process much more challenging, especially early on. You didn't know whether you were bidding too high, too low, or right in line.

Thirty games into the season, we still don't know. One of the fun parts of this league is that it pits players from different eras against each other. Since we're using a higher caliber of opposition than a player would normally encounter, performances are modified in that manner as well as era. We also have different stadiums than what were used by each player in real life. That creates variability as well.

Thirty games in and all three of us have winning records. More notably, in terms of run differential, The Can leads the league, I am second, and Jason is 4th (of 12).

I had a strategy going in that I fouled up. I went with an all lefthanded lineup, batters and pitchers, with an intent on playing in a home stadium that favored lefties, thereby improving my chances at home while diminishing my opponents. Only I didn't research the stadium factors well enough and chose a really poor season of Yankee Stadium. Fortunately, I drafted a fairly talented team and we've overcome my error. It has been very interesting seeing how a team can do that completely throws the idea of lefty-righty platoon advantage out the window. If a right-handed batter is up, I cannot bring a righty specialist in from the bullpen to pitch to him.

The one exception is one of my starting pitchers, Jim Rooker. He bats right-handed and batted very well for the season of his I am using. I have him set up as the pinch-hitter against lefties. He is 0-3 this season in that spot so it is too hard to tell if there is any benefit/loss to doing this.

It seems like everyone is enjoying this season more than last and hopefully that continues.

GOTT Baseball


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