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Monday, February 28, 2005

Heck yes. Let's see if we can keep the commentary up and going throughout the season. Of course, with 10 more rounds left to draft we may not get to the regular season until April :-)

I don't know about you guys, but I live for this commentary.

ROUND THIRTEEN
My pick: Raul Ibanez.
Why I made this pick: Two words: Token. Mariner. Really, though, I would have been happy with either Ibanez or John Mabry here. The next-high EqA after Mabes' .292 or Raul's .291 is Dustan Mohr at .285, and since Metz nabbed Mabry, I wanted a lefty-swinging everyday bat here. Theoretically, I can even get by without platooning anybody, meaning I can load up on pitching in the next few rounds.

Best value of the round: Derrek Lee. A solid bat with excellent defense in the late rounds. While everyone else is taking pitching, Pedro rounds out his offense.

Also notable: Ray King is a fantastic lefty reliever, but his strikeout rate (see also: Dan Kolb) is not as high as some relievers left. I don't know how Diamond Mind will play him (nor how Graham's team defense is shaping up), so this is an interesting pick to me.

ROUND FOURTEEN
My pick: Glendon Rusch.
Why I made this pick: I've had my eye on Rusch for the past two rounds. He had a fine year in a hitter-friendly environment, salvaging his career. Picking him gives me three lefty starters. Besides, I have only researched about 10 other starting pitchers, so if I get my fifth starter before they all go, I can avoid doing any more research.

Best value of the round: Shingo Takatsu. I almost picked him instead of Rusch. Mr. Zero is murder on right-handers, and lefties don't hit him too well either. David Wright is also a good value, but on the topic of relievers ...

Also notable: How fast relievers are going compared to starters. As I recall last year, pitching performed in a wildly unpredictable fashion. My strategy has been to get starters (who pitch more innings). Other folks, including The Other Jeff S., have opted for relievers (who pitch high-leverage innings). We shall see which approach pays most dividends.

I wanted Takatsu, too -- almost picked him with my last selection, in fact.

I certainly agree that Jeff S. is one step ahead. But then, my last name is Shaw, so ...

Well at least I can now put Thome at DH where he belongs instead of at 1st base.

And Cory (the optomist) just snaked Bagwell out from under me...

ugh....Now I gotta do some research....

Jeff seems to be picking a lot of players that other managers have had their eyes on. He has been one step ahead of pretty much everyone this entire draft.

And Walker, John Kruk proclaims your pick as the best pick in this league by far.

Grrrr! It was supposed to be easy this round, but Jeff S. picked up my planned choice of Takatsu. I came dang close to picking him anyway, but was nervous about not having any lefty relievers, and thought he might last through eight more picks. I wonder if Kline would have lasted - probably not.

Now what? I'm on the clock, and I don't want to take much time.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Tee hee hee hee.

It's the little things is life. I just added a draft RSS feed. Why? Why not!

Notes: No more "Biggest surprise." As the draft gets later, it'll be tough to identify picks for this category, so I'm replacing it with "also notable," where I can ramble about interesting choices.

Also: at the end of Round 13, I'll try to have a midway team-by-team review.

ROUND TWELVE
My pick: Ben Broussard.
Why I made this pick: With Phil Nevin gone, Broussard is a cut above all the hitters left. With his .299 EqA, he'll slide nicely into my DH slot. I am gambling that there will be a valuable outfielder or a third baseman left when the draft swings around to me.

Best value of the round: John Mabry. Mariner fans may not want to remember this, but Mabry had an outstanding season for St. Louis after falling flat on his face in the teal. His .292 EqA and serviceable defense in left field made him one of the players I wanted in the next round, but he didn't fall.

Also notable: Scott Williamson. In limited innings, an extremely stingy OPS against, highlighted by a total of zero homers allowed. I had my eye on Williamson, but thought he would be a risk given how little he pitched and his somewhat disconcerting walk rate. This is a pick with high reward, however.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

I have a big master list, of all the players I want - SPs, position players, relievers, and a priority assigned to each round. For round 12, the priority was going to the bullpen. The first two names were Hoffman and Otsuka.

Meh...

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

ROUND ELEVEN
My pick: Andy Pettitte.
Why I made this pick: I want to have a corps of starting pitchers that will give me a chance to win every day. Pettitte may have been ovelooked because of his injury problems last year and because The Juice Box makes his numbers less impressive than they should be. Still, he held opposing batters to a sub-.300 OBP, struck out almost a batter per inning and had a respectable WHIP.

Best value of the round: Phil Nevin at the end of the round is a terrific value. The opposite of Pettitte, his numbers were deflated by San Diego's home park, and he has an excellent Equivalent Average, the second-highest still available. Brad Penny, Mike Gonzalez and Juan Rincon, players I was considering with my pick, also qualify.

Biggest surprise: None leap out.

Jarvis would have been a good pick! Unfortunately, for some reason he did not have enough innings to qualify.

Sorry to hear about that flu bug Mike, but if you are going to pick for someone who is MIA, couldn't you draft Kevin Jarvis?

Sorry guys - I've had just the most incredible stomach flu...really, it was something special. I just picked for Metz.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Some holiday honoring the past leaders of the free world.

There's a three day weekend over there? What's the holiday?

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Damn three day weekends.

Friday, February 18, 2005

The nice thing about only drafting right handed position players at this point in the draft is that everyone else is taking lefties. I was expecting one of the big bats to go before my pick, but luckily it was Delgado that was chosen and not Konerko. For only the second time in the draft, I got who I planned to get...

He'll be the DH, if you couldn't tell by comparing his defense to Helton's,

I was just about to snag Delgado as my DH. Now I'm back to drafting based on need instead of picking the best player available. Man I've got a lot of lefties and switch hitters on my team. I only have 2 true RHB in my starting lineup.

Carlos Delgado = STEAL

I was kind of hoping he would continue to fall this round.

ROUND NINE
My pick: Lew Ford.
Why I made this pick: Ford plays good defense at three outfield positions, so I no longer have a defensive liability in J.D. Drew playing center. I can still pick up a better defensive CF later, shift Ford to left and let Drew get virtual batteries thrown at him from the right field bleachers.

Best value of the round: It's a good sign when multiple opponents curse your name after you make a pick, and I was among those curing the Optimist for snaring Bobby Madritsch. It's not just homerism, either -- Mads doesn't give up many long hits and has a sterling OPS against. Josh Beckett makes a nice consolation prize for Metz.

Biggest surprise: Eric Young's last name is ironic. Discuss.

ROUND TEN
My pick: Carlos Delgado.
Why I made this pick: Again, this wasn't the plan: I wanted a third starter here. But especially with Mike snaring Ryan Klesko, big lefty bats are hard to come by, so I took the player with the best OPS and EqA left on the board. As a bonus, he's left-handed and fills a position of need with solid defense.

I couldn't wait to talk about Carlos, so I'll wait on Best value of the round and Biggest Surprise until the end.

When you sort by defense, some players that ostensibly have worse ratings are ranked higher. Take the center field defense ratings, for example. Mike Cameron is the top-rated player left, at 4e136.

Check out nine spots lower, though. Vernon Wells is down there with an outstanding 4e19 rating. Assuming the "4" range is equal, you would think that Wells would be ranked higher than Cameron -- and, indeed, most of the players stil ranked above him, none of whom has a range greater than four or an error rating less that 19.

Uhh...the sort is just plain broken. Another bug for the list. They should be sorted with highest range rating first and then inside that by lowest error rating. I'll see if I can fix it (without breaking anything else).

Another question on defense: does Carlos Lee's 4e0 rating in left mean he never makes any errors?

Well, that's the way I read it in their explanation but it does not make a lot of sense that it impossible for him to make an error. I just don't know.

Another question on defense: does Carlos Lee's 4e0 rating in left mean he never makes any errors?

Thursday, February 17, 2005

I'll have to let Mike answer that one. I don't know if he's running his own sorting algoritm or relying on a diamond mind one. There's a lot that is hidden inside the diamond mind engine. It's not like stratomatic where you have a card with discrete outcomes. From what Mike has told me and what I've read on the diamond mine site it's got a much bigger inference engine inside it.

One thing I do know is last year I put a bunch of platoons in place and hardly any of them paid off. I picked 2 extreme players with splits to platoon at 1st base (2001 Nevin and Thome) . Nevin had something like a 1.20 OPS against left handed pitching, Thome was close to the same vs. righties. Neither paid off and I was bewildered. Then I read up some more on splits to find out that they often flip flop for many players over different seasons. Take a look at Boone's lefty righty splits over several years as an example. The Diamond Mind engine takes this into account and you can draft a player with incredible splits in 2004 and have totally different outcomes in the sim league.

It's a complicated piece of software which makes it exciting and frustrating at the same time (sort of like the real game and performance predictions).

Something I don't know about Diamond Mind defense that perhaps someone else does.

Defense is ranked by two numbers: range from one to five (with higher being better) and error propensity in relation to 100 (with lower being better). That much I get.

I suspect there is a bit more to it, though. I suspect that there are range breakdowns internal to the game's programming that we don't get to see.

When you sort by defense, some players that ostensibly have worse ratings are ranked higher. Take the center field defense ratings, for example. Mike Cameron is the top-rated player left, at 4e136.

Check out nine spots lower, though. Vernon Wells is down there with an outstanding 4e19 rating. Assuming the "4" range is equal, you would think that Wells would be ranked higher than Cameron -- and, indeed, most of the players stil ranked above him, none of whom has a range greater than four or an error rating less that 19.

Just an idea to chew on. Unless anyone has an answer?

It's always nice to know that others were thinking of the same pick you made. It was actually Graham's selection of Kotsay that forced my hand -- I was looking at Kotsay as one of the outfielders I wanted, but with him gone, suddenly the position started looking scarce. I figured I'd better grab Ford now.

Plus, I can call him "Kareem."

After taking Kotsay, I was hoping for a Lew Ford pick in round 10, to give me a great defensive outfield and shift Matsui to DH. I really should have known better than to expect him to have lasted another 10 picks...

I wonder what the game engine will do with Madritch's insanely low HR's allowed? His other numbers are good but it's the HRs that stand out. I'm just happy Beckett fell to me in round 9. He's got almost a K / inning and a whip of 1.22. I'll take that in my 3rd starter any day. Plus you get no blisters in simulated leagues.

I curse Jeff for taking Lew Ford. I thought he and his .381 OBP and stellar defense at 3 outfield positions would continue to be overlooked and I could take him much later. Time to hunt for another strapping 5 tool player in "Being Bill Bavasi."

Been kinda winging this thing, but once I realized that Jeff already had his offense set and would start going for pitchers, I decided I better pull the trigger on Madritsch. I sense a run on pitchers looming...

I, too, wanted Madritsch, and cursed Corey as loudly as Graham did. It makes me feel modestly better that there was no chance he'd drop to me. I guess.

Curse you, Optimist!!!!!!

Is that enough exclamation points to explain how badly I wanted to grab Madritsch?

Oh, and Jeff, re Chipper: Oops.

As far as Blalock vs. Chipper is concerned, consider their respective environments - an eight-point OPS difference is easily wiped away by the TBIA Ameriquest factor.

I only have one right-handed hitter.

I don't know how that happened, but it's pretty cool.

Chipper Jones's 3B defense is actually a rather nice 3e56. I was going to pick him but I thought the slightly higher OPS of Blalock edged it.

Would anyone believe me if I said Jeff did it again? Both Chipper and Vidro are steals and whichever player would've come back my way would have been selected. Needless to say, Jeff selected both and should have one of the best offensive teams in the league, (if not the best).

ROUND SEVEN
My pick: Ray Durham.
Why I made this pick: I had a list of second basemen I'd be happy with, and Durham's name was the last one on it. Felt I had to fill out my infield before I got a free trip to Boone city.

Best value of the round: Francisco Rodriguez. This is the player I really wanted last round, but felt I had to take Durham instead due to position scarcity. Tons of strikeouts, few baserunners, and a killer OPS against.

Biggest surprise: Ross Gload. He can hit, but he's not even the best available first baseman from the White Sox, let alone the best one left overall. Gload going before Paul Konerko, Carlos Delgado or Lyle Overbay is a shock.

ROUND EIGHT
My pick: Tom Gordon.
Why I made this pick: Relievers are going surprisingly fast. The Optimist already has a killer tandem of Billy Wagner and Brad Lidge, and the top-tier talent is leaving in a hurry. Gordon had a fantastic year, allowing less than a baserunner per inning, getting lots of strikeouts and giving up few extra base hits. There are lots of relievers left that meet some of those criteria, but Gordon's among the last meeting all of them.

Best value of the round: Chipper Jones is a ridiculously good value. Assuming he didn't qualify at third base -- and if he did he'd have a horrible defensive rating -- I'm embarassed to say I didn't even check. But his defense is better than Aubrey Huff's, and his bat's not that far off. Ken Griffey is also a nice value here, since there are no hamstring tears in Diamond Mind.

Biggest surprise: Nothing stands out as a real reach. I did want to mention, however, that the Torii Hunter pick intrigues me. I had my eye on Hunter for the later rounds because he's the top-ranked defensive center fielder. It will be interesting to see how taking an elite defensive player turns out compared to taking players (like Griffey) with much bigger bats.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

For me, the VORP's high mainly because I've been grabbing sluggers at the expense of my pitching (for a while, anyway). I haven't been looking at splits, I must confess: everything I know about the batters comes from the draft site or my mind, which tends to twist things somewhat. I've also been doing lots of work writing up players from Seattle and Oakland, which means that I'm starting to favor them because I know an Oakland pitcher better than, say Al Leiter (see Harden in the 7th round).

So basicly my VORP's kinda flukey.

First of all, I wasn't meaning to criticize you; I I was just trumpeting the fact that I can go to the ESPN stats sight and let my powers of literacy do their thing. Bellhorn is not a bad player by any stretch of the imagination. Baseball is a game predicated on failure. Ted Williams, arguably the greatest hitter ever, still failed six out of ten times he was at the plate.

Of course, the first rule of sports is to not give your competition bulletin board material. Seeing how I failed that, I now expect Bellhorn to light me up and homer each time he is up at the plate. Similar to the stomping A.J. Pierzynski is going to bring to some of the doubters. Don't forget: he spent last season near BALCO!

Bellhorn also hit some of the biggest home runs in Red Sox history to go along with his strikeouts. You gotta take the bad (even though I don't think of strikeouts as bad) with the good.

My VORP is just about where I thought it would be. I'm trying something a little different this sim draft. I'm attempting to think like Bavasi. I've consciously not gone to the BP page to look at any advanced stats. I'm using what the draft page has. I am looking at ESPN to see road/away splits and L/R splits for batters, but that's it. For someone who called their team the Kings of VORP a few seasons ago, this is pretty difficult.

I'm trying to draft players that I think would appeal to GM's like Bavasi. Either big sluggers or little speedsters or "5 tool" guys. I'm still trying to win but I'm taking a very different approach than I have in the past in assembling "my" team. I'm not trying to mimic the 2005 M's but what I think the M's would assemble if they could. This should prove very interesting.

The worst thing about waiting 26 picks to make one is watching the guy you want go the pick right before you. Brian, you are indeed a dirtbag (I will tell him this to his face over lunch).

Because of my obvious problems, the making of this draft site being one expression, I have taken the liberty of tracking some stats. Here are the teams through seven rounds listed by average VORP of batter picks.

Team Ave VORP Batters
Puchy 71.00 4
Cricketeers 63.98 5
Awesome 63.63 6
Sodo Mike 63.58 6
Kent 63.23 4
Bellingham 57.10 5
Booble 56.38 4
Iowa 56.10 5
Optimist 54.53 3
Western 54.33 6
Oh No Metz 53.98 5
Bloomquist 49.70 4
Soggy 48.15 4
Guam 16.10 2

Well, the real beauty of drafting Jeff Kent in this sort of context is that he cannot injure himself at the local carwash. Bret Boone's decline has worried me from the standpoint of being a lukewarm M's fan (I am a Portland, Ore. native). Bellhorn drove me nuts last year in the playoffs from the standpoint of being a lukewarm BoSox fan (lived two years in Beantown).
Bellhorn also led the AL in strikeouts last year.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

I prefer to think of my mind as one of those pop-up books. Everytime you turn the page you are greeted with an annoying caricature.

Either way, I've been pondering my next selections and wrote them down in list form as well. Willie Bloomquist and Hideo Nomo are near the top.

Ray Durham isn't half bad (offensively) - look at the numbers he put up in a pitcher's environment. He's a better hitter than Bellhorn; the only reason I chose the latter is because he's SS-eligible.

Looking at 2nd basemen has made me appreciate just how bad Boone was last year for the M's. His .740 OPS puts him smack in the middle of the 2nd page of 2nd basemen (sorted by OPS) well after the run of premium second sackers were drafted.

It's also made me appreciate just how stupid the Yankees were for signing Tony Womack as a free agent this offseason.

I hadn't planned on taking a middle infielder here; I wanted to take the best available bat. But I decided a while ago that I'd be happy with any one of the following second basemen: Mark Loretta, Jeff Kent, Mark Bellhorn, Marcus Giles, Ray Durham or Frank Menechino.

Obviously, Loretta and Kent went a while ago. I thought I could wait another round for a solid second sacker.

But there was a big run. All of those players were gone when it became my turn except one. So I took him, Ray Durham. I don't feel great about this, but would have felt worse had I not made the pick.

But not one of those complicated sciency books.

A comic book.

Suck it, Trent.

I can read your mind like a book.

Metz, fair enough. I didn't notice Frank's eligibility (and good defense) at SS and 3B before.

This round is apparently my turn to have my intended picks disappear. I didn't figure Francisco Rodriguez would really last until I picked again, but he hung in there long enough to get my hopes up. I also wanted Marcus Giles, who murders lefties.

I picked Menenchino for the same reason you picked Huff. Frank is eligible at ss, 2nd and 3rd. His stats are a wash with Bellhorns when you figure that Frank only had 1/2 the at bats of Bellhorn last year. Bellhorn has the advantage of being a switch hitter but Frank has much better defensive numbers (at last as far as errors go). I figured with a couple of 2 rated defensive posts on the corners I might as well go with better defense up the middle. It was a tough choice though...

As far as I remembered about last year. Teams that sought out pitchers with limited innings but great results in those innings had mixed results. Wilson Alvarez and Tonay Armas put together respectable seasons but no one else comes to mind. With the addition of 4 more teams, that means a need for 20 more starting pitchers, it may not be a bad idea to take some flyers on starting pitching this year in the later rounds.

Trent reminded me of a question that came up last year about pitching roles. It turns out that Diamond Mind will allow a pitcher to start games if they have had at least one start during the season but not if they have never started. It's the same with relief pitchers. I remember some last year tried to beat the system by finding relievers with good stats that had one or two starts and make them a starter. I don't remember how it turned out but those of you with few social engagements might research last year's stats to gain an advantage. The rest of us will make fun of you.

Teixeira! I can't believe I got him. After reflexively sticking in LF & picking Moises Alou, when my planned pick of Carlos Lee was snagged by Russell, I realized I might have missed the last opportunity to bring one of the best bats remaining to fill my hole at 1st base. I might be pretty thin in the pitching department, but I think my 6th best hitter (probably Uribe) is going to be one of the best in the league that far down the lineup.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Now I'm pissed. I took Wilson based on the fact I needed a catcher, (preferably with pop) and he qualified. I really wanted to draft Wilkerson, but figured he would be around in the next round because Jeff would draft pitching and Matt had two good corner OF. Just in case, I had decided I would use Bellhorn as my back-up plan, especially with MI at a premium. Good idea, right? Wrong. I hate you with the fire of a thousand suns Jeff.

If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm kind of punting team defense.

I wasn't really planning that, but it's not my fault that most of the good hitters are bad fielders.

ROUND SIX
My pick: Aubrey Huff.
Why I made this pick: Position eligibility is key here. With an EqA of .297, Huff is good, but not the best available. However, he qualifies at third base, right field and first base -- all positions I need. This allows me to get a lefty slugger and take the best available player at multiple positions in later rounds.

Best value of the round: Craig Wilson, at least based on offense. The last catcher-eligible player that can really mash, the mulleted wonder may or may not give back a few runs behind the dish. Now if he'd only heed the late Wesley Willis' musical exhortation.

Biggest surprise: Frank Menechino. Middle infield is thin, but I would have rather taken Mark Bellhorn, who went later. Of course, what do I know? At least the league has one Jeff who knows what he's doing.

FASTER.

I'm for the 24 hour rule as well. Trent: You stole my 7th round pick! Grrrr... I should've realized that as you and Jeff Sullivan spearheaded the 'Free Craig Wilson' drive a year ago, and had 4 picks between you, he'd have been gone before my next pick. Menechino's a good signing, if a bit early. I'm surprised Texeira's still around after 82 picks...

I like the 24 hour rule.

I also like the Frank Menechino selection, although it might have been a bit early. I don't know if I would be willing to count on 600 quality AB from him, but he plays multiple infield positions well and gets on base with some pop.

I'm just going to hold my breath and hope Craig Wilson can his own behind the plate.

Let's start the 24 hour policy beginning with round 7.

I went with Meninchino because I couldn't pull the trigger on Alou or Burnitz. Their home/road splits scared me too much. I have no idea what the engine does with home/road numbers and it's too early to start thinking about platoons.

Yes, in general Metz is nuts :-)

Skiing eh? He can certainly provide me a list. If anyone else knows they will be out a while you can do the same.

I think a 24 hour rule sounds good. How about this - if someone is on the clock for over 24 hours when I come in in the morning I will draft Chad Moeller (or whoever is the lowest available OPS at the time). Any time after that and before they pick again they can contact me by email with who they want to pick and I will switch it. I make no guarantees about getting that pick - if it's picked out from under you before I get the email, I'll ask you to make another pick. Anyone have strong feelings against this?

Metz: You're nuts, and middle infielders are in that short of supply.

Regarding increasing the speed of the draft, how about a 24-hour rule? Make your pick within 24 hours, or the commish picks for you. Also, maybe there is a way to leave a list with someone who can draft for you when you go skiing. Have fun.

I don't know what's worse. Waiting about a week to make my next pick, or watching 3 of the 5 players I had wanted get drafted this morning.

Is Mac Suzuki still in baseball?

Drafting Frank Meninchino in the 6th round ? Am I nuts or are middle infielders that much in short supply?

Anything we can do to speed the draft along this week? I ask because I'm out of town without any computer access (skiing at Big White) next week.

I just realized that Bucky Jacobsen isn't on the list of draftable batters. My plan for DH has just died...

ESPN is having a column to whet your appetite until pitchers/catcher report. I enjoyed it and thought it was an interesting read. Good to know my beloved Royals are good at something else besides losing.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

We're only 1/6th of the way through?? Oh no--I might really wind up with Mac Suzuki (and his 9+ ERA) afterall. Noooooooo!

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Jeff: It's ok, I probably should be taking a pitcher or 5 sometime soon anyway... my all position player team is not looking to keen on throwing to Barry Bonds right now.

Matt: We need more like El Guapo. He is, ahem, larger than life.

Graham: Sorry, dude. Although I gotta say, it's funny that Huff is on the trade block in real life now, because his team reads "TBA".

Trent. A-to-the-men.

Not to sound like a whiner, but what if for the rest of this weekend, everyone checked the league with some regularity and we tried to get through a couple of rounds by Monday? At our current pace, we will be finished around mid-March, which is when everyone will be focusing on fantasy baseball.

That is all.

I can't believe Jeff made an El Guapo reference. That was hilarious. You know he went missing earlier this year and his family told authorities that he was kidnapped. Turns out he was just partying and forgot to tell his family. There is no one else like him. Except for maybe John Kruk.

I think Javy Lopez is a solid pick but wasn't Jeter batting .189 for a stretch last year?

Friday, February 11, 2005

Curse you, Jeff!

I wanted Huff! I'm going to go and sulk now...

ROUND FIVE
My pick: Brad Radke.
Why I made this pick: There will be 70 starting pitchers taken in this draft. Last year, even my good starting pitchers got rocked. Looking down at the 60-70 levels of ERA rankings, you get names like Ryan Franklin. I figured it was wise to get far and away the top starter according to VORP (who also does well in other metrics).

Or maybe I'm just a) trying to reassemble the Twins' staff, or b) trying to get two starters that wildly differ from each other in as many ways as possible. One's left-handed; one's right-handed. One is white; one is Latino. One strikes out a lot of people; the other is Brad Radke. One gives up a lot of home runs; the other is Johan Santana.

Best value of the round: Sean Casey early, Erubiel Durazo late. You probably don't want Ruby playing the field, but he's got the highest EqA of anyone left by more than 10 points. Clearly the best available bat, and I would have snagged him if he had fallen to me. Casey was another value bat.

Biggest surprise: No real surprises. If forced, I'd point to Juan Uribe, but that's definitely a defensible pick given the shortstops remaining. He plays good defense and can hit a bit, and I'm not sure there are many middle infielders left about whom that can be said.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Yeah, I went with a catcher as well. I'm also regretting my second round pick...

Hopefully my next choice(s) will still be there come next round

Round 5 and I'm already having a tough time finding players I really like at any of the central infield positions. The big question is, do you punt and fill those holes in the late rounds with garbage and draft for higher value now or do you hold your nose, draft the best there is and leave a better slugger on the board simply because you think there are more choices at his position?

I went for Veritek, to fill one of my central positions. Tough choice though...

Is anyone else looking at platoon splits already :-)

Yeah, the site was down for a while last night. casdra.com is an eMac in my living room and my ISP decided to have some maintenance last night that apparently look longer than expected. I think everything is back working again.

The site was down, but is now back up again.

I got my choice!

I don't know what I'm doing.

Or at least that's my excuse.

Is the league site down for anyone else?

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

I know what I'm doing.

At least, I think so.

ROUND FOUR
My pick: Javy Lopez.
Why I made this pick: When I made this pick, there were three catchers left that could hit. I thought that with Posada going a round before, I should nab one before they vanished. It seems that pitching has gone faster, though, so I'm regretting not taking best-available slugger Frank Thomas or Carlos Zambrano instead. Hopefully, someone will nab Victor Martinez and Jason Varitek soon, which would net them a bargain and make me feel better.
Best value of the round: Aaron Rowand, Eli Marrero. Part of my rationale for nabbing a catcher was that I could wait for some undervalued outfielders to fall in later rounds. These two weren't undervalued enough.
Biggest surprise: What am I missing about Armando Benitez? With starters going like green tea at my house, making Boom-Boom Benitez the second reliever taken seems odd.

Maybe the 2005 stats will be available by the time we finish this draft. ;-) Actually it's taken us one week to get through about 1/6 of the draft, so assuming this is about twice as fast as average due to early interest, we still should finish before the end of May. Almost as scinitillating as a chess by mail game, eh?

It might be worth monitoring the sticking tendencies to see if draft neighbors could just slightly change their checking in habits to avoid the worst gaps.

I hate to make a pick before necessary. I wondered with Odalis, whether he would have lasted through eight more picks. As long as I get my next most desired player (no I ain't sayin') it won't matter, because I'm pretty sure Odalis wouldn't have lasted through another 28 picks, the way the starting pitching is getting torn through.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

My APB on Baxter worked. He's making his pick now. I'm pretty sure he now knows the penalty for brining my draft to a halt. Bwa ha ha ha.

Monday, February 07, 2005

ROUND THREE
My pick: Derek Jeter.
Why I made this pick: Jeter is not one of my favorite players by any means -- he's overrated from playing in NYC, and he's defensively wooden. But Digital Derek has a fine defense rating, and shortstops worth nabbing are scarce. The next-best bat, Nomar, plays the field with all the vigor of a man watching his wife in the stands -- which, to be fair, I can understand. The difference between David Ortiz and Jim Thome isn't as great in my eyes as the gap between Jeter and the field, so I hold my nose and take a dreaded Yankee.
Best value of the round: Larry Walker. His .329 EqA is close to J.D. Drew territory a round later, and we don't have to worry about him hurting himself. Manny Ramirez and J.T. Snow are also good values, though Snow was disqualified from consideration under the rarely-enforced "24 hours per pick" rule. It's rarely enforced because I just made it up.
Biggest surprise: "Does this uniform make me look ... well, a little chunky?"
"No, Bartolo. I can honestly say that the uniform does not. By the way, Rich Garces left a message: he wants you to go cruising for babes with him later."

I wanted Larry Walker, too. He and Griffey are the "no injury rule" poster children.

Unfortunately, I didn't notice the no injury rule this year either. Guess I should've read the rules a little more thoroughly.

Missed Larry Walker by one pick! Grrr....

Nice post Jeff, thanks.

I just noticed somethin not on the front page. There will be no injuries in this league. Obviously not realistic, but there are enough dice rolls going on and I really don't want someone's (read my) premier player being taken out for the season. Does anyone have strong feelings the other way?

Sunday, February 06, 2005

While waiting for the draft to progress, I thought I'd hop to an impromptu review of the picks made so far, explaining why I made certain selections and identifying what surprised me and what didn't. More to come after each round, I think.

Before anyone takes something I say seriously, consider that my team didn't make the playoffs last year. Opinions are like odometers, and your mileage may vary.

ROUND ONE
My pick: Johan Santana.
Why I made this pick: The top-shelf sluggers that were head and shoulders above the rest at their respective positions were mostly gone, and I didn't want to reach for a position scarcity pick like Mark Loretta this early. Mike got a solid end-of-the-round bargain with Loretta later, but with Santana on the board, I couldn't pass up the league's top pitcher.
Best value of the round: Scott Rolen. Getting a total package talent like this as the third hot corner man taken has to be satisfying. He's right up there with Beltre in offensive performance and defense, and was taken three picks later.
Biggest surprise: The initials are "AJP," and that doesn't stand for "All-Japan Pro wrestling."

ROUND TWO
My pick: J.D. Drew
Why I made this pick: Drew had an MVP-type year, and his simulated equivalent won't cause clubhouse problems or have to dodge virtual batteries. In a pinch, he can start in center field, too.
Best value of the round: Curt Schilling. My second-ranked pitcher lasts longer than Clemens, Unit or Schmidt. Tempted to go with Melvin Mora here, but one of baseball's most underrated players is the fourth third baseman taken and the first pick of the second round, which shows proper respect.
Biggest surprise: Tim Hudson. The pitcher run continues, but is Hud's dropping strikeout rate cause for concern?

Friday, February 04, 2005

Big time run on starting pitchers all the sudden. Normally I don't take pitchers until the later rounds but I've developed a real soft spot in my otherwise callus heart for Ben Sheets and I decided that I needed to take him now.

Is Neifi Perez still available?

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Heh. Well, I think it's good to have some different ideas. I could have written a program to make picks down the VORP tables. But the Pierzynski pick is interesting - I think he would be flattered. Any comment Nolan?

A.J. Pierzynski? WTF?

Well, I'm up and running. Would like to take this opportunity to:

a) Thank Mike and Metz for revitalizing the league -- especially Mike, who sent me roughly 167 invitations to join this blog before Blogger stopped choking on it;

b) Say howdy to everybody;

c) Point out that Mike depleted any good karma he'd developed with me by taking not one but two players I wanted, both at the same time; and

d) Mention that Pedro Blanco is on the road all day today, so everybody sit tight, the picks stop after the next one for awhile.

It's on the draft front page but here is another reminder - this IS a DH league.

I like my two picks and it's kind of fun to be the wheel and pick two in a row...but this is kind of depressing:
You are on the clock after 26 more picks.
Ugh!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Heh - I never liked the Cards anyway :-)

But at least that was something I could fix. As you can see, we are again up to our usual standards of quality. I think you will all agree that I was right to stick with the decision I made early in my career - NEVER work on life critical software!

Have the Cards ceased to exist? It could be the second best thing to happen to a Cubs fan! What's with the blank parentheses for team name? :-)

I'm aware that the ERA's are all 0.00 (thanks Walker). I'm working on it (but it's really weird)! It turns out the the sort works correctly - man, I just don't get it! In the mean time I recommend the ESPN stats site :-).

Walker must have remembered the whipping Jimmy Boy Edmunds put on the league last year. At least I potentially filled all 3 outfield slots w/ one pick :-)

You know, from last year I wanted someone from U.S.S Mariner to play in the league. Now we have two! Congratulations Peter and Jeff!

Stop The Presses! Bonds is First Pick!

:-)

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Alright! We are finally ready to go! Welcome to this year's MBSBL. I'm hoping to have a fun time while we wait for what will hopefully be an exciting Mariners season. The draft site is ready to go and the draft has started. Jeff Sullivan of Team Awesome (at least he's humble) is on the clock! Go make your pick! When you do the next GM will be notified by email!

Here is the draft order. We will do a serpentine draft changing direction each round. And how did I come up with this order? Well, here's the python:

>>> teams = range(1,15)
>>> teams
[1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14]
>>> random.shuffle(teams, random.random)
>>> teams
[3, 12, 4, 10, 13, 7, 14, 9, 11, 6, 5, 2, 8, 1]


:-)

I'd like use to use this blog to communicate about the league. I know that new GM's are going to have some questions about how Diamond Mind works. The GM's from last year will be able to help me answer.

OK - good luck and have fun!

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