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Things Are Looking Up (Slightly)
I’ve been used to checking my four NFBC teams and seeing them all in double-digits in the standings. I’m pleased to report one has broken into single digits (seventh), and it’s the same one struggling in saves that just got Raisel Iglesias back and Liam Hendriks should be back soon. It also looks like Evan Phillips is getting most of the Dodgers’ saves too. Losing Jacob deGrom wasn’t ideal, but complaining about a deGrom injury is like complaining about a hangover after you were doing shots at three in the morning. What did you think would happen?
That reminds me of one of my favorite jokes, can’t remember where I heard it:
Have you ever been so drunk you woke up and didn’t remember how you got home?
And then you realize that’s because you never left!
In any event, that manager, Ryan Garofalo, also sat Jack Flaherty this week for his 2.1 IP, 10 ER outing against the Angels. I rip these guys, who are all doing their best, despite being handed flawed teams, so I figure credit where it’s due.
The rest of the teams are still in double digits, but the guys are all making moves and winning players by narrow margins in FAAB, i.e., making good bids. Don’t get me wrong, l am still agonizing over lineup errors, like these from one manager the other day, leaving two wins and 18Ks on the bench:
That ruined my Saturday, and I already had a hangover. (Actually it ruined about five minutes of my Saturday, and then a few more 10-second intervals later in the day when I let myself dwell on it.)
I might have mentioned this before, but I check the box scores first, then my teams, so (a) I’ve already celebrated Sale and Lynn’s good outings in my mind; and (b) I already know the perfect result, before checking on my teams. In other words, anything less than a perfect lineup will always seem like an error in retrospect to me, even if I might have made the same one prospectively.
I also think pitchers are a bit like wide receivers in football — the good ones you leave in no matter what, so you’ll never miss their good games. But mid-round ones are very hard to time, and you can easily get whipsawed, starting them when they’re bad and benching them when they’re good. It’s even worse when you outsource because your manager won’t have the same beliefs about your pet players as you do — for me Lynn and Sale (for now) are auto-start except against the toughest offenses/parks. But I could see how someone else might not agree.
It could go either way though — if I’m right about those guys, it’s really bad my managers are panicking and sitting them for their best starts. But if I’m wrong, my attachment to them will keep them in the lineup long after I should have ditched them. But I drafted the teams, so my convictions should matter. Then again, they’re managing the teams, so if I don’t want the headache of being involved, I need to let them be free to do as they see fit. You can’t have it both ways. I think I prefer to be an absentee owner who complains a lot, more than an active owner who has to pay close attention. But I might change my mind about that later this year or next.
Fantasy baseball (and football) are hell, there’s no way around it, whether you manage it yourself or outsource. You will always make costly mistakes, your proxy will always make costly mistakes, you will be wrong about many things, and you won’t get the full benefit even from many of the things about which you were right. If you’re competitive and have high standards, it’s torture. So far, I prefer the torture without the extra homework attached though. What I’m saying is as miserable as I am about the season so far, I’m glad I went this route. So far.
. . .
Sasha and I are in 97th place (out of 250) in the NBA postseason contest, and this team has a chance if the Sixers make the finals, James Harden (4% at 2x) keeps balling out (on offense), and Joel Embiid misses some games in the finals. That sounds like a lot of hurdles, but Embiid already missed a game in the Celtics series, so it’s not inconceivable. Of course, I would never root for an injury — I’m not a sociopath — but I would like it if Embiid and the Sixers decide that his long-term health is too valuable, and he shouldn’t push it just for an NBA title. Or maybe he finds The Lord and walks the earth instead of playing. Something benign and good for his physical and spiritual health, yet causing him to miss the series. I can root for that, can’t I?
I actually watched the last half of the fourth quarter last night, and Embiid did not look like the league MVP. He seemed scared to take the big shots, while Harden was almost too calm — casually dribbling outside the three-point line with six seconds on the shot clock in a must-win tie game. (He did make 16-of-23 shots, so it’s hard to knock the results.) The Celtics seem like a much better team though, and that the Sixers held on felt like a minor miracle. I hope Philly wins, but I expect Celtics in six.