Patrick Finley Memorial Fantasy Baseball League

We are a fantasy baseball league whose draft is scheduled for April 14. Ten men enter (or nine or eight), and one man leaves.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Fearless Predictions for this Draft

John the Fearless
John the Fearless (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
* Everything I read suggests King Felix is his old self and then some. I'm guessing he'll go for at least $8.

* Does David Price really have a fifth pitch or is that just Beantown hype? He's still worth $9.50, slurve or not.

* Justin Verlander's beautiful wife is giving him some beautiful trouble according to Buzzfeed. Court action is fine in tennis but baseball not so much. Stop the bidding at $4 and cross your fingers.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Let's Talk Positions

English: Jack O'Brien – Played in Major League...
English: Jack O'Brien – Played in Major League Baseball between the 1899 and 1903 seasons (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Time to fire up the old league blog again to deal with that most vexing of recurrent problems: Who is eligible at what position? I'm guessing 95 percent of the time the answers are obvious. He played there last year. He's playing there this year.

Next case.

Manny Machado has spent his career playing 3B, but this year - his final under contract to Baltimore - he wants to play SS and thus (did I mention it's his final year under contract) he's playing SS. We are not one of those leagues that places guys at multiple positions! Deal with it.

But some situations are more opaque. Some DHs only DH, but MLB depth charts solve those problems - most of them. Mariners DH Nelson Cruz is number three RF on the Seattle depth chart. He also played five whole games there last year. Thanks to my link you can look it up!

And, of course, there's Marwin Gonzalez, who was all over the place last year. He played 47 games in LF and 38 at SS. This year the CBS depth chart has him as backup not in LF but in *all four infield positions.* I say tally the first two weeks of the season and go with that. But do not forget the bottom line, this league's Iron Rule which the BCL has adamantly applied. Majority vote rules! Anything a majority of the league says must be so *is* so. We have occasionally tweaked reality to shore up a weak position.

There you go. The floor is open for discussion. Comments?

Monday, April 17, 2017

Draft Countdown is Underway

Pose your questions, lads. Since we are going to draft with ten this year, placement of marginal players at thin positions is important. Since I am old school and take a "paper" paper, I am here perusing the box scores, looking for anomalies and portents. You may recall I said Mr. Carlos Santana (the baller) will be drafted as a ....

I've forgotten if I said RF or 1B. As of this morning, he's played at 1B five times and RF three times. A strict constructionist - is that you, Clarence Thomas? - would place him at 1B, but I say let's put him at the weaker position, which looks to be RF.

But back to this DL madness. Guys dropping like flies, and the net effect of this 10-day DL is to make you think they will probably be back sooner rather than later. I'm just saying wait on the dreaded MRI.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Caption That Kevin!

ad aberger

That's Right. It's Time for *Caption that Kevin* the only contest where you don't  win only if you don't play. Are you Ready? It's time to *Caption that Kevin* And the first caption is:

che was right.

you can't lead a revolution

with split ends.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Who's on First. What's on Second...

Cats (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Josefa ortiz
Josefa ortiz (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
... and Ortiz is also on first.

That is to say, it's time for our annual arguments about who qualifies where.  As BCL, it is my job to establish perspective, set parameters and in general herd the cats in the only way cats can be herded, by guessing in which direction they are headed and racing ahead to be there when they arrive.

Which can be a long wait.

Thus, I understand that these preliminary discussions are often reversed 'at table.' But what the hell. Better to light one little candle than curse the darkness or Marko, whichever comes first.

By team:

Boston: Ortiz is a first sacker. No problem there. Rusney Castillo will start the year in the minors, but Victorino in RF is the guy he'll most likely replace when he comes up.

Baltimore: DH Steve Pearce is listed as backup at 1B.

Chicago: DH Adam LaRoche is listed as backup at 1B.

Cleveland: DH Carlos Santana is listed as backup at 1B. Didn't catch or play 3B this spring.

Detroit: DH Victor Martinez is listed as backup at 1B. Didn't catch this spring.

Houston: DH Chris Carter is listed as backup at 1B.

Kansas City: DH  Kendrys Morales isn't listed as backup anywhere. So: 1B.

LA: DH Matt Joyce is listed as backup in LF.

Minnesota: DH Kennys Vargas (whom I've never heard of till this moment) is listed as backup at 1B.

NYC:  Aha. Room for argument here. DH Garrett Jones is listed as backup at 1B. DH Alex Rodriguez is listed as backup at 3B. Who actually plays where the first ten days will be suggestive.

Oakland: DH Billy Butler is listed as backup at 1B. Gentry and Fuld will platoon in CF once Cocoa Crisp returns to retake LF.  But Gentry will start the season in left, so I'd say draft him there along with fragile Cocoa.

Seattle: DH Nelson Cruz is listed as backup in LF.

Tampa: DH John Jaso is not listed as backup at C *but* he's a catcher. So Jaso: catcher.

Texas: DH Mitch Moreland is listed as backup at 1B.

Toronto: DH Edwin Encarnacio is listed as backup at 1B.

Any other position puzzles we need to chew on???

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Billy Butler, Canary in the Green and Gold Mine

English: French explanation of the baseball st...
English: French explanation of the baseball strike zone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
from 538

The strike zone is (or was?) dropping

Offensive numbers are falling for a number of reasons, but none contributes more than a strike zone whose bottom edge is sinking lower and lower. Since at least the introduction of a PitchF/X grading system in 2009, umpires have been calling a larger and lower strike zone. Pitchers noticed, and have thrown an ever-greater proportion of their pitches at knee height. Meanwhile, the league’s hitters have been reduced to feebly hacking at low balls and producing an endless string of ignominious groundouts.
But a curious thing happened in the second half of last season: After years of sustained decline, the average pitch height bottomed out at about 2.25 feet. Soon after, during the playoffs, average pitch height suddenly rose to a place it hadn’t been since 2011. It was too drastic an increase to be the result of chance alone, and an analysis of ball/strike decisionsconfirmed that umpires were calling pitches in an unusually old-fashioned manner.
Was this a playoff aberration, or the beginning of a correction? Keep an eye on Billy Butler to find out. Despite his entertaining playoff run last year, Butler struggled in the regular season, notching a -0.6 WAR, about equal to what some triple-A replacements might do. Part of his woeful hitting was due to his performance in the bottom third of the strike zone, where he hit .278/.307/.394 and grounded into 12 double plays. Butler is uniquely harmed by the low strike zone because of his poor plate discipline and sluggish speed, which turns most grounders into outs.
If the low strike evaporates, Butler may see his fortunes turn (this is a scenario Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane, who signed Butler to a contract in the offseason, may be banking on). Balls higher in the strike zone can be more easily turned into flies, and that is where Butler does his damage (he slugged .472 on fly balls). If you don’t want to dive into a trove of Pitch F/X data, Butler’s early season production can serve as a barometer of the strike zone instead: If he’s launching balls high into the outfield, the strike zone may be rising. If he’s attempting to leg out infield singles to poor effect, the zone may still be at its low point.
So far this year, spring training has seen an average pitch height of 2.29 feet,2 lower than the playoff spike but higher than it was at any time in 2014.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Entirely Useless to Us But Interesting

Run Expectancy By Base-Out State, 1999-2002

Monday, March 23, 2015

By Popular Request, Beardsley's Official Pablo Portrait

Draft Day: Pablo, or The Elephant in the Room

Le Tampon
Le Tampon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A baby elephant. Pablo already weighs 50 pounds more than a baby elephant, and it's early days. So how much a pound are you willing to pay for him, Giants bitches?

Until his rant about the Giants tampon (as in toxic shock) clubhouse a few weeks ago, I thought drafting at 3B would be quite straightforward. The G4Gs - goofy for Giants - guys would bid him up pretty high, and then Marky Marko would buy another vowel for 9 bucks or so.

But now that Pablo's slandered the Men of Orange, I am really not sure the degree to which bruised feelings will counterbalance the possibility of bruised baseballs bouncing off the Green Monster - and I don't mean Peter's crunchy kale salad.

I had thought I'd bring Pablo out at once at a stiff dollar figure,  just high enough to tempt the rest of you into leaving me hanging so that you could chuckle at my apparently misreading the room. That is a bidding strategy, based on the premise that most of us seem content to start low and boost the bid in quarter increments, hoping that enough of those at the table will be drunk, dumb or unfocused enough to let a player slip through at a bargain price. But what if you are immediately challenged and bumped offstride with an initial offer of, say, 5 dollars, which breaks the rhythm, the drumbeat of quarter-up, quarter-up until someone blinks?

(And someone is always blinking.)

Maybe I will make that preemptive strike, if only to see Mark snap to attention. I really do like Pablo after all. We both have clearly had a bellyful of Frisco.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

No First-Time Champion Since Fife in 2010

Peter Moore, Town Crier to the Mayor of London...
Peter Moore, Town Crier to the Mayor of London and The Greater London Authority. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Roll of Champions

Patrick Finley Memorial Baseball League

1984  Patrick Finley

1985  Jeffrey Pressman

1986  Jon Carroll
1987  Jon Carroll**
1988  Michael Robertson
1989  Jeffrey Pressman
1990  Michael Koppy
1991  Michael Tola
1992  Jeff Barton & Jeffrey Pressman
1993  Peter Moore
1994  Michael Robertson
1995  Michael Koppy
1996  Jeff Barton
1997  Kevin Berger & Michael Koppy***
1998  Michael Robertson
1999  Michael Robertson
2000  Jeff  Barton***
2001  Michael Tola
2002  Peter Moore
2003  Jeffrey Pressman
2004  Robert Wieder
2005  Kevin Berger
2006  Michael Robertson
2007 Michael Tola
2008 Jeffrey Pressman *****
2009 Kevin Berger
2010 Paul Fife
2011 Michael Robertson ******
2012 Peter Moore***
2013 Michael Tola ****
2014 Kevin Berger ****

****** Six-Time Champion
***** Five-Time Champion
**** Four-Time Champion
*** Three-Time Champion
**Two-Time Champion

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