Minutes before the Tout Wars mixed league auction began, Derek VanRiper (RotoWire) handed me the red Sharpie I'd lost in his rental car in November, at Baseball HQ's First Pitch Arizona. Couldn't believe that he'd held onto it! I'd totally forgotten.
Later, I realized that my neurosis might've played a part in the permanent marker's safe return. My dark side may have become apparent to DVR at some point during that symposium in Phoenix.
Wilson: Tout Mixed ace?
I'm pretty sure that, after I lost the red Sharpie, I asked him (more than once, I think) if he'd seen it. Maybe even to keep an eye out for it. I think that I lost it once before - possibly even in his auto-for-hire. About that, I'm not positive.
I love Sharpies. I hate to lose office supplies. I hate to lose anything. But sometimes I'm a little scattered.
Thanks a bunch, dude. It was awfully considerate. I hope you win the mixed league. (If I don't, that is. Or maybe if Tim doesn't.) Sharpie search and rescue gets you knighted, far as I'm concerned.
Although, now that I think about it, perhaps I shouldn't be so appreciative. The fact that I'd forgotten the whole deal is probably an affirmative step for me. Maybe DVR is just trying to resuscitate the psychosis. Stoke the fire. Feed the monster. Oooh, is that your game? I see. It's so on.
There must be some way to gain an edge in a rotisserie league like this one. Head games, sabotage, mentalism, magic spells ... something. After the auction, I wasn't unhappy, but my team didn't thrill me. As I compulsively reviewed it, though, it grew on me.
I like the balance on offense. I love the strikeouts from the pitchers.
I began to wonder what I'd write about it. Because that's what we do, right? We draft fantasy baseball teams, and then we write about them. (Or talk about them, like the fellas from ESPN did in this podcast and this podcast.) We make observations about the player pool and strategy. Tell you buys we liked and disliked. What we might've done differently.
Which is good. But our opinions differ so greatly. And we've all won. It's remarkable that fantasy baseball players have so many distinct minds from which to gain perspective, even to mimic. To soak up those analysts' methods and reasons and adopt those they find agreeable.
Look at all the mixed league teams in Tout Wars. I did. The more I compulsively reviewed the other 14 squads, the more they grew on me. I may not like any one team as much as its owner does, but I saw possibilities in all of them.
I don't think many people see it that way, though. Reader comments, e-mails, etc., confer as much. If you could take one new idea away from your draft, what would it be? Next to the awesome people involved, what makes Tout Wars and LABR - and any extremely competitive league - incredible is the things you can learn. Which is a derivative of the awesome people.
Find draft plans, tactics and players you like and with which you're comfortable. When you've done what you can with them, find some more, and try them. Make the ones that work for you yours. You want to assemble a dominant fantasy baseball team, but if you're getting your money's worth, such an accomplishment is virtually impossible.
My team? It says one thing to me: This season is going to be fun. I've never been happier to say that I can work with that.
About Nicholas Minnix
Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.
The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.
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