Fantasy Baseball Tumbling Dice: My own private schadenfreude

by Lawr Michaels, MastersBall.com on July 31, 2012 @ 14:14:32 PDT

 


Language is such wonderful modifier of its people. Languages all have nuance, and they all have specifics that generally are kind of inherent to the relative culture.

Washington Nationals OF Bryce Harper
Lose to win Harper

For example, somehow "amour" just sounds more romantic than the English counterpart "love," just like the French people are more romantic than we are. The French also have a healthier, or at least more realistic attitude towards romance and relationships, at least in my view, so that the language thing kind of makes sense.

Well, the Germans, which both of my parents were (my father having been born in Leipzig, and my mother in Stuttgart), have the fantastic word "schadenfreude."

It means to derive pleasure from the misery of others, and, well, knowing my parents, and grandparents, only the Germans could come up with such a delicious, accurate, and yet perverse word and concept.

Well, I am having this sort of masochistic/sadistic battle with schadenfreude as it relates to my MidWest Strat-O-Matic team.

You see, I realized early this season that my squad had no hope of being competitive, and essentially started the yard sale during the second month of head-to-head play.

So, as even documented here, I swapped Shane Victorino and Laynce Nix and Javier Lopez and Ryan Zimmerman for draft picks next February, when the likes of Yasmani Grandal, ideally Matt Harvey and the exciting Bryce Harper will be available in the National League and to my Berkeley Liberators.

The deal with the MidWest League - as I have noted before - is that we are a simulation, replaying the stats from the season before. Meaning players making their first ever major league appearance in 2012 - usually with about a 40 at-bat or more threshold for hitters, and 20 innings for pitchers - will be out there for the taking (which explains how the likes of Mike Trout, Wade Miley, and Lance Lynn were available this past February).

Anyway, I will have a need for outfielders as the Liberators cupboards are fairly empty with Jesus Guzman and Andruw Jones being the closest things to starters I have.

Similarly, my rotation is thin with Ubaldo Jimenez and Kevin Correia the only two arms I have that might even come close to approaching 200 innings this year.

However, I am set in the infield with Jonathan Lucroy, Ike Davis, Mark Ellis, Brandon Crawford, and Hanley Ramirez as my main starters.

But, with strict usage rules in place (we can use a player the same as the previous year plus 20%) I will need some flychasers and arms to round out my lineup.

I do have some potential outfield help in the likes of Trayvon Robinson, Domonic Brown, Collin Cowgill, and Dave Sappelt, with the possible use of Alex White and maybe even Eric Surkamp as arms, but with luck the earliest I would be able to use these players seems like it would be 2014.

So, the 2013 draft needs to be a big help, and I am hoping with three first-round selections I will get a shot at a few of the big spoils.

But, Harper is the man.

And, as it stands, the first four draft picks each season are done via lottery, with a random selection among the worst four teams in the league, and at present, with a record of 32-50, the Liberators are only the sixth worst team.

This means I must do terribly through the last half of the season in order to come close to winning the Harper jackpot.

The problem is that runs against my nature, for I don't like to lose.

And that means I need to both try to win, while at the same time knowing that the worse my team gets the better the chances my outfield will be graced with Harper.

Meaning I can indeed derive some vicarious pleasure out of the failure of my own team even when I am trying to win.

I am not sure if that is a win/win situation, but it sure is not lose/lose, you know?

Hey, now you can get me on Twitter @lawrmichaels!

You can also subscribe now to the Mastersball Platinum Package, and get the edge that has led to three Tout Wars titles, eight NFBC crowns, two Scoresheet Championship teams, a KFFL title, and a Fantasy Pro 911 title over the last three years.

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About Lawr Michaels, MastersBall.com

Lawr Michaels has been a player in the fantasy baseball industry since he began writing for John Benson in 1993. He has written for STATS, Inc, was the first fantasy columnist for CBS Sportsline, and has appeared in numerous journals and on websites. In 1996, he founded CREATiVESPORTS, a staple for serious fantasy players, which he merged into Mastersball in 2010.

Over the years, Lawr has participated in a wide variety of playing formats and won numerous titles, including AL Tout Wars crowns in 2001 and 2009. Along with his Mastersball duties, Lawr works for MLB.com as a statistician.

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