A bunch of years ago -- when I was going through a rough spot personally -- I made a deal with myself about that horrible trait we have of second-guessing ourselves and respective choices.
Lawr kept him
I decided that I could second-guess all the fantasy baseball and football moves that I wanted, but that was it. The rest of my life and moves toward bad jobs and horrible bosses and lopsided relationships were off limits.
It was kind of liberating in some ways as you can imagine; however, if you play fantasy sports seriously, you can probably imagine how haunting this decision could be in other ways.
I had not really thought about it of late though, till a few weeks ago when my Xperts Fantasy League mate and friend Jeff Winick and I started trade talks and somehow the email thread digressed into who held the heavier burden of guilt and second-guessing.
I am not sure which of us won this self-deprecating contest (but hey, we play in a league against one another and we like games, so I am sure one of us had to think of ourselves as the winner), but the whole dialogue reminded me of some of the moves that made me shudder.
And then, this week, after David Phelps, whom I purchased in the XFL as well as in AL Tout Wars, had a solid four-inning, nine-strikeout performance where he got a win and was then moved into the Yankees starting rotation over Ivan Nova, well, the pangs came back.
That is because a week earlier, I dumped the seemingly erratic Phelps and acquired Texas Rangers pitcher Justin Grimm to fill the slot.
Which actually is not such a bad move, but I had Travis Blackley and Luke Hochevar filling up reserve list space, and since their teams don't seem quite as potentially successful as the Yankees, I am wondering why my impulsive desire to cut all ties with Phelps after his shoddy and disappointing performances trumped reason?
Especially since now I want him back.
For, sure enough, I put in a $4 FAAB bid to get Phelps back (he cost me $5 during the auction, offering an entire new avenue for self-inflicted schadenfreude relative to the move) but Rick Wolf and Glenn Colton won him with 21 precious FAAB dollars.
The whole episode brought back painful pangs of the past. In particular, my first year in Tout AL, in 2001, I remember bidding on and picking up then up-and-coming Seattle Mariners outfielder Raul Ibanez.
I liked Ibanez, then 28, as a potential power source, although he had not produced much over parts of five seasons and 516 at-bats. Still, I bid $9 and got him, but after a few months (.222-0-1 April, .053-0-2 May), I cut him much like I did Phelps.
Someone else did pick Ibanez up and got the .301-13-51 numbers he assembled from June through the end of the season over 242 more at-bats.
The problem is I won. As in first place. I won the league, without Ibanez, yet to this day I still kick myself for letting him go.
So, though it might have been healthy for me to restrict the scope of my second-guessing, the energy I expend in my remaining second-guess avenue is, shall we say, beyond reason.
I guess the bottom line is though I do only have one self-inflicted outlet for this second-guessing, within the one path, the scope is limitless.
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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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