Over the last couple of seasons, I have been using this space, from time to time, to document my rebuilding in a couple of leagues. One would be the MidWest Strat-O-Matic League, and the second the Xperts Fantasy League.
Both would probably be considered "dynasty" fomats, with the Strat League a 30-team setup that allows us to freeze up to 28 players from year to year (of course, remember Strat-O-Matic is a head-to-head simulation which is based upon the previous year's stats), while the XFL allows 15 freezes. The XFL wrinkles are the $260 auction, which occurs around Halloween, and a 17-player expansion roster taking place in March just prior to the start of the season.
A Cespedes for the rest of us
I actually started my XFL rebuild in earnest during the 2011 draft and did well, retooling my team last year with Yonder Alonso, Matt Moore and Yoenis Cespedes. I started the MidWest re-engineering last June, when I started to swap for draft picks, eventually letting go of my real marquee players in Ryan Zimmerman and Hanley Ramirez.
In the MidWest League, I can look forward to next year with Domonic Brown, Carl Crawford and Matt Harvey now part of my roster that also includes Norichika Aoki, Brandon Crawford, Ike Davis, Jonathan Lucroy and Derek Norris.
I will need some help in that league at second base, and I can also use another good starting pitcher. Ideally, getting them will make things competitive again.
In fact, with Jedd Gyorko as the top second base prospect in the National League this season, based upon the horrible start my Berkeley Liberators have had this year, I stand a good chance of landing him. Maybe even a trade during the league hot stove can put Jose Fernandez, Tony Cingrani or Trevor Rosenthal on my staff.
Gyorko seems to be a pivotal part of my rebuilding plans, as in the XFL I traded a FAAB draft pick this year, along with Matt Holliday and a low March pick next year for the services of Mr. Gyorko along with a fifth-round March pick in 2014.
So, I have a plan, and the future does indeed look pretty good for both these teams to be climbing up their respective standings.
And, since my other teams this year, Tout AL (fourth place as I write), LABR NL (second place), NFBC Draft Champions (third place), and Scoresheet (sixth place of 24 teams) are all performing well, it is hard for me to complain that my remaining "under reconstruction" projects are taking it on the chin.
But, I have to confess: at this point it is killing me.
I had the second worst record in the MidWest National League last year after a handful of very solid seasons where my team won more than 90 games. As for the XFL, we are going on our third straight year in the cellar in a mixed format that I used to consider my real strength (note the past tense use of the words "used to").
The bottom line is though I really do enjoy the rebuilding process a lot, I just hate seeing my team name at the bottom of anything, period.
Not that being in last, especially at this point of the season, means anything more than being in first. The problem is it just feels better to see your team among the leaders, irrespective of where anyone is the last day of the season.
I do think of the Jason Grey thought that there is one winner in a league, and a bunch of second-place finishers. While I know what Jason is saying is correct, and while I have to be patient even a little longer in the MidWest and XFL formats, I would be plenty happy to see my teams in second or third place.
Or even sixth at this point.
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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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