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Archive for March, 2007

In 1994, before it was fashionable, six guys did a baseball fantasy league.  Seemed like a cool concept, draft American League players and follow their statistics.  Based on those, you earn points and you can trade players, release, sign, disable, etc.  There have been so many new formats and structures over the years, but I still feel ours is one of the more solid as we can change with time and it has a good ‘feel’ for the game:

Eight teams – AL only, 24 players per team (16 position players, 8 pitchers), of the position players – 2 catchers, all 4 infield spots, additional corner (1b/3b) man, additional middle infielder (2b,ss), 5 outfielders, then 3 ‘any’; of the eight pitchers – 5 starters, and 3 relievers.

Points – hitters earn points as follows – 1 point per run scored, per RBI, per total bases, 2 points per stolen base, minus 2 points per caught stealing, plus 1/2 for base on balls, minus 1/2 for a strike out.

Pitchers – earn points as follows – 12 points per win, minus 6 per loss, plus 5 per save, minus 5 per blown save, plus 1/2 strike-outs for starters, plus 1 strikeouts for relievers, then we have an ERA charge ranging from 0-300 max based on appearances and ERAs under 5.00, with maximum value for ERAs of 2.00 and below.

It’s a keeper league but after five years of being in the AL, you become a restricted free agent with your current team being able to sign you to a 1-5 year deal after which time you become available to anyone – ie. I signed Jeter last year to a five year deal over JP, but Mariano Rivera becomes a free-agent for me after this year.  Players that move to the NL are officially off your roster.  Players that come over can be drafted and kept on your roster for five years if they haven’t played in the AL previously – JD Drew, Gagne, Piazza being examples this year.

It’s been a fun league as we enter what I believe is our 14th season.  I’ve won the thing four times I think, but there’ve been several winners, JP Cunningham, John Burke (reigning 2x champ), Steve Lemberger I believe, Kyle Sundberg.  I used to have the placque but haven’t seen it so long, I forgot what it looked like.  Maybe this year.

The draft being this Saturday, the following players are available (not on someone’s roster already):

Dice-K (BOS), Igawa (NY), Piazza (OAK), Drew (BOS), Barfield (CLE), Gagne (TEX), Borowski (CLE), Iwamurra (TB), with quite a few free agents in Petitte, Lofton, Sosa, Matthews, Thomas, Dotel, Todd Jones.

It’s interesting that our league has started to value phenoms more and more as we are able to keep four guys in our “minor” leagues.  I have a fairly solid minor league team in Billy Butler (KC), Josh Fields (CHI), Andrew Miller (DET), and Adam Lind (TOR).

Draft time is early afternoon eastern, so I’ll be sure to post my picks.  You can view our league at TMFBL (Thurman Munson Fantasy Baseball League).

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…headed back to Atlanta next week for my long delayed next trip back.  Haven’t been back since early December with the exception of eight hours back in January.  Lots to catch up on work-wise, but also with some friends I haven’t seen in months.

On the flip side, back here, am headed to Las Vegas this weekend for my annual fantasy baseball draft.  Should be interesting as always, I’ve done literally nothing with my team since the off-season, including being the only one of the eight team managers to forget to turn in a roster on time, costing me able to sign one player, woops.  Been busy, but no real excuse.  Came in third last year out of the eight, tied for the lowest finish by me in the 13 years we’ve been doing this thing.  Not too shabby though.  I’ll post additional information on the draft before Saturday and then results afterwards.

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So we went 2-1-1 in our baseball tourney this past weekend.  We played ‘ok’ but really should have made the playoffs.  We tied Jose Canseco’s team 9-9 after dropping down 7-0, so that was positive and I threw well (5 innings) in relief) on Saturday in relief notching a win striking out two and walking only one.  On the poker tour, I jumped up big day one but gave back some and ended the trip up $480.  Not horrible.  I’ll try to post a picture or two from the trip in the next several days.

I made some tremendous laydowns as it seems I continued getting second best hand time and time again laying down QQ vs. AA (whew) and a few others.  All in all I played well, but I still thing my table selection is a little off. 

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Headed out to Vegas this Thursday to participate in my annual Vegas Kick-Off Classic Tournament.  It’s become an annual tradition since 2002 and we’ve had a blast out there every year.  This year will be a tad different as we’re teaming up with the Chicago Clowns, a team we’ve beaten out there and in Disney for a championship.  What’ll make this trip particularly interesting is that we’ll be playing two Los Angeles teams as part of the tourney – the Valley Mets and the Waves.  I played with the Waves versus the Mets last Labor Day and in Arizona.  Jose took me yard (twice) as I recall.  Got lucky.

I’m sure there may be a few cards throw my way and hopefully some chips as well on this trip.  Accomodations, the Wynn – shocker and I thoroughly recommend if you’re able to accomodate five hours of poker play a day, may I recommend it and ask for the ‘poker room rate’ of 129 midweek and 199 weekends.

My brother will also be in town so I’m sure there’ll be some good photos to take, hopefully none of Jose taking me yard.  Good thing I’m taking my steroids with me.

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10 wins, 6 losses in one of the major conferences, 22 wins overall, a recent convincing blowout win just 13 days ago over #9 in the country Georgetown (and a 2 seed in the tourney) that is probably one of the hottest teams in the country winners of 15 in their last 16, wins over Villanova, Marquette……and they don’t get into the NCAA tournament?  Arkansas, Illinois, Xavier get in???  C’mon.  People even say Drexel should be in by virtue of beating ‘Cuse, Nova and Creighton, but they finished fourth in a weak conference while Syracuse finished fifth in the 16-team Big East ahead of Marquette and Villanova who got in.  Unbelievable.  NCAA’s this week just won’t have the same feel.

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What a great time of the year.  Day light savings is right around the corner – this weekend btw, spring is in the air (at least out here), baseball season’s upon

us, and most importantly, NCAA’s are a week away.  What a fun time.  Even more fun that my team, Syracuse will be among the 65 teams in next week’s tourney.  With today’s win over UConn, Syracuse has assured itself of yet another bid…but not since the year of the Melo has the Orange done anything in the tourney.  Let’s hope this year’s different.  PS – gotta love Jimmy B!

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Those who know me well, know I’m a baseball enthusiast, a purist, a die-hard, and passionate about the game…the intricacies, the strategies…hm…sounds similar to poker.  Those who know me well also know I don’t usually half-ass anything.  If I’m setting my mind to something, it’s going to be good.  That’s why when I left Atlanta it was tough for me to ‘give up’ my team.  When I moved to Atlanta I’d tried out for this team called the Georgia Cherokees.  They pawned me off onto another team (largely because I threw 70 and not 85mph) and it wasn’t until I beat them in early 1996 that they invited me to go to a tournament in Tampa with them.  I joined them two years later full-time, was invited to manage the team late in 2000 and the rest as they say is history.  We won nearly 200 games and several local and national tournaments in the five full years I managed and I’m proud of that.

So giving that up was tough when I moved out to LA.  In the last year, I’ve seen the team change and mould and one thing I realized is that although legacies are nice, it’s the actual participation, game playing, and memories that last longer than a legacy.  What matters most what’s in your mind.  So, altering my mind somewhat and accepting an invitation to play with the Clowns this March is new for me.  We played as the Clowns down in Tampa and came in second.  The change (in short) was to represent something new and the ability to play with those you want to play with, not just to save a team name.  The Georgia Cherokees name lasted a long time in good graces (1991-2006) – 15 years and I’ve even changed the homepage.  The name actually lives on but under only a shadow of what it once was and used to mean (without naming names).  That part of the story is sad.

But the new team, The Georgia Clowns, is now a mix of a couple of teams and pretty much the same players going out and playing the game correctly.  We’ll see if there’s a championship to be won.  If so, I hope I can at least be a part of it.  And if/when I return, I’d be honored to be part of it as well. 


 

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