I love fantasy baseball, and it's that time of year where rankings litter my family room floor. I bought my annual cheat sheet fantasy baseball magazine to help me figure out the ways to victory. I've done fairly well for myself over the years, and yet it doesn't get any easier. I find myself agonizing over decisions and then looking back at them sometimes regrettably and sometimes happily.
I participate in a keeper league, for those unaware, in which six players from your previous year's roster form the basis for the new season. The entire off season I had 5 names locked in for sure, and my 6th spot was up for grabs. The two names that kept coming back were New York Yankee Jason Giambi and Chicago White Sox Paul Konerko. Generally speaking, I like Giambi more than Konerko so as it came time to e-mail the commissioner my final selection, I figured I'd sit down and just go with Giambi.
I began crunching the numbers. Giambi had more homers and a higher on base percentage than Konerko. All very well and good. But wait, Konerko scored more runs and drove in just as many. So maybe Giambi isn't that much better.
Maybe I'll go look up their age as players as they get older tend to produce less, unless of course you are a muscular woman. Ends up Jason is 36 and Paul is 31: advantage Konerko. Alright, I can go with Konerko, I'm ok with that. He'll probably have more good seasons and at the very least will be more favorable in trading than a steroid taking, tumor filled DH.
Ok, it's Paul Konerko. He's my 6th keeper.
Wait, hold on. If I'm not jumping for joy at one of my keepers maybe I shouldn't go with him. If there's been this much debate, maybe I should just keep someone who is a personal favorite and then enjoy cheering for him the rest of the way. Perfect candidate: J.J. Putz.
Now, Putz has been well known in my fantasy league because I take him every single year with my last draft pick. Granted I took him because of his goofy name the first time and then tradition built the next two times. Then a crazy thing happened, he became really good. Only, BJ Ryan and Joe Nathan had better WHIPs than Putz. And Putz had more strikeouts than both of them, with only Brad Lidge being close. With an ERA at 2.30 and 36 saves, Putz will anchor my bullpen.
Ok, it's J.J. Putz. He's my 6th keeper.
Wait, hold on. I can't keep a closer. It's against everything I've ever stood for in the world of fantasy baseball. I carried three mediocre Montreal Expos one year to rack up saves, and that did me just fine. Saves is way overrated. I can't use a keeper on a reliever. No way. Back to Konerko and Giambi.
I'm going to rank Konerko and Giambi in the Yahoo rankings and just go with whomever is higher ranked. Yahoo gives Konerko the 52nd best player ranking, and Giambi received #98. Easy then, it's definitely Konerko.
Wait, hold on. Who's that ranked one ahead of Konerko in the first baseman category? Holy crap, it's Cleveland Indian superstar Victor Martinez. Granted he received his semi-lofty ranking by virtue of having dual catcher and first baseman eligibility, but still, rated higher than a guy with 35 HRs and 113 RBIs?
There are 16 first basemen in the Yahoo top 100. There are 3 catchers ranked in the same top 100. They are a much rarer commodity. Plus, Martinez does play for my beloved Tribe. Why not? Let's keep Victor Martinez. There's a million other first basemen and I can pull for him all year.
Oh crap, did I really just do that? I threw Giambi, Konerko, and Putz back into the general pool? What was I thinking? Better go write about it in a blog post to feel better.
(Note: I don't feel any better.)