Pardon me if this seems a touch above the grandeur of my normal writing, but I came to a realization this morning that shook my attention to its core and made me feel like Proclaiming Things Officially -- baseball season is actually pretty close. If you woke up this morning without the compulsion to chart the minutes until Our National Pastime resets itself, I have news for you: as the college football season is officially over, we have officially crossed over into the Countdown Zone for baseball. While some of you (me) have been counting down since the end of the regular season, one can no longer expect looks of supreme frustration and confusion when you talk about how desperately you want pitchers and catchers to report right now. By a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation, if February 12th is the "voluntary" date for the beginning of Spring Training activities, then we have 35 days until That Blessed Occurrence. Report, you Seraphim and Cherubim of the diamond, report and make me happy again!
Grandiosity aside (awww...), we're in the home stretch, people. This of course means all kinds of things, many of which will be written about on this very blog in far more competent and compelling articles than this one, and by far more competent writers. So, let's ignore those things and shoot right for the most insignificant aspect of this ongoing development: it's high time we dusted off the old graph paper and thought a little bit about Dungeons & Dragons. I mean fantasy baseball.
As some of you know, we run two 16-team fantasy leagues here at TGP, one of which is moderated through CBS, and one through Yahoo!. The differences between the two leagues -- mostly just the inclusion of FIP instead of ERA and a complicated "Bullpennery" category in the CBS league -- are negligible. We're all one happy family. That said, being co-commissioner of the CBS league, I can't speak much for the Yahoo! league, let alone my fellow owners in my own league: fantasy, unlike the real deal, is naturally solipsistic. To cure this self-obsession, and with WetLuzinski's excellent exit interviews from last year firmly in mind, I urge and compel (read: require) any and all who have been involved with the leagues in the past year to answer (in your most hilarious and insightful manner) the following questions (I should note, if you need a crib sheet, you can still check up on your team on the CBS site; I assume Yahoo! is similar, so if anyone has a link to that league, I'll post it):
1) How did you do in your league? (If you remember exactly, let us know; if you don't, just approximate your level of celebration or blind, fuming rage).
2) Using the heavily scientific method of the BBWAA's Hall of Fame voting, who was your team's MVP? Why?
3) Using totally different criteria, who was your team's LVP? Why?
4) What was the best in-season move (trade, waiver pickup, dropped player) you made, and why?
4a) If you were in the CBS league, did you trade with JoeCatz? If so, grade your regret on a scale of 1-to-Aroldis Chapman.
5) What did you like best about the TGP league you were with, and how can we continue to promote this?
6) What did you like least about the TGP league you were with, and how can we improve it?
7) We discussed a "relegation" plan last year, wherein the top 8 in the Yahoo! league would go to CBS, and the bottom eight in CBS would go to Yahoo!. Any interest in this, or shall we organize differently this year?
8) Free space!
And after these questions, one extra question that any interested party can answer:
A) I have, along with people who are smarter and better looking than me, been working on starting a TGP Keeper League. This would be in addition to, and thus separate from, the currently standing leagues. It would essentially be a more complicated, continuous format that would necessitate consistent and long(er) term commitment. The league will be limited in terms of membership, but this is a official call to arms. Would you have interest in being in this kind of league? Do you have any advice in terms of starting this kind of league?
While we'll handle the exact parameters of membership in both leagues -- as I expect some people will want to sit out next year, and a good amount will want to join up anew -- we'll do this a bit closer to the start of Spring Training, maybe at the end of January or beginning of February. That said, I encourage you to engage in some fact finding here if you're new; and if you're a grizzled veteran, I expect to see your exit interview below, maggot!
EDIT: I totally forgot to ask, so h/t to Rujasu for reminding me; consider this answerable by all:
B) Both fantasy leagues are currently Rotisserie format (i.e. adding up year-long totals in categories). Is there any interest in doing a head-to-head format (i.e. having a weekly matchup to produce clear W-L standings, along with a playoff system) among current or potential team owners?