You wanna pay how much for Darin Ruf!? - Mike Stobe
For the members of the community participating in Fangraphs' Ottoneu league, fantasy baseball has returned, and it came back with a bang.
Well, that was fun.
It's official, guys. Fantasy baseball is back, at least for some of us. The Good Phight's first ever keeper league got underway Sunday evening. 13 bloggers-turned-GMs piled into a crowded and rather glitchy chatroom on Fangraphs' Ottoneu site to take part in the first round of the preseason player auction. And what an auction it was. From the very get-go, you could just feel the fervency with which each team owner went about bidding on players. Players went from costing $2 to $20 faster than you can burp the word "Yuengling."
Now for those of you who are not taking part in this, allow me to explain how this league works. Note that I said auction in the previous paragraph; this is not a player draft like many of us (myself included) will have in the CBS and Yahoo! leagues in the next couple of weeks. It's a little bit different, and much more like the process of free agency than the first-year player draft the other leagues model themselves after. At the beginning of the auction, each team owner has $400 to spend, and there are 40 roster spots on each team to fill, much like a regular major league team, but only 22 of those spots must be filled (with a starting line-up, 5-man rotation, 5-man bullpen, and 4-man bench consisting of two outfielder, one middle infielder, and a utility player) in order for the team to legally accumulate points. During the actual auction process, instead of choosing a player to draft to your team, you instead nominate a player to bid on, and the person who nominates the player makes the first bid. The rest of the owners have 15 seconds to raise the bids on the player as they see fit, either in $1 increments or more if they so desire. The owner with the highest bid at the end of the 15 seconds becomes the owner of that player. The process continues until at least all teams have satisfied the requirements of a starting lineup, and it can continue on until all 40 roster spaces on each team have been filled.
The actual auction itself was a whirlwind of sheer "What the hell!?"-ness, almost from the very beginning. 110 players were signed for a total of $2790. Some finished the evening having spent over $300, while some still had more than $300 left to spend. I paid $34 of my $400 to have the honor of signing the first nominated player, Josh Hamilton, and I also closed out the evening with a purchase of Stephen Drew for $10. To give you an idea of how crazy things got, Mike Trout went for an absurdly high $62, with Miguel Cabrera following behind at $56. Cole Hamels ended up costing more than Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw, Felix Hernandez and CC Sabathia. Joecatz's iPad even placed three bids for him on players he claims he didn't want. Right, Joe...you keep telling yourself that. I'm onto you.
All in all, it was an exceptionally enjoyable experience, even if I started getting a little bleary-eyed from staring at a computer screen for 3 straight hours watching dollar signs grow ever larger. But this is just the beginning, guys. If the auction is any indication, the team owners of The Good Phight's first ever keeper league are in for a hell of a ride.
Owners, discuss your teams below. Who did you pick? Why did you pick them? Are there any players you bought that you thought were a steal? Would you undo any of the deals you made>