Brian, Manifesto, podcast, Rotoballs, Updates

Manifesto ’13


“If you don’t know where you’re going, you might end up someplace else.”

-Yogi Berra

The John Madden of baseball.

The John Madden of baseball.

In fantasy baseball, there’s only one place any of us wants to be: standing on the top of some virtual winners’ podium, arms reaching for the baby blue sky, cheering out to anyone and everyone, who, by the way, couldn’t care less about our magnificent triumph. We’re employed by teams that neither thank nor pay us. We’re the only ones who are fans of our successes. Fantasy baseball is like a photo; if you’re not in it, you lose interest.

Our goal “is to win the game”, regardless of who is backing us.

We want to win. But how do we do that?

The tragic (and comical) words of Mr. Berra are true: if you don’t know what you want, chances are you’ll get something you don’t want.

Fantasy baseball, even more so than fantasy football, is about preparation, reading information, being informed, making logical decisions. In football, even Kathy, the office secretary, who missed the draft (because “What’s a draft?”), won your league (because there’s no difference between skill and luck in a sport where there’s no consistency or order). While football subscribes to the chaos theory, baseball is methodical, statistical, and predictable (to an extent that it takes skill to find and comprehend trends). If football is characterized as the butterfly effect, then baseball is weather forecasting: if you know what you’re doing, you’re going to be right more times than you’re wrong.

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Brian, Player Profile, Third Base

Player Profile: Brett Lawrie


Alright! Who let the tool out of the tool shed?

I like to think of fantasy baseball as a microcosm of the stock market. It’s a small economy that fits into your computer. You check the stat ticker on the bottom of the television screen, much like traders check the DOW. You buy low. You sell high.

Staying with this metaphor, would you ever put a large sum of your money in a relatively unknown stock that yes, has had some immediate success, but has only been around for a few weeks? Let’s call this product The Lawriemower. It’s from Canada. Customer reviews say it works great for the first, oh, hour or so, but then it slowly loses steam, stops cutting grass, and finally one of the blades breaks and it becomes unusable. Would you put all your faith in this product? No? You wouldn’t?

Then why are all of you so freaking high on Brett Lawrie? Let’s talk this out. I’m sorry for saying freaking. I didn’t mean to scare you.

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Butler, First Base, Player Profile

Player Profile: Joey Votto


"Hey Joey, did you get the sausage and peppers?"

Joey Votto. Sounds like an insignificant character from Goodfellas. I can almost hear Ray Liota’s narration: “When I was a kid I used to get the wise guys’ beers during their card games down at Joey Votto’s. What a buncha gindaloons.” Joey Votto is no fringe mobster, but he is pretty gangster when it comes to hitting a baseball. So gangster, in fact, that you’ll find him in the top five of most experts’ preseason player rankings. I love stats, and there’s a lot to like about Votto’s. Whether it’s his career OPS of .955, BA of .313, or .237 ISO, he is as dominant a left-handed hitter as there is in the game. Stats like OPS, BA, and ISO are a great measure of a hitter’s true ability because unlike RBI or runs, they are absent any reliance upon others to be on base or drive them in. ISO treats a leadoff double the same as one with the bases loaded; it’s about pure power, fluky variables be damned.

Here’s a fun idea! Let’s compare Votto to the consensus No. 1-ranked player in fantasy baseball, the mighty Miguel Cabrera:

BB% K% BB/K AVG OBP SLG OPS ISO BABIP GB/FB LD% GB% FB% HR/FB

Votto: 12.9 18.4 0.70 .313 .405 .550 .955 .237 .352 1.19 23.9 41.3 34.8 19.4

Cabrera: 11.1 17.5 0.64 .317 .395 .555 .950 .239 .347 1.13 21.3 41.7 37.0 18.3

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