Chronicle of a Main Event Debacle

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Chronicle of a Main Event Debacle

Post by knuckleheads » Sun Apr 06, 2014 6:13 pm

Double-Down on Dumb. Perhaps this should be the rallying cry of four mates attempting to tackle the NFBC Main Event for a second year in a row. Instead, we chose Arrogance will be our weapon and our light.

Upon Further Review, we were too awed by the spectacle of the Main Event last year. We tried to win the league on draft day and created an inflexible roster that doomed our efforts, despite a very effective FAAB season. We have the capacity to win the Main Event with a fortunate season based on our collective knowledge and talent. But last year wasn’t it.

The Structure: Year #2. All four mates return. David is responsible for preparation, drafting, and FAAB. Has draft authority to make autonomous, on-the-clock decisions when consensus does not exist. Jon is the clear #2. A solid, all-around fantasy player who will co-pilot the draft.

PD is the prospect finder, in-draft and in-season. Passionate about the players he likes. In our Godfather analogy (shouldn’t all organizations have a Godfather analogy?), PD would be the Sonny. Jeff is the “real baseball” fan. When asked, Jeff contributes an opinion from a different perspective.

Pre-Draft Planning: A concerted effort was made to avoid ADP influence prior to draft execution. Our team (UFR) is collectively of the camp that believes ADP is made up almost entirely of losers, or at least of guys who did not win their league. Avoiding ADP influence proves to be a more difficult task than one might think. Our intent was to avoid letting ADP affect our rankings, while using ADP as a general indicator of how long into the draft players may be available.

Draft Strategies: We were awarded the 3rd pick. Our early-rounds draft plan started as a comment, “I’d rather have two aces than none coming out of the third round,” and evolved by draft day into THE plan. In the event Jason Kipnis, Freddie Freeman (or other top hitter) doesn’t fall to pick #28, then get two aces on the round 2-3 turn.
Later round strategies really are more like goals, given the uncertainty of the course of the draft. Some of our goals were:

-pickup three more starters in the middle rounds from the following group:


-Get one Top Closer, but more importantly, avoid needing to rely on scrub closers for saves.
-Don’t focus too heavily on position eligibility, but don’t get caught with multiple holes at thin positions.
-Use the last 10 rounds to swing for the fences. Risk multiple flame-outs to secure 3-4 upside guys who can contribute.
-Go with the flow of the draft, and trust UFR’s ability to make adjustments to whatever the draft offers.

I've enjoyed reading analyses of teams over the years. UFR's group ownership presents unique issues that I think will be fun to chronicle. We've done it once. We have fun with it. Hope you do, too.
Last edited by knuckleheads on Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Chronicle of a Main Event Debacle

Post by knuckleheads » Sun Apr 06, 2014 6:17 pm

The Draft: We are four best friends, unmerciful in our criticisms of each other. Therefore, comments such as, “If you took Chapman there, I was going to flip the f’ing table over and cuss all of you,” are not really as intense as they may seem. UFR members gathered in one man cave with several computers, draft boards, and 1 projector.

Round 1 Pick #3 – Paul Goldschmidt – At the moment the third pick was awarded, the choice for us was between Goldschmidt and McCutchen. However, long before the draft we decided Goldschmidt’s power and potential for RBIs and Runs were too great to pass over, even though we did view McCutchen as the safest player in the draft.

Round 2 (#28) – Justin Verlander - There’s a lot of highlighter work between the #3 and #28 picks. Coming back to us, Kershaw was the only pitcher off the board. Freeman and Kipnis were gone, and visions of a Strasburg/Darvish turn were tantalizing us. With Michael Edelman and Rusty Clark residing in the two draft spots directly ahead of us on the long-turn, we weren’t expecting too many players to “drop” to us. Strasburg didn’t, going to Clark at #27. Ian Desmond was still available, and Darvish was our top-ranked pitcher, but news of his sore neck helped us decide to take Verlander here. We reasoned that we would go with Darvish, Desmond, or one of the other several aces remaining when we selected again in five picks.

Round 3 (#33) – Yu Darvish – The short turn took Scherzer and Wainwright, so we quickly picked Darvish, seizing the opportunity to start building a lock-down starting rotation. We knew we were giving up our last chance at Desmond. Jeff became less of a UFR fan, and became even more of a “real baseball” fan with the pick. He didn’t like the idea of a power pitcher with neck problems. We theorized that when you are 6’5”, everything you sleep on feels a bit like a love seat. UFR was unanimous in our admiration of Starling Marte, but due to his mid-50’s ADP, we felt we could take the chance that he would make it to us in round 4. We never seriously considered him in round 3.

Round 4 (#58) – Wilin Rosario – Marte didn’t get close to making it back to us, going at pick #50 (4.5). Had Jeff and PD known this would happen, they may have made a push to consider Marte in round 3. We had Marte ranked at #32. Our top-ranked players at this spot were Kemp, Molina, Rosario, Donaldson, Tanaka, and Shields. Kemp received zero consideration. We didn’t want an injury risk to derail this team. There was some discussion of Donaldson, but the pitchers would have to wait. We did hope to see Tanaka still available in round 6. Billy Hamilton had just come off the board at #57, which suited us, because it took him out of consideration (temptation) for us in round 6, which is where we felt his speed was worth the chance and risk. It was the 20+ HR power that made Rosario the choice.

Round 5 (#63) – Wil Myers – Donaldson went in the turn. Coming out, we briefly discussed Molina, but with 2 of our first 4 spots going to pitchers, we wanted a player who had a higher ceiling on RBI and Runs. We were in the range where the next 4-5 closers were due to be drafted, but again, dismissed the idea without much thought to concentrate on offense. We were determined to build the roster in a balanced direction at this point. Jon and I discussed Myers pre-draft, and we found a consensus when we suggested him to PD and Jeff. We made the pick and began congratulating each other on our magnificence. The rooting began for Tanaka (ADP 94) to make it to pick #87, which would give us our third ace (We believe Tanaka is the real deal).

Round 6 (#87) – Everth Cabrera – Eight pitchers pitchers dropped in the long turn, including Tanaka to Edelman two picks before us. It was a dagger, but our queue was stacked with middle infielders we would be glad to have. Gyorko was ranked higher, but we felt Cabrera was a great speed option to add to the early power we had drafted. Also, there were several 2B we liked, but felt there was a drop at SS after Cabrera.

Round 7 (#93) – Jedd Gyorko – To this point, three closers had been taken. There were 4 more that we felt were top-tier. We never really considered taking one here. We (I should say I) had Hamels and Buchholtz ranked higher than 93. Buchholtz had an ADP around 180 and we had him planned for later rounds. I asked the question, while wearing my Utley jersey, “when will it not be too early to bring up Hamels?” I was nearly carried out of the room on a rail. Jon and Jeff, Braves fans both, said “arm” and “soreness” were not terms they were comfortable hearing in regards to a pitcher. It was a fair point that I repeated later when Jon recommended Mike Minor. We felt this was an appropriate homer-check on me, and once again found time to marvel in our own brilliance with the Gyorko pick.

Round 8 (#117) – Daniel Murphy – As the long turn went out and came back, it became apparent closers were now in play. This time, it was Edelman first with Perkins, then Clark with Frieri. 9 closers gone, including our 7 top-tier guys. It was disappointing, but not tragic. I reasoned that there were many good closers left, but not a guy who was going to strikeout 100 batters. Jon seemed cool too, as we agreed Murphy would nail down a solid MI roster...450 seconds until the next pick.

Round 9 (#123) – XCloserX - Round 9 is when the wheels came off the bus. J. Johnson and Romo come off the board in the short turn. Jon opined that now was the time to take a closer “before all the good ones were gone.” I was open to it and asked about Papelbon. A resounding, “No!” came back from the remainder of UFR. Jon said, Soria’s the pick...A little back story...Jon brought Soria to my attention in the week leading up to the draft, and we came to the agreement we like his situation and his talent, and thought we should get him. I moved him from the 220s in our rankings to the 160s, and was prepared to get after him.

Jon, however, felt that Soria belonged in the Uehara-, Robertson-, Frieri-range. We now had a major disconnect with about 200 seconds left to pick. I told Jon I’d rather take Chapman at this point than Soria, and PD chimes in that he would cut my mother if I took Chapman. (I’m not sure that’s a direct quote, but it might have been.) We have now arrived at a town called Dysfunction. I asked Jon, "who else, Reed? Grilli?" No, it had to be Soria. “Jon, it’s just too early. What other closer do you want?” Soria.

We’re now on the clock and the next 60 seconds recycle the previous 4 minutes. As time winds down, I load Reed in the queue and ask, "do you like Reed?" No, I like Soria, he said. With seconds to go, Reed comes down and I pull a name from the top of our hitters list. A guy we all like but were not considering here, Austin Jackson is the pick.

Round 10 (#148) – Jonathon Papelbon – As this pick indicates, there was no agreement on Soria for round 10, either. Chapman’s name was brought up again, and I saw PD reach into his pocket. In the end, the theory and compromise went like this: Papelbon, an aging closer has the job for a mediocre team. Should the team fail, he’s likely to be traded to a team that needs a closer. His salary makes it unlikely he loses his job, unless his arm falls off. The compromise was: once we had a closer with some bit of job security, we would then take Soria.

Round 11 (#153) – Joakim Soria – Jon got his man. PD still had his hand in his pocket, but looked less anguished. He told us had we picked Chapman there, he would have flipped the f’ing table over. Things calmed in the war room. Dysfunction indeed, but catastrophe averted. What did not occur, but should have, is taking one of the starters we liked back in round 9. By the Papelbon pick in round 10, five more closer had come off the board, and our next three ranked closers were...Papelbon, Soria, and Chapman, then a cliff, either before or after Chapman. By round 10, the move was to go back-to-back closers, so that's how it happened.

Hamels, Buchholtz, and Iwakuma were all still there at rounds 10 and 11 and we were helpless to pick them. I felt like Hemingway’s Santiago, waiting for the sharks to come. I had hope, but it was a faint hope. For 10 picks the sharks didn’t come. Then in the 10 picks after that, the pitchers were all gone. This team, that was once going to have an immaculate pitching staff, was now short on starting pitching. All of a sudden, Darvish’s neck seemed so much more than just a sleeping strain.

Round 12 (#178) – Chris Johnson – Chapman made it all the way back to Edelman, two picks before us. I never told PD Chapman would have been the pick had he made it back to us, but it was probably best for my health that the decision was taken out of my hands. We calmed our nerves. After three rounds of forced picks, we worked back to what we felt were the soft spots in the draft. Johnson would help in Average, RBI, and Runs at a position we still needed to fill. Unity for UFR once again.

Round 13 (#183) – Dee Gordon - We took him fairly early compared to his ADP (249), but we felt he was likely to go earlier due to earning most of the LA 2nd base job. Also, provided depth and flexibility at middle infield. We felt Gordon's upside in SBs was unmatched at this point in the draft, and paired with Cabrera could be a real strength. The consensus was we didn’t want to risk losing that upside by trying to let him slide another 24 picks.

Round 14 (#208) – Adam Lind – M. Estrada is drafted three picks before making it back to us. At this point in the draft, we were starting to feel thin in power and starting pitching, which is ironic given how we felt we were on our way to invincibility after round 5. Once again, pitchers felt bunched for us, and we felt Lind had power and average potential. Justin Morneau got a long look, but was eventually dismissed. PD threw Swisher’s name into the hat, but Lind got the call.

Round 15 (#213) – Ervin Santana - Actually, I had to talk the Braves boys into this one. Swisher was drafted on the short turn. Garza was also considered here, but with an ADP of 239 vs. 228 for Santana, we took the chance that Garza would make it back to us. With the transfer to the NL and Atlanta’s large park, Santana seemed a fair bet to duplicate last season’s success.

Round 16 (#238) – Oswaldo Arcia – Matt Garza goes 7 picks before we have the chance to take him. We viewed him as the last of the accomplished strikeout pitchers, which shifted our emphasis to low-ratio pitchers to fill out the staff. We ranked Arcia about 100 spots ahead of his ADP, and we let him fall about 60 of those spots before taking him. He’s very young, but with 2 years of service, it felt like a reasonable risk to take for the power upside.

Round 17 (#243) – LaTroy Hawkins – This pitch was all mine, and it went something like this, “Guys, should we take LaTroy Hawkins here?” PD, “hell no, Rex Brothers is way better and he’s going own that job.” Me, “Yeah, but Hawkins has the job now. Maybe he gets 20 saves before he loses it.” Everybody else, “Meh.” So, yeah, we own LaTroy Hawkins. All other positions felt bunched, and it may keep us from needing to drop loads of FAAB on closers.

Round 18 (#268) – Michael Morse – We felt set at speed, but still felt short on power. Our draft list still had plenty of starting pitchers I would have felt comfortable putting on the opening day roster. Outfield and catcher were our only open hitting spots left, so we focused on the few outfielders with power upside, and a job. Viciedo and Saunders were also considered. Jake Odorizzi was discussed and dismissed.

Round 19 (#273) – Dayan Viciedo – We became a mutual admiration society for Dayan Viciedo. Power potential was what we were looking for, and as it turns out, we should have looked at other positions. Adam Dunn and Ryan Howard were still available, and we completely overlooked them. Other than the closer meltdown of round 9, this was our biggest mistake in the draft. Dunn should have been the clear pick here.

Round 20 (#298) – Yasmani Grandal – We had our eye on D. Uggla for additional power, and we had been waiting to take T. d’Arnaud. But as catchers started dropping like flies, including d’Arnaud, we made the call for Grandal, and his batting average.

Round 21 (#303) – Taijuan Walker – There is nothing more disturbing than leading men into battle only turn around and find no one behind you. The pick here was Travis Wood. We once again risked losing a pitcher by waiting until 4 spots before his ADP to draft him. But Wood made it to us in round 21...I told the guys he was the pick and there was an immediate revolt. You’d have thought I suggested drafting Jose Canseco to pitch. What had me so out of sorts was Travis Wood was an early season FAAB pickup and success story from our 2013 team. But they refused. I pleaded and they stood fast. PD reached into his bag of prospects and pulled out Walker’s name. We all got behind it, but I am wounded, and always shall be.

Round 22 (#328) – Michael Saunders – T. Wood, W. Miley, B. Arroyo, all were drafted in the round after the T. Walker pick. My cupboards were now bare on the low-ratio, under-the-radar pitchers with a track record. Jon had continued to circle back to Saunders and his 20/20 upside, and he convinced us to take him here.

Round 23 (#333) – Jake Odorizzi – The T. Walker pick meant that 3 of our 4 starters would not be pitching in the first week of the season. Jon and I both like Odorizzi’s high-Ks potential. Consensus is beginning to look like a thing of the past for UFR.

Round 24 (#358) – Robbie Ross – Jon had identified Ross pre-draft, and I liked his track record as a reliever. We felt there was some upside. PD pushed hard for Robbie Erlin, but a 2-man agreement is enough to draft a player at this point.

Round 25 (#363) – Miguel Gonzalez – I noted that it seemed our entire pitching staff was 22, and made the case the Gonzalez was a solid contributor who’s had 2 good seasons in a row. The argument won out against many other 22-year-olds being suggested.

Round 26 (#388) – Robbie Erlin – Tyler Skaggs made it to the queue several times at PD’s request, but we kept waiting on him until finally he was taken. That helped us agree on Erlin, who finished the spring hot. And that’s something, at least in the 26th round.

Round 27 (#393) – Tanner Roark – We liked both National’s rookie starters, but placed our bet on Roark. Turns out, they both won a job.

Round 28 (#418) – Marcel Ozuna – With enough pitchers to finally fill out a complete starting staff for week 1, we turned back to looking for power upside. Ozuna seemed, at the time, like he was going to win the Miami job.

Round 29 (#423) – Edwin Jackson – I brought up Jackson as a guy with some talent, who hasn’t been bad every year. Jeff spoke up and said, “I could see him not being terrible.” That sold it in round 29.

Round 30 (#448) – Billy Burns – I spent two weeks telling Jon I thought this guy was for real. By the draft, I wanted C. McGehee with the last pick, but then Jon convinced us that should Burns sneak into Oakland’s opening day roster, he could be a real steal. We drafted him, but dropped him before the season for McGehee.

Zaftig Casabas
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Re: Chronicle of a Main Event Debacle

Post by Zaftig Casabas » Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:59 pm

I can say two years in a row that your boy PD has been solidly ignored in the first fifteen picks of both main event drafts, and some debacle has gone down. Chapman would still get a mother cut and a table flipped, by the way. An agreement to not take injured/not starting for the first part of the season players was solidly in effect. But I noticed that tidbit was left out. Jeff the regular guy can back that one if Knucklehead or Jon won't.

But, really, all these posts turn in to the uncool , "So, I had pocket aces, this dude had deuces, all in, called, and he out flopped me. " A bad beat is a bad beat and doesn't necessarily mean a bad play. Only poor timing. That's what I think happened when we discovered that Soria had more value in the room than previously thought.

In hindsight, Soria should have been ranked higher so the confusion on who to take would have been handled/dealt with/abosored before hand. He wasn't, and, then we didn't see the forest for the trees in having another pitcher in his place to draft - a STARTING pitcher.

Three late guys I liked, we ended up with two of them, and I'm okay with that in Roark and Erlin (would have loved Skaggs). So, hopefully, some excellent FAAB work and analysis can pull this team through. God knows we will need all of it!

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Re: Chronicle of a Main Event Debacle

Post by knuckleheads » Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:16 pm

Zaftig Casabas wrote:I can say two years in a row that your boy PD has been solidly ignored in the first fifteen picks of both main event drafts, and some debacle has gone down.
Well, we don't own Aroldis Chapman, so your theory is solidly debunked.

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Re: Chronicle of a Main Event Debacle

Post by knuckleheads » Fri Apr 11, 2014 1:34 pm

Four weeks into the season seems like a fair time to evaluate your draft and early season results. Ten days into our season, Jeff is suggesting (in jest, I believe) that perhaps he and PD should have taken a larger role in our draft.

As we are still nearer the draft than meaningful stats, now still seems like a fairly objective time to evaluate UFR’s strengths and weaknesses heading into the season. Additionally, this chronicle is in large part an effort to document the emotions and debates that go with a 4-person Main Event partnership. (Comments, thoughts, evaluations are welcome.)

It’s just so difficult to draft a complete roster in a 15-team format. Weaknesses are inevitable coming out of the draft, even if those weaknesses are only perceived. Each draftee serves a purpose, even if that purpose is only perceived.

What you do not want to do is come of out the draft feeling like you allocated your picks disproportionately amongst the stat categories. Most teams have some set of statistical goals they intend to achieve in the draft. Those stats for UFR this year are:

Average - .274
Runs - 1035
Home Runs – 260
RBI – 1000
SB – 170

ERA – 3.35
Whip – 1.190
Wins – 105
Strikeouts – 1420
Saves – 95

The 2014 goals saw a significant shift in quantity from Hitting Stats to Pitching Stats, which helped lead us to shifting our strategy to trying to find star pitching early, and avoiding having to scramble for saves.

We felt the draft would provide late opportunities to add speed, and therefore did not feel the need to address that stat early in the draft. And perhaps, what was most out of the ordinary for us was our focus through the draft centered much more on the potential for Runs and RBI than it did on HR and SB.

Goldschmidt is one of five first-round players who afford the luxury of trying the Two-Aces strategy in rounds 2-3. If not for Trout, Goldy may be tagged with the expectation of being the next best player in the game. We take the plunge with Verlander/Darvish, before spending our next 6 picks on hitters, filling our 3 MI positions, first Catcher, and 2 OF spots (Wilin Rosario, Will Myers, Everth Cabrera, Jedd Gyorko, Daniel Murphy and Austin Jackson).

As our draft write-up showed, we panic ked ourselves into taking back-to-back closers in rounds 10 & 11 with Jonathon Papelbon and Joakim Soria, before spending our next three picks on infielders (Chris Johnson, Dee Gordon, and Adam Lind). Our last pick of the first half off the draft we used on our 3rd starting pitcher, Ervin Santana.

Strength #1 on our team lies in our positional utilization and depth:

C- Wilin Rosario
1B – Goldschmidt
2B – Jedd Gyorko
SS – Everth Cabrera
MI – Daniel Murphy
UT – Dee Gordon
CI – Adam Lind
3B – Chris Johnson
1B/3B – Casey McGehee

Both middle and corner infield are filled, with a spare for each of the 4 infield positions in the dual qualifying Gordon and McGehee.

Strength #2 is the top of our starting rotation.

SP – Justin Verlander
SP – Yu Darvish
SP – Ervin Santana

600-IP and 600-Ks is the potential here with ratios around 3.00 and 1.100. Plus, big-inning pitchers usually provide more wins.

Strength #3 is the depth at Closer

CL – Jonathon Papelbon
CL – Joakim Soria
CL – Latroy Hawkins

Not one projects as an elite closer, but they all have a job. If they keep their jobs, it provides flexibility in weekly pitching lineups.

Weakness # 1 - With only Myers and Jackson drafted highly, we were forced to fill out our outfield and starting staff in the late rounds.

OF – Oswaldo Arcia
OF – Michael Morse
OF – Dayan Viciedo
OF – Michael Saunders
OF – Marcell Ozuna
OF – Jason Kubel (replaced the drafted Billy Burns)

Six options for 3 outfield spots gives our team potential, but this group also stacks up as a group that may cause us to constantly chase last week’s hot hitter.

Weakness #2 is the uncertainty in the back of the rotation:

SP – Taijuan Walker
SP – Jake Odorizzi
SP – Robbie Ross
SP – Robbie Erlin
SP – Miguel Gonzalez (already dropped)
SP – Edwin Jackson

Again, six options for 3-4 pitching spots. Our choices are 22-year-olds, or guys who are past their prime (if they ever had a prime). This is where we hope to be fortunate, and hoping generally implies weakness. There will be much attention paid to this group, their matchups, and FAAB alternatives. If we had the first four pitchers on this short list with 1-2 spots to fill, I would be thrilled. But we are left needing most of these guys to pan out.

Weakness # 3 is the lack of depth in speed.

Everth Cabrera
Dee Gordon
Daniel Murphy
Austin Jackson
Paul Goldschmidt

That is the full list of guys on our roster likely to steal 10+ bases this season. That leaves no room for error.

Analysis: We didn't kill it on draft day, but we drafted a solid team with upside. Like any team hoping to compete, we will need a few things to work out, and will need to avoid major injuries. This is a team to be hopeful about, and nothing in it suggests Jeff having a larger roll in drafting would have improved it. Trust me.

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Re: Chronicle of a Main Event Debacle

Post by knuckleheads » Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:48 am

Heard from 2 of my 3 co-owners last night. Both wanted to let me know that their Diamond Challenge teams were in first place. No pressure, though.

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Edwards Kings
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Re: Chronicle of a Main Event Debacle

Post by Edwards Kings » Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:25 am

Nice write-up(s). Really enjoy the reads and perspectives.

And in dealing with co-owners, just remember those two sweet, kind words...just like my Grandmother used to say to me..."Get Lost!" 8-)
Baseball is a slow, boring, complex, cerebral game that doesn't lend itself to histrionics. You 'take in' a baseball game, something odd to say about a football or basketball game, with the clock running and the bodies flying.
Charles Krauthammer

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Re: Chronicle of a Main Event Debacle

Post by knuckleheads » Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:23 am

Thanks, Wayne...Here is a little more "personality" to enjoy...Let's talk FAAB and UFR reaction.

Last year's closer turnover in the first month was heavy. This year, it's comical.

UFR FAAB Summary:

Week 1 was really our 31st-round draft pick on Casey McGehee. We bid $1 on him to replace the sent-down Billy Burns.

Week 2 was the closer bonanza. With 3 drafted closers, there was no real need to be aggressive in this arena, but it is always nice to have spare saves. $143 bids on K-Rod and Valverde weren't even half of what was needed as each went for $379 to the same team. $44 backup bids on Blackmon and Almonte were even further off the mark as Almonte went for $235 and Blackmon $150 to one, apparently OF-deficient, team. Our prize was a $1 Kubel to replace the recently shellacked Miguel Gonzalez.

Week 3 is the week one of my mates lost his brain. Peter Bourjos was a recent drop and a starting outfielder. It seems FAAB can be spent on talent or opportunity. A player with both is probably already rostered. Bourjos seemed to me a guy who would get a lot of opportunity before losing playing time. I asked Jon his opinion and he focused on Bourjos' lack of talent, or perhaps his temporary lack of talent as it seems he was talented a few years ago. I asked, "Should I raise the $45 bid a little more to make sure we get him?"

Jon said no way. If we get him for $45 fine, but if not, he sucks anyway. So $45 on Bourjos and we agreed on the rather large bid of $88 on Harang, who just might be decent this year. It was the highest bid for a starter this season in our league by $11.

Well, Bourjos goes for $51 and Harang goes for the weekly high-bid at $159. Not even close.

Jon's email to the league the morning following transactions: "So, seeing the FAAB results, are we not aggressive enough, in general, with our bids? Just a thought."

Well Jon, here's just a thought...Let's not discourage raising our bids and then complain that they are not aggressive enough. Idiot. Our consolation prizes were a $22 Derek Dietrich, who will not play on our team ahead of Gyorko, E. Cabrera, D. Murphy or D. Gordon (UTL), and a $12 Gonzalez Germen, who I kind of like but can easily drop in a week or two if he is not the fortunate one in the Mets bullpen.

Our drops were the recently shellacked Edwin Jackson and the forgotten Michael Saunders. When Jon said Saunders had 20/20 potential, I thought he meant HRs and SBs. I didn't realize he meant starts and PH appearances.

Guys like E. Jackson just get a short leash. He might pitch well for periods this year, but if we can't start a pitcher with confidence on a two-start week, I don't see how we can roster him.

Finally, to answer Jon's question, while I would like to have a better "stable" of starters to select from, I am not sure spending 1/6 of our FAAB on a guy like Harang is the situation where we reside. It's a good bid if Harang continues as he started, but a big pill to swallow if he were to go all Harang on us. So, Jon, the answer is we were appropriately aggressive on Harang, and purposefully light on Bourjos, at your request.

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