It’s March Again and It’s Madness, Frozen and Fantastic

It’s March again and you know what that means.

March Madness

Frozen Four

Fantasy Baseball

The sports trifecta.

It’s sad to know that I’ve reached a point and career in my life where no one bothers to invite me to fill out a bracket unless I beg.  So I just created a league and cajoled my colleagues to join.  As someone so kindly pointed out, I couldn’t pick Boston College to go all the way this year because they didn’t even make the tournament.   That didn’t stop me from creating a BC-themed league and theme.

Here’s my bracket, “BC All the Way” in the league “Boston College All the Way:  Oops BC Didn’t Even Make the Tourney.”  The BC name brought good luck.  It’s in the 80th percentile overall.

BC All the Way

Since I didn’t follow college basketball at all this year, I hedged my bets and created a second bracket.  It’s called “Ignorance is Bliss,” but appropriately, ignorance is just stupid.  This bracket is in the 20th percentile overall:

Ignorance is Bliss

Now, it turns out if I beg, I can be invited to a bracket, so here’s one I created in a league with my buddies.  It’s called “I Win You Lose,” but in reality, I’m neither winning nor losing:

I Win You Lose

Now, it’s an annual tradition for BC alumni to turn their attention to college hockey right around this time of the year because the basketball team would be out of the tourney and the hockey team would be right in the thick of it.  This year, that time came a little early because the basketball team was so horrific.  Of course, last year was even worse because the hockey team was so mediocre.  With BC Hockey given the #1 seed and winning the conference, it feels like all is right again.

Another annual tradition that rolls around in late March is fantasy baseball.  I’ve been doing fantasy in one form or another since high school, but it’s only been recently that I’ve begun to put money on it, right when I stopped having time to pay enough attention to justify participating, much less paying.  In fairness to others in the league, I thought I should decline the invite to play this year, but my buddy came up with the brilliant idea of delegating my team control to my sister, who has slightly more time than I do.

The draft this year took a little different form than in years past.  Instead of the traditional “rounds” system, everyone had an equal shot at each player because the players were auctioned off.  People simply filled the roster of 21+ players with the $260 they were given.

When I chatted strategy with my sister, I analogized this to Moneyball:  we have a limited budged so we need to emphasize value.  We agreed no players should go over $35 and should engage in a bidding war for only a select players.  We came up with a list of second and third tier players we liked that we expected to be able to get for decent value when we couldn’t land the big name at reasonable price.  I thought this plan was brilliant.

It wasn’t.

The most fatal flaw with the analogy to Moneyball is that in this league, everyone has the same amount of money.  This is not the A’s trying to compete with the Yankees.  It’s more like Major League Soccer.  So by emphasizing “value,” you’re left with not competing in the highest caliber players and paying exuberant amount of money for third and fourth tier players because you “saved” so much money in the earlier part of the auction.  That’s why the most expensive pitcher in my roster is Justin Duchscherer in a rotation that consists of Johan Santana and Jake Peavy.  My sister chased him for $20 because we were desperate for a starting pitcher; she got Peavy for $17.  Not surprisingly, this late bidding war led to quite a chatter on the discussion boards.  The extra $9 spent on Justin would have been better spent chasing Jeter for SS.

But $20 Justin wasn’t the biggest faux pas with the way the draft went:  we left money on the table.

Nevertheless, although the team looks a little old (Vlad, Hunter, Tejada) and a little washed up (Francoeur and Beltran), the team doesn’t look all too bad despite the draft debacle.

What do you think?

C:  Kurt Suzuki

1B:  Mark Teixeira

2B:  Chase Utley

3B:  Chone Figgins

SS:  Miguel Tejada

OF:  Nick Markakis

OF:  Torii Hunter

OF:  Carlos Beltran

Util:  Vlad Guerrero

BN:  Nick Swisher

BN:  David DeJesus

BN:  Cody Ross

BN:  Jeff Francoeur

SP:  Jake Peavy

SP:  Chien-Ming Wang

RP:  Alfredo Aceves

RP:  Matt Capps

P:  Johan Santana

P:  $20 Justin

P:  Michael Wuertz

P:  Matt Thornton


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