Rebuilding Your Baseball Team Essay

1078 words - 4 pages

In baseball circles, September's excitement is second only to that which follows in October. The division and wild card races are hotter than Texas asphalt in July. Indeed, it may be September that is "˜the cruelest month,' for it is September that will decide which MLB teams go to the playoffs, and who goes home. More importantly, before the month is done, fantasy leagues will be won and lost "¦ and that holds true even for teams mired in last place.There's nothing glamorous about being a "˜cellar dweller' and fantasy owners do not care for being in that position any more than the Pirates care to have the worst record in baseball. However, fantasy owners have an advantage over the Buccos "¦ they can be sure they do not repeat their dismal finish next season. They can learn from their misfortune to ensure history does not repeat itself.The first couple of steps toward this involve ascertaining what landed a fantasy team in last place to begin with. Injuries alone are seldom enough to banish a team to the bottom of the standings. Generally, there are other, more pressing, deficiencies "" poor player performances or errors in player evaluation are more likely the heart of the problem.First, look at "˜poor player performance'. There have been several key players this year who have not produced up to expectations "¦ poor performances are a part of the game. Despite posting Batting Eyes of 0.80 and 0.82, respectively, Shawn Green and Ken Griffey, Jr. have been among the biggest disappointments (especially of higher round picks). However, despite their less than stellar production in some areas, their Batting Eyes and other indicators (especially since the All-Star Break for Griffey) point to continued promise. In instances such as these, it is often difficult to predict such a production fall-off. Is it the change to the National League that confounded these hitters? Is it the change to less-hitter friendly ballparks? Or is it merely a blip on the radar screen? If nothing else, the leading indicators favor the latter.If that is not the case, then, second, owners need to find where they have gone wrong in player evaluation. Overvalued players can decimate a team's chances. Homer Bush, for example, had never hit for lower than a .320 average prior to this season (though 1999 was his first full season in the big leagues). That, plus his 32 steals, plus the likelihood that he would be hitting near the top of a very potent Toronto lineup made him pretty a trendy pick among second basemen. However, coming into the 2000 season, he possessed a dismal career Batting Eye of 0.26 "¦ and going into September 2000, he can be found hitting a robust .215 with 6 steals, sharing time with Craig Grebeck when healthy, and hitting near the bottom of the order when he does play. That is the kind of disastrous over-valuation that can end a season early.It can be impossible to predict unfortunate blips on the radar screen...

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