As the fantasy baseball season has mercifully drawn to a close, I thought it would be the perfect time to dispense some wisdom and advice for those who are hopelessly hooked on this game. Call it the Goldilocks Guide, if you will. Too early for next year, too late for this year. Just right for those who are wallowing in self pity because they made the playoffs riding Josh Hamilton to that last playoff berth only to watch him break a couple ribs on the eve of the finals.
Important Tip # 1:
Don’t try to outsmart the league rankings. You’re not trying to build a team for 2013, so all those gems in AA ball you’ve been studying for weeks won’t do you a bit of good. Likewise, you’re not trying to build a team for 2008, so forget about all your favorites that have treated you well in the past, especially if they are over 35 and have been spending more time on the disabled list than in the lineup.
Important Tip # 2:
Don’t make any comments on the league message board. Nobody cares. Nobody wants to know you’re willing to trade your third catcher for a starting pitcher. Nobody wants to know that you have a third catcher. And if you misspell a word or use bad grammar, you’ll be called out on it by somebody. Which brings us to Important Tip # 2A – If you insist on posting on the message board, make sure you DO us bad grammar and misspell a few words. This will accomplish two things. 1 - People are more likely to read what you write; and 2 – they will get a smug feeling of superiority about you which will put you in a position to outsmart them later on.
Important Tip # 3:
Never make a trade with another manager. The player you trade will ALWAYS do better for his new team, and the player you get in return will ALWAYS do worse. Always. Amazingly, this works both ways, just like when you walked to school barefoot in the snow when you were a kid. Technically, it shouldn’t be uphill both ways, but it was.
Important Tip # 4:
Never carry more hitters than you have in your starting lineup. Nothing is more sickening that when your carefully chosen lineup goes 2 for 25 with a couple of singles and a caught stealing while your bench players go 5 for 8 with 2 home runs and 9 RBI’s. Save yourself the agony by just carrying enough hitters to fill your starting lineup.
Important Tip # 5:
Do not, repeat, DO NOT look up how your team did the day before. In the words of Mark McGwire, “I’m not here to talk about the past.” Nothing good can come of this. Particularly if you ignore Important Tip # 4. You’ve seen the standings or where you are in a head to head matchup. It’s time to move forward. Do you think you’ll feel better if you discover you forgot to start Tim Lincecum when he threw a 3 hit shutout with 14 K’s? Of course not. It’s like those horror movies when somebody opens a door or something just for a peek. Don’t peek. There’s nothing there but bad news.
Important Tip # 6:
This is the most important of all. If your player is going to do well, make sure he’s in the lineup. If he’s going to have a bad day, leave him out.
So there you have it. I hope it helps. It’s made my life much easier and less stressful and it can do the same for you. Well, that’s not entirely true. I can’t seem to follow my own advice. And it gets me every time.