200 Miles From the Citi

February 4, 2010 7:20 AM

Better Fantasy Baseball

Manuel_Pitch_Change.JPGIf you're like me, you enjoy fantasy baseball.

Maybe you go a little nuts for the stats.  Then you're really like me.

But maybe fantasy baseball doesn't quite quench your thirst for virtual game management.

You might be interested in "Super Awesome Extra Live Fantasy Baseball".

No, this doesn't really exist (yet).  Yes, it is a super-cool name.

And no, don't try to steal this idea because it's my big money-maker, and the second I pressed "Publish" on this blog I essentially copyrighted the idea to me.  So it will sit stagnant until somebody with an actual clue about how to put it in action gets in touch with me and we figure out a way to market it and laugh our way to millions of dollars.

I really hope it doesn't already exist.  Here's the deal:

Let's take a fantasy league with the following categories - W, SV, K, BB (negative stat), ERA for pitchers and R, RBI, SB, OBP, and K (negative category) for hitters.  But the following scenarios can apply to any categories.  Read on.

Right now the only control you have over maintaining a high batting average or on-base percentage or ERA or such is benching players before a game they are scheduled to play.  I propose that you're allowed to bench a player after an at-bat or after an inning pitched.

Imagine this - Mike Pelfrey starts a game strong.  You just know that after five shutout innings, though, before he faces the lineup for the third time, he's going to start getting rocked.  But Jerry Manuel is leaving him in.  You don't have to.  You pull him, take the five shutout innings to the bank, and don't worry about him the rest of the game.  This totally makes you the manager and doesn't make you rely on the wisdom (or lack thereof) of a Major League manager.

Same with hitters.  Ryan Howard hits a 3-run homer in his first at-bat?  1-1, 3 RBI is a pretty good day for a fantasy player.  Maybe you bench him.  This works to your advantage when he goes 1-4 with 3 RBI and 3 K.  Of course, it hurts you if he's 4-4 with 2 HR and 7 RBI.  Same with the pitchers.  You're helped by Pelfrey's 5 shutout innings, but what if he blows that lead, stays in the game, and ends up pulling out a win that you don't qualify for because you lifted him too early?

Adds a whole different layer to fantasy baseball, doesn't it?

As you can see, it mostly affects the averages, but in the Howard example above, it could really add up to affect the 'totals' categories as well - if Howard finishes a season with 138 RBI, you might only have 123 of them because you benched him out of fear of strikeouts (theoretically), and that could cost you at the end of the season.

MLB also makes a killing because it adds a little extra incentive to you watching the games instead of just checking the box scores.  So you're going to get the Extra Innings Package your cable system offers in order to do that.  Maybe even go to the game, and use the "Super Awesome Extra Live" iPhone app to make sure you're making your roster changes.

I love this idea.  I just don't know what to do with it.

What do you think?  Let me know at

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