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Friday, April 26, 2013

Hardy House Auction 2013 in Chicago

I forgot to post this pic the other day when I wrote about the auction:

2013 Auction, Chicago, IL
Credit: Rich Puszczewicz 
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Saturday, April 20, 2013

2013 Bolts from the Blue

For the 25th consecutive year, I'm competing in the Hardy House fantasy baseball league. Our auction draft was held last Saturday, April 13, in Chicago. Two owners participated by phone and another had a proxy bidder, but the rest of us enjoyed the auction, some local beer, and pizza.

As a reminder: the league has 12 teams and uses American League players exclusively to accumulate statistics in various hitting and pitching categories. For 22 years, we tabulated results in the traditional 8 categories (HR, RBI, SBs, Batting Average, Wins, Saves, Earned Run Average and ratio/Walks-plus-Hits per Inning Pitched), but in the hot stove period prior to the 2011 season we voted to dump BA in favor of On Base Average. Also, we added runs scored (R) for hitters and strikeouts (K) for pitchers.

My 2012 team finished 2nd, 4 points behind the championship squad (S1Ws). On the last Sunday of the season my team was in first place with only three days to play. In any case, the 2012 Bolts from the Blue again featured terrific starting pitching as the squad led the league in strikeouts, finished 2nd in WHIP, third in ERA, and 4th in wins. The team finished 3rd in saves as well. Offensively, the team had good power (2nd in HR and RBI), but was mediocre in other offensive categories (5th in 2 categories and 6th in the other).

Please note one roster quirk now in its sixth year: we use 10 man pitching staffs, but only 4 outfielders -- one fewer than the "normal" roto squad. We continue to believe that this better reflects roster management decisions that real baseball teams have made over the past 20 years. Again this year, we allowed the purchase of any player on an American League 40 man roster. After the auction, only players on 25 man active rosters or the major league Disabled List (DL) can be obtained. We did vote to allow teams to retain ownership of players sent packing to the National League. The recently implemented salary cap was modified so that it expires after the trade deadline. This means contending teams can spend their free agent cash in September.

The 2013 Bolts from the Blue (8 retained players in blue):

C Jason Castro (HOU) $9
C David Ross (BOS) $1 
1B Billy Butler (KC) $27
2B Jose Altuve (HOU) $23
3B Mike Moustakas (KC) $18
SS Elvis Andrus (TEX) $23
MI Jurickson Profar (TEX) $9 (AAA)
CR Brett Lawrie (TOR) $23
OF Shane Victorino (BOS) $21
OF Nelson Cruz (TEX) $19
OF Matt Joyce (TB) $8
OF Mike Olt (TEX) $4 (AAA)
DH David Ortiz (BOS) $16

Hitting $201 (up $51 from last season, which is huge)

P Matt Moore (TB) $22
P Ervin Santana (KC) $7
P Wade Davis (KC) $3
P Alex Cobb (TB) $3
P Joe Blanton (LAA) $1
P Erasmo Ramirez (SEA) $1 (AAA)
P Jared Burton (MIN) $4
P Aaron Crow (KC) $3
P Casey Janssen (TOR) $5
P Glen Perkins (MIN) $7

Pitching $56 ($51 less than last year, also huge)

I kept Crow because he seems to be a potential replacement for KC closer Greg Holland if the latter should continue to falter as the Royals bullpen ace. I owned Holland last year and he was very wild in the early part of the season. He has struggled a bit in 2013 as well and Crow already earned an early save.

One team hoarded cash throughout the auction, which meant inflation was a bit lower than it might have been. Indeed, he never found a way to spend nearly $40. That would have been enough to purchase a superstar player! 

I left $3 on the table, but I had saved some cash to purchase some slightly better players at the end of the auction to fill in my roster. As often happens, the guys I really wanted then went for too much money (or only qualified at positions I had already filled), so I ended up with several dime players instead of a couple that cost a bit more. 

Andrus was on my 2011 and 2012 teams and I bought him again for a lower salary than he would have cost as a retained player. I have a lot of Ranger hitters (4) to go with a smattering of Red Sox (3), Rays (3), Twins (2), Jays (2) and Astros (2). 

As usual, I bought or retained a large number of players from the KC Royals (5), the hometown-favorite team of my youth. I've got a good deal of confidence in Moustakas and especially Butler (a long-time favorite) as hitters. For the first time in years I also acquired some KC starting pitching.

Indeed, like the Royals, I'm hoping for a bounce back year from Santana -- and the decision looks good to-date as his performance across-the-board looks more like 2010 or 2011 than 2012. If you look at his splits, Santana had a fairly good run at the end of last season too. His ERA in August and September was about 3.65 and his K/bb ratio was 55/16 in about 60 IP. He was awful prior to last year's all star break.

To replace minor league players Profar, Olt, and Ramirez on my active roster, I bought MI Leury Garcia (TEX), OF Michael Taylor (OAK), and P Matt Thornton (CHX) for $1 each.  I also nabbed DH/1B Nate Freiman (OAK) for $1 to replace the then-injured Ortiz and IF Ryan Roberts (TB) for $3 for Lawrie, who was also on the disabled list on Monday. Roberts will actually slot in for MI Profar for the long haul as the other injured offensive regulars have already returned. I will likely need a better outfielder very soon as Taylor is not playing very often.

You can find posts about the 20052007 200820092010, 2011, and 2012 auctions elsewhere on this blog.

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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

30 years ago today

This happened:

That's a younger me, with Mark Gidley & the Larmon Trophy

It was a fine weekend.

Here's a link to the program book.

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