The season is done. Here’s what happened to my teams in capsule form:
American Dream League (AL-keeper): The Bad K were in last place in late May, but I knew this was a better team than that. I traded Adrian Beltre for Felix Hernandez, to shore up what had been a dicey pitching staff. The team roared forward in July and played cat and mouse between fifth and second into September, finishing with 66 points behind Alex Patton’s perfect Sweeney of 74.
Tout Wars (NL): An incredibly frustrating team full of amazing successes (Buster Posey, Tyler Colvin) and agonizing failures (Aramis Ramirez, for example), mired deep in the second division as late as the end of June, had an incredible three week run in July that got it as high as fourth place. Trades for Ryan Dempster and Roy Oswalt helped, but I was never able to crack the BA problem and ended up in fifth place, behind Nate Ravitz, Brian Walton, and a tie between Mike Gianella and the Lenny Melnick/Paul Grecco team.
Cardrunners (AL): I spent much of the year in third place, but here too I wasn’t able to escape the BA yoke from the likes of Aaron Hill and many others, like Justin Smoak, who sucked me in with their power and then left me gasping for hits. This was a 10 team league, which changes the dynamic quite a bit. I ended up in fifth because, take your pick, Jon Rauch lost the closer job, or the first two weeks I had Danny Valencia he didn’t play as I expected, and I threw him back, causing me to hold onto Smoak for even longer, crushing my BA. I acquired Aaron Hill and Ichiro for Nick Markakis and Chone Figgins, and it didn’t help me! In the end, I finished last in BA and SB and slipped to sixth in Saves, but the real killer was Jon Lester’s last start, which cost me an ERA and two WHIP points, which allowed Jason Grey to sneak past me. Depressing for me, happy for Eric Kesselman, the leaguerunner, who parlayed his boundless energy into a big win over Chris Liss and Andrew Wiggins.
XFL (Mixed 15 team keeper)–Slow starts from Hanley Ramirez, Danny Haren and Wandy Rodriguez, made it clear this was a team that might fight for fourth but wasn’t going to win this year. Rather than grasp, as we have in recent years, usually finishing in the Top 4 or so, we decided to rebuild. Many trades later we have some attractive farm players, and Haren, Hanley and a few other core keepers. Meanwhile, Jeff Winick won the league for the third time. Congratulations! The draft is in one month!
Rotoman’s Regulars (Mixed 20 team Yahoo)--Taking Brian Roberts early hurt. A slight reach for Jair Jurrjens sealed the deal. I haven’t figured out how to crawl out of adversity in this oddball format, so despite fine seasons from picks like Drew Stubbs, Delmon Young and Colby Rasmus, and a big season from Miguel Cabrera, I finished in the second division yet again. Kudos to leaguerunner Steve Parsons for his victory over Razzball, who came on strong late but fell short.