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So, uh, how ya' liking the Rockies this year?

Contributed by resident fantasy fanatic, Tilt’d Toledo

Today being the first day of spring, and with the Avs’ season now long over, and with the fantasy hockey season winding down, I thought I’d create a new diversion for myself.

To help get us through the long summer months, we have established the First Annual Jibblescribbits Summer Camp Fantasy Baseball League. It may not be hockey, but it’ll have to do for now. If you want to test your mettle against a group of fellow Avs fans, join us for 6 long months of hardball speculation, in preparation for next year’s hockey pool.


Here’s the wind-up…

The proposed league will feature 20 teams of 30 players each, making it the deepest league imaginable. I have found that such levels of depth serve to separate the true experts from the Draft Day Heroes, in that you not only need to choose wisely for the first dozen rounds, you’ll also be required to back those choices up with the finest role players, the timely spot starters and the most reliable platoon outfielders. The complete lack of stud players on the waiver wire will prevent the sort of annoying streaming that can allow just about anybody to pull off a victory.

Of the 30 players you’ll be rostering, you’ll need to dress a catcher, a first baseman, a second baseman, a third baseman, a shortstop, a left fielder, a center fielder, and a right fielder. You will then need to fill 2 utility slots with whomever you choose, for a total of 10 position players in uniform everyday. Then there are 5 starting pitcher slots to be filled, along with 5 reliever slots, bringing the roster totals to 10 hitters, 10 pitchers and 10 bench players of your choice. Additionally, I have provided for 5 DL slots to accommodate any massive injury problems that you may face. The sheer volume of players involved ensures that nobody can win simply by raiding the waiver wire on a daily basis.

To expand the scope of what determines a player’s value, as well as to add a broader variance to the weekly scores, we have increased the number of scoring categories from the standard 5X5 default settings. In order to adhere to, as closely as possible, the Yahoo player rankings, the categories we have chosen are all related to one of the 5X5 stats that determine each player’s Yahoo ranking. Therefore, my 15X15 format simply triples up on the 10 standard categories, with related categories for each discipline.

For example, to retain the value of base stealers, we have added SB% and Net Steals to the traditional SB category. The players that boast the best Batting Average should also do well in OBP and OPS. The power hitters, who lead the league in HRs, should also lead the way in Extra Base Hits and Doubles. Leadoff-type hitters, who win the Runs category, should also excel at Triples and At-Bats.

To avoid diluting the value of closing pitchers, we have added Save Opportunities and Net Saves to the usual Saves category. To represent the fastball pitchers, we have added K/9 and K/BB to the popular Strikeouts category. WHIP gets tripled up with H/9 and BB/9, while ERA is complimented with OBP Against and Quality Starts, and Wins are bolstered by IPs and Win %.

To ensure that participants remain on their toes, a minimum of 50 IPs will be required each week. This represents roughly what an MLB team requires of its pitchers, with a typical week consisting of 6 games of 8 or 9 innings each. What it means to us, is that by dressing 5 SPs plus 2 Closers plus 3 other RPs, without ever monitoring their progress, a manager runs the risk of falling short, in the case of injury or a postponed start. With 10 bench slots open to each team, we would recommend that teams reserve about 5 of those for extra pitching. Remember that on top of needing 50 IPs to score any pitching points, that extra IPs are always welcome to win the IP category.

I don’t know why Yahoo sets the minimum IPs to only 7 as its default. I’ve found that many people will simply allow their ace to pitch on a Monday, get the 7 IPs required, then proceed to bench their entire staff for the rest of the week and lock up the ERA and WHIP. They end up with 40% of the pitching categories by using one or two players, then load up their roster with all the bats. Our objective is to best replicate the MLB experience by requiring that you send out an entire staff of pitchers, all week long.

Of the 20 teams who enter, 8 will advance to the playoffs. There will be no NFL-style bye-weeks for the top teams, only easier first round opponents. Round one begins after Week 22 (September 7th), with the World Series taking place between September 21st and October 4th. The minimum IP requirement will be easy to attain in the World Series, being a two-week affair. That requirement will be waived for the shortened All-Star Week, even if Yahoo doesn’t do it automatically.

The draft will be a Live Draft on Yahoo, scheduled for Friday, March 27th Saturday, March 28th at 9:45 PM Mountain Time (11:45 ET; 10:45 CT; 8:45 PT). We would prefer to have all participants registered by that afternoon, so feel free to register right away.


And here’s the pitch…

While we here at Jibblescribbits are not burdened by overflowing wallets, we would also like to make this thing interesting. I know a place where I can get child-sized hockey jerseys for a reasonable price, so I will offer to the winner an Avs jersey that they can stuff into their kid’s Christmas stocking. I haven’t bought it yet, but the last time I was there, I picked up a white road jersey for a toddler and a home jersey for my 7-year old nephew. Neither shirt was numbered or named, but I do remember seeing some toddler-sized Senators’ shirts emblazoned with Heatley and Spezza’s names and numbers. So I can’t promise much, but the Champion will receive an officially licensed Avs jersey, that may or may not fit his dog. Saying anything more right now would just get me into trouble.

In addition to the jersey, the Champion will be granted automatic entry into the 2009-2010 Jibblescribbits Fantasy Hockey League, as will the other Finalist. The hockey draft will take place before the baseball trophy is awarded, but the winner of the baseball league will also receive the top waiver priority in the hockey league, for the duration of October. Furthermore, the baseball Champion will be awarded his choice of my 19th or 20th round selections in the hockey draft, in exchange for his 25th pick.

In accordance with Colorado State Gaming Laws, to be eligible for the prize, all entrants must have answered a skill-testing question. I don’t care which one – you pick it. If you’re into math, answer a simple arithmetic question. If you prefer geography, tell me the capital of Colorado, for all I care. The point is, upon registering for the league, I need you to post a message on the board, which is some form of skill testing question. Sounds stupid, I know, but it’s the law.

Now, to be eligible to claim the prize, the manager must supply us with a mailing address within 60 days of the conclusion of the season. In the event that the Championship is won by a representative of Jibblescribbits Inc. (i.e. me), then the jersey shall be introduced as a supplementary prize in next year’s hockey league (think of it as double-or-nothing). Should I be lucky enough to win, I will not receive the top waiver priority in hockey, nor will anyone owe me his or her 19th round pick. Despite my own lessened incentive, make no mistake – I will be playing this thing to win.

So we hope to see a lot of interest. With 20 teams available, we hope that there is enough space to accommodate everyone who is interested. In the next week, I’ll be posting updates so if you have any questions, they should be answered by then. I know the prize is pretty cheap, but so is the entrance fee, so you have nothing to lose.

Oh yeah, you might need this. To register for the league, go to Yahoo fantasy baseball and log in. Then, click on “Join a League”. It will prompt you for a League Number, which is 75043, and a Password, which is “password” (no quotes) (and no parentheses or the words “no quotes”; and don’t type this part either). Good luck to everyone who participates.

How do I make this thinggy the link?