Kicking Rocks: That Guy

When I first sat down to write this week’s column, I was all set to spend my time bashing Adam Dunn.  You know, talk about how I built up the rest of my infield with the first two picks, grabbed King Felix in the third round and then, when all the other first base mashers were off the board, swoop in and steal Dunn and his 40 bombs in the fourth.  It was the “perfect” strategy right up until the part where Dunn decided he couldn’t hit anymore.  But then, as I was wrapping up my introduction, I got a text that changed my whole plan.  You know the text I’m talking about — the one from that guy in my primary league.

Espinosa hit on hand with a pitch.  Could be broken

He wasn’t being sympathetic.  He wasn’t being opportunistic and offering me up a deal for a replacement second baseman.  No.  He was needling, something he had the tendency to do all of the time.  Always there to chime in at the time you least want to hear it.  Always stirring the pot.  Always causing trouble within the league.  Always the first to suck the joy right out of playing fantasy baseball.  And if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my time spent playing this game, it is that every league has one.  Look around your list of owners.  You know who I’m talking about.

That guy, who is always the first to send you a text or an email to tell you that a player of yours is hurt.  I don’t know if he wants to prove that he’s on top of all the news available on the internet, if he thinks you don’t follow it enough, or if he’s just being a jerk.  Whatever the case may be, when I see a text from him, I know that there’s a hole in my roster that needs patching.

That guy, who throughout your draft was the first to negatively critique everyone else’s picks while purporting all of his as the steal of the round.  “Yeah, Jose Bautista in the 5th round is ok, but he’ll never duplicate last year.  Maybe 30 HR this year, but a crappy average.  But I can’t believe I just stole Jayson Werth here at the end of the round.  You guys just let me have a 30-20 outfielder for nothing.

That guy, who when you submit a trade for a league vote, is the first to call you up to tell you why he voted no.  Every single time, he verbally assaults the players coming from your end and tells you how you’re getting back way too much in return.  Doesn’t matter if you’re giving up Miguel Cabrera in a keeper league and getting back Joel Hanrahan and Justin Smoak .  He’s there to tell you that Cabrera’s done as a result of his drinking problem while Hanrahan is the top closer in the game and Smoak is a player quickly on the rise.

That guy, who lobbies for a rules change in the league each and every year.  It’s usually a different request each season and usually something that will give his current team some sort of an advantage.  He’s also there to dissect the league constitution searching for loopholes that he can try to exploit.  As a commissioner, you just want crush up some Xanax in this dude’s oatmeal and get him to ease up a little.

That guy, who is vehemently against keeper league dump deals and emails the league annually berating the practice, but then constantly submits ridiculous 5 for 1 deals of his own.  And it’s not like he’s doing it just to keep up with the Joneses…he actually believes that his players are actually worth it.  No one else’s….just his.

That guy, who either starts or perpetuates an email war in your league and then always takes it a step too far.

That guy, who will take to his grave that Adrian Beltre is a much more valuable fantasy commodity than Matt Kemp because of his longer track record.

Each year can be more nightmarish than the next.  You know there’s always going to be something with him.  He takes the game far too seriously and makes you wish that you never invited him to join in the first place.

But the biggest problem is that you can’t get rid of that guy.  You can’t just kick him out of the league.  He’s part of your crew.  On the friendship scale, the guy ranks a solid 8.  Cool guy, funny, intelligent.  However, get him in a fantasy league and he’s suddenly that annoying kid from the neighborhood who took competition to a whole new level but grabbed his ball and ran home whenever things didn’t go his way.  It makes you wish that he found a new hobby, a wife, a girlfriend, something….anything to distract him from the fantasy racket.  Unfortunately, so long as the gang is playing, that guy is right there in the mix.

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Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over 10 years on a variety of websites. In addition to his work here, you can also find him at his site,, Fantasy Alarm, RotoWire and Mock Draft Central. Follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or for more direct questions or comments, email him at

27 Responses to “Kicking Rocks: That Guy”

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  1. That Guy says:

    Yup, this is awesome.

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  2. Dave says:

    If I look around the competitive league I’m in and can’t pick out “that guy”… am I that guy? Kind of like the “if you’re at a poker table and you can’t spot the sucker it’s probably you” kind of thing? Waiting for Josh Johnson to get hurt so I can give the “told you so” look to the guy who drafted him in the second round would qualify wouldn’t it?

    Who would of thought that it would be a RotoGraphs article that enlightens me to how much of a jerk I am. Enough self analysis, I have a text to send about Lawrie’s fracture to the guy who speculatively added him two weeks ago in a shallow 10 team league…

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  3. descender says:

    Was there a point to this? A good commissioner would eliminate these people from his league.

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    • David says:

      The point is to say that “you’re not alone” and that every league has “that guy”.

      As for getting rid of him, did you read the last paragraph of the article?

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      • descender says:

        I certainly did, and I have kicked “level 8 cool dude” friends out of leagues for acting childish and annoying before. Usually a threat is enough to calm them down.

        Letting it run rampant is a lack of oversight IMO.

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    • Bodhizefa says:

      You’re obviously That Guy.

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      • SKob says:

        He’s worse… he’s ‘that guy the commish’! How can this guy assume you have any control over the league. To remove a player, any good league needs majority approval. Descender sounds like an overbearing douche who would not play in league he was not commishioner of because of lack of control. Way to play fantasy dictator!

        Yeah, it makes sense to remove an active owner whose been in the legue for years, has develope friendships with everybody, and puts together a competitive team every year. Yeah, just kick him out for being a punk.

        I’m in a fantasy league with 3 people like this and I am not the commish, but it’s the most competitive league I have ever seen. I’ll deal with it for the good competition, but it’s a pain sometimes.

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    • Brad Johnson says:

      My home league has a variety of guys. Two stand out and they can’t be removed because they happen to be the most active owners. Active > pleasant.

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      • descender says:

        Yeah, I certainly make those exceptions too… just meant to say that if someone is THAT annoying to be THAT guy… he should probably go. There are always more people that want to play.

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  4. Brad says:

    haha this was great, definitely know a “that guy”…although sometimes you have to wonder: am i that guy?

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  5. lexomatic says:

    I totally disagree that you can’t kick him out. If the guy’s an 8 on the friend scale outside the game, you are a dick for not being straight with him. If there’s a commissioner in the league then they have to set some guidelines – give him a warning-and if he doesn’t follow the rules, he’s gone at the end of that season. Otherwise it’s the friends (your) responsibility to say something. Same rules shold apply for everyone.
    If this guy is making your fantasy game experience hell, doing nothing is a cop out. It’s a shitty way to live life.

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    • SKob says:

      Where’s the rule that says ‘no harassing emails’? You can’t just kick someone out of a league, especially when most cases aren’t ones in which it’s this guy VS everybody. If the whole league hates a guy, then yeah, he’s gone. I have never seen that case. There is usually 1 or 2 morons and a few of his/their closest friends and then they filled the league with other guys they knew or friends of a friend.

      You either leave the league or deal with it.

      I do feel that very few fanstasy douchebags are an 8 on the friend scale though. If you are really close to a guy who can be this obnoxious, you have some issues of your own.

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  6. juan pierre's mustache says:

    is it wrong to pull a that guy on that guy? in my league, one guy couldn’t stop talking about brett anderson as his big sleeper, how he’d stolen him etc etc…im pretty sure he earned a text, you know, just in case he doesnt know hes hurt yet.

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    • Brad Johnson says:

      Absolutely essential tactic. Because if you don’t do it, there’s a risk that someone will be swayed by their flawed logic and take that 5 for 1.

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  7. That Guy says:

    Dunn and Espinosa?

    I’m guessing you aren’t leading your league batting average.

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  8. Drew says:

    I thought this was going to be about Adam Dunn.

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  9. Hunter says:

    I don’t know. I love “that guy”.

    I love the guy who makes ridiculous trade offers so that I can mock him. I love the guy who brags about his own drafts so that I can have some scaudenfreude when things fall apart for him. I love the guy who starts message wars with other guys in the group so I can sit back and laugh at their exchanges.

    Every fantasy team needs a “that guy.”

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    • xrayxtals says:


      If everyone went about the year like robots, Fantasy Baseball would suck.

      I know most of this was probably written in jest, but grow some thicker skin, or just bust his balls back.

      If you loathe every comment that comes from that guy, then perhaps some self reflection is necessary…

      If you don’t like someone’s taunting, do something about it, beat him.

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    • microwave donut says:


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    • Random Guy says:

      The problem, unfortunately, is That Guy is usually pretty successful, so there’s not much to mock. Sure, you can act all indignant over his insulting trade offers, but he’ll pull off 2 or 3 ripoff trades with other owners during the season. And when he swears that his player is the steal of the draft, it’s usually true. Barring injuries, there aren’t many good Schadenfreude opportunities with That Guy.

      In a way, I admire That Guy. There are trade offers that I’d be embarrassed to make, but That Guy has no fear of rejection. That Guy is persistent; he’ll keep on trying, and sooner or later he’ll score.

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  10. Wilson Valdez's magical orange goatee says:

    beating that guy adds a simple joy to any fantasy baseball season.

    (and honestly, I think he’s better than a boring guy that never says or does anything all season long)

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    • ImThatGuy says:

      I’m not afraid to admit it. I’m that guy. Unfortunately for everyone else, I’m ‘that guy’ and I never lose.

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  11. Telo says:

    That guy is a douchebag.

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  12. yceberg says:

    I am definitely ‘That Guy’. Every year nominating a new rule change, but only because Yahoo takes so long to adopt new features. I no longer run down guys picks or email about guys who just got hurt, because I am trying to keep a poker face. But I constantly post on the message board, send needling emails to other owners and generally take things way to seriously. I do have one rule in life, I never complain about or vote to veto other trades. I figured that way I have precedent on my side when I try a questionable trade….

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  13. David says:

    I just got Votto and Ryan Roberts for Crawford and Billingsley from “that guy”. I love that guy.

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  14. Just Jim says:

    I’m that guy when it comes to injuries. Nothing warms my heart more than seeing player from another team go down than calling or texting that person to rub it in or be the first to break the news. I don’t take joy in their misery, I take joy in the fact that a team close to me in the standings just took a major blow and nothing beats hearing their reaction first hand when they find out (OK, maybe I find a little joy in their misery).

    I know what goes around comes around, but I’ve been incredibly lucky when it comes to injuries the past 7 year or so until fate catches up to me………….

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