Dear Mr. NotGraphs:
I recently defeated my friend in a Scoresheet league World Series, and he seems somewhat annoyed and dismayed. I certainly didn’t want to bring about those emotions.
How do I ensure that my victory leads to soul-crushing disappointment and blazing hatred? Are losing losers capable of such emotions?
I’m thinking of sending the video of Josh Hamilton’s key drop against the A’s, which he replicated in our simulated series. Or setting up an auto-dialer to read the play-by-play account of the series to him at night. Or put up a billboard proclaiming the results.
Yes, you beat me. The world-beating stats of Colby Rasmus and Josh Beckett were not enough to power me to victory. How to rub your victory in? Others might have better suggestions. But you could start by sending in a question to Ask NotGraphs about it, forcing me to publicly admit defeat.
Scoresheet is an interesting exercise in fantasy baseball. This is the first year– out of four, I think– that I’ve even been close to competitive. And I did well this year– most regular season victories, first place pretty much all season– but it wasn’t as satisfying as I hoped it would be.
I’ve started to think that, despite leagues like Scoresheet trying to get closer to approximating what it’s like to put together an actual baseball team, simpler leagues may be more fun. Eight or ten categories of numbers you can easily track, unlimited roster changes, unlimited trades… after trying all sorts of different league formulations, nothing feels like it was as much fun as it used to be. Maybe I’m romanticizing the past. I was 12 or 13 when I started playing fantasy baseball, so it’s been at least 20 years. I remember adding up stat columns by hand from the Tuesday and Wednesday editions of USA Today that had all of the major league stats. A player goes down with an injury, you replaced him. He didn’t kill your team. In a Scoresheet league, a player goes down with an injury and it hurts. It hurts like it hurts a major league team. Maybe more. But more realism doesn’t necessarily make it more fun.
I’m in another league besides the Scoresheet one. It’s a points league too complicated to ever explain, trying to put one number on a player’s value. It makes trades (except for dumping-for-the-future trades) hard, because there’s never a category-for-other-category swap. There are no categories. Everyone is just a collection of points. I miss being able to make a win-win trade with someone who needs saves and has extra stolen bases. Trade negotiations shouldn’t have to feel like hostage negotiations.
Maybe FanGraphs is the wrong site on which to write about wanting less realism in my fantasy baseball, but I wonder if anyone else feels this way too. I haven’t played ottoneu, but I sense it’s more like Scoresheet than a 4×4 rotisserie league. Thoughts in the comments? Am I just frustrated because I don’t win my leagues anymore?
Good luck defending your title next year, John,
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