Introducing the 2012 THT fantasy league

Another year, another fantasy league! You remember last year’s official THT Fantasy league, right?

This year, the league is completely internal, again composed of 12 participants. We are playing in a 5×5 standard (HR, SB, R, RBI, AVG, K, ERA, WHIP, W, SV) rotisserie league. Each team has a 27-man roster composed of C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, CI, MI, 4 OF, 2 UTIL, 3 SP, 2 RP, 4 P, 5 BN (2 DL). There is a 165 games-played cap and a 1,500 innings-pitched limit.

The auction draft took place on the evening of March 21, each player with $260 to his name. It took over four hours, with me blowing through my flexible budget somewhere in the first 90 minutes playing stars and scrubs, but what resulted was an interesting dynamic of rosters.

A lot of great players went cheap late. Guys like Danny Espinosa, who I though I would have no shot in heck at, ended up going for only a buck or two, while Anibal Sanchez and Max Scherzer went for well under $10. If you want to see the specific auction results for every played picked by dollar spent, click here.

Before we get into the murky roster details, let’s present the current League Constitution. League constitutions are an important and overlooked contract among league members that can easily avert in-season disputes through a little preseason diligence. If you establish rules early, especially in controversial areas such as trading and trade vetoes, you can avoid the flame wars of May-September.

My league constitution addresses only two key issues, but other issues such as collusion and its consequences should be addressed, as well. Suggest additions (or changes, I suppose) in the comments below by writing your own rules for review.

A trade in this league is a contract of exchange between two parties. A trade is a bargained-for exchange between two consenting adults based on their expectations and valuations of each player. I will not disturb those expectations and valuations unless there is an absolute necessity to do so (i.e., obvious fire sale or collusion) to maintain the integrity and spirit of competition.

The courts of the United States generally will not inquire into the adequacy of consideration and neither will I. This means is that there is no collective veto of trade power vested in this league.

The power of termination regarding an exchange of players will lie within 1) the discretionary power of the commissioner (myself), who will not veto trades unless they are grossly and clearly unconscionable or the byproduct of collusion or anti-competitive practices, and 2) the power of either party to the trade, for a period of 24 hours after the trade is approved.

I will approve trades as soon as reasonably possible. The standard for “clearly unconscionable” in this league will be such that no reasonable person would ever have made this trade under the circumstances at the time of the trade. The standard is not “you could have gotten so much more for that player.” Valuations and future risk association is a matter between parties.

There are also no implied or express warranties regarding promises or allegations of player’s value. Per the second restatement of contracts, a warranty cannot be created out of a statement of opinion or perceived valuation. If a party to the trade can prove fraud, however, I will rescind the trade beyond the 24-hour revocability period and make all changes retroactive.

The economy is based on the exchange of perceived values and the ability of people to do so; sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. That is the gamble one takes when they make an exchange, and you, by competing in this league, agree to undertake these risks and consequences when you assent to a trade.

Put succinctly, the law allows parties to exploit the undervaluing of others and so will I (generally speaking). HOWEVER, see the dispute resolution rule below.


Disputes will be resolved by a majority vote among non-parties to the trade. If there are 10 non-parties to a trade, then six votes will be required, for instance.


If a player is traded and goes on the DL for an injury sustained BEFORE the trade was approved by the commissioner, then trade will be retroactively invalidated. If the injury is sustained AFTER the trade was approved by the commissioner, then that is your loss.


There will be a 1500 innings-pitcherd and 165 games-played cap. For pitching, we will use a hard cap even though Yahoo uses a soft cap. The hard cap will be 1520.0 innings, or 20.0 innings above the soft cap.

If your team exceeds 1520 innings pitched, you become automatically ineligible for any league prize payout. That gives you the ability to go two starts over the cap, potentially three if you want to risk exceeding the hard cap. It is your responsibility to monitor your pitching statistics accordingly.

The innings-pitched cap is set pretty high relative to most leagues, and the purpose of a cap is to cap the maximum pitching statistics than can be accumulated in a season. A soft cap undermines the purpose of having a cap at all.


Payout will be 60 percent to first place, 30 percent to second place and 10 percent to third place.

As you can probably tell, we are a very pro-market, low-micromanagement league. On to the rosters:

Name: Jeffrey Gross (aka The King of Dollar Days)
Team Name: Triple Hawpes Brewed
Number of years playing fantasy: 6
Number of fantasy leagues for 2012: 6
Amount Of Cash Left On Table: $0
Best $1 pick: Likely Josh Willingham, but I also really like Phil Hughes, Brian Matusz and Justin Masterson.
Something worth noting: Brad Johnson picked up a handful of my sleepers out of pure spite because I nominated Juan Nicasio early, but then he dropped them. I ended up getting those guys through waivers.

C: Mike Napoli
1B: Prince Fielder
2B: Dustin Pedroia
SS: Rafael Furcal
3B: Miguel Cabrera
CI: Paul Goldschmidt
MI: Jed Lowrie
OF: Jay Bruce
OF: Nelson Cruz
OF: B.J. Upton
OF: Cameron Maybin
UT: Josh Willingham
UT: Buster Posey
SP: Brian Matusz
SP: Scott Baker
SP: Jeff Samardzija
RP: Sean Marshall
RP: Tyler Clippard
P: Jhoulys Chacin
P: Tim Hudson
P: Justin Masterson
P: Jair Jurrjens
BN: Chris Davis
BN: Aroldis Chapman
BN: Edinson Volquez (dropped for Phil Hughes)
BN: Alfredo Aceves (dropped for Jake Peavy)
BN: Kris Medlen (dropped for Ryan Dempster)

Name: Josh Shepardson
Team Name: Josh Shepardson (Josh’s team name is very uninspired at this point)
Number of years playing fantasy: 14
Number of fantasy leagues for 2012: 7
Amount Of Cash Left On Table: $1
Best $1 pick: Matt Capps

C: Matt Wieters
1B: Eric Hosmer
2B: Jason Kipnis
SS: Jose Reyes
3B: Evan Longoria
CI: Pablo Sandoval
MI: Jose Altuve
OF: Desmond Jennings
OF: Dayan Viciedo
OF: Torii Hunter
OF: Nolan Reimold
UT: Jason Kubel
UT: Brandon Belt
SP: Tim Lincecum
SP: Madison Bumgarner
SP: Brandon Morrow
RP: Kenley Jansen
RP: Grant Balfour
P: Chris Perez
P: Matt Capps
P: Francisco Liriano
P: Luke Hochevar
BN: Bryce Harper
BN: Ben Revere
BN: Yonder Alonso
BN: Bud Norris
BN: Javy Guerra

Name: Mark Himmelstein
Team Name: DirtyEars Billingsly
Number of years playing fantasy: 7
Number of fantasy leagues for 2012: 9
Amount Of Cash Left On Table: $6
Best $1 pick: Danny Espinosa

C: Miguel Montero
1B: Paul Konerko
2B: Brandon Phillips
SS: Starlin Castro
3B: Mark Reynolds
CI: Carlos Lee
MI: Danny Espinosa
OF: Justin Upton
OF: Jason Heyward
OF: Michael Bourn
OF: Alex Presley
UT: Matt Joyce
UT: Alex Rios
SP: Stephen Strasburg
SP: Mat Latos
SP: Tommy Hanson
RP: Joel Hanrahan
RP: Jason Motte
P: Matt Thornton
P: Frank Francisco
P: Greg Holland
P: Jonathan Broxton
BN: Brandon Beachy
BN: Anibal Sanchez
BN: Mike Minor
BN: Mat Gamel
BN: Mike Aviles


Name: David Wade
Team Name: Dave’s Diamonds
Number of years playing fantasy: 6, I think
Number of fantasy leagues for 2012: 2
Amount Of Cash Left On Table: $0
Best $1 pick: Gavin Floyd (I hope).

C: Chris Iannetta
1B: Adam Lind
2B: Ian Kinsler
SS: Kevin Youkilis
3B: Elvis Andrus
CI: Alex Rodriguez
MI: Daniel Murphy
OF: Matt Kemp
OF: Ryan Braun
OF: Melky Cabrera
OF: Mike Trout
UT: Jesus Montero
UT: Justin Smoak
SP: Jered Weaver
SP: Brandon McCarthy
SP: Ryan Dempster
RP: Drew Storen
RP: Jonathan Papelbon
P: Ted Lilly
P: Kyle Farnsworth
P: Gavin Floyd
P: Tim Stauffer
BN: Gaby Sanchez
BN: Drew Pomeranz
BN: R.A. Dickey
BN: Josh Collmenter
BN: Mike Leake

Name: Vince Caramela
Team Name: Free Eric Duncan
Number of years playing fantasy: 7
Number of fantasy leagues for 2012: $3
Amount Of Cash Left On Table: Not sure since I had to leave early [INSERT #whipped noise here]
Best $1 pick: Alexi Ogando

C: Alex Avila
1B: Joey Votto
2B: Gordon Beckham
SS: J.J. Hardy
3B: Jose Bautista
CI: Nick Swisher
MI: Zack Cozart
OF: Andrew McCutchen
OF: Adam Jones
OF: Chris Young
OF: Dexter Fowler
UT: Emilio Bonifacio
UT: Coco Crisp
SP: Matt Cain
SP: Juan Nicasio
SP: Max Scherzer
RP: Jordan Walden
RP: Heath Bell
P: Chris Carpenter
P: Matt Garza
P: Ervin Santana
P: Neftali Feliz
BN: Alexi Ogando
BN: Jeff Francoeur
BN: Martin Prado
BN: Jose Tabata
BN: Colby Rasmus

Name: Nick Fleder
Team Name: Fleder Mice
Number of years playing fantasy: A lot
Number of fantasy leagues for 2012: 8
Amount Of Cash Left On Table: $0
Best $1 pick: Ramon Hernandez was the only one (but de Aza should essentially count).

C: Ramon Hernandez $1
1B: Michael Cuddyer $14
2B: Jemile Weeks $8
SS: Jimmy Rollins $10
3B: Mike Moustakas $7
CI: Edwin Encarnacion $5
MI: Kelly Johnson $5
OF: Carlos Gonzalez $44
OF: Josh Hamilton $23
OF: Corey Hart $10
OF: Carlos Beltran $8
UT: Brennan Boesch $7
UT: Yoenis Cespedes $7
SP: Cliff Lee $36
SP: Cory Luebke $13
SP: C.J. Wilson $10
RP: Sergio Santos $7
RP: Rafael Betancourt $5
P: Jordan Zimmerman $9
P: Daniel Hudson $9
P: Chris Sale $5
P: Jim Johnson $3
BN: Alejandro de Aza $2
BN: Delmon Young $3
BN: Bryan LaHair $2
BN: Erik Bedard $3
BN: John Mayberry Jr. $4

Name: Mike Stein
Team Name: Fantasy Judgment
Number of years playing fantasy: 25
Number of fantasy leagues for 2012: 4
Amount Of Cash Left On Table: $0
Best $1 pick: Neil Walker

C: Jarrod Saltalamacchia-BOS
1B: Adrian Gonzalez-BOS
2B: Neil Walker-PIT
SS: Marco Scutaro-COL
3B: David Wright-NYM
CI: Aramis Ramirez-MIL
MI: Ryan Raburn-DET
OF: Curtis Granderson-NYY
OF: Hunter Pence-PHI
OF: Alex Gordon-KC
OF: Ichiro Suzuki-SEA
UT: Vernon Wells-LAA
UT: Jason Bay-NYM
SP: Cole Hamels-PHI
SP: Dan Haren-LAA
SP: Jon Lester-BOS
RP: Carlos Marmol-CHC
RP: Joe Nathan-TEX
P: Gio Gonzalez-WAS
P: Ubaldo Jimenez-CLE
P: Chad Billingsley-LAD
P: John Danks-CHW
BN: Ryan Howard-PHI
BN: Ryan Roberts-ARZ
BN: Russell Martin-NYY
BN: Brett Myers-HOU
BN: Doug Fister-DET

Name: Brian Cartwright
Team Name: Ollie’s Northmen
Number of years playing fantasy: 2
Number of fantasy leagues for 2012: 1
Amount Of Cash Left On Table: $0
Best $1 pick: Johnny Venters

C: Kurt Suzuki
1B: Mark Teixeira
2B: Johnny Giavotella
SS: Troy Tulowitzki
3B: Adrian Beltre
CI: Carlos Santana
MI: Aaron Hill
OF: Chris Heisey
OF: Austin Jackson
OF: J.D. Martinez
OF: Giancarlo Stanton
UT: Mike Carp
UT: Allen Craig
SP: Yu Darvish
SP: Roy Halladay
SP: Justin Verlander
RP: David Robertson
RP: Fernando Salas
P: Edwin Jackson
P: Colby Lewis
P: Juan Oviedo
P: Johnny Venters
BN: Michael Brantley
BN: Jonathan Lucroy
BN: Trevor Cahill
BN: Francisco Cordero
BN: Aaron Crow

Name: Paul Singman
Team Name: Psing
Number of years playing fantasy: 8
Number of fantasy leagues for 2012: 4
Amount Of Cash Left On Table: $33
Best $1 pick: Justin Morneau

C: Wilson Ramos
1B: Freddie Freeman
2B: Dustin Ackley
SS: Asdrubal Cabrera
3B: Ryan Zimmerman
CI: David Freese
MI: Michael Young
OF: Shin-Soo Choo
OF: Jayson Werth
OF: Andre Ethier
OF: Nick Markakis
UT: Justin Morneau
UT: Mark Trumbo
SP: Zack Greinke
SP: David Price
SP: Jaime Garcia
RP: Mariano Rivera
RP: John Axford
P: Jose Valverde
P: Josh Beckett
P: Clay Buchholz
P: Ricky Romero
BN: Ivan Nova
BN: J.P. Arencibia
BN: Ian Desmond
BN: Domonic Brown
BN: Jon Jay

Name: Brad Johnson
Team Name: Fatty Lumpkin’s Lump
Number of years playing fantasy: 7
Number of fantasy leagues for 2012: 5
Amount Of Cash Left On Table: $0
Best $1 pick: Marcus Thames

C: Yadier Molina
1B: Albert Pujols
2B: Ben Zobrist
SS: Erick Aybar
3B: Chipper Jones
CI: Lucas Duda
MI: Howie Kendrick
OF: Jacoby Ellsbury
OF: Lorenzo Cain
OF: Eric Thames
OF: Shane Victorino
UT: David Ortiz
UT: James Loney
SP: Matt Moore
SP: CC Sabathia
SP: Ian Kennedy
RP: Brandon League
RP: Brian Wilson
P: Mike Adams
P: Addison Reed
P: Daniel Bard
P: Danny Duffy
BN: Chase Utley
BN: Carl Crawford
BN: Marcus Thames
BN: Hiroki Kuroda
BN: Jake Peavy

Name: Ben Pritchett
Team Name: Natural Born Sluggers
Number of years playing fantasy: 15
Number of fantasy leagues for 2012: 4
Amount Of Cash Left On Table: $0
Best $1 pick: Adam Dunn

C: Joe Mauer
1B: Michael Morse
2B: Robinson Cano
3B: Chase Headley
SS: Hanley Ramirez
MI: Dee Gordon
CI: Lance Berkman
OF: Matt Holliday
OF: Kendrys Morales
OF: Angel Pagan
OF: Adam Dunn
Util: Dan Uggla
Util: Alfonso Soriano
SP: Felix Hernandez
SP: James Shields
SP: Johnny Cueto
RP: Craig Kimbrel
RP: Huston Street
P: Vance Worley (Dropped for Brad Lidge)
P: Johan Santana
P: Wandy Rodriguez
P: Derek Holland
BB: Shaun Marcum
BN: Carlos Zambrano
BN: Travis Snider (Dropped for Henderson Alvarez)
BN: Ryan Doumit
BN: Stephen Drew

Name: Matt Filippi
Team Name: Montero Was Dinero
Number of years playing fantasy: 4
Number of fantasy leagues for 2012: 2
Amount Of Cash Left On Table: $0
Best $1 pick: I only had two $1 picks because I spread around the wealth pretty well, so I guess my best one was Geovany Soto. If you can get some pop from a catcher, that’s always a plus, and Soto can deliver that.

C: Brian McCann
1B: Ike Davis
2B: Rickie Weeks
SS: Jhonny Peralta
3B: Brett Lawrie
CI: Billy Butler
MI: Yunel Escobar
OF: Brett Gardner
OF: Logan Morrison
OF: Drew Stubbs
OF: Peter Bourjos
UT: Alexei Ramirez
UT: Carlos Quentin
SP: Clayton Kershaw
SP: Josh Johnson
SP: Adam Wainwright
RP: J.J. Putz
RP: Andrew Bailey
P: Yovani Gallardo
P: Michael Pineda
P: Jeremy Hellickson
P: Mark Buehrle
BN: Yunel Escobar
BN: Grady Sizemore
BN: Phil Hughes (dropped for Mark Buehrle)
BN: Ryan Madson (dropped for Francisco Rodriguez)
BN: Devin Mesoraco (dropped for Ty Wigginton)
DL: Brett Anderson
As always, sound off the love/hate in the comments below!

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Jeffrey Gross is an attorney who periodically moonlights as a (fantasy) baseball analyst. He also responsibly enjoys tasty adult beverages. You can read about those adventures at his blog and/or follow him on Twitter @saBEERmetrics.
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Brad Johnson
Brad Johnson

Yes, I picked Marcus Thames by mistake. I’ve improved my team considerably via the wire already with Pena, Worley, Pineda, Murphy, and Doumit. I expect all but Pineda to contribute.

Greg Simons
Greg Simons

Jeff, I’ve seen the 24-hour window after a deal is approved for owners to cancel it mentioned elsewhere, and I don’t understand it.  If the owners agree to a trade, why would they need a 24-hour “buyer’s remorse” period?

Similar thing with the injury clause.  If two owners agree to a trade, it should be done once it’s submitted.  If an injury occurs before the commish can officially approve it, it shouldn’t matter.  The owners had already signed off, and the commish’s approval is typically just a rubber stamp – barring the fire sale or collusion you mention.

Brad Johnson
Brad Johnson
The injury clause is to prevent informational asymmetry. It allows you to nullify a deal that was made based on a false impression of health. Most cases that’s buyer beware, but every once and awhile you’ll negotiate a deal for some time and while that’s going on, a player involved gets hurt. The 24 hour thing is more of a panic button. I’ve only seen it used once personally. The way I have it set up in my league is that initial offers made via Yahoo’s trade wizard are non-binding for 24 hours. So if I want to get a… Read more »
Jeffrey Gross
Jeffrey Gross


Sometimes people make an offer and then want to revoke when they change their mind, but say are at work, so cant revoke before the other guy accepts. The clause is designed to solve that.