Let’s hop in our way back machine to the night of our league’s LAST EVER DRAFT* before adoption of the dynasty format we are currently feeling our way through. Spirits were high for a lot of teams, as I imagine even the Padres feel good about their shot in spring training, but perhaps no team’s draft was more hotly anticipated than ROJO’S RESURGENCE. I can hardly remember the previous team name, other than to recall it was some sort of vague ode to WVU because CERTAIN PEOPLE IN THIS GROUP don’t realize how sad it comes across when you are insanely invested in an alma mater that gave you nothing but a useless degree in return for many thousands of dollars in tuition. MIKEY T YOU WILL GET YOUR COMEUPPANCE SOON ENOUGH. Where was I? Oh yea…. call it clever marketing (waiting until the very last moment for the big reveal on the new name) or clever draft pick hoarding (3 picks in the first round) or some combination thereof, but THE ROOM WAS ABUZZ if my memory serves me correct (it is blurred by alcohol and does not serve me correct). Rolling out the “Rojo’s Resurgence” name displayed a confidence not seen in its team owner since his TRBA days, where he felt no shame in jumping on free throws even though 8 year old girls likely feel shame jumping on free throws. And that confidence carried him into his draft. Let’s
troll judge the Resurgence’s draft real quick:
Johnny Cueto (2nd Rd) – Cueto was a great get in a very uneven second round, as he threw 5 CGs last year and generally just provided the Resurgence with top notch production from start to finish.
And that’s all for that category.
Shin Soo Choo (4th Rd) – Did not pan out/is old (more on this to come).
Luis Severino (5th Rd) – Did not pan out.
Rojo’s Entire First Round – Back to the old thing for a second. It is almost like Rojo read some sort of article about ageism in fantasy baseball drafts, or was spending a lot of time contemplating his own ever-present mortality, because he spent a good chunk of this DYNASTY DRAFT picking up folks that are at or near the end of their MLB journey. Which is very anti-dynasty format on its face. Obviously this does not apply to his first pick (Hosmer), #whom wouldn’t have been my choice in that spot but hey different strokes different folks I can see where there was some perceived (2nd round) value in there. However he followed that up with a very productive but very much retiring in the near future Adrian Beltre, and a 31 year old (at the time) who feels more like a 38 year old Matt Kemp. I DON’T CARE HOW MANY HRs HE HIT.
So that was the Resurgence draft, a mixed bag in the way that everyone’s drafts are mixed bags. I don’t really want to spend time dissecting his later rounds otherwise I would praise him for drafting Kendy Morales or some shit, but who even knows how long that fat fuck had a spot on the Resurgers. ANYWHOM one cannot judge the Resurgence’s draft efforts too harshly because LOOK AT THAT START TO THE SEASON. The Resurgence roared to an 8-2 start and were the darling of power rankings from late April through late June, more than justifying their namesake’s claim of a comeback year afoot. But then the trouble started: The Resurgence dropped their next 2, won 1, and then went 0-3-1 over their next four. I am sure the trade deadline passed at some point during all this calamity. A 3-2-1 finale to the season was far too mediocre to correct the damage already done to the former top seed, and the Resurgence limped into the playoffs as our #5 seed. Hold that thought….
At a time when a win now move might have been necessary to right the ship and at least attempt to improve playoff positioning, Rojo’s Resurgence stubbornly held onto certain future assets. What vague move might I be referencing? GLAD YOU ASKED…..
ROJO SHOULD HAVE TRADED KYLE SCHWARBER
Kyle Schwarber is a much ballyhooed bat, to be sure, but it is precisely that ballyhoo that could have grabbed Rojo a “win now” haul from a team out of contention. Also, and this to me is a central issue here, a big part of that ballyhoo relates to the idea that Schwarber’s bat will be utilized at the catcher position in fantasy (historically an offensive wasteland but maybe less so next year GARY SANCHEZ WHAT UP). Schwarber will in all likelihood have C eligibility in 2017 but followin this season that is decidedly not a certainty. The man just shredded his knee and there’s a good chance the Cubs decide to never again put that knee in a catcher’s crouch. Which would make Schwarber a power bat in the corner OF come 2018, i.e. would make him far less valuable than he was in 2016. Back to taht “win now haul”, perhaps that haul helps Rojo to win a few more of those games down the stretch, yanno in the now. And then WHO KNOWS maybe Rojo grabs the 4 seed rather than the 5.
Which brings us back to our held thought: The Resurgence valiantly played our eventual league champions to a tie in Round 1, and that in itself would probably be Rojo’s justification for holding onto the Kyle Schwarbers of the world. HOWEVER it is my thesis that with some different win now-ish pieces maybe they pull ahead in one more category OR with some different win now-ish pieces maybe they are the 4 seed to the OGTFC’s 5 seed. Usually I have to work harder to justify attempting to manage not just my own damn team in these pieces, but here THE EVIDENCE IS CLEAR: Rojo done goofed.
And now to loosely tie this critique to the title that claimed it would be mostly about exploring a team name. There was a lot to love about the Rojo’s Resurgence team name; undoubtedly Rojo resurged a bit, at least in the first half of the season. But a refusal to push all his chips in the middle in the second half, coupled with a holds only bullpen strategy (that I didn’t even ADDRESS here because it would add another 1000 words) eventually lead to the narrowest (and therefore easiest to critique) of first round exits. Dare I claim, because nobody can ever fact check it, that there has never been a more egregious example of a team DESPERATELY needing to make a move to stop a slide and having a pretty obvious move to make and failing to make it. There I claimed it, on the internet, where things are written in permanent ink.