2018 TROLL SERIES VOLUME 2: FINALLY IT CAN BE DONE, THE DEFINITIVE TOP 10 BACKYARD CHAMPIONS OF ALL TIME

Where will last year’s X*Rayz rank (asterisk and all)?  I WILL DECIDE AND ONLY ME

 

Consider this a bit of a Troll For Champions, as I’m sure everyone feels like their team was the best championship team OF ALL TIME and mostly everyone there is wrong. It is also a bit of a troll because I am doing VERY LITTLE research here. So finally, as a labor of love, and since we finally have 10 league champions, I will rank them all. The last troll article had some rules let’s get some more rules in here.

The Rules:

  • FIRST RULE, is more of a statement and that statement is I don’t have access to any league pages before like 2013. So really I am the worst possible person to compile a top ten. HERE IT IS ANYWAYS.
  • Previous season result MATTERS, in the obvious ways you will expect it to matter. aka teams that win multiple years in a row should obviously be PRAISED BY ALL.
  • Regular season stats matter A BIT, particularly since I only have that to go off of for a couple of seasons. 
  • But playoff run also matters, particularly since I only happen to know the playoff runs for a couple of seasons. Alright let’s get to it, I don’t even think I needed to list rules but I copy and pasted the top from last time for some reason ANYWAYS HERE WE GO…

 

 

 

 

 

NUMBER 10

 

2017 – POINT LOMA X*RAYZ:   10-6-2

 

Notable Performers:  Jose Ramirez, Dee Gordon, Billy Hamilton, Elvis Andrus, Daniel Murphy, Chris Archer, Robbie Ray, Jeff Samardzija, Edwin Diaz, Dellin Betances

 

Why They’re Number Ten:  BECAUSE THEIR BCS #NimmoGate CONTROVERSY NEARLY RUINED US ALL. I love this particular roster and was a big fan of their playoff run, but lets face it the BCS uhhh “incident” was a bit o’ a shitshow. And since that shitshow was mostly due to a terrible rule established by this team’s OWN OWNER that kinda seals their fate as the number ten here. Which doesn’t at all take away from the fact that Odom has taken home the chip (or co-taken co-home) in 4 of 7 seasons in the league which is plenty fucking impressive. And I thank him for Rhys Hoskins in a roundabout way (assuming Rhys works out).

 

 

 

NUMBER 9

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2011 – JIMBO’S VULCAN DEATH GRIP:   9-11

 

Notable Performers:  Mike Napoli, Elvis Andrus, Michael Young, Carlos Gonzalez (half the season), Hanley Ramirez (the other half), Joe Mauer (the other half but also always hurt), CC Sabathia (half the season), Cole Hamels (the other half), an erratic Ubaldo Jimenez, David Robertson

(special thanks to Odom for helping me remember some guys)

 

Why They’re Number Nine:  REGULAR SEASON RECORD is what does this team no favors. Despite a fan favorite name and an impressive championship in their eventual inaugural season as owners, the facts are the facts and the facts are this is the only team to ever win a championship with a sub-.500 regular season record. I am also going to claim this team INVENTED THE BLOCKBUSTER, because this thing is full of wild claims without sources. A midseason deal sent That record CC and CarGo to the WVU Bombers or whatfuckingever for Mauer, Hanley Ramirez, and Cole Hamels and those three would be staples on the team for YEARS TO COME. Mauer would go on to homer in a first round matchup against WVU which was amusing because he hit all of 3 HRs that season. But YEA THE RECORD, the record gave the doubters plenty of fuel with which to doubt. DOUBT THAT WOULD PROVE FOOLISH. clearly it was a star, t from humble beginnings for the Odom/Sean dynasty to be.

 

 

 

NUMBER 8

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2009 – SCARLET KNIGHTS:   15-7

 

Notable Performers:  JASON BAY, Brian Wilson ALLEGEDLY for the latter half, Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Robinson Cano, Jorge Posada, Travis Hafner maybe?, Vernon Wells maybe?, Miguel Tejada maybe?, Dustin Pedroia for part of the season? Some other closers? I dunno how the fuck should I know…

 

Why They’re Number Eight:  PRE-COMPETITIVE ERA. Because while a 15-7 record is nothing to sneeze at, they played in the pre-competitive era free of minor league systems and excessive numbers of keepers and so on and so forth. Also their BCS victory came at the hands of a notable idiot with a 12-10 record, unlike the next 15-7 team on the list that defeated a fellow 15-7er to capture a crown. FUN FACT: I won the fantasy football championship this season thanks to a one CJ2K. So that is a fun fact.

 

 

NUMBER 7

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2010 – TOMS RIVER TAKEOVER:   15-7

 

Notable Performers:  CLAYTON KERSHAW I AM SURE, Roy Halladay and his NINE CGs I am sure, Justin Upton, Jon Lester, Juan Pierre?, injury-hampered Justin Morneau? injury-hampered J-ROLLLLLLLL, Dan Uggla?, Tim Hudson?, hopefully kept Kelly Johnson through the tough times cuz 2010 was his masterpiece?

 

Why They’re Number Seven:  SUPERIOR BCS MATCHUP. AGAIN this comes in the era of a bunch of shitty owners shitting around, BUT this particular 15-7 squad edges the previous due to a seemingly more challenging BCS matchup. No idea who really made up this roster (heavy speculation based on ’08 draft above), but I DO see they dropped a ridiculous 81 RBIs (still the all-time record) and 70 Runs on their poor Week 16 opponent. So I suspect they had some strong offensive players. Feel pretty confident in this guess.

 

 

 

NUMBER 6

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2016 – OCEANGATE TROUT FISHING CLUB:   11-7-2

 

Notable Performers:  Mike Trout, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Mookie Betts, Todd Frazier, Trea Turner, Ian Desmond, Corey Seager, Jose Fernandez, Francisco Rodriguez

 

Why They’re Number SIX:  GENERAL ROSTER TALENT. This team had done such an excellent job of SQUANDERING their elite talent for years that I campaigned a few times for them to change their name to the LessWithMores, but in 2016 they finally got it done. They entered the playoffs as the #4 seed and advanced out of the first round via a tie with the #5 seed but BY GOD, they still got it done. Mostly unimpressive playoff performance aside. They got it done. Good for them. I rank them this highly simply because they got it done in THE COMPETITIVE ERA and also because their roster was good enough to likely beat pretty much any other team on this list (provided they weren’t MISMANAGED INTO THE GROUND).

 

 

 

NUMBER 5

 

2015 – RIVER CITY CUBAN MISSILES:   12-6-2

 

Notable Performers:  Anthony Rizzo, Jose Abreu, Manny Machado, Bryce Harper, Chris Davis, Jose Bautista, Jon Lester, Garrett Richards, Jacob DeGrom, Zach Britton

 

Why They’re Number Five:  POSTSEASON DOMINANCE. The interesting thing to ME here is I’ve been able to look at a few “roster summaries” here and this one appears to be one of the more unimpressive ones stats-wise (pitching especially) AND YET can’t deny this postseason performance. Not only did the Cuban Missiles grab the #1 seed, but they won their two playoff matchups by a combined score of 23-3-2. I dunno that feels like it may be some kind of record. The Missiles defeated team rmac 11-1-2 in the second round and the fresh on the scene Barnegat Banana Slugs 12-2 in the BCS, effectively steamrolling the competition in a way that needs to be acknowledged here. And it has been acknowledged. So now lets move on.

 

 

 

NUMBER 4

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2008 – RIVER CITY MASHERS:   19-3

 

Notable Performers:  I mean NO IDEA one might think, because I am blocked from accessing these old rosters. BUT, I can piece together the probable notable performers from a recap of the league’s first draft and so here they are – Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, David Wright ‘scuseeee me, Mark Teixeira, Adam Dunn, Jhonny Peralta, Raul Ibanez, Roy Oswalt, Brad Lidge

 

Why They’re Number Four:  HELLUVA RECORD. Truthfully this team may have earned the right to be higher (NOT MUCH HIGHER) but I just wasn’t involved back then and I just do not know what to tell you. But yea, 19-3 is a nice fucking record and a little league history blurb from the blog tells me they whomped Cliff in the BCS (11-2-1) after narrowly edging out Ryan’s “Tar Heels” in the second round (7-6-1 on a .3812 to .3810 OBP advantage) and good on them. Looks like a damn fine year. Way to go Mashers.

 

 

NUMBER 3

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2012 – TAMPA BAY TWO-TIME TWO-TIME (strange name):   11-9

 

Notable Performers:  FUCKING AARON HILL (everybody look up Aaron Hill’s 2012 please, he had two cycles that year, thank you), Edwin Encarnacion, Hanley Ramirez, Joe Mauer, Nick Swisher, Cole Hamels, an erratic Tim Lincecum, Craig Kimbrel, Kenley Jansen,David Robertson

 

Why They’re Number Three:  BECAUSE WE WENT BACK TO FUCKING BACK. Has yet to be repeated, is a very tough thing to do I believe time has told. Our second championship team merely flipped the record from our first championship team (from 9-11 to 11-9) but put together a solid postseason run and grabbed their second in a row AND THAT IS IMPRESSIVE. Allllll the years previous and alllll the years since that hasn’t been done (not counting our third in a row), so that needs to be rewarded with this particular ranking.

 

 

 

NUMBER 2

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2014 – PINE LAKE SWINGMEN:   16-3-1

 

Notable Performers:  Carlos Gomez, Paul Goldschmidt, Justin Upton, Adrian Gonzalez, Anthony Rendon,  Dee Gordon, Clayton Kershaw, Felix Hernandez, Sonny Gray, Greg Holland (team was fucking stacked though I should more or less list the whole offense)

 

Why They’re Number Two:  This team impressed the shit outta me because of their SUB 100 MOVE SEASON. Also the team was stacked and set multiple season records including Runs, HRs, and Strikeouts (Ks being an all time record to this very day). But back to the moves, maybe this wasn’t always the case but in the modern era here movement is life; all serious competitors routinely hit triple digits with their moves in-season. The Pine Lake Swingmen of 2014 only needed 98 moves to grab the #2 seed in the regular season (13-6 record, 3Peat Offendaz #1 at 14-7) and then march through the playoffs on the way to Ryan’s 2nd championship in five seasons. OF COURSE one will never know what might have happened if this team ran into the 3Peat Offendaz in the championship, as the 3PO lost to a 4 seed of questionable character in a strangely lazy 2nd round performance. The 3PO would have beat the #3 seed though, I think we all know that. ANYWAYS REALLY IMPRESSIVE YEAR BY THE 2014 PINE LAKE SWINGMEN, very nearly the most impressive of all time.

 

 

 

AND NUMBER 1, WHICH SHOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN IN DOUBT….

 

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2013 – TOMS RIVER 3PEAT OFFENDAZ (clearly named post-parade):   16-3-1

 

Notable Performers:  Edwin Encarnacion, Josh Donaldson, Hanley Ramirez, Brett Gardner, Matt Carpenter, Cole Hamels, Anibal Sanchez, Mariano Rivera, Craig Kimbrel, Aroldis Chapman

 

Why They’re Number One:  SEEMS PRETTY CLEAR TO ME. This is the first and probably the last 3peat team this league ever saw, it started off 2-3 before winning a remarkable 14 in a row, it defeated a 16-4 #2 seed Angels in the TROUTfield via a TIE in the BCS (also defeated the TROUTfield in both regular season meetings). In case there is strangely still any doubts about this as your top team o all time, they defeated the River City Mashers in the 2nd round THIRTEEN-ZERO-ONE. I could write a thousand words about this particular season but trying this new brevity thing.

 

 

 

 

So there you have it folks, no real surprise about the particular TEAM in the top spot but….

HAHA TOOK THAT STRAIGHT FROM THE LAST TROLL SERIES POST. But yea, shouldn’t be a surprise. Feel free to try and educate me about the teams from the years of softer competition because I am sure that would be a fun and educational GroupMe conversation for the league but yea. Really this whole thing was written just to point out how impressive that 3peat season was/how impressive that 98 move season of Ryan’s was. Mission. Accomplished.

 

 

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2018 TROLL SERIES VOLUME 2: FINALLY IT CAN BE DONE, THE DEFINITIVE TOP 10 BACKYARD CHAMPIONS OF ALL TIME

THE 2017 JROLL AWARD (And Also A Quick Rundown Of The Other Awards)

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The 2017 Backyard Championship League Fantasy Regulard Season (One of these days I will hammer down a formal name for this league) BROUGHT US MANY THINGS. But perhaps the most valuable of those things is the JROLL, inspired by Jimmy Rollins’ 2007 season and handed out to players that are able to collect a DOUBLE, TRIPLE, HOME RUN, AND STOLEN BASE all in a single week.  So naturally a 2017 JROLL AWARD should be awarded to the guy who did the best job of racking up JROLLS. What follows will be that award as well as a team-by-team breakdown of JROLLS for this season. BUT FIRST LET US POST (AND POSSIBLY CRITIQUE) THE RESULTS OF THE AWARDS VOTED ON BY ALL OF OUR OWNERS. In order to highlight why you don’t get to vote on the JROLL AWARD……..

 

 

2017 AL Live Wire:  Zack Cozart, Renegade Force

My vote:  Luis Severino, Banana Slugs

Why you got it wrong:  Sevvy Sev has just been fairly fucking dominant all year, and what’s Cozart done he’s missed like 40 games is what he’s done.

 

2017 NL Live Wire:  Michael Conforto, BackdoorSliderz

My vote:  Michael Conforto, BackdoorSliderz

Why you we got it wrong:  I dunno still might have been Smoak here though, Conforto’s numbers barely best Steven Souza Jr. and he is the guy I had to leave out in place of Smoak so SCIENCE.

 

 

2017 AL Rookie of the Year:  Jacob Faria, Morning Wood

My vote:  Jacob Faria, Morning Wood

 

2017 NL Rookie of the Year:  Aaron Judge, Isotopes

My vote:  Cody Bellinger, Isotopes

Why you got it wrong:  Judge already had like 84 ABs in 2016 and I believe this award should reward the most High Minors production most of the time and Bellinger CERTAINLY did more with his first 84 ABs, and by extension his first 130 ABs overall. Both are good though we get it T.

 

 

2017 AL Mariano Rivera Reliever of the Year:  Greg Holland, Isotopes

My vote:  Greg Holland, Isotopes which I tried to change to Chris Devenski, X-Rayz after I reallllly thought about it.

Why you we got it wrong:  SP ELIGIBLE RELIEVER STATS ARE LIFE.

 

2017 NL Mariano Rivera Reliever of the Year:  Craig Kimbrel, Bad Dudes

My vote:  Kenley Jansen, MooniniteZ.

Why you got it wrong:  Kenley had more Ws allowed one less ER, and EVEN THREW IN A HOLD. Just had a few less Ks. And he is the best reliever in baseball and shame on you all.

 

 

2017 AL Dy Young (in honor of Jose Fernandez I am sure this name will be cleaned up next season):  Chris Sale, Titans

My vote:  Chris Sale, Titans but I mean shit poor Klubez should have grabbed a vote

 

2017 NL Dy Young:  Zack Greinke, Morning Wood

My vote:  Ervin Santana, Bad Dudes.

Why you got it wrong:  COMPLETE GAMES ARE ALSO LIFE.

 

 

2017 AL MVP:  Charlie Blackmon, Isotopes

My vote: Charlie Blackmon, Isotopes

 

2017 NL MVP:  Nolan Arenado, MooniniteZ

My vote: Nolan Arenado, MooniniteZ

 

 

SO A BIT OF A MIXED BAG overall but clearly you can see you cannot be trusted with something as sacred as a JROLL award.  So let us get to that…..

 

 

THE 2017 JROLL AWARD

 

 

FIRST SOME FLUFF…..

 

 

TOTAL JROLLS IN 2017 BACKYARD REGULAR SEASON:  NINETEEN  

 

Broken down as follows:  2 Wk1, 3 Wk5, 2 Wk6, 3 Wk8, 2 Wk11, 1 Wks12-15, 1 Wk17, 2 Wk18

 

 

JROLLS BY TEAM:

 

Astoria Isotopes:  4 (Charlie Blackmon x2Cody BellingerOdubel Herrera)

Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz:  3 (Alex Bregman x2, Freddie Freeman [under previous ownership])

Point Loma X-Rayz:  2 (Billy HamiltonJose Ramirez)

Rojo’s Renegade Force:  2 (Paul GoldschmidtChris Taylor)

Bellcrest Park MooniniteZ:  2 (Nolan ArenadoKeon Broxton)

River City Bad Dudes:  2 (Rougned OdorXander Bogaerts)

Toms River Titans:  (Javier Baez)

Barnegat Banana Slugs:  1  (Tommy Pham)

OceanGate Trout Fishing Club:  1  (Brian Dozier)

Q-Tip City Morning Wood:  1  (Brandon Belt)

 

 

PRETTIEST JROLL OF THE SEASON:

 

Billy Hamilton (X-Rayz), Week 5:  2 2Bs, 3 3Bs, 1 HR, 9 SBs  

 

 

 

AND NOW, YOUR 2017 JROLL AWARD WINNER…….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CHUCK NAZTY SLIDING IN TO TAKE THE INAUGURAL CROWN. I guess this might have been fairly obvious to anyone that’s perused the season stats but LET THE RECORD SHOW I was really just planning on giving this award to whoever racked up the most JROLLS. With Blackmon and Alex Bregman tied at 2 (and me not believing in giving out ties for this most sacred of awards) we had to jump to the overall season stats, and at that point it becomes clear this award in this year should belong to Mr. Nazty. The guy has 5 more triples than anyone else in baseball and those are the reallll stickler stat for most potential JROLLERS.  CONGRATULATIONS TO CHARLIE BLACKMON FOR THIS PRESTIGIOUS AWARD.

 

 

 

 

fin

 

 

 

 

 

THE 2017 JROLL AWARD (And Also A Quick Rundown Of The Other Awards)

2017 TRADE DEADLINE PREVIEW: IDENTIFYING THE BUYERS/SELLERS/IN-BETWEENS FOR THE 2017 SEASON

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The trade deadline will soon be upon us, ESPN is yelling at me on my team page about this fact, and I voted for it to come much sooner than this but the democratic system felt otherwise. NEVERTHELESS when it arrives we will be in a unique position in the league, as this is the first year of the shortened season format and the second year where all players will be kept into the offseason. Ergo, the deadline is going to be CLOSELY followed by the playoffs and ERGO 4-for-1 trades aren’t useless in the way that they might have been for teams in a pre-dynasty format. Certain teams no doubt have their eyes on the prize for 2017, certain teams might be all but mathematically eliminated (or actually mathematically eliminated) from contention for 2017, and certain teams might be somewhere in between. What follows is a brief preview of what are IN MY HUMBLE OPINION the Buyers, Sellers, and In-Betweens in the Backyard this season. Will also dig in a bit about possible trade targets, areas of weakness or strength, etc. etc. etc. for each. Just fucking read it or fucking don’t what do I care……..

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THE BUYERS

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Manchester MooniniteZ:  9-2-3, Current #1 Seed

POSSIBLE NEEDS:  QUALITY starting pitching, as in starting pitchers that can deliver quality starts. Also perhaps in the market for an impact middle infielder.

POSSIBLE TRADE CHIPS:  Injured High Minors SP Alex Reyes, Low Minors OF Ronald Acuna, High Minors OF Lewis Brinson, one of their many many First Basemen types perhaps?

ANALYSIS:  While not necessarily in NEED of a deal, I happen to know this owner pretty well and happen to know he subscribes to the FLAGS FLY FOREVER thinking so this is a team that could be on the lookout for a “win now” move due to their proximity to a first round bye. In years past other teams have used the deadline to bolster their roster on the way to a championship, and the MooniniteZ certainly have their sights set on one this season so it would make sense that they will keep an open mind to any deadline deals that can help in that quest. Perhaps the most interesting trade chip, with that thinking in mind, is Alex Reyes. The top prospect is out for all of 2017 as he recovers from TJ surgery, which makes him a prime candidate to be flipped to a team looking towards 2018. THE MOONINITEZ CANNOT EVEN SEE 2018 RIGHT NOW.   

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River City Bad Dudes:  8-5-1, Current #2 Seed or #3 Seed we would know better if this waited a week BUT IT DIDN’T

POSSIBLE NEEDS:  Perhaps some pitching, perhaps they could squeeze in ONE bat upgrade or something, perhaps nothing.

POSSIBLE TRADE CHIPS:  High Minors SS Franklin Barreto, Low Minors SP Yadier Alvarez, High Minors SP Frances Martes, maybe High Minors SP Sean Newcomb while he still has a smidge of value….

ANALYSIS:  The Bad Dudes have never been shy about pulling the trigger on deadline deals they feel can help the playoff push, and I wouldn’t expect them to start now as they hone in on a possible 3rd straight championship game appearance. There isn’t a tremendous amount of flexibility for offensive upgrades unless they want to move on from Maikel Franco or something, but the Bad Dudes are notorious for looking to shore up any pitching holes (NOTORIOUS CHEATERS) and have already dipped their toes in those types of waters a few times in 2017. Don’t rule out further toe dipping. Gross.

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Point Loma X-Rayz:  7-6-1, Current #4 Seed or # 5 Seed we would know better if this waited a week BUT IT DIDN’T

POSSIBLE NEEDS:  Perhaps some power or some OBP boosts for the UTIL spots, perhaps nothing.

POSSIBLE TRADE CHIPS:  Low Minors SP Sixto Sanchez, Low Minors 1B Rhys Hoskins, maybe 1B Eric Thames…..

ANALYSIS:  The X-Rayz have already done a good bit of re-tooling WHICH MEANS naturally that they can be considered a good bet to do possibly more re-tooling as we approach the deadline. After shuffling around bullpen pieces a bit and moving on from Chris Davis, tough to see where they might be seeking an upgrade but it has been made clear through their transactions that they are all in on 2017 (Chris Devenski becomes mighty useless in 2018 and they shipped out hyped prospect Victor Robles and such). If Robles went then that puts all prospects on notice, if you ask this amateur trade deadline assessor person. While not necessarily in NEED of a deal, I happen to know this owner pretty well and happen to know he subscribes to the FLAGS FLY FOREVER thinking so this is a team that could be on the lookout for a “win now” move due to their proximity to a first round bye. DEJA FUCKING VU MAN.  

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Barnegat Banana Slugs:  8-5-1, Current #3 Seed or #2 Seed we would know better if this waited a week BUT IT DIDN’T

POSSIBLE NEEDS:  Power hitting of any kind.

POSSIBLE TRADE CHIPS:  Injured OF Adam Eaton, SP Jake Arrieta, OF Tommy Pham, High Minors SP RP Jarlin Garcia if they want to get in on that sweet sweet SP relievers market…..

ANALYSIS:   Barnegat finds themselves in an interesting position, because on one hand the recent return of Starling Marte is almost like acquiring a player in its own rights and on the other hand StarMar would not have had 35 HRs right now had he avoided a suspension. Which is ABOUT the # the Slugs are missing in order to make them competitive in HRs, aka fantasy baseball’s most important category. If you are the X-Rayz you can survive light power by loading up on guys that can steal bases and score runs that way, if you are the Slugs you probably want a bit more power than you have mustered this year. Which makes the deadline an interesting opportunity to look around and see what sort of power bats might be available, either from teams still in it (think Mark Reynolds, Khris Davis, Todd Frazier, Nelson Cruz) or teams that are closer to out of it (think Logan Morrison, Jay Bruce, Corey Dickerson, Anthony Rendon). The Slugs have managed to put themselves into the playoffs without sluggers, but it would be prudent of them to at least consider adding one at the deadline in order to make themselves more competitive in the power hitting categories.

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Rojo’s Renegade Force:  6-7-1, Current #8 Seed

POSSIBLE NEEDS:  JUST LIKE ONE CLOSER, JUST COMMIT TO ONE GOOD CLOSER AND SEE HOW IT FEELS FOR A FEW DAYS.

POSSIBLE TRADE CHIPS:  SP/RP David Phelps, Low Minors OF Corey Ray, Low Minors OF Victor Robles if we want to keep up that carousel.

ANALYSIS:  The Force is STRONG, particularly on offense where it is outscoring every team in the Backyard and out-homering and out-RBIing and out-OBPing most teams in the Backyard. So no need to really fix what ain’t broken there. And really not much to complain about from the starting pitching, although they could perhaps use one more great starter and everyone should always be on the lookout for SP help SPs are fickle creatures. So really this comes down to whether or not you think the RRF have just been UNLUCKY, because a lot of their stats support the idea that they should have a better record, or whether or not you think it is HIGH TIME to hedge bets a bit  and attempt to balance with JUST LIKE ONE CLOSER. I see a couple of losses to teams that only got one or two saves and like one hold, which to me says you didn’t need allllll these extra Holds guys and could keep folks a bit honest if you have one solid closer on a team due for Ws (Wade Davis or Corey Knebel perhaps?). Or they could stay the course, but any team this close to being either in or out of the playoffs should at least look at the roster and the strategy and see what might be improved upon. Or yanno just pick up Matt Albers or something…..   

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THE SELLERS

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Q-Tip City Morning Wood:  2-11-1, Current #10 Seed

POSSIBLE NEEDS:  MANY NEEDS. All the needs. This roster is looking a bit barren.  

POSSIBLE TRADE CHIPS:  Logan Morrison, Corey Dickerson, Jay BruceZack Greinke? Anyone that a “win this year” team might fancy, assuming that team is willing to deal a surplus of players or prospects to acquire said player…..

ANALYSIS:  Oh, Q-Tip City. The rush of the trade may have gotten to this franchise a bit, which is why it is a bit ironic that I will now deem them “sellers,” BUT you can sell in a smart way. Many Morning Wooders have previously been seemingly GIVEN AWAY and those former deals have hurt the current roster, as reflected in the record of the current roster. However this does not mean future deals should be avoided, simply this means that future deals should be approached in a more thoughtful manner. This team is very clearly already onto 2018 and beyond, and it never hurts at that point in a season to at least explore the possibility of making deals with one of the 6 projected playoff teams. WISE DEALS, DO NOT JUST GIVE AWAY YOUR BEST PLAYERS.  

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Toms River Titans:  4-9-1, Current #9 Seed

POSSIBLE NEEDS:  I dunno something on offense maybe, something in the bullpen maybe….. starting pitching still seems fine.

POSSIBLE TRADE CHIPS:  OF Ryan Braun, OF Matt Kemp, 3B Anthony Rendon, whichever one of their Ace SPs they are willing to deal…..

ANALYSIS:  The Titans may have gone a bit tooooo far in one direction, not unlike Trevor Story going too far with the Fly Ball Revolution thing and turning himself into a less powerful Ryan Schimpf. But yea, the Titans have rounded up alllll the pitching and are as tough to beat as expected in those categories but the Springer for Darvish deal might have finally pushed this team too far towards one-dimensionality (kewl word bro). FORTUNATELY if the Titans are looking to head back in the other direction they have no shortage of aces to dangle in the market. They also find themselves in position to move on from a few aging stars and/or guys just playing over their heads, if any in-the-race teams are looking for those types from the out-of-the-race teams. Because SADLY the TRTs currently find themselves all but out of the race for the second year in a row. Certainly not desperate to make a deal, there’s no rule against having too many aces or anything, but the Titans would be wise to keep their ears and mind open should VULTURES come circling.

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THE IN-BETWEENS

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OceanGate Trout Fishing Club:  4-5-5, Current #7 Seed

POSSIBLE NEEDS:  Perhaps an upgrade for a replacement for whichever player is currently still injured here. Perhaps a good SP or 2.

POSSIBLE TRADE CHIPS:  Low Minors 3B Nick Senzel, Low Minors SS Amed Rosario, Low Minors OF Eloy Jimenez, THERE IS PLENTY OF MINORS GUYS HERE. Also maybe 3B Todd Frazier, 3B Justin Turner, OF Gregory Polanco…..

ANALYSIS:  OceanGate is currently doing everything both in their power and outside of their power to fuck up their title defense and fail to even make the playoffs. I mean LOOK AT THAT RECORD. So part of me says they should be Buyers while part of me says “meh” maybe the return of Trout can right the ship all on its lonesome. Trout, however, is probably not scheduled to pitch at all for the remainder of the 2017 season and pitching has been less than stellar in OceanGate. So it wouldn’t hurt to explore the market there and see if a good starter or 2 can’t be pried away. But then again Madison Bumgarner should be back at some point and he could certainly smooth over a lot of those ills as well. HENCE. IN-BETWEEN KINDA TEAM.

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Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz:  7-6-1, Current #5 Seed or #4 Seed we would know better if this waited a week BUT IT DIDN’T

POSSIBLE NEEDS:  Pitching hasn’t been great, therefore Lacey shouldn’t shy away from possibly pitching upgrades.

POSSIBLE TRADE CHIPS:  LF Adam Duvall, SP Rich Hill, one of the many minor leaguers recently acquired…..

ANALYSIS:  One thing that can be said about both new owners is that they both have shown no trepidation about working the trade markets and working them hard. NOT ALWAYS A GOOD THING, see: at least half the Morning Wood’s trades, but admirable nonetheless. Lacey Township is a team that was sitting reallllll pretty in playoff positioning that then happened to fall off a cliff and lose 5 straight that has now happened to win 2 outt 4. All of which has put them tantalizingly close to the playoffs, but they fall in the In-Betweens due to the fact that they have already made several trades in recent weeks as is. Those trades perhaps addressed future teams more than the current roster, so another move or two (particularly for pitching because they continue to struggle there and traded away MY BELOVED Jacob Faria) could be in play but they could also just be content to hold onto minor league pieces for possible future glory. Ain’t gonna catch me waiting around on some 17 year old prospect, no sir. But you’re probably gonna catch the BackdoorSliderz doing precisely that, and that dichotomy is what makes this league wonderful.

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Astoria Isotopes:  7-6-1, Current #6 Seed

POSSIBLE NEEDS:  PERHAPS STARTING PITCHING. Perhaps everyone should trade for at least one starting pitcher.  

POSSIBLE TRADE CHIPS:  LF Khris Davis, Low Minors SS Gleyber Torres,  1B Mark Reynolds,  1B Cody Bellinger if they’re feelin’ fuckin’ froggy…..

ANALYSIS:  The Isotopes find themselves in the “In-Betweens” section for the simple fact that they have been a team INVIGORATED by the youth movement, and jumping into trade talks might ultimately threaten said movement. The ‘Topes are comfortably in the league lead in the HRs and RBIs cats and also comfortably mediocre in most pitching cats, however the return of Dallas Keuchel and a return to form for Jose Quintana might signal a turnaround there. The ‘Topes are too powerful to really want to sit this year’s playoffs out and find themselves fighting for a spot, so if they see a deal that might help them in that fight it would be wise to consider it. However there just isn’t a dire need here to make a move so any transactions could be of a non-blockbuster variety. WHO KNOWS YOU PEOPLE ARE ALL UNPREDICTABLE.

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So there you have it. A bit of a preview of where IN MY HUMBLE OPINION all of your teams fall, and then an attempt to spice up the deadline by identifying possible trade chips and team needs and then just floundering and declaring everyone could use pitching. CUZ EVERYONE CAN, this is the most ERAs over 4 that this league has ever seen (probably a juiced baseball issue but still). So there. You have it. Happy Trading everybody….

 

2017 TRADE DEADLINE PREVIEW: IDENTIFYING THE BUYERS/SELLERS/IN-BETWEENS FOR THE 2017 SEASON

Draft 2017!

OK GUYS, so the draft is over! Here’s the results (THIS COLOR denotes Rights Players):

Round 1 Morning Wood (Shane) Pine Lake Punchouts (Rmac) FR Three Eyed Fish (Connor) Springfield Isotopes (Mikey T) RC Bad Dudes (Lobman) Rojo’s Resurgence (Rojo) OG Trout Fishing Club (Heroy) Barnegat Banana Slugs (Brian) Main St Mooninitez (Sean) OG Trout Fishing Club (Heroy) via X-Rays (Odom)
Pick Mickey Moniak – OF Jason Groome, P Nick Senzel,    3b Javy Baez, Utility Joe Kelly, SP/RP Kyle Tucker,    OF  Kevin Maitan, SS Kyle Lewis,       OF  Mitch Keller,   SP Sean Manaea,     SP
Round 2 Morning Wood (Shane) Pine Lake Punchouts (Rmac) FR Three Eyed Fish (Connor) Springfield Isotopes (Mikey T) RC Bad Dudes (Lobman) Rojo’s Resurgence (Rojo) OG Trout Fishing Club (Heroy) Barnegat Banana Slugs (Brian) Main St Mooninitez (Sean) Point Loma X-Rays (Odom)
Pick Matt Manning,   SP Alex Verdugo,    OF Ian Anderson,    SP Eric Fedde,       SP AJ Puk,              SP  Corey Ray,      OF Kyle Barraclough,    RP Zack Collins,     C Grant Dayton,     RP Eric Thames,     LF
Round 3 Morning Wood (Shane) Pine Lake Punchouts (Rmac) FR Three Eyed Fish (Connor) Springfield Isotopes (Mikey T) RC Bad Dudes (Lobman) Rojo’s Resurgence (Rojo) OG Trout Fishing Club (Heroy) Barnegat Banana Slugs (Brian) Main St Mooninitez (Sean) Point Loma X-Rays (Odom)
Pick Braxton Garrett,            SP Blake Rutherford ,    OF Sean Reid-Foley,              SP Mike Napoli,   DH Lazarito Armenteros,      OF Tom Murphy,    C Cal Quantrill,    SP Ryan Buchter,    RP AJ Minter,        SP Delvin Perez,   SS 

Now, the players who are actually on the system will be added tonight to all your active rosters. The rest, well as you know, are draft rights players (hereby called “Rights Players”), and will be posted in a sticky on the blog, and on the message board. A quick note:

  • Rights players are tradable in ANY format, but make sure the move is plainly spelled out in the narrative of  the chat.
  • If ANYONE sees that your player is added to the player pool, they’ll call it out and you’ll be given the first right of refusal. IF YOU DONT PLAN ON USING YOUR OPTION, YOU MUST STATE IT IN THE CHAT OR TO ODOM OR MYSELF. You will then have to wait until after waivers to pick him up, as you’ve given up your rights on the player. Once the player is a full fledged free agent, he will be free for you (or anyone) to pick up.
  • IF you use your right on the player, you MUST put a waiver claim in on said player. If you don’t he will not be on your team.

I mean, its pretty simple and I wrote a whole thing about this, so I don’t think I need to expound any further.

Anyone want to write a review of the draft or anything? Hit me or Sean up…

Lobman

Draft 2017!

2016 Backyard Championship Series Backyard Championship Round Review……slash Some Notes On The Offseason To Come

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2016 BACKYARD CHAMPIONS, THE OCEANGATE TROUT FISHING CLUB

Ugh that kinda stung just typing that out.  So now let’s figure out how in the fuck we got here.

BCS BCR REVIEW

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BCS MVP Trea Turner has really just rocked shit for like a solid month now WHICH IS A SHAME because the OGTFC already had plenty of good players……

#4 OceanGate Trout Fishing Club Defeat #6 River City Cuban Missiles And Finally Capture The Backyard Championship That Has Eluded Them All These Years  –  7-4-3

MVP:  Trea Turner – Before I get to Trea Turner’s numbers from the “BCR” I figure I will just list his numbers from his last 30 days, which should serve as a better writeup for Greg’s title run than anything I will write below.  LAST 30:  47/120, 22Rs, 5 doubles, 1 triple, 8HRs, 17RBIs, 14SBs, .416OBP.  And now for the “BCR” numbers.  12/26, 8Rs, 1 double, 1 triple,  3HRs, 4RBIs, 4SBs, .481OBP  

LVP:  Bryce Harper – The man most responsible for the Cuban Missiles 2015 title (think Chris Johnson the year I won the football league) becomes the man most responsible for the Cuban Missiles 2016 title game defeat.  POETIC.  1/17, 4Rs, 2RBIs, 1SB, .333OBP

WELL IT IS ABOUT…..TIME.  Gregory Heroy and his mighty “OceanGate” Trout Fishing Club are finally champeens, perhaps slightly atoning for all of those other times where they weren’t champeens when logic dictated they maybe should have been.  And with their victory, dreams of a back-to-back for the River City Cuban Missiles fade away.  The Cuban Missiles deserve a ton of credit for dragging their team, seemingly mired in a post-championship haze for the entire season (and seemingly undone at several turns by their own weird trades), all the way back to the BCS as the 6th seed.  Alas they ran out of gas there, and now Heroy has his first championship AND THERE REMAINS BUT ONE INSTANCE OF A BACK TO BACK [TO BACK] IN THE BACKYARD.  Perhaps the most impressive part about le Heroy finally getting over le Hump is just how AWFUL his team looked a few days into this matchup.  Many a league member bemoaned and bitched and moaned that the matchup may already be over two days in, when the OGTFC ran a team OBP in the mid to low .200s and a team ERA in the mid 20s.  The OGTFC’s first three starts in particular deserve to be highlighted here:  2IP 5ER 3Ks from Gerrit Cole, 2IP 7ER 0Ks from Andrew Cashner, and 3.2IP 7ER 2Ks from Matt Boyd.  A 5 start Wednesday from the Fishing Club didn’t fare much better (5.83 team ERA on the day), although it would be hard to consistently be as bad as those first 3 starts, and just like that Heroy had already basically conceded losses in ERA, Ks, and QS (1QS in their first 8 starts).  With the offense also sputtering and an unkind championship history on their side it was easy to see why people were down on Greg and the gang, but to their credit they battled back to life after that TRULY horrid start.  All of the attention paid to the struggles of the OGTFC obscured some struggles of their own for the Cuban Missiles, who put up a .200OBP on Wednesday in what would be the first signs of a Fishing Club comeback.  By the weekend the Fishing Club’s offense would be humming once again and the offense of the Missiles, while not terrible, would simply fail to keep up down the stretch.  ALSO somehow the Missiles pitching staff failed to garner more Ws than the terrible OGTFC staff and couldn’t grab the relief cats, so that….. was that.  Where the OBP category had once leaned heavily in the Missiles favor, it would wind up going to the OGTFC due to a .481 team OBP on Friday (to go along with 16 runs) and a .390 team OBP on Saturday (10 runs).  Despite the Missiles posting solid OBPs of their own during this stretch (.411 on Friday, .340 on Saturday) they saw their offensive leads mostly vanish, as they were outscored by 11 over the course of those two crucial days and out-tripled and out-SB’d pretty much all week once the OGTFC got it going.  By Sunday night, it was clear that even a gargantuan effort by the Missiles Sawks contingent (Hanley tried his best) wouldn’t be enough to get Lobman his second championship in as many years (and third overall).  So for one last time in the 2016 season, who cares fuck Mike  #WCFM.

And Greg Heroy is our 2016 champion.  Special shout out to everyone protesting the entire affair by not showing up to Heroy’s house at all on Sunday (except that CONSUMMATE GENTLEMAN ROJO).  Props on that.

OGTFC hitter of note:  For old time’s sake Andrew McCutchen had himself a week in the BCS, a beautiful performance for (one of ?) the (possibly?) longest-tenured player(s?) on Greg’s roster (11/33, 7Rs, 2 doubles, 3HRs, 10RBIs, .410OBP).

OGTFC pitcher of note:  Ervin Santana hasn’t pitched this well since like 2008 and who knows what the fuck to make of it in terms of what it means for 2017, although I say he’s still bad (7IP, 0ER, 9Ks, 1QS, 0.00ERA).

Missiles hitter of note:  To his credit that LAZY AND LOW ENERGY Hanley Ramirez did his damnedest to try and bring this one home for the Cuban Missiles (12/26, 5Rs, 1 double, 5HRs, 12RBIs, .517OBP).

Missiles pitcher of note:  Ivan Nova is perhaps the most interesting pitcher on Lobman’s roster, he shockingly shined throughout the playoffs and now it’s a matter of whether or not he remains with the Pirates and whether or not he needs to in order to keep up this “Ivan Nova is all of a sudden pretty good” voodoo that he do (6IP, 1ER, 11Ks, 1QS, 1.50ERA).

Next Week aka OFFSEASON:  Heroy and his Fishing Club begin a year-long campaign of attempting to be our most annoying champion ever, NO SMALL FEAT as I do believe Odom and I got pretty bad there at certain points.  Lobman attempts to find joy in fatherhood or some shit.  The league as a whole attempts to find reasons to talk to one another now that the season is over, and this will probably involve entirely too much politics and I hate it already.

Greg finally got that monkey off his back and that monkey is sad about it.  Photo credit:  BSmith

POSTSCRIPT

Another season is in the books and so now we must IMMEDIATELY look forward in order to leave Greg no time to celebrate.  Firstly and foremostly what is the future of this blog?  WHOM knows #FuckYouMikeyTIWillUseWhomWheneverIPlease.  Naturally content will dry up a bit with no hot Backyard League action to discuss, however there may be periodic updates as league business gets dealt with.  Speaking of said league business, this offseason should be a somewhat busy one as we transition to our first “dynasty” offseason and head towards an election of sorts (?!) for a new commissioner.  Mikey T’s reign of terror may very well be over, folks.  In addition to the new commissioner I will be personally advocating for the need for a replacement owner for a one Clifford Bajor.  IT’S BEEN FUN CLIFF AND IT HAS ALSO BEEN LONG OVERDUE CLIFF.  It is probably time for him to turn in his Mets-based roster and ride off into the sunset and I will yell at anyone that tries to argue otherwise, maybe even on the internet.  And as a last order of business, although this list isn’t necessarily meant to be exhaustive and I am probably leaving out other things, will be hammering out the updated minors system/rules/potential draft for next season’s new additions to the player pool.  Expect all of that to be discussed likely into the Winter Meetings and finalized before or around the beginning of the 2017 season.

Lastly but for real this time, I don’t know what the current plan is for a league roster lock date (if there even should be such a thing) but I do know that the ESPN fantasy page will go dark at some point.  And so I encourage each and every one of you to take a long hard look at your rosters right this instant and see if there’s any pickups that you can make to try and ensure we never have to witness a Lobman-Heroy BCS battle ever again.  THIS IS DYNASTY MODE PEOPLE.  Plenty of interesting names out there in the FA pool and PROBABLY plenty of trash still on rosters that maybe shouldn’t be held going into 2017.  Not gonna name names.

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The 2016 Season has gone up in smoke, and it has been real……
2016 Backyard Championship Series Backyard Championship Round Review……slash Some Notes On The Offseason To Come

The History of the League – 2011-2013 SPECIAL DYNASTY EDITION

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Poor Lou Marson was unfairly portrayed during year 3 of our reign so at least now I will show that he actually held onto the ball during this collision. GOOD ON HIM.

Playoff time is a special time in the Backyard League, and surely nobody can look at the two teams currently relaxing on first round byes without feeling a SLIGHT hint of nostalgia for dynasties of yesteryear.  YEA, IT FUCKING HAPPENED YOU FUCKING LOSERS.  Ahem….prior to the 2011 season, Mike Odom and Sean McLaughlin joined forces with an original Backyard League owner (and unfortunately loosely shared a living space) and helped re-tool his roster because he was a tool.  That tool’s fall from grace perfectly coincided with Odom/McLaughlin’s rise to power, and for three straight years the league could only look on in exasperation as the little ESPN trophy icon thingie kept ending up in Odom/Sean’s fantasy quiver (yea we never got the league to adopt a real trophy until after we were split up not bitter or anything).  No team had ever won back to back championships in the Backyard League in the years prior ( or since, best of luck to the River City Cuban Missiles as they attempt that feat this year  🙂 ) and yet the Sean/Odom dynasty won THREE YEARS IN A MOTHERFUCKING ROW.  Given current league standings and given my boredom while on my well-earned bye, I felt this 3 year run deserved a fond look back and I have rebooted Lobman’s now defunct “The History of the League” TO DO JUST THAT.  Let’s take a trip down memory lane shall we?

Year 1  —  Rise of Jimbo’s Vulcan Death Grip

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Dramatic Re-enactment.

Year 1 of the Odom/Sean/Other Guy partnership was not without it’s growing pains, as Odom and Sean attempted to navigate the inherent challenges with reshaping a roster formed by an idiot.  It became very apparent very quickly that the roster management decisions would now be shared solely between new ownership, with the third owner instead focusing his time on petty theft and pettier “borrowing” and thinking of ways to justify his erectile dysfunction in casual conversations.  The Sean/Odom partnership slowly found its footing and learned there was value in making as many moves as required/possible, in a league where other owners often times chose to stand pat.

FAST FORWARD to the end of the season:  The team name has changed from “Team Dy Young” and whatever the fuck else it became at various times to “Jimbo’s Vulcan Death Grip,” an homage to our brave hero Jimbo choking out our impotent former third owner at a Netzer pool party of sorts (I could write a whole entire article about how funny it was watching said third owner slowly walk around alternately looking for his keys and apologizing to a not-having-it Jimbo but I think its best we put the references to earlier ownership to bed at this point).  The Odom/Sean Ownership Partnership has dragged its way into the playoffs as the #5 seed, with a much-derided 9-11 record that no doubt annoyed the PURISTS who prefer all of their playoff teams to be over .500 (which is kinda understandable).  Sean/Odom made 326 moves this season, 57 moves more than the previous league record set by Lobman in its inaugural season and 153 moves more than the next highest owner in 2011.  And some of those moves paid immediate dividends in the playoffs, such as a trade with the WVU Bombers that brought Joe Mauer and Hanley Ramirez to the JDVG; in Round 1, the #4 seed WVU Bombers were handily defeated by JDVG with a RARE Joe Mauer HR (these were exceedingly rare in 2011) adding insult to injury in the matchup.  Round 2 saw Sean/Odom match up with what would become a familiar playoff foe in the years to come, and thus the start of a familiar trend of playoff victories over Lobman was born.  To be honest I don’t remember much about this matchup but to be honest I don’t remember much of anything these days (SAY NO TO DRUGS).  With Lobman dispatched, all that stood in the way of a dynasty’s humble beginnings was MY VERY OWN BROTHER.  My very own brother lost to us and lost handily, and JDVG secured a rather unexpected championship in its first year in the league.  Mikey T’s postseason recap post didn’t know what the fuck to do with itself, and it would increasingly give up hope in the years to come.  To make matters worse (for everyone else), Sean/Odom did it all as one of the lowest seeds to ever do so (probably) and also did it all as the only Backyard team to ever win a championship with a sub .500 regular season record (maybe).

Year 2  —  “World F’in Champions” to Back to Back Backyard Champs

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We were inspired by Chase Utley’s declaration and in subsequent years I have been inspired by his hat

Year 2 of the Odom/McLaughlin reign started with YET ANOTHER name change, this time in tribute to that time Chase Utley used a swear word during the Phillies World Series celebration (apologies to the Rays).  I also recall a brief period where we changed our name to the FaceEaters to honor that zombie guy in Miami, but the picture Odom attached upset me and discouraged roster moves because I didn’t want to look at it anymore.  So that had to go.  ANYWHOM with the entire league mostly viewing title #1 as a fluke, the “World F’in Champions” didn’t do much to dispel that rumor by battling their way through an up and down season.  FANTASY IS A CRUEL MISTRESS.  In the end, your fearless defending champions were able to improve their playoff seeding by one (#5 seed in 2011, #4 seed in 2012) and flip-flop their record from the year previous (9-11 in 2011, 11-9 in 2012) as they made their way to the postseason once again.  Once again,  Odom/Sean relied on outpacing the rest of the league in moves (346, next highest was Lobman at 221) to scrap their way to as many wins as possible.  Well like, 11 regular season wins.

FAST FORWARD to the aforementioned playoffs:  Once there, they quickly dispatched of Greg Heroy’s Youth Movement (remember that name) in Round 1 before once again running into the #1 seed River City Mashers.  In perhaps a SIGNATURE win for this franchise, the importance of teamwork was on full display as Odom and Sean worked together to eke out a tight victory over the Mashers.  The defining moment of this battle would be a decision to sit key personnel during the Sunday night game (DANNY ESPINOSA) to preserve an OBP advantage, a decision that was deliberated between the two owners via cell phone while Sean was in a Folly Beach tequila bar hitting on a pink-haired waitress (sadly this is a bit of a recurring theme).  Ultimate Espinosa sat (“bush league” was the term Lobman used to describe the brilliant strategy) and JUST LIKE THAT the top-seeded Mashers once again were sent home at the hands of Sean and Odom, and just like that Odom and Sean were once again on their way to the Championship Round.  This time, it was the shocking #6 seed Somerville Sluggers that opposed them.  As I recall the commissioner was making a lot of ballyhoo about how the Somerville Sluggers would be the first team to win the championship with a sub .500 record even though we had just done that very thing THE PREVIOUS FUCKING YEAR.  DISRESPECTFUL!  Long story short SeanOdom beat Pete Mitchell’s ass, and while I can’t recall the specifics and can’t look back on the league history from that year I am fairly certain it was a comfortable victory.  I don’t recall being stressed.

AND JUST LIKE THAT, Odom/Sean became the first team to win back-to-back championships in the Backyard’s pathetic history and the Tampa Bay TwoTimeTwoTime!  were (briefly) born.

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TWO TIME TWO TIME

Year 3 — Back to Back to BACK?!?!?!  3PO Rises

Year 3 of the McLaughlin/Odom reign of terror began much as year 2 did, with other league members pointing to mediocre regular season records and clinging YES CLINGING to the belief that somehow this team had just gotten lucky for two consecutive postseasons in a row.  OH how that would change in year 3, when the dynasty took its final form.  The TwoTime TwoTime opened up the 2013 season by going 0-2 (losing to Ryan and Rojo), surely to the delight of the other league owners that had grown accustomed to relatively quiet regular seasons from the back-to-back champeens and hoped that this time perhaps they would sit out the postseason.  They quickly rebounded by evening up their record at 2-2 before dropping another game (to a one Brian Smith) and ending up at 2-3.  AND THEN…..and then they didn’t lose another motherfucking game all motherfucking season ladies (and mothers).  The juggernaut that was the 2013 Sean and Odom Connection won 14 straight games from May 6th to August 18th, in the process renaming themselves as the F’in Freight Trains and immortalizing Lou Marson forever.  Only a Week 20 matchup with their old foe the River City Mashers even so much as attempted to slow them down, as they battled Lobman and his gang of baseball men to a 6-6-2 tie.  It was the equivalent of putting a (green)penny on the train tracks and expecting it to derail an entire freight train.  The Freight Trains as they were known showed a bit of restraint in the moves department in 2013, failing to amass 300 moves for the only time in their history (295 moves, Lobman lead the league with 344).  In the end they ended up as the #1 seed with a 16-3-1 record, narrowly edginge out the Angels in the TROUTfield (eye roll emoji) for the top seed in the playoffs WHICH WOULD PROVE RATHER IMPORTANT (The AitT went 16-4 in 2013, 0-2 against SeanOdom).

CUE THE PLAYOFFS ONCE AGAIN:  For the first time in their history, Odom and Sean got to sit back and relax during Round 1 (kinda like this year) and awaited their Round 2 opponent as the number 1 seed.  Naturally Round 2 brought the River City Mashers as usual, and THIS ONE practically deserves its own article folks but I wouldn’t want to take away from the greater narrative….. 13-0-1.  The only reason the F’in Freight Trains didn’t record a CLEAN SWEEP of the categories against those sorry Mashers of River City is because they failed to record a complete game, which probably haunts me in some small way (many things do).  But AT LEAST, in their third playoff tango, Sean/Odom were able to hand Lobman the worst playoff loss this league has ever seen or will ever see (probably).  The F’in Freight Trains found themselves in the championship game for the third straight season, this time against their most dominant opponent yet in the Angels in the TROUTfield.

As mentioned, the AitT went 16-4 in 2013 and they have for years boasted one of the more impressive on paper rosters in all of the Backyard League.  This was the year they put all of that on paper talent together, and if not for their second loss to the Freight Trains in the regular season they may have entered this championship matchup in position of the higher seed and thus the tiebreaker.  BUT THAT 2ND LOSS HAPPENED.  And it would end up costing the AitT dearly.  Heroy’s squad was relentless early and dominated the HRs, RBIs, and OBP categories.  However the Freight Trains were able to keep pace by staying out in front in ERA, strikeouts, and wins.  Employing Mets closer Latroy Hawkins in a weekend with a Saturday Mets doubleheader helped the Freight Trains snag a lead in saves that they would not relinquish, and this matchup ultimately ended up tied heading into a Red Sox v. Yankees Sunday night matchup.  Willing to betray all of his loyalties for just one sweet sweet matchup, Heroy employed rando Red Sawks relievers like Craig Breslow in hopes of grabbing a hold that would tie the holds category and give Heroy the gold.  This did not happen, and once Ichiro Suzuki’s FINAL INNING (I think) steal was ruled fielder’s indifference (Heroy had Ichiro, steals were tied 7-7) it became clear that there would not be a new champion this year.  Odom/Sean and their Freight Trainers had gone BACK TO BACK TO FUCKING BACK, something they to this day feel confident will never be repeated in such a cutthroat league environment (just ask us about it!).  The 3peat OffendaZ were born.

Year 4 — “All That Shimmers In This World Is Sure To Fade Away Again”

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the only reason I am even COVERING year 4 is so that I could look for the most emo written out “Shimmer” lyrics (from super-band Fuel)

Super-band Fuel once said that all that shimmers in this world is sure to fade away again.  Which you should know since I just quoted it above.  And they…. were right.  Riding the high of their 3peat, the 3PO casually rolled their way to another #1 seed and first round bye in 2014.  I say “casually” and I mean it, as they ended up with a MERE 244 moves in 2014 (Lobman once again leads the league with 344 that year).  After their Round 1 bye the 3PO met the newly-formed Whitesville McGibblets, who were only in the league because the Somerville Sluggers never recovered from their crushing championship loss to Sean/Odom and abruptly retired shortly thereafter.  OH SWEET IRONY.  The McGibblets shocked the world by defeating the 3PO 8-5-1 in Round 2, in a matchup where the 3PO’s performance was so incredibly bland that I can’t even think of an excuse to blame as to why it happened.  The 3PO probably should have stolen more bases or something.  ANYWAYS, at least the McGibblets lost in the championship to Ryan McLaughlin’s “Swingmen” but that is not what you are here to read about.  Nobody watches the Nirvana “Behind The Music” to hear about how Pearl Jam was doing at that time.

In the end, the league seized upon the 3PO’s shocking Round 2 loss and a need for another owner to break apart the dynastic partnership mere months after they suffered their only playoff loss in 4 seasons.  Today Odom and Sean act as friendly opponents, rooting from afar for the success of their other former co-owner but also focused on their individual teams.  With this year’s byes ending up in their familiar hands, one can only think back on A THREE YEAR NIGHTMARE FOR EVERY OTHER LEAGUE OWNER and wonder if Odom and Sean might find themselves in the championship game again this year…..this time………………………………………………….as opponents……………………………………….

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The History of the League – 2011-2013 SPECIAL DYNASTY EDITION

2016 Backyard All-Pro Team

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If you squint that football could ALMOST resemble a baseball…. al….most

With the regular season concluded and only one light Monday of playoff action to skew stats, now seems like a lovely time to debut a little wrinkle I am stealing from the National Football League  #ComeAtMeGoodell  #IAmStuckInHashtagModeButShallStopNow.  To adjust for yanno SPORT differences and the fact that this is fantasy baseball and the fact that nobody pays attention to this blog anyways, I am going to unify the format into just basic positions (plus a Utility spot just to shamelessly shoehorn in a few more first basemen and stupid David Ortiz) with two selections for the “First Team” and one selection for the “Second Team”.  I assure you that will make sense once you look at it.  As usual all opinions are entirely mine and are entirely correct.  Also please note that we all know that the most important stats are what these fantasy men put up in the fantasy playoffs, but the same goes for the football men in the football playoffs and they still get away with handing out this shit early.  So let’s hand out this shit……

2016 Backyard All Pro Team  — First Team

Catcher:    Buster Posey (OGTFC), Wilson Ramos (‘Topes)

First Base:    Paul Goldschmidt (RR), Edwin Encarnacion (MM)  

Second Base:    Jose Altuve (BDP), Daniel Murphy (WBS)

Third Base:    Josh Donaldson (BBS), Nolan Arenado (MM)

Shortstop:    Corey Seager (OGTFC), Jonathan Villar (BDP)

Left Field:    Kris Bryant (OGTFC)Ian Desmond (OGTFC)

Center Field:     Mookie Betts (OGTFC), Mike Trout (OGTFC)

Right Field:    Mark Trumbo (BDP), Carlos Gonzalez (PP)

Utility:    David Ortiz (BBS), Freddie Freeman (‘Topes) 

 

Starting Pitcher:    Madison Bumgarner (WBS), Max Scherzer (BBS)

Starting Pitcher:    Chris Sale (PP), Justin Verlander (MM)

Starting Pitcher:    Corey Kluber (RR), Johnny Cueto (RR)

Starting Pitcher:    Jose Fernandez (OGTFC), Cole Hamels (‘Topes)

Starting Pitcher:    Rick Porcello (BBS), Jake Arrieta (BBS)

Relief Pitcher (Saves):    Kenley Jansen (MM), Zach Britton (BBS)    

Relief Pitcher (Holds):    Dellin Betances (PLX), David Phelps (MM)

2016 Backyard All Pro Team  — Second Team

Catcher:    Jonathan Lucroy (BDP)

First Base:    Anthony Rizzo (OGTFC)    

Second Base:    Brian Dozier (WBS)

Third Base:    Manny Machado (RCCM)

Shortstop:   Carlos Correa (PP)

Left Field:    Starling Marte (BBS)

Center Field:    Charlie Blackmon (‘Topes)

Right Field:    George Springer (PP)

Utility:    Joey Votto (MM) 

Starting Pitcher:   Noah Syndergaard (WBS)

Starting Pitcher:   Clayton Kershaw (PP)

Starting Pitcher:   Jon Lester (PLX) 

Starting Pitcher:    JA Happ (MM)

Starting Pitcher:    David Price (PLX)

Relief Pitcher (Saves):    Jeurys Familia (WBS)

Relief Pitcher (Holds):    Kyle Barraclough (PP)

2016 Backyard All-Pro Team