The Backyard 2020 Return To Play

As we all know, the MLB season is set to get going (as of now, anyway) on July 23rd. I wanted to get us going on the season so we can give Fantrax the proper run through and see it in action besides just making moves. Since we are playing with, let’s say, a light schedule this year, I have a plan for us to get our fantasy fix. Please note: This is not hard lined, deal with it, it’s happening stance, but SOMEONE has to bring them up.

The Schedule

Each week will consist of two opponents. The first will be Monday through Thursday and the second will be Friday through Sunday. The regular season will last from Opening Day (7/23)to 8/30. This gives 11 total matchups for the regular season.

The Playoffs

This season is kind of a joke, so why not give everyone a punt at the playoffs for this year at least. Every team makes the playoffs and will be seeded by record and any tie breakers will be the same as in previous years. Playoff matchups will return to full weeks. The first round will be the bottom four teams playing each other while the top six have a bye. The winners are reseeded 7 & 8 as needed and then go to the bracket of 8. Which of course reduces by half as winners move on. The Championship will end 9/27.

Roster Adjustments

We will add a DH only slot to account for the NL adding it as well because we are progressive like that. We also are going to add five bench spots to help account for the anticipated COVID related incidents and player opt outs without seriously disrupting your roster.

No Stat Changes

One of the benefits is to get a feel for how the league plays. Not that we think there are any drastic differences to ESPN but there are bound to be some quirks on how it is presented in Fantrax, We are unlikely to see many QS or CG (if any at all) but it’s not worth changing this year.

Of course, all this will end up being moot when they cancel the season ANYWAY but in the event it DOES get off the ground, we will be ready.

The Backyard 2020 Return To Play

2020 Backyard Draft Order and Results

HEY YA’LL

I forgot to post the draft order cuz I have jobs and stuff so here it is. You’re drafting to fill out your roster, with Devon being the exception with what we agreed on.

Round 1

  1. Rojo – Evan White, 1B, Seattle
  2. Greg (via Lobman) – Kumar Rocker, SP, Vanderbilt
  3. Shane – Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, LF, Tampa Bay
  4. Brian – Tarik Skubal, SP, Detroit
  5. Mikey T – Jeter Downs, SS, Boston
  6. Sean – Joe Musgrove, SP, Pittsburgh
  7. Devon – Aaron Civale, SP, Cleveland
  8. Ryan – Noelvi Marte, SS, Seattle
  9. Greg – Archie Bradley, RP, Arizona
  10. Doch – Adrian Houser, SP/RP, Milwaukee

Round 2

  1. Rojo – Kwang-Hyun Kim, SP, STL
  2. Lobman – Nico Hoerner, SS, Chicago
  3. Shane – Shogo Akiyama, OF, Cincinnati
  4. Brian – James Karinchak, RP, Cleveland
  5. Mikey T – Brailyn Márquez, SP, ChC
  6. Sean – Nick Anderson, RP, Tampa Bay
  7. Devon – Sean Murphy, C, Oakland
  8. Ryan – Jackson Rutledge, P, Washington
  9. Greg – Austin Hays, OF, Baltimore
  10. Doch – Brady Singer, P, Kansas City

Round 3

  1. Rojo – Jarren Durran, OF, Boston
  2. Lobman – Carlos Rodon, P, CWS
  3. Shane  – Asa Lacy, P, Texas A&M
  4. Brian – Aaron Bracho, 2B, Cleveland
  5. Mikey T – Aristides Aquino, OF, Cincinnati
  6. Sean – Nick Solak, 2B, Texas
  7. Devon – CJ Cron, 1B, Detroit
  8. Ryan – Luis Matos, OF, SF
  9. Lobman (via Greg) – Michael Fulmer, SP, Detoit
  10. Doch – Kris Bubic, P, Kansas City

Round 4

  1. Lobman – Keone Kela, RP, Pittsburgh
  2. Mikey T – Alex Verdugo, OF, Boston
  3. Sean – Chris Archer, SP, Pittsburgh
  4. Devon – Ryan Mountcastle, 1B, Baltimore
  5. Ryan – Luisangel Acuña, SS, Texas
  6. Doch – Domingo Santana, OF, Cleveland

Round 5

  1. Mikey T – Dellin Betances, RP, NY Mets
  2. Devon – Daniel Lynch, SP, Kansas City
  3. Devon – Mike Fiers, SP, Oakland
  4. Devon – Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Detroit
2020 Backyard Draft Order and Results

HEY LOOK, MORE RESULTS!

YAAAAAAY!

Finally, the last bit of pre-draft business is in the books. The results of the ballot from part 2 are in.

business-expansion

Roster Expansion

Rosters will expand by a total of 5 players, bringing the total up to a nice even 40.

Approved and added were 3 bench slots and 2 minor league required slots.

This brings final roster construction to 22 starters, 6 bench and 12 minors.

We will have a draft to fill out the rosters after rights players are claimed/returned. I have heard from everyone but one (Greg) on claiming your players. Please do so kinda sorta quick-ish so we can get moving.

Everyone should be at 35 players (unless otherwise approved) NOT INCLUDING THOSE RIGHTS PLAYERS. Drop enough to get there. There are currently three of you who need to make changes. If you’re not sure, it’s probably you.

new-ownership

The Roster Formerly Known As The Point-Loma/Mission Valley/Some Other Sunny San Diego Reference X-Rayz

Unanimously approved, the method to allow Devon (yay, he’s actually here) to gut Odom’s roster is a go. He can get the roster as low as 30 players, and draft in slot until filled.

That’s all ya filthy animals. We’ll get the draft scheduled during what I’m sure will be a spirited conversation in the chat. Looking like starting either Sunday or next Wednesday could be options. WE SHALL DISCUSS.

-Shane (The Left Brain)

HEY LOOK, MORE RESULTS!

2020 Backyard Referendum Results (Pt.1)

THE RESULTS ARE IN!

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Here are the results from this weekend’s voting in no particular order:

 

Complete Games

They are here to stay. In a 6-3 vote in favor of keeping them. Sorry, T, it looks like one more year.

Prize Money

Also voted down 6-3. This year is free for us thanks to yours truly being obnoxious on Twitter. After this year it’s $8 a person, unless we want to explore other things NEXT OFFSEASON.

Roster Adds

This was unanimous in favor of making adds 9-0. As for the QUANTITY of adds, that will be in the next vote.

Minor League Proposal

If we are being technical, it passed 7-2 in favor of The Brain’s proposal. Because a couple of you are dicks and they were identical proposals….

 

ANYWAY, with all that said, we will move into PHASE TWO.

2213

OBVIOUSLY, the amount of roster adds will be HOTLY contested. How hot remains to be seen. As of now, there are three different proposals.

  • Doch’s Proposal:

There will be the removal of the 2B/SS and 1B/3B slots and replaced with a INF                     slot. Two bench slots will be added. This brings total roster size to 26 (21 starters                 and 5 bench) plus the 10 minors leaguers.

  • The Brain’s Proposal:

There will be five total roster spots added. Two will be bench and three for minors. This will bring roster to 22 starters, 5 bench and 13 minor leaguers.

This does not preclude anyone from making further suggestions. I want to keep this moving though and if anyone has anything else to add, do so by the end of business on Wednesday the 19th.

Concerning The New Owner

The new owner (my brother) taking over for Odom’s is FULLY AWARE of the team’s state (“pure ass” is the sentiment) but is willing to take on the challenge all the same. There has been some chatter on letting him scour the wire in advance of the draft or giving him the first handful of picks. I personally am against ANYTHING like this. I didn’t get any special treatment when I took over Cliff’s team and Doch didn’t either.

But I am not a heartless person. I have an idea I’d to put out there as some sort of middle ground with what’s been discussed and what I’d like.

Under my proposal, Devon will be allowed to shrink the roster to as little as 30 players (he’s at 36 right now) and he will be allowed to draft IN HIS SLOT (7th) until the max is met, whatever that ends up being. He will be given access to his team prior to drafting and can trade pre-draft.

An example. Say we approve three slots for a total roster size of 38. He drops 3 guys and that gets him to 33, and he decides he wants one of the rights players, so he’s at 34. He can then draft 4 players. This is restricted to just him since it’s a dumpster fire of a team.

If anyone has opposition to this and has alternatives, I’d like to hear them.

 

-Left Brain

2020 Backyard Referendum Results (Pt.1)

CONTEXT

I agreed with what lobman had previously written on the blog about minors. So to make sure everyone gets a little context, here is what lobman and “the Brain” (ironic) have written about this before.

Minors

  • The Minor League system will be self policed by Fantrax. You will be required to roster 10 minor leaguers that fall under the rookie max of 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched, as it always has been.
  • Under our system, you can still keep your “high minors” players. However, since Fantrax does not allow us to automatically police them, to accrue stats, you would need to move the player to your active roster and replace him with an eligible player to your minor league stable. This will likely mean dropping a Major League player. Alternately, the player may stay in your minor league system, but not accrue stats. You can do this to your liking as needed. This is the “taxi” system discussed in the chat.

There you guys have it. CONTEXT.

You’re welcome Mike Lobman.

CONTEXT

2020 Ballot Proposals

HELLO PEOPLE OF THE BACKYARD

This post is merely intended to completely spell out the co-commissioner’s stance on our minor league system. Speaking of which, at Lobman’s recommendation, WE should have a name. Co-commissioners is long and ugly. Might I suggest…

THE BRAIN (BRANE…Brian and Shane…GET IT???)

It’s a delightful portmanteau that is clearly an epitome of the regime to date. Brilliant, yet, constantly ruined plans by our underlings.

WITH THAT SAID, this is our revised proposition:

Minors

  • The Minor League system will be self policed by Fantrax. You will be required to roster 10 minor leaguers that fall under the rookie max of 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched, as it always has been.
  • Under our system, you can still keep your “high minors” players. However, since Fantrax does not allow us to automatically police them, to accrue stats, you would need to move the player to your active roster and replace him with an eligible player to your minor league stable. This will likely mean dropping a Major League player. Alternately, the player may stay in your minor league system, but not accrue stats. You can do this to your liking as needed. This is the “taxi” system discussed in the chat.

We at The Brain feel that this is a very fair compromise to our original plan. We don’t lose high minors being a thing while still using a nice benefit of Fantrax to help automatically enforce minors.

Changing Pitching Category

  • For simplicity: Do we want to keep complete games or not? If there is a general consensus to replace them, we can dive further into specifics. If it’s something we generally do not want to do, why go insane debating what to replace it with if only like 3 people even want to?

Cash Prize

  • Sticking with the theme of simplicity: Do we want to explore a cash prize? Specifics can be discussed at a later date.

Doch’s Proposals:

  • Add 2 roster spots to bring bench to 5.
  • Remove the corner infield and middle infield slots and make just 1 INF slot. This move gives us 21 starters and 5 bench spots.
  • Minors players are eligible to be in minor league slots until rookie limits have been passed. “Taxi System” as noted above.

Other Business

  • There will be a separate vote on the amount of roster additions since there are widely varying opinions. I’ve heard 3 or 5, a compromise of 4, and even one saying 1.
  • There will be a draft. The length of the draft will be however many roster additions we agree on, minus any rights players being kept; i.e. we vote for 4 slots, I keep all 3 rights players, I only get 1 pick.
  • Order is to be determined based on reverse order of final standings from the playoff bracket and the remaining 4 teams go into the draft lottery as voted on during the off season before our previous commissioner departed and we agreed on. We’ll do that once the above is settled right away so we can allow some time to schedule the draft and allow pick trading as such a thing is desired.
  • Rosters MUST be compliant as of the old system prior to drafting regardless. You should have 35 players on your roster only. We will discuss actual keeping of rights players once the amount on roster slots opened up is decided. They’ve been removed for now for simplicity.

I’ll give us a day or two to digest and possibly counter. Sometime Saturday night I’ll send out an email with the ballot questions so stay on top of life and send it back ASAP so we can get 2020 moving.

THERE WILL BE AN ADDITIONAL VOTE ON THE COMPLETE GAMES THING. Because how things go may shape your opinion on complete games, I will leave that off THIS BALLOT. For the love of me and all that is good in this world, I want this read by this weekend and if anyone has another idea they want added NOW IS THE TIME.

That is all.

2020 Ballot Proposals

The Smith-McCann Platform

Smith-McCann Platform:

 

  1. Switching To Fantrax: The platform switch has been long overdue. Fantrax is the industry standard when it comes to serious fantasy leagues. There’s no matching their player pool and dynasty customization options. There is a cost associated with it; both in actual money (after our initial free year, it’ll come down to about 8 bucks an owner per season), and in the slight annoyance of learning something new. But all in all they’ve fixed up the app and it looks good – it basically has everything we’re used to with ESPN; so it should be a fairly painless switch.  Most importantly – it eliminates the need to self police the minors system if we adopt the other changes we are suggesting below.
  2. Elimination of High Minors/Rights Minor Leaguers: (NOTE – This does not mean you lose your high minors guys and rights guys! Keep reading!) Basically we keep the 10 minors slots we’re all used to, but they are all designated for players without a major league appearance (“low minors”) – This fits in perfectly with the Fantrax switch because Fantrax can automatically police that sort of system perfectly. It would be much like when you have a player on the IL and he comes back. Essentially when a player makes an appearance in the big leagues, the system would prevent you from making any other moves until you fix your roster and either bump the minors guy up to your majors bench or drop him. So what happens to the rights guys? Well Fantrax basically has everyone – so you can now just pop them into your minors slots if you care to keep them. OK, what about your high minors guys?
  3. Roster Expansion: Five bench spots will be added to our rosters. All owners are welcome to use these slots for any high minors players they wish to keep, or to just add regular major leaguers in the draft.
  4. Roster Expansion Draft: There will be a draft. Owners may select any player in Fantrax’s system that they need to fill out their new roster size including the five extra major league spots and the ten minor league (formerly called “low minors”) spots. Your draft ends when your roster is full and compliant.
  5. Elimination of Complete Games: This doesn’t give us much joy, because we think the “boutique stats” are part of what makes this league so fun – but if one considers the current situation in MLB honestly, pitchers are being handled differently and complete games are going the way of the Dodo Bird. I realize we have been operating in an environment wherein walks were not considered for quite some time now, but the time for WHIP has arrived. It’s an incredibly common stat that is considered in nearly every player ranking system for fantasy baseball. While we realize this will be advantageous for some sorts of pitchers and disadvantageous for others – we believe all owners in this league have the skill and knowledge to be able to adjust swimmingly. Speaking of owners…
  6. New Owner: Just between your two commissioners, there are three prospective new owners: Devon McCann (Shane’s Brother), Guy Pollioni, and Jim Cartnick (Both friends of Brian). All three have previous experience playing with us in fantasy leagues and would make fine additions to the backyard. If there are no other names put forward and no other objections, the commissioners will give the above people the chance to look over Odom’s roster and the rest of the league and decide if they wish to join the Backyard. They will be asked in the order we have listed them. If Devon Takes it, we are good, if he opts not to, we move on to Guy, if he opts out, we go to Jim. If all three refuse to take over the dumpster fire, we call Figs. Just kidding.
  7. Cash Prize: This is another one that we approach tentatively because this league will ALWAYS be all about pride and talking shit at the end of the day; but frankly, with the amount of time most of us put into this league, kicking in the price of a beer and a sandwich would not be unreasonable. Getting that trophy along with some cash money would be a lovely way to cap off a hard won victory. We’d suggest 20 bucks an owner. For our free-Fantrax 2020, that pot of $200 would go completely to the champion, but in 2021 and beyond, the previous year’s champion would not have to pay anything the following year, and the 180 bucks collected from the other 9 owners would be divided as follows: $80 to cover league costs and $100 to the champion. Hopefully we all have Venmo by this point; it would make these fees really easy to collect and the winner’s prize easy to pay out.

 

We humbly put forth the above plans for your consideration. We don’t have to put a GODDAMN thing to a vote, but perhaps we will in some cases when we get a better sense of how the league feels. Bottom line: We’re really excited about our potential move to the massive player pool of Fantrax, the expansion of rosters, and drafting some new guys. The league has the potential to run very smoothly this year without the hassle of counting high minors ABs and IPs and checking when rights players are added.  No self-policing also means no more draconian penalties. Adopt our changes and let Fantrax do the work for you. Pitchers and catchers will be reporting before we know it. Let’s rock and roll.

 

Hugs and Kisses,

 

-Shane & Brian

The Smith-McCann Platform

2020 Backyard Championship League Season: Fuck It Why Not One More (or so)

Image result for 2020 armageddon
Apparently this is our window? So time for one more, yanno?

 

 

FIRSTLY let me just say that I was not entirely sure we would get this thing up and running again, nor am I entirely sure now, but damned if we shouldn’t give it a shot. I have several reasons why:

1-  I need to prevent the BackdoorSliderZ from winning a third championship in a row.

2- Brian has KIDS you monsters, don’t make him do it.

 

Okay that’s all I have for now BUT, I’m sure there’s more. On to the important league matters, and I’m gonna go bold on this one because it seems to be a concept people are struggling with:

 

WE NEED TO DECIDE WHO THE FUCK STILL WANTS TO BE IN THIS THING BEFORE WE TRY AND PITCH OTHER STUPID SHIT…..

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……Really can’t stress this enough. T’s article below, while I don’t recall all of what it said and don’t feel like re-reading it, was mostly horseshit and is irrelevant at this point in time. Equally irrelevant is people acting like we need to be putting out “feelers” in January as if we are going to be asking people if they want to go on a mission to Mars in April. I would need like two weeks tops advanced notice on said mission and that’s only because I’m a professional. This ain’t that deep.

ERGO, I’m proposing NAY demanding that everyone takes a little time andthinks long and hard about if they want to continue to be in this fantasy baseball league and then makes that clear to me (Omnipotent Blog Deity) whether or not you’re in or out. And I’m proposing nay demanding that happens by 01/20/20 cuz look how pretty that is and also:

 

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SO I need to hear from everyone basically that they’re in by MLK Jr. Day, and once we determine who ain’t we can move forward filling those slots and thennn getting to all the other either necessary or (more likely) unnecessary “fixes” people are proposing.

 

This league has been kinda sorta mismanaged for I don’t know five years now, just throwing a number out there. I’m more than happy and in fact PREFER to not be “the commissioner” but the reason one exists in leagues is to avoid all the wishy washy bullshit we sometimes allow because everyone’s prone to acting like teenage girls…

Image result for mlk gif

 

AND YET, we can pull it together once again. The league can be a beautiful thing, you don’t have to let it consume you but you can have some fun with it, KIT with the fellas over it, break up the minutiae of all your terrible children’s birthday parties that I get dragged to with it.

But not until you fucks decide if you’re in or out. And I say that largely referencing a few folks that I plan to reach out to directly, because I know there are currently plenty of us in regardless (unless this post full of MLK quotes strangely inspires them to decide otherwise). And Doch is on the list of people I consider to be in and no I’m not implying he’s racist (he’s not at all) and might change his mind due to all of these MLK quotes but it IS kinda funny how life worked out that way, isn’t it?

But yea Doch said he’s in last night and I believe him, and I’ll take the baton and also say “HEY I AM IN GANG.” I am not going to allow it to ruin my life the way some of you act like it ruins yours when BABIP doesn’t break your way in a given week but HEY I’M IN LET’S DO THIS THING. Let The Seans lead you all forward.

 

Image result for mlk shameful condition quote

 

ANYWHO, nothing moves forward until we get our full 10 owners sorted out (SHAME we can’t expand to 12 really, Mike and I once talked dreams of 12….

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but baby steps) and so I’m giving everyone like two weeks to figure out where they’re at. I’ll inquire with those I think may be out or on the fence but, like, fuck….. we’re all fucking adults here, nobody is going to be begging anyone to stay or indulging hissy fits that shit is embarrassing you should feel embarrassed. Be fucking adults for ONCE in this GODFORSAKEN LEAGUE.

I have a dream that we can. And maybe we can’t, and honestly we probably can’t, and honestly I hope that random Youtube video is right bring on that fucking asteroid 12/21/20 let’s do it……

But UNTIL THEN, let’s have a fantasy baseball league. Let’s not unravel before Shane’s basketball league flatlines, that shit would also be embarrassing.

 

 

BACKYARD CHAMPIONSHIP LEAGUE CONTENT JUST TO MAKE THIS POST NOT ME YELLING AT EVERYBODY THE ENTIRE TIME:

 

 

 

I made a comment in the chat last evening about getting back to “the good old days” where the team with the best roster didn’t win shit, meaning back when Odom/I used to win, and it got me the thinking. Let’s take a look at where everyone’s rosters ended up on the ole player rater and see if the numbers BEAR out. Chances are they should but this shit is H2H so who the fuck knows.

-We’ll be using the 2019 Player Rater and tabulating the # of players each team had with a score over 9.

-I know I know there’s some inherent flaws to the Player Rater system (CGs come to mind) but it’s a good barometer for the league.

-I know I know some players changed hands I don’t give a shit, looking at the current rosters I can see.

-I know I know where the fuck did 9 come from WELL it came from the fact that Doch made Kolten Wong a free agent and he was an 8.85. As always, blame Doch. ON TO THE LEADERBOARD

 

1 — Ocean Gate Fishing Club (9-8-1):  TWELVE players above 9 (from Shane Bieber 19.54  to Michael Brantley 9.14)

2 — Lacey Township BackdoorSliderZ (17-1):  TEN players above 9 (from Justin Verlander 20.24  to Zack Greinke 10.56)

3 — RMac’s Periods (10-8):  TEN players above 9 (from Christian Yelich 18.06  to Javier Baez 9.33)

4 — Barnegat Banana Slugs (7-10-1):  TEN players above 9 (from Trevor Story 15.26  to Yuli Gurriel 9.20 [whom I believe got passed around like a cheap whore])

4 — Rojo’s Renegade Force (7-10-1):  EIGHT players above 9 (from Rafael Devers 14.88  to Elvis Andrus 9.27)

6 — Lakehurst Leviathans (6-12):  EIGHT players above 9 (from Starling Marte 12.89  to Max Fried 9.38)

7 — Astoria Isotopes (8-10):  SIX players above 9 (from Mike Minor 13.53  to DJ LeMahieu 10.44)

8 — Island Beach Bears (8-9-1):  SIX players above 9 (from Ketel Marte 15.85  to Max Muncy 9.08)

9 — River City Fightin’ Margs (6-9-3):  FOUR players above 9 (from Xander Bogaerts/Bryce Harper 12.57  to Matt Chapman 9.32)

10 — Odom’s Asterisks (7-8-3):  THREE players above 9 (from Mallex Smith 11.31  to Jose Ramirez 9.65)

 

TURNS OUT things were sorta like “the good ole days” in some ways after all. HUH.

 

(except Doch is in the league now)

(He Must Be Stopped 2020)

 

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2020 Backyard Championship League Season: Fuck It Why Not One More (or so)

2019 Season Recap and Path Forward

BackdoorSliderz – Your 2019 Backyard Champs! 

September 11, 2019

NEW YORK, NY — So they say the best team doesn’t always win it all.  Sometimes it’s a Cinderella story, sometimes it’s a really good team that gets hot at just the right time, but sometimes…sometimes the best team is the hot team.  As the 2018 Redsox so forcefully displayed, that is a serious problem to anyone else who wants to win.  Only 3 other times in the history of the Backyard have we had a #1 seed take home the cup, proving that the championship ladder is quite a toss up.  Your 2008 River City Mashers rode a tidal wave of New York Mets and we thought perhaps the #1’s would rule the world forever…  It was a different time.  A happier time.

Some of us have long considered a regular season championship to be more impressive (Hey, anyone can win two or three games in a row!) than a bracket victory, as this league is a true test of endurance.  However, this season, Dochney and his Sliderz quite simply… broke the league.  Starting the season with a full rack at 9-0-0 was impressive enough, then he just kept going, and going, and going, until… he clinched a playoff spot with 7 weeks to go!  This type of domination is nothing short of shocking in the era of no-cupcake-games and a million roster moves.  If we hadn’t already switched to the balanced schedule, this would have been the most unbalanced year ever for the two poor schlubs facing him three times.  Greg and his #3 Trouts had a pretty nice season, and possibly completely burnt out beating your favorite Topes in Round 1’s 50-homer affair, but really had no hope at any point in the title game.   To cap it off, Verlander casually tosses a no-hitter (Seinfeld voice- ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!) to send this 2019 team into the Backyard Hall of Fame as the #1 of all time.  Congrats to the new guy.  Two in a row.  Very well deserved.

Where Do We Go From Here?

No, I don’t think we need to revamp the league because Dochney coasted to 17-1 (thank you Sean for the sanctity of the league) and an easy championship over two good opponents.  However, I know we need to make some necessary changes to … err… Make the Backyard Fun Again??  As I see it, the number one problem right now is the drain on time and mental energy required to compete on a weekly basis.   We used to laugh when Lobman was making what we thought were a TON of moves.  His 209 transactions lead the league in 2009 and there were 7 teams that did not even crack 100.  In 2018 the least was a puny 231 with the median being 365.

So I have a question for all of you — Were we a Dynasty League then, or are we a Dynasty League now?

When I think of a Dynasty, I am envisioning a world where teams actually hold the players that they have.  Not just the franchise faces, but the “middle-rounders” that had we been still only keeping 10 at the end of the season, would be back in the FA pool.  One of my favorite things about the league is seeing a highlight or a player in person and saying… oh that’s a [insert team] guy.  He’s been with them for years.  And, in some cases, even though he is having a terrible year, Owner X just will not drop him because that is one of his guys.  When you see a Chris Archer or a Jean Segura dropped while in a slump even though he has been with the franchise for years… something just doesn’t feel right.  However, this season more than ever, we needed to fill the lineup card.  Having four open reliever spots on a Monday?  Six rostered bats and two of them are in a rain delay?  Might as well just give up!

Another factor currently driving managers crazy is monitoring their low minors and high minors guys, because ESPN will not do this for us.  Adding the minors was probably my best act as commissioner, you know outside of setting the roster construction, scoring, custom rules, weekly articles, an absurd video series, and oh so, so many more things… Wait where was I? Oh, right… high/low minors.  What are we going to do with this?  Personally, I love the minors element but I think the intent behind having them has changed.  It seems now the minors are just a way to get more guys into your daily lineup – Gotta have that low-minors SP reliever!  Even though he is complete SLOP and has one career hold.  I thought the goal of having minors was to be adding top prospects that will stay on your roster, or a roster, for a very long time and not just picked up for one day and dropped before they hit 130AB.

I would like to propose the following as it relates to both of these pressing issues.  We currently have 35 roster slots (25 MLB, 4 max high minors, 6 low minors).  I would like to expand that by 5 additional slots and eliminate the high minors, making 10 low minors guys mandatory.   In addition, the guys who are currently owned and not in the ESPN system would count towards the 10 low-minors.  I would also open up the rights list to be completely open and unlimited to how many non-system guys you can own.  If you want to have 10 rights guys, that’s all good.   Why should it matter if someone is in the system or not?  If they are in the minors, they should be minors eligible.  We should clear out as many roster spots as an owner feels is necessary before the ASB draft and then we draft rights guys until all of the slots are filled.

With 5 more bench slots, we would be taking, theoretically, the 50 best players out of the FA pool.  Or, at the very least, if your argument is 4 high-minors guys are going back into the pool, a minimum of a top 10 would be skimmed.  In practice, we know that most teams do not employ 4 high-minors guys and definitely not 4 guys who are all better fantasy options in the current year than guys on the FA list.  I am not trying to start a #WarOnFA, but it is sounding like that, I’ll admit.

Part of the reason why it make sense to expand rosters is that so, so many more players are fantasy viable now (Read: Everyone Has 30 Homers by MikeyT it’s a great book) versus 2008 or even 2016.  Looking back at 2008 the league leader in homers had 286.  In 2019, the two teams with the least had 278.  The depth is certainly out there.  Also, having more bench guys will allow you to fill those light Monday and Thursday lineups without dropping as many to do so.  At the same time, your opponent will be choosing from a diminished field of viable players likely to score against you.  We will just need to get used to the frustrating Sunday when someone on your bench homers. But, think of it this way, if they weren’t on your bench, where would they be?  On Waivers?  On someone else’s team?

Now, on the topic of Waivers.  We all know that adding a guy before roster lock and dropping him same-day will bypass waivers (Or, if you don’t know…now you know).  I think this got really out of hand this year and I am not too sure what should be done about it.  This is a topic that needs some thought and further discussion.

Fantrax or BUST!

There are many members of the league who have grown so frustrated with ESPN they spouted into curse-laden tirades on live TV.  Well, BackyardTV, but still live.  You know who you are (I know who I am).   Whether it be the missing players, missing stats, position eligibility, you name it, ESPN has been a problem and it got much worse this season.  However, perhaps some of the above changes will relieve some pressure.  Perhaps, the backlash is starting to get to ESPN, as they reinstated some of the historical information which was oh so unceremoniously erased, and we can live with it’s faults.  So many of the cool features of Fantrax (contracts!) would be really great if we were re-drafting and starting from scratch.  If it were up to me, I would wait until February to decide after we see the player pool, 2020 league rollout, etc.  Unless folks feel that we want to keep High Minors and Fantrax will solve our AB/IP limit problems.  I am open to discussion on the platform.

Looking Further Ahead

If we are considering switching platforms, what better time than now to consider changing a category?!  If there’s one thing that I am 100% stubborn on, it is changing any of the positions or scoring categories.  You know, sanctity of the league and whathaveyou. But, wait just a minute…

A question – Have CG’s become too powerful and gotten to the point that they are tarnishing our oh-so-important sanctity?  How measly do the CG numbers need to get before getting 1 in a week is an automatic category win?  In 2008 there were 93 Complete Games (NINETY THREE)!  93 on rosters and counted in the standings.  Sure we played 22 weeks then, okay, but still.  R-mac had 17 on the year. Five teams had 10 or more. This year the leader was 8 and five teams had 2 or FEWER.  Eight teams had 4 or fewer.  CG’s have dwindled to the point where we can expect one per month.  Far too many of those CG’s are “fake” being of the 8IP or rain-out variety.  So what are we doing here?  Should this category be replaced?  And, if so, by what?

Lastly, and I am talking to the fans of pitching again here… oh wait this is an empty room.  Hmm.

Well, we need to make Backyard pitching fun again.  Is the most fun thing about Backyard pitching getting that random SP/RP hold in a tight matchup?  That rando on Thursday night getting a magic 0.1IP W?  Is that really something that we even want?  I think Lobman said it best when he said, “When did this become a league where the teams with the better players lose every week?“.  Maybe I’m paraphrasing.  Or maybe that’s what I heard in my head when he was talking about something else.  I donno that night in Dallas was a little blurry… But the point stands.  Do we make CG’s a more usable stat?  We need to get out of the old generation and be on the forefront of fantasy leagues again.  If any league would have Clean Openers, Quality Bulks, shit that doesn’t even exist yet, it would be the Backyard.  Because that’s who we are and that’s what we do.

Thank You

First Thank You to everyone who is still playing after 12 years!  My goodness we are old.  Owners come and go, but the league keeps on rollin’…  More importantly, Thank You to a one Michael C. Odom for masterfully commanding the Commissionership for three wonderful seasons.  He brought a lot of new energy, content, ideas, and ushered in the most dominant figure in recent Backyard history (I’m talking about Dochney, not you).  Your contribution is greatly appreciated and we hope that you will continue in your capacity of Director of Creative Marketing and co-director of the Backyard Hall of Fame and Historical Library.

 

 

 

2019 Season Recap and Path Forward

Week 13 Recap

Dedicated to Tyler Skaggs after his untimely passing.

Week 13 is in the books and we saw one impressive winning streak end to an even more impressive winning streak.  We already have the first seed for the playoffs clinched and we’re not even at the all-star break.  This clinching of the first seed means nothing, because all that matters is just getting into the playoffs, record doesn’t matter once in the playoffs. 

We also saw 2 teams flirt with breaking the Ks record, the HR beaten, and RBI record getting demolished, albeit in a losing effort.  Most of the matchups ended up not being that close except for 2. 

Unfortunately, there are no Jerichos to report this week either.  This is sad news because of the newly found interest in the distinction with the name change which everyone around the league seems to agree is a much better name.

East Coast Kings silence Rojo’s Renegade Force 8-2-4

MVP

Nelson Cruz 5 Runs 2 2Bs, 3 HRs, 10 RBI, .500 OBP

In an interesting strategic decision, Rojo decided it would be best to only make 7 out of 12 starts this week.  Bold strategy Cotton!  The move did not pay off as this matchup wasn’t particularly close, I am sure Rojo had numerous empty lineup spots as well if he only started 7 pitchers this week.  48 Ks might be an all-time low, but I don’t feel like fact checking that.  One must start questioning how long Rojo is going to stick around the Backyard or if he is just too cool for us losers.

R Mac won the battle of the chat mutes with relative ease this week.  He himself only made 11 starts, but that was still 4 more than the other Ryan in the league.  Nelson Cruz had a big week on his way to matchup MVP honors.  I guess I’ll make mention of Rafael Devers’ 7 2Bs this week, because that is impressive whether his GM was paying attention to him or not.

Next week

RRF (6-6-1) v IBB (5-7-1)

ECK (7-6) v RAYS (3-7-3)

Pacific Beach X-Rays bulk their way to victory against Ocean Gate Fishing Club 9-3-2

MVP

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. 7 Runs, 1 2B, 5 HRs, 8 RBI, .462 OBP

Lourdy Lourd, Gurriel had himself a week with his 7 Runs, 5 HRs, and 8 RBI.  He gets the MVP of the matchup despite The X-Rays tying the Ks record this week.  He got a lot of Ks from a lot of guys including like 16 or something from Snell, but his other stats weren’t the most impressive considering he had 1 so-so start out of his 2 this week.  Kevin Newman was another big bat for the Rays chipping in 3 HRs and 7 RBIs.  X-Rays may be tied for last, but do not mistake them for an easy win.  The no light days and bulking philosophy makes this team very dangerous.  They may have suffered from a bit of bad luck this season as well when you look at where they rank on the year in all the categories, but we’ll expand on that more in the July Power Rankings.

Greg’s team is pretty good in their own right.  He got big strike out performances from pitchers Bieber (17 Ks), Cole (13 Ks), and Fried (14 Ks), but unfortunately, he was playing the guy who seems to get 100 Ks every week.  The Fishing Club disappointed on offense this week which is a shame considering some of those guys they have.  They look to bounce back against the Isotopes in the extended Week 14.

Next Week

RAYS (3-7-3) v ECK (7-6)

OGFC (6-6-1) v TOPES (7-6)

Barnegat Banana Slugs out pitch the slugging Bad Dudes 7-6-1


***MVP OF THE WEEK***

Max Scherzer 16 IP, 24 Ks, 2 QS, 2 W, 1.29 ERA

87 RBI for the now last place Bad Dudes.  This shattered the previous RBI record which was established in the BD era, so who really cares about that old record anyway.  His 28 HRs were also an all-time Backyard record.  All this was done with Stanton landing back on the IL.  And you can forget about the 60/60 club, Lobman just established 60/80 club.  Most impressive part about these records is how Lobman still didn’t win the matchup.  He’s still a loser, even with his 62 Runs, 28 HRs, 87 RBI, and .388 OBP.  Lobman only has a few more weeks to trade for some pitching.  He may be sitting in last place currently, but he is by no means out of this playoff race. 

Breaking News.  Mad Max is pretty good.  24 K week is no joke no matter how many starts you have.  He was simply dominant and helped bring the Slugs to 1 K away from tying the all time K record with Odom’s Rays this week.  Trevor Bauer also pitched in 12 Ks over 6.2 innings.  This matchup was a classic pitching vs hitting battle and pitching won.  All the other team had to do was win 1 category on their weak side and the Slugs were able to win doubles.  Luke Voit only hitter of note for the Slugs as he chipped in 5 2Bs.

Next Week

BBS (5-7-1) v LTBS (13-0)

RCBD (3-7-3) v LAKE (5-8)

Island Beach Bears beat Lakehurst Leviathans 7-2-5

MVP
Max Muncy 4 Runs, 1 2B, 3 HRs, 12 RBI, .367 OBP

Well this was an ugly matchup looking at the surface stats, so much so that I really do not want to spend to much time on it.  Bears won the category of ERA for the week with a hideous 5.65 ERA to Shane’s 6.00.  Max Muncy was good, 12 RBI weeks are very impressive.  To the Bears credit, 51 RBIs is pretty good, but .317 OBP is not.  The only teams that both these teams would have beat beside each other was probably the 7 start Renegades.

Next Week

IBB (5-7-1) v RRF (6-6-1)

LAKE (5-8) v RCBD (3-7-3)

***MATCHUP OF THE WEEK REVIEW***

Lacey Township Backdoor Sliderz stay undefeated with Sunday night magic to beat Astoria Isotopes 7-5-2

MVP

Ronald Acuna Jr 11 Runs, 2 2Bs, 2 HRs, 2 RBI, 4 SBs, .469 OBP

The matchup of the week did not fail to deliver.  The rematch from last year’s championship came down to the wire as Dochney was able to lean on the Baby Braves stirring up Sunday night magic in order to capture a victory.  It was Acuna’s home run that solidified the win for the REIGNING, DEFENDING, UNDISPUTED BACKYARD CHAMPION OF THE WOOOOOOOOORLD, SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSEAAAAAN DOCHNEY! (imagine Paul Heyman delivering that).  T’s winning streak ended at 7 while Dochney’s streak is now at 18 dating back to last season.  Dochney has clinched the top seed and it’s not even the ASB.

Dochney did everything he could do to lose this matchup by having empty lineup spots on full days with players sitting in their respected MLB lineup.  Missed out on a DeGrom QS because I was sleeping at the wheel and left him on the bench.  But the Sliderz were able to produce just enough while I was on auto pilot.  Pitching was awful for the Backdoor Sliderz.  Seems like they just have not been that sharp over the last few weeks, which is not a good sign going into an 18-start week against the Slugs.

T had a tough loss in this one as he lost a Sunday lead to Dochney’s squad down in Lacey.  T was so emotionally crippled and traumatized from #DochWeek that he had to take off work Monday.  Can anybody get LaMahieu out right now btw?  He was dominant once again with 8 Runs, 3 2Bs, 1 3B, 2 HRs, 10 RBIs, .654 OBP.  Charlie Blackmon is also back folks as he had himself one hell of a week as well (11 Runs, 2 HRs, 7 RBI, .452 OBP). 

Next Week

LTBS (13-0) v BBS (5-7-1)

TOPES (7-6) v OGFC (6-6-1)

A LOOK AHEAD

Next week will be the extended 2-week matchup because of the all-star break.  Each team will be able to start 18 pitchers.  The biggest storyline will be how many starts will Rojo throw out there? 

***Matchup of the week in week 14 East Coast Kings (7-6) vs Pacific Beach X-Rays (3-7-3)***

This is a shocking turn of events as I stated that Dochney will be getting every matchup of the week until his streak ends, but it was decided that R Mac and Odom getting it this week.  Odom is fighting to keep his playoff hopes alive as he goes against a formidable foe in R Mac.  Odom is sitting tied for last, but I do not believe his team is a last place team when looking at his stats compared to the rest of the league.  He may be victim to some bad luck according to the new rating system that means nothing that was just created by Dochney.  This will be expanded upon further in the July Power Rankings

Week 13 Recap