Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Bearded Pirate is Riding High!

By now, most of you know that tired old rotisserie mantra that falls from the lips of wily veteran fantasy baseball players the world over: It's Still Early.

One look at my Rhinos horrendous pitching stats from Week-1 and you can be sure that I'm going to be reciting that classic phrase a helluva lot. Someone has to start off slow, and that someone appears to be me right now (along with Joker Jack).

Conversely, someone usually starts off red hot, and no team was better in Week-1 than the Maygamers. Yes guys, that's an expansion team in 1st Place!

HARL's gray bearded elder and diehard Pittsburgh Pirates lover, Mayer Foner, is certainly riding a wave of statistical goodness right now.

Xavier Nady was just named player of the week. Nate McLouth is smoking hot. Jeff Keppinger is hitting so well that he may very well become a super-sub who gets 350-400 ABs playing a variety of positions this season. Johnny Cueto had a dominant pitching debut, and 4 different guys in the bullpen registered Saves in Week-1. Welcome back to HARL Mayer.

Here's the Reader's Digest bite-sized look at the current standings:

What can you tell from these standings? To be honest, I never put much weight into these things until 4 or 5 weeks of the season have passed. Once you have a bigger sample size of stats, you have a much better idea of who has a good team and who might struggle. Still, I'd much rather be near the top of the standings than the bottom. Nobody can takes those good "counting stats" (HR, RBI, SB, Wins, Saves, K, etc.) away from you.

It's pretty obvious that the Stampeders and Lemmings need to start hitting better, and the Rhinos need to starting hurling some gems. Aside from that, talk to me in a few weeks.


I fooled around with a bunch of reports tonight, in an effort to see what kind of work I would need to do to for our fledgling HARL Central reports website. I ended up creating a whole bunch of reports, and I did a LOT of editing to make things look prettier. A few observations are worth sharing:
  • Generating HTML reports from Rhino Baseball isn't very hard or time consuming for me, so that's a major plus.
  • Unfortunately, the HTML reports in their standard format are pretty homely looking when compared to their much more colorful PSR brethren. I may put some tweaks into the baseball software over the summer to reduce the default font-size of HTML reports (because the reports packed with lots of data seem too wide to fit comfortably on most screens). There are several basic reports (eg: Rosters, Team Stats, Team Scores) that look fairly decent as-is. I still ended up doing tweaks to a bunch of them, just to add color here and there and cut off excess/straggling info. Call me anal retentive.
  • I need to avoid getting EDITING HAPPY. Editing the HTML reports is very time consuming. I already do enough work for HARL, so there's no way I'm adding another 2-3 hours of work to my plate each week to duplicate a bunch of PSR reports online. So I'm going to stick with the key reports on Stat Night, and perhaps add in some bonus reports during "off-hours" throughout the weeks. We'll see how it goes.
  • Without a shred of doubt in my mind, PSR reports still kick the poop out of HTML reports. Not only do the PSR reports look better, but you can sort, filter, and search them in the Rhino Viewer. You cannot do that with static HTML reports; you can only view them. So don't plan on dumping the Viewer, unless you're just too plain lazy to analyze any stats/ratings and simply want to see the quick & dirty stuff (standings, rosters, waivers) each week.
  • Scrolling thru HTML (web page) reports online can be dicey when the reports are BIG. For example, scrolling down thru scads of players in the NL Batting and NL Pitching stats reports isn't nearly as nice as doing it in the Viewer because the HEADINGS don't stay put!
Some of these issues should spur me on to look into making PSR reports available through a web browser. I've done a little bit with that quite some time ago, but need to revisit it. I know that you can get it to work using the OPERA web browser. Internet Explorer won't support it because it got rid of support of Netscape plug-ins (an older technology). Not sure about how it would work in Firefox or Safari (for the Mac). You guys using those browsers would need to test it for me once I get something ready to test. Or you could just download and install Opera on your PC -- it's free (and happens to be my browser of choice, although I also use IE sometimes).


This will probably take some getting used to for the Old Guard, but this blog will now serve as the place for HARL News. I will slowly be weaning everyone off the regular EMAILS you used to receive.

So that means the weekly FAD Results will be posted here. League commentary will be posted here. Trade announcements will go here. And so on and so forth. So be sure to bookmark this blog (http://harlbaseball.blogspot.com/) and visit it on a regular basis.

Another nice thing about the blog is that YOU GUYS can LEAVE COMMENTS on any blog post (article) that I write here. So 2-way communication over the web is now possible. Everyone can read whatever you post (including outside site visitors), so don't post anything you don't want a stranger to read.

That's about it for now. I'll have a review of the FAD process and Waiver Wire picking process later this week, so look for that.

No comments: