The HARL stats reports for 7/27 (stat period 17) are now online. Enjoy them! This week's reports include IMPACT RATINGS for hitters and pitchers, Team Stats for the month of July (from 6/30 thru 7/27 to be precise), and a corresponding Team Points Comparison over that same timeframe. Some interesting stuff to peruse to be sure.
It's hard to conceive, but there's only 5 weeks left in the HARL Regular Season (including this one). That means:
- The HARL Trading Deadline approaches. It falls on AUGUST 11 this year. That gives you just 2 more weeks to swing any late season fantasy trades. It's been a very quiet year trade-wise. I'm not sure if it's just extreme conservatism due to a year where the point standings are pretty tight, with 7-8 teams battling for FIVE playoff spots. Or maybe it's simply owner apathy or mistrust of the other guys trying to screw you! Perhaps there just haven't been enough "good matches" between teams -- roster makeup, injuries, and what's available in the free agent pool all have a significant effect on trading. Whatever it is, I'm not clairvoyant enough to put my finger on the exact reason.
- The HARL Playoffs begin on SEPTEMBER 1st (Labor Day). The top 5 finishers as of the 8/31 stats will make the playoffs. At that point, the stats slate is wiped clean and it's a 4-week race to see who can accumulate the most points and win the coveted HARL Championship. Unless disaster strikes, I've gotta believe that the Cobras and Jokers will be 2 of those 5 teams. The rest is up in the air right now, coming down to a 5-week push through the Dog Days of August to see who plays in September and who sits on their couch and turns their attention to football and other pursuits.
FEELINGS... NOTHING MORE THAN FEELINGS...
It has been quite a strange year in many respects. I've had an extremely busy summer and baseball (among other things) has moved by me like a blur. I haven't watched as many games as I've liked, although I've been fortunate enough to attend a handful of Phillies games this season (got another one coming up in early August). I've followed my team's stats via the box scores religiously, but I really haven't spent any appreciable time analyzing my strengths/weaknesses and formulating trades. It shows too.
My offense has been pretty good (I expected it to be better though as Beltran and Weeks have really underperformed, and Andruw Jones has been a monumental bust). But my pitching has sucked more than a giant sponge in the Atlantic Ocean. Hindsights shows that I was too patient hoping for a statistical rebound from key starters like Francis and Gorzelanny, and now I've dug myself a huge hole in ERA and WHIP that I cannot possibly recover from. Pitching has been my Achilles Heel all season long, although my Fielding is starting to catch up with it!
So I've sort of had a laissez faire attitude to my roster in some regards (although I have still mined for free agents, but have been outbid on several key ones). Perhaps 22 years of continual play and running the league has caught up to me? I still enjoy rotisserie baseball and want to win, but the excitement hasn't been as palpable for me this season for several reasons (I'll spare you the details). Part of it might just be frustration with my team as well. Life is always more exciting when you're contending for 1st Place.
Speaking of 1st Place, it's unusual to see the COBRAS and JOKERS sitting 1-2 in the standings. I think it's good to see new faces atop the leaderboard. I'm pretty sure that Jack is enjoying his success. I'm not sure what's up with Cobra Mike. His wife is expecting in September and I believe it's been another busy year for him preparing his home for the new arrival. I'm not sure baseball is at the top of his mind right now. He's fortunate that his team has been fairly healthy most of the year and that his cheap holdover guys have played extremely well (hello Ryan Braun and Tim Lincecum). Getting Fred Lewis off the free agent heap early in the season was also a super move. It will be interesting to see if Mike can hold onto 1st Place thru Labor Day. I'm sure he'd like that prize money. Baby needs some new shoes!
That's all for now.... Talk to ya later.