Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I Am a True Patriot

Alrighty then on to the.... Wait a minute....

Is that our nation's flag I see over there on the right-hand side of the blog-post? Well, I'll be damned.

In times like these, with July 4th around the corner, who cares about HARL? All I can say is this....


Oh and by the way, the JOKERS are still in 1st place. For those who can pull themselves away from staring at Miss Liberty over there, here are the standings as of June 30th:

101.1 = JOKERS
92.8 = COBRAS
82.9 = RHINOS
81.3 = MUDHENS


There was one blockbuster trade to report this week, which happened while I was away in Gaming Heaven. It was between the GRILLERS and STAMPEDERS.

GRILLERS swapped 1B-John Bowker, OF-Michael Bourn, OF-Brandon Jones, P-Max Scherzer, and SP-Anibal Sanchez to the Stampeders.

STAMPEDERS swapped 1B-Ryan Howard, 3B-Jose Bautista, and OF-Andre Ethier to the Grillers.

On the surface, this is very good "THIS YEAR" trade for Griller Geoff, who adds some much needed offensive pop to his lineup and finally fills his weak-link at 3B. For the Wild Horsemen, they got a windfall of inexpensive and up & coming talent for 2009. I'm especially high on the upside of Brandon Jones and Max Scherzer, and Bowker has done well as an out-of-nowhere rookies this year (showing good power). If Bourn could ever grow to hit around .270 or so, he could easily lead the league in Stolen Bases with his blazing speed. He's the next Wily Taveras, and that's not a bad guy to have for rotisserie purposes. Sanchez flashed his potential prior to getting injured, and may be back for a 2nd-half audition this year.

Interesting trade guys!


Now that June has passed, any players you acquire in trades will get that extra "Option to Extend" clause added into their contracts. So if you trade for a PF1 guy, he'll become AO1 for you. If you acquire a MY2 guy, he becomes an OE2 guy for you.


Pretty soon, I'm going to followup on last week's overview of prospective rule changes to shake-up and re-energize the league. HARL isn't as vibrant as it used to be years ago. There are lots of reasons for that.

For starters, many of us have been playing rotisserie baseball for a very LONG time, and like anything else in life, enthusiasm tends to wane over time when things become too familiar and too routine. So I'm certain that change would be a very good thing for us. Bring back the excitement of new challenges and new twists to our favorite game.

Secondly, all of our lives have gotten busier as we've gotten older. Whether it's caring for kids, marriage commitments, job stress, or other extracurricular activities, none of us seem to have as much free time as we used to. Things change, that's life, and we all must learn to deal with it. While some members of HARL wish there was more trading activity, more interleague banter, and more roster changeover, I just don't forsee things returning to the way they were years ago (rule changes can improve this a little bit, but they can only do so much). I'm very accepting of all of this. With the current group of people in HARL, the days of rabid, uber-competition are probably not going to be seen again anytime soon. I think that everyone wants to win, and tries to dedicate time & effort to get there (as much as they can spare with everything else that's going on). And I'm well aware that the amount of time and effort spent on HARL varies from person to person. But hey, you pay your money to play, and you'll get out of it what you put into it. I've been in a lot of fantasy sports leagues, and not a single one was perfect from a team owner perspective.

Thirdly, I think the social dynamics of fantasy sports has greatly changed with the advent of internet-based leagues. There's much less face-to-face contact and verbal communication than in the old days when owners chatted over the phone and got together to talk shop. That tangible communication has been replaced by cold, impersonal emails. I feel that all rotisserie leagues have suffered somewhat from a social perspective as a result of that. Technology is great in many ways, but it's no replacement for live, human contact.

So what do we do to recapture the magic so to speak? Is it even doable? Your input and ideas are always welcomed.

I would still like to play in HARL next year. I've committed so much time and energy into doing this (making it part of my business even), that I can't imagine NOT playing. I've been playing ever since I graduated from college!

But what about you? Is there anyone who is seriously considering dropping out next season? If so, could you let me know fairly soon? Finding new people that we know to join HARL has become harder & harder each year, so I would really appreciate any heads-up if you're planning to bail out for whatever reason. Before I undertake a lot of work refurbishing HARL into something new & shiny, I want to be certain we'll have enough people to play in 2009.

So let me hear from you. I'm taking the pulse of the league. Your time to speak is NOW.

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