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Commish Goes Nuclear, Renders Set-Up Men Irrelevant

March 7, 2015

Consider this a Public Service Announcement.

Saget will appreciate this political intro, the rest of you should just live with it, OK: Some years ago the US Senate was debating a bill on increased funding for cargo port security. *yawn* Well, it passed and at the last second they strapped a few lines on the end of it: “Oh and by the way, we’re banning Internet Gambling. Any US Bank that processes funding for such websites will have the Justice Department’s gavel so far up its ass, it’ll be able to taste oak. This has nothing to do with Port Security, but Fuck You, Curacao.” Several Caribbean islands’ economies were destroyed, an industry was forced back underground, and so on.

Something similar just happened in our fantasy league. Commish used the kerfuffle over Holds to drive up the IP minimum, effectively taking set-up men out of the player pool.

I pushed for the removal of Holds, perhaps more than anyone. I know that. In this piece’s last political reference, Lee Harvey Oswald and I both thought Russian chicks were hot. Now, we’re both patsies.

Here’s how the previously undiscussed new IP minimum kills set-up guys:

Very rough math, but a 25-week season sees a starter go 200 IP (8 innings a week) and a relief arm go 50 IP (2 innings a week). Never mind real-baseball injuries: your guy gets hurt/shut down, you pick up another one.

Raising IP from 32 to 40 requires 8 extra IP — in theory, a starter exactly. Except that’s not true, because starter IP are lumpy, depending on whether they get one start or two. In the one-start week, the starter gets something like 6 IP. Every third week is two starts, and that week it’s something like 12 IP. So if you’re playing close to the IP minimum, rostering one extra starter doesn’t really cut it because 32 + 6 = 38 most weeks. You need two extra starters.

Where do those guys come from? Well, the pen is the natural spot. And with the elimination of Holds as a stat, it’s the only spot. Every time you replace a Holds guy with a starter, you pick up, on average, 6 IP/week. The optimal roster now looks like:

13 bats, 6 bench/Monday/Thursday bats, 8 starters (pick your matchups wisely: with HR allowed as new stat, you can’t pitch at Coors or Skydome or the Cell) and 3 closers. There’s no space for eighth-inning guys.

What about those shitty closers? Is it worth grabbing their handcuff? Well, if you were sure a closer was on his Very Last Chance(tm) you might run his heir apparent for awhile and hope to God he doesn’t cough up a jack. But most closer changes come out of the blue. Mendoza, constantly getting updates on his fancy schmantzy Apple iPhone, will have slurped all those dudes off the Waiver Wire before you get home from work.

OK, I get it. I pushed for Holds to get wiped out. I got my wish, and mea culpa. I’m sorry if you’re upset that the IP raise has tipped matters further in Mendoza’s favour. I know the multiple teams I run in this league are fucking upset.

Nothing to do but get on with it. At least let it never be said that this blog didn’t flush matters into the open:

–Eighth Inning guys are useless 90-95% of the time

–Seventh Inning guys are 100% useless.

–With nobody carrying set-up men, that means everyone’s carrying extra hitters and starters… which makes the wire at those positions that much leaner. 14 teams, say 4 extra slots each that used to be holds guys makes 56 more position players and starters rostered.

Play ball.


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