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4/30 - It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. One of my favorite aspects of the Smallworld site has always been the quote at the top of the login page. In fact, back when I had a "real job", one of my office walls was adorned with a multitude of quotes, and I was told that people would often stop in to see me just to read the new quotes on my wall (which, I'll confess, could be a mixed blessing at times). Anyway, I found a book of Baseball Quotations yesterday, so I'll post one here each day. And who better to start it out than the master himself, Yogi. Hope you enjoy them. I know I will.
I got to watch the Tribe/Oakland game on ESPN last night. It was ESPN's backup game, which we saw in Connecticut because the Yankees were the primary game and they are also broadcast locally. Kenny Rogers had the Cleveland hitters off-stride all evening. Couple that with mediocre Cleveland pitching (at best) and slipshod defense, and it was not a pretty sight. Fortunately, there's not much competition in the American League Central. And, it's only April. But since their season-opening six-game winning streak, the Tribe has played under .500 ball, and not looked good doing it. Meanwhile, the Red Sox are reminding me of Cleveland's magical 1995 season, when you just knew that somehow, they'd find a way to win. Suppose they can keep this up all season?
Ben Grieve was also en fuego in last night's game. Not even getting plunked in the shoulder blades by a Jaret Wright fastball could slow him down, as he went 5-for-5, scored 4 runs, and knocked in 2. It was also a bit sobering to realize that I can remember both of their Dads' (Clyde Wright and Tom Grieve) playing days, which is getting to be a more and more common occurrence for me in a lot of professional sports. (I suppose I shouldn't start to worry until I can't remember their Dads!)
Trade day again tomorrow. There are a few obvious bargains. Get 'em while they're hot!
4/29 -Tom Gordon has really been piling on the points lately. Prior to last night's loss, the Red Sox had won 14 out of 15, and Gordon got saves in a lot of those games. Over the last 15 days, he's been the most productive pitcher - check out all those 50-60 point games in rapid succession. So far, no relievers have attracted much buying attention from SW managers. Maybe this will be the week. Of course, he can't maintain this pace unless the Sox maintain theirs, which is doubtful.
Someone pointed out to me that Sele starts against Saberhagen on Friday, in a battle of early season surprises. Something will have to give. Actually, it should be a good series, as both teams have been getting good pitching and timely hitting so far.
4/28 - Igot a new report of a franchise valued at $117 million on 21 trades. The team was ranked 711, so it's definitely a contender.
Two people found my team yesterday, based on the clue I gave. So, it can be done!
4/27 -Millwood and Maddux both prosper in Coor's Field last week, and then get beat up when the Rockies come to Atlanta. Go figure! Last season, Maddux had only two outings which would have produced negative SWP. One was in April. So, these things happen.
I'm still getting a lot of email messages asking me what my team name is. For reasons I've articulated several times, I'm still not revealing it. But here's a clue, for those of you with the proclivity to emulate Sherlock Holmes. The League that I'm in contains the letters G-U-R-U in sequence, but does not start with the letter G.
The highest franchise value I've had reported to me is now $112.4 million, on 23 trades. He's currently lugging $20 million in cash, so he's certainly got plenty of trading flexibility.
4/26 - Ihaven't had much chance to digest yesterday's stats, but they are now posted. Summary stat pages will be updated around 11:00pm EST.
4/25 - Special alert to owners of Paul Konerko! Eric Karros was activated yesterday, and Konerko was sent down to AAA.
I did a good bit of snooping around late last night - once server speed permitted - to see just how franchise values have progressed. I must confess that I didn't find as many over $100m as I thought I might - probably less than 0.5% (that's one-half of one percent). And some of the teams which had been ahead of me (in value) before yesterday had slipped back a tad. I'm feeling better about my relative standing. Here's my best estimate of the distribution of franchise values after yesterday's repricing:
Piazza and Rodriguez may swing back and forth for awhile. The way position requirements are set, if you've got the funds, who would you buy to replace Piazza? Or vice versa? Doesn't take a rocket scientist to work that one out! Of course, anyone who sold Piazza yesterday failed to get credit for last night's grand slam, while Ivan only picked up 2 walks in four plate appearances. Still, a good trade-off for $3.4 million.
Summary stats will not be up until later this afternoon. Yesterday and individual player pages are up now. Tomorrow, I won't have anything updated until late evening. I'm performing with a 10-person singing group in eastern CT tonight, and Rhode Island tomorrow, so I won't even be home until around 8:00 pm Sunday night. (See, I do have a life outside of fantasy sports!)
Oh, and my other son, the 16-year-old, is at $92 million on only 8 trades, which he thinks is better than the performance of his younger brother (which I mentioned yesterday). Looks like my kids will provide me with some stiff competition this season.
4/24 (Price talk) - Well, after the first week's repricing, I complained that ownership percentage adjustments were almost non-existent. Last week, I complained that SW seemed to make some big ownership percentage adjustments, after faking us out the week before. This week, it seems likely that price changes are solely attributable to net trading. If I have a gripe, it's that massive gains seem pretty widespread, and at this pace, it will be possible for a lot of teams to buy all the best players within a couple more weeks. The highest report I've heard so far is a team at $102.5m on 19 trades. I am at $95m on just 14 trades. My 13-year-old son is at $96m on 24 trades (accomplished, incidentally, without much direct assistance from dear old Dad). The server is so bogged down right now that it is impossible to look around, but I'll bet that $100m isn't a terribly rare number. And I can already spot some of next week's bargains.
I'm going to write an article on price inflation in the next week, but my early advice is this - you'd better get your value up fast, because the top players are going to be appreciating quickly over the next month. The aspect I haven't thought through as much is how a team should be managed if it has all the top players with 30-40 trades remaining. With my Talaxian team in basketball, I didn't garner my "dream team" until I had only 6 trades left, so from that point, it was a matter of using trades to duck injuries. Here, I guess maybe you'll need to chase hot streaks. A buy-and-hold team consisting of the 14 best players might not be good enough to win. Interesting......
Summary stat reports, with new prices, are running right now, and should be posted by 5:30pm EST.
Judging from the speed (or lack thereof) of Smallworld's server last night, trading activity must have been heavy again. I waited until this morning, when server speed was not a problem.
I have added all of the IPO names into the various reports. However, on the individual player pages, some historical data isn't yet broken out by game. The first day that I started picking each IPO player's stats shows up as a single game blip. I'll try to backtrack and fill in the missing history eventually, but it's not on the top of my "to do" list. (Some of you occasionally ask if/how you can help me. If you want to work up game-by-game histories for the 9 IPO players and send them to me, be my guest. If you need to know their names, let me know and I'll send them to you.)
A couple of proven producers went on the D/L yesterday (or will today). John Jaha and Ricky Bottalico will both be out for awhile. I doubt that either was widely owned, so they probably have limited downside price risk. Jaha was on my ESPN team roster, though, so that hurts me somewhat. (As Yogi would say, "It's deja vu all over again" for me. Last year, in April, I had Fernando Vina on my roster. One day, he hit a grand slam, and the next day, he broke his ankle and went on the DL for several months. This week, Jaha hit a grand slam, and then voila! Must be some sort of Brewers jinx. If so, Bud Selig must somehow be to blame for all this!)
I'll defer posting updated summary stats until after new prices are posted. Yesterday's game totals are already done.
4/23 - Idid some analysis on the top 50 teams last night. They have averaged 35 trades, but that's a bit deceptive, because there are some teams with a lot of trades, and some with very few. While many of these teams will flame out before long, there are a few that look like they will have some staying power. I particularly like "Pereniums", ranked 49th in points, but with a roster value of $76 million on 9 trades.
This is "trade night" again. In some respects, I think my best opportunities this week are holdovers from last week. I know I'll have a few trades to make, but I don't expect massive turnover. Too bad, in a way. This is the time of season to make trading "hay". But there's no reason to trade unless you can see the likelihood of significant gains. The season's still young.
Last night was a tough one for some of the game's hottest pitchers. Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens, and Chuck Finley all got roughed up, with Martinez the only one of the three to post a positive SWP total, and even that was only 13. I guess these guys are mortal after all.
On a technical note, a couple of people reported that they were having a site/browser problem, as this page was constantly reloading over and over when accessed. I think I have that fixed (although it should have been working before... and it obviously was working OK for most people) - but if anyone else has a similar problem, please report it to me.
4/22 - Last night, I changed the stat summaries to have "linked" column headings. Not only does this set off the headings from the data better than before, but it also allows you to click on a column heading from any point in the table to pull up an alternative sort order.
Aaron Sele had his best outing of the season yesterday, a 199 SWP shutout of Tampa Bay. In spite of his big price increase last week, he still looks pretty cheap relative to other pitchers. Mike Hampton also pitched a shutout yesterday to win his fourth straight. With the general dilution of pitching talent this year, there have been some pretty impressive performances by a few. Even a "retread" like Bret Saberhagen has started out quite strong, and is one of the reasons the Red Sox have gotten off to a fast start.
I misspoke yesterday when I mentioned a team worth $90 million had used 30 trades. That team has only used "about 20 trades", so I hear. Based on a sampling of data, I venture an estimate that any team which is worth $80m or more is probably in the top 1% of all teams value-wise, and any team worth more than $70m is in the top 10%. I also don't think we'll see the same magnitude of value increases this week that we saw in each of the first two. Just a hunch.
4/21 - Today's site enhancement is the inclusion of individual game-by-game SWP detail for each player. On the yesterday and stat summary pages, each player's name is now linked to his individual history page. In turn, the name at the top of each history page is linked to that player's RotoNews page. At least, that's how it's supposed to work. As always, please let me know if you find any misdirected links.
Yesterday was the first day this season that no player scored more than 100 SWP. Of course, the schedule was pretty limited. Greg Maddux was on track for a 3-digit game until Coor's Field did its number on him in the eighth. Fortunately for him, the Rockies' pitchers can't hold the score down either.
I got a report of a $90 roster this morning, on 30 trades. That's the highest value I've heard so far.
4/20 - Kevin Millwood survived his Rocky Mountain high quite nicely. Hope not too many of you bailed on him prematurely after his nice price gain last week, because he still looks pretty cheap to me. We'll have to see who wins out this week - the "quick flippers", or the "value seekers".
I changed the format of the yesterday report to show pitchers separately from hitters. Since pitchers tend to lie at the point extremes, good hitting performances tended to be obscured. I also stopped printing all pitchers who had zero points for the day, which makes the length of the list a bit less daunting. Hope you find these changes to be an improvement.
I've had a few inquiries about my roster value. I'm at about $74 million after 10 trades. That's not bad, but by no means near the top. I've heard from several managers who are north of $80 million in value, and some closer to $70 million but with fewer trades used. Still a little difficult to gauge where the top is, but I think it's safe to say that unless you're at least closing in on $70 million, you'd better git crackin'.
4/19 - Either I have a very patient bunch of readers, or else a very small bunch. I'll choose to believe the former for now. It seems I forgot to upload the daily "Yesterday" file yesterday. I did produce it, but evidently forgot to upload it. And only one person wrote to complain - so I immediately assumed he/she just needed to hit the "refresh" button. Anyway, everything is fully loaded now. In the future, I'll try to have daily stats completed by noon EST, or early afternoon at the latest. If you think something is missing in late afternoon, you have my permission to bug me about it - unless I've put out a prior notice. Sundays may also tend to be a bit later than usual, like today.
So far, I see that Kevin Millwood is surviving the thin Colorado air, leading 5-3 after 4 innings. With a lot of managers buying him this past week, it's probably a pretty meaningful game. And Atlanta's five runs have come on 5 solo HR's, including Chipper Jones' 9th. Talk about a player who is en fuego!
I "archived" the March daily blurbs this afternoon, so this page should load a bit faster now. I'll try to keep it to a reasonable length in the future, for those of you with slower modems.
4/18 - Ithink I've received more email in the last day about the latest repricing than about anything else I've ever been questioned about. Managers want to know whether Smallworld has changed its pricing approach since the first week. Some have also asked whether I think SW will make some statement next week about what's happening.
First of all, I don't know for sure. As you know, I don't work for Smallworld, and I'm not an "insider" on any of their decisions. Historically, though, they've been pretty closed-mouthed about pricing issues, so I wouldn't necessarily expect any clarification from them.
That said, here's my best guess at what's going on. (Note that the operative word here is "guess".) The first week, I think that player prices changed only based upon trades which took place after the start of the season. There was probably no adjustment for ownership concentration at all. Then, this week, an upward adjustment was made for players who satisfied both of the following conditions:
If my guess is somewhere in the ballpark (which we may never really know), I would also expect that these adjustments were one time only, and that from now on, only trading flow will drive - unless it appears that other prices are totally out of whack. The benefit of these boosts is that they should reduce the likelihood that those players' prices will start a weekly up-and-down gyration, thereby also reducing the inevitable "takin' candy from a baby" profit opportunities which would have resulted (similar to the situation with Brevin Knight early in the Hoops season). The disturbing element is that, if my guess is close, this should have happened last week. I know a lot of you made trades based on your observation of first week price changes, and then got blindsided. Managers who were astute enough to identify the cheap players and to understand the announced price guidelines should have been rewarded for doing their homework.
Bottom line - even if I am right, who said life is supposed to be fair? Deal with it! Let's move on. The season's young.
4/17 - New prices have been posted, and my first reaction is "What happened?" Last week I was disappointed that the percentage ownership adjustment was apparently so minimal. So this week, there appears to be a big percentage ownership adjustment. In fact, this week's results look much like what I would have expected to see last week. I haven't pored over the data yet, but I can't believe that Grieve, Helton, & Konerko didn't suffer net sales this past week. A lot of managers were undoubtedly disappointed with their initial price performance, and went in search of better on-field performers. So now they get the price boost? Was this a one shot adjustment? Or, will it repeat next week?
The good news (for my own teams, at least) is that I got some great price appreciation this week. The bad news is that I made some trades that I didn't need to make. Frustrating.
I'll try to have updated stat tables with new prices posted by 6:00 EST.
4/16 - The Smallworld baseball servers were slower than normal early this afternoon, and I expect heavy trading activity will keep them slow throughout the day.
There were six new players added as IPOs yesterday. They are not yet incorporated in the various stat reports. Hopefully by later today.
I've found the stat reports to be pretty helpful in assessing trade opportunities this time around. For those who may be unfamiliar with them, here are the sort orders I find most helpful. First, I like to look at the sort by SWP. I then scan down the price column to find players whose price looks significantly low for their production level. Also, look at the last price change for these players. Guys who showed a nice gain last week may have more trouble sustaining another increase, since there will probably be some sales for profit-taking. Of course, this is a matter of degree, and of judgment. Next, I look at the report sorted by SWP/$m/G. The top of this list tends to include a lot of players with very low prices. A high ratio which is a function of a very low price coupled with low production doesn't usually foretell a price gain. But occasionally, you find a player with high point production near the top of this list, and this tends to be a very good "buy" indicator. Finally, look at the number of opportunities within each position. Since infield positions on your roster are limited to one of each - aside from the possible use of the DH slot - a position which shows multiple opportunities may turn out to disappoint, since those buys will be spread around. This is much more critical in baseball than it was for Hoops, where positional flexibility was less restricted.
I'm not going to mention names - as usual - but I do think there are some very good trading opportunities this week, and they aren't difficult to find if you know how to look for them. 'Nuff said.
4/15 - Welcome to the new and improved RotoGuru.com!
Today marks the beginning of a new era for Guru Fantasy Sports:
As part of the relationship with RotoNews, I'll share in advertising revenue generated from this site. So please, support the advertisers on these pages, and help keep RotoGuru.com alive and prosperous.
Why a non-frames format? Admittedly, frames do offer some attractive advantages, including the convenience of a menu which doesn't scroll along with the body of the page. Still, some people have difficulty exercising all of a browser's features in a frames environment. In particular, printing of reports will be simpler, and bookmarking of any page within the site will now be possible. So to those of you who prefer frames, sorry. Deal with it!
For now, I'll leave the basketball stats and commentary on the old site. Eventually, everything will be relocated. So don't flush your old bookmark just yet - although I do have a link to the old site on the left menu.
As with any change, there may be some links which haven't been properly adjusted. If you find any glitches (and I know some of you will), please send me an email.
4/14 - Managing your pitching staff may turn out to be among the most difficult tasks in this game. (Just like the real game!) In Hoops, you always wanted to maximize your exposure to games played. In baseball, starting pitchers have produced single games anywhere from -173 to +219 SWP. Getting stuck with one of those big negatives can really screw up a team's scoring. But missing one of those big positives is a stiff price to pay for safety. Take the case of Bartolo Colon, for example. His first start was a 4-hit shutout, a 196 SWP masterpiece, which precipitated a buying spree last week. His second outing was a lackluster, though far from disastrous -14 SWP. He pitches again on Wednesday this week. If he fails to perform well, he'll surely be heavily dumped this week in a wave of profit taking. But if he pitches his "A" game again, he could still be bought. Colon's history has been erratic, but he's shown a lot of promise, so history would indicate that he's fully capable of delivering any SWP total between -170 and +220. For those of you who own him. . . . . and it's apparent that many do. . . . . . I have no advice today. I'll be glad to tell you on Thursday what you should have done, however.
BTW, I'm sure many of you have stopped visiting Smallworld's Hoops site, with your team having no more trades and no more future. Smallworld just announced a Hoops Playoff game. So, you might want to check it out.
4/13 - Remember in SW Hoops, how several players were characterized by high price volatility, coupled with the inability of their prices to climb to relative parity with other players of comparable point value? Names like Brian Williams, Bobby Jackson, Donyell Marshall, and Brevin Knight come to mind. The common denominator among these guys is that that their draft prices were much lower than their ultimate value, and thus they were fairly heavily drafted. Since a draft buy didn't figure into the price adjustment, it was difficult for their prices to rise, because there were fewer managers who could subsequently buy them in a trade. Whenever their values did rise, they were very susceptible to price drops, since there were always a significant number of managers looking to harvest the profits.
Well, after an initial review of prices, I think it's safe to say "They're ba-a-a-a-a-a-ck!". Although there was an announced adjustment in this game's repricing formula which took account of the percentage ownership, it is evidently slight enough that it doesn't appear to solve the issue. As a classic example, consider Todd Helton. Based on a random sampling of teams, I'd estimate he was on roughly 25% of all rosters. He was also the most heavily owned of all first basemen. Over the first ten days, he performed respectably, although not spectacularly, and we also learned that he will platoon with Greg Colbrunn, at least for awhile. So, it is reasonable to assume he had some slight sale activity, but not significant. Most of the sale activity was probably related to managers buying McGwire or Floyd, who had hot starts. So, while I believe he is still heavily owned - likely still the most heavily owned first baseman - his price dropped. And going forward, if any other first baseman gets hot and attracts buys, guess who's going to be sold more than others? You got it. Every now and then, there won't be a hot first base candidate - or maybe the hot one will be Helton - and managers will flock to him because he looks so cheap. His price will pop up, and then there will be a wave of selling. At least, that's my prediction based on what I've seen so far - and I'll admit the data is still limited.
While I'm sure all of those Helton owners are disappointed, this isn't all bad, I suppose. Players like Bobby Jackson and Brian Williams were important in hoops, because you could get good production out of them without tying up a lot of funds. You just couldn't own them in hopes of long term appreciation without disappointment. You could, however, take advantage of the price volatility from time to time. So, I think Helton will become another one of those. Other hitters in that camp are Ventura (who did actually go up, but will still be subject to a lot of future price volatility, I believe), Grieve, Piazza, Brian Jordan, and Travis Lee.
On a more mundane note, I changed the font for the column headings on the Stat reports from bold to underlined. This report still has more reformatting to undergo, but I hope this will correct the column-heading misalignment problems that several of you are experiencing.
4/12 - Some of you noticed a number of missing games from the April 10th daily point listing. For some reason, yesterday's CBS Sportsline was missing stats from several games, including the Atlanta-Philadelphia pitching duel. I imported stats from a different source to fill in the gaps, and the complete listing is now out there. Several hitters are probably a few points off, because my alternate source doesn't include sacrifices. I'll pick those up in Saturday's stats, which will be posted Sunday evening.
4/11 - The major take I have on the repricing is that any attempt to incorporate a "drift" factor failed to accomplish its objective. The drift impact, while it is perceptible, is so slight that it may take a long time to correct for some players who were notably underpriced at issue and heavily bought. More analysis will be done, but it's disappointing that a good idea has apparently failed because of the way it was applied.
4/10 (late) - Initial repricing results are in, and I must confess that some of the results are surprising. It would appear the "percentage ownership" factor (also sometimes referred to as "drift") does not seem to be as powerful as anticipated, although it seems to be evident to some degree. More analysis will be needed to dissect the results. However, here are my very preliminary assessments:
4/10 - Hopefully, repricing will go through today. I ended up making a couple of trades, both pitchers.
Several people have reported sightings of teams with high rankings. If you'd like to scale your performance, the team ranked #3 worldwide has 1841 SW points as of this morning's report (which reflects points through games of April 5th). Before you panic, you should also know that this team has already made 36 trades! If you trade in and out of players to maximize exposure to games played, you can build up an impressive early score. But I don't think this is one team you'll need to worry about in September. Other sightings: 1344 SWP ranks 21st (with no trades), and 1233 SWP ranks 115th (w/ 1 trade), so those should give you a better indication of what the "true" market leaders are doing so far.
I'll be away for the weekend, so my updating for the next couple of days will be limited. I'll try to post daily baseball results from my laptop, but I won't update the year-to-date stats pages until Sunday evening. I don't know what I'll do about posting new prices. It may depend on how Smallworld publishes them. The SW notice indicates that you'll need to go to the "confirm buy" page in order to see the new price, which implies that the main price list might not be updated. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
4/9 - Only 24 hours left before prices reset. I don't have any trades to make this time - even the guys I own who haven't started out well have potential price upside, I think, so I'm going to hold tight. But, if you have trades to complete, my advice is not to wait until the last minute. Remember how the server crashed on Monday, when team points were first going to be released? I suspect there will be a lot of people making last minute swaps, so beware of sluggish response, and be prepared for possible downtime. And tomorrow afternoon, after prices are reset, I figure you won't be able to get within miles of the place.
My team is ranked about 25,000th as of yesterday. Without worldwide leaders posted, it's hard to figure what the leading teams must have, but I'm sure the point spreads are pretty compact right now. Team rankings in the first few weeks are about as meaningless as player stats. It will take awhile to separate the wheat from the chaff. Hopefully, by the end of the month, I'll feel more like wheat than chaff. Today, I'm definitely chaff.
4/8 - You might want to consider the early season stats in light of last season's results. The best players - both pitchers and hitters - tended to average close to 20 SWP per (eligible) game for the season. Larry Walker was the hitting leader at 22+ per 162 games, and Griffey was the only other hitter north of 20. Another four hitters averaged in the 19's. (Actually, Frank Thomas and Andres Galarraga might have also topped 20 per eligible game, but I can't recall how many games they were on the DL.) On the pitching side, Pedro Martinez probably worked out to 26+ points spread over slightly less than a full season (he started last year on the DL, as I recall). Clemens' points, spread over a full 162 games, equated to 24.4. Randy Johnson was also in the 24 ballpark (again adjusted for a short stint on the DL in late August/early Sept.) Schilling was around 20, and everyone else was lower. So, unless baseballs hop out of parks at a significantly greater pace this year - a possibility, I'll grant - you can probably regard a long term SWP/G average of 20 as a superior season.
Through 8 days this year, there are 32 hitters averaging better than 20 SWP/G, and 25 pitchers exceeding that standard. So, don't get overly enamored with any of these guys yet, because they can't maintain that pace. Less than 5% of the season games have been played so far.
David Wells managed to get a win yesterday, and still only garnered 1 SWP. He wasn't even the best pitcher named "Wells" pitching in that game, as Bob Wells booked 14 SWP for Seattle in middle relief.
Roger Clemens may have set the record yesterday for worst SWP per pitch average in a game. He threw only seven pitches, but got tagged with the loss, and ended up with -56 SWP for the game.... an average of -8 SWP per pitch. Maybe that record should only hold for a starting pitcher. A reliever could enter a game, throw one gopher ball, and get tagged with the loss. If I do the arithmetic correctly, that works out to a potential -40 SWP for one pitch. It could happen!
4/7 - Starting today, I've excluded inactive players (with zero games played) from the 1998 stats reports. There are roughly 350 of them, and removing them should improve page access speed (by a factor of about one-third), and also enhance report readability. I will continue to include inactive players who have already played at least one game, denoted by an "x" after their games played.
Fortunately, I didn't stay up to listen to the suspension of the Cleveland Oakland game (suspended at 4:00 am EST). Stats from that game are included in today's reports.
4/6 - Imade one more refinement to the stat reports today. Instead of using "team games" as the denominator in SWP/G averages, I'm going to try "elig games", which will equal team games excluding those when the player was not active on the major league roster. I don't know how well I'll be able to keep this current, but I'm going to try. So, you'll notice a lot of players today show zeros for eligible games. In fact, there are 359 players (one-third of the total list) who are not currently active. While some of these are on the DL, a good many are in the minors, or retired (like me - only they're even younger!). I have denoted these with an "x" at the far right side of the reports. I got my rosters from www.majorleaguebaseball.com with updates taken from ESPN. For some teams, I may still have some ineligible players listed as eligible. If you can find 'em, point 'em out to me. (There are 23 players listed as active who have not yet appeared in a game. These are the suspicious ones.) Again, I'm counting on you to help me debug this.
In the "can they keep it up" sweepstakes (see yesterday's blurb), the score is Cleveland: 5 & still winning, McGwire: 4 & out.
4/5 - Imade a change to the 1998 stats reports today. Instead of showing per game averages using a player's games played, I'm dividing by the games played by his team. This should help neutralize the differences between everyday players, part time players, and pitchers. Admittedly, it doesn't compensate for games during which a player is injured, but it's the best I can do for now. Hope this helps. A number of you have suggested it, and I think it is the most reasonable approach to use for the time being.
Which will happen first this season: Mark McGwire will fail to hit a HR in a game, or Cleveland will lose? Both are starting off very hot. I'd be happy if both went at this pace for the whole season. But not likely, I know. (And now that I've said it, both will probably fail today. Ah well....)
4/4 - OK,OK..I was wrong about scoring for sacrifice files. They do count as 3 points. All stat pages have been corrected. (There were a total of 16 sac flies for the first three days, so it was no big deal to fix.)
The reason I know is that Smallworld posted player SWPs for the first two days. I've also discovered that they have awarded only 3 points for a run scored, rather than 5. Many hitters therefore show incorrect totals. I alerted Smallworld of the error.
I will be putting up individual player stat pages, as in basketball. Give me some time to get everything set up.
If you have a Real Audio player, I found a site that provides a schedule with links to Real Audio broadcasts of most Major League Games. I listened to most of the Tribe/Angels game last night, and occasionally surfed around to other games. Definitely cool.
4/3 - The kinks are gradually being worked out in my scoring tables. CBS Sportsline got caught up today, so I now have all stats through April 2nd. Please let me know of any apparent discrepancies. One of the biggest challenges at the beginning of the season is matching up the various versions of players' names from different sources. I'm already envisioning some irritations this season from having to deal with two each of Eduardo Perez and Pedro Martinez. I didn't start the Hoops site until early December, and by that time, I had things fairly well worked out. This time, you get to help me catch the goofs. In fact, the more you help, the quicker I'll get it right.
One question arose yesterday with regard to sacrifices. My interpretation of the scoring formula is that sacrifice hits are worth 3 SWP, but sac flies are worth nothing. This is because sac flies are usually associated with an RBI, so points would come from a different category. I asked Smallworld to confirm this last week, but received no reply, so I guess we'll figure it out after they start posting stats on their site.
One final caution, which should go without saying, but I'll say it anyway. Baseball players are notoriously streaky, and early season stats can be particularly deceptive. Remember John Valentin last year? He batted less than his own weight for the whole month of April, and then ended up outhitting Cecil Fielder's weight for the whole season. (That was Fielder's real weight, too, and not his reported 250 lbs.!) So, the best advice I can give is to be patient and let the stats begin to stabilize before making too many knee-jerk reactions.
4/2 - Ihave added a link for 1998 player stats. For now, the reports are formatted the same as the preseason reports. (I've retained links to the preseason reports based on 1997 stats as well.) The report format will evolve as the season progresses, but it was easiest for me to slap new data into the existing format for now. I'm using CBS Sportsline as my stats source for the time being, and they seem to be on somewhat of a staggered time lag. As of 6:00 pm EST, yesterday's earlier games were posted, but the late games were not. I'll update again once all games are included. And I'll include a note in the report heading which states how current the stats are. You can also click on the Yesterday link to see daily SWP output for each player.
If you had a good draft, there's not much to do for now anyway. Since prices won't be updated for another 8 days, there's not much point in doing any early season trading unless you drafted someone you wish you hadn't - which certainly happens. Still, unless your guy is on the DL, it probably makes sense to hold out until next Thursday before executing any early trades.
Meanwhile, I've been tinkering with the majorleaguemarket.com stock trading simulation, and I must say I'm still quite bullish on it. As a fairly new venture, there is still a good bit of programming that needs to be developed, but it is certainly functional now, and building toward critical mass. While trading activity is building, the market inefficiencies are likely to be greatest, so you might want to sign up and test it out yourself. I've seen a few familiar names on their pages already. By the way, I created an "Investment Bank" - which is comparable to a division in Smallworld - called GuruBank. If any of you want to join it so you can compare results with other Guru fans and me, drop me an email with your MLM username and I'll add you. So far, Victor Davis and I are the guinea pigs.
4/1 - I've decided it's too much work to maintain this web site so I'm going to quit. You're on your own from now on. And before you panic, think about what day this is --- other than the second day of the baseball season.
I watched the whole Cleveland-Seattle game last night, and I felt like nothing had changed from last fall. Nagy still can't avoid the big inning, Alomar is en fuego, Seattle goes out to a big early lead and the bullpen blows it, and Cleveland comes from behind to win. That's OK......another 1997 would be just fine for this Tribe fan.
I also watched a good bit of the Mets-Phillies pitchers' duel. And a few innings of the Diamondbacks game. Overdose! But it's great to be back in baseball season.
Now I'm going to need your patience for a few days while I figure out how to process stats. Did you notice that Smallworld announced that they won't be repricing until a week from Friday? Thus, I don't sense a pressing need - other than curiosity - to get stats posted immediately. In due time. I'm basically starting from scratch, so please, hang in there for few days.
3/31 - Opening Day!Starting today, when you call up this site, the baseball blurb page will come up first. If you want the basketball blurbs, you'll have to go there yourself. My sense is that most of you have lost interest in hoops by now.
I just finished my radio interview on Atlanta station WCNN. If you came to this site as a result of hearing that interview, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. And welcome aboard! (Click on the following link for an approximate transcript of the interview.
While surfing around a bit after last night's Kentucky comeback, I happened upon a MLB stock market simulation that looks to have some promise. It is majorleaguemarket.com, and it's free. The things I like about it - on the surface, at least - are that it provides a stats-based season-end settlement price for each player stock, which allows for a means to assess relative value. Also, it offers short selling, options trading, and some commodity price trading. If you're interested, check out the site. I'm going to try it out, and if I think it stands up to the "Guru test", I'll post more info.
(Some of you have previously pointed out the "Wall Street Sports" stock market simulation as well. I have been trying it for awhile, but find it falling short in several basic ways. The most critical flaw is that there is no fundamental way to value a stock. They use a "black box" approach based on stats and supply/demand, but I can't figure out an objective way to compare the relative share price of, say, Frank Thomas with that of Mark McGwire. Also, it offers no short selling, which I think is a critical need for any market simulation in which prices are based on supply/demand.)
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RotoGuru is produced by Dave Hall (a.k.a. the Guru), an avid fantasy sports player. He is neither employed by nor compensated by any of the fantasy sports games discussed within this site, and all opinions expressed are solely his own. Questions or comments are welcome, and should be emailed toGuru<email@example.com>.