Monday, March 03, 2008

Picking Teams

Monday night at Dragon's Lair, we had a card draw to determine the team picking order for the Strat-O-Matic draft. Here are the results (we assumed Michael was in even though he didn't post in the previous thread):

1. Brian
2. Chris
3. Sean
4. Michael
5. Scott
6. Dennis (sigh)
7. Dennis
8. Scott
9. Michael
10. Sean
11. Chris
12. Brian

Remember, you aren't picking *your* team; you are picking a team whose players will be in one of the draft stacks, and you'll get first choice from that stack.

With the first pick, Brian selected...the Colorado Rockies. Word on the street is that he's drafting Coors Field in the first round.

Chris is now on the clock. Put your choices in the comments thread, and let's see how quickly we can turn through this.

58 Comments:

At 4:51 AM, March 04, 2008, Blogger Michael said...

And we are off and running.

 
At 10:55 AM, March 04, 2008, Blogger Chris said...

Let me do some quick research and I'll post later this evening when I get home.

 
At 12:09 PM, March 04, 2008, Blogger Dennis Ugolini said...

Jon has joined the league and will pick 6th. So the new order is:

1. Brian -- Rockies
2. Chris
3. Sean
4. Michael
5. Scott
6. Jon
7. Dennis
8. Dennis
9. Jon
10. Scott
11. Michael
12. Sean
13. Chris
14. Brian

 
At 4:41 PM, March 04, 2008, Blogger Brian said...

Since we have to get through 13 more picks ASAP, if you are soon up, you could send Dennis an ordered list (I'll take X, or Y or Z) when it gets close to your turn (or post it here, if you don't care if the next people see it).

 
At 6:14 PM, March 04, 2008, Blogger Chris said...

Okay, I'll go with the Tankees. Oops, the Yankees.

I'll submit my second pick later as I'm so far down the list I can't really think that far ahead.

What do we do for the other 16 teams that will remain unpicked after we run through this list?

 
At 6:36 PM, March 04, 2008, Blogger Brian said...

I mainly only figured people would send notes ahead if they were within a few picks (so you've got your favorite team, and a backup or two).

 
At 8:32 PM, March 04, 2008, Blogger seanp said...

I'll take Arizona Diamondbacks. Trying to figure out the second choice...

 
At 8:37 PM, March 04, 2008, Blogger Michael said...

Mets

 
At 8:38 PM, March 04, 2008, Blogger Michael said...

Chris and Sean, you don't wanna draft Choke-Rod.

 
At 8:39 PM, March 04, 2008, Blogger Michael said...

And yes Dennis, the Twins may be falling to you.

 
At 8:41 PM, March 04, 2008, Blogger Michael said...

My second team will be picked for humor value more than anything. If we did this like a true booster draft (Open your first pack, draft a player pass to right...until the pack is exhausted, then open your second pack draft a player, pass to left...until the pack is exhausted, I think it would give more reason to think.)

As is, unless you want to carefully judge which teams have break points from 15-16 etc its kinda silly to worry so much about the second team.

 
At 8:54 PM, March 04, 2008, Blogger scott said...

Florida Marlins

 
At 8:58 PM, March 04, 2008, Blogger Michael said...

So lets see first picks:
Brian: Matt Holliday
Chris: Jeter...cause hes Jeteriffic and calm eyed clutch. Or maybe choke -rod. But only if he wants to choke.
Sean - Brandon Webb
Me - David Wright
Scott - Hanley E. Ramirez (the e stands for error)

 
At 9:08 PM, March 04, 2008, Blogger seanp said...

Crapola. My baseball ignorance strikes early. I really wanted the Phillies... mistook PHN for phoenix.

 
At 9:12 PM, March 04, 2008, Blogger scott said...

but luckily the H stands for homerun power and the R stands for running circles around the base paths

 
At 10:05 PM, March 04, 2008, Blogger Dennis Ugolini said...

Yikes -- 2:20 of my life I won't get back, spent waiting in line for a caucus.

Do either Michael or Sean have a problem with Sean switching to the Phillies? If either of you would rather have the Diamondbacks, let me know.

Meanwhile, Jon is on the clock. My preference list is set, so Jon, have both of your picks ready.

 
At 10:11 PM, March 04, 2008, Blogger scott said...

i think you actually meant Michael or I and no I have no problem with Sean switching to the Phillies if he would like to do so.

 
At 10:26 PM, March 04, 2008, Blogger Jonathan W. said...

I guess I will go with the Boston Red Sox.

 
At 10:45 PM, March 04, 2008, Blogger Dennis Ugolini said...

I'll take the Anaheim Angels and Atlanta Braves.

To recap:

1. Rockies
2. Yankees
3. Phillies
4. Mets
5. Marlins
6. Red Sox
7. Angels
8. Braves

Jon back on the clock.

 
At 10:46 PM, March 04, 2008, Blogger scott said...

I am signing off for the evening. I will do my best take a look at picks in the morning and to try to post when mine comes but there is a good chance I can't do the former and an excellent chance I can't do the latter from work. Dennis could you email me after the next three picks and I will try to email my pick back to you so you can post it if I can't?

 
At 10:47 PM, March 04, 2008, Blogger Michael said...

"I guess I will go with the Boston Red Sox."

He's a wolfm lynch him!!!!

 
At 10:48 PM, March 04, 2008, Blogger Jonathan W. said...

I guess I will put the Diamondbacks back in the draft now since they got the cold shoulder from Sean.

 
At 10:49 PM, March 04, 2008, Blogger Michael said...

Do I mind Sean taking the Phillies? Heck no!

 
At 12:00 AM, March 05, 2008, Blogger seanp said...

Well, thanks guys - i appreciate it. I don't know if Michael is glad I included the phillies, or glad I passed the diamondbacks to someone else...

Are we SURE we don't get first pick from both of the teams we select? :) I'm torn trying to pick the second team - it hurts knowing someone else will get cream of the crop from my choice.

 
At 1:39 AM, March 05, 2008, Blogger Michael said...

Sean: I just like the fact that I am picking second on the Phillies.

They have three great players:

Rollins who was the "MVP".

Utley who would was having an MVP caliber year until he got injured and in my opinion was the Phillies MVP regardless.

Ryan Howard: never hurts to have a slugger.

Honestly, I would be happy with any of the three, but the fact that I will get Rollins or Utley guaranteed is aweseome.

We should still lynch Jon.

By the way, we have been playing live werewolf games in geekchat. Its amusing and quick. You guys should check it out.

 
At 6:49 AM, March 05, 2008, Blogger Dennis Ugolini said...

Um, Michael -- seating at the draft is randomized.

 
At 7:10 AM, March 05, 2008, Blogger Brian said...

I'm tempted to let Michael have Utley just for the Hanley E. Ramirez crack. We are giving up serious mocking potential by doing the draft this way.

Rumors that I'm drafting Coors Field first have (like many rumors) a grain of truthiness.

 
At 8:09 AM, March 05, 2008, Blogger Dennis Ugolini said...

We're calling out our picks each round, so there's plenty of room for "The first Mitchell report guy is taken!"-style mocking.

 
At 8:09 AM, March 05, 2008, Blogger scott said...

chicago cubs

 
At 8:22 AM, March 05, 2008, Blogger Dennis Ugolini said...

Thanks, Scott.

1. Rockies
2. Yankees
3. Phillies
4. Mets
5. Marlins
6. Red Sox
7. Angels
8. Braves
9. Diamondbacks
10. Cubs

Michael on the clock.

(70% NL? Who knew?)

 
At 9:59 AM, March 05, 2008, Blogger Chris said...

How do the 16 teams that we don't pick end up entering the draft pool?

Do we start at the top of the list again and end up picking 4 teams? Do we exhaust all the players from these 14 teams before moving on to the unpicked teams? How does that work?

 
At 10:00 AM, March 05, 2008, Blogger Chris said...

And yeah, I thought the Coors Field remark was a joke at first. Then I realized maybe it wasn't.

Stock up on pitching, Brian. You may need a seriously deep bullpen playing there.

 
At 10:49 AM, March 05, 2008, Blogger Jonathan W. said...

Chris,

I think the teams that do not get picked are sitting on the sideline.

 
At 11:31 AM, March 05, 2008, Blogger Dennis Ugolini said...

Correct -- the 16 teams we don't pick are out of the game. Bye bye, Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

(The idea is to add hard decisions in the mid-to-late rounds of the draft, when pickings are slim, rather than having us all assemble All-Star teams.)

 
At 1:10 PM, March 05, 2008, Blogger seanp said...

When does Michael usually wake up these days?

 
At 2:06 PM, March 05, 2008, Blogger Michael said...

I usually wake up around now.

Hmm, too many NL teams? I'll fix that. Lets do the Toronto Blue Jays?

I dunno I should think about this but no. I'll just pick the team with my favorite player even though I won't draft him.

 
At 2:15 PM, March 05, 2008, Blogger Michael said...

AHhh, random seating!...ahh!

Prays that Sean is one or two spots ahead of me in drafting.

 
At 2:16 PM, March 05, 2008, Blogger Michael said...

I really liked my spot picking relative to the yankees and the phillies.

Dangit.

 
At 3:00 PM, March 05, 2008, Blogger seanp said...

San Francisco

 
At 3:06 PM, March 05, 2008, Blogger Dennis Ugolini said...

1. Rockies
2. Yankees
3. Phillies
4. Mets
5. Marlins
6. Red Sox
7. Angels
8. Braves
9. Diamondbacks
10. Cubs
11. Blue Jays
12. Giants

(Did you know that Bonds's card has no name on it, because he won't join the players' union? I'd better go write it in.)

Chris on the clock, then Brian, then we're done.

Remarkably, my 6th, 7th, and 8th highest-ranked team choices are still unpicked -- and none of them are the Twins.

 
At 3:15 PM, March 05, 2008, Blogger Michael said...

Yeah, but Dennis, whats the point of drafting a great second team when you aren't going to be picking the great players out of it?

 
At 3:16 PM, March 05, 2008, Blogger Michael said...

Unless I am misremembering the rules ala Roger Clemens.

 
At 3:17 PM, March 05, 2008, Blogger Dennis Ugolini said...

1. Because I'll have a shot at the 2nd-4th best player, and

2. Because they have a lot of solid second-tier players that will come back around to you.

I'd give an example, but I don't want to influence the last two picks, so I'll wait.

 
At 4:54 PM, March 05, 2008, Blogger Brian said...

There are, in fact, two teams I'm thinking about picking and making Colorado my "Great 2nd team." Sure, I give up Matt Holiday to someone, but I make sure that my 8th pick (and possibly my 15th) have real value.

The price of having a good 8th pick is giving up good 2-7th picks to someone else. But if I spread it around...

Assuming Chris posts his pick I'll post tonight so that Dennis can form everything. I would like to know what the minimum requirements are going to be (IP for relievers and PA or AB for main players) so that their card makes it. It may affect my last pick, and it will certainly affect draft prep.

 
At 6:26 PM, March 05, 2008, Blogger Michael said...

Looking for break points was not something I was willing to do though Dennis. Thats too much work.

I have to take the team I start with and see which of the other teams left out there create the best break points for me? Not gonna happen. Too much time sucked from wwing.

 
At 8:18 PM, March 05, 2008, Blogger Dennis Ugolini said...

Not sure I understand the whole "break point" thing. I think people are exaggerating the gap between star players and fillers. There's no sharp distinction; any decent-sized collection of players will have a pretty smooth gradient from best to worst.

 
At 9:21 PM, March 05, 2008, Blogger Michael said...

I would say there is a pretty big gap from say David Wright to Carlos Beltran who I have rated as the second best player on the 2007 Mets. After Beltran, there is a huge gap to the next best player.

The Marlins also have the same type of thing going on.

Its just much easier to spot those things at the first pick area than the 7th pick area.

I dunno, after my first pick, I felt like the majority of my work would be researching these teams so I make informed player picks during the player draft. I feel like that has the most influence on success or lack of success rather than having another team with a large pool of talent.

 
At 9:28 PM, March 05, 2008, Blogger Michael said...

Also, when you have the team picks, is there a place where we can see exactly which players will be in the league?

 
At 9:33 PM, March 05, 2008, Blogger Brian said...

I'm using Baseball Reference for research. Dennis has confirmed 120 IP for starters, 40 IP for relievers, and 300 PA (250 for Catchers). That's enough to let you know most of who to ignore. Given that we have 2 teams each, you'll probably mainly be drafting the starters plus a bit of chaff.

And, of course, this assumes that the cards match the players ... which isn't always the case (cough Jeter cough).

I'll do a bit more research tomorrow PM, but I've pretty much looked up the known teams.

Ooh, and Dennis ... can you post the park information Tomorrow?

 
At 10:16 PM, March 05, 2008, Blogger Chris said...

Did some research. I think I may be doing everyone a favor in trying to do myself a favor, but so be it.

Cleveland Indians

 
At 10:46 PM, March 05, 2008, Blogger Dennis Ugolini said...

Ah, thank goodness someone took the Indians. Very deep pitching talent.

Brian told me earlier that he wanted the Orioles for sentimental reasons. So we're done!

Brian -- Rockies, Orioles
Chris -- Yankees, Indians
Sean -- Phillies, Giants
Michael -- Mets, Blue Jays
Scott -- Marlins, Cubs
Jon -- Red Sox, Diamondbacks
Dennis -- Angels, Braves

I'll start putting the decks together, and post the park information, as soon as possible.

Can we draft this Saturday?

 
At 10:57 PM, March 05, 2008, Blogger Chris said...

Yeah, the Indians have a lot of good everything. That's a team that will still have something to offer even if I'm the 8th person to pick from it.

I'm ok for Saturday.

 
At 10:59 PM, March 05, 2008, Blogger Chris said...

(as a side note...I wonder why it isn't displaying Dennis' or Michael's little avatars on their posts)

 
At 11:38 PM, March 05, 2008, Blogger Dennis Ugolini said...

(Chris -- I haven't gotten around to adding an avatar yet.)

PARK EFFECTS

When using Park Effects, there are two symbols on both hitting and pitching cards that require you to ignore the splits on the cards and roll a d20 on the Ballpark Effect table instead. A solid, inverted triangle means a possible single, while a solid diamond means a possible homerun. Note that the table changes from year to year, so the numbers that I include here, and include in the draft stacks, are the official ones.

A stadium listing will look like this:

Houston -- 1B L2/R8, HR L12/R12

This means:

Inverted triangle, left-handed hitter: Single* on 1-2, Lineout(2b) on 3-20
Inverted triangle, right-handed hitter: Single* on 1-8, Lineout(ss) on 9-20
Diamond, left-handed hitter: Homerun on 1-12, Fly(rf)B on 13-20
Diamond, right-handed hitter: Homerun on 1-12, Fly(lf)B on 13-20.

The important things to remember are that it's the *hitter's* handedness that matter, all singles are single-star, and all fly outs are type-"B" (possible sac fly) to the field opposite the hitter's handedness (lefties hit to right, righties hit to left).

So here are the 14 parks in our draft:

Anaheim -- 1B L11/R11, HR L2/R6
Arizona -- 1B L13/R13, HR L13/R13
Atlanta -- 1B L10/R10, HR L4/R9
Baltimore -- 1B L6/L9, HR L8/R14
Boston -- 1B L15/R15, HR L2/R5
Chicago (Cubs) -- 1B L8/R8, HR L14/R11
Cleveland -- 1B L7/R7, HR L8/R8
Colorado -- 1B L16/R19, HR L8/R14
Florida -- 1B L6/R6, HR L8/R5
New York (Mets) -- 1B L7/R4, HR L6/R6
New York (Yankees) -- 1B L8/R8, HR L14/R11
Philadelphia -- 1B L7/R7, HR L18/R18 (ye gods)
San Francisco -- 1B L11/R11, HR L1/R4
Toronto -- 1B L5/R5, HR L15/R15

When drafting, you only want to worry about your home park if you are heavily tailoring your team around good pitching (Cleveland), good on-base percentage (Colorado), or solid power (Philly), or if you are exploiting a left-right asymmetry (Baltimore).

Again, I will *make* cards with this info on it, so it will be in the draft decks.

 
At 6:25 AM, March 06, 2008, Blogger scott said...

saturday still works for me pending location and time and progression of my wife's flu;
i will have to make a bank deposit first thing but if we can start right after that saturday morning that would work best for me

 
At 7:06 AM, March 06, 2008, Blogger Brian said...

Thanks for posting the park info, Dennis.

I say we start Saturday (at Chris's if he's hosting) around 9:30-ish.

And apart from Sentimental Reasons, I can now call my team the Rock Orioles.

 
At 7:10 AM, March 06, 2008, Blogger Brian said...

And just to fill in one park note ... those HR ranges are HR-N. Weak hitters convert to Single(** I believe).

 
At 7:59 AM, March 06, 2008, Blogger Dennis Ugolini said...

I'm done preparing the draft decks. You won't miss any of the players eliminated by the PA/IP minimums; the only big name I saw was Roger Clemens. Jason Giambi just slipped in with 302 PA, thanks to 8 hit-by-pitch.

I made an executive decision with respect to the Cubs catcher. You may remember that they started the season with Michael Barrett, but after a clubhouse fight with pitcher Carlos Zambrano, Barrett was traded to the Padres, and doesn't get a Cubs card at all. None of the other Cubs catchers had more than ~200 PA. So to prevent us running out of catchers, I inserted Jason Kendall, the Cub with the most PA.

Finally, I want to add one rule which I think most of you will find reasonable. Starter/relievers with fewer than 120 IP (which is most of them) can *only* be relievers, not starters. Too many of them had only 2-3 starts, ~55 IP, and stilted stats for a starter as a result. There are still plenty of real starters (6-8) in each draft deck.

 

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