Season in Review - Larrupin' Lous
The Lous have quickly established themselves as one of the stalwarts of the league, active in trade discussions and quick to move on possible bargains. Their luck hasn't been the greatest in their first two seasons, and their overall record is not the best. However, their 2004 campaign saw them rally from a disasterous start, and lay the foundations for a potentially very strong challenge in 2005.
Full Name: Larrupin' Lous
Abbreviated name: LL
Previous name(s): n/a
Year Founded: 2003
Current Division: Gehrig
Franchise record (reg. season): 19-26 (.422)
Franchise record (postseason): 0-0
2002 record: n/a
2003 record: 11-11 (.500)
2004 record: 8-15 (.348)
2004 position: 5th in Gehrig Division
Best season record: 11-11 (.500)
Worst season record: 8-15 (.348)
Clearly, the new Gehrig Division wasn't as much of a walkover as its namesake might have hoped. The Lous managed only one win all year against their intradivision rivals. Both the debut teams came out with 100% records against the Lous - and since the intradivision games were spread across the season, this doesn't entirely explain their early-season collapse. However, the silver lining here was the very credible performance against the other divisions, where the Lous fought their way to a .500 record, or near enough.
2004 Season Stats
2004 Points: 6224 2004 vs. Gigawatts: 0-2
2004 Average: 270.61 Lifetime vs. Gigawatts: 0-2
Record Rank: 16th 2004 vs. Horsemen: 1-1
Points Rank: 14th Lifetime vs. Horsemen: 1-2
Brkdwn Rank: 14th 2004 vs. Marauders: 0-2
Power Rank: 15th Lifetime vs. Marauders: 0-2
2004 vs. Ruth: 2-3 (.400) 2004 vs. Senators: 0-2
2004 vs. Gehrig: 1-7 (.125) Lifetime vs. Senators: 0-3
2004 vs. DiMaggio: 2-3 (.400)
2004 vs. Mantle: 3-2 (.600)
First 8 games: 1-7 (.125)
Middle 7 games: 4-3 (.571)
Last 8 games: 3-5 (.375)
The early-season slump is undeniable, and again it's heartening to note that the Lous recovered to play .500 the rest of the way. However, their ambitions towards a pennant were never in play after that. Looking at their power rankings, it seems that they weren't particularly hard-done-by, either, as their record was only a notch below their points-scoring rank.
Not at all a bad-looking team on paper, with some young talent in Reyes and Podsednik, while a youthful rotation also had much potential. Of course, injuries decimated the team, particularly with regard to Reyes, Pineiro, and Hoffman, while Ellis proved utterly useless and Preston Wilson continued to be fragile. In retrospect, Kenny Lofton was a highly optimistic 11th round pick, while the bench featured four hitters and no pitchers - something of a risk, perhaps. But on paper this was a team with the ability to upset a lot of opponents, and some genuinely young breakout potential.
Name Round Points Name Round Points
C B. Molina 14 216 SP J. Pineiro 4 292
1B T. Helton 1 699 SP W. Miller 5 228
2B M. Ellis 15 0 SP J. Thomson 9 377
3B T. Batista 7 389 SP T. Lilly 10 411
SS R. Furcal 3 483 SP J. Suppan 13 370
OF P. Wilson 6 142
OF A. Kearns 8 120 RP T. Hoffman 16 280
OF K. Lofton 11 198 RP J. Marquis 17 416
DH J. Bagwell 2 577 RP L. Ayala 18 232
Bench S. Podsednik 12 414
Bench D. Roberts 19 273
Bench J. Reyes 20 151
Bench D. Wilson 21 173
Overall a decent year of trading for the Lous, who got value from most trades. The departure of Bagwell was the only real question mark, as the aging Houston start still managed sterling work in his new Newburgh home. The acquisition of Beltre was obviously a fantastic steal, giving up only a marginal outfielder, and the departure of Piniero gave the Lous a decent relief keeper pick. With Johnson and Weaver, the Lous now have plenty of options for 2005, and - given that they were out of their pennant race by June - the talent departing in return doesn't appear that severe.
3/15 - traded J. Bagwell and T. Lilly to Newburgh Naughties for B. Zito and J. Damon
4/4 - traded J. Marquis and T. Hall to Newburgh Naughties for A. Eaton
4/28 - claimed L. Ford off waivers
6/17 - traded D. Roberts to Junior's Bashers for A. Beltre
7/25 - traded J. Piniero to Saxmania's Swingers for B. claussen and C. Cordero
8/2 - traded T. Helton and D. Miller to the Evil Empire for I. Rodriguez and N. Johnson
8/2 - traded B. Zito to Tugger's Sluggers for J. Kubel and J. Weaver
A strong all-around roster, with several important players for 2005. Beltre in round 6 remains a bargain, while a pitcher like Jeff weaver could well be an inexpensive middle-of-the-rotation steal. Otsuka appears to be a quality reliever who might well repeat his top-20 performance this year. Additionally, there are some marginal players who could be useful - Ford and Schneider spring to mind - if they win starting jobs. The minors are well-stocked, although Fielder remains some way off, and the talent is hitting heavy. On the other hand, that may be a deliberate strategy.
Name Round Points Name Round Points
C I. Rodriguez 5 422 SP B. Claussen 18 47
1B C. Pickering n/a 68 SP A. Eaton 7 346
2B M. Grudzielanek n/a 163 SP J. Suppan 13 370
3B A. Beltre 8 593 SP J. Thomson 9 377
SS R. Furcal 3 483 SP J. Weaver 9 466
OF J. Damon 6 517
OF L. Ford n/a 444 RP C. Cordero 13 235
OF S. Podsednik 12 414 RP T. Hoffman 16 280
DH T. Batista 7 389 RP A. Otsuka 19 288
Bench B. Schneider n/a 316 Minors P. Fielder 1B
Bench A. Kearns 8 120 Minors J. Kubel OF
Bench J. Brower n/a 195 Minors R. Nivar OF
Minors J. Stokes OF
DL N. Johnson 9 274 Minors A. Wainwright RP
DL J. Reyes 20 151
DL P. Wilson 6 142
DL W. Miller 5 228
1) What was your draft strategy? How happy were you with the results?
My strategy was to draft the best team possible, and I thought I did a good job. My projected staring lineup was the best (using 2003 points and projected 2004 points) in the Gehrig Division. Had one mistake with the auto-draft but I rectified that with the Zito & Damon for Bagwell and Lilly trade (controversial at the time, meaningless with Zito sucking this year).
2) How did your keepers perform? Would you have made different choices with the benefit of hindsight?
Aside from Trevor Hoffman, my keepers were useless. Hoffman was his usual greatness (3-3, 41 Sv, 2.04 ERA) but Jose Reyes was injured right after our draft and did virtually nothing all season. Reyes had fewer AB in 2004 than he did as a June callup in 2003. His BA was 50 points lower, and his OBP and SLG were much lower too. Preston Wilson got hurt in the beginning of April and missed 9 weeks of action. A year after getting 36 HR and 141 RBI with a .282 Avg in 600 AB, he got 202 AB, and hit for 6 HR, 29 RBI and a .248 Avg. I don't know who else I would have kept instead of Reyes and Wilson, though I'm sure there are a couple of guys I could have kept who didn't spend most of the season on the DL. OTOH, Reyes, if I choose to keep him for 2005, still has a low draft position, so he might have still been kept.
3) How do you rate your in-season management this year? What were your biggest positives and negatives?
Considering all the injuries I had to my projected starting lineup, I think I did a good job managing.
My biggest positives were some of the trades I made: Dave Roberts for Adrian Beltre could go down as one of the most lopsided trades ever approved by the league. The 2004 ML Home Run champion is eligible to be kept in the 6th round. Damion Miller and Todd Helton for Nick Johnson and Ivan Rodriguez also sets me up well in the C spot for 2005, as I-Rod could be a 3rd round pick. Also getting Chad Cordero from Sax (he could be the full-time closer in DC next year) who could be kept in the 11th round.
My biggest negative -- the Bagwell and Lilly for Damon and Zito trade. Though I probably couldn't have gotten more in potential value for Bagwell and Lilly (given all the negativity about the trade), Zito sucked worse than a broken vacuum cleaner, and eventually got traded again, for Jeff Weaver and Jason Kubel. (Talk about dropping in value!) OTOH, Randi finished in last place too, so it's not like either of us benefitted from the deal.
4) What real-life MLB team did your roster most remind you of?
The D-Rays. Started off poor, made a nice run for a while, then collapsed after the break.
5) Do you intend to return in 2005? If so, who do you intend to keep? How strong does your team look for next year?
Well, considering I'm a finalist for Commissioner, it would be pretty bad if I get elected and then DON'T return. I haven't decided on my keepers yet for 2005, though I do have some good ideas. I'm deciding from 8 players who will be kept. I think my keepers (whoever they may be) will set me up well for 2005...barring injuries of course.
6) Choose one word to describe your overall season:
To some extent, injuries are more difficult to cater for in fantasy baseball than in real life, since other teams have no overpaid veterans that they're dying to drop.The initial disappointment of an injury-plagued spring led the Lous to re-examine their roster. Swiftly cutting out the dead wood, the Larrupers have already stolen a march on 2005, with one marquee hitter at a reasonable price in Beltre, and some promising late-round bargains that free up earlier picks for established veterans. Their first winning season in 2005 looks a strong possibility.
Be seeing you,