You have certainly heard the old phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” right? I mean, this is one of those common sense life lessons that saves us all a lot of trouble, time, and money. While helpful in day-to-day living, this valuable nugget of advice holds true with fantasy baseball as well. There are two specific areas pertaining to this axiom that need to be addressed. One of them you can learn to control, and the other you have to recognize and run & hide when at all possible.
First, I am trusting that you are reading an article about baseball because you play fantasy and love the American Pastime. You have a sense for the nature of the game, which, at its very core, involves a modicum of patience and appreciation for the nuances and fabric of Baseball’s intrinsic ebb and flow over the course of nine innings, a series, and even an entire season.
Yes, like no other sport, Baseball is developed and nurtured to fruition out of a vast series of individual events. In other words, fellow fans, Baseball is a game demanding our appreciation and love of the orchestration of it all. So why in the holy world of Tinkers-to-Evers-to-Chance do fantasy owners insist on reacting to every fad and hangnail like a College Coed changing her clothes 14 times before class based on Khloe Kardashian’s Instagram advice? For the love, people, your team is an organized, assembled assortment of pieces to coexist in the search for September cash, not cobbled together to be dissected like a half-frozen frog by a bunch of ADD challenged third graders!
Trust your team! Furthermore, trust your draft and the work that went into it before you found out your slot to begin with. Going back to the beginning advice, how do you even know if something is working or not before you get it out of the box and plug it in? Here is an obvious bit of knowledge that you know but may be beneficial to remind yourself of once in a while if you ever want to win a Fantasy Baseball league – Spring Training statistics are about as valuable as French perfume on a June Stink Bug; it might smell good for the immediate sniff, but eventually the funk is going to take over. So please, do not cut a rock-solid piece of a team (think a cog like Brett Gardner that you drafted for 15/15 potential without killing your average, or a Starting Pitcher like Michael Wacha that you snagged for 10 wins and honest peripherals) for the latest flashy ‘prospect’ that isn’t even going to see the Show in 2019 (Vlad Jr. last season, anyone?).
One of this spring’s hotshots is the mighty Bo Bichette, young Shortstop in the Toronto farm system. Through 14 games the son of Dante has 4 home runs and a gaudy .387 batting average and .424 on-base percentage. Now, a show of hands…does anyone REALLY believe Bo Bichette is going to rake at this clip once he is wearing a Toronto uniform? Heck, does anyone REALLY believe the future Blue Jay is even on the Major League roster before August or September? So if you have a solid, proven MLB SS on your team already (Tim Anderson, Andrelton Simmons, etc.) do you seriously jump and take the bait to chase the shiny new toy just to be able to show your fellow league mates that you are so far ahead of their ability to spot the next big thing out there?
There are many other examples of players team owners are going gaga (not Lady) over (Lewis Brinson, Jung Ho Kang, Matt Strahm to name a few), but again, dear friends, I implore you to take heed of that sage advice – “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Now, if you find out something is broken (Tim Anderson hits .180 and doesn’t steal a bag until May, for example), then heck yes, run that trash to the curb as fast as humanly possible. But until you see the cracks, don’t look for the scars before they develop.
Our second piece of sage (albeit free, so subscribe at your own risk) advice proves that Fantasy Baseball Owners aren’t the only managers out there with itchy trigger fingers making more moves than a crack addict playing connect four by himself. Yes, it is a sad fact that real-life skippers are guilty of overplaying the tinkering game. I am talking to you, specifically, Joe Maddon and Dave Roberts and Gabe Kapler. There are others to some degree, to be sure, but for my team investment and dreams of fantasy gold, I will always – ALWAYS – do my best to shy away from players at the mercy of these wannabe Swiss watch repairmen.
Some specific players in this timeshare of doom situation would be Ian Happ, Albert Almora Jr., and Kyle Schwarber (Cubs), Joc Pederson and Chris Taylor (Dodgers), and any Phillie not named Bryce, J.T., or Rhys. Heck, I even go so far as to shy away from Walker Buehler this season with Los Angeles because I am convinced Dave Roberts will do everything in his power to limit his innings to something akin to meal portions for followers of Olivia Jade. Same with Julio Urias.
Of course, there are always exceptions every rule (except for brushing your teeth in the morning – please, ALWAYS brush your teeth). As the Rockies’ position battle for second base plays out I am all over every share of Hampson & McMahon I can get my greedy keyboard strokes on, no question. But even in my frenzy to secure that thin air bump in stats, I won’t do so at the expense of a known commodity. Well, at least a somewhat predictable commodity. After all, there is never any such thing as a guaranteed rock-solid entity in baseball. So plan accordingly – draft accordingly – and, most of all, manage your squad accordingly. Best of luck!
Questions? Comments? Hit me up via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am not a fan of twitter and social media, so I am happy to converse via the tried and true landscape of mail.