More than three months ago, I wrote about my excitement as I prepared for The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational. This was my first opportunity to compete in a major fantasy baseball tournament against the best managers in the game. These are pros, like Todd Zola, who make have made their living and carved out a prominent place in this world of players and statistics.
If I had to choose one word to describe my experience so far, the word would be humbling. Entering TGFBI with quiet confidence, I completed the draft and was awarded the highest grade in my league (A+). Based on the draft, I was projected to win my 15-team league and finish 97th overall in the field of 465. But things have changed quickly since the draft was completed.
Since that time, I have been keeping a diary of my experience, beginning with the draft on February 28th. I’ve recorded more than just my strategy and moves. I’ve also written about my thoughts and feelings as the season has unfolded. With the season nearing the three-quarter pole (three quarters left), it’s time now to share some of my diary entries full of my raw emotions.
MARCH 8, 2022
I made my final pick today in the draft, and my roster is complete. Overall, I think I have a good team. My starting pitching appears to be my strength, while speed is a weakness. By design, my outfield is weak because something had to be weak and I waited late to take my first outfielder. In the coming days, I will do a deep dive and make projections in each of the 10 roto categories.
MARCH 11, 2022
I’m pumped! The baseball lockout ended late yesterday, and the regular season will start on April 7th. Let’s play ball! Spring training will start on March 17th. The first FAAB bidding will occur on April 3rd (four days before the season starts). I am already in need of a replacement player as Cubs relief pitcher Codi Heuer was injured and will is expected to miss the season.
APRIL 1, 2022
Oh, snap! It’s being reported that the Dodgers and White Sox have agreed to a trade that sends closer Craig Kimbrel to Los Angeles. I really thought I had a steal, drafting Blake Treinen in the middle rounds of the draft a month ago. Now, it looks like Treinen is in the same boat as Will Smith. Pity me and the poor guy who drafted Smith for overpaying for a couple of setup guys.
APRIL 11, 2022
The first (short) weak of the season is in the books, and my team is off to a decent start. I have 90 total points and am 7th in my league and 135th overall. The hitting has been better than the pitching. Tyler Stephenson hit a home run yesterday to top off a 3-for-10 week, with 4 RBI. Ace Max Scherzer got a win but Jose Berrios lasted only 1/3 of an inning, giving up four runs.
APRIL 12, 2022
My euphoria was fleeting. The bottom just fell out for me as I fell from 135 overall to 279th overall in just one day. My hitters only went 4 for 24 (.166) in the first week, and Adrian Houser’s crappy start didn’t help things. I really wondering if I should be rolling out these subpar starting pitchers so that they can destroy my ratios. Maybe, I need to focus on relief pitchers.
APRIL 15, 2022
What’s up with the love fest everyone had for Charlie Morton? After a less-than-inspiring start against the Reds (the worst team in baseball), he lays an egg in San Diego. He gives up nine hits, five earned runs and three walks across five innings last night. I’m beginning to think that I only have a couple of reliable starting pitchers, and my ERA and WHIP are heading for double digits.
APRIL 17, 2022
The giant shadow of Edward Aloysius Murphy Jr. (Murphy’s Loaw) is hanging over my TGFBI team. Ryan Pressly, my only good closer, got injured yesterday and was put on the 10-day IL today. With Blake Treinen now a setup man in Los Angeles and Lou Trivino sitting on the bench in Oakland, I’ve got two chances to pick up another save anytime soon – slim and none.
APRIL 18, 2022
The third FAAB run occurred last night, and I failed to land the crown jewel – MacKenzie Gore. I put in a $50 bid and he went for $253! The second-place bid was $175. Gore made his first appearance with the Padres on Friday night, and he wasn’t that great (in my opinion). Two earned runs allowed on three hits, two walks and only three strikeouts. I really don’t get it.
APRIL 19, 2022
My TGFBI team is falling apart. Injuries and COVID has hit hard. Tyler Naquin was scratched yesterday and is on the COVID list. Jose Altuve was injured Monday and is DTD. Blake Treinen has an arm injury and is also DTD. All of this happened on Monday after lineup lock. I won’t be able to move them to the bench until Friday. Not being able to set lineups daily is a real drag.
APRIL 20, 2022
Things continue to spiral downward. After another awful start this week against the lowly A’s, Hyun Jin Ryu was put on the 10-day IL with forearm inflammation. Drafting him was a big mistake. I was hoping he would bounce back, but he picked up right where he left off in 2021. He has a 13.50 ERA and 1.77 WHIP. There’s no IL spot in this league, so I’m going to drop him.
APRIL 21, 2022
I can’t believe how fast things change on the scoreboard. Five days ago, I was 149th overall with 85.5 points in TGFBI. Yesterday, I was 286th overall. Today, I’m back up to 164th. All it took was good outings from Sandy Alcantara and Jose Berrios. After giving up a thousand runs in his first start, Berrios went 6.0 IP, giving up only 1 ER and 1 BB in Boston. That’s more like it.
APRIL 24, 2022
It’s time to clean house! I’m dropping Hyun Jin Ryu, Anthony DeSclafani and Blake Treinen, who are all on the IL. The hardest one to let go is DeSclafani, who was good last year but seems to have regressed. His career ERA is 4.00, and only time will tell if he can bounce back, but I’m betting against it. Now, he’s looking at a stint on the IL, and I don’t want to carry him for weeks.
APRIL 28, 2022
One glance at the standings this morning sent me looking for a bottle of sleeping pills or a rusty razorblade to put myself out of my misery. My team has slipped to 408th overall. My pitching has been awful, and I’m changing my strategy to employ more relief pitchers with strikeout potential – even if they don’t seem likely to be many saves. The main thing is to improve my ratios.
MAY 5, 2022
A week ago, I thought things couldn’t get much worse. I was wrong. This team has turned into a nightmare that I can’t wake up from. Currently I’m 423rd overall, which means that there are only 42 teams in the field that are worse than Doubting Thomas. What a humbling experience to compete in this event. I’ve had my share of bad luck, but there’s no one else to blame but myself.
MAY 12, 2022
I love fantasy baseball! One week ago, I was in the doldrums, languishing near the bottom of the standings with 47 ½ total points. Today, I’ve gained 21 points in the standings and am currently back to 336th overall. It’s nothing to brag about, but I’m definitely moving in the right direction. My pitching still stinks, but the hitting is now 4th best in my league. Life is worth living again.
MAY 16, 2022
I still don’t understand these astronomical bids on untried pitchers. You’d think George Kirby is the second coming. I bid $257 of FAAB last night and didn’t even finish in the top two bidders. He went for $306, in spite of a lackluster start Saturday night in New York. I did pick up Chase Silseth of the Angels, who pitched six scoreless innings in his MLB debut. Let’s roll, baby!
Follow Thomas L. Seltzer, AKA Doubting Thomas, on Twitter @ThomasLSeltzer1.