Two months ago, I wrote my first installment chronicling my experience in The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational, beginning with my first ever draft on February 28th. This was in diary form, and it involved more than just sharing my strategy, lineup and waiver-wire moves. I’ve also written about my thoughts and feelings as the season has unfolded. It was full of raw emotion.
In the last two months, there has been more raw emotion as I’ve ridden the emotional rollercoaster, while competing against 464 of the best fantasy baseball managers in the world. Like any rollercoaster ride, there are plenty of ups and downs. But suffice it to say that the arrow is pointing up since my last update. Here’s The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational Diary, Part 2.
MAY 17, 2022
I’ve got a man crush on Sandy Alcantara. The dude is a stud. I’m do glad I drafted him instead of Aaron Nola. There’s always a lot of love for Nola, but Alcantara is the most underrated pitcher in baseball. Eight innings, three hits allowed, one earned run, one walk, five strikeouts and the win. I’ve moved up to 328th overall. That’s an improvement over 423rd just twelve days ago.
MAY 19, 2022
Just when things were looking up for Doubting Thomas comes the news that Max Scherzer may be headed for the IL. This comes one day after he picked up his fifth win. Mad Max removed himself from the game in the sixth inning, complaining of left side discomfort. “Discomfort” doesn’t sound awful, but pardon me for being pessimistic. Scherzer is no spring chicken at 37.
MAY 20, 2022
There’s a reason why they call me Doubting Thomas. No matter how good things are going, I am always waiting for the other shoe to fall. It fell this morning when I learned that Scherzer is headed for the IL with an oblique strain. Is it a mild strain? Oh, no. Scherzer is going to be out for 6-8 weeks. What a gut punch just as I was starting to turn things around with my pitching.
MAY 23, 2022
I cashed in on three FAAB bids last night, and this may prove to be my most lucrative haul so far this season. I picked up utility player Brendan Donovan ($52), Pitcher Jeffrey Springs ($44) and A’s outfielder Seth Brown ($7). Donovan is going to hit for a high average in a good Cardinals lineup and play all over the field. Springs has a rotation spot with an excellent Rays team.
MAY 26, 2022
No pitching, no problem! My hitters just keep on crushing it. Rafael Devers, Jared Walsh and Tyler Naquin all went yard Tuesday. Yesterday, it was Dansby Swanson and Seth Brown. I told you that guy was going to pay off. Charlie Morton had another miserable night but Spencer Strider came in to relieve Morton, pitching 2.2 hitless, scoreless innings to get the win. I’ll take it.
MAY 28, 2022
When I completed my draft three months ago, pitching was supposed to be my strength. I have only 21 total pitching points in my TGFBI league. It’s pretty damn hard to compete with that kind of production.
At least, my hitters are still producing, with Jared Walsh hitting his 10th home run of the year last night. Rafael Devers, meanwhile, is batting .342 and could be the AL MVP.
MAY 31, 2022
Nineteen! That’s how many pitching points my team has in a 15-team league out of a possible 75. The latest disaster was Spencer Strider’s first start at Arizona. I felt so good about him when he was pitching in long relief, and I guessed he would be even better as a starter. This was the easy game, and now Strider gets pitches at Coors Field Saturday. My team has slipped to 301st overall.
JUNE 17, 2022
I’m back from a two-week vacation, and a change of scenery was all I needed. My team has gone from 301st to 175th overall. It’s not as though I didn’t touch the team, still doing my FAAB bids and setting my lineup twice a week under the disapproving eye of my wife. I was right about Donovan, picked up four weeks ago. He’s hitting .341 and is now eligible in the outfield which is huge.
JUNE 18, 2022
Uncle Charlie, welcome back! Morton pitched seven shutout innings yesterday against Chicago, striking out nine. He gave up only three hits and no walks. The nine strikeouts came six days after he struck out 12. His ERA is still 5.08 and his WHIP 1.37, P he’s moving in the right direction. Several weeks ago, I made some moves to focus on repairing my terrible ERA and WHIP. It’s working.
JUNE 20, 2022
I have not managed my $1,000 FAAB money well and risk running out before the season is half over. Like real life, when you’re short on money, you tighten your belt and spend less. I picked up relief pitcher Brad Hand and starting pitcher Matthew Liberatore for a total FAAB outlay of $8. Call me Thrifty Thomas. I now have 40.5 pitching points. That’s double what I had three weeks ago.
JUNE 21, 2022
Jose Berrios is killing me softly. He gave up six earned runs and nine hits last night and gets the lion’s share of the blame for dropping my team from 189 to 221 overall. The three quality starts in a row lured me into taking him off the bench against the White Sox. And more bad news with the announcement that Manuel Margot is lost perhaps for the season with a knee injury. I can’t buy a break.
JUNE 24, 2022
The pitching disease has spread to my bullpen. Normally reliable Ryan Pressly gave up four runs on three hits and two walks, lasting only one-third of an inning in a blown save that reverberated from Yankee Stadium to Texas. Pressly has not been that good, and it would be just my luck if Dusty decides to turn closing duties over to Rafael Montero, 3-0, four saves, 1.88 ERA and 1.01 WHIP.
JUNE 26, 2022
Sunday, bloody Sunday. The blood is mine after another abysmal start by none other than Jose “Batting Practice” Berrios. I had elected to start him last Monday, and he was locked in my lineup for two starts against the White Sox on Tuesday and Milwaukee today. I really should have known better. Berrios has an ERA of about 20 in the United States this year, and both of these games were on the road.
JULY 2, 2022
I’ve been chasing saves all season long, and I may have caught a break with the addition of Lou Trivino last Sunday. I picked him up with $3 of FAAB and he earned a save last night with a clean inning in Seattle. The poor guy still has an ERA above 7.00, but the A’s are so bad that he’s their best closer option since Dany Jimenez went on the IL. Brad Hand also got a save last night against St. Louis.
JULY 6, 2022
I’m mad about Max. Scherzer, that is. He’s back, baby. Off the IL after seven long weeks, pitching like a madman last night in Cincinnati. Six innings, two hits allowed, no runs, no walks. And eleven strikeouts. Fifteen swinging strikes in only 79 pitches. The Mets ace should be suing for nonsupport because his teammates got him no runs, losing to the hapless Reds 1-0. No worries! Max is back.
JULY 9, 2022
“I’m on the top of the world lookin’ down on creation. And the only explanation I can find. Is the love that I’ve found, ever since my pitching came around. Fantasy pitchers put me on the top of the world.” I’ve got Karen Carpenter’s voice in my head, and why not? Today, I find woke up to find myself 113th overall in TGFBI. Just two months ago, I was 423rd and on the verge of taking my own life.
JULY 10, 2022
Stupid Smeltzer, or is it Stupid Seltzer? After all, I was the one who started this guy against the Rangers last night. The Rangers. That juggernaut that makes opposing pitchers quake on the mound. At least, if you’re name is Smeltzer. Three gopher balls. Kole Calhoun looked like Aaron Judge. Seven earned runs, three walks and an early shower. You needed that shower, Smeltzer, because you stink.
Thomas L. Seltzer, AKA Doubting Thomas, also writes about baseball and football for CreativeSports. You can follow Thomas on Twitter @ThomasLSeltzer1.