Wednesday, April 2, 2008

You Get the Ankles and I'll Get the Wrists...

It's come down to this. Tristan H. Cockcroft is openly mocking the Baltimore Orioles. It's a sad, sad day for Orioles fans when even the fantasy writers are beating up on this once-proud franchise. I can take this kind of abuse from, say, Joe Sheehan, but Cockcroft??? C'mon, buddy. C'monnnnn, buddy. I'll occasionally take your fantasy advice, Tristan, but don't you pick on my Orioles. Seriously, stay the hell away from my Birds. I know they'll suck this year. I know BP projected them to win 57 games, and the aforementioned Mr. Sheehan wrote that they're the "worst team in the league." And, in the same article, he wrote, "Other than the Orioles... there are no really bad teams in the AL." And he wrote, "I would rather give up bacon for the rest of my life than watch even an inning of Oriole baseball this year." OK, I made that last one up, but you probably believed it for a second, right? You get the idea: Orioles = Terrible.

Nevertheless, catching flak from a fantasy writer--a guy who lives in a 5x5 world where team wins and losses mean next to nothing--is a new low. It's the equivalent of Pat Sajak berating a 'Wheel of Fortune' contestant for mispronouncing a word. Or Laura Bush ripping on Colin Powell for lying to the UN Security Council. What's next? A 10,000 word manifesto from the ghost of H.L. Mencken illustrating everything wrong with the Oriole franchise? A 'Fantasy Sleepers' article written by Peter Angelos? (This Kershaw slumbers. I shall waketh him). Yeesh.


Jeff R. said...

I'll take solace if the fact that "fantasy sports writer" is the ugliest profession there is. I don't mean it's a bad job, just that its practitioners, all of them, are hideous-looking. Karabell, Cockcroft, Berry, and, their leader, Scott Engel could hold their own against the four ugliest people from any line of work.

And since when did fantasy have anything to do with how the actual teams actually fared? Especially fantasy baseball? Crawford's steals, Teixeira's dongs, and Hanley's everything counted regardless of their teams' last place finishes.

As I've previously said: Stats don't care. Cole don't need thumbs.

Jay Z said...

"Every big league team has playoff hopes -- OK, maybe not the Orioles -- and every..."
"Scott Moore, 1B/3B, Orioles: It's not like the Orioles are a playoff contender in 2008, so why not get a sense of whether he can handle the third-base chores?"

That's what you're upset about? And, by the way, the second quote is the answer to the question "since when did fantasy have anything to do with how the actual teams actually fared?" It matters because if they're not contenders, young guys with upside get to play, vets are traded to better lineups where they'll accumulate more stats potentially, etc. When I clicked on the link I expected to see an article about projecting actual teams, or about how bad the Orioles would be. Not two very small comments in a very fantasy oriented article. It's not like he harped on them the whole time.

Oh, and if you considered this small infraction by Cockroft to be "post worthy," prepare to write a lot in the next 6 months.

Ryan Smith said...

It's just sad to me, as an O's fan, to see that Baltimore has become the token joke franchise. The whipping boy. The "Arvid" (if you're into "Head of the Class" metaphors). You get the idea. That was my main point, and it's admittedly only really relevant to the Oriole fans (and Pirate fan) in the audience, who grew up cheering for winning teams and have had little to cheer for over the past decade or so. Just showing how far the Orioles have fallen. We are the joke of 'real' baseball AND fantasy baseball. Sad.

Nevertheless, Cockcroft's article is about individual player forecasts -- not an article about how each team will fare this year -- and yet he still felt the need to jab my Orioles. Do you not take it personally when someone rips on your Mariners? If Scott Engel were to jab your boys in Seattle, would you not bleed?

(And besides, ESPN's fantasy writers are a largely friendly and optimistic bunch -- witness their player projections this year, in which nearly every player is "projected" to either sustain or improve upon last year's stats -- and when the friendliest among us start jabbing, well, it's a sad, sad day).

Oh, and we have standards now as to what is and isn't "post worthy"? I'll try to remember that next time I'm six beers deep and logged in...

Jay Z said...

I understand being pissed/hurt because your team has become the token joke's butt, but don't blame Cockroft, or any other writer, fantasy or real. Everyone throws those brief comments in there. Sometimes the "entirely unownable" teams (which the Orioles are clearly not) get whole fantasy blog entries dedicated to them.

As for my "post-worthy" comment, I was referring to what may or may not be considered suitable for the blog in general, rather saying if that level of incident riled you up enough to post, prepare to be doing a lot of posting, because there will be more, and worse, such instances in the coming months.

And besides, better to have won, then lose, than never to have won before. At least you're not a...ahem...Mariners fan, and losing a series to the disparaged team.

Ryan Smith said...

Rest assured that I'm not blaming Cockcroft for anything. The Orioles are responsible for their own ineptitude. Besides, I can't stay mad at a guy named Tristan Cockcroft. He has his own problems.

Bottom line: the O's will be comically bad this year. And that's what REALLY makes me mad. Not that someone would choose to comment on it. Even if that someone spends his days touting Xavier Nady to the truly desperate.

Your comment got me thinking, though: are there any truly unownable teams in fantasy this year? Or, which are the least-ownable teams in fantasy? By my count, the Marlins have anywhere from 2-4 ownable players, depending on how you feel about Willingham and Gregg. The A's only really have three usable players -- and one of 'em is Rich Harden (and I'm not a huge fan of Huston Street). The Nats only have two draftable players (now that Cordero is on the shelf). Things are pretty ugly in KC, too, but Butler and Greinke are getting a ton of hype this year and Soria is vastly underrated. The Pirates, for all their real-life problems, are deceptively decent in fantasyland. I guess I'd go with the Nats or San Fran. Lincecum and Cain are the only two I want on that team. I wouldn't go near anyone else with a ten foot touchin' pole.

Wilson said...

San Fran is the only team I can think of with literally NO ONE on that offense respectably ownable. Seriously. Their cleanup hitter is Bengie Molina!

Jay Z said...

Yeah, I go with San Fran, despite picking up Eugenio "Please get me 40+ SB and 10+ Triples!" Velez like, an hour before posting this. When I talk about "completely unownable" I usually don't count the closers because every team has someone closing, even if it is a committee. But Cain and Lincecum are the only guys on SF (and Velez). Royals, actually, have Gordon, Butler, Greinke, Meche, Guillen is a serviceable known quantity, and Teahen I guess has some hopeful upside.

Ryan Smith said...

I think I'd go with Oakland, actually. Huston Street, Joe Blanton, and that's it. Harden, maybe. I'm not remotely interested in any of Oakland's batters. (Or any of San Fran's batters, either, for that matter).

ESPN ADPs of Lincecum and Cain: 123 and 147, respectively = 270 (also, Aaron Rowand's ADP is 137 but this is ridiculous and I refuse to dignify it here).

ADPs of Street and Blanton: 102 and 219 = 321

Hardly scientific, but I'd argue that San Fran's two draftable players are more valuable than the two from Oakland. Both lineups are fantasy wastelands, though.