Sunday, December 28, 2008

My 3 Biggest Benchwarmer Baseball Mistakes of 2008

I've been playing the fantasy baseball game Benchwarmer Baseball ("BWB" for short) for eight years now and it always amazes me how many mistakes I make each year: oversights, miscalculations, failing to make adjustments, you name it, I've screwed it up. However, after every year I look back and analyze the year with the intention to make improvements in my roster management philosophy. In 2008, there were three glaring errors in made over the three teams I manage in BWB that prevented my teams from claiming any championship titles:

1. Dodgy bullpen. This was especially true with Boar's Nest in the Hall of Fame League. Although this team went to the league championship game this past year (and lost), it sported the WORST team bullpen ERA in all of Benchwarmer Baseball: a dreadful 6.22! That's really embarrassing. The reason was quite simple and, fortunately, should be easy to fix: my relievers really, really stunk. Look no further than Eric Gagne and Masahide Kobayashi. Each appeared in 85+ games and both had ERAs of over 7.00. In retrospect, I am not really sure what I was thinking here.

2. Contracts to marginal players. Did I save a few bucks as contracts increased? Sure enough, but not enough to offset the fact that I had to keep those players during the offseason, and that hurt my flexibility in the trade and draft markets. The fewer open roster spots you have open in the offseason, the narrower your draft approach can be. I have some extra dough now, but too few free slots in order to use that cash to sign free agents -- the old catch 22. Do you put players under contract and sign fewer free agents or sign fewer contracts and hope quality free agents become available? This is a conundrum I am still trying to solve. I do know, for sure, that I did not need to save 100 bucks on Masahide Kobayashi and use up a free bullpen slot. The hot-dog guy would have been a better signing.

3. Not updating my lineup enough. A rash of injuries can wreak havoc on a roster and this was especially the case with my bullpen. Not only did I have poor performers, but most of them were injured. Although The Nest came into the season with three full-time closers -- Takashi Saito, Eric Gagne, and Rafael Soriano -- they all missed considerable time due to injuries (or in Gagne's case, ineffectiveness). Too many of my BWB games used Pinesitter Pitchers, and that's something to be avoided like Times Square on New Year.

What were your mistakes?