How could the players chosen by the Old Duck possibly have performed well enough to win both of the Rotisserie auction-style home leagues in which I compete? As Topper Harley said in Hot Shots Part Deux, “These men have taken a supreme vow of celibacy, like their fathers, and their fathers before them.”
On our last visit, we detailed the roster and strategy for the NL-only team (Donald’s Ducks) and now we’ll review the AL-only format to help you get the grey matter working during hot-stove season. That noted Rotisserie Geek Plato reminded us that, “If you are wise, all men will be your friends and kindred, for you will be useful”.
> Fusco Brothers…12 Team, AL only, 4×4, 23-man rosters (14 hitters, 9 pitchers), $260 budget, maximum of 15 keepers and 3 Farm players, established 1987
* Smart Keeper Decisions (March 27th)
1) Jose Abreu $30 – In the third and final season on the roster, he underperformed early in the year, but still ended up posting 25 HR’s, 100 RBI’s and a .293 BA. 1B in this high-inflation environment are always expensive…Cabrera was kept at $39 and Fielder was drafted for $29.
2) Kole Calhoun $15 – Not a flashy player but plays everyday (594 AB’s) and produced 18 HR’s & 75 RBI’s.
3) Kevin Pillar $1 – Taken in the end game two years ago when he didn’t have a full-time job. His defensive skills keep him in the line-up and 7-52-13 isn’t bad for a buck.
4) Dellin Betances – Another player in the last year of his Roto contract, he provided 3 Wins & 12 Saves.
5) Roberto Osuna $10 – A great pick-up in ’15, he provided 36 Saves.
6) Danny Salazar $10 – The Fuscos (named after the inept characters in the comic strip) finished 9th last year, so most of 2015 was a lesson in finding possible bargains for this year…Salazar had 11 Wins and solid peripherals before getting injured.
7) Ervin Santana $1 – Drafted in the end game last year when he was suspended, 7 Wins and 180+ IP with a 3.37 ERA was productive
* Dumb Keeper Decisions
1) Josh Phegley $3 – Thought he would provide some power even as a back-up Catcher, but he was never healthy (only 78 AB’s)
2) Aaron Hicks $10 – Really thought his power / speed combination would find playing time in the Bronx, but it never happened.
3) Derek Holland $1 – Broke my heart for the third straight year with a 5.15 ERA.
* Good Draft Day Decisions (April 2nd)
1) Kyle Seager $29 – The price seemed high, especially when he slumped early in the year. The final numbers, however, were impressive…30 HR’s & 99 RBI’s.
2) Jose Ramirez $5 – Was on our roster part of ’15 but was back in the pool as he looked like a utility player at best. I liked his skills and versatility, so took a flyer at this price. The outcome was what Fantasy players dream of….312 11-76-22.
3) Ian Desmond $26 – After his dismal 2015 performance and seeing him struggle during Spring Training, he wasn’t on my priority list at the table. At a certain point, however, he was the last speed guy left and I paid the price. This was just dumb luck….285 22-86-21
4) Josh Tomlin $2 – The last player we drafted, he provided 13 Wins.
* Dumb Draft Day Decisions
1) Caleb Joseph $2 – This was certainly the first championship Fantasy team to have a player with over 100 AB’s who didn’t have an RBI! Yes, you read that correctly…23-for-132 (.174 BA) with ZERO RBI’s.
2) Tyler White $7 – Had the 1B job in Houston and came out of the gate impressively, but ended up back in AAA after hitting only .211
3) Justin Upton $30 – The most disappointing player on the team as we wallowed near the bottom of the standings early in the season. Came alive in September and ended up with 31 HR’s but never looked like a $130 Million player.
4) Chris Archer $27 – Another expensive addition who didn’t really deliver until the second half…9 Wins and a 4.02 ERA aren’t the numbers of an Ace.
* In-Season Roster Moves
1) Activated Max Kepler from the Farm portion of the roster in late April…became the Twins regular RF and added 17-63-6
2) Waited the requisite 30 days for the suspension of Aroldis Chapman to end before adding him in early May…gave us 20 Saves before departing for the Cubs.
3) Replaced Phegley in early July with Mike Zunino…he added 10 important HR’s.
4) Won a FAAB bid on Ken Giles in early August just before he got the Closer’s job back in Houston…14 saves down the stretch was a boost.
5) Added Tyler Clippard in mid-August once he became the set-up guy for Betances…got a Win & 2 Saves with a 2.79 ERA.
6) Just to balance the scales, the Brothers also took fliers on Raul Mondesi, Chad Pinder & Matt Duffy.
The Fuscos held off the defending Champs , whose roster included Manny Machado, Kris Davis & Cole Hamels. It was a very close race until mid-September, but the final tally was 69.5 points (of a possible 96), 7 points ahead of the 2nd place finisher.
Does winning these two titles make me an expert? What’s an expert? According to Niels Bohr, “An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field.” Oh yeah, I qualify for that.
And just to help you face the end of the baseball season, remember this quote from A. Bartlett Giamatti – “It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the Spring when everything else begins. It blossoms in the Summer, filing the afternoons and evenings. And then, as soon as the chill rains come it stops. It leaves you to face the Fall alone”.