Such was the case for me today, as my 3rd and 4th starters for next year, Shawn Chacon and Gustavo Chacin, pitched against each other.
What a perfect fantasy that game was, as Chacon and the Yankees won 1-0.
I’ve seen lots of columns on how to win in these leagues, and I thought I’d throw some out myself. I’ve been playing Strat since 1983, so just by seniority, I should get to spout off some.
Chacon and Chacin are classic examples of my best strategy to win in any baseball league.
I call it "Get Lucky".
I picked up Shawn Chacon last year simply because I need a pitcher who could burn innings in a blowout. With Chacon’s 2004 performance, you could be sure that, if it wasn’t already a blowout, he’d find a way to make it one.
Gustavo Chacin was a different story. Two days before our league draft, I saw his name, along with Jason Ellison of the Giants, listed in USAToday, in the section where they have spring training updates. You know, those little two paragraph blurbs? As I poured over the paragraphs while eating my pancakes, there it was– and the blurb said that this guy Chacin would make the club as a fifth starter, so I drafted him. No one needed to combine Bill James and Albert Einstein’s DNA to get that one.
Now I have, combined with my cornerstones Carlos Zambrano and Barry Zito, four starters under 4.00 ERA next year. Niiiiiice.
Barry Zito was a great catch, too. After "Get Lucky", my next best startegy is "Buy Low, Sell High". Here’s how that strategy worked into me getting Zito, right before his resurgence.
Two years ago, I traded for Randy Johnson when he was down. I figured he was as good a gamble as any on a ‘low stock’ that could rise again. And he did, into a Cy Young year.
Adding that kind of dominance is attractive to anyone, so I traded Johnson while he was hot– for Barry Zito and blossoming AAA star Jhonny Peralta.
Now, I had no way of knowing that Randy would not be as good this year, or that Zito would find his way again, or that Peralta would step into a Rookie of the Year type performance. I was just following a general principle.
And it worked out. Did I mention that "Buy Low, Sell High" works really good with "Get Lucky"?
Next blog, I’ll share some secrets on how to work a salary league to your advantage in trade sessions, and really create some "Buy Low, Sell High" potential to improve your team.