CBS AL Experts League Roster
When readers new to auctioning ask me for advice, one of the first words out of my mouth is “patience.” As in, when overanxious owners are bidding up players early, don’t feel compelled to dive into that cesspool with them. As exciting as it would be to own Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout and Justin Verlander, exercise excruciating patience. If people are spending heavily early, there will be bargains late. Of course, the addendum to this is that you do have to spend some money early, even if you’re only getting even value or “overpaying” by a couple dollars, because if you don’t, you wind up with more money than you can spend later on. Better to get even value than no value at all. The other addendum to this is that if people aren’t spending enough early, sack up and spend yourself.
While proper auctioning protocol is completely understood by my brain, it seems as though I haven’t quite internalized it to the point I thought I had. Auctioning is, in many ways, an art form, and it requires practice to get right. The more experience you have with it, the better you get. After four years of playing in auction drafts against the highest level of competition, and after experiencing a great deal of success, I took my auctioning skills for granted today. In this CBS AL draft, I was a little too laid back, a little too much on auto-pilot, and my brain seemed to pick and choose which pieces of my advice it followed.
Out of the gate, spending was a little lighter than I believed warranted, which was a major shock. Previous years’ CBS leagues saw heavy inflation early and a plethora of bargains late. Still, flexibility is key, so I adapted. I picked up Miguel Cabrera for $39 — what I believed to be a $5 bargain. Without any big bargains (though without any major overpays either) for the next couple of rounds, I decided to sit back and pick and choose where I’d spend my money next. After the first couple of rounds, however, the spending really started — at least on hitting. I thought, okay, great, here’s the inflation I expected, let’s find a guy or two in the $20 range for even value and fill the rest of my roster with bargains as they came.
Then pitchers started getting thrown out. Low. I’m still not exactly sure what my reasoning was, but I’m pretty sure I just didn’t want to lock in so much money early and miss on big bargains later. I was scared to spend big on an elite pitcher after having already bough Miggy and that, if the elite hurlers were underrated, maybe the market just undervalued pitchers in general and I could pick up the same bargains later at multiple lineup spots. So, I passed up a $34 Justin Verlander (a $6 bargain) and a $27 Felix Hernandez (a $9 bargain). As soon as I let the bidding end on Felix I knew I had made a mistake. But the damage was done.
I tried to rectify my mistake by getting in on the bidding for Jered Weaver, Yu Darvish, Max Scherzer, and Chris Sale, but the profit margin on each was small, so I passed. Then inflation smacked pitching over the head with a banjo, as guys routinely started going for $5+ more than I had them down for. I guess everyone else started to realize that there are very few sure things in the AL pitching pool this year, and after refusing to hold my nose and bid, I wound up with Alexi Ogando and Jeremy Hellickson heading up my staff. Both are good, but neither is great, and I regret not picking up Felix more than I regret that night with the Taiwanese hooker last year. Okay, both nights. Fine, it was an opium-hazed week, get off my back!
Worse still, though, was that I completely forgot to actually buy my “guy or two in the $20 range.” I got Ichiro and Napoli for $17, but since they cost less than I expected, I really needed another guy or two to make sure I spent my money. I was the cash leader almost the entire way, and while in the end I wound up with quite a few bargains — a few of them huge bargains — I left $14 on the table. And when you factor in my overpays for Michael Brantley and Ernesto Frieri (and to a smaller extent Matt Joyce and Andy Dirks — not really overpays but not the kind of bargains I’d normally take that late in the draft), I may have effectively left closer to $30 or $40 on the table. Think how Robinson Cano would look on my team. In the end, my projections have me down for $312 of value (a 20% profit margin), but it should have been much higher.
The moral of this sad tale is to never get complacent. No matter how many auctions you do, you always have to be on your toes. Patience is good, but only to a certain extent. Buckle in right from the get-go and don’t be scared to spend heavy early if the conditions warrant. And never accept opium from a Taiwanese lady of the night.
Here’s my roster. Let me know what you think.
|BN (C)||David Cooper||R7|
|BN (C)||Ryan Kalish||R6|
|BN (C)||Nick Franklin||R4|
|BN (C)||Rick Ankiel||R5|
|BN (SP)||Garrett Richards||R1|
|BN (SP)||J.A. Happ||R2|
|BN (RP)||Sean Doolittle||R3|
What do you guys think?
Posted: February 28th, 2013 under Expert Leagues.