Wednesday, March 14, 2007

GMR is a wonderful thing

And here I was worried that the new rules would make it harder to get a high GMR! Silly me.

Even now that it's over, I can't really explain how it happened. It was a bizarre and wonderful run of luck, mixed in with a pittance of skill, but I managed to get all the way up to 100 at around 2 pm on day 2. At the end of day 1, I had gained 21 points, leaving me at 81. I reached 90 just before noon on day 2. And that was the key to the rest of the FAB for me. Once I got to 90, the entire FAB became much, much easier to manage. And once I got to 100, I never dropped below 98 the rest of the way. Knowing -- at all times -- whether or not you are in the lead on a given player makes managing bids and contracts much easier.

For each player who I really wanted, I tried to make sure I was in the lead when the clock reached 6 hours left. After that point, the player could go into hibernation at any point, which would rob me of my opportunity to use my GMR advantage to top any intervening bids that edged ahead of mine. Only once did I have happen to me what apparently happened to leehaak 7 times in one night -- I went to bed in the lead on a player and woke up to find that I had been beaten out and the player had gone into blackout.

My overall FAB strategy was discussed in the forum, but in a nutshell my primary focus was on getting the starting pitchers I wanted. Heading into the FAB I targeted Felix Hernandez, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Cole Hamels, Matt Garza, James Shields, and one other pitcher who shall remain nameless at present (because I lost the bidding for him but may still try to acquire him in the future). Shortly before the FAB I bought the contract of Jake Peavy from his prior owner, which allowed that team to open up some more salary cap room. So that enabled me to build a starting rotation I feel very good about: Peavy, Hernandez, Matsuzaka, Hamels, and Josh Beckett, whom I picked up at a $3 MM discount late in the FAB after another owner waived him mid-FAB. And with the exception of Peavy, whose contract I acquired with only 1 year left, all of my primary 5 SP are locked up for 2 or 3 years. In case of injury or ineffectiveness, I have Garza, Shields, Pelfrey, and Igawa waiting in the wings. And perhaps a few others from the FA pool . . . :-)

On offense, my strategy can be summed up in two words: Carl Crawford. As noted in the forum, I came thisclose to losing Crawford and having to radically shift my strategy at the beginning of day 2. I went into the FAB needing to fill 5 starting offensive spots -- prior ownership had left me Delmon Young, Paul Konerko, Garrett Atkins, and Nick Markakis. I targeted a specific player at each of the 5 missing positions as my "wish list." I ended up getting 3 out of 5, which works for me. Unfortunately, I ended up having to compromise pretty severely on the other two. It remains to be seen whether this will come back to haunt me.

More action to come as the FA market heats up. I'll check back later to report on the goings-on in the initial flurry of FAB leftovers.

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