Monday, July 31, 2006

The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend

These are the contents of an email just sent to the members of the Patrick Finley Memorial Fantasy Baseball League. The only reason to read this post would be an unreasoning passion for fantasy baseball or an unreasoning passion for this blog.

And even then I would think twice. This is real inside blogball.

Jeffrey and Bob ask what about the Wickman trade. It’s a reasonable question.

Here are the basic facts. Over the last several days I offered trade packages to Bob, Brad and Russ and also had some conversations with Paul, though we never ran the numbers because neither of us could figure anything out that was plausible. My first choice to trade with was Brad because he is in last place, and he’s going to stay in last place no matter what. I offered him a package that would have given each of us around four points up front, but I guess he figured that four points would still leave him somewhere south of 30 points, so why bother?

A logical point of view. As he explained, "What part of 'fuck you' don't you understand?" A salty dog, that Brad, a real salty dog.

Then I turned to Bob, hating myself for it, since helping him would move me no closer to third place and would put him in contention for second place – which would have produced some squawks from Jeffrey and Peter. The deal I laid out for Bob would have produced four points for him up front and 3.5 for me. But I guess he didn’t like the fact that the trade would have diminished his margins in some categories. The trade would have done the same for me, but I always like to think the glass is half full – of delicious Jack Daniels. I have read recently that research shows that people fear loss more than they anticipate gain, all things being equal, and that in a situation where the likelihood of gain is equal to the likelihood of loss, the possible gain must be twice as large as the possible loss to prompt the average person to roll the dice. That would seem to be true.

Late last night when Bob was balking, I turned to Russ, who couldn’t help me much but who would still be well out of the money even with Wickman added. I proposed a Wickman-somebody trade accompanied by a Lopez-Pierzynski trade, which would have given Russ three or four points up front and me a point up front but would have increased my lead in runs and batting average. More to the point, giving Wickman to Russ cuts points off Bob, Jeffrey, Paul and Little Chi Chi, all of whom are contenders for money. From that point of view, the trade benefited me more than Russ. In any event, Russ drew back. Then shortly after 9 a.m. today, I read that Shelton had been sent to the minors, which meant Russ suddenly needed to keep Pierzynski. At that point, I caved in and traded Wickman to him for whoever he chose to give up, which was Crain.

But the point is it’s not for nothing. I pick up 4.5 points against my main competition -- half a point closer to Jeffrey, one point closer to Bob, one point closer to Paul, one point picked up on Matt, one point picked up on Michael Tola . That is one sweet trade. If the league wishes to ban trades of this sort, so be it. Let’s have the discussion and take a vote and make a rule. The league has suffered in the past through the lack of clear guidelines on what sort of trade is unacceptable.

This one is actually a no-brainer, which is a fair description of the guys who wouldn't trade with me.

No no. They are smart enough. But they lack faith and they lack hope. And they sure don't believe in charity, at least coming from me.

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