About a month ago, Umpbump HQ received a peculiar e-mail. It was from Rudy Gamble, the operator of the fantasy baseball site Razzball.com, challenging us to a duel…
Well, not really a duel per se since it involves ten combatants. It was more of a battle royale, a gauntlet, a “clusterf***”. Our weapons? The crappiest baseball players you can imagine. Our sword is Jason Marquis, our shield is Cesar Izturis, and Nick Punto is our codpiece.
The idea behind fantasy Razzball is fairly simple. Instead of trying to win, you try your damndest to lose. Every time one of your players does something positive in a game, you have points deducted. However, these players have to play for you to accumulate points. (league scoring info on chart on right) You can’t hide behind the Nick Hundleys and Dane Sardhinas of the world. Instead, you rely on Dusty Baker to keep playing Willy Taveras beyond the point of any good sense. Brilliant.
But it was hard. Very, very, hard. You know that in a regular fantasy league, Hanley Ramirez ought to be atop your wishlist. But who’s the anti-Hanley? I went into the draft this past Saturday afternoon not having a clue as to the answer (Not to mention the fact that I had never used ESPN for fantasy purposes and thus didn’t know how to utilize their draft module. Plus, my laptop has a strategic crack on the screen which obscured key areas of the module. That’s no one’s fault but mine).
Then it hit me. Hey, you don’t lose points for stolen bases! AND you gain points every time someone strikes out! Perhaps this was obvious to the rest of my league mates, but it wasn’t until the clock was ticking down that I knew who I would make my first round selection. Mr. Carlos Gomez.
I still have no inkling as to whether or not we did right by Razzball on draft day. I’m sure that I made mistakes, I’m sure I relied too much on actual playing time over how crappy they would be. But here’s what Team Umpbump (I hope we’re changing this name soon…) looks like at the moment (on the left).
Again, I have regrets. I think Casey Blake is a sub-par 3rd baseman, but in retrospect, he’s probably not bad enough. Same with Jorge Cantu. Andy Laroche could break out and I suppose Jeremy Hermida may have too much power for my own good.
On the pitching side, Ian Snell could go either way, but in the 4th round, he was way too much of a reach. I feel good about Jeff Suppan and Nick Blackburn (my darkhorse of crapitude), but Micah Owings could rebound, and Joe Saunders could make a fool out of me by proving that last year was not a fluke.
I’m sure than in a league like this, Umpbump will be messing with the roster quite a bit. After all, players who post terrible numbers get removed from the roster fairly quickly (unless you’re a Royal, for they have no choice).
But we are always open to suggestions. Who would be your first round pick in a league like this, Umpbump readers? Think long and hard…