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Tip Drill: The six trade partners you meet in hell

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In the majors, they return your call (USAT)

When I first broke into this fantasy baseball racket, trading was a blast. I'd routinely lead all of my leagues in swaps, and I'd enjoy it: the phone calls, the early days of email, the stat referrals to the "blue sheets" (where the numbers were a week old), the seemingly-mandatory trade when parties got together. The Sunday paper still had utility back then. I think the earth was flat, too.

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The Internet age of 2013 has all sorts of advantages, but at some point trading became a major pain in the ass. I'm not really writing this blog post for you, I'm writing it for me. Here are the owners who make me want to throw my phone against the wall.

The Guy Who Thinks Three 4s Equal A Ten

A baseball season isn't official until the first collection offer comes back. No, I'm not gonna move Clayton Kershaw for your Easter basket of Ryan Raburn, Omar Infante and Scott Feldman. But I appreciate your dexterity test. I hit the bull's eye every night.

The Lowball Guy Who Tries To Wear You Down

The idea here is to open with a crummy offer so the residual bad offer doesn't seem so bad. First it's Yuniesky Betancourt for Adrian Beltre, then it eventually filters up to Josh Donaldson. Don't reply logically to these emails, you'll lose two hours a day. Do not engage, Maverick.

The Manifesto Writer

Not content to throw you a benevolent trade offer, he has to write a five-page explanation of how the shakedown helps your team. Sometimes it's a case of trying too hard, and other times it's simply a cocktail of condescension. Bottom line, the longer the pitch, the less likely it's something that helps you. (The lawyers and the Sorkin fans love this move. The volume is a dead giveaway. Keep them in skim mode at all times.)

The Guy with the "Now You See It, Now You Don't" Offer

At 1:05 pm the intriguing pitch comes down and at 1:13 it disappears. More often than not, this type of reneg comes from a flaky opponent, not a cunning one. He's not a bad guy, he just can't commit to anything. Just be glad you're not behind him in the breakfast line.

The Guy Who Never Responds

Sometimes the absentee owner has completely bailed on his team - look at his active roster, see if he's ignored dead spots. Other times, you realize you're dealing with someone who isn't tech savvy - maybe they don't have offers filtered to their email. Try a direct contact before you give up on them completely.

The Indecisive Worrier

You remember these guys from youth baseball; they had both feet on first base at all times. They'll tell you they don't trade until July. They'll want 5-7 days to audit even the most harmless trade inquiry. They're still stung from the bad deal of 2008, and it's paralyzed them ever since. The good side of this owner: he always pays his entry fee up front, and he rarely finishes higher than sixth. A few donators are always welcome.

My venting is done for the afternoon; please grab the baton and keep the theme rolling in the comments.

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