By Andy Behrens
June 18, 2007
As we've discussed previously, I think your league's commissioner should have broad executive powers. It's really best if they're the final arbiter in trade disputes. In Yahoo! leagues, commissioners have various tools at their disposal that allow them to edit rosters, adjust settings, and discipline rule-breaking owners.
In Plus leagues, I'm fairly sure commissioners can have unruly owners placed under surveillance, or detained in secret offshore Yahoo! facilities. It's totally worth the extra money.
But a more common way for a commissioner to administer justice is simply to use the "Lock Teams" option. If an owner repeatedly violates league rules or becomes a little too disruptive, a commissioner can lock them from making roster changes, sending emails to league members, and posting messages. I've used the "Lock Teams" tool. It's not something that should be done capriciously; a commissioner should issue clear warnings before locking a team for any period of time.
Still, sometimes a warning just doesn't work. Which brings us to this email:
"The commissioner in my league has locked me from any involvement in the league for criticizing trades. This means no trading, no roster changes, no emails, and no posting. How can I reverse this atrocity?"
I'm not really feeling sympathetic. First of all, nothing happens in a fantasy baseball league that can be reasonably called an "atrocity." That's a little too strong. Maybe the commissioner in this league did something that resulted in multiple deaths, and the emailer just neglected to mention it. But if we're really talking about a situation where the commissioner simply locked a complaining owner, I think a word like "inconvenience" or "annoyance" would be more appropriate.
Now let's address the issue of getting a team unlocked. In this case, it sounds like an apology would probably do it. Don't post messages that are severely critical of trades. That's bad form. If you have a problem with a transaction, email the commissioner. Don't belittle the owners involved. In this particular league, it sounds like you have an active commissioner; let that person determine whether a deal is collusive. If it isn't, let the trade go through.
My least favorite fantasy owner is the guy who A) thinks absolutely every transaction threatens the league's competitive balance, and B) feels it's his responsibility to post messages that are critical of every transaction. I can understand why a commissioner might feel compelled to lock such an owner. If you're hoping to get unlocked, try recanting.
It's time for you to embrace Corey Hart. But a better time to embrace him would've been two weeks ago. Hart is hitting .305/.414/.644 in June with 12 R, 6 HR, 13 RBI, and 6 SB. On Sunday he went 3-for-6 with two homers and a steal. He's looking like something better than the 20/20 candidate we were all excited to draft. Hart is only 14.1 percent owned.
Ryan Zimmerman is on pace to finish the season with something like 95 runs, 28 home runs, and 95 RBI. He's homered in his last two games, and he's hit five this month. Yet he remains one of the more common subjects of email complaints.
What were you expecting, exactly? Zimmerman is one of those players where a significant expected increase in production was built into his average draft position. No, he might not be meeting your expectations, but the 22-year-old looks like a decent bet to eclipse last year's totals in a category or two. If there's a lesson here, it's that you shouldn't project career-best seasons from anyone. Doesn't matter if they're in a hitter-friendly ballpark (which Zimmerman isn't), batting in a great lineup (which he also isn't), and they're using an aluminum bat (no, obviously). Keep your pre-draft expectations conservative, and in line with a player's prior achievements.
Rich Hill has allowed 32 earned runs this season, and the San Diego Padres, the team with the lowest batting average (.244) in the National League, have scored 10 of them. He gave up five earned runs in three innings on Sunday. Bob Brenly suggested that Hill might be tipping his pitches, and the Padres have caught on. Or maybe Greg Maddux caught on last year, and brought some helpful scouting information with him to San Diego. Mike Cameron is 4-for-5 against Hill this season with 4 HR and 5 RBI.
Jason Schmidt is back where he belongs: the DL. Hopefully you managed to deal him after his one useful start. His velocity issues won't be fixed by a few more weeks of rest. We'd all like to see Chad Billingsley (1.9 percent owned) get another shot in the Dodgers' rotation. If you have a particularly deep bench, consider adding him. Billingsley has been terrific in relief this year (4-0, 35 IP, 3.09 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 40 K, 13 BB).
The streamers among you should consider Jorge Sosa (50.7 percent owned) versus Minnesota, Sean Marshall (27.6) at Texas and Homer Bailey (21.0) at Oakland.
Happy Yovani Gallardo day, everyone. Hope you're spending it with someone special.
Andy Behrens has written for ESPN.com, the Chicago Sports Review, NBA.com, the Chicago Reader and various other publications. In all likelihood, Andy owns more Artis Gilmore memorabilia than you. Follow him on Twitter. Send Andy a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.
Updated on Monday, Jun 18, 2007 5:13 pm, EDT
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