This is what we can do now
It seems trivial and perhaps pointless to continue publishing during these difficult times. However, it is in just these situations that distractions can help get us through. Many of you wrote me and said you were still going to conduct your drafts this weekend and next, and I commend you for doing whatever makes sense for you. And so, we’ll all soldier on here too.
I remember having to write my first missive at BaseballHQ.com after 9/11, and while this is different, in some ways it’s the same, particularly how it is disrupting our sense of security. Back then, though, I talked about how fantasy baseball could be the salve that helps distract us and begin a healing process. Today, there are no real ballgames; we don’t have that outlet.
But there are other options. For those of who grew up with simulation games, like Strat-O-Matic (I was an APBA guy myself), you can still play out past seasons. If you miss out on the drafting aspect of fantasy, you can arrange a redraft league. Play out the 1975 season, or 1998, or 2019, but redraft all those players onto your own fantasy teams. You can play these games online too. What-if Sports and Out of the Park Baseball are popular options as well.
I recently participated in an exercise through ESPN.com where a bunch of us were challenged to assemble the greatest fantasy team of the past 40 years. Read about Project G.O.A.T. here.
The challenge is that you can only use a player once, a year once, a franchise once and a decade a maximum of six times. So if you decide to use Alex Rodriguez as a Yankee, you can’t use him as a Mariner. If you want to use Blake Snell’s 2018 season, then you can’t use Edwin Diaz’s 2018 season. And if you want to use Sammy Sosa’s 66-HR season with the Cubs, then Ryne Sandberg is off limits (and second base is shallower than you think). It’s a massive, fascinating puzzle.
Pierre Becquey, the deputy editor for ESPN fantasy games, organized the challenge and has opened it up to the community to see if anyone can beat the top team right now. FWIW, I finished tied for 4th place out of the original 12 contestants and might give it another shot now that I’ll have all this free time.
In a similar vein, you can also get your league together and participate in a retro-draft. Pick any past season and conduct a draft of that year’s players. Once the draft is over, just use a spreadsheet to calculate the results. If you think it’s easy to do even when you know the final stats in advance, it’s not. But it’s still great fun, and like DFS, you get to know the results immediately afterwards.
And here at BABSbaseball.com, for those who are maintaining their draft schedules, we are posting our final BABS Game Plan update as planned.
For those who will be postponing your drafts, you can use this time to do a deeper dive into your preparation. Dig into the weeds a bit more. For those who’ve recently joined us, take the time to go through the eBook “The BABS Project 3.0” which is an important read. The reader forums will remain open throughout as well. There are a lot of smart people who hang out there, and if we can get a few good discussions going, that might be enough to get us through these lean days.
These are all well-needed distractions. But once again, let’s just all stay safe and do the smart things that will keep everybody healthy.