This week I held a bit of a digital seance, speaking with PL+ member Tina Yu, who got the chop in week two over in Guillotine League 2. That hasn’t stopped her, though!
Asher Dratel: So, how many leagues are you in this year, wacky or otherwise?
Tina Yu: Four leagues, three wacky and one normal.
Oh, that’s an interesting ratio, what’s the format for the normal league?
12 team H2H cats, and to be fair, of the three wacky, only one is actively being managed. One was Blind Draft Best Ball, one was Guillotine that got eliminated pretty early on and Grand Theft is the only one that’s active.
Yeah the issue with picking one person a week to talk to about this is that you’re already out of Guillotine. Were you betrayed by any specific player/decision?
Honestly, that league is high stress, I’ve still been following it pretty closely and it’s nice to watch from afar. Max Fried burned me pretty hard in Guillotine, I put down $300 bid for him and he put up -9 points in the week I was eliminated.
I think getting the chop week 1 was the best possible outcome for me last year, being a rookie writer and managing a Guillotine team would probably have been a lot.
I have [Fried] also in grand theft, he was stolen and then I stole him back last week and he just blew up on his return to my team, so I think he hates me.
Are you a Braves fan in real life or do you just like Fried?
I’m a Blue Jays fan being Canadian and all. Braves are my NL team but I think I’ve always liked Fried…
I am always rooting for another Jewish ace, so I do have a soft spot for Fried as well. Speaking of Grand Theft, things aren’t going too hot for you there, either, to put it bluntly. What’s your prognosis for your team going forward?
Not great haha, still holding out on Lindor and Betts turning it around. I tell myself ‘one week at a time’ since I feel like you can really get the ball rolling if you have a few good weeks in Grand Theft.
It’s funny, I thought Betts might actually be the best of those Top 5 guys this year but it turns out the youth movement was the way to go. Grand Theft definitely seems like the format to go with for a dramatic comeback campaign, though.
Fingers crossed! I should tell my team that, give them some inspiration.
Gotta give them a rousing locker room speech during the 7th inning stretch!
Betts and Lindor better be listening.
This isn’t your first time in the Wacky Leagues, right?
I was in Guillotine and Grand Theft last year too.
Did you find the experience helpful coming into this season? (Results aside, obviously. Good process bad outcome and all that.)
I think so, just know what to expect over the course of the season, although the way these leagues are structured, I feel like you pick things up after a week or two like how steals work or guillotine FAAB bids, so you just gotta survive the first 2 weeks and then you’re good to go. I definitely think Guillotine last year helped contextualize FAAB bids for this year, so I kinda knew what to expect first week, I ended up getting all my pitchers for semi-reasonable prices which was the goal.
Yeah, my FAAB approach is wildly different this year, which is definitely from experience.
They didn’t quite perform (ahem) Max Fried (ahem) but that was a weird week. Also in general an 18-team Guillotine is sooo different from a 12 team!
The draft was ridiculous!
I was not prepared for that draft.
Going from a ridiculously deep league to 10-teamer rosters has been a wild ride.
I wanted pitchers early and then they went flying off the board and then I’m stuck with Jameson Taillon and Corey Kluber…
As a Jays fan, I would imagine that was a tough double whammy
That’s ok, I wouldn’t have realistically drafted any non-Ryu Blue Jays pitchers anyways.
Fair and reasonable. So now that you’ve done this a couple of times, what would you say to somebody who’s on the fence about joining PL+ and/or joining the leagues?
Do it and don’t look back. They are so much fun and all have refreshing twists. I would probably cut all other leagues just to stay in these ones, not to mention it’s a great group of people. We’re fun and competitive but it’s always incredibly good-natured – which, is not always the case in some leagues but PL+ is special like that. I love baseball and if anyone else does too PL+ is the place to be!
Like Tina said, all of the leagues are a mix of staffers and PL+ members, so if you haven’t already, head on over to the PL+ sign-up page and get on the Discord so you can start prepping for the 2022 Wacky Season.
The Guillotine Leagues
There was a lot of daylight between the lowest two teams in League 1 again this week, with a 48.25 point gap on Sunday morning. It should be noted that depending on lineups and schedules, that kind of point difference is definitely overcomeable in this format, but it is tough. The planets didn’t align for Kyle Seiler, though, and he met his end last weekend. The FAAB amounts in League 1 have stratified into three tiers, with SABRtooth Tigers and Mike Perugini looking at $0 left, Collin Carlone and I with $59 and $75, respectively, and then the rest of the remaining managers rocking at least $150. At the top end, KingHippo still has $719 remaining in his budget. Scary.
Thanks to the especially early games on Monday, we got treated to something of a double waiver period this week, as the Yankees/Rays and Twins/Orioles rosters got locked up before they could be thrown back into the free agent pool. The bidding has gotten incredibly conservative in League 1, with the highest price this week being $47, paid by Christopher Reeves for Kenley Jansen. Reeves also bulked up his bullpen on Tuesday night, adding Aroldis Chapman for $33. We’re seeing more and more $0 bids every week, which will likely continue until one of the fat cats decides to simply make the market on their own.
It was a tighter finish in League 2, with only six points separating Ben Haller from Bristow II/Ajeto, which is a single home run’s worth of points. By the time the dust settled, it was Ben that lost his head, and his roster. League 2 also continues to be much more profligate in their bidding, with Shane Bieber headlining this week. Jordan White really drained the savings, picking him up for $421. Callen Elslager picked up a couple of big names as well, adding Freddie Freeman and Hyun Jin Ryu for $95 and $70 respectively. The remaining FAAB is a bit more even compared to League 1, with no manager having over $500 remaining.
Also, shouts to Nick Pollack picking up ol’ Coffee Cakes for free this week though, that’s a pro move.
Grand Theft Baseball
While the standings didn’t change for the better, Tina did pull off a tie in Grand Theft 1 this week, so the comeback is on! Unfortunately, she went back to the Max Fried well, while losing Marcus Stroman to Donny Moskovits, which hasn’t paid off particularly well in the early going this week. Still time left, though!
I also want to call out some good sportsmanship in League 2. Will Pratt was technically allowed to protect an extra player as liefmeyer was late submitting their steal, but as Lief had previously noted they would be out of town without cell coverage, Will left the list as is so as not to punish a situation that was out of their opponent’s control. That’s nice.
League 1: KingHippo is taking a turn on the Luis Castillo roller coaster, and I imagine that Liam Casey is honestly kind of relieved to not have to make a choice about that roster spot anymore.
League 2: Justin Paradis also took a gamble, absconding with Anthony Rendon from Nicole Cahill.
League 3: Matt Nielsen and Kyle Seiler tied, and swapped pitching, with Matt taking Shohei Ohtani and Kyle taking Freddy Peralta.
League 4: Dave Cherman added Pablo López after Jordan White left him unprotected. While he doesn’t have the wins to go with his overall line, that’s a strong SP addition.