CRL News

December 6, 2018


 "Matt Harvey leaves in the second inning after seeing a cloud that reminded him of a sad book he read as a child."

n  Cartoon spoofing various Mets injuries in New York Magazine

Well gang, we’ve made it to the holidays, which means we made it through another season.  Since I’ve got some time off due to having some plumbing work done, I decided to put a cap on the 2018 season and start setting the stage for next year.

To start off, let me congratulate Marcus and Matt for a fine season!  Going into the final weekend, I thought Jim and myself might still have an outside chance, but the Catheys were just too strong, finishing with a flourish and stretching out their lead at the end.  Nicely done!

We’ve got a little bit of news, some general roster cleanup, end of the season accounting, some oddities I collected during the season and some topics for a lively off-season discussion.

I have added a little functionality to the CRL website ( ).  It’s a distribution list containing the email addresses of all league owners.  You simply navigate to the page ( ), click on the link, and your email program will launch and open an email to the entire league.  You just enter whatever message you want to send and hit the send button.  Since we have over 20 email addresses associated with our league, I suggest you highlight all the email addresses in the to: field, and cut and paste them into the bcc: field.  I always use bcc when emailing you guys because spam filters often don’t like emails with a lot of addresses in the to: field.

A little news:

My partner, Jim Fraser, is retiring from Time Warner Cable/Charter/Spectrum.  His last day at work will be Friday, December 21, 2018.  After that date, his work number, email address and cell phone will go away.  His new contact information is:

(262) 573-0832 (cell)


Additionally, he will be disconnecting his home phone sometime before the end of the year because he will no longer get it free.


Thought about doing that myself, since the only thig I get on that number anymore are telemarketers.  I even had it unplugged during the last election cycle.


At the end of this newsletter is a list of players on active rosters and their reserved counterparts.  As our rules stipulate that you can only keep one player out of any that are tied together, I will need all of you to let me know which players you would like to retain the rights to.  Remember, that does not mean you are required to keep them on roster-freeze day, it just means you want to retain the right to do so.  As in other years, if a player has played out a contract (LeMahieu, Cespedes, Seager), that decision has already been made for you.  If, on roster freeze day, you decide to keep a player that is currently on your reserve list, you will owe a $5 activation fee into next years’ pool.  Please get your keepers to me by January 1, 2019.


Draft Day is Friday, April 5, 2019 at Harrah’s.


I’ll get back to everyone after the first of the year with important dates like payment deadlines, roster-freeze day, etc.


Now to league accounting.  The table below indicates those teams which finished the season with positive balance (which may be deducted from the initial $250 buy-in, if you so choose).  It also shows how much money was spent and a breakdown of the payouts.  I realize the “League Expenses” account looks a little fat, but Glenn hasn’t yet been invoiced for some of the things that will be due before draft day.  Also, I am going to have to get another level added to the trophy, because we are out of room.  While the engraving of last-year’s champion is paid for by the previous year’s winner, the maintenance of the trophy itself is a league expense.  I don’t know yet how much it will cost to add another tier, but I’ll look into that sometime in the next few months (I can’t even pick the thing up right now).


CRL Accounting 2018

Balance Forwards

League Expenses

 $       273.70

Team 3

 $         95.50

Team 5

 $         26.50

Team 8

 $       103.00

Team 9

 $            7.50

Team 10

 $         71.00


 $       577.20

Category Spending

All Accounts

1/1/2018 Through 10/2/2018

Expense Categories

Total 1st Half Free Agent

 $   1,170.00


Marcus & Matt

 $    2,552.00

Total 2nd Half Free Agent

 $       680.00


Jim & Jim

 $    1,276.00

Total 2nd Half Trade

 $         80.00


Glenn, Dennis & Craig

 $        766.00

Total Act from Farm

 $         70.00


Steve & Jared

 $        510.00

Total Act from Res

 $       525.00

 $    5,104.00

Total buy out contract

 $         30.00

Total Draft

 $   1,288.50

Total Irregular link fee

 $         40.00

Total Keep on Farm

 $         25.00

Total Reserve

 $       780.00

Total Sept. Roster Expansion

 $       125.00

Total Signing Bonus

 $         10.50

Total Trade

 $         50.00

Total waiver

 $       230.00

Grand Total

 $   5,104.00

Total in Account

 $   5,681.20


And now for some oddities I stumbled across during the past year:

According to Peter Gammons Ichiro Suzuki got a text from a number he did not recognize.  The sender of the text said he’d gotten Ichiro’s number from Alex Rodriguez and wanted to meet with Ichiro to talk to him about his stretching regimen.  Ichiro, apparently, asked people on the Mariners, “Who the fuck is Tom Brady?”

Juan Soto of the Nationals hit a HR before he was called up.  The Nats game of May 15 was suspended.  On Monday, June 18, the Nats and Yankees resumed their suspended game.  Soto ended it with a walk-off homer.  That homer will go into the books as being hit on May 15 – five days before he was called up.

There was a team that was trying to close out its books for the year (don’t remember the sport), and they were off by one million dollars.  Seems one of their checks had not cleared.  They contacted the player the check was written to and he said it was framed on his wall.

Weirdest injury of the year – Brandon Morrow going on the DL because he injured his back taking off his pants.

Watching the Fed-Ex cup (what a run by Tiger) and seeing Jason Rose hole a $10 million putt.  It wasn’t a very long putt, but for $10 million …


Sometime during the season, Otis sent me list of some things he said he thought might enliven our little game.  With only a couple of exceptions (more on this below), I am refraining from making any editorial comments at this time.  I will let Otis champion the discussion, as it was his idea (my new email distribution list feature may be in for a workout).  Please note his comment that any changes we make start with the scratch draft of 2021.

Here is his original email:


This is my opening salvo in an attempt to begin a discussion about our CRL categories.  


When you are retired and languishing at the bottom of the league, you have lots of time on your hands.  I've recently spent some of that time looking at other roto leagues and checking out their statistical categories.  What I have found is that many, possibly a majority, of roto leagues have incorporated more modern and accurate statistics into their scoring.  

While I am not trying to reinvent fantasy baseball, I do believe some of our categories could use an update and I believe the year of our scratch draft is a perfect time to make some changes.  I'm starting early because folks should have time to think about this--there's a lot to consider.

I would like to hear everyone's opinion on our categories.  My feelings and ideas are listed below, but they are only mine (although I have Hutch's endorsement) and I welcome and encourage others.

Here are my ideas to update and IMO improve some of our categories (in descending order of need):


Batting Average:  Replace with On Base Percentage.  You know I've been pushing this for 20 years.  The knock on this stat used to be its unavailability in the press, but no one gets their stats from a newspaper anymore; the local paper goes to press at six p.m.  I could copy quotes from dozens of sportswriters, stat nerds, even players to support OBP over BA, but I don't think I need to.  Unless you are sacrificing, the primary objective of a batter is not to get a hit, it is to not make an out.


Saves:  Replace with Holds + Saves.  My only beef with Saves is that 10% of your team scoring is, unlike any other category, in the hands of one or two guys.

H+S (or S+H if you prefer) finally puts some value on those middle relievers everyone has and involves half or more of your pitching staff in the category.


Wins:  Replace with Quality Starts.  I could write pages about this but won't.  Unlike Wins QS is not dependent on your team's offense.  Or your bullpen.  QS isolates a starting pitcher's performance and rewards excellence regardless of what those other bozos do.  When all pitchers went 8 or 9 innings, Wins were a meaningful stat.  We added a pitcher to our roster to more accurately mirror reality...we shouldn't stop there.


Steals:  Replace with Net Steals (SB-CS).  I think we did a good thing when we instituted K-BB for pitchers.  This change would be in the same common sense vein.


Anyway, I would like your thoughts on this whole enterprise.  If you agree it is worth pursuing, I'd like your advice on how to proceed.

I know you are busy, but I look forward to hearing from you when you have time to read this.




Now the more on this later editorial comments:


We (myself, Otis and Hutch) had a lively email discussion on the wins/quality starts metric.  While I am not averse to idea of using QS, I do not think we can completely eliminate wins as a category because it would further diminish the role of relievers (both the ones that come in the game in the middle innings and vulture a win, or the closer that blows the save, but gets the win).  So Otis suggested something like W+QS.  My initial reaction was that would skew the playing field too much toward starters, because each time they go out, they could get both a W and a QS.  Here’s a little of that email exchange:


From: Jim <>
Sent: Tuesday, July 3, 2018 7:54 AM
To: 'steve hutch'; 'Otis Johnson'
Subject: RE: RE: Is Using Wins + Quality Starts the Answer? | Community – FanGraphs Baseball

OK, twice as valuable may have been an overstatement.  Still, every starter has the chance for two points every time they take the mound.  No one else has that chance.  Sure a slugger can get points in four categories for knocking one out of the park, but all of those counting stats are in the hundreds  - often the high hundreds.  Wins is a two-digit category.


I see you caught my point about starters generally not going six innings.  In fact, I’d think that QS are actually more scarce than wins (for starting pitchers).


So while I have my reservations about QS+W, I think it is still a preferable stat to QS as a standalone category.  Still mulling it replacing W, however.




I’m not going to steal all of Otis’ thunder, because he did a lot of research on the subject.  I’ll let him give you the numbers and reasoning.  I will admit that I am tired of seeing my starters go out and pitch great but get zip because they didn’t get any support.  But I do not think wins can be eliminated completely because it is the most important stat in baseball – the teams with the most wins make the playoffs.  So, while wins may have outlived their usefulness as a standalone metric in today’s game, I still think they must be incorporated somehow into the scoring categories.

BTW, our stat service can handle all of Otis’ proposed changes.

I only have one request – let’s please be civil in our discussions and not make our first comment something like, “Not no, but hell no.”  We’ve got two years to decide this.

Otis, the floor is yours.

 OK, now to the roster cleanup.

In each instance below, the player listed first is the one on your active roster.  If there are three names tied together, you may only keep one of the three.

Remember to have your keepers to me by Jan 1.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Team 1

Matt Holliday/Christian Villanueva

Victor Arano/Caleb Smith


Team 2

Robbie Erlin/Dinelson Lamet

Juniro Guerra/Taijuan Walker

Yoshihisa Hirano/Alexander Reyes


Team 3

Max Muncy/Mac Williamson

Koda Glover/Kelvin Herrera


Team 4

Austin Jackson/Steven Duggar/Jesse Winkler

Anthony Desclafini/Michael Wacha


Team 5 – None


Team 6

German Marquez/Johnny Cueto

Jeremy Jeffress/Mike Soroka

Kyle Freeland/Yu Darvish


Team 7

Ryan McMahon/Martin Prado

Jose Urina/Luiz Gohara

Luis Perdomo/Jimmy Nelson


Team 8 – None


Team 9

Hunter Renfroe/Franchy Cordero

Nick Kingham/Brandon Morrow