by Howard Bender
Allow me to lay out the all too familiar scenario here. The season has begun -- not yesterday, but you're like a couple of weeks in. You decide that you want to trade some of your power for speed and there are three teams in your league that you match up well with for a trade. You send out an email to each one of them making a pretty fair and legitimate offer. Teams A and B respond within a day or two and decline your offer. Team C, you haven't heard from.
You give it another couple of days, but in reality, you'd like to get a deal done as quickly as possible. You send another email to Team C. A few more days go by and nothing. You send one more. Still nothing, so you call your buddy, the Commissioner, and ask what's up with Team C. Does he not check his email? Is he away?
You're assured that the guy is out there somewhere and to just keep trying. You send out one more email, wait a few more days without a response, and finally you give up. Back to Teams A and B to try again. Frustrating, right?
Now fast forward some more and look what's happening. Trades are being made, free agents are being picked up on the waiver wire and Team C hasn't been involved one bit. As a matter of fact, he's had a guy on the DL in his active lineup for almost 2 weeks now. You ask around the league and no one has been in contact with this guy. You call your commish again and he says he spoke to him and that he [Team C's owner] has been busy with work.
Understandable. Annoying, but understandable. People have jobs, people have lives, you get it. So you continue with your season and give the guy the benefit of the doubt. You send him another email looking to make another deal, but again, a few days goes by and you don't hear back at all.
Suddenly, you're at the trade deadline. Team C has made no roster moves, has 3 guys on the DL in his active lineup, and apparently has not only ignored every trade email, but has also ignored things like voting on league trades. He's a dead team. No moves, no communication, nothing. It's the worst thing you can do to a fantasy league.
Don't be that guy!
Listen, you have to understand that joining a fantasy beaseball league is a committment. It's really not something you can do half-assed. If you're joining a league, then you have to make sure that it gets the attention it deserves. It is a long season and your involvement is necessary for so many reasons.
First of all, let's talk about those in your league that do make the effort. Now guys like me (and maybe I'm an extreme), we tend to do a lot of preparation for the draft. It's not just about sitting in a room with your buddies, having beers and saying, "Look Honey, I got Matsui!" We put together depth charts, participate in mock drafts, and we know we're in it for the long haul. We look forward to trade talk and live scoring updates and making roster moves to tweak our teams. We know that participating in a draft is a 6 month committment. Becoming a dead team is like spitting in our face. You participate on draft day and then basically tell the rest of to piss off as you claim to not have the time to what...? Check your email? Vote on a trade? Move a hurt player from your active lineup and replace him with someone else?
I'm not telling you to do the research that I do. Hell, do the bare minimum for all I care. But don't just blow off the league. Aside from the fact that you'll never be invited to particiapte in anything ever again, you can also bet that the league will undoubtedly name some sort of booby prize after you.
Next, let's talk about the fairness to the rest of the league. If you're in a head to head league, then your lack of participation is handing victories to teams that may not be deserving. If it's rotisserie, then your place in the standings, in any category, is affecting everyone else. Just a quick example would be something like batting average. A competitive team is getting as many at bats as they can and their average is fluctuating, hopefully getting better. A dead team, due to hurt or benched players in the lineup, gets very few at bats, and suddenly they're looking at days when they can hit .400 because they only had 10 ABs for the day. They can be seriously affecting the standings just by not doing anything, and that is certainly not fair to those that are making the effort.
And the last point I want to touch on is how your non-particiaption disrupts and limits the player pool. If a roster consists of 25 players, that's now 25 players the rest of the league will never see. Sure, your team is likely littered with bums and useless players, but you also probably have a few top guys that other teams could use. After all, you did have a pick in each of the first 5 rounds, didn't you? You did have some bid money to start the auction, right? You've got some guys on that crap-sucking roster of yours that, on a normal team, could be traded for help. But since you don't care enough to play the season through, then no one gets the chance to acquire them.
Don't be that guy!
I could go on and on here, but I think you get my point. If you've joined a fantasy baseball league, then don't leave the other participants hanging. How hard is it to check your email on a daily basis? Even every other day? It doesn't take any real time to just send back a response to someone, even if it's just an email that says "Real busy at work/home/school. Need more time before making trades." How hard is that? If a league vote comes your way, how difficult is it to cast a vote? In the amount of time it just took me to write that last sentence you could have voted on 2 trades and responded to a fellow league member's trade offer. It doesn't take much effort, does it?
Oh and before you start with the whole, "I have a job and a wife and kids and responsibilities, etc.," just remember...so do the rest of us. If your life was so hectic then you shouldn't have joined in the first place.
Still looking for that diamond in the rough on your waiver wire? There are plenty of position battles still going on, so check out RotoBuzz.com for all the latest advice and information.
Howard Bender is a freelance fantasy sports writer and champion in both rotisserie and head to head leagues. For questions, thoughts, or comments you can email him at Howard.Rotobuzz@yahoo.com