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Sunday, April 21, 2013

NYT: Mike Mills: A Rock Star of Fantasy Sports

I once named one of my jerkball teams “Monty Stratton Got A Raw Deal”. #stand

Mike Mills rose from a chair and strolled out to his car, but not to fetch a musical instrument to perform songs from the catalog of R.E.M., his seminal alternative-rock band. A fantasy draft of Masters golfers, involving Mills and a dozen others at a house not far from Augusta National Golf Club, had just concluded. And with baseball games in the East winding down, Mills was retrieving a laptop to take stock of his fantasy teams.

All six of them.

...Most of Mills’s fantasy leagues are operated on the Yahoo! Sports site, which awards “trophies” for each championship. His computer page offers irrefutable evidence of his expertise. “Here’s my virtual trophy case,” he said, pressing the arrow-down button on his keyboard. A sizable stack of hardware rolled down the screen.

Rattling off baseball players’ names with the familiarity of a general manager, Mills participates in leagues with friends and strangers. Two leagues are made up of musicians. One commissioner is Ben Gibbard of the alt-rockers Death Cab for Cutie.

Typical of fantasy players, some of Mills’s team names are pun-based: Upton No Good is drawn from the brothers Upton, B. J. and Justin of the Braves. Big Bopper is a baseball-music double entendre. Team logos are chosen with forethought: Ruthian Blast is accompanied by a mug of Babe Ruth.

Mills wheeled through every team, checking its place in the standings, which invariably was at or near the top. Twice, he said, “I’m killing it in this one.”

Repoz Posted: April 21, 2013 at 10:09 AM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: music

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   1. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: April 21, 2013 at 08:59 PM (#4421667)
Man's earned his retirement.

Go get 'em, Mike.
   2. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:40 AM (#4421897)
REM = Awesome.

Truly one of the great U.S. bands.
   3. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:43 AM (#4421899)
Never saw him play.
   4. Phil Coorey. Posted: April 22, 2013 at 04:22 AM (#4421907)

REM = Awesome.

Truly one of the great U.S. bands.

Without a doubt - I've had Reckoning in high rotation in the car the last week. Sometimes I forget for a fleeting second ow good those early albums are.

   5. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: April 22, 2013 at 11:29 AM (#4422083)
Seriously - a NYT piece on a guy showing the writer his Yahoo! Fantasy virtual trophy case.
   6. JJ1986 Posted: April 22, 2013 at 11:33 AM (#4422087)
I don't understand playing in multiple fantasy leagues at once (unless you own mostly the same players in each league). If you're in 4-5 leagues or more, then you're at a point where you own 25% of the good players in baseball, which kind of defeats the purpose of picking players.
   7. Man o' Schwar Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:54 PM (#4422193)
I don't understand playing in multiple fantasy leagues at once (unless you own mostly the same players in each league). If you're in 4-5 leagues or more, then you're at a point where you own 25% of the good players in baseball, which kind of defeats the purpose of picking players.

I can answer this one - let's say your top two picks are Pujols and Tulowitzki, and both go down in Week 1 with season ending injuries. You're now facing an entire season of fantasy baseball with likely no chance to win. If you're in multiple leagues, odds are (unless you pick the same players over and over) you're still going to have a chance to stay competitive in at least one. It's not always that stark, of course, but it happens - you wake up in mid-May to find your whole starting outfield on the DL until after the All-Star Break, and you're suddenly hoping this is the year Cameron Maybin breaks out of it.

If you're willing to put in the time, it makes sense - but it can be a lot of time, especially for fantasy baseball. I've done 6 fantasy leagues in a season, with daily roster moves. By the time you keep up with the waiver wire in each league, real life moves, transactions, etc., you can lose an hour every morning just setting your lineups.
   8. Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:58 PM (#4422202)
If I were going to do multiple fantasy leagues I think the fun way to do it would be mix things up. Go for a slugging team in one, a pitching heavy team in another, draft a bunch of Red Sox, draft a bunch of random guys I like, that kind of thing.
   9. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: April 22, 2013 at 03:20 PM (#4422380)
Nothing unusual about that. For many years I played in 4 leagues, then I cut it down to 3 but got roped into joining 2 more this year, bringing me to 5, which is too many. But they're all pretty different.

My leagues:
-12 teams, 25-man roster (so 300 rostered players plus DL) plus 15-man minors system, auction league with escalating yearly salaries. 5x5.
-10 teams, 23-man roster (230 plus DL), AL-only, five keepers per year, can't keep a player more than three times in a row. 5x5 plus OPS and K/BB.
-20 teams, 30-man roster (600 rostered, no DL), head-to-head, 15 keepers per year but can't keep your best 5 players (as voted on by the rest of the league). R, RBI, SB, BA, OBP, SLG for hitters and IP, W, SV, ERA, K/BB, OBPA for pitchers. This setup is insane.
-12 teams, 30-man roster (360 plus DL), 6 keepers per year, keepers are indefinite. 5x5.
-14 teams, 25-man roster (350 plus DL), 3 keepers per year, keepers are indefinite, 5x5, with draft pick trading. $50 entry fee with payouts for first, second and third place.

I've been in these leagues about 8 years, 11 years, first year, three years and ten years respectively.

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