I play in the greatest fantasy baseball league in the world. I actually play in three but one is far more to time consuming and complex than any other fantasy league I have ever been in. In my league Adrian Gonzalez remains on the waiver wire, along with Evan Longoria, Dan Haren and Cole Hamels, all judged not good enough for the competing teams. In my league I once spent a good amount of time trying to find a guy that could get me more sacrifice flys. My league has only two players... welcome to Super Baseball 5000.
Super Baseball 5000, the name of this ridiculous league was hatched by
my friend and I at a diner a few months before the 2011 season. As avid
fans of arguing about baseball and playing strat-o-matic we thought that
it might be fun to concoct a way to play heads up fantasy baseball.
After several iterations, we came up with the format that lead to
funnest season of fantasy sports I have ever played.
The basic rules are this: Scoring is rotisserie style. Instead of
drafting players like in a normal fantasy draft, we draft teams. (I
chose the Phillies and the Yankees with the 1st and third picks, my
opponent picked the Cardinals and Red Sox) you then staff your team with
players from the teams you chose. Preseason you can tinker as much as
you want, once the season begins you have the standard 50 move
transaction limit. The catch being that you have to have at least one
player from each of your teams on your roster. The constant battle to
find useful Astros and Orioles being on of the toughest parts of the
The other key to the format is lots of categories and several totally
unreasonable ones. Their are 30 scoring categories including fielding
percentage, grand slams, hitting for the cycle, complete games and
triples allowed. Nothing is more maddening than trying to control
categories that players have essentially no control over. What do I care
if Robbie Cano hit two run home runs if his failure to turn a double
play just cost me points in the double plays turned category.
The essence of what makes this league so hard and so time consuming is
the choices. In a standard fantasy leagues their is only so much you can
do. If you need to improve your team, the choices on the wire are
usually not guys who are very good. You either cobble together bad
starters or pick guys up on hot streaks and hope they don't flame out
too quick. It is infinitely harder to decide who to start as my third
outfielder when the choices are Ryan Braun or Josh Hamilton. It's even
harder to decide who to pick up to improve my pitching when I have half
the leagues aces sitting on the available player list. Not to mention
trying to balance having a player from every team (Mark Melancon, I
dreamed so often of how great it would be to drop you).
I am proud to say I won the first year of Super Baseball 5000. Despite a
not so well thought out plan where I benched Cliff Lee for two weeks
and some other ill fated strategies I came out the victor. Super
Baseball 5001 is now underway and I am pleased to report I maintain a 9
point league. Updates on this and my other leagues throughout the