This is an amazing concentration of accumulated collective knowledge here, thanks to all of you. I wish I had just asked the same question like 2 months ago.
I do have a couple of questions, given that you vets and HOFers are in the mood to share, and before you all change your minds:
1) regarding Joss etc. - I find that once I have drafted one or two $10 million plus pitchers, it is hard to put together a plausible team. Yet I see, and know, that the main successful teams mostly do this, which is my own failing to date. Though to be sure it is also a bit of stubbornness on my part - I think the only roles for the number 3 in baseball are the third base, the third inning and three strikes - you're out. I dislike triples as much as I dislike 3-man rotations (if you can't score from second on a hit you shouldn't be in the majors).
But I digress. The question is how you get a $28-$31 million rotation and manage to fill enough spots in the rest of the staff with plausible pitching, and not just enough IP to meet the very low 1,200 threshold required. I see that often people just get a number of very good 27-45 innings pitchers, and so I guess that is the winning strategy, but aside from the aesthetic repulsiveness of 3 mega-starters with unreal (literally, since often 250 IP in deadball era over 140 games becomes 300+ in IP/162, so these innings were never pitched - no one ever pitched 700+ innings in reality for example), my question is how one knows that this will be stable over a season - having a series of presumably set to Setup A mini-pitchers as it were each with a few innings to throw a year behind a 3-man rotation.
I keep finding that when I do draft these deadball pitchers for 3-man rotations (against my ideological preferences, but out of necessity to compete) that they usually can't pitch as many IP/G as I would have thought, so a bullpen is really important. What are people's various ways of constructing a full staff with 1,2 or even 3 high IP/162 pitchers, because honestly I am finding it a lot of work to micro-manage rest when I use them.
Four man staffs, on the other hand, aside from their moral and aesthetic superiority in our culture (4 seasons, 4 Beatles, 4 Gospels, Final Four in college basketball, you name it) mean spending only $6-8 million per starter or you start to run into the same problem as with 3-man systems. And while I have found now that there are some real quality pitchers for these prices if you look carefully at WHIP, OAV, ERC# (though this is not as good a predictor within quality levels as it is to get a quick idea - 2. something better than 4. something, but then you need other indicators) and especially at the Performance History Averages, nevertheless you still lose games more often than not to the $12 million pitchers.
so any thinking on these issues is most welcome.
2) regarding the preference a lot of players here have for 1975 Gary Carter at catcher - hyeena, since he is not listed as a catcher that year, you need to draft him as a utility player, putting C in the search engine for position but clicking the box for showing secondary positions, then you draft some 200K person for the Catcher position - I have used him on a few teams now and he is fairly good offensively and of course has that crucial variable - the A+ arm to slow down the running game that, if you have been away since Yorktown hyeena, is a dominant offensive strategy here in OL play esp. But why is he considered more useful than some catchers that can actually hit - a Lance Parrish, or Hoiles (made All-star team in one of my leagues), Jason Kendall in a couple of years, Yogi Berra, Posada, even Manny Sanguillen in a year or so, all provide offense to the team. I assume a calculation has been made of value versus price, but whether that is the best choice still depends on what you are spending on and what you are getting for the money on the rest of the offense. Which in turn depends in part on how much you spend on high IP starters etc. leaving money left for the offense no ?