Fantasy Fever: Obsessive Trading Syndrome From image

Fantasy Fever: Trading Places

Dealing with Obsessive Trading Syndrome
By Joel Beall,
June 15th, 2010

I have a problem that cannot be combated with therapy or treatment. It's a self-destructing tendency, one that wipes-out months of production in the blink of an eye. I am not alone, as thousands of others suffer from this wretched addiction.

I have Obsessive Trading Syndrome. Or OTS for short.

No matter my standing in a fantasy league, I always get the itch to wheel and deal. I try and validate this process out of necessity; unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Even when the situation arises for a trade to be essential for survival, the thirst is quenched only briefly, as I soon find myself pursuing other potential trade suitors. Case in point: after acquiring Justin Morneau and Andrew McCutchen to bolster my offense, I felt satisfied in my team's make-up and identity. This sentiment lasted all of two weeks, and suddenly I was surfing through starting lineups of others, concocting theoretical barters in my mind.

This phenomenon astounds me, as I'm complacent in almost every other facet of my life. Yet I have a nagging feeling that OTS will start to influence my existence outside of fantasy. Will I suddenly have the urge to start rotating girlfriends and wives? Jobs? Cars?

As previously mentioned, there are multitudes of owners who are afflicted with this condition. And while no support group exits for OTS, I've gathered some helpful tips to help those on the road to recovery.

Ha! You Won't Trade Me

Joe Mauer Joe Mauer is hitting .319 for the Twins

1. Have faith in your Draft.

This was the roster YOU constructed. More than likely, you had draft aid in the form of a "Player Ranking" cheat-sheet. Although injuries or underperformance might be contributing to a subpar standing, the majority of players will produce at their expectancy for the year.

2. Change is not necessarily a good thing.

I have a confession to make: I've been looking to shop my catcher. Why is this newsworthy? Because I have Joe freakin' Mauer behind the plate, the best hitting catcher since Johnny Bench. (What's that you say? Mike Piazza? Let's just say Mike's career was probably, um, "enhanced.") So why would I be on the prowl for another signal-caller? Because I'm bored with Mauer. Sound idiotic? You bet. But it's somewhat monotonous to look at the same lineup everyday, and shaking it up seems like a method to combat this issue. Friends, next time this thought crosses your mind, find the nearest frying pan and smack yourself in the dome to knock some sense into that skull.

3. A man's trash is not another's treasure.

Unless you're dealing with a fellow OTS victim, another owner is doubtful to deal unless they feel the trade benefits them more than you. And since you have the insatiable urge to mix things up, you end up exchanging Brandon Phillips for Denard Span. This is followed by the realization that you're an idiot and just gift-wrapped a top-tier 2B for an above average OF, at which point you hurl the nearest object at a wall. For those with OTS, consult a loved one or trusted friend on all trades since you lack the rationale to deal on your own accord.

4. Stop monitoring the waiver wire to act as a catalyst for trades.

The chain of events usually proceeds as follows: an owner spots a recently released player or up-and-comer that appears an attractive fit to a user's squad. However, said owner abhors the notion of discharging a member off his team into waivers. The owner then devises a grand "scheme" to trade two of his so-so players in exchange for a contributor from another team. Unfortunately, everyone in the league is wise to this owner's game, and the proposition is met with deaf ears. When this instance occurs, an OTS sufferer has reached rock-bottom.

5. Let the statistics dictate your dealings.

This harkens back to trading out of necessity. If your team is dealing with a deficit in a certain category, by all means, explore your options to enhance that shortcoming. Sounds simple to most fantasy users, but those with OTS don't have any rhyme or reason to their swaps.

Jason Hamilton

There is currently no cure for OTS. However, these friendly reminders can help prevent you or someone you love from letting this dreadful disease ruin their fantasy season.

Start 'em: Josh Hamilton, Rangers. Through 13 games in June, Hamilton is batting .412, with 6 bombs, 19 RBI, and 13 runs. On the year, Hamilton is making a strong case to start in center for the Midsummer Classic, with a stat line of .309/15 HR/46 RBI/42 R.

Sit 'em: Ricky Nolasco, Marlins. Nolasco's last two outings: 7.2 innings, 8 ERs, 17 hits, and only 4 Ks. After bursting out in 2008, Nolasco has floundered, supporting a 5.06 ERA in '09 with a nearly identical 5.05 ERA thus far in 2010.

Fantasy Flashback: 1924 Dazzy Vance. Mr. Vance turned in quite the campaign in '24 for the Brooklyn Dodgers, throwing 30 complete games to go along with a league-leading 2.16 ERA. Vance's strikeout-to-walk ratio was unparalleled, with 262 Ks and only 77 BB. This, along with a 28-6 mark, helped Vance take home MVP honors. Better yet, doesn't "Dazzy Vance" just sound like a Brooklyn Dodger? What, you think a guy with a handle like that that would suit up for the Seattle Mariners?

Jason Hammel

Waiver Wire Watch: Jason Hammel, Rockies. In his last 3 outings, Hammel has gone 22 innings with only one earned run and 14Ks. Hammel's owned in just 10% of leagues, so if your pitching is floundering, take a gamble on Hammel.

Rookie Review: Daniel Nava, Red Sox. The 27-year-old rookie OF has 4 hits in his first 8 at-bats, including hitting a grand slam in his first plate appearance, becoming only the 4th player in Major League history to accomplish such a feat.

This week in Jonathon Broxton: Three appearances for the Ox, earning 2 saves without allowing the opposition to cross the plate. I recently read that Congress has solicited celebrities James Cameron and Kevin Costner for help with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. If this is true, why haven't they consulted Broxton? Let #51 fire a fastball into that gaping hole and "voila!" problem solved. I'm not 100% sure on the physics behind that logic, but I'm sure as hell not going to doubt the power of Ox.

Trade Talk: Roy Oswalt has made it known that he'd like to be traded. This is relevant to fantasy because Oswalt's record (4-8) is not indicative of his performance (3.16 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 82 Ks). Some Oswalt owners may see his win-loss total and be looking to ship #44. If you have the chance, see if you can pry Oswalt away and watch his win total explode behind a competent offense.

Big League Chew Player of the Week: Ted Lilly, Cubs. Lilly carried a no-no into the 9th against the White Sox on Sunday, only for Juan Pierre to breakup his date with destiny. The crafty lefthander has surrendered just one run in his past 16 innings. In an unrelated note, have you ever noticed that the term "crafty" only refers to lefthanders? Tim Wakefield is the craftiest mo-fo in the Majors, and that dude is a righty. Go figure.

Spit Your Tobacco At: Chad Qualls, Diamondbacks. The anti-Broxton, Qualls has blown four saves in 2010, and manager A.J. Hinch has indicated that Qualls' days as closer might be nearing an end. Qualls last two appearances haven't helped his case, getting just two outs while giving up 7 runs (6 earned).

That will do it for today. Your "Dumb and Dumber" Quote of the Week:

Lloyd: That's a lovely accent you have. New Jersey?

Lady at bus stop: Austria.

Lloyd: Austria! Well, then. G'day mate! Let's put another shrimp on the barbie!

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