Tagged: matthew berry

Review of “Fantasy Life” by Matthew Berry

If you are looking for a book that will make you a better fantasy player this is not it.  Matthew Berry was able to write a whole book and not even give one piece of mediocre advice on how to make your team better. He did not get into stats, much less deep secret stats that the pros use to win their leagues.  What was he thinking?

Turns out he was writing more about the “life” part of the title. TMR (Talented Mr. Roto AKA Matthew Berry) was going to take you on his journey to a happier life.  He does go at length on how you can make your league better. But, really he is telling stories about enjoying your league and life.  Although, I am not sure how getting a tattoo that someone else picks for me makes my life more enjoyable. TMR’s book should be a must read for all you fantasy league commissioners out there.  It will help you find ways to bring your league together. Mostly, it may help you find ways to have even more fun with the people in your league.

I found the book to be very interesting for a different reason than I thought I would.  I found that we have something in common even though Matthew Berry and I have had very different journeys in life. The book was truly about finding a way to enjoy life. I feel that this book should be read by every high school kid or college student looking for direction in life. Nowadays we push our youth to find a career. To pick a path to security or wealth. This is all well and good except, we have so many people unhappy with their jobs and lives.

TMR is able to show you how he was able to find happiness by following his dream. That even though he was somewhat successful in his past career he was not happy. For me this story hit home. I have always felt that people should try to find a career/job that makes them happy. Look work is still work, but if you love what you do the bad days will not seem so bad.

I am an oddity when it comes to finding a career. I know every boy growing up at some point says they want to be a fireman. For me it was different. I got my first job in a factory and joined the volunteer fire company at age 14. I quickly realized that working in a hot factory doing the same task every day was not for me. I also found a second home at the firehouse. I found it fun to go out and help my neighbors, whatever their emergency was. I set out to make firefighting my career. I joined the Army reserves at 17 years old knowing that it would help me land a position as a firefighter.  I attended basic training between my junior and senior years of high school. I then set off to college to earn a degree in Fire Science.  While at college I lived at a firehouse for free as long as I responded on calls for them.  I was offered a firefighter position at age 20. 19 years later I still love my job.  There are bad days at work. I always say those are the days they pay me for. I still love helping the community however I can. I will never be a millionaire as a firefighter, but I feel wealthy in life. I believe that this is the point Matthew Berry is trying to make in his book Fantasy Life.

Matthew Berry did a great job of mixing life and fantasy sports in this book. The book is written in the same way that he writes articles for ESPN and the way he hosts his podcasts for ESPN.  His work always has more in it then just fantasy.  Some people may not like all the fluff, but I think that he is able to spice up a sometimes vanilla topic of fantasy sports.  I mean there are only some many ways to say here are my top QBs this year. The book is inspirational to the point of, find what you love to do in life and then do it. Sometimes you have to climb out on a limb and take that risk to enjoy life.  Hey I am a firefighter, I know about risk.  Take a risk and download the book. From what I know about Matthew Berry he does not even care if you read it.  Although, I suggest that you do.

By Chuck Amspacher @captainchuck46


To Stream or Not to Stream

You name the fantasy web site and you can find the streaming pitcher help section.  ESPN has TMR’s Wandy Line    http://espn.go.com/fantasy/baseball/story/_/page/TMR130425/matthew-berry-wandy-line-streaming-pitcher-strategy-updated-2013.  Head on over to MLB’s Fantasy 411 and Cory Schwartz has his Pitch or ditch blog http://fantasy411.mlblogs.com/.   Over at faketeams.com you have the streamer report   http://www.faketeams.com/2013/5/11/4321642/the-streamer-report-mothers-day-edition.  Have I made my point, or should I keep going?

Okay then, does it work?   I have won a league streaming pitchers.  However, my long time keeper league decided to use K/9 instead on total Ks when we reorganized 8 seasons ago.  This has truly hamper anyone(me) trying to stream pitchers.  I love streaming pitchers, not that it has always worked.  I enjoy looking at the match ups each day to find the good match up.  It is so fun to find that so so pitcher with a great match up and have him whirl a gem.  However, for each match up that works out you often have one that does not.   Trust me I know.  I am a recovering Streamer.  Now add in the fact that we are using K/9 in my favorite league.  As you might guess, it has not worked as well for me the last couple of years.  So, I came into this year pledging not to stream pitchers.  I had made it almost 6 weeks before I relapsed.

I have some issues with the concept that the Pros preach.  TMR’s Wandy line is a great name.  However, the concept is lacking in some ways.  There are rarely pitchers just below the Wandy Line available for pick up.  You often are looking at guys well below the top 28 to 30 starters TMR suggest are above the Wandy Line.  My guess is the ones that are available are often below the top 50.  With ESPN showing as of right now 44 SP are 100% owned and 57 SP are 90% or higher.  TMR says”Based on ADP, the average ESPN standard league team is composed of six starters and three closers.”  That is 60 starters!!  Match ups for Pitchers below the top 50 having a good chance of throwing a gem are hard to find.  But,  if you follow his theory and have good Relievers in your line up you can maximum Wins and K’s for your team.  The risk is that you may compromise your ERA and WHIP trotting out pitchers that are below the top 50 while having a 200 start cap.  Can those extra relievers on your team counter balance the spike in ERA and whip you will get when that Gem turns into 4.2 innings pitched giving up 11 hits, 3 walks, 5 Earned Runs, and by the way 0.00 K/9.  Ya, I am talking about YOU Kevin Slowey.

The Streamer Report at Faketeams.com does do a good job of finding those few pitchers that might be available.    writes the blog and I am sure he finds his share of Gems.  I think the problem is if you look at the last few reports over mothers day weekend there are some very crocked numbers in there.  How hard are they to bounce back from.  His information is good, he is giving you names that you could pick up and I agreed with some of those picks.  Unfortunately, agreeing on Slowey can cost you a combined 7 points in ERA, Whip, and K/9.

Before you start streaming or continue streaming, make sure you know your league rules.  Total K’s compared to K/9 make a big difference.  As do Start limits.  If you have a 200 Start limit, you want the best 200 Starts.  However, if you play in a no start limit and  total K’s league it may work.  Even then be careful, as a few bad starts could cost you in the ERA and Whip lines.  I have found streaming fun, but I find wining even more fun.  If you have a league where you can stream and win great!   If not, there may be a way to let all this talk about streaming help you.

With so many Touts pushing their Pitch or Ditch Wandy line Streamer reports they may have opened up a valuable market.  It is time to find the hidden value in this the way they would on Wall Street, in Billy Beane’s Office, and in Tampa Bays extra 2%.  I am sure that someone if not several teams in your league are going to be streamers.  They are going to pick up guys who have a good match up or have a few good starts in a row.  When they do they will need to drop a player.  Most players they drop will not be helpful to your team.  But, someone WILL drop a guy that can help you.  Save your Waiver claim or your FAB money for the day when the streamer in your league can’t help himself and drops a quality player to Steam a SP who is pitching against Seattle in Seattle. That start might be a gem, but you might get a good starter who is just outside the top 30 SP.

As for me, I did fall off the wagon and could not resist Slowey this weekend.  Lesson relearned!  On the other hand, I claimed Mike Minor off waivers this weekend.  Someone dropped him to stream another SP.  Minor has been outstanding since last years All Star break.  I hope Minor can help repair the damage I did to my team when I fell from the wagon.

What do you think?  To Stream or not to Stream