Monday, July 9, 2007

The Art of the Trade

Every fantasy league has one. The one guy who is constantly looking for a trade. And not just any trade. The lopsided, ridiculous trade offer that you don’t even consider. He usually ends up flipping the majority of his roster twice during the season. He’s the guy that offers you Duncan and Hennessey for Pujols. “Hey, AP’s numbers are down. Duncan is raking and has 1B eligibility. Hennessey is closing for the Giants now too.” No matter how many times you tell him no, he’ll 1)respond that you don’t look at the numbers enough; 2)Resend you similar offers of other bums for the same stud you have; or 3)find some other sucker to trade with. He always gets his man.

I play in the same baseball, basketball and football leagues each year. By same, I mean we have about an 80-90% return rate. So you get to know the guys in each league. And in all three of these leagues is the guy who beats you down for trades. Our trade aficionado – let’s call him the Professor - spends most of his time trolling for trades. He used to drive me crazy with the offers and responses to rejections. His constant crap offers, over and over and over. But then it hit me. This guy is a genius.

In college we all had one buddy that would hit on anything. The thought was eventually someone would say yes. His thinking was you had to throw out a lot of lines to see what stuck. And amazingly, this guy ended up scoring some quality women. It wasn’t just the pure quantity of attempts, but he got his rap down after doing it so many times. The Professor in many ways is like this. He’ll try with the hot girls first (the league veterans) and try to rip out a stud. A couple of years ago I traded Bosh (right before his break out year) for Steve Francis. Ouch. His smooth double talk convinced me. If he can’t score there, he moves on to the rookies. Kind of like closing time at the bars in college – the pick up artist moves in for the wounded gazelles.

I’ve come to admire the Professor’s drive and determination. Say what you will about his offers, but he is consistently in the playoffs of all three leagues. I’m here to say do not disparage this man any longer. Let us celebrate his Troy Tulowitzki and Kevin Gregg offer for Carlos Beltran. Let us embrace his excel spreadsheets with hard data on why you should take that trade. Let us revel in his reply to your rejection of the trade when he gives you the reasons why you are lacking stats in certain categories. This is free, excellent advice and insights that we are so quick to ignore. How blind we have become.

So today I say to the Professor, thank you. Thank you for showing the rest of us how to not sit on our hands. Thank you for your willingness to accept the rejection and disparaging remarks. Thank you for playing the game your way and accepting no alternatives. I respect your resolve. Now how about I trade you Dustin Pedroia and Marcus Giles for Matt Holiday?

3 comments:

DMtShooter said...

For the record, he got me for Ollie Perez - mid Pirates breakdown -- for an injury-prone Mets guy with a bad OBA.

Named Jose Reyes.

It's not a keeper league, and I won that year anyway. But the scars remain.

Anonymous said...

Pedroia and Giles for Holiday is not an offer I'd accept--but I found it exciting to see The Truth actually propose ANY kind of trade.

Weak trade offers can be mildly annoying--but clicking "reject" is a pretty quick and painless solution. What's more bothersome is a 12 team league where 5 guys quit paying attention in April, and 4 others would never consider accepting a trade (much less proposing one). You end up with 3 teams willing to talk trades, and 75 percent of the quality players in MLB all but inactive in terms of roster moves. I'll take a league full of Professors trying to better their teams. (And, yes, our league Prof has burned me too--but I've burned him back once or twice.)

Mook

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