'Carl Crawford' photo (c) 2011, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ I stand accountable for my actions. More times than not I'm right, but sometimes I make mistakes. When I do, I'm not afraid to admit it. I'd like to think that helps to set me out a bit in this industry. I try to be transparent and truthful. To that end, I thought I would spend a few days reviewing the results from my “experts leagues.” It wasn't exactly pretty, I'll be straight forward with that, but again I don't believe in running and hiding. Here is how things went in my first year in Tout Wars (I was in the mixed league with 15 clubs).

It all went wrong from the day the draft was held. The following three players saw me battle down to the end, it's an action league, but ultimately I stopped bidding on all of them a dollar short (I was the runner up for each if you will): Edwin Encarnacion, Zack Greinke and Andrew McCutchen. In their place I ended up with Pablo Sandoval, Cliff Lee and B.J. Upton. Pretty understandable how I didn't finish higher in the league isn't it now? Speaking of Lee, I'm flabbergasted at his total of six wins. I started him every time he took the hill this year, so let's saw he won 13 games and not six this season (his performance warranted 13 victories, at least, and he averaged 16 wins the previous four years). If I had seven more victories to my team total I would have gone from 86 wins to 93 victories. That alone would have netted me three more points in the standings and put me into 8th place overall. It's always amazing how closely these things end up being after 162 games. If I had rostered EE, Greinke and McCutchen... I don't even want to try and figure that out cause it would likely make me want to vomit.

Suzuki and Buck both had career worst seasons.

Carlos Lee was passable but Gaby Sanchez went from productive to the minors. Dreadful.

Chase Utley was supposed to miss about a month. He ended up playing only 83 games. Dustin Ackley played on a bad ankle all year and was terrible. At least Danny Espinosa turned out pretty damn well with 17 homers, 20 steals and 82 runs scored.

Derek Jeter was a star and a fantastic $13 investment on draft day.

Pablo Sandoval was solid when on the field. He didn't get to even 400 at-bats though.

Nelson Cruz stayed healthy but didn't perform to his previous levels, though surprisingly he remained relatively healthy. B.J. Upton was supposed to miss a week. Turned out to nearly be a month even though he was very impressive when on the field. Alex Rios – superstar effort for $13. Carl Crawford was thought to be good to go by May 1st at the latest. Hey, it was worth the risk as my 4th outfielder. Turns out his season was an unmitigated disaster as he had more injuries than John J. Rambo picks up when saving people in the jungle. He appeared in 31 games. Denard Span was a decent 5th OF in a 15 team mixed league, especially for $2, as he hit .283 with 17 steals.

On the hill Cliff Lee pitched very well, but couldn't get any run support at all. Felix Hernandez wet the bed in September, but overall he had a very impressive season. John Danks, was injured and made just nine starts. Chad Billingsley was having a nice bounceback season but made 25 starts, his lowest total in five years, cause of injury. James McDonald was a fantastic reserve round add even if he too died in the second half. Oh, and Ricky Nolasco? It's time to give up there. In the pen I had a tremendous group with Tyler Clippard, Sergio Romo (I bought the duo for $7) and Kenley Jansen. However, Sergio Santos was a total bust due to injury, and literally right after Mariano Rivera was hurt and David Robertson was moved into the closing role, Robertston also came up lame. You guessed it. I also had Robertson on my staff. I could have had Romo/Clippard/Robertson/Jansen, all as closers, for a total of $13. That's how you put together a pitcher staff without spending big dollars on closers. I finished second in the league in saves even with the injuries to Sergio Santos/Robertson and the Giants stubbornness in not using Romo as the closer until late in the year.

Missed substantial time on DL: Utley, Sandoval, Upton, Crawford, Santos, Robertson, Danks, Billingsley. When you lose that many guys in a 15 team league, it's rough to play catchup. Not that I didn't try considering that I had, at one time or another, 44 hitters and 25 pitchers work their way through my lineup.

CONGRATS: Cory Schwartz who won the league. Greatest celebration picture ever by the way.

FINAL RESULT: 9/15. Just wasn't meant to be this year.


By Ray Flowers


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About Ray Flowers

The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Thurs 7 PM, Fri. 9 PM EDT), Ray also hosts a show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.

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