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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Medium Sample Size

Are you as sick of the phrase "small sample size" as I am?  Somehow everyone has become some kind of sports scientist all of the sudden.  What's the deal with that phrase?

Okay, I get it...  We shouldn't get all worked up when someone does something over a short period of time.  Cool.  But how about 40% of the season?  Seems like a great time to get all worked up.

As I talked about in my last post, there really are times to buy high and sell low.  40% of the way into the season is just that time, if you have reasons for it.  Don't just dump a guy like Adrian Gonzalez because he's only hit 5 home runs and his OPS+ has shrunk from the 156 it was last year to only 90 this year.

Nah, instead try to trade him for a quality replacement because he had a BABIP of .380 last year and really doesn't seem to be turning it around this year.  He's become a doubles hitter.  That happens to right handed hitters in Fenway all the time, but lefties?  What's the deal?  I don't know, but I'm trading him for Chris Davis and Tom Wilhelmsen if I own him.

Most of you are somewhere in the middle of the pack in your league.  That's just math.  You've got to start making some moves to try to improve your areas of weakness, so that may mean sacrificing some good players for ones that will help you in categories where you are weak. 

Go and take a look at the detailed standings.  You're probably in the bottom 2 or 3 in a couple of those statistics, so those are ideal targets for improvement.  (Obviously.)  Look, it's a long season and mental fatigue can start to settle in right about now.  Don't let it!  Take charge of your team when your competitors are starting to fade in the noggin.  Now is the time where champions are made.

And remember, your standings are really just a 40% sample size at this point.  Even if you are in 5th place you can make up ground.  I went from 9th to 3rd in my league with friends just in the past 10 days.  I did it by focusing on the areas where I needed help - wins, runs, and stolen bases.

Go and do the same.  Here's a simple process for you:
  1. Look at the expanded standings and identify areas of biggest potential improvement
  2. See if there is a match for what you need on the waiver wire
  3. Look for redundant resources on your roster
  4. Identify a trading partner who matches well with your needs and in return needs what you can supply
  5. Don't worry about "winning the trade"...  They are going to have to get what they need to do the deal and they probably aren't thinking as critically about it as you are
That's in... It's not rocket surgery.  Go and get the guy you need.  If you need steals and Tony Campana is available, don't worry about dropping Michael Morse for him.  Sometimes it just makes sense for your team, even if Campana is 13% owned and Morse is 84% owned.

That said, one also obvious caveat...  See if you can trade Morse first.  You probably have a more droppable resource.

Have fun with it. 

And, by "fun" I mean watching your team climb the standings through the summer months.  Good times.