Required Rotisserie Reading

by Michael Walsh

Okay, so my team, the Rubin Amaros, had our big draft (really, an auction) last Sunday and we are currently sifting through the entrails to see how we did. So far, better than the Red Sox and the Rays, although not by much.

In the meantime, enjoy this brilliant piece about the legendary Hugh Sweeny by my friend and fantasy competitor, Bruce Buschel, writing in Deadspin about the day the notorious and historic “Sweeney Plan” was born in our American Dream League:

So the Sweeney Plan, as it has come to be known (misspelling and all), seemed only natural to him. That it is the most controversial of all plans is equally natural and a delight to Sweeny. In essence, you dump home runs and ribbies, and spend all your money on lead-off hitters who will win steals and batting average, and the rest of your funds go to the best pitching that money can buy in a 4×4 league. If done wisely, you are bound to walk off with some money; if done expertly, you will wear the crown.

It is the most hated and most beloved of all strategies. It requires very little research. It perverts the value of every player. And it causes so much tension that leagues have disbanded because of it — it is deemed unethical by some, non-reflective of baseball by others, brilliant by many, and ugly by most. The ADL has instituted a minimum at-bat rule (5,200 ABs) and a minimum innings rule (1,200 innings) to discourage any such shenanigans. No longer can you fill a staff with all relievers or buy just a few rabbits for your offense. Yet, the Sweeney Plan remains viable, as well as a source of deep frictions, 20 years after it was hatched. When the founding fathers gave birth to rotisserie, in 1980, none of them could have imagined the plan or the man who unleashed it upon the game.

Those of you who know what a “Sweeney” is will enjoy this stroll down memory lane, Those who don’t, and want to play the game the way the big boys do, should read and learn. (Mild language warning, but you probably expected that.)

Right Field

Brief chronicles of our sporting times.