My (Totally Fake) Fantasy Baseball Team: The Results

What, just because baseball season is over you expected me to be done talking about it? Ha, no. I need to catch up on all my backlogged baseball posts! (Okay, it'll only be one more after this one. Maaaaaybe two.)

Anyway, back in April I created a fake fantasy baseball team with the idea of helping me learn about some new players on the teams I follow; the Mets (obviously), the Blue Jays (for R.A. Dickey), and the Rockies (my new hometown team). I don't think it's my fantasy team's doing, but I definitely feel more attached to all three after this season; the Mets and the Blue Jays both made it to the playoffs for the first time in forever, and I went to three Rockies games within one month this summer. It was a wild season, guys. So let's check in with the players I chose and see how they did!

CATCHER: Travis d'Arnaud, NYM
2015 Stats: .268 AVG, 12 HR, 41 RBI, FPCT .995
I am SO HAPPY I picked Travis. He was injured for a lot of this season, which was really unfortunate, but he improved in all facets of his game from the 2014 season: his home run/RBI numbers are almost identical even though he played in much fewer games, and behind the plate he has so many fewer errors and passed balls. I'm psyched about this dude. He's great. Needs to work on preventing stolen bases, but I cannot wait to see how he develops next season.

2015 Stats: .244 AVG, 27 HR, 73 RBI, FPCT .997
Part of the reason I picked the Dude was because he led the Mets in home runs and RBIs last season. So what does he do this season? Leads the Mets in home runs and RBIs. What a guy. :) His season was pretty streaky -- he'd either be hitting home runs in every single at bat for a week, or not at all -- but I'm very pleased with the season he had. Also, Curtis Granderson started an Instagram account for him: wefollowlucasduda. It's just Grandy following Duda around and documenting him. It's the greatest thing that's ever happened on social media.

2015 Stats: .301 AVG, 6 HR, 61 RBI, FPCT .988
Look at that batting average! Holy cow! He led the Rockies in both batting average and on base percentage, and that is just damn impressive. He was one of the very bright spots on a Rockies team that had one of the worst records in the league. I'm here for this guy. I dig it.

SHORTSTOP: Jose Reyes, TOR (traded to COL)
2015 Stats: .274 AVG, 7 HR, 53 RBI, FPCT .968
...It's hard for me to talk about Jose, as he was just recently arrested for assaulting his wife. Needless to say, I can no longer be a fan of his. Numbers-wise he had a pretty good season, and I loved that he was traded from one of my teams to another and has now played for all three. But now it's all just kind of ruined.

THIRD BASE: Nolan Arenado, COL
2015 Stats: .287 AVG, 42 HR, 130 RBI, .966 FPCT
Winner, winner, chicken dinner. Guys, Nolan had himself a season this year. He led the Rockies in hits, home runs and RBIs. League-wide, he was third in home runs and first in RBIs. The most RBIs in the entire league! He's also won Silver Slugger, Gold Glove and Defensive Player of the Year Awards for his efforts. The guy is absurd. #NolanBeingNolan

LEFT FIELD: Michael Cuddyer, NYM
2015 Stats: .259 AVG, 10 HR, 41 RBI, .973 FPCT
Oh, Cuddy. People were so disappointed with his numbers this season, and it makes me really sad. Statistically, yes, he didn't live up to expectations (as much as I so, so wanted him to). BUT he was a critical piece in the Mets' clubhouse -- after wins he gives out a championship belt to the MVP! -- and I really don't think the team would've been the same without him. (Does anyone else have those players that might not be "great" but that you'd get into fights to defend them? That's Cuddy for me. Come at me about him.)

CENTER FIELD: Charlie Blackmon, COL
2015 Stats: .287 AVG, 17 HR, 58 RBI, .991 FPCT
Charlie (or Chuck Nazty, as he's known on Twitter) ended up being a very happy accident for me. One, he had a pretty dang nice season! Two, he's so freaking weird and SO FUNNY (seriously, please just look through his tweets). And three, this is his walk-up song. I mean, come on. This guy is definitely a new favorite of mine.

RIGHT FIELD: Jose Bautista, TOR
2015 Stats: .250 AVG, 40 HR, 114 RBI, .987 FPCT
Ooooh boy, Joey Bats. He had himself quite the season. But all you really need to know is THE BAT FLIP OF THE CENTURY. Legendary. Iconic.

1. R.A. Dickey, TOR
2015 Stats: 11-11, 3.91 ERA
Eh, okay, this really wasn't R.A.'s best season. It started off... really bad, actually. But his second half of the season was pretty phenomenal, and he won something like eight or nine starts in a row. Crazy. So while I wanted better for him, I'm incredibly happy with how he ended up performing!

2. Matt Harvey, NYM
2015 Stats: 13-8, 2.71 ERA
This season was quite the wild ride for the Dark Knight. Unfortunately a lot of it was bogged down with innings limit controversy and other off-the-field drama. But there wasn't a ton of drama on the field, and Matt was almost back to his pre-Tommy John form. When he was on, he was on. And it was phenomenal.

3. Jacob deGrom, NYM
2015 Stats: 14-8, 2.54 ERA
Can I be honest for a second here? I love Jacob deGrom. Absolutely adore him. Totally heart-eye emoji about him. His season was so wonderful. He finished sixth in the league in ERA and was in Cy Young talks for a stretch of the season. He made his first All-Star team and struck out the three batters he faced in 10 pitches. TEN PITCHES! And his postseason... oh man. Ohhhh man. This is my guy.

4. Daniel Norris, TOR (traded to DET)
2015 Stats: 3-2, 3.75 ERA
It's been a rough 2015 for this guy. Not just in baseball, though -- he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and is currently recovering from surgery. I'm still trying to keep my eye on him (even though he's playing for the Tigers now) and wish him nothing but the best!

5. Eddie Butler, COL
2015 Stats: 3-10, 5.70 ERA
Um, so, this was not a good season for Eddie. Like, at all. To be fair, all pitching on the Rockies this season was bad. But yeah, this gets a thumbs down. Whoops.

1. Brett Cecil, TOR
2015 Stats: 5-5, 2.80 ERA, 5 SV
Brett was a pretty critical piece of Toronto's bullpen. He ended up not being their closer, but they relied on him as a set-up guy and really settled into that role. Bullpens are really tricky, so a reliable guy in this position is super clutch. I dig it.

2. Boone Logan, COL
2015 Stats: 0-3, 4.33 ERA
Yikes, this is pretty bad. I've already said that the Rockies' pitching was all-around bad, but it bears repeating: the Rockies' pitching was really bad this season. Boone's numbers did improve from 2014, but that's... not really saying much.

So, what bit me? The back end of my starting rotation, and my bullpen. How true to life is THAT? Hah. Other than the pitching weaknesses (and, y'know, Jose Reyes being a domestic abuser...), I'm pretty pleased with the way things turned out, especially considering my comparatively limited knowledge of these guys earlier in the year. Now I'd be able to put together a much better team (and not put any Rockies on my pitching staff).

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"There's No Crying In Baseball" And Other Lies

*blows the layer off dust off of this blog*

Hey there, folks. What is this, the third time this year I've sort of accidentally taken an unplanned blogging hiatus? Sheesh, remember when I used to post three times a week, every week? (Nope, me neither.) And I would apologize for this one too, but honestly, I ain't even sorry.

It might sound kind of ridiculous to say that I was on hiatus because the Mets were in the playoffs, but... I was on hiatus because the Mets were in the playoffs.

Remember back in spring training when I followed my blind, misguided Mets faith and predicted they'd win the World Series? Well crap, they came far closer than I ever would've logically thought they would! And way back when I wrote that post, I didn't really think about the reality of what a Mets playoff run would mean. I mean, the last time they were in the playoffs it was 2006. Not only was I was a little preoccupied with other things that summer and fall, but it's long enough ago that I wouldn't really have many memories of it anyway. Before that? It was 2000. I was 9 years old. So, for all intents and purposes, I had zero playoff experience going into this season.

2000 vs. 2015. The picture on the right was taken right before the Mets clinched their World Series berth. I was having A MOMENT.

Which brings me to my first point: "there's no crying in baseball" is a lie.

I've been a Mets fan for close to 20 years. I watched them collapse in 2007 and 2008, and then death spiral from 2009 through 2012. I watched them through six consecutive losing seasons, punctuated with losing my favorite player(s) and all sorts of general awfulness. I could probably have counted my positive Mets memories on one hand. But suddenly I was subscribing to so I could watch the Mets clinch the NL East, blinking back tears when David Wright hit a home run to seal the victory. Suddenly I was FaceTiming my mom during the NLDS so we could watch the last out together, my free hand pressed over my mouth, unable to figure out if I wanted to laugh or cry and ending up doing a little bit of both. Suddenly I was watching as Jacob deGrom turned into Cy Young and Daniel Murphy turned into Babe Ruth, doing that same laugh-cry thing when Jake struck out eleventy million Dodgers in the NLDS and when Murph hit his sixth home run in six consecutive games to close out the NLCS against the Cubs. And if you think I was dry-eyed when they won that series too, you don't know me very well. And then, before game five of the World Series, when their elimination was a very real possibility, I was wiping my eyes at the thought of this season being over.

...That's right. I sort of cried a little bit because I didn't want the season to end. I'm embarrassing. It's fine. BUT I've said before that this season felt like lightning in a bottle, and the playoffs did nothing but reaffirm that. It was magic (...until the World Series. But. Let's not go there).

I decided to take the plunge and buy that deGrom shirsey! Best. decision.

Which brings me to my second point: "fans of bad teams are happier because they have low expectations" is a lie.

The Mets have been bad for approximately 95% of my life. Even they had fairly good records, they were bad (ahem, 2007 and 2008). And I sure as hell wasn't happy about it. Granted, this badness allowed me to emotionally detach from the team, and view losses as expected and wins as surprise bonuses. But for the most part, it wasn't really all that fun. It wasn't NOT fun, per se, but it just kind of... was. There was a lot of apathy.

This season? There was no apathy. Right from the earliest parts of the season, when the Mets won something like 11 consecutive games, I cared. A lot. June and July were definitely not pretty, which involved a whole lot of anger on my part, and the World Series was kind of a train wreck and had me mad enough to breathe fire, but at no point was I emotionally checked out. And when I look back on this season, the low moments pale in comparison to the highs. I'll remember literally happy-dancing in my kitchen during wins, and screaming myself hoarse for strikeouts and home runs and, yes, crying happy tears.

It's a pennant pennant! And I can't believe this is a real thing. 2015 National League Champions. Wow. Wow. Wow.

Sure, I spent most of the postseason stressed out to the point of nausea about baseball. But I have never had more fun as a sports fan, and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. Give me sweaty palms and an unsettled stomach and a sore throat and a racing heart over numb apathy any damn day of the week. It's better to have loved and lost than never loved at all, or something like that. (This post puts it into words way better than I can: I Almost Married The 2015 New York Mets.)

So, I was absent because I was in a relationship with my baseball team, and then because they left me standing at the altar, more than a touch heartbroken. (#dramatic.)

BUT! Now I'm back, my time is my own again, and I'm frantically keeping up with offseason news and ready to do it all again next year.

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