Announcement: In case you missed it, I proposed a change to the rules for next year on the league message board (look for the "Draft order next year?" thread if you want to read it). Until now, the plan was to have the draft order next year be the reverse of team winning percentages this year, without snaking. The problem with this is that, if a manager knew he wasn't going to make the playoffs this year, it would be to his/her advantage to tank the rest of the season to get the best possible draft position next year.
As an alternative, I'd like to institute the following draft order next year (again, no snaking):
* First 12 picks next year go to the #9 through #20 teams from this season, in that order (based on winning percentage, with total points being the tiebreaker)
* Pick #13 goes to the #8 team as determined by playoffs
* Pick #14 goes to the #7 team as determined by playoffs
* And so on, with the winning team this year picking last next year
The idea is to give everyone something to play for. If you don't make the playoffs this year, at least you're playing for better draft position next year.
There have been no objections to this approach so far, but if you have concerns please drop by the message board and voice them. Otherwise, as of next week, I'll declare this rule finalized.
Recap of Last Week
Last week was the All-Star week. The shortened schedule promised that some crazy things would happen, and it did not disappoint. First, in the North:
Tied for First TIED with Bake McBridegrooms 238-238
Talk about some bad luck! Tied for First only got three starts on the week, and only one of them was any good: Francisco Liriano's 48-point win over the White Sox. The result was a weak showing that allowed the RP-heavy Bakes to not just make it close, but actually tie! This is the league's first tie of the season, and while it's better than a loss, it pulls Tied for First out of a tie for first and into a close second, a half-game behind Zach Sanders in the North.
And in the South...
Sexfist defeated EyeOnTheMendozaLine 298-230
The Mendozas had been rising in the total points rankings for several weeks, but all of the sudden have lost two consecutive weeks. This one, at the hands of Sexfist, was particularly painful. Like Tied for First, the Mendozas didn't get a ton of starts last week (4), but at least what they did receive was decent. What they couldn't have counted on, however, was an offensive explosion from Sexfist, led by Carlos Pena (50 pts), Bengie Molina (45 pts), and Corey Hart (41 pts). With a few mediocre appearances by their pitchers, this allowed Sexfist to handily defeat the Mendozas. If losing to Sexfist wasn't enough, this loss was especially tough in that WHATS A SABRE and I always get to 3rd both won, which means the Mendozas have slipped two games behind in their division.
Finally, in the West...
WHATS A SABRE defeated Blocking Janish 435-390
For the second time this season, the second-best scoring team on the week--in this case, Blocking Janish--lost to the top scoring team of the week. This was a big win for WHATS A SABRE, allowing them to break a two-series losing streak. For Janish, it does sting--CincyKids won, allowing them to pull to 4 games back--but they have a large enough margin that they still feel comfortable.
Week 16's Key Matchups
Tied for First (10-4-1) vs. Jeff Zimmerman (9-6)
Zimmerman is leading his division. That's the good news. The bad news is that he also is in the middle of a four-week losing streak, and is facing off against a team that--despite tying an abandoned team last week--has a better record and ranks 4th overall in total points this season. If the rest of Zimmerman's division wasn't scuffling too, this would could be a make or break series for him. Even as it is, it's critical. Tied for First, on the other hand, needs a win to pace Zach Sanders in the North.
I always get to 3rd (9-6) vs. DoubleDose (7-8)
A battle of two second-place teams, this one is interesting because both of these teams are on the brink of contention. I always get to 3rd is now just a game behind WHATS A SABRE, while DoubleDose is two behind Zimmerman's squad. With Zimmerman facing a tough team this week, a win for DoubleDose could represent a chance to pull to just a game behind the leader in the East. I always get to 3rd, on the other hand, is riding a stretch of 7 of 8 wins, and has almost caught WHATS A SABRE. Big week for both teams.