Recently, having abandoned OL and theme leagues for most of a year, many of my progressive league teams were in limbo awaiting the end of WS in which we were not playing (sob), or waiting for drafts to start or for leagues to start (see Suess, Dr., "The Places You will Go" re: The Waiting Place) and so I signed up for some themes. As usual half of the leagues never filled, etc.
I thought I might try my hand at an OL team, thinking "well, at least there is the surprise of who you get as AAA", since that is about the only unpredictable element (I am looking at you Dilone, HoJo, Bip, Rasmussen, Milacki, Joss, Raines, Coleman et. al.).
And so I started re-reading Bill James great Historical Baseball Abstract where he rates the 100 best players at each position.
And it hit me: his ratings are based on careers. Not best seasons. The smallest unit he takes seriously as a sample size is best 3 or 4 seasons to compare players.
Now I had built exactly one Career DL team - I think the 2nd or 3rd team I ever had here at WIS, so you can imagine how it did. Then I saw that no one really ever posts about Career DL leagues and one thing led to another, lots of OL teams, theme leagues, progs, the usual graduation process here.
But seriously, listen up: EVERYONE SHOULD PLAY A CAREER DL LEAGUE TEAM EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE.
First, for those of us looking for a new experience, a different set of available strategies, or a way to avoid or limit some of the strategies that have made OLs so boring and routine - Career DLs are an option. Not nearly as good a one as progressive leagues. But a perfectly respectable one.
Here are a few things that make them worth a shot every now and then:
1) there is only one iteration per player. period. no clones, no cookies. Just the player. Howard Johnson is around a .250 hitter. Bob Milacki is not particularly valuable. There is only one Tim Raines. Yes, Addie Joss is still very, very good. Might even still be first among equals there. But very few starting pitchers have WHIPS under 1.00.
2) you rediscover the players for who they were career-wise. This means that a whole slew of players that hardly ever see time in OLs have value. So there is a WIS database of thousands of players to use as though it were a fresh new source of players.
3) Some of the old reliable (sorry Mr. Henrick) strategies are at least rendered a little more complicated, even where available: there is exactly one, one player worth 200K in the whole database, and no pitcher with that low a value.
4) There are a lot of catchers with A+ arms that suddenly become useful: Jim Sundberg, Thurman Munson, Jerry Grote, depending what you want to spend and what kind of team you want. If you want Gary Carter as your catcher it is because he WAS a catcher and you want Gary Carter. But Carlton Fisk, Ivan Rodriguez and Johnny Bench and Yogi Berra are suddenly viable.
5) Thus there will be more diversity of players on the teams, and you will see different staffs and lineups. It is nearly impossible to have a whole staff without having some pitchers with WHIPs over 1.10 something and probably without at least one SP with a WHIP over 1.2 but here I may be wrong. Even so the staffs will have more variety.
6) You can now peruse James' masterpiece for hints about who to draft since he has done so much of the leg-work for you.
7) what the heck, why not?
8) it means the forums will discuss new stuff too.
9) I have three DL teams out there waiting for leagues to fill. And in this world my teams might not be pushovers. Prove me wrong !
10) I have Craig Biggio at second base