But when readers send us emails, they should realize that we get a ton of questions in our email box every week. So in order for theirs to get replied to, they can certainly better their chances by doing a couple things.
First, let's go over, what NOT to do. This is an email I got from a reader this morning.
"Good afternoon, I am actually requesting your fantasy expertise in this email. I will keep it as short possible, and still try to explain the parameters of my question..."
Let me just jump in here and say, those first two sentences weren't really necessary. I realize you are writing for some advice, and if I didn't, there's a good chance I'd figure it out by the end of your question. This particular writer, after stating he would keep it short, went on for almost 400 more words with his question.
"I'm in an 18 team, head-to-head points league with customized scoring, basically the generic scoring system multiplied by 3 (for example, a single is 3 not 1 point). The scoring has been tweaked over 6 years, and I think the importance is pretty exact when it comes to hitters and pitchers. The emphasis is definitely still on power and strikeouts, but you can get by being a speed guy, if you're a Chone Figgins-type, or a wins guy, if you're a Fausto Carmona-type."
Please note, I still have not been asked a question yet.
"Recently, I've been offered Chien-Ming Wang (projected 30th overall) and Hideki Matsui (projected 12th OF overall) for my #1 pick (10th overall) Matt Holliday. Now, we also have it to where you dont actually start a number of pitchers, but you have to make 5 "starts" for the week. Basically, we set it to a daily league, but only allow subs for pitchers or injured hitters, and police things ourselves, since we're all pretty good friends, and for the most part, trustworthy. Anyway, my staff is Felix Hernandez, Andy Pettitte, Hiroki Kuroda, Ian Kennedy & Greg Maddux. My Outfield is Holliday, Alex Rios and Matt Kemp. If I were to make the trade, I would have Alex Rios, Hideki Matsui and Matt Kemp, but I would have King Felix, Pettitte, Wang and then the next 3. Obviously, I'm a Yankee fan, and would look to deal Pettitte, for an equal pitcher, to another Yankee fan. But points-wise, I don't see how this is a bad deal, especially it being an 18-team league where I'm sure depth is going to win you the championship. I'm worried if I ask a buddy who's in the league for advice, that he will call the guy to take the trade down because he is offering me too much, but then I'm skeptical about losing a possible MVP, and top 3 hitter for a Wins pitcher, and an aging- DH/3rd to 4th Outfielder, who still can be respectable at .280-25-100-100."
It was at this point that I got a little dizzy. And finally, he ended it with:
"Please, if you could, just give me your opinion as to what you think my best move would be. It's my first time in a league anything close to this size, and I'm kind of nervous as to what to expect. Always grateful, and keep putting out those great columns."
Without question, this appears to be one of my nicest readers out there, and I'm flattered that he thinks I could help. But the mere fact that he's in a 18-team league, with what seems like a precise scoring system, tells me he's as experienced -- if not moreso -- than I am! I should be asking HIS advice! Anyway, after spending this much time on this, I guess I finally say: Matsui and Wang are better to have than just Holliday.
My apologies for being a douche about the whole thing though. I just thought I'd share.
Other things NOT to do when writing me an email for my advice:
- I don't mind if you call me an idiot, or disagree with ANYTHING I say, honestly. I'm far from perfect and I can learn as much from my readers as you might from me. BUT -- don't rip me, and follow it up by asking me for advice on a trade.
- Don't tell me superfluous information. I don't want to know that you were third in this league last year, after finishing ninth in '06, but it was mostly because you lucked out on Ryan Braun, even though you drafted Hunter Pence only to cut him. Those emails are much tougher to filter through for the MEAT of the question.
- Don't write this, "Dear DavidYour articles are ... " -- the fact that the name is RIGHT on top of the next word, I've found through the years, is indicative of the fact that you are copying and pasting the same question to several experts and just switching out their names. That's fine if you do ask multiple writers, but don't do it and let me REALIZE you are doing it because I'll simply let them answer it.
- Don't tell me how you need my help to win your Yahoo! league. Ask the Yahoo! guys.
- Be brief.
- Be brief, but feel free to tell me something interesting about yourself. For instance, saying, "Hey Gonos, our league has been on this site for six years now! Here's my question:" Or you could tell me your team name, or anything that can distinguish your email, make it interesting, but not too long for me to try and figure out your question.
- Point out a mistake I might have made in a column. Stuff slips through all the time. I'd rather have you bust me in an email, and give me a chance to fix it than have hundreds of people think I'm more of a dummy than I am. (Like the time I accidentally said, "Braves pitcher Greg Maddux.")
- Make fun of me.
- Make fun of Emack!
- And finally, don't take this game too seriously. I know some of you might be playing for money, and I'm certainly getting paid money to help you, but remember that it's a game and have fun with it.
The Baltimore Sun notes that Hayden Penn was reassigned this morning, effectively ending his chances of earning the fifth SP job out of camp. There are a ton of pitchers still battling for this spot, Matt Albers is my pick right now, with Brian Burres a close second. But Penn's reassignment now could give him a chance to right the ship at Triple-A in the first month, then come back strong in May to claim the job again. Unfortunately, none of these guys are worth taking outside of larger leagues because of the talent around them.
Rocco Baldelli's fatigue syndrome might allow the Rays to refuse the option on April 1 to pay him over $6 million next season and 2010. What that tells me is, in Josh Hamilton-like fashion, another team will get him -- introduce him to caffeine -- and get a cheap stud like Josh Hamilton. Order your Baldelli Yankees jerseys now for 2010, when he's still only going to be 29 years old.
Congrats to Billy Crystal for being able to foul off a pitch against Paul Maholm Thursday. Rumors that he juiced up for this one at-bat have gone largely unfounded. One thing I thought funny was that later in the game, Alex Rodriguez fouled a sky-high ball behind him and Crystal's buddy, Robin Williams, moved at the very last second to dodge the catch and let it bounce off the ground and into the seats behind him. Booooooo! I bet Crystal was thinking, "I finally could have caught myself a foul ball, but it has to be the ONE game I'm actually playing in."
Bartolo Colon hit 93 on the radar gun this afternoon. Can he be THE big comeback player of the season in Fantasy? Can you imagine if he ends up going against his former Angels in the ALCS? OK, maybe I'm getting ahead of myself ... but still ... his Fantasy ownership is creeping up (three percent since last week).
Here's a link to this morning's podcast. Things that were mentioned: Blood, Vegans, Fist-to-face action, Tresky's bad start to the softball season.