Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Fantasy Baseball 2016 Musings ...

This is likely the first of many entries, as I have a problem saying No and have more teams than I initially wanted but considerably less than I did this time last year anyway.

In no particular order the:
Birmingham Groundouts [back for their 8th push for respectability [not necessarily under the same name], 12 team 5x5 Roto. My longest tenured team, and the one I REALLY want to win. Curently Leading by 1.5 points
Birmingham GFY's - Debut , with defensive stats that can add or take away points. H2H, Currently in 7th overall place [3rd in division].
Riff Raff Assortment [Avatar of Riff Raff from Rocky Horror, Hell yes] My Debut, Taking over someone else's team, 7x7 H2H. Currently 2nd place overall in the standings,
CM Punk Rock - Again, a Not so Hostile takeover, 12 team 8x8 Roto currently in 4th place, 2.5 points behind leaders.
Colorado Rockies - Formally the Kansas City Royals , Dynasty league with minor league rosters , 6x6 H2H. 16 teams. Currently 6th place , 14-8-2 overall.
Hackensack Bulls - 12 team 7x7 Roto. My love for John Candy should be clear enough with this one. Currently leading by 2.5 points.

Exciting start with a couple of early leads and hopefully I don't fritter them away like I have in years past in different formats [mostly through questionable trades]. I'm confident I can win, but my overall goal was to at least finish in the top six in H2H formats [usually good enough to qualify for the playoffs, and then the hunt for a trophy begins], and top three for roto, because I want the trophies !

I want this to be an interactive experience for you as well, so if you would like to find out rosters or further details about any of the teams listed above, feel free to write in the comments below and I'll do my best to answer them, even if your question is why do you play this game? Over to you.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Nowhere to go.....

But down.

It's not the most optimistic beginning I'll ever do, but such is the state of the place in B6, you might be forgiven for expecting there to be rubble, mess and perilous surroundings, which might actually help all in all.

No, the appointment of Remy Garde wasn't thought about at all, and while results weren't ideal under Mr Sherwood, I don;t think performances were as bad as people make out, and they surely wouldn't be going down with a whimper, although they might still have gone down,[I doubt it though] it would have gone to the final game or two to decide who actually went down, although I'm still convinced results would have started coming as I saw improvement every week, there would not have been ANY 6-0 losses at Home, nor would they have lost the majority of games, [whether home or away] in the process. Now of course I'm not saying that Villa wouldn't have lost any at all [although playing with the same players on my leading manufacture of Football games, prove it is possible] but that's a different story for another time.

The real issues here, are up at board room level, insisting on a broken system which is designed to undermine the ACTUAL managers and make it impossible for them to do their jobs properly, which make it easier for the potatoes in charge to dispense of person A when they feel like it, or maybe I'm just bitter and hold the fact that Tim Sherwood guided us to a final and some great performances along the way to get there [not least beating West Brom twice in one week, once in the league, once in the 1/4 finals of the FA Cup]. f course, it might have been the case that Villa not winning enough by Christmas, might have changed some thinking, but with the season then, about 7 games in, that's not nearly enough time.

Tim Sherwood was absolutely the right man for the job, and has been very harshly treated within the football world, and I hope he has another management job soon, with football people in charge so he can prove what we all know he is capable of. Good luck to you Mr Sherwood, if you ever see this ! While they weren't winning every week, they were also on the cusp of victory with narrow defeats, but they nearly always scored.

Back to the problems on the pitch , and there are many. I'm not an expert, this is how I see it.

Jordan Amavi - Didn't really have time to make an impact before his brutal injury, but the defence has struggled since then, and I hope he makes a full recovery soon.
Jolean Lescott - I'm not sure the fans wanted to see him come from across the Midlands, but I recall earlier in his career, he would have been welcomed, same for:
Micah Richards - Was a promising young player, who is now a shell of his former ability and in the cusp of the near glory days under Martin O'Neill, would have been very welcome.
Aly Cissokho - Liability on the left. Bye .
Charles N'Zogbia . Paid too much for him to begin with, he still earns way to much to do absolutely nothing of use , to be fair some of it isn't his fault, with the Achilles injury a couple of years ago, having an effect, he's lost some pace which helps defenders get the ball from him.
Gabby Agbonlahor - Missing for large portions of seasons' gone by, has scored once in 17 appearances. It hasn't always been bad with him, he is a derby hero and will undoubtedly have an impact on derby games, but the rest of the season is seeing him a passenger of late.
Rudy Gestede - This isn't on him, he's been played out of position at times [as was Jordan Ayew] neither of them are bad strikers, but playing them on the wings, and with no actual wingers to cross for Gestede to head the ball, opportunities have been scare, in terms of appearances, and goals. Rudy still appears to know where the goal is though and is joint top scorer.
There are other players not getting enough game time to make an accurate assessment, but will likely see a future at the club with the impending relegation getting finalised.

I don't think any Villa fan expect to be world beaters, or winning every week, but winning occasionally wouldn't hurt ! I think that we just expect to leave every ounce of energy and passion on the pitch and the fans can take defeat easier, rather than the team looking beaten in the tunnel every week.

Again, I'm seeing a various short list of who will be the next manager and its quite interesting. All I will say at this point is NO to Steve Bruce, although I'm sure he could do a good job, we don't want another Alex McLeish situation. I'm prepared to give almost anyone a chance but I have a couple I'd rather see . Mick McCarthy has always been a realistic sort of person, and has a way with the media that will probably make the Villa Park journalist room more relaxed which will rub off onto the players. Weirdly, Gary Neville has also been mentioned and I don't know how the fan base would react to such an appointment, but I feel he has a lot to prove, will have learned a lot from also being England's assistant, and maybe was a victim of circumstance in Valencia, in not knowing how to speak Spanish, he won;t have a language barrier [or shouldn't] unless he can learn Brummy and French very quickly. I think he's a more capable manager than he showed in Spain though. Garry Monk , several people feel was harshly exited from Swansea, and showed he was more than capable after being thrust into the hot-seat after Michael Laudrup departed the Welsh outfit, and current Wales National team, Chris Coleman has premier league experience but not being sure what anybody on "their imaginations'" short-list, or even the "official" one can offer a team doomed to Championship encounters starting in August on weekends, and rainy midweek nights its' not a guarantee they don;t fall through that division either at this point, so the next move[s] made will be very important, although the question remains, who would want the job ?

[I do, but I know I'm not qualified sadly], though I'm working on it !