Opening Bids

By John Coleman, statistical expert at the Shrink

Friday, March 31, 2000

Hey folks, it's the year of the preemptive bid.

AL-LABR -- John Hunt kicked things off with his daring $50 opening bid onPedro. I was there -- it was a Rotisserie Moment. Classic, classic, innovativestrategy. Kudos to Mr. Hunt. It was the greatest draft of a player I've everseen.

I believe that he'd have gone for MORE than $50 if he'd started at $1. Pedro'sawfully good, in case you hadn't heard. When Hunt froze the LABR league withthat bid, I knew something special had happened.

But what was it? In the first few picks of the draft, folks are desperate tostart out on the right foot. Pedro was the third player nominated. Everyone wasthinking DEAL. When the number 50 hit us between the eyes, we could not react.My own cheat sheet listed Pedro at $52. I could not react, because I can't graba player at just a one dollar savings unless he's a serious upsider.

If he'd been nominated at, say, $20, the bidding would have reached $53, Ithink.

This preemptive bid was the talk of the weekend.

So... fast-forward to Toutwars. Matt Olkin -- defending AL champ (BaseballWeekly) -- opens Pedro at $50. Again, the cajones freeze.

GONE.

I had raised my cheat sheet value for Pedro to $56, to no avail. What's up witdat?

Sunday, it was the NL's turn. It's the first round, and Bob "Mojo"Marjanivich, this year's Sandlot Shrink Tout Wars drafter, decides to play thegame. He calls out Randy Johnson's name. $32. Crickets…

Now folks, I had Randy at $41 on my sheet, and I know I wasn't the only one.Bob chose the number 32 out of thin air. And Randy might be the top earner inthe NL (although he's not quite Pedro).

What happens?

Frozen cajones. (Is it too early in the draft for these guys to unload a hugenumber?)

GONE.

The best pitcher in the NL for a 22% discount? First round? Twelve of theworld's brightest Rotisserie minds gone numb? Why? I don't know.



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