Support Group: I hate my fantasy baseball league

I've never been one for self-help groups but every time I think of my fantasy team I want to sit around a with other sufferers and share my story of misery.

This is year 6 of what feels like a life sentence in a league that has a perfectly reasonable format, 12 teams in an A.L. only auction league with 40-man rosters, up to 15 keepers a year and salary rules that force you to cast off players after three years or bump up salaries after year two -- the rules place a premium on prospects who are relatively close to playing in the majors. It's an old-fashioned 4x4 league, which isn't the greatest, but I can live with that.

The aspect of the game I like best is mining the minors for prospects. This year, with most of the top 30 or 40 A.L. prospects already on keeper lists, I was able to get in March George Springer, Oswaldo Arcia, Brad Miller, Xander Bogearts (only top prospect available), Alex Meyer, Kyle Zimmer, Michael Choice and later picked up Sonny Gray, Mike Foltynewicz, Aaron Sanchez and Brandon Workman.

But what pains me in my league is that about half the owners know next to nothing about baseball and have no concept of how to succeed in a keeper league and these owners will dump all their talent for next to nothing of real keeper value simply because of friendships that date back to the time the league was started about 20 years ago -- I am a relative newbie.

So what inevitably happens is this: I build the best team by generally making better choices in the auction and minor league draft but which ever old-timer is close than gets a mid-season infusion that leave me in second place.

I've finished 2nd the last three years, only once to a team that was built honestly, and this year will be no different. Here are the last two trades by the team that will pass me by season's end:

----- June 30:

Gave up: Elvis Andrus ($30), Ben Zobrist ($24), Salvador Perez ($12) and Doug Fister ($12)

Received: Miguel Cabrera ($51), Jose Reyes (last year of contract -- trade made after he returned), Jim Johnson (last year of contract) and Andy Pettitte (last year of contract).

------ July 12

Gave up: Alex Avila ($12)

Received: R.A. Dickey (last year of contract)

In our league, Andrus, Zobrist and Avila are not remotely close to being keepers -- all would go for far less in our auction next year (it's a standard $260/23 active roster league). Perez and Zobrist are marginal keepers but the extra they would cost at auction would be less than the extra Cabrera alone would fetch with a historic offensive year following a MVP year.

I have tried to trade to keep pace but most of the owners won't do it because they want a buddy to win.

That's my vent for the day. Thank goodness I still derive enjoyment from the game through this website, John's generosity in running it and the many interesting posters here

Your turn.

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