cough couch hack hack

DMZ · April 5, 2006 at 6:37 pm · Filed Under General baseball 

HACKING MASS is back! This is always a great time: you try and pick the worst players in baseball this coming season based on a combination of awfulness and playing time.

From the Mariners this year we don’t have a lot of candidates. Reed/Lopez if you don’t believe in them, Beltre if you’re in the anti-Beltre camp. Meche as a pitcher if you don’t think he’ll get yanked from the rotation at some point, though even as bad as he is, he’s not bad enough to win the game for you.

Betancourt’s an interesting choice: we like to look at the chance he’ll develop offensively, but if he doesn’t, they’ll still run him out there every day because he’s so good with the glove. He could be the worst-hitting shortstop and not worry about his job.

And if you’re going to win, you’re going to have to make some choices everyone else isn’t.

Have fun.


30 Responses to “cough couch hack hack”

  1. Churchill on April 5th, 2006 7:00 pm

    Meche and… Willie. I dont care how much he plays.

  2. sdedalus on April 5th, 2006 7:04 pm

    I won last year’s contest, but I never got my autographed Bud Selig photo. What a rip-off.

  3. dw on April 5th, 2006 7:12 pm

    Too bad the JAckPAC on isn’t still around, because Putz would be a contender.

  4. jerful on April 5th, 2006 7:12 pm

    Good job sdedalus! A lot of smart people play that game so winning hacking mass is more prestigious than winning any fantasy league, I think. Did you get anything out of it?

    I was near the top for a lot of the year but playing time really hurt me (and I picked Pokey Reese before Pokey was out). My MVP’s for the first half were Sosa and Beltre. 🙂

  5. sdedalus on April 5th, 2006 7:26 pm

    I did get some money and a free year’s subscription. But I really needed an autographed Bud Selig photo. . . .

    I’ve a no-Mariner picking policy, where would the fun be in rooting for Mariners to suck? My MVPs were Eric Milton and Cristian Guzman. In fact, you can see my team on the “2005 recap” at the bottom of the signup page. All of my picks were fairly popular.

  6. Aaron on April 5th, 2006 7:45 pm

    I’ve got Betancourt. I’m not rooting against him, but I certainly do believe he belongs at the bottom of the lineup.

    I’ve also got Ryan Franklin, so here’s hoping he gets a rotaion spot to justify that contract!

  7. G-Man on April 5th, 2006 8:15 pm

    I enter HM every year – tons of fun. Rey Ordonez used to me the MVP of that league.

    Congrats, sdedalus, you had to be good to beat that huge gang of entrants.

    I also never pick Mariners, which hurt me badly in the Cirillo years. But Ryan Franklin – there’s a thought.

  8. Evan on April 5th, 2006 8:44 pm

    Last year I had Franklin, Pokey, and Wilson.

    Sadly, Wilson only racked up an 11 ESPN before he got injured, and Pokey never played a single game. Plus, I had both Gathright and Alex Sanchez. So last year my team was pretty awful.

    But hey, the year before that I chose Glavine. So I’m improving.

    This year, I have chosen no Mariners. Call it optimism.

    I’m tempted by Elarton.

  9. Trev on April 5th, 2006 9:09 pm

    I’ve got Elarton and Milton (I can’t think of any reason you wouldn’t use him). Tony Womack started the first game for the Reds, Freel the second. Any more news of whether Womack is the starter?

  10. Mr. Egaas on April 5th, 2006 9:12 pm

    Anybody taking any Marlins or Devil Rays?

  11. joealb on April 5th, 2006 9:17 pm

    I’ll go out on a limb take David Eckstien, Punch and Judy hitters can fall real fast after 30…. Hey how about another Card, Scott Spiezio, except he probably wont be on the roster long enough to win the Hacking Mass title ….

  12. sdedalus on April 5th, 2006 9:39 pm

    I went with Elarton and Milton. When in doubt, I picked the Royal.

  13. JI on April 5th, 2006 9:56 pm

    Moyer, I can see a 5.00+ ERA and 35 bombs. Actually, I was tempted to take an all Royal infield, but I figured every one else was going to do the same, so…

  14. Typical Idiot Fan on April 5th, 2006 10:04 pm

    As much fun as HACKING MASS is, that is the worst forced acronym I’ve ever seen. =)

  15. Mat on April 6th, 2006 12:08 am

    “I went with Elarton and Milton. When in doubt, I picked the Royal.”

    Pretty soon, they’re going to have to invoke a “no Royals pitching” rule to supplement their “no Colorado pitching” rule, just to keep things interesting.

  16. vj on April 6th, 2006 12:48 am

    I am kind of disappointed that they evaluate pitchers by ERA. FIP would be more fitting. By using ERA, you have to pick a pitcher who’s not only mediocre to bad but also unlucky. Pineiro’s and Washburn’s last seasons would be good examples to demonstrate this point.

  17. Evan on April 6th, 2006 8:45 am

    I’ve finalised my roster. I’m happy with it.

    I didn’t end up taking Franklin. If he doesn’t start the season with a rotation spot, I just don’t see him getting more than 10 starts.

    Here’s a sleeper for you: Doug Mirabelli. That big long swing, moving from Fenway to Petco, plus a huge increase in innings caught – I don’t see this season go well for him.

  18. J.L. on April 6th, 2006 9:49 am

    #10: I took Sean Burroughs, who’s at 3B for the Rays. I’m hoping the “B.J. Upton at SS” experiment continues through this year, and Huff remains a DH.

  19. nickpdx on April 6th, 2006 10:09 am

    Burroughs is a good pick, but if you take 1 part ancient third-baseman and add a liberal dose of large home ballpark, and bake for 25 weeks in San Diego heat, you might have a contender for HM all-star.

  20. nickpdx on April 6th, 2006 10:12 am

    Also I heartily endorse the Elarton pick as probably the most obvious pick of all now that Darin Erstad is no longer eligible at 1B.

  21. Steve T on April 6th, 2006 10:20 am

    PECOTA says that your best bet for right field is … Ichiro. Keeping in mind the criteria — .800 minus OPS times PA. Ichiro usually leads the league in PA, so even though there are lots and lots of guys who are worse, that multiplier won’t get them up there. Playing time is the secret to Hacking MASS. And pitchers’ parks. But right field is the toughest spot to pick for me; my analysis points to Ryan Freel (who is listed under RF, but his PA count no matter where he plays), but I’ve already got Womack (a Hacking MASS god), and I think they’re going to eat each other’s innings.

    Other Mariners: Betancourt’s a possibility, though he’s got a lot of stiff, and I do mean STIFF, competition. Unfortunately, you can’t pick an entire team’s platoon effort, because I think Kansas City’s going to end up with three guys at short whose combined ESPN will be off the charts. I went with Berroa, personally. Bloomquist isn’t going to get enough PA to make it.

    First base is another toughie, since Erstad’s back in center. He was always the gimme pick, but now I’m in a conundrum where the guys I want to pick, like Scott Hatteberg, all play in hitters’ parks.

    Pitching is such a crapshoot, and I’m just not good at picking them, especially when they change the criteria every year. Last year my offense players beat out all of the Hacking MASS top ten teams, but my pitchers kept me way out of contention. I’m about 50% set on Elarton and Ortiz; I want to pick Milton (and would have won last year or at least been close if I had) but I keep thinking he’s going to pitch himself off the rotation, even for a bad team like the Reds.

    The Royals are nothing like the Rockies; the Rocks’ pitchers aren’t DQ’ed because they suck, but because they pitch in Colorado. The Royals just plain suck.

    This year’s going to be different again, because they’ve raised the pitcher bar to 4.50 ERA from 4.00. Last year all the big ESPN-gatherers were pitchers. Only the immortal Cristian Guzman broke 100 among hitters. This year there should be a better balance.

    Congrats, Sean, if that’s really you; your team was really really awful! And your team name, Super Karate Monkey Death Car, is the best I’ve ever seen. I finished second a bunch of years ago, when it was a Usenet thing, but there are thousands of entries now, so it’s harder. I was 160-something last year, which is in the 90th percentile but so very, very disappointing. Brian Anderson of the Royals really let me down by going down injured and getting Tommy John surgery.

  22. igor206 on April 6th, 2006 11:56 am

    I can’t imagine Ortiz keeping a spot in the rotation this year. The three years left on his contract and the sheer visibility of his crappiness will be too much for Arizona to handle. Maybe if he keeps his ERA below 5.25 or so, but I don’t see that happening. Not with an 8.86 spring and guys in the minors to replace him. Elarton is a sure thing though for ESPN superstardom.

  23. Evan on April 6th, 2006 2:05 pm

    Only the immortal Cristian Guzman broke 100 among hitters.

    And that’s why you really need to evaluate the team, and the chances that a player will get benched. Olivo would have cleared 100 easily if we’d let him play, but we (like any intelligent team) saw that he was crap and sent him elsewhere. But the Nats kept sending Guzman out there, much as the Royals did with Lima. No one would have predicted that Lima could put up an ERA over 7.00 and keep his spot in the rotation (he LOWERED it to 6.99 in his final start).

  24. Evan on April 6th, 2006 2:07 pm

    On those Royals pitchers. Elarton’s not quite bad enough, but Mays is. And, as the #2, he’s likely to keep his spot. He’d be an even better bet if there was more than one strong offensive team in their division.

  25. Arford on April 6th, 2006 4:25 pm

    I went with Elarton and Ortiz at P, if only because it doesn’t look like Franklin will make the rotation in Philly. I resisted the lure of Tony Womack and went with the all-Adam dp combo of Everett and Kennedy. My team was actually pretty good last year, except for one glaring mistake – starting at 2B, Brian Roberts. Oops.

  26. Steve T on April 6th, 2006 5:06 pm

    Well, you’ve got til I think Sunday night to lock ’em in.

  27. igor206 on April 6th, 2006 5:53 pm

    Evan, you called my other pitcher. I agree that Mays is even worse than Elarton. Considering the injuries in the Royals rotation I don’t see either of them losing rotation spots all year.

  28. Steve T on April 6th, 2006 6:23 pm

    Good call on the Royals. I haven’t been paying enough attention to their DL. BP’s Depth Charts are still projecting Mays as a spot starter, 135 innings, behind Greinke, Hernandez, Elarton, Redman, and Affeldt. But Greinke, the only decent one in the bunch, is on the 60-day DL, for “personal reasons”, non-baseball ones (?); Hernandez is in AAA, and Redman’s hurt, too. Yikes. They gotta have a pitcher, right? Mays is now the #2, Affeldt’s #3, Bautista’s #4, Luke Hudson’s #5. What happened to J. P. Howell? I suppose Elmer Dessens could start again. Bobby Madritsch might come back late in the year. Will they break the “fifteen starters” barrier this year? What about the “1,500 Runs Allowed” barrier?

    Oh, and their closer’s on the DL too, til mid-May. This team could lose 120 games on paper.

  29. G-Man on April 6th, 2006 6:59 pm

    The deadline to enter is Saturday night. The HM site says “midnight PST”, but I’ll assume they meant PDT.

  30. sdedalus on April 7th, 2006 12:09 am

    Congrats, Sean, if that’s really you; your team was really really awful! And your team name, Super Karate Monkey Death Car, is the best I’ve ever seen.

    Thanks, it really is me. I use that name for all kinds of things, it’s always appropriate. Newsradio = the Arrested Development of the 90s.

    I got an email today from BP telling me my photo had been delayed but is now ready to be sent, so that’s cool. I don’t think any home is truly complete until it’s got an autographed picture of Bud Selig on the wall.

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