unread for May 18th 2006

Jarrod from Columbus, Ohio:

Hi Mike and Cory.
Cory, I feel your pain with pitching woes. I’m in a 16-team 5×5 mixed head-to-head league and picked all offense in the first 11 rounds of my draft except for Gagne in the sixth. Consequently, I’ve played pitch or ditch with at least two of my pitching spots (we use seven active pitchers at the beginning of every week) and it’s not gone well. One thing I’m finding is that because this is a 16-team league instead of a 12- or 10-team league, pitch or ditch is not a good strategy for this particular league. I’ve been playing fantasy BB for about 10 years now, but it’s never too late to learn.


Jarrod, the viability of pitch-or-ditch is based on the depth of your league, and it’s much harder to execute in a 16-team league, since there are that many fewer players available via free agency. It’s also harder in a weekly league, although you can still do it… Just shift your focus to two-start pitchers whenever possible.


I like the two start pitchers off the wire but this is where strikeout become important. Try to only use guys who can strike some guys out and have good match ups that way even if they are mediocre at best in their starts you get the counting stats of the K’s and hopefully a win or two.

For more fantasy insight catch us weekdays at 11 a.m. ET on the MLB.com Fantasy 411. For more info go to www.mlbradio.net.


Regarding pitch or ditch, I am not fan of it myself even in 10 teams leagues though I do pick the occasional sport starter (Bush for MIL this week). I don’t draft or trade for any top echelon starters but I concentrate on the Bondermen/Webb/Contreras tier on draft day and through trades.

I then try to opportunistically trade for SP performing above their average (Cano for Glavine to the DL’ed Lugo owner some weeks back) or SP with good track records that are stinking; Hudson and Schmidt come to mind for early in this season.

I also wait for SP to emerge throughout the year. I got good mileage out of Duke and Queen Felix last year but one needs to be a waiver wire bloodhound. SP are the fantasy football equivalent of the WR.

One thing I think would be an interesting measure of pitch or ditch is to pick 7 PoD’er per week outside of top 40SP. That would work out to be 182 starts (ESPN league cap starts at 180 not IP). At the end of the year take 3 of the 8 top MR for year, 2 power closers (Ryan/K-Rod etc) and 1 one lesser sought after (Valverde/Turnbow etc). Put all those numbers together with you (PoD) to get your yearly pitching stats.

Compare the totaled numbers with listener leagues to get point totals and see where you compare on points. If you forego SP entirely I would think you should be able to get 10-12’s in the hitting cats. Add your PoD pitching stats and see if you would have won any of the listener leagues.

May sound convoluted but easy to setup and record in a spreadsheet.

My 02 and then some😉

Broadway Joe

PS Not against PoD just not my cup of tea.

Your daily Pitch or Ditch section is unrealistic for the most part.

You dumped on Casey Stern (I think it was him) for not using a drafted pitcher yet during Pitch or Ditch you frequently pass on pitchers who are obviously drafted in 12 team leagues.

Talking about starting Johan, Oswalt down to Brad Penny is a waste of air-time. Other than at Coors, most people will start these guys regardless.

The weekly stat updates are unrealistic. No league can start as many pitchers as you do in the Pitch or Ditch Challenge. 25 wins, 100 K’s, etc in a week means nothing to teams with 5 starters on their teams. Most leagues have innings limits.

I would like the 411 hosts to each provide 3 waiver wire type starting pitchers to consider each day. The whole list is unnecessary. If you don’t think 3 pitchers are worthy than pick 2 or 1.

Instead of Pitch or Ditch, call it the Roll of the Dice Daily Pick’em and list off your 3 picks.

If someone needs additional Pitch or Ditch questions, then instruct the listeners to indicate Pitch or Ditch in the subject line.

Sorry for the lack of love towards Pitch or Ditch. I usually tune out when it comes on.

Well, since this has become Pitch or Ditch review week, I’ll chime in with my thoughts.

Honestly, I’m not a big fan of Pitch or Ditch. This year, since I’m in a daily transaction listener league it’s a little better, but last year when I was only in weekly leagues, I hated it.

Why did I hate it?

-Because there’s simply too many listeners that do not benefit from it. Weekly league players, Podcast, Archive and Replay listeners all get nothing out of it.

-Even if you are in a daily transaction league, most of the pitchers they “take” are not available(Lackey, Halladay) or are so obviously not usable(Lima, Santos, Williams).

-No real risk. Even with the 3 listeners keeping tabs, there’s nothing at stake, except for the few times the guys actually use one of the pitchers for their personal teams.

-Cory and Mike just kinda go through the motions when reading the schedule. There’s usually very little new information that comes from that segment, it’s almost like a chore.

Personally, my favorite part of the show is the first 10-15 minutes. That’s when the guys go on rants and report the important news, like new closers, rookie call ups or some weird incident that happened in one their leagues.

And like I said the other day, which Mike misunderstood, with so many more calls these days — shows from a couple of years ago had very few callers — the 55 minutes is more crowded.

That’s why I suggested going to 90 minutes, at least on Monday and Friday. For instance on Thursday’s show, there were 5 callers waiting, Jeffrey Ma to come and they still needed to do P&D.

To me, the last half of the show felt rushed. I know when I called, I didn’t even get to ask my question because they were trying to get through the 5 callers asap.

Hopefully, the comments on P&D come across as intended, constructive input from loyal listeners and not whining complaints from casual people tuning in for the first time.

Bottom line, I love the show and get an incredible amount of insight and enjoyment from it. But hey, even Albert Pujols tries to improve.


aka Johnny Archive

I’m in three weekly leagues (2 mixed, 1 NL only) P&D IS usefull to a certain extent for everyone. Tools…that’s what we are all given. It’s up to us to determin which “Tools” should be used, and which one should be left in the box. I do very much agree with Johnny though…55 minutes for this show is not long enough (actually there is almost always some form of tech problem, 45 minutes is more realistic (at least the WebCast side)). For the 10 minutes that it takes for P&D, phone calls and e-mails just might be a better choice – IMO. Really, how hard would it be to just post the P&D pitchers on the web..either that or go with a 2 hour show, there’s nothing going on prior to you guys anyway.

Still love the show..I’ve been in a 5×5 10 team 40 man rosters (25 active) NL only for 21 years. My first year watching MLB.com and hoping to get a chance to Kick both your butts in the listner league next year!! Thanks Guys warhawk

Thanks for everyone’s comments… to an extent, I agree with you that it’s not a great use of time to talk about whether or not to start Santana, Carpenter, etc… of course you always will, and of course you’ll never really start Joe Mays, et al. So that’s why we do indeed “go through the motions” in some cases… we try to move quickly past the no-brainer decisions. However, I disagree with the notion that there’s no value in the exercise… we’re all always trying to find better ways to evaluate players and I think this exercise gives us the chance to discuss the pros and cons of a few guys every day. I’m sure everyone knows a lot more now about Nate Robertson and the Orioles offense and Chan Ho Park, et al, than they would if we weren’t doing P-or-D.

I agree that we don’t have enough time to cover everything that we’d like to on the show, but I still think P-or-D is a worthwhile exercise because it does prompt some useful conversations.

My two cents at least. Thanks to everyone for listening and commenting.


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