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When to Change a Line-up

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Of course, the short answer is: as often as you like.

Making out new line-up is one of the most enjoyable parts of Scoresheet for me. There is no pressure to pick the guys in the right order or lose them. There is no fretting over getting a regular and a prospect at one position and not two regulars and no prospects or visa versa. There is no frustration over reaching the other party you are wishing to trade with or waiting too long for their response. There is no fear of giving away how much you are drooling over one of their players. There is no pissing someone off by making an unreasonable an offer or pissing off the league by making unreasonable trade. In my case, there is no blowing one`s reputation as a Scoresheet Wiz by making a foolish trade or foolish high round pick.

Making out a line-up is pure pleasure. They are your men and will obey your every command down to the minutest nuance. You can do some wild crazy experiment and no one will be wiser. (Well, maybe with the new stats available by web site you can see a bit of what your other managers are up to. But I wouldn`t worry about giving away any precious secrets. There aren`t so precious to other managers. They probably won`t even notice or care.) A line-up is an interesting puzzle with four sections, an offense, two pitching sections, and a defensive sub section. A draft list is just one long list.

Obviously, if you traded someone in your line-up, you have to send in a new one. Other than that, you can save your six bucks and not bother. Your pre-season premonitions might well be just as good as the ones you have in late April after viewing the statistical results of 20 games. The reason for that is because all the years of stats which led to your pre-season views are far more significant than just the most recent 20 games worth. Indeed, as I`ve noted before in my column, a manager in my building team`s league won the championship last year without making a single line-up change. 

However, I believe I had more fun. I made a line-up change at least every month - sometimes more. Fortunately, I can afford it. If it appears that two or three line-up changes could significantly help me, why not? That`s as good as a big trade.

Right now, I have Randy Winn on the bench of both my teams. I have have Vernon Wells ahead of him on both teams. Plus, I have Rusty Greer and Brian Daubach ahead of him on one team, while I have Shannon Stewart and Trot Nixon ahead of him on the other. Winn has been on fire for the past month. Buy I`m just not 100% convinced he`s passed these other players in excellence, yet. Since, I don`t have any other players begging for a switch, I`ll hold off on promoting Winn until I do. Maybe I`ll wait until it is time for that 5th starter as a reliever line-up used during the All-Star game week.

Don`t forget that one folks. Again, if you are crunched for time or money, it`s no big deal, but it could help to recast your 5th starter that week. He won`t get a start unless you don`t have enough starts from your other four. He will be used as your 3rd reliever against righties or lefties with an earliest inning of 1. If you have at least three relievers in your pen that you prefer, and you have a Randy Winn type that you are itching to use, by all means, fill out that line-up. Better yet, if you are eager to make any change, do it. Having fun and mental exercise is the purpose of this game and there`s nothing like a new line-up for both.

(My article on Filling Out a Line-Up Card is in the Feb. 11th - May 3rd Archives.)

- John Carter