October 20th, 2009

Nobody Keeps Up with Jones in FSWA Baseball Race

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Both League Championship Series are still being hotly contested, but the 48-person inaugural FSWA championship is in the books.

Mike Jones of Fantasy Sports Publications knocked off a large group of fellow fantasy sports mavens to win the Fantasy Sports Writers Association title — thanks in no small part, he says, to an oft-overlooked position.

“In this format, using two catchers, I wanted to invest early in having two solid catchers, as I thought that would be an advantage over someone with a weakness at one of their catcher positions,” Jones told FSB.com. He “got a little lucky that Victor Martinez had the bounce back year that he had, and Brian McCann was fairly solid throughout the season. I was able to plug them in for the entire year and basically forget about it, which I liked.”

Jones also said later-round draft pick Mark Reynolds offered big help, as did free-agent pickups Andrew McCutchen, Chris Coughlan and Rajai Davis. A pitching staff fronted by Justin Verlander and Tim Lincecum — whom the longtime Giants fan conceded was a bit of a “homer pick” — rounded out the team, but Jones said he didn’t have the title locked up until the season’s extra game between Detroit and Minnesota.

“The 163rd game was a real tricky proposition, and I attacked it very aggresively, hitting the waiver wire as soon as I heard it would count,” Jones said. “I basically remade my entire team with whatever Twins and Tiger players were available. As it turned out, it ended up being a real dogfight with the OBP and SLG percentages. When (Carlos) Gomez scored, ending the game, I could finally breathe a sigh of relief.”

The final group of 12 competitors pulled top finishers from the four 12-team leagues. (See full results here, here, here and here.)  ESPN’s Pierre Becquey, RotoExperts’ Tommy Landry, Sports Grumblings’ John Rakowski and Football Diehards’ Ginny Loveless rounded out the final top five.

The FSWA baseball league followed last season’s inaugural Industry Insiders’ football league, won by Footballguys’ Sigmund Bloom. FSWA president Mike Beacom said the FSWA hopes the leagues help to bring together writers from around the growing industry.

ESPN.com hosted the FSWA baseball competition, with Jones, Loveless, Perry Missner and James Quintong carrying out commissioner duties.