True, there's more to life than fantasy baseball. There's real baseball, for instance...
Here's something I was talking about with a friend recently: if you could manage any team of your choice, what unorthodox changes would you make? More hidden ball plays? have your closer pitch the first inning? Bring back the Williams shift?
My own brilliant-in-theory but probably foolish-in-practice idea would be for the Red Sox to go with just three starters: Pedro, Lowe and Wakefield, with Wakefield lobbing his knucklers every other day. The extra roster spots (and cash) could be used for two more relievers, which would allow for more pitching changes to take advantage of righty-righty or lefty-lefty matchups.
Foolish? Probably, but I'm sure most of you have thought about weird stratigies like this....
Arlo, maybe you should change your name to Tony LaRussa. He's the king of unorthodox managing. Remember when he first came to the Cards and he batted the pitcher in the eight hole? He was trying to use the nine spot as another potential leadoff spot.
Also, there was the time in Oakland when he didn't have set closers, starters, or relievers. He was letting all his pitchers pitch three innings and then taking them out, regardless of where they were in the game.
It would be nice to see an increase in the number of really, really short players. With the strike zone favoring hitters, I'd be looking for a 3.5-4 footer who could leg it around the base paths. He could draw lead-off walks, steal bases, duck under run-downs, and it would be great if he could throw hard enough to be able to catch without squatting - less wear and tear on his knees, he could play every game! (though we might have to give him some kind of body armor to help with the at-plate collisions...)
By the way, I'm 6' 4", so my thoughts here are purely for the interest of the game
I'd probably get rid of the shortstop when pitching against power hitters without runners in scoring position. Then have the 2nd baseman play on either side of the bag, or right behind it, based on pull tendency and pitcher's speed. That gives you 4 outfielders, which means very little chance of giving up a double.
Also, I'd like to see more of the squeeze play.
And maybe have the third baseman occasionally play in position about 2 feet behind the batter and talk to him about local politics. How would you like to hit with someone standing over your shoulder all the time?
More diving for the bag at first base.
On double plays, instead of sliding for the guy's feet, jump up in the air like you're going to block the throw, just to screw up his line of site. Try not to get hit by the ball.