Ahoy! The 2015 Tout Wars weekend is finally here, and I’m getting ready to take my trip northward, from Central Florida to “The City,” which is only mildly as irritating to hear as when Boston fans say, “The Sox.” Is New York City the only city? Are the Red Sox the only colored Sox in baseball?
As you can tell, I’m already irritated. Grumpy Gonos –- in the house!
I’ve been playing in the Tout Wars Mixed League since its inception back in 2005.
After some crappy finishes, I finally won the league in 2008.
My Placement Each Year
Here’s where I have finished in my 10 years in the Tout Wars Mixed leagues:
- 2005 – 10th place of 12 teams
- 2006 – 11th of 12 teams
- 2007 – 2nd of 12 teams
- 2008 – 1st of 12 teams
- 2009 – 10th of 17 teams
- 2010 – 8th of 15 teams
- 2011 – 9th of 15 teams
- 2012 – 12th of 15 teams
- 2013 – 2nd of 15 teams
- 2014 – 15th of 15 teams
As you can see, I’m no Fred Zinkie — I’ve been all over the Tout Wars map. I blame my first two years on the belief that Mark Prior — and men of that ilk — were going to return to prominence.
Everything went right in my 2008 season, as you can see. But the story of that draft is probably the most interesting of all of them …
What Went Right with the 2008 Tout Wars Weekend
The night before the auction, I went out drinking with Nando Di Fino, Cory Schwartz and Mike Siano – none of which were in the mixed-league auction the next morning with me. I ended up getting destroyed, dancing to ‘80s music with “Crazy Meg” at Bar None, and then they finally called me a cab around 3am I believe. They told the cabbie my hotel, and somehow I got to my room. I still can’t believe the cabbie let me drive.
Here’s the writeup about what went down that Tout Wars weekend.
But after I showed up late to the auction, completely disheveled, I said, “Let’s go, start it!” before I had even gotten to my chair, and before I had even sat down – I won Alex Rodriguez for $48.
MLB’s Alex Cushing looked over at me like I had a Mike Tyson face tattoo, and asked, “Dude, are you OK?” I shrugged him off, told him I was fine, then proceeded to draft my only Tout Wars championship team in 10 seasons … while I was somewhere between the stages of still drunk and hung over.
My Post-Championship History
The powers that be quickly reacted to my win by expanding the league from 12 teams to 17 teams. SEVENTEEN! Seriously!?!
In case you’re wondering, the Tout Wars administrators have always considered the Mixed League as the kids table at Thanksgiving. This is despite the fact that most people enjoying the Tout Wars weekend on SiriusXM radio will be mixed-league owners. According to CBSSports.com, 77 percent of their leagues are of the “mixed” variety, with 10 percent NL-only, nine percent AL-only and about four percent with custom teams. (Who are these people? That makes me think CBS’ numbers are off a bit.)
Anyway, they bumped the league up from 12 teams to 17 in 2009, then they brightened up and dropped it back to 15 teams the very next year, which it has remained until today. The 17-team reaction was because they still didn’t care about the mixed league, and they had overbooked the other leagues, so we got the spill-over.
Emack joined the league in 2009 after I left CBSSports.com, and we have been hotel roomies each weekend ever since.
We always have a great time, drink our faces off, and make fun of everyone every year, including the dude that Jenn Sterger brought one year, and more than a handful of the Tout Wars owners that looked a little too uptight.
(Side note: In a discussion with Matt Berry one year, he told me how he’d love to drink and act up like Emack and I do, but he just can’t these days because of his ESPN affiliation. That was a nice way of saying, “Gonos and Emack, you probably won’t ever get hired at ESPN.”)
I was an also-ran for several seasons after my win, until 2013, when it looked like I had a shot to track down MLB’s Fred Zinkie, who had a 20-point lead in early August. I started tweeting him weekly about the shrinking points difference between his team and mine. I mentioned how he was going to crumble and that his hair had to be falling out in chunks because of the stress.
Finally, it came down to a one-game Wild Card tie-breaker game between the Rangers and Rays. I was down just two Roto points I think, with David Price going for me and the Rays on the mound. He pitched a complete game, and James Loney hit a shot to left-center field that ended in a glove on the warning track.
Had Loney’s flyball gone just 10 more feet – I would have had my second Tout Wars championship. But, alas, it did not, and I came in second place – with just that one home run separating me from the win. (The homer would’ve given me half a Roto point and the run scored would have given me a full Roto point.)
I’ve been involved in the league for 10 seasons, with one win, two second-place finishes – and ONE last-place finish. I’m bound and determined to redeem myself for 2014 this year.
I’ll be posting my “2015 Tout Wars Plans” soon, so stay tuned!
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