Coach Dennis’s Diary: Fantasy Baseball – Bad Trade Etiquette

Coach Dennis’s Diary – Bad Trade Etiquette

By: Dennis Esser (@coachesser)

Is there anything more annoying than a terrible trade offer in one of your fantasy leagues?   The only thing comparable would be voicemails on my cell phone.  I avoid responding to both out of sheer principle. 

One has become an epidemic since I last played fantasy baseball in the 1990’s.  The other is a dinosaur that should be avoidable with all of the easier ways to say “hello” or to see how I am doing.  Hasn’t anyone ever heard of even trades, email, text messages, Google chat, or even Facebook messenger?

Fantasy Baseball NerdBad trade offers were much tougher to even attempt when everything was done face to face or over the phone.   If someone offered me Edward Mujica for Troy Tulowitski in a bar, I could at least make them buy me a beer for having to listen to that nonsense.   If they tried that over the phone, I could actually hang up and let them know how offended I was.   But now sitting behind a keyboard, fantasy GMs have no conscience when sending out their offers.

I understand the impulse to ask for the ridiculous.   You never know unless you ask.   But the anonymity of the computer age has made leagues almost unbearable.   A fellow GM offered me two waiver pick ups (who should still be on the waiver wire BTW) for my best starting pitcher.   He then got offended when I didn’t answer back in a timely manner.

I’m sorry I didn’t know I was holding up his attempt at league domination by not responding to the crap currently in my inbox.   I have even got the halfhearted messages explaining to me how this awful trade makes my team better.   Really? A fourth closer for the number one fantasy shortstop is my ticket to a championship?  Who knew?   I guess all that work I do breaking down numbers and trying to make my team the best it can be is all for nothing.   I should just have this guy put together my team and the league championship is all mine.

I could have instantly rejected the idiotic trade offer, but I chose to avoid it like the long-winded drunken catch-up voice mail from my old college buddy currently blinking away on my cell phone.  I am keeping both for posterity.   The next time I see someone from my league, I will whip open my phone and say “look at this!”   Can you believe he actually tried that?  Then we will try and one up each other with all the bad offer stories we have from our multiple leagues.

 I guess it goes to show that there is a feeling out process when joining a new league.  People don’t know each other all that well and feel like they need to try and see who the sucker is.   I understand that we all have made terrible trades when we first started playing fantasy sports.   Mine was trading Jerome Bettis for Reggie Rivers (the man who took over for Barry Sanders) when I was introduced to fantasy football.   I have never forgiven myself and have never done business with that GM again.   That was almost 15 years ago and it still stings like it was yesterday.  

Luckily nowadays, newbies to fantasy sports are protected by league votes and impartial commissioners.   If both are in cahoots, you can even go to an arbitrator to try and reach a resolution.   I know if there was a problem in my league we would immediately go to and let someone outside of the situation rule on a league controversy.

YuenglingYou didn’t have that back in 1999.  All you could do was complain to an uncaring bartender at your local watering hole and learn from your mistakes.   I don’t know which I prefer; the old face to face handshake deals or the faceless emails.   Both have their pro’s and con’s, but I think I miss sealing a trade over a nice tall Yuengling Lager.

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