The name of the franchise has now changed four times, Allen & Charlie Bush become the team’s third general manager, and the team’s biggest star since 2010, appears to be running out of gas.
Emmy’s Hoods General Manager, Donna Hood, acquired outfielder Jose Bautista as a free agent on May 9, 2010. He finished the season as the league’s 10th-ranked player.
Bautista bounced around the majors from 2004 to 2008. In his rookie season of ’04, Bautista became the first player to ever appear on five MLB rosters in one season. He was traded to Toronto in 2008 and in September of 2009, after making some adjustments to his swing, he hit 10 homers. Despite the big September the year before, he wasn’t on anybody’s fantasy radar heading into 2010. He went undrafted.
Over the next six years, Bautista failed to earn keeper status twice. Last year, he finished the season ranked 216th. He played in just 116 games, landing on the disabled list twice. The new team’s new general managers now face a decision whether or not to protect Bautista, who has been the cornerstone of the franchise since 2010 and earned team MVP honors twice but has turned 36-years-old.
In the inaugural season of the SFRRC Fantasy Baseball League this franchise opened as Emmy’s Hoods and was owned by Donna Hood. The team’s first five players chosen in the draft were outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, Matt Cain, Justin Morneau, Dan Haren, and Adam Lind.
Bautista earned team MVP honors. Bautista (.378 OBP, 109 Runs, 54 HR, 124 RBI, 9 SB, 116 Ks) finished the season fourth in the player rankings and was the top-rated third baseman and outfielder. He is still the only undrafted free agent in the league to win team MVP honors. Cain (223.1 IP, 25 QS, 177 Ks, 3.14 ERA, 1.08 WHIP) was the team’s top pitcher and ranked 34th in the final player rankings. Reliever Joaquin Benoit (60.1 IP, 26 Saves/Holds, 75 Ks, 1.34 ERA, 0.68 Ks) was the league’s fifth-rated relief pitcher.
It was a disappointing season in the standings, as Emmy’s Hoods finished 118-142.16, 22.5 games behind Twinkle toes in the Biggest Loser Lovers Division race. The team won just three of its first 15 series in that initial season and missed the playoffs.
After the disappointing 2010 season, the team renamed itself the Machine and kept Cain, Bautista, second baseman Rickie Weeks, Morneau, and Haren in the 2011 Keeper Draft. Ellsbury was added with the first pick in the Regular Season Draft.
Unlike 2010, the Machine started fast, losing just three series in its first 15. That fast start resulted in a 134-130-12 record and the team’s first East Division pennant. The Machine lost their seminal series with the top-ranked Lower Haighters and lost the third place series to the Bulls to finish fourth.
Ellsbury (.376 OBP, 119 Runs, 32 HR, 105 RBI, 39 SB, 98 Ks) was the team MVP, finishing as the league’s fourth-rated player. Bautista added 43 homers and 110 RBI and was the league’s top-rated third baseman. Haren (238.1 IP, 26 QS, 192 Ks, 3.17 ERA, 1.02 WHIP) was the ace while reliever Tyler Clippard (88.1 IP, 38 Saves/Holds, 104 Ks, 1.83 ERA, 0.84 WHIP) finished the season as the league’s top-ranked reliever and 20th ranked player.
Bautista, Ellsbury, catcher Matt Wieters, third baseman Chase Headley and Cain formed the nucleus for the Machine as they tried to build on the previous season’s playoff appearance.
The team lost its first two series before winning five straight. The Machine alternated short winning and losing streaks the rest of the season, finishing 132-128-16. They were third in the East Division, 9.5 games behind the pennant winners, Scully’s Slammers. In the consolation semifinal, the Machine defeated A-Rod’s Mirrors but they lost the fifth place game to the Jersey Boys.
Donna Hood made just 12 player transactions on the season. The biggest addition – literally and figuratively – was closer Jonathan Broxton who led the team with 27 saves.
Cain (219.1 IP, 21 QS, 193 Ks, 2.79 ERA, 1.04 WHIP) earned team MVP honors, ranking 15th overall in the final player rankings and fifth among starting pitchers. Headley (.376 OBP, 95 Runs, 31 HR, 115 RBI, 17 SB, 157 Ks) was the team’s top hitter and the league’s third-ranked third baseman. Set-up man Joel Peralta (67 IP, 39 Saves/Holds, 84 Ks, 3.63 ERA, 0.99 WHIP) was the most valuable reliever.
Jordan Mazur took over as General Manager and renamed the team the Eephus Monkeys. Mazur protected Bautista, Cain, Headley, outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and Wieters in the Keeper Draft. He added 14 free agents during the course of the season including starting pitchers Yovani Gallardo, Ubaldo Jimenez and Chris Carpenter.
The Monkeys started hot, winning four of their first five series as they cruised to a 150-137-12 record and their first East Division pennant. They finished 14.5 games ahead of Scully’s Slammers in the division race. They lost two heartbreaking playoff series with both ending in virtual ties. In the semifinal they were edged by the Lower Haighters and in the third-place game they were defeated by Bacon at Mile 11.
Anibal Sanchez (182 IP, 20 QS, 9.99 K/9, 2.57 ERA, 1.15 WHIP) earned team MVP honors. Sanchez ranked 21st in the final player rankings and 11th among starting pitchers. Edward Mujica (64.2 IP, 38 NSVH, 6.40 K/9, 2.78 ERA, 1.01 WHIP) anchored the bullpen while Bautista (.358 OBP, 82 Runs, 28 HR, 73 RBI, 5 NSB, 13 GIDP, 84 Ks) was the top hitter.
After his MVP performance in 2014, Mazur protected Sanchez, Bautista, first baseman Eric Hosmer, Cain, and pitcher Tony Cingrani. Cingrani had emerged as a borderline Top 100 player in 2013 after posting seven quality starts with a 10.32 K/9 and 2.92 ERA.
It became evident early in the season the Monkeys would not repeat their East Division title. They won just two series in their first 11 and finished third in the division with a 122-150-14 record, 31 games behind division winners Twinkle Toes. Cain tried to pitch through bone chips floating in his elbow before having surgery in August. He threw just 90.1 inning with a 4.18 ERA. Cingrani was ineffective, posting a 4.55 ERA in 11 starts. The starting rotation never recovered.
While the starters as whole struggled, Jon Lester (219.2 IP, 27 QS, 9.01 K/9, 2.46 ERA, 1.10) emerged as the team MVP. He finished the season ranked 12th overall and seventh among starting pitchers. Bautista (.403 OBP, 101 Runs, 35 HR, 103 RBI, 4 NSB, 18 GIDP, 96 Ks) finished 13th in the league player rankings. Jordan Walden led the bullpen with 21 net saves/holds.
The Monkeys protected Bautista, infielder Anthony Rendon, Lester, Sanchez and Jacob deGrom. They also drafted Jason Heyward, Alex Rodriguez, Xander Bogaerts, and Justin Verlander. Mazur made 15 player transactions during the course of the season adding Jung-ho Kang, Byron Buxton and Randal Grichuk.
With healthy pitching, the Monkeys improved substantially from 2014. They finished 133-115-16, two games behind Twinkle Toes in the East Division pennant race. They started slowly, winning just two of their first seven series, but finished strong losing just twice over the last three months of the regular season. After capturing the league’s final playoff spot, the Monkeys lost to top-seeded Bacon at Mile 11 in the quarterfinal. They dropped the consolation semifinal to Warning Track Power before rallying to beat Twinkle Toes in the seventh place game.
Bautista (666 PA, .913 OPS, 108 Runs, 114 RBI, 6 NSB, 106 Ks) was again the team MVP. He finished the season ranked 9th in the player rankings and fifth among all hitters. deGrom (191 IP, 23 QS, 9.66 K/9, 2.54 ERA, 0.98 WHIP) led the starting staff. He ranked 11th overall and sixth at starting pitcher. (78 IP, 39 NSVH, 9.92 K/9, 1.85 ERA, 1.00 WHIP) was the team’s top arm in the bullpen, ranking 45ht overall and fifth at relief pitcher.
Losing streaks to open and close the season resulted in a franchise-worst 116-133-15 record for the Monkeys in 2016. The team lost six of their first seven series and failed to win a series over the last six weeks of the season.
Second baseman Brian Dozier earned team MVP honors. Dozier (691 PA, 104 Runs, 99 RBI, 138 K’s, .886 OPS, 16 NSB) and led the team RBI and OPS. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts (719 PA, 115 Runs, 89 RBI, 123 K’s, .802 OPS, 9 NSB) led the team in plate appearances and runs scored.
Kelvin Herrera (72.0 IP, 2.75 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 10.75 K/9, 0 QS, 35 NSH) finished the season ranked 68th in the player rankings and teamed with Sam Dyson to provide a solid bullpen. Carlos Martinez led the team with 20 quality starts and logged 195.1 innings pitched.