The Brian Booth Story
2014 Diamond Challenge Roto Grand Prize Winner!
Brian Booth was at the Cleveland Indians and MLB's last game of the year. As he watched Corey Kluber racking up the strike outs, he kept checking his Beckett 2014 Diamond Challenge Roto team standings. He had a nice lead, but didn't have Kluber on his team and knew the teams behind him did. "I wasn't sure if I could keep rooting for him to do well, or start rooting against him" an excited Booth recalled. "Winning the DC Roto was more important" he exclaimed, "and if it would have gotten close, I would have been rooting against him!"

As it turned out, Booth won by 248 points, and became the 22nd Diamond Challenge Roto Grand Champion. Booth has been playing from just about the beginning, starting in the mid 90's when he was in college. "I got hooked that first year", he said, "There's no other game like it". Over the years, his best previous finish had been 54th overall in 2008, and he finished 157 last year. He realized after his team got into first place, was harder to stay on top than get there. "It's really different being in first and trying to stay on top, than being behind and trying to catch up", Brian suggested. "When you're behind, you can see what categories you need to improve in to move up" he analyzed, "but when you're on top, you not sure what moves to make to stay there".

"I had a really balanced team, but needed to make up some wins." He recounted. Key purchases of Johnny Cueto and Felix Hernandez really got his team moving, and by week 9 he was in 16th place. A purchase of Zach Britton and the use of the swing spot for an extra closer really made a difference in September when he needed some saves.

"I was really surprised I could make some mistakes and still win", he said, "I always thought you had to make all the perfect moves and get all the right players, but I found out you can make some mistakes and still win. One of those mistakes was Trevor Rosenthal, who went into a slump after he rostered him. Another was the purchase of Jeff Samardzia just after he was traded to Oakland. "I wanted someone the other teams didn't have, so I went with Samardzia over Corey Kluber" he remembered. "Not a good move!" A couple of the moves that did turn out well were Anthony Rizzo and George Springer. "I had Rizzo from the get go, and not a lot of other owners did. He helped with cap space, and had a great year. And I picked up George Springer before he went on a tear", he recalled, "those moves were a couple of my best." He also credits the use of Todd Frazier and Charlie Blackmon as keys to his victory. "I was fortunate my team did not have a lot of injuries early", he said, "and I was able to conserve some buys for latter."

The timing of the big win and the $53,100 could not have come at a better time for the 41 year old architect from Akron Ohio. The father of 4 children under 7 with another on the way, he'll use some of the prize on a larger house.
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