Kicked off the fantasy baseball season a couple of days ago with my league’s draft. This is probably my fifth or sixth year playing with my buddies in this special little 10 or 12-team Yahoo! league, and it’s always a pretty good time.
I love fantasy sports, but I’m definitely more of an NBA/NFL fantasy guy, baseball just has too many damn players, and the season’s too fuckin long to keep track of. But I’ve been doin good the past couple of years as far as always keepin tabs on my team and fighting till the last game. Last year was an off year for my squad, as I ended up finishing in 5th place out of 12. We had a new commissioner take over control of the league, and while he’s been great as far as organizing everything, he happens to be a raging homo who I used to shit on, so I’ve been stuck with the last pick, often, recently. This year was the same story.
So, The Refrijerators (named in honor of my buddy who’s off serving his country and is ineligible to play this year) kicked off the draft with the 10th pick. Bad part of picking last, you don’t get one of those top 3 talents (Hanley, Pujols, Longoria, Tulo). Good part of picking last (or first), you get a double pick, two in a row. So I went at it.
First round, I was lucky enough to have my new favorite player, Carl Crawford drop to me at #10. Most drafts have Crawfish averaging a #3 overall pick, and even though I would have liked to wait on OF, I had to grab him. With pick #11, the first pick of the 2nd round, I was a little stuck. I wanted to build my batters right away, so Cliff Lee was not an option. Or any other pitcher for that matter. To me, 1B and 3B are the two most shallow positions in terms of talent after the elites. I would have loved to snag Evan Longoria or Robinson Cano (the only 2b worth a top-3 round pick) with my 1st pick, but they both came off the board right before I picked. I narrowed my options down to Adrian Gonzalez (1B) or David Wright (3B).
I’m never one to pick a lot of players from the same team, and I’m especially not one to pick my favorite team’s players (yeah, I’m a Sox fan, DICK). But Wright scares me, as does the entire Mets roster, and A-Gon looks poised to have an explosive year in the Sox lineup, so I grabbed him. I then proceeded to snooze as the next 20 picks rolled by with guys in my queue such as Ryan Zimmerman, Dustin Pedroia, and Ian Kinsler coming off the board. Pick #30 comes round, and it’s my pick.
I’m also an advocate for waiting on a catcher, but in this case, I had Joe Mauer sitting in my lap, so I pulled the trigger on him. I won’t lie, I already regret it after realizing just how fucking DEEP the position is this year, and after hearing Ron Gardenhire already say he will be sitting Mauer more than usual this year because of their depth at DH. On the 2nd of my bookend picks, I wanted to shore up my infield with either a 2B or SS. The top SS available at the time was Jimmy Rollins, and I just don’t like his history (even in his MVP season he was barely a top-5 SS talent). At 2B, I had a big quandary on-hand, Dan Uggla or Brandon Phillips. Uggla’s year last year scared me, and I love Phillips, but I ended up going with Uggla, because I figured the change of scenery to the Braves would do him good.
My next few picks, I grabbed Alexei Ramirez of the ChiSox for SS, grabbed my first SP with CC Sabthia at pick #51 (avg pick # 30), finished up my IF with 2B/3B Martin Prado of the Braves, and then took another SP in Zack Greinke (who will miss the first month). At this point, I’m feeling pretty good about my team, andddddd then…… madness hits me. I was skyping with a lady friend of mine at the time who happens to enjoy baseball, and my whole internet just shits out. I get booted from the draft about 2 picks before mine, and I can’t get back in. My computer restarts, and I try to get in the draft before my pick is up. 5 minutes roll by, then 10, and I start flippin shit.
I run over to my brother’s room, and boot his computer up. His internet is working, but I can’t get in the fucking DRAFT! By now, about 15-20 minutes have elapsed and I definitely missed that pick, and probably even more. So I jump on Skype, call up my lady friend, and tell her LOG IN, we’re doing this TOGETHER! So by the time she’s logged in and looking at the draft, I’ve missed 4 CRUCIAL mid-round picks! I had Papelbon lined up for my next pick, but instead the computer auto-drafted me 3B Pedro Alvarez (not so earlyy!!!!), SP Matt Cain (I’ll take him, if i HAVE to), 1B/OF Adam Lind (NOOOOOOOOOO!!), and SP Shawn Marcum (again, so EARLYYY!!).
So by the time we’re all organized and ready to go (it took her a minute or two to know what to do) I have about 20 seconds left on the clock to draft, so I tell her grab the top Pitcher left, who happens to be Ricky Romero. I’ll take him, especially over Marcum, any day. The rest of the draft unfolds in a panicky, backtracking manner as I struggle to work between her unfamiliarity with the draft format, and my inability to see what’s going on. By the time the draft is over, I have a so-so looking squad that really needs some top-tier managing and healing (I’ve got 4 guys on the DL to start the year) in order to compete in this league:
C- Joe Mauer
1B- Adrian Gonzalez
2B- Dan Uggla
SS- Alexei Ramirez
3B- Martin Prado
OF- Carl Crawford
OF- Adam Lind
OF- Marlon Byrd
UTIL- Angel Pagan
UTIL- Pedro Alvarez
BENCH- Juan Pierre, Reid Brignac, Raul Ibanez
SP- CC Sabathia
SP- Matt Cain
SP- Shawn Marcum
P- Ricky Romero, Aroldis Chapman, Kevin Gregg, Brian Matusz, Brad Lidge, Zack Greinke, Johan Santana
I’ve already stepped up my managerial efforts by using the two-roster spots made open through placing Greinke and Santana on the DL to acquire Jose Contreras (Lidge’s closer replacement in Philly), and Derek Lowe, a quality wins/ low ERA guy.
I don’t know if this team is a championship contender, but maybe through some good FA pickups (always a guarantee of having a top-50 player emerge from the free agent pool) and some wheeling and dealing, I can finagle a contender out of these guys.
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