As I alluded to in my Tigers season preview, I am one of several million people who play fantasy baseball, and one of only about fifty who will readily admit it. I've noticed that when I'm talking to someone and the subject of roto baseball comes up they seem startled, feign interest in what I'm saying, and then launch into a five minute discussion of how they think they drafted Aubrey Huff too soon. For me the fantasy baseball draft is one of my favorite nights of the year as it officially signals the beginning of spring for me, whets my appetite for baseball, and validates all the hours I killed while "working" at my dad's office last summer, poring over statistics and trying to find the breakout star for next season.............man, this is pathetic. Anyways I'm going to give my round by round picks from this year's draft , so at the end of the year when I'm in 9th place and my team is a bigger trainwreck then Scary Movie 4 ( Jesus Christ, how do these movies still keep getting made, I thought a sequel couldn't get any worse then Tremors 3, and now this), I'll know where it all started to go wrong. Our league is a 6X6 mixed league with the offensive stats being AVG/R/HR/RBI/SB/OPS, and pitching categories being W/K/SV/ERA/WHIP/K:W.
Round 1: I pick third, which means I'm the first person to not get Pujols or A-Rod. I'm debating between taking Johan, Manny, or Vladdy. I like Vladdy because I was a big Expos fan (they were my second favorite team and my sister and I made a trip to Montreal to see them once) but his back scares the hell out of me. You can pencil in Manny for 35/140, but he's so damn flaky I wouldn't be surprised if he pulled an Artest and quit midseason to promote Coco Crisp's rap album. Plus I have a weakness for pitchers so I decide to draft Santana.
Round 2: As I just said I have a wekness for pitchers, and when the pitcher is a Cy Young candidate who doubles as the only person capable of growing a frightening orange/red beard rivaled only by.......well, me, then you have my second round draft pick. Roy Halladay. I had Roy on my team the last two years and neither experience has been good, two years ago he had arm problems and last year he was lights out before breaking his leg in July, and then teasing me into thinking he was going to make a comeback, anyways third times a charm......right?
Round 3: Even though I've already got two elite starters, right before my pick there wa a run on players I was hoping to get....namely Jake Peavy and Ben Sheets, so I panicked and took Carlos Zambrano. I love Zambrano, becuase he's a little insane, but a good hyper-competitive kind of insane, not the Albert Fish kind of insane and it's funny when he runs the bases full bore, weighing about 250 pounds in a nylon pitching jacket. Also he's been on my team every year since I've been playing roto, and I can't imagine playing without him.
Round 4: Now I'm coming unglued taking a pitcher for the fourth straight round, this time Rich Harden. The problem is I don't even really like Harden, he's got a little too much Prior in him for me. High potential and injury risk. THe has the potential to be this seasons Oliver Perez for me......... something I still don't like to talk about.
Round 5: Bonds. I usually don't like taking older guys, especially 42 year old guys, coming off a major knee injury, with a steroid investigation hanging over his head, two books chronicling his failings as a human being, having syringe needles thrown at him, openly contemplating jumping off of a bridge, and possibly the most despised man in the history of baseball (although Ty Cobb would probably like to fight him for that honor).......and I was afraind of taking Manny.
Round 6: Joe Nathan, I needed a closer and he always seems a little undervalued.......other than that I've got nothing to say about him.
Round 7: Hideki Matsui, He kind of reminds me of a Japanese version of Shemp from the Three Stooges, we're both avid pornography collectors, and he was half of the Mike "Marothra"/Godzilla/joke/abomination Impemba laid on us a few years back, (I still cant take Impemba seriously after that, that and he just sucks).
Round 8: Richie Sexson, I had him the year he blew his shoulder all to hell with the D-Backs, so I was reluctant to take him, thankfully we have a category for DUI's.........oh wait, we don't. Shit.
Round 9: Troy Glaus, I figure if you combine Sexson and him you might get a pair of healthy shoulders, to go along with a .247 average.
Round 10: Scott Rolen. If your scoring at home, that makes 4 offensive players I've drafted in the first 10 rounds coming off of recent major injuries, during the beginning of, or in the middlfe of, the downside of their careers.
Round 11: Cliff Floyd, make it 5 of 11......WHAT AM I DOING!!!!
Round 12: Randy Winn.....thats it the wheels have officially come flying off for team Oral Sex Grandpa, (that team name is not as dirty as it sounds, there is actually a reason for it, if you can believe that.)
Round 13: Derrick Turnbow, I was fortunate enough to pick him up last season off of waivers and enjoyed his breakout season, now I get to reap the horrors of his sophmore slump.
Round 14: Chris Ray, I was intrigued by him and I think he is poised for a breakout season.
Round 15: Julio Lugo: At least he continued my streak of starters getting injured on or before Opening Day, which began the year I drafted Derek Jeter in the first round only to have Ken Huckaby bury his knee into Jeter's shoulder, derailing my season before it even got started. (Players I have seem to have something tragic happen to them every year, like this season I had T-Mac, who threw his back out and then had every immediate family member die, I even had Daryl Kile the year he died. I swear players probably wake up screaming in the middle of the night after I add them to my fantasy team.)
Round 16: Bengie Molina, Solid catcher, I think he'll be motivated for a big contract again, and it never hurts to have someone named Bengie on the team.
Round 17: Jose Vidro, I love the aging injured guys, which is strange because I ususally like to select a guy with potential to break out, rather then break down, but I couldnt pass on to former Expos.
Round 18: Chris Capuano........eh.
Round 19: This is were I nabbed Chris Shelton, the hands down unequivocal steal of the draft, not often do you find a .300/25/90 guy this late in the draft, and some solid insurance for the inevitable Richie Sexson injury. But seriously look at that fucking guy.
Round 20: This pick is kind of sad, Adrian Beltre, he was a second round pick last season by my friend Bill who compunded this mistake by sandwiching this pick between Carlos Beltran in the first round and Eric Gagne in the third round. Needless to say we had to talk him off the ledge and into playing this season, where he had a meltdown, drafting both Justin Verlander, and Edwin Encarnacion about 5 rounds too high. It's amazing when you can pinpoint the exact moment somebodys career was ruined. His draft should be in the Draft Disaster Hall of Fame next to everything by Randy Smith and Matt Millen.
Round 21: Bobby Crosby: Bill Simmons mentioned this in his Opening Day Running Diary, but it warrants mentioning again; being named the preseason MVP by Jayson Stark, Peter Gammons, and Harold Reynolds, is the ultimate kiss of death. Of course he got dinged up on Opening Day for the second consecutive year, which means I couldnt even have a healthy shorstop on my roster for 24 hours this season, between Crosby and Lugo.
Round 22: Daniel Cabrera: Late round flyer on a guy who I hope Leo Mazzone can turn into a 15 game winner. Peter Gammons also predicted this, so I'm sure I'll have waived him by the time you read this.
Well there it is, all 22 rounds I hope it was as boring to read as it was to write, now if you'll excuse me I've got to go check some box scores.