Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I've been told that "no one talks about their fantasy team." Well, as I'm not one to stand on ceremony, and don't really care what "everyone else" does, I'm going to talk about my fantasy team. Over and over again.

Last night, way, way past my bedtime, was the draft for my fantasy baseball league. A live draft, for those of you who haven't done this sort of thing before, is fairly fast-paced. It's through Yahoo! Sports, and so there's also a lot of flashing flash and bright colors. For a newbie like me, it required quite a bit of concentration. Remarkably, I ended up with most of my top picks (although if you're in my fantasy league, you may be thinking to yourself, "remarkably, eh?" with a smirk on your face).

See, I had a strategy, and it was working beautifully for a while. The higher rated players were going first, and so my lower-ranked picks went unchallenged for a good portion of the time. However, as the draftees were thinned out, managers started focusing on position-specific selections, and at that point, even players further down the list were getting picked up. I had not anticipated that, and it forced me to change my strategy a little. In retrospect, I probably should not have picked Chris Duncan in the 7th round. (Go ahead, laugh it up.)

The players I missed out on that I would have liked to have acquired were Ryan Ludwick, Kyle Lohse, Pat Burrell, and Ramón Hernández. I completely forgot about A-Rey (please don't bother, I'm already chastising myself) until another manager grabbed him up, and I never had any real expectation of getting Adam Wainwright, although he was around longer than I would have thought he'd be. Between keeping tabs on what the rest of the managers were doing and queueing up my picks, I didn't have much time for thinking beyond the occasional, "well, [expletive]."

Anyway, wanna know whom I picked for my "dream team"? (Am I allowed to tell? Do I care?)
My #1 overall pick was Yadier Molina. This should surprise no one. Actually, when I was setting up my pre-draft list (in case I fell asleep), it went something like this:

1. Yadier Molina
2. Albert Pujols
3-25. a bunch of other Cardinals with some random back-ups thrown in. (Oh, and I played favorites with los puertorriqueños.)
I did not get Albert because I picked ninth/third. He went second overall. Here's who I did get (in order by round):

Yadier Molina (StL - C)
Chase Utley (Phi - 2B)
Rick Ankiel (StL - OF)
Aaron Miles* (ChC - 2B,3B,SS)
Josh Johnson (Fla - SP)
Brad Lidge (Phi - RP)
Chris Duncan (StL - 1B,OF)
Russ Springer (Oak - RP)
Troy Glaus (StL - 3B)
Skip Schumaker (StL - OF)
Carlos Delgado (NYM - 1B)
Mike Aviles (KC - 2B,SS)
Todd Wellemeyer (StL - SP)
Brett Myers (Phi - SP)
Felipe López (Ari - 2B,3B,SS,OF)
Brian Giles (SD - OF)
Khalil Greene (StL - SS)
Jonathan Sánchez (SF - SP)
Brendan Ryan (StL - 2B,SS)
Ian Snell (Pit - SP)
Kyle McClellan (StL - RP)
Luke Scott (Bal - OF)
Eric Bruntlett (Phi - 3B,SS,OF)
Mark Buehrle (CWS - SP)
Brad Penny (Bos - SP)
Iván Rodríguez (Hou - C)

I'm probably not going to win this league.

It's okay, though, because I like my team on a deeper level than performance statistics. My league-mates are probably all shaking their heads and/or rolling their eyes, and fantasy-philes around the world are sensing a disturbance in the force.

Well, maybe I don't have a real appreciation for the essence of fantasy baseball, but I'm having bunches of fun already and I anticipate a lot more before the season is over. I plan to give the rest of the managers a run for their money.

One thing I noticed when I was looking over my team after the draft was that I seem to be well-stocked on infielders, particularly middle infielders. I guess the current middle infield situation in Jupiter has me subconsciously squirreling away every extra guy I can find. It's been a hard winter.

*I wasn't going to allow any Cubs on my team, but I made an exception for Super-Miles.

Oh yeah. The WBC.

I guess I should say something about Puerto Rico's (insert colorful adjective here) loss to the good ol' US of A, but I don't really know what that would be. It was disappointing, and I'm a little bit glad I didn't get to see it. I despise David Wright anyway, so that particular fire didn't need any more fuel.

On the bright side, Yadi and Cheíto get to re-join the rest of the team for camp, and the fact that they made it as far as they did is nothing to sneeze at. They should be proud. I know I am.