I bought a 550-milliliter bottle of Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale (best beer ever) for our Yahoo draft tonight. This league is a motley assortment of relatives, friends, and general miscreants. To show how skewed the league is, four owners are Pirates fans. Considering that, Jason Bay never had a chance.
Quick fantasy 101 lesson. Most redrafts (leagues that start from scratch) draft in a serpentine order. That means the first pick in the first round gets the last pick in the second round, and so on. It’s supposed to level the playing field. In a league like this, where half the teams drafted a guy they’ve never heard of, no real advantage exists.
Why is the league called the AUBL? The fantasy football league is called the AUFL (Avondale Unlimited Football League), so I just substituted one letter. I’m lazy.
This league is head-to-head, which pits two owners together for a week. Scoring is based on the six (each) offensive and defensive categories. Offense is runs, RBI, HR, stolen bases, batting average and on-base percentage. Pitching categories include ERA, WHIP (walks + hits divided by innings pitched), wins, strikeouts, saves, and innings pitched. There are ten offensive starters (two utility players) and nine pitching starters, along with four bench slots.
Since it’s Yahoo the draft order is set up 30 minutes before the draft begins. I got the number one pick, which isn’t bad. Good thing about the first pick (besides it being the first pick): All of the rest of my picks would be at the ‘turn’, so I got to pick twice in a row. Bad thing about that: I would have to wait a long time between picks. That meant my Samuel Smith’s was toast pretty early. I had a few moments of serious contemplation before taking Alex Rodriguez at number one. I wish it was last year because he had two-position eligibility. Oh well, he sold his soul and the opportunity to be the best shortstop ever.
The number two pick went to Derek Jeter. Yes, that was a Yankee fan, and yes, I had to tell her today that the Chicago White Sox are in the American League. Maybe she thought they were AAA.
Just to be snobbish, I’m going to list my picks. Later on I’ll comment on some of the wacky picks and players who dropped extraordinarily low.
1.01: A-Rod, 3b New York Yankees. The most hated baseball player who isn’t suspected of using steroids. He puts up ridiculous numbers. After that cute slap in last year’s ALCS, how could I not draft him?
2.12: Eric Chavez, 3b Oakland A’s. OK, that makes it two third basemen in a row. This league has two utility slots, so I felt I could take the ‘best available’ guy. He even looks good in the hideous yellow A’s jerseys.
3.01: Victor Martinez, C Cleveland Indians. He’s the best catcher available, and while this was a bit of a reach my next pick wasn’t for 24 slots. How many professional baseball players are named Victor, anyway?
4.12: Brad Lidge, cl Houston Astros. In my opinion the best closer in the majors. 157 strikeouts from a closer? Come on. I felt free to ignore closers for a long time.
5.01: Marcus Giles, 2b Atlanta Braves. Now, if he can just keep from running into other guys, he’ll be my leadoff guy.
6.12: Adam Dunn, of Cincinnati Reds. 50 home run power, and capable of 200 strikeouts. Feel the love.
7.01: Roy Halladay, sp Toronto Blue Jays. 2003 Cy Young winner. Meet my ace. Also I can pay him in Canadian dollars.
8.12: Corey Patterson, of Chicago Cubs. Sure, he plays for the hated Cubs, but we’re talking 30/30 potential here. Another bonus is he never walks. From what I hear, Dusty Baker hates walks.
9.01: Rich Harden, sp Oakland A’s. He better live up to the hype. He’s the A’s top pitcher.
10.12: Paul Konerko, 1b Chicago White Sox. 40 home runs. Not much else.
11.01: Justin Morneau, 1b Minnesota Twins. Another hype-meister. There’s my second utility spot. He has the flu or something.
12.12: Freddy Garcia, sp Chicago White Sox. He has the most upside of any White Sox starter. I know, that’s like saying that the latest version of the Bachelor has the best chance of ending in a wedding.
13.01: Kelvim Escobar, sp Anaheim Angels. He’ll put up great numbers as the number two guy in LA/Anaheim.
14.12: Mark Buehrle, sp Chicago White Sox. What a surprise, my spell check thinks that name is misspelled. Contrary to published reports, Buehrle does not have a broken foot. He’ll be OK. AL leader in innings pitched last year.
15.01: Lew Ford, of Minnesota Twins. I know, two straight White Sox followed by Twins. I like to follow the Central. Ford is one of many 20/20 guys out there.
16.12: Bobby Crosby, ss Oakland A’s. His possible broken wrist is just a bruise. In round 16 he’s a steal.
17.01: Brandon Inge, c/3b/of Detroit Tigers. I love multi-position guys. Inge is eligible at catcher and probably won’t play a game there this year.
18.12: Julio Lugo ss/2b Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Here comes my shortstop backup. Second base eligibility clinches it.
19.01: Mike Adams, rp Milwaukee Brewers. He’s the closer. At least I hope so.
20.12: Eric Byrnes, of Oakland A’s. For anyone who’s still reading, Byrnes is one of many potential 20/20 guys.
21.01: Kevin Millwood, sp Cleveland Indians. I have no patience, so if he gets rocked in his first start I’ll probably dump him.
22.12: Jeremy Reed, of Seattle Mariners. He was a major prospect for the White Sox who was traded in the Freddy Garcia deal. He’ll be pretty darn good in the number two hole in the lineup.
23.01: Yhency Brazoban, rp LA Dodgers. I hear that Gagne has some knee problems. Brazoban is another candidate for my first released player. Plus he’s named Yhency.