Friday, April 01, 2005

The other Fantasy game in town

Some may see us Cub fans as engaging in a fantasy. Let them think what they want. We are who we are and I will always believe.

Now, I do enjoy a good Fantasy Baseball League and hopefully I have found one within our little family here of Cub Bloggers. Last Sunday was the Draft and after enjoying a good dinner with friends from our church, I hit the books, cramming for the 5:00 p.m. deadline, hoping for another Easter miracle in the form of an early draft pick. I don’t think the Lord was amused. 7th out of nine teams is what I got. Oh well.

Nobody but my mother likes to play Scrabble with me. It takes me sometimes 10 or 15 minutes to form just the right word for the maximum score. In the draft we got 90 seconds to make the perfect choice. 90 seconds? My nerves won’t take it.

A plethora of potential pratfalls threaten to unravel me but I somehow hang in there and only miss the deadline once, which means the computer chooses for me, using the list of pre-ranked players I submitted before the drafting begins.

And that is how Matt Clement is on my team. Which is fine with me. Really, I know it’s April Fools Day but I am serious. I like Matt. Of the fab 5 starters the Cubs had in 2004, Matt received the least amount of run support and he never whined about it. Class act all the way. Now he should have plenty of run support with the world champs in Beantown so I have high hopes for my fantasy team. Matt deserved a better fate in Chicago.

Oh, by the way my wife wants to know why a Cub Blog Fantasy League is drafting from the American League. I do not have an answer for her. I missed the owners’ meeting.

Speaking of ex-Cubs, I drafted Mark Bellhorn at second base. Another example of a player who flourished outside of the Friendly Confines. Fingers are crossed that he can produce another solid performance. His OBP was .384 in 2004 so go, Mark, go!

Every draft has to lay a goose egg. I think it’s in the by-laws of inevitable occurrences. Anyone ever hear of Dallas McPherson? He plays for the Anah – excuse me, the Angels from Los Angeles (sheesh!) but a disc problem sent him to the minors. A risky pick I grant you from the start, the Yahoo baseball gurus ranked him somewhere in the 900’s but the fantasy mag I was using to do my homework with touted him as a rising star so I took a shot. Granted, I may have been influenced by the fact that Dallas was my father’s name.

My biggest miscalculation could have been timing as I grabbed him in the 10th round, 10 out of 20! Nobody else was probably going to even consider him so I should have waited. Hindsight is 20/20 but I could have had the likes of Bartolo Colon or Kevin Brown or even Richard Hidalgo. Oh well. By then my nerves were spaghetti so one bonehead move out of 20 ain’t so bad, is it?

Besides, I am ecstatic that my centerfielder is none other than Coco Crisp! What a great name! Plus, he is an exciting player to watch.

Five days later, I have just crunched the numbers as I am curious to see if draft position was a significant factor in the strength of the team. The results are inconclusive. I mean it seems that way at the top and bottom of the League but the middle is muddled. Check it out. I calculated points that the team would produce if everyone performed exactly as they did a year ago.
Pos Points
1 18,236
2 18.974
3 17,097
4 16,202
5 17,915
6 18,707
7 17,965
8 16,045
9 14,897

Most of my fellow GMs have tweaked their rosters so the above totals may be misleading and for the bottom two teams, they drafted players with no points a year ago because they were either injured or playing in Japan so their apparent weakness may be just an illusion.

Now word has come down that Bobby Crosby, my one and only drafted shortstop, got hit in the wrist by a Brewer pitcher in the final exhibition game. Ouch! X-ray results should be out today but just in case the 2004 AL Rookie of the Year is sidelined for a spell I need another SS so I pick up Pokey Reese. Who needs A-Rod and the Big Unit when I have Coco and Pokey!

Ok, you can stop laughing now.

Also, I waas a bit thin pitching wise (all my drafted bench players were on offense) so I drop Trot Nixon and pick up Ryan Drese.

Hallelujah! Bobby Crosby’s wrist is not broken. The A’s just posted the good news on their web site so I breathe a sigh of relief. I better keep Pokey around just in case, however.
Quoting the story “Oakland trainer Larry Davis said Crosby is day-to-day and may be on the field for Opening Day on Monday. "It's a contusion, no fracture," said Davis, who added Crosby was still scheduled for an MRI Thursday evening "because we're paranoid."
"This is just being extra careful on our part because it's so close to the season," Davis said.”

So, heading into the weekend before opening pitch, here’s how my roster stacks up. And if things don’t work out, maybe I can find a Fantasy Scrabble game somewhere!
C I. Rodriguez Det best choice among backstops
1B D. Ortiz Bos My # 1 pick. See the smile on my face?
2B M. Bellhorn Bos Too many K’s but gets on base.
3B S. Hillenbrand Tor 80 rbi’s and doesn’t strike out.
SS B. Crosby Oak Rookie of the Year; promising
OF H. Matsui NYY Over 100 runs & rbi’s, over 300 TBs.
OF C. Crisp Cle Needs to mature in SB dept
OF M. Kotsay Oak plucked his 190 hits in rnd 14
DH G. Anderson LAA can still produces
BN K. Mench Tex Productive when healthy
BN B. Broussard Cle Came on strong second half of 2004.
BN T. Martinez NYY Overshadowed by his teammates still dependable.
BN P. Reese Sea Hope I won’t need him.
SP F. Garcia CWS Avg ERA, better than avg. WHIP
SP M. Clement Bos Good K total, should have more W’s this year.
RP J. Nathan Min One of the top closers in the game
RP M. Timlin Bos 1.23 WHIP is his best stat
P G. Meche Sea Dubbed a Spring stud by Yahoo’s analysts.
P R. Drese Tex Poised for great year
BN K. Rogers Tex Most think he is a gamble but 18 wins in 2004.


Nick Torsell said...

We used AL only so that we wouldn't have to root against the Cubs when the Cubs were playing a player who was on your fantasy team. We wanted to make it AL only plus the Cubs but it wasnn't possible.

Tom said...

Makes sense. As an avid National Leaguer for over thirty years, this AL only game has posed an exciting challenge. Which is what our League is named. Thanks for the heads up, Nick!