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The 5:30 a.m. Fantasy Draft

March 29th, 2014 · 1 Comment · Abu Dhabi, Baseball, Fantasy Baseball, UAE

I should get some sort of award for this. Or, better, a reward. An extra 10 RBI the first week. An extra home run for each of the next 26 weeks.

I could cite biorhythm studies here, but I most certainly was at a huge disadvantage when the Sun Baseball League conducted its 33rd draft the other morning.

For the 11 members of the league living in the Pacific Daylight time zone, the draft began at a sociable 6:30 p.m.  I believe chili and chips and beers were served.

For me, it began at 5:30 a.m. UAE time.

Or about three hours after I had gone to sleep, and about 15 minutes after I had been jolted awake by an alarm, wondering where I was and why. (Abu Dhabi; for work.) I made my way to the den, in the dark, booted up my laptop — and almost fell asleep before I could make a Skype connection.

I can plead only severe sleep deprivation for my draft performance, over the next five hours.

To wit:

Evan Longoria, No. 9 in the draft? Is he even the best third baseman in ball? That could very well be Adrian Beltre, who went three picks later. But I wanted the guy with the longer injury history. Oh, and I could have had Bryce Harper and Ryan Braun. I just got it in my head I wanted Evan Longoria. Just cuz. How’s that for deep thinking?

My second pick was a guy I had last year — and hated — Giancarlo (“Don’t call me Mike”) Stanton. I hated him mostly because he had two major injuries and missed 46 games (he had missed 39 the year before, when he was 22). So, why did I take him with the 22nd pick? Because I had seen a story a few days before in which the Florida Marlins’ new manager said he expected Stanton to have a really, really big year. Well, then!

My third pick? Alex Rios. Yes. The former White Sox OF. When Jose Bautista was still available. Why? Because I think Rios might hit 20 homers and steal 35-40 bases, and steals matter in our league. Of course, Rios is 33, and nobody steals many bases at that age, and home runs and RBI count, too, and Bautista certainly will have more …

My fourth pick: Chris Sale, 48th in the draft. I like this pick. My head must have cleared for a moment. Maybe the two Extra-Strength Tylenol tablets had kicked in.

My next? Mark Trumbo, Arizona outfielder. How come? Because I think he might hit 50 homers in Phoenix. No. Really. He also might strike out 200 times, but whatever; it seemed like a good idea, at the moment. An, also, I am sure to get the one home run he hit against the Dodgers in Australia last weekend. One in the bank! That gets me on the way to a championship, certainly. I could have had Yasiel Puig, Alex Gordon, Allen Craig, Sterling Marte, Jason Heyward …

Then I went for Mike Napoli, 1B. Or about 30-40 picks before most fantasy leaguers would have selected him. But I like Napoli. I really like him in Fenway, banging balls into (or over) the Green Monsters. A bargain with the 62nd pick!

Then I took SS Elvis Andrus, who has some sort of nagging injury (never a good sign), and 2B Brandon Phillips, who fantasy wonks seem to have decided, collectively, is falling to pieces, as he nears his 33rd baseball. Shin-Soo Choo and Joey Votto, OBP monsters, won’t hit ahead of him this year, which may (may) impact his RBI numbers. He hasn’t hit more than 18 homers since 2009, and he never runs anymore. My only excuse? I thought he was the only 2B left who had a chance to be a significant producer. A bounce back year at 33! Yeah.

It got worse, later. When I began to collapse under the pressure of being pushed to make a pick while investigating a half-dozen guys for my back-up positions … and eventually drafting four guys I have had several times in the past — and hate. Yunel Escobar, Dan Uggla (who hit, like, .123 last year) and Nick Swisher, who is done, and Nick Markakis, who has never yet lived up to what he was supposed to be.

I also took Aroldis Chapman, thinking he would be back this month (after the line drive in the face) rather than June … and Iwakuma, the Japanese SP I know so much about I can’t tell you what is first name is and, besides, he is on the DL …  and that reliever Farquhar, thinking he was Seattle’s closer when, actually, it is Fernando Rodney. And my last pick was John Lackey, for crissakes.

It was a disaster.  I could go 62-100.

I blame it on the lack of sleep, of the league taking advantage of me before I was quite awake …

Because if it’s not that, then I have to concede I don’t know squat about baseball.


1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Chuck Hickey // Mar 31, 2014 at 6:36 PM

    After which pick did Mikey declare he hated his team … only to be declared the outright favorite? Per tradition and history.

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