Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I Felt a Draft

Hours after the completion of my first fantasy baseball draft, I analyzed my team and realized the group of players I chose could win — in a South Dakota softball beer league.

My outfield possesses less power than a utility company after an ice storm. My pitching staff underwent plenty of surgeries and saw more knives than a visitor to a Boy Scout Jamboree. I think I drafted a stadium vender to play third base for my team.

After spending time poring over baseball preview magazines and checking websites that projected players statistics for the upcoming year, I felt I was ready last week’s draft. I had my notes scattered across the desk; I knew who I favored for my first several choices, and I knew who I should pick for each position.

It looked good on paper.

But then the draft happened.

My team, the Arkansas Paperboys, was randomly selected to have the first pick in the draft. While that seemed an honor, I found that it was actually a curse. Miguel Cabrera, the Detroit Tigers’ first baseman was projected to be the best player in the draft. So I chose him with my first selection.

And then I waited. The next 11 teams chose and then, in a quirky way that draft worked, the draft order was reversed. So, the number 12 team — the last team to pick in the first round — was given the first pick in the second round. I, on the other hand, received the last pick in the second round. By the time it came my turn again, several of the players I wanted were already chosen.

I played catch-up for the duration of the draft, trying quickly to go to Plan B, or Plan C, or even Plan D, for my choices. I cursed more than Billy Beane in “Moneyball.” (I refer to the book; I’ve never seen the movie).

The season begins March 28 with a game in Japan. Then it really kicks off on April 4 and the fantasy season is underway.

We’ll see how my choices fare.

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