Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Best Day Of The Year

So the House of Meat drafted today, and as always, it was one of the best days of the year, just because auction drafts are more fun than a basket of kittens. Here's the starting team for me, with keepers noted with asterisks. It's a 5x5 league with OBA instead of batting average, and K/BB instead of K/9.

C John Jaso TB 3
C Jake Fox BAL 1
1B Joey Votto CIN 21*
2B Ian Kinsler TEX 26*
3B Chipper Jones ATL 5
SS Jose Reyes NYN 34*
CI Aubrey Huff BAL 7
MI Martin Prado ATL 6*
OF Justin Upton ARZ 15*
OF Drew Stubbs CIN 15*
OF Vernon Wells TOR 8*
U Ryan Braun MIL 43
SP Chris Carpenter STL 11*
SP David Price TB 11*
SP Yovani Gallardo MIL 16*
SP Jake Peavy CHW 5
RP Neftali Feliz TEX 4*
RP Aroldis Chapman CIN 4
P Brandon Lyon HOU 5
P Rafael Soriano NYY 2
P Fernando Rodney ANA 4
BN Magglio Ordonez DET 1
BN Brandon Webb TEX 1
BN Mike Moustakas KC 2
Total 250

I got caught in price protection on Braun, which gave me a small stack for much of the early going, but I think it worked out. I tend to miss out on stars in the early going of auctions, so it's nice to have the best available outfielder in a year where power is lacking, and the crop of outfielders is kind of underwhelming. Since it's an OBA league, Huff and Jones are more valuable than you might think, and I don't have a ton invested in either of the graybeards. Catching could be a problem, but the dollar bet on Fox might work out, as he's leading Florida in home runs, and could take down a lot of corner work with a hot stick. In any event, I generally hate paying a lot for catchers, so it works out. Moustakas was on my radar, especially with no obvious protection possible at third for 2012, and was also a block on the defending champion, who was also short-stacked for much of the way. The offense is a little old, but I've spent too many years with young guys that didn't get on base, so you can see why I went this way.

As for the pitching, I came in with a lot of good starters, and kept getting outbid for players like Brandon Morrow, Dan Haren, Ricky Nolasco and other potential starters. The Moustakas pick also kept me from a late-game Edwin Jackson, who might be a good $1 flyer, but given the K/BB requirement, Peavy seemed like the better bet. I'm happy that I was able to load up on closers who aren't in any way sexy (Lyon, Rodney) to possibly go with good vulture situations (Soriano, Chapman) and the eternal question of Nefty Feliz. At least now I'm not completely sunk if the Rangers move Feliz into the rotation; it might even be the best move for both of us. I don't think I'm the favorite to win it, but I do think we'll compete, and if we don't, we could have some major chips -- Reyes, Braun, Kinsler -- to find some more 2012 keepers. As always, it would help a lot if the DP combo can stay healthy and play to their abilities, but this could be a really good offense.

But Draft Day, when you run it, is about more than the team you wind up with. As the auctioneer and host, it's also about the food (outstanding chicken and ribs, something of a tradition for my drafts), the space (I think I've finally got a winning configuration for the space, though I'm always hoping to make it better), and the camaraderie. Like a good poker game, I had multiple volunteers staying behind to help me clean up, no real hard feelings on any pick or move, and no sense that anyone in the league wanted to be anywhere else in the world but in my space, playing in my league. I know this will make me the biggest mark in the world, but I'd rather have a good draft than a good team, and I'd rather have a good league than just about anything.

I'm still, of course, trying my best to beat their brains in, and they are, of course, trying to do the same to me. But there's no reason why we can't be friends while it happens. And if your league isn't that way, I'm sorry; it really is the only way to go.


Anonymous said...

Good luck with that Peavy pick. You'll be lucky to get 10 starts out of him this year. And that starting the year on the DL isn't going to go well.

DMtShooter said...

If the ten starts come at the end of the year and are good, I'll be more than fine with it. The Injured Ace pick worked out real well for me with Chris Carpenter a few years ago; in general, I'm OK with guys who are either hurt or good. It's healthy and crappy that kills you...

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