It was another great time at the Draft last Saturday, notwithstanding the post-Draft grousing about the amount of time that it took to pick our teams. You just canít rush the funnest day of the year, boys, even if things did seem to drag on a bit this time around.
Anyhow, it was once again a gas, and thanks to all of you for taking the time to gather together for our annual ceremony. It was a ripping good time.
WAITING TO EXHALE
And now the moment that you have all been holding your breath for all week long, Skipperís annual analysis of the Hot Stove League Draft. Drum roll, please. Now presenting, the one, the only,
SKIPPERíS PICKS ĎNí PANS
Left side of infield, relief pitching.
Flaccid outfield, weak on right side of infield.
The Octagon Man in the 9th.
Drafting a crippled Numero Uno.
POF: 6th -- Itchieís squad drops faster than his credit rating.
S: Spectacular starting pitching.
W: Second and third base.
BP: Believe it or not, the Big Hurt in the 14th might prove to be a stroke of genius.
WB: Itís About Schmidt (Round 6).
POF: 1st -- Magpie shakes off the also-run designation and wins his first HSL crown since 1993.
S: First base is golden with Thome and Delgado.
W: Rest of infield sucks.
BP: Delgado in the 5th was a steal. Look for a huge year from Carlos.
WB: Passing on Todd Helton in the 1st. The Senators will ride his bat to a money finish.
POF: 5th -- The Wahoos take a hit in í03.
S: Superlative infield.
W: OF. If Trot Nixon makes your starting outfield, youíve got big trouble, my friend, big trouble.
BP: Taking Godzilla in the 9th should prove to be a major bargain.
WB: Taking I-Rod in the 4th was a waste of time. The hot Florida sun will not be good for him.
POF: 4th -- No need for a new asterisk.
S: Killer pitching staff, both starting and relief.
W: Middle infield is average if not subpar.
BP: Maddux in the 4th. The Cy guy has one more outstanding year in him.
WB: Sosa without steroids is like Abbott without Costello.
POF: 2nd -- The Chiefs threaten to take it all in 2003, completing their epic return to glory, but fall just short of the Reds.
S: The right field tandem of Guerrero and Ordonez may be one of the best of all time.
W: Thin, thin, thin up the middle, susceptible to injury at starting pitching.
BP: Magglio in the 3rd round is a great pick, as he continues his steady climb to HOF status.
WB: Taking Johnny Damon in the 5th was real early, as I suspect he would have lasted until Round 10 or 11.
POF: 7th -- Mouse is finally figuring this thing out, and he once again has picked a team that is solid and could actually advance in the standings if adroitly managed during the season. Therein lies the rub.
S: OF is tops in the league, particularly if Junior has any comeback at all.
W: Hard for my unbiased eyes to see any, but for the sake of argument, letís acknowledge that second base and catcher are not exactly rock solid.
BP: Torn between Griffey in the 6th and Kevin Brown in the 9th. Time will definitely tell on this issue.
WB: Only taking one starting pitcher in the first six rounds.
POF: 3rd -- The Senators climb their way back to respectability.
S: Rock solid outfield with Bonds, Erstad and Suzuki.
W: Starting pitching is questionable.
BP: Konerko in the 8th was a steal.
WB: Taking back-to-back closers in Rounds 6 and 7 makes a mockery of this league.
POF: 8th -- Our resident zen Master stays put in 8th place.
S: Better than average starting pitching.
W: Lame picks at shortstop and first base.
BP: If healthy, Rolen in the 3rd will be outstanding.
WB: Oswalt in the 1st proves to be Buserís bane.
POF: 10th -- not a terrible team, but not going anywhere this season. B.T.ís ten-year bet is safe.
S: Stellar left field with Giles and Garrett Anderson, solid in right with Shecky Green and Kareem Garcia.
W: Not much depth at starting pitching after Zito, painfully lacking left side of infield.
BP: Garrett Anderson in the 7th was very smart.
WB: Not taking a second pitcher until Round 8 after opening with Zito.
POF: 11th -- Sorry, U-Bob. I guess itís not your year. Thanks again for the T-shirt.
S: Splendid outfield, solid starting pitching.
W: Nothing very impressive about this infield
BP: Fonzie in the 9th or Brad Radke in the 14th.
WB: Prior would have waited until Round 3, at least. But hey, you wanted him, and you got him.
POF: 9th -- Pirates move up two spots, minimum.
S: Keystone combination of Kent and Jeter.
W: Pitching will again be Big Guyís ruination.
BP: Gonzo in the 7th is way good.
WB: F-Rod in the 6th over Octavio? Why?
POF: DAL -- Sorry, Big Guy. But hey, Iíve been wrong before.
Good luck to everyone and have a great season.
 Dead-ass last.
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