2011 Season

Edition No. 6

March 31, 2011







As always, our annual Draft on Friday night as an absolute gas, the funnest day of the year, sans exception. 


This was our 27th Hot Stove League Draft, and if I’m not mistaken, the 25th Draft that has taken place at our law firm.  Parenthetically, one of these days I will drag out and dust off the league archives, and provide a few priceless memories from the early years of the Draft.


Before embarking upon my annual assessment of the Draft, I want to be sure to thank all of those individuals who helped make it not only possible, but thoroughly enjoyable:  Jim Ed and B.T., for lining up, picking up and paying for the delicious eats from Big Fred’s and elsewhere; Screech, Underbelly, Stretch, Mouse and anyone else who brought along liquid refreshments (not that these are important or even necessary); Big Guy, for wearing his Commissioner’s hat and keeping us on track and on task, and for taking the time to submit each and every one of our 390 drafted players; Linda, our Webmaster Extraordinaire, for preparing our Draft materials and everything else she does to help facilitate our fun; Tirebiter, for lining up the War Room and making sure we had basketball for Stretch and hockey for Tricko; Possum, for bringing his wooden bat and keeping us all alert with his shrieks, howls, yells, animal screams and other bizarre behavior; Shamu, for participating long distance as he drove to the aid of his ailing father; and to all of the rest of us, for showing up, bringing money to square up on past wagers, and for being an integral part of the best fantasy league in the world!  It takes each and every one of us to make it the BEST DAY OF THE YEAR!


Thanks, also, to all of you for agreeing to move the Draft to Friday night, which turned out to be a pretty popular decision anyway.




Since Possum has already taken care of assessing all of the teams in his Message Board blog, I will refrain from giving you all my annual “Skipper’s Picks ‘N’ Pans,” but I can’t resist predicting the order of finishes and making at least a few comments on this year’s Draft. 



POF:  8

Pulled a Mama Cass by taking Tulo over Prince Albert in Round 1.  Mitigated the blunder somewhat by getting Holliday in the 3rd.  Picked “Man Crush” players way too many times (and said “Man Crush” way too many times).  A decent team, but not a championship team. 



POF:  6

Love that infield, hate that outfield.  Starting pitching as suspect as one of Itchie’s customer promises.  BT’s weakest Draft in several years.  Don’t quit your day job, Scott.  Oh, that’s right, you don’t have a day job. 



POF:  3

Best team ever picked from a moving vehicle.  Who was in the car with you, Shamu, Harold Reynolds and Buster Olney?  What a team!  Older than dirt, but what great dirt.  Pure Missouri River basin soil.  A definite contender. 



POF:  2

Made a mockery of the league by picking first sackers Cabrera & Teixeira (sounds like a Tex-Mex singing duo) One Two.  Dominating infield, strong outfield, respectable pitching.  A force to be reckoned with, I reckon.  Sure to be in the race, but not strong enough to displace one team.



POF:  9

Votto will disappoint as the reigning MVP.  Starting pitching will be throwing way too many balls in the hitters’ haven known as The Ballpark at Arlington.  Sorry, Mitch, looks like you spit the bit this year.  Too much attention to Mavs hockey?



POF:  11

Love Robinson Cano.  Yankee Stadium was made for him.  Zimm in the 2nd is just fine.  Posey in the 3rd, nice player, tad early.  Beyond that, vomitus extremus.  Could be a rough season for the Birds.  Sorry, Jim Ed.  At least you are a damn fine lawyer‒‒or at least that’s what you tell everyone!



POF:  7

Cargo in the 1st, King Felix in the 2nd, Mauer in the 3rd, Greinke in the 4th, Kinsler in the 5th.  May be the best in the league, 1 through 5.  Could be the year of the Bengal.  Or not. 



POF:  5

Fighting Denny Bontrager did himself proud this year.  Top pitcher in Halladay, stud-dog Howard in the 2nd, JaHey in the 3rd, young studs everywhere.  A promising bunch.  Well done, SloPay.  Well done. 



POF:  12

Itchie loves the Chosen People, drafting Braunie in the 1st.  After that, forgettable.  This sorry bunch won’t get a sniff.  Foster, you better focus on your fantasy jai-alai league this year.  Practice saying it:  penultimate.



POF:  10

A pitching staff for the ages.  Trouble is, this league is all about hitting, and other than A-Gonz, this team is hitting on no cylinders.  Gonna be a long season for the long-suffering Tribe.  Lots of reservations on this Reservation. 



POF:  4

With a starting infield of ARod, Dunn, Uggla and Reynolds, this team might have more power than the ’27 Yankees.  If properly managed, the team has the potential to vault Mouse to his first HSL Crown.  I repeat:  If properly managed. 



POF:  13

McJester has a pitching staff which could be tops in the league.  The infield has more question marks than the Riddler, however, and so Stretch has his work cut out for him.  Look for a lower finish in the Lower Division for the Elongated, Plumed One.  Sorry, Jon, it says here that this team is destined for the league bowels. 



POF:  1

What can I say, a great team.  With any luck at all, Skipper’s looking at a fifth HSL Crown.  Like taking candy from a dumb baby, baby! 



That’s it for this year, men.  Good luck to each and every one of your teams.  Now, let’s