2013 Season Edition No. 10 April 23, 2013
If the early returns are a sign of things to come, it looks like everyone was pretty conscious of not flying 1300 miles just to embarrass themselves by drafting a weak team. It should be a competitive season. My hope as always is to have about 5 teams in it to the last couple of weeks to keep this interesting for as long as possible. Not to take anything away from the ass kicking Pussy Galore gave us last year, but there were very few races, even for individual rungs in the ladder, which made it hard to keep focused.
Thank you, Johnny, Jim and Scott for hosting and finding places for all of us stay that would rival any five star resort, and a special thanks for Scott for suggesting the great idea to bump up what already is the best day of the year to the unexpected heights of an exotic locale, with his always over-the-top accommodations, food and libations. Not only was it a success, but the girls in the concierge room are lobbying for our return next year. I’m pretty sure they are still eating leftover pizza.
We’ve come a long way from drafting in someone’s living room with a solitary magazine, a dull pencil and a couple of sheets of scratch paper. We are officially in the high tech age of iPads, iPhones and laptops that provide us up-to-the-second updates of injuries and team transactions. I have to admit it was kind of un-nerving to watch Screech studying his laptop the morning of the draft and watch as a worried look spread over his face, then lean down, grab his paperwork, erase something and obviously lower some players ranking on his sheet. I usually rely on eavesdropping for the gist of my “morning of” preparations, but he was as stoic as a patron at a North Korean comedy club.
Somehow I was able to lose a 15lb binder with all my baseball material that I had to use to camouflage my carry-on bag that wouldn’t fit in the upper compartment on the flight from Allegiant. I was warned by the suitcase Nazi stewardess, who I have no doubt would have diverted our plane to Raton, New Mexico in a heartbeat and kick me off for my non-compliance of their restrictions on anything larger than a roll of breath mints. So I know it made it off the plane. I’m pretty sure I lost it in Scott’s parking garage once we got to Phoenix. I set it down while he took our picture, dangerously close to a Lamborghini that I’m sure if I looked at long enough an alarm would sound and my photograph would be beamed across space to every police department in the country, they know the only way I would be able to obtain a car like that is with a coat hanger and a pry bar. So my best guess is that my binder is being used as a wheel chock for a Porsche or Hummer………………..somewhere in Scott’s garage.
The hot Arizona air evidently lit a fire in the Tigers’ management; it’s been a while since the Commish has poked his head above the Mendoza line and it looks like they are built to last. I left Phoenix thinking that the Monarchs, Wahoos and Redbirds had pretty salty squads. It’s early and the deck is still being shuffled so it will take another month before things start to straighten out.
I GOT MUNSONED
You know how when you’re walking in the mall and notice someone 2 or 3 stores away walking towards you and you meet eyes and realize you’re on the same path, I mean the EXACT same path. Almost like you’ve choreographed your steps ahead of time and as long as you maintain eye contact there’s nothing you can do to prevent a head-on collision? A zig here, a zag there, it doesn’t matter, your steps are perfectly mirrored and there is going to be an “excuse me” in your near future. Well, I locked eyes with Andrew McCutchen and I couldn’t shake him. No matter how many times I did the math before the draft, I was going to end up with McCutchen and I didn’t want a scrawny little over-achiever as my first pick.
So…………..I looked away. I told Denny the night before the draft I was going to take Bryce Harper. Rule No. 1 in drafting in the lower division, if you want someone you HAVE to take him at least one round before you normally would. No one was talking about Harper, which meant everyone wanted him, just not in the 1st round and there was no way he would last until the second round for me. After saying Harper’s name out loud it got Denny to thinking that he would be a great 1st round choice. He was contemplating taking Strasburg or Tulowitzki but now he was intrigued by Harper. Being the nice guy that I am, I asked him if he wanted Harper. “Sure, I’ll take Harper with my first pick.” This was late Friday night and now I’m without a plan B.
Saturday morning comes around and we go down for breakfast and everyone is sitting in different corners of the complex with lit laptop screens, turning pages, scribbling and erasing like they’re getting ready for an IRS audit and there I am without my drafting material (what the hell happened to all that stuff?) and sheer panic setting in. As the draft started everything went pretty much according to plan and as Mouse got up to write his pick, I was literally seconds from having to come up with something. Just as Mouse went past me I leaned over and asked Denny, “Are you taking him?”
“Yes,” Denny replied.
So I slid my chair back, got up and walked straight into Jar Jar Binks. Damn it!
This immediately flummoxes Dave and now he’s scrambling for his first pick. After shuffling some papers and after quickly assessing the situation, he selects Strasburg, a solid pick. Then Denny walks up to the board and spits out Tulowitzki! ……and I cough up a hairball.
Maybe it all works out, maybe Denny does something I haven’t been able to do all these years and that is to save me from myself. Tulo is having a good start, Harper is off to a great start and the Dred Pirate isn’t doing too badly. It’s a long season…………we’ll see if the Tribe’s mantra holds true.
You can’t win it in April, but I sure can’t win it in September either.
It’s hard to make any predictions, especially with the 2 elephants in the room, injuries and random strikes of luck lightning, the only thing worse than bad luck is no luck at all. We all need none of the first and a lot of the second.
Plow ahead boys, it’s a long year.