The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

My favorite time of the year has come, which is the moment right before the baseball season starts. That time to put my thinking cap on, and do some fantasy baseball drafting.

When participating in fantasy baseball drafts, my preferred drafting option is an auction draft. I like the idea of getting whoever I want, unless keeper picks are involved. You know you can’t get the top player at each position, but you will certainly try.

Snake drafts are ok, but not a fan of them anymore.  If I wanted Mike Trout and Clayton Kershaw on my team, the odds of getting either one of them on my team are slim, and there is also a strong possibility of getting neither one. In an auction draft, I can get both, and just build my team around them.

Bidding wars are fun too, especially when you’re trying to budget your winning team.  Watching Bryce Harper and Chris Sale go for big bucks, and than watching Albert Pujols and Felix Hernandez fall of the planet with low bids, you take your chances on either of those decisions, and you hope to end up for breakout seasons all around.

So how did my draft go? I like my infield and pitching staff, but my outfielders could use some help. I like Andrew Benintendi and Nomar Mazara, but Cabrera and Desmond weren’t in my plans. But someone will emerge in the free agent pool, I have to hope so.

 

Arizona Diamondbacks v Boston Red Sox

 

My draft rules were as follows,

  • $300 salary to fill starting roster of 20
  • $8 for 6 bench and 2 minor leaguers, done in snake draft style, after everyone’s starting roster are full. Everyone is $1.
  • * denotes keepers from last year’s roster, up to 6 players

 

Greg Bird NYY 1B $18
DJ LeMahieu COL 2B $16
*Xander Bogaerts BOS SS $14
*Adrian Beltre TEX 3B $6
Maikel Franco PHI CI $1
*Trevor Story COL MI $1
Buster Posey SF C $26
Ian Desmond COL OF $8
Melky Cabrera CHW OF $3
Andrew Benintendi BOS OF $18
Nomar Mazara TEX OF $3
*Corey Seager LAD-SS U $15
*Madison Bumgarner SF SP $41
*Justin Verlander DET SP $10
Chris Archer TB SP $27
Aaron Sanchez TOR SP $17
Jake Odorizzi TB SP $3
Jerad Eickhoff PHI SP $10
Mark Melancon SF RP $11
Greg Holland COL RP $1
Brent Honeywell P TB M $1
Austin Meadows OF PIT M $1
Pablo Sandoval BOS-3B B $1
Raisel Iglesias CIN-RP B $1
Steven Wright BOS-SP B $1
Josh Reddick HOU-OF B $1
Collin McHugh HOU-SP B $1
Travis Shaw MIL-3B B $1

 

madison-bumgarner-buster-posey

 

My only regret in this year’s draft was leaving $51 on the table. I do like to hold some money for players I think will get bid up in the end, but some I got at a cheap price. I thought Maikel Franco would have gone for more money, but I won’t complain about getting him for $1. Jake Odorizzi was a nice bargain too, at least in my mind.

I think I would give myself at least a grade of B for my draft, but I have a feeling I’ll be trying to squeeze for a win each week. Going to need a lot of quality starts from my pitching staff.

Either way, I’m ready for baseball, and I’ll be firing up MLB.TV while catching up on my players.

But a quick note for all you youngsters out there. If you’re new to fantasy baseball, don’t give up on any of your players in April (unless they suffer a long term injury). Players have had bad starts in a season, and turned it around by May. Don’t trade your stud players for players having a good two weeks into the season. Otherwise, have fun, no matter how long the season seems to be.

Me and Taker down by the schoolyard

So it is official. Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania 33.

taker

 

When this obvious match was announced, it didn’t even spark any type of enthusiasm for me. Maybe if Taker was 10 years younger, there would be a spark of interest. But I got nothing. I don’t care to see this match and it’s not a selling point to want give it my undivided attention.

But for some reason, as I sat at work today, this wrestling match just kept spinning around in my head. I want my own outcome for this match. I want a good finish. So reaching back into my younger comic book reading days, resorted to the age old question, What If?

The “What If” comics were cool alternative Marvel stories that changed the original story lines you were used too, and gave you a different outcome on the heroes and villains you liked. Stories like What If the X-Men died on their first mission? Or What If Wolverine had killed the Incredible Hulk?

Now that gets me to thinking, what if I was able to submit my outcome for the Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns match? I got so caught up in the idea, I have two What If outcomes. You may hate them, but hear me out.

  1. What if we’re having a decent match between the Undertaker and Roman Reigns, both bump each other, and they’re both down on the mat. Music hits, and it’s Braun Strowman coming down to the ring. He gets into the ring, squashes both of them, and proclaims that THIS is HIS yard, and continues his attack. When all said and done, drops a knocked out Taker onto a knocked out Reigns, giving Taker the win. This also keeps the feud going after Wrestlemania between Strowman and Reigns.
  1. Again, what if, decent match, everybody gets bumped, Strowman comes down to the ring, beats on Roman Reigns, as a dazed and confused Undertaker looks on. Strowman beats down Reigns enough where he’s not coming back from a Tombstone Piledriver, and Taker gets the win. Then, as Taker and Strowman are in the ring, Taker passes on the trench coat and hat to Strowman, and passes the torch to make Strowman the next Undertaker for WWE, while Mean Mark Callous retires and gives Strowman his blessing to live on the Deadman legacy. Bonus points to the WWE if they can get a vignette of Paul Bearer nodding his head on the video screen, also giving his approval. Than Strowman goes out and has his own Decade of Destruction.

Do not worry, I’m not giving up my day job, and I will definitely leave the outcomes to the professionals. But the young talent is taking over, and our heroes from the past are riding off into the sunset. They defiantly need better ways to go out than retirement matches.

So as you just got done reading this, how would you finish this match?

GOLDBERG! GOLDBERG! GOOOOLDBERG!

Congratulations are in order for the new WWE Universal Champion, Goldberg.

goldberg-copy

While I was kind of looking forward to this match, and kind of had a feeling of what the outcome of the match was going to be, I really wanted a swerve or a “Dusty Finish”. I wanted Owens to remain champion, anyway he could. But Chris Jericho spoiled it. He’s never coming off the List of KO now.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a Goldberg fan. I am also a Kevin Owens fan. I just didn’t want to see Goldberg vs. Lesnar for the title at Wrestlemania. Granted, for the biggest PPV of the year, you want all the big names at the top, and no two names are bigger right now than these two. But you take Goldberg, who will probably hold the title for 4 weeks until Wrestlemania, to face Brock, who will probably get the title, than wrestle about 4 times in 6 months.  Boring. Unless Goldberg retains the title, then we’ll get him to wrestle the 4 times in 6 months. Still boring. Seems like a waste of time on RAW’s main title.

I’m not shitting on either one of these guys. Both are great draws, and well worth the price of admission. Lot of people on Twitter are pretty upset about the title change, saying it’s not fair to Kevin Owens. While I would like to agree, I wonder to myself, if Sting was healthy, and he did this same thing, the internet would be ecstatic by the outcome.

But now we have all the buildup of Kevin Owens right after the Festival of Friendship, breaking killer promos against Goldberg, and now he’s not even in the main event of Wrestlemania. After getting squashed in 21 seconds at Fastlane, just makes me shake my head at the WWE. There has to be more for Owens. There must be more.  But what I want is not important. It’s all about what’s good for business. The Kevin Owens Show will be back. I’m sure of it.

L.A. L.A. Land

Now that my MLB TV subscription has been renewed for 2017, I find that there are going to be two voids in my baseball viewing habits. Watching David Ortiz hit some sweet homeruns, and listening to Vin Scully call Dodgers games, right before I call it the night and head to sleep.

Being in Chicago, you can watch, or listen to, about 10 – 12 hours worth of baseball in a single day, as long as the Cubs play a day game. My normal schedule would be listening to Pat Hughes calling the Cubs afternoon game while at work, getting home to watch a Red Sox game around 6pm, and sometime before bed, catch a Dodgers game with Vin Scully to end the night.

While catching Vin in the twilight of his broadcasting career, he was one of the last broadcasters to call a game alone. While calling the play by play of all his games, he would also include a story from the past or some off the wall quip about a certain player in the game. I actually didn’t mind any of these stories. To me, it was listening to my adopted “baseball” grandfather telling me bedtime stories, and I would fall asleep without a care in the world. Whether it was about Sandy Koufax, Fernando Venezuela, or a member of my ginger brigade, Justin Turner, you had to like each Dodger player just a little bit, after the odd facts you would learn about them. Otherwise, if there was a Clayton Kershaw vs. Madison Bumgarner pitching duel on, there were no time for stories, but we stayed awake a little longer that night to see which of these pitching studs would outlast the other.

In light of all that, now that Vin Scully has retired, it’s time to make a call to the bullpen, to see who takes over my late night baseball viewing needs. I can watch Quick Pitch on MLB Network with Heidi Watney. It’s only an hour, and Heidi has some great baseball knowledge. I can watch the San Diego Padres games with Don Orsillo, as he was part of a great broadcast them with Jerry Remy, when he was with the Red Sox. Or, the best thing to do, wait it out, watch some West Coast baseball and learn from Ray Fosse, the Kuiper brothers, Mike Krukow, and Victor Rojas.

Maybe to slightly fill the void, I’ll have to get a bobblehead of Vin, and place him on my desk, while we watch games together.  Late night games without Vin won’t be the same, and they will also never be forgotten.

papivin

 

Twitter @bringrofchurros