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




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.


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.



Twitter @bringrofchurros