I don't talk a lot about my fantasy baseball team here ... check previous years if you don't believe me ... so you needn't fear this will become a blog devoted to that topic. In my day I was pretty obsessive, including many years helping to run [how's that, Eggs?] leagues on CompuServe and a few years writing for fantasy tout John Benson. But nowadays I mostly just pick an ESPN team and leave it at that. This year, in honor of all the great movies I've been watching courtesy of Steve Fore's kind xmas gift set, I named our league Miyazaki, and half of our league's ten teams have gotten into the spirit by naming their teams with Miyazaki-related monikers. I've even changed my time-honored name for one year only ... this year, it's the Ghibli Begonias. As always, I don't think I can link directly to our league, but I'll try nonetheless (also as always). Try here.
So here's my team as of the initial draft ... this will change before opening day, but this is where I start. Ten teams, AL-only, standard pitching categories, but the hitting categories are Runs, RBI, OBP and SLG. 25-man rosters, three of them "bench" slots.
SP: Matt Clement, Kevin Brown, Bobby Madritch, Nate Robertson
RP: Eddie Guardado, Miguel Batista, Tom Gordon, Juan Cruz, Kiki Calero
C: John Buck, Rod Barajas
1B: Paul Konerko, Rafael Palmeiro
2B: Ron Belliard, Keith Ginter
3B: Eric Chavez, Robb Quinlan
SS: Edgar Renteria, Ramon Martinez
OF: Shannon Stewart, Johnny Damon, Trot Nixon, Terence Long, Jay Payton, Alexis Rios
Biggest surprise is probably Matt Clement. This league is a draft off of pre-ordered lists, done by position. For starting pitchers, I had the third pick ... gone were Johan Santana and Randy Johnson. That left a lot of studs ... just to list guys who went in the first round, I could have had Schilling, Halladay, Pavano, Radke, Mussina, Harden, or Buehrle. But I had Matt Clement above all those guys on my list, so that's who I got. For the life of me, I can't remember why I had him ranked so high, but oh well.
I've made my fantasy living on saves, going back to my very first team in 1987, when I got Dennis Eckersley for $6 and kept him around for the next bazillion years. Last year I rode Francisco Cordero to a 3rd-place finish. This year? Guardado's an injury risk and Batista's just as likely to go back to the rotation as to remain the closer, but oh well.
The biggest surprise for the whole league is probably that no one picked Darin Erstad. That means ten owners ... the ones I know are sharp, most of the others have good resumes ... ten owners chose 20 other guys and left Erstad stranded. I even chose Palmeiro over Erstad, and I admit I'm not sure why. The last 1B picked was Ken Harvey, who got sent to the minors, and don't you suppose Erstad's a better pick? But oh well.
Here are the first and last guys picked at each position, and then I'll shut up for the rest of the year, or close to it. We chose five SP, four RP, and two of everything else. I had first pick for CF ... each owner gets first pick on one position, randomly assigned:
SP: Johan Santana (1st pick) / Kyle Lohse (last pick)
RP: Mariano Rivera / Felix Rodriguez
C: Victor Martinez / Sandy Alomar
1B: Mark Teixeira / Ken Harvey
2B: Mark Bellhorn / Jose Hernandez
3B: Alex Rodriguez / Eric Munson
SS: Miguel Tejada / Aaron Hill
LF: Manny Ramirez / Charles Thomas
CF: Johnny Damon / Jay Payton
RF: Vladimir Guerrero / Gary Matthews Jr