My Annual Spring Ritual

Every March, I dig out my winter coat, hop on a plane, and head for northern Maine, to participate in a fantasy baseball draft in what has to be one of the longest-running leagues anywhere - 27 years and counting. These guys are hard-core, the league is tough and the baseball knowledge runs high. We track 8 categories: HR, RBI, AVG and STL for hitters; ERA, WHIP, Wins and Saves for pitchers. It's an auction league, and you can retain players from the previous year if you ended up getting a good bargain out of them. We draft National League ONLY, thank you very much, with 11 teams each filling their rosters with 15 hitters and 10 pitchers for a budget of $280.

The ability to retain players from last year with low contracts often creates "inflation" early in the draft, and those dollars get spent like crazy (Pujols went for $58) Fantasy baseball auctions are serious clinics in not only sports knowledge, but bluffing, human behavior and economics. They never turn out how you plan them. Some of you might be interested in this sort of thing, so here is how I did (names in italics were retained from the previous year):

 

C: Miguel Montero $15

C: George Kottaras $1

1B: Joey Votto $40

3B: David Wright: $35

CI: Freddie Freeman $10

SS: Jimmy Rollins $25

2B: Bill Hall $10

MI: Ian Desmond $8

OF: Carlos Beltran $16

OF: Tyler Colvin $1

OF: Alfonso Soriano $16

OF: Nate McLouth $10

OF: Kosuke Fukudome $5

UT: Brandon Allen $1

UT: Matt Diaz $1

P: Chad Billingsly $21

P: Aaron Harang $3

P: Tim Stauffer $3

P: Hiroki Kuroda $14

P: Travis Wood $10

P: Wade LeBlanc $1

RP: Kenley Jansen 3$

RP: Brandon Lyon $9

RP: Jason Motte $3

RP: Francisco "The Domestic Violator" Rodriguez $21

 

Too many Padres starters (though there are worse parks to pitch in) and an outfield that relies on Soriano, Beltran and McLouth to deliver more than what I paid them, but aIl in all I'm pretty pleased. Super cheap pieces like 1$ Tyler Colvin or one of the $3 closers-in-waiting I have can later be traded to teams out of contention, who are building for next year, for current stars.

There, that was therapeutic.