Predicted Final Standings
1. Yellowfin Tuna
2. Dahlonega Disastros (just to dodge the jinx)
3. Port-au-Prince Pirates
4. Mystery Hill
5. Oaktown Stars
7. Hog Mountain (he won't care once that kid comes along)
8. Blue Ridge Chiliheads (oh, how the mighty have fallen)
9. UCA Sig Eps
11. Georgia Clones (the hazards of gainful employment)
12. Martial Monkeys
13. DiamondCutters (per Irv's request)
I got pretty much the roster I wanted. My plan was to get a strong
rotation with my early picks and exploit the new scoring system
by finding guys who score runs and get plenty of hits without striking
out a bunch. Alex Rodriguez was a glaring exception to my strategy
of avoiding high-K hitters, but can you blame me for taking him?
Why else would I rig the draft order?
Offense: A-, a couple of injury risks at 1b, but solid elsewhere.
Pitching: A, as long as Trevor's new shoulder holds up and Clemens
doesn't re-retire midseason I should be strong here.
Best pick: Jody Gerut, round 17
Worst pick: Doug Waechter, round 26...temporarily forgot he plays for TB.
After freezing three SPs, and selecting Pedro in round 1, Clarke
apparently decided his staff was set, adding only a few rag arms
to what looks on paper to be the weakest (and perhaps the thinnest)
staff possible given Pedro's presence on it.
Offense: B, solid everywhere but catcher, where he decided to go
for quantity over quality -- and made the bizarre selection of Victor Martinez in round 11.
Pitching: C-, and only Pedro keeps this from being a D-. Take away
Pedro and Percival (and hey, injuries do happen) and this staff gets the big Freddie.
Best pick: Godzilla, round 8
Worst pick: rounds 21-25 (which were well after the 6th beer was absorbed into his bloodstream)
Having already frozen his team up the middle (c, 2b, ss) Rick was
free to grab a few superstars in the early rounds, but managed to
panic anyway and lunge after Aramis Ramirez in round 4. He indulged
his Braves fetish to the extent of reaching about 5 rounds ahead
of everyone else's ranking for J.D.I.H.S.H. Drew, who for the 7th
consecutive year is expected to put up great numbers "If He Stays
Healthy." Rick even summoned the glory days of the 1995 squad and
relieved the draft pool of Tom Glavine in round 9.
Offense: A-, the sore spots are at #3 OF and DH (and #2 OF once
IHSH gets hurt). Looks pretty good elsewhere.
Pitching: C, a good top 2, but his #3 is a #4 on his own team and
the next 3 in line were a combined 15-26 last year. And his closers are the envy of nobody.
Best pick: Desi Relaford, round 25
Worst pick: Chan Ho Park, round 15
Barry Bonds in round 1, Vlad in round 2 (albeit by freeze). Off
to a good start in the OF, Irv's strategy was to continue drafting
OF until there were none left, and to confuse the rest of the league
with selections such as Ramon Ortiz (round 4), Jason Phillips (8),
Brett Tomko (12), and Neifi Perez (19).
Offense: C-, the "under" finally paid off on the first-Griffey-injury
wagering line, Enrique Wilson appears to be Irv's starter at 2b,
while the dangerous Jason Phillips starts at 1b.
Pitching: D-, Kevin Millwood is Irv's ace. And you would assume that is the *bad* news.
Best pick: Barry Bonds, round 1
Worst pick: Ramon Ortiz, round 4, the clear frontrunner for worst pick of the entire draft.
After his 15-minute retirement from the LSFBL, Slick Willy regrouped
to put together a strong draft, aided by his newly acquired grasp
of the league rules. He focused on pitching and outfield, leaving
some potential black holes in his infield. But thanks to Victor
Zambrano, he has the early lead in the LSFBL standings and I am
wondering why he has yet to point that out to everyone.
Offense: B-, strong in the OF, but suspect at c, 1b, 2b, ss. Relying
on Johnny Estrada hasn't made anyone rich yet.
Pitching: A-, no obvious lemons in the batch, but not enough Ks
in his rotation to match up with the best in the league.
Best pick: Victor Zambrano, round 17 -- already paying dividends!
Worst pick: Craig Wilson, round 15. July 15 is my over/under date
for him becoming catcher-eligible, and that eligibility is the only
possible justification for drafting him at all.
Blue Ridge Chiliheads
The Evil Empire appears to have set out to defy the new scoring
system and amass as many batter strikeouts as possible. Sexson,
Dunn, Green, and Burrell, to join freezes Soriano and Berroa, well
I imagine we'll see lots of minus signs in Doug's daily box scores.
As usual, he was largely uninterested in drafting pitching until
just the table scraps remained.
Offense: B+, would be an A under last year's scoring system.
Pitching: C, could go up if Brown stays healthy, or down if Smoltz
gets his wish and pitches when he feels like it instead of just in save situations.
Best pick: Kyle Lohse, round 11 -- a nice scrap for that late
Worst pick: Shawn Green, round 6 -- I see no signs pointing toward a turnaround.
More than ever before, Tim H. played out his lust for Redbirds,
collecting just about every spare St. Louis part available to go
along with Renteria, Pujols and Edmonds, the nucleus of his offense.
But there is, of course, a reason why those StL pitchers are spare
parts: nobody else wants them.
Offense: A-, the only weakness is at #3 OF where he is presumably
counting on Rocco to learn the strike zone.
Pitching: C+, a very nice top two, followed by a Salvation Army
crew that contains only one or two 10-game winners. Dotel was a reach at round 5.
Best pick: Phil Nevin, round 9
Worst pick: Jae Seo, round 19 -- whoever submitted it spelled the
name correctly, so you'd think they realize he is a rag arm who
has probably lost his rotation slot.
UCA Sig Eps
Kyle's strategy seems to have been similar to Rick's -- take lots
of chances on players who will probably be either great or horrible.
With virtually no sure things in his rotation (owing in part to
the unfortunate Achilles of Mark Prior -- bwahhahaha!) Kyle's hopes
rest on luck and the bats of Delgado, Berkman and Luis Gonzalez.
Offense: B, weighted down by the presence of Reggie Sanders at #3
OF and Damian Rolls as his opening day 3b. Hillenbrand will be hard
pressed to justify a #8 pick once he becomes eligible there.
Pitching: C-, the over/under on how many of his SPs lose their jobs is currently at 4.
Best pick: Shannon Stewart, round 16 -- a likely starter ahead of
R. Sanders once Kyle starts to examine his scores.
Worst pick: Matt Clement, round 6 -- 2003 was his career year, and he was just 14-12.
The overbearingly proud defending league champions have put together
another competitive squad. Thanks to a few bonehead picks, Prof.
Luckwig will not be successfully defending his title, nor extracting
a significant amount of money from the kitty. His crush on "overrated
team leader" Derek Jeter shone through in round 3, he acquired Cubs
backup Todd Walker in round 10, and took the bait on Livan Hernandez in round 7.
Offense: B+, quantity over quality at 3b (Koskie, Alfonzo, Beltre
- bleah) and the Todd Walker debacle are his primary weaknesses.
Pitching: B-, after Schilling and Pineiro, I see nothing more than
a few potential 12 game winners.
Best pick: Johnny Damon, round 6
Worst pick: Todd Walker, round 10
This annually overrated team once again looks good on paper to start
the year, so let me take the opportunity to predict what will go
wrong this time. Instead of blossoming into the 40-HR juggernaut
many people are forecasting, Derrek Lee will become a righty version
of Adam Dunn and approach 150 Ks. Kerry Wood and Matt Morris will
both come down with arm problems by the All-Star break (given their
past and their managers, that's not really going out on much of
a limb). Hideo Nomo's new 84-mph fastball will yield an ERA in the
6's. And Arthur Rhodes will blow four saves in April and get demoted to his familiar setup role.
Offense: B-, a void at ss and whiff-machine starting OFs outside of Garret Anderson.
Pitching: B+, until Morris & Wood get shut down, at which point it will be C-.
Best pick: Ramon Castro, round 22
Worst pick: Jose Valentin, round 12 (see revised scoring system)
In a shocking coincidence, Richard followed the same exact strategy
that I did. His SPs are probably the tops in the league, unless
Big Unit has more knee problems (no signs of that this spring) or
Benitez implodes like it's the World Series.
Offense: B, strong corner IF, mediocre middle IF, average OF.
Pitching: A, the only major concerns are cited above.
Best pick: Jason Jennings, round 17 -- sophomore slump behind him,
the big Texan will ring up 15 wins. Who cares what his ERA is, this
isn't a f***ing rotisserie league!
Worst pick: Dustin Hermanson, round 22 -- not a terrible pick, but
he's really just a #5.5 starter in SF.
Jonathon was a heavy hitter in last year's draft but had his preparation
impeded this year by the fact that he is actually employed. Unable
to pore over MLB statistics from dawn to dusk, he is now reduced
to an office slave and fantasy baseball also-ran. Pity.
Offense: C+, and that's with everyone healthy. You have to figure
with a group like Piazza, (oooh, my peepee!), Dye, (doh!), Jenkins,
and (oof) Spivey he will be playing a few of his subs.
Pitching: C, but he has Schmidt (um, that sort of hurts when you
do that to my elbow), Milton, Armas, (ouch!!) Burnett, Meche (get
the trainer out here NOW)...sounds familiar, eh?
Best pick: I'm stumped. Hmm, maybe Orlando Cabrera (round 6)
Worst pick: toss-up between Garcia (7) and Claussen (18)
Our only true rookie and only female owner, so I guess I should
try and be tactful. Mary put together a respectable offense. That
is commendable given her lack of familiarity with our unique, patented
scoring system. As for her pitching staff, well frankly it sucks ass! (oops)
Offense: B-, no real warts but no real excitement either
Pitching: D+, Wagner is the saving grace that keeps this staff off academic probation.
Best pick: Khalil Greene (round 20), a likely freeze for 2005
Worst pick: Oliver Perez (round 14), a bit of a reach despite this
league's odd fascination with Pirate pitchers.