Published on March 26th, 2012 | by Thompson0
One Game, One Ball, and One Wild Party
My friend, The Preacher, who you may recall from articles like We’re Not Going Anywhere! and Mississippi Awakens: For Now a Woman has More Rights than a Fertilized Egg, is also a tortured Twins fan like myself and has been jonesin’ for some fantasy baseball – as have I. He plays in about three leagues a year, and I haven’t played since high school, but I’ve never stopped betting on the game and have always been confident in my abilities to run a fantasy team. It just takes a lot of time. Now, I have nothing but time…and a worthy adversary.
I started contacting friends who I knew would play, and had a league, “Losers Buy a Ball,” all set up and ready to go for six players, but it took too long for all our friends to join the league. The Preacher and I wasted time doing mock drafts and editing our player rankings, but we just couldn’t wait anymore.
The idea evolved from a bet I had wagered with The Preacher in our original league “Losers Buy a Ball.” The Preacher was fed up and texted, “Check your email.” There I found an invite to a league called, “One game, one ball, and a lot of whiskey,” consisting of six teams divided into three leagues. The Preacher suggested we run three teams each and the loser in each league would have to pay for party amenities. I joined the league and we launched our draft. It was a complete failure. Using ESPN‘s Draft Software, we had to have a separate window opened for each team we controlled. It was a pain in the ass. My network isn’t the quickest and my computer isn’t much better. We abandoned the league and The Preacher started from scratch, though the rough draft was a valuable learning experience.
Minutes later I received an email to join a league called, “THE REAl DEAL.” I joined as quickly as I could. We got the last available draft time and started the draft, but problems persisted. I tried a computer with a wired internet connection, but it was slower than my laptop. Luckily, The Preacher had learned how to pause the draft and we were saved. I loaded the Draft Lite Software this time and we resumed what I’d like to think, given the parties involved and design of the league, was the most epic fantasy baseball draft ever.
“The first 10 rounds were intense,” The Preacher later texted. I was nervous for the majority of the draft. The mock draft we had done earlier gave me some hints on The Preacher’s strategy, and I’m sure he picked up a thing or two on me. I had a guide of where I wanted to draft certain people, but I made it for the other league, “Losers Buy a Ball.” It wasn’t useless, though. I managed to do most of what I intended. What follows is a list of what I think were some of the most interesting picks in the draft.
(1) Team Preacher - Albert Pujols 1B (2) Team Preacher - Miguel Cabrera 1B (3) Team Thompson - Troy Tulowitzki SS (4) Team Thompson - Jose Bautista 3B (5) Team Preacher - Matt Kemp CF (6) Team Thompson - Ryan Braun LF (7) Team Thompson - Robinson Cano 2B (8) Team Preacher - Adrian Gonzalez 1B (9) Team Thompson - Jacoby Ellsbury CF (10) Team Thompson - Roy Halladay SP (11) Team Preacher - Joey Votto 1B (12) Team Preacher - Hanley Ramirez SS (13) Team Preacher - Justin Upton RF (14) Team Preacher - Evan Longoria 3B (15) Team Thompson - Carlos Gonzalez LF (16) Team Thompson - Prince Fielder 1B (17) Team Preacher - Dustin Pedroia 2B (18) Team Thompson - Jose Reyes SS (19) Team Thompson - Justin Verlander SP (20) Team Preacher - Clayton Kershaw SP (21) Team Thompson - Ian Kinsler 2B (22) Team Thompson - Curtis Granderson CF (23) Team Preacher - Cliff Lee SP (24) Team Preacher - Mark Teixeira 1B (25) Team Preacher - Adrian Beltre 3B (26) Team Preacher - Giancarlo Stanton RF (27) Team Thompson - Felix Hernandez SP (28) Team Thompson - Andrew McCutchen CF (29) Team Preacher - David Wright 3B (30) Team Thompson - Joe Mauer C (31) Team Thompson - Jered Weaver SP (36) Team Preacher - Dan Haren SP (37) Team Preacher - Paul Konerko 1B (40) Team Thompson - Cole Hamels SP (41) Team Preacher - CC Sabathia SP (42) Team Thompson - Josh Hamilton LF (45) Team Thompson - Eric Hosmer 1B (46) Team Thompson - Zack Greinke SP (50) Team Preacher - Nelson Cruz RF (52) Team Thompson - David Price SP (53) Team Preacher - Jimmy Rollins SS (55) Team Thompson - Lance Berkman 1B (56) Team Preacher - Alex Rodriguez 3B (57) Team Thompson - Elvis Andrus SS (63) Team Thompson - Alex Gordon LF (64) Team Thompson - C.J. Wilson SP (65) Team Preacher - David Ortiz DH (68) Team Preacher - Stephen Strasburg SP (70) Team Thompson - Carl Crawford LF (72) Team Preacher - Ian Kennedy SP (73) Team Preacher - Mariano Rivera RP (74) Team Preacher - Ricky Romero SP (75) Team Thompson - Madison Bumgarner SP (78) Team Thompson - Aramis Ramirez 3B (80) Team Preacher - Jonathan Papelbon RP (81) Team Thompson - B.J. Upton CF (82) Team Thompson - Michael Cuddyer 1B (84) Team Preacher - Shin-Soo Choo RF (85) Team Preacher - Jayson Werth RF (88) Team Thompson - Drew Storen RP (92) Team Preacher - Jason Heyward RF (93) Team Thompson - Michael Young 1B (96) Team Preacher - Matt Garza SP (98) Team Preacher - Josh Beckett SP (99) Team Thompson - J.J. Hardy SS (100) Team Thompson - Ichiro Suzuki RF (101) Team Preacher - Chris Young CF (103) Team Thompson - Billy Butler DH (104) Team Preacher - Howard Kendrick 2B (105) Team Thompson - Adam Wainwright SP (111) Team Thompson - Michael Pineda SP (112) Team Thompson - Derek Jeter SS (113) Team Preacher - Drew Stubbs CF (120) Team Preacher - Josh Willingham LF (121) Team Preacher - Cameron Maybin CF (122) Team Preacher - Jeff Francoeur RF (124) Team Thompson - Alex Avila C (125) Team Preacher - Jeremy Hellickson SP (126) Team Thompson - Justin Morneau 1B (127) Team Thompson - Miguel Montero C (128) Team Preacher - Ervin Santana SP (130) Team Thompson - Chase Utley 2B (133) Team Preacher - Mark Reynolds 3B (134) Team Preacher - Doug Fister SP (135) Team Thompson - Yu Darvish SP (136) Team Thompson - Buster Posey C (137) Team Preacher - Ike Davis 1B (138) Team Thompson - Erick Aybar SS (139) Team Thompson - Brandon Beachy SP (142) Team Thompson - Carlos Beltran RF (144) Team Preacher - Brandon Belt 1B (145) Team Preacher - Jason Kubel RF (150) Team Thompson - R.A. Dickey SP
I was happy to get Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau on the same team, and was thrilled where I picked them up with Mauer at pick #30 and Morneau at pick #126. I don’t have a problem drafting against the ESPN rankings. These boys are two of the best in the business when healthy, and I was sure to draft plenty of insurance. My favorite pick is Lance Berkman at #55 because he can fill in for Morneau at first or play outfield. I was worried that The Preacher would steal the third piece of my holy trinity, and I was right as he drafted my boy, Josh Willingham at #124, which made me jump on Morneau at #126 before The Preacher had any bright ideas. Below are our rosters minus Torii Hunter on Minnesota M and M Boys, who I claimed after the draft to replace Corey Hart.
After the draft, The Preacher started the final touches on “THE REAl DEAL” league. The “Game” Division decides who pays for tickets to a baseball game later in the season. The “Snow” Division decides who buys the snow. The “Blow” Division decides who buys the whiskey. There’s a ton of fun to be had playing fantasy baseball, and apparently, there’s going to be plenty of fun had by the winner and the loser of “THE REAl DEAL.”
Minnesota M and M Boys (Snow Division)
Colorado Snow (Blow Division)
Whitney Houston (Game Division)
The Preacher’s Teams
Charlie Sheen (Snow Division)
Malibu Messiah (Game Division)
David Damn (Blow Division)