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Sunday 17th Dec 2017

Get over it! That’s what I try to tell myself throughout the season whenever my mind wanders to the subject of draft day mistakes. But I can’t help it. Now listen, my Mixed Auction Tout Wars squad is doing quite well, residing in the top-4 of the standings for the vast majority of the year, thanks in large part to a handful of high-profit auction purchases, including Nelson Cruz ($10), Alcides Escobar ($3) and Denard Span ($1). That said, the goal shouldn’t be to finish in fourth place. I can do better than that. As a former New York Jets head coach once said, “You play to win the game.” Second guessing yourself is a lot tougher in auction leagues, as a player’s final price tag in the event that you had raised the bid will forever remain a mystery. Also, a lot depends on when in the proceedings a certain player was nominated.  But here are five decisions that I wish I could have back. Note that in all of these instances, I had the two players valued similarly. Oh, and I would have saved money too.

Drafting Ryan Braun ($38) instead of Giancarlo Stanton ($26)

Both Braun and Stanton carried some risk, but I figured that Braun, despite the PED situation, was a wiser choice than Stanton, who was coming off two straight injury-marred seasons and would suffer from a lack of lineup protection. Well, the Marlins offense ranks 4th in the NL in runs scored and Stanton leads the Senior Circuit in home runs (20) and RBI (57). Braun has been OK, but he’s performing more like a $15 player, on pace to finish the year with 21 homers and 83 RBI. Both of those numbers would represent career-lows over a full season.

Drafting Chase Headley ($15) instead of Brett Lawrie ($13)

Lawrie has yet to live up to the once lofty expectations, and he sports a meager .244 batting average through 68 games this season. But the Blue Jays third sacker has finally managed to stay off the DL, and if he can keep up his current pace, we’re looking at a 26 HR, 81 RBI campaign. Meanwhile, Headley has been an absolute nightmare (.283 OBP, 6 HR, 23 RBI through 56 games). I didn’t expect a 2012 repeat, but I certainly didn’t expect this.

Drafting Chris Carter ($10) instead of Michael Morse ($2)

I had a good feeling about Morse this year, though injuries have been a recurring issue for him throughout his career. But for some reason, I opted to drink the Carter kool-aid, figuring that he was younger and possessed legitimate 40 HR upside. Plus, he does walk a bit, so his woeful batting average would not be as detrimental in an OBP league. So let’s see. Heading into Saturday’s games, Morse has hit the same number of homers as Carter but has collected 14 more RBI and sports an OBP that is 70 points higher. Carter is someone who I will never own again. The 13 home runs are nice, but he’s too much of a liability in every other category.

Drafting Wilson Ramos ($14) instead of Evan Gattis ($11)

This one is a little unfair, as injuries have limited Ramos to 24 games this season. But the reality is that I was fully aware of his injury history when I made him my #1 backstop but still paid full price for him, hoping that 2014 would be the long-awaited 25-plus HR campaign. Unfortunately, this guy just cannot stay on the field. I was skeptical about Gattis’ chances of repeating his breakout 2013 season. Not only is he repeating it, but he’s been even better in 2014.

Drafting Gio Gonzalez ($16) instead of Masahiro Tanaka ($13)

Talk about unfair, no one knew exactly what to expect from Tanaka in his inaugural big league season. But even the most optimistic Tanaka supporters would not have believed that in late-June, he would be by far the leading candidate to capture the AL Cy Young Award. I’ve always been a fan of Gio, but his inconsistency this year has caught me by surprise. Maybe he will find his groove now that he has hopefully shaken off the rust from his DL stint. Still, it’s kind of depressing to wonder what could have been if I had chosen to embrace the unknown of Tanaka rather than avoid it.

On the bright side, each of my 14 league mates are probably wondering the same thing.

But by now, they have probably gotten over it.

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