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Friday 19th Jan 2018

Drafts are, in the Dickensian sense, "the best of times and the worst of times." Even mock drafts trigger the best and worst within us to a degree. Early this season during an online mock, someone commented that his queue was having technical problems and asked if anyone else was experiencing anything. I replied, "I am having major queue issues: every time I drop a player into mine, he gets taken."

In the coming week, I have three more mocks coming up, peppered in with that are an MLB.com 12-team slow mock draft, my Strat-O-Matic MW League rookie and supplemental drafts, and the Baseball Prospectus Rookie Draft, the latter of which are handled online, two of them via e-mail.

Mind you, I am not one to knock drafting, and whereas I do try to keep the actual number of leagues in which I play down to a reasonable number (I think it is six), I will mock all over, all of the time.

Where things get dicey is in remembering which draft is where and what might have a clock and where the wish list for Strat--which features players who had never appeared in a Major League game and where i coveted Chris Devenski--is different than MLB.com (where I picked first, took Mike Trout, and then waited for three days before I made my next pick), to the Rookie League where I did pick at the wheel, and was happy to grab Josh Hader and Gleyber Torres with my first picks Friday afternoon. Sometime tomorrow, I might be able to make my next Rookie picks, and maybe the day after will be Strat and MLB time.

In the meantime, there will be a mock tomorrow night, and well, I have a couple of rounds of golf scheduled during the week, and my band has a gig at The Bistro in Hayward Friday, so that means extra practice.

And, though the drafts are slowish--which is fine with me--there are indeed always those guys who get antsy if a pick is slow, but equally difficult is both waiting out the other selections as you hope no one notices that despite Daniel Mengden's surface numbers (2-9, 6.50), he is just shy of 24, did strike out 71 over 72 big league innings during his first exposure to the Show, and really had excellent minor league totals. So, in Strat-land, that is a guy who will eat some innings this year, and could be really good in a year or two.

So, between my #116 selection and my next pick at #132, I regularly checked my e-mail and pushes to make sure the Athletics hurler fell, and I did draft Mengden, but this strikes me as an almost obsessive amount of attention for such a presently insignificant player. But, hey, Daniel could be really good in a year or two.

In fact, in the Strat draft, I had swapped my first-round pick, so I didn't even get a selection until player #51, and as fate would have it, that pick came up right in the middle of the FSTA Mixed Draft in which Todd and I participated. Complicating matters, Todd is also in the league, so as long as I am picking ahead of him--or vice versa--we can discuss projected picks. But, carefully.

Well, I had my eyes on Jett Bandy, whom i knew would turn out to be a good defensive player in Strat, at that point since all the players I dreamed might fall, like Tyler Naquin and Devenski, were long gone. And, depending upon team need, no one is safe.

Bandy did in fact come to me right around the time Z and I picked Yoenis Cespedes in the FSTA.

A couple of days later, as we left Nashville and the FSTA festivities, I discovered I had the first pick in the MLB draft on my way to the airport, as I sweated out the potential Strat selection of Brian Flynn, and knew that five Rookie picks had been made.

The issue was I was getting on a plane, and I don't really like to pay for WiFi on a plane, so I hoped picks, slow or not, would not fall to me at some inopportune time.

I was able to grab Trout in the airport, but when the plane touched down as part of our layover in San Diego, it was my pick but my laptop was out of juice and I couldn't remember how to get into my Strat league on my iPhone. So, I sent an e-mail to the league saying if permitted, my pick was Flynn, and that I was at the whim of a dead computer and obscure password. 

A couple of hours later, Diane and I were home and I logged in to see that the league gave me Flynn, and it was my turn to go in the Rookie league, and I got my guys.

So, in the end, things worked out well, despite all the clock watching and sweating. And, I don't think of these neuroses as odd, just "focused." However, it does make me wonder what I might accomplish if I really "focused" on something important?

Hit me up @lawrmichaels. 

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