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Rotisserie Duck


The Littlefield Effect PDF Print E-mail
Rotisserie Duck
Written by Don Drooker   
Friday, 11 April 2014 00:00

John Littlefield is now 60 years of age, but his name still resonates with baseball card collectors and Rotisserie League Baseball team owners. He only spent two seasons in the major leagues but what wouldn't the rest of us give to always be known as "a former big league pitcher"?

The baseball card connection is easy to explain, as Littlefield played in the early 80's when the card industry exploded with new manufacturers. The Topps company had a virtual monopoly on baseball cards from 1956-1980 but in 1981, licenses were given to both Donruss and Fleer and despite the competition, all three companies were guilty of less than acceptable quality control of their products. There were numerous examples all through the 1980's of mistakes, misprints, corrections and embarrassments. The most infamous incident involved the now legendary 1989 Fleer Bill Ripken card that was distributed with a picture of the player holding a bat that had an obscenity written on the bottom of the barrel. Fleer tried to correct the card quickly but never really got it right, producing a total of five different versions.

Littlefield's card legacy was early in the cycle, as his 1982 Fleer card was originally distributed with a reverse negative of the picture, turning the 27-year-old right-hander into a southpaw. Fleer corrected the card, thus making the original a very scarce item. Even today, the corrected version is a "common" card worth about a nickel, while the difficult-to-find "error" card will set you back about $45.

Littlefield's enduring legacy to Fantasy Baseball comes from the original 1984 "Rotisserie League Baseball" book that started this amazing hobby played by millions of fans. As the founding fathers of the game had actually started playing a form of the game in 1981, they shared many stories of the fun, camaraderie and strategy they had experienced in those early years. A segment of the book talked about "The Littlefield Effect", an interesting factor that impacted the value of players at their first few drafts. While the early 80's isn't really that long ago, it was long before the digital age of affordable PC's, the Internet and instant information. The Roto inventors decided that the best time to have the player draft was on the weekend following opening day in order to have reasonably valid information about the official MLB 25-man rosters. After all, stats were only published weekly in the USA Today and league standings were always at least a week behind the actual games.

The timing of the draft, however, led to 4-5 games being played prior to the auction/player selection and box scores were readily available in daily newspapers. Could a few games really have a major impact on the value of a player in a 162-game season? John Littlefield answered that question in 1981. In 1980, he had a very productive rookie campaign with the Cardinals, appearing in 52 games with a 3.14 ERA, five wins and nine saves. In December, the Cards made an 11-player trade with the Padres and Littlefield headed west. To say that the '81 Padres were terrible would be a compliment. In the strike-interrupted 110-game season, they went 41-69 and the entire team only hit 32 home runs. Ozzie Smith was the shortstop and despite leading the NL in At-Bats, he hit .222 with no homers and 22 RBI.

The Padres opened the year in San Francisco and Littlefield saved the 4-1, 12-inning win. The next day, he registered another save in a 4-2 victory. So, by the time the Rotisserie owners showed up for the draft, it seemed logical that the Padres had anointed him as their closer. With saves being one of only four statistical pitching categories in the standings, his auction price ended up being $34, equal to 13% of the total 23-player budget of the winning bidder. As you might guess, the remainder of the 1981 season was very forgettable for Littlefield, as he suffered two losses and a blown save later in April and was replaced as the closer by a pitcher named Gary Lucas. He pitched in 14 games at Triple-A Syracuse in 1982 with an ERA of 7.49 and his career was over at age 28.

For those of us who still play "old-school" Rotisserie Baseball and draft our teams on the Saturday following opening day, we also have memorable "effects" of our own. One of the classics was in 1994, when a Cubs outfielder named Karl "Tuffy" Rhodes hit three home runs on opening day. Even though he had never played more than 50 games in any major league season, his price on draft day was $22. He ended up with eight homers for the season and never hit another one in his career.

This past weekend, we gathered for the 31st annual draft of our original Rotisserie league from 1984, and the Littlefield effect was still floating around the room. Using projections from a highly-respected fantasy site, let's see how things played out at the table. As this is a keeper league, we'll assume that there could be an inflation factor of 20% added to the 4x4 projections.

> The most obvious example for 2014 is Emilio Bonifacio, who tore up box scores the first few days of the season. Despite being released by the Royals after last season and not really having a full-time job with the Cubs, his production couldn't be ignored. The projection was $7, so he might have been worth $10 with inflation...final price at the table - $20.

> A plethora of pundits talked about the power potential of Mark Trumbo playing in Chase Field, and he didn't disappoint in the early games. His projection was $18, so $22 might have been the range...final price was $34.

> Charlie Blackmon's 6-hit game the day before the draft changed him from an end-game flyer to an $11 investment.

> The effect also can work in the opposite direction. Cliff Lee is one of the most consistent pitchers in baseball, but he allowed eight earned runs in an opening-day victory. Projected at $22, which could have been $26-$27 with inflation, he was drafted for only $22. To prove the point, he pitched six shutout innings that night.

> Closers are at a premium in a 4x4 league, so they're always expensive. Jonathan Papelbon's projection was $22 and seeing him go for $28-$30 wouldn't have raised an eyebrow. He did, however, blow his first save opportunity of the season in an ugly performance. The result was a price of only $20 at the table.

> While "newbies" to the Roto game might think that we are dinosaurs, don't forget that the timing also allows us to know who has the closer job on opening day. It is probably doubtful that Jose Valverde cost $15 or Francisco Rodriguez went for $12 at your table.

The good news for all of us is that whenever you hold your draft, it's your favorite day of the year.

Last Updated on Friday, 11 April 2014 02:44
 
Opening Day PDF Print E-mail
Rotisserie Duck
Written by Don Drooker   
Friday, 04 April 2014 00:00

"Life Begins on Opening Day" - Thomas Boswell

"You look forward to it like a birthday party when you're a kid. You think something wonderful is going to happen" - Joe DiMaggio

"Opening Day is like Christmas, except it's warmer" - Pete Rose

"A home opener is always exciting, no matter if it's home or on the road" - Yogi Berra

For the true baseball fan, there is nothing like opening day. Whether you're the die-hard fan of a particular team or a fantasy baseball team owner, the prospect of a new season where each team is still tied for first place cannot be duplicated. It is historical, traditional, exhilarating, and for many of us, a link to our family heritage and the people we think about each year on this special day.

While the Old Duck has had the privilege of attending opening day at both Fenway Park and Dodger Stadium over the years, opening day itself always brings back special memories of how baseball touches the lives of people you will always remember.

In 1984, after finding and reading "Rotisserie League Baseball", I invited a group of friends to join me in the experiment of starting one of these "Fantasy" leagues. One of our owners was a wonderful guy who was a co-worker of mine. At the time, his son was a teenager and it was clear to those of us who knew him well that relating to a 16-year-old was not an easy task for him. Right after opening day, we gathered at my house for the draft and my friend decided to bring his son as his "partner." The young boy didn't have much to say on that day and stayed in the background taking notes and handing pieces of paper to his dad, but the fact that he was there was a pleasant surprise for many of us at the table.

With the help of his son, as well as 70 stolen bases from a $12 rookie named Juan Samuel, they won that initial championship. In November, at the awards party, my friend's wife took me aside and with tears in her eyes, told me that this "silly baseball league" I had started was the best thing that ever happened to her family. For the last six months, father and son had spent each morning looking at box scores over breakfast and each evening discussing strategy for their title run. They won another championship the following year and remained partners for the next 17 years. Today, that young boy is in his mid-40's and is the Commissioner of his own Rotisserie league.

This Spring, another experience helped bring home the essence of baseball that non-fans just can't understand. My best friend is a long-time baseball fan who grew up in the East Bay in the 50's rooting for the Oakland Oaks of the Pacific Coast League. Through the years, he and his wife have established a number of enduring relationships with friends in Japan. They've traveled there extensively, attended weddings and other social events and embraced the culture (and food). One of the Japanese families has two sons and you can determine their interest in baseball by knowing that one boy is named after Ichiro Suzuki and the other after Yu Darvish.

This year, they invited the 13-year-old to visit during Spring Training in Arizona and join them every day at Surprise Stadium watching the Rangers and Royals. As an All-Star Little League player, he took to the environment like a duck to water, gathering autographs and souvenirs and soaking in everything baseball related. It was topped off by having the privilege of throwing out the first ball for a Rangers home game.

An art gallery in the Phoenix area used the month of March to display baseball memorabilia in honor of Spring Training. I donated about 35 autographed Sports Illustrated covers of Hall of Fame baseball players from my personal collection and the staff did a beautiful job of utilizing an entire wall to show off the framed covers. My friend, his wife and their young guest joined me one day to visit the gallery and watching them walk through the display once again brought home the connectivity of baseball. Here was a man born in the 1940's who had a poster of Ted Kluszewski on the wall of his room and a youngster named after Ichiro Suzuki enjoying baseball history together with smiles as wide as you can imagine.

It is my sincere hope that you can relate to these stories because if you can, your life is more worthwhile. Don't miss your baseball opportunities as they can be fleeting. As Vin Scully once said, "It's a mere moment in a man's life between the All-Star game and the Old-Timer's game."

Last Updated on Saturday, 05 April 2014 06:09
 
Baseball's Greatest PDF Print E-mail
Rotisserie Duck
Written by Don Drooker   
Friday, 28 March 2014 00:00

In our community, we have a very active and enthusiastic sports interest group. Headed up by a retired New York City schoolteacher, who is also the world's biggest Giants fan, we've been fortunate enough to have visits from Fergie Jenkins, Josh Hamilton, Matt Williams, Hall of Fame Baseball Executive Roland Hemond and dozens of other sports luminaries. Each Spring, as our homage to Spring Training and the new baseball season, we host a baseball panel discussion on a particular topic. In the past, we've reviewed the "Golden Age of Baseball" (the 50's and 60's), debated the Hall of Fame and previewed the upcoming season. This time, we utilized the beautiful Sports Illustrated book called "Baseball's Greatest", which chose a top ten list for every position as well as other categories such as best parks, managers and franchises.

Earlier this week in front of an overflow audience, each of the six panelists reviewed the SI choices for a particular category, added their own take on the list and welcomed questions from the audience. Corner players (1B/3B) were my responsibility and here is what I had to say:

It is my privilege to introduce the ten best players to man the corners. The first sackers and the guardians of the hot corner who have made baseball history.

Any of you who have discussed baseball with me in the past know that two of my passions are baseball cards and advanced baseball statistics, also known as SABRmetrics. So, as we review SI's choices at these two positions, we'll also touch on each player's rookie card value (in Near Mint condition) and his "WAR" (Wins Above Replacement). WAR represents a single number that shows how many wins a player contributed to his team above a replacement (bench, Triple-A, etc.) player. It has become a mainstream metric for baseball writers who vote on annual awards and the Hall of Fame.

> #5 3B - Brooks Robinson

Played 23 season with the Orioles and accumulated over 2,800 hits and won 16 consecutive gold gloves from 1960-1975. His rookie card is from the beautiful 1957 Topps set and has a value of almost $400. He has a lifetime WAR of 78 and went into the Hall of Fame in 1983.

> #5 1B - Harmon Killebrew

A 22-year big leaguer, he was one of the great home run hitters in history with eight seasons over 40 and 573 in his career. All this despite only having 11 homers in his first five seasons, as he languished on the bench due to the "Bonus Baby" rule of the 1950's. "Killer's" rookie card from 1955 Topps books for about $300. His lifetime WAR is 60 and he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1984.

> #4 3B - Wade Boggs

Not the prototypical power-hitting 3B, he hit the ball to all fields and was the great table-setter of the 80's and 90's. In addition to 3,000+ hits and a .328 lifetime batting average, he also had a .415 on-base percentage. There are three different rookie cards from 1983 and each can be had for around $10. His contributions to team success are evident in his lifetime WAR of 91 and he became a Hall of Fame member in 2005.

> #4 1B - Hank Greenberg

While his career was a a relatively short 13 seasons due to losing four prime years serving in World War II, "Hammerin' Hank's" legacy continues to grow. He won two AL MVP awards as a member of the Tigers and finished 3rd in the 1937 MVP balloting when he had 183 RBI's. If you have an extra $1,000 sitting around, you can pick up his rookie card from the 1934 Goudey set. A lifetime WAR of 58 is very impressive for the limited amount of seasons and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1956.

> #3 3B - Eddie Mathews

A member of the 500 HR Club, this slugger hit 40+ HR's for the Braves four times in the 1950's and was also an outstanding glove man. A lifetime WAR of 96 gives you an idea of his consistency and the writers elected him to the Hall of Fame in 1978. His rookie card is from the iconic 1952 Topps set and because it is the last card in the set, it is almost impossible to find in "Near Mint" condition...the value would be over $10,000.

> #3 1B - Jimmie Foxx

One of the great power hitters of the 1930's and early 1940's, "Double X" won back-to-back MVP's for the Athletics in '32 and '33, then won another one as a member of the Red Sox in '38 when he had 50 HR's and 175 RBI's. 534 lifetime HR's and a WAR of 97 tells the tale and he entered the Hall of Fame in 1951. His rookie card from 1933 Goudey will cost you about $2,500.

> #2 3B George Brett

If you've been at Surprise Stadium for a Royals game this Spring, you may have seen him in uniform. At age 60, he looks like he can still play. 21 years with the team, over 3,100 hits and a lifetime BA of .305 brought him his Hall of Fame plaque in 1999. A 1975 Topps rookie card is worth about $65 and his lifetime WAR of 88 validates his career.

> #2 1B - Albert Pujols

While some of the luster has come off the last two seasons since he left St. Louis, this great hitter may have put up the best first decade in the history of the game. In 11 seasons from 2001-2011, he averaged 40 HR's and 120 RBI's! At age 34, his WAR rating already stands at 93 and he'll pass 500 HR's in early 2014. There are multiple rookie cards available from 2001 and the standard cards book for $75-$100.

> #1 3B - Mike Schmidt

Amazingly, "Schmitty" hit only .196 in his 1973 rookie season but was legendary in 18 years with the Phillies. 548 HR's, three MVP's and 10 Gold Gloves tell the story and his WAR of 106 far outdistances anyone else at the position. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1995 and his 1973 Topps card books for over $150.

> #1 1B - Lou Gehrig

Even a Yankee-hater like me can't help but be moved when watching "Pride of the Yankees" and Gary Cooper's portrayal of this legendary player. From the consecutive game streak to his tragic passing, "The Iron Horse" was truly one of the all-time greats. A lifetime BA of .340 and OBP of .447 are off-the-charts and his lifetime WAR of 112 is incredible. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in a special election the year that he played his last game (1939) and his rookie card from 1933 Goudey will cost $4,000-$5,000.

The #6 3B on the SI list isn't a Hall of Famer yet, but his numbers have him knocking on the door of the top five. 19 seasons with the same team, 2,700+ hits and a lifetime BA over .300 equals a lifetime WAR of 85. His name is Larry, but you probably know him as "Chipper."

There are also two current players who might be on this list a decade from now. Adrian Beltre has played 16 seasons and accumulated a WAR of 70 at age 34 with no signs of slowing down. Miguel Cabrera already appears on SI's 3B list at #9 and he isn't even 31 years old. With a current WAR of 55, he has the Hall of Fame in his sights.

You can understand the type of exclusive company we're in when names like Willie McCovey and Eddie Murray haven't yet been mentioned. Hope your favorite was on our list.

Last Updated on Friday, 28 March 2014 08:16
 
Charming the Snake Once a Year PDF Print E-mail
Rotisserie Duck
Written by Don Drooker   
Friday, 21 March 2014 00:00

If you're even an occasional reader of this column, you know that the Old Duck is a 30-year veteran of Rotisserie Style Auction Keeper Leagues. With over 25 championships in about 70 drafts, it is what I relish and look forward to each year. However, once a year, the dreaded Snake Draft enters my life for one very good reason. The young man who hosts the league (on ESPN.com) is like a son to me and if he asked me to join a Camel Race Fantasy League hosted by Al Jazeera, I'd probably say yes.

Even though I know a beautiful girl who once had a pet Boa constrictor named "Julius Squeezer", I hate snakes...both in person and of the fantasy variety. To me, having 10 or 15 or 20 players go off the board without the opportunity to bid just penalizes me for doing solid research. And, if one of the Roto combatants forgets to show up online, you can bet the "auto-draft" spot will be right in front of me.

This time of year, if you follow fantasy baseball at all, it is impossible to avoid Snake Draft advice. It comes at you from everywhere...newspapers, websites, magazines, XM Radio and friends. The number of strategies are mind-boggling and include...

> Memorizing the average draft position (ADP) of every player in the universe.

> The "Don't take pitchers early" philosophy.

> The "Don't take closers until later" philosophy.

> Prioritizing position scarcity.

> Getting 50 home runs and 50 stolen bases from your first two picks (50/50 Plan).

> Getting 75 home runs and 75 stolen bases from your first three picks (75/75 Plan).

> Picking two stud starting pitchers early, also known as the "Dual Aces" plan.

In order to avoid having my brain explode, I've used none of those strategies and still managed a championship and two 2nd place finishes in the first three years of the league. In 2013, my team even managed to finish in 4th place after taking Ryan Braun and Jose Reyes in the first two rounds. Seemingly, part of the success is from my fairly good knowledge of the player pool, as I'm boning up for NL and AL-only drafts that take place in late-March and early-April. Logically, however, it seems that the overall approach of the last 30 years still works and it is a mindset of "balance." So, while the Long Island Ducks (we all incorporate the name of a minor league team) do have a tendency to wait on pitching, it is more about balancing the roster to leave flexibility as the draft progresses. Ideally, after ten rounds, the roster should include at least one player at each position (C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, OF, SP and Closer) along with a 2nd OF and 2nd SP. After that foundation is established, looking for value is the priority. If you've already read columns from multiple sources about who they drafted, this might be a cure for insomnia. With that disclaimer, my hope is that the strategies and player choices will be of value to you in your upcoming draft.

The only other strategy comments would be...1) the logic of not taking starting pitching early has been reinforced by the fact that my NL-only keeper team roster had Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy and Patrick Corbin penciled in 30 days ago and...2) no 2013 PED players will be on my squad. Not only is their performance not to be trusted (see Melky Cabrera last year) but for a modest $20 entry fee, the Ducks can afford to show some integrity.

This is a 15-team mixed league with 22-man rosters (1 Catcher) and three reserve picks. Of course, the random order one hour prior to the draft gave the Ducks the 5th pick, which wasn't my preference because there were four players I really liked at the top and the next half-dozen or so all had warts. In other words, I'd just as soon have the 10th pick and a higher choice in Round 2. As we work our way through the results, you'll see the ADP for each player as a point of reference. The ADP rankings are as of the date of the draft (3/16).

Round 1, Pick 5 - Robinson Cano, 2B (ADP 10)

As predicted, the top four were Trout, Cabrera, Goldschmidt and McCutchen, and I was left with the difficult task of separating players like Carlos Gonzalez, Clayton Kershaw, Chris Davis, Adam Jones, Jacoby Ellsbury and others. Even though Cano may suffer somewhat in the Seattle ballpark and line-up, it's reasonable to expect a .300+ BA in over 600 AB's along with 20+ HR's and 90+ RBI's...all at a scarce position.

Round 2, Pick 26 - Joey Votto, 1B (ADP 18)

Was considering Jose Reyes in this spot, but decided on "Votto-Matic." He'll hit 25 HR's and starting with the batting average numbers for him and Cano will leave flexibility later. Also, Goldschmidt, Davis, Edwin Encarnacion and Prince Fielder were already gone and Freddie Freeman went two picks later.

Round 3, Pick 35 - Alex Rios, OF (ADP 34)

The "balance" theory at work, he projects for 20+ HR's and 25+ SB's.

Round 4, Pick 56 - Alex Gordon, OF (ADP 94)

Seems like a reach when looking at the ADP, but he might be as valuable as Yasiel Puig (went 25th) or Giancarlo Stanton (went 38th) due to track record and "balance.” 20 HR’s, 80 RBI and 15 SB's seems reasonable.

Round 5, Pick 65 - Matt Carpenter, 3B (ADP 55)

This was one of those "snake" moments we all dread...the Ducks needed a 3B, there were over 20 slots to fill before my next pick and Cabrera, Beltre, Longoria, Wright, Donaldson and Zimmerman had all been taken.

Round 6, Pick 86 - Matt Cain, P (ADP 97)

It was time for a reliable starting pitcher because all the top tier hurlers were gone.

Round 7, Pick 95 - Salvador Perez, C (ADP 88)

Thought about taking Mauer in Round 5, but with a one-catcher format, every team will have a decent backstop. Carlos Santana, Jonathan Lucroy and Wilin Rosario went after Mauer and prior to this pick.

Round 8, Pick 116 - Andrelton Simmons, SS (ADP 145)

Following the basic strategy, shortstop needed to be filled and finding a few homers was a priority. Simmons should contribute 15-20.

Round 9, Pick 125 - Jonathan Papelbon, P (ADP 144)

Seemingly, another reach based on ADP but each draft is unique and closers seemed to go early...Kimbrel (43), Chapman (50), Jansen (62), Holland (64), Uehara (103), Nathan (112) and Perkins (the guy I wanted in Round 9) right ahead of me at 123. I would have had to wait 20+ picks for someone in Round 10.

Round 10, Pick 146 - Michael Wacha, P (ADP 92)

Maybe I'm wrong, but this seems like a real bargain in this spot...good team, good park, good arm.

At this point, the original strategy was in place...the Ducks had a C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, 2 OF, 2 SP and 1 Closer. Now it's about value and reading the nuances of a particular draft.

Round 11, Pick 155 - Howie Kendrick, 2B (ADP 174)

Has been a pretty good player for so long, he's almost underrated at age 30. A lifetime .292 hitter, he further solidifies the BA category.

Round 12, Pick 176 - Ryan Howard, 1B (ADP 220)

To quote Vizzini in "The Princess Bride", "You fell victim to one of the classic blunders." No, I didn't get involved in a land war in Asia, but I did get stuck with a player who wasn't on my radar. I was looking for a corner infielder with some power and assumed Adam Lind would be there because his ADP was 238. Of course, you already should know that the team right in front of me took him at 175. With only 60 seconds to recover, Howard was the only alternative on the horizon and I must hope he has 25 home runs left in his arsenal. Fortunately, the earlier picks can mitigate his low BA.

Round 13, Pick 185 - Marco Estrada, P (ADP 220)

Could be a pleasant surprise if he stays healthy...last year's DL stint wasn't arm-related.

Round 14, Pick 206 - Ervin Santana, P (ADP 286)

The ADP number isn't really valid because most of those drafts were before he signed with the Braves...good skills and durability, contending team and a pitcher-friendly environment.

Round 15, Pick 215 - Nate Jones, P (ADP 244)

Waited too long to get a 2nd closer and have to hang my hopes on an unproven quantity...it was either him, Jose Veras, Tommy Hunter or LaTroy Hawkins.

Round 16, Pick 236 - Norichika Aoki, OF (ADP 193)

Pleased to get him in this spot...a leadoff hitter in a good lineup with 20+ SB capability.

Round 17, Pick 245 - Kyle Lohse, P (ADP 295)

Certainly not an ace, but 200 IP and 12 wins isn't bad at this point in a draft.

Round 18, Pick 266 - Dexter Fowler, OF (ADP 210)

A little power, a little speed...more "balance."

Round 19, Pick 275 - Alex Wood, P (ADP 261)

Injuries in Atlanta assure him a rotation spot...struck out a batter per inning in 2013.

Round 20, Pick 296 - Tim Hudson, P (ADP 317)

Last year's injury wasn't arm-related...might have one good season left in him pitching by the Bay.

Round 21, Pick 305 - Dayan Viciedo, OF (ADP 310)

Looking for a little pop here...still only 25 years old and had 25 homers in 2012.

Round 22, Pick 326 - Yonder Alonso, 1B (ADP 310)

This is actually the Utility spot on the roster...also known as Ryan Howard insurance.

Round 23, Pick 335 - Carlos Ruiz, C (ADP 257)

The first of three reserve spots, having a decent back-up catcher seems like a good idea.

Round 24, Pick 356 - Peter Bourjos, OF (ADP 293)

A back-up OF with some power and speed.

Round 25, Pick 365 - Archie Bradley, P (ADP 307)

Can't imagine he won't be in the Snakes rotation by June 1st.

How does the team look? At first glance, BA, Runs and RBI's look pretty good while HR's and SB's are a little more suspect. On the pitching side, ERA and WHIP are really solid but K's and saves probably lag behind. Projected points are about 95, which would be in the top five based on last year's standings...but that's like talking to a loan officer at the bank about projected profits.

A few other notes on this particular draft...

> To confirm why everyone who plays in this type of league should show up or have someone draft for them, the "auto-pick" team had picks 15 and 16, so the website gave them Hanley Ramirez and Troy Tulowitzki.

> Jason Kipnis (#17) went ahead of Dustin Pedroia (#23).

> Ian Kinsler (#31) went two dozen picks ahead of Brandon Phillips (#55).

> Masahiro Tanaka (#58) went ahead of Justin Verlander (#59) and Jose Fernandez (#60).

> Allen Craig (#49) went ahead of Albert Pujols (#52).

> The last player drafted was Mark Reynolds (#375).

The best news is that I don't have to do this for another year. Best of luck in your drafts.

Last Updated on Friday, 21 March 2014 05:25
 
You Just Might Be A Fantasy Baseball Player PDF Print E-mail
Rotisserie Duck
Written by Don Drooker   
Friday, 14 March 2014 00:00

As Hedley Lamarr (or maybe Chase Headley) once said, "My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives." So, with Spring Training upon us, and with apologies to Jeff Foxworthy:

> If you get more excited about Evan Longoria than Eva Longoria, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If your elbow was fine but you decided to have Tommy John Surgery just to see how long the rehab takes, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you sincerely hope that Yasiel Puig buys a Prius, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If your neighbor brags about his 4x4 and you reply by saying you prefer 5x5, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you know it's d'Arnaud and not D'Arnaud, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you're walking through the woods when someone yells "Snake" and you yell back "I prefer Auction", you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you know for sure that Arruebarruena is not an island in the Caribbean, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If someone refers to a girl as a "Keeper" and you ask if she qualifies at more than one position, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If the team names "Okrent Fenokees", "Sklar Gazers", "Cary Nations" and "Pollet Burros" are familiar to you, you just might be a long-time Fantasy player.

> If you think the best thing about the Super Bowl is that it's the last football game of the season, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you know the whereabouts of Kyle Crick, Kyle Elfrink, Kyle Farnsworth and Kyle Kendrick, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you watch a movie that stars Ben Kingsley and you're motivated to check Trace Wood's Long Gandhi website, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you think the Mayo Clinic is where Jonathan spends the off-season looking at minor league video, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you think "Black Magic Woman" is only a song by the wrong Carlos Santana, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If your wife suggested you watch the Oscars and you thought about the name "Taveras", you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you've signed a petition to have Bill James' countenance added to Mt. Rushmore, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If the term "Pleskoff Prospect" is meaningful to you, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you see graffiti that says "Jesus Is The Answer" and you wonder if the question is, "Who Is Matty and Felipe's Brother?", you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you're hoping to play the part of Larry Schechter in the movie version of his book, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you believe that Wilin, Welington and Yasmani are all spelled correctly, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If the song "Ventura Highway" makes you wonder if Yordano will be sent to Triple-A, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you know that the first time Jose Abreu dives for a baseball, it will put him ahead of Bobby Abreu in that lifetime statistical category, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you are secure in the fact that Lord Zola is not a character created by J.R.R. Tolkien, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you’re absolutely sure that the word "Florimon" is not Jamaican slang, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If your employer uses a company called ADP to process payroll and your paycheck causes you to wonder if you can get a quality closer in the top-60, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you meet someone whose child is named Jurickson and you don't think twice, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you really believe that a guy named "Scooter" will hit home runs, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you know more about Bubba Starling than you do about Clarice Starling, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you know that brothers Cesar and Maicer Izturis were born only eight months apart, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you're sure that Pete Seeger, Bob Seger, Kyle Seager and Corey Seager are all talented, you just might be a folk/rock Fantasy player.

> If you know that Jake Odorizzi and Rougned Odor don't stink, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you know that Starlin, Alcides and Asdrubal are all spelled correctly, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you believe that Matt Adams losing 6-7 pounds during the off-season is like throwing a deck chair off the Titanic, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If a conversation with Jason Collette would be more interesting than one with Toni Collette, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If someone invites you to see "Kung Fu Panda" and you ask if they have box seats, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you know that the Cecchini Brothers are not characters in a mob movie, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you believe that "Rotoman" may soon become a comic book Superhero, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you think that Doug Fister and Dexter Fowler were stolen during the off-season, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you know that Conor spells it "Gillaspie" and Cole spells it "Gillespie", you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you wonder why the Mexican restaurants in Kansas City don't serve Moose Tacos, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If meeting Billy Beane is more exciting than meeting Brad Pitt, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you know the difference between Ryan Wheeler, Tim Wheeler and Zack Wheeler, you're definitely a Fantasy player.

> If you're hoping that Alex Guerrero isn't related to Pedro Guerrero, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If Ron Shandler has replaced John Grisham as your favorite author, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If it ever crossed your mind that Julio Iglesias might follow Jose Iglesias to Motown, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you've changed your name from Mike to Giancarlo, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you think Ben Revere needs to "get on his horse" this season,    you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you believe that because Prince Fielder and Billy Butler were the only AL players to appear in all 162 games, it means that you can eat anything you want, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If the song "Camptown Ladies" makes you think of Lucas Duda, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If someone tells you they live on Houston St. and you immediately think about saves, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you know that the word "Norichika" means "Ground Ball" in Japanese, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you know the difference between Jarred Cosart, Kaleb Cowart and Zack Cozart, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If your wife isn't concerned about you visiting Asian websites because she knows you're scouting prospects, you are obviously a Fantasy player.

> If you don't believe that Robinson Cano is worth $240 million but you're sure he's worth at least $29, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you know that Yovani, Aroldis, Ubaldo and Anibal are all spelled correctly, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you're hoping that Cody can save your Asche, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you know the stats of John Smiley and Drew Smyly, you just might be a long-time Fantasy player.

> If you know more quotes from Dylan Bundy than from Al Bundy, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you have a copy of Grant Balfour's X-Rays, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If the total bill every time you shop at Costco is $260, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If the song "Whip It" comes on the radio and you think about control pitchers or Devon White, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If Ian Kinsler, Ryan Braun, Scott Feldman, Trevor Rosenthal, Nate Freiman, Ike Davis and Craig Breslow are all on your team, you just might be a Jewish Fantasy player.

> If the names Leonys, Taijuan, Kolten, Rymer and Xander are familiar to you, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you think Steve Moyer has better velocity than Jamie Moyer, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you know that Stolmy, Josmil, Mauricio, Yorvit and Koyie are all spelled correctly, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If your Zen Master plays a guitar, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you know that Yuniesky spells it "Betancourt" and Christian spells it "Bethancourt", you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you would eat raw squid and eel to have Masahiro Tanaka on your team, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you are secure in the fact that Chris Liss is the youngest curmudgeon west of the Mississippi, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you actually know that the Marlins have a player with the first name of Arquimedes, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you absolutely hate it when managers decide to give their closers some work in non-save situations, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you drive all the way to Las Vegas in March to see Greg Ambrosius, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you know the difference between the two pitchers named David Carpenter, you are certainly a Fantasy player.

> If you bruise your knuckles and immediately think about R.A. Dickey, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you think Brett Gardner could be related to Steve Gardner, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you know that Brian Kenny is the smartest guy on MLB Network, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If your wife suggests the two of you watch "Beaches" and you wonder how Brandon's elbow is feeling, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you think Perry is a better Capt. Hook than Dustin Hoffman, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you think "Classical Gas" is only a song by the wrong Mason Williams, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you use a Maxwell Smart voice to say "Marco Scutaro", you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you are perfectly clear on the fact that "Saltalamacchia" is not tonight's special at that upscale Italian restaurant, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you actually know the starting lineup of the Houston Astros, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If the hotel you book for your family vacation this summer must have wireless access, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you have zero interest in the members of the Rockies starting rotation, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you go to a seafood restaurant and can't bring yourself to order the (Mike) Trout, (Tim) Salmon or (Kevin) Bass, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you book a flight to Honolulu and it makes you wonder if Shane Victorino is really worth more than $22, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you think that Doug Dennis is funnier than most stand-up comics on HBO, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If a politician brings up the topic of inflation and you wonder why he isn't also concerned with position scarcity, you just might be a keeper league Fantasy player.

> If Brian Feldman has ever been your auctioneer, you just might be an expert-level Fantasy player.

> If a pitcher on your team gets relegated to middle relief and you hope he finds religion and joins a monastery, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you think that Tyler Flowers could be related to Ray Flowers, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you think that the term "Elvis Has Left the Building" means the Rangers shortstop hit a home run, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you know that Jean Segura, Dee Gordon, Dayan Viciedo and Didi Gregorius are not females, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If your kid's history homework includes a lesson about the Wright Brothers and it makes you wonder how much the Mets third baseman will go for at the table, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If Jeff Erickson is your favorite radio personality, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you meet someone named Roberto but keep calling him Fausto, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you believe the Cardinals acquisition of Jhonny Peralta will cause Brian Walton to change his name to "Bhrian", you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you think that Bartolo Colon is related to Andre the Giant, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If your 2013 catchers were Jesus Montero and Miguel Montero, you just might be a re-building Fantasy player.

> If each time Charlie Morton is scheduled to start, you go to a steakhouse for dinner, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you know the true identities of Car-Go, Lo-Mo, K-Rod, J-Roll, J-Up and V-Mart, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you've ever tried to buy something with "Patton Dollars", you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If someone sneezes and it causes you to think about the Rangers leadoff hitter, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If someone uses the term "Wise Guy" and you think of Gene McCaffrey instead of Joe Pesci, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If the outcome of Daniel Hudson's latest elbow surgery is more important to you than the outcome of Kate Hudson's latest cosmetic surgery, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you're excited about the Marlins signing Rafael Furcal, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If Jeff Winick represented you in salary arbitration, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you know that Donovan Hand has a lower lifetime ERA than Brad Hand, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you know the connection between Jonathan Singleton and Humphrey Bogart, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you know that L.J. Hoes doesn't play for the Pale Hose, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you believe that Derek Holland should move to a one-story house, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> If you think a "Sale Price" is getting Chris for less than $20, you just might be a Fantasy player.

> And, finally, if Draft Day is your favorite day of the year, you have become a true Fantasy player.

Last Updated on Friday, 14 March 2014 03:09
 
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