First comes love, then comes pain…
Let the games begin.
Questions rise and answers fall…
It’s been a really long wait. Year four of The Foul Line fantasy baseball league is finally here, and I know that everyone is excited to get things going. I’m excited to have the gang back together, along with first-timer Allan. I really appreciate everyone coming back for another year of smack talk and friendly competition.
But first things first.
Season 3 ended with a bit of a whimper, with the Love Boat Captains beating our butts for the second year in a row. In our highly competitive league, to win once is incredible — to win twice is just crazy.
I feel I did a poor job in recognizing this amazing accomplishment. There was no prize package of useless baseball trinkets or parade in her honor. Just a few congrats and we all went into the off season with our tails between our legs and our pride hurt again. So this post is titled in honor of two-time champion Ginger and her Love Boat Captains.
It’s not a trophy, but at least you get a post named after you.
This year’s winner gets a trophy.
2011 THE FOUL LINE FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT
What a great turnout for the draft. All ten owners showed up prepared and eager to pick the team to take them all the way. I love the draft. No matter how much you prepare, you just never know who the owner in front of you is going to take. It’s exciting and infuriating at the same time. Here’s my take on our draft, round by round. Enjoy.
Shocker! Albert Pujols went first.
I know Dan mulled over this decision for days. Should he take the greatest player on the planet, playing for a new contract, or should he grab one of the two elite shortstops? This was a no-brainer. Write him in for 40 home runs and 120 RBIs.
And the first pitcher taken is Roy… Wait, what?
After a predictable next three picks of Tulowitzki, Hanley, and Cabrera, Sam’s Baseball Train grabs Cliff Lee, and the other 9 owners’ jaws hit the floor. Isn’t there another Phillies pitcher that might be a little better?
And the Yankeehaters are on the clock…
I really debated this decision. I hate the #6 pick. I prayed that Tulowitzki would fall to me… Strike 1. Then I hoped I’d get Miggy Cabrera… Strike 2!
In my mind there are four elite outfielders in baseball (Braun, CarGo, Crawford, and Holliday). I figured I’d grab the one that has the best track record. The pick is Braun, and I’m ok with it.
UNsportsmanMike grabs Adrian Gonzalez at 7. I’m a little leery of taking a guy coming off shoulder surgery. Gonzo is eventually going to tear it up at Fenway, but I thought this was a little early.
With a fresh McDonalds sundae in hand, Allan takes Dan’s man-crush Evan Longoria at 8, and the already shallow 3B position takes a hit.
LBC took NL MVP Joey Votto in the 5th round last year, and she steals him again this year at 9. It’s not the sexiest pick, but a great one nonetheless.
How come when I get autodrafted, I get stuck with Dice K and Julio Lugo?
RedRays’s computer freezes up, and he gets Halladay and King Felix. Good things happen to good people.
A catcher in the second round?
I always prefer a good hitter to a good pitcher, and it looks like most of the league felt the same way. I believe that there are 3 stud catchers, and then the rest are pretty comparable. Allan opened the flood gates, and V-Mart, Mauer, and Posey were gone. I guess I’ll wait until round 10 to take a catcher…
Don’t look now, but the first basemen are going fast.
Hmmm… Who do I take? The douchebag Yankee or the 300-pound vegetarian in his contract year?
Round 3 might be the best round for all of us. Quality picks all around:
> Dan gives me an eff-you and grabs Pedroia
> Chefdick takes fireballer Josh Johnson
> Willis takes the #4 rated hitter, Teixeira
> BBB takes the guy with the best name in baseball, Buster Posey
> I loved Sam’s pick, Dan Uggla. He’s gonna do damage in that lineup
> Yankeehaters takes 2011 MVP and perennial jerk A-Rod
> Mike goes with Crawford
> Allan steals the 2011 AL Cy Young award winner
> Ginger takes the last of the good shortstops
> RedRays is back in action and takes big bad Ryan Howard
Who’s the idiot that took two third basemen?
Round 4. The best hitter still available is a great guy for my utility spot. Trade bait? Perhaps.
Added bonus: Sam makes a panic move and takes Adrian Beltre with the next pick.
I did 40 mock drafts in preparation for this draft, and round 5 always was my nemesis.
Dan jumps on Heyward with the first pick of round 5. Here’s a fun fact that’s sure to drive Dan crazy:
Player A: .276 (464 at-bats), 85 runs, 23 home runs, 66 RBIs, 12 steals
Player B: .277 (520 at-bats), 83 runs, 18 home runs, 72 RBIs, 11 steals
Player B is Jason Heyward.
Player A is Colby Rasmus, taken in round 19 by yours truly.
I took Jacoby Ellsbury. It’s probably a bit of a reach, but he’s been tearing up the spring, and when he’s healthy he’s a top 5 fantasy outfielder. Please stay healthy Jacoby!
Holy crap, there’s a lot of great pitchers left!
Haren, Hanson, Liriano, Weaver, Buchholz, Grienke, Latos, Gallardo, Billingsley, Scherzer, Oswalt, Cahill, Beckett, Danks…
I sure am glad I waited on pitching. I scooped up Weaver, Gallardo, and Scherzer. I was psyched to get Scherzer. He was one guy that I was targeting. I think he has huge breakout potential this year.
Then he went out and gave up 12 runs in 2 1/3 innings the very next day. Swell.
There’s still a few hidden gems left, right?
RedRays and Allan take the Upton brothers in round 10. I love the Justin pick. B.J., not so much.
I finally take a catcher, really happy with Soto. Now that he’s Piniella-free I think we’ll see his resurgence.
For some odd reason, Sam takes Corey Hart. He’s on the DL! I think I’d rather have Corey Feldman.
Dan goes fat and skinny in rounds 10 and 11 with Ichiro and Kung Fu Panda. Ichiro slips every year for some odd reason. Solid pick. I’m still not sold on Sandoval, but Dan needs a third baseman and he was the fattest available. I think I would have gone with Aramis Ramirez, but good luck with that.
Some really interesting picks in round 12:
- LBC takes Wandy Rodriguez, which could be a good value
- I take the steal of the draft with Mike Stanton. He may strike out 200 times this year, but I’m counting on 40 home runs. It’s worth a little risk for a potential huge upside
- BadBoys takes his his man crush with Aubrey Huff
- I love Willis and Dan’s Billy Butler and Brandon Morrow picks
- Francisco Cordero in this round was a horrible choice by Sam’s Baseball Train. There were much better options
It’s time to take the best of the mediocre pitchers!
Take a look at round 13. Every one of us picked a turd, with the exception of Allan and the Love Boat Captains. Jonathan O. Sanchez and Daniel Hudson are solid picks.
Dan and I picked Garza and Lackey. I usually like it when an AL pitcher goes to the inferior NL, but Garza is a head case that I think is going to wilt under the pressure of playing at Wrigley. I’m still not sure why I took Lackey. He was pretty awful last year.
Next, I take Alexei Ramirez, followed by Dan cursing me out via the chat, which only makes me like the pick that much more. The BadBoys grab Elvis Andrus. Dan responds by taking Marco Scutaro, and laughter is heard throughout thefoulline.com headquarters.
I was really happy getting C.J. Wilson in round 15. He’s the #1 pitcher on the American League Champions. He could be a steal.
I really liked round 16:
- Matt Thornton and Chris Perez are two low-cost, high-quality closers picked by the LBCs and the Yankeehaters
- Allan grabs this year’s Jason Heyward in Freddie Freeman
- Willis takes a potential 30/30 guy in Drew Stubbs
- And Dan takes Gordon Beckham, which gives him two second baseman. I don’t have the heart to tell him that he only needs one.
Is this draft ever going to end?
At this point, we’re at the two-hour mark and we’re all getting a little punch-drunk. Some interesting choices the rest of the way:
- Rays Those Cowbells: Joe Nathan, Manny Ramirez , Jordan Zimmermann, Jorge De La Rosa. I think this is a strong finish for young Dan.
- chefdicks11: Adam Jones, Edwin Jackson, Jake Peavy. I think this is the year Adam Jones lives up to the hype. The other two guys, you can keep.
- WILLIS Be The Year: Wade Davis and Vladimir Guerrero are solid late-round choices.
- bostobadboys: Adam Lind and Brian Matusz. Lind is a good hitter and will rebound this year, and Matusz is a future All Star. Nice choices.
- Sam’s Baseball Train: Hiroki Kuroda is a pretty good pick. His other picks at the end of this draft, pretty bad.
- Yankeehaters: Kelly Johnson, Jhoulys Chacin, Colby Rasmus, Eric Bedard. Score, score, score, score. Once again, the Yankeehaters are playing chess, while everyone else is playing checkers.
- UNsportsmanMike: Aaron Hill, Jaime Garcia, Scott Baker. Nice finish. These three guys will help this team.
- ToPpIn Da ChArTz: Grady Sizemore (insert punchline here), Carlos Quentin, AJ Burnett, Johnny Cueto, Rafael Furcal. I think Allan had a really good draft from top to bottom. He may be a force this year.
- Love Boat Captains: Madison Bumgarner, Ricky Nolasco, Brett Cecil. These are the type of pitchers that the LBCs likes to gobble up only to have them pitch their asses off.
- RedRays: Jeff Niemann, Aramis Ramirez, Fausto Carmona, Javier Vasquez, Travis Wood. I’m not sure why some of these guys were still available. RedRays has a solid history of drafting low-risk, high-reward guys.
I had a great time preparing for the draft. I’m happy with my results, and I can’t wait to get the season started. I know it’s early, but based on the draft here’s my predictions for the four playoff teams:
- Love Boat Captains
- ToPpIn Da ChArTz
- WILLIS Be The Year