Sunday, April 05, 2009

Frank's Hot Sauce Presents The Base Ball Teams 2009

My carpal tunnel syndrome has abated... turns out it was because I did something that rhymes with "abated" a little too much. Who knew seven times a day could be harmful? I was trying to lose weight! Now that I'm healthy and frustrated, I'm back for another year of faux analysis, another year of the same joke I always make about having a "Chas Budnick is a Bastard" tag, and another year of undertones that I don't realize I'm writing. I think I got all the typos and repetition out, but if I didn't, be a pal and let me know. Cause knowing is half the battle. G.I. JOOOOOOOOOE!

Just when I think I'll run out of hilarious themes to assign you guys, Hulu adds more shows. To commemorate the Philadelphia Phillies' epic failure to defeat the Boston Red Sox in the World Series, you guys are each getting a clip from It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Warning: spoilers! [Ed: note: no, not really.]

As for the draft, I think we can all agree that the highlight was being done in under two hours, despite 90 seconds being allotted for each pick. Bra-fucking-vo. Nothing any of you dopes did can top that.

The most pleasant surprise was how long it took before someone really reached for a rookie. Matt Wieters, deserving prospect at scarce position, was the only rookie taken until Gary and I grabbed Jason Motte and Tommy Hanson respectively in the 13th round. Take a look at the performance of the guys drafted up top in recent years (Dice-K, Alex Gordon, Jay Bruce) as opposed to those taken a little bit later (Josh Hamilton, Joey Votto and, ahem, Evan Longoria) and you'll see that spending significant draft dollars on those guys isn't really necessary.

The main side effect of our rookie teetotaling is that a lower caliber of veteran than usual was available at most picks. So few players from round 10 on were worthy of being drafted at their spot that I can't really blame anyone for taking, say, Joey Devine instead of someone else. What's the alternative? If you're choosing between five kinds of turds to eat, does it really matter? You're still eating a poop. In that sense, I find it hard to criticize too much. Not that I won't anyway. (Hater degree of difficulty: General Absence Of Doumit-ish Picks.)

Speaking of Ryan Doumit, let's jump right into Lehr's draft...

ALEX (mugsnjugs)

Best picks: Chien-Ming Wang (17), Jose Lopez (15), Raul Ibanez (21)
Worst picks: Ryan Doumit (9), Brandon Morrow (12)
Official team video: Looks, Brains, Wildcard

Alex is the wildcard. One might say that he thinks outside the box in keeper/drafting scenarios. But that would be wrong, since it implies that he would have thought about the draft at all. I'm not convinced he knew who he'd kept prior to the draft.

Considering that Lehr walks into these drafts ice cold, and considering that said attitude typically results in a lot of fuck-it picks and a lot of pure insanity, I think Alex did an uncommonly excellent job with his picks.

Pretty much every pick from Taylor Teagarden on was well-valued, if not entirely shrewd. I am particularly surprised that nobody picked up on Wang... not because he's primed for a keepable season on the mound, but because few people left on the board had a Cy Young pedigree. I know Lehr only did it because he's a Yankee, but considering the detritus on the board, even an accidental nice play is praiseworthy.

Not that Lehr was perfect across the board. I would have thought a guy going into the season with A-Rod on the DL might have grabbed free-falling Edwin Encarnacion at any point after #15. I would have stayed away from Brendan Morrow and his arm troubles and lack of job insecurity. But those are defensible strategic decisions.

No, the truly Anibalian blunder, bigger than any other in this draft, is Ryan Doumit. You may remember Doumit from "being picked up by Gary via free agency every May because he got sick of having zero catchers." What bothers me here isn't so much that Doumit's ceiling is lower than Jason Kendall's nutsack. It's that Lehr took Doumit not only over two catchers that outperformed him last year and likely will again (Chris Iannetta and Pablo Sandoval) but over his #13 pick, Taylor Teagarden, whose success would make Doumit completely worthless! Why take two catchers so early? Argh! Didn't Lehr also take two tight ends early on in the football draft?!? Oh, Lehr...

Bear in mind that if Gary had taken Doumit, I wouldn't be saying anything, because Gary, like the Cylons, has a plan. Know your receiver, as they say. But I know what Lehr was thinking about. Lehr was thinking about nipples. Or beer. Or anything besides fantasy baseball. Nutpunches for you, sir.

But my point is to praise with faint damning. Because unlike most years, that was just one pick. On the whole, excellent job. I don't know how good the actual team will be, but it will have been built competently for the first time in a while. If I were grading offseason decisions this year, keeping Grienke instead of using the guaranteed #1 overall pick on Manny Ramirez would on its own earn Lehr an F. But if you cook applesauce like cranberries, it tastes more like prunes than rhubarb does. So it's moot. Atypically high marks.

Have I ever graded a Lehr baseball draft higher than C+? I don't recall, but now I have!



Best picks: Manny Ramirez (6), Kelly Shoppach (17), Jeremy Hermida (23)
Worst picks: Nick Swisher (17), Denard Span (13), Khalil Greene (21)
Official team video: Day Man! Ah-AH-ahhhhhhhhh!

This goes to Chris because my invitation to join the league basically was "Hello, COME RIGHT IN..."

Obviously, I'm biased due to how proud I am of my lil' brudder. But for a first-time manager I think he did a nice job of keeping things under control. The first five picks all filled clear needs, and he got devent value after that. Landing Manny is a real coup. The Victorino pick is particularly nice; he is what Carl Crawford is only alleged to be, but comes cheaper. I liked the Shoppach/Baker/Weaver picks quite a lot. And Hermida as a post-hype sleeper is a nice pickup; if he actually gets it in gear, that's free money.

That said, there's quite a few rookie mistakes in the litter after that. I did not like the Derrek Lee move, given that his ceiling now is approximately what he did last year. One could spend a lower pick and get roughly the same production. I'm not fond of Denard Span's selection, as he's unlikely to play above his current level. It's not necessarily that they're bad players, just that one can do better. With those same 11/13 picks, would you rather get Pat Burrell and James Loney, or Lee and Span? At least the former pair has a higher ceiling.

He also punted closers, from the look of it. Which isn't a make-or-break decision, but given that quality closers were out there when Nick Swisher and Khalil Greene were taken, it wasn't really necessary. That said, Balfour/Okajima as set-up ERA insurance isn't the worst thing in the history of Western civilization. If Balfour stays healthy and continues his improbable, almost certainly steroid-driven run of success, he'd be a Lidge-type strikeout closer and a HUGE value.

Bottom line is the important parts, the early picks and SP depth, were executed nicely. Dan's team really underachieved last season; I see even better things happening now that Manny's added to the lineup.


CHARLES (No Talent Ass Clown!)

Best picks: Stephen Drew (7), Clayton Kershaw (9), Justin Verlander (15), Matt LaPorta(16), Shin-Soo Choo (21) (not really, I just like any excuse to mention him)
Worst picks: D.L. Burnett (8)
Official team video: Charles Charlie Loses His Mind

I don't see any huge coups here, just a lot of nice, solid picks. I'm amazed Charles can think on his feet in the middle of a 90-hour workweek. Simply registering "mildly retarded" would have sufficed. It makes mere competence that much more impressive.

I personally would have swung for the fences, Gary-style, given this roster's paucity up top. Apart from the excellent Kershaw/LaPorta picks, Charles mostly played it safe. A.J. Burnett instead of Francisco Liriano... Mark DeRosa instead of Carlos Zambrano... Jhonny Jhohhnhhhhhyh for a position already filled...

In fact, both DeRosa and Peralta are stuck behind other players. Insurance against almost certain Uggla/Drew FAILs is important, but at the expense of potential keepers like Tommy Hanson, Ian Stewart, Colby Rasmus et al? They were crying out, begging to be tossed into the Charles Mahle Fantasy Rejuvenation Program! And Charles ignored their cries, like so many of us who see those commercials about sending like $1 a year to Africa to feed an entire village, only to press the mute button or change the channel.

Apart from all that, I think Charles did pretty good. His snail-like pace towards the playoffs might even take him to 5th/6th place contention this year!


MATT (Youklidean Geometry)

Best picks: Francisco Liriano (8), Chris Iannetta (12), Torii Hunter (14), Elijah Price (23)
Worst picks: Alex Rios (7)... come on people
Official team video: Martina Martinez

Matt gets this for three reasons: because Green Man's decision to drop Martina Martinez mirrors Omar Minaya's decision to drop Pedro Martinez; because it mirrors the Mets' annual decision to let the last few games hit them in the face with a volleyball; and because I was ready to drop a deuce on Matt for having an underwhelming draft, when his quality performance hit me in the face like a volleyball.

While I don't see anything in Matt's draft that outweighs the also-Martina-like disposal of Manny Ramirez, and don't see Alex Rios justifying his draft position ever again, I do like Matt's work a lot more now than I did at the time. During the draft I felt like he was picking up scraps. Having looked at his work as a whole, however, you start to see high-value decisions.

I like where he took Liriano, and I thought he generally got value. He took a lot of guys who kind of exceeded their potential last year (Encarnacion, Ludwick, Dempster), but if they don't come back down to earth then those were all very nice pickups. Even the picks I didn't like that much (Milledge, Conor Jackson, Alex Rios, Gary Sheffield) have tremendous upside potential. He's strong, on the whole, at scarce positions (Iannetta, Pedroia, Young) and competitive in the others (Youk, Huff, Soriano, Rios, Ludwick, Hunter). The starting pitching looks to be pretty good, with Hamels/Oswalt/Liriano being one of the better combos out there. His closer situation could be better, but that can be addressed later on by cutting one of his 12 bench outfielders.

The ceiling on this team isn't all that high, but it's fairly likely to be met.


KABIR (Golden Mauers)

Best picks: David Ortiz (7), Brad Lidge (10), Vernon Wells (14), Brett Myers (16)
Worst picks: Cliff Lee (8)
Official team video: A Ton Of Acid + The Freak Show

Since the Phillies won, ruining Philadelphia's inferiority complex by actually winning a title, Kabir gets the best IASIP clips from the best episode: the one where they all try out for the Eagles.

And just as IASIP is a quietly excellent show, Kabir did a quietly excellent job last week. Love the Papi pick, obviously. The high-end selections after Cliff Lee (blech) are all strong (Volquez, Lidge, Dice-K, Beltre, Fuentes, Wells), adding to a lineup that already was. He's proper fucked at 2B, but the rest of the lineup, the rotation, and the closers are all well above average.

I really despise the Lee selection. Enough that I've docked his grade. Can't stand it. It's not like he reached... it's just painfully obvious he's not gonna put up those numbers again. I don't think it's a stretch to say that Cliff Lee is in the Zito/Hentgen Wing amongst Cy Young winners, and he was already on shaky ground fantasy-wise... unsustainable ERA, bizarro W/L numbers despite being on a shit team... and he was drafted basically at his ADP. Don't see that working out.


JESSE (Grady's Ladies)

Best picks: Carlos Zambrano (12), Nelson Cruz (15), Ubaldo Jimenez (19)
Worst picks: Oliver Perez (21), Ben Sheets (22)
Official team video: Troll Toll

This video has absolutely nothing to do with Jesse's draft. But someone had to get it.

I really, really liked what Jesse did. I hated the Magglio pick (it's as uninspired as the Cliff Lee pick just behind it) and don't think a lot of Kerry Wood when he's not playing for a contract, but everything else between Magglio and Oliver Perez was excellent. And even then, the picks I dislike are either a matter of opinion (Magglio, Kerry) or in low-value slots (Perez, Sheets).

That said... his pitching relies on Scott Kazmir getting his groove back and the Mariners giving some damn run support to their starters. I think Jesse might have been better off grabbing a higher-profile starter prior to Bedard. That part of the team could really unravel... I dare say as badly as mine could. But that's a keeper issue more than a draft issue, since I like the Bedard pickup. It's Kaz and Felix who present the most cost-vs-value issues.


CHAS (BoyzInDaClitoralHood)

Best picks: Roy Halladay (7), Alex Gordon (20), Kelvim Escobar (21)
Worst picks: Carl Crawford (6), Rafael Furcal (8), picks 11-19
Official team video: They Brought The Poop

Chas shat the bed. I almost gave him Chas Charles Charlie Loses His Mind, because he must have lost his damn mind. Carl Crawford? Rafael Furcal? Chone Figgins? FANTASY BASEBALL POISON. (The whole video is great... but if you're impatient, jump to 2:24 and you'll see the random memory I thought of after I typed that.)

This was the only real black hole of the draft. As you can tell, I didn't like much of what Chas did at all. Every player he took between Halladay and Gordon was someone I was doing my best to avoid. At no point did Chas take someone that made me think "damn, I wanted him." Halladay and Gordon are the only ones.

The whole roster is shaky. He's got one player who will break 25 HR this year (Dye). The pitching is fine, but not much to sneeze at (especially if the Angels screw up). Chipper Jones is near-certain to miss an important month for Chas, .364 average be damned. He's got a stable of pitchers beyond Vazquez who could end up cut by May 1st, and even Vazquez requires that you tolerate a 5-ish ERA and replacement-level WHIP from him. His closers are almost as awful as mine! I just don't get what he was doing.


JEFF (Marmol AIDS)

Best picks: Fausto Carmona (15), Milton Bradley (16), Chris Carpenter (18), Frank Francisco (20)
Worst picks: Carlos Marmol (10), B.J. Ryan (12), Francisco Cordero (14)
Official team video: Script

The way Charlie wrote that script is the way I drafted. Brilliant and stupid. The idea was right, and the execution was totally and utterly wrong.

While I'm fairly happy with who I came away with, it's in an "I got my guys" sense, not a "wow my team is stacked" sense. I missed an opportunity to really nail it.

Every draft, I have a pick that totally screws me up. I look over my choices and hate them. But I don't want to grab anyone too early either. This year, Marmol was that pick. I ran out of time and just went with him, figuring he at least had a CHANCE to be a premier, keepable closer. He isn't even going to be a shitty closer, because he's just a setup man. Damn that damnable World Baseball Classic!

Marmol set in motion a sequence of picks that can be described charitably as a "complete and fucking utter shitshow." B.J. "BJ" Ryan is about to be demoted to the middle innings for throwing 84-mph "fastballs," in favor of someone who's just a fuck. Cordero had surgery in the offseason and only yesterday hit 90 on the gun. Even Francisco is no lock to be the closer, now that C.J. Wilson is apparently healthy. Amazing that I criticized Chris for punting saves when ALL FOUR of my "closers" are total garbage.

Making matters worse, I had excellent alternatives ON MY BOARD that I elected not to take: Bobby Jenks for Marmol, Brian Fuentes for Ryan, Heath Bell for Cordero. I would make those trades in a damn heartbeat. It's just inexcusable that I didn't do thorough enough research on that front.

From there, I mishandled my bench. I didn't feel the need to invest heavily in bench players by position... I decided I'd go with whoever was most undervalued on the board. No hitter, not one, was undervalued between round 9 and round 16. So I didn't take one. Value-wise, it was the right thing, but I ended up with a bunch of properly-valued DHs on my bench (Giambi, Thome, Hafner) and no reason to play any of them. In fact, I've already cut two of them. So I'm pretty unhappy about that situation as well. Delmon Young at least is a dreadfully underrated post-hype sleeper candidate.

On the plus side, I'm very happy with my work in the early rounds, apart from Marmol. My goals:

* one of S. Drew/Hardy
* one of Liriano/Gallardo
* one of Kershaw/Scherzer
* Tommy Hanson

Nailed them all. Very happy about that.

After then fucking up my closer situation, I turned to my sleeper list and crossed off a bunch in a row: from Fausto Carmona all the way to Frank Francisco I got exactly who I wanted pre-draft for the price I was willing to pay. Carmona and Chris Carpenter are both KILLING it this spring, so I'm glad nobody else cared to jump on those two, especially since I didn't want to spend my 9/10/11 picks on the likes of Ervin Santana and (ahem) Cliff Lee when I could take a shot on Gallardo, Scherzer, and those types.

Still, despite landing nearly every one of my targets (damn you, affordable Gil Meche!), things look grim. The highest 2008 innings pitched count amongst my starters is a whopping 174 IP from Josh Beckett. Likewise, my starters had a total MLB record of 22-31 last year. Thanks to many, many major injuries, my seven super-talented pitchers pitched like two Royals. I could conceivably cut every pitcher on this list besides Gallardo and Beckett. Or I could end up with Gallardo, Scherzer, Hanson and Buchholz all living up to their potential, Carmona and Carpenter returning to form, and Beckett alternating back to Awesome Pitcher as he always does in odd-numbered years. This could be the best rotation in the league or the worst it's ever seen.

My team is still good enough to get a playoff bye and lose, like last year. I'm glad I swung for the fences pitching-wise. But my fuckups with the closer corps and the extreme risk I took with my starters (combined with having to give each and every one of them time before deciding to cut them) makes me very, very nervous.


GARY (D Price Is Wright)

Best picks: Chad Billingsley (9), Matt Lindstrom (17), Mat Gamel (23)
Worst picks: Randy Johnson (19) but not really
Official team video: Charlie Goes America All Over Everybody's Asses

Gary just went America all over our asses.

Jason Motte came too early, given the collective tendency this year to not know who rookies are. Randy Johnson won't be good enough to stick it out on the roster. Jordan Zimmermann pitches for one of the most pathetic teams in history. That is literally everything bad that I can say about what Gary did.


FRANK (that old cack magic)

Best picks: Adrian Gonzalez (6), Matt Wieters (7), Rich Harden (10), the Dukes-Werth-Kuroda-Lyon run (18-21)
Worst picks: Chad Qualls (16), Cristian Guzman (23)
Official team video: That's politics, bitch!

I don't know why Frank gets this. Maybe for winning last year?

Frank did pretty okay. If nothing else, he gobbled up a big bag of Wieters. But even that was at the expense of offense. His offense still looks pretty awful; Hart/Dukes/Ethier isn't gonna cut it, not with the Jeter/Roberts pair at the scarce positions. The starting pitching is pretty good, and could be pretty great depending on Harden (surprise!) and Harang. The closers... not so much, although the Fruitbat's presence should normalize things back there.

(Did anyone else realize Mariano has never won a Cy Young? I'm no sympathizer but given that we, as a society, DO award the Cy Young to closers, how can the greatest closer in the history of closing things not have one? And of course, how do Barry Zito and Cliff Lee have one, and he doesn't? Bizarre.)

As you may have noticed by my substantial digression, I haven't got a lot to say either way about Frank's work. The roster was decent pre-draft, and is decent now. Making the leap again will depend heavily on Travis Snider and Chris Young stepping up to help Frank's outfield. Most of us have good outfielders, and Frank hasn't got anyone better than Corey "If You Even THINK The Phrase 'Sunglasses At Night,' I'll Cut You" Hart. For OF to be anything other than a glaring weakness, those two younguns need to get it done.



I think I'll predict Gary to win this year. I never do, and I always should because whoever I pick ends up tanking to shit, and he looks awfully scary to me right now. But on the other hand, leave it to Gary to defy my reverse logic and win it all, just to piss me off by making my prediction come true. Up yours, Gary... up yours indeed.

If you guys would like to predict where my predictions will surely go wrong, drop a note below...

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Baseball Draft 2008

As I mentioned elsewhere, carpal tunnel syndrome's got me down. I wasn't planning on writing a full-fledged bloggasm this year. I was just going to throw out some thoughts and let them be.

But I found myself unable to let you all off the hook without cursing your God-forsaken teams. I also didn't want the "Chas Budnick is a bastard" tag to go unused for another six months.

So, I went back on my word and slapped together a short breakdown for each of you, with complete sentences and everything, based on my expert opinion. Enjoy.

CHARLES (Bedards-A-Bust)

Best pick: Daric Barton (16)
Worst pick: Conor Jackson (10)
Best sleeper: Lastings Milledge (17)
Best reach: Matt Kemp (7)
Official team Dugout: for Andy Pettitte

Charles restocked nicely. It's not the Adrian Peterson nuclear bombshell that he had in football, so I don't see an immediate turnaround unless EVERYTHING goes right. But either way, he's a lot better off than he was at this time last year. I like the Zimmerman/Kemp selections, and I like Soto, especially at the relatively cheap price for a potential top 5 catcher.

Keepers: C+
Draft: B
Future: A-
Overall: B-

MATT (Past a Diving Jeter)

Best pick: n/a (seriously)
Worst pick: Dmitri Young (18)
Best sleeper: Barry Bonds (23b)
Best reach: Kevin Youkilis (12)
Official team Dugout: for Alfonso Soriano and Sweet Lou

I think Matt made a tactical error by prioritizing starting pitching and going out of his way to fill up on keepers. Oswalt and Hamels are an excellent pair, but it says here that Gil Meche and Matt Cain could have been acquired without spending a flexible keeper slot. However, I did make the same complaint about Jesse keeping Prince Fielder last year. And besides, are you going to listen to a guy who spent the best picks of his first draft on Jhonny Peralta and Jorge Cantu? (Answer: yes!)

Keepers: C-
Draft: C
Future: C
Overall: C

JEFF (Pujols n' Buchholz)

Best pick: Dustin McGowan (16)
Worst pick: Oliver Perez (14)
Best sleeper: Hiroki Kuroda (22)
Best reach: ummm... Perez?
Official team Dugout: for Al-BEAR Pu-JOLSSS (Matt and Dan, tread carefully)

When I saw that pretty much everyone else was reaching, I opted to not reach, which went awfully well until the vomit-inducing selection of Oliver Perez. But it's not exactly an inspired draft... I aimed for the middle and hit it. I do like my keeper situation a lot, and I eagerly await Evan Longoria, my infield savior. The rotation is the main weakness, although I'm not really down on any of the guys I landed. (Perez was a reach, not a goof. And he sure started nicely, didn't he?) Either way, uniformly safe and mediocre work by me in support of a decent keeper list.

Keepers: A
Draft: B-
Future: B+
Overall: B+

ALEX (Powerthirst Drinkers)

Best pick: Chien-Ming Wang (14)
Worst pick: Shelley Duncan (18)... sigh
Best sleeper: Aaron Hill (22)
Best reach: Daisuke Matsuzaka (8)
Official team Dugout: this one should be obvious

No Anibal Sanchez this season, so he's already improved. Lehr's keepers are solid, and his early draft is passable, if a bit long in the tooth (Abreu, P.O.S.ada, Konerko). Things descend into Lehr's usual affection for fantasy non-factors (Duncan? Asdrubal?) but when you're packing the two best players in fantasy, it's hard to really pick nits.

That said, as a one-time Javy Vazquez owner, I was surprised to see him go so early, even with the Ks taken into account.

Keepers: A-
Draft: C+
Future: B+
Overall: B

DAN (Mung Beans)

Best pick: Russell Martin (7)
Worst pick: Torii Hunter (9)... I smell contract-itis
Best sleeper: Yunel Escobar (22)
Best reach: Ubaldo Jimenez (16)
Official team Dugout: For Mr. Met

Dan is our official league bullshit detector. When Brandon Jacobs falls to the end of the fifth round, or Russell Martin makes it to the 7th overall pick behind the likes of Brian Roberts and Robinson Cano, Dan is always there to make a tidy profit. Between the strong keepers and the "wtf are you guys thinking" reactionary drafting, Dan's team is pretty stacked. The outfield is the only point of concern I have, and that's as much a matter of taste (I'm down on Markakis, Hunter or Byrnes as fantasy players) as anything.

Keepers: A-
Draft: A
Future: A
Overall: A

KABIR (Golden Mauers)

Best pick: Colby Rasmus (17)
Worst pick: Robinson Cano (7)
Best sleeper: Wily Mo Pena (23)
Best reach: Jay Bruce (6)
Official team Dugout: For Johan

Given the caliber of player that ALWAYS turns up as a midseason callup, I think Kabir may end up regretting having spent his top pick on Bruce. Put another way, the next best prospect behind Bruce, Evan Longoria, was my 18th round pick last year. Then there's the likes of Ryan Braun, Clay Buchholz, Billy Butler, Cameron Maybin, Joey Votto, Hunter Pence, Phil Hughes, Yovani Gallardo... all of whom turned up on waivers. That's no knock on Bruce, who I did name as Kabir's best reach. If he ends up being a superstar, the conversation is moot. But why drop the high pick on talent that can be had more cheaply? Why not take Kemp? Have your cake and eat it too. What he did with Rasmus is right on the money.

Keepers: A-
Draft: C+
Future: B+
Overall: B

GARY (Gonnie Garko)

Best pick: Hideki Matsui (14)... wow guys, come on
Worst pick: Ben Sheets (11)... even after 2 starts I stand by this pick being a dumb
Best sleeper: (tie) Chase Headley (22), Manny Parra (18)
Best reach: Billy Butler (9)
Official team Dugout: er... Pavano?

I hesitate to criticize Gary on matters of baseball. After laughing at his selection of Ryan Howard (which in fact FOLLOWED my selection of Peralta!) I will never again shout down Gary's strategy with such voraciousness. However, since I ripped Kabir a new one, the Votto pick means that Mr. Tong requires an appointment with the proctologist [warning: sound] as well. Gary, enjoy watching Dusty Baker turn Votto into a headcase!

Anyway, there aren't any real heists to report in this draft. He reached for the stars pretty much each time, with mixed results. His team is ridiculously young though... as my (failed) search for a relevant Dugout shows, he really doesn't have any established veterans.

Keepers: A
Draft: B+
Future: A
Overall: A-

FRANK (The Hart Foundation)

Best pick: Rafael Soriano (13)
Worst pick: Brian Roberts (7)
Best sleeper: Josh Bard (20)
Best reach: n/a
Official team Dugout: for Khalil Greene and his pristine Nubian skin

Frank just cannot resist having three first basemen. No sooner than ridding himself of his excess first baseman, Travis Hafner, does he pick up Derrek Lee and Carlos Pena. What C.C. Sabathia is to cheeseburgers, Frank is to first basemen. He gobbles them up.

While we're tearing Frank apart, let's remember all year long that he could have had Russell Martin instead of Brian Roberts. Derrek Lee I can see, but Roberts? Hmmm.

That said, I do like what he did with pitching by picking up underrated strikeout-heavy guys (Hill, Harang, Bonderman, even Lilly) who won't kill you in W/L. I also like the Bard pick, given that Frank punted the position.

Keepers: C+
Draft: B-
Future: B
Overall: B-

CHAS (Labias Corpas)

Best pick: Ken Griffey, Jr. (13)
Worst pick: (tie) Rickie Weeks (10), Chris Carpenter (11)
Best sleeper: Stephen Drew (18)
Best reach: Manny Corpas (12), only b/c it led to the team name
Official team Dugout: for Delmon

Something's not right here. Chas has an excellent nucleus in place. I love the keeper list (docked a grade for Kendrick in a box) and the first few picks. And the late run from Stephen Drew through Shaun Marcum is quality. But the "bathing suit area" of his draft is a minefield of injury question marks (Chipper & Griffey) and injury exclamation points (Carpenter). And if Rickie Weeks was going to break out, it'd have happened by now. Two words, Chas: Donnie Sadler.

Keepers: A-
Draft: C
Future: B+
Overall: B

JESSE (Twattletales)
Best pick: Gary Sheffield (10)
Worst pick: Jason Isringhausen (14)... bleech
Best sleeper: Adam Wainwright (19)
Best reach: n/a
Official team Dugout: FOR JI

The Wusslards did a fine, competent job of building depth. She got good veteran value in the first few rounds. I like the Sheffield pick a lot, especially at that price. Shields was a nice grab at #11 right after Carpenter went. And a #16 for Pedro was a decent gamble (despite already getting hurt). The rotation is pretty strong, given how good Myers looked. The closer situation is shaky (Izzy, Capps, Sherrill) but that's easily remedied.

Jesse, however, gets points off for terrifying me with that screaming "piss on your ass" stuff. Leave your scat fetish in the toilet bowl next to your breakfast, pal.

Keepers: A-
Draft: B
Future: A
Overall: A-


Best name: Past a Diving Jeter, by a razor-thin margin over Labias Corpas. Drier than the finest Barolos in Piedmonte.

Best roster on paper: Dan. Gotta love keeping Braun as a freebie.

Highest ceiling: Gary. If he gets lucky with the Butler/Hamilton pair, we're all fucked.

Most improved: Charles (by default)

Winner/cuuuuuurse: Dan

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Football Draft Summary 2007

Fred Smoot has returned to the District, and the smell of freshly-christened double-dildos fills the air about the mighty Anacostia River, as it so often does in August. But as we all know, not even the vague odor of pad thai is sweeter than the unmistakable aroma of fantasy football.

Our first off-season of keepers was relatively uneventful. Unlike the keepers submitted in other sports (by certain managers who will remain nameless, in spite of their hirsute appearances and predispositions towards erratic urination in fruits and vegetables) there were no WTF-level head-scratchers to be seen here... each subpar keeper on the list is the result of quota issues, not poor decision-making. There are exactly three exceptions to that statement out of 40, and they're largely a matter of personal opinion as opposed to universal bonerdom:


1. Cadillac Williams: I'd have kept Donovan McBaldfro. Look at the RB depth that was available... Cadillac would definitely have made it to the turnaround for Chas to grab again, if he wanted him so badly.

2. Andre Johnson: Again, would've made it to Rusch's pick because of the superior WRs who got dropped. Bulger, as you see, did not. Should've kept Bulger.

3. Jamal Lewis: Honestly, I have no alternative to present. Fred Taylor, maybe. But I can't let this slide. If he looked like shit behind Jonathan Ogden, what'll he look like now? That said, I'm proud that Charles didn't keep Cooley, which I was totally expecting based on his baseball keepers.

I thought we had an extremely competent draft from top to bottom. There were very few truly odorous picks, and very few late-slipping prizes on the scale of a Frank Gore or (ahem) Drew Brees. I was skeptical of the timing of the TE run, but at least it came in the 7th and not the 5th or 6th... maybe that's a function of the first four rounds being keepers. Anyway, very nice job done by all.

Except for the following!!!


1. Brandon Jacobs: Seriously, guys, come on. He's controversial, but he was the only potential home-run RB on the board besides Peterson. I had him as the #1 RB available, and he went fourth. He's a starting back with major TD potential. How do you pass over him to take the likes of Edge and Thomas Jones??? This isn't as disastrous as I thought it was during the draft (I've since calmed down a bit on Edge's grim prospects) but I still think Andrew and Lehr each screwed up by passing on him. But they did manage to single-handedly bail out Dan's RB depth problems. With aplomb.

2. Vince Young: My plan if the Manning trade didn't happen was to take VY in the 6th. His drop to the bottom of the 8th round was awful. "Warren Sapp on draft day" awful. Rusch on draft night: "jackpot!"

3. Kevin Jones: He's recovering much faster from his injury than anyone expected; based on having avoided a six-week PUP sentence, he could be contributing in a matter of weeks. I'm absolutely filleting myself for drafting Vernand Morency and the Honkie-Honkie Twins instead of taking a flyer on Jones.

4. Marshawn Lynch: The more I think about this, the more surprised I am that he lasted this long. He's in an itty-bitty carry committee right now, but unlike Adrian Peterson he has no real competition for the featured job should he perform well. Smart move by Mr. Lehr.

5. Donovan McNabb: Gets fewer points on the steal scale because he's gonna get hurt again. Still, before he does get hurt... wow. (Chas, looking at you here...)

6. Ahman Green: Hate all you want, but he's a clear starter, and posted solid numbers last year (on a shitty team) while you bastards weren't paying attention. You guys are gonna hate your way into last place with this attitude. For SHAME.

7. Lamont Jordan: Something tells me that his inability to produce last season had something to do with their offense being run by a senile old B&B proprietor. Something tells me his slow creep back to mediocrity begins now. And with a 13th round pick? Wow.

I've chosen to bump up the multimedia aspect this time around, providing a horn-o-plenty bursting forth with cornucopiae, which in turn are stuffed to the gills with excitement.

I've given each team a limerick. Now, I know what you're thinking: any limerick starting with "There once was a Broncos supporter / Who gives hand jobs out back for a quarter" probably isn't worth finishing. But that's just a closed-minded way of looking at it. I've gone where no man has gone before, in the name of cheap laughs. I freely encourage you to add your own in the comments section. Suggested places for your "there once was a man" to come from: Stuttgart, Reykjavik, and the famous Scottish city of Claesterbaete.

I also assigned each of you a YouTube video that is at least tangentially related to you or your team. Perhaps it's a specious connection... perhaps it's an obvious one... perhaps I just like the video. Either way, it's yours, so bathe in it. Then freeze it in the winter and skate on it. Then melt it in the springtime and drink it.

In the name of putting a stop to this nonsense, here we go, in draft order...

Official Nickname: Virgin And Juice
Unofficial Nickname: Anthony Bourdong
Official Team Limerick:
"I will trade you," said Charles, "Ocho Cinco
For Taylor, straight up. Whatchu thinko?"
Kelvin laughed till he peed
In his pants, then agreed
To the trade, which quite frankly was stinko.

Official Team Youtube Video: Charles gets this for two reasons:

1) It's the Orioles
2) It's important for a chef to know where tomatoes come from

Santana Moss, Chicago DEF, Matt Leinart, Jamal Lewis

Charles did the best he could, given that he traded away Chad Johnson. Good to hold onto Chicago D, the only dominant contributor of the four. I have minor quibbles with keeping Lewis, but it's not like Fred Taylor and his groin are any better a choice.

KEEPER GRADE: C-, but a solid B when curved for what he had to work with


On the one hand, I like what he did. Peterson was a reach for the absolute ceiling. Branch and Edwards are both smart bets to improve upon their 2006 numbers significantly. Vinatieri... Romo... getting Witten very late... all nicely done.

On the other hand, it's not a "blew me away" draft either. He didn't clean up after others' mistakes as much as he could have. And there weren't any "yikes" moments, where someone else's obvious mistakes got cleaned up... but maybe that's a function of the 10 of us collectively having our shit together more than ever. Anyway, nicely done on the whole.



The RB situation still isn't all that good, and his other areas likely won't be good enough to make up for it. But I see a lot of potential here. This starting lineup isn't all that bad; it's actually kinda nice. But it's still dependent on best-case scenarios from each of his RBs... one of whom is in Cleveland, another of whom isn't the starter, and another (Jackson) who's done jack shit all preseason. He's gotta pray that Adrian Peterson busts out.


Official Nickname: Team Kelvin
Unofficial Nickname: Pounding Vagggggggggg
Official Team Limerick:
Like Han being shot at by Greedo
His Daunte trade wasn't that neato
Shaun and Willis be back
And his wideouts be stacked
But he'd trade them for Cooley's wet Speedo

Official Team Youtube Video: If you don't know why I picked this clip, you (and your notebook) obviously didn't sit next to Kelvin in physics class.

Amazingly, one of the visuals involves a bar graph, which I swear to God Kelvin drew in my notes. It was called the Kelvin Penis Index. Unsurprisingly, I didn't rate that highly. I know I have the KPI drawing somewhere, deep in my nostalgia files...

(UPDATE: THOSE FUCKERS. "Violated terms of service"? I'll violate your ASS of service. How dare they yank the man-dick clip? What a pile of vagina shit. That's what I get for taking a week's vacation instead of working 60 hours a day on the draft summary... now I don't get to embed it. I have to make you go here. I could bitch-slap them so fucking hard. Stupid son of a bitch bastards.)

Shaun Alexander, Willis McGahee, Reggie Wayne, Ochenta Y. Cinco

Nice list. Two keepable RBs, two superior WRs. Pretty much what you'd want to do, all things being equal. The RBs aren't so good going forward, but the more I look at it, the more I set aside negative attitudes about Alexander in particular... and the more workable this lineup looks. Alexander will be better than he was, as will McGahee.



Better job than last year. Generally strong work up top with Bulger, who was underrated (by Frank Rusch). The RB-hording approach is wise, considering his RB keeper situation. I love the Welker pick. And the Jordan pick, upon reflection, is awfully good as well; getting an actual starter that late is always good.

I do have minor bones to pick:

* Both Winslow and Jackson were reaches. I liked them both a lot, but not with a 6th and 7th. However, one does have to reach for guys when one is close to the turnaround, so that's not a big deal.

* Michael Turner's chances at fantasy relevance are dependent exclusively on a freak injury, as opposed to a predictable one (DeShaun Foster, Warrick Dunn, Clinton Portis). He's obviously the most talented backup in football, but that doesn't translate into points b/c he has no way to produce. There's smarter bets to make if you're just spearfishing for TD sharks. Case in point: I liked the LenDale White pick, but then he got cut b/c of the committee thing. Fair, but why keep Turner while ditching a guy who's gonna actually play? That's the basic thrust of my objection.

* Not drafting a defense at all? That's a bitch move. I don't care how smart it is, it's a bitch move and that's all there is to say about it. That decision was brought to you by the letters V, A, G, I, N, and A.

DRAFT GRADE: A- for talent, F for being a bitch


Bulger, a healthy Alexander, scary WR corps, rejuvenated McGahee... that's a solid, solid group. But the purpose of this season should be to sell high on his current guys in order to accumulate RB talent for the future. Gotta find an heir for Alexander. As they are, though, I'd expect a lot more consistency this season from Team Period, and probably a lower-level playoff spot.


Official Nickname: the superb owl
Unofficial Nickname: Addai In The Life
Official Team Limerick:
Addai, Ronnie Brown and Jones-Drew
Are attached to this team with a screw
Should he make some damn trades?
Shave his taint with dull blades?
Jeebus, what is poor Frank Rusch to do?

Official Team Youtube Video: He's sitting there with THE SAME THREE RUNNING BACKS... when will he just pick two of them and move along??? It just never ends! It kinda reminds me of... well...

Ronnie Brown, Maurice Jones-Drew, Joseph Addai, Andre Johnson

I'm impressed that he had the balls to drop Bulger. I figured Andre Johnson would have been the one to go. In retrospect, it looks as if he should have dropped A-Train, since he would have made it past Kelvin and Charles untouched (unlike Bulger). But he kept his best four, so there's nothing really to criticize there. Apart from, well, delaying his decision on which RBs to keep for yet another season.



From a talent perspective, he got a pretty nice haul. But it was up and down. Housh was a no-brainer. Heap and Clayton were too early. VY in the 8th was a steal. Holmes is interesting, but again kinda early. Foster, Eli and Bruce from 10-12 are good values. (Bruce looks cooked, but at 12 you're sifting through turd nuggets anyway.) Taking bother Denver and Elam will be a mistake come the bye week.

Coulda been better, but if Ifs and Buts were candy and nuts, Frank would have a mouth full of nuts and sugar. (You sort that one out. I'm not digging any deeper into THAT mineshaft.)



He's all set at RB, has a nice set of WRs, a solid TE, two playable QBs... a nice solid roster.


Official Nickname: TTBNL
Unofficial Nickname: Free Construda For Fitty
Official Team Limerick:
A man by the name of Jablome
Offered Fitty for Laurence Maroney
He acquired construda,
Ate a rich, pungent gouda,
Then sucked off a cute Shetland pony.

Official Team Youtube Video: This has nothing to do with Jesse. But can anyone tell me what Simms did that's so goddamn special?

Looks like him doing the job on the practice field that he wishes he could do on the playing field. It's not Marques Colston's job to blindly catch a football behind his back. It's not Jason Campbell's job to throw two deep balls INTO EACH OTHER and complete both passes. But they're fucking insane commercials, and they make them look REALLY COOL. Hell, even Neil Rackers looked pretty cool in his. Simms shouldn't have even bothered. "Pick me! Pick me!" Aaah, eat shit.

Although, to Simms' credit, there's no way anyone would be like "awwww, that was all CGIed" with this one. Then again, it goes w/o saying that nobody drafted him. Can't argue with results.

Laurence Maroney, Cedric Benson, Deuce McAllister, Carson Palmer

Gaining Maroney helped his RB situation quite a bit. It does leave him exposed at WR, but the urgency at RB takes precedence. Still no first-round talent, however. Not quite. A little below-average as a group, compared to others' keeper lists, but not bad.

Also, I'm glad he refrained from dropping a Deuce.

(Yes, I know, wocka x 3, try the veal, tip your waitress, 10:00 show totally different from 8:00 show, etc.)



This is a mixed bag for me.

I'm not super-thrilled with how his WR situation shook out. There's an unavoidable quantity-over-quality thing caused by the Maroney trade... other than Crotchery, I'm not a fan. I'm highly skeptical of Reggie Brown's abilities. Plaxico is notoriously unpredictable, and is at the mercy of Eli Manning. Hackett and Jennings are unproven shot-in-the-dark guys, though far from bad picks. None of those guys have HUGE ceilings... their best-case is solid. And their average-case is grim.

I suppose it would've been tough to do any better, given the situation. Personally, I would've grabbed Deion Branch or Laveranues Coles instead of Brown. Even reaching for Braylon Edwards would've represented a potential keeper WR in development. But that's just, you know, my opinion, man. Regardless of how it happened, he's got the weakest WR corps in the league, and should keep a constant eye out for flavor-of-the-month WRs early on.

At other positions, getting Tony Gonzalez and the fork sticking out of his back with a single pick was impressive. And keeping three RBs meant he didn't need to do much besides grabbing Fred Taylor at a value spot (the 9th, very nice).



The roster is pretty middling. Competitive enough, but I don't see a high ceiling on any of these guys besides Palmer and maybe Maroney. If the RBs churn out 10-12 TDs apiece, as they're capable of doing, and one of his WR blossoms into a legit #1 fantasy guy, then he'll be fine.


Official Nickname: The Ugli Tangelos
Unofficial Nickname: Edge of the Cutlery
Official Team Limerick:
The Broncs are now led by Jay Cutler
Whose few talents cannot be subtler
He runs like molasses
They pick off his passes
And he'll soon be John Elway's butler

Official Team Youtube Video:

This is for Andrew because he always gets mercilessly abused no matter what he does in the live drafts. And yet he turned out OK last time, and is pretty much all set from a keeper standpoint. Next time, he should just turn around and say "Happy Mother's Day, motherfuckers."

Reggie Bush, Brian Westbrook, Steve Smith, Javon Walker

Bush and Westbrook are both outstanding PPR backs. No argument from me on either of them, even if Bush merely repeats his 2006, which I don't expect. Walker and Smith were too good not to keep. He's basically got Kelvin's setup, but with running backs he's not ashamed of.



Here's where things fell apart.

I'll start with the good news. McNabb in the 6th is going to make everyone look stupid. That's it.

I've since backed off my initial declaration that Edge is finished and his selection was laughable, since it's easy to believe that Arizona's line could improve from last year. But he's of limited use between the 20's to start with, and now Marcel Shipp is apparently getting all the goal line carries. Edge will have to score from 10+ each time, and that's clearly not his strong suit anymore. With both Brandon Jacobs and Thomas Jones available, Edgerrin James was not the guy to take.

Then there's the early selections of Cooley, San Diego D and Kaeding... the neglect of the WR3 position until Demetrius Williams... taking Cutler... could've been way better. Maybe Cutler becomes a keepable guy, but Andrew skipped over a valuable WR3 (Jerricock Crotchery) to take him. The Bronco factor, and the anti-Lehr factor, are worth acknolwedging, but I can't throw my support behind that pick.

However, I'm reminded of the beating Andrew took after last year's debacle. In that case, it turns out that it wasn't a matter of drafting bad players, it was the timing. Things worked out pretty nicely for ol' Andrew. This time, though, he made two value selections (McNabb and Muhammad) and the rest are just head-scratchers. I don't get it. Then again, maybe I'm not supposed to get it.



With keepers like that, Andrew's set for a while. The looming injury threat above guys like Westbrook, Smith and McNabb are the only possible blemishes on his core. But he's gotta do something about that bench, because it's in rough, rough shape.


Official Nickname: Alex's Rape Stand
Unofficial Nickname: Like Watermelon For Chocolate
Official Team Limerick:
Who knows what a mind like Lehr's sees
With the temps at 100 degrees?
His thoughts must be scattered
If he likes pu-pu platters
Of Colston, Antonio, and Brees.

Official Team Youtube Video: One would think this video would be more appropriate for Andrew, given that he's donned the Ronaldinho Chia Pet hair in the past, and even fathered a chicken who bears his likeness.

But no, I'm giving it to Lehr because of the way I was manhandled during the Peyton Manning trade talks. Lehr is Ronaldinho, Peyton Manning is the shoes, I'm the ball, and Brees/Colston/Gates are the goal bars.

Willie Parker, Drew Brees, Marques Colston, Antonio Gates

Lehr's trade of Peyton Manning for the pu-pu platter has totally transformed his roster. Sure, you have to ask yourself whether you really want to trade a 1st round pick for a crop of 3rd/4th rounders. But he now fields a pretty decent team apart from his RBs. RB is a source of concern, but I think we can all agree that he's better off with these four than he would have been with Manning, but also with Plaxico Burress and Marion Barber MCMLXXIX. Basically, if Brees' downgrade is only minor, this trade is a friggin steal.

Then again, if Brees shits the bed... thus affecting Colston's numbers... you're gonna have to wonder. But for now, I think Lehr played the keeper game pretty masterfully.

KEEPER GRADE: B+ (but also the Most Improved Keepers award winner)


These words have never been written: I like Lehr's team a lot. I don't know what to do with myself here. (Maybe it has something to do with him actually having MY team. I'll be calling up Colston and Gates from Lehr's team to the big club around week 5.)

Not blown away by his RB depth... still his weakness. But I think he got good value between the Joneses and Lynch. I personally thought Brandon Jacobs should've been the guy instead of Thomas Jones, but that's something that many folks appear to have disagreed on.

The WR depth is nice. Good stable of starters; I especially liked the Coles pick at 7. I'm also impressed enough by the balls of the Ginn, Jr. pick (as compared to the birdshit WRs available towards the end of the draft) that I can't argue with it.



Lehr needs to work his Willie Parker magic and pull another superstar out of his ass. Lynch could do it; the other two RBs are unlikely to. And I think the Saints are probably due to slide back a bit. However, Lehr had an easy job on draft night, and did well with it.


Official Nickname: Chas = Grundlemonkey
Unofficial Nickname: A Brown Delicious To The Face
Official Team Limerick:
The man who just barely grows beards
Did exactly what everyone feared
Piled up on receivers
So check your girls' beavers
Where Kabir's Dirty Sanchez is smeared

Official Team Youtube Video: Kabir was so deep with talent last season that he was forced to drop some very talented players. He tried to unload them to improve his team, but unfortunately was left with no choice by the end. Seems that he had too many mutha_uckas, _uckin with his shi_...

Rudi Johnson, Steven Jackson, Larry Fitzgerald, Tom Brady

Kabir did well to get some on-field value for his RB glut. He could have done better than Fitzgerald, talentwise, but the owners of every WR as good or better than Fitz had no need for Maroney, and definitely no need for either of Kabir's depth WRs. Then again, it'd have been nice for him to get something for Roy Williams and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Still, with RBs like that, he's set up nicely.



Wow. Roy Williams and Lee Evans to go with Fitty. Yipes. And the Jackson/Johnson combo. And Brady.

The one place I'd expect Kabir to falter is his bench. Chambers is a decent starting WR (QB troubles notwithstanding) so getting him strictly as a backup is a coup. However, the dropoff from Rudi Johnson to Marion Barber III is awfully steep. Not one RB on his bench is a starter. That's not good. And no insurance against Vernon Davis busting? VD is shaky enough that I'd have my eyes peeled for TEs who make an early splash.

Then again, Betts and Stallworth aren't exactly poor value for those slots. So maybe it's a bit harsh. I do like what he did in those later rounds on the whole, it's just that he went very heavy into the WR area w/o covering his ass at RB.



Kabir has the deepest starting lineup in the league. His weaknesses are Vernon Davis, who is more of a gamble than a weak point, and Minnesota D, who play in a great division for turnovers and such. Barring injuries, I'd expect Kabir to be extremely difficult to beat.


Official Nickname: Ne Hua Printing Co.
Unofficial Nickname: Inner City Pressure (nnnr ctty prssrrrrr)
Official Team Limerick:
There was a young boy named Novillo
Who left his first tooth 'neath his pillow
The Fairy left cash
But 'twas robbed by that trash
Larry Johnson, whose ego would billow

(Dan, my sincerest apologies for dredging up your painful childhood memories in such stinging detail)

Official Team Youtube Video: Dan gets two, because I wanted to post the first, but felt like it was far too cruel. So I chose to neutralize the karma a little. This is also based on the foggy and possibly false memory that Dan is a Bills fan.

And now for redemption. Do note that the pro-Dan video is about 16 times longer than the anti-Dan video.

(Fun fact: I've never watched that entire 10th-inning sequence live. Not once, not even after 2004. Can't stomach it. But while watching the RBI version, I found myself thinking, "gosh, all they need to do is get this one strike..." That's right, kids, I get into it so much that I think the Red Sox STILL have a chance to win the worst and most damaging game of my lifetime. Sick, delusional, or both? You be the judge.)

Larry Johnson, Terrell Owens, Anquan Boldin, Philip Rivers

Dan didn't have a lot of choices here. Boldin, TO and LJ were obvious, and there wasn't much left for that 4th spot. However, given that, Rivers was the a better choice than, say, Julius Jones. Even having escaped the Parcells doghouse, Julius is not to be kept.



I'm still floored that Brandon Jacobs slipped to Dan. You all did him as big a favor as I did Lehr. Nice work. Give yo'selves a round of applause.

He took two different RBs right before I'd have taken them myself (Ahman Green and DeAngelo Williams), so by the "pissing me off" criterion Dan did wonderfully.

Driver will be a great #3 WR. Lots of receptions, fairly stable at this point.

And grabbing Hasselbeck in the 9th was nice work.

On the other hand, L.J. in the 8th is a reach for someone who's never posted above-average fantasy totals; the difference between him and Ben Watson (12th) is razor-thin. Not that this is a huge problem, but L.J. would have dropped.

Also, I truly despise Devery Henderson, after he single-handedly blew the Masturbatriots' season last year by dropping multiple 40-yard passes. Don't pass it to this guy, he SUCKS.

Nice job though. Bonus points for waiting until the last rounds to take a kicker and defense.



I like what Dan did here. Solid, balanced, fairly deep (especially at RB).


Official Nickname: Construda Wakening
Unofficial Nickname: I Ruined Your Fun
Official Team Limerick:
My great Masturbatriots run
Was ruined by D. Henderson
That son of a bitch
Dropped three deep balls in a row
That's it, I'm straight-up bricking on his stupid face, I HATE YOU CHAS

Official Team Youtube Video: I felt like my acquisition of Manning, the stuffing of Lehr's stocking, and the resultant blood-letting from the draft pool should be met with some kind of disdain. So here's a 30-second shot of pure disdain.

LaDainian Tomlinson, Frank Gore, Peyton Manning, Torry Holt

I don't see how anyone could argue with any aspect of this group. Holt's knee notwithstanding, there's nothing wrong in any way with this list. Sorry.



I'm fairly happy with my work here. Solid, unspectacular picks. I didn't get any steals, exactly, but I do think I made the most to grab players who were somewhat underrated.

I like Moss at 49. I didn't think he'd make it down to me, and the late 5th is a good place to gamble on him... he and Calvin Johnson were the only home runs remaining on the board, and I wasn't about to take a rookie WR. Moss may not post fantasy #1 numbers this year, but he's a solid #2.

Baltimore D wouldn't have lasted much longer, and the 7th round is about right for them. That was the only marquee fantasy talent left on the board, and I got it. So I was happy about that.

I'm a little surprised that Shockey dropped past the likes of Chris Cooley, Vernon Davis and Alge Crumpler. I may hate him, but Shockey in the 8th = value.

Taylor, Horn and Dunn aren't impact players, but I got them cheap, and they're better pickups than the dregs that surrounded them.

Morency, Jones and Curtis are turds. Hopefully they'll work out, but I'm not holding out much hope.

Akers at the end of the draft was a steal. (Yes, I take it back, I did get one steal.) Mostly I'm glad to have punted the K position without having to sacrifice talent at the position... thanks to Akers' injury-depleted 2006 numbers. Hooray for MEEEE!

In the final analysis, trading the Lynch pick to Lehr did a lot of damage to my board. I'm stuck with a Joe Horn sandwich on white as my WR3 corps. There wasn't a whole lot I could have done, but I didn't pull any rabbits out of any hats either. And the guys I did take haven't got much potential, despite the gambles they each represent. It's a mixed bag. Or a mixed grill. Mmmm.



The starting crew is pretty friggin strong. Can't deny that. LT, Gore, Manning and BAL D have enough weekly 20-point potential to hold me above mediocrity all by themselves, with Holt and Moss capable of big days as well.

However, the nagging Holt injury could be tragic, given my lack of depth at WR. He hasn't fully recovered from offseason knee surgery... dun-dun-DUNNNNNNN. Nice of him to disclose this AFTER everyone drafted. Given that Moss isn't healthy either, I don't like how things are shaping up for the beginning of my season. A strong Moss/Holt outing despite their injuries would calm my raging sphincter, but for now I'm a little worried.


Official Nickname: Heywood Jabroni
Unofficial Nickname: What's "Tatum," Precious?
Official Team Limerick:
A hairy young baker named Natch
Dropped pubics in every batch
His chocolate croissant
Known from Cod to Vermont
Was quite tasty, but looked like a snatch

Official Team Youtube Video: It's a celebration, bitches...

Clinton Portis, Travis Henry, Marvin Harrison, Cadillac "Carnell" Williams

Portis is coming off injuries. Travis "Whoops" Henry is a keeper strictly by virtue of his new employer. Harrison is old. Cadillac is a lemon. And Chas dropped McNabb. Portis may be poised for a healthy comeback, but with Betts poaching carries I'm not a fan. Pretty grim.



Ward and Johnson make his WR situation a little better than last season, with Johnson looking to be a possible heir to Harrison. Tatum wasn't a bad pick either, as wasn't Kevin Jones in the 14th... he's got them Martz RBs covered. Which is smart. Jones was one of the real bonehead slips of the draft. Wish I'd taken a chance on him myself.

But beyond that, I really don't like what Chas did. Hines Ward is 57 varieties of washed up. Crumpler has been proven mediocre in spite of his talent, though I suppose betting on the Petrino factor is understandable. The jury's still out on Roethlisberger's fantasy value and physical resilience. Galloway's an OK backup, but Jerry Porter blows goats.

I guess it wasn't that bad, but I get a real iffy vibe from this group that even Andrew's list doesn't give me.



This is a landmark roster for Chas, because I hate it. It'll blow once the season starts, and it blows right now. On paper, this roster is the cavalcade of hand-drawn veiny penises from the Superbad video. (Which were also on paper. See what I did there?)

Anwyay, in all seriousness, I wish you ILL, Chas Budnick. That's right, choke on that big golden Yahoo dick trophy from last year. In fact, why don't you make yourself at home, pull up a chair, and EAT THE WHOLE BAG.



He's head and shoulders above the rest of us. I can compete with him, but his bench is deeper. Dan and Lehr should be in the mix too, but their upper-echelon depth doesn't quite compare. Kelvin's strong enough to muscle his way in there, too.

Well, that about does it. Feel free to let me have it in the comments section. Except you, Chas Budnick. You go to hell and you die.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Fantasy Baseball Draft 2007

A tradition unlike any other. The draft summary, on this shit right here.

Before starting, let me just say that I'm absolutely fed up with the 20 character limit on team names. Do you people have any clue how many piss-your-pants hilarious names I've come up with over the years that require 21 characters? I'd have pulled a Brodie Bruce and gotten my own talk show by now if I'd been able to make those names public. But no. Yahoo! wants to save a character. As far as I'm concerned, they can eat a bag. How dare they give us subpar software for free!

I think we all did a pretty good job adjusting to the keeper draft format this year. Everyone did a pretty good job, for the most part. Lots of parity, too... the teams that I thought didn't draft well tended to be last year's good teams, and vice versa.

There weren't any major goofs that I can see... all the biggies happened at the keeper deadline. And the "keep less than eight" rule worked pretty well, in that those who kept fewer players were the ones who capitalized on those goofs. (Mind you, I'm not thinking of anyone in particular.)

And speaking of goofs, what's with nobody drafting Braden Looper? Am I to believe that nobody thinks he'll work out in the rotation? Come on, that's crazy talk! He'll be fine! (Of course, since writing that, he's thrown 5 shutout innings against the Mets. Doh.)

Seriously though, a couple guys went undrafted that shouldn't have... Edgar Renteria, Johnny Estrada, Hank Blalock... so those guys aren't in the top 250 players? I don't believe that.

So let's just get into it. Lemme know if there's typos or unfinished sentences/thoughts that I missed. In alphabetical order:

Team Name: Tokyo Sexwale
Team Name Should Be: I AM NOT AN ANIBAL!
Steals: Mariano Rivera (13), Ian Snell (22)
Reaches: Mike Cameron (12)
Strengths: SP, RP, 2B
Weaknesses: OF, 1B
Rookies: James Loney (1B-LA), Felix Pie (OF-CHC)

The exploits of the fantasy baseball Sex Cannon have been discussed ad nauseum elsewhere. What I will say is this: less the Anibal/McCann thing, Lehr would have been pretty much bulletproof on this front, because all the other guys he kept are pretty damn good.
Keeper Grade: B-

On the one hand, I get the feeling that he could have done better. But at the same time there's nothing particularly wrong with most of his picks; you can't point at, say, Mike Cameron and say "you should have picked Alex Rios, God what a stupid ass" or whatever. Because seriously, who cares? Still, I wasn't really into what he did. It's like, they're all OK, but none of them were great picks. Verlander was fine, though I'm not as convinced of his staying power as other folks. I like Conor Jackson too, though maybe not at 11. Mo at 13 was a great pick, though. There's really no excuse for him to have dropped that far, regardless of age.
Draft Grade: B-

Lehr's in pretty decent shape. His pitching is pretty phenomenal, especially if Brad Lidge gets his act together. (Even if he pulls a Flowers For Algernon and reverts to being a strikeout-king middle reliever, he's still a fantastic #3 fantasy reliever.)

The offense is a little weak compared to other teams. Dunn/Hawpe/Bonds is a shaky group, Jackson's his only 1B, and there's no viable options on his bench should any of his starters get hurt. If I were him, I'd try to pick up some April-revelation position players and lose his weaker SPs.

But the core is solid. As of Opening Day, he had the top three players in fantasy in Hanley, A-Rod and Dunn, so he must have done something right.

(Look, I didn't tear Lehr a new one in the draft review! There's a first time for everything.)

Team Name: Choke-asoraus RexGr
Steals: Jon Papelbon (9), Brett Myers (11), Ramon Hernandez (14), Bronson Arroyo (17)
Reaches: Rafael Furcal (12)
Strengths: OF, SP, 2B
Weaknesses: None
Rookies: Chris Iannetta (CA-Col), Dustin Pedroia (2B/SS-Bos)

I'm not sure I would have kept Dontrelle or Lowry, based on last year. Could have had them later. But the four OFs and Atkins are no-brainer keepers.
Keeper Grade: B

I believe I did a friggin fabulous job drafting for him, with help from everyone else. It's like I got to draft without being invested in a strategy: as an impartial observer, decide who you would take, and just take him.

Then again, Andrew did give me specific instructions for the early going:

1) Get a first baseman. (Giambi)
2) Get a closer. (Papelbon)
3) Get 2B/SS with speed. (Roberts, Furcal)
4) After that, who cares. (Los Hermanos Giles! Arriba!!!)

With the exception of the Brothers Giles, I thought we did a pretty decent job stocking him with talent. It's like, all the mistakes the rest of us made were corrected immediately by someone saying "give Andrew player X." That contrarianism is why proper Autodraft teams kick so much ass.
Draft Grade: A-

See where I said he had no weaknesses? I'm serious. He has no position unfilled. All holes filled with hard baseball player.

He maintained his sick OF depth, playing four guys who would be legitimate #1 outfielders on several teams (Crawford less so, but in non-bizarro fantasy world he's a top-20 pick). That's just cruel. He nearly made the playoffs with Dontrelle and Noah Lowry as his ONLY pitchers. Now he's got real pitching depth to work with.

I know he's one of the less-attentive participants in the baseball league, but this team won't require much attention. I think he's in really, really good shape.

Team Name: Bologna Mazzone
Team Name Should Be: 5-Star Breastaurant
Steals: Jered Weaver (9), Freddy Sanchez (22), Corey Patterson (25)
Reaches: John Maine (20)
Strengths: IF
Weaknesses: RP, OF
Rookies: Andrew Miller (RP-Det), Mike Pelfrey (SP-NYM)

Loewen? Cabrera? They were pretty safe drops. I'm not convinced Cabrera would have even been drafted, not after that unholy 2-ish WHIP from last spring. Combined with the fact that Charles' roster could have used extra picks the most, and would have landed Matsuzaka if he'd dropped those two and maybe Granderson or Matsui, this was a huge, GOB-caliber mistake.
Keeper Grade: D+

It's a good thing, then, that Charles brought his A-game to the draft. Tons of solid, helpful picks. The 9-13 picks are all pretty strong. His first eyebrow-raiser was John Maine, and that was in round #20.

The only real problem I had was in relief... he could have used another closer beyond Armando Benitez. In hindsight, given that *four* legit relievers followed his selection of Jeff Francoeur in the 17th round (Cordero, Zumaya, Gordon, Fuentes), seems like he could have grabbed one of those four guys in that spot. But otherwise a real good job.
Draft Grade: A-

There's still a problem with high-end talent on this team. He's got six outfielders, but they're all depth outfielders. If Jered Weaver improves, the rotation will be solid, but if he has a sophomore slump then Charles isn't looking so good. And his relief situation is kind of a mess. His infield is looking pretty good at the moment, but beyond that he's got lots of room for improvement.

Team Name: Uggla Retrospective
Team Name Should Be: Kendrick in a Box
Steals: Carlos Guillen (12), Frank Thomas (15), Ken Griffey (24)
Reaches: none
Strengths: OF, IF, DL
Weaknesses: RP
Rookies: Delmon Young (OF-TB), Erick Aybar (SS-LAA), Josh Fields (3B-CHW)

I dunno about keeping Harden, but the rest are pretty good.
Keeper Grade:A-

Chas did pretty well here too, as evidenced by the absence of silly reaches. He built up positional depth and collected a pretty impressive stable of young starting pitchers. It's not a deep stable, but as long as none of them shit the bed he ought to be OK. And if Pedro returns to form at any point in the season, Chas becomes that much more dangerous.

The RPs aren't doing so well, however. Fuentes isn't likely to pick up many saves in Colorado, and Wickman is vulnerable to two different would-be replacements (Gonzalez, Soriano) should he struggle at any moment. He'd do well to figure something out there. Unless he's just punting saves.

Then there's the whole disabled list problem. I mean, between Pedro, Griffey, Crosby, Harden, and Chipper Jones, he stands to lose a lot of Man Games. It's time for Chas to own up to his addiction. But despite stocking up on injury risks, he's got the depth to replace those guys.
Draft Grade:B+

Even with the impending trip(s) to the DL, Chas' team looks pretty tight. Tight like a tiger. After all, those guys might not all end up on the DL. Even if only most of them get hurt, he wins.

I really like what he did with his position players. His pitching is weak, though, and that's gonna hurt him. Slanting towards offense is the way to go, if any, but I think Chas went a little too far. HE CRAYZAY!

Team Name: Mung Beans
Team Name Should Be: I've Got The Sheets
Steals: Rickie Weeks (9), Tom Gordon (17)
Reaches: Nick Markakis (11)
Strengths: SP, RP, OF
Weaknesses: no major ones... Posada sucks, but I dunno
Rookies: Humberto Sanchez (SP-MFY), Jason Hirsh (SP-Col)

The eight players that Dan kept left him with a pretty good nucleus. Personally, having owned Ben Sheets before, I would have tossed his ass out, especially when Oswalt and Webb were already on board. And, as it turned out, he could have done better than Huston Street if he'd dropped him and taken the draft pick. Still, those are minor quibbles.
Keeper Grade:A-

Solid. Nothing great, nothing particularly insane.

I particularly like what he did with the relievers. He's got his main three guys, then he nabbed Borowski and Gonzalez just in case they work out. Worst case, nobody else gets those guys (although Borowski only has his job by default).

I'm not sure what he was thinking with the Markakis pick, though. He's not a bad player, but he's not a guy I'd have sprung for that early.
Draft Grade:B

Though I'd like to make a joke about Dan having to overhaul the roster he was given by a drooling vegetable of a manager, who wouldn't know what VORP was if it took a dump on his face, the fact is that the roster was actually pretty strong, and didn't require much in the way of change. You can do worse than Jose Reyes, Vernon Wells and David Ortiz as your linchpins. While the non-slugging tendencies of Reyes and Weeks might come back to haunt him, I doubt that'll mean much.

Team Name: cheese and rice!
Team Name Should Be: Aramis Up Your BUTT!
Steals: Daisuke Matsuzaka (6), Bill Hall (11), A.J. Burnett (21), Russell Martin (22)
Reaches: Pretty much everything from 12 to 15 (Escobar, Freel, Youkilis, Reyes) was bad IMO
Strengths: 1B, SP
Weaknesses: OF
Rookies: Chris Young (OF-Ari), Adam Jones (OF-Sea)Andy LaRoche (3B-LA)

Frank's roster was pretty thin. I actually think he kept too few players. Never mind the fact that he ended up drafting the guy he shouldn't have dropped (Lackey) in a later round. It's just the principle of the thing. I hate you, Frank.
Keeper Grade: F A

Apart from the huge mistake he made to start things off, this was a pretty on-and-off draft. There were plenty of great picks (Hall at 11, Gagne/Zumaya at 16/17) but there were some head-scratchers too (Anthony Reyes? Him? You wouldn't rather have Beckett or Mussina?)

Also of note is Russell Martin at catcher. In the 22nd round. I think that pick will look pretty good.

I guess if there's a way to judge the draft, you'd have to look at his two glaring pre-draft holes (SP, OF). He addressed SP insanely well (almost too well... seriously, there's other positions) and did a decent job with the outfield. It'll look a lot better if Chris Young hits, and once Hall picks up his OF eligibility in a week or two.
Draft Grade:B

His starting lineup looks fairly decent now. He's got depth problems in the outfield (again, until Hall gets his eligibility) but he seems alright for the time being. The infield is pretty good, including Hafner. The starting rotation has two legitimate studs in Matsuzaka and Lackey. He's got a top reliever in Wagner, a future star closer in Zumaya, and a good gamble in Gagne.

But I still don't see this being a dominant team. He should be better than last season though.

Team Name: Pronounced POO-holes
Team Name Should Be: I've Got Wood Nothin' But Wood Jeter, BJ, Cum, Wood I guess all I've got is Wood jokes
Steals: Adam Wainwright (18)
Reaches: none
Strengths: 3B, IF
Weaknesses: RP
Rookies: Tim Lincecum (SP-SF), Alex Gordon (3B-KC), Brandon Wood (SS-LAA), Adam Lind (OF-Tor)

Gary pretty much kept the six guys he had to. He could have kept Thome and Liriano, and arguably Kinsler too given how thin 2B is, but decided he could do better. The six he kept are pretty hard to quarrel with.
Keeper Grade:A

Gordon and Hamels were a good haul in the post-keeper slots. In general he got good value, although he did spend picks 11 and 13 on development players (Liriano and Lincecum) who aren't likely to help this season. That could hurt this year's team. His later picks were decent, but nothing to raise hell about besides maybe Chris Duncan at #22. Still, the rookie haul was very, very impressive, between Lincecum, Wood and Gordon. That may end up being a huge deal... he gets to keep Gordon and one of Wood/Lincecum for free. Not a bad deal.

But still, gotta wonder about his rotation. Beyond Zambrano and Hamels, you've got Mussina (ehh), Wainwright (nice, but not likely to be great), minor-leaguer Lincecum, and Patterson (pitching for potentially the worst team EVER). I'm all for keeping fewer starters, but that looks awfully thin to me. The Liriano/Lincecum investments are going to cost him quality in the short term.
Draft Grade:B+

Gary's stacked. We've known this for a while. The four main positional players he kept (Utley, Howard, Wright and Beltran) are frighteningly good, and unlikely to backslide any time this decade. The infield is ridiculous, and the outfield is solid with the additions of Ordonez, Pierre and Hunter.

The weakness is the pitching as a whole. Ryan's excellent, but unless Broxton or Wheeler is anointed soon, he's going to need another closer. And as mentioned above, the rotation's kinda thin also, unless Lincecum or Wainwright breaks out.

Team Name: Dirty Balloon Knot
Team Name Should Be: Rusty Sheriff Badge
Steals: Cordero (17), Ensberg (20)
Reaches: Kinsler (8), Longoria (16), Hochevar (18)
Strengths: starting OF depth
Weaknesses: SP not very good, 3B production mediocre
Rookies: Evan Longoria (3B-TB), Luke Hochevar (SP-KC), Miguel Montero (CA-Ari)

I made a play for Dice-K Matsuzaka that I thought was pretty safe. I didn't think Rusch would have the balls to drop Lackey. Little did I know about Frank's balls after all. What a fucker. Still, I think keeping anyone beyond those five wouldn't have been all that bright. The switcheroo with Papelbon was unfortunate, but even then I'd have had to choose between him and Nathan. Given that I couldn't/shouldn't have predicted that, things worked out pretty OK here.
Keeper Grade: B

Even without Matsuzaka on board, I think I made out pretty well with my higher picks. I shored up nearly every offensive position, I didn't overpay at deep positions like SP or 3B, and I got good value at RP. McCann was a steal, and the 7-12 picks are all solid. Sheffield's the most questionable of the lot, but he tends to succeed whenever he arrives in a new city; besides, as a DH he's likelier to stay healthy.

Where I didn't do so well was rookie timing. Longoria and Hochevar are highly-touted, but probably didn't need to be drafted where they were drafted. Not horrible picks, and 16/18 aren't going to cost me a whole lot, but I could have done better. Montero was a stab in the dark; if he's as good as AZ thinks he is, then he'd be a valuable commodity.
Draft Grade: B+

I got rich off some offseason trade heists. I turned peak-value Justin Morneau into Vlad Guerrero (minor upgrade), and injury-prone Scott Rolen into best-in-baseball closer Joe Nathan (major upgrade). That helped.

My core is very strong... top hitter in Pujols, top 3 pitcher in Carpenter, top closer in Nathan, and a pair of studs (Guerrero and Lee) at a position that isn't as deep as one would think. I've got young, in-all-likelihood keepable talent up the middle in Kinsler, Drew and McCann. I have aces at starter and closer. It's a solid group.

But the starting rotation's kind of a mess. Besides Carpenter, there's nobody keeper-worthy in the lot. Plenty of "ifs" as well: Schilling's old, Beckett's dumber than a rock, Hill plays for a cursed franchise, Sowers doesn't strike anyone out. I stand to do pretty rotten on that front, barring some April waiver pickups.

Team Name: Detritivores
Team Name Should Be: Burger King Felix
Steals: Josh Barfield (19... WTFBBQ!?!?!!??)
Reaches: Varitek (16)
Strengths: Outfield, starting pitching, 3B
Weaknesses: Catcher, relief
Rookies: Homer Bailey (SP-Cin), B.J. Upton (2B/3B-TB), Matt Garza (SP-Min), Troy Tulowitzki (SS-Col)

The only legitimate beef I have with the roster. When he handed in his list, I was pleasantly surprised by some of his drops (Putz, Wagner, Johjima). If he was gonna keep eight, he kept the right eight. The thing is that I think Fielder and Rolen would have made it back to him at the 7th/8th turnaround. (Sure, the Rolen/Nathan trade wouldn't have made much sense if he'd dropped Rolen, but still.) I think he could have made himself a little better.
Keeper Grade: B

This was a very, very good draft. He only had just a couple rough outcomes... catcher and relief. Only three or four players have no problem at catcher, and relief is one of the positions that always results in a lot of upheaval as the season progresses. If you're going to punt positions, those are good ones to punt. Meanwhile, the infield is pretty tight (presuming Tulowitzki is for real) and the outfield is pretty tough to argue with. Whether this translates into wins, I don't know, but I thought Jesse did a really nice job.
Draft Grade: A

I see a great many errors in Jesse's future, apropos of nothing.

Otherwise, his team is young, deep, and talented. Very weak at catcher, very weak at RP, strong at 1B/2B/SS, ridiculously strong at SP, 3B and OF.

He's got a big problem, though: he has two startable 3Bs in Rolen and Cabrera, but a blue-chip DH in Jim Thome. Only two of those three can play. Whoops. Rusch didn't deal with his logjam last year, and it almost cost him a playoff spot. This is something that needs to be dealt with at some point (though I suspect Rolen will resolve the situation all by himself).

Don't like the Varitek pick. If you notice a shiny object behind his helmet this season when he's behind the plate, that's just the fork. If you're going the crappy-catcher route, I gotta think either Iannetta or Russell Martin would have been better.

And the RP corps is a mess. His only true closer is in Kansas City. He went from having three top-notch guys a year ago to having zero. (Jesse, I think you may come to regret that Nathan/Rolen trade.)

Still, I like the youth movement... with all those young studs, he ought to be able to field a pretty goddamn excellent team in 2008.

Team Name: Douche Ex Machina
Team Name Should Be: Douche Ex Machina (even I can't improve on that)
Steals: Joe Crede (19), Rocco Baldelli (23)
Reaches: Chris Young (10)
Rookies: Kevin Kouzmanoff (3B-SD), Elijah Dukes (OF-TB)

Kabir had a tough job. By my count, he had at least 11 keepable players. Apart from the eight he kept, you could have argued for Stephen Drew, Nick Swisher, and Justin Verlander. But I think he did just about the right thing. Personally, I'd have kept Swisher and not Damon. But he had a situation where you just can't lose.
Keeper Grade:A-

Here's where Kabir lost. I didn't like what he did, for the most part. He piled up on starters early, but a bunch of them were kinda redundant... Smoltz, Young, and Harang to go with Santana seemed, to me, like a lot when you consider that he could have locked up a killer OF, or grab a Brian Roberts to make his infield deeply terrifying. Hell, he could have grabbed a closer instead of ONE of those guys. But three in a row... jeez.

And then Chone Figgins. Yikes.

After that, his picks were fine. Plenty of good stuff. He certainly piled up on relievers, eh? But those 9-11 picks were the killers, in my mind. That's where the draft hinges, and he's not gonna gain a whole lot by grabbing those three guys, instead of waiting a little later to get that 4th (or even 3rd) starter.
Draft Grade:C+

For all my griping about the draft strategy, Kabir's lineup is definitely solid. 7 of the 8 keepers were positional, and he spent his first 3 picks on pitching, so talent-wise he's fine. I guess my gripe is more that I didn't like the pitchers he chose. No Myers. No closer. Smoltz is excellent, but spending picks on Harang and Young seems like a missed opportunity.

But it's not like his team is screwed up. Far from it. Maybe he just didn't make himself any better. I guess that's what happens when you're stuck with the 10th pick.

And now for the final curse of the evening. And it's a biggie.


I'll wait while you stop laughing. But I'm serious. I get evil vibes from that lineup. I've seen the Ring. Beware. And when you see him towards the top of the standings, you remember what I said...

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