It’s my birthday today. I know, I know, those of you that know me knew I was a fool without need of the support of the day of my birth being April Fool’s Day, but there certainly is some nice symmetry here is there not?
With that, I thought I would move on to some actually baseball talk. Dave Gawron organized what we hope will be the first annual MIC WARS. What is MIC WARS? Simply it’s a 12-team mixed league, using 5×5 scoring, that includes 12 shows that talk baseball on Blog Talk Radio (you can find my show, which I do each day with Kyle Elrink, at 8-9 AM PST, Mon. – Fri., or you can check out the archive at The Fantasy Buffet). Before moving on to my team, here is a link to Dave’s review of the entire draft so you can see how it played out. And here is Team Fantasy Buffet (I have the #4 pick in the snake draft that starts 14 hitters, and nine pitchers).
C: Kurt Suzuki (14), Carlos Santana (25), Adam Moore (26)
1B: Derrek Lee (7), Lance Berkman (10)
2B: Jose Lopez (8), Howie Kendrick (9)
3B: Pablo Sandoval (3), Casey Blake (24)
SS: Alexei Ramirez (11), Ian Desmond (23)
OF: Ryan Braun (1), Jacoby Ellsbury (2), Jason Bay (5), Andrew McCutchen (6), Corey Hart (16), David DeJesus (28), Desmond Jennings (29)
SP: CC Sabathia (4), James Shields (12), Jonathan Sanchez (13), Jered Weaver (15), Aaron Harang (21), Brett Myers (30)
RP: Brad Lidge (17), Octavio Dotel (18), Ryan Madson (19), Chris Perez (20), Matt Thornton (22), Joba Chamberlain (27)
C: Suzuki is s top-5 option, and while Santana and Moore may not have starting spots, I bet the duo combines for at least 400 highly effective at-bats.
1B: Two grey beards, but both are capable of 25 homers, 100 RBI and 90 runs scored. I’ll take that all day.
2B: Lopez will likely also qualify at third, which is why I took him over Dan Uggla. As for Kendrick, I was tempted to wait and try and target Rickie Weeks later in the draft, but I just couldn’t pass on Kendrick who could hit .300 while going 15/15.
3B: Sandoval is money, plus he’s the Kung Fu Panda and plays for my favorite team. Casey Blake is boring yet highly efficient, and he is a more than adequate backup at third.
SS: Alexei Ramirez may never have that 20/20 season, but I’ll take a repeat of last year (.277-15-68-71-14). Desmond is a bit of a wildcard, but it looks like he will open the year as the Nationals starter at short and could very well surprise given his draft position.
OF: Braun and Ellsbury is a dynamic duo. Bay is as steady as they come as the only OF who in four of the last five seasons has hit 30 homers with 100 RBI, 100 runs and 10 steals. McCutchen could blow up and is a wonderful 4th OF, better than a few teams #2 option, and don’t believe the Hart will be platooned talk out of Milwaukee, it ain’t gonna happen. DeJesus is boring but a fine 6th outfielder, and though Jennings has little value at this point, he could be a beast on the base paths if the Rays gave him a shot at playing time.
SP: I normally never take a starter early, but when Sabathia was still there at pick 45 – his ADP is 29 – I thought it was a nice value play. Shields and Weaver are steady, and Sanchez, well, I have high hopes for that kid which you can read about at Taking Sides – Starters. Harang and Myers may not be exciting, but if every breaks right I could get 300 Ks and an ERA below 4.00 from the duo – really.
RP: If you have ever seen a better group of bullpen arms assembled on one team, I would be flabbergasted. If all of these arms are healthy, the unit could sport a K/9 rate of about 10, a massive mark. Lidge is certainly an open question at the start of the year, but I handcuffed that selection by taking Madson who should fill in until Lidge is healthy. Perez will get some saves with Kerry Wood out, Dotel appears locked in the 9th for the Pirates, Thornton may be the best middle reliever in baseball, and you watch Joba dominate in the pen.
This team has some electric arms, a few grizzled vets on offense, and a boat load of talented youngsters. Who knows how the team will end up at the season’s conclusion, but I really love the mix at this point.
By Ray Flowers