I've never played fantasy baseball before and don't plan to. Just not my bag. I used to play baseball sims all the time though. Prehistoric ones (remember Lance Haffner and the Avalon Hill Game Co.?) where it was just me, the computer, and the unbeatable teams I'd unfairly construct. I haven't done that for years, but Dayn Perry asked me to join his DMB league a few weeks ago so I did.
We had our draft on Saturday (10 guys, 25 players per active roster plus 5 prospects/inactive reserves). I won't bore you with the "I was about to draft player X when competitor Y stole him, that bastard!" stuff, but here's my depth chart for posterity:
C: Geovany Soto -- stolen (I think anyway) in the 11th round;
1B: Ryan Howard -- my first pick, #10 in the first round;
2B: Dan Uggla -- my least favorite pick; either second base was thin or I just ignored it too long;
3B: Aramis Ramirez -- I think I took him too early, but I was in the car switching locations when I made this pick (long story) and couldn't consult my pathetic pre-draft notes;
SS: Derek Jeter -- that defense up the middle is going to be brutal;
RF: Fukudome -- your guess is as good as mine, but at least he'll be friends with . . .
CF: Ichiro -- probably should have taken Granderson, who was still available;
LF: Carlos Lee -- late pick, but not a bad one for the slot.
DH: David Ortiz -- I think some of my league-mates forgot that it's a DH league. I was surprised to see him still available in the fifth round;
Rotation: Bedard, Smoltz, Liriano, Jered Weaver, Zito -- I'm happy with this, I suppose. Zito is kind of a silly pick but (a) I don't have to pay him; and (b) he's in a pitcher's park, so I figure the DMB projection may be kinder to him than reality will be. Liriano probably doesn't project for a full season, but I'm willing to slot him as a fifth starter and go all Billy Martin with the other four warhorses.
Pen: Takashi Saito, B.J. Ryan, Joe Thatcher, Rafael Soriano, Brett Myers, Francisco Cordero -- I went with the old sim-game trick of picking a bunch of short guys/closers. It may backfire, because I'm guessing DMB won't let you get away with it. Myers is supposed to start this year, but I think I'll use him as a swingman. When I picked him, Perry declared me a supporter of spousal abuse.
Bench: Taylor Teagarden, Conor Jackson, Yunel Escobar, Lastings Milledge, Jeff Francouer -- Teagarden probably isn't going to be starting in 2008, but he projects pretty well and I have a thing for catching prospects. I may be screwed at catcher, though.
Milledge and Francouer are there partially because they'd be nice bench players, but also for the quasi-keeper aspects of this league. Ichiro and Carlos Lee ain't gonna last forever. Depending on how they project once the DMB discs come out, they may not even start now.
Inactive list: Clayton Kershaw, Travis Snider, Andy LaRoche, and Fernando Martinez are prospects; Greg Maddux is (a) rotation insurance; and (b) a sentimental, I-won't-let-my-favorite-player-of-all-time-go-undrafted selection.
I predict a distinctly mediocre finish.