Last night I had my second fantasy baseball draft on ESPN, and this one is very different then the one I had a couple of weeks ago.
Fortunately, I was able to download Java the night before, so I didn't run into any problems during the draft with my computer. This league I am in is a 12-team league, with a 25-man roster and three slots for players on the DL (Thank God, as now at ESPN you can customize the league you want it. For years I wrote to them to expand the number of slots from just one.)
I had the fifth overall pick, and I took David Ortiz with it. Unfortunately at ESPN, he is no longer listed as a first baseman, just a DH ( don't like the fact they have started this DH position.) So he will occupy my "utility" position this season. I was torn with my second pick, as Manny Ramirez was still out there (at overall number 20), but Ichiro Suzuki was too, and I took him. I think he will have a huge year, as he can be a free agent after this season, and I've never had him on any of my teams.
I took Joe Mauer third, and Brandon Webb fourth. Not bad so far. Last year's AL HR champion, AL batting champion and NL Cy Young Award winner so far on my team. (And I later grabbed the NL batting champion for 2006 as well.)
The draft went on for about one hour and 15 minutes, as three people were not present, and a couple of my friends had computer problems, so the computer would up making many of the picks for them. (And they were not happy with many of them.) Overall, I like the squad I've assembled, so here are the "Hoboken Zephyrs":
C Joe Mauer; 1B Nomar Garciaparra; 2B Dan Uggla; SS Felipe Lopez; 3B Freddy Sanchez; OF: Ichiro Suzuki, Nick Swisher, Josh Willingham, Moises Alou, Jim Edmonds; 2B/SS Jose Lopez; 1B/3B Mark Teahen; Utility David Ortiz.
Starting Pitchers: Brandon Webb, Cole Hamels, Curt Schilling, Chris Capuano, Javier Vazquez, Jeremy Sowers, Jeff Francis, Pedro Martinez; Relief Pitchers: Huston Street, Chad Cordero, Joe Borowski, Justin Duchscherer.
I took Pedro Martinez as my final pick, a sentimental choice that I will put in one of my DL slots.I had a number of "sleeper" picks, or guys I like that aren't too well known in most baseball circles, like Chris Capuano, Jeff Francis, Chad Cordero, Jeremy Sowers, Mark Teahen and Nick Swisher. I specifically went out to get most of them, as I've had them before in other leagues. Curt Schilling was very lowly rated this year, and I surprised how far down he was when I grabbed him. I was also surprised to see how far Dan Uggla was as well, as he had a monster year for the Marlins last year at 2B.
I will be involved in one more fantasy league, this one with some friends at Yahoo. (I was in three leagues last year, and It was so much work I vowed to be in just two this season. So much for that.) I've heard that's a good fantasy league, and I've never been involved with them. That draft should happen some time next week.
BTW, does anyone know where my team name comes from? It was from a very famous episode of the legendary "Twilight Zone" series. Jack Warden played the manager of the fictional Hoboken Zephyrs, a basement NL team whose fortunes turn when a robot tries out for the team, and becomes the best pitcher in baseball. But when it's discovered, he has to have a heart to become a man, and when he gets it, he can't get anyone out and is done with baseball. And the Zephyrs again become the worst team in the league.
Let's hope my "Zephyrs" do a little better. I don't believe I drafted any robots...