I returned from three weeks of unpaid furlough to face a snarling deadline — and feelings of nausea as if I, not Joey Chestnut, ate those 75 hot dogs.
My fantasy baseball draft is Wednesday night, and I feel as if I’m about to step into the box against Clayton Kershaw.
I’m a decent fantasy football player, at least more successful than my beloved New York Jets. I won titles with Elle of a Team (named after my first-born), G Spot (sorry, Mom) and Sexy Rexy (“Now let’s go eat a (bleeping) snack!”).
But my encyclopedic baseball knowledge shriveled a few years after cork was discovered in Sammy Sosa’s “batting practice” lumber. I left the full-time baseball beat after the 2003 season and still think of Vladimir Guerrero as the free-swinging right fielder for the Expos rather than the beefy third baseman for the Blue Jays. (Update: He is reportedly moving to first base.)
Last year I got coaxed into rejoining a fantasy baseball league after a 10-season gap and named my team NoIdeaWhatImDoing. Subtle, I know. I mentally checked out around the time Tiger Woods sank his final putt to win the Masters.
I finished a robust 13th in the 14-team Maple League, made up of friends, friends of friends and media types who scribe for various publications and teams. Our commissioners are Michael Lev of the Arizona Daily Star and Kevin Ding, a senior writer for the Lakers.
Each year Ding finds an ingenious and cuddly way to conduct our draft lottery. He employs his adorable daughters, making it impossible for those getting hosed to stay mad. For example, I was “randomly” awarded the 13th pick in this year’s draft and still enjoyed the presentation. (If you’re pressed for time, go to the 3:45 mark.)
It’s a keeper league, so I traded my vets and attempted to hoard young talent.
I’m so smart that I drafted or added White Sox pitchers Michael Kopech, Dylan Cease, Reynaldo Lopez and Aaron Bummer (love talking Big Ten football with him) while neglecting to claim Lucas Giolito, who went from Sigh Young to Cy Young. Worse yet, I wrote about his transformational plan, involving neurofeedback, last spring.
At least I was bright enough to draft Luis Robert and Bo Bichette. I’m also keeping Alex Bregman (ranked 15th overall), Jeff McNeil, David Dahl and Jesus Luzardo. (Should I admit I had to look up which position at least one of them plays?)
Last week I asked for your help on Twitter and managed to botch the number we’re allowed to keep. It’s six, not five.
A few deets:
We’ve switched from cumulative scoring to head-to-head for reasons that escape me (though the managers who care swapped about 79 emails about it).
Rosters contain 26 players from both leagues.
The online draft lasts 24 rounds and starts at 9 p.m. Wednesday.
If you’ve managed to read this far, here is the payoff: I need a general manager. Please send me a short pitch (three sentences max) on why I should select you. Reply on Twitter or email me at email@example.com. Win the league and keep an eye on your mailbox. (Hint: Every year I overspend at the Masters gift shop.)
The deadline: 2 p.m. Tuesday CDT.
Don’t be queasy. Take your cut.
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