Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Carl Yastrzemski, the Louisville Courier-Journal and Fantasy Baseball

Okay, I'm officially outing myself as a fantasy baseball nerd (or is it geek?).

I've been playing since 1994, often with friends and sometimes with complete strangers. That first year we had eight of us, all good friends, and a points-based system that we invented out of thin air. It was pretty a bare bones setup, with starting lineups of just five hitters and two pitchers, but the data collection was such that we had to take turns as commissioner. The scores had to be hand-tabulated from the newspaper every morning. I still remember walking to the bookstore on Saturday morning to buy the street edition of The Washington Post for the late box scores from the West Coast. Our first season was derailed by the strike, but it didn't deter us. We've since spread out to the four corners of the country, but the league did survive a solid seven seasons.

The truth is, I wish I'd discovered the game far earlier. I was always following baseball as a kid. My Dad tells a story of coming down to breakfast when I was three years old and I was already sitting at the dining table perusing the Louisville Courier-Journal for box scores. I'm sort of proud of that, for reasons I can't fully explain. My Dad also likes to tell people my first word was Yastrzemski. That seems...improbable.

I have two core ongoing leagues, one annual, one keeper. I'll probably have something to say about those in future posts.

This year, I've decided to branch out and play in a league created by my friend Tim Dierkes, the genius auteur behind the insanely popular MLB Trade Rumors site as well as the Roto Authority Fantasy Baseball site. I say he's my friend because I applied to enter his league in the comments section on his web site and he did not turn me down.

Tim has committed to blog about the league on his Roto Authority site, and has already done so here, here, here, here, here and here. Six posts already and not a game has been played! No wonder he's a multi-media mogul.

You can download the teams and the draft results from these links. It was a very aggressive draft. If you wanted a specific guy, you had to know that reaching was the only way to get him, and it started early. I frankly think Tim is to blame - he took Corey Hart in the fourth round, at #46 overall. I took OF Chris Young next, at #47, and the race was on. I had planned to take Hart at 47 and Young at 50, but it was not meant to be.


My team is Santa's Magic Janitor. I don't think I have the strongest team, but I'm certainly not the weakest. According to Tim's latest post, PECOTA likes my team pretty well, for whatever that's worth.

Hope you'll follow along as I compete for a gentleman's fifth - and, please, make sure you patronize my friend Tim's burgeoning multimedia empire.

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