by Doug Dennis, baseballHQ.com
My first year in Tout has been a total embarrassment so far.Â To start with, I am not even listed among the players.Â That is a good thing, because I’d rather be anonymous than associated with the team I drafted, currently riding in 16th place.Â Who knew there even was a 16th place?Â (I guess Will Carroll–he’s in 17th).Â da dum dum!Â I was a last second addition, got a cheapo flight at 6am (that’s get up at 4am!) from Cincinnati to Newark and back all within 24 hours (it was as if I’d never left!) and by the time I turned my attention to figuring out *how* to draft a mixed leagueÂ roster with 17 teams in it, the plane was over Pennsylvania.Â That’s not an excuse–that’s just the way it was.
Without a quick and ready way to calculate out a budget strategy for such a league, I figured that I needed something between a regular NL-only or AL-only budget and a mixed league where everyone owns nothing but all-stars.Â But how?Â I threw up my hands about two drinks in (was I over Latrobe?) and decided to just get offense and trade around later.Â $251 of offense, $9 of pitching and then use my tiny 4-man reserve list (we really need a bigger reserve list!) for additional pitchers.
Flight arrived, bus to Port Authority, a short walk later and Glenn Colton is complimenting me on my Yankees hat while drafting AL-Tout.Â Shortly thereafter, I was seated next to J.P. Kastner, (who laughed at me every time I bought a player) and Eric Mack (who was convinced that I was a Mets fan)–because–I spent some ungodly amount of money to roster David Wright and Jose Reyes.Â At that point (in retrospect), my season was already over.Â What–the Mets new park is a place where hits die on the track and its the Yankees who are in a band box?Â Why did no one tell me this?Â I coulda had Nick Swisher and Robbie Cano for far less.Â But I digress.
Unable to stop myself, to Wright and Reyes, I added Dustin Pedroia, Adrian Gonzalez, Nate McLouth, Adam Lind (that was a good one!), but then (and apparently, this was bad) Mike Napoli, Mike Jacobs, Mark DeRosa, David DeJesus, Jose Guillen, Pat Burrell and Ryan Garko.Â Oh, yeah, and that other Met, Brian Schneider–the one who has not played.Â I ask you, should not this offense be good?Â Well, it is just a bit above average in this mixed league.Â If only I had this offense in NL-only!Â Â Â Slightly above average offenses are notÂ helpful when juxtaposed with a $11 (not $9) pitching staff.
Oh, I mean, I got my money’s worth with that $11.Â I got Fernando Rodney.Â I got Koji Uehara.Â I got Dan Wheeler and J.P. Howell.Â I got Dallas Braden.Â It isn’t like these guys stink, but in a mixed league . . . ai caramba!Â Middle relievers are so pointless.Â Closers had better be top shelf.Â Braden gives me his all, but without 8 Ks a game, he’s killing me.Â I also got Brett Anderson, Kenshin Kawakami (Kamakaze is what I call him because he always destroys my ERA), Jeff Niemann, David Purcey . . . not good.Â Especially with Clay Buchholz cluttering my reserve list.Â What team keepsÂ Buchholz in the minors and uses Brad Penny?Â SeriouslyÂ . . .
I limped out of the Marriott knowing that this team was going to stink and stink big, unless I could rob Will Carroll blind.Â I gave it a try once or twice.Â Now he doesn’t return my calls.
After the draft, I went to some Soho bar with Steve Moyer, Michael Salfino and Ron Shandler.Â Someone else came too that I liked a lot, but can’t remember who it was.Â The bar was cool, and we stayed until I had to get a cab back to Newark Airport and catch my flight home.Â Through my haze at 5 am, I did some quick calculations–with average luck I could finish 10th. I shook the calculator and did it again.Â 10th.
I had someone offer me the Orioles pitcher Guthrie for David DeJesus.Â I suppose that my roster did make me look plenty stupid–easy pickings for the sharks at the table.Â I made one trade recently–got Mark Buehrle for Pat Burrell and Ryan Madson.Â Madson promptly gave up a 3-spot and Burrell got hurt.Â Maybe things are looking up–maybe I can move up from 16th to 10th.Â After all, in my read of the rules on the flight to Newark, I noted that complete stink bomb players get booted the following year.Â I don’t want that to be me!Â It is embarrassing enough as it is.Â Watch out Karabell–I’m gunning for you!