Friday, April 20, 2007


Does that feel weird or what? The hardest thing for me to do on draft day of my fantasy leagues is to pick players from the New York Yankees... The Yankees have a long and storied history of beating the Dodgers in the post season. As big a rival as the San Francisco Giants are on this side of the country, the Yanks are as equally big rivals on the East side... To the die-hard Dodger fan like me, the Yankees and the Giants are indeed the big enemies!

All kidding aside, the goal of the fantasy baseball game is to win your leagues... if you go in with the mentality that you're just going to draft your favorite players and those from your favorite teams and avoid those that either you don't like or that play on teams that you don't like, you're sure to not achieve that goal.

For some reason, and I'm not exactly sure why, I ended up with A TON of Yankees on my teams this year... Because I'm always focused on the goal of winning on draft day, I always draft the so-called "best player available" when choosing players. If Johnny Damon or Hideki Matsui happens to be the best player out there when it's my turn to pick then he ends up on my team even if he does play on those dreaded Yankees...

The stars must have been aligned for me or something on draft day this year... I had 12 drafts which comprised of the entire universe of major league players... My first round draft day strategy (which goes against everything which fantasy guru Ron Shandler preaches) always is to land Johan Santana in the first round if at all possible. In my opinion, Santana is so much better than the next best pitcher available in terms of fantasy production that I can just fill other positions for the next hour or so of the draft... In other words, if I land Johan, I really don't even need to think about starting pitching for quite a while - I can fully concentrate on drafting offense and grabbing some closers for 10-12 rounds... As for the rest of my draft, I'm a definitely a disciple of Ron's strategy - I use a modified LIMA approach in practically all of my drafts regardless of who I take in round one.

My round one draft day strategy was foiled in all but one of my 12 leagues this year - Johan fell to me in just one league (I got him with the 6th pick in that one)! I picked first only once, taking the consensus #1 player going into 2007, Albert Pujols. In two leagues, I didn't draft until 9th and David Ortiz went off the table to me both times... Travis Hafner and Manny Ramirez were logical first round choices for me in two sabermetric leagues... Somehow, someway, a certain #13 who plays on the New York Yankees fell to me in the first round in six of my leagues!!! I had zero intention of having A-Rod on so many teams, but when it came my turn to pick this year, he just happened to be the best player available on six different occasions... I may just be thanking my lucky stars this year all the way to the bank as two of these six leagues where I got the Yanks' #13 just happen to be CBS Sportsline money leagues!!! :)

And now for that THANK YOU to A-Rod... so far this is the damage:

10 HR, 26 RBI, 17 RUNS, .351 BA, 1 SB... Far and away the #1 player in baseball - both real life and fantasy at the moment... enjoy the ride!


I spoke of fantasy guru Ron Shandler above in my writings... Shandler lives in Roanoke, Virginia (about 40 miles away from Virginia Tech) and was very much affected by the tragedy. Check out his free article today on his Baseball HQ website entitled "Isolated." The article gives a lot of insight into the game of fantasy baseball and also gives his thought provoking views about the tragedy and the impact it should have on our daily lives. Check it out here:

Baseball HQ - "Isolated" by Ron Shandler

No comments: