We are in first place in Annika's Fantasy Baseball League. We've been in either first or second place for maybe six weeks. We acquired seven excellent players in the draft; one player through trade; and everyone else via waivers. Its amazing who you can acquire off the waiver list. We've had the last waiver drafting postition for most of the year, yet we've still been able to acquire fabulous players. We've had good luck acquiring pitchers while they were temporarily on the DL. Here's our roster, with notations about how everyone was acquired.
- C: Brandon Inge- Waivers- Catcher is a weak position league-wide. In an upset, Inge has been the top ranked fantasy catcher so far this season.
- 1B: Mark Texiera- Draft(3rd round)
- 2B: Bip Roberts- Waivers- A lucky pick. Was looking for stolen bases, and stumbled across a fantasy baseball god.
- 3B: Casey Blake- Waivers- This has been the worst production of any position. We have been through a dozen different 3Bman so far. I wish I had grabbed Morgan Ensberg off waivers.
- SS: Michael Young- Draft(4th round)
- OF: Vladimir Guerrerro- Draft(1st round)
- OF: Manny Ramirez- Draft(2nd round)
- OF: Ken Griffey, Jr.- Draft(10th round) This was an excellent draft pick. The last few years, Griffey has continued to hit when healthy. I figured it was time for him to have a big year.
- Utility: Andruw Jones- Waivers(Drafted in 9th round, then traded for Dunn, then reacquired via waivers) This guy is white hot! Ride that streak!
- Bench: Adam Dunn- Trade(for Andruw Jones) I love this player. He has a .245 BA, but is productive in every other offensive category. He even steals bases!
- Bench: Hideki Matsui- Waivers- Continues to improve his already impressive game. Enjoys the huge advantage of being nestled amongst big hitters in the Yankee lineup: He sees good pitches every at bat.
- Bench: Felipe Lopez- Waivers- SS for Cincinnatti continues to put up excellent numbers, which are comparable to Michael Young's numbers so far this season. Lopez plays these fantasy positions: 2B/SS/3B.
- SP- Dontrelle Willis- Draft(7th round) Another excellent pick: I had a hunch about Dontrelle. Also, he's a sentimental pick: I just love him as a player. I wish the Marlins would let him play OF when he's not pitching.
- SP- Jon Garland- Waivers
- SP- Mark Prior- Waivers (while on DL)
- SP- Eric Bedard- Waivers- I hope Bedard, when he gets off the DL, will continue his excellent development.
- SP- Kenny Rogers- Waivers- Ride'em while they're hot!
- SP- Brad Penny- Waivers (while on DL) I've been super-patient with Penny, and he's repaid me with mediocre play. When Bedard comes off the DL, Penny may have to go.
- RP- Francisco Rodriguez- Draft(7th round) I saw him the last two seasons against the Rangers, and knew he would be big as a closer.
- RP- Jason Isringhausen- Waivers (while on DL) God Bless the DL!
- RP- Doug Jones- Waivers- Here's where its good to be an old fart who can remember when Doug Jones was good, and can speculate that he might have a good season closing for a strong Marlins team.
My favorite part of the season was April and May, when we had Dontrelle Willis and a cast of thousands running through a starting pitcher tryout camp. I kept only 9 position players- every one of them had to start every day. I kept 8 SPs rotating through 3 SP slots. We went through SPs faster than Jimmy Johnson went through waiver players in 1989: Here on Tuesday, cut on Thursday. Here on Thursday, cut on Monday. If you were a starter facing the Astros, Royals, Pirates, Brewers, or the Rockies on the road, chances are you were with Hank's Homeys for at least one start. We did come up with Jon Garland and Eric Bedard in this fashion- and maybe Kenny Rogers too. Its better to be lucky than good.
And if you're scuffling, its better to give luck a chance to happen by practicing nonattachment to players, otherwise C.C. Sabathia, Andy Petitte, Bruce Chen, Brad Backe, Jerome Williams, Kevin Brown, Brad Radke, Jamie Moyer, Gil Meche, Oliver Perez, Horatio Ramirez, Mike Hampton, Brad Lawrence, Bobby Madritsche, Joel Pinero, Victor Zambrano, and Derek Lowe might still be hanging around, pitching on a last place team.
My one big mistake was cutting Matt Morris. He won 5 games in a row for us, then I cut him as he faced the Yankees and Red Sox in three consecutive starts. To my surprise, he mowed down the Yankees and the Red Sox, THEN he blew up like a suicide bomber against the Pirates! That's right- the Pirates: Swashbuckling Sultans of Swat, featuring a murderer's row of Lawton, Redmon, Bay, Mackowiak, Ward, Cota, Castillo, and Wilson, knocked Morris out in the 3rd inning of an 11-7 victory. Sometimes theres no figuring this game. Its better to be lucky, and Hank's Homeys have had plenty of that. Hopefully, its the residue of good karma from associating with the classy Mr. Blalock, and his classy fan club: Hank's Homies.