The Preschool returns from our latest two-month hiatus with what I hope will be a weekly feature here (mainly, because it would give us some regular content). I am participating in ALOTT5MA's absurd 16-team, 400-player head-to-head baseball league.
The major story of the draft is the drink I came up with: fresh-squeezed tangelo juice with bourbon and a splash of club soda. Serve it on the rocks. I call it a John McLaughlin, because I can't hear the word tangelo without thinking of a Saturday Night Live "McLaughlin Group" parody (the linked transcript is not the one with the tangelo reference).
The other story was the fact that this league uses on-base percentage as a scoring category instead of batting average, and a couple of teams didn't adjust to that (or, they planned to punt OBP in favor of other offensive categories). In a batting average league, Ichiro is usually goes by about the 25th pick, even though he's only a plus contributor in three categories. This is because he not only gives you a high batting average, his contact-heavy style means he does it over 50-60 more at-bats than the Pujolses of the world, which can more than cancel out a low-BA slugger later in your draft. In an OBP league, he still gives you runs and steals, but his OBP is much closer to average, and he doesn't give you the weight of a lot of extra plate appearances. There's nothing wrong with speedy leadoff guys, but they don't carry as much cachet in this setup. Carlos Peña, on the other hand, goes from a late-round utility player to just outside the top 10 first basemen (depending on what you do with guys who are eligible elsewhere).
I was all set to hand the "best pick" prize to Duke Silver's Moustache for snagging OBP-machine Jack Cust in round 19, until the A's went and designated him for assignment on Saturday. No one really wants to read 25 rounds of draft highlights, anyway, so let's move on.
Most of this league hasn't played with an acquisition budget (each team has a mythical $100 to bid for free agents twice a week) before, and we're all getting used to it.
With Jose Reyes due to miss the first week, and Freddy Sanchez out longer than that, the Chicago American Giants needed some help at middle infield. Fifteen dollars on Juan Uribe, though, was probably not what they had in mind. Only two teams bid for John Bowker, so the Pawnee Possum Tacklers overspent a bit at $5. However, given the number of fourth outfielders (hello, Seth Smith!) on starting rosters, more teams should probably have been bidding for Bowker's services. Similarly, $2 for C.J. Wilson was $2 more than the Athl3tics needed to spend, but with only four healthy starters, this team was a rainout away from missing the starts minimum for the week.
Among the $0 bids, Vicente Padilla's two-start week makes him worth the pickup. Ziegler will be a nice add if Andrew Bailey steps awkwardly off a mound again. Kudos to the Bowling Alley Lawyers for snagging Chris Getz after teams with better bids or higher priority had already filled their rosters.
Rather than continuing to fill up inches with the season preview, we'll save that for the next couple of posts. If you're not into the fake sports, there should be a new post about Scat this week.