We're not quite the type to keep and care for numerous fantasy baseball teams anymore, what with the added expectations at work (those carts don't make their way to the corral on their own, you know) and home (the Missus didn't realize we were serious when we added the bit about our roto teams into our marriage vows) and with the blog (infotaining you kids can be a full time job.)
And so, working our way through two fantasy drafts this weekend seems to us to be a bit of a monumental achievement. If only the outcome matched what we perceive as the efforts, then we wouldn't feel quite so bummed out looking at our teams in the cold grey dawn of a Monday morning.
Looking back, it all seemed to fly by so fast, with our preferred players flying off the board quicker than we could queue them up. It was like we were unprepared for what was happening, and never seemed to have the grace to fully pull the moment off. We were left in a puddle of flop sweat and diminished expectations...Hey, this is really starting to sound like the entirety of our dating life!
With all this yammering as prologue, indulge us for a moment as we offer up a few lessons learned from this weekend, if only so that you might avoid some of the same missteps.
Preparation is not optional
Somewhere along the line, we had decided that our problem in the past was that we spent too much time reading the fantasy previews and making up lists and setting our pre-rankings. This year, we decided to go into our drafts completely raw, without any preparation.
It didn't go so well. When you have 60 seconds to make a pick, it's disconcertingly panic-inducing when you're suddenly wracking your brain to remember the points of distinction between Yovani Gallardo and Ubaldo Jimenez, or why you feel so wrong about picking Ryan Franklin (even though you end up picking him twice, and have the same rotten feeling about those low strikeout numbers each time).
If you don't know who's hurtin', you don't know nuthin'
When you're going into the draft blind, you quickly realize that what you don't know is going to overtake your thought processes. If a player was sitting out there a round or two later than we thought they should, we started looking to find out why. Is he hurt? Is he out? Does he have competition for the closer role? With a finite amount of time each round, we ended up frantically attempt to check on the health and wellness of any number of picks, and spent a good deal of time afterwards checking to see who might be of concern.
While we haven't found anyone egregiously hurt, we're reasonably sure that our fellow owners wouldn't have taken them off our hands if we had. (Not that we wouldn't try. Everything we learned about managing trades, we learned from Kenny Williams.)
Old mancrushes die hard
We tell ourselves every year that we're not going back to the well to draft big shining star prospects who are well past their best before dates. We tell ourselves that those dudes who had one or maybe two good seasons earlier in the decade aren't worthy of a pick. We tell ourselves not to fall into that trap again.
And then we go ahead and draft Alex Gordon. And Carlos Guillen. And Stephen Drew and Rickie Weeks. Zach Duke and Paul Maholm and Manny Parra.
Somehow, we managed to avoid drafting either of the Chris Youngs, although at one point, we had the D-Backs centerfielder in our sights, only to have him snatched away one pick before ours.
If there's one thing we learned, it's that experience hasn't taught us a thing.