PICKING SPLINTERS Fantasy Draft Makes March Even Madder

Papers are scattered across the desk. Notes are strewn about my computer. Periodicals carpet my floor. As the middle of the spring semester approaches, I find my time increasingly devoted to studying – studying of all kinds. In between my readings of texts of days long past, which seems to be affecting my writing, the majority of my studying efforts came to fruition last Saturday when I selected the 2002 roster of the CT/DC Humiliators, my fantasy baseball team.

And so we gathered on that fateful Saturday. The seas frothed and foamed, and the winds howled in protest, but neigh, the refugees would not be denied. In the confines of The Hoya office the team owners gathered, a quiet tension built as they waited and waited for the draft to begin.

Like a tidal wave it was upon them. With the first pick went Alex Rodriguez, and Todd Helton after him, followed by Sammy Sosa. Then the choice fell to me, the whole, save three, of the Major League to pick from. Who would be the chosen one?

Then the hand of divinity stretched forth through the maelstrom that is the draft and cupped in its hand the first member of our team, safely depositing him on my roster. Mike Piazza, lynchpin of the Mets’ now potent batting order, was a Humiliator.

And so the draft continued. Pedro Martinez survived until the late second round, and the Humiliators brought him to the solace of my franchise. Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams and Trevor Hoffman joined our ranks as the other teams, The MEAC Destroyers, Green onsters II and Salamanca Gringos among them, cut large swaths through ranks of the Major League.

But then the mists gathered, obscuring the vision with no stars to guide us. And so we groped our way, picking up players like Sean Burroughs and Ben Petrick and Juan Uribe, in hopes that they will shine brightly and lead us each to the Holy Grail that is the ESPN Fantasy Championship Banner.

And the screams were plentiful on that battlefield. Cries of agony pierced the air as I and other owners crossed the names of talented youths off of the draft board, slashing them with red ink.

And so it went.

The numbers thinned further as team owners schemed not only to find late round sleepers but also contesting to make the owner picking after them curse the loudest. J-P Hezel (COL ’02), owner of the Green Monsters II, achieved such a feat when he readily snatched Eddie Guardado, the Twins’ closer, from within the Humiliators’ grasp.

But some owners were not content to watch their prized players slip away uncontested. And lo, Tom Kenny (COL ’05), owner of the MEAC Destoyers resorted to deception, trying to convince all that Joe Mays, the young hurler for the Twins had gone down with a rotator cuff injury. But the Humiliators were not swayed. Hezel and others saw through the veil of deception and justice prevailed, and Joe Mays became a Humiliator. And there was much rejoicing.

The fates also punished the perpetrator of the fallacy, when Kenny, leaving keyboard unattended, suffered a potentially mortal blow of accidentally drafting Bobby Bonilla, long past his prime, and recently retired.

And so the rosters solidified, one battle was over, but the season is just beginning. The league owners looking for diamonds in the rough found many whose futures they deemed bright and these tidbits I’d like to pass on to the faithful readers who have put up with this amateurish Arthurian prose to this point.

This season tons of young players are there for the taking. The seasoned and esteemed owners of the NIT Refugees snatched up youthful pitchers, Josh Beckett from the Marlins, A.J. Burnett, ark Mulder, Roy Oswalt, Mark Buerhle and Bud Smith along with flame throwing relievers Kyle Farnsworth and Chad Fox.

In the field the youth troop also had a strong showing as owners snatched up catcher Toby Hall, middle infielder Luis Rivas, first baseman Carlos Pena, third basemen Hank Blalock (no relation to ookie) and Morgan Ensberg and outfielders Jason Tyner and Adam Dunn.

When the storm settled and the owners parted, there was contentment with the squads they had chosen, but there was also sadness as some owners had to part with players of teams past, such as the Humiliators being forced to pass on Jorge Posada, a staple of my team for the past two season. But spirits will certainly lift when Mike Piazza trots around the bases for the 40th time this season. Still, parting is such sweet sorrow.

Alas the woes of the drafting war.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.