Somehow, I don’t even do that poorly. I nailed down third place in my league last year even though I spent the whole season desperately trying to unload Johnny Damon for anything better than a gently used 1983 Pittsburgh Pirates media guide. So, this year, I’ve decided to embrace my hometown bias with gusto. I’m going hard after Doc Halladay in the first round. I’m drooling over Shane Victorino if he slips to me in the seventh or eighth. And I won’t settle for anyone other than Chooch as my starting catcher. So take a ride with me as I try to draft the Philly Phan’s dream team. I’ll be live blogging my draft, so grab a cold Pabst Blue Ribbon and try not to fall asleep before the end of this rather long journey. It’s Wednesday after lunch, anyway, what else do you have to do?
2:56pm: Just joined a league with the rather clever name of “Cleveland H2H 157678.” I’m the Clearwater Crazies and the draft starts in 56 seconds. Good thing I’m ready…
2:58pm: I have the ninth overall pick and Halladay is rated as the tenth best player. Commence me offering my first born child to Jesus in exchange for Doc.
3:01pm: Pujols, Crawford and Longaria fly off the board to the surprise of absolutely no one.
3:02pm: HALLADAY’S PICKED AT SEVEN. I have to settle for Ryan Braun…does this mean I have to pay attention to Brewer’s games? Maybe I can flip Braun for Vance Worley once he gets called up?
3:04pm: I’m up again in the 11th slot and I nab Adrian Gonzalez. Could be worse.
3:07pm: Howard’s ranked at 29 and that’s my next pick. If he goes off the board, I might have to draft Shin-Soo Choo. Let me make this clear: If I have to draft Choo, I will throw my laptop out the window and I’ll have to resign from TPB.
3:08pm: Sweet merciful ghost of Harry Kalas, Howard falls into my lap at number 29. The Draft Gods are smiling, ladies and gents.
3:10pm: Up again at pick number 31. I take Utley. Duh, winning. He’s rated as the 54th best player, but his average draft position is 21. And that tendinitis is nothing to worry about. And he’s a California Dreamboat. And he’s poised for at least 100 runs scored. And I’m totally rationalizing, but c’mon kids, it’s Chase Utley. You would’ve done the exact same thing.
3:12pm: Just realized I scooped up Howard and Utley back-to-back. My face hurts from smiling so hard.
3:13pm: Some guy just picked Werth at 43. Enjoy that, you sap.
3:15pm: My first self-admitted reach of the draft: Cole Hamels, ranked 69th, with the number 52 pick. I was going to try to wait and get him next round, but my eyes teared up a little when I thought of him on a different team.
3:17pm: Oh yeah, I picked Hunter Pence two slots before Cole. Yawn and yawn. Couldn’t rationalize the Cole-Oswalt two pack to myself I guess.
3:20pm: J-Roll is at the top of the board and it’s my pick soon…
3:21pm: Some jackwagon went on auto-draft and the great minds at ESPN Fantasy Baseball gave Rollins to him. I’d have some choice expletives here if my mother didn’t read this blog.
3:23pm: BOOM! I nab Zach Greinke and Oswalt falls to me. Of course “falling” in my mind means not having to overdraft a Phils pitcher by two rounds.
3:24pm: A huge run on closers. Brian “Pet Sounds” Wilson, Mariana “Pasta” Rivera, Neftali “Navidad” Feliz and Heath “I’m Clearly a White Guy” Bell all go to my opponents. I’m pumped.
3:27pm: I pass on Corey “I Wear My Sunglasses at Night” Hart for Michael “Jason” Bourn. Are you as tired of reading these nicknames as I am of writing them yet?
3:28pm: I pick Francisco Liriano, once again, over Ben Zobrist. I probably heard more about Zobrist than any other player last year. Why? (Not sarcasm, someone please comment and tell me what I’m missing.)
3:32pm: I really, really need a closer but Jonathan Broxton is the only relevant player. So I picked him.
3:33pm: Are you kidding me? No I didn’t. I got Clay Bucholz instead. With the Chad Billingsley pick that I purposefully glossed over, I’m now up to six starting pitchers. Who’s running my draft, Ruben Amaro?
3:36pm: Just found out you can sort players by team. I’m in trouble now…
3:39pm: Broxton is somehow still on the board. I still really need a closer. I pick…Adam Jones and Brian Roberts, both from the Baltimore Orioles. Seemed like a good idea at the time, which was circa ten seconds ago.
3:41pm: Already have drafter’s remorse. At least we’re in that lull period where the next relevant Philly player won’t show up for about four rounds.
3:44pm: I reach a little bit for Cleveland Indian’s reliever Chris Perez, mainly because he has a killer mullet and dirt-stache in his headshot on ESPN. See…
3:45pm: This article is far too long.
3:47pm: And Polanco’s off the board 40 spots ahead of where he’s ranked. Is there another TPB writer in this draft room? Hello? I was going to pick him next round.
3:49pm: LIDGE GOES TOO. This time 80 picks above where he was expected. I knew people where high on the Phils this year, but I thought that was just a saying. Who would’ve thought they were actually high on PCP?
3:52pm: Pick some relievers that neither I nor my readers have ever heard of. I didn’t want to admit it before but I’m seriously concerned that Chooch is going to get picked 180 slots before he’s predicted. I’ve decided to go for him next.
3:55pm: Palms are sweating. Chooch, please be mine.
3:58pm: Happy to report that I grabbed Chooch and Ibanez in the 19th and 20th rounds. Think I’m crazy? Did you not read the introduction? Actually, to be fair, anyone who’s still reading this beast probably forgot that there even is an introduction.
4:00pm: I’m at that delirious point of draft exhaustion where I feel like my whole season will make or break on whether this one reliever drops to me in the 21st round.
4:01pm: Fall, fall, fall to me.
4:03pm: Already forgot that guy’s name and instead picked a generic white-guy reliever.
4:09pm: This exchange just happened in the chat window…
Clearwater Crazies (J. Perry) 4:08pm:
KC’S BEST (D. Johnson) 4:09pm:
4:12pm: Four overall picks away from the sweet relief of being done with this draft.
4:13pm: And with the second-to-last pick in the draft, the Clearwater Crazies select Jhonny Peralta. I just like the way his name is spelled and assume that he still holds a grudge with his mother for messing up his birth certificate.
4:15pm: Alright folks, that’s the end of it all. I ended up with Chooch, Howard, Utley, Ibanez, Hamels and Oswalt. Not a bad haul for a certified homer. Now it’s time for me to go change my team name to “Cliff Lee > Bieber.” See y’all on the flip side.