BLOG: Fantasy Junkie

Florida State Seminoles v Philadelphia Phillies

By: Andy Wheeler

It’s that time of year folks, Fantasy Baseball time. Now those of you that don’t know me personally don’t know this, but I’m an addict. I’m absolutely positively addicted in every way to fantasy baseball.

If you’ve ever seen a crack head or one of those heroin addicts in a rehab house with Dr. Drew or an intervention show…yeah that’s me with fantasy baseball.

For the most part anybody that’s in a league with me is shaking their heads and agreeing with what I just said. They’d say most of my emails are closer to a babbling idiot than to an actual intelligent human being.

They’d also point out that I’m constantly trying to make trades (good and mostly bad) and basically insufferable though out the fantasy baseball season.

I just can’t help myself. I don’t mean to be that way, I just am. I want to win…yet I never do, so it’s become an obsession. Most people start preparing about a month in advance for the draft. Some like one member of a league I’m in waits for the night before. (He knows who he is). Me? I started mock drafting in November.

Despite all this preparation, I’ll almost certainly make a bad trade or trades because I’ll get frustrated or bored. Then I’ll be on the outside looking in come playoff time. It happens every year.

This year of course, I’m hoping for a different result in both the leagues I’m in.

One league, the CBS 3 League, drafts this weekend. In that league I’m the commissioner and this will be our 4th season. I’ve made the playoffs all 3 years, the championship game once…and never won it all. I hope to end the streak of no championships for a league I started this season…but that probably won’t happen.

I scored the most points in the league last season, had 4 guys on my roster that threw no hitters or perfect games and was still one and done. The reason you ask? It was all because of a few really bad trades. Heck I won 9 in a row…and still no championship.

My primary league, the “Battle for Second” league drafted this weekend. It was our 10th season. I’ve made the playoffs one time. ONE TIME! Those of you that play fantasy know this is completely unacceptable.

Worst part, I’ve developed into “That Guy” in the league. You know, “The Nut”. Anyway, if by God I ever win this league…it will be the longest offseason EVER for the other owners in the league. Matter of fact, I was told this season that if I win it all, one owner will actually quit. Seriously that was all the motivation I’ve ever needed.

I will not make one trade in either league for 2 months. Not one. I will sit on my hands and wait. This will literally rip my insides apart and may result in a trading flurry unlike anything anyone has ever seen before. My head may also explode. I plan on working the wires of course, but I’m not making one trade.

11 guys, 1 in Texas, 1 in Arizona, 3 in Baltimore and 6 in the Philadelphia area that are members of the Battle For Second league just yelled “BS!!!!!!” as loud as possible. You may have even heard them if you listened close enough.

After they yelled, some took a big sigh of relief that the trade emails won’t be coming for a while. It’s like I’m giving them all a vacation. You’re welcome in advance fellas…but I’m happy with my draft.

Here’s my problem. I’m writing this blog, and I can’t tell you who I drafted in my first league draft. Simply because I still have one more draft to go and I don’t want to show my hand. So I’ll share both my drafts with you next week. But for this week I’ll give you 10 names of guys I wouldn’t draft if I were you.

Miguel Cabrera:
Look the guy can hit. If he continues to hit like he has, he’s going to the Hall Of Fame. It’s really that simple. However, to get him you’ll have to spend a first round pick on him. To me, the first round isn’t somewhere you take a chance. A first round pick has to be a guy that is elite, and money in the bank. And if it weren’t for Cabrera’s alcohol issues he’d fit the bill. But after getting arrested for DUI before spring training and being told by Major League Baseball that if he has another issue he’ll get suspended I won’t touch him with a 1,000,000 foot pole. People can claim it’s not an issue and he’ll be fine, but this is a guy that had another alcohol issue in crunch time 2 years ago for the Tigers as they were making a playoff push. That ended in disaster for Detroit. Booze is everywhere in the Majors…so I wouldn’t even consider taking him before the 3rd round if he fell that far. Let him be someone else’s problem.

Josh Hamilton:
Pound for pound, he’s the best baseball player in the Majors. He can do it all. But once again, due to personal issues I won’t touch him unless he falls a few rounds. He fell to the third round on Saturday, but the only way I take him is if he somehow falls to the 5th. He is a recovering alcoholic, heroin addict and crack addict. He has said that Doctors have told him even they don’t know how much damage he did to his body with his multiple lost years living with addiction. And last year it showed. He may have won the MVP last season, but he missed a large portion of games because his body broke down. Also, every interview I’ve ever seen with him where they ask him about his addictions, he looks like he’s a few seconds away from falling off the wagon. No thanks…once again let him be someone else’s problem.

Chase Utley:
This is an obvious one, but I’m of the belief that Utley may play a few games this season, but very quickly his year will come to and end when he can’t take the pain anymore. I’d bet money right now he doesn’t play more than 50 games this season. The question is which 50? He’ll end up having surgery and being done for the year…but that’s just my opinion. I took him in the 1st round last season, he got drafted in the 10th round this season in BF2 (Battle for Second)…that should tell you just how confident people are in him. No thanks!

Jimmy Rollins:
Look you could do worse at short stop…but it’s a roll of the dice with J-Roll. He’s past his prime, he always gets hurt and there’s no way he approaches the MVP numbers that everyone thinks is possible when they draft him. You should be happy with 15 homers and 20 steals out of Jimmy…but that’s hardly what you are paying for. He went in the 6th round in BF2…and that may have been a round or 2 early.

Jose Valverde:
I owned him last year, and he was awesome until Jim Leyland ruined him. Valverde was literally as unhittable as you could be at closer for the first few months last season. Then Leyland decided to try a few 2 inning saves with him. He was never the same. He got crushed every time they tried to get more than an inning out of him. Now Leyland has said he won’t do that again at all this season, but I don’t believe him. And I’m not 1000% sure he’ll rebound from how he was used last season…and if I’m not 1000% sure I’m not clicking the draft button.

Jonathan Broxton:
Another closer ruined by a manager and another closer I owned last year. Joe Torre took a perfectly dominant closer and crushed his confidence. You could see this coming though. Ever since Matt Stairs took Broxton deep in ’08 you could see confidence problems at times. Then Torre moved him in and out of the closers role last year. If your closer doesn’t have confidence you are up a certain creek without a paddle. Look, if you are throwing 99 mph you shouldn’t worry about pitching around guys. If somebody can catch up to 99 mph, God Bless them. But poor Broxton got scared to throw his stuff and poof…there went my bullpen. Broxton could have a nice rebound year…but the Dodgers have so many good bullpen arms that he could be on a short leash. No thanks.

Chris Carpenter:
Another one of my gems from last season! Are you seeing a trend here? This is the 4th guy on my list of 10 that I owned at some point last season, and he burned me so now I don’t want him. Carpenter was awesome last season…until the fantasy stretch run. He wasn’t the same. His stuff was different, he got tired…you can think of a billion different things to say here. I’ll just say I don’t trust him anymore.

Brian McCann:
He’s a premier catcher in the league no doubt. However, there are other side issues with McCann. First he had eye problems. Then he had Lasik eye surgery but his eyes weren’t working right. His vision was blurry. So he had to wear glasses anyway. The reason they found out later for his blurred vision…Caffeine use and dehydration. So he can’t drink coffee or anything with caffeine in it, and yet has to play 162 games? No thanks. Plus now add on the tragic accident of a foul ball he hit striking Braves Minor League Manager Luis Salazar in the face, and Salazar losing an eye. Add that all up and I don’t want McCann…

Bobby Abreu:
I didn’t like him when he was a Phillie, I don’t like him now. But for fantasy purposes he’s been money in the bank since he came to the Phillies in 1998. Last season he still did his normal 20 HR & 20 Steals, (20 and 24 to be exact) but his average dropped 41 points below his career average. At 37 this party will not last much longer, especially with the Angels having so many good prospects (Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo) pushing for time and an outfield with Hunter, Wells and Bourjos already entrenched. Do yourself a favor, and leave this party before it gets ugly.

Anybody on the Twins:
This one is for Executive Producer Paul Pozniak, who hates the Twins due to the fact that he’s a Tiger’s fan. But when you look at it do you really want to roll the dice with any of these guys? Joe Mauer is the best catcher in baseball, but he isn’t worth a first round pick no matter how long you want to argue with me. (You know who you are) He’s got bad knees and almost no power.

His biggest years for Home Runs were 13 in ’06 and 28 in ’09. He’s played 7 seasons…here’s his Homer totals in order for the rest of his seasons, 6, 9, 7, 9 and 9. So you are more likely to get single digit homers from a guy that’s never had over 100 RBI’s. Granted he’s far and away the best catcher, but I can’t see taking him before the third round. When I can get 75% of his production from Miguel Montero in the 20th round why reach that early on Mauer?

As for the rest of the Twins, their starters are suspect…including Francisco Lirano. Justin Morneau may or may not make it through the whole season, and the same goes for Joe Nathan who’s coming off surgery. I really do like Delmon Young, but there are so many left field options I’d rather have, why bother?

So those are the guys I don’t want, so go ahead and grab them since they’ll all probably be great and kill me somehow this season. Next week I’ll post both of my teams and begin my long 2 month journey of not trading anyone away.

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