It is officially opening night of the 2007 Major League Baseball season!! Tonight the Mets and St. Louis play and also today of the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues (pre-season, spring training sort of games) the Giants and the A's.
I, mostly out of tradition, do not celebrate until it is opening day with the first game of the Atlanta Braves season. So, I will be celebrating, albeit from the couch and with nothing strong to drink, tomorrow when the Braves take on the Phillies at 1:05 (Eastern). Also playing tomorrow are the Nationals against the Marlins, Yankees against the Devil Rays, Toronto against Detroit, Indians against White Sox, Dodgers and the Brewers, Cubs and Reds, Arizona and Colorado, Kansas City and Boston, the A's and the Mariners, Orioles and Twins, Houston and Pittsburg, and last but not least the Angels (formerly the Anaheim Angels, now the Los Angeles Angels at Anaheim??) against the Rangers.
How I have celebrated today is with a live draft on Yahoo! Fantasy Sports. My fantasy team is all set up and though I only got a handful of the players I pre-ranked, I am for the most part happy with my team. Here they are:
Ivan Rodriguez--Detroit, Catcher
Adam LaRoche--Pittsburg, 1st Base
Marcus Giles--San Diego, 2nd Base
Chipper Jones--Atlanta, 3rd Base
Edgar Renteria--Atlanta, Short Stop
Morgan Ensberg--Houston, 3rd Base
Orlanda Cabrera--LA Angels, Short Stop
Bobby Abreu--NY Yankees, Outfield
Andruw Jones--Atlanta, Outfield
J.D. Drew--Boston, Outfield
Mike Cameron--San Diego, Outfield
Barry Bonds--San Francisco, Outfield
Brain McCann--Atlanta, Catcher
Brian Giles--San Diego, Outfield
Brandon Inge--Detroit, 3rd Base
Sean Casey--Detroit, 1st Base
Chris Carpenter--St. Louis, Pitcher
Dontrelle Willis--Florida, Pitcher
Brad Lidge--Houston, Pitcher
Tim Hudson--Atlanta, Pitcher
Brad Penny--LA Dodgers, Pitcher
Grad Maddux--San Diego, Pitcher
Kevin Millwood--Texas, Pitcher
Rafael Soriano--Atlanta, Pitcher
Jered Weaver--LA Angels, Pitcher
I can't remember the exact order in which I drafted them, but I can say the top two players I wanted were Jose Reyes of the New York Mets and John Smoltz of the Atlanta Braves, neither of which I snagged in time. I think I was 8th in line with the way the computer randomly picks your draft lineup in your league (I think there are 10 people in my league which I picked some what randomly based on its name which is the Washington Nationals). I do know that my first round draft pick was Bobby Abreu--and for the record I have never drafter a single player from the Yankees, this is a first. My second round pick was Andruw Jones and third round ended up being Chris Carpenter mostly out of shock that no one had snagged him yet. And Pudge Rodriguez came in the fourth round. I picked all my catchers in the first ten of twenty-five rounds. Can you tell I'm a catcher? The players I was most resistant in drafting were Barry Bonds because of the steroid issue and his risk of injury odds being high, Jered Weaver because he is currently on the DL, and Sean Casey because I am always hesitant when it comes to last year's hot players.
With all this said, my main philosophy in drafting players is picking players that I love to watch. Looks like I'll be watching some serious Padres baseball this year! This will be a first as well. I would have snagged Mike Piazza if I wasn't over my limit with catchers when his name caught my eye... And I've always watched the Tigers and Braves so that won't be out of the ordinary. But as you can tell, if you have any knowledge of baseball, I picked some old Braves (Maddux), newly relocated Braves (LaRoche, Giles, Drew), current Braves (Hudson, the Jones boys, Renteria, Soriano, McCann), and a few guys I hope will one day cross over and be Braves (mainly Willis).
My team by no means looks like the top team in my league, but I'll be happy watching these guys' stats and keeping track of a few of my favorite teams. My one disappointment? For being on a league called the Washington Nationals, it really sucks that I don't have a single player from the Nationals...