I guess that is why I play. Tonight we had our draft for our fantasy baseball league. We did it on ESPN even though we had some problems with it last year. The draft took forever to complete because the server was so bogged down. I even had a couple picks auto picked for me because the server thought I was away. Overall I think I did alright, but time will tell. Here is my 25 man team:
C Jason Varitek
C A.J. Pierzynski
1b Todd Helton
1b Justin Morneau
2b Aaron Hill
2b Alexei Ramirez
SS Troy Tulowitzki
SS Michael Young
3b Troy Glaus
3b Casey Blake
OF Magglio Ordonez
OF Grady Sizemore
OF Alex Rios
OF Jacob Ellsbury
OF Mike Cuddyer
OF Justin Upton
SP Johan Santana
SP Roy Halladay
SP Tim Hudson
SP Francisco Liriano
SP Chien Ming Wang
RP Eric Gagne
RP Kerry Wood
RP Bobby Jenks
I liked my bullpen until I saw what happened today. Maybe they will settle down so that I can get some saves out of them. I really put off picking relievers too long. I did the same with third base that is why I have Blake and Glaus. They may work out though. If everyone plays to the potential that I think that they can I will be happy with my team. My starting pitching is very good. I think that may be the strength of the team. I took Alexei Ramirez and Justin Upton late in case they pan out to be the superstars they could be. They are good bench players until I see what they can do. I saw Alexei play today, and he did not look like the same guy that was in Arizona. It could be first game jitters though. He is in center it sounds like until Jerry Owens comes back. Depending on how he plays he could move to second, or stay in the outfield. I guess the bench is another possibility. I have two matchups that I am really looking forward to. I have Tires the owner of the blog Living Vicariously, and one of my bosses. They are both battling this week so tomorrow at basketball should be lively.
Wow, what a tourney it has been so far. My bracket above has taken some hits so far this year. I never would have guessed that all four #1 seeds would have made it. I took a guess and said that Memphis would get beat by Texas. I was wrong. That is the only one of the final four teams that I did not guess correctly. Davidson wreaked havoc in my bracket, and almost took out my champion. I have a funny feeling that North Carolina and Memphis will win this weekend ending all hope of a good bracket. Davidson took out the #7, #2, #3, and came within a shot of taking out the #1 in their region. They were the story of the tournament so far. Led by a sophomore you wonder if they will be back. As I said before I don’t think my picks will make it through Saturday. Memphis looked very good, but they play of Kevin Love will determine that half of my bracket. Kansas will face a very tough North Carolina team after narrowly escaping defeat against a #10 seed. It is hard for me at this point to say that they will win. They do have a week to recuperate though so anything is possible. This tourney has been good so far, and with all four #1’s in the finals it can only get better.
After tomorrow the women will have their final four set. I will take a look at how my bracket looks on Thursday.
Opening Day is the day where everyone straps it on for the first time of the year for meaningful games. Today the Sox open up the season in Cleveland to face the Indians. Part of me wishes that I could turn on my tv and hear Hawk talk about our new catcher suiting up for Opening Day. That catcher would be Carlton of course since Ron Karkovice is probably busy.
This is another great picture that came from the Stadium Club cards. It is not fancy, but it is different than most pictures that you saw back in those days. It was not a posed picture with an obscene word on the bat.
I couldn’t get the private league filled for ESPN Fantasy baseball so I created an open league. If you go to ESPN.com and search for Pinola Possums under the public league you should be able to find it. If you are reading this blog than you are eligible to join. The draft is tomorrow night at 5:45. Lets get this thing filled. Even though we are drafting after a few games have started the stats from the games already played will retroactively be added in. That way we all have the same 162 game season no matter what players we pick.
Today’s card is the Upper Deck Cooperstown Collection card of Carlton. I like this card because it takes a different view of the catcher than most cards do. The catcher spends most of his time on the field behind a mask, but that is rarely shown on cards. I guess that they actually want us to see what the player looks like. This card goes a different way than most. I gives a sweet shot of a young Carlton in the catching position. The picture alone moved this card up in the countdown.
The other great thing about the card is that it commemorates the 2000 Hall of Fame induction of Carlton. From the minute that he retired I said that I would be at his induction. No matter what it took I would go. If he would have been first ballot inductee I would have been in New York to see him. The fact that it happened a year later really made it hard for me. I had just gotten back from Purdue where I had sunk most of my savings into paying for my school. I really did not have the money by the time the induction came around. I watched it live on ESPN Classic (before our cable company took it away), and had to be content with that. I wish that I could have been there, but I could not. I guess part of my making sure I had a front row seat for his statue unveiling was to make up for the fact that I did not make it to New York that day. I still have never been to Cooperstown. That should be taken care of this summer if everything pans out.
Today is the start of the Major League season. Unless you count the two games played across the ocean. And unless you count the fact that only one game is played today. So maybe the season starts tomorrow. With that in mind my countdown is set to end today. The game that I have chosen will probably never be knocked off the list. It had everything that you could want. A good pitching matchup. Jose Contreras went up against Curt Schilling. You had eleven runs scored. Forty players took the field. This game had everything that you could want. Maybe that is because it took nineteen innings to complete. Today’s game was played on July 9th, 2006. I really did not want to go to this game. I wanted to attend the fireworks on Lake Michigan back at home so I kept trying to buy tickets to Saturday’s game on eBay. I could not get any so I settled for Sunday’s game. I figured it would be no problem getting back to LaPorte by dark. The fireworks were scheduled to start around 9, and the game started at one. Boy was I wrong.
The game was a fun one to watch. In the top of the first Kevin Youkilis walked and was driven in by David Ortiz. That was pretty much standard the last couple of years. The score stayed the same until the fourth inning. With two outs Mike Lowell homered. Jose then walked a batter, gave up a single, walked another batter, then hit a batter to give up another run. He go David Ortiz to fly out to end the inning. Disaster was averted here. Iguchi led off the next inning by hitting a home run. What can I say Iguchi comes up big in games that I go to. In the sixth Jim Thome singled in Brian Anderson to bring the Sox to within one. Konerko and Dye could not get Iguchi home from third though, and the inning ended. The score stayed the same until the ninth inning. Jonathon Papelbon retired the first two batters. Dye then hit a home run that barely cleared the left field wall to tie up the game. I just sat in the stands shaking my head. I had already seen some great things that year, but this was pretty good. The Red Sox scored two in the eleventh because Bobby Jenks was left in the game too long. By the time Ozzie got him out the damage was done. The Sox responded by getting two in the bottom of the inning, but once again they left men on base. Thins pretty much settled down until the bottom of the 19th inning. Cintron, Mackowiak, and Podsednik all singled. So now the bases were loaded with one out. Who could possibly be the batter at the plate? Tadahito Iguchi. He singled scoring Cintron and ended the longest game I have ever seen. I was able to see over two regulation baseball games. I love extra baseball, but I am not sure that I want to break this record just yet. How fitting that the two teams that I historically love to watch play would play a game like this. I was able to see every player on the Sox roster that day except for three players. I have a feeling that it will be sometime before this game gets knocked off the top of the list. Maybe a World Series game could do it.
Incidentally we did make it to the fireworks, but I was so tired from the day that I just went home after I dropped everyone off.