Monday, July 04, 2011

And Now for Something Completely Different: Part Two

So, we're proceeding with our tournament.  The first step for any tournament of this kind is making lists of players.  There are six of us playing on the 16th and each of us provided a list of 20 players.  We made an agreement we would use players currently active and that Tim Barela and myself would rate them for the Sherco rules.  Fun stuff?  Well, tedious stuff actually.  Tim, who is much better at Excel than I could ever be, created a spreadsheet, which made the process a bit easier. 
If you're participating in a draft you need good information.  With numbers downloaded from ESPN and FanGraphs you can see the highlighted players chosen.  Wish more of the good ones were mine.  Page one of five.
The second step in this type of tournament is a draft of eligible players.  In this case there are six of us, Tim, David Demick, Bill Nelson, Dave Schueler and myself.  We drew for draft order.  In odd numbered rounds I draft first, but in odd numbered rounds I draft last.  The good thing is that my picks come one after another.  The bad thing is that I have to wait 11 picks between choices. We are currently in Round 9 of 21.  The best part about a draft is its actually the most fun part of the tournament.  You're constructing a team of players you really like.  If done with friends, and I've known almost everybody for 30 years or more, there is a lot of friendly insults and banter.  The games are simply a laboratory to see if your ideas worked.

So far, my team has some strengths and weaknesses

First, I have a couple of really good starting pitchers:
 Cliff Lee and Erik Bedard.  Both are guys who are having good seasons.  Neither walk many batters, though Bedard gives up a few extra home runs.  I really like Lee.  When he was with the Mariners for half of 2010 he was amazing.  I've never seen anybody throw so many strikes or work so efficiently.  The most amazing season I've ever seen. Bedard has been the feel good story of the year in baseball.  Here's a guy who was part of a terrible trade in 2008 and tried to pitch hurt for two years.  It looked like his career was over, but he's really having a good season.

I also have a good outfield.  I chose Peter Bourjos, Matt Joyce and Brett Gardner.  These are guys I really like.  Joyce hits for a high average with  power.  Bourjos and Gardner are both decent hitters who can give me speed at the top of the order.  They also cover lot of ground in the outfield.  All three are superior fielders, reducing the chance of error.

My corner infield is ready to go with Joey Votto at 1B and Adrian Beltre at 3B.  Both are guys I like.  Votto is a great hitter with power in this game. Beltre gives me some right handed power.  Both have good range and are superior fielders.

Problems: Mostly this has to do with pieces I don't have in place yet.

My two remaining starters are a little less than mediocre.  Jake Peavy, recovering from injury with the White Sox, and Brandon Morrow, former Mariner #1 draft choice, are still trying to find themselves this year.  They aren't godawful, but not likely to be terribly reliable either.  Still, could be worse, as some of my competitors are about to find out.

I have no bullpen--Many of my colleagues have a piece or two in place.  I have none.  The best are gone.  I need four guys, so we'll just have to see. The next couple of rounds I'll have to take at least one in each. 
My well-worn 1979 edition of Sherco baseball.
I have no shortstop, second baseman, or catcher.  There are lots of decent catchers in the draft, so that doesn't trouble me too much, there will be somebody out there.  The available shortstops are just okay.  I really like Brendan Ryan and would like to get him in the next round.  Just depends on if he is there.  If I don't get him I may have to resort to the aged Omar Vizquel.  There are still a couple of good choices available at 2B, with Ben Zobrist and Ian Kinsler available. 

Taken as a whole, the team has some really good pitching, great defense, and some guys who can hit. Bullpen is a black hole at this time. We'll see how it all turns out.

If this sparks any interest in the Sherco game for you, it is still in print and sold only on ebay through a small producer.  I have the 1979 edition of the game, but purchased a 1988 version of Sherco through this seller in 2006.  He does a great job of keeping the game updated and also has a bunch of the cool add-ons, all for a pretty reasonable price.

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