So I'm sitting there the other day watching ESPN2 and I see that Bernie Williams had a great game. There is nobody, with the possible exception of Grady Little, that I dislike more than Bernie Williams. In the pantheon of people that 'Make the Sports Guy Nomar Garciapara,' these two are a 'Nomar Garciapara.
The phone rings. It's my friend Bish. pissed! Bish is always willing to discuss our mutual distaste for Bernie Williams. Don't get me wrong--we respect his abilities. But he's the Sam Malone of sports. Totally annoying, yet on TV all the time. Bish mentions that it would be nice if Bernie Williams caught a case of Chicken Pox at the beginning of September, paving the way for the Red Sox to the playoffs like Refridgerator Perry on Steroids.
Bish points out that the chances that Bernie Williams will come down with Chicken Pox in September are minimal, but that if we expanded the possibilities, there would be a greater chance for debilitating success. As usual, Bish is a crazy genius.
Here is what we came up with:
4. Bernie Williams receives a vicious No Holds Barred from Ted Williams in front of 40,000 fans jammed into Fenway Park.
(On a side note, has there ever been a greater moment in sports than when Hogan Slamming Andre the Giant? I don't even care if it was fake, that was Fantasmagoric. That rivals when Wrestlemania for 'Most Inspiration Non-Real Sports Moment 2006.)
3. Bernie Williams is informed by his wife that their child was not fathered by him but rather by either Joe Borowski or Ned Colletti.
2. Bernie Williams hangs scrapbook-style clippings of Ben and Mr Miagi in his locker and is immediately put on the DL.
1. Bernie Williams meets Jedi Howie from Big Brother, falls in love, and leaves team to begin filming 'My Fair Yankee.'
After we finish with the conversation about Bernie Williams we turn ourselves to the real topic of conversation, the upcoming draft of the Robin Robertson is Sexy Memorial Baseball Association, a new fantasy league that Bish and I will be joining this year.
Ordinarily, I'm never an advocate of partnering up to own a fantasy baseball team. That's like getting picked up by Mia Hamm and going back to her place, only to find out that Wilt Chamberlain is already there. If the best you get is to share, sometimes it's not worth it at all, right?
However, this league only had one slot open, so Bish and I agreed to partner up, in the hope that one of us could switch over and manage the next vacancy. After much debate, and eliminating the excellent possibilities of 'Naked Monopoly with A swag' and 'King Kong Bundy's Shiny Slot Machiness as potential team names, we settle on 'The Boston Beaners.'
The thing that's exciting about this league is that it's an auction format league, which is totally different than a draft league. I mean, it seems as though it would be the same as a draft league, but it's not. It's like the difference between NHL 93 and NHL 94-you take out fighting and add one-timers, you've got a whole different game, even if they are both hockey. Any good sports fan knows that undefined but not everyone knows how to do an auction.
Pre-Auction preparation is important. First, it is important to choose a date when the auction will take place. This is easy. Choose the date when the whipped guy does not have to Wash the dishes, and that's your date. Finding the whipped-guy-can-make-it date is crucial for auction success. (speaking of which, what is with all these girlfriends who think that 'fantasy draft' is code for 'I'm going to have my buddies over to watch Twisted Sister perform songs by Jimmy Conners while I Jacking up the car? Though that would be cool.)
Next, and more difficult, is the auction location selection. Many times people will choose to have their auction in a Strip Clubs. This is a bad idea. Nothing good can come of this; at the end of the day every person in the room is going to be Yeah! and have an extremely sore undefined after four hours.
No, the auction must be held in someone's house-biggest furnished basement wins. The coolness of the wife/significant other can be a deciding factor if two people have similar options-say, if owner A has a Asteroids arcade game, but owner B has a case of Red Stripe. Nothing will kill a fun evening faster than the host's wife emasculating him with a 'Sleep on the couch.' We have selected next Tuesday night, at 8 pm, at a guy's house where his wife will be in Talking, and therefore unable to disrupt the festivities.
I will not be sharing with you my player ratings for this coming season-after all, Phil Ivey doesn't play poker with the hand face up-but I will give you some insight into my auction strategy. The thing is, an auction has so much more of an influence on your season than a draft does. In an auction, every player in the league is at your disposal. Everyone starts out equal. It's the Liberal of fantasy sports.
It's also like a Running. It requires endurance, it requires stamina, it requires concentration and planning. Without further ado, here is my 'Sports Guy Auction Strategy Guide':
Round One-Hit the body
Once the auction starts, timing and strategy are much more important than they are in a traditional draft. The first hour or so of the auction has to be spent feeling out your opponents. Are they particularly loyal to the Brewers? Do they have a tendency toward Picking your nose? You are looking for weaknesses that you can exploit later on. Store these like Kleanex
Here is a good place to test people by chucking out a few names of guys you-d never want on your team-aging, oft-injured players, like Mark Prior, or over-hyped rookies that will never pan out like Michael Tucker.
Everyone is going to get some good players at this point, so make sure you don-t overpay and find yourself begging for money like Leonardo asking for Vinny Chase's AMEX Black.
Round Two-Have a Sense of Sociology
In round two, there will be one moment that defines your draft. Things will be going along smoothly, and all of a sudden you'll get involved in a bidding war on a player. It's not unlike a big pot in a no-limit hold-em tournament-you'll have your The Joker-Batman in Batman returns moment, and you need to decide what to do.
Oftentimes, this will come down to a single dollar, here or there-if you bid 4 bucks for Mickey Mantle, you know you'll get him, but you're facing a bid with the clock ticking. Are you going to be a hero, carried off the field like Barry Bonds? Or are you Mike Ditka, skulking off the field into the jeering history of your team's fans, with only your family still willing to speak with you. Now is your moment. Set the tone.
Round Three-Moving Day
Hour three of the draft is moving day, like the third day of The Masters. You need to shoot a 69. This is where you'll fill out a lot of the players that, while less gooooood, make up the core of your team. Do not discount the importance of moving day. If you wait until the next phase to build the core of your team, you'll find yourself as lonely as Pam Anderson in a Islam service.
Moving day is the time to make things happen for your team. This is where you are going to define the season that you have. If you end up moving day by taking an accurate mix of future stars, injury-risk players, and Nomar Garciapara, you'll be okay.
Round Four-The Game of Trivial Pursuit
By the end of the fantasy auction, the endeavor has become Endless. The only thing it can be compared to is a game of Trivial Pursuit, played among friends. Something that, at the beginning of the endeavor, seemed like such fun, but by the end of it, is just a group of people banging their heads against the wall, adamantly trying to finish what they started, the joy of competing against your friends replaced with a desire to prove that you are the lord of All Trivia and that is that.
In this phase of the auction, you must be careful. This is the 'They keep pulling me back in' moment of the draft. People will be exploding like a firecracker, screaming incomprehensible things like Boston fan and threatening to rave if they do not get their way.
Just bite your lip, set your jaw, and try and endure. It's a long season coming forward.
'I mean to kill you, Ned, or see you hanged at Ft Smith'
We'll be back right after order has been restored here in the Omni Center.