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NL-Only Experts Draft
Participated in my first draft of the year yesterday -- a 12-team NL-only 5x5 'experts' league hosted by Sportsline.

I had the #2 pick, and did a fair amount of agonizing over it. In the end, I went with my gut and took David Wright over Miggy Cabrera for two reasons: 1) Wright's steals, and 2) the complete uncertainty over who Cabrera is going to have to drive in, and who will be driving him in. (Cabrera, incidentally, dropped to a shocking 7th overall, so I obviously wasn't the only one concerned about the Marlins offense).

I ended up with a roster that lacks both saves and outfielders, but has good position flexibility and should have some tradable assets to allow me to patch holes... we'll see how it goes.

#2 Rotowire.com David Wright (3B NYM)
#23 Rotowire.com Ben Sheets (P MIL)
#26 Rotowire.com Ryan Howard (1B PHI)
#47 Rotowire.com Ken Griffey (OF CIN)
#50 Rotowire.com Brandon Webb (P ARI)
#71 Rotowire.com Ryan P. Freel (2B CIN)
#74 Rotowire.com Matt Cain (P SF)
#95 Rotowire.com Brad Hawpe (OF COL)
#98 Rotowire.com Brian McCann (C ATL)
#119 Rotowire.com Josh Willingham (C FLA)
#122 Rotowire.com Brad Penny (P LA)
#143 Rotowire.com Adam Everett (SS HOU)
#146 Rotowire.com Ryan Madson (P PHI)
#167 Rotowire.com Chris Duffy (OF PIT)
#170 Rotowire.com Eric Byrnes (OF ARI)
#191 Rotowire.com Wilson Betemit (SS ATL)
#194 Rotowire.com Kip Wells (P PIT)
#215 Rotowire.com Corey C. Hart (OF MIL)
#218 Rotowire.com Damaso Marte (P PIT)
#239 Rotowire.com Scott Hairston (2B ARI)
#242 Rotowire.com Duaner Sanchez (P NYM)
#263 Rotowire.com Cesar Izturis (SS LA)
#266 Rotowire.com Brian Bruney (P ARI)
#287 Rotowire.com Jeff Baker (3B COL)
#290 Rotowire.com Aaron Miles (2B STL)
#311 Rotowire.com Matthew Cepicky (OF FLA)
#314 Rotowire.com Jon Rauch (P WAS)
#335 Rotowire.com John Mabry (OF CHC)
#338 Rotowire.com Jason J. Ellison (OF SF)
#359 Rotowire.com Chris Resop (P FLA)

And the VERY interesting first round...

#1 Baseball Info Solutions Albert Pujols (1B STL)
#2 Rotowire.com David Wright (3B NYM)
#3 Patton & Co. Derrek Lee (1B CHC)
#4 SportFanatics.net Chase Utley (2B PHI)
#5 Roto Times Bobby Abreu (OF PHI)
#6 Elias Sports Bureau Alfonso Soriano (2B WAS)
#7 CBS SportsLine.com (Gonos) Miguel M. Cabrera (OF FLA)
#8 CBS SportsLine.com (Mack) Andruw Jones (OF ATL)
#9 FantasyBaseball.com Carlos Beltran (OF NYM)
#10 Mastersball.com Jason Bay (OF PIT)
#11 SportsBlurb.com Juan Pierre (OF CHC)
#12 Baseball Prospectus Barry Bonds (OF SF)


Posted by Erik at 2/8/2006 7:51:00 AM
Comments (1)

World Baseball Classic is a Fraud
I'm glad to see Mariano Rivera won't participate in the World Baseball Classic. I'm glad because the World Baseball Classic is a fraud and one less star participating the better.

Let's be honest. All this is is one big marketing gimmick for Major League Baseball. This isn't about nationalism or international baseball or about "coming together" to celebrate baseball. It's about selling ballcaps in Tokyo, Rome and Mexico City.

If MLB wants to promote its game internationally, a legitimate aim, then let it follow the lead of the NBA, which didn't resort to gimmicky faux-competitions, but rather established overseas operations to promote basketball in specific grassroots ways. That course is harder, costlier and takes more time, but it's honest.

MLB is looking for a shortcut. In doing so, -- and this is the fraudulent part -- it keeps insisting on something we know isn't true: that this is an "international competition." How international is it when 29 of the 60 Italian players are Americans and the team trains in Lakeland, Fla.?

MLB says the WBC will feature "the best players in the world competing for their home countries." Yet, its eligibility rules allow players to play for the country in which a parent was born, regardless of the player's actual "home country."

Winning this "competition" will mean absolutely nothing. All MLB has done is give its best players new jerseys and put them on different teams.

Michael Young, who is playing for the U.S., says, "Everybody is proud of their American citizenship and they want to do the best they can to represent that."

Well, not everybody. Mike Piazza, born in Norristown, Penn., is not playing for his country. He's playing for Italy. David Aardsma, born in Denver, is not playing for his country. He's playing for Netherlands. Adrian Gonzalez, born in San Diego, is not playing for his country. He's playing for Mexico. Eduardo Perez, born in Cincinnati, isn't. He's playing for Puerto Rico. Chris Reitsma, born in Minneapolis, isn't. He's playing for Canada.

And why? Well, for one, to make international teams competitive. But more important, so little Guiseppe in Venice will take a liking to Mike Piazza and take a liking to Major League Baseball. Maybe he'll even buy a Padres cap.

MLB is using an international competition to market its stars under the guise of some Olympic-like ideal about baseball botherhood. Puke. "I speak the language of baseball" goes the WBC commercials.

No, MLB speaks only one language. The language of money. There's nothing wrong with that in and of itself, but don't resort to manipulation. Don't pretend you're doing anything but trying to sell t-shirts in Sydney and Seoul, laying the groundwork for eventual international expansion of Major League Baseball.

Posted by Jason Thornbury at 2/7/2006 3:52:00 PM

Comments (16)

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