Don't let my social awkwardness, my obsession with stand-up comedy, the list of two-letter Scrabble words I've committed to memory, the TWO fact books I own, the drunken conversations I've had about AP Style changes, and my mere participation on this baseball blog fool you... I am not cool in the slightest. In fact, I consider myself to be something of a nerd. Furthering my nerd status is my rabid participation in a fantasy baseball league.
"I got Matsui!"
Unlike its football counterpart that requires NO knowledge or effort, the pastime-NAY-art of fantasy baseball takes considerable research, careful roster management and thorough preparation to be done with any skill. It's also important to set aside personal preferences and unwillingness to draft players you dislike so that you can build a winner. I'm willing to bet someone in Wisconsin lost his or her league last year because they drafted Zack Greinke before Justin Verlander, or let Starlin Castro fall to the next guy in the league because he's a Cub.
Still, it's nice to have a Brewers player on your roster, if you can swing it without reaching too much to do so. It ensures you'll have a real life rooting interest for at least one player on your fake-ass squadron of stat producers. When he does well, it's like a double bonus. So if, like me, your draft is this weekend, feel free to reach for your favorite Brewer... or ANY Brewer left before they all fly off the board much too soon. But know what taking said player says about you.
Ryan Braun - You have a good chance of winning your league no matter who the other players on your team are.
Rickie Weeks - Getting a quality second baseman is important to you, but not important enough to have taken Robinson Cano, Ian Kinsler, Dustin Pedroia, Brandon Phillips or Ben Zobrist earlier.
Mat Gamel - Prince who?!? Prince Fielder. You know, that guy taken eight rounds earlier. That's cool though, you (not unlike the Brewers) chose to fill other holes in your lineup and hinge your 1B on upside. We all hope it works out.
Matt Gamel - You purchased a Lindy's fantasy baseball guide.
Zack Greinke - Someone else in your league either kept or prematurely drafted Yovani Gallardo, so you'll have to settle for the most valuable Brewers pitcher in fantasy baseball.
Yovani Gallardo - See above. That, or you're in a league lacking in homerism and Greinke was already taken. You're still getting a great pitcher... though not a fantasy ace.
George Kottaras - You are in the type of fantasy league where you draft players based on sexual fantasies you have about them. And you had the first overall pick. I wish I was an eighth as handsome as he is.
Francisco "K-Rod" Rodriguez - You're using a fantasy magazine from last year.
Aramis Ramirez - After years of refusing to draft Aramis based on his Cubs affiliation or lack of lineup support in Pittsburgh, you decided this is the year he suits up for you. Sure, he's on the down slope of his career, but good for you on getting a top 10 talent at third.
Shaun Marcum - After making him the scapegoat following his abysmal post season performance, you managed to pull your head out of your ass and recognize Marcum is a legitimately good pitcher, and one of the best (default) No. 3s in baseball when he's going right. Still, with probably 8-12 teams in your league plucking aces and No. 2s from 30 teams, you've hopefully waited until the later rounds to invest in the Shaun Marcum reclamation project.
John Axford - You like mustaches, saves and winning fantasy matchups. Just don't expect his to be quite as amazing as he was last year. 2011 Axford is hard to top.
Corey Hart - You either need a viable second or third OF, or you're hoping to cash in on some multi-position eligibility in a few months. Either way, you'll probably get your wish.
Alex Gonzalez - Scenario 1: Your league uses off-brand stickers that have abbreviated first names. Temporarily thinking Adrian Gonzalez is somehow still available in this, the 16th round, your strut to the board and sticker that bitch with an "A. Gonzalez" without a moment's hesitation--not realizing Adrian was taken long ago and you're stuck with Alex Gonzo at shortstop (which you've probably already filled, since you were intending to pick a 1B anyway). Scenario 2: You are not very good at fantasy baseball and actually wanted Alex Gonzalez.
Chris Narveson - You're like 45 and you are locally famous for some reason.
Nori Aoki/Nyjer Morgan/Carlos Gomez - You're in a daily transaction league in which you always have the top waiver spot. Add that particular day's center fielder and together they'll form one tremendous outfielder.
Jonathan Lucroy - It was after round five, you didn't have a catcher so you thought, "Whatever. I need a catcher and I know this one." Using that logic, you could be the GM for any team Gregg Zaun has ever played on. If you keep your expectations in check, you won't be sorry with Lucroy's passable offensive production.
Randy Wolf - You're George Kottaras. Congratulations. I'm attracted to you, even though I'm not gay. I hope that interesting little piece of honesty at least partially makes up for having Randy Wolf (a solid, albeit not the best fantasy pitcher) on your fantasy team.
Seth McClung - You are Seth McClung.