HORSIN’ TIME 3.6.14
Miguel Sano needs Tommy John surgery. The Timberwolves just lost to the most dysfunctional team in the NBA (aka the Knicks), at home, essentially ending all hope for the 8th seed and guaranteeing that they’ll finish just outside the playoffs and end up with one of the worst possible non-playoff team draft picks. The Wild and Gophers continue their annual “borderline-playoff-team-first-round-exit” tradition. And the Vikings continue their quest to find their first franchise quarterback since Fran Tarkenton retired before we were born (or, for you Daunte Culpepper apologists, since he blew out his knee in 2005).
In other words, thank goodness it’s the Year of the Horse.
And selfishly, thank Common Man for calling my post about the Preposterous Statement Tournament “brilliantly done” and “brilliant” (discussion starts around 2:25, continues about two and a half minutes).
Honestly though, you guys . . . thank GOD for the Horse Stable League. I could be sports-depressed, waiting for some sliver of hope from somewhere, something, someone . . . but instead, I’m submerged in statistics, in player bios, in the HSL keeper grid, in asking myself what the hell Dave-man was thinking keeping Manny Machado over David Wright, and then wondering whether his Olympic-athletic-training mind has some inside information about Machado’s recovery from ACL surgery that I don’t know about. I’m wondering why Curt would willingly stick with the worst collection of keepers in the history of HSL (off the top of my head, anyway), and then write a post ranking his keepers as the worst in the league, after his own Michael Morse illustrated how badly a terrible keeper can screw you just last year. (Sure, there’s a few extra draft picks from trades last year, but a 4th rounder and some extra 7th and 8th rounders aren’t exactly gold).
I’m wondering why Hinsch’s Stallions traded a pick for Pedro Alvarez, then 1-yeared him, when he could’ve just kept Carlos Beltran or hoped for bounce-back seasons from Starlin Castro or Chase Headley. I look at JC’s keepers and get scared, but hope that his two young pitchers (Matt Moore, Zach Wheeler) can’t put it all together quite yet. I look at CBON’s keepers and get legitimately frightened, especially since he’s in my division and always has a good team. I’m not sure anyone can compete with McCutcheon-CarGo-Freeman-Bumgarner as a top-4 . . . I can only hope Wacha flames out. The Neighsayers have been knocking at the door for years now, and it’s only a matter of time before they break through with a solid set of keepers, as well. Too bad Boof isn’t around anymore . . .
I’m wondering if anyone in the Mare Division can end the “We’re Brotherrrrrs” domination by the Fort Morty’s Miracle and Sickness, especially since both teams have solid keepers once again. I’m wondering if Got Dropped? can finally regain some of the magic they had when they won the championship in the inaugural HSL season, which was only 5 short years ago but feels much longer. How can one own Miggy and Cano all these years but still have the second-worst regular season record ever? For shame. Since they didn’t make the playoffs last year, I’m wondering if Tony Gwynn will draft 5 closers this year as Jake cackles maniacally in the corner. Also, I’m wondering if we’re interested in naming an official band of the Horse Stable League? If so, I humbly nominate Band of Horses.
After trading for Roy Halladay in order to keep him led to Sturm throwing out one of the worst pitching staffs in the league for most of last year, I’m wondering if he hops right back on his horse as a perennial contender with his able stable of keepers this year. I’m wondering if T Herd can capitalize on his very capable five-some of keepers and challenge the aforementioned bloc of “We’re Brotherrrrrs” in the Mare Division. Despite his relatively solid set of keepers, it’s hard to believe #Ecker will pose much of a threat after he traded all of his picks in a futile attempt to reach the playoffs last season (Ecker has 5 picks in the first 8 rounds, including no first-rounder). And I’m curious to see if the Red Destroyers can rebound after a lost season (Dylan Bundy!!!!) with a decent set of keepers, the 2nd overall pick, and a wealth of mid-round picks obtained via trade last season.
And of course, I’m excited / terrified about my team, wondering whether Matt Harvey’s Tommy John surgery will linger over my season like Stephen Strasburg’s did in 2011, Cory Luebke’s did in 2012, or Jordan Zimmerman’s did at the end of 2009 (eff, has anyone had worse pitching injury luck than that? Harvey and Strasburg alone are a lifetime’s worth).
Quick side note: I’d just like to make a quick pitch for “Proposal #2” over “Proposal #3” in what appears to be a run-off vote tomorrow. The fantasy baseball 20+ week regular season is a friggin’ marathon. It’s a much truer test of one’s fantasy baseball mind than the three-week crapshoot that is the fantasy baseball playoffs. (In other words, larger sample size >>>>> smaller sample size). So let’s reward regular season excellence by paying division winners $250 and wild cards $150, instead of taking money away from division winners to increase the wild card payout. $450 is still a nice payout for the champ of the three-week playoff, especially considering they’ve already won at least $150, and probably $250.
Finally, I’d just like to stress how much I’m going to miss being there tomorrow. It’ll be my first “missed” fantasy baseball draft, and as most of you know, it’s one of my favorite days of the year. There’s nothing better than drinking, smoking, talking fantasy baseball, playing euchre, pumping great tunes, and generally acting like smartasses for a night with 15 other good dudes (even my brother #Ecker). One of my favorite annual traditions is watching Big Ike walk in with the biggest smile on his face, unable to contain his happiness. There’s nothing better than the Horse Stable League draft.
Pour out a Natty Light for me. Actually, no – don’t pour out good beer. Pour out some shitty Miller Lite. No need to man up tomorrow night, you guys.