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Avia S-199 in Israeli Air Force Service

Ladies and gentlemen, your Irrational League Angels

We held our Irrational League draft yesterday, in record time, I think.

(Interjection as I watch the Braves/Mets game: Wow, what a double-play by Mark Kotsay!)

It was an odd draft. At one point, the bottom dropped out of the talent pool. I never would have thought that Jack Wilson would be anything more than a reserve or last resort, but he’s an asset for me as a utility player.

Third base in particular is weak. I drafted Ty Wigginton with the intention of making him my second baseman, but instead I had to make him a sub-par option for the third-base slot. The outfield is also thin. I had to put my first baseman out there and go with Scott Hatteberg, who’s decent but only a part-timer (although I know how Dusty Baker avoids playing rookies and that gives me hope that Hatteberg will get playing time over Joey Votto).

Here’s what I wound up with and my broad estimates for what they’ll do this year. My four keepers were Young, Smoltz, Berkman, and Beltran.

C: Bengie Molina (SF): .290, 20 HR, 80 RBI
C: Miguel Montero (Ari): .275, 10 HR, 35 RBI
1B: Scott Hatteberg (Cin): .290, 5 HR, 50 RBI
2B: Ron Belliard (Was): .280, 15 HR, 65 RBI
3B: Ty Wigginton (Hou): .270, 25 HR, 80 RBI
SS: Miguel Tejada (Hou): .305, 20 HR, 85 RBI
CI: Jorge Cantu (Fla): .260, 15 HR, 60 RBI
MI: Rafael Furcal (LA): .285, 10 HR, 60 RBI, 30 SB
OF: Carlos Beltran (NY): .275, 30 HR, 95 RBI, 20 SB
OF: Lance Berkman (Hou): .295, 30 HR, 100 RBI, 5 SB
OF: Matt Kemp (LA): .290, 20 HR, 75 RBI, 25 SB
OF: Mike Cameron (Mil): .260, 20 HR, 60 RBI, 15 SB
OF: Wily Mo Pena (Was): .270, 20 HR, 60 RBI
U: JJ Hardy (Mil): .275, 25 HR, 90 RBI
U: Jack Wilson (Pit): .280, 10 HR, 65 RBI

You’ll note that I have a lot of players who will miss significant portions of April. Cameron is suspended for 25 games, Pena’s hurt, so’s Montero. But the injuries are short-term, although Wigginton and Wilson are hurt now, too – only Wilson is on the DL, though. I have Ryan Ludwick and Gabe Gross as fill-in bench players. I also have Andy LaRoche for when/if he comes back.

I have the team pegged for a .280 average and 265 HRs – probably good for third place. I expect to finish near first in RBIs. I’m below average in steals. I have four starting shortstops, which gives me some trade bait.

The strength of my team is the starting pitching.

SP: John Smoltz (Atl): 15 W, 3.50 ERA, 1.20 WHIP
SP: Chris Young (SD): 15 W, 3.20 ERA, 1.15 WHIP
SP: Derek Lowe (LA): 15 W, 3.90 ERA, 1.35 WHIP
SP: Greg Maddux (SD): 15 W, 3.60 ERA, 1.20 WHIP
P: Justin Germano (SD): 10 W, 4.05 ERA, 1.25 WHIP
P: Orlando Hernandez (NY): 10 W, 4.25 ERA, 1.35 WHIP
RP: Manny Corpas (Col): 30 Sv, 5 W, 3.95 ERA, 1.25 WHIP
RP: Jon Rauch (Was): 5 Sv, 5 W, 3.80 ERA, 1.25 WHIP
RP: Cla Meredith (SD): 5 W, 3.65 ERA, 1.20 WHIP
RP: Jon Lieber (Chi): 10 W, 4.75 ERA, 1.35 ERA

And I have Pedro Martinez on the bench. You’ll observe that I expect Lieber to start before the season ends.

This staff will be near the top in wins (about 95), ERA (3.80), and WHIP (1.25). With one Proven Closer, I won’t be last in saves. One team has no closer, four (with me) have one, and five have two. Rauch is a wildcard and might become a full-time closer if Chad Cordero is traded or hurt worse than thought. I can dream, can’t I?

Figure 32 points in pitching (two second-place categories, one win, and one seventh) and 29 in hitting (two third places, a win, and an eighth in steals). That’s enough to win. I know that these Angels don’t look impressive but no roster looks great. I have players to trade, especially once Pedro returns to action.

Bonus funny spam:

If you’re unfamiliar with the “Step n: Profit!” meme, this won’t be funny, but I laughed. The spam hoped I would install an attached trojan, but the message body was this:

1. Think about your girlfriend
2. Look attached details
3. Visit our online store
4. Buy out goods
5. Profit? You ARE the BEST in BED!

He he.

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