Re-Fantasizing Baseball [Slightly Strategic]

(Mike Trout)

It’s nap time.

Those three words show where my life diverges from Mr. Cheatsheet’s. For me, it means I have 90 minutes. I’m on Reddit. I’m (mock drafting). I’m IMing with Mr. Cheatsheet. Spotify is playing at a reasonable volume. (Evan Longoria / Giancarlo Stanton)

For Mr. Cheatsheet? I guess I’m just assuming, but nap time probably means he gets to take a nap.

This mock draft is my highest priority at the moment. I’ve had a feeling this entire offseason (Eric Hosmer / Zach Greinke) that if I’m going to stick out fantasy baseball for the long run, I need to continue to devote time to it. I didn’t prepare at all last year. The draft was stressful. (Jean Segura / Matt Holliday) I took Danny Espinosa in the 8th. Ryan Ludwick in the 14th. I didn’t pay much attention to my team during the season. I decided after the season I was done. If I wasn’t going to put effort into it, I may as well quit. (Anthony Rizzo / Michael Wacha)

Then, something changed. There were a few days with nice weather. I saw grass on the ground. I started thinking about baseball. And I remembered that even though my family is my life, I can still carve out a place for myself. My kids need to see me having hobbies. (Billy Hamilton / Jose Abreu)

The first step was a decision: I changed my mind about quitting the league. I was in and I’d be ready.

I still couldn’t commit myself to making it to the draft. It’s a 6-hour drive that I’d have to make by myself. (Jedd Gyorko / Danny Salaazar)

Then, another change of heart. One of my leaguemates is also our tax guy and he ended up badgering me into it while were on the phone. “What’s the point of being in the league if you’re not coming to the draft?” he asked. (Tony Cingrani / Christian Yelich)

I didn’t have a response. I figured out how to make the drive work and I’m going.

And so, I’m mocking. (Fernando Rodney / John Axford)

I printed out a spreadsheet. I highlighted the guys I want: hitters in yellow, pitchers in blue. I made a color-coded dot system: green means go, orange means it’s fine if I miss on him, purple means feel free to reach. (Chris Archer / Jim Henderson)

I made a fake ESPN profile so I could have fun in the mock draft chats. At first I hated the 45 second timer on each pick, but now I see it as part of my training. (Kelly Johnson / George Springer) I’m forced to make my choices and live with them. I’m OK with seeing how it turns out if I go in a different direction. (Corey Kluber / Josh Jonson)

Most of all, I’m looking forward to the live draft. We’ve got the big board. It’s an all-day event. The Sandlot. Yoo-hoo.

I’m excited about the drive. I’m bringing my older boy with me. He’ll stay with my parents while I make the rest of the trip, but I’ll get to talk baseball with him. We’ll listen to podcasts. Maybe it’ll turn into a tradition.

For me, the first step to re-fantasizing baseball was making a decision. After that comes the prep. Vital to that is the mock draft. (Brad Miller / Carlos Ruiz)

Russ Goerend was the co-host of the short-lived Performance Enhancing Discussions. He’s a father of two boys and husband to a crafty wife. When he’s not second-guessing his draft picks and trade offers, he teaches middle school English.

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