Posted on: March 4, 2010 2:52 pm

Terms of Service

If you ever actually read the fine print of a contract or warranty, there’s always some disclaimer that winds up coming back to haunt you.  For example, at my job, we purchased a piece of equipment for $20,000 that did of course come with a warranty.  It broke down a few months later, and we had to call our usual service company to repair it.  The lengthy amount of time it took them to figure out the problem cost us $120 per hour during which they even tried to call the manufacturer who could offer zero help…..shocker.  In the end, they traced the issue to a pressure switch that we wound up having to replace.  We’ve had to replace this part twice since over the course of a little more than a year.  You know what’s coming……the part isn’t covered under the warranty.  You know that has to be on purpose.  The fine print on paperwork should really be defined as red flags. 

Which brings me to relationships, my favorite topic next to the Yankees and baseball.   The disclaimers or red flags here are much more subtle and difficult to interpret, but they are there. They come in all shapes and sizes through statements and actions. 

You start with the honeymoon period where everything is rosy, and you talk for hours and enjoy every minute with each other.  That’s all well and good, but your first red flag is if one or the other takes it TOO fast.  For instance, you’ve met someone online which is the norm nowadays.  You talk for awhile until you’re comfortable enough to meet.  You meet, and you get along extremely well, so you agree to meet again.  During the second meeting, one or the other gushes about how you’re the one, or some similar statement.  I know someone who traveled long distance, and during the second meeting, he told her he was miserable without her and wanted her to move there.  Of course, that made her feel really good, but she was realistic and knew it was too soon.  How well can you really know someone after months of online chats and 2 meetings?  Not well enough to uproot yourself.  That of course is an extreme case, but I’m sure you’ve all had similar situations where you were overwhelmed by someone’s enthusiasm.  I’m not saying to show the person the door if they move too fast, but it is a red flag, and you should wonder why.  The first assumption is usually desperation which isn’t necessarily fair.  The truth is usually that the person has recently ended a relationship which has made them vulnerable and lonely.  Remember the question you always ask yourself after a breakup?  It’s do I miss the person or the relationship.   The answer is almost always the relationship itself.  You miss just being with someone, so when someone else comes along, you’re anxious to get the security of a relationship back.  So, now not only have you uncovered the red flag of underlying meaning, you’re also alerted to the fact this person is probably not very independent.  In addition, they’re not very mature if they can’t recognize their own state of mind, and how it does take time to get to know someone.  I will say that I do believe in instant connections.  Even though I believe they should be tempered, if it feels right, you should go for it, but  proceed with caution because there are beliefs and personality traits that do not surface for months.  No person is an open book immediately or after a short time. 

Let me sidestep here to the online thing.  The person you talk to online is not exactly the person you’re going to meet.  People’s inhibitions online are much less existent.  It’s much easier to talk to someone on a computer than face to face.  The person you talk to online is generally in there somewhere, but it’s going to take longer for them to come out in person, so even more reason to take the time to get to know each other. 

Ok, so, you’ve decided to move forward even after being overwhelmed.  You continue to get along well, and you buy into them being really into you.  You allow yourself to open up more and believe there may be a future with this person.  Suddenly, they’re not so available.  They become really busy with work and can’t talk to you or see you as much.  You ask if maybe this isn’t a good time, but they insist that things will get better soon and ask you to be patient.  Danger!  The person is likely reassessing  their  feelings for you, and maybe even seeing someone else.  They don’t want to lose you, so they’ve only backed off until they’re ready to make a decision on you.  In addition, I see this as game playing which to me is unacceptable.  I mean, aren’t we adults?  Also, a person who can’t be honest with you is a coward in my book. 

Let’s say their schedule frees up, and they have time for you again.  That’s great since it means they want to move forward with you and have stopped having doubts.  It also means they may have legitimately been busy.  If it keeps happening though, I don’t believe the person is on the up and up.  If every few months, they’re taking a month off from you, that’s a problem.  The bigger problem is if you allow it.  A person is going to do whatever you allow them to do.  If you’re on and off with someone for a year, and you’re seeing them in your future, you’re likely wrong because they’re not on the same page.  There comes a point when you have to draw the line and say, hey, what gives if you think the person is worth it, or have some self respect and say goodbye before you waste any more of your time. 

Let’s say their schedule doesn’t free up yet they still continue to dangle a thread.  They feed you a line about how special you are, and they want you in their life, but it’s just not the right time.  Remember, this is after you’ve already asked them if it’s not the right time.   Well, they probably didn’t want you to be the one to end it out of guilt, or they likely have control issues.  Thing is, you don’t deserve someone who continues to put you off.  You’re obviously not important enough to them, and you should’ve seen the end coming.  A friend of mine allowed a man to put her off for months believing he was that busy with work.  He kept telling her he still wanted to continue seeing her.  Whenever she questioned his commitment to that statement, he blew up at her….another red flag.  He would yell about how he had all this pressure on him, and she was adding to it which of course made her feel like crap.  She would always wind up apologizing and then explain how she merely wanted him in her life more.  Was that so terrible?  No, you’d think someone would be flattered.  If they’re not, they don’t feel the same way, and they should say so instead of leading you on. 

Continuing on with the above scenario that happened to my friend, things did end because she drew the line and said hey, what gives.  She got the answer I mentioned previously.  She said, sorry, but no go because she didn’t want someone in her life who hadn’t treated her properly.  As we all tend to do, she started to think back about the time they spent together.  At first, she blamed herself because he must’ve not liked her faults.  Then, she became more objective and realized he gave her plenty of warning signs.  He was very critical of her.  He would say one thing, but do another.  He was weird with money.  He was hypocritical. 

I call this blog item “terms of service” because not only do you not want an inanimate object that doesn’t meet your standards, you don’t want a person either.  If their terms of service don’t match yours, and they’re not willing to compromise, it’s never going to work.  For your own good, it’s better to recognize that sooner rather than later.  My friend’s relationship I talked about was with a man who only wanted her in his life on his terms, refused to meet her halfway, and didn’t even try to understand where she was coming from.   It’s a selfish person who acts this way, and there are always signs along the way that’ll point you in that direction.  Recognize them, realize there’s generally a reason for them and don’t ignore them.  Believe in your own worth. 

Category: General
Posted on: January 30, 2009 10:12 pm

Vote For Me

Due to my competitive nature, I find it necessary to appeal to the masses.  On the Yankee message board, there is a battle going on between myself and another Yankee fan for the honor of supreme fan.  He is a worthy opponent who has been battle tested through many votes starting with probably 48 regular posters, then down to 24, 16, 8, etc. etc., similar to the NCAA tournament.  I was winning by such a large margin that he found it necessary to ask for votes from other boards.  I didn't even realize that was an option, but now that I do, I'm here asking for your vote.  Please go to the Yankee board, look for the thread entitled, "NYY Fan - The Final Two," and vote for me.  I am a true fan who's stuck by them through thick and thin and would talk about them for 24 hours a day if I didn't have a job I needed to keep. 

This of course is all in fun, but like I said, my competitive nature forces me to want to win anything and everything.  Thank you in advance for your support.  Go Yankees

Category: MLB
Tags: Contest, Fan, Yankees
Posted on: January 16, 2009 11:01 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2009 10:50 am

A Woman in the CBS Sport's World

During the course of this week, I had the displeasure of dealing with a less than well adjusted member who insisted on calling me, my posts and my femininity into question. Now, I’ve had a few run-ins with members before. Once, I actually got into it with 2 members who said some rather distasteful things to me. I realized how stupid it was on my part to bother arguing with ignorant people. It only got me aggravated and frustrated, so I vowed to ignore anyone who ever gave me trouble again. I’m not a member of a sports related site to get into disputes with anyone over anything other than sports.  This past week, it all started with a post I made about honor in the game of baseball. This was written as a response on the public board. 

It's too bad your not a chick for real, cuz your statement of honor is humorous like one.What's left in this or any other sport, not to be tarnished. Something as simple as stealing signs has and always will be a part of the game. OMG. Gotta be a 16 yr. old girl makin that statement. Let me teach you something on the premise you've never actually been outside before. Sports, like in life , has people who are interested in making money. This money motivates them do do whatever it takes to gain an advantage. Steroids, B. Belichick. Any of this sound familiar? Collusion. Good business. A little sneaky perhaps. Not in our law abiding society! Women really are in love with 50 yr. old ex-rockers on reality TV. Short, ugly, black-toothless dudes have always been successful with the Babes! Anyway,if you are a girl, you should probably have "The Talk", with your parents before coming back on here.If you are a girl, the ladies room is to your left on the Bosux site. That's where they spew honor untilYankees swoop in and take away X-Mas present named Teixeira. We come on here to escape the women's perspective, so you should go back to sewing.

A couple of regular posters on the Yankee board defended me which I thanked them for, but ignored the poster himself. He then proceeded to start a thread asking for proof that I was a woman, etc. Several regulars on the Yankee board again defended me. I posted one response to this sexist stating I was a woman, and I wasn’t going to let him get to me. I chose not to say anything defamatory to him because I wasn’t going to stoop to his level. I also chose not to thank my defenders on the board because I just didn’t want to get into too much about the whole thing and give the dude the satisfaction of getting the attention he desired. Let me thank the kind folk who stuck up for me now. Anyway, the guy has made some other distasteful posts directed at me and has even started in on another Yankee poster who defended me.   Here's an example.

Yes, I do feel like a man sitting here at my computer, since I am one. Thanx for confirming my point as well chargingrhino. Yankeechik must feel like she wants to be a man sitting at hers. Do you follow? I think there are way more of the Middle-Men in here than you'd expect from a YANKEE MENS BOARD!!!! We've given women everything else, why give them our sanctuary. It's freightening how many would support this. I am also aware the vast majority stay uninvolved and keep opinions on such matters to themselves. It's our PC thing we have to suffer through. So I'll assume most in here are on board with me. Yankchik I would'nt ask u a direct question because u don't really exist. As far as the get a life bullshit- Who comes on sports sites and pretends to be another gender? Gimme a small break? Rhino- I'll just assume your someones Bitch Too!! Still don't know what I'm referring to. This can't be a girl, no matter the Crap Support!!!

I don’t care if he continues, his problem, not mine.  I chose to do a blog item on this partly as a chance to say thank you to my fellow Yankee fans who are regular posters on the Yankee board. I appreciate that the majority of you don’t subscribe to this person’s beliefs and subsequent tactics. The other reason I chose to write this was to set the record straight. Contrary to this idiot’s opinion, I am a woman and proud of it. I’m actually a pretty feminine woman at that. I like to look my best when I go to work or out. I like to wear skirts and makeup. I also happen to like sports, baseball specifically. Because I’m a fairly intelligent person, I tend to speak intelligently about anything I know well, fancy that. I could use a picture of myself as an avatar to prove myself, but why should I have to.  While I respect other female posters on here in their choice to have their pictures as avatars, I chose not to do that because I’m here to talk sports, and I feel a picture of myself would distract from me being able to do that. Yeah, I’m fairly attractive, and judging from some of the incidents I’ve heard about on here, I’m guessing a picture of myself might be taken as an invitation.   It surprises me when men can’t understand why women bother with sports. We’re actually the more competitive of the 2 genders, so why is it so hard to believe? Let us be please. We’re entitled to talk about whatever we want just like men.   
Category: MLB
Tags: Baseball, CBS, Men, Women
Posted on: January 4, 2009 1:22 am

A Woman in a Man's World

I’ve come out of hibernation to write a blog item that presents 2 dilemmas that I’m sure are common in the world today. One is a woman working in a man’s world, and the other is coping with interest in a man you can’t have who you also happen to see everyday on the job. My friend, who I’ll call Jill, is presented with both these dilemmas, and as it turns out, the man she can’t have is part of the problem in the man’s world too.

Jill works for a large company at a relatively high level position. She got hired about 2 years ago based on an impressive resume with years of experience and also favorable recommendations. After a short period of time, Jill’s talent was evident to her new employers, and when a higher level position became available, it was almost immediately offered to her.

I need to mention that Jill is an extremely determined person. I mention this because when she started with this particular company, she was somewhat overweight, but due to that determination of hers’, she gradually lost it all. With her new found figure, she had to buy a new wardrobe, and while she is conservative and tasteful when it comes to choosing clothes for work, she also prefers to be feminine. Nothing wrong with that, in my opinion. I personally don’t think a woman should have to sacrifice being a woman in a male dominated workplace. Anyway, she’s turning a few heads in the skirts she chooses to wear, plus, she’s an attractive woman. I’m comfortable enough with my feminity to say that, lol. She’s not complaining, mind you, because she takes the looks as compliments.

One of the heads she’s turning is a man who’s in a higher position than her. She had some dealings with him at her former position, but now their offices are not only in the same building, but on the same floor. Because he pays her this extra attention, he’s handsome, and he’s just an all-around nice guy, Jill has developed a bit of a crush on him. She’ll never do anything about it because he’s married, but she feels very awkward around him which effects their interactions. So, how does a woman or a man for that matter, handle feelings for a person they can’t have when they have dealings with them almost everyday? I’m sure it happens all the time. On a side note, he doesn’t wear his wedding ring, and I’m curious as to why some men do that. Is it because they don’t want other women to know they’re married? Is it because they don’t like being married? I just don’t get it, but I’m sure there are men on this site who can answer the question.

Now, here’s the other part of the problem with this particular man. If Jill didn’t have this crush on him, she might conclude his looks were a bit lecherous. He purposely walks a little bit behind her to see the view from back there. He’s removed himself from behind someone to watch her walk up stairs. She’s felt a presence directly behind her, and when she turned around, it was him giving her the once over. She basically ignores it because she feels uncomfortable acknowledging it in any way.

As a professional woman myself, I’m always flattered by the looks I get from men I work with or whoever. I’ve also always been of the mind that flirting is fun, and what’s the harm in stroking a man’s ego a little. In fact, because I know my talent speaks for itself, I’m not afraid to help my cause with a little bit of that harmless flirting. There are women, and men too, whose talent is limited and use their charm and looks to get ahead though, so it’s a slippery slope. Should a woman like Jill not wear becoming clothes at work, so everyone will only focus on her talent? Should she be afraid to acknowledge the attention due to the appearance of impropriety? Hopefully, I haven’t lost my readership, and this blog item will evoke some thoughtful discussion.

Category: General
Tags: Job, Men, Women
Posted on: June 10, 2008 1:03 am

Are You Fan Enough?

I've been on this site's message boards for awhile now, and it never ceases to amaze me how ignorant some people are about their chosen teams.  Now, I don't mean any offense here, and there are some extremely knowledgeable fans on this site, some of which I've learned a thing or 2 from.  You see, I'm not claiming to know everything about the Yankees, my chosen team, and I'll be the first to admit when I've made a statistical/factual mistake.  Where my opinion is concerned though, well, I'm pretty stubborn.  I just think some people could learn something about being a real fan.  I'm not saying the ignorant people aren't fans, just not fan enough. 

Some ignorant behavior is proposing trades which make absolutely no sense.  Then, there are the posts where the info is just completely wrong.  A fan should know the players on their team, and if they don't, look them up.  I realize everyone has other things to do in their lives, but if you want to be taken seriously as a fan, take your fandom seriously.  It's also frustrating when some fans completely ignore the facts, and you can't have an intelligent conversation with them. 

Ok, I've vented enough.  Here's my opinion of a real fan.   A real fan roots for their team and its' players through thick and thin.  He or she understands how the game is played and its' little nuances.  He or she knows the players' strengths and weaknesses, so will understand why certain decisions might've been made.  He or she will not get into arguments with other fans of their team, but have an intelligent conversation instead because you might actually learn something.  A real fan is open to learning about their team.  He or she will show class and not rag on other teams, especially their rivals.  As a fan, you're representing your team in a way and should act accordingly.  The cat fights on this site are ridiculous sometimes.  Yeah, I call them cat fights because you're fighting on a computer screen where there are no repercussions for your nastiness. 

So, what constitutes a real fan to you?  Please post your comments.  You can also feel free to use this blog item to vent comments about behavior you find irritating. 

Category: World Sports
Posted on: May 27, 2008 3:38 pm

Smoke Signals

Since my relationship blog items seem to draw the most interest, here's another one for you.  This one is regarding the games people play in relationships and the signals the opposite sex send out.  Both genders are confusing to the point of utter frustration.  Don't you just want to shake the person you're interested in and/or involved with and say, what do you want??????????

Let's start from the beginning.  You see someone you find attractive across the room of a bar or wherever.  You can't tell whether or not you'll be shot down if you approach them, so you don't because rejection is a bitch especially when other people are watching.  The deal is if you want to be approached, you have to act like it.  Now, there are times when a person just doesn't feel like meeting someone because they've had a bad day or something, so don't take it personally.  I myself am very cut and dry.  If you're checking me out and I like what I see, I'm going to smile at you.  If I don't, I'm going to act like you don't exist.  Too cruel?  Maybe, but I'm of the mind you don't lead anyone on and waste their time. 

So, you've made initial contact with the person of interest.  You're making small talk and getting a feel for each other.  All of a sudden, oops, would you look at the time, I gotta go.  Why?  Something unappealing has been said or done.  Everyone's different, so again, don't take it personally.  What you said or did could be your future spouse's favorite thing about you, this person just hated it.  Thing is, if the flirting is abruptly stopped at 10 PM,  there's usually a reason for it, and you shouldn't bother asking for a phone number.  You're just leading yourself down a road of more rejection. 

Let's say you do get a number.  Yeah, if you don't want to appear too eager, you should wait a couple of days before you use it.  Eager = desperate in some people's minds, and desperate = unattractive.  Women and men alike look for confidence in a mate, someone strong and assertive that they don't have to worry about.  Nobody wants someone constantly bringing them down with clinginess.  Ok, back to using the number.  Personally, I can't stand the wait 3 days rule.  If you took my number, you want to call me, so do it, and I'm not going to perceive it as desperation.  I'm going to take it as a compliment.  That's just me though.  Now, if you get voicemail, and your intended doesn't call you back within a week, give it up.  There is a slight possibility the person's phone is messed up, so trying one more time isn't terrible, but no more than that.  Save your dignity.  Again, it's nothing personal.  Your crush just probably realized you weren't for them. 

The first date sucks.  You can't really judge someone on it alone, so if they're not a total loon, give them a second date.  The best thing to do is have a drink before you meet the person to relax yourself.  You obviously don't want to be drunk, but you want to be yourself and alcohol helps that cause, it really does.  You want your date to like you for you.  A first date is best approached like an interview, a gathering of information about each other.  It's also best approached on a friendship level which takes the pressure off.  The more laid back you are, the more comfortable your date's going to be which will bring out their true self.  That's the person you want to see, so you can determine whether or not they're right for you romantically.  Too many times I've seen people pretend to be someone they're not to please a member of the opposite sex.  I've also seen people be dishonest because they thought the person wouldn't like the truthful answer.  Then, you constantly have to remember the lie(s) you told, and it's bound to bite you in the butt.  Why people don't want to be with someone who appreciates them for them is beyond me.  Why put that much stress on yourself? 

So, the first date comes to an end.  You think a goodnight kiss is in order, but it doesn't happen.  Don't think it's because the other person didn't have a good time too.  Everyone expects the guy to make the first move, but maybe the guy isn't sure you want him to.  Nothing wrong with the girl giving the guy a kiss, even if it's on the cheek.  Again, if you're interested, you have to let each other know. 

Where letting each other know is concerned though, there is sharing TOO much information.  After you survive the first date and get into a full blown relationship, it's best for both parties to just go with the flow.  This is especially hard for women because they generally need things defined.  I'm guilty of it too.  Talking about EVERYTHING just complicates things which makes your relationship less enjoyable.  It'll drive someone away because who wants to do something they don't enjoy if they don't have to.  Thing is, if you enjoy being together, that's all you really need to know.  You also should be sensitive to the fact that everyone needs positive reinforcement, I don't care who you are.  You just can't take each other for granted, and you have to throw compliments around from time to time to let the person know you definitely find them attractive, you enjoy being with them, you like the way things are going.  Now, obviously, if you stay together long enough to think about a future, there are certain things you're just going to have to talk about, and guys have to realize this and suck it up. 


Category: General
Posted on: May 2, 2008 5:09 pm
Edited on: May 2, 2008 6:19 pm

'He's Just Not That Into You'

I remember hearing that said for the very first time on an episode of Sex and the City.  Carrie was introducing her new boyfriend, Jack Berger, to Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte for the first time.  The girls are discussing their love lives at some bar while Jack listens.  Miranda tells about a recent date where she invited the guy upstairs, but he declined saying he had to be up really early.  He kissed her twice and said he'd call her.  Jack bluntly utters his opinion, "he's just not that into you."  The girls argue with him about push/pull, guys are afraid of rejection too, yadda, yadda, yadda.  Jack reveals the secret to men is that there is no secret.  If they're interested, they say so by going upstairs and booking the next date. 

I'm all for Jack's assessment of a guy's behavior on a date, but what about 10 or however many dates down the road when the guy loses interest?  How about when they end a full blown relationship that's lasted months or maybe even years?  Why is it that one day "he's into you" and the next day, "he's not that into you?"  Now, I've been through my share of breakups, and I'll admit that after the initial shock wore off, I could objectively look back on most of them and see that there were warning signs.  I just didn't want to see them.  I'm sure there are many other women who've been through the same thing.  All of a sudden, he's really busy and preoccupied.  He's moody.  He cancels dates you have planned.  You just think your relationship is on such solid ground it's impossible it could be anything more than what he's saying.  But it is.  So, why, if it's so simple with guys, don't they just come out and say it?  Yes, it's going to hurt the girl, and yes, she may cry, but you're a man aren't you?  So be one. 

I have also been through breakups where after that initial shock wore off, I could objectively say there was no forewarning.  These are the really perplexing guys and situations.  You're going along, talking all the time, getting closer and closer which leads you to believe he really likes you and then boom, nothing.   I've always thought it was because the guy got scared.  He's not ready for anything more serious with her or anyone, and he wakes up one day with the realization he's been getting close to a girl.  Well, that just can't happen.  So, what would be so terrible about telling the girl you like her, but you feel things are getting too serious, and it's not the right time for you?  My, honesty, what a novel thought.  It beats playing the games both genders play. many days should I wait to call?  How about as many as you want instead of as many as is necessary to throw her or him off.  Why can't everyone just say and do what they want?

It is true that men are from Mars and women are from Venus.  The most notable difference to me is how women like to talk things out, and men can't be bothered.  I'm not criticizing men for that because I envy their ability to let things go.  A lot of the time, women just can't.  We need some sort of explanation for why things happened, some sort of that annoying word, closure.  As we mature, we realize it's just not worth the agita to chase down a reason, but doesn't mean we don't wonder from time to time.  Men letting things go makes them adverse to facing the girl of the moment when they want to end things.  Hey, both sexes know each other to a certain extent, and all a guy can think of is how he doesn't want to deal with a crying chick.   Isn't that why they ease their way out hoping she'll either figure it out herself or break up with him?  I think so.  Why can't we all be reasonable and accept our differences by meeting each other halfway.  Hey, I promise not to freak out if you promise not to be a chicken. 

Category: General
Posted on: April 23, 2008 2:12 pm

Anatomy of an Auction Draft

Several weeks ago, I hopped a flight to Rochester, NY for the 6th year in a row to participate in the ultimate fantasy baseball experience; an auction draft.   I had dabbled with a league on Yahoo for a couple of years before that, so my brother coerced me into joining this league he'd been a part of for about 10 years.  The league itself has probably been in existence for about 15.  I had no idea what I was in for, how challenging and competitive it would be, and how addicted I'd become. 

It's necessary to give a little background regarding the rules.  It's 13 teams, NL only, 5X5 roto, 7 keepers allowed with a $260 salary cap.  The roster spots include 2 catchers, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, MI, CI, 5 OF, U and 9 pitchers.  The only reserve spots you get are for the injured or sent down players.  You can replace said players on a weekly basis based on the standings.  The last place team gets all their first choices first and so on and so forth with the first place team being last.  You are allowed to make 7 dumps per season, the first 5 costing $5 each, and the remaining 2 costing $7 each.  Dumps come after replacing injured and minored players.  When a player is activated off the disabled list or called up, you can choose to keep his replacement and drop someone else, but that counts as a dump.  You have 2 Mondays to activate a player or else you lose them.  As for salaries, any player you pick up during the year is automatically $10, and if they come over from the AL, they're $25.  Salaries remain the same for year 2, but then go up in increments of $5 every year afterwards.  The top 4 teams are winners.  First place gets a significant piece of the pie, and 4th place basically gets their expenses for the league covered.  I actually was able to come in 4th 2 years out of 5. 

Now, I ask you to imagine a table in the basement of someone's house with 12 + men and myself sitting around it for 8 hours minimum.  I say 12 + because some teams have 2 proxies.  In the middle of the table are assorted candies, cookies, chips and pain killers.  Around the periphery of the table are several coolers with assorted beverages and beer.  The commissioner starts off the process with bringing up any rules that were haggled over during the previous season.  Sometimes, they're brought to a vote as to whether or not to change them.  After that business is squared away, he also presents the first player with an opening bid.  Clockwise around the table we go with each manager either upping the bid or passing on the player completely by turning over the plastic cup we all have in front of us.  It eventually gets down to one team who wins that player.  Again clockwise, each team presents one player at a time.  The objective in the beginning is to get people to spend as much money as possible, so the elite players are always thrown out first. 

My objective has always been to allow every other team to spend enough, so that I have the most money before I even buy my first player.  This allows me to pace myself which always nets me the most money left towards the end of the draft as well.  This is where you get your bargain gems.  Unfortunately, there is another team who does the same thing.  I've managed to wait him out half the time and not the other half.  I'm not going to miss out on a player I want by being inflexible.  He's actually waited so long sometimes that the crabby managers have become restless and started mumbling.  I've always managed to have more money than him at the end though which is really the most important thing.  My other objective is to always throw out players for bid that I don't need or want.  Each year, I got to know the NL players better and better until the pinnacle of my success last season when my team produced enough keepers to make it very difficult to make decisions.  James Loney I happened to pick up in a dump which cost me $10.  I did not succeed in winning any of the top 4 spots last season because it was essentially my rebuilding year, and that was just fine with me.  At the point where I knew there was no hope of me finishing in the money, I started trying to make trades for keepers which netted me Corey Hart at $8 and Jonathan Broxton at $6.

After much deliberation, I settled on keeping Corey Hart at $8, James Loney at $10, Adrian Gonzalez at $14, Kelly Johnson at $7, Russell Martin at $15, Rafael Soriano at $2 and Brandon Lyon at $10.  Armed with a solid core on offense and 2 closers, my focus was on starting pitching.  My first year in the league, my starters all fell to injury at some point.  After it happened again the next season, I decided to load up on starters the next 3 years.  I changed that philosophy this year and took a couple of middle relievers on good teams that I knew would net me some wins and keep my ERA and WHIP down.  My other focus was to get Dan Haren and one other "stud" which wound up being Ben Sheets.  I usually try to stay away from injury risks, but the price on him was too good to pass up, and I figured my luck was bound to change some time.  Where buying was concerned, I did manage to wait out everyone before making my first buy, but unfortunately, I got backed into a corner on some offensive positions because there was nobody left who would be worthwhile.  I wound up overpaying for these players.  I never take part-time players, so when I say worthwhile, I mean starters.  Because of this, I didn't wind up with more money than anyone else at the end, but in a year where my team is built to win, it really wasn't necessary.  I was disappointed that I missed out on a couple of people I especially coveted, but such is life. 

At some point during the draft, we always break for a meal of deli.  Otherwise, if you have to go to the bathroom, you better run.  The later it gets, the less tylenol and sugary items are left on the table.  The later it gets, the more ornery everyone becomes.  The barbs in jest throughout the day become less funny.  The amount of time people take to make a decision on whether to bid or not becomes less amusing.  One manager had the Jeopardy theme ready to go on his laptop whenever anyone took an inordinate amount of time. 

There are different characters in my league.  There is the one know-it-all who has something to say about everything.  There are the silent managers who never have anything to say about anything.  There are the technical managers who are on their laptops the entire time analyzing.  There are the overconfident managers who you want to beat more than anyone else.  There are some incredibly excellent drafters and some not so much.  There are the managers you look at dumbfounded when they throw out particular players for bid because you can't believe they actually want them.  These are the same managers whose teams you look at and secretly laugh to yourself.  Those teams inevitably wind up at the rear every season, but hey, they're having fun. 

All in all, I felt confident with my draft, and in the 4th week of the season, I'm in 3rd place with only 2 injuries.  Yes, Sheets is going to miss his next start, but he's still not on the DL.  If he does wind up there, I'll stay afloat with a replacement for the time being.  And there you have it. 

Category: MLB
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