It’s March 18th and you’re taking part in your last fantasy baseball draft of the year before the season starts. You’ve royally screwed up all your other fantasy baseball drafts, or at least you think you have because you’re neurotic. So now you wanna make this draft count. You wanna draft the perfect team. You have your list of fantasy baseball sleepers to your right and your 2009 fantasy baseball projections sheet to your left. You have a Big Gulp of Hawaiian Punch and you’re wearing the Stadium Pal. Now the only thing standing between you and the perfect team is eleven other guys who purport (15th Century Word of the Day) to be your friend.
So you’re cruising along at 55 MPH and you’ve taken players exactly where you want to take them. It’s the tenth round and you’ve taken a lot of solid hitters, but you’re missing a 1st baseman. Your heart starts to race and you look in the mirror and, instead of yourself, you see the transgender girl from the newest Real World. Are you Bushwick Bill and your mind is playing tricks on you or are you going crazy from not having a 1st baseman? You barely can remember your own address, but in the back of your mind you hear my voice saying, “Conor Jackson, he’s pretty much Derrek Lee in a white man suit. Cust Kayin’…” And “Cust Kayin'” just continues to ring in your ears as you begin to sweat profusely. Then, in the tenth round, you draft Conor Jackson.
Well, that’s a reach. Conor Jackson isn’t an tenth round pick. Your leaguemates look over to you and they see the sweat dripping down your face like your Nixon giving a speech under a heat lamp. Your leaguemates sense a weakness and they peck at your soul. “Why would you take Conor Jackson in the 10th round? You just lost this league and it’s not even April yet. You suck.” Then, a lady bug lands on your shoulder and you collapse under its weight. Or…
It’s your turn in the tenth round and you have no 1st baseman. Is this catastrophic like a retirement fund meeting with Madoff? Nope. It’s manageable. You squint at your cheat sheets and spy who’s left; Carlos Pena, Cantu, Swisher, Jackson, Jacobs and Huff. You reach for Conor Jackson because A) You already have some average drains, so that eliminates Jacobs, Swisher, Cantu and Pena. B) You don’t trust Huff. C) You need a 1st baseman; it’s kinda in the rules.
So rather than have someone else getting Conor Jackson, the last quality 1st baseman by your estimation, you reach five rounds earlier than you should to grab a guy that you really need on your team. This makes perfect sense to reach. When you really want a player, it’s absolutely fine. In some ways, I think it shows you’ve done more research than others. You know who you want, why you want them and what it will take to get them. In September, when you’re in seventh place, will it make you feel better that you took Huff in the 10th round even though you really wanted Conor Jackson? You shouldn’t reach every round, but once in a while it’s not only fine, it’s imperative. So, when your leaguemates go to mock you for your Conor Jackson pick, remove the Stadium Pal from your leg and drink from it. This’ll spook them so bad you’ll never hear another word from them. Potentially ever.