WHAT, PRECISELY, IS THE MARK OF HUMANITY, IF NOT THE ETERNAL SOUL? For myself, dear reader, this question remains unanswered, as from my personal vantage point within existence, there appears to me no power greater than that with which man both enslaves and empowers fellow man.
But then, how to explain the despair that comes from selling one’s soul to the RazzSlam?
When I last wrote to you, my field army had been amassed. But, being as this is, a cutline competition, vast reserve armies must be raised, armed, and readied, too, for war.
And so I marched on, into the 28th round, and the 29th, and on, to the abyss.
When deciding how to conscript and outfit one’s reserves, the question is not so much who, but what? At this stage, the population of talented ballplayers dwindles to nothing. The population of acceptable ballplayers is what we must mine for our jewels, dull and sundry though they may be.
I needed some pitchers, some outfielders, perhaps another catcher (perish the thought)… and in general, trying to find the high-risk, high-reward, all-ceiling-no-floor upside-potential that could make the difference in an overall competition.
To begin with, the Norse God of Thunder came to my beck and call. Sure, he won’t be ready to do battle, after recovery from a Thomas Johnathan Surgical Procedure, until some time in June, but if the amassed squad survives the first cutline, the man who flings Mjolnir across the plate could become a significant asset.
Next, two young pitchers with more talent than opportunity in Tanner Houck and AJ Puk flanked upon either side the selection of the very-not-young Jon Berti, who steals a base for every 4 games he plays, consistently. The question, as always, is how many games will he play?
Rounds 32 through 35, inclusive, saw me select four consecutive outfielders, possibly at least a little by accident. I found by the 34th round that my eyes had begun to glaze over, roll into the nether of my skull, and deposit themselves there, so racked with boredom I had become at selecting mediocre participants. Cristian Pache, Stephen Piscotty, Austin Slater, and Jackie Bradley Jr joined my ranks.
I turned my eyes, then, to the mound. Archie Bradley and his potential for 9th inning work joined Michael Wacha and the hopes that his arm won’t fall off, and the duo was followed then by Amir Garrett and more crossed fingers for final frame opportunities.
Finally, I found myself in round 39, four selections remaining. A personal favorite in late rounds these days is one Chad Pinder, of Every Position in Oakland. So he came when called. Following, Adley Rutschmann, for though I loathe the catcher, he is an interesting one. Behind no fewer than two backstops on the Orioles major league roster in Chance Sisco and Pedro Severino, young Adley is in fact vastly superior in talent both at and behind the plate. But the idiosyncrasies of baseball managers are not for the weak of heart to try to understand; and therefore, I do not.
With two picks left, I spent them on young players who may not even break camp with their squads, but if they do see playing time, they have potential that none with insight would dare question: hurler Daulton Jefferies of Oakland, and shortstop Jeter Downs of Boston.
And with that, I close my journal, the endeavor having come to and end.
I do not know if this army I have amassed will triumph on the field of battle, but I do know I did my best. The Acefecta may have been a folly, though time is the only truth-teller that matters.
My duties as the man in charge of this motley band, however, are not completely done.
Perhaps we will meet again, dear reader… when I come to tell Tales From FAABidden Island…
Bob Allison Chains