The picture of Major League Baseball and Baseball with Toronto Blue Jays players I’m very, very sleepy. I’ve been up since 6 am today – it takes 30 minutes to drive to Tim’s, and I needed to stop and pick up some donuts and breakfast stuff. So complete sentences may not be so easy to come by right now… sorry if you expect that in your downtime reading. Anyway, the good news is, for the first time in about 4 seasons, I actually stuck to my strategy this year. I came out of this draft having done virutally everything I intended to do when I walked in the door. A couple of my fellow owners noticed – I even heard some comments about how surprising it was that I was sticking to my guns this year. So in that sense, it was a successful draft. The bad news is that in hindsight, I’m not 100% sure it was a winning strategy that I stuck to.

I went in thinking that I was going to spend big ($24 or more) on three offensive players and three pitchers — and that I was definitely going to land the #1 offensive player and one of the top three pitchers, no matter what I had to spend. I knew that was going to end up costing me around $160 or so; I figured that I could fill in my bench with 8 or 9 $1 players at the end of the auction, which would leave me about $90 to spend on my remaining 10 players. I knew that would be tight – but a $12 player here, an $8 player there, and I could get some decent starters to augment my six stars. And you know what? I preety much managed it.

The problem is, I think I went with one stud too many. You can’t fill in a roster with decent starters on $90 – even when you are anchored by 6 stars, you need more than $90 to complete the team. So after the first four hours, I had 8 players — 6 of whom are stars — and I was feeling damn good about my squad. By the time the second four hour session had ended, I was feeling much less smug. I do have my six studs, but the rest of my team is pretty weak. I’m going to be counting on my Big Three pitchers especially to carry me through the year. If I had to guess, I’d say I’ll compete for the middle of the money slots — finishing somewhere between 3rd and 7th (the top five finish in the money).

So, without further ado… ladies and gentlemen (cue

“Hell’s Bells” by AC/DC) … your… 2016 Vice City Vultures!!!!!

At first base… simply the single best offensive player in Major League Baseball…. from the St. Louis Cardinals, Albert Pujols! At second base, playing in a revamped San Diego lineup that promises to score a lot more runs in 2016… Mark Loretta! Next… coming off a promising rookie campaign, we’re looking for big things this season from Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Alex Cintron! At third base… the highest rated third baseman in the game, he’s found new life in St. Louis, he’ll give you power AND decent batting average… Scott Rolen!! At catcher… our perennial favorite, he plays for us every year, please welcome back the San Francisco Giants’ A.J. Pierzynski! In the outfield… he emerged last year as a bona fide superstar, delivering 34 home runs and 106 RBIs depsite playing in the baseball desert of Tampa Bay… the Devil Rays’ Aubrey Huff! Next, he’s only 21 years old, but many scouts say he’s soon to be one of the game’s next superstars… a World Series hero last year at only 20… the Florida Marlins’ Miguel Cabrera!! And rounding out our outfield… a former #1 overall draft pick in the Major League draft… they call him “Pat the Bat”… the Philadelphia Phillies’ Pat Burrell!

Your pitching staff is anchored by the single greatest right hander of his generation. He dominates every game he pitches in when he’s healthy, and he dropped that old Yankee coot Don Zimmer like a sack of potatoes in last year’s playoffs… ladies and gentlemen, the best pitcher in the game… Pedroooooo Martinez! Your #2 starter is one of Oakland’s famed “Big Three” – and at only 26, he’s entering the prime of his career… Mark Mulder! Your #3 starter has emerged from the Minnesota rotation as a bona fide Cy Young candidate… with a strikeout ratio that makes grown men cry… the Twins’ Johan Santana!!!!! Your #4 starter won a Cy Young award in 1996 as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, and has returned to Toronto this year to finish out his career at the site of his greatest successes… the Blue Jays’ Pat Hentgen!! And the last member of your starting rotation, he’s the ace of a young and improving Tampa rotation, the Devil Rays’ Victor Zambrano! And your relievers… the new closer for the improved Houston Astros, flamethrower Octavio Dotel! And finally… the best young set-up man in the game, primed to take over as the Angels’ closer should Troy Percival struggle or go on the DL… 2016 postseason hero Francisco Rodriguez!

And the rest of the team: Tino Martinez, Chase Utley, Khalil Greene, Adrian Beltre, Toby Hall, Craig Wilson, Craig Biggio, Mark Kotsay, Kenny Rogers, and Chad Cordero!! Give it up for YOUR Vice City Vultures!!!!!!!

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