I’ve probably spilled a gallon or two of virtual ink lambasting GMs for signing “proven veterans” and trying to draft for a need rather than going with someone with some degree of upside and picking the best available player. But maybe I’ll let up a bit the next time.
Why? Because mere minutes ago, I was on the clock for a pick in the Scoresheet league I foolishly decided to join this year. It’s a full damn league, and we’re way past the keeper portion of the proceedings, so there really aren’t a lot of sure things left. I’m still mostly trying to pick the best available player and I’m still trying to think, at least a little bit, beyond just 2009, as I hope any savvy GM would.
But there’s a problem: I wake up in cold sweats worrying that drafting the best player available will result in me starting the season without a legitimate shortstop. Then I wake up in colder sweats worrying that looking at the future will cause my 2009 team to be so bad that the masters of the league will not invite me back next year. Just like a real GM, I panic a bit, afraid of being humiliated and/or fired, and make an allegedly safe choice that the local beat reporters would love, but that, in all likelihood, won’t win me any championships: I take Edgar Renteria to be my shortstop.
It’s such a chickensh*t choice, isn’t it? There are dudes with upside in the pool, but I don’t trust my ability to gauge their talents. There are stone cold awesome glovemen in there who can’t hit a lick but who could probably make my pitchers better, but I’m a first generation stathead fanboy who is still obsessed with OPS and can’t be bothered to truly understand advanced defensive metrics. I know this as I’m entering Renteria’s number into the drafting program, but I can’t stop myself because a little voice in my head says “no one has ever been fired for signing Edgar Renteria. He’s a safe choice.”
I know it’s just a dumb sim league — really, my only goal here is to beat Will Leitch and Jeff Passan for tenth place in a twelve team league so I can write sophomoric posts about how the part time blogger beat the full time sports geniuses — but I think I just got a glimpse into the mind of the middling-to-poor GM. Maybe Cam Bonifay and Allard Baird weren’t incompetent; maybe they was just a little scared and, frankly, a little lazy like me.