June 07, 2007

Was That Really Necessary?

Well, I just watched baseball's first-ever televised draft... and I regret it. Deeply. I read up on some of the likely top candidates beforehand, but the truth is I'm not qualified to have much of an opinion on draft selections, and any case, it's by all accounts an epic crapshoot. It's not like basketball or football where a lot of fans know who these people are and have seen them play on a regular basis; and while being a great college basketball player gives you pretty decent odds on being at least a solid NBA player, the same does not hold true with baseball.

Plus, and this is really my main bone of contention: Bud Selig, whatever you may think of his policies, has the charisma of a dead halibut. Just fifteen seconds of that nasal monotone and I feel my eyelids drooping uncontrollably; this man should not be on my television screen for more than two minutes at a time, let alone four hours, and if I sound harsh, it's only because I'm feeling somewhat traumatized. I will now stare at Jose Reyes on my TV screen for as long as it takes to get that taste out of my mouth and rediscover my joie de vivre.

Anyway, I'd certainly heard of Vanderbilt pitcher David Price, who was expected to go first and did. He had this great anxious smile on his face, which managed to combine "awesome, I'm the #1 draft pick in the country!" and "oh god, I have to go play for the Devil Rays now." This whole worst-teams-pick-first thing, I get the reason for it, but it really punishes the nation's best amateur athletes, doesn't it? You have earned the respect of the country's most knowledgeable scouts as a true competitor... congrats! Enjoy Kansas City!

With the 30th pick in the draft, the Yankees took a pitcher named Andrew Brackman, who I will now immediately begin confusing with Wally Backman. Apologies in advance. The consensus seems to be that he's massively talented (and tall! very tall!) but comes with some health concerns. People who know more about this than I do seem to think it's a good idea, and hopefully they're right; when I think about it, I suppose I like the idea of a riskier, higher-upside move. You can usually find a solidly mediocre pitcher on the free-agent market, after all -- no need to waste a draft pick on it.

The Mets, meanwhile, took a reliever named Eddie Kunz. Another year I might have mocked the notion of taking a reliever with your top pick. This season, though, I look at Luis Vizcaino, Ron Villone, and the grisly remains of Scott Proctor's right arm chilling in the Yankee bullpen and say, "good thinking."


Anonymous said...

I love the way you write. More, please!

Anonymous said...

hey emma - it's sam from yale radio. thought you might want a tip on a great baseball name. The White Sox' 3rd base coach's name is - get this - Razor Shines, pronounced just like it sounds. Gotta love this game...