Rejoice! The 4th Annual Fantasy Baseball Auto Draft is HERE!

An iconic trade at the 2010 Auto Draft


Fantasy baseball draft cheat sheets?

Throw ’em away.

All your research on position scarcity?

Don’t need it.

Projections, sleepers, busts, and breakout players?

Burn ’em.

If you are a hardcore fantasy baseball fan, stay away.  This is not the draft for you.

But if you are a man who enjoys heavy drinking, chicken wings, disgusting shots, and watching a tiny computer screen automatically select baseball players for your team, then get ready.  Buckle up.

Tonight is one of the greatest days on the baseball calendar – the 4th annual PEGS fantasy baseball league auto draft.

What makes this league so unique from others?  Why is this league, the one that I play in each year that requires no draft strategy, my ultimate favourite?  Please, join me in the ultimate guide to the auto draft to find out.

The History

It all started in 2008 when a group of 10 friends decided to set up a fantasy baseball league.  The draft was set for 5 pm on a Wednesday.  Each member of the league planned to stay in the office late in order to draft from work.  Unfortunately, it turned out that the majority of the league was blocked from running Java, meaning they couldn’t access Yahoo’s live draft.

So, instead of drafting, the members of the league convened at a pub and drank multiple pitchers of beer, logged into a laptop, and watched as Yahoo automatically filled our rosters.  The amount of fun, joy, and hilarity that ensued was unexpected, but amazing.

The auto draft was born.

The Draft

From that point on, it was decided that the league would continue each year, and the auto draft would continue as well.  In order to keep the draft standard each year, the following rules were established:

– Only one member of the league is allowed to log in, and only one laptop can be used

– No member of the league is allowed to alter his pre-draft rankings.  Doing so results in his execution (figuratively).

– Every pick must be made by the Yahoo auto draft system.

– The draft must take place at a pub.  Every member of the league must either be there in person, or at least be there in spirit (via text).

– Each member of the league who is at the bar must drink a least three beers, though the commissioner (me) would prefer to see everybody have at least twelve.

The League

Believe it or not, it takes some very shrewd managing to win the league.  Since all teams are essentially random, the GM who makes the best free agent pickups and trades will rise to the top. 

In addition, the man who comes in last place faces one of two punishments:

1. He must purchase a round of rye shots for the entire league at the next year’s draft, or

2. He is ruthlessly cut from the league, tarred and feathered and paraded through the streets.

The Penalty Shots

Though this technically began last year, a new wrinkle to the auto draft will be officially added in 2011: penalty shots.  Before the draft the league nominated several players, debated them, and confirmed a final list of six.  Whenever any of the six is drafted, the owner who is stuck with that player must drink a pre-determined shot.  This year the penalty shot list is as follows:

Adam LaRoche = Jagermeister

Corey Hart = Goldschlager

A.J. Burnett = Southern Comfort

Coco Crisp = Sambuca

Nick Swisher = Rye

Jonathan “The Self Cleaning Anus” Papelbon = Kahlua

The Trades

As mentioned, it is important to be active in the trade market to win this league.  Trading, especially at the draft, and especially before the draft is over, is highly encouraged.

Last year I traded Johnny Damon for Brett Anderson within 90 seconds of Damon being autodrafted to my team.  This year, I have already made a trade – my 21st round selection for the 21st round selection of “#AlphaRules #Winner”.  Hopefully he has to drink my Coco Crisp shot.

The Final Words

Tonight’s draft takes place at Gabby’s on King East in Toronto.  The fun gets going at 5:30. 

Who will be this year’s champion and join this exclusive list?

2008 – The Forward Claps

2009 – ionionionionionion

2010 – Bear Fights

We’ll find out soon enough.

To all my competitors in the league – get ready.  It’s time.

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