Mailbag: Can Real Beauty Equal Fantasy Beauty?
Toby, it seems like every year some girlfriend
of a friend ends up in the money in my March Madness Pool when she picked her
teams solely by how attractive their players are. How do you think I would do
in fantasy baseball if I simply drafted the best looking guy for each available
roster slot? I’m fairly confident you have not put together a player hotness
ranking, but some enterprising young girl has here. Thoughts?
Let’s begin with the list you provided.
That enterprising young girl is now a middle-aged woman, as this list is
from at least 10 years ago. The domain
was a dead giveaway, as Geocities is like the slap bracelets of the internet
world — All the rage back in the day but irrelevant now (PS – I definitely had
a slap bracelet in elementary school.
Bendable magnets wrapped in neon fabric?
Who could resist?). And if you
couldn’t figure it out from the web address, J.T. Snow is the first baseman and
Manny is listed as playing for the Indians.
So it’s a bit dated.
Luckily for you, I’m very secure in my masculinity. So after making absolutely, positively
certain no one could see what I was doing, I hit up Google to try to find
current ballplayers that are swoonie. If
any of you out there go back to check my work, I implore you to make sure safe
search is turned on. I cannot stress
this enough. Some things you can’t
After about an hour of running searches that are certain to
lead to some interesting email offers, I was able to compile a pretty decent
list. To my surprise, there are plenty
of message board posts dedicated to this very subject and the hard-hitting
journalists over at Cosmo filed an excellent expose blowing the lid off the
Now that I’ve gathered the player pool, I can consider your
question. The whole notion that some
secretary can win an office pool based on crazy criteria such as hotness of
players, cuddliness of mascot, or closeness of the school to Mecca is a bit
misguided. What really happens is they
end up picking favorites early and then maybe an upset or two later for
some wacky reason that happens to work out.
When asked why they picked it, they end up spouting off some crazy talk
and everyone thinks she was nuts all along.
The truth is they mixed a lot of chalk with a little luck.
So, to answer your question, I think you could draft
a very competitive team filled with nothing but attractive players as long as
you picked them at their proper value.
To illustrate, I went back and cross-referenced the list of attractive
players I compiled with their average draft positions (I know, I know, I’m a
loser, I get it) and came up with the following core team that would cause both
hardcore fantasy players and teenage girls hearts to flutter.
(Draft assumes a standard 10-team league)
Round 1 – Grady Sizemore (OF)
The toughest pick of the draft, as David Wright also has
plenty of support here. Sizemore
ultimately gets the nod because of the availability of a certain mirror-kisser
in the next round
Round 2 – Alex Rodriguez (3B)
A-Rod’s injury issues caused him to slip in real-life
drafts, but he can’t drop any farther than this for our purposes or there would
be a riot in South Beach (perhaps started by Alex himself)
Round 3 – Tim Lincecum (P)
The young hurler’s early success and boyish good-looks make
him a must have for this team. Also, he trained to follow-through by picking up dollar bills off the ground at the end of his motion. Could prepare him for a second career as well if he blew his arm out tomorrow.
Round 4 – Brian Roberts (2B)
More than a few dudes freely admit to have a mancrush on the talented Oriole. Ok, maybe not freely admit, more like in a “if I was at gunpoint and had to pick a guy that it would be ok to admit is good-looking, I’d go with Brian Roberts” kinda way, but it still counts.
Round 5 – Alex Rios (OF)
Seemingly wins the internet vote for best-looking current
player. I assume it’s only because John
Round 6 – Dan Haren (P)
Lots of competition right around this spot (Cole Hamels,
Curtis Granderson), but Haren is the most likely to still be available in round
6. When answering questions such as this
one, you got to be as accurate as possible if you are a fantasy baseball
expert such as myself. Otherwise, you’ll
be considered a joke.
Round 7 – Jacoby Ellsbury (OF)
If Ellsbury ever leaves Boston, the number of acts of self-immolation among teenage girls is going to skyrocket throughout Massachusetts.
Round 8 – Derrek Lee (1B)
I like Lee, so let’s hope his self-esteem is tied up in his
looks and not his current performance at the plate.
Round 9 – Joe Mauer (C)
He’d never fall this far now, but the injury news caused him
to drop heavily in late-spring drafts.
Thank goodness he did, otherwise our squad would feature Jason Veritek
behind the plate and no one wants that.
Round 10 – Derek Jeter (SS)
You knew it was coming.
Here is the prime example of what I’m talking about. If you were only picking players based on
attractiveness, you might take Jeter in the first round. If you do that, your fantasy team is done
for. But this way you get a heartthrob AND a
great value. That’s just smart draftin’.
Round 11 – Johnny Damon (OF)
A very divisive figure on the message boards with plenty of
posts on both sides. I guess it boils
down to how attractive you think cavemen who resemble Jesus are. He drew enough support to make the team,
which is good because at the plate, he’s the hottest player in baseball right
Round 12 – Rich Harden (P)
Another place where there are lots of options (Andre Ethier,
Jayson Werth), Harden gets the nod here based on our team needs. If we don’t take him, we might have to select
Barry Zito later, whose ERA is only rivaled by the number of groupies hanging
out in our fictional team’s hotel lobby.
So there you go, the base of an excellent fantasy team can
in fact be formed without sacrificing beauty.
Mix in a couple of late round gems such as Rick Ankiel, Huston Street,
Nick Swisher, and Clayton Kershaw to fill out the team and you might even win a
title. All that’s left is to come up with a team name. I’m going to go with “Pretty Faces, First
Places” (edging out “Breakin’ Hearts, Rippin’ Farts”) for now, but I’m sure
people can do better in the comments.
I think I’ll advocate this strategy next year. If nothing else, maybe it ends the age-old fight between men and their significant others over their diehard dedication to their make-believe teams. Draft a squad like this and ladies won’t mind as much when you flick the channel to a meaningless middle of June Indians – Blue Jays game just so you can “check on your guys.” Of course, if your wife starts insisting you do so, you might regret what you’ve done, but hey, at least you won’t have to watch an hour of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” to pay penance for your fantasy addiction anymore and you can go back to secretly watching it on your own time. This week I think Khloe whines about something meaningless while Bruce Jenner extensively wonders exactly where is life went wrong. Should be good.