It’s feeling a little drafty in here
As the picks rolled in, it didn’t take long for me to grow enamored. Selection after selection, I soaked up Thursday’s opening round of the MLB draft like a sponge.
That’s when I realized something.I think I enjoy sports drafts more than actually watching the sports themselves. And I don’t think I’m alone here.Everyone has that buddy that plopped down on the couch and took in darn near the entirety of April’s NFL draft. I know I put my radio and headphones to good use while covering a local high school baseball game during that one.So what, exactly, is the allure of draft day?Maybe it’s because tracking a lengthy season is a rigorous process, particularly when you’re following Bay Area teams from the middle of Colorado. Or perhaps that regular season doesn’t provide quite enough fodder upon which us diehards can graze. (Thank goodness for the Internet and 24-hour news cycle!)Maybe it’s just the uncertainty that surrounds draft day.
Do your homework and you can steal an All-Star in a late round. Or buy into the projections and hype surrounding that no-brainer of a first-round pick and find yourself with a Kwame Brown or a Ryan Leaf.Or maybe it’s that drafts represent hope.Make the right draft-day moves and you can set the table for a dynastic future. Make the wrong ones and wallow in year after year of futility.More and more, teams are going the homegrown route when building teams, particularly in baseball. Disappearing (though not entirely) are the days of wild overspending on free agents. Even the mighty Yankees have shown restraint here.Look at the Rockies, whose farm system provided the building blocks for a National League championship last season.Or the Tampa Bay Rays this year, who at long last are seeing a litany of big-name draft picks pan out and make them winners for the first time in franchise history.
Fans take note of these things.It’s why the MLB draft is finally televised.It’s why fantasy baseball junkies entrench themselves in long-term keeper leagues with roster spots for minor-league players who are still several years away from ever taking to a big-league diamond.It’s why fans flock to New York and pack the NFL draft headquarters, loudly cheering or jeering each and every selection.And it’s why I’m counting the days until the NBA draft, now just a few weeks away.Contact Jeff Caspersen: firstname.lastname@example.org
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