The Yankees’ fantasy football draft took place last night at the ESPN Zone in Baltimore. There was nearly perfect attendance as some players picked their teams and others watched, and all enjoyed the show put on by league commissioner Eric Hinske.
Hinske, apparently, had a comment for nearly every draft pick — mostly indicating to his competitors that they had just made a terrible selection. He also watched the clock. Owners had two minutes to make their picks; those who duplicated a pick already made — because they were immersed in research instead of paying attention — were fined $100. There were five of those miscues.
Hughes had the first overall pick, selecting Adrian Peterson. Bruney, last year’s runner-up, went with Maurice Jones-Drew. And Hinske picked DeAngelo Williams third. Last year’s winner, K-Long, selected a bunch of his hometown Cardinals, beginning with Larry Fitzgerald eighth overall.
A few people have asked about Jeter’s involvement. He was a late addition to the league, asking to join Hinske’s team. Hinske was prepared to go it alone but accepted the Captain’s offer.
“He just wants to be on the winning team,” Hinske said.
The players are having a lot of fun with this, and some spent a long time in research before the draft. We’ll have plenty on the draft and the fantasy league in the coming days.
Hideki Matsui: He indicated today after hitting in the cage that his knees feel “great.” (No translator needed.) The Yankees training/medical staff has done a great job managing his knees this season and draining his knee on a couple of occasions. Tonight, he plays in his seventh consecutive game. If he doesn’t get a day of in Baltimore tomorrow or Wednesday, he’ll surely get one in the four-game set on the Toronto turf.
Alfredo Aceves: He won his ninth game yesterday and today he took a liner off his left — left — biceps during BP. Aceves stayed on the field for the entire batting practice. In the meantime, a bruise had formed. He said he was fine.
Phil Hughes: He’s going to love seeing this: Peterson just scored on a 75-yard run on the first play from scrimmage against the Texans.
Michael Kay: He has a heaping spoonful — emphasis on heaping — of peanut butter on a plastic plate in front of him. That Atkins diet has to be a ton of fun, doesn’t it?
A quiet Sunday morning in the clubhouse. The Yankees held optional batting practice. CC was hanging out with his 5-year-old son. Lil’ C watched his dad’s side session then took some hacks in the cage. Not surprisingly, Lil’ C can swing the bat.
A bunch of players were knee-deep in preparations for their fantasy football draft, scheduled for tonight. There were more fantasy football magazines in the clubhouse than there are at 7-Eleven. Rumor has it, Hinske is taking his job as league commissioner very, very seriously.
A day after wearing a Donovan McNabb jersey, Bruney sauntered to his locker wearing a Tony Romo jersey. He says he’s a lifelong Cowboys fan and wore the Eagles jersey because it was a gift from Damon. Hughes seemed disgusted by that. Hughes and Bruney have the first and second overall picks in the fantasy draft.
We’ll get you plenty of info on the fantasy football developments before the NFL season starts Sept. 10. Alex is part of the league. He was wearing a Bears hat yesterday. “I just like the hat,” he said. “It was a gift.”
What’s going on with all the NFL-themed gifts?
Joba Chamberlain: The Joba Rules are something. He’s out after three innings and 35 pitches. Aceves is in. Can’t wait to hear what Joba says about this outing after the game. One question looking ahead to next season: Will there be Hughes Rules?
George Martin: Two weeks from today, Sept. 13, the all-time great New York Giant will continue his Journey for 9/11 by walking from the George Washington Bridge to Giants Stadium. The 13-mile walk begins at 10 a.m. It ends in plenty of time for the Giants season opener at 4:15. Harry Carson and O.J. Anderson will join Martin, who walked across the country — 3,003 miles — on his original “Journey,” which benefits responders to 9/11 and helps with their healthcare needs. (We’d walk if we could; the Yankees have a 1 p.m. tilt against the Orioles that day.) For more information, go to ajourneyfor911.info.
The wild card: Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times does a great job breaking down the wild card battle. “It’s going to be interesting,” Joe Maddon said. “The Rangers are good, Boston’s good, we’re good. It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be a fun September.” The Red Sox visit the Rays Tuesday to begin a three-game series. Playing at home and behind in the three-team race, Tampa has to win two. At least.