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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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A Surreal Night
Sunday, March 27, 2005
A few weeks ago at a show I bumped into an old friend from grade school. We exchanged info and made plans to meet up and hang out. After grabbing some grub at the new Indian place by me, which, by the way, makes some darn good chicken curry, the plan was to pick up some beverages (ahem, beer, but c’mon, let’s not be so plebeian about it) and head out to see some more friends from way back in the day. We walked into the liquor store and while looking at the selection I felt a tap on my shoulder, OK, it was more like a smack. I figured I had to know whoever did it, but when I turned around I was a little shocked to see one of my best friends from high school who I had almost completely lost touch with over the years! We talked for a while and made plans to link up for a night not unlike the one I was having with my grade school peoples. I took a step back at this point and realized I had just bumped into a dude I went to high school with and hadn’t seen for years while at the same time chillin with a dude I had known since grade school and had just gotten back in touch with. I thought that might the strangest moment of the weekend. There were more moments to come, though.

After picking up the liks we went to our boy’s krib and chilled with some more people, including another person we went to grade school with and two cute females I met for the first time that night. A handful of beers later we decided we’d head out to Viva’s in Westport. Viva’s is a little Mexican joint that seems fairly packed when there are about 30 people in it. I was told there was a good chance I would run into some more folks I’d know there. That would turn out to be an accurate prediction as a little while after we got there I bumped into a girl who lived all of a two minute walk down the street from me back in the day. It felt really good to reconnect with people from my past. I was seeing people I hadn’t seen in well over a decade yet we all still had this lasting connection, no matter how small the connection was it was still there on some "damn, it’s been so long we’re gonna be cool regardless." I really dug the whole vibe of it all.

The only kind of sad moment of the night was when we started going through the names of the people we went to school with and tried to see if we knew what they were doing today. I brought up one name, the name of the kid who used to be the school bully and who I used to get into massive fights with. One fight in particular happened in the school yard and I, by the grace of God and one martial arts move that works every time, happened to win it. The next day dude came up to me in the gym locker room and all I could think was "oh crap, am I going to have to go through this shit every day now?" Thankfully, this would be my first lesson in street respect, which is ironic since Coleytown Middle School was, and still is, in one of the wealthier suburbs of CT. Dude came up to me and simply told me that if anyone was bothering me I should tell him and he’d take care of it and in exchange he just wanted to know if anyone was talking about him behind his back. It was an odd deal being that we had just fought the day before, but I took it. It didn’t mean we were friends by any stretch of the imagination, but it meant we weren’t enemies, which was a nice change of pace. OK, so why did I tell this whole story? Well, I found out last night that this kid died of a heroin overdose while the rest of us were in college. Knowing a little about what his home life was it’s pretty sad, the kid never really had a chance. It’s just so weird, though, to hear that someone who’s had an impact on your life like that, even if it wasn’t in the traditional way, went out in such a fashion.

Since I don’t want to end on a downer, yesterday also marked our fantasy baseball draft! Screw the traditional winter holiday season, THIS is the most wonderful time of the year. We have a 12 team league, 25 man rosters, NL only using 5X5 scoring. Below is my roster, including the round in which I drafted each player.

C J. Closser (Col - C) - 18
1B C. Delgado (Fla - 1B) - 1
2B T. Wigginton (Pit - 1B,2B,3B) - 9
3B V. Castilla (Was - 3B) - 7
SS P. Feliz (SF - 1B,3B,SS) - 8
CI D. Lee (ChC - 1B) - 2
MI K. Greene (SD - SS) - 13
OF C. Lee (Mil - OF) - 3
OF P. Wilson (Col - OF) - 4
OF J. Guillén (Was - OF) - 5
Util B. Giles (SD - OF) - 6
BN B. Jordan (Atl - OF) - 21
BN R. Mondesí (Atl - OF) - 22
BN G. Atkins (Col - CI) - 23
BN R. Branyan (Mil - 3B) - 24
BN C. Burke (Hou - MI) - 25

SP B. Penny (LAD - SP) - 10
SP J. Marquis (StL - SP) - 11
RP M. Adams (Mil - RP) - 14
RP B. Backe (Hou - SP,RP) - 15
P H. Ramírez (Atl - SP) - 12
P M. Hampton (Atl - SP) - 16
P L. Hudson (Cin - SP) - 20
BN V. Zambrano (NYM - SP) - 17
BN T. Ohka (Was - SP) - 19

Drafting Delgado and D. Lee back to back to start my draft was genius in that I not only got myself two amazing power hitters, but since they’re both first baseman I severely limited what the other teams in my league would have in terms of 1B talent to pick from. I was thrilled to get so many of my sleepers, including Hudson, Atkins, Branyan, and Burke, all of whom stand a good chance of making an impact this year. Having those guys on my roster makes me feel like I have my own little farm system of players just waiting to break out. Nabbing Closser in the 18th round may have been my steal of the draft. You can count one hand the number of catchers who will hit .300 and I think I have one of them in Closser. I probably drafted Wilson and Wigginton a little too high, especially considering that once Burke qualifies at 2B he’s probably going to take Wiggy’s place pretty quickly in my starting lineup. My original plan to draft hitting first and create a lineup of big bats worked out pretty much the way I planned it. I’m a little light on steals and saves, however, so I’m really counting on Burke, who supposedly has speed on the basepaths, to develop quickly. Of course, with a plan that focuses so much on hitting I didn't even draft a pitcher till the tenth round. I think that, barring injuries, I still ended up with a quality staff. If Penny is healthy him and Marquis could both have 15 win seasons, Backe and Hudson should be great for my strikeout totals and Ramirez and Hampton make my team because I’ll take any Atlanta pitcher. There’s seriously something in the Gatorade there! So there you have it, the 2005 Black Rock Bull Doziers, looking to earn our third championship in four seasons!
posted by Adam Bernard @ 1:22 PM  
  • At 7:20 PM, Blogger Sally said…

    This is why I prefer not to go to high school reunions.

  • At 7:21 PM, Blogger Sally said…

    Alot of good but the unexpected bad.

  • At 2:12 PM, Blogger Adam said…

    Thankfully the good usually outweighs the bad by a healthy margin.

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