Editor's note: I didn't think it would last. Brian Phillips and Jeff Hassler are going into their third season co-managing a fantasy baseball team.
To say the pair have a difficult relationship is an understatement. Hassler's love of watery lime-flavored light beer, Ed Hardy shirts, and "douche music" is plenty for Phillips, a man Hassler has described as "a graying hipster" and "the world's oldest skinny anglophile motherfucker." To make matters all the worse, Hassler is an avowed Yankee fan. Phillips, on the other hand, is a lifelong Mariners devotee. Hassler has compared Phillips' frequent reminders of his long-running suffering at the hands of his often bottom-dwelling M's as "the baseball version of my constantly complaining ex-wife." Phillips counters that Hassler's ex-wife doesn't complain any more now that "she's signed with another club." The bile flowing between them is, for those that know them, cheap entertainment.
Still, through some sort of grim dedication, the Westerville Fister Of Fury enter their third season coming off a solid second place showing in 2014. Last summer was a vast improvement over 2013's 7th place finish. The two owners have agreed to let us peer inside their thought processes as they prepare to draft their 2015 squad on Tuesday.
Hassler, since you didn't answer my email, I've decided on our keepers: Rendon, Betts, Gray, deGrom, and Paxton. You'll recall that in our league kept players must be 27 years old or under. Thoughts?
What email? I saw no email, bud. Betts is on the Red Sox, right?
And let's get that out of the way right now. Need I remind you, Jeff, that last season, when I drafted players based on the stats they would bring to our squad, we finished in the money. When I was out of town in 2013 and you grabbed every God-damned Yankee you could find we finished 7th!
Jeter was coming off an outstanding year in 2012!
Yes, it was real nice, but that doesn't mean you take a 38 year old shortstop in the fifth round, especially when the man's ankle snapped in half during the playoffs....
I thought he'd be ready by at least June.
Is that how fucking old you are, Phillips?
No, that's the number of plate appearances the "captain" managed in 2013. 5th round! And don't get me started on C.C. Sabathia.
Again Phillips, great year in 2012.
And I told you his home run rate was leaching upward that season and a guy with that many innings on his arm in that bandbox new stadium was a recipe for failure.
Well, shows you what you know because he had a bad knee last year, not his arm.
His 2013 was shit-awful, Hassler. Last year came to a merciful end with the bum knee. You have a gift, Jeff, for identifying the final year a player is any good and then drafting that player after that final solid year is over.
You and your nerd shit.
And of course your biggest achievement was making sure we had Alex Rodriguez. Unbelievable.
And he's had a lot of time to chill and get himself together. I'd take him again this year.
Well, we'll try to find room on the roster for an injury- prone/cheater/ part-time DH.
You're just angry he'll beat your beloved Mariners.
Yes, that's it Hassler. It was a happy time for me to at least have him on our team when he went .244, 7/19. Any issues with the other keepers? I know Rendon is hurt, but there's no final prognosis and I feel like he's worth stashing at only 24 years old.
I'll bet you a sixer of Bud Light Lime he has under 300 plate appearances this year.
You're on, but when I win I'd like some Four String Brew, please.
Hipster fuck. I see you protected your precious Mariner, James Paxton.
I admit he's a bit riskier, but in that ballpark with his heavy ground-ball tilt regardless I like him to excel this year on a good club.
Another sixer the Yanks win more games than Seattle
Yes, please. I will take that bet, shithead. Rounding out the five we have reigning NL Rookie Of The Year Jacob deGrom and the solid Oakland starter Sonny Gray.
With those three locked up we don't have worry about pitching that early.
The Mets suck.
deGrom doesn't and the Mets will also win more games than the Yankees. Will you give me another six-pack for that? Are you going to be at the draft?
Can't. I have a date.
That's fine. Where are you taking her? Do not say Applebees.