The following are my observations and thoughts about this past weekend trip to the "official" BCBL draft site.


I arrived in Chicago 1/2 hour ahead of schedule, making it easier for Steve (designated picker-upper) and Jed to pick me up (no waiting). As we walked outside to the car, the realization hit me...Crap it's COLD here!!!  Went to the designated sports bar/ restaurant to wait for Rick and was hit with the news that LaRoche tore up his thumb/wrist/hand/something and was out for about 10 weeks. Discovered that Jed likes appitizers and drinks usually found nowhere but New York. After finishing off three appitizers, Rick arrives and we order big burgers. All the while discussions center on should Jed take Braun at #1 and who should I take at #17. (I'm trying to get additional info).


After finishing the meal, it is decided that we need some exercise to stay in shape and someone says BOWLING. We drop off our bags at Rick's house and head out to BOWL. When we get to the bowling alley we find out it must be Middle school day at the alley, as there are about a million 11-13 year old kids acting like 11-13 year old kids. We head out to a second establishment several miles down the road, only to discover that they have no open lanes for another hour. So, its back to Rick's for Wii Bowling.


After a time, Bob Michal, Greg and Frank show up and after some small talk we take off for the restaurant. During the walk from the parking lot to the restaurant I think...crap, is it COLD here!!! At the restaurant there is a display case showing the different steaks they provide. It looks like they took one steer and divided it in quarters. "Jed, you take the front quarter and I'll have the rear quarter". We order drinks and MEAT and it is here that everyone discovers that Jed will drink anything that is colored,,,blue, pink, green, choclate, whatever. These become known as "girlie drinks". Of course we have to have appitizers. I'm still stuffed from lunch and have a big steak to look forward to. The food arrives and it looks like they had to kill three cows for the seven of us. The carrots, on several plates, were almost as big as a hockey puck. After the meal, it was agreed that the food was some of the worst we have experienced and Rick was taking home a large portion to be used as a doorstop.


Back to Rick's house for an evening of Home Run Derby, where The Michal girls showed everyone how hit that horsehide. Steve spent time trying to help me with downloading AIM to my antique laptop.


Saturday morning and DRAFT DAY. Rick, Jed and I go through McDonald's drive thru. No appitizers, but Jed spys a shamrock milk shake (or some kind of green drink) and gets one for breakfast. Meet everyone at Rick's office building and head upstairs. First comment...crap, is it HOT in here. The whole day is spent opening and closing a window until just before we leave, Frank walks over the the radiator (hadn't seen one of those in centuries) and turned down the valve. DUH!!!


After many minutes getting situated and connected to the chat room, a couple of us were still having trouble. Finally we were set to go. How far we've come since the early drafts. I looked around and everyone there had a computer in front of them. 


I had spent a lot of time researching about 6 or so players who I though had a chance to make it to #17. I just needed a couple of BALLS picks to make some of my "really wants" to be available. But, the injury to LaRoche and Kouzmanoff and Saltalamacchia going right before me through me in a panic. a quick discussionof the 7 of us came to the conclusion that Travis Buck was probably my best pick. So, I made the pick of a player I had not even looked at previously.


Since I was pretty set with the rest of my team, my plans for my final 5 picks (5th & 6th rounds) were to take high BA/ low PAs players to be used as pinch hitters. This worked out well.


After the draft we held a tournament. Six teams. I beat Devon 8-3 and faced Alaska in the semi-finals. Went into the 10th when Sosa hit one out of site. We then went out for pizza. No appitizers, but more "girlie" drinks. Frank, Greg, Steve and Bob Michal headed home and the rest of us went back to Wii, where I gave Rick and Jed a lesson in putting, Rick was the bowling champ and Jed could box the stuffing out of anyone.


My flights home were great. Felt sorry for Jed. He had planned to leave during the draft to get home for a special eveny involving his parents. His flight kept getting delayed  and was finally rescheduled for Sunday AM. It was then delayed until noon, then 4PM. I still don't know if he made it back to NY.


That's about it. Had a great time as one of The Chicago Seven. Sorry that more of you couldn't make it.