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The one rule for drafting your fantasy baseball team a.k.a. a bleak outlook on the Detroit Tigers’ season

This entire Tigers season is going to be one long forlorn quest for Hope.

MLB: Spring Training-Miami Marlins at Detroit Tigers Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Never draft White Sox, Royals, Twins or Indians.

They suck, forever.

They’re all just walking embodiments of Sin, and they should be ignored, like the overly loud obnoxious guy at the BBQ (me). Never trust Greeks bearing gifts and never root for an AL Central team unless they got an Olde English D on their cap! Like, get real, these guys’ favorite movie is Apt Pupil, and that’s only because Magneto throws a cat into an oven. They’re sick puppies and you don’t want them in your fantasy locker room.

(By the way. Not to be a total and absolute nerd, but is it a little bit upsetting that Gandalf, who played Magnus—that’s one of Magneto’s many, many names—in the films also portrayed a Nazi in Apt Pupil? Don’t get me wrong, I love Sir Ian McKellen, as all living humans do, but...what if, after you die and go to heaven, you discover that all the fictional souls are there, too, so Optimus Prime is there, and Superman is there, and Ripley from Alien is there, and Caprica 6 is there, and Michael Landon is there three times: as a kindly angel, a kindly pioneer farmer, and a kindly Michael Landon. There’s also Honor Harrington and her treecat, and Zeus and the gang, and even Sylvester and Tweety-Bird are there. And, of course, MFing Magneto is there, the same guy who hates Nazis with the blazing power of a billion suns. Don’t you think that, if they met, Magneto would kick McKellen’s ass a little bit? I mean, it’s heaven, so he wouldn’t tear him to pieces, a la Apocalypse and Logan, but still a slight ass kicking.)

There are no other rules. If you follow this simple rule, then you will win your fantasy baseball league every year, guaranteed.

Plus, there’s no reason to sully yourself with those condescending, supercilious bastards. OooooOOOOooooo, look how fancy Joe Mauer is! OoooOOOooo, Dayton Moore’s haircut is so cool and now! Oh, look at the pretty, little Chicago players and their fancy, frilly stockings!

And, then, of course, there’s the Indians. Led by a rogue animatron who escaped from a Chuck E. Cheese’s (during my 30th birthday party, no less), Cleveland’s “baseball” team is considered beastly by the national media. Wrong. Cleveland is worse than Justice League: The Extended Cut! Most of the Cleveland players are just mindless drones following their robot leader, Human Replicant Corey Kluber: Model designation #9A-JJ3475-Romeo-Romeo, who was implanted into Cleveland by the Kluber Hivemind as part of its plan to replace all labor in the Midwest with emotionless automatons. Parents in the hoighty-toighty, nouveau riche sections of Cleveland now use Corey Klubers as nightlights for their children. Friends, let me tell you something: nothing in the History of the World is scarier than an unmoving, unblinking Corey Kluber staring intently at you while you sleep, while also providing a nice, gentle illumination. The only time a Corey Kluber human replicant closes its eyes is when it’s about to enter its Eat People Mode. This is usually preceded by the robot exhibiting human emotion variant 4-omega-7: joy, so if you ever see a Kluberbot smile, run for your life. Corey Kluber will try to drink your blood and eat your fingers and toes. (To be fair, that has more to do with its Chuck E. Cheese programming than the dictates of the Kluber Hivemind.)

Sigh. And, then there’s the other AL Central team. The only one that truly matters. The only one that Brandon Inge played for (...I think.). The only team with Olde English letters on its uniforms, because hey! nothing screams Michigan more than fancy, upper class handwriting. Flint may not have drinkable water, but at least all of its traffic signs look like this:

All writing in Michigan is super fancy.

I could tell you to draft Tigers for this fantasy season.

I could lay out the reasons for why Nicky Castellanos will write his goddamn name in the sky this summer, or why Miggie will remind everyone that he’s one of the greatest hitters who’s ever played, or why Leonys Martin will score tons of runs hitting in front of the Tigers still-quite-potent middle of the order (Still Quite Potent is the title of my memoir about middle age; also, the Tigers 3-4-5 isn’t potent, at all, I was lying before), or why Jordan Zimmermann’s contract isn’t as bad as... you know, what? I can’t do it. I can’t keep lying like this.

The Tigers will contend for the worst record in baseball.

115 losses isn’t out of the question. Tigers fans have been here before. It’s been 15 years since 43-119. In 2003 we didn’t know what cell phones were or how fire worked. We ate with our hands, as forks wouldn’t be invented for another decade. We didn’t even have real language, we just grunted to each other, and communicated by pheromones. We would go crazy, and scream, and throw feces, and hide in caves during solar eclipses or whenever A.J. Hinch came to bat. The “joke” going around Detroit at the time (back when it was still Le Belle Fort Dey-Twaaaaaa! and run by goddamn Gauls) was, Which is worse: this Tigers team or cholera? And, we’d all laugh uncomfortably, none of us sure how to answer, and then we’d weep silently and return to our meal of raw Mastodon flesh, poisonous berries, and handfuls of dirt.

Ron Gardenhire—who looks like one of Snow White’s seven dwarves—is the new manager, because, if you’re just going to be sitting around, anyway, why not get some money while you’re doing it? If Gardenhire is still the manager in three years, I’ll eat every single hat in the whole goddamn world. This upcoming season makes me want to cry, but I already wept all my tears the night Gordon Hayward went down.

This entire Tigers season is going to be one long forlorn quest for Hope. I have multiple Tigers on my fantasy team. I’m in real life considering picking up VMart. Hope is just another word for “out of your goddamn mind.”

Anyway.

If you ever see a person wearing a Verlander jersey stumbling in a daze down the street, weeping tears of blood, mumbling We shoulda kept Scherzer, the Prince deal killed us, Miggie is Jesus and this season is his Passion, all is black, where is Mother, please, give that person some water, call the police, and make sure they find shelter for the night. Because, friends, that person is me.