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Fantasy baseball season upon us

For those of us who play fantasy baseball it is almost time to throw friendship aside and partake in the cyber fun that is bashing your best friend on the message board.

This time of year is glorious because you have the wonderful time of the year known as March Madness that rolls brilliantly into the major league baseball season. And during the baseball season this sports editor partakes in that outstanding other sport known as fantasy baseball.

I always get caught up in who to draft, who to claim off waivers and who to trade for who. I am a fantasy nut, but only for football and baseball. When the football season is finished I am sitting and waiting to play fantasy baseball.

This year there was a little bit of a shorter period for waiting because the Pittsburgh Steelers won the Super Bowl. I just wish Santonio Holmes would have performed in the regular season like he did in the Super Bowl and my fantasy football team would have done a little bit better.

Anyways, that is all in the past now and we are all worried on the future and how we are going to draft this year’s prospects. There are so many ways to go in this year’s draft. I mean with Albert Pujols as the only pure star left to believe it will be hard to pick a team without picking one that may break down because of steroids.

Just look at A-Rod. He admits to juicing and he hurts his hip. Some people would say that is coincidence, but others would say his body is finally showing the signs of the steroids he used back in 2001-03.

So now there goes that high-round fantasy pick. But this year it looks like the safe bet would be to go with one power hitter, stock up on players who hit for average and stockpile the speed for a trade.

And when you get to the mound it is a sticky situation. Tim Lincecum has replaced Johan Santana as the top pitcher on a lot of draft boards. I did not think I would ever see that, but I guess Santana is getting old and having injury woes. Lincecum is quite a dominating force and will only get better. He packs a lot into his 5-11 frame.

And there are many other top-tier pitchers that would still be worthy of high drafting.

All I know is that this should be another interesting year of trying to figure out who is better in the digital world of fantasy baseball. Good luck to all the enthusiasts out there who will be staying up until 1 a.m. trying to figure out whether to take Hanley Ramirez or Pujols with the No. 1 pick.

And here is to an exciting adventure in the world of fantasy baseball 2009 style.

Matt Nascone is the sports editor for The Messenger. He can be reached at 670-6315 or online at matt.nascone@troymessenger.com.