Here's a chance to prove it — and an opportunity to beat the best team I can put together. This column serves as the kickoff for the Johnson City Press Fantasy Baseball Challenge.
A reward for winning the three-month event will be decided after the number of entries is determined, and will be announced on my professional page at www.facebook.com/dfritzjcpress. The contest will end with Major League Baseball games of July 31.
This contest will be similar to the March Madness NCAA basketball tournament brackets. In those popular bracket contests, entrants have to pick teams without knowing what kind of physical shape they will be in as the tournament progresses.
In the JCP fantasy challenge, a final lineup will be selected by the end of April by each contestant. Real life Major League Baseball statistics from the beginning of the season will be accumulated and applied to each of the fantasy teams at the end of July to determine the winner.
The categories used for this contest will be batting average, home runs, RBIs, runs and stolen bases for hitters. For pitchers it will be wins, saves, ERA, WHIP and strikeouts.
A team in the league can be "purchased" by getting three people to "like" my professional page at www.facebook.com/dfritzjcpress. The three "likes" must be new after April 12. The "like" should state, "I am liking this page on behalf of a team for (Mike Jones)." Three such new "likes" would enter a team for (Mike Jones') Facebook page.
Once you have "purchased" a team, you can select a 10-man lineup that must be compiled using one each of the following positions: catcher, first base, second base, shortstop, third base, left field, center field, right field, starting pitcher and closer. You can post your lineup on my professional page, and make changes until midnight on April 30.
Once these selections are locked, those real-life players' statistics will determine standings until the end of the contest.
Obviously injuries could play a critical role in determining the success of the fantasy team, but there will be a loophole. Teams will be allowed to "purchase" transactions during the month of May by getting three new "likes" for the page. You can "purchase" up to three transactions, and use them between June 2 and June 16. It will be the same process as listed above with the person stating he/she is liking the page to earn a transaction for (Mike Jones)."
Once a player is exchanged by use of a transaction, the move is final and the previous player cannot be returned to the lineup. All lineup changes must be posted on the Facebook page prior to midnight on June 16.
If any teams have identical lineups on June 16, they will select a utility hitter as a tiebreaker before June 23.
Because this is the first time for this contest, we reserve the right to add new rules, if needed, throughout the course of the contest.
Below I am listing my initial team, but remember changes can be made until April 30 (players are eligible outside of their routine position if they have five starts this season at the new position, or 10 total game appearances at the new spot):
C — Buster Posey
1B — Paul Goldschmidt
2B — Matt Carpenter
SS — Hanley Ramirez
3B — Miguel Cabrera
LF — Mike Trout
CF — Andrew McCutchen
RF — Giancarlo Stanton
SP — Yu Darvish
CL — Craig Kimbrel
Follow Douglas Fritz on Twitter @FritzBlitzzz. Like him on Facebook: www.facebook.com/dfritzjcpress.