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From reality to fantasy

Reality TV makes me sick.

And what disgusts me even more - reality TV that pretends to be real.

TruTV, you had your chance. It took me a healthy ten minutes to scroll through my DVR to find you with basketball on my brain. You didn't screw up the broadcast, well, because CBS produced it -but you did miss out on an opportunity to maintain a portion of your audience.

I come home to my cable box set on TruTV only to find disappointment in HD. "Operation Repo" was on and I couldn't find the remote (c'mon, I can't say I would choose to watch this show). If a morbidly obese, in your face, spitting-angry repo lady is your standard of reality, actuality or TruTV, then I certainly am not going to be a part of your world.

The fantasy world I live in is full of averages, RBI and stolen bases.

And April is almost here, meaning fantasy baseball drafts are in full swing.

My advice -- do your due diligence. Be familiar with the statistics of yesteryear, but don't get enamored with them. Don't go third round on Jose Bautista because you expect a second-straight 50-home run season (especially considering his previous HR high for a season was 16 before last year's long ball breakout).

Stay away from injuries--especially in your first five rounds. The first five picks of your fantasy baseball team are not supposed to be gambles. I know Chase Utley can produce like a top ten player, but how many points can he earn your team on the DL? The expression "hope springs eternal" is one that's prevalent throughout baseball. In March and April every team is in first, every team has a chance. Dissect that down even further -- every player has a chance. It doesn't matter if the guy's about to win the Cy Young or if his arm is about to fall off, every ballplayer is poised for a good year in April.

Check out Brandon Webb, the 2006 NL CY Young Award winner, who signed a one-year deal with the Texas Rangers after missing most of the last two seasons with a shoulder injury. Prognostications were high in March and April about his return. And who wouldn't want Webb on his team considering a 3.52 career ERA?

There are way too many strategies when it comes to the draft. And I'll leave you with this--don't chase saves and don't take more than one pitcher in your first five picks. It's much easier to find a hidden gem right arm than a productive outfielder on your league's waiver wire.

Real Life Baseball

The high school and college baseball seasons are well under way and the Palmetto State is no slouch when it comes to its standards. The University of South Carolina is the defending national champion in baseball, Clemson is struggling out of the gates but a consensus top-25 ranked team, and Coastal Carolina is reloading from a team that made it to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA baseball tournament.

If high school hardball is your thing, check out the Saint James squad. Seven players signed letters of intent to play college ball next year, and one of them might forgo school for professional ball. Senior Tanner English is getting looks to play at the next level by many pro scouts. The scouts salivate over his speed, arm strength and dedication to the sport. But while checking him out, they get a chance to watch some good ball.

Coach Robbie Centracchio makes sure to practice the mental game as much as the physical game. That being evident when I attended a practice after Saint James landed as the No. 33 ranked team on scouting service Perfect Game USA's national baseball poll. He believes the national press will not have any ill effect on his team.

Saint James will host Socastee on Friday. But the game I'm keeping an eye on is Monday against Conway in Murrells Inlet.

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