Better to come in last in your league with some semblance of class than to be that guy (or, as has increasingly become the case, that girl).
We all know him, the one who sucks the wind out of the draft, turning an otherwise friendly social event into a painstaking process.
With that (guy) in mind, let's take a look at the top 10 worst people to have at your fantasy draft, a group collectively known as -- what else? -- those guys.
10. The Repeat Offender
This guy shares the same name as a Richard Marx album, and he deserves it. Wherever you go, whatever you do, the Repeat Offender will be right there waiting for you on D-Day, ready to kill the flow of your draft by trying to pick guys who've already been taken. He usually suffers from a poor attention span, a general lack of baseball knowledge and the undying belief that everyone around him is somehow more clueless than he is. Bad combination. Where it all leaves him is about three years behind on the sleeper scene. Just watch -- he'll try to take Jose Reyes in the third round this year. And after he does, don't be shocked when he goes for Dontrelle Willis in round 17. He is, after all, the Repeat Offender.
9. The Crammer
A sheer lack of preparation plagues the Crammer, who always seems to be forgetting rule No. 1 of fantasy baseball: This is NOT a test. Instead of enjoying the draft process, this guy treats every pick like a final-exam cram session. You'll find him blowing through preview magazine after preview magazine until the absolute last second of every pick he makes, like a 16-year-old kid who can't remember the quadratic formula moments before a calculus test. A squirrel has more composure than this guy on D-Day, and so should you.
8. The Retroactivist
Like many real-life activists, the fantasy Retroactivist protests too much when the damage has already been done. Some things in life are better left undone, and fantasy picks are no different. Oblivious to the notion of consequence and just a tad oversensitive, the Retroactvist tries to re-pick when you make fun of his pick. What does he expect for trying to draft Francisco Liriano (injured) and Bill Mueller (retired)? You have to assume that this guy was in full support of the recount in the 2000 presidential election. Either way, when it comes to choosing your next league member, vote "no" on the Retroactivist.
7. The Crow
Being a braggart is stigmatic enough, but a fantasy braggart? Ugh. Watching amazing athletes perform is something to enjoy, not crow about. But the Crow is stuck in a fantasy fantasyland. He takes that false sense of accomplishment to a whole new level, bragging nonstop about his players before they've even done anything (You may as well sign your checks over to me, guys, because this baby's over.), like Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, but without the cash -- or the sense of self-deprecation.
6. The Editorializer
Fantasy drafts and socializing go hand in hand, but some guys have a tough time remembering that human conversation is a two-way street. Which brings us to the Editorializer, the self-appointed judge of all fantasy picks. This guy has a verdict about everything. Problem is, nobody's asking for it. His criticisms are maddening (Too soon, tooooo soon), his witticisms infuriating (Sweet pick ... not!), his compliments condescending (Great pick. Greaaat pick.). If we wanted a play-by-play of our fantasy draft, we would've asked Bob Costas.
5. His Lateness
Sadly, tardiness has become an accepted, often embraced part of American culture. But not when it comes to fantasy drafts, which can't begin until everybody's there. Which is why the guy who's late is so mind-bogglingly inconsiderate. Making a few people wait is bad enough. But an entire league? Multiply the 20 or so minutes he's late by the number of people waiting, and you have hours of wasted time. Clearly, His Lateness is anything but fantasy royalty.
4. The Cheapskate
It'd be one thing if people were forced to join money leagues, but thankfully, mob tactics don't fly in fantasy. Which brings us to the guy who doesn't pay. The Cheapskate's refusal to pull out the checkbook takes us one step closer to the Fantasy Apocalypse, in which all money leaguers will be federally obligated to sign a legally binding contract on D-Day. Naturally, it's not all about the money, but being the Cheapskate is just as bad as stealing a wad of cash from the winner's wallet.
3. The Conspirator
There's no fantasy rulebook, but there is an unwritten rule that says you're in it alone. And for good reason. This isn't Pictionary night at your neighbor's house. This is fantasy baseball, every man for himself, winner -- not winners -- take all. But the Conspirator has a behind-the-scenes buddy doing his dirty work, a guy on the other end of those all-too-frequent cell-phone calls on D-Day. He's a coward, the white-collar criminal of fantasy, too weak to take care of his own business, too afraid to disclose his dark partnership. If there were such a thing as a fantasy jail, the Conspirator would be the first to do time.
2. The Speaker
A silent voice on the other end of the phone line is usually pretty creepy. Think Ghostface in "Scream." But in the case of the guy who's drafting on speaker phone, it's downright annoying. Inevitably, the Speaker is unresponsive when it's his turn, he routinely picks guys who've been picked (see Repeat Offender), and he's generally incoherent -- all thanks to his poor mode of communication. Better to leave your buddy in Boise out of the picture than subject your league to the Speaker.
1. The Accidental Sniper
We've all played fantasy baseball with the guy who, quite literally, is out of his league, the extreme fair-weather fan who thinks there are still Expos in Montreal. But one way or another, the Accidental Sniper ends up snagging your top sleeper pick right before you were planning on pulling the trigger, displaying a clueless dominance not seen since the days of Inspector Gadget. For all you Yankees fans out there banking on taking Philip Hughes with your last pick this year, watch out for the Sniper. He'll take a page out of the Crammer's book, grab a random magazine, start flipping, locate the Yankees' top prospect and pick him at the last possible second, obliviously ruining your master plan -- and your draft.
There you have it, the worst of the worst. Quite the motley crew, eh?
But let's not fool ourselves. There's a little bit of the Repeat Offender, the Crammer and the Editorializer in everyone. We've all been guilty of making D-Day seem more like World War III than a civilized gathering of friends.
So give peace a chance. And please, don't be that guy.
Dean Chiungos is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.