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It's late winter here in the Southeast, so that means only one thing if you're a dad with active sons who play sports...

It's draft time in Little League baseball...   Tom-brady-shirtless

Draft time!!  The meat market goes all the way down to the 7 year olds these days, meaning you can't just get a team of kids together and play.  You have to sign up for the local league, go through evaluations, then teams are drafted. That's right for all you non-kid or non-sport families, there's a draft.   From pick #1 to pick #150, it goes down in Darwinian fashion.

If you're a coach, that means you evaluate way too much.  So much so, that you begin to see talent scout profiles seep in to the proceedings around you, including the following:

-Mr.Star Chaser: This coach picks the highest kid on the board (ranked according to evaluation scores) regardless of any other factor.  Too bad there's no trades after Little League drafts, because this stockpiler could do some deals.

-Mr. Retail's For Suckers: Won't pick the next kid on the board.  Too smart, has the master plan, and the conventional wisdom won't do. He's finding value elsewhere according to his own personal system.

-Mr. Deep Background: Makes dozens of calls to folks who know each 7 year old.  I heard Jimmy watches way too much iCarly too.  I'd pass on Jimmy as a result.

-Mr. Zero Sum Game/One-Up:  Thinks he knows who you want, so he'll be attempting to "one-up" you all the way through the draft.  

-Stat Boy: Kept stats on all teams the entire last season.  Has "Access" database to prove it...

-The Minister of Misinformation: Did you hear Johnny was thinking about pulling out of baseball to play Lacrosse?  Tread carefully if you're planing on picking him... <sucker>

The only things missing from the proceedings?  A website with rumors and Mel Kiper mocking my historically weak drafts across the years.  Apparently my profile, focused on drafting for long last names I think look cool on the back of baseball jerseys, is as suspect as the ones above.

Which begs the question - Can you imagine if you held a similar draft to restructure workplace teams doing similar work?  Let's say you had a draft to restructure an inside sales force/financial brokers/name the function of 100 people across 10 teams and bonus money was on the line.  My guess is you'd see all the same profiles emerge as you started to evaluate the talent pool and plot draft strategy.

Of course, at the end of the day, the administrative assistant, who drafted based on how much karma each last name had, would do as good as you.  Because there's no accounting for intangibles, personal baggage and team chemistry in the draft order (you wouldn't have the time or technology to capture those things), it's more of a crap shoot than you'd like it to be.

Me?  I draft parents when it comes to Little League.  It's just easier that way.  


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