It was 1992 or ’93, near as I can tell from looking at the career stats. We played an odd form of fantasy baseball using ‘strat-o-matic’ cards (published each year based upon the players stats from the previous year). We would ‘draft’ a team from the available player pool (NL+AL mixed), and play a 162 game ‘season’, and whoever finished with the best team W/L record would win the season (and the betting pool).
The New Orleans Penguins manager (that’s me), was nearing the end of the draft, most of the really great cards were already picked, and I was desperate for a closer.
Statistically, Rob Dibble looked like closer material. A former all-star, NLCS Most Valuable Player, and one of those nasty, nasty 90+ MPH fastballs. He definitely looked like something the other managers (a dozen or so) had overlooked. Eagerly, when my pick came up, I “went with my gut” and drafted him; I thought I had one of those little gems of a pick, when you discover a diamond in the slush pile and crow at all of those other silly, silly managers for missing this guy.
Rob had temper-control issues as a player. Rob got into a lot of fights, threw pitches at other players and (in one case) at a fan in the center field bleachers. But I didn’t know this, nor did I do my homework (as the other managers had) on the injury reports.
Rob’s elbow exploded. He missed the entire 1994 season. After he returned, he never had the same “nasty” again, and 1995 was a disastrous season for him. In 1996 he went under the knife, again, and his career was soon over.
The Penguins didn’t finish out of the cellar for several more years, due to this (and similar) terrible picks…like Mike Greenwell and Robin Yount (during years when they were effectively hobbling around the outfield on crutches)…the list just goes on and on.
My “gut” is terrible at making draft picks, just simply awful.
When’s the last time you followed your instinct despite not being sure it was the right thing to do? Did it end up being the right call?