Fantasy Baseball; A Maiden Voyage

My friends were desperate. Baseball season was a month away and they needed to fill a spot in their fantasy league. Like a good friend (or deer in the headlights), I joined. For the first time ever, I’m playing fantasy baseball. My thoughts…

First, a lot has happened to me over the past 12 months. I’ve been unemployed, coached my wife through child birth, became a dad, welcomed Michael Vick into my life, gone back to school, and watched Doug Collins transform my Sixers into a respectable and …(deep breath)… likeable team. Despite all that, nothing made me more nervous than our fantasy baseball draft two weeks ago.

(Side note: Flying to Utah last month with our 9-month-old was a close second. I was nauseous; convinced we’d be thrown from the plane by angry passengers. My son has too much energy for our home. Confining him to two small seating areas in coach was asking for trouble. Thankfully, he slept the whole way out. On the trip home, he talked non-stop, probably offering play-by-play of the experience. Still, he wasn’t crying or screaming obnoxiously, so no one threatened to kill us. But I digress.)

Leading up to the draft, I was petrified. I haven’t watch baseball on a daily basis since I got married three years ago. I follow the Phillies and that’s about it. Occasionally, I’ll get caught up on the rest of the league throughout the spring and early summer, but even that’s rare. Needless to say, the draft list could have been names of U.S. Congressmen for all I knew. So, to avoid being the guy who drafts a utility infielder in the 3rd round, I researched tirelessly over the 12 hours preceding the draft. (Yes, I procrastinated, ignoring the draft entirely until draft day. At which point I realized I was in over my head – like Rush Limbaugh hosting the BET Awards over my head.) Long story short, I studied, created charts, sleeper lists, excel spreadsheets, and prioritized my needs. I think the draft went well, but I honestly have no idea whether I killed it or it killed me. Time will tell, I suppose. Hopefully the rest of the season won’t be as stressful.

Second, I kind of like fantasy baseball. It’s only April and I’m already paying attention to box scores, injuries, standings, and league leaders. Normally, I don’t get really involved with baseball until after the Fourth of July, so this was a nice surprise. Although I still won’t spend time watching baseball because the NHL and NBA Playoffs take precedence, it’s fun to have that little taste of baseball on the side.

Thirdly, the entertainment value of sarcastic, abusive emails between league members cannot be understated. In fact, I think I’d pay $50 just for access to these emails.

Finally, I’m learning. My wife always encourages me to keep learning. As a medical student, she’s obviously learning more on a weekly basis than I learn in a decade, but fantasy baseball has closed that gap, albeit ever so slightly. Of course, my wife probably doesn’t consider baseball statistics and fantasy trends as legitimate learning, but it’s learning, nonetheless. Besides, it’s always fun to learn something I know she won’t know. So next time she asks what a CD4 count indicates I can quickly ask her what “WHIP” represents.

Like I said, I’m learning.

Fantasy baseball = good.

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