May 2009

I recently just started doing something I said I’d never do. I’d been asked to participate a few times before — both at work and by friends. Each time, I said, “no,” mostly because I just didn’t want to be bothered. And I thought there’d be some conflicts of interest.

Peer pressure finally prevailed and I decided to play fantasy baseball. For those of you who have done this, please indulge me for a moment while I address the folks who haven’t ever played: Basically, you draft MLB players, hope like hell they do well from week to week as you match up against what amounts to other “All Star teams.” Well, it really doesn’t end there. If you take it seriously, you’ll find yourself constantly checking stats, number of games and pitching starts and even weather reports. So you’re a general manager without the really good paycheck.

But that’s not the problem as I see it. If you’re a fan of a particular team, you’ll occasionally wind up rooting against certain members of that team because you’re opponent has some players on it. Those of you who have met me, especially the Long Island superintendents, know that I’m a Red Sox fan (Go ahead Yankee fans, start booing.) Anyway, I have a Sox pitcher on my team who was doing poorly in a game; guys all over the bases and the Sox are losing. Normally I’d want him to pitch out of the jam, but I want more than that now. I needed strikeouts, and was disappointed when the hitter grounds into an inning-ending double play. Sure the Sox wiggle out of the jam, but I got no points.

Now you see, that’s the problem and it’s silly, actually. Imagine there’s fantasy highway department and another highway department drafted some of your crew members. In reality you want your crew to do well, but in fantasy, you’d want them to do just OK in some situations. It’s like, “don’t plow this road this week because my opponent will get points from that.”

So this season is “one and done” for me. I’d like to get back to enjoying baseball, just as I suspect you’d like getting back to enjoying your jobs and appreciating your crew if there were something as ridiculous as fantasy highway department. P

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