Baseball and I: The First Few Weeks


Dedicated baseball fans throughout America realize there’s an intangible contract one signs at the beginning of April. In following one’s favorite team, the signee accepts the prospect of having 162 good days, 162 bad days, or any number in between. The season is long: a half-year jaunt whose push and pull seamlessly seeps into every corner of the fan’s life. For fantasy owners, this effect is even more intense. I’m finding that out now for the first time in my life, as a group of my buddies finally convinced me to sign up for their league. I’ve heard it described that every episode of “Seinfeld” and the “The Sopranos” can serve as a near-factual model for the way American life works, whether they exemplify the battle of the sexes, the tensions and joys of friendships, the need and dismay of romance, the absurdity of life, the power of death, or the pleasure of solitude. For myself, it’s always been baseball, as its mixture of celebration, defeat, and the bizarre seem to perfectly mirror life as a whole. As a write this, Tim Lincecum is off to a rocky start for the year while Tim Wakefield is pitching a no-hitter into the eight inning. Who would’ve thought?

Here are five random observations about the first few weeks of the season…

1. Fantasy Baseball

How anyone could sign up for more than one of these leagues is beyond me. I was under the impression that I would simply have to monitor my team once a week, only having the urge to check the scoreboard every now and then. Turns out, you need to treat your team with the same love and attention you would a girlfriend or a dying pet. Throughout my day I’m checking Yahoo’s GameChannel and Stattracker, yelling at numbers and diagrams on my screen as they are updated in real time. I’m reading the columns by fantasy “pundits;” I’m about to buy the MLB Extra Innings package; I’m contemplating trades, drops, and pickups; friendships hang in the balance each week in our head to head league. And all the while I’m realizing that this at times very complicated critical thinking could be put to better use for something like, I don’t know, NASA. But then who would give J.D. Drew another chance to prove himself as a fantasy stud?

Read the rest after the jump...

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