Unfortunately, the Toronto Blue Jays appear to be on the verge of another frustrating season. So I’m focusing on fantasy baseball.
Sure, I still have a seasons pass to all the Jays’ games, but it’s more satisfying to root for teams that I have some measure of control over, teams that won’t have to shed salary or ever let go of Roy Halladay.
Come late August some of my teams should be vying for a playoff spot. I can’t say the same for Toronto.
And I’ve got a lot of opportunities for championships as well – I’m now the commissioner of three leagues, with teams in another three pools.
The breadth and depth of my 2010 fantasy baseball experience will be pretty wide too. I’m in rotisserie leagues, a keeper league, an auction-style draft, an auto-draft as well as some good old fashioned head-to-head scoring.
For anyone who has never participated in fantasy baseball, I highly recommend Sam Walker’s Fantasyland. It’s an excellent introduction to the history and characters of the non-sport.
Walker is the senior special writer and sports columnist for the Wall Street Journal. He decided to give fantasy baseball a try after getting burnt out by the constant allegations of steroid use and exponential growth of salaries in the real-life game.
Taking a sabbatical from his day job, Walker put together a small front office comprised of a NASA statician, a head scout and an astrologer, all in an attempt to best the cream of the fantasy crop in the Tout Wars – a league for the experts who write the websites, magazines and books that the average fan consults.
Spending thousands of dollars on his staff, flights to the Grapefruit League and consulting with the actual players on his team, Walker guides the reader through the world of fantasy baseball.
It’s a really humorous and informative read as Walker takes an unorthodox approach to rekindling his love for America’s pastime.
I’m not as wary of baseball as Walker was, and I’ll never put that much into my fantasy teams. However, I am frustrated with some aspects of baseball, particularly the struggles of my local squad.
Fantasy baseball gives me a forum to follow other corners of Major League Baseball and channel some of my fandom into more fruitful avenues.
For the next two days I’ll be going over fantasy baseball kits and magazines and running mock drafts to try and get a feel for which players I should be taking and when. I’ll be putting together crib sheets and analyzing my opponent’s tendencies.
Opening Day is all about a renewed sense of hope, as all teams start on an equal footing. This year, however, I’ve got seven teams to follow, not just one.