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Watching Reality Baseball a Real Pain in the Fantasy

Billy Beane - Oakland - 1989 Home

Billy Beane – Oakland – 1989 Home (Photo credit: BaseballBacks)

Okay, so my Blue Moon League team is out of the running, and could (gasp) finish in the cellar! Had  figured a middle-of-the-pack finish, but wouldn’t bet on it.

Besides, somebody’s got to finish last, right? Might say I’m taking one for the League.

Alas, there is hope for us losers. For me, the following sage advice came, ironically, from a perennial fantasy champ back in the pre-Internet, pre-software days.  After the end of the 1994 or ’95 season, this fantasy champion walked away from the fantasy game because “I want to watch baseball the way it was meant to  be watched.”

To be clear, I’m not suggesting that losers quit fantasy forever (although the above mentioned winner did).  Just saying that it makes good sense to salvage a losing fantasy season by relishing the reality of Major League Baseball. In other words, if you’re going to bring up the rear in fantasy, then why not sit back and enjoy reality without a thought about fantasy player performance. It’s tough to do, but doable.

Here’s how. First, select a Major League game featuring one of your favorite teams. If you can’t get one of them on the tube or can’t make it to the ballpark, then find an available game that features teams you don’t like and root against them. In my case, it’s the Yankees and the Dodgers.

Before first pitch, remind yourself that you fell in love with the game of baseball long before you got hooked on the virtual version. And take sick pleasure in knowing that those still in contention in your fantasy league are probably sweating over virtually every pitch. This should minimize the dreaded fantasy-fueled inner conflict when viewing baseball.

We all know that it’s tough to watch guys on our Roto-rosters during MLB action. And the inner conflict intensifies while watching a game in which your fantasy players are up against your home team or another ballclub you root for.

If it’s a hitter in a close game, I want him to get a hit and steal a base, but not score or knock in a run. On the other hand, if my reality team is winning or losing by a wide margin, then I want my fantasy guy to score in as many categories as possible. Well, maybe not hit or give up a grand slam. My mindset pretty much follows the same pattern for pitching.

Then there’s another stress-reducing solution made famous by Oakland GM Billy Beane. Simply don’t watch the game.


  1. OutofRounds says:

    John, I take it this is a re-draft and not a keeper league? If it’s a re-draft, it is hard to find the motivation but it looks like you might be onto something.

    • Rich, This is a keeper league, not a redraft league. Since I’m as far out of my league’s playoff hunt as the San Diego Padres and Houston Astros are in the NL, I’m playing for next year. Essentially that means I’m offering to trade away some quality 20players in return for quality low-cost guys that I keep for 2013.
      Theoretically, this will give me more draft money for next year’s auction. In the meantime, I can relax and enjoy Major League games like those other fans who don’t dabble in fantasy.
      Thanks for the comment.

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