The pains of fantasy baseball
The signs of spring are finally here. The birds chirping, plenty of people shedding their winter clothes and plenty more are hitting the pavement with a renewed sense of vigor towards exercising.
Those signs also mean the return of baseball, sunflower seeds and the Toronto Blue Jays who are looking to build off an exceptional 2015 campaign. All of those are great things for sure.
But, there is something just as exciting that comes with the rapidly improving weather. That’s the start of fantasy baseball season. The time when us regular fans get to put on our general manager hats and build what we believe to be a pretty good big league franchise.
Through a draft system that can be painful, especially when that one player you want to solidify your infield gets snapped up the pick before your selection, these would-be general managers try to assemble the best team they can.
Depending on the league, you could have to fill the regular starting nine, plus a utility slot or two and two bench players. That doesn’t include the pitching staff and relief pitchers.
You need to make sure you have enough power, guys who hit for average, have a solid earned runs average or strikes guys out. Oh, you need speed. If you miss the stolen base stat, you’re doomed. I’ve done that. Trust me, it isn’t fun.
There are a couple of facts about fantasy baseball. There are no allegiances in fantasy baseball. You can’t stock a team with players from your favourite team. You’re going to lose. Well, you might lose. If your team has a year like the Jays or Royals had last year, you have a shot at walking away with the whole thing. However, that’s not the point. Why settle for a mediocre fantasy second baseman when you could potentially get a Robinson Cano or a Dustin Pedroia?
The best player for your team might be from a rival team in the real world. But in fake baseball, you need to step outside your allegiances.
It can be tough to select a New York Yankee if you’re a Jays fan. You’re going to get over your fandom if you want to win.
The other important fact to remember is that it’s a painful exercise that probably only nets you bragging rights with your friends. For months, you wage a war with yourself as you try to set your daily lineups. The goal is to earn as many points as possible through hits, home runs, runs batted in and other statistical categories.
That may go against what your gut is telling you.
Pete Rose help you if you get attached to a player who is having decent season. That just makes it harder to remove him or drop him if you get a trade offer for a better player.
Baseball is a sport where mediocre players can have a hot start before falling to the wayside as the truly great players find their grooves.
You have to be on top of this. You can be left kicking yourself if you don’t jump on one of them at the start of the season. Building a quick lead in your league is important. Every at-bat counts.
Fantasy baseball can control your life. If you forget to set your lineups, that can bring down your mood for the rest of your day. Fantasy baseball is painful, but it can be so sweet when you win.