If you’ve ever clicked on the ‘Fantasy Baseball’ category button on the sidebar, you will have found out that the competition doesn’t figure too highly in my list of baseball priorities. Five posts on the subject since March 2006? Kind of shows I’m not exactly obsessed with it.
I do play a form of Fantasy baseball though, running my Norfolk Oak team in the Fantasy Baseball UK competition. As I’ve written before, it’s the perfect sort of fantasy competition for me. No lengthy draft. No need to talk trades with other players. It’s a simple format, but that’s the whole point. All British baseball fans can take part regardless of their level of knowledge of the players or the amount of time they can devote to it.
My fortunes so far this season have ranked squarely in the ‘mediocre’ section, so I made a few major moves this weekend (prior to the 18.00 Sunday deadline) to shake things up a bit.
I had the choice between picking up Roy Halladay or Ben Sheets. Not a bad position to be in, to say the least. Some would say it was a ‘can’t lose’ situation, but I had a sneaking suspicion that whichever way I went, the baseball gods would laugh in my face. The Blue Jays had been scuffling of late and combined with the Brewers’ Sunday game being against the not too formidable Astros, I plumped for Sheets.
As the evening moved on, Halladay picked up the win and I was left watching the Brewers’ game hoping that things would work out. And things were going fine. The Brewers were 6-4 up and Sheets was on the line for the win.
Then Ned Yost brought Eric Gagne in to close out the game.
It all unravelled in a slow, painful fashion and, for the first time in my life, I started throwing things around during a game that otherwise I had no reason to be too concerned about. When Gagne finally ended the ninth inning, the score was tied 6-6 and I turned MLB.tv on to another game. I didn’t care how it would finish. Sheets wasn’t getting the win so it was time to have a sulk.
The evening didn’t get much better. Against my better judgement, I had added Greg Smith to my pitching staff, breaking my rule of not selecting players from the A’s roster (a rule based on the logic that any player I pick seems to go down the pan, and the A’s real-life fortunes are more important to me than my fantasy team). Smith struck out 10 against the Rangers, but ended up with a no decision. Johan Santana, my number one starter, also pitched well against Dan Haren and the D-Backs, but he didn’t figure in the decision either.
So a possible three wins turned in to none. Could it get worse?
Quite possibly. Having witnessed Johnny Cueto’s recent loss of form, I decided to move him off my team (raising the money for Sheets in the process). The young hurler starts tonight against the Cubs and Reds fans may as well start celebrating their victory already.
Anyway, my fantasy interest has been boosted recently as a result of re-reading Sam Walker’s Fantasyland, which I will be reviewing on Wednesday, and I’ll be posting more messages of self-pity as my fantasy season progresses!