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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Fantasy Sports Are My New Addiction

I have a problem. I think that's the first step here. I'm hooked on fantasy baseball.

First, a little background. I love baseball. It was my first love, thanks to my dad. We used to play baseball in my grandma's backyard with my dad and my older brother. I still fondly remember the first time I hit a ball over the garage in back of the house. Of course, now that I look at the backyard, it's only like 80 feet, but when I was a kid, it was the most incredible thing ever. I was Paul Molitor, or Robin Yount, or, hey, even B.J. Surhoff would have been cool.

I spent hours in my backyard throwing a baseball against a backstop, trying to perfect all these pitches that I wanted to do. Granted, I was only 10, so you can't really have very many pitches then, but I practiced. And practiced. And practiced.

Was I any good? No. I didn't realize this until years later when my dad told me that, yeah, he just kind of humored me. He would let me beat him in wrestling, and pitch meatballs to me, and let me get to the next base even though I had little stubby legs and I ran like a girl. That didn't stop my love of the sport, though. To this day, when I drive by a baseball field at night with the lights shining down, the smell of newly-mowed grass in the air, my heart swells a little. I picture myself on the mound, staring down a batter, locked in a contest of wills.

Too bad I have no talent.

So, fantasy baseball is great for me. It allows me to fool around with baseball, and on top of that, it allows me to use math. It's like geek sports.

There's a problem, though. I'm checking my lineups constantly. I'm figuring out OPS for guys. I'm getting antsy over WHIP. I'm checking to see if any great guys have fallen into my lap. And so far, I've had great luck. How so?

Well, first, I picked up Kevin Mench just before his torrid streak of home runs. I traded Jose Contreras before his trip to the DL. Torii Hunter was slumping badly. Then I picked him up. Since then? .571 in the 8 games since then. This luck can't hold up forever, but it's a good run while it lasts.

So, it's an addiction, but I guess there's worse addictions. Like fantasy football in four months, which will start the process anew.

God help me.