Friday, March 14, 2008

What I'm not doing

Normally, about this time of year, I'd be cramming through several spring-training magazines and a bunch of geeky websites with names like Rotoworld to figure out which real-life baseball players I wanted to draft onto my pretend team of players, the Humm-Babies.

Like millions of graying wish-they-were athletes and young stat freaks who could be (and often are) their sons, I've been a dedicated fantasy baseball player. For a long time. Our Eugene-based league, the Stathawks, has been going with the same core group of guys since 1987, and a few of us played in an earlier incarnation for five or six years before that. Sick.

But last summer, distracted by illness and not into it (and also with the beloved Humms once again holding down last place), I decided to hang up my pretend cleats. I sold the franchise lock, stock and pretend barrel to a Register-Guard guy I didn't know for the bargain price of nothing. He may have overpaid.

So now, while Stahlberg and Bellamy and Bellamy's kid and Moseley and all those other lovable nerds try to figure out how much Johan Santana will be worth on the open fantasy market, I'm enjoying not sweating it. Just now, I was flipping through the sports section and noticed that Kyle Lohse, pictured above, just signed with the Cardinals, hoping to make their rotation. To which my reaction was ... who cares!

I'm thinking it'll be fun this summer to watch a ballgame on TV and not sweat wondering why "my pitcher" missed a start or fretting that my slugging first baseman pulled a hammy.

I'm still excited for the baseball season. But in a different, fresh way. The Stathawks will have to carry on without me.


mich said...

I like this post. Made me start to look forward to the baseball season, for the first time this year. Go Big Sticks!

Jason Bellamy said...

According to a source inside the Register-Guard, Wingate has proclaimed that nobody need bother hoping to get Santana, because he will be a Speedcat.

Now I'm bummed that, as a phoner, I can't position myself at the table so that I can make the first toss-out after the defending champions, because I honestly would lead with: "Johan Santana ... for $60." Just for the joy of Wingate yelling "$61!" without thinking.

Yeah, I'm headed into full geek mode right about now, with protections due this Friday. Example for the never-been-theres: "Is Braves infield prospect Martin Prado worth protecting at $3?" And, yes, the fact that you have no idea who Prado is and probably won't by the end of the coming season is the entire point of Mark's post.

Anyway, you're gonna be missed, buddy. The invitation is still on the table for me to loop you into the start of the conference call so you can provide us with one "I love this stupid game." Heck, you could even blog about what morons we are.

Oh, wait. You just did that.

Janice said...

You will, of course, be giving up the chance to draft Theriot who, last I checked, will be a Cub starter.

Mark said...

Janice, first, is Ryan Theriot a relative? If so, can you score us some Wrigley tix?

I'm sure he will be a starter, and a good one at that. Great hands, nice combo of contact and power for a middle infielder, and at 28 he's just coming into his prime. But how quaint to think he could be drafted this year.

The Stathawk League is so deep that Theriot and dozens of guys less talented have been on everyone's radar practically since they were in Little League.

If memory serves, my friend Stahlberg picked up Ryan a couple of years ago and I'm sure he's still a protected member of the Shoeless Joes roster.

The real question is, does he have a little brother or a cousin, or maybe a baby on the way?

Janice said...

I don't think Theriot is related to me, but I have a big family. I first realized he was a real deal when I sat down next to a friend at a minor league game and was introduced to my friend's father. He asked me how to spell my name because it was unfamiliar. An unknown person sitting in front of us correctly spelled Theriot. I was impressed. He was a scout and had been following Ryan. For my birthday last year, Andy gave me a Theriot jersey.

BTW, Andy's heavily into fantasy bb. He's been in a keeper league, National only, for more than 20 years. People have moved away from town but stay in the league, flying in for the auction. Sometimes when a long-time person gets tired of the league, they'll find someone to partner with so that one person does the auction and the other covers the trades throughout the season. That's a way to stay involved but not have it become all consumming.