Jan 19, 2009

My World of Baseball-Part II: Fantasy Baseball

Being a fan of a team and/or of the game provides, for me, a visceral thrill when there is success or an amazing athletic or historic feat. It's an emotional investment, a heart-pounding, seat of the pants roller coaster of joy and disappointment. And yet, I love every gut wrenching moment of it.

On the other hand, there's the more intellectual side, the playr evaluation side, the side which fulfills my childhood dream of being a GM (I was not a very good little league player, but that is a story for another time)...and that is fantasy baseball. Many people play this, most people probably play it more seriously than I do, but I am an avid player. Not as intense as I once was, but still I like to do well, to say the least.

I started playing in 2001. I don't remember what made me want to participate in my first draft. I even think the first one was an autodraft...I don't do those anymore. I made my rankings and waited. Jeff Bagwell was my first ever first round pick. I don't think it was a particularly good pick. I drafted four teams that year and I was hooked. One team finished in the top 500 overall for Yahoo fantasy baseball in 2001 led by the ghost of Roberto Alomar. Through subsequent years, the number of teams has fluctuated as my obsessiveness fluctuated, peaking with 11 teams in 2003. 2008 saw only two teams. I wouldn't say that I'm an expert, but I have been fairly successful, finishing in the top 3 approximately 70% of the time. This was the first year that I failed to win a league. 2005 was the pinnacle when I won four leagues ranging from 6 to 16 teams.

The point is this...I will give my thoughts about fantasy baseball. I have a feew very defined drafting strategies that I will share. I will also share my rankings whenever I make them up. I trust a lot of sites out there for info, but I tend to be unconventional in my drafting ways. Though this unconventional way has become the new conventional way. My thoughts come closest to mirroring Eric Karabell on ESPN in baseball and my drafting method is pretty close to that of Rotoworld.com. But I wasn't reading those sites when I began....

Fantasy baseball is a method for me to immerse myself in the details of the baseball world off the diamond. It may not be "real", but it's definitely fun. Let's play two.

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