A cold brew drips beadlets of condensation on the top of my hand and a hot frank warms other. This can only mean one thing – baseball season. The air is electric in the stands. The crowd is jumping up and down, yelling at their team, yelling at the other team, slapping their neighbors on the back out of excitement or flipping off the guy 3 rows down for wearing the wrong team on his hat. Must be a Yankees fan down there. I wait for the 7th inning stretch to belt my lungs out to Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” and “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” This is baseball at its finest. I am not sure what you call what I am doing.I am playing fantasy baseball. My cousin created a league and invited all of the family members to come join. This was his way to open the communication between family members who are unable to connect as often because they get swept away by their own lives. Our family is relatively distant. Everyone lives in a different corner of the US and you never see the same family members attending the yearly reunions. Since life binds us from leaving our homes to visit each other in person as often as we may like, we can now fill up a Smack Board with idle threats of victory to keep us linked. At first this seemed like a simple, fun idea to connect everyone but I fear I was wrong.
In the beginning there was a rush of not knowing how to play fantasy baseball and the idea of selecting players for a draft was exhilarating! The pressure to pick good players, then back up players, and then back ups for back ups turned what I thought would be an hour of my day into almost forgetting to pick up my kids from school! Later that night I logged on twenty minutes early for the draft. I was confident with my list laid out in front of me with 4 players for each position assigned. I had a strategy and a belief in the 11th Commandment. (For those of the male variety who are unaware of the 11th Commandment it is this: Attractive looking players play better and deserve to win. Shallow I know but it was only the 2nd requirement of my players after their stats). My forehead was sweating as I ran between cooking dinner and selecting players. I was losing several of my top choice players forcing me to pick up some of my back ups back ups. All in all when it was done I only ended up with six completely random players who were selected spur of the moment. I was still confident.
I am losing every single game. I have no idea what is happening, but 7 of my players went out injured the first two weeks of play and today I could not tell you what my team is doing. I do not understand how they are ranking the plays, which pitcher of mine is actually the one pitching my game, or which of the five outfielders I have are in the game. I just do not get it and it shows. I shuffle players around. I drop them. I add them. I talk the smack on the boards to lighten up my loses but I am confused. For example: Hosmer went 2-for-4 with his fifth homer, a walk, three RBI and two runs in Thursday’s win over Cleveland but my team scored no runs. What? Or Haren (4-1) pitched seven effective innings, allowing two runs on eight hits with three strikeouts, to pick up the win over the Giants on Thursday. My team did not get that memo! This is stress! I think I am going to head shot my family in Counter Strike: GO instead. Much more therapeutic.