Saturday, April 19, 2008

Buy me some spreadsheets and Cracker Jack

Nothing signals the impending summertime quite like the beginning of baseball season. Shh, listen... Can you hear the crack of the bat? Of course you can't. That's because I'm talking about fantasy baseball.

For those who may be unfamiliar with it, fantasy baseball combines two of America's greatest pasttimes: baseball and sitting online in your underwear for hours.

Leagues are formed and an online draft is held, in which you pick real major league players to be on your team. (See, when I type things like that, it just doesn't feel like I should be thirty-five years old.) Then your team is ranked against other teams in your league, based on the statistics your players accumulate.

Fantasy baseball gives you--and by you, I mean, me--a reason to follow players you would otherwise care nothing about. Players like Yadier Molina, Angel Pagan, and Tadahito Iguchi. Many nights, I find myself sitting at my computer "watching" the Rockies game online, rooting for Troy Tulowitzki to get a clutch RBI single in the late innings.

Of course trouble can arise. For example, when a player on my fantasy team is playing against my favorite real-life baseball team, it creates a direct conflict of interest. I need my fantasy player to get a hit, yet I want my beloved Reds to win the game. Worlds are colliding. Bone is gettin' frustrated!

Fantasy baseball can be as intensive or as casual as one desires. Some of the more hardcore fantasy baseballers will cut and trade players frequently thoughout the season, and adjust their lineups almost daily. Now, we won't go into how much time I do or don't spend following my fantasy team, because really, what would be the point of that? But I did manage to create a spreadsheet Thursday night which calculates all my players' daily stats.

I worked on it for about two hours. It's probably the best spreadsheet I've ever done:

Basically, I live each day of my life just looking for a reason to create a spreadsheet. I'm fascinated by them. Columns, rows, numbers, what's not to like? And nested IF functions? Are you frickin' kidding me! Is there anything better in life not involving eighteen holes and/or girls in mud? I think not.

Currently, my team is sixth out of ten in my league. Not great, but it's a long season. The league name is "This Is A League With Teams." Guess who came up with that one.

For now, I invite you to grab some fake peanuts or maybe a couple of feigned hot dogs. Breathe in the imaginary scent of dirt and freshly cut grass. Listen to the pretend roar of the crowd. And enjoy the cute virtual bat girls. Fantasy baseball season is here. And there's nothing quite like a simulated day at the ole chimerical ballgame.

What? I ran out of synonyms.

"Summertime is finally here. That old ballpark, man, is back in gear out on forty-nine. Man, I can see the lights..."


  1. love fantasy sports- my brother has been playing for years, and I cannot count the number of times he's called me in a panic because he can't get to a computer, and he needs to change his starting line-up. love it.

    but 6th? come on, i'm expecting better things by the all-star break!

  2. LOL! We get the pleasure of listening to the REAL baseball games cuz DH is in love. He was so thrilled with the 22 inning game.

    worlds are colliding!!

  3. never been into fantasy sports... or real sports for that matter. lol But, I love spreadsheets! Can't live without 'em!

  4. NEVER done fantasy sports.. it's a guy thing. And you're a guy, so there.

  5. I can’t possibly be the first one to think this but… Bone, most days we don’t think you should be 35 either :)

    Personally, I think that your paragraph about rooting for select players you would never have followed otherwise should have been an audio clip. What? O:) I can’t pronounce all of them either!

    So, to prevent George’s, I mean, K…err, I mean Bone’s world from colliding, why didn’t you just draft all Reds? I mean really, then there would have been no worry about cheering for an opposing team.

    I think you could have titled this post “Nerd alert” and it would have been just as accurate. I laughed like crazy at a couple of your lines… but I have to tell you, the pride that you feel over that graph, well… maybe you can make a copy for Mama Bone and she can hang it on the fridge? It’s almost Mother’s Day you know :) I'm sure she'd love it.

    Good stuff here, Bone. Even if you've exponentially increased my desire to head to the ol' ball park.

  6. My father used to do spreadsheets for real football games. It sometimes took all day or so I thought when I was a kid

    I think he would have liked fantasy football or baseball much more than the real things as he hated them--loved basketball

    But give him a game to bet on and the spreadsheet would be worked on.....Not baseball

    Thanks Bone for bringing me back in time this weekend that was my daddy's favorite holiday

    Oh my daddy was 36 when I was born and i remember him doing that when I was 11--my Tree grows in Brooklyn story

    So I think it's a man thing and all men are little boys at heart which has its good and bad moments.

    He probably did it later but hid it from me because he realized I knew he also bet and....though that was supposed to be a "good" bet but not as educated as poker.

    Anymore of my life story can be found....

    Oh the inventor of fantasy football--Jamie Lyn Sigler (Soprano's) father lives in my home town

    Me likes this post very much :) It's vintage Bone.

  7. Cammi - Haha. That is classic! And what a good sister you are :)

    I know. My guys aren't hitting right now. If things aren't better by the All-Star break, I'll be doing some trading.

    Renee - Man, I saw that. I was actually following that one online to see if any of my guys got a hit, until like the 12th inning. Then I had to go to bed.

    Java - Spreadsheets are fun! That should be the title of a series of instructional DVDs or something. Or maybe a children's TV program.

    Shelby - Oh you're just afraid you'll become addicted :)

    TC - OK, good. I was hoping it wasn't just me.

    Well, I tried drafting all Reds one year. Um yeah, didn't fare so well.

    Thanks. And that's a good idea. I'm sure Momma Bone wonders what I've been up to the past several years. This would be some tangible evidence of my accomplishments :)

    Pia - So I think it's a man thing and all men are little boys at heart which has its good and bad moments.

    That was pretty profound :) Thank you. And thanks for sharing your Dad stories. Makes me feel a lot better. More normal :)

  8. The fact that your name is Bone, you write about fantasies and sitting around in your underwear is enough for me.

    Oh...fantasy baseball...Yeah never mind.

  9. Thanks for finally admitting that I'm pretty profound :) Though I know you used it for a specific sentence I will take it to mean in general

  10. I'm not sure I fully understand fantasy sports. I guess I'm not that much into sports to want to create a fantasy sports team. Now a fantasy museum you're talking my talk. I know, I'm a dork. LOL!! I do love baseball season. I think you should come north for a final game at Yankee Stadium...what do you say???

  11. Someday I will learn how to do fantasy sports, 'cause then I could say I was involved in sports - but eliminate the sweating - and I do love spreadsheets, poetry in a grid. Now, there may be no point in sharing how much time Fantasy takes up in your life, but it then it could be used in a "Bone's Life" spreadsheet.

  12. I LOVE fantasy baseball...and sitting in my underwear online. Why is it not acceptable to do that at work???

  13. I thought I would stop by and say hello, Bone. First, I want to say I'm not into the fantasy baseball but, I used to be into watching baseball games. And, the Cubs are still my favorite team though I don't watch as much now. If you haven't had the chance to make the trip to the Reds stadium it is worth your while. It's really nice. But, nothing compares to entering Wrigley Field for the first time. Anyway, I love how you made that spreadsheet. It's always good to have order. And, I can't leave without saying I read your other posts Back with a Bang/ Blackberry Winter. You sure know how to reenter the blog world. I am so happy to hear that you/ your dad are talking more and that he's doing well. I am also impressed you are attempting the guitar. I hope that works out for you. And lastly, I enjoyed reading Back with a Bang so much. I was laughing through most of that one. Hope your night is going well. See you later.

  14. Scarlet Hip - You're not hard to please. I appreciate that.

    Pia - You are welcome to take my compliments however they best suit you. It makes them sound even better that way :)

    Carnealian - A final (and first for me) game at Yankee Stadium would be awesome.

    Marcia - Ooo, I like that: "poetry in a grid." Well said :)

    I'm not sure a Bone time management spreadsheet would be something I would want to share with the world :) I already did a budget pie chart (in my head) and cringed at the amount of money I'm spending on golf and gas.

    Dirty Pirate - I was going to answer "I don't know," then I imagined a particular co-worker coming to work in his underwear, and there was my answer.

    Do you really do fantasy baseball?!?!

    Michelle Johnson - Thank you so much :) Every year, I say this is going to be the year I visit Cincinnati and Great American Ballpark, but it hasn't happened yet.

  15. I can barely keep up with fantasy football. Fantasy baseball has more players and is a longer season. I couldn't keep up!

    But here's to sitting in your underwear online. That's always fun!

  16. I was laughing so hard from the first line of the second paragraph that I had to stop reading and regain composure. Youforgot about the fastasy beer-but then you can get that at a regular ball park, it's called Coors.

  17. Columns, rows, numbers, what's not to like?

    There ya go. I am so numerically challenged I should have an IEP.

    The only way I want to be involved with baseball is playing in the game...second, short, or third will be fine. More power to you though!

  18. Dude, where are you? I need to know what's going on in your life.

  19. Hi bone, I'm sorry to use up a comment box, but I couldn't find your email address. I've tried so many times to leave a comment and my link on 3 ww with no luck. Any suggestions? Lucy

  20. lmao... whats with guys and girls in mud? I just dont get it! hehehe

    You crack me up!

    Just popped in to say hello and see how you were doing... how life was going... Dad...

    Hope you are well and. *cough* that your team rules the fantasy league!


  21. Bone,
    I hope you've dumped Izzy off your team. Of course, today is May 16 and Izzy has went majorily downhill since the start of the season and since you've created your team. :-)

    I've created a spreadsheet similar to yours to track Dave's real-life softball team plays. It's multi-tabbed with a summary tab so each player can track their stats per game. It's quite a spreadsheet, if you like that kind of thing - and I gather you do. :-)

    Do you Twitter? Just wondering.