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..."