Now that baseball season is in full swing, so must be fantasy baseball. And since I did so awesome at fantasy football last year (spoiler: no I didn’t), I figured I should give imaginary bats and balls a whirl as well. More importantly, so did the guy signing my paychecks.
When last I left you, I had stumbled onto an audition league, the rules of which I knew diddly-crap about. Through a combination of pure dumb luck and the wherewithal to successfully bid on people I’ve actually heard of because my knowledge of what Mommy put on their birth certificate clearly means they’re awesome at their jobs, I managed to assemble an entire fantasy baseball team. Not that I have the slightest clue what to do with it. At least with football, I could figure out how the basic system worked. Not here. And I’m already paying for it dearly.
Major League Baseball had just the wackiest idea to start the season a week early, by playing two official games in Australia. Bud Selig probably saw Crocodile Dundee for the first time and got inspired. After those two games, we got eight days of total and complete nothing. After those two games, I was in third place with 65.5 points. Not bad, right?
Well, once week one officially ended on April 6, I took a look-see at my standings, only to find that I am now in tenth place out of 10. Dead last. My score… 25.5 points. What the HELL happened? Was I penalized for something? Did the admin of my league see part one of this silly diary and dock me a crap-load of points to teach me a lesson about snitching? And how was I scoring anything? WHY WON’T SOMEBODY HOLD ME, I’M SO CONFUSED.
At this point, my goal became less “get the best team possible onto my field” and more “gain something resembling the slightest sliver of knowledge about what the holy hell I’m doing.” For starters, I had to figure out the scoring system here, which was clearly complex and obtuse, if I can go from 65 to 25 in one week’s time.
Finally, I found the summary, and oh ye Gods was I ever wrong. Here’s the complete and unedited breakdown of how points are divvied up in this here league:
In a 10-team league, whoever has the most runs, homers, RBIs, stolen bases, batting average, strikeouts, wins, saves, ERA and WHIP gets up to 10 points in each category. Those with the worst stats in each category get a cool one point.
Simple, no? (Hint: no.) Also, notice how I didn’t mention anything about hits? That’s because they don’t count in this league. That makes sense actually, because if it doesn’t clear the parking lot, it’s boring and pointless. Isn’t that right, BALCO?
Hmm, so maybe “complex and obtuse” isn’t the right term. How do you spell the sounds Patrick Star makes when he’s confused about anything? That’s probably a better description. As best as I can tell, having 1s in a category, unlike in golf, means you suck in that category. I, naturally, have four 1s, because I’m the worst at everything. I also have a couple 2s, which is like bragging about scoring 35% on the final exam instead of 15%.
On the other hand, my strikeouts, walks, ERA and WHIPs are all in the 4-5 range, which makes me decidedly average at fantasy pitching. Hey, it’s a start, and besides, they say pitching wins championships. Who needs hitting and running, anyhow?
So then I set about figuring out why I was so bad. As it turns out, I do in fact have the ability to bench players who aren’t playing that day, and replace them with bench players who ARE playing that day. And I have to do this EVERY DAY. Aw man, I actually have to commit to this team? My football squad got love once a week and then I could promptly forget about them, like a delicious stew on the slow cooker. Fantasy baseball’s more like a stack of pancakes that’ll burn to a flaming chunk of char if you leave them alone for five seconds too long. I think I like stew better, dammit.
On the plus side, this league is rotisserie style, the thought of which only made me hungrier. But a quick Google search informs me that rotisserie fantasy is a format in which I don’t have to worry about opponents, just myself. Set my team well each day, get as many active players on the field as possible and pray the result isn’t the worst thing ever.
Now that I know to set my team every day, maybe I can actually compete and climb the mountain. Who knows? Maybe I’ll figure it all out and win the whole damn thing, garnering millions and millions of fake, nonexistent dollars and bedding a bevy of fake, nonexistent supermodels and actresses. We shall find out how much of a chance I stand in a couple weeks, when I present the next part of my exercise in self-induced embarrassment. Now somebody pass the damn syrup.