The Collegian
Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Fantasy baseball is back

Dragons and 12-sided die characterized the world of old-school fantasy, but a new fantasy realm, where walks, hits, innings pitched and earned run averages determine victory or defeat, has emerged once again.

Fantasy baseball, the national pastime of sports enthusiasts and OCD statistical analysts, marked the beginning of another year on Opening Day for Major League Baseball. Fantasy baseball managers can leave behind their scribbled-out draft boards and piles of projected statistics now that the real action has begun.

But if you define "real action" as compiling and analyzing statistics, then you are either someone who needs to redefine the word "life" or someone who enjoys playing fantasy sports.

In reality, the only part of fantasy baseball that has anything to do with reality is the names of MLB players and their statistics. There are no real teams that go out and play games. There are no real, live competitions. Wins and losses are not determined by effort or teamwork, but only by statistical comparison, which is sadly similar to the days of epic Pokemon card battles.

Fantasy baseball managers spend days forming complex draft strategies to snag players with the best projected stats. When draft day rolls around, managers gather together, huddled around their laptops with strategy guides in hand, hoping to draft the perfect fantasy lineup. The following six months are a grueling marathon of managing fake rosters, signing fantasy free agents and pursuing the illustrious fantasy baseball championship that matters to no one else in the world.

Entire books, like "Lindy's Complete Fantasy Baseball Guide 2009 Magazine" and the "Beckett Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide 2009," are written and sold every year, projecting the results and statistics of the coming MLB season. We not only have fantasy gurus who role-play as baseball managers, but we even have prophetic texts, foretelling the future of the fantasy baseball world. Yes, it is a big world of fantasy, role playing and illusion. Yes, it is wonderful. And no, I don't really care what you think of our fantasy world. I do not see you hoisting any fantasy championship trophies in your Yahoo! Sports Fantasy profile.

Also, if you have any significant others who give you crap for indulging more on your fantasy addiction with baseball than with them, drop them to the waiver wires. They probably will not give you four homeruns a week, 13 strikeouts a night, or anything else useful in your quest for fantasy baseball glory. The only exception to this advice is if they read you scouting reports EVERY night before bed, but please keep in mind that this is very rare.

Although many fantasy fanatics keep to their respective password-protected rotisserie leagues, they make up a small part of the larger world of fantasy sports. The Fantasy Sports Trade Association reported in 2007 that 29.9 million people from the United States and Canada said they actively participated in fantasy sports.

So I say to my fellow fantasy addicts, embrace your "fantasy-hood." You are not alone. Your strategies, sleeper picks, "don't pay for saves" mentality and nice walks, hits and innings pitched may not mean anything in the real world, but the fantasy baseball realm is down with that. All of that counts where it counts, and that is all that matters.

than with them, drop them to the waiver wires. They probably will not give you four homeruns a week, 13 strikeouts a night, or anything else useful in your quest for fantasy baseball glory. The only exception to this advice is if they read you scouting reports EVERY night before bed, but please keep in mind that this is very rare.

Although many fantasy fanatics keep to their respective password-protected rotisserie leagues, they make up a small part of the larger world of fantasy sports. The Fantasy Sports Trade Association reported in 2007 that 29.9 million people from the United States and Canada said they actively participated in fantasy sports.

So I say to my fellow fantasy addicts, embrace your "fantasy-hood." You are not alone. Your strategies, sleeper picks, "don't pay for saves" mentality and nice walks, hits and innings pitched may not mean anything in the real world, but the fantasy baseball realm is down with that. All of that counts where it counts, and that is all that matters.

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Contact columnist Rudy Pett at rudy.pett@richmond.edu

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