Purgatory Online

Monday, December 09, 2002

“People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.” - Rogers Hornsby

It turns out that winning the World Series for the first time is good for an extra three weeks or so before I go into baseball withdrawal. Look, I know a lot of people get off on analyzing trades and off-the-field developments, and I also know that the winter meetings are getting under way. But let me tell you something - I've always been deeply suspicious of people who spend any substantial chunk of time thinking about the business of baseball. In the winter, there's not much else to think about, but dissecting the biggest blockbuster deal ever made is still a piss-poor second to watching the Marlins play the Devil Rays when they're both seventy games out of first place. This is why kids stand in their back yards, whacking balls over the fence and circling imaginary bases to imaginary cheers, instead of sitting in their rooms, slamming down imaginary phones and gleefully announcing the imaginary acquisition of a utility infielder.

Which is also the reason that I don't see the attraction of rotisserie baseball. Or "fantasy" baseball, or whatever they're calling it now. I mean, I understand the urge to compete, and I understand being a baseball fan, but rotisserie baseball seems to combine these two in the most superficial way possible. At its core, rotisserie baseball is more about spotting trends and making business deals than it is about knowing or enjoying baseball, and if you're going to compete at spotting trends and making business deals, why the hell wouldn't you just play the stock market and make yourself some money while you're at it? If you want to really combine baseball and competition, it seems to me that there are better alternatives.

Of course, virtually all of my friends are in rotisserie leagues, and they're generally smarter than I am. So it's probably just me being obtuse.