Sunday, April 24, 2005

No Need to Crowd. There's Information Enough for Everyone.

Yes, I imagine that regular DC(AD)ers -- which does sound like some kind of childhood transgender attention deficit disorder -- are reduced to just little cinders of curiosity concerning last Sunday's fantasy baseball draft so brilliantly described in these pixels.

The thing to say when the draft is over is: "I like my team." I said the "thing to say" when last week's draft ended. And today I still like my team, though I am not sure if my team likes me so very much. I am in last place at the moment, which means nothing this early in the season. But the vexing thing that produces a fit of high anxiety is how terrible my pitchers are going. I'm digging myself into the proverbial hole, and the depth of that hole does mean something.

I have won 4 games but lost 13 games for a winning percentage of .0235. And there's no remedy. Unlike most fantasy leagues, we don't have huge rosters. We don't move players in and out of the lineup and score by the week. We aren't day traders. More or less, we are stuck with what we bought. Now this cuts way down on the Think Time necessary to "participate" in the league. With what rhetorical precision I capture the word participate in quotation marks, meaning it does not mean quite what you think it means. Because our lineups are more or less fixed, we participate in the league the way one participates in television. We sit and watch.

This saves time. We have drafted in haste. Now we repent in leisure. If the league requires only the smallest investment in time, so the monetary investment is less every year. Since 1986, the buy-in has been $50 from each of us. If we had raised that amount to reflect inflation, this year it would have been $85.65. Or to put it another way, our $50 today is worth $29.19 in 1986 dollars. As I sit in last place, all this comforts me. Other than my pro-rated $29.19, the only other thing I have at stake is my habit of having a few cups of red wine as the draft proceeds. The last two years, the cups have swamped my little rowboat of reason in the last hour of the draft. I have gotten just tiddly enough that if there were a fantasy baseball breathalyzer, the result would come back "Unsafe to draft at any speed."

This year I stopped bidding at a key position so that I would not pay "too much," though as a result I was left with unused and useless money. Also, I lost track of who was available at a key position. My thoughts were fuzzy, my decision-making muddled. This is a pleasant state of affairs but not a pleasant state of mind. If I do not finish at least fourth this year, as a matter of pride I will have to become my own designated drafter and sit there next year, calm, sour and sober, trying merely to win.

Is there anything men do of a competitive nature that does not tie their pride in knots?

Apparently, no.

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