Fantasy baseball has the ability to divide fans of the sport simply because it makes you look at the game in a completely different way. Injuries are a good case in point.
Many times I have read articles or posts about players who have suffered injuries and felt that the emphasis was misplaced. I realise some people take their fantasy teams extremely seriously, but I’m often left with an uneasy feeling when possibly season-ending injuries are discussed solely in relation to the effect it will have on fantasy teams. â€œWhat about the supporters of that player’s club?â€, I say to myself. That might be their play-off hopes dashed. And what about the poor player? Suffering pain, months of tough rehab and inactivity. Surely it’s wrong to overlook these factors?
But, like everyone else, I’m a bit of a hypocrite. Certainly not a shameless hypocrite, as this confession post will testify, but a hypocrite nonetheless. When I woke up this morning and read that King Felix had left his start early due to tightness in his elbow, I didn’t consider the possible long-term ramifications for this wonderful young pitcher at first. My initial thought was â€œdamn, not many points from that start thenâ€. And when I logged on to MLB.com this evening and saw that Ryan Howard was missing the ongoing Phillies game through injury, I didn’t think about the effect this may have on Charlie Manuel and his slumping side. No, I was bemoaning my luck. â€œMore points droppedâ€, I said to myself.
What hits me most about this feeling is that I’m not a die hard fantasy fan (and this isn’t a case of extreme denial!). I enjoy playing the Fantasy Baseball UK game and like anyone I would gladly accept a bit of success if it came my way, but I don’t fret over my selections too much and I’ve even been known to forget I had an injured player in my side for a week or two (I should explain for the uninitiated that there is no draft in this competition and you can replace as many players as you like every Sunday â€“ i.e. you can replace an injured player rather than leave him scoring zeros day after day). Yet that competitive bug is hard to shift and I can see why some baseball fans steer clear of the fantasy side to the game.
Thankfully, my â€œdespairâ€ about the hobbled Felix and Howard passed quickly. After the initial â€œd’oh!â€ moment, the possible points I may have won were soon forgotten. The day I can’t laugh when virtually half my fantasy team is out injured is the day I quit.
For the record: I’m not about to quit and I’ve been laughing all day long.