Now if I go to the window and look outside I can see the ground is wet. I’m wearing a hoodie inside the apartment. Clearly it is not warm outside but today is officially the start of summer – in my world anyway. Despite yesterday a couple getting married in the snow at Busch Stadium – the home of the St. Louis Cardinals, today is the start of the Major League Baseball season and the start of America’s favourite summer-long drama.
At 6:05 BST this evening I shall be settling down on the sofa to watch the opening game – my New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers. The Yankees having been bounced out of the playoffs in the American League Championship Series last year are looking to regain the World Series crown they won in 2009 but they will not start out as the favourites. With Boston having brought in AL MVP candidates Carl Crawford via free agency and Adrian Gonzalez via a trade, it is the Red Sox who open up as the AL faves. In the NL the Phillies have a rotation for the ages with Roy Halliday anchoring a staff that also includes Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels. Joe Blanton is also in the rotation but no-one seems to care about him as he’s not great – unlike the other four.
Now obviously whilst what goes on in real life is important – today also marks day one of the long fantasy baseball season. This year I am in five leagues. Four of them holdovers from previous years. It is the sixth season of UKL2, a league where I’ve made the playoffs twice and made the final once – only to be beaten by the evil banker and my long-time friend Neil H. This year my squad looks ok but I wouldn’t place me up there with the favourites. Two years in a row of poor results have left me feeling jaded but when the season rolls around hope springs eternal.
It is also the fifth year of the Dynasty League. Another league I’ve not yet won despite dominating it in its inaugural season only to lose on the final day when AJ Burnett crapped the bed in a start and cost me ERA and the league in one foul swoop. The most depressing part of that? I traded him away and have since traded for me back. Luckily this year is the last year I have him contracted for so this should be my last year with him. This team I feel great about. It is good enough to make the playoffs and has a chance of winning it all.
Next up is Pete J’s league named Cider for Toddlers. A league I have won twice – in 2007 and 2009 so it should be my turn again, right? This teams looks good on paper. Deep rotation with power arms and a nice lineup that should be competitive. The lineup might just be my most balanced (I’m known for being power heavy) so we shall see.
Fourthly it is the baseballfan.co.uk official leagues and I’m in division one and I’m also the reigning champion having won the league last year. That draft was on Sunday – my final draft – and it took forever and a day. I drafted second in the snake which is never good. I seem to have missed out on a premier 1B which is very unlike me. However it’s not my worst team ever and again should be ok on paper. Is it title worthy? Meh. Last year I was bottom after six weeks and adrift but still won at a canter. So patience is a virtue.
Lastly I entered a Public League this year for the first time in years and got the best team on paper I think I’ve ever had. The team is stacked and balanced. If I don’t dominate and win this league then either my players are having a very bad year or they got injured. Even Pete J who normally criticises my teams at every possible juncture was impressed at that team – certainly when he saw I had four closers as well.
So there we have it. People always say the most boring this to hear about is another persons fantasy team so apologies.
To end I’ll just say that Cameron’s comments on Ed Balls during #PMQs yesterday are pretty much spot on.
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