Skip to content

Day: June 14, 2011

Neil and Neil make a (fantasy baseball) deal

It was either 2002 or 2003 – in all honesty I cannot remember which year it was – but in one of those years the Five Rare Breeds fantasy baseball league was born. The league ultimately died three years later due to circumstances but one thing lives on – a friendship between two of the managers. They are the (according to his work e-mail signature) ‘Senior Manager, Strategy & Planning for Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets’ and myself.

Now we might not be the most obvious of friends – an at the time student bum and someone very high up at one of the banks but here we are. The fact that we are both called Neil has always been subject to confusion to some people. For the sakes of this piece he is Neil H and I am Neil M. Neil H is Dundee born n bred but resides in New York and is now an American citizen. I’m me but you know about my history if you are reading this blog.

In 2005 we moved to another keeper league UKL2 which is now in its sixth season. Banker Neil is a two-time champion and ex-student bum Neil has yet to win – although he is a two-time defeated finalist.

However despite our friendship we have hardly ever made a trade in fantasy sports. In our nine or ten years of playing against one another our numbers of trades was one – until today. The amount of trades discussed must be in three figures with over 250 hours of trade discussions – and that is a conservative estimate.

Trade one saw Neil H received Roy Halliday, Victor Martinez and Daisuke Matsuzaka. I received Brandon Webb, Ben Sheets, Joba Chamberlain and the rights to Yu Darvish. I think it is fair to say in hindsight who got the best of that deal and it wasn’t anyone who lives in the UK.

Anyway my roster this year has no fewer than nine players on the DL and out injured. My team is toast for the season. So I went public by announcing that I am selling and planning towards next season. I have fielded some offers but I knew that the likelihood of myself and Neil H coming to a deal were as remote as Tony Kornheiser going on a round the world flight for the sake of it.

However I woke up this morning to an offer from Neil H. The deal sees me give up Josh Hamilton – my best player without a doubt and who in my opinion when healthy is the best player in the game. For giving up Hamilton I would receive Matt Joyce and the rights to two high-end Starting Pitching prospects – Martin Perez and Manny Banuelos. I looked at it and it was a very fair offer.

I e-mailed Neil H that I thought it was very fair and that I was leaning towards taking it. Adding the two SP prospects to Yu Darvish in my Minor League set up gives me three potential front line starters. Joyce is the biggest surprise of the season so far and if he is for real then the deal made every bit of sense in the world and I accepted the deal and let him know.

His response when I let him know, ‘Seriously – you and I agreeing a trade on our first go round – presumably hell is freezing over as I type?’ sums everything up. It was so bizarre that I thought I’d blog about it – not that many fantasy baseball nuts ever read my blog – but if they do then they can let me know their thoughts.

Neil H leads 1-0 in terms of trades and something like 6-1-1 in UKL2 match-ups. I can’t recall our previous records against one another. There is a reason why he’s a smart businessman and I’m sitting in jogging bottoms watching Sussex v Somerset in the T20.

As for hell freezing over – the news that has just broken that Penn State and Pitt are to renew their football rivalry is definitely a sign that hell is getting rather chilly. Next thing I’ll be saying I’m in a relationship. Well maybe not.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.

Libraries or Lives – what are most important?

Last night on the news we heard that We – the UK taxpayer – will be spending £800million on overseas vacinations during the course of this parliament. We have donated more than any nation in the world (with Norway the surprise second biggest) and it all honesty it makes me feel good. The report stated that this money will directly lead to around four million babies living and not dying around the globe. That is four million people with a chance to grow up and be successful. Four million more people who might be something great. Four million people who have the chance that they deserve. It also means that parents will have less children if the child mortality rate goes down. Vaccinations save lives and give those in a worse situation than us a chance – a real chance to live.

However the VoxPops on the BBC News were not as thrilled. ‘Charity begins at home’ said one old woman. ‘Let someone else deal with it – why should it be us?’ proclaimed another as the general consensus seemed to be that whilst it’s good – people would prefer someone else to deal with it – someone who weren’t them. It made me feel like I live in a nation of NIMBYs and that left me ashamed.

Yes the situation is not ideal in this country but when you look at the great scheme of things what is fairer – that kids have full access to libraries within ten mins walk of their front door in this country or 1000s of babies not dying? Let me look at that again. What is more important – kids being within walking distance of a library or 1000s of babies not dying?

I would say that is a bit of a no brainer.

I know it isn’t just libraries but I’m just using them as an example. There are many other facilities in the UK that £814million could be used towards.

Yes I like my (relatively) comfortable life. I like having excellent facilities on my door step. However whilst I (like us all) take some of these for granted sometimes. When I take a step back and look at what is happening in the world I thank my lucky stars that I plopped out of the uterus that I did. In the grand scheme of things we have it great and even if our quality of life went down by 2 or 3% to help ensure the quality of life went up by 100% in underdeveloped portions of the world then I think we can all cope with that.

£814million for vaccinations over the course of this government? Sign me up and without a doubt as a nation we should all be immeasurably proud of what we are doing to help others. Those that aren’t have black souls and I wonder how they would feel if the boot was on the other foot.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.

Hello Good Luck Bear!

Look what arrived in the post this morning…

Good Luck Care Bear
Good Luck Bear

So now I have Good Luck overseeing me. Excellent.

This means that two become three as Good Luck Bear joins Bedtime and Tenderheart Bear on my headboard.

Good Luck, Tenderheart & Bedtime Care Bears
Good Luck, Tenderheart & Bedtime Bear

There are more to come. I shall post again when they arrive.

And people wonder why I’m single. Well some people do – Bunky doesn’t – but that’s because he’s just mean.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.