Fantasize This!: An Ode to Fantasy Baseball

Myke FurhmanCorrespondent IApril 1, 2009

FLUSHING, NY - MARCH 25:  A general view of the fields and stands of Citi Field on March 25, 2009 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

There are two things I love more than and fantasy.  And no, not wizards and dungeons, no dragons nor princesses.  I'm talking about Fantasy SPORTS!

Some of you may be reading to figure out what makes fantasy so interesting.  After all, it's not real, and for the most part, you don't control the outcome.  All you did was predict that John Lester would have a better outing against the Royals than Chris Carpenter will have against the Mets.  And it wasn't even all that tough of a choice, Carpenter was on your disabled list!

But it's more than that...a lot more.  You have to strategize, from draft day through the World Series.  How many starts should you throw in week one?  Should you pick up this minor league player with hopes he'll play by July?  After all, I've got twenty bucks on the line!

I can hear it out... "Myke, get a life"!  My rebuttal?  "No."

It is my life.  Baseball is life, whether it be reality or fantasy. And if you are stuck in reality, let me ask you this...why??

The fantasy player, by nature, knows the game.  He must know who's hot and who's not.  He must research and know the entire league, from Aces on the Yankees' starting rotation to the scrubs on the Royals bench, even the minor league prospects who the Diamondbacks will be calling up come August. 

And he must see the big picture, that one loss doesn't hurt your chances of winning.  After all, the Red Sox lost to the Rays in the ALCS, didn't see that one coming!!  If you play fantasy, you will, like it or not, become a bigger fan of the game and know more than you ever did before.

Off the field, the fantasy player must be a keen manager.  Trades and transactions make or break a season, and believe me, pulling off fantasy trades can be both difficult and frustrating. 

You must be a crude negotiator, realizing your own needs as well as the needs and wants of others.  You must also be a fortune teller, being able to see months ahead and realize one's potential on your roster. 

And after weeks of negotiating, making late night phone calls from California to North Carolina, not to mention several bottles of ibuprofen, nothing is better than seeing your trade executed... unless of course the other owners vote it down.

"But I thought fantasy was only cool for football!"

You're serious??  The football fan doesn't get baseball, but the fantasy football fan gets fantasy baseball.  And why wouldn't they?  Fantasy baseball is actually better and can be played in so many more ways. 

There's 140 days of fantasy baseball, only 16 days of fantasy football.  Sure, you can set your lineup weekly in some leagues, but for the diehard, other leagues make you change it up daily. There's over 1,200 players to choose from in fantasy baseball, not just the stars you already know of like in football. 

You have to use every position in baseball, from second base to DH to middle reliever... fantasy football only uses the fun, flashy offensive positions, and a simple team defense... where's the strategy in that? 

Give me the option to pick an offensive tackle, and I'll be first in line to sign up.

So until then, fantasy baseball reigns supreme, and it's the best kind of fantasy.  Better than dragons, and better than princesses... unless you're talking about Derek Jeter.  Now all that's left is to decide which two-start pitcher I want to throw in week one.