A Fantasy Reject

One enjoyable thing about this job is logging onto the e-mail every morning and seeing what the reader’s are thinking. Sometimes, their comments are enlightening, other times silly. Still other times, you wonder why people bothered.

Got one of those on Sunday. A reader was outraged that I could possibly have listed Milwaukee’s Gabe Gross as a possible player to use in a fantasy league. He wrote five or six paragraphs explaining why this was a ludicrous decision, why Gabe Gross would not fit in any Fantasy League, how I must not have any interest in fantasy, and therefore, how dare I make any fantasy suggestions. He also hammered my choice for Craig Monroe under “Use Less.”

Gotta confess. He’s right on that last one. I’m one of the few remaining people I know who has not one ounce of interest in the fantasy aspect of sports. I joined a Yahoo league this year with the intent to give it a chance finally and lost interest less than a week into it.

Obviously, it’s just me, but I don’t see the pull in devoting all your rooting interest to a bunch of individuals. A couple of years back, I sat in the stands for a game and a couple of guys sitting behind me decked out in A’s gear were talking fantasy. It was a close game in a pennant race late in the year, and they couldn’t decide whether to root for a strikeout from the A’s pitcher, or a hit from the Angels’ hitter, because, well, they had both guys on their fantasy team.

That example is at the essence of what’s wrong with fantasy. The whole joy of aligning yourself with a “team” has been taken away. Think a Red Sox fan would be rooting for a Yankee to strike out their hitter in a key situation, because of fantasy interests? I suppose it could happen, but out here, where fans tend to lack real passion anyway, it’s more the norm than the exception.

Myself, I’m old school. The last thing I concern myself with when I cover this sport is the fantasy impact. To be honest, the USE/DON’T USE section in my weekly Sunday package, has become an interesting source of amusement. With few exceptions (the A’s Jack Cust being one), if I list a guy under “USE,” he inevitably slumps. If I list him under “USE LESS,” he inevitably gets hot. That’s why I chose Gross and Monroe last week. I have a friend at the office who’s a huge Cubs fan (a fantasy league nut, too), and by listing Gross and Monroe in the respective categories, I was trying to get him some karma.

Anyway, feel free to explain to me the fantasy allure. I’m open to converting, but I guess I just haven’t seen the light yet.


  • Fantasy can be a semi-entertaining diversion. But, too many people take it way too seriously. For my friends/family league, we always play in the free league, with nothing at stake but the pride of winning.

    I do, however, want to note that fantasy basketball actually adds to the sport. I think it is because you are only following 5-10 players instead having to manage a 25 man roster. Also, basketball is more of an individual achievement sport (Honestly, which team won the championship last year? No one outside of Texas really cares. Who scored 80+ points in a game? Everyone knows it was Kobe).

    I think the problem with fantasy is that sports news is spending more and more time discussing it. I don’t really care what John Kruk thinks I should look for on the waiver wire, just tell me the freakin’ score of the A’s game.