Saturday, March 24, 2007
Dr. Bold Protects America's Pastimes
This is my first foray into the blogosphere. It's a foray I've been hesitant to make. But, alas, it seems that this is the future of writing, so I may as well make the best of it. Like most blogs, there will be musings here. Probably musings on a variety of topics. But, for now at least, it is, at heart, a baseball blog. It is not a fantasy baseball blog. But neither isn't it a fantasy baseball blog. The two are not irreconcible. Fantasy baseball is, in certain circles, a perversion; an offense against the sport. Like online poker, Golden Tee, or "professional" wrestling. There are fantasy baseball "experts" who go the whole season without going to a game, or even so much as watching one on TV. For them, fantasy baseball is a grand equation. And, perhaps, for the right-brained among us, there is a savant beauty even in that. As I see it though, fantasy baseball has had a dramatic impact in creating an informed, passionate fan base. Rarely do I see fantasy loyalties affecting team loyalties, but inevitably fantasy players understand more about baseball as a whole: the league, the sport, and the industry. To be a great fantasy GM, one must consider many of the same nuances that concern a real GM, because even if they don't effect your fantasy team directly, anything that effects the game effects its players. Baseball remains "the thinking man's game," as it has often been called, partially because of the popularity of fantasy.
When it comes down to it though, my passion is not baseball business, but baseball aesthetics. Baseball is an analogy for everything I love - and hate - about America. Gerald Early says that America has made three great contributions: the Constitution, Jazz, and Baseball. And baseball history, like Jazz history, is inextricably linked with the triumphs and tragedies of our history. The game is filled with characters, heroic and otherwise. And the great baseball stories inevitably bring tears to my eyes. The tragedy of Roberto Clemente. The comedy of Pete Rose. The epic of Barry Bonds. The villians of baseball - Ty Cobb, Reggie Jackson, Gary Sheffield, Elijah Dukes - like the villians of America - John Brown, Robert E. Lee, Richard Nixon - are inevitably as compelling as the heroes. Much of the time, hopefully, this blog will be an inking of those anecdotes from the game that mean well more than the accumulation of wins and statistics. And sometimes, wins and statistics will be more than enough.