Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Why Won't Anybody Play With Me?

This year's fantasy baseball league is composed of seven teams. Six consist of my 9-year-old's friends and their dads, another is my middle son and me, and the last consists of my oldest and youngest boys. I try to avoid considering the Oedipal nature of that, but I do watch my back.

When we had the draft at our house back in March, there was much good feeling, and an equal amount of good food and drink. We sat around the table reading the scouting reports, harassing each other, and generally confirming the wisdom of my Lovely Bride's decision to leave for the night. The dads all chipped in for a prize pool, certain it's never too early to teach kids how to gamble. It was a fine evening, for in baseball as in life, hope springs eternal and the dawning of a new season is always a time for great expectations.

I should know better. We began by drawing for draft pick order. Needless to say, I got last pick, prompting a withering glance from my middle child. It didn't help that by the time it got to us, all the hometown heroes were gone. Still, I thought we did alright when the whole draft was said and done, picking up Derek Jeter among others. Maybe not a great team, but a solid one, and there's an awful lot that can happen over the course of a season.

That's for damn sure. Our team's been firmly mired in last place for, oh, about the last 115 games or so. It doesn't matter what I do. Draft an outfielder? Two days later he's on the DL. Pick up a shortstop? A career-ending slump. Find myself a pitcher? He develops bovine encephalitis. I'm like a pinstriped Grim Reaper.

Meanwhile, my middle son, has given up completely. He checks the standings infrequently now, shaking his head sadly when he sees how poorly we're doing. Occasionally he'll make a half-hearted suggestion, but he generally seems to recognize the futility of partnering with me in anything requiring luck.

The one bright spot in this is that it's given my oldest a reason to talk to me. Granted, the conversations usually go, "Dad, your team stinks. You lost another point last night. How can you be so stupid?" Still, it's better than the grim silence that otherwise marks the teenage years.

Soon and mercifully, this season will be over. Planning has already begun for the end-of-year party, when the top two teams will collect their winnings and gloat while others console themselves with more food and drink. Abuse will be showered upon me, but I will be stoic. It's not as though I lack for practice at losing.

And besides, there's always next year.


Adorable Girlfriend said...

Soon and mercifully, this season will be over.

Amen to that.

Oh yeah, Go Yanks.

Don't be a pin stripper hater.

Elmo said...

Sorry AG, can't stand the pin stipper clowns.

But our fantasy football draft is less than a month away!

I have to have "the talk" with my 12yr old this weekend before he starts 7th grade. I haven't bought a playboy or penthouse in awhile, I hope they are not too expensive.

Anonymous said...

Your fantasy sports ways confuse me...

Brando said...

he dads all chipped in for a prize pool, certain it's never too early to teach kids how to gamble.

Amen to that, Snag. A-men.