Realistic Fantasy Baseball League

Baseball has been the sport of choice for poets to be fans of; Marianne Moore is one of our leading advocates for following the game. (Ron Silliman and Joe Sadie come to mind immediately as contemporary examples.) Moore’s loyalty to the Dodgers over the decades indicates that she would make a great manager for the kind of team I propose today, which is a reaction to people who ask if I’d like to join a fantasy baseball league. The concept that has made this hobby popular is the indulgence of pretending that one is the owner of a major professional sports franchise, and that one can select from the draft pool of free-floating athletic signifiers the players who will bring the greatest imaginary success.

I am more interested in realistic fantasy, which is to say that people should be forced to pick players that reflect their actual economic conditions. Are your life-time earnings an average of $30,000 a year? Then you should be limited to average players. This wouldn’t mean that you would be forced to select players that don’t try very hard or give some extra hustle (three cheers for Mickey Hatcher). Like you, they work very hard and the results are just sufficient enough to keep the rowboat from getting any closer to the waterfall.

Here are my choices for the core starting line-up of a fantasy baseball team in 2015, with the statistics of their spring training games (as of this morning, March 27), along with their career averages:

Alex Presley – Right Field (Spring Training, 7 for 31)

(over 1000 career ABs, a .259 hitter)

Casey McGehee – 3rd Base (Spring Training, 14 for 43)

(almost 2500 career ABs, a .264 hitter)

Travis Ishikawa – Left Field (Spring Training, 8 for 39)

(almost 900 career ABs, a .259 average)

Garrett Jones – First Base (Spring Training, 7 for 40)

(almost 2800 career ABs, .253 average)

Nate McLouth – Center (Spring training, 2 for 5)

(over 3000 career Abs, .247 average)

Michael McHenry – Catcher (Spring training, 6 for 31)

(over 700 careers Abs, .245 average)

Steve Tolleson – Second Base (Spring training, 8 for 26)

(almost 300 career Abs, .241 average)

Clint Barmes – Shortstop (Spring training, 5 for 27)

(almost 3600 career Abs, .246 average)

Paul Maholm (Left-Handed Starting Pitcher) (Spring, 12 innings pitched, 2.19 ERA)

(over 1500 career innings pitched, 4.30 ERA)

Edinson Volquez – Starting Pitcher (a disastrous spring)

(over 1000 career innings pitched, 4.44 ERA)

BULLPEN

Zach Duke – Relief Pitcher (very poor spring)

(over 1100 career innings pitched, 4.46 ERA)

Yoervis Medina

Tom Wilhemsen

Charlie Furbish

Back-up catcher

Eric Fryer (spring training, 6 for 25)

(over 100 career Abs, .246 average)

Steve Lombardozzi (spring training, 9 for 29)

(slightly over 775 career ABs, .266 average)

Don Johnson – (spring training, 3 for 19)

(career .236 hitter with 57 homers)

Sam Fuld (currently with the Oakland As)

(career .235 hitter, good glove though)

If this team (filled out by players of equal caliber) won 65 games in the course of a 162 game season, it would be very lucky. Still, this team would be fun to watch, especially on those rare days when they were in the groove and defeated the team that has a line-up of All-Stars. Ideally, it happens in mid-May, a mild Sunday afternoon getaway game on the road.

But that’s getting ahead of ourselves.

I can’t wait for opening day to arrive.