For the past month, I have quickly and deeply fallen back in love with baseball. After 15 years of not playing the game and probably even longer not closely following the MLB, I decided to jump back in the only way I know how: starting/joining a fantasy baseball league. The season is long with 162 games multiplied by 30 teams multiplied by 25 players, not including the minors and prospects. By putting some skin in the game, $50 and my pride against 9 of my friends and competitors, it has been a fun March getting reacquainted with today’s players, going to a Spring Training game, and trying my hand at Romamatrics (future post).
After the long-awaited season began, it did not disappoint. The Atlanta Braves, my favorite team, were down 5-0 going into the bottom of the 6th. Freddie Freeman hit a two-run jack (he’s a stud, see below).
New season, same @FreddieFreeman5.#ChopOn | #OpeningDay pic.twitter.com/2BDBilLb1e
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) March 29, 2018
The Phillies held the lead, 5-2, going into the bottom of the 8th inning, but the Braves were able to tie it up at 5 in the bottom of the 9th. Then, Nick Markakis pimped his first walk-off home run in his 13-year career and the Braves won their opening day game to get closer to the World Series (I bet $11 to win $2,200 on them to win it all before the season).
Nick Markakis with the 3-run walk-off shot to give the @Braves an Opening Day win. pic.twitter.com/MA3JUMo4uy
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 30, 2018
How can you not be romantic about baseball?
I don’t know from where the sudden resurgence of baseball love has emerged. It could be that my MBA studies have been rooted in analytics and I have a new obsession with Moneyball (the sabermetrics and the movie). It could be that we are coming up on the 10-year anniversary of my father’s death and sports, namely baseball, was our greatest connector. It could be that sports bring out those competitive juices and baseball has the perfect mix of quiet, calm and utter mayhem and excitement. Probably all the above.
This season, I can’t wait to sit back with a beer and a hot dog (when at the game), Baseball Prospectus in one hand, and the Apple TV remote in my other hand watching MLB.TV (when watching at home) and get back to baseball.