Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Where Fantasy Meets Reality

(From my weekly column at The Love Of Sports. I invent - and then examine through a rose-colored lens - an entirely new way of looking at fantasy baseball trades. Please try to enjoy.)

Last year, right around this time, I suggested a new way of looking at fantasy baseball trades. To tell the truth, I propose the same basic idea to my fantasy league each and every year - to no avail.

Now, with a slightly larger audience than the 11 other guys in my league, I’ll throw it at the wall again and see if anything sticks.

What if you could trade real-life goods and services for fantasy baseball players?

Why should we limit our fantasy trades to only include a swap of the imaginary ownership rights of real human beings?

Now, I’m not suggesting we should actually own a fraction of the athletes – although lord knows that’s already been done - but the melding of fantasy and reality is long overdue.

“I’ll give you my watch and Lance Berkman for A-Rod.”

“No way dude, that’s a shitty watch. You give me Lance Berkman's watch, and we might have something to talk about. I was with you when you bought yours in Chinatown last week.”

“Ok. You wanna play hard ball, huh? How about new running shoes, Lance Berkman, a case of beer, and my tennis racket for A-Rod?”

“Done. That’s a totally sweet deal.”

And it’s that simple.

Do you see how we can flawlessly infuse everyday material objects into our fantasy sports negotiations?

There are some lines, however, that we’d be wise not to cross. Here are a couple examples of clear violations of human trafficking and/or prostitution laws (be especially wary if Eliot Spitzer is in your league):

"You give me Johan Santana, I’ll give you my daughter."

"Travis Hafner, Erik Bedard, and Ken Griffey, Jr., for Chipper Jones, Derek Jeter, and sex with your wife."

Also, it’s best to avoid the following scenarios, due to their blatant illegality.

"I’ll give you Albert Pujols and Josh Beckett for Ichiro and 4 ounces of black tar heroin. Or just Pujols for the heroin, straight up, and we can do some right here in my basement."

"You trade me Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes for Paul Konerko and Orlando Cabrera, and I’ll kill your ex-boyfriend (or current boyfriend, wink-wink) for you."

Would you kill to have this man? On your fantasy team, that is.

But with proper knowledge of local, state, and federal laws, and fair negotiating skills, you should be able to stretch your fantasy trading budget further than ever before.

Even if you don’t have much money or jewelry to throw at the other fantasy managers in your league, you may have more to offer than you think.

Can you hold a mop? Are you handy with a shovel? How about a bucket and a chamois?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, then you’ve got a great chance to nab a young star like Jimmy Rollins or David Wright.

All you need in order to trade for one of these top guys is a mid-level starting pitcher or an over-the-hill former All-Star, combined with a decent amount of attention to detail and upper body strength.

The hedges could use a proper pruning, after all. My topiary Gene Simmons is looking pretty bad – you can’t even make out his tongue. Anyway, you’ll get Chase Utley and Hanley Ramirez in exchange for Manny Ramirez and 30 hours worth of landscaping.

Nice work. You've now earned a great shortstop AND top-notch second baseman.

A couple more examples of quality real-world/fantasy trades:

Magglio Ordonez + 5 car washes + resealing your driveway = Jose Reyes.

Edgar Renteria + 3 months of pool maintenance + 20 hours of babysitting = Miguel Cabrera.

All that hard work, inhaling those dangerous fumes, and the hours you could have spent with your children? No matter, your new third baseman is awesome!!

It simply makes sense. And this allows for the most industrious and persistent competitors in your league to do whatever it takes (and I mean WHATEVER it takes) to assemble the best fantasy team possible.

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