I try to stay away from talking about my fantasy baseball team, mainly because I'm sure that no one wants to hear about anyone else's fantasy team or league. Today is my once-a-year exception. Apologies.
I only play in one fantasy league each year and ours is American League-only, meaning we only draw players from the AL. I grew up as a National League fan and I wanted to have reason to follow the Junior Circuit, so that arrangement has always worked best for me.
(Side question: Do people still think of themselves, Bud Selig notwithstanding, as AL or NL fans? If it were up to me, we'd go back to the league separation of the early expansion era: different umpires, different balls signed by different league presidents, no or very limited interleague play. Oh, well.)
Anyway, my Blue Sox, named after Duane Decker's Blue Sox and featuring a logo (as seen on my Twitter feed) made by my wonderful wife, have been in a multiyear slump. We did rally to finish third last year, though, and as of this morning I'm in first. Woo! Part of what I like about playing in just one league, with just one team, is that I have franchise history. There is a group of players I've had on my team, and a group I haven't. I don't know how people in multiple leagues do that, but for me it's part of the fun.
Here is my full team this year. In the infield: Chris Davis, Brian Dozier, Asdrubal Cabrera, Brett Lawrie, Dustin Ackley and Adam Dunn. In the outfield: Michael Brantley, Adam Eaton, Brett Gardner, Matt Joyce and Michael Saunders. Kelly Johnson is my designated hitter, and Joe Mauer and Tyler Flowers serve as my almost-rhyming set of backstops. My pitchers are Felix Hernandez, CC Sabathia, Anibal Sanchez, Justin Masterson, Felipe Paulino, John Danks, James Paxton, Fernando Rodney and Darren O'Day.
For a 12-team, AL-only league, I think I'm a contender, but we'll see.
The main thing is that my fantasy league works well for me as a baseball fan. I get a little fuzzy about the National League East and Central divisions, but I have a pretty good grasp of the other four divisions. And there are always East Coast road trips for the Giants, as well as their interleague games.
(A second side question: For those of you who don't play any fantasy games, does being surrounded by it take away from being a baseball fan?)
At any rate, I'll do my best to keep my fantasy-baseball life out of these posts for another year. But every once in a while I figure it's a good idea to let you know what's in my (baseball) mind -- other than the Giants.
(Jonathan Bernstein covers U.S. politics for Bloomberg View.He is co-editor of "The Making of the Presidential Candidates 2012."Follow him onTwitter at @JBPlainblog.)
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Jonathan Bernstein at firstname.lastname@example.org