Friday, May 2, 2008

Fantasy Does Not Equal Reality

The next time I say Fausto Carmona has great stuff and someone replies with, “But, he doesn’t strike enough guys out,” I am going to throw up in my mouth and then spit it on that person.

Too harsh? I don’t care. This is a FREAKOUT.

Fantasy baseball is ruining sports. People ignore the key word. FANTASY. Per

Fantasy (n) – imagination, especially when extravagant and unrestrained.

In other words: fake, irrelevant and meaningless.

Now, I love fantasy sports. It's just that you have to be able to separate fantasy from reality.

I first began to realize the absurdity of the situation when an unnamed brother of a fellow SportsFreaker said that Nomar Garciaparra was a better player than Derek Jeter.

Looking at the statistics, he just might have a case. Their career batting averages are similar, .317 for Jeter and .315 for Nomar. Nomar has the clear advantage in power. His numbers usually were closer to the stereotypical 30 HR, 100 RBI power season than Jeter, who usually hit between 15 and 20 HR and closer to 80 RBIs.

Good thing stats don’t mean anything. How about we take into account the fact that if I had one at-bat to save the world from ambiguously evil aliens, I would probably choose Derek Jeter in his prime. Did anyone ever get this guy out in the clutch?

What about intangibles? What about the fact that Jeter was the face and leader of one of the greatest dynasties in sports and yet never seemed to relent and bow down to the pressure.

I’m not taking away anything from Garciaparra. He’s a fantastic player. But, he's not as good as Derek Jeter.

Another thing that is never taken into account in fantasy sports is defense! That’s half of the player’s worth! Defense is incredibly important in all sports and baseball is no exception. If a pitcher has a bad defense behind him, he will have no real shot to succeed, unless he is Joba Chamberlain, who strikes everyone out on two pitches. But for groundball pitchers, especially, defense is vital.

Which brings me back to my original point: the strikeout. Perhaps this is just my personal baseball opinion, but I don’t care how a pitcher gets someone out. If Fausto Carmona or Chien-Ming Wang get people out on groundball outs, so be it.

And don’t even get me started on the merits of “wins” or “saves” as an indicator of a pitcher’s performance.

When it comes right down to it, my main point is this: athletes are human beings, not numbers. Let’s take into account everything they do on the field.

1 comment:

McElroy said...

It's kind of ironic that you followed up the part about how Jeter is better than Nomar with a note on defense. I love Jeter, and I think you'd moved on from your point about him, but ignored the fact that despite fantasy, in a comparison of the two, no mention of defense. And we know his defense was never his strong point and is fast deteriorating - but I agree, it's the intangibles and the "clutchness", that make him the C of America's dynasty (sorry Pats' fans).

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