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Fantastic Voyage

Posted By Jason Fry On March 25, 2005 @ 4:25 am In Main Page | Comments Disabled

The tragedy of Bonds is he didn't need the cream or the clear. He was

no Jason Giambi — a perfectly nice doubles hitter with a good eye

before he swole himself up into a slugger — but an organic,

all-natural Hall of Famer. Pending further evidence, I don't believe

Bonds was on the juice in the early 1990s, when he was putting up

awesome years. But whatever drove him to be able to do that on the

ballfield also drove him, if his mistress's allegations are true, to

the syringe. (Or the cream, or the clear, or whatever.) The Hall of

Fame that eluded his father wasn't enough; he had to propel himself

into the stratosphere with Mays and Ruth and Aaron. You can see an echo

of this in the allegations of Bonds laundering $80,000 in autograph

money. Why on earth? What's $80,000 to Bonds? (Or to Martha Stewart,

for that matter.) Maybe it's simply that the kind of drive that makes

you a Hall of Famer (or a self-made mogul) can't be modulated or

switched on and off — being that good means you go for the kill every

time, even when it isn't in your interests.

I booed Bonds when he'd come to the plate at Shea, but that was because

A) he was trying to beat us; and B) I couldn't abide the

spectacle-seeking know-nothings who were cheering for him in our

park, hoping for another event to add to the string of them adorning

their pointless, frivolous lives. More than anything else, I was booing

them. As far as I can recall,

I've never disliked Bonds. Heck, I was always conscious of seeing one

more game about which I could one day tell Joshua's children, “Sure, I

saw Barry Bonds play.”

To my amazement, I've let myself get sucked back into fantasy baseball

after 14 years on the wagon — a friend of mine invited me to play in a

league full of diehard baseball fans who sounded like entertaining

company, and I couldn't resist.

This is not exactly the fantasy baseball of the late 1980s, when as

commissioner I used to spend hours of valuable New Orleans boozing time

transcribing stats from USA Today

by hand, then slip them into the newspaper's outgoing mail. In this new

millennium, my draft preparations consisted of manipulating a Java

applet displaying Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball's ranked list of every player

in the majors, with the ability to look up stats, break down players by

position, automatically set up draft queues, launch the space shuttle,

and who knows what else. Amazing. Yes, I sound like an old man.

So my first move was to exclude hated Yankees, particularly hated

former Yankees, and Met apostates from my roster of potential draftees.

A-Rod, the top-ranked player in all of fantasy baseball, was the first

one chucked on the forbidden list, quickly followed by his little

friend Jeter. Adios, Posada

and Rivera. Back in your Montoursville bunker, Mussina. Away with you,

Bernie Williams — and by the way, you suck at guitar. The Antichrist

got tossed, of course. So did Kenny Lofton. Then it was time for former

Mets — no game today, Armando, Jeff Kent and Bruce Chen. Finally I

threw Franco and Leiter on the pile out of spite. (True confession: I

exiled Jae Seo in a fit of pique. Omar will soon do the same.)

This is, of course, a great way to lose. So be it — I will lose with honor.

Did I draft Mets, you ask? Of course I did. I took Wright fairly early,

grabbed Glavine in the middle rounds (while thinking to myself, “Gee, I

don't even like Tom Glavine”), and added Floyd and Mientkiewicz to fill

out the roster late. Other notable players on the '05 edition of the

Jaison D'Etres: Jim Thome, Luis Castillo, Miguel Cabrera, Nick Swisher,

B.J. Upton, Grady Sizemore, Rich Harden, John Lieber, Danny Haren, and

Scott Kazmir. We'll see how this goes, and I promise few if any updates

from the world of fake baseball.

Happily, I wound up with no Yankees. Though I admit I was thought

Giambi might be a bargain and was lying in wait for him in the middle

rounds. (He got away, which means I did too.)

Turk Wendell forgive me.


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