If any of you got through childhood without being called a name, it can only be assumed that you were home-schooled. Today, there’s much more focus on kids being the victims of a bully, but in my day it was more like a right of passage. When I was about ten years old (in the heyday of The Mickey Mouse Club on TV), classmates started calling me “Donald Duck” and it bugged me to such an extent that I started asking teachers and friends to call me “Billy” (which seemed like a cool name). Of course, that lasted as long as it took for my Dad to find out.
In 1984, when I started playing Rotisserie Baseball, it seemed like a good opportunity to exorcise those demons from childhood and my team became “Donald’s Ducks.” Now, after 25+ years, I wear the moniker as a badge of honor and if you’re looking for me on eBay, the ID is “Rotisserieduck.” The flip side of the equation, however, is that the longer you play Fantasy Baseball, the more apt you are to be called “Nerd”, “Geek”, "Dork" or some other non-manly noun. According to one definition, a Nerd is an “Intelligent, single-minded person obsessed with a nonsocial hobby or pursuit.” All I can say to that is…guilty as charged!
So every November, with pocket-protector firmly in place, I eagerly await the arrival of the annual Bill James Handbook. It is 550 pages of statistics, statistics and more statistics to get me through until Pitchers and Catchers report. And, despite my reasonably extensive baseball knowledge, I’m always pleasantly surprised to find so many tidbits that take my ego down a notch. So here are some random observations from the first glance through this year’s book…
To say that this is just the tip of the iceberg would be an understatement…I haven’t even looked at the 270 pages of individual player career stats. Bring on December and January, the stat geeks are ready!