Last fall, as Jeff Erickson, Peter Kreutzer, Ron Shandler and I were planning out this year's recently held Tout Wars, we were trying to determine the participants for each league. During the discussion, Ron told us he was switching from the American League, in which I have played against him for nearly 20 years, to the Mixed League.
"I am afraid of the potential chaos the 10-day DL might cause in a deeper league" reasoned the BBHQ and league founder as to why he wanted to make the change, although as the leagues and game has changed, we have all tried to stay open and flexible with respect to who plays what, where.
The bottom line is that I did not give nearly so much thought to the negative impact Ron anticipated, but the reality is that as we complete the first month of play, The Bearded One was prophetic.
Among my two AL-only leagues, as I write, I have 11 players on the DL with very little in the free agent pool to try to skim any points from. However, in my two mixed leagues--the XFL and BARF--I have six down, although with a 40-man roster in one and four more in the other.
This suggests what Ron was saying was correct for the larger player pool not only reduces the chance that one of my guys will go down on one side, similarly there are more players available on either the reserve list or the free agent pool to ease the pain of a loss. For example, in both the XFL and BARF, I was able to cop Avisail Garcia out of the pool two weeks into the season.
I understand that roster management and injuries--like trades, suspensions, and slumps--are just aspects of the fantasy season that we must endure, and I am ok with that. But, it seems like teams are going wacky overboard crazy using the new short-term Disabled List.
Certainly, I am not advocating injured players muscling through a problem, rather than allowing said issue to rest rather than be exacerbated. But, I do continue to wonder not so much what has happened to our whiny selves and bodies, but where this will end?
The last thing I wish to sound like is a crankly old Abraham Simpson character (I did begin a hashtag a few years ago called #iambecomingabesimpson), screaming about how the old days were when men were men and how crappy everything is today. For, even though I have gotten fussier about some things as I have aged, similarly I love going to new places, trying new things, listening to new music, and simply trying to stay open to different ideas. And, I love my iPhone and Blue Tooth stuff and other electronic toys the age has brought us.
But again, DNA does not change that much over say 50 years, so how come there were four-man rotations where guys could actually throw 250 innings, and hitters did not break hamate bones and no one had rotator cuffs, and so on? And, how come so many guys suddenly need Tommy John surgery?
I think the answer to that can be found on television where ads for Ciala, Lyrica, Humira, Stelara, Chantix, and Eliquis generated $4.5 billion worth of revenues in 2014 as Pharma tried to convince us how screwed up our bodies were, and how only their compound could cure things that generally some rest, exercise, and a good diet will fix.
Over the course of my 54 years of Crohns, I have taken a lot of meds, including Stelara and Humira--neither of which worked even close to as well as CBDs--each of which cost over $1200 per injection while a three-month supply bottle of CBDs is $43--and while again I don't want to knock advances made in science and medicine, in a culture where no one is responsible for anything, I guess it shouldn't surprise me that rather than work on fixing a personal issue ourselves, we simply want the Dr. to "prescribe something that makes it all better with a minimal amount of effort from you or me."
I do get that ballplayers are extremely expensive investments, and that human beings are funny and often fragile creatures, but somehow, in the land where everyone gets a trophy and everyone wears a helmet and everyone is a potential enemy, we have lost it and become wimps.
Let me be more specific, although I am not saying this in a political sense, but one thing that Donald Trump has done for our culture is make it acceptable to say the word "pussy" publicly irrespective of meaning.
So, we have not really become wimps. We are pussies. God help us.
If you hate what I wrote, you can tell me @lawrmichaels.