I was pulled into the world of make-believe baseball a few years ago. I had always been tempted because the Fantasy Baseball magazines are the first to hit the newsstands in January. I’m a sucker for anything with a baseball player and would probably even buy a golf magazine if it had a picture of Derek Jeter.
When I could resist no more, I bought all the Fantasy magazines and guides. I joined a league, studied the rules, prepared for the draft and locked myself in an epic struggle with other pretend GMs. I was very confident in my team. I thought I had the best ballplayers, but still finished seventh in a 12-team league.
The interesting thing was, I did have the best ballplayers. I had a strong rotation, a great bullpen and an offense that had all the tools. The problem was, they didn’t necessarily have the tools and the numbers to win in Fantasy Baseball.
Doug Mientkiewicz won’t be on many Fantasy teams this year, but I do think he can work nicely in the Yankees’ first-base equation. He is a tough ballplayer and, although numbers are very important in player evaluation, the games are still won on the field and in the hearts and minds of those who play.