Moonlight Grahams, A Glass Of Milk, And Fantasy Dreams Come True

Published 5:03 pm Thursday, May 5, 2011

Monday wasn't a red letter day for my fantasy baseball team.

But it was a red number day.

Negative numbers.

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Minus 10.50 points.

How'd we ever keep above minus 11 points?

It's a miracle.

The Moonlight Grahams, currently third in The Herald's four-team Lollygaggers League but fading fast with admirable speed, are a quixotic bunch, jousting at windmills in their quest for the Holy Grail, or a cheese pizza for winning the pennant.

Typical of Monday was one of my ace closers, who not only blew a save but also lost the game. The negative numbers for that double-plague made certain The Moonlight Grahams became the Lollygaggers League's first team to score negative points for any day of the season so far.

Wonder if I can get a bail-out to boost my Standard and Really Poor Index.

My guys are a funny old team. The Moonlight Grahams started out really serious and in first place. We had A-Rod and the heart of the Yankees order, with all-stars at every position. But it was driving me crazy.

I'm a Detroit Tigers fan first and foremost, with the Mets, Red Sox and Giants in a pleasant jumble of affection following the Detroiters. And I enjoy watching all of them play their reality games upon which fantasy leagues across America are based. You get points for hits, strikeouts and so on. Assuming you draft a team that can hit and pitch, which I did, initially.

The problem began when I actually found myself rooting for A-Rod, something I've never done. Not only that, but when one of my fantasy players was on a real field against the Tigers, Mets, Red Sox or Giants I could feel myself taking comfort in Boston losing to the Yanks if A-Rod hit a couple of homers and got The Moonlight Grahams some points.

<!– 1upcrlf2 –>No! No! No! It was going to ruin my entire summer.

I felt like Jimmy Stewart in It's A Wonderful Life being tempted with cigars and money and trips abroad by Mr. Potter to leave the building and loan and come work for him and then suddenly realizing how bad that felt and that he wanted to go wash his hands and his soul of that feeling.

“Now gosh darn it, Mr. A-Rod, I don't want your doubles and I don't want your homers. You can keep your .300-plus average and Cameron Diaz, too!!”

No way could I cheer on fantasy league players trying to beat the real teams I love.

So I cut A-Rod and replaced him with Brandon Belt, a San Francisco Giant rookie who was actually sent back to the minors three days later, and on his birthday, too.

Now that's the kind of guy I want on The Moonlight Grahams. Anybody can draft A-Rod, as I proved, as did an astute colleague who quickly picked up A-Rod after I'd cut him. Give me leftover Tigers, Mets, Red Sox, and Giants. And so I unloaded all of my all-stars and took on players-the ones left unpicked during our league draft-from the four teams I like. (And actually getting a “fair play” warning from Yahoo about dumping talent. I'm not trying to lose. I'm trying to have fun).

That is how Aaron Rowand joined my team. He's owned by only one percent of the fantasy league players in America. Mr. and Mrs. Rowand, I am glad to join you as a proud co-owner of your son.

And come on down Alex Avila. Step up to the plate Ike Davis. Take your cuts Jarrod Saltalamacchia-the man with more letters in his name than base hits on the season (in fact, the longest last name in baseball history).

The Moonlight Grahams, in keeping with their namesake, are happy to simply get in the game for an inning or two. Most of them also have day jobs in order to make their odds and ends meet.

We'll finish in last place but now I'm happy because it's a simple game once more. The game of my childhood. The game as I played it.

You see the ball.

You drop the ball.

You swing and miss the ball.

Sometimes you lose.

Other times you lose.

And it frequently rains.