Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Nurse the Hate: The Hall of Legends

My brother Krusty and I have been playing fantasy baseball for well over a decade.  While many of you may scoff at this as a complete waste of time, I would respond that anything that gets you interested in a mid July matchup between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the San Diego Padres has at least some value.  Sweating out an otherwise meaningless at bat from Stephen Drew on a Sunday night at 11:15 p.m. is fun and utterly sad at the same time.  Small events that happen across the country impact only you and send out a ripple of cause and effect.  A guy you don't know does something that sends your world into turmoil.  Isn’t this just a reflection of life itself? 

Krusty is pursuing his doctorate in political science with an emphasis in polling and statistical concerns of elections.  One would think that this would make him a monster in fantasy baseball where the only real skill is evaluating extensive stats and predicting future performance based on the information.  Yet somehow Krusty manages to be always in the middle of the pack in a league of guys that might be challenged to successfully drive from Cleveland to Columbus without incident.  In complete disclosure, Krusty did win a championship in an event that was akin to a comet whizzing by or total solar eclipse.  Even now it seems like a dream. 

We have played 13 seasons, and he has won once and made the playoffs maybe four times.  I’m guessing, but he is always around .500.  Not bad, but his teams are always sort of hanging around.  This means he either has too much focus on his studies, or all potential political candidates should strongly consider his analysis of incoming polling data very thoroughly before pulling the trigger on any of his recommended actions.  “Look Jim, the numbers don’t lie.  When you speak in public, wave your hands around like Mussolini.  People like it.  It makes them feel like you are powerful.  Oh… Tell them you don’t believe in Jesus either, and you think he is a myth like unicorns and New Mexico.  It’s all in the report.  You wanna win this thing, right?” 

It all started with his waiver wire pick up of Mark Bellhorn.  Bellhorn was a third baseman for the Cubs (and later Red Sox) with some limited power.  He also had a hole in his swing the size of Rhode Island.  Bellhorn got hot for a week, put up some big numbers, and Krusty picked him up.  Unfortunately he picked him up about three days too late.  Bellhorn quickly went back to being Mark Bellhorn.  Krusty’s team, The Lakewood Spider Monkeys, continued to lag in the standings.  The League christened him Mark “The Answer” Bellhorn, and a legend was born.  Well, to the twelve of us anyway.   

That Christmas I purchased for Krusty, at very small expense, a signed Mark Bellhorn baseball.  Thus was born “The Monkey Hall of Legends”, the least valuable collection of signed sports memorabilia anywhere.  Some sports fans have signed merchandise from iconic figures like Muhammad Ali and Joe Montana.  Krusty has Doug Glanville, Angel Berrora, Kyle Lohse, and Mark Bellhorn.  I can't even remember all the crappy guys I have tracked down signed merch from.  It has turned into a holiday tradition as Krusty stares at the almost illegible scrawl on a baseball attempting to figure out what trivial name is on it.  Last year I traded a near worthless signed Quincy Carter Dallas Cowboys jersey for an almost equally worthless Carlos Zambrano ball from the Cubs.  That guy from the Cubs was like "You want a Zambrano ball?  Really?".  That was after his meltdown in the Cub dugout destroyed the Cubs (and Ken's) chances at the playoffs.  To me it was a major score. 

This year I have put great thought and effort into the acquisition of the latest addition to the Hall of Legends.  Phone calls have been made.  Networks have been extended.  Deals have been made.  While many of you will exchange gifts culled from online catalogues that were given no more thought than a vending machine purchase, I would like you to remember that in one house there are individuals going to great lengths to celebrate mediocrity.  Bask in the glory.  When in the area, please feel free to contact Krusty and arrange for a tour at the Hall of Legends.  Make a day of it.  Or at least twenty minutes. 


At December 19, 2012 at 10:26:00 AM EST , Blogger Not the Kook said...

Scooner Commander Greg and Captain Sugar wrists:

Have a Great Christmas (if the world doesn't end Friday!)

At December 20, 2012 at 9:48:00 AM EST , Blogger Greg Miller said...

If it does, I will be aboard my sturdy craft with my harpoon at the ready!

At December 21, 2012 at 12:48:00 AM EST , Blogger AZ said...

Gotta let us know what the addition is. Very intrigued and love the idea as gag gifts with meaning make the best ones.

As for us, the only reason we still do fantasy football is that this is our 25th year and for that reason alone. That and the discussions of taking Raul Allegre and Carney Lansford in the second round in season 2. Different times back then.

Merry Christmas to all, Happy Holidays and a Rocking New Year to all.

At December 27, 2012 at 9:59:00 AM EST , Blogger Greg Miller said...

The latest member of the Hall of Legends is San Francisco Giant first baseman Brandon Belt. Krusty and I radically overpaid for him in our draft this year, and produced very little, so Belt has a real place in our heart.


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