Posted by: Willem | March 24, 2008

The Epic Man-Trip

Before we get started – I’m feeling much better today. Apparently it was only a 24-hour thing.

Sorry for my late post tonight – I spent the last 2 hours at a fantasy baseball draft. I’m in 2 leagues this year: one with my college friends (and a few of their wives – not sure how that happened…), and one that I won a place in through a radio contest. The second one has a few celebrities – probably the only one who is well known outside of sports is Jimmy Kimmel. But, there I go again, dropping names.

I started doing fantasy leagues only a few years ago. I’ve had a football Pick ‘Em league (where you just pick the winner of each game) for 8 years, but that takes very little thought and involvement. The fantasy leagues I’m talking about are where you draft players and make a super-team and then compete against other people for nothing more than bragging rights. I don’t play for money – never have, probably never will – that’s not why I enjoy it. Mostly, it’s one of the few ways I can spend time with my college friends on a regular basis without destroying my liver.

Fantasy football is the best. The season is short (typically under 15 weeks, including playoffs) and you only have to pay attention 1 or 2 days a week. Plus the teams are usually pretty small – no more than 10 players on an active roster. I also tried hockey, but only once. I won the league and vowed to retire undefeated. During the playoffs, I was setting my clock for 2:30 am so that I could make roster changes at 3 am when the daily switchover took place. Not healthy.

This is the second year for me in fantasy baseball. I didn’t do very well last year, but frankly I knew very little about baseball. It’s a funny thing, really – I somehow never played it growing up, and I never watched it on TV. It wasn’t until 1999 when I moved to Boston (in hot pursuit of Kate) that I got caught up in the mystique of the Red Sox. Since then, I’ve become an increasingly devoted Red Sox fan and a better overall baseball fan.

Now, in truth, fantasy baseball is a royal pain in the ass. There are games every goddamn day and the season lasts 20 – 25 weeks! Plus, there’s always some team (usually the Cubs) that has a day-game, so you have to remember to get your roster changes in by noon. Also, the teams are huge – the one I just drafted has 21 players on the active roster. It’s a bit more complicated than the other sports, to say the least.

But, as I said, I’ve become a bigger fan of baseball over the past few years, which is where the title of this post comes in. After passing my comps, Kate and I decided that I should take a trip somewhere this summer to relax and celebrate, before kid #3 comes along or my dissertation become all-consuming. So, I contacted my best-man, Mike, and asked him if he was interested. He was, and suggested many possibilities for potential destinations. One of his choices was Stadium Tour, and it jumped off the page at me when I read it.

So, in August, Mike and I are going on a west-coast swing. The #1 purpose of this trip is to see as much baseball in as many parks as possible. After working out the schedule, we will be visiting Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Oakland. Six stadiums. Thirteen games. Two weeks. The #2 purpose of this trip is to play golf in all 5 cities at least once. This will take some careful planning, but I think, with enough beer, that Mike and I are up to the task.

I’ve described this trip to many people, and I have to say that the responses are wildly divided along gender lines. Women generally give me a skeptical look (why the HELL would you want to do that for 2 weeks!?!). Men, on the other hand, gaze upon me with reverence and muted jealousy (AWESOME!! Man, I wish I could go…). Truly, I pity both groups.

In the end, it’s just another excuse for me to enjoy sports. I don’t care about the steroids, or the ridiculous salaries, or the fact that it is just a silly little game. I want to see some professional competition. I want to see the best athletes playing America’s game. And, most of all, I want to experience it with the California sun methodically simmering through my pasty white New England flesh.

Is it August yet?



  1. Have a great trip. It sounds fun.

  2. The fantasy league talk kind of made my eyes glaze over, just a little, but the trip sounds incredible! Oddly, I would enjoy that much more than my husband. He’d rather search for Bigfoot.


  3. Hi Willem, I read your first two posts with great sympathy and I’m glad you’re well again.
    Funny thing though, no matter how many times I read this post, I only got as far as ‘Fantasy Baseball’ before my brain shut down. It’s obviously a design fault in me. ๐Ÿ™‚ The same thing happens when my husband talks about fantasy football leagues.
    I’ll be back though, you’re doing a great job.

  4. We’re pasty white all year round in Seattle too.

  5. I think the trip sounds lovely, well if you leave out the golf…. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I am with BTW on this one, I would enjoy it a lot more than Jerry would, I am the sports freak not him. Now if you threw some plane museums and such in there he would be in there like swimwear. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Willem, I have zero interest in all things sports-related, but it sounds like you and your buddy are going to have one helluva trip, filled with all the testosterone and alcohol-induced frenzy one can possibly cram into fourteen days. I’ll tell you the same thing I tell The Man before he goes off hunting, et cetera: “Have fun!” – No, seriously – have fun. You need it.

  7. From the woman who successfully planned a surprise anniversary trip for her husband so that we could go to two Mets games in Cleveland, I think your baseball trip sounds awesome.

  8. […] 9, 2008 by Kate OK, so, we’ve chatted before about Willem’s upcoming Mancation.ย  Two weeks, 13 ball games, testosterone, golf, manliness, West Coast, blah blah blah.ย  I’m […]

  9. […] wrong. The morning started out well enough; we have a very full house, even with Willem off on his Mancation, and so I made sure to sit down with each kid, in a quiet moment, to explain the planned events for […]

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