Monday, April 10, 2006

THE PASTIME by wikkidpissah

If the beginning of baseball season speaks to the promise of spring, the Masters, most exquisite individual sporting event of them all, addresses its reality. Though spring weather comes early here to the desert, the season doesn’t begin for me until I see the magnolia blossoms, hear the CBS-enhanced bird sounds & can almost smell those southern slopes bursting to life. I even keep a piece of marzipan candy I receive from an auntie every Christmas, just so I can taste a slice of the gentle South as I watch the negotiation of Ray’s Creek.

Rhapsodic waxing over, a crucial element of Masterly pleasure was removed from the experience this year. Why, when there is plenty of that kind of golf to be watched later in the season, would they Openize this precious event with extra rough? I don’t want to see sound compromises to the 2nd cut here, I want to see the high, control shots onto glass greens for which the tournament is known. Feed it to the hole or feed it to the fish. Take not what the course has to give, take it to the course. Soooo distressing to watch Tiger, Goose et al. play their safety games until it was too late. Lefty was the Master of Augusta in more than one fashion this year. Nufced.

So, why do I open a baseball column with two paragraphs on golf? Because the best thing to do, once the new pencil-box smell is off the Opening Day delights of obsessive compulsion, is ignore the game of baseball completely. I’ll be giving you no talent evaluations for the 1st week because, except for a few rookies & borderline talents losing their chances with poor starts, nothing happens that relates to the rest of the season. Some say “you can’t win a fantasy baseball title in April, but you sure can lose it”. Even that isn’t true. By the time the season matters, you won’t even freakin’ remember April. Even the idiot in one of my public leagues who released Aramis Ramirez today in order to pick up Rich Aurilia.

So, what to do? Add to your serenity by watching the panic around you. Every decision based in self-doubt during the first month of the season will make your important decision-making later on that much less efficient. In April, if you have a coin-flip call to make, flip a coin. If your 1st week finds your team being embarrassed by the league’s designated drooler, compliment him like a new boss so he will prove his stupidity with greater surety later on. And, of the greatest importance, calmly monitor the actions of your opponents for mistakes and tips on their behavior. A professional hold ‘em player never looks at the cards as they are turned – he watches others watch the tickets fall for cues to the makeup of their minds and souls so, at the right moment, he can exploit and eventually crush them. My poker mentor, the late great World Champion Jack Straus, often said “Why bust your hump trying to win, when it is so much easier to help others lose?”.

If your hot prospect goes 1-for-19, yawn & scratch your belly as though nothing happened. Your “project” pitcher walks seven in the 1st inning, crack a beer and turn the channel. Your pitching staff has a 1st week ERA of 11.38, check out some chubby mature porn. No matter how deep it gets, what do you do? Nuttin' honey. 'Cept watch the WW for mistakes. Soon as you see someone press the panic button, take a look at their rosters. Bet there’s a blue light special just waiting to fall into your lap. Pounce quickly, quietly & return to Idol or Meaty MILFs. If that ain’t your April, your August will be a lot less fun. Play hard -

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