When the popular, based-on-actual-events cinematic classic Revenge of the Nerds and it’s less-appealing set of sequels failed to break down the barrier that existed between jocks and nerds, it seemed that all hope was lost. But when fantasy football went mainstream and those very same jocks were looking at things like yards per carry and target percentage, it appeared as though a breakthrough had been made. And when many of those jocks spilled into the fantasy baseball world and began studying things like BABIP and strikeout rates, you could almost hear a chorus of angels sing as the only thing being stuffed into lockers these days were jackets and copies of The Book. The bullying had finally stopped, or so we had thought. But just as in life when one bully is finally brought down, another seeks to take his place and us nerds who find statistics and the fantasy game so appealing are being victimized once again. And the worst part of it, is that it is being done by many of our own.
Two things a successful general manager is supposed to have are a good business sense and a strong working knowledge of the game of baseball. While we have some former players such as Billy Beane and Doug Melvin filling the role, for the most part, it is the nerds like Andrew Friedman, Brian Cashman and Theo Epstein who fill those jobs. Yes, former collegiate athlete Jed Hoyer is the GM of the Cubs, but come one…we all know who’s really running the show over there on the North Side, don’t we? These are our people. They were the high school statisticians and AV squad who were often teased and picked-on by the same players they studied and supported. And now that they have high-powered jobs and are running the jocks, they have lost their way and are suddenly turning on us.
Of course it’s aggravating to read how some guy who’s living in his mom’s basement is spouting off on the internet that he wins his fantasy league every year and has more business being a major league GM than some of the guys who already occupy those jobs, but why let one bad apple…okay, thousands of bad apples…spoil the bunch? But that’s exactly what these nerds-in-jock-clothing are doing and it is the entire fantasy community that is suffering their wrath. General managers are collectively flexing their faux-muscles and showing the fantasy world who’s boss by spiting us each and every week. How? I’m talking about the Monday move.
Go to any fantasy news site and look at the time-stamp for the announcement that Jedd Gyorko was placed in the disabled list. They range from 7:05 to 7:10 pm (ET) on Monday, June 10. That’s five to ten minutes after most rosters lock for weekly leagues and in those where you can move a guy five minutes before his individual game starts, the deadline for picking up players to use for that day had already passed. What’s that about? You’re telling me that Josh Byrnes, an English major at Haverford College (nerd alert) and never a professional baseball player, didn’t know 30 minutes prior to that time that Gyorko needed the DL stint? Come on. These guys might be too busy playing real GM to play our silly, little fantasy game, but they know what it’s all about. Hell, they probably played in the years prior to their current position. They know exactly what they’re doing.
You don’t want to think that good ol’ Byrnes-y would turn on us like that, but he is obviously under the influence, or just trying to fit in with his good buddy Ned Colletti whose Stan Gable-esque style did the same thing to us with his demotion of Dee Gordon. That one was announced about two hours after the first game of the day began on May 27. Given Gordon’s level of play, Colletti needed to wait an extra two hours to make that decision? Simple gamesmanship to throw off the Angels, their opponent for the night? I think not.
Uber-nerd Dave Dombrowski did it with Austin Jackson hitting the DL an hour after the first game began on Monday, May 13 and even retroed the move by a few days. UPenn-geek Jeff Luhnow shipped out Brad Peacock during the evening on Monday to make room for a guy they claimed off waivers nine hours before. Nine hours and he wasn’t even going to pitch that night! And Harvard Law poindexter Rick Hahn could have done it two days before but didn’t bother to activate Gordon Beckham until literally minutes after the first game started that Monday. The examples are abundant.
Each and every Monday it seems that we are just being toyed with and tormented as these GMs senselessly abuse us and ruin our fun; kicking sand in our faces while we sit on the beach with our laptops in-hand. This has to stop. We’re a strong contingent to the MLB fanbase and we shouldn’t be treated this way. What happened to the days when the nerds stood together proudly as the Alpha-Betas were removed from power in the Greek Council?
We implore you, oh mighty GMs of MLB. Stop hating on the fantasy community and end this Monday move conspiracy.
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