Out in Right Field

by Michael Walsh

Thrilled to learn of the new NRO sports blog, Right Field. Not only is right field harder to play at the big league level, but it’s also the most individualistic spot on the roster. Think the Babe, Hammerin’ Hank, Frank Robinson, Mel Ott, Roberto Clemente, Reggie, Kaline, Dewey Evans, Maris. That’s some serious firepower.

Indeed, right field is like war: Long, lonely hours of patrolling vast acres of territory, then sudden kinetic baseball activity in which everything depends on your making the catch, or showing off your cannon arm to throw the runner out at home. Or coming up with the bases loaded and doing what a man’s gotta do.

So I’m happy to step up to the plate, starting Monday. Why Monday? Because this Sunday is the holiest day of the calendar for those of us involved in Rotisserie League Baseball: It’s our annual draft/auction, the only time all year when the guys actually meet face to face instead of in cyberspace and buy their American League-only teams — thus setting each franchise up for six months of misery, except for the winner. The name of our league: the American Dream League.

Our ADL was founded back in the stone age of fantasy baseball, 1981, by a group of New York City writers and editors, as a spinoff from the original Rotisserie League itself, which had been established the year before by my friend and colleague Dan Okrent and his compadres. Today, an entire cottage industry of books, websites, and stat services has sprung up, with leagues numbering probably into the hundreds of thousands.

One of our members, Alex Patton, is the genius behind rotisserie pricing theory and might well be the best player in the country. Other Dreamers have contributed mightily to the literature upon the subject as well. Another member is the famous Rotoman, Peter Kreutzer. As always, it’s going to be a tough room and a very long day.

So please join me in following the fortunes of my team, the Rubin Amaros, during the 2011 season, with some stops along the way for meditations on life, baseball, peanuts and Cracker Jack. (No “s” please — you can look it up.)

Play ball!

The Corner

The one and only.