I was born in Birmingham, Michigan. Technically it was Hazel Park since that was the closest hospital. But Birmingham was where I lived and grew up. That was my home for eighteen years until Uncle Sam came a’calling. It is one of the many suburbs of Detroit. Surrounding all big cities are numerous smaller ones like mine and the only to tell one from another is a road sign announcing the fact. They are really like one giant city.
So I grew up a Tiger fan. We all were. My mom, my grandfather, my friends. I listened to all the games and when they were on TV it was a special treat. For years I lived and died with the results of those games and actually cried at some of the losses. I remember a lesson my dad once told me upon seeing me upset one night. He said, “Do you think Al Kaline is crying right now because he struck out? No. He’s already put the game behind him and going home to his wife. He’ll come back tomorrow and try again.” Great lesson then…and now.
After my tour of duty in the Air Force, I went back “home” but only for a while. Soon it was off to college in Indiana and then my current home in Lexington, Kentucky. Aside from the occasional visit, I’ve not spent any time back home. I’m 61 now but still think of Detroit as my team. Being so close to Cincinnati, my friends here root for the Reds. I watch a game every now and then but there’s no connection like I had with the Tigers. I wonder if it’s like that with everybody who moves away from home? Do they still root for the team they grew up with or do they put that behind them and move on?
What does this have to do with fantasy baseball? Well, if you find out that a manager has a soft spot for a certain team you can…how can I put this…use that knowledge to your advantage. It doesn’t mean you take advantage of them but knowing that they like certain teams helps. I like having Tigers on my team and some of my competitors feel the same about Kansas City players, Cleveland, Baltimore and the Yankees. I even compete against another Detroit fan so between us we have to share the roster. J
Look for trades you can make with those managers. That’s the whole point. When you have one of “their” players, look over their roster and see if there’s someone you’d rather have on your team. It’s like you have a bargaining chip. They may be willing to part with someone of a little higher caliber in order to get their home town favorite. But they aren’t stupid. They aren’t going to trade you Verlander for Hochever even though they like Royals players. Nevertheless, you might get more than you expected AND you know you have a manager with a sympathetic ear if you find yourself in a position where you need to make a trade to cover an injury or something.
Last, you might want to check over your current fantasy team right now. Does your roster indicate that you have a favorite team? Have you tipped your hand and don’t even know it? Have people been making trades with you all these years getting the advantage over you because they know your “tell”? Everybody knows I like Tigers players so it’s no secret. Actually this year I wish they would try to take advantage of me. It would be 1968 all over again – the year of the Tiger.