Paul Daugherty column on fantasy sports and the Big Red Machine

2022-04-02 07:58:02 By : Mr. DAVID CHEN

There are any number of ways sports fans can bore each other.

Can I tell you about my high school baseball career?

No, you cannot. I mean, you can, physically, move your jaw and make syllables. But I’d prefer you didn’t.           

Can I tell you how great my (fill in the blank) team is going to be this year?

Oh, god, no. You’re going to WAR me to death again?

Start talking about your team’s bad luck, how the refs hate your team, how the national media picks on them etc., prepare to talk to yourself.        

That said, there is only one sure way to kill a conversation beyond dead. The one foolproof means of making anyone about-face your sorry butt and head for the exits.  

Try it in the next few weeks. Go to a bar after work. Hang out with several buds. Tell them how you stole Seiya Suzuki in your fantasy baseball draft last night. Watch people disappear like they just saw Godzilla in the men’s room.  

If you promise not to tell me about “your guys’’ I promise not to tell you about mine.

More:Doc's TML: Tiger Woods is in the business of topping himself. Business is still booming.

That never works. A true fact of fantasy life is, we all think our “guys’’ are fascinating and everyone else’s guys are dull.

Real story: In 1983, I was a member of one of the first fantasy baseball leagues, ever. It was modeled after a book called Rotisserie League Baseball, or some such, written by a few journos/baseball geeks. We drafted, congratulated ourselves for our brilliance and . . . talked about it.

In the office we talked about it so much, co-workers who weren’t in the league demanded that the sports editor ban all rotisserie conversation. He did. What’s more, he threatened a week’s suspension for anyone violating the no-talk rule. That forced us Rotissarians to gather at lunch in a far corner of the newspaper cafeteria, like smokers at the airport.

We were loud, boring, self-absorbed, boring, smug and most of all, boring.           

The Paul Maulers (I know, shut up) finished last in ’83 and I didn’t play fantasy baseball again until three years ago. Now, god help me, I wished I’d never stopped. The best thing about it for someone like me isn’t daily tinkering with lineups and scanning the waiver wire. It’s the education I get.

I’d know very little about the American League if I didn’t play fantasy. I’d know less about the National League. It forces you to drill down on the likes of Jorge Polanco.      

Seiya Suzuki is a power-hitting 27-year-old Japanese outfielder the Cubs signed away from the Hiroshima Toyo Carp for 5-and-$85 mil. I wouldn’t have known that without fantasy baseball.

Playing also makes me understand why some people care more about “their guys’’ than they do about the real guys. It’s not unlike going on a bad blind date that causes you to daydream about Kim Basinger.

(Really pathetic OG reference, kids. Lookerup.)      

Fantasy engages fans in a way reality simply cannot. Truth.

I don’t play other fantasy sports. I tried football, didn’t like the once-a-week, all or nothing rush. I like fantasy baseball for the same reason I like the real version. It’s an everyday pleasure/opportunity. One bad day or week or even month isn’t a disaster.

The ’22 draft commences Sunday night at 7:30. I’ll tell you all about it next Monday.

That’s really great, Doc. We can hardly wait.


When the Los Angeles Dodgers signed Freddie Freeman this offseason, they sparked a conversation: Do they have the best lineup in recent memory? And maybe ... ever?

We decided to dig into what it takes for a lineup to be great. Which 2022 teams -- L.A. and perhaps others -- fit the description?

As a research tool, we developed a formula that mixes five elements: a superstar one-two punch, depth, versatility, balance and bench strength. The metrics are expressed as three-digit indexes, where 100 is average, 110 is one standard deviation above average, 120 is two standard deviations better than average, and so on.

Do these Dodgers have one player as good as John Bench? One the equal of Joe Morgan? Does the “formula’’ used as a “research tool’’ account for 4,256 hits?

I’m sorry. But 50 years from now, it’s quite possible no one will speak reverentially of Cody Bellinger. And we won’t even talk about the way players are acquired now, compared with then. Armed with $250 mil in payroll whipout, the Machinists would have dominated the world.

1B – Freddie Freeman or Tony Perez? Perez by a nose.

2B – Chris Taylor or Joe Morgan? Child, please.

SS – Trea Turner or Davey Concepcion? Turner is a top-5 player in the game.

3B – Justin Turner/Max Muncy or Pete Rose? Really?

LF – Bellinger or George Foster? Even.

CF – Mookie Betts or Cesar Geronimo? Betts.

RF – AJ Pollock or Senior Griffey? Senior. Of course.

C – Chris Smith or Bench? Seriously?

My math says 5-2-1, Reds. Even if you prefer Bellinger to Foster, it’s still 5-3.

IF K WINS MONDAY NIGHT, is he then the best college basketball coach ever? Does he supplant Wooden? Thirteen Final Fours, a 6th national title, in a far more competitive era. Wooden’s Bruins never faced the sort of competition Krzyzewski has plotted against for close to four decades.

More:Everything you need to be ready for Xavier vs. Texas A&M in the NIT championship game

XAVIER PLAYS FOR THE NIT TITLE tonight, so I’ll ask X fans: What would it mean to win it?

The Musketeers play Texas A&M. The Aggies were pretty good, actually. They made it to the SEC title game. Along the way, they beat Butler, Notre Dame, Alabama and Auburn, and Arkansas twice.     

X’s NIT run has kept them on TV, never a bad thing for recruiting. It has given Freemantle and Nunge more games together. Ditto Colby Jones, Dwon Odom and Cesare Edwards. Assuming, of course, all stick around and don’t enter the musical-chairs room known as the portal.          

No idea what Sean Miller’s roster will look like six months from now, but I’m thinking he’ll get more from these guys than T. Steele did.

Hey Michelle! Says drink and go shopping. Not necessarily in that order.

Cincy Beerfest. Join in and sip some suds April 1 & 2 at Duke Energy Center. You can sample hundreds of craft beers and do a little giveback at the same time. Funds raised will benefit the Big Joe Duskin Music Foundation. This is a ticketed event. 

You will all thank me later for this introduction… Boosalis Baking & Cafe ~ This extremely popular bakery in Dayton just opened a location in Kenwood and if you want to be a crowd pleaser this weekend, grab a bag of fresh, buttery and amazing delights. Don’t leave without a Kouign-Amann. 7565 Kenwood Rd. Run! 

Spring Fling Market ~ Head to the Redmoor in Mt. Lookout Sunday Noon-4pm to shop and support a great list of local vendors, enjoy music, eat and drink.. sounds like a perfect Sunday! 3187 Linwood Ave. 

The Fig Leaf in Hyde Park Plaza is starting the Easter season this Saturday, too!  Stop by with your favorite four-legged friend and get a picture with the Easter bunny. With every purchase of $20 or more you will get a children’s book. “The Littlest Bunny in Cincinnati” -  12-2pm - 2736 Erie Avenue

Butterflies of the Nile ~ Grab the family and head to the beautiful Krohn Conservatory now through June 19th for the popular Butterfly Show. The Krohn is always a great place to stroll around and now it’s the time of year to enjoy the colorful butterflies as they flutter around and… if you're lucky one will land on you! 

FunMaster David elaborates on the beer drinking, never a bad thing, In moderation, of course.

The Cincinnati Winter Beerfest returns this weekend at the Duke Energy Center, with festivities kicking off Friday night. Featuring over 400 craft beers, live music, and great food from local food trucks and restaurants, the Beerfest has been one of the more popular events in the area in its 13 years.

Tickets are available at and are sold by session. There are three sessions to choose from (one on Friday and two on Saturday) and begin at $50. In case you miss it, there will be another Beerfest in Columbuspril 15th. But I'm sure the Cincinnati one will be better.

Elsewhere, Fish Fry Fridays continue this week as Braxton Brewing will be hosting their Garage Beer Fish Fry. The event will be held at Braxton OTR on 13th Street and runs from 5pm-9pm Friday night. The menu features Braxton Beer-Battered fish nuggets (or sandwich) served with crinkle fries and tartar sauce. Sounds delicious. 

Finally, if you're in the mood to see some local acts this weekend, there's a couple good ones out and about. Vinyl Countdown will be at Pohlman Lanes in Hamilton from 7p-11p on Saturday, and Britney's Lipstick will head to the Monkey Bar at the same time. 

If you have an event you'd like to submit, please email

Imbiber Dave gives a tour in Nashville.

I had the pleasure of meeting a customer in Nashville this week. Yes of course it’s an awesome city, but this visit was particularly fun because I was with a first-time visitor. We started our evening at Pinewood Social. Picture our own Mechanical Pins downtown, but with a superb kitchen that kept the fried broccoli and cacio y Pepe coming with our Old Fashioneds.

We started our Broadway crawl at Tootsies, with three bands on three floors, each playing a different genre of music.

Then a short walk down the block led us to Jason Aldean’s with a live band and hip-hop options.

I enjoyed a Ranch Water on this journey, and learned that the knock-off ranch waters are not ideal. Like any other canned cocktail, there are good versions and bad.

All in all, a successful intro for an immediate Nashville fan.

TUNE O’ THE DAY. . . Not a new topic, but. . . your favorite two-minutes-or-so tunes? It’s very hard to write a two-minute classic. This one’s among the best. It checks in at 1:56.

A few others, off the top: Badge (Cream), Baby Won’t You Let Me Rock and Roll You (Ten Years After), In My Room ( Beach Boys.)