Fantasyland by Sam Walker


It’s interesting that someone is reviewing Sam Walker’s book years after it came out, but this is someone who doesn’t have any interest in fantasy baseball or fantasy punditry. What is interesting is that he pulls a couple of quotes from the book in which Sam describes how much money he’s spent to win the league. The first one seems like a reasonable investment, but the second, which comes near the end of the book, when it’s clear that victory isn’t in sight, is an alarmingly large figure.

My first thought, upon reading that, was that it mistake, it drained me of empathy for Sam’s efforts. Raoulraoul goes a little further and says that it makes him care not one bit (which he really didn’t anyway, but that’s not the point). But I think he’s overlooking something that Sam had to do in the book to make it work,  whether he won or not. He had to make the mountain high enough, and yet, he couldn’t just say that he opponents were geniuses.

They had to know lots more than him, but not so much that he–with his insider access to the baseball clubhouse–couldn’t overcome it by cramming. The 50k he spent trying ups the ante in the book, increases the drama, and makes it better yarn.

No, it doesn’t make him seem a more sensible person, or one you want to be like–and that may be a flaw–but it serves a purpose other than cluelessness.