Bob Cannon
March 08, 2006 AT 05:00 AM EST

Fantasyland

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Sam Walker
publisher
Viking
genre
Nonfiction

We gave it an A-

Do fantasy baseball geeks need to get a life? To find out, Wall Street Journal sports columnist Sam Walker wangled his way into Tout Wars, ”the national championship of Rotisserie baseball.” There, he encountered true seamheads who accost players, consult astrologers, and devise complex stats like Base Performance Value (BPV) and Value Over Replacement Player (VORP) in order to gain a competitive edge. With his mordant wit (”Rotisserie baseball may be the most ridiculous duplication of effort in the history of human affairs”), Walker describes getting sucked into their mindset, obsessing over every pitch and kicking himself over botched deals, before finally admitting that ”baseball had become an extension of my ego.” The inhabitants of Fantasyland may seem pathetic…until some of them land consulting jobs with big-league clubs — a true case of revenge of the nerds.

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