Friday, September 6, 2013

Trading The Gator: The Season Begins

It's time for another installment from the film Trading the Gator, the fantasy baseball documentary that featured the CFCL.

      Note: See this post for the background on the CFCL’s involvement in Trading the Gator.
The timing's not exactly right for this clip, as it covers the opening of the baseball season, but you'll notice the filmmakers had some problems of their own with timing here.  The shots of Michelle and I crooning "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" at Wrigley Field were obviously not filmed during on Opening Day as purported.

That aside, the clip also features Six Packs owner Kelly Barone musing about the need to "keep your head in the game" (by the way, for a time during the editing process, the producers were toying with titling the film "Head In The Game") and we see Da Paul Meisters owner Paul Zeledon evaluating his team's chances for the season.

From there, the segment takes an interesting turn with Rotisserie League founder Dan Okrent and the wife of Walter Shapiro discussing (very frankly and matter of factly in Mrs Shapiro's case) the impact of fantasy baseball on the personal lives of those who play it and their loved ones.

For the last portion of this clip, the filmmakers spoke with Harry Witzke, a former co-owner who quit the CFCL after the 2001 season, leaving Bruce Ellman as sole owner of Harry's Witzke a Go-Go, soon to be rechristened Tenacious B.

A couple years leaving the league, Harry was clearly still perturbed about the reasons that had led him to leave the CFCL - a combination of the planned move from standard 4x4 format to non-standard 5x5 in 2003 (the rule changes he mentions) and what he saw as an unreasonable trade by co-Commissioner Mahlan.

I'll admit the trade was imbalanced - a deadline deal in which my Copperfields acquired Shawn Green and Curt Schilling from the Picts for a package of four minor leaguers, only one of whom panned out (a two-cent Morgan Ensberg, who provided the foundation of the Pict offense for the next five years).

I do, however, take exception to the charge of "finagling," Harry's term for the fact that I released the .33 Green and .27 Schilling rather than keeping them the following spring (when, by the way, Harry was already long gone).  Given that I already faced going into the Draft with .55 to spend on 8 players, keeping an additional .60 in salary was never really a consideration.

I actually think the producers mainly wanted to include Harry in the film because they were desperate for a stereotypical Chicago accent (I love the "double edged schword" line).

But enough about that ... enjoy this 5-minute clip from Gator:

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