April 4 has been marked on my calendar for a couple of months now. It's the day our fantasy baseball league chooses our teams for the coming season.
Being able to take part in fantasy baseball from Ireland is one of the great joys of the internet age. I can watch baseball on my t.v., listen to any game I want via internet radio, get the low down on stats and communicate with the other guys in the league via e-mail and Skype.
It's a far cry from the situation that prevailed when I first moved to Ireland. At the time of my move I was instantly plunged into an abyss with regards to baseball news. My primary source of baseball news was the International Herald Tribune, which had two day old box-scores and brief game reports. The early to mid 1990s were, as I often tell my children, the 'dark ages'.
Gradually things improved. By 1996 I had the internet in the house, although it was very slow and prohibitively expensive to use. By 2000 things were sufficiently advanced that my high school friends asked me to join their rotisserie league.
Nowadays, what with broadband and digital cable television I have access to all the games and news I need to compete in the league. Skype lets me take part in the draft almost as if I was in the living room in Albany where today's draft takes place.
In the old days baseball season started with Opening Day, but now it starts for many with the fantasy baseball league. I probably should get used to it, but it still amazes me that I can take part so fully in fantasy baseball from Ireland.