Amy, Amy, Amy …

I love my sister-in-law Amy. She knows it. Oh, come on, I adore her. She knows it.

But …

I come home from work on Monday evening at 6:15. My wife hands me her cell phone, with Amy’s phone number already punched in, and says, “Amy has a question for you!”

So I call Amy. She answers, and cheerily informs me that her Fantasy League draft is this evening — THIS EVENING! — at 8 o’clock, and, hey Steve, please tell me, is there any player this year who you would just “have to have” on your team?

I … well, I … did I mention that I just love Amy?

Here’s why I love her so much. (Well, besides her genetic beauty and charm, so well-displayed in her sister.) Why I love Amy so much is that she’s a woman, playing fantasy baseball, and fully ready to kick butt and take names in the process. (If you know Amy, you know I ain’t kiddin’.) I also love her because she calls me and asks for my help and advice. I’m a soft touch.

But, let’s get real. Amy. It’s six-freakin-fifteen, on the NIGHT OF YOUR FANTASY DRAFT, and you’re calling me, asking if there’s any player this year who I’d just “have to have” on my team?

Amy, Amy, Amy.

I gave her the best I could, but mostly, of course, I gave her the tired lecture about homework and planning and preparation. She sighed, and acknowledged what I had to say. She understood it. But mostly, of course, she was disappointed that I hadn’t been able to slip her that miraculous brilliant otherwise-unknown insight on the sleeper star of 2007.

Alas, it can’t be done. I have failed my sister-in-law.

But the lesson, no doubt, is one that all fantasy players should never fail to heed: there is no substitute for research. And THE DAY OF your fantasy draft, it shall come as no surprise, is just a bit far past the optimal point at which to begin to undertake the research.

Amy, Amy, Amy.

I wouldn’t trade her for any of your sister-in-laws, even if you threw in a brother-in-law and a cousin-to-be-named-later.

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