If you’re opening to the sports page out of your own free will, chances are you’ve already read Moneyball from cover to cover.

Even for the average non-East Bay baseball fanatic, the book was genius. It captured the essence of the “American Dream” for many sports fans across the nation.

So, if Billy Beane can do it, why can’t we?

Millions of people every year participate in fantasy sports leagues. Just take a look around: Your friends, relatives, sports editors and professors are among the Rotisserie League ranks.

That’s right; I joined a Yahoo! fantasy baseball league this year.

I knew from the start it would be a disaster. As blind as I am to unbiased scouting by my East Bay affiliation – we won’t even touch my complete lack of interest/knowledge surrounding the National League – I figured what the hell. My friends and family do it, so why not dive right into a little healthy competition?

As April 2 rolled around, the day of my league’s draft, I lounged at the beach. Oops. It’s a good thing Yahoo! engages in some sort of pity draft for those responsible participants who scheduled their own draft times, yet somehow managed to skip out on the actual event.

Needless to say, I was left with names like Pedro Martinez, Lance Berkman, Johnny Damon, Mike Timlin and so on. Once trading began and players started coming off waivers, I thought I’d get cute and gather former A’s who are now in other organizations.

At the beginning of the season, I was ranked 14 in my league of 15 players – 15. Even the 12-year-old boy who couldn’t even spell “The Mets rule” correctly, finished higher than me by the second week. What the hell was I doing? Even though I pride myself on having a fair amount of knowledge of the game for a female, this was just plain pathetic!

So, I gave up on my Athletics All-Star roster. I began seriously scouting major league stars, ranging from the overpaid to the underrated. My little team gained some steam. Little did I know I would go from dangerously close to last in my league, to as high as second place in a few short weeks! As far as fantasy leagues go, I figured I schooled those chumps who’d been playing for years, religiously following every major league game on TV.

But then one week of warm weather in Santa Barbara and midterms sidetracked me. I stopped paying attention to my team. I stopped trading. Honestly, I stopped caring.

Two weeks ago, I remembered I was playing the role of general manager of my very own fantasy team and decided to check the standings and made some trades.

And then I realized: I hate assholes like Johnny Damon. What am I doing with my time? Why am I compromising my affinity to the Athletics, just so I can see my least favorite player go four-for-four on my fantasy roster?

Maybe fantasy baseball cheapens the actual sport itself. Instead of relishing live games at actual ballparks – in addition to my new favorite pastime of purchasing $7 alcoholic beverages – we as Americans chasing a common dream have been reduced to power-hungry machines who mindlessly flip from ESPN to FOX Sports, guzzling stats from the papers along with our morning coffee.

In a world dominated by dozens of indistinguishable reality television shows, I can say for sure that I am not a fan of “Who Wants to Be a General Manager?” I motion we change the name, because the only fantasy baseball I can envision would involve a post-victory spent in the clubhouse with many of the young and attractive Oakland A’s.

Daily Nexus staff writer Monique Moyal’s perfect fantasy would include rounding the bases with A’s pitcher Rich Harden.