A few months ago, my sisters got me hooked on the phenomenon that is Facebook. It is the largest social networking site in the US, having passed MySpace for that honor. At first I was reluctant to join in, but since they all talked about how addictive it is, I gave it a shot.
And yes, I am hooked on it. These days, when I first get online in the morning, Facebook is more and more becoming my first stop. (But of course, my favorite Red Sox bloggers come next.)
I'm glad to be on Facebook, as I've found dozens of old friends I'd lost contact with. It's been fun to reconnect with them. And also I've met a few new friends as well.
I've also discovered a number of celebrities have Facebook pages too. Curt Schilling is the first one I found, and he accepted me as a Facebook friend almost immediately. Curt has always been an Internet junkie, and continues to be one.
I've also found that there are people out there posing as celebrities on Facebook, too. It's easy to tell with some, harder with others. I became friends with a guy calling himself Dustin Pedroia, but on his page he lists himself as being born in 1989. (Dustin is older than 19.) So it clearly wasn't the 2008 AL MVP.
A couple of months ago, I hooked up with Manny Ramirez. At first I wasn't 100% sure it was Manny, as he's been posting a lot on Facebook. (I'm not sure if Manny spends a lot of his free time on the Internet, but maybe he does. Also, the above picture is from Manny's Facebook page.)
But earlier this week, Manny put up a post on his page, asking who wanted to join him in his Yahoo fantasy baseball league. Fortunately, I was one of the first 11 friends to send him my email address, so he sent me an email with a link to the league he set up. It was a live draft this past Wednesday night.
When I went to it, the other 10 friends had joined. I looked at the background of Yahoo fantasy baseball, and discovered it would be a "pay" league, that you'd have to pay $24.99 to be a part of it. (For the last few years I've been in free ones, but I thought I would check this one out anyway.) And to my surprise, when I got up to the end, which is payment, I discovered that the league had been prepaid by "the commissioner." (That is, Manny himself.)
I got to thinking about it, and it convinced me that Manny could not be someone posing as him, simply because no imposter is going to fork over nearly $300 to play fantasy baseball with 11 strangers. (I do think it could be someone running his Facebook page, but probably with his blessing.)
On Wednesday night, we had the draft, and Manny had the number 1 pick. (What a coincidence, eh?) Manny is calling his team "Bluecruw 09." He and I were the first people in the drafting room, and I had a chance to chat with him before the draft. We talked about the WBC and I thanked him for bringing two titles to Boston. (I had the number 8 overall pick, and my team is called "Professor Thom's Red Sox.")
So guess who Manny took with his number one pick? Yep, he took...himself! Not the biggest shock in the world. Although I was hoping I would get the top pick, and if I did, I was considering taking Manny with that pick. (And wouldn't it be something if the week I played him in the league he had a monster week with the Dodgers? So he might have single-handedly beaten himself!) He wound up taking mostly Dodgers, about 15 in all (out of 21 picks). I took Ryan Howard as my top pick, and two Red Sox overall: Jonathan Papelbon and Jon Lester.
I noticed during the draft there was only one other fan trying to chat with Manny, and he was baggering him to admit he really wasn't Manny, and that he was really some Dodger fan posing as him. But Manny just didn't say anything to him, which I found very interesting.
I liked the team I picked, and I am looking forward to being in this fantasy league. Whether this really is Manny Ramirez or not, I appreciate his invite to the league. Let's play ball...