Monday, September 7, 2009

Playoff Time!

As the Major League Baseball season is winding down, my fantasy baseball team is also primed for a deep postseason run. I have officially become what one might call a fantasy baseball addict. I must check my team every day to make sure that every minute detail that might affect the outcome of my week is seen, acknowledged, and acted upon. If I see that one of my reserve pitchers, Kevin Millwood, has a two-start week, I must determine if in those two starts he will be more likely to gather more points than my season's ace, King Felix Hernandez himself, will in his one start against the lowly Baltimore Orioles. King Felix has been my best pitcher throughout the whole season, but will he be better in that one week that I really need some major points? Or will Millwood totally bomb out and make his two starts virtually worthless? You never really know, and it really will be a best guess. However, that's where fantasy managers earn their well-deserved, or sometimes undeserved, reputation for brilliance. There's only so much the raw stats can give you; sometimes you need to take it on instinct. So what if Vladimir Guerrero has had three solid weeks? Sometimes you need to pull rarely utilized yet speedy Nyjer Morgan (and I do know he is injured now; I just dropped him this morning) because you know from some weird instinct that he is going to break out and have a monster week. Of course this instinct is subject to be wrong. Case in point: I traded Ichiro for Carlos Quentin and Scott Richmond. Not one of my finest GM moments, but with no risk, there's no reward. Then sometimes, the risk pays off as when I traded Manny Ramirez about a week before he was suspended 50 games for steroid use; in return I got Carlos Beltran who was putting up All-Star numbers before an injury ruined his season.
So, I guess you can tell that fantasy baseball is essentially luck. Sometimes everything seems to work your way, and sometimes you have that week when nothing you do seems to be able to garner you some desperately desired points that may be enough to give you one more win that would give you that vital playoff seed. Now, my team is in the league semifinal and is looking strong. Behind the power bats of Ryan Howard, Evan Longoria, and Nelson Cruz combined with my ace-heavy staff led by King Felix, Chris Carpenter, Cole Hamels (who I acquired through a nifty deadline deal), and the enigmatic, yet recently phenomenal, Ubaldo Jimenez, we are looking to compete for the championship. But I hope I've proven through this entry that even the best teams have a bad week, and one bad week will ruin the shot and dream of the championship that could have been.

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