My focus is a little off this week.
I have a crucial fantasy contest this week. If I win, I’m one win away from the playoffs. I lose, I’ll have to go at least .500 the rest of the way and that won’t be easy. Since our league went to CBS Sportsline in 2004, I haven’t reached the postseason. I want to make the playoffs. I can’t have another six months of waiting. I can’t suffer through another non-playoff year. I won our league in 2001 and came in second in 2003-both years we went with Sandbox. I just did better in the two games a week format I guess.
Our league is different from the 5 x 5 league and basic scoring. We count balks. Blown Saves are minus 5 points. Quality Starts are worth 5 points. Complete Games are worth 10. Complete Games Shutouts are worth another 10. No-hitters are worth 20 points. Perfect Games are worth 30. If a batter strikes out, it costs a team minus 1 point. If a batter grounds into a double play, it’s minus 2 points. I forgot errors are minus 1 point.
I hate setting the roster by Monday (games are Monday-Sunday) and having it be locked for the whole week. Sure, it’s a challenge but so much happens. My favorite story about settin up lineups happened last year. My first baseman was horrible, I forgot who it was. I benched him and picked up Rafael Palmeiro, who had been doing well at the time. Ten minutes after the rosters were locked for the week, the story broke that he had tested positive for steroids and was suspended for 10 games. That week I scored the most points in league history!
I’m facing a team that should beat me handily. I’m within 17 points. He has Brad Penny left in the rotation this week. It’s hard to believe I survived Schilling and Beckett against Kansas City and Harang vs. St. Louis. I feel the breaks are going my way for now. I have Brett Myers, who has pitched like Cy Young when there’s a day game, going Sunday as well as Jeremy Sowers, who hasn’t been doing too badly as of late. Penny is a workhorse and has been fantastic this year. I like Myers going on Sunday. Sowers’ start against the Royals could go either way as he’s slated to face Luke Hudson. The Royals have been resilient; I mean they just swept the Red Sox. Hudson has pitched very well too. We’ll see. Sowers has been more consistent than some of my other guys-Chris Young and Matt Morris. BTW, I had Liriano in the rotation this week. Bad times.
My opponents bullpen is quite strong with Mariano Rivera and BJ Ryan. I have Huston Street and JJ Putz. Keep in mind, I had Turnbow for the first half of the season and had to live through that saga.
If I have a snowballs chance of winning this week, I need strong performance from my starting pitching, none of this five inning mess. I need seven plus. I need Penny to get a no-decision. Offensively, Delgado, Arod and Jeter need to play well. Hold off on the Arod comments! I couldn’t be happier with my outfield of Holliday, Dye and Soriano. I have Pat Burrell as my utility guy. He could come up big this weekend too against the Reds; although, his foot worries me greatly. I need Jason Kendall and Brian Roberts to stay out of double plays and score some runs.
Why does my lineup look so shaky? Derrek Lee, Gary Sheffield and Jason Varitek are on the shelf.
We’ll see how this goes!