Maybe this is punishment for having the bravado to attend a Pearl Jam concert in Vancouver on Sunday night, the eve of the biggest three days of my fantasy baseball life. Just as Eddie Vedder and Co. took the stage at the Pacific Coliseum, the Tout Wars FAAB deadline passed, and my competition for the whole shebang in the mixed league landed the pieces that they believed would carry them past me by the end of Wednesday.
Just because you’re paranoid, don’t mean they won’t pass you.
I’ve been dangling from the first spot in the standings for a good portion of the last several weeks. I feel like a carrot, a brass ring, Ice-T in “Surviving the Game.”
WHIPed, stolen … saved?
Except, unlike Jack Mason, I’m wearing cinder blocks over my holey socks, and Gary Busey is cackling as he leans over the handlebars of his four-wheel ATV and slowly reels in the winch hooked through the belt loop of my ratty trousers.
Fred Zinkie has been breathing down my neck for a good portion of the period in which I’ve been on top. A little higher, and to the left, I pleaded, and recommended Listerine Total Care. Tim Heaney has been right behind him, which has made Fred and I feel completely uncomfortable – we’re not really into that sorta thing.
Fred let Tim know that he wasn’t cool with the Hean Man’s advances, but I don’t think Tim takes no for an answer. On Monday, Heaney’s crew of in-house bandits and lassoed thieves pilfered five bases, good enough to nudge the Zink Man aside and assume his role as the pitcher to my catcher. Tim makes me nervous, but he always lets me know he’s there.
The big problem is that I don’t have much more to offer. I can only hope that Tim tones it down a bit, just appreciates me for me.
I didn’t attempt any squirrelly strategies; I didn’t see much point. Quantity does me little good; quality is what I’m after. Team Minnix seeks to increase its BA (to hold off Zinkie) and decrease its ERA (to regain a point from Zinkie) and WHIP (to hold off Heaney). Although a relievers bonanza would likely have aided my cause more efficiently, it’s not as if my starting pitchers are chum, and I needed them to maintain a solid standing in K’s.
On Monday, Homer Bailey, Josh Beckett, Dan Hudson and Dan Haren – one right after the other – pitched a bit like they were shark bait, however. Last week, I benched Beckett, thankfully, because he let the Baltimore Orioles rip the wheels off his Wednesday racer and send him to scrap yard. He’d made three starts against the O’s in 2011, and each went awry. What were the chances that, with the playoffs hanging in the balance, he’d lose his compression shorts one more time?
Turns out, pretty good. And, to be honest, I wasn’t terribly comfortable playing him, but I thought that the talented trio joining him for a Monday foray on the hill would help to temper the damage. Thanks, boys. You make me vomit.
So, here we are. With two days to play, Tim is in excellent shape, primed to gain a point here (saves), there (stolen bases, remember?) and everywhere (batting average) and overtake me for the title. Fred lost one spot in batting average, but just .0006 points separated him and me in that category entering Tuesday. Which means that I can lose a point if SI.com’s Eric Mack passes me in BA, and the Zinkster can gain two on me if he also passes me, plus another if he leapfrogs E-Mack. That alone should secure the championship for him.
Last night, Tim broke his tie with Fred in saves. Nause. For whom do I root there? The guy right behind them, Dave Feldman.
My hopes rest with a hot-hitting Chris Parmelee and a (hopefully) more patient Brandon Belt. Who can trust Alex Rodriguez at crunch time? (OK, I could, if he was 100 percent.) I couldn’t expect Justin Upton to play much once he took a Tim Lincecum offering to the noggin. Yikes.
All I can do is kick back, wait and hope. It’s an incredibly helpless feeling. Remember: Jack Mason survived the game. Of course, he didn’t have as much on the line. I do wanna stay, so Tim, Fred, please, don’t take anything from me … anything.