Monday, October 20, 2008

It's Been Awhile...

Yes, I know it's been forever (well almost 2 1/2 weeks) since I last blogged. I'm not sure if it was just life catching up with me, or a combination of baseball-related disappointments that killed my typing fingers and creative mind... whatever it was, I guess I needed a little break.

So, for those disappointments. Well, first off I lost one of my fantasy baseball leagues this year by a single home run. Yes, ONE, UNO, 1! 278 home runs led this particular 10 team league. Alexei Ramirez' grand slam against the Detroit Tigers on September 29th gave me 277 of them for the season. Three other owners also had 277 home runs, giving me 7 1/2 points in the category. I lost that league by 1 1/2 points - the leader finished with a total of 70 points, I finished with 68 1/2. Another home run would have given me a tie for first (9 1/2 points) in the category. Those two points would have given me a total of 70 1/2, and the title by a mere 1/2 point.

I've been playing this fantasy baseball game for 10 years now, and this was definitely my most heartbreaking loss ever! I mean, I also could have tied for winning that league with just two more wins from my pitching staff. A special assist from the Mets bullpen must be noted for blowing six of my staff ace Johan Santana's games this year!!! I also could have also won that league with just two more stolen bases! The number of different ways I could have won that league is practically countless, and yet I somehow lost! It's now three weeks since the regular season ended and honestly I'm STILL not over it! Perhaps by this time next year, I'll be over it. Yes, it was even worse than losing a league last year thanks to my pitching ace, Jake Peavy being forced to start game 163 for the San Diego Padres against the Colorado Rockies. I went from a tie for first in a league at 79 points to 2 1/2 points back after he predictably got torched by the eventual 2007 World Series runner-ups. With what's happened to me the past two years in those two leagues, I'm almost afraid to see how my heart is going to get broken in 2009. At least last year, I had the solace of winning one league going away and knowing nothing was going to take that away from me as September started.

In my other four leagues, I was in it right until the final weekend. I had two teams finish in third, one 2 1/2 points out, the other 4 points out. My other two teams came in fourth, one 3 1/2 points out, the other 8 1/2 points out. Combined, I lost the five leagues by a total of just 20 points! With just a few breaks in any direction, I could have won every single one of those leagues... Needless to say, I will be playing my fantasy baseball leagues with more than just a little chip on my shoulder next year...

As bad as the 2008 fantasy baseball season turned out for me, at least I had the solace that maybe that Freeway World Series I'd been dreaming about since I was little would finally come to fruitition. The Angels had the best record in baseball. The Dodgers, well they were team that NO ONE wanted to face as they were on a complete roll thanks to Manny Ramirez being in a Michael Jordan-like zone in his two months with the Blue Crew.

Well, it's October 20th and as I type this, we have a World Series coming up between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The best laid plans... :( The Angels went out meekly (save the heart of the lineup) against the Boston Red Sox for the second year in a row... But hey at least the Dodgers swept the Cubs in their first round series! Unfortunately, the same guy (Rafael Furcal) who planted the pivotable bunt to send Carlos Zambrano and his Cub teammates reeling, also was the man most responsible for the Dodgers exit against the Phillies, committing a key error in game one of that series to get Derek Lowe into trouble, and three more errors in one inning in game five, putting a 3-1 game all but out of reach at 5-1.

And now for the reality of it all. Presumably, K-Rod has saved his final game as an Angel and D-Lowe has started his final game as a Dodger. Those guys basically aren't replaceable, and unless something REALLY crazy happens, they will be playing baseball elsewhere in 2009. Don't be surprised if both don't wind up on the once again heartbroken New York Mets. Sorry, Dave! And what about Manny? It will probably cost an arm and a leg for the Dodgers to re-sign him, but I really think they should. There's no doubt he put people in the seats and energized the Dodger team and fans like no one else since a guy with two bad legs hit a home run off "the Eck" twenty years ago to spur them to their last World Series crown. Has it really been twenty years since Kirk Gibson and Orel Hershisher did all of their magic? Wow, how time flies!

So what else have I been doing? Well, watching lots of football both college and pro. Yes, those were my UCLA Bruins who lost 59-0 to BYU back on September 13th. Conversely, my crosstown rival USC Trojans put a 69-0 lashing on Washington State this past weekend. Ah yes, is it time for basketball yet???


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