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It was August 20, and my fantasy baseball team was, and still is, in the cellar.
That evening, instead of dwelling on my cellar status, I watched most of the closing ceremonies for the 2012 Summer Olympics. Fortunately, I caught the event’s top performance. Veteran comedian/actor Eric Idle sang his 1979 classic from Monty Python‘s “Life of Brian: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.
Sage advice for all earthlings. While Idle performed, many in the massive London audience sang along—even the Royals. No, not the loser Kansas City ballclub. We’re talking the first place Buckingham Palace Royals.
I sang along that night, too. And the next morning … woke up, fell out of bed, dragged a comb across my head, and then I went downstairs and reprised Idle’s catchy tune. My lady wasn’t thrilled, but it made me feel a lot better about the reality of my fantasy failure. With only six weeks left in the fantasy season, my team was doomed.
Fast forward to late September. Now, let’s take a look at the bright spots that make losers feel like winners:
- No matter how my fantasy sucked this season, I will always love baseball. After all, our love of the real game is what got us into fantasy. And as we all know, our passion for fantasy has resulted in a deeper appreciation of The Show.
- Throughout September and the post-season, MLB games carry considerably more weight, raising the level of excitement. Pleasant distractions while licking our alternate reality wounds, for sure.
- Many Roto leagues offer consolation prizes. Our league provides payoffs for win ning individual scoring categories. I won Holds this year.
- It’s a safe bet that most of us managed to acquire bargain, breakout, and/or bounce-back players, making us feel like geniuses. And for keeper league guys and gals, some of those genius acquisitions will remain on our rosters for next season.
My genius auction picks and in-season acquisitions likely to be kept are listed below. Ten percent inflation for keepers has been added.
Adam Dunn – $8, Jed Lowrie – $3, Bret Gardner – $4, Matt Harrison ($2), Jonathan Niese – $4, Cliff Lee – $11, and Mike Adams – $4. (We score Holds, and Adams is one of the best, pitching for a perennial contender.)
I traded $11 Craig Kimbrel for $2 Harrison. Tough to let go of the best closer in the business, but in order to draft strong next spring, I require plenty of auction money. Gardner was a July 29 free agent pickup. The $4 Yankee speedster had been tossed back in the free agent pool after a serious elbow injury required surgery in July.
Lee was a third-year keeper, while the other four bargain players were acquired in our draft last March.
Niese is on the bubble because I can keep Joey Votto, but he will cost me $32. Votto is worth a major investment, but I’m undecided. I have a half-year to agonize over what to do.
- Football season is here. For diehards, fantasy football provides us with a few more months of pretending we own and manage a sports franchise. Tried it twice, but discovered I needed a break from alternate reality before gearing up for baseball.
So, how’d your season go? That bad? Well, don’t crucify yourself. Just remember…
…If life seems jolly rotten there’s something you’ve forgotten
And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing
When you’re feeling in the dumps don’t be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle, that’s the thing
And always look on the bright side of life…