This time next week it will all be over. It would be hard to estimate the amount of time and effort put into the bgal for me this year, but I spent a lot of time even before the season started looking at rumors, projections, and stats, mulling over each one of my keepers and even making a couple of trades. Who knows how many hours I spent during the season looking at the live scoring page, MLB mix (8 games at once on DirecTv) or just plain watching games. And that doesn't even count following the Reds.
But here's what all of that time and effort boils down to: I'm in fourth place, just out of the money. If the season ended today, I'd be in the worst spot, out of the money and picking 7th in next year's minor league draft. I went pretty much all-in this year, making several win-now trades. I did this because I have so many high salary guys who can't be kept next year for budgetary reasons.
The good news is that I'm only one point out of third. I just picked up points in average and era that I might be able to keep. The average point looks stronger than the era point right now. The era point is critical because the guy right ahead of me (in third) is right behind me in era (4.19 to 4.20). I just read that Beckett was scratched for tonight. So that will hurt.
So where could I gain ground? Assuming I keep my era and average points, my most likely point gain is in saves. I'm in third, only one point behind second. The second place team has Andrew Bailey (thanks to me) and Fernando Rodney. I have Brian Fuentes, Jason Frasor, and Matt Thornton, who I just picked-up last week (he's already gotten me two saves). That one point puts me in a tie for third. But the guy in third overall just lost Jenks and only has Downs as a reliever. He's sixth in saves, only two ahead of seventh. So if he drops, and I add one, I'm in third. The guy in seventh only has Kerry Wood.
I'm six points out of second in wins, so a move there seems unlikely. I'm also seven points ahead of fourth, so my spot there is secure. My strikouts spot is also secure.
I'm six points out in home runs and nine points out in rbi's. A huge run this week would give me a chance, but it seems unlikely. In steals, I can't go up (down ten) but could go down (up 2). Needless to say, a non-event, like Lowell stealing second the other day for only his second steal of the year, has huge implications for my fantasy standing.
Pie in the sky: I hold on to my steals, average, and era points, pick up a point in saves, and my offense goes crazy in hr's and rbi's, giving me two more points. That would likely put me in second place, with 57 points. I don't see any combo where I could still win.
Right now, I'd settle for third.
Mike Mussina, Hall of Famer
4 months ago