The baseball playoffs are here. Not the real-life baseball playoffs but the League of Fun 07 playoffs. It started so long ago, when my team name, Manny's Grill, was topical gag. Now I hardly remember the joke. My team has dominated the regular season. We've won nine straight weeks, took our division by 15 games, lead the league in four categories and came in second in two others. I drafted Hanley Ramirez and David Ortiz. I picked up Russell Martin, Brandon Phillips and John Maine off the waiver wire. But I fear it's all going to fall apart. Like my beloved Brooklyn Cyclones I've gotten close many times but never won it all. In 2001 I had a team so good I was in ESPN's top 25. Then you-know-what-happened, then Phil Garner benched Roger Cedeno and finally I got out coached in the finals.
I didn't even get a t-shirt.
But I feel this could be my year (fingers crossed, fingers crossed). My first playoff opponent is the Bayonne Bombers owned by my buddy John O'Hara. John once beat me for a fantasy football title on a defensive touchdown with 91 seconds to play IN THE SEASON! His Bombers are led by Jimmy Rollins, Vlad Guerrero, Carlos Lee, Ben Sheets and Roger Clemens. But my secret weapon may be that I don't think John is still changing his lineup. They have an early 5-4-1 lead but there's a lot of ball to be played. Right?
I never understood paranoia or Watergate until the first time I was in first-place in a fantasy league. Now, everyone was gunning for me and I had so much to lose. Success, it is a curse.