Expert League Update – It Is Actually Better To Be Lucky Than Good
I got lucky this week.
Extremely lucky. Like Frodo in
Mount Doom at the end of “Return of the King” lucky. (Spoiler alert. If Gollum doesn’t bail out Frodo by wrestling
the ring away from him, Frodo ends up either a wraith or murdered by Rudy. Instead, he gets to have a giant pillow fight
before getting on a sweet sailboat to heaven.
He got lucky. And yes, I did just
manage to find something nerdier to talk about than fantasy baseball.).
In the Fantasy Baseball Search Expert League, I entered the weekend
losing 3-6-1 and well on my way to my rightful place in the league’s
cellar. Resigned to my fate, I spent
most of Sunday alternating between watching The Masters and stealing Easter candy
and quarters from my nephew (he doesn’t need the money, he’d just spend it on
more candy for me to thieve).
But when I got home, I logged in to discover crazy things
had happened. My previously punchless
offense had all of a sudden exploded for five bombs, nine RBIs, and 11 runs. Even more remarkable, my previously terrible
pitching had turned around 180 degrees.
Led by Aaron Harang’s gem, five starters combined for a 2.45 ERA and 0.91
WHIP on Sunday. When combined with my
opponent’s own implosion, this was somehow enough to make me competitive in
both ratio categories for the week, despite having owned a 7.00-plus ERA and a 2.00-plus WHIP as
late as Friday.
So instead of being down 3-6-1, I had vaulted to a 7-3 lead
that I was holding on to by the skin of my teeth (where the heck does this
phrase come from? Did we use to have skin
on our teeth? Do we still have it
now? The human mouth already freaks me
out enough — if you tell me there is skin in there, I might have to write it off
Entering Sunday night’s game, my team was finished and had a
scant two point lead in both homers and RBIs, but my opponent had Braun and Hart
still to go. After Hart went yard in the fourth, my lead was down to a single point in both categories and I was
in danger of falling back to earth. All
of a sudden, every Braun and Hart at-bat was more intense than Dan Uggla’s
Entering the ninth inning, I thought I was
safe. Marmol had struck out Hart in the eigth on a nasty slider and Braun wasn’t due up unless two Brewers
reached base. Gregg got two quick outs
and I began to celebrate. Then Weeks
homered. Uh-oh. Then Counsell doubled to bring up Braun and
trigger my sense of impending doom.
Optimists always think something good is about to happen,
while pessimists feel the opposite. When
it comes to fantasy, I’m neither, as I KNOW something bad is going to happen
and just wait to see how it will unfold. This situation
was a classic setup for a crushing defeat, almost as if the fantasy gods had
sent a tailor over to my house to ensure that it suited me perfectly.
So imagine my shock when Braun took ball four. It’s amazing how something as seemingly
innocuous as a walk in Milwaukee can trigger a raucous celebration in DC, as I
immediately entered into a pig pile that involved me, two couch cushions and
one very confused dog.
So that was it, I won 7-3.
Or so I thought. Instead, when I
woke up this morning, I discovered a scoring correction actually shaved an
extra 0.20 off my ERA, giving me just enough to win the category for the
week. Unbelievable, 8-2 and in the
league lead. And completely and utterly
So there you go. When
expert leagues are discussed, it’s often assumed that because everyone is a
professional, skill and talent wins out.
Nope. I’m living proof that luck
has just as much to do with it in this league as in every home league across
the country. But I don’t feel bad, as
it’s important to enjoy good fortune when it smiles upon you. It makes it much easier to take when you are
on the other side of it. So for now, I’m
going to sit back, smile, and enjoy being in first place in my first expert league
for the first (and probably last) time.