I like to watch: A day spent watching TV and the laptop

I just gotta get a life. I spent the entire day today perched on the sofa, laptop at the ready, as I watched baseball on television and watched how it translated into fantasy goodness or badness.

What was at stake was a spot in the Business Journalists Baseball League playoffs.

In our head-to-head league, my Charlestown Chiefs went into the first round of the playoffs sporting the best record in the league, by a long shot. The second-best team in the league, by the standings the Memphis Kings of Kerry Sewell, was in my division and 20 games back. But because the Kings won the wild card, we were matched in the first round of the four-team playoffs.

After the Chiefs fell behind to the Kings through the week — the deficit grew to 8-2 as Friday turned to Saturday — I was pretty much in give-up mode. But we started to come back, a little bit here, a little bit there. By the end of Saturday, I had sneaked ahead in WHIP by a fraction (0.871 to 0.879) and the game was tied at 5 after Daniel Hudson beat the Dodgers. As we texted back and forth through the evening, Kerry was quick to note that I would win the tiebreaker.

I was ahead in batting average, steals, strikeouts, wins and WHIP. I was dead in the water in saves, couldn’t make up the difference in ERA or RBI and was behind enough in runs and homers to believe I couldn’t catch him there. The game, I believed, would come down to WHIP. And there was the problem. Kerry’s philosophy has always been — in the head-to-head league — to ignore starting pitchers. He fills his pitching staff with as many closers as he can get and the rest are setup men. The short answer is he’s guaranteeing he’ll win saves and probably lose wins. He’ll likely lose strikeouts, but has a great chance in ERA and WHIP. It’s a great strategy.

So I had a slight lead in WHIP, but I had three starting pitchers — Livan Hernandez, Jorge De La Rosa and Joe Saunders — scheduled to pitch today. Yikes. Late Saturday night, I made a decision. I needed to get those guys OUTTA THERE! Since the add-drop never closes in BJBL, I dropped Jay Gibbons and Wilson Ramos, and picked up Jhoulys Chacin (right) and Kenley Jansen. Chacin wasn’t scheduled to pitch and I thought Jansen wouldn’t hurt me if he did come in from the Los Angeles ‘pen. I inserted both of them and Octavio Dotel from my reserve list into the starting lineup and benched my three scheduled starters. That way, I reasoned, nobody would pitch, my WHIP couldn’t get hurt. Then I just had to hope that if the Kings did use pitchers, they would at least give up a baserunner or three.

Fast-forward to today, with me ignoring my Sunday nap so I could watch the Phillies-Mets and keep track of all else via the MLB package on DirecTV: Everything went according to form. I kept my lead — and actually built it — in batting average. My pitchers stayed mercifully inactive (if I hadn’t made the moves, my starters would have cost me WHIP). And the offense came alive, slamming four homers to tie that category. When Ryan Madson and Sam Demel each gave up two runs in relief stints for the Kings, ERA went to me as well.

The result was a 5-3-2 victory for the Chiefs and a spot in the BJBL title game against the Red Beans, who beat the Gouchos, 7-3.

The Chiefs and Red Beans have played twice in the regular season, with the Chiefs taking both, 6-2-2 and 6-3-1. You know what they say about beating a team three times in one year …

Gary Robinson posted at 2010-9-26 Category: Baseball

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