When I was a child, I saw a Scfi movie that ended with a cryptic comment, something like this. “It is not the beginning of the end. It is the end of the beginning.” And thus, as we move into MLB’s All-Star week, we pause and ask the question, how can it be the midpoint of the season, when teams have played almost 100 games before it is played. If the NFL used those standards, the 1st half would last 35-minutes and that would be followed by a 25-minute 2nd half. Well, enough about accuracy of terminology. We already know that MLB has little regard for things like accuracy and consistency.
In the fantasy sports world, when fantasy football is 3 ½ months into the season we are in the middle of our playoffs to determine the Fantasy Bowl champion. In fantasy football, after the same timeframe, we are only about 2/3 of the way along, with about two months until our playoffs finally come.
In fantasy baseball we must maintain our lineups and rosters for almost six months daily. It is easy to give up in either game, but baseball is truly a war of attrition. When one thinks they have fallen out of contention, it is easy to quit.
For example, in my league we have two divisions with 12 teams altogether. Right now, I lead one division by nine games and the other division leader has a 14 ½ game margin that he leads by. All over, right? Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!.
Our playoffs have six slots! Being a top team only means that we get two slots and byes the first playoff week, assuming our leads hold up. You never know.
That means that there are four playoff slots for the other 10 teams. One owner is probably too far from the pack to catch up, but the other nine teams are within about 10 games of each other. We have a lively playoff race in process. With the byes, the two leaders may have a slight edge, but at this stage there are 11 out of 12 teams that still have a chance to be champions.
It is all a matter of perspective, sort of like the cup half-full, half-empty adage. Owners can sit back and just give up, or they can use the off days to evaluate and revamp their teams and strategy. It all boils down to—do you have what it takes to be a winner? Why do you play fantasy sports? In many cases we love the competition, maybe winning some $$ and certainly the bragging right. And admittedly, the physical wear and tear of fantasy sports is a lot less than playing the real games.
When Sunday night ends and the break in the action starts, sit down and look at your roster. In a 5x5 league you need to shoot for 7-3 weeks. 5-5, or less will insure you do not win anything. Look at the league team stats and see where you rank in each of the batting and pitching categories.
Who are you playing the next several weeks? See how they are doing and determine what you need to do to beat them. Keep repeating this every week. Come on, we do this all the time in fantasy football, why is it such a hard concept in the fantasy baseball world?
Look at your league player availability sheets. The only limitation you have is the weekly waiver limit that your league has adopted. Go through your team and identify the weak players. Then, decide to replace them and get it done. Keep doing that week after week. Concentrate winning one week at a time.
Then you move ahead to the next week and the next, doing the same thing each time. Many of your opponents will be giving up about now. If you really want to win, there is still time to make the playoffs. Or maybe your league just sends out participation ribbons and declares everyone a winner.
And then of course, some of you are the league leader now. Knowing that others are fighting to make the playoffs should be more than enough incentive to work hard to keep the magic happening, Last year I was the guy fighting to make the playoffs and I did. In fact, I made it to the finals and lost to our regular season championship by one stolen base. I almost took that Champions title away from him. This year I plan on winning the whole thing. Do you really want to win? Is this your beginning of the end, or simply the end of the beginning?
Good luck! Have fun!