One and You’re Done
No longer the slow, floating wade of the regular-season ocean, the playoffs present fantasy owners with an immediate change of pace: from laid-back-country-porch-wooden-rocker grandpa to battery-powered-wheelchair-stray-cat-wielding-Viagra-enhanced grandpa; and Gramps is a little pent up. And yes, he’s been watching the Jenna Jameson publicity parade in its entirety.
Keep in mind that you no longer have the time to wait for a player to come around, or to use a roster spot for someone on the DL in case he comes back late in the season. The season is over. The playoffs are here. Drop everyone that is wasting precious roster space and pick up players with hands hotter than George Costanza’s (pre-iron-mishap). Only one week matters now: this one.
(Note: Actually, next week also matters—if you win. Or if you play fantasy football.)
Kidnapping Your Opponent
Is not condoned. But, if you are to head down such a path of illegal activity and duct-taped-mouth debauchery, who am I to stand in your way? Carry on.
In weekly scoring leagues, it’s a huge advantage to have starting pitchers who start two games that week on your roster. Why? Because those pitchers have double the opportunity to pitch huge games (or, in the case of Randy Johnson, double the chance of getting an eight-inning, one-earned-run loss), and provide you with massive point boosts.
Don’t be afraid to drop a mediocre-to-good pitcher who pitches once that week for a below-average-to-mediocre pitcher who pitches twice. As hot twin sisters who once tried to seduce Gore Vidal once said, “Double your pleasure, double your fun.”
Fellini Film Festival
Invite your opponent to watch DVDs of La Dolce Vita, 8½, Satyricon, and La Strada, or any other Fellini films of your choice.
After the marathon, your foe will either (a) understand the depth of meaning behind the films, and stop wasting time on such meaningless pursuits as fantasy baseball; or (b) be bored out their mind, and succumb to weeks of black-and-white fractured-plotted nightmares in which he kills his parents (who cry out in several unidentified languages), destroys God, and participates in many orgies of forbidden, yet highly unfulfilling, sex with 300-pound women.
Be Wary of Those Tired Souls
One of the side effects of playing fantasy baseball with real-life current baseball players (rather than fictional, video-game, or washed-up country-singing baseball players) is that the fantasy playoffs coincide with the final few weeks of the regular season. Usually, at that time, managers who have their playoff berth already wrapped up rest their stars for an upcoming World Series run.
One team who may be resting heavily: the St. Louis Cardinals. Since clinching the division title back in May, Tony LaRussa has been resting players here and there. Rumor has it, however, that he may give the team the final two weeks off, relying on a two-man Bugs-Bunny-utility-player-esque performance from So Taguchi (playing first, second, SS, third, LF, CF, RF, and C) and putting pitcher Rick Ankiel on zero days rest, every day.
Stephen King’s Dark Tower Series
With the release of the final, seventh book in King’s 34-years-in-the-making opus on September 21, give your friend the gift of literature by buying him the full set. Not only will your friend be transported into Roland the Gunslinger’s quest, a magical mix of science fiction, fantasy, and horror; but he will also forget to set his roster for the upcoming fantasy playoffs.
And with the ka-tet’s journey clocking in at over 3,800 small-print pages, the books might even keep his attention well into next year’s fantasy season.
Maintain Trash Talking
It’s still fun. And a nonthreatening way to get rid of some unchecked aggression. Make it worthwhile by using words like “douchebag” and “uvula,” mixed with comparisons to Abba and Marquis Tuiasosopo. Unless, of course, the fad popularity of the term “douchebag” has reached its inevitable end. In which case, heckling your fellow-owners with Old English insults (ex.: “May your impious beast-kind die unshriven!”) is acceptable. Under no circumstances settle for a “yo mama” joke.
Who am I kidding? The word “douchebag” will never die. Like “ka-ching,” “guapo,” and “Fletch,” it’s single-word lyrical genius.
Have a sense of dignity! Think of those starving Middle Eastern children and the many meals they would give up to have the opportunity to play one week of fantasy baseball. Think of little, bony Faheem, asking the volunteer UNICEF workers how many HRs Adam Dunn hit last week, or wondering aloud if Mark Loretta will continue his breakout season. And then, with that information, the malnourished youth doesn’t even have the ability to manage a fantasy baseball roster. Oh, what disgust!
And yet you just sit there, not even benching your players on the DL, or starting your two-start pitchers next week. You simply allow your team to fall into disarray without attempting a final-week victory or basking in the glory that is spoiling someone’s playoff run.
How can you live with yourself? Your shame must be massive!
For Female Opponents
Hint that they seem to be packing on a few extra pounds. They don’t like that.