It will be the greatest comeback ever.
Its gonna have to be after quite possibly the worst five-week run in the history of fantasy competition.
Little more than a month after gushing about my baseball team, planning a victory parade and booking reservations at the Aloha Surf Hotel in Maui the statute of limitations on my quarter-century ban from the big island expired last week last place is flashing an inviting smile, batting its eyelashes and motioning for me to come hither.
My recipe for epic failure: Go weeks between pitching wins, blow saves in bulk, have half your team ride pine daily with pulled eyelids and sticky Popsicle fingers, homer only every five days and strand villages of base runners in scoring position on a nightly basis.
My sprint to the bottom has been more fascinating than infuriating. Much like Ron Burgundys beloved Baxter, my team has eaten the entire wheel of cheese and committed unspeakable refrigerator crimes, yet Im not even mad, Im impressed with the epic scope of its complete, unprompted, nuclear meltdown.
Luckily things stabilized somewhat this past week. I might not go deep again until 2018, but .300 hitting days are back on the menu, pitchers are turning in solid starts again and I can finally move on from the mistake that was and has been Ryan Braun now that the tainted Brewers slugger is on the disabled list.
Still, taking a five-week, summertime sabbatical is not conducive to fantasy success.
Whats the plan for turning things around, you ask? Simple: Stay the course, pray for a healthy summer and make only slight but decisive modifications.
Recent trades for Freddie Freeman and Shelby Miller could produce serious long-term dividends and allow me to recoup beaucoup points. Brandon Crawford has been a productive addition. Michael Cuddyer is back, and Aaron Hill will return soon. Madison Bumgarner and Hiroki Kuroda appear to have straightened things out. Its small, but theres a flicker light, which gives me hope, which is the key to, well, everything.
While the offense has laid dormant, its not bereft of talent. Sleeping giants Michael Morse, Alfonso Soriano, Justin Morneau and Wilin Rosario are overdue for power surges. Buster Posey is beginning to heat up.
Ive most definitely hit bottom, but luckily I planted my flag there in May/June and not August/September, which leaves ample time to patch up and paint the walls.
The optimist within is fool enough to believe theres more than a snowballs chance of turning this around, even without my top dog and with more than half the roster unable to put the right shoe on the right foot most days.
I pulled a championship rabbit out of my hat a decade ago while in the throes of a similar storm. Can lightning strike twice?
Im banking on it.
C: Wilin Rosario; 1B: Buster Posey; 2B: Daniel Murphy; 3B: Manny Machado; SS: Brandon Crawford; OF: Michael Cuddyer, Starling Marte, Michael Morse, Alfonso Soriano and a special mystery guest to be determined Sunday night; CI: Justin Morneau; MI: Andrelton Simmons; U: Freddie Freeman; P: Felix Hernandez, Madison Bumgarner, Shelby Miller, Hiroki Kuroda, Jonathan Papelbon, Rafael Soriano, Andy Pettitte, Ryan Dempster and anyone not named Matt Garza; DL: 2B Aaron Hill, CL Rafael Betancourt and OF Ryan Braun.
Fantasy sports columnist Stu Rosenberg can be reached at email@example.com or 578-2300.
Fantasy Top 10
1. Miguel Cabrera, 3B, Tigers: Can you say back-to-back Triple Crowns (18 HRs/69 RBIs/56 runs/.354 avg.)?
2. Carlos Gonzalez, OF, Rockies: His 19 HRs, 54 RBIs, 56 runs, 13 SBs and .313 average would sure come in handy.
3. Mike Trout, OF, Angels: Take that sophomore jinx (12 HRs/43 RBIs/49 runs/15 SBs/.301 avg.).
4. Chris Davis, OF, Orioles: Up is down, down is up, dogs and cats living together ... (22 HRs/57 RBIs/47 runs/.332 avg.).
5. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Dbacks: Paul Bunyan isnt just a Giant killer this season (15 HRs/59 RBIs/45 runs/.306 avg.).
6. Jean Segura, SS, Brewers: One of many studs I whiffed on (10 HRs/30 RBIs/40 runs/19 SBs/.331 avg.).
7. Adam Wainwright, P, Cardinals: Hes back and better than ever (10-3/97 Ks/2.18 ERA/1.01 WHIP).
8. Yu Darvish, P, Rangers: Just plain filthy (7-2/127 Ks/2.64 ERA/0.94 WHIP).
9. Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Rockies: The DL always rears it head (16 HRs/51 RBIs/41 runs/.347 avg.).
10. Adam Jones, OF, Orioles: Good and fast approaching great (14 HRs/47 RBIs/48 runs/9 SBs/.300).