It's just a fantasy, but it's like the real thing

August 03, 2004|by TIM KOELBLE

Another month is in front of us.

August brings us football with the NFL training camps and soon thereafter, college football.

It brings us high school football, as training camps started Monday in West Virginia.

It also means the "dog days of summer" are upon as major league baseball teams head toward third base, trying to position themselves for a shot at home plate.

However, putting things into perspective, it means the home stretch for those of us in our fantasy baseball league at The Herald-Mail.


Our league's trading deadline matched that of the majors Saturday. You should have heard the bantering throughout the office - this for that, three-way deals, etc. - as each team tried to become a little stronger rounding third base.

My team, Golden Dome, has been on top of its division and now has the best record in the league. Sometimes I have wondered how. I've had to make many weekend rallies to win games, though I fell short last week when I got smacked by Dave Elliott's Guarded by Monkeys.

There are some teams that I beat earlier in the year that I quite frankly am glad I don't have to go against down the stretch. Thank goodness Mark Keller's Antietam Armadillos are out of the way: He only had something like 350 points this past week, which would have doused the Domers.

I worked one trade with Joel Huffer's Cearfoss Peat Moss, getting Manny Ramirez and giving up Steve Finley, Paul LoDuca and Danny Graves. Think Ramirez helped right away? Yeah, with a whole five points last week.

My weekly transactions have filled up a page trying to effectively fill the void while certain pitchers have been on the disabled list. Some have helped, most have not, but somehow I kept pulling out some magic until last week.

My team is now officially on the edge.

With six weeks to go, I'm going to feel very happy with a 3-3 record, knowing that some of the teams left to play improved themselves dramatically with trades. That would leave me at 16-7 with a likely playoff position.

Even this week, against Jake Womer's Pittsburgh Pessimists, I'm going to get a real battle from a team that was pathetic early in the year. And I hate saying that because I really hate any Pittsburgh connection that is doing well.

I've got to keep fending off Andy Mason's gang of West Washingtons in our division. He's has kept the pressure on all season and has one matchup left with my Domers.

My lead is becoming one of those tenuous situations. I feel like a team that just hasn't jelled. I can only hope that as I round third base, I don't trip over the bag.

Tim Koelble is a staff writer for The Morning Herald. His column appears every other Tuesday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2311, or by e-mail at

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