Kicking Rocks: Death, Taxes and the DL

You thought there were only two certainties in life, huh? Well, if you play fantasy baseball, then you know that there’s a third lurking out there and it always seems to rear its ugly head at the absolute worst time. An alternative title to this piece was, “Who Is This Murphy Guy, What’s With the Stupid Law, and Where Can I Find Him So I Can Punch Him in the Face?” but it wouldn’t fit within the framework of the web site. Nevertheless, you know where I’m going with this one, I’m sure. There’s nothing worse than building a championship-caliber team only to see it ravaged by injuries in August and free-fall in the standings.

I was strutting around like a proud peacock with this team. My draft went without a hitch, I pulled off a few savvy deals, including one of Ryan Braun right around the first in-season mention of Biogenesis suspensions, and was cruising up the standings in June until I reached the top right before the All Star break. I spent the month of July stretching out a lead while the rest of the league started preparing to fight for a second place finish in this 15-team mixed, 7×7 roto extravaganza. But as the wagon motored towards the finish line, the lugnuts loosened and suddenly the wheels have begun to fall off. My starting lineup now resembles those three, bandaged-up revolutionary war guys playing the fife and drum and when I shook my Magic 8-Ball to see if I could weather the storm, I kept getting “Outlook Not So Good.”

Carlos Gonzalez finally hit the DL with a sprained finger, Tyler Chatwood recently joined him, and John Jaso just went from the 7-day concussion DL to the 15-day one with little or no hope in sight. It’s bye-bye Bobby Parnell, curtains for Corey Kluber and David Wright has all the wrong stuff these days. Salvador Perez is recently concussed, Desmond Jennings has a broken finger and did I forget to mention Matt Moore? Chances are Howie Kendrick will follow suit as well. Seriously, you just can’t make this stuff up. I have more red crosses next to my team than…well…everyone else in the league and I’m almost willing to pony up a bet to say that I have more than anyone reading this right now.

So what’s a girl to do at this point? The trade deadline has passed, the waiver wire has been picked cleaner than a turducken on John Madden’s party bus and my team is hitting the skids. I’d like to think that my fantasy karma is on the positive side, but perhaps Krishna’s fantasy baseball team is so bad that he’s turned his attention to football (must’ve drafted Jason Heyward too). Meanwhile, the rest of the league is licking its chops as they all made a flurry of deadline deals to make one final push. Now that push is going to topple me over.

It’s like that feeling you feel when you’re sitting at the poker table and you go all-in with your aces, pre-flop, only to watch some clown with jack-10 off-suit call you and suck out a diamond flush on the river. You know you had him beat but the gods decided to kick you in the bojangles and watch you write in agony. But that’s poker. That’s the game. And fantasy baseball is no different. You may think you have control over your destiny. You may think you can beat the game with your fancy sabermetric know-how. But the fact remains that we are all helpless in the grand scheme of things and are forever at the mercy of players whom we have zero control over. Kicking rocks is all that’s left.

Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over 10 years on a variety of websites. In addition to his work here, you can also find him at his site,, Fantasy Alarm, RotoWire and Mock Draft Central. Follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or for more direct questions or comments, email him at

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
9 years ago

Instead of the DL problem I had both James Shields and Jeff Samardzija in their last starts…. that is an anti-DL devastation.