Santa Lechuga Power League:

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The Season *Never* Ends; Ralph Kiner Face Plants the Baked Eggplant

Here I was, lounging around and immensely enjoying my patented and most-welcomed off-season-long bender, when the texts and e-mails started streaming in. I haven’t heard a phone rumble like that since the ’79 earthquake, which also knocked the Virgin Mary off the shelf in my mom’s kitchen. (True story.) As I tried desperately to pull myself out of the fog of my alcohol stupor, I kept wondering why people would be trying to reach me so desperately during my patented and most-welcomed off-season-long bender. But as I reached for my phone, it suddenly occurred to me: A Hall-of-Famer must have died! I mean, outside of asking when their championship winnings will be delivered, that’s the only reason during the off-season that anyone tries to reach me.

And I was right!

Ralph Kiner did me the courtesy today of reminding me that I am still running a dopey little fantasy baseball league, even during the off-season, by up and dying after 91 long years on this planet. Deaths like this -- namely, of a Hall-of-Famer -- almost always causes one-third of the owners in this league to contact me immediately to celebrate the too-infrequent death of a Hall-of-Famer.

Though an HOFer died -- the first during the 2013 season and, wouldn’t you know, an off-season death -- not all the news was good. I couldn’t find my trusty spreadsheet. I couldn’t find my blogging file. Hell, I couldn’t even find my Tandy 2000 computer. What was I going to do? How was I going to notify the rest of the league that I got their messages? That HOF points were scored? That I was alive and still running this dopey league?

Fortunately, as the fog of inebriation cleared my head for the first time since the World Series ended, I remembered that I lent my computer to my ingrate of a cousin, Pedro, who has been trying to start up a lucrative Internet company that involves working with an African king to try to give away millions of dollars if only you’ll give him your bank account number. Further fortunately, Pedro was in a bit of his own stupor when I went to his house, so I stepped over him, unplugged my computer, and brought it home, which is where I am writing the good news that Ralph Kiner has done us the courtesy of awarding points towards the previously depleted Hall-of-Fame Death Pool.

Joe Livernois, owner of The Heart is a Lonely Hunter Pence, earned the most Kiner points, 95 total, 45 for the eggplant face plant, another 50 for hitting the Magic Number 6 dead-on, so to speak. We say “unfortunately” because Joe has already earned $375 this season for being the All-Star Champ, the Playoff Champ, and for winning the Pitching Champ monies. If he is crowned the HOF Death Pool -- 125 clams -- that would push him to $500, which is more than our Overall Champ and Regular Season Champs, Kevin Klinkhamer and Paul Martin, won, which just can’t happen. No one in this league can earn more than the Overall and Regular Season Champs. Fact. So, if Joe wins the HOF Death pool, we may have to take his Pitching Champ monies away and give them to Puck the Fackers owner Brendan Butts, who came in third place to Joe’s second place and Kevin’s first place. Or something. Several teams earned points for Ralph Kiner’s death, so maybe they can overtake Joe before the first pitch of the 2014 season. Let’s hope so. I have all my chips on Joe Morgan.

If you didn’t score points for Ralph Kiner’s death, don’t fret. There are still plenty of Hall-of-Famers who aren’t life challenged and there are an incalculable number of ways they can still face-plant the baked eggplant before the first pitch of the ’14 season. Fingers crossed!

Meanwhile, if you get an e-mail from Pedro telling you that he has this cool offer from a African king, please just ignore it.
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