By Antonino Buccellato.
Something strange happened to me this past Saturday.
I have been so overly excited about my Arizona Cardinals playing in Super Bowl XLIII that I have been stocking up on junk food all week.
Forget about my waistline for a day. The Cardinals being in the big game is well worth the few extra pounds.
Anyhow, carried by the Rocky Balboa-like momentum of the Cardinals ("one more round"...), I look for my TV remote control and start flipping sports channels to program the event on my VCR.
I've got to do this now before I head out of town, I thought, and I can't find the channel where the game is being broadcast.
CBS, FOX, ESPN, ABC, NFL Network...nothing. I can't believe it.
Oh wait, perhaps the game's TV rights were sold to PBS or TBS at the last minute.
No luck there either.
Or maybe they've just launched a new station called DEF, GHI, WOLF, XBS, OBS, something. Nope, they didn't do that either.
I started looking at the newspaper's TV section, surfing the net, and to my surprise...my mind is a week ahead of schedule.
No wonder I (my wife actually) made plans to go out of town.
Now what? I have been acting like a creature of habit watching NFL games every Sunday, even after Fantasy Football ended. I have enjoyed the NFL playoffs.
The good news is that starting next year, this usually vacant football week will be filled with the Pro Bowl game (I'm sure you're all excited about that, right?) but this is now and I wanted my weekly dose of football.
My body and mind needs it. Sure, I can watch reruns of Super Bowl I, II, and III on the NFL Network, but I wanted something current.
The top-10 linebackers and coaches reruns? No thanks. I'll pass.
That could only mean one thing...Catching up on a four-month long list of "Honey Do's" put on hold since September. There’s always the Total Gym I stowed away and haven't used since my college years.
Wait! That means I have to be active. No thanks.
But, wait a minute! I just remembered something, as my brain starts to thaw out. I need to email our friend Lawrence Barreca.
"Lawrence, could you start working on some Fantasy Baseball rankings for 2009, please? Could you put a priority tag on it? The Football season is almost over...
Please help, I need to be involved in some kind of Fantasy sport, anything, even Hockey or Soccer. I’ll even settle on Fantasy Golf or NASCAR, if there is such a thing. Thank you in advance, Lawrence. Signed, your Fantasy Doc."
I keep refreshing my email inbox at a frenetic pace, hoping for an unrealistic quick answer.
As soon I was ready (not really) to immerse myself in some of the backed up chores, I hear my inbox alert going off!
Could it be? Come on let it be from Lawrence...
It was!!! He saved me for yet another day.
"Hello there, Fantasy Doc, I was waiting for your signal to post them rankings. I've had them done for over two weeks now. I'll get them up at the site right now."
I think I thanked him a thousand times on my reply email.
Like they say, all is well that ends well.
Lawrence, who has been writing sporadically during the football season (just the pregame and postgame injury reports) is now ready to take center stage during the baseball season along with John Arias (John writes the Dark Horses column during football season).
Lawrence has all the rankings done and will have the Top-10 Pitchers, Hitters, Sleepers, Busts, Rookies, Comeback players for 2009.
He will also write a weekly Waiver Wire column during the season.
John, meanwhile, will start analyzing all the Baseball divisions soon.
He will write the Start/Sit column and the Two-Start Pitchers column during the season.
Before getting to the rankings' link, in NFL news Pete King from SI reported that Mike Shanahan will not coach in 2009.
Not for the Chiefs, like wrongly reported by ESPN earlier in the week, not for any other team.
Now, enjoy our 2009 Fantasy Baseball Rankings