Uneasy Lies the Head of the Pack

Every time I kid Steve Swinea during our marathon phone conversations, Steve sharply responds to any perceived criticism, "Hmmm, Mystic Rhythm playing .600 ball . . . everything's a joke . . . everyone's fair game." Am I really feeling as confident as Steve's comments suggest? Lord no!

Steve has misread me if he thinks I'm twisting by the pool. Have I clinched anything? Will my fellow GM's grant me a playoff spot based on my 70 game performance? Has my name been etched onto the Spit Cup? At this point nothing has been settled. Mystic owns an early advantage, which could easily evaporate in a matter of games. If my lead does hold up, I still must start fresh during the more important second season, the Summer League Playoffs.

How can I, a manager, relax at this point? In the pre-season, I lauded over the talent in this season's managerial pool, and 70 games later, I still do. John, despite a questionable trade, has righted his ship and has actually played .700 ball versus the humbled Rhythm. Oft ridiculed, Jim's speed has earned him a middle lane in the sprint to the playoffs. With 4 Championships between them, one must always bring their best to the table when facing Molsen Division leaders Chris and Greg. While slumping at times, Joe and Steve's squads have flashed occasional brilliance, and while they sit at the bottom rungs, no one has kicked them off the SL ladder.

Ken ('Commissioner Ken' to some, 'That Fiery Jerk-Off' to others) may be every manager's focal point during the last half of the season. While not as balanced as some teams, Ken has some dominant players in a deep lineup. Pitching has troubled Ken in recent years, but with Kevin Brown, Guzman, Nagy, and two days of Rush, South Syrinx is as pitching-potent as any team. How do I feel about a 4-game advantage over Ken with 92 to go? Let's just say I'm notbreaking out the champagne.

Good luck, my friends and my foes. The Mystic Rhythm will need it. Rock on!!!

a previously unpublished article written by Keith Klein 70 games into the '97 SL (mid-June 1997)