The answer to the Leading Off Puzzle is James Loney. As suggested throughout the awkwardly-phrased text, one should (1) pay attention not only on the end, but also (2) focus on the 'leadoff hitter' throughout.
Thus, if you refrain from fixating on the Haiku and instead take the first letter of each sentence throughout the entire text, it will spell out "Last Year He Led Team In RBIs". That was James Loney with 90.
Congratulations QuadSevens for solving this in a ridiculously fast 4 minutes. What?!? Bards will be singing about that feat for generations to come (and did you know he has his own blog?) Quad was followed by his arch-rival Loney Fan in an impressive-but-overshadowed 16 minutes. Then came, in order, MSTI, Andrew, Berkowit28, Fanerman, Natalie, Brandon, J Steve, Ubragg, and Mr. Customer.
Thanks for playing. Updated PCS rankings coming soon, and next Off-Day Puzzle April 20!