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We’re going to keep it short and sweet here as Thursdays tend to be slow days without a full slate of games anyway. But what I wanted to do was throw you a bit of fantasy advice which is more of just a heads up than anything else. While your waiver wire probably looks like it’s been picked clean and that the help available is pretty sparse, things are about to start looking up and your immediate attention will be required.
Hey everyone gather around, I have a secret. You ready? Everyone is going to regress. Next time you hear or read that someone is going to regress, say “Duh, tell me something I don’t know.”
Another day, another bullpen mess to deal with. The Cubs, by my count, appear to be on their 5th closer, and boy is he a blast from the past. The Tigers are promoting Jose Valverde and it looks like he will be given a shot in the 9th inning right away (so much for the Tigers saying, oh for about five months, that they had no interest in Valverde closing for them). The Yankees continue to have to deal with injuries and it's seeming more like, with each passing day, that they aren't being honest. Asdrubal Cabrera has been a mess at the plate, and the injuries are piling up. The Mariners have two guys who can't hit at shortstop, but the backup is now the starter as the team is making a change. Finally, should we be looking at Brandon Belt as a total failure at this point?
One of the best illustrations of how history repeats itself is found in the closer situation for fantasy baseball owners. Every year we see the same thing over and over again. You’ve got your select few who have fantastic job security and the talent to back it up and then you’ve got the rest – a disgusting revolving door of blown saves and ratios that make you cringe and wonder how it could ever be that bad. Well, we’ve got one more joining the party this week as the Tigers have finally caved in and gone back to the well from which they drank last season. Yep, that’s right….it’s the return of Papa Grande.
If you play in multiple fantasy leagues, there’s nothing worse than hitching your wagon to a particular player and watching him struggle to open the year. More often than not, if you believe in the player enough, you’re going to end up with him on as many teams as you can and once you do that, you’re fairly committed to him for the season. A slow start hurts you across the board in your leagues. A major injury can be devastating. For me, that player was Jason Heyward, and while the rest of my team has been working hard to cover for his early-season shortcomings, news of an emergency appendectomy just put everything into, for lack of a better way to say it, a whole new stratosphere of suck.
Yes, yes, I’m very aware. An absence over the weekend has left you in dire need of some fantasy love from me. My apologies. This was the first weekend in a very long time that my wife and I had coinciding schedules and we were looking to take advantage and get in a little quality time together. But of course, there was the inevitable fly in the ointment. Upon going out Friday night, my wife decided to have a snack at the concert venue we were at and before we knew it, we were forced to leave the show in mid encore and race home because she was feeling well. The subsequent food poisoning put her on the shelf for most of the weekend and left me to play nursemaid and house custodian over the next two days. Sadly, baseball was forced to take a back seat, but the whole experience got me to thinking and here’s where I bring it around full circle…
Back in the day when you had to walk to school both ways up a hill in a driving snowstorm, fantasy baseball was a completely different game. The incarnation of this hobby was a single league format (American League only or National League only) with no reserves and no free agent pickups. The only way to replace an active player was via waivers if they were placed on the disabled list, demoted to the minors or traded to the other league. If you owned Clayton Richard and he was scheduled to face the Rockies in Coors Field, tough noogies, you couldn’t reserve him for a pitcher with a better match-up.
You know those fantasy days where it all just hits you at the same time? You open up your live scoring page and all your hitters have 0-for’s next to their names and your pitchers have ERA and WHIP totals so high that you’re wondering if anyone actually completed a single inning? You look your roster up and down and the only things you have in abundance are red crosses and injury note tags? You know those days? Absolutely frustrating. Mind-numbing, really.
We've played less than three weeks of major league baseball in the 2013 season. Some folks in the fantasy game seem to think we've played 13 weeks. People are panicked over the slow starts of Matt Kemp and Jason Heyward. Others are ready to anoint guys like Jeremy Guthrie and Chris Johnson as superstars in the making. The truth obviously lies somewhere in-between (hopefully that was obvious to you because it certainly isn't for some based upon the interactions I've had with folks). In today's article we'll explore some hot and cold starts and give a few thoughts about the trends we have witnessed to this point of the season. We'll also try and make sense of why the Dodgers continue to hold down one of their best prospects for the junk that they are throwing out there in the infield.
Though the events from Monday remain unresolved and our thoughts linger with those affected in both the city of Boston and around the world, the show must go on. Major League Baseball is not pausing the season and your fantasy leagues aren’t shutting down. Obviously it’s okay to be distracted but you still have to pay attention to what’s going on. There are job battles still being fought over, players coming on and off the DL, hot starts to consider and cold starts to shake off. You need to make sure you’re still dialed in and up to date on all the latest happenings.