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I've been sick, so there is precious little brain power I currently have at the moment for any grand unifying theory. The upshot of that is the fact that there really is no theme with today's piece. I just looked at the news of the day and pulled out a bunch of bits that caught my eye. A $125 million player stinks. A set of rookies are off to strong starts. Will one or both be able to sustain that? An all-star catcher returns to the fold down south. A handful of outfielders, with varying pedigrees and levels of success, will also be discussed. I told you there was no plan this week.
It was the great Terrence Mann who once said, “The one constant through all the years…has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time.” I know exactly where I was when I heard the news that Thurman Munson, my childhood idol, died in a plane crash. I had my first real kiss during the summer of the year Cal Ripken, Jr. won the Rookie of the Year award. Craig Biggio’s MLB debut was on the TV as I sat in the hospital waiting room following the worst car accident I’ve ever been in. A strike robbed the Montreal Expos of a probable World Series championship the year I met my wife and Albert Pujols won his first title the year we got married. So when I sat there watching Andy Pettitte pitch eight innings of one-run ball to shut down the Red Sox and Mariano Rivera closed it out for the team’s first win of the season, I have to admit, it felt a little strange as I knew I was literally watching the end of an era.
If it hasn’t already happened yet, it will, so you’re going to want to make sure you stay prepared. But with yesterday’s news that Roy Halladay would miss six to eight weeks with a lat muscle problem and that he was being joined on the DL by Jered Weaver due to a back strain and that Roy Oswalt was signing with the Rangers likely bringing Neftali Feliz’ time as a starter to a close, your waiver wire should be a hotbed of action. Pitchers are going to start getting picked up at a rapid rate as owners begin to worry about the starters they stream and the apparent lack of depth available at this point in the season. Now obviously there’s no reason to panic, but would I grab an extra starter or two, someone half decent to stash away and leave on my bench? Absolutely. I wouldn’t do it if it came at the expense of a better offensive choice and I wasn’t in dire need, but if the league is fairly deep and you have the bench space, then I don’t think it would hurt to have an extra arm or two available – for your own use or even for trade. It’s just a matter of keeping up with the trends and keeping yourself covered. We’re only a third of the way through the season, so with so much baseball still to go, any little advantage helps.
If there’s one thing you can say about Saturday’s games, there was quite the flair for the dramatic. It seems like every game you turned to, there was something big happening. There were three walk-off home runs, two complete-game shutouts, Derek Jeter tied George Brett for 14th on the all-time hits list, and yet another Heath Bell meltdown. We had more great pitching performances and plenty of offense to keep your fantasy teams juiced. So without further ado, let’s get to the highlights…
Lance Berkman may or may not be done fore the rest of the 2012 season, we're just not sure yet. Ryan Braun --- so much for the concerns that he wouldn't be able to produce this season because of the off the field stuff that was swirling around him. Dee Gordon has been awful this season, so much so that he's lost his spot in the Dodgers order. Who is likely to hit atop the lineup? Roy Oswalt wants to pitch for a contender near his Mississippi home. He might get his wish. I'll also give you three names of players who have been tearing it up at the dish the past two weeks.