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It doesn’t happen often but there are times, every so often, that you’d like to see your fantasy team get some credit for defensive plays. As I flipped between several of the games Saturday and then watched the highlight reels later on in the evening, I saw some unbelievable plays in the field. Colorado rookie third baseman Nolan Arenado had, what I thought was, the play of the day as he dove towards the line – full air, full extension – snagged the ball and after what appeared to be a T.J. Hooker-like roll, threw the runner out while still in the sitting position. Catches by Ichiro Suzuki and Jon Jay made the highlights as well, but as good as they were, neither touched Arenado’s play. Obviously it’s subjective as to how amazing you thought each play was which is why you just can’t score something like that at an appropriate value, but worthy of acknowledgement nonetheless.
It’s been a fairly rough week for yours truly here, not just in real life (hence the absence for the majority of the week), but in the fantasy racket as well. Injuries have been absolutely brutal to all of my fantasy teams during this young season and Friday turned out to be yet another dark and dismal day in my attempts to climb back into contention. Obviously there’s plenty more to come, but when your team is sitting in a relatively deep hole and you continue to lose players faster than you are getting them back, the fantasy doldrums seem a lot like a permanent residence than just a temporary situation.
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.
It was like the Year of the Pitcher on the first day of the 2013 Major League Baseball season. The batters were up at the plate with the lumber, but try as they might they were unable to make solid contact in a ton of their at-bats. Which pitchers excelled the first time they took the hill? Which of the arms that did excel should be looked at for big things in 2013? Which of the arms should you be a bit worried about? Should we all be worried about managers curtailing the workload of those arms after so many were seemingly pulled well before their pitch total went into the danger zone in their first outing? We'll explore those thoughts in this piece. What a great sentence.
And just like that, after the long, cold winter, the MLB season is back in full force and the fantasy baseball season has officially begun. Happy Opening Day to you all. Worth the wait? I’d say so. We got a nice, little taste on Sunday night as the Astros won their very first game as an American League team and then Monday was just one of those days that made you feel like a little kid all over again. We saw some great baseball played with the promise of so much more to come.
Some serious apologies to those still stopping by the Rounding the Bases blog only to find a major lack of content lately. I had taken a few days off last week and we’re at that point in the year where we’re all transitioning to the fantasy football side for the upcoming NFL season. That’s not to say that we’re abandoning baseball coverage, but we are scaling it back a bit with just a month to go.
They say that one bad apple can spoil the bunch and while I’m still trying to figure out who “they” are, they are a thousand percent right. I made 12 very specific phone calls on Wednesday evening, all to people with whom I discuss baseball, both real and fantasy, on a regular basis and waited for them to introduce baseball to the conversation to see which topic they would touch on first. I got 11 Melky Cabrera suspensions and just one Felix Hernandez perfect game. Both seem to be a semi-regular occurrence these days, granted, but why do we gravitate towards the negative?
With little or no news coming in from the waiver circuit and even less getting churned out of the MLB rumor mill, it looks like we can just focus on the games now – which is actually a good thing. Sometimes we get so caught up in who’s moving where and which teams are buyers and which are sellers, that we tend to lose a little focus on our own personal team needs. With less than two months to go, it’s more important now than ever to either solidify your place at the top of the standings or figure out your best course of action to get there. In the meantime, we’re going to get to the highlights as Saturday had some outstanding performances.
Have you ever heard that story about the baby bull sitting atop a hill with his father overlooking the valley strewn with cows? The son looks up to his father and says, “Hey dad! How ‘bout we run down that hill and grab one of them cows and have our way with her?” And the father looks down at his son and responds, “How about we just quietly walk down that hill and have our way with them all?” It’s a story about patience and maturity and it’s a story about thinking before you act. It popped into my mind here this early, early Sunday morning when I turned on my laptop to see a series of emails from both Giants fans and Tim Lincecum owners deriding me for my blasphemous statements regarding the one they belovedly refer to as The Freak.
Just a quick rundown today, folks. Lots of great ball played on Monday and who doesn’t love a full slate of games on what is normally considered a day of rest for the sport? But while the games were great and there was a bit of action to be had all over the place, no one really stood out as head and shoulders above the rest. Sure, there were some great pitching performances and obviously there were a handful of hitters that did their fantasy owners right, but for me, no one worthy of that coveted Beast tag today. What can you do? It happens. Doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to see though…