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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.
With the short slate of games on Thursday and the lack of a clear-cut Beast of the Day, we’re going to change up the format again. We’ll start with some of the highlights from Thursday and then discuss a few other important things from the baseball world that you should be aware of as you head down the stretch towards your impending championship. Even with the passing of MLB’s non-waiver trade deadline, there’s still plenty ahead. We’ve got waiver trades that are being discussed, late-season injuries, and of course, the plethora of minor leaguers being summoned as teams that are out of contention begin to audition some of their more high-profile youngsters. We’ve even got a few contenders reaching into their farm systems for a few guys that may give them the added boost they’ll need as they work towards a potential playoff spot. So without further ado, let’s get to it…
It’s déjà vu all over again, right Yogi? Pablo Sandoval hitting the DL with the exact same injury as last season? Kung Fu Panda joining fellow third sackers, Evan Longoria and Ryan Zimmerman, just as he did one year ago today? Brutal. Just brutal. Fantasy owners that invested in a top third baseman because of how thin the position remained this year are banging their heads against the wall trying to find an adequate replacement on the waiver wire, something that probably doesn’t exist even anymore. By the time Sandoval owners got the news, third base-eligible waivers had already been picked clean by owners of Longoria, Zimmerman and throw in Kevin Youkilis this time for good measure. Shallow league owners are likely deciding between Pedro Alvarez and Chris Johnson while deeper league victims are probably staring at Wilson Betemit, Alex Liddi and John McDonald and just shaking their heads both in disgust and disbelief.
After a month-long absence, your Tuesday Night Top Ten column is back…with a vengeance. Ok maybe not with a vengeance, but it is back. In keeping with the tradition, I have compiled ten of the most newsworthy stories and happenings in fantasy baseball for you. Some of them contain humor. Some of them contain advice. Some of them contain useful information. But they all contain sentences, words and punctuation. Now, without further adieu, here is the Tuesday Top Ten fantasy baseball headlines for July 26, 2011.