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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.
Is it just me or did Wednesday seem to be the most boring baseball day we’ve had this year? I mean, don’t get me wrong – there’s really nothing boring about watching a bunch of games and staring at the live scoring for your fantasy team, but where was the drama? Where was the excitement? Where was the four-home run day? Where was the perfect game, or at least the no-hitter? Not even a complete game shutout? Come on. The most dramatic moment we had was watching David Robertson show us that, no matter how good he may be, he’s no Mariano Rivera. And that probably doesn’t come as a shock to any of us.
We’re barely a month in and already the 2012 MLB season is proving to be one of the most action-packed seasons we’ve seen. From the highs of a perfect game to the lows of a legendary closer having his swan song cut short by a freak knee injury, this season has been loaded with drama and excitement. Consequently, the fantasy baseball season has been a ridiculous, rollercoaster ride and it feels like we haven’t even scratched the surface. You know that there is still so much more to come. And how could you think otherwise? Between the rash of injuries to top-tier talent, the number of relievers moved in and out of closers’ jobs and the fact that the highlight reels are filled with names like Jose Altuve, Jason Kipnis and Bryan LaHair, you just can’t afford to miss a single day. And Tuesday was certainly no exception.
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.
So here we were today with the fourth installment of Opening Day and while there was plenty of action to talk about with the afternoon games, the primary focus remained on Albert Pujols and his debut with the Angels. Thousands of flickering lights illuminated the stands at Angel Stadium on Friday night as everyone maneuvered in the stands to catch a shot of Prince Albert digging in for his first official American League at-bat. Unfortunately for those expecting a powerhouse debut, Pujols finished the night 0-for-3 with a walk and had a very unassuming evening. Angels fans will just have to wait another night for their 240 million dollar man to shine.
We have reached the last full week of the fantasy baseball season, and at this point all that is left to cover is a few injuries that are still lingering, as well as recognizing the great or pathetic seasons that players have had. Tonight we have made it official who the greatest closer in the history of baseball truly is, some disappointing players who are out of lineups whether temporarily or for the rest of the season, and I name the American League Most Valuable Player. Lastly I give you a few players that have caught my attention this season and how I see their value in drafts at the start of 2012. It is never too late to start thinking about next year's drafts!!!!!
Happy Hump Day fantasy players! It is a very busy night on the diamond tonight as well as on the road back from injury from a former MVP. Elite closers are blowing up left and right, while some guys who aren't household names are getting the job done. An often injured starter goes the distance tonight, while a also ran for fantasy looked like a star. One of the futures of the Braves rotation struggled to find his way, while a Red Sox stud looks studly. There is so much more going on in this article tonight that I will just let you get to it and take in all of the news that you need to help you in your quest for league domination.
Only ten games on the docket today but that hasn't stopped the fantasy baseball train from rolling along as we finally see some outstanding pitching performances from a number of aces today and plenty of offensive output as well albeit from some unlikely sources. There's also some news about the return of Adam Dunn, an exciting young infielder suffers a broken leg, a potential closer returns from the disabled list and then there's Manny being Manny. It's time for a fantasy baseball recap so as Def Leppard said back in the '80's, "Step inside, walk this way, you and me baby...hey, hey!"
Tonight there isn't a lot of general news or many games on the schedule so the Rounding The Bases entry is a little shorter than usual, but it is no less important for you to read. There is some fantastic news on Matt Holliday, some more of the same from the New York Yankees, and impressive performances by young Braves pitchers. We also highlight a couple of aging, injury prone players that are screaming "SELL HIGH ON ME!" and we identify them. All of this and more for you to enjoy from a light Monday in the major leagues.