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Though it was a typical short slate of games Thursday, the night was jam-packed with big names and big stories. There was the much-anticipated match-up between Justin Verlander and Yu Darvish, Bryce Harper was back on the field to lend his support to teammate and fellow superstar Stephen Strasburg who was still looking for his first win since Opening Day, the Mariners were looking for their first series win at Yankee Stadium in what seemed like a bazillion years, and there were aces abound with the likes of Adam Wainwright, Jose Fernandez, Mat Latos and Matt Cain all taking the hill. Yet with all of that star power front and center and in the spotlight, none of it compared to what was actually my favorite part of the night.
So it’s like that again, huh? Just the third day of the 2013 MLB season and we’re already staring at a perfect game? Well…..almost. Pretty damn close as Yu Darvish manhandled the Astros lineup and came just one out away from throwing baseball’s 24th perfect game and fourth in less than a full calendar year.
Oh man. Look at this. A guy goes away for a couple of days and look how everything falls apart. Say it ain’t so, Bartolo. Say it ain’t so. I guess we all now know how, at 39 years old and 267 pounds (which is definitely lowballing),Bartolo Colon managed to post up 10 wins and a 3.43 ERA while pitching for the A’s this season. But now,he's following in the footsteps of Melky Cabrera and sitting out the next 50 games which kisses this season goodbye as well as any chance of a legitimate contract during the offseason.
Well now I don’t mean to slight you here on the recap after a day off, but spending the night at the Giants/Astros game sort of takes away from your ability to watch multiple games simultaneously. I kept up with everything thanks to some nerdiness and a smart phone, but you know it’s just not the same. But you didn’t come here for excuses. You came here for some fantasy baseball information and gosh darn it, that’s what you’re gonna get. So screw the excuses and let’s just get to it.
Usually, you see it all in the show business world. A great comedian, a great singer, some fantastic band performs – it’s a phenomenal performance and the crowd goes absolutely nuts. A standing ovation followed up with, what could seem like an hour of straight cheers and applause. Moments like that aren’t necessarily rare, but when they happen, they stand out like a lone, bright star in a pitch black night. You never want to be the guy who follows that. Some comedian before you kills it, the pressure on you to perform up to those standards is ridiculous. One subpar joke and you’re finished. It’s the same with musical performances. If you follow one of those amazing moments, if you’re not perfect, you’re done.
Sometimes in life, you have to know when to admit that you were wrong. It’s okay to stand by your convictions, but when you do or say something that the world eventually finds out is wrong, you need to be man (or woman) enough to admit your misjudgment. On the ever-so-rare occasion, this happens to me and as someone who offers up fantasy baseball advice to the masses, I like to hold myself accountable. After all, you need to trust the source from which you’re getting your information, right? Well, I’m building that trust with you here.
“I love my life. I love my wife. And I wish you my kind of success.” These are the words of legendary sports agent Dickey Fox, inspiration and mentor to Jerry Maguire, and they ring true for me almost each and every day. I spend the majority of my days watching and writing about the game of baseball – both real and fantasy. It doesn’t quite pay the bills yet, but I sling some drinks on the side and am married to a very loving and supportive woman whose job does more than just pick up my slack. But what’s even better than having a “sugar mama” like that is that she is a die-hard baseball fan as well, has two fantasy baseball championships under her belt, and never asks me to turn off the ballgame so that she can watch The Real Housewives of Who Gives a Crap. So I’ve got it pretty good. While some people sit there and lament over what their lives could have been and wish that they walked a different path, I’m pretty happy with the way things are here. I like who I am and I don’t wish to be anyone else.
Welcome to Bizarro baseball. While the anticipated debut of Yu Darvish was on everyone’s minds on Monday, the real excitement ended up coming from a very unlikely source. Barry Zito, the $126M albatross that hangs on the neck of the Giants organization and its fans, turned in a gutsy and vintage performance to help his team ruin the Colorado Rockies 2012 home opener. With the Giants seeking their first win of the season, Zito turned in a complete game, four-hit shutout with four strikeouts and no walks as the Giants offense went to town and pummeled the Rockies pitching for seven runs. Zito hurls a shutout? The Giants offense scores seven runs in a game? Bizarro baseball, indeed.
Vegas may not have been as hopping as we thought it would be (where was everyone?), but that doesn't mean that it wasn't as much fun as I was expecting. I participated in a baseball draft for the FSTA, networked at the conference, and talked shop with some of the best minds in the business. I also got the chance to spend some time with the brain trust of Fantasy Alarm, and without naming names, I can tell you that these are some quality people folks. You are in good hands if you have Fantasy Alarm bookmarked as a daily read. Now that my sucking up is at an end, though let's face it I'm nothing if not someone who understands the value of self promotion passing along accolades when needed, let's get down to the baseball analysis.