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We’re just a week away from the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline, but as any baseball fan worth his/her salt knows, the trades don’t even come close to stopping there. The waiver trade deadline in August (trades where players must first clear waivers before being dealt) is also a hotbed of action as it usually involves several marquee players whose contracts can be burdensome to smaller market teams and therefore have little problem slipping through the waiver system. So the bottom line is that we’re looking at a few more weeks of potential player movement and subsequent fantasy unrest.
With the July31st non-waiver trade deadline rapidly approaching, we’ve been seeing a few deals pop up recently that obviously have some effect on the fantasy baseball world. It’s not like we’ve seen any real big blockbusters that are sending owners into some panicked frenzy, but, rest assured, those will certainly be coming soon. For now though, there are some that are having a bit of an impact that we should probably be taking a look at as they are happening. So let’s just do a quick rundown here and see what’s been going on.
For years, all I heard out of my granddaddy’s mouth were a few colorful sayings that any nine year old boy would love and the ever popular, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” Didn’t matter how many other people knew something to be true, if he didn’t see it first hand, he refused to believe it. “Hey Grandpa,” I would say earnestly. “They make popcorn that you can cook in the microwave in under five minutes.” “Pffffffft! I’ll believe it when I see it.” “Hey Grandpa, they make telephones you can carry around with you and make calls any time you want.” “Bah. I’ll believe it when I see it.” Over and over again, that curmudgeonly, raspy, almost cartoon-like voice echoed in my head. “I’ll believe it when I see it.”
Ever wonder where the Angels would have been had Mike Trout not been called up to save the day? Angels fans shudder to think about it and fantasy owners of Trout want little to do with a baseball world that doesn’t include the 20-year old center fielder. With his incredibly humble, team-first attitude and his .355-64-13-44-30 batting line, Trout has injected new life into this game that simply gets everyone excited about the game.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure is how the old adage goes, and it couldn’t be any more perfect a phrase when discussing the trade of Kevin Youkilis to the Chicago White Sox just a few short weeks ago. Bobby Valentine may have won the Battle of Beantown, but it is the White Sox who have won the war and it is Youkilis who is enjoying the last laugh here. As the Red Sox try to fight their way out of last place and a 9 ½ game deficit in the AL East, the White Sox are sitting atop the AL Central, 3 ½ games ahead of heavily favored Detroit, and Youkilis has played a tremendous role in the process.
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.
So the big story as we jumped into the second half of the 2012 season was that Zack Greinke became the first pitcher since 1917 to start three consecutive games for his team in one season. Impressive? Maybe. I’m still sifting through data trying to find box scores and pitching lines for Red Faber, the pitcher for the White Sox who accomplished the feat back in the days of yore, but am still coming up empty. My assumption, though, is that he threw more than eight innings in total for the three starts thus rendering Greinke’s accomplishment a pretty lame technicality more than an impressive feat.
As we gear up for the second half, it wouldn’t be right if we didn’t get a chance to vent our frustrations and call out those players that fell way short of expectations and basically screwed us in the first half. We’re always so quick to praise those players who returned a significant value and helped us along (2012 First Half Best Value All Stars), but let’s also bring a little accountability to the forefront here and acknowledge those that cost us a bundle on draft day only to turn around and put up a stinker of a first half. I present to you the 2012 First Half Worst Value All Bust Team.
As we settle in for the All Star break, it’s time to show out love and appreciation for the best value picks of the first half. Obviously there are players out there that may have better overall stats than some of the ones I’m about to reveal, but these are the ones who have given you the best return value for where they were drafted this year. First round picks that produce first round numbers are usually no-brainers, but as we all know, fantasy baseball championships are won in the later rounds when you get first round-type production form your 18th round pick. So without further ado, I present to you the 2012 First Half, Best Value, Stud-a-Licious Award winners…
Since we’re headed into the All Star break, we’re going to keep it relatively quick and simple here. It’s a short fantasy week coming up and lineups aren’t usually set until Thursday morning, so we can just ease into our Sunday, enjoy the games and then worry about everything while we enjoy watching the spectacle that is the Home Run Derby and the All Star Game.