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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Fantasy Baseball Prose-ings

    Baseball season is in full swing and fantasy baseball is at the peak of its entertainment. It is early, there are huge changes in the standings day in and day out, and everybody still has a chance to win. Today I want to relay a story about my most competitive league, my place in the standings and what it all means on April 17 from a fantasy perspective. Here’s a hint. Not too much.

    I’ve chronicled my aptly named “Winners Winners Winners” league before. If you missed it, get to the archives on our website. And if you care that much, well, frankly I’m impressed and flattered. But since you don’t, keep reading. This league is unlike most leagues because in any year, one of the 12 managers can win the league. This adds to the drama but also to the headaches. So the fact that I’ve spent only two days out of last place is somewhat annoying, but needs to be put in perspective. It probably applies to many a floundering team out there.

    Because of space considerations I’ll focus only on the hitters. I left the draft thinking I did great, all things considered. My infield was set with up and coming catcher Geovany Soto, top option David Ortiz, speed threat Brian Roberts, unspectacular but top-five option Carlos Guillen who qualifies at shortstop and reigning rookie of the year Ryan Braun who qualifies at third base. My outfield had question marks but it had depth and I figured I could pick up one breakout producer sometime during the season. I had Gary Sheffield, 22-year-old star in the making Delmon Young, and Johnny Damon who I figured to replace when someone stepped up. On the bench I had Adam Jones who I think could give 20-15 production and some other players I don’t remember because they’ve already been dropped.

    That’s one of the keys to fantasy baseball. Under no circumstances should you overreact and drop slumping superstars or solid producers who stumble out of the gate. But you should definitely be aware that bench players probably won’t make or break your season. If you see someone who starts off well and has a track record for success then you should be ready to pounce. Two pick-ups have helped me in the early going.

    I have a slight man-crush on Carlos Gomez of the Twins. He came to the Twins in the Johan Santana trade and promptly had 10 stolen bases during spring training. Then I heard that Jose Reyes said that Gomez beat him in a race and that was that, man-crush born. Big-time power threats get all the publicity as the famed “chicks dig the long ball” phrase alludes to, but value pickups win fantasy leagues. Gomez already has seven stolen bases on the young season. Last season, I picked up a similar speed threat with the pedigree to succeed who had no shortage of doubters about his fantasy potential. I picked him up and he held down a starting position for me all season. His name? B.J. Upton.

    Gary Matthews Jr. is another player who is paying dividends. He was believed to be the odd-man out on the Angels because of their glut of outfielders, but he is one of the league leaders in at bats. He plays almost every day and has been producing steadily. He has a track record for success so it wasn’t too hard to cut my dead weight when I saw that he was getting playing time.

    So you’ve read what I have to say so far and you feel like you learned a little something, but you’re smirking. You’re saying, “Okay, hotshot, so why last place?” Well as of now I’m in tenth, yesterday I was in eleventh and the day before that I sat in last. After the draft I felt that my team was one of the top three teams in the league on paper and in the scope of a 162-game schedule. Seventeen days off of the calendar won’t make me do a 180 on how I feel about my team.

    That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look to improve. I’ve already made 12 moves early in the season and I’m always reading up on the happenings in baseball, looking for an edge. If you identified a huge problem before the draft then it’s still there now. But unless all of your players fall off the face of the earth this season you shouldn’t panic this early on. Enjoy the season and enjoy the drama. Now if you’re in last heading into the all star break?then I don’t know what to tell you.

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