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Archive for Monday, May 22, 2006

Yankee’s apology misdirected

Fantasy owners are real victims of Matsui’s injury

May 22, 2006

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Dear Mr. Matsui:

Thank you for your heartfelt apology to fans and teammates after fracturing your wrist last week. But, really, shouldn't your contrition go to fantasy owners first? After all, it was your selfish dive in the outfield that made Melky a household fantasy name.

That in itself seems worthy of your sincerest regrets.

How thoughtless it was of you, a great player on a paper-thin roster, to get hurt. Should you feel a need to do this again in the future, would it kill you to be on a team loaded with viable fantasy options?

You wouldn't need to apologize if you were a Pat Burrell of the Phillies and got hurt. We roto geeks have been dying to see how Shane Victorino does with regular playing time.

So thank you for apologizing to fans for your absence, and to us fantasy baseball addicts by extension for the Yankees' inability to field a fantasy-worthy prospect in your absence. Isn't that the real crime here?

No Apology Needed

Shane Victorino, OF, Phillies

Victorino probably won't hit .550 this year, as he did (11-for-20) in his first five games after the injury to Aaron Rowand. But this is a guy to keep an eye on. He hit .310-18-70 at Triple-A last year and is the fourth outfielder on a high-scoring team with two banged up guys (Rowand, Pat Burrell). He can steal a base, he has a little pop, and if things go the right way for him (the wrong way for the Phillies), he could put up nice numbers in 300 at-bats.

Brett Tomko, RHP, Dodgers

Jeff Weaver's replacement in the Dodgers' rotation has a lot in common with Weaver: tons of potential, and brilliant moments hampered by significant inconsistency. Until this year, at least so far. Tomko is enjoying the best start of his 10-year career, a career in which he's only once finished with an ERA under 4.00. He's 5-1 with a 2.88 ERA, including a masterful 1.44 in four starts at Chavez Ravine.

Jamey Carroll, INF, Rockies

Here's the thing: Rockies 2B Luis Gonzalez just can't seem to get on track. He's hitting .225. Meanwhile, through May 16, SS Clint Barmes is in a horrific 3-for-42 slump and hasn't hit a single in May. Both of these guys may yet re-emerge, but waiting in the wings is a great-looking contact hitter with terrific plate discipline and base-stealing speed. Carroll is like Craig Counsell with less power (no, really) and perhaps more on-base potential. I like his chances to get 400 at-bats this year, hit .300 and steal 15-20 bases.

Hard To Say I'm Sorry

Barry Bonds, OF, Giants

Where to start? Apologies needed in so many areas, from the self-indulgence of "Bonds on Bonds," to his treatment of other human beings, to his lack of effort for the Giants in any area other than attempting to hit history-making home runs. But fantasy owners are the real sufferers. How do you put a guy on your bench with that kind of power when he's only swinging for the fences? Easy. Just do it. Having him on your team for No. 715 will be no more special than having Curtis Granderson on your team for his No. 15.

Melky Cabrera, OF, Yankees

Got Melky? If so, I'm sorry. You may want to get that cleared up. It's no secret that Cabrera has a history of hitting well in the minors (.385-4-24 at Triple-A before his call-up). So how could extended playing time be a bad thing? It just is, take my word for it. It starts with Melky's outfield play: frantic and uncertain at the same time. Defense doesn't matter in fantasy per se, but if every ball in the left-field corner becomes an adventure, how long do you think Joe Torre (let alone George Steinbrenner) will keep trotting this 21-year-old out there?

Quick Hits

What's the deal with Rangers 1B Mark Teixeira's power outage? Four homers through a quarter of the season is a real surprise. However, he's hitting the ball hard, and over his career April and May are his worst power months, with 27 homers combined. He has 45 combined in June and July. Expect him to heat up soon.

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