First, I would like to take the time to thank Corey Roberts for providing me a platform to reach his readers and giving me the opportunity to be a part of the Major League Fantasy Sports family. His hard work and diligence to put out the highest quality content covering fantasy sports means great things for novice and seasoned competitors alike. I bring to the table a taste of Brooklyn, along with sound information that has helped me do quite well over the years playing at a high level in my leagues, and a few chuckles thrown in for good measure. My involvement in Fantasy sports started 13 years ago, when Mo Vaughn was productive, Johnny Damon was 19th in MVP voting, and Travis Fryman had over 100 RBIs (yes, that Travis Fryman). I’ve always favored the Roto format when it comes to baseball, though my thoughts will be extended to fit H2H category based leagues as well. So without any further ado, let’s get this train rolling!
Drafting Ryan Braun third was all the rage late March. Owners licked their chops at the opportunity to acquire the services of a guy who would hit over 300, crush over 30 bombs, score over 100 runs, and drive in a little over that in RBI’s, on his way to steal close to or a little over 30 bags. Well, if you were one of the unlucky souls to make this unfortunate slip up, then this weeks news is probably sitting in your stomach like the morning after bad shawarma at 3am (because it’s open, that’s why!), following an evening of putting a few too many down one Friday. It appears that MLB is going guns blazing after 19 players in the league, and one minor leaguer, with Braun and A-Rod (who really wasn’t going to help you this year anyway) at the top of their list. This is a crucial, crippling blow to Braun owners, because they did not draft him with expectations of a 28/9/35/3 year at all. Honestly though, you should have. The writing was all over the wall, in 3D and zoomed all the way in. I strongly believe the MLB brass will be successful in their pursuit to suspend Braun for 100 games. This will net his production results to possibly only 20-25 more games with appeals, at best (thinking more like 17). If the suspension were effective today, he would only play four more games this season. What owners who do have Braun or other players under investigation should do is run them out there until the suspensions are handed down, then cut ties. For keeper leagues, see if someone is willing to give you anything you can use to help you soften the blow.
As much as this directly affects the players involved, it also has bearing on the remaining production of their teammates. Can Carlos Gomez, Jean Segura, or Norichika Aoki keep producing at a high level, or will it just be the unveiling of how important pitching to Braun really is for the brew crew. Best thing to do here is not to just wait and see what happens. Try to accumulate top value for these guys now, before it’s too late. This would be a perfect time to get yourself a top arm if you are hurting in the pitching department or at another position. Waiting around gets you nowhere on time, and winning leagues is all about being the first owner to make a move, thinking about the future of your season or team. We have all heard the saying “idle hands,” yadda, yadda, yadda – though; it’s very true in regards to fantasy sports. Sitting on your hands will get you nothing but numb fingers. Trust! The next guy is trying to always make moves for the betterment of his team; you should be doing the same. Leaving your season up to hope, chance, and what could possibly be is a surefire way to 6th place. And that sucks!
For Nelson Cruz this means just another year of great stats for a short period of time. Although it’s usually injury that hinders a full year of production, this is obviously just as bad. It does open up opportunities for Leonys Martin and Craig Gentry to receive full playing time for at least 50 games. This could also be a way to keep Jurickson Profar in the lineup when Ian Kinsler returns from his DL stint. For Melky Cabrera and the BlueJays, this is just another punch in the gut adding to an already disappointing third of the season. Hard for me to envision there being any kind of positives in this, but hey, at least Jose Reyes is coming back soon. Bartolo Colon has been pitching out of his mind thus far, so owners should be thankful they were able to enjoy the fruits of his labor for a short while. Any sane owner had to know that at some point the wheels would come off, and this looks like that time.
The whole matter of steroids in baseball is a tricky argument for me in general because on one hand, you never want to promote drugs of any sort in sports or in life. On the other hand, it seems to be what MLB teams are paying for. Unfortunately, spectators would not be in favor of every game being a 2-1 pitchers duel, so organizations take notice of that and pay accordingly for big bats, because that’s what will put asses in the seats. In my honest opinion, the players are not at fault for being cognizant of this, and taking a few needles or pills to up their bank account by an extra 5-9 million for the next five years. Some of these players come from areas of the world where they use rocks as bases, sticks for bats, and bottle caps for balls – you mean to tell me someone in this position would pass up an opportunity to make millions, possibly get caught, and make more on the next contract? Sounds pretty terrible, no? Some sports actually use performance enhancing drugs during the game, but don’t get me started on that argument. Every player notices the money being made around them and they want the biggest piece they can get for their talent. Organizations want to fill the most seats to attain the highest possible profit they can. It’s choosing the lesser of the two evils at this point, when it should be, “Oh, you cheated? Goodbye forever.” Not, “Let’s pay this guy even more money next contract.” Asking what kind of message that is sending would be a naïve, almost idiotic question, yet, certainly one MLB teams clearly are not even pondering in the least. I can go into a long discussion about how even at desk jobs, people take substances to keep them performing at a high level, but I will spare you that, for now.
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