Expert League Update: Heads A Rollin’
This past week my team drew the hot hand, losing to Jon
Williams and his endless cavalcade of two-start pitchers 7-3. Overall, my squad didn’t perform that poorly,
they just got outplayed in one given week and when that happens, you shake
hands and move on (unless you are Lebron James, then you storm out to show your
“competitiveness.” I hope they make a commercial
immediately where puppet Lebron refuses to shake hands after Kobe beats
him. Though to be fair, I probably
wouldn’t shake hands with Kobe unless I just saw him wash them. Never know where they’ve been. Even the puppet version.) Besides, it’s hard to get that upset when you
are in first place and your lead in the standings actually grew despite suffering
through your own beatdown.
What’s of greater interest is the number of fairly big names
that have ended up on the waiver wire recently in this league of experts. As we explore each week in Marry, Bury, Date,
there comes a time when it’s necessary to completely give up on a guy. For several ballplayers who received plenty
of preseason hype, that time has apparently come. Even in a league where 350 players are
rostered, an expert thought they were no longer worth owning.
Here is a list of guys who have been dropped so far in this
expert league and a couple of brief thoughts on each.
(dropped 5/22) – After one owner decided to completely punt saves, he sent
Gregg packing. I thought this was the
most shocking drop on the list, given the huge premium closers went for in the
initial draft. I know he’s had a few
blow-ups, but he still is the number one 9th inning option for a
contending team. I actually burned the
number one waiver priority to pick him up.
I think he’ll be worth it in a league this deep.
(dropped 5/22) – Apparently this was moving day for disappointing relief
pitchers. Ryan has been a disaster this
year and is now borderline unownable in leagues that don’t count holds. I say borderline because I picked him
up. With six bench spots, he’s worth a
flyer to see if he turns it around.
(dropped 5/20) – The big Colorado Rocky has been trending downward for several
years, but might see a bounce from the recent managerial change in the Mile
High city. His new skipper immediately
announced that Atkins would be his clean-up hitter and would no longer be
losing at-bats to Ian Stewart. The new
found stability could help Atkins regain his stroke and makes him worth owning
in virtually all formats to see if he turns the corner in the month of June.
(dropped 5/26) – He’s got to be the first opening day starter to be demoted
before the calendar turned to June, right?
I mean, has this ever happened before?
It’s like if you started dating Miss America and then she became a leper
three weeks into the relationship. I was
a big fan of Nolasco in the preseason, so I’m as guilty as buying into the hype
as anyone. I’m still not over it — I
picked up Nolasco to try to fill the hole in my rotation caused by Brett Myers
hip injury, which is fitting since the parallels between the two pitchers are
so strong. I can only hope Nolasco comes
back from the minors with the same vengeance Myers did last season.
(dropped 5/23) – Many of my friends are Braves fans and I can say this without
hesitation — they absolutely hate Jeff Francoeur. I get calls once a week to talk about how bad
he is playing. I’ve long been a
Francoeur defender, but after his terrible 2008 campaign and a month of May
that saw him take exactly one walk en route to posting a .243 on-base
percentage (nearly 100 points below the league average), I’ve thrown in the
towel. I look forward to the day when he
changes teams and transforms into Carlos Quintin, but for now, he’s far too
frustrating to roster.
Other players dropped worth mentioning – Carlos Guillen, Gavin Floyd, Travis Snider
(stunning when you consider he was traded for Matt Holliday in April), Huston Street, Hideki Matsui.
Hope this helps you decide whether to fish or cut bait with
your own disappointing stars. If you
choose the latter option, at least can be confident you’ll be in good
company. See you tomorrow for a new
edition of Mary, Bury, Date.