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Its days like Wednesday that make fantasy exceedingly fun to
play. Don’t get me wrong, there are
plenty of times it’s excruciating. When
a top pick lands on the DL, when your entire team goes in the tank on a Sunday
costing you a head-to-head matchup, when one of your pitchers implodes faster
than Kenny Powers and gets a snowman hung on him — those days will cause you
to swear off fantasy forever. But then
your first-round pick explodes like Ian Kinsler did on Wednesday night and makes
it all worthwhile.
Good gosh. Check out
that line again, you might not see a more perfect one all season, as he
provided elite production across all five fantasy categories. Watching it all unfold caused a strange mix of
hope and skepticism. You figure with
each at-bat there is no way he could keep it up, but he was on such a roll you
couldn’t bet against him, like a hot player at a craps table or Al Bundy during
his four touchdown game.
To top it off, Kinsler accomplished my favorite goofy
baseball achievement — hitting for the cycle.
A no-hitter is more elegant to watch and a triple play is usually
luckier, but nothing is more randomly beautiful. It’s usually just a product of happenstance
and doesn’t really showcase skills, but it always leads to really fun scenarios
where you might see a a guy banging one off the wall in a blowout and walking
to first base since he only needs a single or a Prince Fielder-type trying to
stretch a double and calling for oxygen whether he makes it or not or. I don’t know why, but whenever a player hits
a triple, my first thought always relates to the possibility for a cycle. It’s Pavlovian.
As a final testament to how good Kinsler was last night,
consider he’s the first player to get six hits and hit for the cycle in a nine
inning game since Sam Thompson. If you
don’t know who Thompson is, he was an outfielder for the Phillies. In 1894.
The records from that era are fuzzy, but I’m pretty sure the losing
pitcher in that game was Tim Wakefield.
Also, check out his sweet picture.
I think his stache hit .300 that year.
When the dust settled, the Rangers had eviscerated the
Orioles and Kinsler had pretty much singlehandedly vaulted me ahead in all five
hitting categories, allowing me to turn a 3-7 deficit into a 7-3 lead going
into the weekend. Probably won’t end
that way, but even if it doesn’t hold up, I’ll have the memory of Kinsler’s epic
night to console me and give me hope for next week. And because of the possibility of more games
like that one, I’ll be watching my guys play every chance I get.