Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Fantasy Wednesdays: One man's loss (teen pregnancy) is another's gain

Matt Larkin isn’t a total loser, but he doesn’t get laid much either. A large reason why? His borderline pathetic obsession with fantasy sports. Every Wednesday, he’ll post fantasy advice – hot pickups, players to drop, buy lows and sell highs. Follow his tips and you’ll be winning pools and not having intercourse in no time.

The familiar expression echoes through the soon-to-be-hobo’s head as he leaves the office building, carrying his possessions in a cardboard box and escorted by a security guard.

“As one door closes, another door opens.”

That’s what freshly fired people tell themselves. It’s funny, though – they got fired for a reason, and that reason will probably catch up to them at their next job and the one after that.

The old adage works much better for fantasy sports. Every closed door – every released player or injury – opens a door for another guy. That’s the theme of the week for fantasy baseball.


Jonny Gomes, RF/DH, Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Forget that he’s the worst fielder this side of Manny Ramirez and that his bulging torso looks eerily similar to McGwire’s or Giambi’s. The guy draws walks and swings for the fences. Now that Elijah Dukes has Lamaze classes to skip, Gomes is getting at bats and making the most of them. Add him for some cheap homers.

Yovani Gallardo, SP, Milwaukee Brewers

Fantasy baseball circles are turning into Amsterdam. One hot pitching prospect after another is getting his cock sucked into oblivion by the experts. The latest victim: Gallardo. His pedigree puts him in a similar class to Tim Lincecum, Homer Bailey and Phil Hughes, and he should whiff more batters than the latter two. His debut Monday night showed he’s ready to contribute at the major league level.

Jack Cust, OF/DH, Oakland Athletics

Many people added him several weeks ago when he looked like the second coming of Christ. Then he came back to Earth. Now he’s doin’ the Christ thang again, and with increased job security – Oakland’s delaying Mike Piazza’s return to convert him back to a catcher. Add Cust as a fifth or sixth outfielder for a good OBP and some pop. Plus, it’s fun owning a guy whose last name sounds like some sort of bacteria.

Hong-Chi Kuo, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers

With Jason Schmidt back on the shelf, the Dodgers hope Kuo can fill the void. The Taiwanese lefty qualifies at reliever and can fan hitters – he struck out 71 in 59 2/3 innings last year. He’s still relatively unproven, but he’s worth adding for the major K upside.


Garret Anderson, OF, Los Angels Angels

The fantasy grim reaper is hovering over poor Garret. The man’s hips have reached geriatric status. Don’t even waste a DL spot on him. Take him out to the shed for the Old Yeller treatment.

Jermaine Dye, OF, Chicago White Sox

Look away if you’re in a deep league, as you obviously have to ride out his slump. But shallow mixed leaguers can probably find better production on the waiver wire right now. Dye can’t buy a hit and he tweaked his quad Monday to boot.


Mike Lowell, 3B, Boston Red Sox

Lowell’s resurgence is legit, but a second-half swoon is almost guaranteed. Even in his all-star days, he shat the bed in the second half. His rumoured trade to Minnesota would also sap his lineup protection.

Dmitri Young, 1B, Washington Nationals

Da Meat Hook is fun to own for his nickname and fat, but he’s playing way over his head and he WILL NOT stay healthy. See if you can trade him for his brother.


Chone Figgins, every friggin’ position, Los Angeles Angels

If you haven’t noticed his sizzling play of late, you’re probably not winning your league. But we all know there are plenty of idiot managers out there who only look at full-season ranks. Try to capitalize on his still-pedestrian overall numbers and swing a deal for him.

J.D. Drew, OF, Boston Red Sox

Drew’s a good enough hitter that he’ll put it together soon enough; he just needed to adjust to AL pitching. Now hitting leadoff, he’ll rake in the runs, and we ain’t talking diarrhea.

Andruw Jones, OF, Atlanta Braves

Has Andruw ever slumped this badly? Either way, he’ll come out of it. He’s a baseball player, and that makes him a mercenary by definition. No way he won’t bust ass over the next few months to guarantee a big free-agent pay day this offseason.

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