Jonathan Gangi

Outside the Boxscore

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

This week, I'll come clean with my biggest regrets of the year. Then I'll discuss hot bats like Jayson Werth, Mike Jacobs, Matt Kemp, Jose Bautista, and Jack Wilson. Finally, I'll unleash a tongue lashing upon a Will-Ferrell hater.

Topic of the Week: Regrets

I admit it: I'm a sore loser. Just like the ones I ripped on a few weeks back. This has been the worst year of my fantasy baseball career, and I've got more excuses than Floyd Landis: injuries (Utley, Teixeira, Mauer, Hamels, Figgins, and Harden to name a few), crazy league settings (who counts shutouts theses days???), wussy leaguemates who won't trade, etc.

However, when I take an honest look back, I can pretty easily see where I went wrong. And even though I made some nice moves (like picking up Chone Figgins when he was hitting .104 and snagging Pat Burrell for the last couple of months), they weren't enough to overcome my miscues. Oh well, if nothing else, maybe we can all learn from my mistakes. So with that in mind, here are the top three:

Drafting too much pitching too early

This is a trap I seem to fall into way too often. They say don't draft pitching early, but I always look at the dramatic gap between the elite starters and everyone else and figure I'll gain a huge advantage if I stockpile top arms. Somehow, though, it never works out. Guys like Roy Halladay and Scott Kazmir end up ranked lower than Jeremy Guthrie and Brian Bannister. Then my hitting suffers because I missed out on top bats. Lesson: No seriously, stock up on hitting early and wait on pitching. You can always get good pitchers off the wire, but it's rare to find a 30-HR, 100-RBI bomber there.

Wasting five hours of my life watching John from Cincinnati

Those are five hours I could have spent on fantasy research. I think I was so desperate for something to replace The Sopranos that I put up with all of the trying-to-be-modern-Shakespeare dialogue, over-the-top DeMornay rage, and painfully stagnant plot far too long. Lesson: Never, ever trust a show that involves David Milch but not Steven Bochco.

Wasting an 11th-round pick on Rich Harden

Oh, the hope is ever present with Harden—the fantasy that he'll one day provide a full season of sub-3.00 ERA and a strikeout per inning. But I might as well be waiting on Pavarotti to return to the DCU Center in Worcester. Sure, an 11th-round pick doesn't seem like much, but here are some guys I could have taken instead: Dan Haren, Erik Bedard, Chris Young, Magglio Ordonez, Eric Byrnes, Nick Markakis…okay, I better stop before I chunder. Lesson: Never allow yourself to be seduced by the promises of Harden, Mark Prior, or Kerry Wood.

Players of Note

Jayson Werth – Though Werth has been very good over the last month, with a .495 OBP, owners need to be aware that the return of Michael Bourn means less at bats for Werth. Daily leaguers will want to keep him around for his starts against lefties, however, as he boasts a 1.000 OPS against southpaws.

Mike Jacobs – Over the last month, Jacobs has nearly doubled his home-run total by going yard seven times. No one's confusing him with Ryan Howard, but Jacobs has flashed some power in the past—like last season when he launched 20 HR in 469 AB and in 2005 when he racked up 25 for Double-A Binghampton. If you're desperate for power at corner infield, give him some consideration.

Matt Kemp – Shallow leaguers should check the wire for Kemp, who's hit well all year (as evidenced by his .338 AVG) and seen an uptick in power and speed recently. Over the last month, he's accrued four HR and five SB.

Jose Bautista – Bautista has exploded for seven HR over the last month. Based on his history, you can expect him to ultimately average a homer per every 30 AB or so.

Jack Wilson – Over the past week, Wilson has gone 13 for 24 with nine RBI, a homer, and a steal. I wouldn't expect much from him going forward, however. He offers hardly anything in the way of speed or power. In fact, in his six-year MLB career, he's never managed double digit steals, and he's only managed double-digit homers once (in 2004 when he hit 11).

Ronny Paulino – After hitting .310 last year in his rookie season, Paulino has disappointed this time around with his .261 AVG. However, he's picked it up in September, batting .467. If you've been playing musical catchers all season, Paulino could be an option.

Brandon Inge – Never one to hit for average, Inge has been uncharacteristically hot over the last week with a .480 OBP and two long balls. Though he had enough pop to jack 27 round trippers in 2006, I wouldn't bank on a power surge. He's coming off an August in which he hit .193 with no homers. And those 27 were 11 more than he hit in any other season.

The Trash Dump

To submit a question or comment to the Trash Dump, email

Jonathan, I'm new your site and I'm kind of pleased w/ the comprehensive nature of the service. However, we're off on the wrong foot; Will Ferrell is a talentless pile of pig crap -- obvious, banal, fat, ugly and his mom dresses him funny! Ron Burgundy, what? That's a satire, a farce? No, it's a steaming pile of feces! I suppose you think Justa Timberlady is misunderstood, too…I'll read this column but you better snap out of it, boy!
- Anonymous

What's with the anger? Did the Spartan Cheerleader sketch hit a personal nerve somehow? Admittedly, comedy is subjective, but I have to point out the irrefutable flaws in your unsolicited, rambling, irrational tirade. First of all, with regard to Ferrell being "obvious," when was he ever going for subtle? When he streaked to the quad as Frank the Tank? When he danced to My Sharona as Janet Reno? When he and Chris Kattan played pelvic ping pong with chicks at the Roxbury? Secondly, since when does being "fat," "ugly," and poorly dressed preclude someone from being funny? Should Chris Farley, John Belushi, and John Candy have found other careers? Perhaps you prefer your comedians to look like Ralph Fiennes? And lastly, you outdid your illogical self with your Ferrell/Timberlake comparison. That's like saying, "If you like baked potato pizza, you'll love patent leather loafers!"

I like the way you think. Sunny, Curb, and Flight are the best shows on television. You'd also like Trailer Park Boys. You'll have to order it from Netflix. Don't watch it with the kids.
- Marty

Thanks for the tip…I'll check that out.

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