Mark St. Amant

Fantasy Man-Crush Index

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Suck It Up

Tuesday, May 12, 2009




Zack Greinke: I keep wanting not to include him and sound like a broken record, but even his losses are spectacular. Two starts last week: 1 W, 15 K with a sub-1.00 WHIP and ERA.

Hanley Ramirez: I guess being a Faller for the first month was embarrassing for the erstwhile #1 overall fantasy player, because he's finally playing with a chip on his shoulder. He batted over .500 with 4 HR, 11 Runs, 7 RBI and 3 SBs this past week, allowing his owners to breathe a collective sigh of relief (one that smelled oddly like cat food, as Hanley's owners had been borderline catatonic all April, curled into the fetal position in a puddle of their own yuck, barely finding the energy to eat the Friskies Seafood Sensations® that somehow sustained them).

Brian Fuentes: Count me as one Arredondo owner who thought/hoped Fuentes would tank as Angels' closer, but he's 9-11 in save chances with a 15/5 K/BB rate, and last week he racked up 4 saves with 0 ER and a sub-1.00 WHIP.

Eric Byrnes: Don't look now but Byrnes, who sported an insanely unlucky sub-.200 BABIP during his freezing cold start, is now heating up with a 9 -16 streak over his past four games, raising his April .173 average to .216. (It's a start). And with Chris Young looking like he'll have trouble being a 10/10 player let alone the 20/20 many expected, Byrnes, health permitting, will keep seeing action

This Heineken anti-drunk driving commercial: While it's unlikely that (A) those two hot girls would go home with a coupla tools who wear sunglasses at night and/or play air drums, and (B) Buddy Hackett is so down on his luck that he's now working the graveyard SoHo nightclub cab shift, kudos to Heineken's ad agency for having the stones to be bold and take drunk driving PSAs out of the requisite, cliched, scary/dour/"shame on you" zone by bringing some fun into the mix. Bonus points for Biz Markie use.

(Speaking of sunglasses at night, my pals and I once had a game called "Rock Star or Douche Bag?" Whenever we'd find ourselves walking down trendy Newbury Street on a balmy Saturday night and see some meticulously unkempt jagweed wearing shades -- typically while sporting the wool ski hat/torn flannel shirt open to the navel combo -- we'd ask the age-old question: "Rock Star or Douche Bag??" The answer, inevitably, was the latter. Except for one time when the homeless-looking guy wearing shades at night was Tommy Stinson of Replacements/Guns 'N Roses fame.)

Brian McCann: Hitting .375 with a homer and 4 RBI since coming off the DL with the sporty new Willem Dafoe in 'Mississippi Burning' shades.

Lou Merloni: The former Sox second baseman isn't going out on a Jose Canseco-sized limb or anything, but he did bring an interesting "the Sox organization knew players were using 'roids so they brought in a doctor to explain how to juice up safely" angle. As of press time, reports that the "doctor" was a certain BU Medical School student who would later start offing Craigslist "masseuses" are unsubstantiated. But what has been confirmed is that the doctor then moved on to other helpful programs for MLB players like "How to hide from your wife the scorching case of Herpes you caught on the last road trip" and "Boat Shows, Car Dealerships and Shrunken-Apple Testicles: Your Exciting Life After Baseball."

Emmanuel Burriss: A recent .481 rampage has earned him the leadoff spot in SF over Fred Lewis, and those looking for cheap NL steals (he's got 9) can pounce.

Joe Saunders: Carrying the decimated LA staff, the underrated Saunders is now 5-1 and won twice this week with 13 Ks, an ERA barely over 1 and a sub-1.00 WHIP.

FALLERS

Brad Ziegler: The favorite for saves after Joey Devine went down, Ziegler is now battling the flu and asthma, and may hit the DL if it doesn't clear up. They're calling it the dreaded committee but Andrew Bailey should get the bulk of opps.

Jimmy Rollins: FAIL.

Magglio Ordonez: Hitting .241 – 70 points below his .311 career average -- with virtually no power (2 HRs, 3 extra base hits), he of the cascading, Soul Glowed, Tonga Kid locks has been a flat out drain on his owners, one of those maddening "he's killing me but I can't drop him" guys.

Cameron Maybin: One of Roto Nation's favorite SB/Run sleepers heading into the season (when he was slated to lead off for the potent Marlins), Maybin was utterly overmatched, batting .202 with 31 Ks in 84 ABs.

COBRA Wouldn't you think that they'd have given a less threatening name for a costly insurance plan for people who are already scared as hell about their futures? BUNNY, maybe? HUGG? KITTY?

Jose Contreras: The onetime object of a top hat-and-monocle-wearing moneybags fight between the Red Sox and Yankees, Contreras went 0-5 with a 8.19 ERA in six starts this season and now finds himself at AAA Charlotte. I never believed in Contreras, even when my Sox were pursuing him. Why? Because the guy was clearly about 25 years older than he claimed. Case in point, this piece from my now dormant satire sports web site, The Sports Rag, may it rest in peace.

Lance Berkman: Still flashing decent power (7 HRs) but Phil Mickelson's doppelganger is batting only .184 and battling a sore wrist which has cost him the last three games. He says he'll be back tonight but watch this one closely.

Brad Lidge He's still scraping -- 0-1 with an 8.53 ERA in 12 2/3 innings, 5 ER in his last four appearances – but claims he's feeling the best he's felt all season. Still, you Lidge owners should already have a twitchy waiver trigger finger for Ryan Madson.

Dexter Fowler: Hasn't done squat since stealing 5 bases off a potted cactus that was placed on the pitcher's mound with a baseball stuck on the quills . . . er, Chris Young. Average has dropped from .310 on April 28 to .258 today, with a .382 SLG. I think the Rocks keep giving him time to heat up again but he's fast becoming merely keeper league material.

Texting Your Girlfriend While Driving Giant, Speeding Subway Trains: Hey, Dopey von PassengerHurter, put the Sidekick down and drive the friggin train!

Kyle Lohse: Got lit up in two starts last week, only lasting about 5 innings and allowing 6-plus runs per outing, while only K'ing 4 per. He's still 3-2 but it's looked ugly.

King Felix: After a great start, Hernandez threw more like the court jester this week -- ah, yes, medieval hierarchy humor – and lost twice, the one against MIN particularly bad: 4 IP, 2 K, 3 BB, 5 ER. Nothing to fear, though. He'll be fine.

Joakim Soria: Shoulder soreness sends him to the DL. Luckily for Soria owners, his visit with Dr. Lewis Yocum (the orthopedic surgery Gehrig to James Andrews's Ruth) revealed no structural damage and it sounds like he'll be back sooner than later. But if you signed up for my Twitter updates you'd have gotten the Soria news the second it broke, and, hopefully, snagged Juan Cruz, unlike my Soria-owning league mate who got very, very upset with me for beating him to Cruz. Giggle.


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For two seasons, Mark St. Amant was the fantasy football writer for the New York Times.com. He is also the author of Committed: Confessions of a Fantasy Football Junkie and Just Kick It: Tales of an Underdog, Over-Age, Out-of-Place Semi-Pro Football Player, and has written for New York Times, Boston Globe Magazine and Salon.com.
Email :Mark St. Amant



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