Mark St. Amant

Fantasy Man-Crush Index

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Who's Your Daddy?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009




Adrian Gonzalez: He's crushed an MLB-leading 15 HR . . . with only 29 RBI. Gee, thanks, Jody/David/Brian ".295 combined OBP" Gerut/Eckstein/Giles! Which leads me to this: I've never managed a Major League game in my life but I know how to win every game against the San Diego Padres -- never, ever, ever. Ever. Ever pitch. Never. Pitch to Adrian Gonzalez. I'd order my pitchers to throw four straight pitches up into the press box. I mean, God forbid you put him on-base when the mighty Chase Headley unleashes his .376 slugging percentage. I shudder at what Gonzo could do in a new home park with better teammates.

George Sherrill: Rumors of his demise . . . yada yada yada. He's not dominating, but whatever he had to straighten out as the O's went to a temporary closer-by-committee, he straightened out, notching 3 saves and a 1.50 ERA so far in May (after 4 saves and 4.66 in April).

Clayton Kershaw: After a 1-3 April where he only lasted more than 5 innings once and gave up 17 earned runs, he's gone 3-1 in May with 22 Ks and 5 earned runs, including his flirtation with the no-hitter. And while the ERA will never be Koufax-esque, his WHIP is a respectable 1.24 and he now has 48 K's in 45 IP.

Kendry Morales: I loved him as Lou Diamond Phillips' bitter, raging drunk older brother in "La Bamba." And now, the former Cuban defector has a legit roto resume: .287/8 HR/26 RBI/20 R, currently comparable to proven vets Ryan Howard & Mark Teixeira, and better than (thus-far) big, fat busts like Lance Berkman. He might be moved down the order when Vlad comes back, but he'll have RBI opps pretty much wherever he bats in LA's lineup, he's developed his power faster than most experts suspected (many saw him as a Mark Grace-type, tops), and because he's just not a big/proven/reliable name yet, you might be able to steal him low.

Nick Johnson: Look, we all know that Johnson can get hurt taking a mildly deep breath while dozing off on the couch in front of "Two and a Half Men" re-runs -- and trust me, he will suffer some freakish injury soon -- but considering his .336 AVG and .433 OBP, it's utterly insane that, in Yahoo leagues, Kelly Johnson is owned twice as much (42% to 21%).

Jason Bartlett/Ben Zobrist: The relatively unknown duo in Tampa doesn't get Longoria, Crawford, Upton, and Pena's ink, but they're just as vital to the offense. Bartlett is mashing at a .384/5 HR/22 RBI/27 R clip with – here's the clincher -- 11 SBs. Zobrist, meanwhile has SS/OF eligibility and legit power: 7 HR in 86 ABs this year, and 19 in his last 284 going back to last year. His only question is playing time, but if he keeps this up, it'll be hard for Maddon to sit him.

FALLERS

David Ortiz:: Being a Papi owner these days is Chinese water torture. (Or, in today's PC lingo, "Asian-American enjoyment-challenged aquatic experience.") His rock bottom before being benched -- and a move down the lineup is on its way, you watch – was an 0-for-7/12 LOB performance in an extra innings loss to LA. I begged you weeks ago to sell to the chowdahhead in your league. Hope you did. He's done.

Brandon Webb: Might not be back until late June/July. So far, owning Webb has been as fun as a night at Dave & Buster's with Zack de la Rocha:

Me: (Reading menu) Wanna split an appetizer trio? It's got crispy potato skins, warm queso dip, buffalo wings . . .?

Zack de la Rocha: Buffalo?! Did you know that Buffalo, or "Tatanka," was the life's blood and spiritual lynchpin of Sitting Bull's Sioux Nation, blood that our imperialist government spilled in an ongoing mass genocide, stealing and raping the land that the Lakota and—!

Me: Okay, okay, relax -- no wings. Hey, after dinner let's at least play a little pop-a-shot.

Zack de la Rocha: Can Mumia Abu-Jamal play 'pop-a-shot' as he unjustly rots in prison? Can Leonard Peltier? Can the Zapitistas—!

Me: (Sighing)


Scott Kazmir: His velocity has been reportedly down around 90, even high 80's, for much of the season. When he was at his best he was a fastball-slider-change guy; now he's a "fast"ball (usually 89 MPH)-change guy who doesn't throw sliders (hiding an injury?), meaning batters just go to town on his batting practice heaters. ERA 6.97. WHIP 1.86. Without the devastating slider and mid-90's heat, he's a homeless man's Jamie Moyer. At best.

Garrett Atkins: Batting .109 this month with 0 HR, 0 extra base hits and, coincidentally, a .109 SLG to match the putrid average. So much for Coors Field inflation.

Kevin Gregg: One of last year's steals at closer, Gregg has been spotty at best: 6.06 ERA, 1.78 WHIP. And after another rough outing on Saturday (4 ER, 2 HR), Sweet Lou gave him the proverbial "vote of confidence" – the MLB manager equivalent of giving a death row inmate a delicious lobster dinner before lethal injection.

Pat Burrell: Now on the DL, his lost season in Tampa continues. And by "lost" I of course mean you can easily find him under a giant pile of coconut-scented "dancers" in the Mons Venus champagne room.

Nick Swisher: Well. That was fun. Mendoza, here he comes.

Luke Hochevar: After lighting up AAA – 5-0, 0.90 ERA – Hochevar couldn't make it out of the fourth inning against the O's in his second MLB start, and was equally horrific in his first against the mighty A's: 2 IP, 7H, 8 ER, and an ERA of -- get out your abacuses, now (or is it "abacae"?) -- 36.00. He'll get one more start to prove he belongs.

Adrian Beltre: 4 for his last 28. Average now down to .211. Benched to "clear his head." Ah, it seems like only yesterday that he was hitting an improbable 48 HRs in a contract year even though his previous career high had been 23 and he hasn't hit more than 26 since and he in no way used performance enhancing drugs at any time I mean no way ever, ever injected enough steroids to kill a rhinoceros just so he'd ultimately rake the Mariners over the coals for an obscene amount of money.

The number of books that actually make me laugh: Aside from David Sedaris, I can't think of many writers these days who consistently make me laugh out loud. Which is why I was overjoyed to find this book. If you liked my archetypal park dads up front even a smidge, you'll LOVE what the creators of "Don't Be That Guy" have done. Spot-on, hilarious writing and illustrations, it's a quick read that, to paraphrase Homer -- Simpson, not the 'Odyssey' guy – "is funny 'cause it's truuuue!"


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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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