HumorSeptember 10, 2009


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Dead Weight: Hitters

By Cary James

Time to shed your summer skin and welcome the golden time of autumn. Cast off your fading projected all stars. Fare thee well to Grady Sizemore and Jose Reyes for good. It’s time to use your last few waiver moves to either secure a championship or desperately climb your way out of a last-place finish.

Dead Weight

C: Ryan Doumit (PIT)

I’ve had it with him. He obviously doesn’t care anymore, nor would you if you played for this horrific organization. He’ll probably end up missing more than half of his remaining games this season due to mysterious injuries. Cut him.

Replace him with…

Carlos Ruiz (PHI)

He’s always had the ability to launch home runs, so it’s a nice gift when a player with his abilities hits for an above-.320 batting average. Probably won’t last though. Other crouching gentlemen to consider are Rod Barajas, Ivan Rodriguez or even Kenji Johjima. Plug them in and ignore the life out of them.

Dead Weight

1B: Carlos Pena (TAM)

This is old news, but drop him already. He’s already given your requisite 30+ homers and 100 RBIs, and he even kept his promise and hit below .230. Let the poor man rest until next season, when his fingers are healed and he can continue to out-Rob Deer Rob Deer.

Replace him with…

Ronnie Belliard (WAS)

In some leagues, this former Nationals second-baseman is eligible at first base. And in those leagues, he’s ranked 121 in the Yahoo game last month. And then consider he’s hit .338 over that span while outperforming the likes of Paul Konerko, Adam Dunn and Joey Votto. He’s done all of this while covering third base for the injured Casey Blake, and he’s done a damn good job of it thus far. Grab him while he’s getting consistent playing time, as he’s available in most leagues.

Dead Weight

2B: Mark Derosa (STL)

You can do better. He’s just a name folks, and a very boring one at that. Marky Mark has been hampered by back problems, meaning you’re screwed if you own him. He could be all set to start, and the game begins and then…well, you find out he’s been scratched at the last minute with a sore spine. No need for these dramatics on your team, especially from a guy with no homers all of last month who doesn’t steal at the MI position. Woof.

Replace him with…

Jeff Baker (CHC)

Cubs fans have something to cheer about these days. Baker has hit nearly .400 over the last month, and Sweet Lou seems to have taken a liking to the former Rockie much to Mike Fontenot’s chagrin. He won’t steal many bases, and he’s only hit 2 homers during that same span, but he’ll score runs in that lineup, and right now the Cubs can’t seem to stop themselves from scoring. He’s only 2% owned in Yahoo leagues, so take a flier on him. Otherwise, grab Luis Castillo, only 11% owned and he’s stolen 1/3 of the bases Jose Reyes has all season in the past month (3). The Mets are the only team that make me feel better about my Cubs.

Dead Weight

SS: J.J. Hardy (MIL)

Almost anyone who plays FMLB knows that you shouldn’t own J.J. Hardy. He’s having a miserable season, was sent down to give Alcides Escobar a shot (fail!), and now he’s back up and splitting time with Escobar. Yet he’s owned in 35% of Yahoo leagues. I take that percentage personally. If you’re winning a league where that man is still owned, consider your championship tainted.

Replace him with…

Juan Uribe (SF)

It pains me to recommend Uribe, considering how many times he’s burned owners. However, in some leagues he qualifies at shortstop, second and third base, and over the last month he’s batting a Bizzaro-Uribe .288. You know the guy can hit for power in bunches so hop on the Uribe Rollercoaster, because right now he’s the 5th-ranked shortstop on ESPN’s Player Rater. I desperately wish it wasn’t true, but it is. Grab him while he’s sizzling.

Dead Weight

3B: Alex Gordon (KAN)

Don’t do it. Do not pick this guy up. He is Dayton Moore’s false idol. Pick up anyone else. Pick up Geoff Blum, for God’s sake! Alex Gordon will be on people’s Buy Low lists next season, and you know what, you should do that. If buying low means picking him up off waivers in 12-team mixed league next year, be my guest.

Replace him with…

Carlos Guillen (DET)

He’s hit seven homers in the past month, which is one less than David Wright and Garrett Atkins have it for the entire year, and more than Adrian Beltre, Edwin Encarnacion and dead-weight Alex Gordon have hit in 2009. If he’s available at this point, well, he shouldn’t be.

Dead Weight

OF: Alex Rios (CHW)

You knew he was under-performing but this is atrocious. I’m beginning to think the White Sox need to fire Ozzie Guillen and hire a more upbeat manager. Perhaps Tony Danza would light an amiable fire under Rios, propelling him to his normal Markakis-like numbers. And no, I don’t mean the over-hyped Markakis projections, I mean the 100-20-85-16-.295 we should all expect by now. Pretty nice, but neither of these guys will ever be Carlos Beltran. And no, neither will Corey Hart. And yes, I do think Hunter Pence will improve on his power numbers next season. What was I talking about?

Replace him with…

Dexter Fowler (COL)

Back from a bruised knee, Fowler can bring you a lot of speed and a little bit of power. Basically, everything Rios promised only you didn’t draft him in the sixth or seventh round. If he reclaims one of the OF spots (hopefully the Rox let Carlos Gonzalez keep his starting spot), he can be a real boon for those who are speed-needy. As anyone will tell you, steals are one of the only categories you have a chance at disrupting at this point in the season. He’s available in 91% of Yahoo leagues, so if the Rockies get him into the lineup, grab him.

Again, now is the time to make your fellow league-mates gasp as you drop big-name no-performance players for what looks like spare parts. Who knows, maybe this year Willie Bloomquist will win you a championship. Good luck!

 
Residing in Chicago with my ever-patient wife, I live a quiet life of grad school, two jobs, and writing with a little music mixed in. I particularly enjoy when one of my pitchers gives up a homer to one of my hitters. Jones!
 
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