As Sean Connery says, “Shituation: Dire.” Rios has been the pea under your mattress. The splinter in your paw. The tighty-whitey stain that your fourth grade classmates saw when you were changing for gym and have teased you about for the rest of your life (but maybe that was just me). Alexis Rios wasn’t a random stab in the dark when I pegged him for a terrific year in 2008. I wasn’t driving through the desert, high on peyote, when a random Native American said to me, “Rios will be good this year and make sure to hit the slots at Mohegan Sun.” So it’s disappointing when Rios’s slump looks amaranthine (Word of the Day, and I’m not even sure it’s used correctly, so try to use context clues), but there has to be an end in sight, doesn’t there? Yes, I believe there is an end to his struggles. But, for the record, Rudy and I disagree on this. Rudy says he should be sold. Well, whatever. Then I’m going down with the U.S.S. Rios. Rios’s gone through months like this before and he’s come out of it. Sure, his lineup looks like it should be in the AAGPBL, but I’m buying. Anyway, here’s some more fantasy baseball hitters and pitchers to buy and sell:
Chris Perez – Isringhausen could be done done. To define those italics. Isringhausen is too old, too tired and Chris Perez is too heffin’ good. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Izzy hang up the cleats and retire (then return in two years as the Rays closer.) But can Ryan Franklin hold off Chris Perez? About as well as Britney Spears’s kids have of staving off rehab in twelve years. I think Perez could have fifteen saves this year and excellent peripherals. He’s not a starter that is biding his time in middle relief. He was a closer in the minors. A closer with terrific numbers.
Curtis Granderson – As most of you know, I think Curtis blows. But I’m starting to think, no one likes him, so whenever everyone starts zigging, you gotta look to zag. Now don’t zag for the sake of zagging — nobody likes a willy-nilly zagger! — but if you can move Pat Burrell and Joe Saunders or someone of their ilk for Granderson, you gotta consider it.
Joey Devine – In a couple of leagues where I had Casilla, I’ve moved to Waking Joey Devine.
Matt Garza – 3 earned runs in almost 20 innings since coming off the DL. He’s a very capable pitcher with good K numbers in the minors. The only drawback is the Twins gave him to the Rays and the Twins know pitching. Damn you, Twinkies, what do you know that I don’t?!
Bobby Crosby – If he stays healthy, he could give you 20 home runs and a belch-worthy average.
Adam Wainwright – I’m still onboard the love train. He was a mess in the first half of ’07, but in the second half, he cut his runs allowed by almost half, his home runs allowed by more than half and he showed stamina. Don’t let his last two starts get you down.
Mike Cameron – I see Krispie Young Sr. on waivers in a lot of leagues. In ESPN leagues, he’s only 20% owned. (Of course, I do believe five thousand 3rd graders draft ESPN teams then abandon them, but still.) I’m sporting Cameron on a ten team mixed league and I’m getting what I expect. For a fifth outfielder, you can do worse. On the team I have him, I’m balancing his shizzy average with Youk.
Vladimir Guerrero – So he’s as limber as Ron Kovic, this isn’t something new.
Jose Contreras – Okay, so he remembers when they called movies “talkies” — whatever, he’s solid when healthy and he’s been healthy.
Johnny Damon/Robinson Cano – I’ve beat these horses before, but I still believe.
Ben Sheets – I’ve said it before. Ben Sheets can win the Cy Young. Know what else? Hillary can win the nomination. Andy Milonakis can be funny. I can date Mila Kunis without incurring criminal charges. Now will is an entirely different matter. Will Hillary win the nomination? I suppose if whatever state Obama is in collapses into the core of the earth. Will fatty ever be funny? I suppose if he steals better jokes. Will I date Kunis? If I can get rid of Culkin, you better believe it. So will Sheets win the Cy Young? He hasn’t made it to 30 starts since ’04. That year he had 264 Ks and 32 walks. Go ahead look at those numbers again. Yeah, they’re insane. That was coupled with a 2.70 ERA. He has pinpoint control and filthy stuff. Yeah, I’m a fan. Unfortunately, he could get injured in a pillow fight with your niece. So as much as I like him, I’m passing.
Edinson Volquez – In the comments recently someone asked about Edinson. Here’s what I said, “You see what’s happening with Cueto right now? Yeah, Volquez will be seeing him in the ‘kinda not startable’ category soon. Edinson’s a great pitcher but very, very rarely does a pitcher arrive in the majors and never hit a correction period. Could he avoid it? I suppose, but you don’t bet on the least likely thing to happen. You’re playing with house money right now and you need to cash out and move on.” Admit it, I take your breath away like Dr. Kevorkian.
Adrian Gonzalez – Don’t fall in love with his first half numbers. Let’s put it this way, he says to Teixeira, “You complete me.” Now don’t sell him for Luis Hernandez and a bottle of Valtrex and say, “Look, Grey, I did good!”
Jon Garland – Don’t make the same mistake The Town That Bobby Grich Built Angels made. He’s not a great pitcher.
Jon Lester/Doug Davis – As Hank said in the comments the other day, “Damn, cancer really is the new AIDS. Free plane tickets, no-hitters, and sympathy rotation spots. ‘What kind of cancer do you have? The All-Over kind.'” Meanwhile, Casey Kotchman writes in his journal, “Mono is not good enough!”
Kevin Youkilis – Youuuuuuuuuk is not a 2nd half hitter.
Joe Saunders – Rudy said this the other day in the comments, “Saunders is projected as a low K pitcher with around 5.00 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. His 3.6 K/9 IP and 1.6 K/BB ratios are AWFUL. The only real change from his performance last year is that he’s getting lucky with balls that are in play – it’s .240 instead of an expected .300.” And that’s me quoting Rudy!
Billy Butler – I’m gonna pull a Willie Randolph and say it’s racist if people still have Butler on their team. If he were black or Isiah Thomas or Herm Edwards, he would not be on your team. And that’s egregious! So let’s all get along and drop Butler. Now doesn’t that feel good?