Losing Gary Sheffield from your fantasy baseball team is about the best thing that could’ve happened to you if you owned him. This isn’t really a big fantasy story as far as Sheff goes. He was a decrepit ex-roider. (He was a great hitter to watch in his prime and it’s sad when great players devolve into nomadic, expensive NVORPS (negligible value over replacement players). For every neat and tidy retirement like Ripken and Gwynn, there seems to be at least three like this.) The best thing that could happen is he ends his career at 499 homers. Instant karma’s gonna get you. What this does do is open up a spot for someone else. As I said in the comments yesterday, “The Thames runs through it.” Damn, I’m pithy. I’m like Charles Nelson Reilly on The Match Game pithy. RIP, C N R, you were one of a kind… Until me. Marcus Thames is a source of 20 – 25 HRs and a .240 average. Not bad for AL-only but not remarcusable. He usually only plays against lefties, so I’m not sure if Sheff’s departure gives him that many more ABs. He’s a masher to watch. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in spring training for fantasy baseball:
Joey Devine – Now Aching Joey Devine is off to see Dr. Freeze. Ugh. This never turns out well. Casilla is Ziegler’s handcuff for the time being.
Scott Lewis – Gave up 10 runs in less than 4 innings. As I said last week when he got the starting job, you don’t really want him.
Justin Duchscherer – Surgery went well. A stitch without a hitch! (Alliteration in lieu of wit.) He’ll be back by June. Wake me when I care.
Emmanuel Burriss – Webster won the 2nd base job! The cherubby 2B stole 51 SB in a minor league season and SAGNOF is better at MI than OF.
Alexi Casilla – Why does every starting MI in the AL Central have a Russian first name? The Tigers need Edgar back to round out the Perestroika. Casilla’s hitting over .400 in spring training and he stole 50 SBS at A/AA in 2006 then 11 in a short stint with the Twins in 2007. But he only stole 7 last year in 385 ABs with the Twins. At MI, it doesn’t really matter if you need steals.
Alexei Ramirez – Fellow comrade was back in the lineup and again in the eight hole. Diamonds are from Sierra Leone and Ozzie’s from Mars. I’m not going to stress this yet, but if it continues into the season, Ozzie and I will be having words.
Russell Branyan – Having a nice spring. When Branyan grows up, he wants to be Jack Cust.
Huston Street – Announced he’ll find out by Thursday if he’s the closer. I think he gets over that last… *pinkie to mouth* Hurdle.
Ryan Braun – Left the game yesterday with a bruised thumb. X-rays turned up negative. I hear that means it’s positive. Not sure why they can’t just say that.
Dexter Fowler – Made the club. Keepers and NL-Only’ers rejoice.
Gaby Sanchez – He (she?) was optioned to The Big Easy. The opening for Bonifacio appears to widen.
Jeff Keppinger – Big trade came in off the wire yesterday. Keppinger to the Astros. Now that’s how to build a team up after losing Ausmus. We were rooting for Bill Bialystock from Houston’s Double-A affiliate in Corpus Christi to get promoted and platoon with Blum. Now that’s a platoon that can produce!
Geoff Blum – Seems pretty puzzled that he’s in the running for opening day 3rd baseman, saying “There’s an outside chance. I’m not going to believe it until I see my name in the lineup or they give me the OK…” Geoff added, “I can’t believe my wife has sex with me. I don’t believe she’s going to let me until I have it halfway in.”