Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sound The Alarms

The baseball season is a long, grueling one, which unfortunately means that numerous days will often elapse without anything extraordinary taking place. Thankfully, while weathering the storm of the mundane, an overweight DH traded his cow for some magic eye-drops and suddenly has the vision of a hungry hawk.

Placing metaphors on the shelf for a moment, something did, at long last, snap Big Papi out of his valium-induced slumber. The day was June 6. The Red Sox were hosting a surprisingly good Rangers club that had not won a series in Boston in over a decade. David Ortiz was batting .196, and had an OBP of just .281 (as a point of comparison, Papi's OBP in 2007 was .445). Papi ventured deep into the Atlantic Ocean, where a mystical man(ny)atee gave Ortiz a potion. "One drop in each eye," the sea-cow told David, "use more and it will show up on your tox screen."

Since that fateful day, Papi has raised his average by 17 points and his OBP by a whopping 34. Only 6 of Ortiz's 57 strikeouts on the season have come in the last 2 weeks, and suddenly the Red Sox lineup looks even more formidable. Francona has to be overjoyed that he has his lefthanded threat back, since the Sox are a predominantly righthanded hitting team, at least power-wise.

What this ridiculous story should indicate is that if you're not making offers for Papi, you're not doing your job. The guy may never get back up to a .445 OBP, or 35 homers, or whatever inflated numbers he had when he was eating his "wheaties," but he's not a bad ballplayer. He is on the rise, and should be a solid contributer from here on out. Fortunately for you, his price tag is absurdly low, and I'm betting a fair number of teams gave up on that mountain. Yes, his Util-only defensive tag does create a bit of a lineup issue for fantasy teams, but I'd wager a guy that could hit multiple home runs in any game, will likely be on base 1-2 times per contest thanks to the walks, and should have the likes of Ellsbury, Pedroia, Youkilis and Jason Bay batting around him will put up some beefy numbers the rest of the way.

And come on, don't try to tell me that Mannytee remark wasn't sheer brilliance.

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