So here we are at the All Star Break. I have flopped my roster around the deck of this league like an angry tarpon in an eight foot skiff. So far, all the flopping has gotten me a grand total of eleventh place, down from my perch at tenth. I have drawn trade buzzards from every corner of the league, and they are circling so close to the semi-corpse that is my team its hard to believe it has any pulse at all. Of course, my assumption that it has a pulse might be optimistic.
I think Derek phrased it best when he suggested we were trading “lottery tickets”. Unfortunately for me, most of my numbers have hit and it turns out that the grand lottery prize is a large dollop of excrement square in the center of my team score. Charlie Furbush, human pinata. Kyle Weiland gets named batting practice pitcher of the week. Bartolo Colon turns out to still be fat and very hittable (I thought I traded for the thin version). Freddy Garsee-ya doesn’t even get a turn, the Yankees skip him just because they can. The long awaited sighting of the Phil Hughes that throws like a boy instead of a girl turns out to be news only when he is pitching in New York Penn league- he definitely can get rookie league hitters to swing and miss. Everyone else grabs a bat and says ‘Yahtzee”.
So what have my trades accomplished? Well, I’m still in eleventh, so probably not much. I actually trail Shawn Childs in core pitching points (non-saves) and that is saying something along the lines of “I owe more money than the Federal Government”. China may foreclose on the Grand Canyon, but they are going to own my pitching staff first.
I have recently dispatched Neftali Feliz (24 units), AJ Burnett (Matt Capps and Russ Martin), Salty (ibid), Gordon Beckham (I got to keep the spice girl), Joel Piniero (Brett Anderson), Eric Bedard (I dont remember but somebody good), Derek Jeter (who cares)(I’m kidding, 5-5 with a homer for 3000, can anyone else see a Ripkin parallel?), Brian Roberts (okay, he sucks, but he may not always suck)Matt Joyce, and Lonnie “Squinty” Chisenhall and have received in return Travis Snider (maybe better than Salty, I hope), Dustin Ackley (It’s a long way to 24 units and Neftali Feliz), CJ Wilson (his cousin is the volleyball in Castaway) and Freddy Garcia (he is older than Andy but younger than me, basically dead, in other words, but ideally close to AJ Burnett in value)
In case I haven’t thrown everyone worth playing way, I always can mismanage John Lackey for the rest of the season. Thus far he has been on my bench for exactly 50% of his quality starts (yeah, he has some) but been on my active roster for 80% of his non-quality outings (there are lots of them.). As Gilligan often said, nice job Skipper.
So what can be said of the two Out Wonders at the break beyond commenting on the managers seeming willingness to give away the store for two lollipops and half can of flat soda? Well, we have added hitting: there has been an Endy Chavez sighting (it turns out he does play for the Rangers. I thought he was the mascot). Eduardo Nunez has played his way into getting enough at bats to expose himself. Ackley and Snider are supposed to be good. Jim Leyland may someday figure out that Casper Wells doesn’t strike out as much as Austin Jackson (well, who does other than Chris Davis?). On the pitching side, the Wonders are running out eight starter every week. No one claims they are very good, but there are eight of them, and I hear rumors that Andrew Miller will strike someone out and that Phil Hughes is going to stop wearing a kilt on the mound. We shall see. The modest goal for the second half is pass the two teams closest to eleventh (Peter and Eric) by slowly accumulating stats, then wait for Endy Chavez to catch fire and run us up to third. If that doesn’t look like it will work out, I might have to trade for an actual pitching staff, and I am running perilously close to not having any trading chips. I can hardly wait for Larry tell me that Joey Bats is worth 80 claim dollars and Derek to tell me Lind and Masterson are roughly equal (the second is considerably more likely than the first, I am sure Larry would offer 100 units).
I plan to enjoy the All Star break and look forward to my revamped and devalued team continuing to score points in whatever way it actually does. And yes, there was an “if” in there somewhere. Best of luck one and all.