Fantasy Fever: Apologizing to Joe Mauer From WhatIfSports.com image

Fantasy Fever: An Apology to Joe Mauer

Mauer totally redeems himself in July

By Joel Beall, WhatIfSports.com
August 10th, 2010

Dear Joe,

A Dutch botanist once said, "Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future." Apparently you have taken this quote to heart, and now it is time I reciprocate that sentiment.

Three weeks ago, I composed a somewhat scathing article centered on my displeasure with your 2010 fantasy output. While you certainly weren't having a dreadful campaign, your statistics did not warrant a 1st round selection. Unfortunately, I and thousands of owners DID make you the cornerstone of our fantasy teams, which in turn has torpedoed countless title hopes and aspirations. I felt as if our resentment needed a voice, so I took the venture upon myself to let our annoyance be known.

Joe Mauer

Any athlete can perform with the backing of a fan base, but a true test of a player's character shows in times of adversity. In many instances, this athlete responds negatively or, worse, with aloofness. However, it's in those rare instances where a ballplayer rises to the challenge, recaptures our hearts, and makes us feel culpable for doubting them in the first place that makes sports such a transcendent experience. And your retort to all the skeptics falls into the latter, Mr. Mauer.

Since July 13, you've hit .425 with 24 RBI and 16 runs. In games you have appeared in over that time span, the Twins are 14-6. Your OBP is nearing .400 for the first time since late May. I guess what I'm trying to say is:

I'm stupid. You're smart. I was wrong. You were right. You're the best. I'm the worst. You're very good-looking. I'm not attractive.

In hindsight, I had no grounds for unleashing such vitriol on a player of your stature. Considering that my finest baseball achievement in the past 5 years involved winning an intramural wiffle ball tournament, I should have kept my mouth shut and enjoyed your excellence.

In short, I'd like to express my deepest remorse for deserting you at your time of need. Hopefully this contention has made our fantasy player-owner relationship stronger, and I look forward to our continued success, now and into the future.

Now if you could just start to hit for more power.

Yours in professionalism,

Joel

Trevor Cahill

Start 'em: Trevor Cahill, Athletics. Over his last three starts, Cahill has not given up an earned run in 25 innings. On the season, the 22-year-old Cahill has a 2.56 ERA and is leading the league with a 0.98 WHIP.

Sit 'em: Zach Greinke, Royals. After giving up 10 hits and 6 runs against Seattle on August 6, it's officially ok for Greinke owners to throw in the towel on his 2010 season. While he hasn't received adequate run support (a 4.56 RS average, eighth worst for pitchers who've accumulated 120 IP), Greinke's ERA is two runs higher than 2009, and has already given up four more homers than last year's total.

Fantasy Flashback: 1886 Lady Baldwin. Although owning one of the worst nicknames in sports history, Charles Baldwin put together a helluva season in 1886. Baldwin started 56 games, completing 55 of these contests, in route to compiling a 42-13 record. Baldwin led the league in wins, shutouts (7) strikeouts (323) and WHIP (0.967). And for those keeping score at home, "Lady" was derived from Baldwin's penchant for abstaining from drinking, smoking, and cussing, though you'd think this sweet 'stache he was rocking would have prevented such a namesake to be bestowed.

Waiver Wire Watch: Carlos Ruiz, Phillies. Ruiz is 20 for his last 50, driving in 14 runs and hitting 3 bombs during the streak. Ruiz is owned in just 30% of leagues. As that production is hard to duplicate from the catching position, take a gamble on Ruiz's services.

Rookie Review: J.P. Arencibia, Blue Jays. Welcome to the Show, kid. Arencibia went 4-for-5 with 2 HRs in his Major League debut on Saturday for Toronto. Arencibia tore through the PCL with the Las Vegas 51s, crushing 31 homers in 95 games to go along with a .303 average.

This Week in Jonathon Broxton: In a surprise to no one, Broxton bounced back from a minor slump, recording a save against San Diego on August 3 and going two innings for a victory versus Washington on August 7. In a related note, "The Expendables" premieres this week, a film focused on a team of mercenaries sent to South America to overthrow a dictator. Allegedly, Broxton was offered one of the parts, but producers soon realized that with Broxton at the helm, there would be no need to necessitate a "team" to accomplish the task at hand, thus rendering the plot moot.

Drown Your Morrows

Brandon Morrow Brandon Morrow struck out 17 Rays on Sunday

Trade Talk: Ryan Braun, Brewers. Hitting .200 for the month of July, many Braun owners are more than willing to part with the Milwaukee slugger at a discounted offer. Try to capitalize on this approach, as Braun is 15-for-29 in August.

Big League Chew Player of the Week: Brandon Morrow, Blue Jays. The former 1st round pick was an out away from a no-hitter until an Evan Longoria single ruined his date with destiny. Morrow ended the game with 17 Ks. (You know we've reached the "dog days" of August when two Blue Jays are featured on Fantasy Fever).

Spit Your Tobacco At: Chris Coghlan, Marlins. The reigning NL Rookie of the Year will undergo season-ending knee surgery after tearing a meniscus that resulted from a shaving cream pie gone awry. Somewhere, Cal Ripken is shaking his head in shame.

Your "Dumb and Dumber" Quote of the Week:

Lloyd: Hey, look, the Monkees. They were a huge influence on the Beatles.


Let us know what you think of Whatifsports.com's Fantasy Fever. Shoot us an email at BtB@whatifsports.com.

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