Roto Arcade: Royally Rash

Roto Arcade: Royally Rash
By Andy Behrens
April 10, 2007

Andy Behrens
Yahoo Sports
Over the weekend, I received an email from someone who wanted me to confirm that dropping Jason Giambi for Mike Jacobs was OK. There was no question in the email, really, just a request for confirmation. It was deeply corporate. Like I was expected to review the termination report, affix my signature, and forward it along the chain of command, maybe to Brad Evans or Chris Liss. Eventually all the necessary paperwork would get sent via inter-office mail to HR, and Jason Giambi would get fired.

Giambi

But I didn't approve the transaction. It's not OK to drop Giambi for Jacobs. First of all, you should never drop a valuable player before shopping him around your league. And more importantly, Jason Giambi is better at hitting baseballs than Mike Jacobs. I've been promoting Jacobs since Opening Day and I drafted him in two leagues, but, um … c'mon. That's a terrible swap. Giambi bats fifth for the best offense in baseball and he hit 37 home runs last season. It's a bit early to give up on him, isn't it?

Clearly, at least one of you thinks it's not.

Maybe this is because we've trained you to chase the hot player instead of the best player, which is really the most appallingly stupid thing a fantasy owner can do. Sorry about that. While you're browsing the "Who's Hot" and "Player Ranker" features, try to remember that all those stats are in the past. The PAST. As in, it's already happened. This is Week Two. The numbers that a free agent put up yesterday won't help you tomorrow. Players go hot and cold because of various factors. Talent, health, and luck all play a role. So does quality-of-opponent, but not enough owners seem to think about this.

Let's veer away from Giambi and Jacobs, and consider a pair of American League rookies who are getting loads of attention from fantasy owners: the .500-hitting Akinori Iwamura and the .045-hitting Alex Gordon. If the Buzz Index is to be believed, Iwamura was added 311 times on Monday and Gordon was dropped 292 times. So yesterday, over 600 of you made an add/drop decision based on either 20 Iwamura at-bats or 22 Gordon at-bats. Before clicking "Add this player," did you review any game logs? Did you think about who they've faced so far?

I'd be willing to bet that the Gordon-droppers didn't. Here are the starting pitchers he's seen in his six-game Major League career: Curt Schilling, Josh Beckett, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Justin Verlander, Jeremy Bonderman, and A.J. Burnett. That's two World Series MVPs, this year's Rookie of the Year, last year's Rookie of he Year, a guy who struck out 202 batters last season, and a dude who throws 97 miles per hour and makes $11 million a year. Buddy Bell gave Gordon the day off when Kansas City faced the left-handed Mike Maroth. Thanks, skip. The Royals as a team are hitting .219/.295/.368. It's been a rather difficult stretch for all of them.


Iwamura

For comparison's sake, here are the starters that Iwamura has faced: Carl Pavano, Andy Pettitte (who was awful), Gustavo Chacin, Tomo Ohka, Roy Halladay (Iwamura went 1-for-4), and Brandon McCarthy. A few respectable names there, sure. But there are a few un-ownable guys, too. It certainly isn't as impressive a list as the group of starters who've bedeviled Gordon.

Before you cut Alex loose, maybe you should revisit the 2006 Minor League Player of the Year's numbers from Double-A Wichita: 486 AB, 111 R, 158 H, 39 2B, 29 HR, 101 RBI, 22 SB, .325 AVG, .427 OBP, .588 SLG. Gordon was also the 2005 College Player of the Year while at Nebraska. If you still want to give up on him after 22 big league at-bats, fine. But someone else is likely to benefit from your impatience. My advice: don't make any rash moves until Gordon gets a few whacks at Tomo Ohka, too.

Lots of useful pitchers available for streaming over the next two days. It's like a buffet of Ks and Ws, really. I'm starting Boof Bonser (22.2 percent owned) against the Yankees today in the Y! Friends and Family League, because I'm that recklessly infatuated. You might also consider Nate Robertson (76.5) at Baltimore, Tom Gorzelanny (1.1) versus St. Louis, and Josh Towers (0.1) versus Kansas City. Matt Morris (10.5) at San Diego could also collect a win. On Wednesday, take a look at Wandy Rodriguez (0.5) at Chicago, Adam Loewen (4.9) versus Detroit, and Noah Lowry (77.5) at San Diego. Jason Hirsh (7.2) at Los Angeles and Oliver Perez (27.5) versus Philadelphia should provide Ks – and possibly a few earned runs. If Perez throws another gem, hold onto him.

Andy Behrens has written for ESPN.com, the Chicago Sports Review, NBA.com, the Chicago Reader and various other publications. In all likelihood, Andy owns more Artis Gilmore memorabilia than you. Follow him on Twitter. Send Andy a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.

Updated on Tuesday, Apr 10, 2007 2:23 pm, EDT

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