The final score at Wrigley Field on Thursday was Cubs 9, Barry Bonds 6, every other Giant 2. Barry hit a pair of long home runs into an unfriendly breeze, in an overwhelmingly unfriendly environment. He finished 3-for-3 and drove in six runs. Like him or not, you have to be a little awed by Barry Bonds sometimes. We've discussed him at length here previously, so there's little else that needs to be said.
Except maybe this: he was dropped in 1458 Yahoo! leagues on Wednesday and 756 leagues on Thursday.
There's just no feeling quite like the one you have after dropping a player on Wednesday, then watching him have a multi-homer game on Thursday. It's the sort of thing that ends fantasy careers. People can't easily pick up and move on after a disastrous move like that. Plus it just sits there on the "Recent Transactions" list for everyone to see:
|7/18||Yorvit Torrealba (COL - C)||Add||Free Agents||Snell the Glove|
|7/18||Barry Bonds (SF - OF)||Drop||Snell the Glove||Waivers|
I'm fairly certain that's the exact move that a few of you made, too, since Yorvit was added in 2082 leagues on Wednesday.
Still, no one's really judging you, Bonds droppers. We all understand how frustrating Barry can be. He was stuck in an 0-for-21 slump before Thursday, he hadn't started in three days, the off-days aren't always easy to foresee, and, well … it's late-July. You need stats. It's not easy to carry a hitter who's not playing, yet not on the DL.
But when you drafted Barry Bonds, you had to know there would be weeks like this. He needs to be universally owned – he's the 64th ranked player in Yahoo! leagues, after all. Just carry an OF-eligible caddy for the off days. It's extremely difficult to get fair value for Bonds via trade. If you couldn't deal him at the end of April when he was batting .356/.536/.814, you won't find many respectable offers now.
He's not a player who needs to be dealt, though. Barry is just a bit more high-maintenance than your typical fantasy outfielder. If you happen to be an owner in one of the 2214 leagues where he just became available, good luck with the waiver claim. And please don't taunt the Bonds droppers. They're hurting enough.
While we're on the subject of high-maintenance outfielders, the Chicago Tribune reports today that Scott Podsednik will not be activated this weekend. Still, the 47.9 percent-owned outfielder should return next week. For many of you, he's the last best hope to add 15 or more steals.
Wait, no. There's at least one more …
Ryan Freel is 47.1 percent owned. He's another of the great binge base-stealers. Freel has five stolen bases over his past four games.
Phil Hughes should return to the Yankees by the beginning of August. The New York Times reports that he'll throw 75 pitches at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Monday, and likely follow that with a 90-pitch outing. Then he'll dislodge Kei Igawa from the Yankees' rotation. Asked about the no-hitter he was throwing when he injured his hamstring in May, Hughes said, "That was one of those days where everything was working for me, one of those days you'd always like to have. I don't think it's unrealistic to say that I'm going to feel like that again, because I know I can." He's only 15.6 percent owned.
Right now, there's a lot of positive spin on Andruw Jones. Following the All-Star break he has nine runs, four HR, 11 RBI, and a .321 batting average. But I'd really only consider acquiring him if you're certain the net gain in fantasy points from HR and RBI will be significantly greater than the cost in SB and AVG. There's basically zero chance that Jones will hit .300 in the second half. The last time he hit .300 for a full calendar month was June 2005. Before that, it was September 2003.
Remember that when you add any player, you're really adding the difference between him and the guy he's replacing in your starting lineup. Plus there's the issue of who you've traded away. There's a balancing act with fantasy trades, and it's particularly tricky when you're acquiring players like Jones who are severely below league-average in certain categories.
The Denver Post reports that Brian Fuentes won't be activated until Monday. Here's the really interesting part of their report, though: "(Fuentes) didn't bounce back as hoped, leaving a handful of scouts, including one from the Red Sox, making an unnecessary trip to RFK Stadium to watch him." Clearly, if Fuentes moves to Boston, he loses nearly all of his fantasy value, except for those of you in holds leagues. But if, say, Wily Mo Pena is moved in a Fuentes deal, the new Rockies' acquisition could be interesting.
In the same Denver Post article, it was mentioned that Ian Snell said he was sorry for threatening to "kill that dude," whoever the sign-stealing dude was. I suspect Roberto Mejia. I also tend to doubt the sincerity of Snell's apology. Like you needed yet another reason to attend the August 20-23 Rockies-Pirates series.
The stream-worthy starters for Sunday include Bronson Arroyo (61.6) at the Marlins, Nate Robertson (31.9) versus the Royals, Claudio Vargas (24.4) versus the Giants, and Matt Garza (6.3) versus the Angels.