Fantasy Allergy

I am still holding on to Travis Hafner on my fantasy roster. He’s been hurt for ages (with an injury that might be imaginary) and even when he played he was terrible. He can’t play any position except DH. All he’s doing is taking up space. Well, there’s a reason.

Let’s flash back to my 2007 fantasy draft. Hafner was coming off of a season in which he hit 42 HR in only 129 games, with a 1.098 OPS. For three straight seasons, he had not hit below .305 or had an OPS below .993. He was a beast, and it seemed like he was improving. I was happy to use my early 2nd round pick on him, and I thought it was a freaking steal. Hafner went on to hit 18 less homers in 23 more games, plus see his average drop over 40 points and his OPS drop over 250 points. He still had 100 RBI, but it was piss poor production from a 2nd round pick.

Still, when 2008 rolled around, I thought for some reason that 2007 was the nadir, the absolute low point. All the fantasy “experts” predicted a bounce back season for Hafner. While I try not to listen to these “experts” (because they are mostly morons), I guess some part of me really wanted to believe that he couldn’t be any worse. So I spent a 4th round pick on him.  And he has proceeded to suck beyond suck, to the extent that he is no longer a viable fantasy option.

Now, the question you must have is, if you hate him so much, why hold on to him? And the answer, my friends, is that I do not believe that this is mere coincidence that he started to suck the instant I drafted him in 2007. No, I believe more sinister forces are at work, and I believe that there is a causal relationship here. That is, Hafner has sucked since 2007 BECAUSE I drafted him. He continued to suck in 2008 BECAUSE I drafted him. I have discussed this theory with other owners in private, that some players are simply “allergic” to some teams. As with any other allergies, some players have slight allergies and some have severe allergies. Case in point, look up Bobby Higginson’s 2000 stats (the only year I didn’t own him) as opposed to 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 (the years I owned him). That allergy was so bad, it killed him.

So maybe it’s not Travis’ fault. Maybe there is some cosmic dissonance between him and me, that makes us this incompatible. And since I have caused his downfall, part of me believes that once I release him, he will revert to being an absolute masher. But you know what, I don’t care. This might be a tad irrational, but he has been so terrible, and I’ve paid such a high price to invest in him, that I just hate him. I don’t care that it’s not his fault. I want him to suffer, like I have suffered. So yeah. I’m not going to let him go some place else and prosper. I’m going to hold on to him. I have the power to control his destiny now. So either he sucks it up and learns to get over his allergy or, more likely, he will stop hitting completely, his career will end, his wife will leave him and his children will be very hungry. Maybe then we’ll be even.

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