I play in a weekly head-to-head points based fantasy baseball league. On Sunday, I was locked in a very close matchup and I was presented with a quandary: a.) start Barry Zito or b.) bench Zito and receive zero points. Trust me, I very nearly decided not to start Zito, because, well, it’s BARRY F***ING ZITO. But I let the numbers compel me: 2.94 ERA in day games with .195 BAA versus 5.16 ERA at night, 3.27 ERA in home games versus 5.66 ERA in away games, and 2.84 ERA against San Diego versus 4.79 against everyone else. This game was at home, during the day and against a SD that had just been no-hit and whose lineup was barely recognizable. All the signs were saying “start him”, and like a chump, I did. Result? A 10 hit, 9 run explosion for NEGATIVE ten points. I know that you may not know the exact scoring system of my league, but you can probably guess that -10 is, um, not so good. I mean, I am SOOO STUPID. WHY WOULD YOU EVER TRUST BARRY ZITO? I have only myself to blame, but in case you are also dense like me, whether in fantasy or real life, NEVER EVER EVER NEVER EVER TRUST BARRY F***KING ZITO.
Regarding the All-Star Game, I have, as does everyone else, a real problem with the selection process. Personally, I despise the one-player-per-team rule for representation. As a Tigers fan in the 90’s, getting a player selected to the team because that was the rule didn’t make me want to watch the game more. It felt terrible, it felt like CHARITY. The All-Star game should be a showcase for the game, and it should have the BEST players there, not just guys who are having a fluky three month start to the season (cough cough…Joaquin Phoenix…cough…I mean…Jason Marquis…cough cough). Anyways, Keith Law has an article up on ESPN and I agree with almost everything he says, so I won’t harp about it, just read that.
That being said, other than the omission of Ian Kinsler (which was egregious), this wasn’t the worst year ever for All-Star selections. At least the teams somewhat limited the number of relievers they took (although it’s STILL way too many. No more than two or three closers per team please…). Mark Buehrle was an okay pick since there are no other deserving White Sox and the Tim Wakefield pick is fine I guess from a purely sentimental perspective but the Marquis pick is simply indefensible. Kinsler being relegated to the last-chance ballot is one of the biggest snubs in All-Star game history, but other than than, the only other glaring omission on offense was leaving Johnny Damon off the team, who is currently a top five outfielder. But here’s the really good news…NO A-ROD IN THE ALL-STAR GAME!!! WOOHOOO!!!