And yet, we feel as though we have to
(Alternately, we could spend another day feeding into the mass depression over Roy Halladay. But this seems like the lesser of two evils.)
Here is our tale of woe, in which we assess blame to the five players who ruined our fantasy baseball season this year.
1. Carlos Quentin - 8 HRs, 20 RsBI, .774 OPS: Maybe we should have known better than to put our trust in a guy with a penchant for punching inanimate objects. Still, we figured that Quentin would return from his self-inflicted injuries and produce somewhere near his MVP candidate numbers from last year, and spent second round picks on him. That's what we get for being optimistic.
2. Grady Sizemore - 13 HRs, 49 RsBI, 9 SBs, .780 OPS: It's not that Sizemore's been awful this season when he's been healthy. But there's the rub. Even when he's been in the lineup, he's not swinging the bat like a first rounder should. We're thankful that we don't have him in keeper leagues, because the prospect of off-season shoulder surgery would have us selling him off for 50 cents on the dollar at this point.
3. Matt Wieters - 3 HRs, 10 RsBI, .680 OPS: We really should know better than to draft prospects, even if all the indications seem to be that they will be absolutely otherworldly and the greatest offensive catcher in the history of baseball or any other sport. And yet, we got sucked in by the hype yet again. Top prospects are our fantasy kryptonite, and Wieters follows in the rich tradition of Alex Gordon and Jeremy Hermida as the can't miss kids who missed for our fantasy teams.
4. Ervin Santana - 2-5, 34 Ks, 6.70 ERA, 1.70 WHIP: Two words that we'll no longer be able to ignore in baseball are "forearm tightness". As the reports came in over the offseason that something was amiss with Santana, we chose to ignore them and make him a sixth round pick and the first pitcher that we selected in a few of our drafts. In retrospect, it might be the dumbest pick we made in our drafts.
5. Ricky Nolasco - 6-7, 95 Ks, 5.77 ERA, 1.40 WHIP: Nolasco was a sexy pick coming into the season, and our selection of him in the eighth and ninth rounds of drafts garnered kudos from our fellow fantasy nerds. Of course, Nolasco went on to pitch atrociously for the first two months, and we ended up cutting him after May 22, when his ERA reached 9.07 and he was shipped to the minors. And it only follows that we weren't there to pick him back up when he returned to the big leagues and put up six straight starts with two or fewer earned runs and bucketloads of strikeouts. Our only satisfaction came from seeing him get shelled for seven earned runs against Arizona just before the All-Star Break.