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Fantasy baseball: We're still in the first inning

Published: Friday, April 19, 2013 11:49 p.m. CDT

(Continued from Page 1)

For my next trick, I’ll tell you about two fantasy cardinal sins. And then I’ll promptly commit them.

Less than 10 percent of the MLB regular season is in the books. If the season was reduced to one game, we’d be in the bottom of the first. It’s way too early to scrutinize your current fantasy standing.

Secondly, don’t talk about your team so much. Nobody wants to know your entire roster.

But in order to illustrate that first rule of thumb, I’ll have to tell you a little about my roster. And, in turn, I will point out where I’m currently sitting.

Perhaps I should have been more specific before. You can look at where you are in the standings. You’d be silly not to. But panicking about it? That sort of behavior is reserved for the silliest of silly dillies.

Obviously you’d love to be sitting in first place, the way I am in my mixed league.

(You’ll notice a theme over the next 5 months: I have nothing financially and virtually nil emotionally invested in my mixed league).

Now, in my beloved NL-only league, I’m sitting eighth, just a nasty sinker away from the cellar. Does this please me? No. Am I worried? Not really. Am I panicking? Anything but.

Why so stoic? Oh, I thought I mentioned this: It’s way too early!

That, and my roster kind of looks like Mike Tyson’s field of vision. Lots of red. You never want to bank on too many guys coming back from the DL and making a difference, especially upon return. But I have utmost faith in Aramis Ramirez returning to form (God, let it be soon). And I drafted Adam Eaton and Matt Garza knowing that their elite skills will pay off in the long haul.

Factor in the fact that I’m running away with batting average and steals, and I feel good. The power will come. Like Jobu.

There. Don’t hate me for talking at length about my team. It was a necessary part of an exercise.

You made the picks you made for a reason. Unless the injury bug has repeatedly bitten your ballclub, there is no need to stray from the game plan.

There’s a sort of fantasy parabola. Or helix. Sin curve? It’s been way too long since I’ve been in school, so let me put this in terms even I can understand.

The further down in the standings you sit, the stronger the desire to overmanage, to make a grandiose move that will turn things around.

The higher up you sit, the fatter and happier you might feel.

Newsflash, hot shot: You ain’t won nothing yet. Everything tends to progress and regress to the median. If you’ve ridden John Buck and Matt Harvey to a comfortable early lead, don’t turn on the cruise control. They both play for the Mets, who are performing way over their heads.

Be realistic about your team. And know that those on the bottom few rungs might feel unnecessarily desperate. Throw some flashy lures in their pool – a Justin Upton or an Alex Rios, should the struggling club be owned by a Sox fan – and see if you can upgrade multiple spots you didn’t fully fortify in the draft.

If you felt you could’ve drafted more speed but happen to be killing in stolen bases, that doesn’t mean you were wrong. Andrew McCutchen is still a mediocre base-stealer for a guy with elite speed. And this weather hasn’t allowed the professional sack-swipers to get lathered up. See: Mike Trout and Angel Pagan, with one apiece.

Small sample size, people. Next thing you’re going to tell me, you’re worried about the Cubs.

OK. Bad comparison.

Let’s get some chatter going!

This week’s banter

Which side of the windy city will get a domed ballpark first?

Last week’s topic

Cubs fan or not, what’s your take on curses in sports?

• Kent Schwab (Rock Falls): I don’t believe in curses but, if the Cub fans wanna believe, they have the black cat, the billy goat, Billy Buckner’s batting glove, Steve Bartman & the Greek priest they can taunt

• Eric Tinley: No curse, just a horrible franchise

• Terry Mendoza (Sterling): This is the year!!!!!

Pitch the Commish

The commish selects Felix Hernandez, Mariners SP. Pick from one of these four players and, if he rates higher, you’re in the SVM league next season:

• Max Scherzer, Detroit SP

• Chris Sale, White Sox SP

• A.J. Burnett, Pirates SP

• Matt Moore, Rays SP

Market Survey

Buy low – Matt Cain, Giants SP: He made four bad pitches against the Brewers. Hopefully his overreactive owner doesn’t closely examine said outing.

Sell high – Matt Moore, Rays SP: Those sparkling numbers (3-0, 1.00 ERA, 1.06 WHIP) will unravel with a start or two in which he can’t harness his nasty stuff.

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