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Fantasy sports: They are who we thought they were

Published: Friday, May 3, 2013 11:05 p.m. CDT

Bears fan or not – even if you’re not a football fan, period – I’m sure you get the reference in this column’s headline.

Then-Arizona Cardinals head coach Dennis Green was talking about the Bears.

But he might as well have been talking about Yuniesky Betancourt, currently a top-40 fantasy batter in most formats.

I’ve been trying to sell high on the 31-year-old Brewers utility player whom I affectionately call Uncle Yun.

I’ve had zero success. In fact, my offers have even produced more than one response of, “You’re kidding, right?”

If I was, I guess I was kidding myself. There’s no way I’m getting top-50 value for a guy who’s slightly past a prime that wasn’t that notable to begin with. Not to mention a guy who’d have a hard time taking second base on defensive indifference.

Compounding matters is the fact that my league is predominantly made up of Brewers fans.

They know exactly who Yuniesky Betancourt is. And they know that, once Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart are back full-time, barring any other injury bug bites, ol’ Yuni B will have no place on a roster, fantasy or reality.

For the moment, here are a few notable names below him on the player rater: Pirates do-it-all center fielder Andrew McCutchen and similarly versatile Giants outfielder Hunter Pence.

I didn’t waste my keystrokes trying to acquire players of their caliber. Instead, I looked further down the list for guys who have stumbled out of the gates. See: Mets slugging first baseman Ike Davis.

But I couldn’t even land him, despite throwing in a compensatory draft pick.

Bottom line is, I’m not going to be able to move him. Especially after the boys read this column.

It never hurts to aim high and go for the gusto. But here’s a few other ballplayers whose stocks are as high, but there’s no way you’re getting current value in exchange:

Kevin Gregg, Chicago Cubs closer: Saves, of course, are a closer’s prime objective. But relievers are also supposed to be a boon in such categories as ERA and WHIP. Regardless of level, Gregg has never posted a sub-3.00 ERA in a season (10 innings pitched minimum). Let him go Kevin Gregg all over someone else’s numbers. It’s gonna happen.

Trade him for: Kenley Jansen is likely a reach, since everyone but Brandon League believes eventually Jansen will be the Dodgers’ closer. Try to swap Gregg for Marlins stopper Steve Cishek. You’d be surprised how many saves closers can get on bad teams.

Nate McLouth, Orioles outfielder: The pickup du jour and once prized prospect is playing way above his head in the twilight of his career. His eight stolen bases are nice, but the three homers are deceiving, one of them even glancing off Mike Trout’s glove to clear the fence. He’s a career .251 hitter in the majors and, even though injuries have punctuated his eight seasons of major-league service, folks are familar enough with him to know regression is inevitable.

Trade him for: Jayson Werth, Nationals outfielder. Once Bryce Harper heals and Adam LaRoche emerges from his annual slow start, Werth’s numbers will jump through the roof. They’re already decent.

Vernon Wells, Yankees outfielder: This one is simple. See below.

Trade him for: Maybe a bag of baseballs? Get whatever you can for Wells before he breaks down.

The Hot Corner

This week’s topic: How do you feel about the designated hitter rule?

Last week’s banter: If you were a general manager, which ballplayer would you pick first to build your franchise?

Robbie Minor (@Robmino13, Sterling): Matt Moore, LHP, TB Rays. 23 years old, future HOF. #TheHotCorner

Travis Myers (@10tmyers, Buffalo Grove): Trout. Power, Average, Speed, OBP, Defense while playing a premier defensive position. #TheHotCorner

Casey Thrush (@CThrushy, Easton, Md.): What kinda question is that? Bryce Harper. #TheNatural

Matt Balsley (@MBalsley, Normal): Bryce Harper. Has the power and ability to hit. Can play the field. Still hasn’t even hit his prime yet.

Carl Stingley (Sterling): Bryce Harper or Mike Trout.

Tim O’Brien: Carl Stingley. He has a lot of power.

Pitch the Commish: The commish selects Jim Johnson, Orioles RP. Pick from one of these four players and, if he rates higher, you’re in the SVM league next season:

Huston Street, Padres RP

Ernesto Frieri, Angels RP

Mariano Rivera, Yankees RP

Rafael Soriano, Nationals RP

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