The phrase ``I've got to be honest with you'' is never good news.
It's never followed by, ``You've won the lottery!'' or ``You're my favorite person.''
So, receiving two phone calls within a week from fellow fantasy owners who start the conversation with that phrase and follow with an assessment of your fantasy team is generally not what you want.
Especially if you write a fantasy baseball column.
Like a race car driver getting a ticket for driving too slowly, or a boxer getting beaten up in a bar fight, a fantasy columnist with a bad fantasy team raises eyebrows. And rightly so. It's deliciously ironic.
Everybody wants to pile on, and why not? In April, I could hide behind the notion that it was too early to judge; now, it seems almost impossible to move into contention without wholesale changes to my current team.
I?ve got to be honest. I am the not-so-proud owner of a bad team.
Thanks so much for your honesty, all you fantasy well wishers.
I made several fatal drafting errors. Mostly, they involved buying into the hype of high-risk, high-reward players. Taking a couple of flyers is a good idea; filling your team with them, apparently, isn't quite so smart.
Delmon Young, OF, Devil Rays
It's tempting in a draft to exploit your knowledge of up-and-coming players, and call out names such as Young and Alex Gordon before their time. Young is a future star, but we've seen this too many times before to be surprised; last year, Jeff Francoeur struggled at times, and now he's one of baseball's finest producers. That's Young next year.
For now, I have Young (.240-6-22) instead of Magglio Ordonez (.345-12-42). Young is such a big name that he may be tradable, but I'm going to hold onto him. A 6-for-49 slump dropped his average to .229 on May 13, and since then, he's hit in six of eight games. That he has only two stolen bases is inexplicable. Expect him to be in the mid-teens by the end of the year, with 20 homers and an average around .260.
Cory Hart, OF, Brewers
I drafted Hart over guys such as Josh Willingham of the Marlins. My reasoning: Willingham might be a good power hitter in the middle of a lineup, but his value is lower now that he can't be used as a catcher. Fine, but now I have Hart (.256-1-9) instead of a .285-6-31 guy.
Hart seemed to have upside after hitting nine homers in 237 at-bats last year, and he does, but playing in an outfield with a platoon of Geoff Jenkins and Kevin Mench should have told me everything I needed to know about how long Hart would be given to succeed.
The Brewers have too many outfielders for Hart to get a lot of playing time. Drop Hart, unless you have a lot of room on your bench. Find someone who will get the at-bats Hart won't, such as Emil Brown of the Royals or Carlos Quentin of the Diamondbacks. Both have the opportunity to play every day and hit 20 home runs this year, which Hart won't.
Carlos Zambrano, RHP, Cubs
Of all the pitchers to pin my fantasy hopes on, I had to choose this one. I drafted him early, before Jake Peavy, before Roy Halladay, as the third pitcher taken. I liked the chances for Zambrano to break out with a Cy Young-type season, given what appeared to be a better offense in Chicago.
Not so far.
Zambrano has had control issues all season, and can't seem to put together a streak of good starts. In his first 10 appearances, he has three quality starts. It's not good enough for this talented 25-year-old. Zambrano will almost certainly pitch better at some point this year, so trading him when his value is lowest doesn't make a ton of sense.
Gerald Laird, C, Rangers
I still don?t understand how this one happened. Watching Laird last year, it was clear the guy could pound the ball and just needed playing time. He was my sleeper pick at catcher, and I was sure that if nothing else, he?d hit close to .300 and drive in 70 runs. I drafted him before Bengie Molina (.308-4-28), and while Laird is showing signs of coming out of an early funk, hitting .295 in May, his nine RBIs in 125 at-bats is not going to cut it. I?ll grudgingly hold onto him, and hope that his average, at least, continues to rise.
QUICK HITS: Mariners OF Jose Guillen is quietly having a strong May, hitting .320 with 19 RBIs after driving in just five runs in April. Some owners might have forgotten that prior to his injury-plagued 2006 campaign in Washington, Guillen had three straight 20-homer, high-average seasons. If he?s available, he?s a great pickup. Red Sox 1B Kevin Youkilis is having a brilliant May (.405-4-17) and could be a great player to pick up in a 2-for-1 trade. An owner might be willing to throw Youkilis in along with a quality starting pitcher for a big-name first baseman.

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