With once again having a game where he’s struggled with his hitting, perennial Silver Slugger and 40-homer man Andruw Jones has officially fallen below the Mendoza Line, and committed against fantasy owners what can only be called, accurately and conservatively, a holocaust. According to ESPN.com fantasy services, Jones is owned in 100% of all leagues, meaning that not only does every fantasy baseball owner everywhere have Jones on their team, they are also being screwed by him. As is with every year, Jones’ maddening potential is too good for a sell-low trade, or an outright drop, so fantasy teams with fewer options for power production must continue playing Jones, and basically carry out the fantasy version of a death march to Bataan.
If you’re even a modest follower of statistical analysis, you know the book on Jones: Eschew the low batting average and strikeouts, you’ll earn points through walks, home runs, and RBI’s. Throw in the fact that Jones is in a contract year, and you have a potential 1st round pick that might hit 50 homers and drive in 125 runs or more. However, even the stat monkeys have begun to rattle their cages and throw their feces at this abomination of a season:
WKRP: -1.0 x 10^15
If this were any other player in any other organization (save for maybe Seattle and Jeff Weaver) you would drop him from your lineup, and possibly investigate having him killed, depending on the laws of your state and/or country. However, this is no ordinary payer—this is Andruw Jones. Jones has “potential.”
Potential is the silver-haired siren who gurus and players chase when building a championship team. She nestles up to your side and caresses your face, whispering insights and wisdom in your listening ear: “Do you want to be known as ‘Sell-Low Slick’?” she coos. “You know he’ll hit those 40 homers sooner or later. Drop or trade him now, and he’ll start to hit for another team.” And you know what? She’s right! So you hesitate, you try to stick it out a little longer. Meanwhile Brad Hennessy, Yovanni Gallardo, and Brad Hawpe stand unclaimed on the waiver wire and mock.
Not to go all Bill Simmons here, but sometimes the worst thing you can have in any kind of relationship is a little bit of potential. Potential is the inspiration that lets the Yankees give Jaret Wright a three year deal. Potential is the motivation that convinced you that Peavy would finish with a winning record last year. Potential is the idea that makes you hang on to the loser girlfriend when you think she can be something. Newsflash people-- Wright sucks, Peavy was nowhere near a #1 starter last year, and the girlfriend is a screw-up. Also, seriously, no one thought she was hot.
Yoda once said that hope is the source of humanities greatest strength as well as our greatest weakness. Or it could have been one of the guys in the Matrix. Regardless, this belief in a false potential is screws all people who buying into it for too long. This includes any and all people unfortunate enough to have Andruw Jones, who has probably ruined your fantasy team. In more positive development, Jones got his 1st hit in about 25 at bats last night; does this mean he’s turning the corner? Would it change our options even if it did? It’s real doubtful. Really though, it’s just one more sign that’ll keep us all here stuck hearing the same old song, and listening to all those damn whispers in our ears..