A Different Kind of Fantasy Baseball

If you are a fantasy baseball enthusiast, you might enjoy this fantasy. I just gave you the job of General Manager of a Major League baseball team. I now continue to wave my magic wand; and this winter, you will be offered a trade in which you receive Prince Fielder from the Brewers in exchange for a package of players that does not gut your current roster or your farm system. You do have to give up a package of prospects and a current player who has done time in the big leagues. Do you make the deal? What would be the length of the “long-term contract” that you would pre-negotiate with Fielder’s agent?

Fielder is young – he will turn 25 next year – and he is talented; there is no doubt that he can hit a baseball. At the same time, I would have more than a couple of reservations about Fielder as a person/teammate. His physical altercation with a teammate earlier this season may have demonstrated his burning desire to win; on the other hand, it may have demonstrated his lack of maturity and his lack of self-control. His bitter feud with his father, Cecil Fielder, may or may not be justified but Prince Fielder’s opening that feud to the public awareness with some less than classy comments was unnecessary and unappealing.

The “lack of self-control” issue also plays out in Prince Fielder’s abundant abdominal avoir du pois. If he expands any more, his butt will get its own zip code and his abdomen will have its own Congressthing. Players have “eaten themselves out of the league” before in baseball and in other sports. Might Prince Fielder be on the road to doing just that? Alternatively, is this just part of his genetic makeup taken from his very large male parental unit – the one that he really does not get along with?

OK, Mr. GM, you have the deal on your desk. You need to return the call just because that is the proper protocol. Do you make the deal?

Much has been made – - actually too much has been made – - about the ceremony at the last game in Yankee Stadium. I think that Jerry Greene of the Orlando Sentinel summed up much of the brouhaha succinctly and cogently:

“The Yankees hold their “good-bye stadium” party and don’t even mention former manager Joe Torre? Can you say “petty”?

“Of course they didn’t mention former pitcher Roger Clemens either, but they probably just misremembered.”

Vice-Presidential Candidate, Sarah Palin, gives her kids unusual names; she likes to run; so, she named one of her kids Track. She also has a kid named Trig, which would lead me to conclude that she likes math or is a huge fan of Roy Rogers. [Aside: If Trig had been twins, would they have been named Sine and Cosine?] Should the Mets’ bullpen coach adopt the idea of naming kids for activities relevant to his life, might I suggest Blown Save or Bombs Away as possibilities?

Syndicated columnist, Norman Chad, was pulling for a Rays – Marlins confrontation in the World Series. He wanted something different; he wanted a change; here is how he expressed that desire:

“I want to see a Red Sox-Mets World Series in the autumn like Robert Downey Jr. wants to see his parole officer in Cannes.”

Despite his thoughts on the matter, I bet the people in MLB who work with the TV networks would not want the Rays and the Marlins. They might have to go searching for their ratings with a magnifying glass.

Time for a Quick Quiz. No peeking; no Googling…

    Name two of the four heavyweight boxing champions out there at the moment. You need not identify which of the “alphabet soup” organizational titles they hold; just name them.

NBA training camps open next week and the NY Knicks look as if they are starting out the season with the clear intention of leading the league in “what-are-they-thinking” moves. Be sure you are seated and remove any sharp objects from your hands at this point because you are likely to whack yourself between the eyes when you read the next item.

“Not only will Stephon Marbury be at training camp next Tuesday in Saratoga, but so will Allan Houston.” [NY Post]

I can understand Marbury; the Knicks owe him about $22M and they cannot trade him for a bag of ice. Therefore, as sour and poisonous as he might be, they do not have any real choice regarding what to do with him. Allan Houston is a different story entirely.

Allan Houston is now 37 years old. He last played in a real NBA game in 2005. He tried a comeback with the Knicks last year and lasted just long enough to be around for a single pre-season game. No one ever said that Allan Houston was a “bad-guy” or a “locker-room problem”; no one associated him with any of the managerial and societal dysfunctionalities of the Knicks organization. He is a good guy; he wears a white hat. He also cannot play any more; microfracture surgery on his leg took care of that three years ago.

I realize that the Knicks franchise is in a personnel bind but pitting Marbury versus Houston for a roster slot in their backcourt cannot provide relief for very long. This will not end well.

Dick Lynch was a defensive back for the NY Giants and a long-time broadcaster of Giants’ games. Dick Lynch died this week. In his college days, he played at Notre Dame and he is the man who scored the only TD in a 7-0 win for Notre Dame over Oklahoma in 1957. That loss broke the Sooners’ 47-game winning streak – a record that stands until now.

Finally, with the “debates” between the Presidential candidates about to happen, let me offer another observation from Jerry Greene in the Orlando Sentinel:

“And we leave you with this: Fathead.com now offers wall stickers in the likenesses of John McCain and Barack Obama. No, I’m not touching that.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…

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  • Chris  On September 26, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    Spot-on about Fielder. I’ve been aware of him since his minor league days and he can certainly pound the ball at opportune moments. His immaturity has come out to play a few times this season (including a couple of displays you didn’t mention), but I think he will likely mature (if not thin out) and continue to be a valuable force. I can tell you as a Cubs fan that I hold my breath when he comes to the plate.

  • The Sports Curmudgeon  On September 30, 2008 at 9:23 am


    I agree that he is a fearsome presence at the plate but I don’t know how securely I would want to tie my franchise to his wagon. You say he will likely mature – - and indeed he might. On the other hand, all he may do is grow older and become an old pain-in-the-butt as opposed to a young-and-brash-pain-in-the-butt. Oh, swell…

    His free agency time will be interesting to watch…

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