Fowl Ball: Ryan Fowler Fantasy Baseball Blog for July 5th, 2011 From image

Fowl Ball: Bogus Fantasy Trade Tirade

A blend of pop culture, humor and fantasy baseball

By Ryan Fowler -
July 5, 2011

On the morning of March 30, 2011, Hanley Ramirez was considered the top shortstop and second best fantasy baseball player overall. His first half collapse has been beat to death with, well, a bat. Perhaps these harsh (premature?) critiques forced one owner in my fantasy baseball league to pull the trigger on his latest trade.

It would be better if you sat down before you read the details of the deal.

Ramirez was traded for Ryan Ludwick.

"Ludwick and ....?"

Nope, this exchange was straight up.

Now before a rant and rave ensues, here is the owner's defense:

Reason 1: "I won't return for 2012. I like 12-team leagues and the 16-team league is too big, which is why I am doing so poor. I just tried it to see what it would be like."

Analysis: This is why every fantasy league must have a prize. Be it financial compensation, a six-pack, dinner out, fast-food value meal or a freaking trophy, fantasy owners need to play for something. The end of the season "Certificate of Participation" ribbons will no doubt lead to many owners informing the front desk that they will be checking out early.

Also, "I won't return for 2012" in the first season of a keeper league is the equivalent of you beating your kid brother at checkers and he flips the game board over.

Reason 2: "Ramirez {has} had a bad first half of baseball. While he could turn it around in the second half, that isn't a guarantee."

Analysis: He called a spade a spade. Although, on the day the trade processed, Ramirez blasted two home runs; one a grand slam against the Rangers.

My issue is not that this owner dealt Ramirez, but how he settled for 20 cents on the dollar to dispose of him.

I like Ludwick and actually covered him for a few seasons while he was a member of the Toledo Mud Hens. He's a nice guy and a great interview, but we are comparing fantasy apples and oranges.

Check out Ramirez's numbers the last three years post all-star break:

Hanley Ramirez Post All-Star Stats
2010 42 8 23 14 .300 .835
2009 48 10 45 14 .333 .924
2008 45 10 22 12 .282 .909

His remaining two options at shortstop are currently Jhonny Peralta and Yuniesky Betancourt.

Reason 3: "He made a decent offer which helps me in the here and now. All I care about is getting out of the cellar and that's my only realistic goal at this point."

Analysis: Could you imagine sitting with this kid at the lunch table back in grade school? My decent offer: my apple slices for his zebra cakes. You know what I'm talking about!

How he plans of getting out of the cellar with Ludwick's recent history post all-star break is beyond me:

Ryan Ludwick Post All-Star Stats
2010 23 6 27 0 .226 .652
2009 29 7 41 1 .267 .720
2008 44 16 48 0 .313 .971

Closing argument: "End of discussion."

Analysis: I'm taking my ball and going home. Too bad Ludwick can't hit there (.239 BA at PETCO Park).

Fowl Tips - RBI

I watched one of the local Cincinnati sportscasts last night following the Reds 1-0 loss to the Cardinals. In his intro, the anchor stressed the Reds' season-long struggle to hit with runners in scoring position.

This morning I dug into the stats and was surprised to learn the Reds actually possess MLB's fifth-best batting average with runners in scoring position (.268). They trail the Cardinals (.299), Indians (.275), Braves (.274), and, wow, Royals (.271). The Mariners own the worst batting average (.213).

It gets worse for M's fans as their batting average sinks to .169 with runners in scoring position and two outs. The Cards remain top dog with the pressure on (.276), while the A's and Red Sox like the heat in the kitchen with the second-best average (.257).

The Reds do struggle with two outs and RISP as their average drops to .216. Maybe that's what the anchor meant to say.

Fowl Out...of the Norm

Random Nine is a list of players you may not own who put together a solid two weeks.

Random Nine
Player R RBI HR SB
Geovany Soto 4 8 3 0
Freddie Freeman 9 11 4 0
Daniel Murphy 8 13 1 0
Danny Valencia 9 13 3 0
Emilio Bonafacio 7 3 0 7
Angel Pagan 12 6 0 3
Vernon Wells 9 10 5 0
Jason Bay 8 11 2 2
Player W ER K QS
Chris Capuano 3 7 18 2

Now if you'll excuse me, I must go pick up a box of zebra cakes.

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