Fantasy Baseball Advice
Ed. Note: E$PN's inboxes are flooded with emails from devoted fans seeking fantasy baseball advice. We get thousands of these emails a week -- far more than our regular columnists can handle! So, voila! Welcome to the first installment of fantasy baseball advice on the new BBTN blog. And who better to be dishing out strategy and advice than the men who play the game every day! Today's experts are Mets pitchers and sure-fire Hall of Famers Pedro Martinez and Tom Glavine. E$PN sat down with them during their off-day Thursday and they didn't hold back in their effort to give you, the fans, the best fantasy advice anywhere on the internet.
Q: I'm in desperate need of a closer for my roto league. One league manager is willing to trade me Eric Gagne, but he wants a top-line starter in return. This could be a great deal for me if Gagne is healthy once he comes off the DL. Do you think this trade is worth the risk?
Jim H., Trenton NJ
Pedro Martinez: If he's so healthy, why is he on the DL? He's no real pitcher. Real pitchers don't get injured. He isn't tough. When I pitch against him I'll knock him down.
Tom Glavine: As a pitcher, it's tough to come back from injury. You have to weigh the risks. I think Gagne will come back hungry, but he'll need to exude a strong-minded work ethic in order to return to the peak of his superlative talents. If he works at it even one-third as much as I have during my career, then I say you should trade for him.
Q: What's with Mike Lowell's slow start? Is it time for me to dump him?
Harold W., Sacramento, CA
PM: Dump him. He hits like .150 this season. Even I can do that, I bet you I will hit .150 this season, and I have to pitch also. He is not a good player. He is a girly girl primadonna, he cares about his hair, not baseball. No good.
TG: That's a very tough decision. On one hand, the MLBPA worked hard to get him that $7.5 million per year and he needs to earn it. On the other hand, I'm sure he's working excessively hard to ameliorate his hitting to acceptable levels. He used to be the star of that infield and now he's been upstaged by the signing of Carlos Delgado. If he's anything like me, he won't let a big money free agent signing upstage his performance. He needs to stay focused on his job, like I did when the Braves signed Maddux. If he's intimidated by his own teammate then his skills will deteriorate multiplicatively. But I don't think that will happen. Keep him on your team.
Q: Jeff Suppan is my #3 starter, and he's giving me wins and a decent ERA this season, but not much else. Should I attempt to trade up for a better starter?
Sally R., Denver, CO
PM: A pretty girl who likes baseball, I like this. But Suppan is no good. The Cardinals are no good. I crushed them myself in the World Series last year. You need a new starter.
TG: Suppan is a good starter on a great team. I'm sure that he's trying to get better all the time. You'd think that 16 wins guarantees you more than $4 million a year, but I digress. But I don't see Suppan as a 200-IP a year pitcher anymore. He's not a guy who can give you nine innings. With all the star power in that clubhouse, it's got to have a deleterious effect on his mental game preparation. He's always got to take a back seat to Edmonds and Pujols. I know what that's like. I'm not sure he can get over that hump. If you can get good value for him, trade him.
Q: In my keeper league, I've informally asked another manager about a trade of Orlando Cabrera for Bobby Crosby. I think Cabrera will be better this season, but for the future I'd rather have Crosby. The rest of my infield is really weak this season though, I'm in fourth place mainly on the strength of my pitching. I'll have to see what the other manager says, but if he's down with the trade, then do you think it's a good idea?
Gerry C., Charlotte, NC
PM: Cabrera is a little punk. He worked two month last year and won a World Series. I worked seven years in Boston for that. We would not win the World Series without me, Manny, Derek, Nelson, Foulke and especially my Game 3 win. Like I said to the girl, I am the Cardinals new daddies. I will beat them again this October. But Cabrera is not somebody for your team. Crosby I will knock down if we face him this season. These little players are troublesome, they need to be shown Mr. Fastball. But you don't need Cabrera. He only cares about winning the easy way. I win the hard way. Also, of course your pitching is making you near the top of your league. Baseball is 95% pitching. You need pitching, not little shortstop men like Cabrera.
TG: Crosby won the Rookie of the Year award last year, so you know he's a hard worker. Oakland expects a lot out of their young players, and Crosby is so he is used to working in an excessively pressured environment. If he can vociferously maintain his focus as he gains experience and market value, then I think he's a splendid long-term investment for you.
Ed. Note: That's all the time we had this week. Next week, we hope to bring you even more fantasy baseball advice from the best minds the game has to offer. No, not the BBTN staff, the players themselves! LOL. Have a lucky fantasy weekend!