Happy In Bag

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Royals Need Nerds

I do a lot of geeky things. Of all my dorky endeavors, the pinnacle of my Poindexterism may be playing fantasy baseball.

Since I don’t dedicate enough time to fielding the best team and I can’t keep up with pitching rotations, I’m not especially good at it. But even the worst fantasy player quickly learns that the 2006 Kansas City Royals are the most hopeless team in baseball.

When fantasy teams were divvied up a few weeks ago, the Royals didn’t have a single player ranked in the top ten at any position. The supposed star of the team, the fragile Mike Sweeney, can swing a bat, but so can most first basemen/designated hitters. Sweeney ranks between #12 and #16 at that spot. The Royals’ next best fantasy player, 38-year-old Reggie Sanders, ranks about #30 among outfielders.

The cumulative player rankings are even worse. Sweeney and Sanders are considered fantasy baseball’s #190-200 best players. Those two veterans aside, shortstop Angel Berroa, center fielder David DeJesus (hurt), closer Mike MacDougal (hurt), and starting pitcher Zach Greinke (out with mental health issues), usually attract mild interest among fantasy’s bargain hunters. No one else even merits consideration. It’s not merely an issue of money. The 2006 Florida Marlins, with a payroll one-third of the Royals', manage to field several desirable fantasy players.

Fantasy baseball may be for nerds, but every one of those nerds knows that the flesh-and-blood Royals record of 4-14 is not a surprise.


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