Abandoning Nostalgic Value This Year
By Joseph Lopez
Over the past several years, I have taken a liking to fantasy baseball. It is, in my mind, anyway, a great way to keep on top of things in the world of baseball and is an even greater tool for expanding one’s knowledge about the sport in general. The last two or three years, though, have been really eye-opening. In past years, I have, near the end of my fantasy drafts, invested my draft picks on several former A’s players for nostalgia’s sake.
Former Oakland greats like Eric Chavez and Barry Zito often found spots on my fantasy roster, even though I knew neither player would significantly contribute to my team’s overall success. Both players might have had a few games here and there, but those “great” games were few and far between. Chavez, now with the Yankees, was on my fantasy team in 2010 and last year, but I’ve decided, after much consideration, to cut ties with the former A’s third baseman this year.
I often saved my final draft pick for either Chavez or Zito, but this year was a tad bit different. I guess I was basically upset with both players continually failing to produce the same type of numbers they did back in their hay-day with the Athletics.
Chavez landed on the DL more often than not, while Zito struggled to channel his inner-Zen en route to a 12-18 record with a 4.52 ERA during the years 2010-2011.
In his final season with the Athletics, Chavez hit a measly .234/.276/.333 with a home run and 10 RBIs over 33 games. Those numbers, as you may have already imagined, did not lead to much success in my head-to-head fantasy league on ESPN.com.
Instead, I found myself utilizing the DL spot on my roster for Chavez’s ailing and shaky body. Still, despite his questionable health and lifeless bat, I held out hope that he’d eventually turn things around and return to the power hitter that was responsible for some of the best A’s runs during the early 2000’s.
Unfortunately, however, the A’s former third baseman didn’t come around and neither did my fantasy team. Last year was no exception, either. The Yankees may have resigned Chavez this year for roughly $900,000, but they certainly don’t count on Chavy being an everyday starter for them. He did, however, put up better numbers compared to his numbers during his final year in Oakland. Injuries, though, still continue to weigh Chavez down.
Zito didn’t help things either. After posting 102 wins with the Athletics from 2000-06, Zito has posted just 12 wins over the last two years. He’s essentially become a $126 million bust for the San Francisco Giants. Like Chavez, though, during those rough years I held out hope that Zito would pitch well enough to repopulate the “Planet Zito,” and win back some of the Giants’ fan base.
That of course, hasn’t happened. Zito has been rocked this spring and the Giants are wondering whether or not they’ve got a $126 million No.5 starter or a really, really expensive reliever on their hands. Zito posted a 5.60 FIP last year in 9 starts while also posting an unimpressive -0.9 WAR. I was tempted, I must say, to draft the guy with my 25th round draft pick.
As tempted I was to draft either Zito or Chavez, I ultimately decided to take Angels 1B Kendry Morales with my 25th round draft pick. I have moved on from my deep rooted nostalgia for former Athletics. The two still remain available for pick up in the free-agents list…just in case.
Follow me on twitter @oaklandace75 and for more A’s related analysis, stories, and opinions, follow us on twitter @FS_SwinginAs or like us on Facebook.