Like Barry Bonds, Baseball Widow hasn't retired; she's just not playing.
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Friday, July 09, 2004

Eye-Candies Update

Baseball is full of good debates: Does pitch count really matter? Does batting lineup really matter? Does coaching really matter? Well, Baseball Widow would like to add one more provocative question to the mix: Does the team really matter?

To recap: The Eye-Candies are Baseball Widow's fantasy team, chosen for their good looks. The Eye-Candies compete in a Yahoo public league. Bitter rivals to the Eye-Candies are the Knoxville Photons, Baseball Hubby's painstakingly researched and drafted team that competes in a private ESPN league. Baseball Widow does not actively manage her team. (She has dropped two injured players, picking up Danys Baez and Nick Green.) Hubby actively manages his team.

Baseball Widow's Eye-Candies are in fifth place of twelve. Hubby's team is sixth of ten.
To refresh your memory, here are the lineups as originally drafted. . .

Javy Lopez 30Jason Varitek 17
Tino Martinez 11Mark Teixeira 13
Michael Young 21Jose Vidro 19
Eric Hinske 2Aubrey Huff 21
Jose Reyes 12Derek Jeter 18
Craig Biggio 20Carlos Beltran 28
Pat Burrell 9Manny Ramirez 28
Jose Cruz 17Marlon Byrd 16
Joe Randa 14Milton Bradley 18
Brad Ausmus 2Torii Hunter 16
Joe Mauer 0Roberto Alomar 7
Eli Marrero 3Corey Koskie 21
Ryan Klesko 13Bobby Crosby 0
Jeff Cirillo 3Vinny Castilla 14
Larry Walker 18
Tim Hudson 23Javier Vazquez 21
Mark Mulder 17Keith Foulke 21
Brad Lidge 8Hideo Nomo 17
Jaret Wright 1Brandon Webb 17
Eric Milton 2Wade Miller 9
Tim Wakefield 12Carlos Zambrano 18
Joe Mays 2Jake Peavy 7
Francisco Rodriguez 9
Chad Cordero 2
Jerome Williams 9

If you'll recall, Hubby predicted that Baseball Widow's team would suffer from lack of pitching. (As most pitchers have facial hair, it was difficult for Baseball Widow to field a rotation of suitably good-looking players.) Baseball Widow is pleased to announce, however, that she is first in wins and second in ERA. Baseball Widow is going to let Hubby take over now to finish the analysis. . .

If the thing that makes Baseball Widow happiest is taking a bite of Ben and Jerry's latest creation, then second on her list of favorites is enjoying the demise of my fantasy baseball team. Now, couples are supposed to be there for each other in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, during the playoffs and in the offseason . . . but I'm not worried, I'm confident in The Photons' second half chances.

Here's reason number 1: the gap between the Eye-Candies and the first place team in their league is 19.5 points. For my sixth place Photons, the gap is only 4.5. That's right, only 4.5 points separate the Photons from first place glory. Of course there are 5 teams in between.

Reason number 2? Well, the Photons have had a surge in the past few weeks, as a few of the key players are getting on track for the year. Take a look at the lineup and notice how many poor performances were turned in by guys like Jeter, Huff, Teixeira and Vidro. These guys are quality, and they're coming around, but their early season slumps still have the team's batting average at league bottom.

As for the bright spots of the Eye-Candies? They've gotten good production from Burrell, Young, and Lopez that should last into the second half. Younger guys like Nick Green and Joe Mauer have been pleasant surprises, but Green's playing time will be threatened when Marcus Giles comes back for the Braves. Another positive is the promotion of Brad Lidge to closer, when The Widow picked him up he was just middle relief.

So for now I'll just have to grin and bear my team's first-half misfortune, but when the Eye-Candies turn ugly and the Photons shoot to the top of the standings I won't brag too much, if I know what's good for me.

Have a good All-Star break.

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