A look at eight widely available players who could help your fantasy team down the stretch, depending on the format of the league in which you play.
Alex Rodriguez, 3B, New York Yankees I couldn’t resist. In ESPN, A-Rod is only owned in 21.3 percent of all leagues. While there are certainly questions about how long A-Rod can play before the inevitable arbitration hearing takes place and the possible suspension goes down, A-Rod is a must start even in mixed formats. He has 20 HR potential at third base and if completely healthy could exceed that. Moral qualms are fine in real life, but in fantasy baseball you have to take the opportunities where they might come. —Mike Gianella
Some 20 players could be suspended for ties to Biogenesis, as the league seeks testimony from Tony Bosch in a case that could have far-reaching financial implications.
Major League Baseball may seek to suspend as many as 20 players, including Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun, as part of the investigation into the Miami-area Biogenesis anti-aging clinic, according to a report by ESPN. The league has been pursuing legal avenues, including a lawsuit against Biogenesis, Biokem, Tony Bosch of Biogenesis, and others, seeking damages. That and other pressure may have finally taken a toll on Bosch as, according to the ESPN report, he is ready to cooperate with MLB investigators in exchange for their dropping the case. With Bosch testifying against players, the league could begin the suspension process “within the next few weeks.”
Should all the players be suspended, it would mark the largest number of suspensions for performance-enhancing substances in the history of professional sports. In 2005, the first year of mandatory drug testing, MLB suspended 12 players between April and November of the year, the largest amount of suspensions at the major-league level to date. At the time, first-time suspensions against the joint drug agreement between MLB and the players’ union were only for 10 games. Since then, the number of games a player can be suspended for has increased dramatically to 50 for a first violation, 100 for a second, and a potential permanent suspension from both MLB and minor-league baseball for a third.
Ben and Sam discuss an assortment of topics, including the Astros' outlook for 2013 and beyond, Alex Rodriguez's long-awaited surgery, the Marlins and the MLBPA, and whether baseball broadcasts on the radio will survive.
On the first day of the Winter Meetings, Brian Cashman faced the writers to talk about A-Rod's injury. Here's what he said.
Earlier today, the Yankees put out a press conference about the latest injury to Alex Rodriguez. Shortly after flying coach class into Nashville (no, not because of budget issues), Brian Cashman confronted a room full of reporters eager to ask him how thrilled he is to have Rodriguez for five more years (and maybe some stuff about steroids too, because hey, might as well). Here are some notes from his appearance, which lasted about half an hour:
You could be forgiven for thinking this was a boring postseason. I believe I noted once or twice that few of the games lately have been close. The numbers confirm this. If we use the average leverage index of each game and then average all those games together, we find that the average leverage index of this year's postseason was but 0.97; last year's postseason games had an average leverage of 1.01. For the Giants, the difference between this year's championship path and the 2010 run is even starker: 1.12 two years ago, 0.78 this year. To put that into perspective, 0.78 is roughly the leverage for the batter who hits in the bottom of the eighth trailing by four, whereas 1.12 is roughly the leverage for the batter hitting in the top of the seventh of a tie game.
Looking back at the winter that brought Joe Girardi and Alex Rodriguez back to the Bronx.
While looking toward the future with our comprehensive slate of current content, we'd also like to recognize our rich past by drawing upon our extensive (and mostly free) online archive of work dating back to 1997. In an effort to highlight the best of what's gone before, we'll be bringing you a weekly blast from BP's past, introducing or re-introducing you to some of the most informative and entertaining authors who have passed through our virtual halls. If you have fond recollections of a BP piece that you'd like to nominate for re-exposure to a wider audience, send us your suggestion.
In the wake of the Yankees' ALCS defeat, revisit the offseason when A-Rod opted out and Joe Girardi was hired in the piece reprinted below, which was originally published as a "Prospectus Today" column on November 9th, 2007.