From the Eureka! department of sports discoveries, ESPN's Fantasy Geek Rex Eric Karabell has figured out something that's been totally missed by, roughly, 15 percent of the baseball-watching population:
It dawned on me while I was watching Juan Pierre and Willy Taveras Tuesday night that these are not what leadoff hitters are supposed to be. Of course, they are fast, capable of stealing 100 bases between them, and they can cover ground in center field like few others, but do they get on base enough to satisfy their teams? Are they only leading off because they run fast?
It's entirely posssible that Karabell isn't writing in earnest, and is instead using the "dawned on me Tuesday night" bit as an easy way to bring readers into the fold. There might even be some saracsm here -- the ultra-rhetorical question to close the graf is hard to say without a straight face -- that I'm too dense to pick up on. I hope so, because if he's really spent this much time studying baseball statistics (even if only for fantasy baseball, a universe in which Pierre is something of a stud) and it's just dawned on him that the guy who's led the major leagues in outs three of the last four years might not be the dude you want to be giving the most at-bats on your team to (or the second-most, or sixth-most, or any) then he's quite possibly the most retarded gentleman in the greater Bristol area, and that's saying something.
I know it's early, but it's not like Pierre and Taveras have a track record of getting on base. I'd argue they are far more valuable in fantasy than real life because of the stolen bases. You know, steals aren't exactly a critical strategy in real baseball. Teams win without running all the time.
What's that you say? Karabell's in?!? That's it, folks: Nothing can stop us now.