By now we have all heard about the Biogenesis story, so I will not bore you with a 60 Minutes version. We are fantasy baseball managers, not baseball purists pontificating on the future of the game. With that said, let’s talk about the biggest name in the Bad Boys Club: Mr. “I Did Nothing Wrong,” Ryan Braun. I’m all in-- in the coming weeks, I’m going to do my best to acquire the former MVP and once-acquitted Braun. You should do the same. Keep in mind that the MLBPA is in the business of protecting its players. If you’re currently a Braun owner, mazel tov! Do nothing-- certainly, do not panic.
Let me turn back the clock for just a bit of perspective. I currently manage three fantasy baseball teams. I didn't draft Braun in any league, nor did I draft Melky Cabrera, Nelson Cruz, Alex Rodriguez or Jhonny Peralta, all players on the list of possible MLB suspensions. Do you know why? Because they are dirty and all had their names mentioned along with Anthony Bosch, director of the Biogenesis clinic in Florida. Incidentally, is Bosch not a character right out of The Sopranos? He’s a dead ringer for Silvio Dante, minus the charm. Regardless of their "alleged" involvement (with heavy emphasis on air quotes), you would have to be a serious risk taker to have drafted any of the aforementioned players this year. Peralta's news, for example, broke in February, right before most drafts took place. Nelson Cruz is someone who misses so much time due to injury each year, that suspension might actually be welcomed, since it would mean he’s healthy! And just like Peralta, news of Cruz being dirty broke in January. Therefore, the risk was assigned the moment you drafted any of these guys. However, if today I can get one of the few fantasy-relevant players implicated in this scandal for fifty cents on the dollar, that risk is substantially mitigated.
For me, Braun is the only guy on the list worth acquiring. Everth Cabrera of the Padres is a distant second, and only for rotisserie formats, in which Cabrera's speed and OBP are worth gunning for regardless of how this Biogenesis story resolves itself. In any format, however, I want Braun. He is one of the only five-tool players in fantasy, although his speed tool is a bit rusty this season with only 3 SB in 53 games. That said, Braun is on pace for 26 bombs and 101 ribeyes-- how many mid-round players are capable of those kinds of numbers? Not many. So start offering up your 15th-round pick for Braun. Be opportunistic here. You might just find a Braun owner, or a Cabrera owner for that matter, who is in full-blown panic mode. If so, the only question you'll have to worry about is a new team name. DIRTY DEEDS has a nice ring to it. Or try and trade for all of them, THE DIRTY DOZEN would make a great team name as well. And then you can be proud as you're ridin' dirty all the way to a championship.
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