Ben Zobrist had a day for the ages on Thursday. In Game 1 of a doubleheader with the Twins, Zobrist pounded out four hits including a homer and eight RBI (that’s not a typo). He also tossed in two runs and a steal for good measure. In the second game he only had three hits and didn’t steal a bag, but he did hit a homer, drive in two runs and score three times. Twp games netted Zobrist two bombs, 10 RBI, five runs and a steal and all of a sudden he looks like a star. Moreover, Big Ben, and that’s his new name in these parts, has knocked in at least two runs in five straight games and now leads baseball with 25 RBI in 25 games. Wasn’t it just a week ago that many of you, and you know who you are, were sending me emails and tweets about dropping this guy? Remember what I said? Hopefully you listened and held on.
I pointed this out before, though I know that no one listened to me at the time (in fact, I remember specifically sneers and derision followed my comments). I mentioned this preseason that I had no idea why Rickie Weeks was being taken in drafts 80 picks ahead of Zobrist. I even went as far as to compare the two directly to one another and suggest that Zobrist would likely be the better value play. How could I make such a statement? Per 500 at-bats over the past three years (2008-2010) there was really no difference between the two.
Again, at the time I was called a fool by many. Now you know me and my sample size argument that I always throw out there, so I’m not going to sit here and say “I was right’ after just a month of games. I will say though that my side of the argument looks pretty good right about now, doesn’t it?
If you look at the shortstop position you will see that Asdrubal Cabrera leads all AL shortstops in runs batted in with 15 and that he is second in the league in runs scored at the position with 14. Somehow, that hot start has caused everyone to think that he is going to be a fantasy star this year. Folks, it ain’t gonna happen. Over his last 11 games he has one RBI and it’s been 14 games since he hit a homer. Let me break it down for you all in case you were wondering – Cabrera really isn’t anything more than an average option in mixed leagues despite the hot start. Per 500 at-bats in his career he’s produced a fantasy line of .283-7-60-70-9. While that’s certainly a passable line for a middle infielder, it’s not much different than what a guy like Jason Bartlett has produced over his career (.279-6-48-71-20). Don’t be swayed too heavily by the hot start.
Derek Lowe received a DUI last night. According to the police report he was not only intoxicated but he was also racing his 2011 Porsche Panamera – a really nondescript car to be speeding in. Tell me, do you drive home drunk? OK, maybe you drive home after you’ve had a few drinks, but aren’t you extra careful to do nothing to gain anyone’s attention? You make sure to stop, you probably drive on the backstreets, and you certainly don’t act like Jimmie Johnson racing down the street, do you? That misses the real point though. According to BaseballReference.com Derek Lowe has made more than $80 million dollars during his career. For goodness sakes Derek, hire a flipping driver. I’ve never understood why pro athletes, who can burn money in the fireplace for heat, don’t pay some guy $150,000 to drive them everywhere. Make the guy sign a non-disclosure agreement so he won’t talk about all the elicit things he sees and just be done with it. Morons. Maybe @Dwade had it right on Twitter when he wrote “… in Lowe’s defense, it’s really hard to convince the limo driver to drag race.”
By Ray Flowers