Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Pujols and Howard Panic Attack; ESPN problem free

Patience is a tough virtue for any fantasy sports enthusiast to endure in a hobby where daily and weekly success is critical for positive results in any given season. A bad week here and there could mean adios for any post-season competition.
But I have been amazed at some of the chat rooms I've visited and reports I've seen where owners are in panic mode when it comes to fantasy baseball god Albert Pujols and near-fantasy baseball god Ryan Howard.
If you have these guys on your fantasy baseball team they represent your first-round studs and to consider bailing on them is ridiculous. I don't know of any baseball draft where Pujols wasn't the No. 1 overall pick. Howard was a top-five selection, typically going second or third overall.
Okay, I'll admit there has been bad news and these guys have probably been killing your overall team. But it's only April....
Both players indicated they would have tough starts in the regular season with their bad springs - Pujols only had two homers in spring training and Howard struck out 23 times.
Pujols has usually been hot in April. He had a major League record 14 homers in April last year and batted .346.
This year, he started in a 1-for-17 slump, he has five hits in his last 28 at bats (seven games) and is batting .160 overall (50 at bats) with three homers and seven RBIs.
In his last five games, Howard has four hits in 15 at bats with no homers and two RBIs. He's hitting .238 with a homer and seven RBIs for the season.
If these guys were 15th-round or 20th-round selections in your draft, you would have probably jettisoned them from your roster days ago.
But don't panic like some owners apparently are at this stage. I predict that by this weekend Pujols and Howard will have their groove back and start producing the way they can on a daily basis. I wish I had them on one of my three teams.

Last week ESPN had to shut down their fantasy baseball operation for 12 hours to correct a software problem that incorrectly tallied waiver picks, roster updates and game scoring. Since the system came back on line on Thursday (April 12), the site has been operating without any problems or flaws.
I have a team in a league on and my waiver picks, roster updates and daily scoring have been updated without any problems. Kudos to ESPN for working around the clock to correct the problem and doing the best they could to get the site back up and running again.