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Fantasy world has to weigh latest scandal

June 6th, 2013 8:08 am by Douglas Fritz

Fantasy world has to weigh latest scandal

When it comes to Rotisserie baseball, participants usually get caught up in the numbers and look at players only as statistics.
However, even though it is just fantasy baseball, real people make it happen. So while some folks might say it doesn't matter who's cheating to get their numbers, it really should make a difference.
Because even in Rotisserie baseball, integrity is important. Think about it. Baseball has its rules, and so does fantasy baseball. Anything accomplished outside of the rules will never be a true win, whether it's the majors or fantasy.
And that brings us to the Biogenesis scandal. It sounds more like the title of a Star Trek movie than a baseball issue, but it strikes at the heart of our national pastime.
This is one opinion on how to handle the players involved in the Biogenesis scandal from a Rotisserie standpoint. First, it's important not to rush to judgment.
How many people traded Milwaukee's Ryan Braun last night the minute the ESPN “Outside the Lines” story broke? There's nothing wrong with getting full trade value for Braun at this point — as long as there was full disclosure with the other owner. If the deal was made without someone's knowledge of Tuesday's late-breaking story, it hardly ranks high on the integrity scale.
Basically it would be similar to seeing Braun go down with a bad injury, and then making a trade offer in case the other owner didn't know about the injury yet.
The best thing to do in regards to the potential suspensions is wait until Major League Baseball actually hands them out. Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal wrote a column Wednesday that suggests Tony Bosch's testimony will not be enough for baseball to enforce suspensions.
Until the players are actually suspended, it's hard to play judge and jury. However, in the world of Rotisserie it can be done.
Cutting Braun is one option. But he's so high on the fantasy food chain, it would be a very difficult thing to do. Then again, it might not be so bad to finish second without Braun as opposed to first with him.
Another thing to consider is this: Braun could crack under the strain of the fishbowl pressure and finish with modest numbers.
Perhaps the best idea is trading Braun for about three-fourths value. Because of his five-category stature, a three-fourths deal would be someone like Boston's David Ortiz, Oakland's Yoenis Cespedes, or Texas' Adrian Beltre.
Let someone else deal with the headache, and then swear off Braun from now until the day he retires.
When Braun was originally suspended for 50 games in 2012, some fantasy players washed their hands of the standout outfielder. And even when the suspension was overturned on a technicality, some have been reluctant to re-warm to him.
The biggest fantasy names on The List so far are Braun, Nelson Cruz, Everth Cabrera, and possibly Robinson Cano. Braun, Cruz and Cano are obvious  because of their elite power potential. Cabrera is less of a known quantity, but he leads the major leagues in stolen bases. So losing him could greatly impact that category and ultimately decide championships.
Losing players like Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon and Jhonny Peralta will hurt, but if a team is counting on those guys heavily then a title isn't in the cards anyway.

Douglas Fritz is a sports writer for the Johnson City Press. Contact him at dfritz@johnsoncitypress.com.

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