“#Fantasy owners shouldn’t ignore Byron Buxton’s red flags”
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me five times, well, then I must be the Byron Buxton owner in your league.
Though the average fantasy baseball player spends draft season debating strategies like taking hitting or pitching early, I emerged from my Buxtonian support group teetering on the brink of insanity, wondering if I should go back to the well for a sixth straight season. The tools and talent are there. The health is not. It never is. Will this be the year he puts it all together?
I walked into every draft with one thought running through my head: “I will not draft Byron Buxton this year.” I said it over and over, like a mantra. But with every spring at-bat, every highlight video, every second-guessing thought, “I will not” gradually turned to, “I probably won’t,” which then became, “Well, maybe if he falls,” until finally, I succumbed to my fantasy weakness and took Buxton in the eighth round of my final draft. On one hand, I felt dirty and ashamed. On the other, I was relieved to have “my precious” once again.
Opening Day was glorious, as Buxton went 1-for-3 with a home run, two RBIs and a stolen base for the Twins. Having been down this road before, I contained my enthusiasm, refrained from ordering the jersey online and left the champagne on ice. Then he homered again. And again. In fact, Buxton homered in five of his first nine games, was hitting .469 with nine RBIs and eight runs scored.
How it all went down next remains a blur, but from the moment I clicked “buy now,” it all went downhill — and fast. Buxton has missed three games with a hamstring issue, and his status for the weekend remains in question. Maybe it’s nothing and all will be well, but we’ve been here too many times. A hamstring today becomes a back issue tomorrow. Every hot streak is punctuated by an injury, and you’ll be lucky to get 100 games out of him.
It is time to stand up to your demons and trade Buxton now. Do it before it’s too late and don’t look back. Give up your support group seat to some other sucker in your league. With all the years you’ve suffered, you deserve to be free.
Howard Bender is the VP of operations and head of content at FantasyAlarm.com. Follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy and catch him on the award-winning “Fantasy Alarm Radio Show” on the SiriusXM fantasy sports channel weekdays from 6-8 p.m. Go to FantasyAlarm.com for all your fantasy baseball advice.
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