For bits and pieces of the last three seasons, I’ve had the pleasure of having Ryan Freel on my fantasy teams. When the little man is on, he’s on. Consistently getting on base, stealing and scoring – when Freel has been healthy, he’s been the fantasy equivalent of putting celery in your tuna. You can’t really notice it on the surface, but once you take a bite you can taste the difference.
Through April of this year, it was more of the same old celery. Freel had eight steals and was holding down the fort at second base for my NL-only team. Then Brandon "I never should have dubbed myself The Franchise" Phillips showed up out of nowhere. Then Ken Griffey Jr. got healthy. Next thing you know, Freel isn’t playing and he’s back to starting just once or twice a week. Ungood.
Yesterday Freel led off for the Reds, getting his first start in a week. He homered in his first at-bat. It was Sunday. The Reds hadn’t scored a run since Wednesday. They went on to beat the Diamondbacks. The Reds hadn’t won a game since Tuesday.
In games Freel has started, the Reds are 20-14.
In games Freel hasn’t started, the Reds are 8-9.
Between playing Freel once a week, frequently benching third base prospect Edwin Encarnacion in favor of Rich Aurillia, and keeping Todd Coffey out of the closers spot in favor of the craptastic David Weathers, Reds manager Jerry Narron isn’t just hurting my fantasy team, he’s hurting his own reality team as well.
Mr. Narron, you’re most definitely on my pooplist.