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He did it.
Mark Buehrle became the American
League’s first pitcher in 10 years to throw a perfect game, and against one of
baseball’s most dangerous lineups, no less, in the Tampa Bay Rays.
As fantasy owners, we’re often challenged
to fine in milestones and rare occurrences (you know, real baseball stuff).
After all, at the end of the day,
when all the celebration ends and the dust settles, a perfect game is really
just a bunch of zeroes in the box score, right? There are no special prizes,
bonuses or handshakes for owning the guy who threw a no-hitter, especially when
the subject is someone as well-established as Buehrle. Now, if you happened to
sit Buehrle today — worried about the prospect of a meltdown against the Rays,
perhaps — that’s an entirely different story.
A few weeks ago, when Jonathan
Sanchez fell a Juan Uribe error shy of pitching a perfect game of his own —
instead settling for a measly no-hitter — the waiver wire was flooded with
owners looking to pounce on the flavor of the week. Compare that with two years
ago, when Buehrle tossed a no-hitter against the Rangers, which had little
effect on the fantasy landscape because he was already owned. The veteran’s place
in the baseball universe had long been established, so the fallout was minimal.
If anything, then, Buehrle owners
would be wise to auction off the crafty lefty to the highest bidder. How much
higher can his value rise?
Let’s be honest — Buehrle may
bring consistency to any fantasy staff, but the hard truth is he’s always just
been one of those players whose fantasy value lags behind his real-life
value. Why? He doesn’t strike guys out. He’s a soft-tosser, a finesse guy who’s
more interested in getting outs than he is in getting whiffs. He’s no better
than Ricky Romero, Josh Johnson or any other breakthrough pitcher, and in fact
he’s probably less valuable because his stuff isn’t as overpowering.
Longevity, durability and
efficiency may get you to a World Series, but it won’t earn you a fantasy
What better way to celebrate
Buehrle’s crowning achievement than to trade him for someone who will?
–Alex Cushing, MLB.com