Sunday, August 24, 2008

Jose Reyes, why don't you run?

I'm making a run at the championship in my money league, but any chance I have of winning is dependent on me finishing first in steals (for 14 out of a possible 14 points). And, honestly, I thought it was going to be a breeze. Heading into August I had the 12 in stolen bases, with Jose Reyes, Shane Victorino and Brandon Phillips all in my lineup, while the two teams in front of me in that category had both traded their speedsters to fill other needs.

But today I still find myself with 12 points in steals. Not only that, the guys with the 10 and 11 -- the two other managers with a chance to win this thing -- are rapidly gaining on me. And there's not much I can do at this point other than stare at StatTracker and yell, "Run, motherfuckers, run!" as loud as I can when my guys are standing on first base. But they seem not to hear. Especially Reyes.

Jose hasn't stolen a base since Aug. 12. He has only five in the month of August, after swiping seven bags in July and 11 in May and June. Last year, the dude had 23 in August. Twenty-three! Where's that Jose Reyes? That's the guy I need right now. Reyes is on pace for just under 50 steals this year, which would be his lowest total ever over a full season. And the dropoff isn't because he's on base less; his current OBP is slightly better than what he posted the last two years. Is it possible his hamstring's secretly hurting and New York is being cautious with him? I personally witnessed the Mets sac-bunt him to second twice in Pittsburgh last week. Why in hell are the Mets sac-bunting Reyes over, if not to piss me off and cost me my league?!

This would all be okay if, say, oh, Victorino or Phillips would help pick up the slack. But Victorino's stolen just two bases this month, after stealing six in July, eight and June and 11 in May. Phillips has committed thievery only once in August. Boy, was I not counting on these kinds of dropoffs. (Last year, Phillips' best two consecutive months for stolen bases were August and September.) In case you can't yet tell, this lack of production is really starting to get to me. Hell, I picked up Cesar Izturis the other day, just in case I need to start him instead of Garrett Atkins late in the season for the extra steals.

That, my friends, is fantasy desperation. It's what happens at the end of the year when you're scrambling for every possible point. And it's what happens when guys like Jose Reyes suddenly forget that second base is supposed to be theirs for the easy taking. What are you waiting for, Jose? It's just 90 feet. Now please start moving your ass.

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