Fantasy drugs and a bit of group therapy

Jonathan Daniel

There are some players we keep coming back to, even when we know better. Let's band together to get over our addictions.

I graduated with a journalism degree a few years ago. From there, I worked for three different newspapers - copy editor, news editor, managing editor. I left each in a bit of a funk, wondering if I was where I wanted to be. Then I took a new job, got excited again, got into a funk. Took a new job, started the whole cycle over again.

Eventually I realized it wasn't the jobs; it was newspaper work itself that got me down. It just took getting burned three different times to realize it. Now I don't work for newspapers.

My professional-editor past will make it all the more embarrassing when I inevitably make an egregious spelling and/or grammatical mistake at some point in the future, I'm sure. But the point is that we all have our regular weaknesses, our crutches that we fall back on.

To tie this into fantasy (oh yeah, that), I have owned Gordon Beckham on at least one, and usually two or three, of my teams all four seasons of his career. I named teams "The Great Beckhambino." If I didn't have him, I would try to trade for him. In 2009, that was fine, no worries. In 2010, 2011, and 2012, it was painful, frustrating, and downright dumb.

Colby Rasmus presents the same issues. I don't know what it was about the 2009 season, but I fell in love with some dudes that proved to be bad for me. Each year, I'll get excited they're on my roster. I'll spend April and May reveling in each run scored and ignoring every popup. By June, I'll be a bit frustrated. Maybe I'll finally bench them. By August or September, I'll be in a Beckham funk, wondering why he hurts me so. Then March rolls around, I'll forget my pain, I'll pounce again, and the song remains the same.

It's always made sense, damnit. These guys were good as rookies. They were hyped prospects. They were in good situations. There were reasons to think they'd be good, even if those reasons proved untrue.

They're drugs. I know they're bad for me, I know I'll regret it, but the thrill of the action sucks me back in.

But you know what? Even writing about it has been cathartic. I started this thinking that I was going to end up announcing my plans, however misguided, to target Beckham and/or Rasmus again this year. And I can't swear that I won't. But as I think about it, as I write about it, confronting my inner turmoil has made me less secure in that plan. Maybe this is the year I escape Beckham's foul clutches. (If he blows up and becomes Robinson Cano, I will kill somebody, but that's neither here nor there.)

So I present this as a sort of group therapy - we all have them; who are your fantasy drugs? What player(s) do you target year after year, only to regret it? Talk about it in the comments. Get it off your chest. Confess your sins. Air your grievances. Together, we'll get over our shared pain.

And maybe we'll all be able to draft someone else, for once.

Follow me on Twitter @danieltkelley

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