He follows in the footsteps of greats like Johnny Evers and Ryne Sandberg. He roams the same dirt where Mark, of both the Grudzielanek AND Bellhorn types, spit their empty sunflower shells. His name is Darwin Barney, and I am here to tell you why you should not only draft him with your #1 pick in this year's fantasy baseball draft, but why all of us should model our lives after the man that wears number 15 for the Cubs.
I have received a lot of grief for taking Mr. Barney in the 12th round of the league that many of my fellow Fake Teams writers take part in. "He won't be starting by June," Ray Guilfoyle told me while ignoring the fact his youngest daughter was holding a flaming baton. Brian Creagh, our fearless leader and someone who doesn't deserve to share a first name with myself, told me I couldn't take him with my first pick. "What is this, UGANDA?" I asked before realizing that I was the only one up to date on Uganda politics. No one seems to see what I see in Darwin.
Sure, you can go ahead and take Robinson "I'm not playing in Yankee Stadium anymore" Cano or Jason "No one knows who I am besides fantasy nerds" Kipnis as your top choice for a 2nd baseman, but wouldn't you rather have someone that is ¼ Korean, ¼ Japanese and ½ Hawaiian? Doesn't that sound much more fun than taking Dustin Pedrioa because you like his grittiness? You can use this knowledge of Barney's ethnicity to your advantage next time you are at a bar. NO girl can pass up going home with a man who appreciates the diversity that Barney gives.
In only 141 games last year, Barney hit for a Cubs 2nd baseman leading SEVEN homeruns and 41 RBI's. Did Brandon Phillips lead the Cubs 2nd basemen in these categories? I don't think so. Did Matt Carpenter finish 2012 with an impressive 4.7 WAR? (I have no idea what WAR means but 4.7 sounds AMAZING!) Did Chase Utley steal four bases while only being caught twice last year? I didn't think so.
Look, no one before the 1984 MLB season would have picked Ryne Sandberg to win the NL MVP, but Sandberg came out and showed all of you people what a man looks like. You know who was Barney's coach in the minors? That SAME Ryne Sandberg! Thirty years later, Barney is ready to do his former coach proud. There are not many guys in MLB today that could beat out future Hall of Famers like Jeff Baker and Blake DeWitt for the most prestigious position in all of baseball. Barney did it with flying colors. He also had to fill the large shoes of Mike Fontenot. Do you realize how much pressure that job brings? Mike Fontenot is a Wrigley legend who will forever be remembered as that guy who could fit in Carlos Zambrano's pocket. Just like in following Michael Jordan in Chicago, you do NOT want to follow Mike Fontenot.
Let's not forget that he is also a winner. High school state championship? CHECK! NCAA National Title? TWO OF THEM! Playing at Oregon State, he made every pitcher, from the Cocks of South Carolina to the Trojans of USC, fear the Beavers!
You might be saying to yourself right now: WOW! This Stultz guy is right. How could I have ever picked Mike Trout over Darwin Barney? What sort of idiot am I? How did I not see the writing on the wall? Who is this Daniel Kelly guy and why is he texting me "A/S/L"? Barney has to be the first guy I jump on in this draft or I will look like a FOOL after the season.
Lastly, Barney has a 3-year-old daughter for heaven's sake! Do YOU want to be the one who tells a crying Hayden Barney that you didn't pick her dad to be on your fantasy team because his OPS wasn't high enough? If so, you are a horrible human being. You don't deserve to be alive let alone in a fantasy league with "friends" of yours. Most likely, the only reason you are in a fantasy league is because you are 45 years old, live at home with your mother who is starting to date a man named Blaze and haven't seen the sunlight since that one time you had to visit the doctor to have that spot on your right testicle checked out. Don't be that person! DARWIN BARNEY IN 2014!