Think back to Family Matters. No, come on, you watched it. You hate yourself now for that, but you watched it. You remember Carl, and Laura, and Urkel, and Eddie. Maybe, if you watched it too much, you remember Harriet, or Mother Winslow, or Rachel, or Richie. Heck, maybe you're a Judy fan, for her one season. The cast was bleedin' huge, ultimately.
But I bet, while reading that paragraph, you didn't think of the character who was actually consistently the funniest. Even now, after that sentence, you're wondering who I meant. Lieutenant? 3J? Myra?
Waldo Geraldo Faldo.
If Waldo wasn't in an episode, no one thought about him. He wasn't one of the stars. But when he showed up, the live studio audience gave him an appreciative "Woo!" And a sabermetric analysis of the show would, I'm sure, prove that no single character got more laughs per line than Waldo. Shawn Harrison has done basically nothing since then, but I don't even care - he, not Urkel, not Carl, not anyone, was the funniest part of that show, even if no one ever thought about him unless he was actively contributing.
I kid you not, when Adam Lind hit his three-run homer Sunday against the Rangers, it only took about five seconds for me to think of Waldo.
Lind isn't a flashy member of the Blue Jays, who, going into the year, were the "it" flashy team of 2013. Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and Brett Lawrie were back, to go with the incoming Jose Reyes, Melky Cabrera, and Emilio Bonifacio. Heck, even Colby Rasmus and J.P. Arencibia were more highly regarded entering this season than Lind, and that's before we even discuss the pitchers - R.A. Dickey, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, what-have-you.
Now, that wasn't not unreasonable. Lind, after a really strong 2009, had three straight subpar seasons. Heck, "subpar" might be kind, as his OBP ranged from .287-.314 during that span. That's hardly tenable, especially from a first base/designated hitter who provides negative defensive value.
But this season, there are ten Blue Jays who have tallied at least 100 plate appearances. That doesn't include Reyes, but does include everyone else I mentioned above, plus Munenori Kawasaki and Maicer Izturis. Of the ten, Lind leads in every single slash-line stat. Heck, if you expand that to any plate appearances, the only Blue Jay, from Encarnacion to one-PA Ramon Ortiz, who beats Lind in anything is Reyes, who was off to a hot start before his sprained ankle in his tenth game of the season.
Now, my timing here is worthy of questioning, as three weeks ago his batting average was about 70 points lower, with corresponding drops in the other rate stats. So I'm recommending him right in the middle of a crazy hot streak - he has at least three hits in four of his last nine games.
In his age-29 season, Lind appears to have improved his batting eye, as his walk percentage has skyrocketed to a career-high 12.5, while his strikeout percentage is right in line with last year, and is below his career average. Lind walked 29 times in 2012 in 353 plate appearances; he's at 23 in 184 this year.
It is unquestionably true that Lind is playing above his head. His BABIP is .382, which is higher even than it was in his career year of 2009. So no, he won't end the year at .335/.413/.532. But those are quasi-MVP numbers. If you pick anyone up expecting those numbers, you're going to have a sad, sad life, and there's enough sadness in this world without inflicting unreasonable expectations on yourself.
But Lind is owned in 32% of Yahoo leagues. That's ridiculous. Even accounting for his impending stat fall (and remember, if his improved walk rate is an indication of improved plate discipline, it stands to reason his BABIP will be higher than normal), Lind is much more 2009 Lind than 2010-2012 Lind.
In a standard ten-team mixed league, an unowned Lind isn't the greatest sin in the world. He probably needs to be on a roster, but other guys around his level of production are likely to be available in that sort of league. But in a league of any greater size, leaving him out there is unjustifiable. You aren't supposed to find an Adam Lind on the waiver wire in a large league, even if he's been bad for a couple years. Add Adam Lind.
Add Adam Geraldo Lind. (Actually, his middle name is Alan, but wouldn't that be cool?)
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