Major League Baseball suspended Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera for 50 games after he tested positive for excessive levels of testosterone, wiping out the rest of his season and dealing a blow to San Francisco's playoff hopes.
The notion that Cabrera could have a major impact on a pennant race would have seemed ludicrous as recently as two years ago. At that point in his career, Cabrera had reached double-digit home runs in a season just once. Hell, he'd slugged .400 or better just once. He was a popgun hitter who provided moderate value when his bloops and grounders would find holes, next to zero value when they didn't.
We're five weeks away from MLB's trade deadline. Close enough to start making fantasy roster decisions with that in mind, far enough that your competition might not pick up on what you're doing.
You don't want to overreact to scenarios that may or may not happen, of course. But getting full value now for players who might be affected by pending trades (or other factors) surely beats getting next to nothing for them a month from now.
With that in mind, here are some strategies to consider as we near the season's halfway point, and the players who could be affected.
In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports over the weekend.
In the Western Conference Finals, Manu Ginobili's 26 points led the red-hot Spurs to a 101-98 Game 1 win over the Thunder. In the interest of full disclosure, my editors forced me to include the words "red-hot Spurs" in order to attract a growing demographic: fans of Western-themed erotic web fiction. They Google like crazy, guys. With that in mind, please feel free to skim past these next few hot-button search engine phrases: mud-caked chaps, Dirty Horse Tavern, buxom cattle wrangler, bare-chested prairie Adonis, Annie Oakley's suggestive gun-twirling, Dirty Horse Tavern, wild tobacky love, sun-bruised lips on a cruel cowboy, a demure smile beneath a lace parasol, el caballo sucio, the word "arrow" used as a double entendre, sunset desert love, horrible wagon train massacre, Dirty Horse Tavern.