The Guys You Just Can’t Quit

Oh, Ike Davis, what is it about you that convinces me, time and time again, to draft you, sign you, and trade for you? When all of my leaguemates are willing to cut you loose and leave you on the wire, why am I always the one to say, “No! Ike Davis is NOT a waste of a roster spot!”

And it is not like Ike is the only player I have this problem with. I’ve hung on to the belief that Chad Billingsley was moments away from being an ace and that Miguel Montero is about to become an MVP candidate, and I get burned over and over. So why are there guys that I just can’t quit?

And I know I am not alone in this problem. One of the owners in the original ottoneu league has been on and off the Ubaldo Jimenez roller coaster for years. Another just finally cut Dustin Ackley (who, naturally, I picked up).

For me, these attachments typically pop up when I identify a player I am high on and get instant returns. Jason Kipnis was one of these guys for me. I always felt Kipnis was a bit overlooked, as Ackley seemed to be the young 2B on every fantasy owner’s shopping list. And when Kipnis tore the cover off the ball in his initial call-up, I was hooked. Even through some rough stretches, I have remained convinced that Kipnis is bound for stardom.

Of course, in this case, my faith has been rewarded. And this is not the only time that has happened. In the very early days of ottoneu, I latched onto Carlos Quentin, and stuck with him during rough years and injuries (and more injuries) and reaped the benefits of his huge 2008 at a minimal price. Now, 5 years later, I am still stuck on Quentin and I am still reaping rewards when he plays and paying the price when he doesn’t (which is most of the time).

And to some extent, the Kipnises and Quentins are exacerbating the problem.

“Ike was hurt,” I can tell myself. “Just like Carlos!”

So how do you quit these guys? Honestly…I have no idea. I’d say to look at the stats without the name, see what you think, and make a decision, but, let’s be honest, you have already tried that.

I’d say cut these guys loose ASAP in October and then evaluate them in the off-season. With a mind relieved of the burden of ownership and cleared of any attachment, maybe you can be more objective. But I know I will look at the low price tag on Davis and say, “Think of the profit to be had…” and convince myself to keep him.

I am sure I could come up with 10 more strategies, and I am sure you could come up with dozens as well. But you know as well as I do that come April, I’ll be slotting Ike Davis in as my 1B in at least a couple leagues, and watching as he tanks (or carries!) my team.

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Chad Young is a product manager at Amazon by day and a baseball writer (RotoGraphs, Let's Go Tribe), sports fan and digital enthusiast at all times. Follow him on Twitter @chadyoung.

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I’m still waiting for D’Angelo Jiminez to have his breakout season.