Somehow, I think I wrote the same column last year, though I am not certain Justin Masterson was the target (though he well could have been).
You might ask why, unless you have Masterson on your roster, and have been playing roster Russian Roulette this season trying to figure out when to keep him active on your roster, and when not to.
I remember biting it for weeks last season until just before the end, finally stashing Masterson on my reserve clause till he tossed a one-hit shutout over the last weeks of 2009. So, thinking he had his command, and that facing September roster expansion lineups meant at least one or two more decent--and decent would have been fine--outings, but he got clobbered, and only some last day brilliance from Carl Pavano helped me eek a title out of Tout Wars.
And, truth is, I have been a Masterson fan low these last three years, when he went from a spot starter in 2008 with good success, to a spot starter and then sort of flop last year, finally being swapped to the Indians where he was mediocre till that shutout.
Maybe I should have known better, then, than to gamble on Masterson on both my XFL and LABR teams, but the price was right, and he does get some whiffs, and one of these days I think he will get it all together.
Only "one of these days" does not seem to be today.
In LABR I have had Masterson inacative for three of his four wins this year, but somehow have had him active for something like eight of his ten losses.
In the XFL, I have just one win as well, though only six losses.
The problem is he pitches a good game and that man-love stuff overwhelms me and I am just sure that this time Justin has it. Only, whatever "it" means, Justin does not seem to have "it" after all. Unless "it" means getting tattooed for six hits and seven walks and five runs over four innings. That "it" he has down cold.
Now, maybe you don't have Justin Masterson. But you know who I mean.
Maybe his name is Scott Olsen. Maybe his name is Alex Gordon. Maybe his name is Rick VandenHurk. Maybe his name is Daniel Cabrera.
But, he is there. On our rosters. Hiding. Subverting. Giving us grief. Tempting. Tantalizing. Begging us to believe.
Then letting us down in frustration and endless second guessing.
Thanks Justin. Like I really needed it.