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Once upon a time there was a hare who, boasting how he could run faster than anyone else, was forever teasing the turtoise for its slowness. To make a long story short, the turtoise ended up racing the hare and won.

Message boards can be so cruel. First there’s the post-draft message. Everyone slams the guy who took Jason Giambi who chooses to read Sports Illustrated for Kids over Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove. Then the guy who takes Giambi and several other clowns gets off to a hot start in April. Then the guy everyone was hating starts to boast. He’s the hare. So to all the tortoises out there who sacraficed months of reading Sports Illustrated for Kids, this one’s for you. The 2009 Hare Award. Here are the nominees:

Raul Ibanez

Brandon Inge

Edwin Jackson

And the winner is…Raul Ibanez! Through the seasons first two months Ibanez was on pace to hit 55 home runs and drive in 149. With 5 games to play he hasn’t even driven in 90 yet and is going to need some bounces to go his way to reach 35 home runs. At the end of May he was the third ranked player in Yahoo games. Every great fantathlete was quick to slap themselves in the head for not putting two and two together when he left pitcher-friendly Safeco for hitter-friendly Citizens Bank. After two months, it seemed Ibanez was no fluke. Then a groin injury took the guy that was also ranked #3 in ESPN at that time and through him into the equivalent of Dimension X. You’d have to go back to the 2004 season to find a year that Ibanez struggled more at the dish after the All-Star game. Ignoring the ballpark changes for just a second, and remember this guy was playing without a contract incentive and turned 37 years old this year. Shoulda seen it coming!

Yes Inge and Jackson haven’t taken their lumps since a great start, but neither one of them were carrying fantasy teams to fantasy supremecy early like Ibanez. Inge’s OPS is over 300 points worse in the second half and it’s hard to believe he was once placed on the All-Star ballot. Jackson is still the Tigers best option in Game 2 of the playoffs, but his second half ERA and WHIP in the second half are likely forcing him out of the top 200 in 2010 when he was ranked in the top 25 at the end of May 2009. Both were significant falls, but Ibanez was a true hare whereas Jackson and Inge were merely squirrels. Much quicker than a turtle, but a level behind the rabbit.

2 Responses to The Hare Award

  1. spyder2009 says:

    Seems like I got pretty much every winner of these awards (and some of the finalists).

    In the first half of the year, I was considering Ibanez as a keeper (7th round money). I knew he wouldnt keep up his ridiculous pace, but I certainly wasnt expecting the drop off that followed.

    Now, I dont think he is gonna be a keeper for me. Still a long way off before I make that final decision, but thanks to his pro-longed production halt, it has given me something to ponder yet again.

  2. Schruender says:

    I had him ranked in the 80s coming into this season and I think something like the 80s or 90s for next year makes a lot of sense.

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