Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
It's been a tough year for Miami Marlins fans. Of course, that's assuming that demographic actually exists.
Let's face it. Their record stinks (5-17), their uniforms are ugly enough to be a part of Russell Westbrook's wardrobe and worst of all, their best player, Giancarlo Stanton, trails Clayton Kershaw in the National League home run race.
But that's all kid's stuff when you compare the Marlins to Charlie Brown's sorry group of underachievers.
To complete the metaphor, Chuck's crew is LITERALLY a bunch of kids (how convenient). And not the kind you would see in the Little League World Series either.
These clowns once lost a game by a score of 123-0. Apparently the standard 10- run mercy rule does not apply in the warped world of cartoon Little League.
Miami's most lopsided loss this season? An 11-1 defeat against Cincinnati back on April 18th.
So quit your whining Marlins fans, wherever you are (I think I just heard my voice echoing through Marlins Park). The Peanuts are and forever will be, way worse at baseball than your team of choice. Again, it's not too late to start rooting for someone else. Tampa Bay is only about four hours north.
With that said, Chuck's squad does offer a few intriguing fantasy options. Let's dig a little bit deeper and see what the heck this crazy fantasy writer is even talking about.
Charlie Brown, pitcher: In a way, Charlie Brown is sort of a baseball god. And no, I'm not referring to the fact that he's balder than Dustin Pedroia, which makes absolutely no sense given his age.
Think about all the innings Chuck has tossed over the last six decades. I mean have the Peanuts ever used another pitcher besides him? Talk about a workhorse. This guy's a work stallion.
Though it's pretty amazing that Charlie Brown's arm hasn't fallen off yet, his body of work isn't all that impressive. In fact, he's actually been pretty terrible.
From what I've seen, Chuck only throws fastballs, which is definitely a recipe for disaster (trust me, I watched Jonathan Papelbon pitch at Fenway for six seasons).
And when the little red-haired girl comes to games? Forget about it. I love the zig zags, but the round-headed kid just doesn't belong on any fantasy teams.
Linus, second base: Yes, he knows the meaning of Christmas, but can Linus hit the curve ball? That remains to be seen.
The thumb-sucking is problematic, especially if you're in a league that takes fielding into account. And eventually you have to figure he's going to reach a breaking point with Sally and that just has slump written all over it.
I'd put a little more faith in Linus than I would in Charlie Brown, but he's still not a guy I'd take in the early rounds on draft day. At least that blanket will keep him warm when he's on your team's bench.
Lucy, right field/center field: Diva. Prima donna. Headcase. Call her what you want. Just don't call Lucy a good ballplayer.
Lucy's misadventures in the outfield rival those of Manny Ramirez at the peak of his cluelessness. None of her advice is worth a nickel (though that seems to be the going rate) and she makes contact about as often as one of the Drew brothers.
And come on, how can Charlie Brown trust a person who always pulls the football away at the last second?
Here's the thing though. She's extremely motivated by the promise of Schroeder's affection (her only documented home run came under these circumstances). Can Lucy translate that burning passion into halfway decent fantasy numbers? Perhaps. But if I'm a betting man, still probably not.
Peppermint Patty: Recently, baseball's fearless commissioner Bud Selig fined Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford for wearing two different colored Air Jordan shoes on Jackie Robinson Day. A bit harsh, I'll admit, but rules are rules.
So what's going to happen when Bud hears about Patty playing ball in her trademark sandals? Patty's maddening attire might push Papa Selig into an early retirement (if you can call 21 years on the job "early").
Clothing aside, Patty's inclusion on this list is a bit baffling.
Why? Because she's totally overqualified.
Patty once corked five long balls in a single game. Even HGH couldn't lift Barry Bonds to such unreachable heights.
Truth be told, Patty usually played against Chuck rather than for him. But at least Charles Schulz had the decency to include one stud in his universe of baseball catastrophe.
Pig-Pen, third base: You have to admire this guy's hustle. He's always got dirt on his uniform.
Wait ... you're saying he's always covered in filth? Well, then I'm not sure what I admire about Pig-Pen.
Good hygiene isn't a prerequisite for the sport of baseball. But it should be for your fantasy team. Come on, dude. Locate a bar of soap.
Rerun, utility player: There's upside here. As far as I can tell, Rerun is only about three or four years old. And the glimpses we've seen have been quite promising.
Sure, Rerun's overall skill set might be a bit raw, but the little guy is already an on base prodigy. Even Verlander couldn't throw this puny toddler a strike (Looks like we know who Billy Beane is drafting in 2028).
But on a darker note, there are some character issues that need to be addressed. Early on in his career, Rerun got involved in a gambling scandal and his fantasy stock has been tumbling ever since. If you have forgiveness in your heart, Rerun's a fine choice. If not, you might have to settle for one of the other less corrupt Van Pelt siblings.
Schroeder, catcher: Schroeder might be the only known baseball player to use Beethoven's ninth symphony as his walk-up music.
If we're being brutally honest though, Schroeder's piano infatuation has really gotten in the way of his baseball career. He's famous for showing up to spring training out of shape and his commitment to the sport is questionable at best.
Alas, Schroeder is one of Chuck's best friends and he'd probably never cut him loose. Even so, it's hard to recommend a player who spends more time making music than hitting in the batting cage.
Shermy, first base: I know what you're thinking ... who is this guy? I had to look him up myself. Apparently, Shermy was Charlie Brown's rival and also his part-time first baseman.
Tension is never good for any ball club. Am I right, 2011 Red Sox? So it makes sense for Charlie Brown to trade him at the July 31st deadline. I'm sure Theo's on his bluetooth right now trying to draw up a deal.
Snoopy, shortstop: It's always a dark and stormy night for pitchers when Snoopy is in the box. Snoopy might be the most prolific home run hitter in comic strip history, which is pretty remarkable given his lack of opposable thumbs.
He also plays a mean shortstop, often snagging line drives in his teeth. The beagle to human language barrier has never been a big issue and it's even gotten to the point where some players mistake him for an actual person (Peppermint Patty often refers to him as "the kid with the big nose").
The only trouble with Joe Cool is the team that surrounds him. With so many easy outs in that pitiful lineup, there's no way pitchers will ever throw the World War I flying ace a strike. That's probably the only reason Snoopy isn't a perennial first rounder in cartoon fantasy leagues.
Did I mention that Charlie Brown just went on the DL with "Little Leaguers elbow?" Good grief.