Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
In 1994, a young Chicago Cubs outfielder by the name of Karl Derrick "Tuffy" Rhodes hit three home runs on Opening Day - all off Dwight Gooden.
Had you been in a fantasy league at that point, I was, he was all the rage the next day as every owner put in a waiver bid. Of course, Rhodes did nothing like that the rest of the season, ending the year with just eight homers and 19 RBIs.
In his entire major league career, Rhodes batted .224, with 13 home runs and 44 runs batted in, 74 runs scored and 14 stolen bases in 225 games played.
Why do I bring his name up?
Yesterday we had some pretty stunning opening day performances, some pretty bad ones too, but the question all fantasy owners want to know is" Is he for real?"
Is Florida second baseman Emilio Bonifacio for real? Obviously he can't steal 486 bases (3 SB on opening day x 162 games), but will he steal 30, 40 or 50? Will he score 100+ runs hitting at the top of the powerful Florida Marlins lineup? And most importantly, should I pick him up in my fantasy league?
More questions from Opening Day:
Is Hank Blalock back to his old self? And should I pick him up in my fantasy league?
Should I pickup Felipe Lopez after his two home run day in Arizona?
Is Ken Griffey Jr. able to post one more "Griffey-like" season now that he is back home in Seattle? And should I pick him up in my fantasy league?
Is Daniel Murphy in the perfect spot hitting between Jose Reyes and David Wright? And should I pick him up in my fantasy league?
These are all legitimate first-day questions.
There are also the other, more troubling, questions such as:
How could C.C. Sabathia not strike out a single batter?
Is this the real Justin Verlander, one which we can't count on to bounce back from a horrible 2008?
How long will Coach Tony LaRussa stay with young closer Jason Motte after his disastrous opening day?
The answer to most of these questions is the same. Relax, it's just Opening Day, and remember it's a marathon not a sprint.
However, if I was in need of a second baseman, I would certainly take a shot with Bonifacio.