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Papelbon versus Rodney
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - In the fantasy world, there has been a lot of talk recently about the struggling Detroit Tigers closer, Fernando Rodney. And watching him pitch, I understand why. Every game he's out there seems like a battle. He'll give up a hit, a walk and a run or two, but somehow he's gotten the job done - collecting his 16th save of Thursday afternoon against the Chicago Cubs.

Yet, he's not on many people's "wish list" like Boston Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon. Ah, there's the rub. Papelbon's numbers are not much better than Rodney's statistics (see below).

In fact, the only significant difference between the two is in ERA where Rodney has allowed 14 runs and Papelbon just six.

With the numbers so close, its interesting to note that you had to use a sixth- round pick to get Papelbon (Average Draft Position - 55) versus a 24th-round pick for Rodney (ADP - 233). It's just another example of why you shouldn't pay for closers on Draft Day.

I only bring this up because I tried to trade Rodney to two different teams this week and it was like I had insulted their mothers. The dislike for Rodney was obvious and well beyond logic. In one attempt, I offered Rodney and Nelson Cruz (.262, 42 runs, 18 HRs, 45 RBIs, 11 SB, OPS .858) for the Mets' Francisco Rodriguez. In the other, the owner would only talk if Brian Fuentes (0-2, 20 saves, ERA 4.07, WHIP 1.36) was in the deal, not Rodney.

Isn't it amazing how impressions stick with you over the years?

Papelbon was "lights out" between 2006-2008, but he's just not the same this season. Yet his "value" to fantasy owners seems well above his performance to date while Rodney isn't wanted by anybody with almost the identical numbers.

2009 PapelBon/Rodney pitching Statistics
Pitcher Team GM W L SV IN H BB K ERA WHIP
Papelbon BOS 30 1 1 17 31 26 16 32 1.74 1.35
Rodney DET 32 0 1 16 31 27 15 27 4.06 1.35


Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.