Yes, the game I play — STATS Fantasy Baseball — assigns a specific outfield slot to players. Unlike the majority of fantasy games, you can't have an outfield of Matt Holliday, Jack Cust and Delmon Young, just as a real team wouldn't try to use those three as outfield regulars. Somebody has to play center field in real life. And the same is true in SFB.



The biggest question in LF, I think, is: How much will Matt Holliday decline? He goes from the best hitter's park in baseball (Coors Field) to one of the worst (the Coliseum in Oakland). He goes from the weaker National League to the tougher American League. He's going to put up lesser numbers; the question is, how much lesser?



It's not that Holliday's going to be exposed as a statistical fraud. But he's not Manny Ramirez or Ryan Braun, and unlike Jason Bay, Carlos Lee, Carlos Quentin and Raul Ibanez (now with the Phillies) he won't benefit from an inflationary home park.



A somewhat similar situation exists for Adam Dunn, who has hit exactly 40 homers each of the past four seasons (and 46 the season before that.) Dunn wound up in Washington. That park played slightly to the pitchers' side last season (ifs first season); but a middling park is a far cry from the launching pad in Cincinnati that was Dunn's home for most of his career.



e-mail Edward Thoma

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