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This week in fantasy baseball


The Baltimore Orioles dropped Sammy Sosa to the sixth spot in their order on Tuesday night.

It could be time for fantasy owners to drop him altogether.

Earlier this season I wrote that Sosa seemed to be snapping out of an early season funk, that he was being more patient at the plate and would see better pitches as a result. But now, his average has fallen to .235 and he's back to waving at offspeed pitches like a blind man swatting at a horsefly.

Do yourself a favor - forget the name for a second, and consider the stats heading into Wednesday's game. Nine home runs, 26 RBIs, one stolen base and a .725 OPS. Not very impressive.

Then figure out how many total outfielders are on rosters in your league - let's say it's 60, for a 12-team league with five OFs per team. If you're in a 12-team mixed league, Sosa doesn't belong on your roster. There are at least 60 outfielders who are putting up better numbers.

Yes, it's Sammy Sosa. Yes, he once hit 66 home runs in a season. But at his current rate, Sosa will finish with 19 home runs and 55 RBIs. Even with a strong second half, he'll be lucky to hit more than 25 homers. You can do better than that. It's time to start looking at other options. Bench him. Trade him. Drop him.

The one thing you can't afford to do is sit and wait for a resurgence that, based on recent indications, isn't going to happen.

And now a look around the rest of the majors:

Who's hot

Adam Kennedy, Angels: Won't help you much in power categories, but when he hits like he has this month - .446 batting average, 1.042 OPS - who cares?

Kevin Millwood, Indians: Has not allowed a run in two of three starts since coming off the DL, including a six-inning, three-hit effort against the red-hot Red Sox on Monday.

Lance Berkman, Astros: Batting .423 (11 for 26) with three HRs, 10 RBIs in his past seven games - just the kind of numbers you had in mind when you snuck this guy through on draft day.

Damian Jackson, Padres: Owns second base gig over Geoff Blum for now thanks to a 6-for-13, three-HR performance during a three-game stretch earlier this week. Enjoy it while it lasts - he won't have a job when Mark Loretta returns after the All-Star break.

John Smoltz, Braves: Permitted just one run and struck out 13 in back-to-back complete games. Has lasted at least eight innings in each of his past five starts.

Who's not

Richard Hidalgo, Rangers: Had more hits, HRs, RBIs in the final eight games of May than in all of June. But even at .209 for the season, this Hidalgo is better than that dreadful Viggo Mortensen flick.

Jon Lieber, Phillies: Don't be fooled by his respectable record (8-7); Leiber hasn't been good since early May, and it's way too late to sell high. He has a 6.10 ERA, 1.48 WHIP in June.

Orlando Cabrera, Angels: Bulky elbow has Cabrera back on the bench - not a bad spot for a $6 million-a-year shortstop who's batting .243.

Oliver Perez, Pirates: Add this to the list of bizarre injuries - Perez broke a toe kicking a laundry cart in frustration. Wonder if the cart was full of deer meat?

Michael Cuddyer, Twins: Was getting a chance to play third base every day. Now he'll get a chance to watch rookie Glenn Williams play third base every day.

This weekend's matchups

American League

Cleveland at Baltimore

Toronto at Boston

New York Yankees at Detroit

Tampa Bay at Minnesota

Chicago White Sox at Oakland

Los Angeles Angels at Kansas City

Texas at Seattle

National League

Washington at Chicago Cubs

Atlanta at Philadelphia

Florida at New York Mets

Pittsburgh at Milwaukee

Houston at Cincinnati

Colorado at St. Louis

Arizona at Los Angeles Dodgers

San Francisco at San Diego

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