Written by MachadosMittens.
The other day, my brother and I were sitting in our parents’ living room, drinking beer and staring at our own separate laptops. We are good, modern, American men — none of that talking bullshit flies in our household. Unsurprisingly, we were both looking at baseball statistics. With a chuckle, my younger brother told me to look up Tim Wakefield within the “players available” section of our fantasy league. To my surprise, the old knuckle-head was not only still listed as playing for the Red Sox, but was also owned in .8% of ESPN leagues. (The next sentence, like most sentences, would ideally be read by David Attenborough). What we found next however, was something so bizarre that not even the drunkest baseball fan could have predicted it: Wakefield’s ownership was on the rise. It had gone up .4% recently. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Who was under the impression that Wakefield was still playing? Or that he was fantasy relevant? And why were there more and more of these idiots, continuing to pick him up? 
Screenshot 2014-04-07 at 6.24.03 PM
It seemed unlikely that Wakefield was the only one. A quick search found that Mariano Rivera was also owned in .9% of leagues.
mariano
Mariano Rivera, ladies and gents! Owned by 8 out of every 1,000 fantasy owners. If one of those owners is in your league, you have a damn good chance of winning your league. 
Over the course of today, I searched for and compiled a list of retired players (or players whose careers are over, even if they are in denial about it) that are still owned in at least .1% of ESPN leagues. I can only imagine how much worse these numbers are in the fantasy doldrums of Yahoo and CBS.
The list by itself is fairly amusing, but I decided to also take note of how many of these players, much like Wakefield, are on an upward trend of being owned. All such players have a “+” sign following their name. Enjoy.
 
Batters
Vladimir Guerrero
Derrek Lee +
Miguel Tejada +
Edgar Renteria
Lance Berkman
Michael Young
Ivan Rodriguez +
Chipper Jones +
Jim Thome +
Manny Ramirez
Jorge Pasada +
Johnny Damon
Todd Helton +
Kevin Youkilis
Andruw JonesPitchers

Chris Carpenter +
Roy Halladay
Chan Ho Park
Mariano Rivera
Tim Wakefield
Andy Pettitte
Trevor Hoffman
Arthur Rhodes +
Ocavio Dotel

To be fair, I get the feeling that I may have overlooked a couple of pitchers. I also was shocked to notice how many players that WILL play this year (Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales being great examples) were not only barely owned, but their ownership was also in rapid decline. On the one hand, I totally understand why you wouldn’t want free agents on your team. On the other, there are people out there that have retired players on their roster while simultaneously snubbing guys that will actually play this year. To those gentlefolk, I salute you. You belong on the Clown Show.