Alex Rodriguez is a Fantasy Team Anchor

Will ShafferCorrespondent IJune 9, 2008

I have five fantasy-baseball teams on Each one of them is in some ways similar and in many ways different.

First off, one of the things that makes's fantasy game different from many others is how pitching is handled. Instead of choosing individual pitchers and factoring their stats into one's team stats, on, you have to choose an entire teams staff and hope for the best.

The team I felt was going to be my best was obviously going to be the one I have A-Rod on. After a monster season last year, how could you not go with the guy for your number-one pick, and I was lucky enough to get the number-one pick.

Yet here we are, more than halfway through the fantasy season, and my team with A-Rod not only isn't in first place, it doen't even sport a winning record as it's now 5-5 after 10 weeks. Alex strained his quad and hit the DL for a while, which didn't really help, but there's more than one player on every team.

The rest of my squad is rounded out as follows: at catcher I have a platoon of mostly Chris Coste of the Phillies and my backup, if he gets hurt or slumps, is Jose Molina—unfortunately that's the best I could do at this position on this team.

At first base I have Adrian Gonzalez, who's having a terrific season for the offensively challenged San Diego Padres. At second, I have the very talented letdown named Robinson Cano, who's virtually killed my fantasy team as well as the Yankees with his season long slump. At short I have Yunel Escobar of the Atlanta Braves, who's done pretty well—or at least better than my backup for the position which is the White Sox's Orlando Cabrera.

Obviously my third baseman is A-Rod. My outfield is comprised of Shane Victorino for speed, Carlos Quentin—a mid-season pickup who's having a terrific year, and Bobby Abreu, who's usually a fantasy team stud and is having a pretty good year—so far.

I was smart with pitching on this team, grabbing that nasty Padres staff early in the draft, but I also have the Yankees and Phillies staff's as well for backups. This proved to be a great move as the Padres and Yankees staff's have been up and down so far this season, and the Phillies staff has been very very good to this point.

So you can see, it's a pretty good club on paper, but the results haven't been what I expected. A-Rod is hitting well, but not blasing bombs at the awesome pace he was last season. Robbie Cano is doing nothing I expected him to, which I shouldn't be surprised about, since he seems to be a better second-half player anyway.

The loss of Jake Peavy has diminished San Diego's nasty pitching staff and downgraded it to just good—for now. The Phillies' pitching has been a warm welcome. It should be interesting to see how the rest of the fantasy season plays out for this team and my others, which I'll talk about in future articles.