Good job, owners! You got an A-plus in the 'J.A. Happ Fantasy IQ Test'

By Marty Gitlin |

J.A. Happ (USATSI)
J.A. Happ has not been the most reliable pitcher this spring. (USATSI)

The intelligence of Fantasy owners throughout the land has been tested and they didn't even know it. But they passed with flying colors when 98 percent declined to draft Blue Jays pitcher J.A. Happ. Call it the "J.A. IQ Test."

The 2 percent that did grab him are presumably relatives of the southpaw or merely people with the last name of "Happ" who yearned to support a namesake.

Temptation remains for some to land Happ despite frightening statistical evidence that should lead to permanent Fantasy banishment to those who call out his name on draft day. Decent low-90s fastball. Lots of movement. Lights-out with the Phillies upon his arrival in the big leagues in 2009.

But nobody knows, least of all Happ, where the ball is going once he throws it, except too often over the fence or smacking against an outfield wall. The result has been some of the ugliest numbers in the sport since 2011, including an ERA hovering around 5.00.

Which brings us to spring training 2014. A decent ERA for a starting pitcher is around 3.80. His this exhibition season was 20.57. A decent WHIP for a starting pitcher is around 1.50. His was 4.29. That's slow-pitch softball territory.

Therefore, the support uttered by John Gibbons and Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos boggle the mind. The former told one and all he's a "big Happ fan." The Twitter world was aflame with wonderment when the latter exclaimed that Happ was returning to the rotation as soon as he recovers from a back injury, though some suspect the ailment is a phantom designed to get Happ straightened out.

One can only hope that Fantasy owners are too smart to believe such proclamations from a manager and GM and that once Happ indeed returns, that 2 percent ownership does not jump even to 3 percent. The competitiveness of every Fantasy league depends on being Happ-free.

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