The big picture: What we've learned in '13 

August, 19, 2013
8/19/13
11:33
AM ET
While there have been myriad positive themes during the 2013 major league season, ranging from the greatness of Miguel Cabrera and Matt Harvey to the surprising Yasiel Puig and Chris Davis, the overriding big-picture story has unfortunately dealt with suspensions. Fantasy's No. 2 player on draft day in many leagues -- yes, Ryan Braun was often selected ahead of Mike Trout -- ended up playing in only 61 games. Others of varying statistical relevance, like elite base stealer Everth Cabrera and slugger Nelson Cruz, saw their seasons truncated not only because of errors in judgment, but also because baseball finally took a stand.

While fantasy owners can only guess who will be next on the suspension list, it's a troubling sidebar to simply researching BABIPs and xFIPs to help determine the players to covet and ignore next season. Put simply, this is what changed for fantasy owners: In the future, rumors about a certain player being connected to performance-enhancing drugs cannot be overlooked by fantasy owners aiming to seek value, because the risk that many of us -- my hand is raised -- believed wouldn't amount to much, certainly and emphatically did. And that's a shame.