Checking out latest one-year wonders

Updated: June 13, 2008, 1:15 PM ET
By Eric Karabell
Every so often when I see a player past his prime having a big game or big season I smile, because I can't imagine how tough it must be. Just being a major leaguer is an accomplishment, since it's an exclusive club to start with, so why shouldn't someone like Esteban Loaiza hang around longer, make some dough and see if he can help a contender? Good for him, I say, and there is no hint of sarcasm. Who knows, I might be in a similar situation someday.

From a fantasy standpoint, we know Loaiza is unlikely to help us much this year, or any year from here on out, but how many of you can say he deserves a share of one of your championships in 2003? I'm raising my hand. No, I couldn't believe it either as it was happening, this journeyman turning into Johan Santana, but indeed it was glorious. Similarly, I had little hope he could duplicate the following year, so I neither kept him in that league nor drafted him in others.

On Thursday night Darin Erstad was leading off for the Astros, swatting his second home run of the season and raising his batting average to .315. No, he can't swipe two bases a night like Michael Bourn can, but in small doses it's clear Erstad can still help a major league team. Remember how he helped you in 2000, going 25-100 with a .355 batting average? The guy had 240 base hits. He was Ichiro with power that year, a truly awesome season. And then it was all gone, the power, the speed and the durability, and keeper league owners who got in too late were left thinking they were used.