It’s About Time


We couldn’t let Dave write his own champion’s post, so thanks to Dan the #1 Rays Fan for stepping up with this guest post.

Destiny Fulfilled

There is no better, more competitive, more challenging and harder fantasy league to win than thefoulline.com.

I believe this with all of my heart, and you’ll never convince me otherwise. We have ten of the most committed and competitive owners in all of fantasy baseball. Every year, the gap between last place and first place seems to shrink more and more. Every owner in the league seems to get smarter and smarter with each passing season, and just making the playoffs has become the ultimate grind.

As you look around the league, you can see as owners mature over the years and improve their game. I was a brash, determined young rookie in 2009 who had all the talent in the world, and was looking to come into this league and do damage. What I quickly found out, was that this game has a very cruel learning curve. I lost my last two games, and missed the playoffs, because I wasn’t ready. I needed to feel out this game, and realize the tricks of the trade. I realized this learning curve affected everyone, and felt much better about my rookie season afterward. I’ve come to realize over the years that I was dead wrong.

There was no learning curve, no growing pains for our 2013 Fantasy Baseball Champion, Dave Ingalls.

I’ve never told him this until now, but I’ve always marveled at Dave’s ability to walk in right away and dominate this game. His first season playing fantasy baseball in 2008, he finished with the best record in the league, and as he likes to call it, it seemed like “he was playing chess while everyone else was playing checkers.” He made the right moves, mastered the waiver wire, and seemed well on his way to fantasy glory. I can say this now, but I never really understood how he could do that. He seemed to know what he was doing, right from day one, while the rest of us slowly came along and figured this game out. It all came so easily to him!  However, he finished just short in the playoffs, losing to Dave McLaughlin and his Boston Braves in the finals. It wouldn’t be the last time the Yankeehaters would suffer a crushing playoff defeat over the years.

Since I entered the league in year two in 2009, Dave and I have gone head to head many times over the years, and for me, they’re always the biggest games of the season. Yet for so frustratingly long, he was usually on top at the end of the day. It went this way for the majority of the league, as Dave almost entered the playoffs as the favorite to bring home the title. It always seemed like he had the best team. Yet he had to sit back and watch his wife go on her legendary three-peat, beating Dave twice in the finals. Ginger’s great teams would step up and play their best ball in the playoffs, while time after time Dave watched great seasons crumble.

I can’t imagine how this must have felt. Doing everything right, building elite teams, and falling short over and over again. It became a running joke around the league, and Dave himself even got in on it after awhile. But I’ve always known it bothered him. He wanted to win the ultimate prize more than anything.

Over the years, we’ve begun to look to Dave as our leader. He writes the posts, he’s the most active and runs thefoulline.com website. Ginger is a big part of that, but she’s never really been vocal enough to establish a presence other than the legendary champion. Dave is always there, and we’ve all begun to look at it as being “his league.”

That’s why we’ve all felt that if somebody should win their first championship, it should be him. It felt like some sort of cloud over the league, that its most committed and focal player had yet to win it. We all want to win of course, but it just seemed so strange that Dave couldn’t close the deal.

That all changed in 2013. As usual, Dave built up his great team, and finished the season as the #1 seed. But this time, there was a happy ending for him. He beat me, the defending champion, in the first round, and was able to get the by the RedRays in the championship game.  After 5 agonizing seasons, 3 championship game losses, 5 playoff losses, and a whole lot of jokes at his expense, Dave finally had his championship.

I can honestly say that I’m happy for you. You deserve this. You’ve had the best team consistently over the years, and it’s about time you got to join the champions club with Ginger and me. As the champion the previous year, I officially pass the title of defending champion over to you. Wear it proudly.

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of the best fantasy baseball league in the world. I’m glad you chose me to write your champion’s post.

Dave Ingalls, the 2013 thefoulline.com Fantasy Baseball Champion


Everybody Talks


Apparently I went to a baseball game yesterday. I say apparently, because I found my ticket stub on the kitchen counter this morning, and a cooler with a couple of beers in it in my car. But oddly enough, I don’t recall watching a minute of baseball.

This could only mean one of two things. I’ve either had a stroke, or the gang from thefoulline.com got together for the second year in a row to “watch” a game.

It was another spring training game, where we found our spot by the left field berm and commenced with three hours of baseball talk. The usual subjects were covered: the upcoming draft, our spots, who are the October Boys taking #1,  why are the Yankees and Rays so unlikable, and is it possible for Allan to drink all the beer at Charlotte Sports Park?

It was a great time, with knowledgeable baseball fanatics. Thanks to Dan “The #1 Rays Fan” for setting it up, and to Willis, Mike, Allan, & Dennis for coming out. It’s nice that we can still be friends, before the competition starts in a few weeks.

I still have no idea who won the game.

The First Days of Spring


Another Spring Training is upon us! The sun is shining. The grass is freshly cut. The birds are singing. Baseball is back!

And I still despise the Tampa Bay Rays.

I feel the need to clarify this, because today I spent yet another morning at the Rays Spring Training facility in the beautiful, historic town of Port Charlotte. My motivation to go see the Rays practice is always the same. I get to spend a few hours in the beautiful weather watching baseball, and if I can trip a few Rays players while I’m there, even better!

Here are my short and sweet observations from Rays camp today:

  • I watched every catcher in the Rays system practice throwing to the bases. Newcomer Ryan Hanigan has the worst arm out of all of them.
  • Grant Balfour was already in mid-season form with his potty mouth. He dropped more F-bombs during practice than the first hour of Pulp Fiction. But he curses in Australian, so it wasn’t that bad.
  • Chris Archer looked great today, and it wasn’t hard to notice that everyone in the Rays organization likes this kid. Brains and talent!
  • It was easy to see that David Price and Evan Longoria have taken a leadership-by-example approach this season. Both guys were the first ones in the drill lines, and would run to the next field during their 15-minute rotations.
  • Jose Molina is still really fat.
  • Not to beat a dead horse, but how does Dave Martinez not have a manager job yet? Even worse, you don’t even hear him being in the discussion anymore.
  • The Rays will win the AL East and play in the World Series this year.

I’m going to go watch practice again later this week. I’ll be sure to bring a few Rays voodoo dolls with me.

Off He Goes


There are 750 active players on Major League Baseball rosters. 30 teams, consisting of 25 players. With such a large number of players, there are bound to be a few bad apples in the mix. Alex Rodriguez, A.J. Pierzynski, & Carlos Gomez come to mind as being world class jerks. Unfortunately, it’s these guys that tend to get the attention of the media. Steroids, pimping homeruns, initiating bench clearing brawls, are just a few of the “contributions” that these guys make to the league. I cringe whenever these guys are on the news getting the headlines that have little to do with the game of baseball.

The reason for dusting of thefoulline.com keyboard on a random Sunday in February, is that one of the true good guys in sports has made the decision to step away from the game today. Ryan Dempster chose today to not play baseball in 2014, and forfeit his 13 million dollar salary, citing physical & personal issues. Dempster could have easily just gone on the disabled list, and try and figure out how to spend the millions of dollars coming to him in unearned salary.

Ryan Dempster epitomized mediocrity during his 16 year career. This is evident by his 132-133 win/loss record. But, he was always an affable, hard nosed, competitor that was genuine role model to the kids that watch the game.

All signs are pointing to him retiring from baseball. If so, I’m glad that I was able to see him play a season for the Red Sox. I appreciate the respect he showed for the game, when he drilled A-Rod last year. But, I’m most happy that he was finally able to win a World Series, in what might be his final season.

It’s about time the good guy finished first.

Just something about it


Dan the #1 Rays fan wanted to try his hand at writing a post for thefoulline. Take a read and let him know what you think.
Thanks,
Dave

There is nothing in all of sports like baseball’s opening day.

Week one of the NFL season is great. So is the NCAA Tournament. Everyone loves the Olympics, and the World Cup is the most popular sporting event in the entire world. But none of them even come close to comparing to the start of another baseball season.

What is it about opening day? Is it the renewed sense of hope felt by every single team? Where teams like the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros can be tied for the best record in baseball after one game? Or is it the sense of family bonding, where you play hookey and pull your kids out of school to head over to the ballpark? Or is it the atmosphere, with the cold beer, sizzling hot dogs, fresh cut grass and warm sunshine? ( Well maybe not at Tropicana Field). What is it about opening day that makes it so great?

One thing that has always made me wonder is why does a loss on opening day hurt so much? It counts in the standings the exact same as a loss on June 13th. But it just FEELS so much different doesn’t it? Almost as if an entire offseason of expectations and hope have been dashed by one ill timed poor effort during the first game of the season. I love it. It adds to the magic of opening day. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

It’s become a National Holiday for all Americans, a day they look forward to the second after the last pitch of the previous season is thrown, and our World Champions are crowned. Only one team can reach the mountain top. For the other 29 losers, it’s always “wait until next year”.

Well next year has arrived. Opening day has come and gone, and now we have 160 games over the next 5 months to enjoy the roller coaster ride of another baseball season. It’s sure to be a long grind.

But theres just something about opening day.

Dan The #1 Rays Fan’s quick hits:

– Heading to opening day at the Trop was an amazing experience as usual. Tailgating and having a few beers with thefoulline crew made it even better.

– Dennis and Willis are great guys who really know there baseball.

– And Willis makes an amazing ham and cheese sandwich.

– The Atlanta Braves are the best team in baseball.

– The Colorado Rockies are the worst.

– It wouldn’t be right to write a post for thefoulline and not mention there beloved Boston Red Sox. They look awesome. If Dempster pitches well and Ellsbury is healthy there dangerous.

– Im starting to hate the Baltimore Orioles. They are legit.

– How smart does Dave look right now? Every move he made is working out. Justin Upton and Bryce Harper are tearing it up, Freddie Freeman looks like the MVP, and Yu Darvish and Jeff Samardzija are the front runners for the CY Young. Ridiculous.

– Shoutout to sportsmanMike. His team is having a great opening week, and the moves he made look to have improved his team. Fantasy sports are more fun when your team is good and your making deals and talking smack.

– Dont forget to like Yaysports Real Talk Radio on facebook!

– Thank you to thefoulline.com upper management for allowing me to write this guest post. I have been an avid reader of the site for a long time, and it’s an honor to write a post for you guys. I hope to write for you guys more in the future if you’ll have me back.

It’s that time of year again… Baseball is back! Enjoy the ride.

Question Authority


Tomorrow I’m going to my fifth and final Spring Training game. I hadn’t planned on going to any more, but RedRays (Trent) made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. RedRays is one of those guys that gets along with everyone and has friends from many walks of life. One of those friends is MLB umpire Chad Fairchild.
Chad Fairchild photo by Adrian Wyld
Chad Fairchild has been umpiring in the big leagues since 2004. He’s been involved in two Division Series, and he was also on the field for A-Rod’s infamous “got it” call when running towards third base in Toronto.

One of the perks of being friends with an umpire… four free tickets to every MLB game in which he is umpiring.

RedRays took advantage of this a few years ago and traveled up to Fenway Park to catch a game. Tomorrow, he’s getting taken care of again, but this time it’s Port Charlotte for a split-squad game. Hey, any baseball is good baseball.

The reason I’m writing this post is that I hope to meet Chad Fairchild and maybe ask a few questions for the site. So, I pose this question to the readers. If you could ask an MLB umpire any question, what would it be? I’ll ask him the best ones tomorrow.

You’re the Best


There are a few things I would rather be doing today. Getting a root canal, finding a jury summons in the mail, passing a kidney stone, stepping on a Lego… Any of those would be preferable to this… Having to to write the 2012 thefouline.com fantasy baseball champion post for Dan Mckewen and his Rays those Cowbells.

For some strange reason, our league doesn’t award a trophy to each year’s winner. Instead, you get a few paragraphs noting your great accomplishment. But I will tell you this: if Dan wins back-to-back titles, I may hijack the Lord Stanley Cup trophy to hand out to him. It might be easier than having to write this two years in a row.

In spring of 2008, things were going great on thefouline.com. The Red Sox had just won another World Series title, and we had a loyal following and a steady stream of new posts. But despite all of the positives on the site, we were missing something. Everyone who commented on the site was a Red Sox fan. I appreciated their insight, but we all shared similar opinions. We were in desperate need of someone with a different perspective. We needed a villain.

This all changed on May 18th, on a post titled Like the Weather. A young, brash, opinionated Dan Mckewen had randomly Googled, “awesome baseball blogs written by really cool guys” and stumbled upon thefoulline.com. This was a post written in a derogatory manner that Dan did not appreciate, and he came out guns blazing in the comments section. Like Batman & the Joker, Rocky & Drago, and Buzz Lightyear & Zurg, it was thefoulline.com vs. Dan the #1 Rays Fan. We had our bad guy.

For a long time, no matter what Dan commented on, he received a bunch of abuse. He was pro-Rays on a Red Sox-dominated site. We were relentless on him. But no matter what we said to him, Dan kept coming back to the site and stating his opinions. We couldn’t get rid of him.

As time passed, we began to appreciate Dan’s loyalty to the site, even awarding him a coveted spot in our fantasy league (after his incessant begging). For four seasons, Dan has been all-in. He is arguably the most passionate owner in the league. The first couple of seasons, some may even say he was too passionate. Young Dan drove us a little nuts his first couple of seasons, and he will admit that his buttons were easily pushed. He was frustrated when trades didn’t go in his favor, or when Grady Sizemore got injured. He complained when he missed the playoffs. Then, after finally making the playoffs, he complained about losing in the finals in what is known in the league as “Tulo-gate.” He had a million excuses.

But here’s what I finally realized about Dan: He knows his baseball.

As much as it pains me, I have to admit Dan has matured. He’s a super-smart baseball mind, a tough competitor, and a loyal Rays fan. He has the only team in the league that has gotten better every year, finally culminating in his first and well-deserved baseball championship.

I’ve said a million times how hard it is just to make the playoffs in our league. To win a title is unreal (not that I know), and to dethrone the three-time champ while doing so is ridiculous.

We appreciate all of your support to the site. You’re our most loyal contributor and a great ambassador to thefoulline. Thanks for spreading the word about our little blog. I’m glad we didn’t run you off in 2008!

Congratulations on winning the title, Daniel-san. You really are the best around.

Tick Tock


Since finding out my fantasy draft position three days ago, I’ve had a constant clock ticking in my head. Tick… tick… tick…

I drew the second pick, which assures me of a great player. But with that pick comes a sense of responsibility/pressure to nail this selection. Our league is a bunch of fantasy assassins ready to pounce on any mistake and take advantage of any misstep.

Tick… tick… tick…

I think it’s pretty obvious that Miguel Cabrera, Mike Trout, & Ryan Braun are going to be the top three picks. But who’s going first? Will Chefdick take the American League Triple Crown winner? Or will he set his sights on the AL Rookie of the Year and MVP runner-up? Maybe he goes with Mr. Consistency and his automatic .300/35/110, even with the cloud of PED suspicion hovering over his head.

Tick… tick… tick…

Will Chefdick reveal this prior to the draft? Would I, if I were in his shoes? Hell no!

I have the second pick and 13 days to prepare. I can’t screw this up… I hope.

Tick… tick… tick…

And now, your slightly rained-on thefoulline.com quick hits:

  • I hate to write anything pro-Yankee, but it’s hard as a baseball fan not to appreciate everything that Mariano Rivera has accomplished over his illustrious career. He has epitomized class while performing at the highest level in the game, all while playing in most scrutinized city in the world. He announced his retirement, effective at the end of the 2013 season. MLB needs to waive the five-year waiting period and induct him into the Hall of Fame immediately after his last game. He’s been a great ambassador of the game and deserving of this honor. He’s earned it… even if he is a damn Yankee.
  • Al Roker in a New York Yankees uniform photo by Mark Feinsand

  • How does Kyle Lohse not have a job yet?
  • You think you’re having a bad day? Jordany Valdespin took a Justin Verlander fastball to his nuts yesterday.
  • Back to my regularly scheduled Yankee bashing… The New York Yankees are cursed this year, and I love it. With the rash of injuries that New York has suffered already this year (A-Rod, Granderson, Teixiera, Cashman), I can’t name five starters. They have fewer well-known players in their starting lineup than the Houston Astros. Brian Cashman is so desperate to field a “quality” team, that he tried to lure Chipper Jones out of retirement. When you have this guy suiting up for you, you’re in for a long year.
  • I love baseball, but going to watch the Rays/Yankees game in the rain with only scrubs playing might be the low point of my week. At least I’ll get to meet the Foul Line guys.
  • Ginger has written two posts for thefoulline.com and has had the most comments of anything that has been written over the past year. Should she try to write something on a regular basis?
  • Don’t forget to follow Yaysports: Real Talk Radio on Facebook.

Enjoy your week!

We Used to Wait


The premium league (not that we paid for it) is worth it for the early draft positions alone…

Draft Pick Order

  1. chefdicks
  2. Yankeehaters
  3. sportsmanMike
  4. The October Boys
  5. Love Boat Captains
  6. Panda the Hammer
  7. Rays Those Cowbells
  8. RedRays
  9. WillisBeTheYear
  10. King of Controversy

Der Kommissar


Ginger here.

We have the opportunity to switch from the usual free fantasy league to a CBS Commissioner League at no cost to any of you fine fantasy losers (and Dan). The main differences with the premium league are that every detail (roster requirements, point values, transaction rules…) can be customized and everyone gets free access to MLB Gameday Audio (home and away radio feeds for every regular season game). If we use the Commissioner league in future seasons (no promises), we’ll also have league history details maintained on the CBS site, which will be sad, because it won’t include my championships.

It is not our intention to change any of the scoring, roster, or transaction rules. If anyone thinks any of these details should change, let’s chat about it in the comments and see what everyone else thinks.

All this customization would allow us to add an 11th team for our pal Dave (brother of October Boys’ Dennis). Obviously, changing the league to 11 teams is no small thing, so please share your thoughts about it. We think he would be an enthusiastic and attentive team owner who would fit in well with our group. On the other hand, we discussed a 12-team league a few weeks ago, and there were concerns about spreading the talent too thin. Personally, I don’t buy this argument. Sure, you’ll have fewer studs on your team, but so will everyone else. I like the challenge of having to dig deeper to fill out your team. But if you’re scared…

I’ve set up the new league, but everyone will need to join again. If anyone has any concerns or doesn’t want to make the change, let us know. Otherwise, you’ll find the new league at thefoulline.baseball.cbssports.com. Please go sign up! Nothing will change as far as rules or league size without plenty of discussion here. For now, you’re just signing up for our usual game with the Gameday Audio perk.

If you run into any trouble signing up, send me your email address and I’ll send you an invite with the direct signup link.