Archive for May, 2008

The Winner Takes It All, Week 8

Week 8 is in the books, and fantasy baseball league has officially been turned on its ear. League leaders Love Boat Captains and Yankeehaters both suffered embarrassing losses this week. Meanwhile, the upstart SarasotaRedRays and Lessthanzero continue to pile up the wins. It’s now been proved that anyone can beat anyone on any given week.

Since I stunk up the predictions again this past week, I will forgo the embarrassment and leave the guessing to the professionals. I will, however, give you a new feature, Power Rankings.

#1 Love Boat Captains (6-2)
Even though she lost this week, LBC still has maintained a 93 point lead overall over the closest competitor. This team has a few holes but still puts up big numbers. I’m guessing she’ll deal one of her many pitchers this week. Hell hath no fury as a woman who loses in fantasy baseball. (I read that somewhere in the Bible.)

#2 SarasotaRedRays (5-3)
All this team does is hit the crap out of the ball. Plus they seem to always get good pitching. They have to cool down eventually, right? I want a rematch.

#3 Yankeehaters (6-2)
This team resembles an All-Star team. Unfortunately, it plays more like a Little League team. Matt Holliday going on the DL is really going to hurt. I’m hoping the addition of Ryan Braun will help offset the loss of Holliday. After losing 2 out of 3, I want to make a deal this week and bring in some fresh blood.

#4 Boston Braves (5-3)
Got Pitching? This team does, and a lot of it. They put up bucketloads of points due to their pitching starts. This formula is working for him. There is no need to change it.

#5 Lessthanzero (4-4)
This team is better than their .500 record. LTZ does a great job of putting the right lineup out there week in and week out. He’s my choice as the smartest GM in the league. With that being said, I’m still going to beat him this week.

#6 The Showstoppers (3-5)
Matt McLaughlin may be a little snakebit. He has a team with a bunch of talent that can’t seem to win on a consistent basis. The Showstoppers added Fausto Carmona in a deal with the Yankeehaters, and Carmona promptly went on the DL for a month. Sorry about that, Matt. Let’s try another deal.

#7 MyBestefforts (3-5)
This team is going to be scary good when it finally gets healthy. MBE has a ton of quality pitchers, as well as the N.L. MVP in Lance Berkman. Hopefully things will turn around soon.

#8 Chickenheads (3-5)
This team had the greatest upset in fantasy sports history this week when they took out the Love Boat Captains in dominating fashion. The return of A-Rod will make a huge difference, and the CH need to get more consistency from their pitchers.

#9 Bostonbad boys (3-5)
BBB is solid from top to bottom, but they need to dump some of their extra utility players and add some pitching. A few more two-starters would pay off for this hot-hitting team.

#10 Rogers syringe (2-6)
RS is a very likable team that just can’t catch a break. When the hitters are hot, the pitchers are cold. When the pitching is solid, the hitters go absent. I hope they can put it all together and give The Showstoppers a run for his money in a grudge rematch this week. Loser buys the beers.

This is how I see the league stacking up so far. I would like to see your rankings.

Everything in Its Right Place quick hits:

  • For the record, I wrote a few months ago that the Red Sox should make every attempt to trade for Johan Santana. This included dealing Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Jacoby Ellsbury, pretty much anyone. Obviously the Sox front office is smarter than I am.
  • In case you missed it, Jon Lester threw a no-hitter against the K.C. Royals the other night. I’ve always figured that Lester would be a solid contributor for the Sox. He’s a guy that I thought could go out and win 12-15 games a year and be a solid #3 guy in the rotation. After Monday’s performance, I think I’ve underestimated his ability.
  • Watching the Sox as a kid, they were always a slow, prodding team that relied on the long ball. They rarely manufactured runs, and stolen bases were nonexistent. The 2008 team with Ellsbury, Coco, Pedroia, Youk and Lugo stealing bases and playing small ball is a lot more fun to watch.
  • Speaking of Lugo, his tenure in Boston may be coming to an end. What kind of message is Terry Francona sending when Lugo gets a defensive replacement four games in a row? Paging Jed Lowrie…
  • Jacoby Ellsbury stole 25 bases in a row to start his career, two short of the record set by Tim Raines. Ellsbury was thrown out on a pitch-out and a perfect strike from the catcher to second base, and he still was barely out. This kid is scary fast.
  • Manny Ramirez stated that he has stopped hitting home-runs on purpose. He said that fans aren’t excited enough about it, and he is going to wait to hit them on the upcoming west coast trip. The reason fans aren’t excited, Man-Ram, is that you’re hitting .178 with 11 strikeouts over the last 12 games. And you’re an idiot.
  • The Sox have had solid contributions this year from their young players: Jonathan Papelbon, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Manny Delcarmen, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Jed Lowrie, Justin Masterson, and Brandon Moss.
  • The Yankees “top” young players have done the following: Phillip Hughes 0-4, 9.00 ERA; Ian Kennedy 0-3, 8.48 ERA; Jeff Karstens 1-4, 11.05 ERA; Melky Cabrera, .252 batting average; Joba Chamberlain, 10 holds, 2.66 ERA, 700 cheeseburgers eaten. Advantage: Boston.
  • Bartolo Colon is wicked fat, but he pitched pretty well last night. He may make his Fantasy debut for the Yankeehaters next week.
  • Joba Chamberlain is joining the New York Yankees starting rotation. This is going to be just the boost the Yanks need to leapfrog the Blue Jays and seize fourth place in the division.
  • Ex-Sox and current freak show Eric Gagne is being sidelined with a shoulder “injury.” Have you seen this guy lately? Not only is he stinking it up in Milwaukee, but he may be the ugliest human on the planet. 7.45 ERA, multiple blown saves, $10 million… money well spent.

The Winner Takes It All, Week 7

The competition is heating up. There are some new teams emerging as contenders (Sarasota Red Rays, The Showstoppers), as well as some other teams turning into pretenders (Bostonbad boys, Chickenheads). Since I’m back in the win column, and no one took me up on the challenge to predict this past week’s games, I’m going to do my best to predict the winners for week 8.

There are some really good match-ups this week. Let’s look in crystal ball and see how it’s going to shake out.

Yankeehaters vs. SarasotaRedRays:
This is going to be a tightly contested game. The SRR have been playing well for the past three weeks and are still getting maximum effort from their entire lineup. Tim Hudson had a bad game and still managed to put up 30 points for the week. It seems like everything this team touches turns to gold. Will they have the midas touch for one more week?

Team Yankeehater, on the other hand, had another unimpressive week from Curtis Granderson, Matt Holiday and Mark Texiera. If these guys can start producing like they are capable of, this offense could be explosive. It was nice to see some decent pitching from the YH with Fausto Carmona returning to 2007 form, and I think the addition of Kerry Wood to an already above-average pitching staff is going to push the Yankeehaters over the top this week

Prediction: Yankeehaters in a nail-biter.

Love Boat Captains vs. Chickenheads:
This game is over before it begins. LBC is riding a six-week winning streak and is facing yet another push-over opponent. I don’t know who made the schedule up to favor the only girl in the league, but this is getting ridiculous. I know that LBC has the best pitching staff in the league, but eventually big-point producers Kevin Youkilis and Jacoby Ellsbury will come back to earth. Not that it’s going to matter this week.

Chickenheads are suffering a 5-game losing steak and will add one more to the loss column this week. These guys are getting great stuff from James Shields, and that’s about it. Maybe the return of A-Rod will make this game close, but I seriously doubt it. If Chickenheads can manage to lose by less than 100 they should consider it a moral victory.

Prediction: Love Boat Captains in a blowout.

Bostonbad boys vs. Roger’s Syringe:
This is the battle of the 2-5 teams. These teams match up pretty well against each other. BBB is finally getting some production from fat-ass Prince Fielder, and Brandon Phillips, Chipper Jones, Josh Hamilton (23 points in one game), Ryan Dempster, and Dice K have been consistent point producers all year. Roger’s Syringe had a really good week from his hitters, with all of them putting up solid points. JJ Putz was a bright spot on an inconsistent pitching staff that may be showing some signs of life. With only 5 pitching starts for the BBB, I think Roger is going to take him out.

Prediction: Rogers Syringe in a squeaker

The Showstoppers vs. Boston Braves:
This is the most intriguing match-up of the week for me. It’s father against son, experience against youth, Darth Vader vs. Luke Skywalker. The Showstoppers put up some huge numbers this week, leading the league and joining the exclusive 400+ point club. They’re putting a lot of faith in closers this week with three in the lineup, but with the offensive firepower that this team has been putting up, they could put zero pitchers out there and still contend. They are facing an up-and-down team in the Boston Braves, who lost a really close game this past week that went down to the wire. BB had a good week offensively featuring the re-emergence of Alfonso Soriano and Ryan Howard, and they have 11 pitching starts to the Showstoppers’ 7. I always enjoy The Showstoppers rotating team logo, so I’m picking them.

Prediction: The Showstoppers by 25

Lessthanzero vs. My Best Efforts:
This is another game that is evenly matched. I like the team that LTZ has put together. He has a group that doesn’t put up a ton of points but produces pretty consistently every week. C.C. Sabathia is looking like a Cy Young contender again, and the under-appreciated John Maine is pitching great. I’m not sure why our favorite Canadian dumped Shaun Marcum, but I appreciate it. Maine’s two starts this week may be the difference maker.

MBE suffered a big setback this week with the loss of staff ace Jake Peavy due to injury. The rest of Best Effort’s starting pitching staff has already been performing poorly, and this definitely won’t help. Lance Berkman has been playing like a man possessed and may be able to pick up their slack. Also, the recent addition of Adam Dunn is proving to be a smart acquisition, but I don’t think My Best Efforts has enough pitching to compete with LTZ this week.

Prediction: Lezzthanzero by 20

Of course this is just my opinion. I would love to hear your thoughts on how you think your team will do this week.

Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard

With the fantasy league going so well, I’ve forgotten that I started this blog to actually write about real baseball. So I’m going to knock off the rust, spew some opinions, and hopefully start some discussion.

Last year I wrote a post titled 5 Reasons I Hate the J.D. Drew Signing. This was one of the first things I wrote, and the interesting thing about it is that it was actually referenced on

So in an attempt to get back out in the world of baseball opinions, here is an update on the same theme.

6 Reasons I Hate Julio Lugo:

1. He’s a career .271 hitter that’s being paid $9 million a year. The Sox could have kept Orlando Cabrera for the same amount of cash.

2. He looks like a velociraptor when he’s getting ready to hit.

3. A major league leading 11 errors so far in only 35 games played.

4. He runs like a bowlegged donkey.

5. He complains about the Boston media… to the Boston media… when they write negative things about him. Memo to Julio: You’re not in Tampa Bay anymore.

6. Julio wears #23. This number should be reserved for great athletes. Guys like Michael Jordan, Don Mattingly, Lebron James, Pete Maravich and Ryne Sandberg have all worn this number with a certain distinction. Lugo should wear #67 until he proves worthy.

This list could be endless. What would you add?

The Winner Takes It All, Week 6

After five fairly predictable weeks, week six shows that any team can win at any time. After correctly picking only one of the five games this past week, I’m not going to attempt predictions this week, but I would really like to hear from the other GMs and get their take on this upcoming week.

In lieu of predictions, here’s my updated evaluation of all the teams in the league.

Bostonbad boys: The Bad Boys have really had some great point production from Dice K, Ervin Santana, and Ryan Dempster. After adding the red-hot Larry Jones to the lineup, which already features RBI machine Josh Hamilton, this is a team headed in the right direction.

SarasotaRedRays: Now, this is a good looking team getting optimal production from everyone in the lineup. Every night someone new seems to step up and give some major offense. One night it’s Dan Uggla, the next it’s Geovany Soto. With an underrated pitching staff and a lineup dead set on proving themselves, these guys are going to be tough week in and week out.

Lessthanzero: This team is the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of the league. One week they put up 350 points and crush a team, the next they put up 260 and lose. I’m not sure what to make of these guys. They have a bunch of young talent that may be going through some growing pains, but LTZ is definitely a lot better than their 2-4 record indicates.

MyBestefforts: This is the battle of the brothers-in-law this week. Best Efforts have some great players on their team, including Lance Berkman and Miguel Cabrera, and they have the potential to put up some big numbers every week. But this GM is going to need a better performance this week from his pitching staff if he hopes to return to past weeks’ form.

Yankeehaters: These guys are obviously paper champions. They look great on paper but have failed to show up for the past several weeks. Since I’ve already traded pretty much my entire lineup, and have gradually weakened my team, I vow not to trade any players this week and hopefully let them work it out. We’ll see how that goes.

Love Boat Captains: The Captain Stubings of the league are currently riding a five-game winning streak, thanks to the newfound power stroke of Kevin Youkilis and a steady pitching staff. These girls suffered a bad break this week with the loss of the coolest guy in baseball, Vernon Wells. Ginger is going to need her outfielders to pick up Vern’s points if she plans on winning six in a row.

Rogers syringe: After a shakeup this past week, this team came out and played some solid ball. RS may feature the best outfield in the league, with Carl Crawford, Ichiro, and Carlos Lee. These guys, behind some quality pitching from Brian Bannister and Tim Wakefield, put up 295 points and may be on the way to reversing their early season woes.

The Showstoppers: This team had solid points from everyone in the lineup and was a couple of rain games away from challenging LBC. If Matt can improve his pitching staff, and finally find someone to take Hideki Matsui off his hands, he will be solid competition each week.

Boston Braves: What else is there to say about the team that took out the last of the undefeated? I don’t think these guys have played up to their potential yet. BB has had an interesting pitching carousel that has paid off for him, but Ryan Howard and Man-Ram have both been pretty quiet. When these two wake up, and they will sooner than later, Boston Braves will be tough to beat.

Chickenheads: The birds have been snakebit the past couple of weeks. First A-Rod goes out with a leg injury, and then two pitchers combine for -11 points this past week. This group has too much talent for the losing trend to continue. Things can only get better.

It’s been a lot of fun so far. Good luck to everyone this week!

The Winner Takes It All, Week 5

Has it been five weeks already?

There were some real surprises this week. First of all, The Showstoppers finally showed up to play and handily destroyed Roger’s Syringe in the only game I predicted incorrectly. (Dylan now owes Matt Mc a round.) Secondly, the Boston Braves were beaten by a girl, by just under 100 points. Ouch. And finally, we may have seen the emergence of Mybestefforts as a solid team.

So since last week’s predictions were so popular, here are my picks for Week 6. But before I start, let’s see who is still the only undefeated team in the league, oh… there it is, the one, the only Yankeehaters.

Love Boat Captains (4-1) vs. The Showstoppers (2-3)
My initial reaction to this game was that The Showstoppers were going to beat the Love Boat Captains in a nail-biter. CBS Sportsline seemed to agree to it being close as well, predicting a 390-388 win for LBC. But after careful review, I have determined that there is no way in hell the The Showstoppers will win this one. Showstopper hitters David Wright, Ryan Braun, and Grady Sizemore are coming alive at the plate, but I feel the geezer combo of Andy Petitte and Randy Johnson are going to be no match for the extremely deep pitching staff of the LBCs. The LBCs could afford to improve their catcher, but that’s like throwing deck chairs off the Titanic, it doesn’t really matter.
Prediction: Love Boat Captains 355-320

Boston Braves (3-2) vs. Yankeehaters (5-0):
I would have been worried if these two teams played last week, but after seeing the Boston Braves get whipped by a girl, my anxiety has been relieved. I know the Braves’ Man-Ram, Aramis Ramirez, and the whole pitching staff underperformed last week. But after looking at his lineup, I’m kind of surprised that this team is above .500. Team Yankeehaters, on the other hand, had a poor performance by most of the pitchers and still won by 45 points. Those performances will not be repeated this week. Also, with the triumphant return of Jimmy Rollins later this week, the rich are getting richer. This will be a blow-out.
Prediction: Yankeehaters 390-278

Chickenheads vs. Roger’s Syringe
I though about ignoring this game this week, since both teams are in the midst of big losing streaks, but someone is going to come out of this game a winner, so let’s see how they stack up. First up, Chickenheads. How is it that a team with Mauer, Pujols, A-Rod, Hardy, Beltran and a better-than-average pitching staff stinks it up so bad? I have no idea, but I don’t think that it’s going to take much to beat Roger’s Syringe this week.

Speaking of Roger’s Syringe, the too-many-shortstops-and-middle-relievers experiment has officially failed. The good news is that there is still time to turn it around. Here are some free tips guaranteed to improve your team: #1, Release Julio Lugo and Orlando Cabrera. No one is going to trade for either one of these guys. If something happens to your starting SS, you will be able to find an adequate replacement via free agency. #2, Release Manny Corpas and Hideki Okajima. These two guys have not had the save opportunities that people expected. They put up low points and are taking up roster spots. #3, Make a trade for a couple of decent pitchers. You have a few trading chips on your team and there are some good alternatives out there. Make some adjustments before it’s too late. You have a rematch with The Showstoppers on May 26th, your chance to shut Matt up.
Prediction: Chickenheads 328-255

MyBestEfforts 3-2 vs. Bostonbad boys 1-4
Since MyBestEfforts has been turned over to new management, they have looked pretty impressive. Riding a two-game winning streak, they face perennial losers Boston (not so) bad boys. CBS Sportsline is predicting a BBB win. There is no way in hell that this is going to happen. MyBestEfforts is getting solid production from the entire lineup, although I’m interested to see how they replace the injured Troy Tulowitzki in the lineup. Even without him, this is a walk in the park. Bostonbad boys stink.
Prediction: Mybest efforts 348-310

SarasotaRedRays vs. Lessthanzero
This is game of the week. After another impressive week, I’m starting to think that the SRR hitters may be for real. I think that the SRR are going to regret giving up on Johnny Cueto so early, especially after a poor performance from their pitching staff this week, but I do appreciate them dropping him. LTZ has been getting good numbers from everyone in the lineup. Dropping Phil Hughes and getting Eric Bedard off the DL is going to pay huge dividends. If SRR’s astronaut players return to earth this week, it could be a blow-out. If not, it should be a fun one to watch.
Prediction: Lessthanzero 370-362

These are my predictions. I would love to hear your comments. Please keep them clean.

Mama Said Knock You Out quick hits:

  • Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia are the best 1-2 punch in baseball. It seems like every game Ellsbury slaps a single, promptly steals second, and then is driven in by Pedroia. They’ve made the top of the Red Sox order fun to watch.
  • Miguel Tejada promised a sick kid with Muscular Dystrophy that he would hit a homerun for him, and then he went out and hit one. I don’t care how old Tejada pretends to be, that was a classy move.
  • All is right in the universe tonight after the Sox bounced back and swept the Rays.
  • That sound you are hearing is the sound of Rays fans jumping off the bandwagon.
  • Announcers should be biased towards their team, but the Rays’ combo of Dewayne Staats and Joe Magrane take it to a whole other level. Listening to these two idiots go on and on over all the calls that go against the Rays makes me want to cut my ears off. Not to mention, Dewayne’s hair looks like a rat’s nest.
  • Dewayne Staats crazy hair
  • To further prove that Terry Francona reads, after writing about the Sox’s offensive woes, they went and put up 26 runs on the Rays during the three-game series.
  • Tomorrow is the most popular day of the week, Fantasy recap day! Let’s see if my predictions hold up.