Friday, March 31, 2006
One word. Carets. Yep, I picked up a new player this morning, went to edit my lineup for Monday, and there they were. Two wonderful carets staring me in the face. Sure, one of them was attached to Oliver Perez, one of many awful early draft picks last season, but even that couldn't put a damper on the excitement. Huddy's getting two starts too, at Dodger Stadium and AT&T Park (I had to look that one up) - two great pitchers parks.
More could follow tomorrow, when Tuesday's starters are usually given The Mark. Those of us who keep track of the wire to make sure our pitching staff is maxed out on games are most definitely smiling this morning, knowing that our season officially begins today.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Yes, we have tossed around ideas about doing an auction, keeping more players, and adding money to the mix. Over the course of the past couple of days, all of that came to fruition and them some in the form of gamedayritual.com. When looking at the trial section of the website, it looks awesome. It's got a great layout, a ton of features, and takes care of the keeper issue by itself. But after reviewing the biblical players' guide, it's a little scary. Like enrolling in a class that is a little over your head, it's hard to keep straight how the league actually works and what it's going to take to be successful. Maybe that's why we're having a hard time filling the league, because it's scaring people away.
In any case, I'm excited to see how it all plays out. I think the extra features, like being able to customize a stadium (distances, wall heights, elevation, etc.) that directly affects how your team performs, add a layer of fun and strategy to the game that will outweigh the initial frustration of not knowing what the hell is going on. So, at least for right now, the Denver Bighorns have taken the spotlight from the Mile High Mackerel.
Monday, March 27, 2006
While I appreciate your notes from yesterday on Craig Hansen...
"He did not allow a run this spring with the Red Sox, but when he gets sent out, the overall feeling is that he needs to either start or pitch in three-inning stints to develop both his fastballs, slider and changeup. In Hansen's case, saves for Pawtucket or Portland are irrelevant. He needs to prepare to pitch in the major leagues, and closing in his case isn't development."...and the shout-out to my current place of residence...
"If Armando Benitez does break down, don't be surprised if the Giants turn to Merkin Valdez -- who's had a great spring -- and Brian Wilson, who shot through the organization last season with his power stuff. Brian Sabean has to like Wilson, as the fireballer is a fellow New Hampshire native out of Londonderry."...I could most likely go on with my day without reading this...
"All the Team USA pitchers -- and pitching coach Marcel Lachemann -- were in awe of Roger Clemens. But one thing they weren't ready for was Clemens taking that Icy Hot that pitchers rub on their shoulders and arms and spreading it over his upper thighs and private parts. "He doesn't want to get comfortable on the mound," says Jake Peavy, who tried the same trick Friday night in Phoenix."If that the kind of substance abuse we're going to be hearing about in this post-steroid era, I'd rather go back to the Bash Brothers. Anyway, if anyone else knows of a pitcher who starts rubbing cream on his ballsack, please let Adler know so he can add him to the stable.
Kenji Johjima (MHI)
Javy Lopez (COL)
Jorge Posada (ROC)
Josh Willingham (MHI)
Derrek Lee (MHI, AUR)
Richie Sexson (ROC)
Mark Teixeira (COL)
Jeff Kent (ROC)
Mark Loretta (MHI)
Brian Roberts (MHI)
Rickie Weeks (COL, AUR)
Garrett Atkins (MHI, COL, ROC)
Hank Blalock (MHI)
Troy Glaus (ROC)
Clint Barmes (COL)
Orlando Cabrera (AUR)
Khalil Greene (AUR)
Miguel Tejada (MHI, AUR)
Omar Vizquel (AUR)
Bobby Abreu (MHI)
Lance Berkman (COL)
Brian Giles (AUR)
Luis Gonzalez (MHI, AUR)
Vladimir Guerrero (MHI)
Manny Ramirez (ROC)
Gary Sheffield (AUR)
Mark Buehrle (COL)
A.J. Burnett (ROC)
Daniel Cabrera (MHI, COL)
Roger Clemens (COL)
Bartolo Colon (MHI)
Felix Hernandez (COL)
Tim Hudson (ROC)
Pedro Martinez (ROC)
Matt Morris (MHI, AUR)
John Patterson (COL)
Mark Prior (AUR)
John Smoltz (MHI, AUR)
Carlos Zambrano (COL)
Brad Lidge (MHI, AUR)
Joe Nathan (MHI, AUR)
Mariano Rivera (MHI)
Obviously I love Garrett Atkins. In the Aurora league put-outs count for points, which is why I have so many seemingly shitty shortstops.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
With a bottle of Grey Goose at my side, I sat down for another fantasy baseball draft, fully prepared to let my drafting policies follow my sobriety. The 2006 version of the annual meeting of NECBL2 owners had all the major surprises one would expect from an honest to god competitive fantasy league, not the least of which was that there were n'an surprises in the first five rounds. Still, I went to sleep last night, woke up this morning, and Adler still drafted Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens. I'll break the draft down in the following sections...
Rounds 1-5: Keepers Kept
For once, the keeper rounds went smoothly. It turns out that Stanley wasn't kidding when he said he was keeping Chone Figgins and I was kidding when I said I was keeping Jonny Gomes. I love how the draft starts and it's hard to keep up with the chat line, then as the final round of the re-draft starts people start to disappear a little bit. I'll admit I was scrambling up until the first pick... but we're not there yet.
Worst Keeper: Chone Figgins (New Haven Traffic Cones)
Riskiest Keeper: Ryan Howard (Baltimore Devil Jays)
Rounds 6-10: Hello... Again...
The rounds following the keeper rounds saw many familiar faces walk across the stage. Some players shook hands with familiar owners, while others are going to try on new team colors in 2006. Carlos Beltran openly wept as he was drafted #1 overall by Steve Adler's Tiger Army, officially ending his chances of ever making the playoffs. Yahoo!'s rankings and draft guesstimates were completely thrown out the window by NECBL2 owners, which I love. Here are some examples of why our league is awesome: Bonds and Sizemore going in Round 6, Jeff Kent going to New Haven, and Watts essentially drafting the same guy twice (Brian Giles & J.D. Drew). Funston be damned, I say!
Weirdest-Looking New Uniform: Hank Blalock (Mile High Mackerel)
Most Obvious Pick: Jeff Kent (New Haven)
Rounds 11-15: Adolescence
Is it just me, or are rounds 11 through 15 a pretty good representation of years 13 through 18 in life? It seems like some of us don't know what we're doing, we wind up making bad decisions, and we try to hang-out with "the cool kids" even though they'll be working at K-Mart in 5 years. What the hell was up with these picks? Round 11, Livan Herandez. Round 12, Cliff Floyd. Round 13, Jeremy Hermida, Jason Giambi, and Randy Winn. Round 14, Trevor Hoffman and Julio Lugo. Round 15, Placido Polanco and Eddie Guardado. And I've already stated that I'm refusing to believe that Adler took Andy Pettitte even though he tried to hide it by taking Jason Varitek 2 seconds later. I'm not saying those were all bad picks, mind you, but I know I hate looking at my cheat sheet and saying to myself "damn, I have to draft Livan Hernandez, don't I? This sucks."
Most Likely To Be Done By May: Tie. Josh Beckett (Chavez Ravine Squatters), Cliff Floyd (New Haven), & Ken Griffey, Jr. (Woosta Pimp Roostas)
Quietest Pick: Mark Prior (Woosta)
Rounds 16-20: The Plot Thickens
Like Adler at a bar at 2am, most owners seem to loosen their standards as to who they are willing to take chances on as the evening progresses. Rookies and old-timers alike were given chances to play in the big show and owners around the league thanked Stanley for only pre-ranking 125 players. There was a good mix of age in almost every round of this group, and I commend owners around the league for making some shrewd picks. There was a rookie or a second-year player drafted in every round as well as veterans with upside such as Roger Clemens, Jim Thome, Armando Benitez, Javy Lopez (who was later cut, for some reason), Torii Hunter, and Pudge Rodriguez.
Pick That Signaled Stanley Was Done: Scott Podsednik (New Haven)
Man-Crush Of The Year: Steve Adler on Lyle Overbay (Chicago Tiger Army Of New York)
Rounds 21-25: I Don't Care Anymore
Rounds 21 through 25 are a lot like rounds 16 through 20, except they're not as good and the last one doesn't count. Frieds drafted a guy who in currently in AAA, Rich drafted Rocco Baldelli, and I hit that Bong... hahahahahahahahahahahah!
Best Chance To Not Get Cut: Freddy Garcia (Marshall St. Menace)
2006 Best Name Pick: Yorman Bazardo, who will probably win the Cy Young this year (Woosta)
Friday, March 24, 2006
In a totally blatant effort to get Chabot and Watts to start contributing,what are your top 5 PJ ditties of all time? And Rich, "That one that goes 'I kicked a baby seal'" is an acceptable choice
1. Low Light
4. Red Mosquito
I've been out of the music scene for quite a while, but that song this morning got me going. Other band discussion is encouraged. Except for Tool.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Case in point, the article written today by two RotoWire columnists in which one of the contributors tells us how much he has devalued Abreu and Tejada. They proceed to go back and forth via e-mail seemingly for days.
First of all, I think almost everyone in the Keene Fantasy Sports family is just as qualified as those tea bags to write for a fantasy sports rag like RotoWire or even Yahoo!, so I usually take what these guys say with a grain of salt. Just a few weeks ago another writer from another website wrote an article in which he valued Abreu higher than Jason Bay.
Still, for some players that I've owned for a long period of time, when amateur writers dig on them, I feel like I have to defend their honor as if I was their agent or publicist. Is this normal behavior around the league? In my opinion, the biggest conflict of interest in KFS leagues is in Woosta where Red Sox-friendly owner Colonel Rice relies heavily on Alex Rodriguez to continue his dominance of fantasy sports. Does the Colonel feel like he needs to defend A-Rod when he is repeatedly called a choke artist or Slappy McBlue-Lips? Or is ignorance bliss?
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
So I got to thinking, once again, that this league needs prizes. This sweatshirt cost 24 bucks, including shipping and the discount coupon that you seem to get every time someone else refers you. If we made that the prize, it would cost everyone 3 bucks and change each. And this is pretty much the most expensive item you could order from the site. If the winner wanted a bumper sticker, I'd pay for it myself.
I'm completely willing to make new graphics for people who win. "I Beat the Squatch" for example, or "Pimpin' Is Easy". I don't know how I'd get everyone's money to order the item, but if you want to put 3 dollars in an envelope and send it to me, that's all it would take.
Anyway, just a very cheap way to potentially add a little fun to the league. Thoughts?
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
- Chicago: Barry Bonds – Bizarro Adler can’t help but jump when presented with the opportunity to draft this steroid infused baseball demolition machine. This slugger has no keeper potential and does not play left field for the Red Sox. Alternate: Jorge Posada.
- Speedway: Pedro Martinez – In true bizarro fashion, Speedway drafts Pedro Martinez; electing to make this the year that they don’t throw their best player from the previous year over to the Woosta squad. Alternates: A-rod, David Ortiz.
- New Haven: Roy Oswalt – In order to gear up for their usual two-start pitcher approach, New Haven starts off their draft with Pedro Martinez light. Alternate: Dontrelle Willis.
- Chavez Ravine: Hideki Matsui – Bizarro Chavez is all about the reliable veterans, and for them it doesn’t get any better than this war tested Native American chief / Japanese Yakyu MVP. Alternate: Jim Edmonds.
- Marshall St.: Jhonny Peralta – Marshall St. goes out on a limb and drafts this generally likeable human spelling error to fill their MI position. With only one season under his belt and his non-pitcher status, he’s just what the doctor ordered. How Bizarre. Alternate: Climt Barnes.
- Baltimore: Ichiro Suzuki – Bizarro Baltimore knows to steer clear of the trash left over from last year’s MHI squad. This year they get the party started with the master of batting average and steals (they are, after all, the 2 most important categories in BNECBL2). Alternate: Juan Pierre (the NL version of Ichiro).
- Mile High: Eric Chavez – Look up the definition of bizarro in the dictionary and it says: “ bizzaro (b -zär o) adj: Eric Chavez not on Woosta. (Syn: Speedway making good trades, NECBL2 draft going smoothly) (Ant: normal, regular)." Alternate: None.
- Woosta: Jeff Bagwell – Cementing their position on the bottom of the NECBL2 ladder, Woosta drafts this 1B who can’t throw overhand. Their reasoning? Bizzaro Rich’s Rawlings baseball glove from little league (the last time Rich actually payed attention to MLB) was the Jeff Bagwell model. Alternate: Jon Dowd.
Of course, that alone doesn't mean anything. What it does mean is that I got to make a wish, and in that wish, I asked for a championship season. And like that? You're all losing.
Monday, March 20, 2006
Then, the team with a frigging tire tread for a logo crushed me in the inaugural Package Series (hey, that name stuck!). Robb Nen single-handedly beat me that week. The extra B is for bring your own ligaments. So then I panicked. I moved the team to a racetrack next to a nudist camp (true story) and ever since, I've been mired in mediocrity. Completely due to bad luck of course, and not horrifically poor trades and otherwise shoddy decision-making. Just look at the hitters I used to have:
- Paul Konerko
- Adam Dunn
- David Ortiz
- Mark Teixeira
- Lance Berkman
- Alex Rodriguez
So while you guys get juiced up for fantasy baseball season, I'll be going for the second leg of the Gallup Slam over in Hoopsville. And remember to draft Barry Bonds in the first round. He's good for .410/47/95. And don't get me started on his VORP...
Pena batted .254 with 19 homers and 51 RBIs last season and struck out 116 times with 20 walks. A 24-year-old right-handed hitter, he could play right
field instead of lefty Trot Nixon when left-handers pitch against Boston.
What Adler sees:
.254 with19 homers and 51 RBIs last season and struck out 116 times with 20walks. A 24-year-old right-handed hitter, he could play right field instead of lefty Trot NixonSteve Adler when left-handers pitch against Boston.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
- Getting "sick" in high school for the first couple of days of the tournament.
- Spending all of the days leading up to that in school pining over brackets at the expense of my education. As fate would have it, I was actually preparing for life in the working world.
- Watching March Madness at Midnight Madness at the Keene YMCA. It was madness, for lack of a better word.
- Burning a UConn pennant after their victory over Duke. It was given to me as a present by a friend of mine who went to UConn.
- Rigging an entire box of aluminum foil to my TV antenna in college so I could more clearly see though the haze of static that blanketed Miami's local CBS affiliate.
- Three words: "One shining momennnnnt..."
I'll admit, I've become less of a basketball fan in general than I was a few years ago. I blame the NBA and it's lenient draft entry policies which I believe thins out talent at the pro and college levels. Still, we all know that there are few things in sports that are as universally addictive as filling out an NCAA bracket and following your picks through at least the first two rounds (depending on how you do). Today, I proud to say that this year, finally, I have become one of the millions of employees across the nation who is blowing my company's money by watching the tournament at work. Ahhh, America.
Wednesday, March 8, 2006
- Chicago: Pedro Martinez – Do we honestly think Adler can resist seeing Pedro staring him in the face and pointing to his own head at the top slot? The answer is yes. But not with alcohol in his system coupled with the fact that Adler will have been swimming in a sea of blue and orange for the weeks leading up to the draft. Alternate: Carlos Beltran
- Speedway: Joe Nathan – Nathan lit it up for Adler last year, and is the best available closer who is not a Yankee. At 32, Nathan might be 15 years too old to don the ‘Wipes uniform. Is this the year Frieds fights the urge to rob the cradle? Alternate: Dontrelle Willis
- New Haven: Mariano Rivera – No doubt. Alternate: None
- Chavez Ravine: Dontrelle Willis – It just fits. Bob went with the youth movement last year and adding Willis would give the Squats a scary one-two punch for years if/when they finally part ways with Alfonso Soriano. Alternate: Carlos Zambrano
- Marshall Street: Roy Oswalt – With no Clemens early in the year, Watts needs another big time pitcher, and J-Dub has never been afraid of drafting nasty, nasty pitchers. Also, Oswalt can not be given the chance to go back to Woosta. This must happen. Alternate: Ichiro
- Baltimore: Carlos Zambrano – Even though Zambrano didn’t play for Mile High at any point last year, Baltimore may be throwing everyone for a loop here. Zambrano, along with Oswalt, was a cornerstone of the Pimp Roostas championship squad. DosBot was not afraid to raid the champs last year, and that won’t change in 2006. Alternate: Roy Oswalt
- Mile High: Bartolo Colon – For the second time in two years, I will likely have to “settle” for Bart and trade him two weeks into the season before his stock really begins to rise. Alternate: Carlos Lee
- Woosta: Carlos Lee – He’s a good hitter, on an up and coming team, and was on Rich’s squad last year. Those are three things in El Caballo’s favor. Alternate: Eric Chavez
Note: I think these are all still accurate. If people didn't go changing their keepers every week...
Tuesday, March 7, 2006
I was never much of a Twins fan, in fact I'm not even sure if I watched any of the 1991 World Series against the Braves. However, Puckett was one of baseball's most personable and likeable players at a time when I was learning a lot about the game from its ambassadors. Players like Puckett, Will Clark, and Ken Griffey, Jr. were, if not role models, men I emulated on my a daily basis on homemade Whiffle Ball fields against the likes of my friends' and cousins' favorites, Gary Sheffield, Wade Boggs, Dan Pasqua, and Kenny Lofton. At 45, Puckett was taken too early, but I feel privleged to have been able to see a player with his enthusiasm and talent play the game. He had his problems off the field after he retired, as I'm sure many players do, and not much can excuse chasing your wife around the house with a circular saw. The last few years of his life were undoubtedly tragic ones, but I will remember him as I knew him: on the field playing hard and getting teammates to follow. If I ever have little ones who are aspiring outfielders, I will most certainly tell them stories about Kirby Puckett.