Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Don't Sweep

Would you believe that no Boston sports team has won a championship in nearly 8 months? Since the end of last October, the professional sports entries from Beantown are an embarrassing 0-3 in title opportunities. Of course, this includes the heartbreaking runner-up finish out of the boys from Gillette. Fuck you, Houston Dynamo.

But beyond all that, the last time New Englanders got to watch their team celebrate on home courtfieldicepitch? A little year I like to call "1986". As mind-numbingly awesome as 10/27/04 was, imagine the comebacker to Foulke happening at Fenway. So it is with that bit of selfishness that I say to the men in green:

Slow your roll. Yep, I'm hoping the Boston Celtics lose 2 of the next 3 games to the Los Angeles Lakers. This is today's Boston sports fan. Wha' happen?!?

The tricky part, of course, is figuring out which game I'd like to see them win to minimize any heart palpitations that may occur. A Game 3 win would virtually ensure banner seventeen, but I fear the Lakers would then fold their tents like Dan Aykroyd's family in The Great Outdoors. Waiting until Game 5 would give them momentum heading home, but I (meaning we (meaning the team I obviously belong to)) wouldn't want a 2-2 series.

So Game 4 it is. Take the loss tonight. Maybe waste a couple hard fouls on the Kobester and leave him bruised for Thursday. Hell, it shouldn't be too hard. I'm pretty sure Jerry West will be referring tonight's contest. Yeah, I'm totally comfortable with this plan. There will be no Celtic rooting in the Friedman household tonight. You hear me, kid?

In other news, it's been far too long since we've gotten together. The summer days have me nostalgic for post-long day at the west keene shopping center-hijinks. This is clearly mostly my fault, and I do apologize. But if you'd all like to dadnap me for a week of Wiffle, video games, ice cream sandwiches, Beastie Boys, and NAN MORE DIAPERS? T'would be appreciated.

Relatedly, Cameron is almost positively right-handed. There goes my retirement palace.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Great Moments In Denver Sports History

I'm not the biggest Denver sports fan in the world. I have adopted the Rockies as my baseball team and have been following them closely since I moved here over five years ago, but I don't see myself getting that into the Broncos, Avs, or Nuggs. That being said, the last two weeks have been absolutely brutal for fans of the local Denver franchises. Nuggets? Embarassed by the Lakers in four games that were not even close. Avs? Won a playoff series at home, but proceeded to get embarassed by the Red Wings even worse than the Nuggets were by the Lakers. Rockies? Lost their franchise shortstop (who was hitting sub-.200) until at least the all-star break... and they have the worst record in baseball (tied as of this posting). Broncos? The night the Avs got swept by the rival Red Wings it didn't lead the sports news. What did? The announcement that Broncos QB Jay Cutler has Type-1 diabetes. It got me thinking of other headlines local sports fans can probably expect in the next month or so:
Boulder - "Ralphie Set Free By PETA, Killed By Dump Truck"
Colorado Springs - "US To Ramp Up Airstrikes In Iraq, Entire AFA Football Team Deployed"
Denver - "Drunken Elway Falls From Booth At Crush Game, Dies"
Fort Collins - "CSU Accepts Offer To Join Pac-10"
Commerce City - "Lucha Libre Outdraws Rapids At Dick's"

I think that last one actually happened.

Monday, May 5, 2008

KFS Inside Look

This week, we take a peek into the Mile High Mackerel clubhouse just before the start of their Week 6 match-up with the Chicago Tiger Army...

Click on the photo for an enlarged version.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Thanks Red Sox Fans

For giving me yet another reason to be thankful that I'm not one of you.

Monday, April 21, 2008

ECB Time Machine

March 1, 2008

The Speedway Starwipes and Chicago Tiger Army have completed a historic deal in which each team will agree to hang on to the players they should and not really bother so much with the trading and the swapping and the whatnot.

Per the terms of the deal, Speedway will keep Jake Peavy and Magglio Ordonez, who will be very good in 2008 and dump Troy Tulowitzki and Mark Teixiera, who will most likely suck in April.

In exchange, Chicago has agreed to retain Manny Ramirez and Felix Hernandez and not pay any attention to Hunter Pence. He will undoubtedly blow.

Elsewhere around the league, Conor Jackson and Brian Bannister were scouted by nobody during Spring Training action today.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

ECB 2008: Week 2 Recap

Starwipes 343 / Traffic Cones 403.5
Recap: GMs around the league are still waiting for Carlos Pena and Eric Byrnes to revert back to their 2006 selves. Unfortunately for the Speedway Starwipes, that hasn't happened yet. Pena and Byrnes put up a combined 73 points and helped the Cones roll the Wipes. The loss dropped Frieds' squad to 8-10 on the year. Frieds' Wipes are near the bottom of the league in scoring, but he expects the entire roster to pick it up or be cut for 19 year-olds in the coming weeks. As for New Haven, they continue to mash bumping their league-leading hitting average to 269 points-per-week.
Looking Ahead: Coming off his first victory of the season, Ffej is looking to continue his winning ways against Week 1's high-scorers, the Marshall Street Menace. Coming off his first loss of the season, Frieds' is looking to halt his losing ways against the overall high-scorers, the Mile High Mackerel.

Squatters 351.3 / Devil Jays 442.8
Recap: "We refuse/accept to be in last place!" was the chant heard outside the Squats/D-Jays game in Week 2. Baltimore whacked L.A. of A to the tune of a 91.5 point margin and a 7-2 victory. To boot, the D-Jays took home Team O' The Week honors edging the Mackerel by less than 3 points. It was a well-rounded effort from the Devil Jays who were led by Pat Burrell (37 points) and Brian Bannister (53.5). A frightening thought for the rest of the league is that Prince Fielder still has as many home runs in 2008 as Barry Bonds. The Squatters are reeling, having won only 5 games in the first two weeks. They need to get more production out of the likes of Robinson Cano, Magglio Ordonez, and Russell Martin if they are to compete in the coming weeks.
Looking Ahead: Grashow's Jays take their high scorers banner to Woosta this week, where they already have a few of those. What Woosta also has in a struggling Big Papi and a few two-start pitchers who are already on their way to the guillotine. Bob looks for a W in Chicago this week, but Adler will probably be having none of that.

Menace 281.2 / Mackerel 440
Recap: Ouch.
Looking Ahead: I'm not sure about much in life, but I'm pretty sure my boyz-in-teal (and my fantasy managerial prowess) peaked in Week 2 of the season. That being said, and with Joe Borowski already guaranteed negative points in Week 3, I don't like my chances against Frieds. Watts and His Travelling Band of Catchers take on Ffej and His Merry Closers in a Week 3 match up that could prove to be a turning point for both teams.

Tiger Army 363.2 / Pimp Roostas 339.4
Recap: Lance Berkman Lance Berkman Lance Berkman. Lance Berkman, Lance Berkman. Lance Berkman Lance Berkman Lance Berkman Lance Berkman Lance Berkman. Lance Berkman. Lance Berkman, Lance Berkman Lance Berkman Lance Berkman Lance Berkman.
Lance Berkman Lance Berkman.
Looking Ahead: Lance Berkman and the Tiger Army take on the Squatters next week, and I'm sure Adler has absolutely nothing to worry about. In fact, I will 110% guarantee victory! Rich Rice and The Pimps (I want royalties if you choose this for a band name, Mr. Gallup), find themselves a .500 ball club at the moment, but are near the top of the league in total points. They look to start annihilating teams very soon, starting with Baltimore in Week 3.

Monday, April 14, 2008

2008 Awards... after 2 weeks.

League MVP - Jason Isringhausen of the New Haven Traffic Cones

Yeah, a closer. Look at the numbers. This guys is producing amazing stats and has helped Jeff lock up the 2 seed. Could this finally be the year (and sport?) that Jeff breaks through and wins that elusive KFS title?

Draft Steal - Raul Ibanez of the Marshall St Menace

Yep, Mr Irrelevant. Has 3 HR's and 7 RBI's in the last three days. This is the kind of pick that Watts is banking on to turn his franchise around... which is exactly why he now plays for Woosta.

Best Pickup - Evan Longoria of the Baltimore Devil Rays

I've been reading articles and apparently Baltimore's conquest is now assured. Most of these articles are guaranteeing that whoever has Longoria is a lock to win this year. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm not gonna waste my time on a league that somebody has already won. Grashow was so proud of this move that he has done it twice this year.

Draft Bust - Russell Martin of the Speedway Starwipes

Luckily GM Friedman forsaw the amazing levels of suckitude that await the owner of Russell Martin this year and has quickly fixed his mistake by trading him for the privelege of having Scott Kazmir take up one of his DL spots.

Worst Keeper - David Ortiz of the Woosta Pimp Roostas

Hard to understand what GM Rich Gallup was thinking in keeping Big Papi. His Mo Vaughn-esque physique has CLEARLY caught up with him and Rich will be lucky to get any production from this spot.

Rookie of the Year - Geovany Soto of the Woosta Pimp Roostas

How good is Mr. Soto? Well, to this point GM Rich Gallup has had only ONE catcher. Yeah that's right.

Package Series MVP - Evan Longoria of the Baltimore Devil Jays

As I said, I have read many articles and this is what experts are saying. Who am I to argue with experts? E-X-P-E-R-T-S!!!

I'm Going To Hell

From Yahoo:

Apr 14 RHP Joe Borowski's 47 career saves with the Indians ranks seventh on
the club's all-time list, one behind Steve Olin.

... he needs just two more saves to pull a HEAD of Olin.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Somebody Add This Clown: Gary Matthews Jr.

A new column that all are welcome to add to... Basically an attempt to get anyone to bite on a player that your mouse hovers on daily.

As of today Matthews is the third highest scoring available position player behind Christian Guzman and Scott Hairston who aren't as tall as I am when one of them is standing on the other's shoulders (Yahoo says they're both 6-0, that's a load of crap). Matthews is hitting between Chone Figgins and Vlad Guerrero in the Angels lineup which means he should see a lot of RBI and run scoring opportunities. And let us not forget his 'roid enhanced 2006 campaign in which he scored 556 ECB points. Somebody add this clown.

Boy of Summer

I promise not to do this too often but today's a holiday, right?

Monday, April 7, 2008

ECB 2008: Week 1 Recap

Some quick hits about the week that was in ECB...

Squatters 345 / Mackerel 396.7

Recap: Mile High took it's opening series thanks mostly to heroic pitching efforts from Roy Halladay and Ben Sheets on Sunday afternoon. Going into the day, it looked like the Mackerel were in trouble, but the Fish put up 130 points which gave them the second highest score of the week. Mile High was helped by a poor hitting performance by L.A., the only team in the league to finish the week without scoring 200 points.

Looking Ahead: I get to eat crow or rub it in after Week 2 as my Mackerel take their 7-week regular-season win streak against Week 1's highest scoring team, the surprising (at least to me) Marshall St. Menace. Bob moves on to play Baltimore in an early season battle for last place.

Starwipes 375.7 / Tiger Army 368.7

Recap: The Curse Of Mark Teixeira will have to wait a few more weeks to wreak havoc on the Starwipes as they were able to take the opening series from the team with which they caused so much quasi-controversy before the season began. Led by Hitter O' The Week Chase Utley (39 points), the Wipes' hitters were able to carry the load as the pitching staff put up a less-than-impressive 118.2 points. Adler's Army has yet to get going with the sticks as they finished ahead of only L.A. in offensive points.

Looking Ahead: Frieds will look to build on his opening win when his squad takes on Ffej's Traffic Cones. It could turn out to be a slug-fest as Speedway and New Haven finished 1-2 in offensive points in Week 1. Adler will look to turn things around against the team he loves to hate, Woosta.

Traffic Cones 364.2 / Pimp Roostas 383.7

Recap: Ffej's T-Cones kept it just close enough against the Pimp Roostas to hold Rich's squad to a 5-4 victory. The Roostas didn't wow offensively, but got the job done on the bump as they put up the third highest pitching total of the week which more than made up for the 29 points they were outscored offensively. Still, once the struggles of David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez dissipate, this team should have no problems scoring points on the offensive end. Chad Cordero and Erik Bedard having health issues could have been the difference in this series for Ffej, so this 4-5 loss could be chalked up to bad luck depending on how much you like Rich's team.

Looking Ahead: Round 1 of The Battle For Who Loves The Red Sox More takes place in Week 2 as Rich's Roostas take on Adler's Army. An early peek shows that Rich will probably have 4 2-start pitchers against only 2 for Adler... We'll see if quantity wins over quality a week from now. The T-Cones take on Frieds' Baby Wipes in a match-up that's got NASCAR references written all over it for next week's recap.

Devil Jays 347.2 / Menace 404.3

Recap: In the surprise of the week (did I already say that?), Watts' Menace hung an Atlanta area code on Grashow's Devil Jays (DosBot is dead). Looking ahead to Week 2, Jake Peavy peed on Ben Sheets' 56.2 points by dropping 63.5 points of his own and taking home the Pitcher O' The Week award. If Week 1 is any indication, Watts' pitching will be the strongest part of his team. The Devil Jays got the worst of the Week 1 DL bug as they had to put J.J. Putz and Pedro Martinez on the shelf, but they had to be encouraged by the numbers put up by Rick Ankiel, Alex Rios, and Justin Upton (32, 28, and 25 points respectively).

Looking Ahead: As previously stated, Watts and I are going toe-to-toe in Week 2 in the second installment of the Who's The Better Jon Series; Watts has the early lead by taking out Grashow, but Class of '98 has not yet begun to fight. Grashow's squad looks to rebound against the Squatters who also took a tough Week 1 loss against the Mackerel.

You Can't Make Up Names Like This

This little blurb and accompanying photo come to us from Monday's Keene Sentinel - your one-stop shop for over-the-top Blackbird pride, recognizable names in the police report, and the latest in any and all news related to Chinese modes of transportation.

"And I reeead"...

Rich Rice, of Keene, riding in back, gets peddled around town by his son Justin on Saturday as Rich tries out the homemade "rickshaw" he bought from a friend. He hopes to offer rides to pedestrians along Keene's bike path starting soon he said. He won't charge in the beginning but sees it as a potential source of income if there is interest.

Rich Rice
? Driving a Rick-shaw? Come on now.

A. That looks like Chabot circa 1999.
B. Rich Rice plays on the wing for the NHL '95 Bruins, or enters battle royales in WCW-NWO Revenge. He does not pull probable Athens Pizza employees around the Elm City in a damn carriage.
C. What the fuck do I have to do to win a fantasy basketball title?

Wait, what were we talking about?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I Heart Silver Trophies

From ESPN's Fantasy Basketball coverage:

Roy was hurt at the end of the first quarter in Portland's win over Washington. The All-Star guard strained his right groin attempting to block Caron Butler's buzzer-beating attempt. He returned briefly in the second quarter, but he aggravated the injury and soon left for good. Afterward, Blazers coach Nate McMillan told The Oregonian: "That injury could be awhile." The paper pointed out that groin injuries can take a month to heal.

With that, set your coffee safely away from your keyboard, and let me say it: Roy's season might be over.

And thennnn???

As for Turkoglu, he fell on his right wrist during Orlando's loss to San Antonio. As with Roy, Turkoglu's injury occurred at the end of the first quarter, and, after trying to play with it, he left for good early in the second. Turkoglu, a fantasy gem uncovered at the tail end of many drafts this season, will have an MRI on Wednesday.

"I'm crossing my fingers," he told the Orlando Sentinel. "I just fell on it. I hope it's just a sprain. I hope it's not something like it was broken and keeps me away."

There's still a little snow on our lawn. The flowers haven't poked through the ground yet. And the only real baseball game was played in a Japanese egg. Fret not, though. Clearly, spring is here.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Fun With Superlatives

Team most likely to

...repeat as champions: Chicago Tiger Army
There is a much higher degree of difficulty for everyone else this season.

...lead the league in steals: New Haven T-Cones
This team is fast. Not as fast as Michael Johnson (or someone more current), but fast.

...lead the league in saves: New Have T-Cones
Ffej has assembled the usual cast of closers... this time with Papelbon power.

...lead the league in homers: Woosta Pimp Roostas
I like to collect power hitters... Rich does it better and has been doing so for years.

...draft his own son: Speedway Starwipes
Two reasons... first, he's always the first one to the rookies. Secondly, given that he has one he has a distinct advantage.

...have two catchers on MLB All Star teams: Marshall Street Menace
Well, he kept two catchers. He had to get something for that. I drafted one once... just not this year.

...lead the league in CG's (thereby angering Watts): LA Squatters of Anaheim
Webb + Harang + Lackey (when back) = LOCK for this category.

...recieve trade offers from Speedway and Baltimore: Mile High Mackeral
Having Tim Lincecum will do that for you.

...recieve the most production from the MI position: Mile High Mackeral
Last years draft continues to pay dividends.

...challenge Speedway's supremacy for picking up younger players: Baltimore Devil Jays
Longoria, Upton, and Butler form the 2008 all star cast at the beginning of this year. Taking over the place of Alex Gordon.

...have his entire pitching staff begin the season on the DL: Baltimore Devil Jays
Lidge, Ryan, and Smoltz are already there (or will be soon).

...use at least 5 catchers this year: TIE Woosta and Chicago
Rich has very short patience with catchers, and I will begin the season with Bengie Molina (enough said).

...go the entire year without a Red Sox on their roster: TIE Baltimore and Chicago
Amazingly neither of these teams has one on their roster... oh wait, Julio Lugo's available... gotta go.

Monday, March 24, 2008

2008 ECB Draft: A Retrospective

Another ECB draft is in the books and clearly everyone wants to know what JB thinks about it. First of all, I would like to express my extreme regret for my tardiness on Sunday, but god damn, apparently a dude's gotta be ready and chatting at least 25 minutes before the start of the keeper rounds to prove he's still alive, otherwise his cellie runs out of memory from all the texts and voicemail he receives. I've drafted before, boys. I know where the pre-rank button is. And if you must know, I was playing tennis, didn't draft from my own computer, and still had a better draft than Watts. What. Okay, on to the round-up.

The 2008 cast of keepers was a pretty solid group, but as always, some keepers' sole job was to remind their owners not to repeat their bad-to-fuckin'-terrible 2007 draft. We all love to jack with Yahoo!'s ADPs by picking sure-fire keepers like David Wright and Carlos Lee well before they would be taken in an average Yahoo! draft, but some players had no business being drafted in the Top 40. I guess what I'm trying to say is, in my opinion, the 2008 ECB draft was very important for New Haven and Marshall Street.

Watts led off the draft with a surprisingly strong pick in Jake Peavy. I'm too lazy to do the research, but I remember back when Watts' teams were better than average they had formidable pitching. It seemed like he was going to try to re-establish that persona until his third pick came around (Huston Street). Ffej literally had me thinking that someone had fucked up the keeper rounds when he took Brandon Phillips. I'm not sure what his thinking was there, but Phillips wasn't anywhere on my radar for the first few rounds. The rest of the first round went pretty true to form. Sitting in the eighth slot, I wasn't expecting guys like Magglio Ordonez, Manny Ramirez, and Justin Morneau to get to me. I kind of enjoy drafting at the end of the line because a lot of the decisions are made for me by the rest of the league. I was debating on whether I should take Alex Rios or my eventual pick of Nick Markakis. When Grashow took Rios, I got to spend the next three minutes pining over Vernon Wells.

My reasoning for taking Wells? He's usually on Rich's team. Speaking of Colonel Rice, he had a very Pimpy draft. In fact, almost every team in the league seemed to draft guys that fit the persona of their team. Half-crazies like Manny, K-Rod, and Rickie Weeks wound up in Woosta. Young'ns Alex Gordon, Jeff Francoeur, and Matt Cain went to the Wipes. Adler kept things in Chi-town with Paul Konerko, Carlos Zambrano, and Bobby Jenks. Personally, I look at my roster and seen n'an guys that make me think "why did I draft that douchebag?" Can the same be said for Watts when he sees Joakim Soria? I leave that to him.

Some picks I loved...

  • Ryan Garko (Speedway, Round 22) - For some reason I got to see a lot of Garko games last year towards the end of the season. I think with a healthy and productive Hafner in front of him, Garko could put up some big power numbers. A good pick by Frieds as Garko would not have made it back to him in Round 23.
  • J.J. Putz (Baltimore, Round 8) - Had he not finished 2007 on Adler's team, there's a good chance he would have been a keeper somewhere else.
  • Brad Penny (Chicago, Round 17) - This dude carried my pitching staff last year, so I'm not sure why I let him slip this far. I have no problem with him playing in Chicago though, Penny would probably be 8-Ball's favorite player if he knew who Penny was.

... and some I thought were... well... bad.

  • Brian McCann (Keeper, Marshall Street) - I still don't get why Watts needed to keep two catchers. I realize McCann scored only two less points than Melky Cabrera last year, but with only one C-spot to fill, questionable health for all catchers, and Joe Mauer already in tow, I think Watts should have kept a guy like Chris Young (the hitter) and let someone else have McCann. I just think it would have been a more efficient roster move. But that's just me...
  • Chone Figgins (Round 11, New Haven) - I'm never going to like small-ball guys in this league. Never ever. "But JB, your team led ECB in Offense and steals last year, what are you talking about?" Shut up.
  • John Lackey (Round 12, LA of A) - Sorry Bob, but I have a bad feeling that Lackey's going to put up B.J. Ryan-esque numbers this year.

So if no one were to make any moves all year, who do I think would win? Hell if I know, but I'll tell you who I think will join me in the playoffs...

  • Chicago Tiger Army. Adler's hitting his stride with this league and he won the Frieds lottery this year. It'll be tough to screw up that lineup, but it's been done before.
  • Woosta Pimp Roostas. I'd be a fool to think that a team with Pujols, A-Rod, and Papi would miss the playoffs two years in a row.
  • Los Angeles Squatters of Anaheim. I don't think I'm the only owner who would like to see Bob's team make the playoffs. This team was really bad for years and Bob has stuck to his guns and put a lot of work into turning the franchise around.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I Got a Fevah

Actually, I don't. No calling in sick today, folks. I'm legitimately home sans guilty conscience and plan to watch copious amounts of West Wing Season 5. Man, that John Goodman is a fat mess. Oh and also, the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament kicks off today. Between now and MLB Opening Day, late March fucking rules.

I think the last time I got to watch the afternoon tourney action without feigning illness was back in 7th grade, when renowned middle school health teacher Mr. Sweeney wheeled the ol' TV cart into that dungeon classroom and "made" us all watch. That's the kind of teacher I'd want to be. Except I wouldn't want to have to talk about genitalia on the side.

Anyway, it feels like we've been in a buzzer-beater drought for the last few years. We've had enough Cinderellas, I suppose, but I'd rather see all the favorites advance if it meant their games came down to the last shot. This especially holds true in the Denver region, where I expect an interpid blogger to be filing reports. Why Denver? Gus.

In fantasy news, some of the KFSers are back in the deep end of the tournament pool - I believe young Daniel took home the gold in '07. There appear to be a few pitfalls in this year's bracket - the Drake-Butler trap, the "pick-all-the-2-seeds" trap, and the dreaded "pick-American-or-you're not-patriotic" trap. Well I'm not falling for any of those, no sir. I'm sticking with the chalk. And Siena. And St. Mary's. And Washington State. But certainly not Vermont. They can't make free throws.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Keeper Numberology

All of these preview posts (and the impending draft) got me thinking about keepers, so I went back to 2007 and calculated the point totals for last season's keepers:

For those of you who aren't into statistics, the +- entries are the standard deviations. A large standard deviation indicates a lot of variability in the scores. For instance, in the case of BDJ, the score of Chris Carpenter (5) is very different from the average score (506), resulting in the large standard deviation (281). Small standard deviations, like that for MHI (27) indicate that all of the players scores are pretty close to the team average.

The first thing that jumped out at me was that the keepers taken in the first round averaged a score of only 491, by far the lowest of any keeper round. I attributed this to savvy KFS players trying to sabotage the Yahoo! Average Draft Position (ADP) rankings in combination with Chris Carpenters elbow. The overall average score for all keepers was 546 points, which was significantly lower than I would have guessed. Of course, after the scores of 2007 Worst Keeper candidates Chris Carpenter and BJ Ryan were removed, the average scores increased to a more respectable 574. These two ultimate keeper busts were both pitchers, but out of the other pitchers kept (Johan Santana(625), Jake Peavy(717), Brandon Webb(627), and Joe Nathan(548)) only Nathan didn't significantly outpace the average keeper score of 546 (or even the average with outliers removed, 574). I took this to indicate that keeping pitchers tends to be a high risk/high reward proposition.

As we should have expected, the highest team average keeper score went to Woosta (655), but Speedway wasn't too far behind 628). Interestingly, 2007 champions, CTA, were in the lower half of the list (5th place, 558 average), suggesting that the draft, a lucky schedule, and a hot streak around playoff time can more than make up for poor keeper performance. The relatively poor average keeper scores for the other 3 basement dwellers (BDJ, MST, and NHT) can be linked to injuries and/or lack of power hitters. I guess the old saying: "Chicks and KFS dig the longball," seems to hold true.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

3 Hours With the Celtics, the Rockets, and a Baby on My Lap

What, you were expecting a play-on-words headline? Yeah, that particular gene has been temporarily disabled.

I'm gonna do something crazy here to mark the return of the wildly underrated KFS blog. I'm gonna watch a basketball game and comment on it in real time. To my knowledge, this has never been done on the internet. Thinking of calling it "Jogging Journal" or "Now to Now Blogging."


For those of you reading this 5 years from now after clicking on "Archives", printing this out, and sitting on your toilets (which have a much higher flushing capacity and come with Cottonelle Wipes dispensers and a pop-up HDTV), here's a little background for tonight's action:

In a league that has been perennially criticized for featuring the most god-awful slow regular season in sports, the '07-'08 NBA campaign has seen more twists and turns than the Suzuki track on Pole Position (really, I'm doing this once per paragraph. Bite me). More importantly, the number of legitimately great players is at an all-time high and scoring and free-flowing play is on the way back. Now, add in the fact that the C's have a shot to bring glory back to one of the league's cornerstone franchises, and that the Rockets are currently riding a 22-game winning streak, and by golly, people are talking about an NBA game in March.


Well, I already royally f'ed this up, as the game isn't even on CSN (nee Fox Sports New England, nee SportsChannel, nee Prism). I was counting on half my material coming from Tommy Heinsohn. Instead, CSN is handling the pregame show only, before handing it off to TNT. Hopefully, this means some Sir Charles goodness will fill the void.

9:02 - From the studio, Tommy says that the Rockets have benefitted greatly from the resurgence of Dikembe Mutombo. Well, actually he said "Dicumby Matembo" the first 3 times before nailing it. Jameson Whiskey - it's what's for dinner.

9:11 - So, even though they aren't announcing the game, Mike Gorman, Donny Marshall, and Greg Dickerson are at the arena anyway doing some analysis. Of course, it wouldn't make any sense for them to be standing out on the court, so they happen to be back in the bowels of the stadium, standing under a stairwell or something. I'm pretty sure I just saw Mankind hit Golddust with a mophandle in the background.

9:27 - Tommy says goodbye by pretending to quickly scribble on the sheet of paper in front of him, newscaster-style. This guy actually did the play-by-play for road games back in the early 90s with only Bob Cousy to rein him in. This would have been when their away games were on Fox - "And now you've heard the word - FOX25 has got Bill, Bart, and Bird!" Memory is a weird mistress.

9:30 - Channel 764 brings us TNT in lovely high definition. Ernie, Chuck, and The Jet are in the studio.

9:35 - Ernie - "Charles, did you hear what Wolves GM Glen Taylor said about his team today?"
Charles - "We suck?"

9:40 - Kevin Harlan's doing the game! I either like this guy or hate him. Can't wait to remember which.

9:41 - Starting lineup graphics. If a production crew hands you a ball and tells you to ham around a little bit, how do you
not palm the ball and hold it out in front of you? Even the Tim Duncan Robot does it.


9:42 - I love these green and gold uniforms. I do not love Tony Allen starting.

9:42:30 - Somebody stole the tap for Boston, so it's Rockets ball on the side. I'll take a poll when this is over to gauge public opinion, but I'm thinking I won't talk about every play. Pioneerin' ain't easy.

9:43 - Except now Rafer Alston and Rajon Rondo almost come to blows during the first stoppage. It would be so awesome if the two most clever PGs in the league got tossed and I spent the rest of the night sleeping through 178 iso sets.

9:47 - I noticed this during last night's game against the Spurs, too, but James Posey is so awesome on the bench. Every C's basket, he leaps out of his chair, sticks his chest out towards the crowd and nods his head. In a related story, Shane Battier just went through his jab series from the triple threat position.

9:51 - You're not going to believe this, but KG just grabbed two offensive boards and put one back, then ran up the court spewing about 43 varieties of the f-word to himself and anyone else within a 3-mile radius. But yeah, I totally miss Gerald Green.

9:55 - Should I be mentioning commercials?

9:59 - Boston officially means business - PJ Brown is getting 1st Q minutes. Unfortunately, he just got eaten alive by Dicumby, who gives the finger wag of doom and is still making his way upcourt as I type. See, this is exactly the kind of thing that sinks my NCAA brackets every year - now I'm thinking about how much I hate Georgetown and I'll have them going out in Round 2. If Battier plants a foot in Paul Pierce's nuts later, I won't know what to do.

10:07 - T-Mac gathers in a rebound, glides up the floor, effortlessly pulls up for what looks like an automatic three, and then, at that exact moment that awful Gwen Stefani song (nope, not that one. Nope. Ye...wait, no. There you go) gets pumped into the arena and McGrady bricks it. Just desserts, that.

10:09 - We made it to the end of the first quarter, people. This is going splendidly, I think. The inventor of the "live blog" would be proud. And I am. I have no idea what the score is, by the way.

10:13 - OK, now on the floor for the Rockets: Shane Battier, Luther Head, Bobby Jackson, Chuck Hayes, and something called a Mike Harris. Did I mention these guys haven't lost since the middle of January? And of course they're running the Celtics bench plus Pierce off the court right now. These are the times when, as a Celtics fan, you just have to remember that KG, Rondo, et al won't be resting for 20 minutes a game in the playoffs like they are now.

10:18 - Changing the channel for the first time - Syracuse barely beats Robert Morris in the first round of the NIT. Morris is now free to join the Rockets in time for the 4th quarter. Lurking on the other side of Syracuse's "region" is UMass. 1996 called. They want cell phone technology to hurry up and get here so that they can call from anywhere to say that those two teams were really good in 1996.

10:23 - One of Eddie House's tattoos says "E HOUSE", which is totally normal. But why is it written in Ye Olde English font? Is he Eddie House of the Kensington Houses?

10:30 - Mike Harris is apparently miked up for TNT, and they come back from break showing him fumbling the ball out of bounds and saying "my fault". Good to know that kind of thing isn't limited to midnight madness at the Y.

10:33 - If I told you one of the Rockets was hustling just a little too much, grabbing offensive rebounds, tripping over himself, and flopping on every drive, your first reaction should really be, "there's a white guy on the Rockets that comes from a country that loves soccer?" To make matters worse, I just remembered he's in my fantasy lineup this week and looks like the kind of player that the coaches specifically tell to not to shoot the ball under any circumstances. Maybe I won't score 1300 points for once.

10:42 - It's halftime, Cameron is sleeping soundly before 4AM for the first time in his life, and I've got the big couch all to myself. I think I better call this one early. Hey, not bad for our first time out. Baby steps, people.
Hey, there's my pun!

2008 Draft Preview: Speedway Starwipes

The following entry was submitted by Grashow.

Announced Keepers

Chase Utley, Miguel Cabrera, Troy Tulowitzki, Ryan Braun, Matt Holiday


If the list of keepers for the fast-roading celestial towelettes that call themselves the Speedway Starwipes does not send a shiver up your spine, then you need stop reading this right now and go take a look at just about any list of top fantasy baseball players available on the Internet or in any magazine. The only thing that could make this lineup any more fearsome would be to replace only semi-awesome shortstop Troy Tulowhatshisname with one of MLB’s top sluggers. Of course this “top slugger” would have to be someone who consistently finishes at the top of the league in points and is in the prime of his career. Possibly someone who plays at a position that allows him to focus on offense (like first base), possibly playing for a team that he rooted for growing up, possibly in a contract year, possibly with a name that throws opposing pitchers off with complicated sequences of vowels every time they look at his uniform… but where would you find a player like that?

Well, anyway, as if their fearsome five-some wasn’t enough to set them up for the season to come, Speedway also wriggled through the rule book to make a trade that landed them an extra 13th round pick in exchange for their funny name pick (karma be damned!). This team is looking so good that one can’t help but wonder when GM Friedman will feel the need to step in and trade away some of this top talent for some “high upside” replacements.

Draft Outlook

With a rock solid offense virtually assured by their keeper picks, the Starwipes may be in the market for some pitching by the time the 6th round rolls along. Will they be able to avoid the longing looks coming from the puppy-dog eyes of recently discarded All-Star pitcher Jake Peavy long enough to pull the trigger on someone else? My guess is no.
SIXTH ROUND PICK (6): Jake “the K-Snake” Peavy

2008 Draft Preview: Baltimore Devil Jays

Announced Keepers

Johan Santana, Prince Fielder, Grady Sizemore, Adam Dunn, Victor Martinez


GM Grashow, sans basketball, team spent all of his off season on one thing... winning a football title. GM Grashow has now turned is attention towards baseball which could be a scary proposition given his keepers. This is the first year in a while that his expectations will not rely on the state of NH as Chris Carpenter was not invited back in 2008 (at least not as a keeper).

Draft Outlook

There are lots of pitchers for the choosing this year as only 3 pitchers were kept going into 2008. This would seem to set the stage for Baltimore, a franchise known for pitching, to complement Johan Santana with another capable second starter. While this is unlikely to be Baltimore fan favorites Tim Lincecum, Liriano, or Carpenter (not in the 6th round anyway) there will likely another strikeout pitcher on his way to Baltimore soon.
6th Round Pick (7): Erik Bedard

2008 Draft Preview: Los Angeles Squatters of Anaheim

Announced Keepers

David Wright, Alfonso Soriano, Travis Hafner, Jason Bay, Brandon Webb


Bob Colayco is much like Carmen San Diego. Having attended the fantasy football draft while in Germany there is much anticipation to see where Bob will select his baseball team from. There is one thing for certain though... and that is Jason Bay will be wearing the Squatters jersey in 2008. After the unintentional non-keeper debacle of 2007 Bob is taking no chances this year.

Draft Outlook

Bob is one of the most versatile GMs in KFS. He has retooled this franchise from a team with keepers including Bret Boone, Jason Schmidt, and Derek Lowe to one that threatens to make the playoffs rather consistently (and includes Jason Bay). Bob has no aversion to going against conventional KFS wisdom (see pitcher as keeper), and will likely stay his own course.
Round 6 Pick (3): Jake Peavy

2008 Draft Preview: New Haven Traffic Cones

Announced Keepers

Carlos Pena, Brian Roberts, Aramis Ramirez, Carl Crawford, Ichiro


Jeff Stanley has been a busy guy. After guiding his football team the playoffs again he briefly flirted with making the playoffs in basketball too. Returning to baseball, Jeff has renewed hope that he will be able to double his baseball postseasons in 2008. Jeff feels comfortable with his keepers and in fact challenged all other teams to a relay race of keepers. At one point Jeff proposed changing this league to a Track and Field fantasy league. Fortunately this proposal never made it out of subcommittee.

Draft Outlook

If Jeff has one weakness as a baseball owner it is closers, and old players. Fine, if Jeff has two weaknesses as a fantasy baseball owner they are closers and keepers. While this would seem to lead the reader to say this is where Mariano Rivera goes off the board... it is unlikely in round 6 as Jeff hasn't taken a closer in the sixth round since at least 2002 (fun fact). This is not to say that Jeff will not use picks 7-25 to select 19 closers.
Sixth Round Pick (2): Manny Ramirez

2008 Draft Preview: Marshall Street Menace

Announced Keepers

Joe Mauer, Brian McCann, Derek Jeter, CC Sabathia, Carlos Lee


Having grown hungrier over the off season, GM Watterson is looking to turn this franchise around to its glory days... of 2003. While GM Watts made the playoffs in 2005, championships are what they count on on Marshall St., not first round defeats. After being unable to land anyone via trade, GM Watts has turned his attention to the draft. He will examine many prospects as the world, as they say, is his oyster with the first pick.

Draft Outlook

After missing some recent drafts GM Watterson has seemed to renew his focus and is going to lead by example. Figuring if he shows up, maybe his team will do likewise. Having been devastated by injuries to keepers BJ Ryan and Troy Glaus last year, Watts has likely sworn off the Blue Jays (and Canada as a whole). This would mean no Roy Halladay, Vernon Wells, or even Andres Galarraga. Appearing to be set at catcher could also be a smoke screen as Watts targeted the 3 top catchers in the league in 2007's draft.
Sixth Round Pick (1): Russell Martin

Monday, March 17, 2008

2008 Draft Preview: Chicago Tiger Army

Announced Keepers

Ryan Howard, Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran, Hunter Pence, Lance Berkman


Well, it finally happened. After years and years of hard work and several near-misses, Adler finally has some proof that, at least sometimes, he does not suck. So after winning his first-ever championship what does the Tiger Army owner have in store for an encore? How about a controversial pre-draft trade of a pick for a keeper for starters? Adler was able to steal switch-hitting slugger Mark Teixeira from the Speedway Starwipes for a 13th round pick. The addition of Teixeira gives the Tiger Army three of baseball's premier switch-hitters. Rumor has it that Adler is now eying Jimmy Rollins of the Mackerel and Jose Reyes of the Pimp Roostas in hopes of one day putting together an entire roster of switch-hitters.

Draft Outlook

With the core of this once directionless team now securely in the hands of Da Yung Bux (Ryan Howard, Hunter Pence, and Teixeira), Adler can afford to take some chances on draft day. Although he'll be losing a 13th round pick, as one ECB owner pointed out, "I'll probably wind up cutting everyone after my first three picks anyway." True statement. The addition of Teixeira and the legendary draft-prep done in Chicago means that Adler's Army has to be considered one of the top teams again in 2008, with a legitimate shot to make a run at a repeat.
SIXTH ROUND PICK (5): Justin Morneau

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Let's open this up to something that is no longer just a KFS blog. Now we can talk about real sports and get into it with homers like these guys.

New names and slogans are welcomed. It took me all of 2 minutes to come up with the new name.

I'm also going to throw in some back-dated blogs of mine, just for shits.