Monthly Archives: April 2009

In 10 Words Or Less – 04/29/09

This week, we’ll look at the things that have gone wrong for each team. Next week, we’ll go positive and look at everything that been going right for teams!

**************************************************************

Red Sox (14-7): Eleven game winning streak stopped with three errors.
Blue Jays (15-8): Litsch, Romero and Janssen depletes thin pitching.
Yankees (11-10): Fifteen of first twenty-one games on the road.
Orioles (9-13): Signed Mark Hendrickson.
Rays (8-14): BJ Upton off to slow start.

Tigers (11-10): Tough to be anything in Detroit nowadays.
White Sox (11-10): Offense has been too sporadic.
Royals (11-10): Offense has been nearly non-existant.
Twins (11-11): Joe Mauer’s absence completely changes the lineup.
Indians (8-14): Bullpen problems addressed, not solved.

Mariners (13-9): Ken Griffey Jr homecoming not going as anticipated.
Rangers (10-10): Same ol’, same ol’ – lots of hitting, no pitching.
Angels (9-11): Pitching injuries and deaths.
Athletics (7-11): Big ticket boppers Giambi and Holliday – 1 HR combined.

Marlins (13-8): Win seven, lose seven.
Phillies (11-9): Hamels and Rollins yet to get going.
Braves (10-11): Brian McCann’t see.
Mets (9-12): Outside Johan, no starting pitching
Nationals (5-15): Bullpen atrocious.

Cardinals (15-7): Khalil Greene trade not working out so well
Reds (11-10): Surprisingly, can’t win at home (4-7)
Brewers (11-10): Can’t play Pittsburgh every game.
Pirates (11-10): Can’t beat Milwaukee.
Cubs (10-10): NL Central won’t be terrible every year.
Astros (9-13): Lance Berkman scuffling to begin season.

Dodgers (14-8): 16 of first 22 games on the road.
Padres (11-10): Slipping after hot start.
Giants (10-10): 17 of first 20 games against weak NL West.
Diamondbacks (9-12): Can’t hit lefties (2-7)
Rockies (8-12): Losing all the close games (0-5 in 1-run games)

Epic Battle Update – 4/28/09

After three weeks, only 13 games separate first place from last place. Which, in fantasy baseball, doesn’t mean anything significant because one week can entirely flip the standings.

week3

Notes: Nathaniel and Kevin continued their strong play with impressive showings in Week 3. Josh made the biggest jump, leapfrogging Andy to move from 7th to 5th with a 10-6-2 week head-to-head against him. Zachary stumbled a bit against the cellar-dwelling Mr. Walters and ruined a potential 1 vs. 2 matchup of Ballance brothers. Kevin, who has finished in last place two of the past three years, and never better than seventh, moved up into second with a strong showing against the commissioner himself, JT.

MLB All-Star Voting

It’s that time of year again. We’re about three weeks into the baseball season, and about three months before the All-Star game in St. Louis, but it’s time to start casting your votes for which players you think have earned a selection to the All-Star game. So make your way over to your favorite team’s website (or MLB’s website) and vote as many times as you’d like!

I like that the All-Star Game determines which team gets home field advantage in the World Series – I’d prefer to have the inter-league record decide it instead, but whatever. What I don’t like is the fact that the fans decide who starts the game, regardless of their performance. Odds are, Alex Rodriguez has more votes than most, if not all of the AL third basemen despite not having played a game in 2009.

vote4yankees

vote4braves

vote4cards

vote4cubs

vote4whitey

Change? Or Chains?

Starting with this week’s In 10 Words Or Less, and now with this post, I’m getting really good at puns and play-on-words!

Chains We Can Believe In

Chains We Can Believe In

In 10 Words Or Less – 04/22/09

Blue Jays (10-5): Does everyone around Roy Halladay get better?
Yankees (8-6): Allowing 11.67 runs per loss. Allowing 2.1 runs per win.
Red Sox (7-6): Some player’s advantage was steroids. Ortiz’s was Manny.
Orioles (7-7): Giving AL the bird: 15-43 against Boston since 2006.
Rays (5-9): Higher ERA’s lead to less media praise for Rays

White Sox (7-6): Team looks old and slow, but still atop division.
Tigers (7-6): “Putting the Grrr back in Tigers” dumbest slogan ever.
Royals (7-6): Horacio Ramirez out, Sidney Ponson next?
Minnesota (7-7): Three of four starters ERA’s north of 5.00
Cleveland (5-9): Carl Pavano pitches gem in Yankee Stadium. For Indians.

Mariners (9-5): Washburn not as washed up as we thought?
Rangers (6-7): Proud moment for Mizzou alum, Kinsler hits for cycle.
Athletics (5-8): A’s not bringing their “A” game. Pun intended.
Angels (5-8): Where’s Mel Clark when you need him? Or Christopher Lloyd?

Marlins (11-3): Most impressive team award between them and Dodgers.
Phillies (6-6): Inauspicious start for defending champs.
Mets (6-7): Sheffield hits 500th.
Braves (6-8): Brian McCann blurry vision easily fixed.
Nationals (3-10): 2-0 with new bullpen arms.

Cubs (8-4): April 22 and Bradley already hurting. Stupid three year deal.
Cardinals (9-5): Carpenter injury will test depth.
Pirates (8-6): God Doumit! Catcher out 6-8 weeks with broken wrist.
Reds (7-6): Sunday Night Baseball postponed, still heard Morgan played for Reds.
Astros (5-9): Party like it’s 1999, Mike Hampton!
Brewers (4-9): No brains, all Braun.

Dodgers (10-4): Manny being Manny. Ethier, Kemp and Hudson being Manny too.
Padres (9-4): Claiming everyone’s designated pitchers.
Diamondbacks (5-8): Oh what an injured Webb they leave.
Rockies (4-8): Wonder if they’ll tire of getting rocked.
Giants (4-8): Everyone’s sleeper, still sleeping.

Previous “In 10 Words Or Less” Posts
April 15, 2009

Epic Battle Update – 4/21/09

For the past four or five years, some buddies and I have partaken in a fantasy baseball league. We take turns commissioning the league and don’t play for anything other than bragging rights. I’ll keep you updated on how the season’s going throughout the year.

Each season we grab a theme and then base the names of our teams off that theme. When it was my year to commission the league, I chose “Movie Trilogies” and each player chose his favorite movie trilogy. We had the likes of Indiana Jones, the Matrix and Back To The Future.

This year, it’s JT’s turn to head the league and his theme is Epic Battle. Not epic battles, but more of a battle of Epic poems. After we explained to TJ what exactly an epic was (hint, not Gettysburg) we drafted players and started letting them rack up the stats.

We play head-to-head, meaning that two teams are matched up over the course of a week and compete in 18 stat categories – R, H, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI, SB, BB, AVG for hitting and IP, W, L, CG, SV, BB, K, HLD and ERA for pitching. You get a win for each category you win, a loss for each one you lose and all the rest result in ties.

Here are the team names for each manager. For simplicity’s sake, I’ll just use the manager when posting the standings

Beowulf – Nathaniel B.
Gilgamesh – Zachary B.
The Divine Comedy – Kevin B.
Paradise Lost – TJ
HectorBreakerOfBats – JT
Soggy Bottom Boys – Andy B.
The Argonauts – Josh P.
Achilles the Brave – Mr. Walters

week2

Notes: Nathaniel and Kevin followed up their poor Week 1 showings with solid Week 2’s and shot up the standings. The Ballance Boys have come out with their guns blazing, and have raced to the top two spots with a combined record of 39-22-11 and the top four spots are occupied by people who have lived in Lexington Woods at one point.

Intelligence in the Miss USA Pageant

Guilty. While watching beautiful women parading around in elegant dresses and two-piece bathing suits is certainly an activity I was on board with, I also happen to value intelligence in a woman, and for the most part, beauty pageant contestants are stereotyped as dumb.

However, after the Miss USA pageant the other day, I guess there’s still hope after all. Miss California, Carrie Prejean fielded a question from judge Perez Hilton (why this joke is a legitimate public figure, I can’t begin to fathom) about her opinion on gay marriage.

I guess Perez Hilton assumed that Ms. Prejean, representing the liberal nuthouse that is California would give gay marriage some more positive attention from a woman in a bikini.

Prejean however, stuck to her guns and gave an intelligent answer.

“In my country, and in my family, I think that a marriage should be between a man and a woman.”

And even after her answer cost Prejean the pageant crown, as she was rewarded first runner-up instead, and Perez Hilton called her a “stupid bitch” – she still didn’t care.

“I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I stated an opinion that was true to myself, and that’s all I can do. I was raised in a way that you can never compromise your beliefs and your opinions for anything.”

Attagirl.

I’m in the same field as Prejean – both of us constantly take grief for our beliefs from people that say we’re not accepting. But these exact same people are completely intolerant of the way we think and the way we were raised.

It’s hypocritical and makes it that much harder to take anything they say seriously. They discriminate against people whose beliefs don’t line up with their own, and then ask those very same people not to discriminate against different choices and lifestyles.

Many times, people cave to the ridiculous pandering from these types of people. But other times, it’s refreshing to see people like Carrie Prejean who don’t give them the satisfaction. They know what’s right and what they believe in and stand by it regardless of the crap that’s thrown at them.

Attagirl, Carrie. Attagirl.

Today’s Idiot: Washington Nationals Tailor

Not only are the Nationals a Major League worst 1-10 through the first two weeks of the season, they can’t even spell their own name right on their jerseys.

Zimmerman & Dunn

Now you may think, like I did, that this is an instance where a letter gets hidden by the jersey overlap. When I played ball as a kid, I remember being on the Dodgers and folding my jersey just right so that it read “Dogs”. But this picture of Adam Dunn confirms that the “O” is indeed missing.

Adam Dunn

How does this happen to any team, let alone a professional ballclub? Oh well, I guess it’s fitting that it happened to the Natinals.

2009 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (AAA)

With the Major League club pretty much alternating blowout losses with good-to-great pitching performances, the Yankees AAA affiliate, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees are off to an 11-0 start.

The Triple-A Yanks are hitting the cover off the ball, putting up a team line of .320/.394/.510 through the first two weeks of the season. They’re at least 40 points ahead of the second best team in all three categories and have scored 86 runs in 11 games – 30 more than the next best squad.

Juan Miranda’s hitting .375 with 3 homers and 15 RBIs. Shelley Duncan is at .351-4-13. The guy Cody Ransom beat out for the third-base duties? He’s batting .356/.412/.578 with a pair of homers and 11 RBIs. Former #1 prospect Eric Duncan is hitting .364. Current #1 prospect Austin Jackson is hitting .480 although he’s sat out the past couple of games after getting drilled in the arm by a pitch.

In addition to all the offense, the pitching has also been outstanding. The SWB hurlers have put together a staff ERA of 2.88 with a 1.17 WHIP. In four combined starts, once-touted youngsters Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes are 3-0 and have allowed 5 runs in 23.2 innings, allowing 20 hits while walking 4 and striking out 28. Those are very encouraging numbers, especially considering Chien Ming Wang’s recent struggles.

The bullpen has also been impressive, most notably Mark Melancon. All he’s done this season is toss nine scoreless innings, allowing two hits to go with three walks and 15 strikeouts. David Robertson, so impressive that he earned a brief, one day call-up has numbers better even than Melancon on the young season.

In 6.1 innings, he has allowed two hits, walked one and punched out 11. Command has been Robertson’s problem all throughout the minors, so these numbers are encouraging. Given the duds turned in by the likes of Edwar Ramirez, Jose Veras and Damaso Marte, Robertson and Melancon could soon be mainstays in the New York bullpen.

Everybody on this team is firing on all cylinders, and there are a lot of pieces here that will undoubtedly help the Yankees this season. Melancon and Robertson (pictured below) will probably make the most immediate impact and Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy may still yet provide big innings for the Yanks. The position players are less flashy, but Angel Berroa could replace Cody Ransom if Ransom’s struggles persist. Outfielders John Rodriguez or Shelley Duncan could help provide depth if Nady is out for the season and Hideki Matsui’s knees won’t allow him to get regular at bats.

Melancon & Robertson

In 10 Words Or Less – 04/15/09

Back by popular demand, I’m bringing back the In 10 Words Or Less series. It’s pretty self-explanatory – I’ll go through each team in Major League Baseball and grant them 10 words (or less) about how they’re playing, what’s been happening or anything I think is clever.

*************************************************************

Orioles (6-2): Most underrated outfield in baseball
Blue Jays (6-3): Young pitchers must deliver all season – so far so good
Yankees (4-4): Nick Swisher wins games of Connect Four in three moves
Tampa Bay (4-4): BJ Upton best athlete in baseball?
Boston (2-5): Youkilis hitting over .500 – rest of team hitting under .200

Royals (5-3): Could win every Grienke/Meche start, lose every Ponson/Ramirez
White Sox (4-3): Back-to-back 300th homers neat feat
Tigers (4-4): RIP Mark Fidrych
Twins (4-5): Missing Joe Mauer’s presence in the lineup
Indians (1-7): What else did you expect from Carl Pavano?

Mariners (6-2): Steve Phillips should have pick them this year
Angels (3-4): RIP Nick Adenhart
Athletics (3-4): Giambi had fun in New York, but belongs in Oakland.
Rangers (3-5): Lead league in runs per game, runs allowed per game.

Marlins (6-1): Pitching staff reminiscent of 2003 title team
Braves (5-2): Pitching investments paying off
Phillies (4-3): RIP Harry Kalas
Mets (3-4): Christen new stadium with loss. Appropriate result for sponsor (Citi)
Nationals (0-7): Obama administration not only clueless team in Washington

Cardinals (6-3): Bullpen still appears shaky
Cubs (5-2): Kevin Gregg trade still perplexing
Reds (4-3): Nine straight losing seasons
Pirates (4-3): Sixteen straight losing seasons
Brewers (2-6): Told you losing Sheets & Sabathia would hurt, Mikaela
Astros (1-6): Scored in one of last 28 innings. Possible problem

Padres (6-2): Friars hoping for Lazarus-type revival
Dodgers (5-3): All’s good in LA. Happy Manny, hitting Hudson, Western Sportscenter
Rockies (3-4): Dexter Fowler turning heads
Diamondbacks (3-5): Hard to win when opponent gets 4 outs
Giants (2-5): Lincecum struggles worrisome