Fantasy Baseball

April 29, 2010

It’s been a month in the season of baseball and that is generally all the time it takes for fantasy baseball players to freak out about their teams struggles.  I’m here to tell you that if you are one of the few fantasy baseballers that has kept most of the players you drafted even though they have struggled, you’re wise.

Lets take a look at Mark Teixeira’s numbers, for example.

2009: .292 ave, 103 runs, 39 homers, 122 rbi

career (season average): .287 ave, 102 runs, 37 homers, 121 rbi

2010: .133 ave, 10 runs, 2 homers, 9 rbi

What some people might not know about Teixeira is that he has never had even an OK month of April.  Never!  Every year he starts slow, and every year he consistently puts up those numbers.  This is the case for a lot of players.  If you didn’t know that some of your players would start slow, then you shouldn’t be playing fantasy baseball because slumps and slow starts are part of the game.

PICKING YOUR SPOT STARTS, MATCHUPS

This is the best part of fantasy baseball.  If your team is in need of a few strikeouts, a win, and a slightly better ERA, then you have to look at picking up a spot starter.  Just yesterday, my team needed a win, so I picked up San Diego’s Kevin Correia (I guarantee you haven’t heard of him unless you’re a Padres fan).  He pitched 5 innings, gave up 8 hits and 4 runs, which are really bad numbers.  But, he got the win, which is what I needed, and he struck out 4, which boosted my lead in the strike out category.  Plus, I already have WHIP and ERA won, so those 8 hits and 4 runs mean nothing.  That’s how you pick up a spot starter.  Look at the match ups.  Correia was pitching against the Florida Marlins, who’s offense only has two threats in Hanley Ramirez and Jorge Cantu.  Florida’s pitcher was some kid that I had never heard of before.  And every other match up option was up against tougher competition.  So what’s not to like about that?  It’s that basic, just don’t be stupid about it.

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Greatest Time of the Sports Year!

April 4, 2010

This is the greatest time of the year if you are a sports fan.  And I’m not talking about fans that only pay attention to their favorite teams and nobody else, I’m talking about fans of the world of sports.  The Final Four just went down, with Butler shocking every last person except .03% of the ESPN Bracket Challenge players, who probably are the Butler players themselves.  A friend of mine back home has never paid attention to sports in her entire life and a few years back I jokingly asked her to pick the championship game for me and she ended up picking Sienna and Vanderbilt because they had the best names.  I would imagine that same thing happened to somebody who picked Butler and Duke.

It’s the end of the season for both the NHL and the NBA.  Both leagues always have close races, at least towards the bottom of their conferences and it’s always exciting to see what team(s) can pull it out in the end.  I do have to say, though, the best teams in the NBA at this point rarely play hard and always sit their best players, so it’s usually not exciting.  But still, the playoffs are right around the corner and that’s when the NBA players play like they should, which is hard, energetic, and with the intent to dominate.

Finally baseball season is back!  Tonight the Yankees play the Red Sox to mark the beginning of the new season.  To me, this is always the most exciting because I love baseball and I don’t know anybody who doesn’t.  Tonight’s game marks the great rivalry between the Red Sox and Yanks, the rivalry between the Cubs and the Cardinals, the Detroit Tigers and the White Sox and so on.  Get ready, because this is going to be a fun month.

Can the Bulls make the Playoffs?

March 25, 2010

With Derrick Rose back to playing full time minutes and Joakim Noah slowly coming back… the question is, will the Chicago Bulls make the playoffs?  Since Rose has came back (2 games) the Bulls have won easily as he averaged 25 points, 5.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists.  He’s also starting to shoot the three ball a lot more than he usually has.  On the season, he’s averaged one three-point shot every other game.  Over the last two games, he’s taken 13 threes and had made six of them.

And although Joakim Noah is only playing limited minutes for the time being, his impact is still huge for this Bulls team.  It’s clear that the team feeds off of his hustle and his energy.  It seems every time he yells after a dunk his team starts to get hot.  It’s almost like the Bulls’ young team is still filled with young, impressionable kids.  But hey, whatever works, works.  Right?

Currently the Bulls are sitting two games behind the Toronto Raptors and two-and-a-half games behind the Miami Heat and the Charlotte Bobcats.  I think that with Rose and Noah back they should make the playoffs.  They are nothing without the two but when they are on the court and producing, they’re at least a mid-level Eastern Conference playoff team.

Best Sports Commercial

March 18, 2010

Outside of beer commercials I would have to say that sports commercials are the funniest commercials out there.  Not so much the commercials where the NFL will advertise itself, but commercials that revolve around players.  Here are my favorite sports commercials…

My personal favorite is the NBA on ABC/ESPN commercial with Shaq making up words in scrabble.  I can’t really think of anymore right now… but there is a really funny Ron Santo youtube video.

Best Running Back Ever

March 2, 2010

So who really is the greatest running back of all time?  Everybody always discusses Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton, Jim Brown, and Barry Sanders as the top four choices.  But I would like to separate this group.  I don’t think it’s possible to truely say that one of these running backs are better than the other.  I think you have to know what systems they played in, who were their linemen, their quarterback, their tight ends, running backs coach etc.

Lets start with the speed group.  This I think is clearly led by Barry Sanders.  Common knowledge suggests that he was the shiftiest player of all time and he played on terrible teams in Detroit.  Maybe some day current Tennessee Titans star Chris Johnson can catch up to Sanders, but he’s going to have to keep up his stellar play.

CAREER STATS: Barry Sanders – 3062 carries, 15269 yards, 99 touchdowns.

Chris Johnson – 609 carries, 3234 yards, 23 touchdowns.

Next we’ll go with the balanced running backs, such as Walter Payton, Emmitt Smith, and Jim Brown.

CAREER STATS: Walter Payton – 3838 carries, 16726 yards, 110 touchdowns.

Emmitt Smith – 4052 carries, 17162 yards, 153 touchdowns.

Jim Brown – 2359 carries, 12312 yards, 106 touchdowns.

And finally we have the power backs…

CAREER STATS: Earl Campbell – 2187 carries, 9407 yards, 74 touchdowns (only 8 seasons)

Bo Jackson – 515 carries, 2782 yards, 16 touchdowns (only 4 seasons)

Jerome Bettis – 3479 carries, 13662 yards, 91 touchdowns

Personally, I can’t choose who the greatest runner of all time is.  It’s way too hard to pick. But if I had to pick three guys in the different categories I have made, the ones at the top of my lists are the guys I would choose.

Strasburg to the Minors

March 2, 2010

I just read online that the Washington Nationals are much more than likely going to start the number 1 overall prospect, Stephen Strasburg, in the Minor Leagues rather than in the Major Leagues.  From the ESPN.com article, Nationals manager Jim Riggleman wants to be safe with him.

“It’s just more challenging to pitch in Double-A or Triple-A in April than it is in spring training in March. We get a better read,” Riggleman said.  “Spring training is great, but even as opposed to Double-A or Triple-A pitching, it’s just not the same.  When everything counts, records count and statistics count, regular season is just a different animal with a guy to go out there with the adrenaline throwing on both sides and the other team is trying to get you.”

Although I do not classify Riggleman as a top notch manager, I think he’s got the right idea here.  Why should the Nationals, who are damn near a Minor League team in itself, risk this kids confidence?  What is the point in immediately throwing him into the wolves when the Nationals aren’t going to be contending for anything anyways?  Let him go through the ropes like most other prospects have to do and go through the Minors.  The worst that can happen is that he gets hurt, but you’re taking the same risk with that playing him in the big leagues.

And if he tears through Double-A and Triple-A, then go ahead and bring him up.  He’d be coming up with a head of steam and confidence, which is something every young pitcher definitely needs.  No matter how fast Strasburg goes through the Minor League system, he’s going to be walking into a mediocre at best team.  He’s the future of the Nationals, so why not give Riggleman and company the chance to evaluate him in the Minors, because like the manager said, Spring Training is a different world than regular season baseball.

USA Hockey and NBA Trade Talk

February 18, 2010

I was watching the USA hockey team against Sweden yesterday and I honestly couldn’t think of anything better to do than watch hockey in the middle of the day.  So I cracked open a cold one and enjoyed a pretty easy win for team USA.  Granted, I have no idea how good Sweden is supposed to be at hockey.  All I know is that I enjoyed watching the 3-1 win, which seemed like more of a dominant win then the score shows.  I also read an article on the Chicago Sun-Times, where the team members were talking about how important Patrick Kane is to their team.  It’s always nice to hear that the best in the country are not only fans of one of your favorite players, but that they are looking for him to be the visionary leader.  It’s also funny how the team is looking for him to play at a top and he’s only 21 years old.

I was also hovering over a computer all day yesterday waiting for a big trade to happen.  And like every other year, rumors were aplenty, but none of them ever turned out to be completely true.  Tracy McGrady still hasn’t been traded and he may not even get traded.  The Bulls were supposed to make a giant splash, but winded up only trading John Salmons (though the team is still “expected” to trade Tyrus Thomas).  Nobody outside of the Chicago Bulls and the Milwaukee Bucks know who is actually involved in that trade and it happened last night.  It was first reported that the Bulls would receive Kurt Thomas and Fransisco Elson, but not it’s supposedly Hakim Warrick and Joe Alexander.  Bulls fans would most likely be far more excited if the Bulls received the latter two in the trade, having that Warrick and Alexander both have some talent and aren’t over 30 years old.  Kevin Martin of the Sacramento Kings is reportedly traded to the Rockets, but it is unclear whether or not it has anything to do with McGrady being dealt.

Young Blackhawks Like To Party

February 10, 2010

I’m sure some of you have already seen pictures of the Blackhawks players partying it up in the back of a limo, but, it just makes me laugh every time I see it.  Check out these photos.  Aren’t they hilarious?

John Madden looks so damn happy while he flexes his guns with a tall glass of champagne or white wine or whatever manly drink it is.  Then you have Kris Versteeg, looking like what a pimp would look like if he were a hockey player on the side, with those super… stylish… shades…. and tight black shirt.  One of the ladies sitting next to him looks confused… maybe she’s wondering where she can buy Versteeg’s outfit for herself. Next, we move on to the shirtless section of the party where, only the hockey players are shirtless and not the females.  Not a party I would be attending.

Patrick Kane certainly looks happy.  It’s probably the first time he’s ever been able to buy alcohol legally.  Hell, I was ecstatic when I turned 21 too, but this picture doesn’t fit stereotypical pro athlete parties.  The two girls he’s sitting with are bigger than he is!  And probably eight years older!  And they’re not very good looking! He’s got me beat with one thing, though.  I’m not writing this blog with two chicks sitting thigh by thigh with me.  But I don’t represent a professional hockey team.  Nor would I give two shits about where those chicks were sitting.

Brett Favre

February 3, 2010

This post is all about why Brett Favre will make another “triumphant” return to the NFL after, once again, telling the world that he plans on retiring.

First things first, how could you believe him when he says he’s “highly unlikely” to return?  He’s been retired and then came back two times now.  Favre doesn’t live by the NFL’s schedule, he works by his own clock.  He may as well try to do what Roger Clemens tried with the Houston Astros.  Try to negotiate a deal where he only has to play home games and still get paid 500 times the average American’s salary.

Favre loves playing football way too much to retire after, arguably, his best season of his Hall of Fame caliber career.  Do you want to know how much Favre loves football?  All you have to do is look at the injuries he suffered in the middle of the NFC Championship game against the New Orleans Saints.  If he’s willing to play through that type of pain at his age, you know he’ll want to come back for more of the game he loves.

His teammate, and wide out target, Bernard Berrian has the best quote of them all when it comes to Favre’s possible return.  From espn.com: “It’s still early.  Way too early.  Brett is liable to change his mind five, 10 times down the road.”  Aint that the truth.

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February 3, 2010

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