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Sunday, October 10, 2010

2010 Fantasy Season Review

2010 Season

Head to Head fantasy baseball is a cruel mistress. A cruel, brutal, thankless, loveless mistress that gently tongues your balls one minute and then mercilessly fist-fucks your asshole the next.
One minute, fantasy baseball looks like her
and the next,
it looks like her.

One minute, you have the best record in the league - then some lesser team gets hot and kicks your ass all over the place.
One minute, you think you've won your playoff matchup on the tiebreaker - then you find out there's a new tiebreaker and you've actually lost.
One minute, you're riding into the playoffs as the comfortable #3 seed - then you're putting up a .541 OPS and a 4.33 ERA and the #6 seed is bashing your skull to mush in an 11-1 rout that ends your season.

It's cruel and unforgiving. And yet we love it.

And so... another season has come and gone and another Danishevsky brother finished the regular season in dead last. After the brothers D both reached the finals in '08, they've gone on to finish the last two regular seasons 8th/10th and 8th/10th. On a positive note, they both managed to avoid drafting Barry Zito this year, so maybe that's an improvement.
There's an expression: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. But what if it's really broken?

We saw another classic Jon Fusco Cinderella run from the #7th seed heading to the final week of the regular season all the way into the semifinals. Perhaps even more impressive, Jon kept alive another streak: 9 years in this league and has still never made a single trade.

We saw Jordan's "Sexwithasianwives" squad continue to win week after week despite mediocre cumulative totals - until he ran into a brick wall in the first round of the playoffs and set the season record for lowest OPS in a week (.541).

We saw Frank's "Too Big To Fail" team struggle with injuries and lack of production from almost everybody besides Cano, yet he became the team nobody wanted to face at the end, going 44-14-2 over the last 5 weeks to get himself out of the basement.

Godsill's League Champion "Sophomore Slumps" team won only once in their first 6 weeks and was under .500 until the LAST WEEK of the regular season. Amazing.

I finished the regular season with a 16 game lead on 2nd place but without Hamilton and Prado, my team was no match for Godsill's squad who got hot at the right time.
Consider this amazing production:
Troy Tulowitzki hit 6 homers with 17 RBI and 9 runs in SIX GAMES!
Shin Soo Choo had his first career 3 homer game, knocked in 11 runs and stole 2 bases!
Adam Jones - who would finish the year with a .760 OPS - almost doubles that, posting an OPS over 1.300!
Jonathan Sanchez made only 2 starts all season in which he didn't walk a batter. This week was one of them as he struck out 12 (TWELVE) dodgers in 7 scoreless innings!
Scherzer, Gallardo and Cueto each posted K/BB ratios over 5.49. For the season, none of their K/BB ratios were above 2.70.

There was no stopping him as he took down the #1 and #2 seeds in the playoffs, giving himself the championship that his beloved, overpaid, overhyped, shitfuck Yankee team could not and finally justifying all the hours of hard work and effort he puts into styling the hair of his Yahoo avatar.

Best Pick:

Carlos Gonzalez - 125th Overall - 4th Time's A Charm
After Of's like McLouth, Damon, Beltran, Kubel, Span and Drew, Joshwhite nabbed Yahoo's #1 overall player with the 125th overall pick in the draft. Pretty impressive value, but hey, sometimes you just have to grab McLouth and Span.

Honorable Mention:

David Price - 199th Overall - SexWithAsianWives
Jordan got the 9th ranked SP in the 20th round of the draft. Huge value. Other SP's drafted before Price include: Jeff Niemann, Zambrano, Wolf, Kazmir and Brandon Webb. WEBB! Just a great pick for Jordan which makes it really stand out from the rest of his draft. Which was bad. And included guys like AJ Burnett.

Other Great Selections:

Paul Konerko - 236th overall - 4th Time's A Charm - Another great pick for Joshwhite netted him the 12th overall player in the 23rd round. And after notable fantasy all-stars like Joel Piniero, George Sherrill, Nick Johnson, Takeshi Saito and Russell Branyan.

Vlad Guerrero - 128th overall - Don't Pull - Vlad ended the season ranked 26th overall and was easily the highest ranked offensive player on Jon's team. Where would his struggling offense have been without Vlad?

Alex Rios - 141st overall - Olympdicks - Mike got a huge bounce back year from Rios, who ended the season ranked 27th, providing power and speed to a team lacking in both.

Corey Hart - 209th overall - Sophomore Slumps - Hart was off most people's radar coming into 2010 and rightly so, but Godsill saw something he liked (possibly just white skin) and nabbed the #32 ranked player after the likes of Branyan, Garrett Jones, Matsui, Sean Rodriguez, Hawpe and even Mark DeRosa were taken.

Clay Buchholz - 203rd Overall - Really A Big Papi
I give him a lot of crap - much of it deservedly so - but this was a great pick for Steve as Buchholz ended the year #52 overall.

Worst Pick:

Ellsbury-Markakis-Abreu-Span - 28, 68, 73, 108th overall - Don't Pull
Hard to pick just one bad pick this year so I went with a position. More balls made solid contact with Jon's chin this year than with the bats of these four players. With these 4 picks, Jon insured himself an OF with less Power than Joshwhite and Godsill have combined in their marriages. When drafted, the best he could have hoped for was 50-55 homers out of these four. He'd get 35 and replace 2 of them. He should have replaced 3.

Honorable Mentions:

Damon - 95th overall - Too Big To Fail
You think everybody knew to avoid Damon, whose production was sure to take a huge dive with age and a full season away from homer-friendly Yankee stadium. Almost everybody did. But Frank still took the bait and while the 10th round is late, he left a lot of far more productive players on the board to grab an old OF who would finish the season ranked as the 63rd OF, 234th overall, behind such notable ball-blasters like Will Venable, Cody Ross and Hideki Matsui. By June 10th, Frank realized his mistake and cut Damon loose.

Michael Cuddyer - 59th overall - SexWithAsianWives
While Price was a great pick, Cuddyer was not. Coming off a surprising 32 homers season, Jordan jumped all over Cuddyer - like Joshwhite on a great mouthwash sale - treating him like the offensive keystone that Cuddyer simply was not. Immediately mocked for his choice (and hair style and personality), Jordan endured a "return to earth" season from Cuddyer that saw him hit only 14 homers.

Peavey/Berkman - 70th and 71st overall - Tickle Me Krusty
I remember taking Peavey because "I didn't like Ubaldo's K/BB ratio." Just a bad pick. I'd never owned Peavy and I thought he would be huge in Chicago. He was not. I then compounded that folly by flat out ignoring age and trends in selecting Berkman. I could have had Ubaldo and Ethier/Cruz. These picks were a bigger waste than Joshwhite's honeymoon suite.

Grady Sizemore - 25th overall - 4th Times A Charm
The first three rounds are about guaranteed production. Nothing about Sizemore in 2010 said "guarantee." He was coming off of an injury plagued down season and his status at draft time was encouraging but not definite. Maybe Joshwhite is just one of "Grady's Ladies." Maybe I'm just upset that he made us draft him in another league where we co-manage a team and drafting Sizemore singlehandedly kept us out of first place. But more likely, joshwhite should have taken a more reliable player with this pick like Votto, Zimmerman or Cano. Sure, Grady got hurt, but before that, he put up a .560 OPS - an OPS so low, it would actually lose to Steve and Jon's teams most weeks.

Best Free Agent Addition

Jose Bautista
- Give Me My Freedom - May 8th
Who saw 54 homers coming? Nobody. But Dave was the first believer in the league and he cashed in, getting 48 Bautista homers on his roster and enjoying the 9th overall ranked player for almost 5 full months.

Other top additions:

Adrian Beltre - 19th Overall - Sophomore Slumps - Maybe SafeCo Field really did kill Beltre's production...

Mat Latos - 31st Overall - Give Me My Freedom - Dave had the hot hand on the FA Wire this season. He ended up owning the highest ranked hitter (Bautista) and pitcher who were NOT drafted. That's impressive.

Chris Young - 40th Overall - Tickle Me Krusty - I'd never been a big fan of his, but someone had to take over for Berkman and Garrett Jones.

Aubrey Huff - 42d Overall - Really a Big Papi - Great addition for Steve's power-starved squad. Huff ended up hitting the third most homers of anybody on Steve's team. A great FA find for Steve and the Giants.

Trevor Cahill/Delmon Young - 46th, 51st Overall - Too Big To Fail - Not a lot went right for Frank's team this year (i.e. the drafting of Fielder, Rollins, Lind, Bay, Aramis Ramirez, Lackey, Beckham, Stephen Drew and Trevor Hoffman - a veritable who's who of disappointing players). But Young, another player universally given up on, provided a glimmer of hope as Frank saw possibility, grabbed him and enjoyed the career breakout everybody had been waiting for. And Cahill (the second highest ranked undrafted SP) took a huge step forward for a young Oakland team and helped settle Frank's pitching staff for a second half run.

Worst Player Drop:

David Ortiz - The Olympdicks - May 27th
Having acquired Jason Bay in a trade, The Olympdicks cut Ortiz. Perhaps Olympdicks had simply stopped paying attention to Big Papi after his second consecutive slow April, during which Ortiz posted a less than stellar .548 OPS. But surely, Olympdicks had to notice what Ortiz was doing in May. At the time Mike dropped him, Ortiz had already hit 9 homers and knocked in 24 runs since April dropped off the calendar. He was on his way to 32 homers and 102 RBI - numbers eclipsed by only 9 other players.
Meanwhile, Olympdicks spent the rest of the season cycling players like Ian Stewart, Jay Bruce, Beltran, and Colby Rasmus into and out of his Utility spot.

Honorable Mention:

Casey McGehee - Sophomore Slumps - April 4th
It could have been a story about a great draft pick, but instead, Godsill dropped his 24th round selection too soon (in fact, McGehee was the first player Godsill dropped), and Jon's Don't Pull team reaped the benefits as McGehee went on to post his first 100RBI season. But don't feel too bad for Godsill, he dropped McGehee for Matt Capps, who we all know sucks, but still somehow nailed down 40 saves and picked up a key vulture win during the finals to lead Godsill to victory.

* I couldn't find anything to say about Chris Fusco's Dustin Clay Off Papi squad. It featured no particularly great picks and no particularly bad picks. His best FA addition was Vernon Wells just before the season started. He didn't drop anybody foolishly either. While I feel a little bad about this, I take comfort in knowing that he couldn't care less what I think about anything and probably doesn't read this in first place.

Most Dominant Pitching Category Performances:
Tickle Me Krusty - K's: 18-6
4th Times A Charm - K/BB: 18-6
SexWithAsianWives - Wins: 17-5-2
Tickle Me Krusty - K/BB: 17-7
Don't Pull - Saves: 15-6-4

Worst Pitching Category Performances
Olympdicks - Saves: 2-19-3
Dustin Clay Off Papi - K: 3-19-1
Really a Big Papi - K/BB: 7-17
Dustin Clay Off Papi -Saves: 6-14-4
Olympdicks - WHIP: 9-15

Saves are a category that really divided teams. You either got them or you didn't.

Most Dominant Hitting Category Performances
GiveMeMyFreedom - SB: 16-5-3
Tickle Me Krusty - Runs: 15-7-2
Really a Big Papi - SB: 15-7-2
Tickle Me Krusty - OPS: 16-8
Olympdicks - SB: 14-6-4
Sophomore Slumps - Runs: 15-8-2
Dustin Clay off Papi - HR: 14-7-3

Dustin Clay Off Papi was only over .500 in two offensive stats: Homers and OPS. Nothing else. Kind of strange. Steve had 35 more steals than Dave, but still posted the second best record in the category.

Worst Offensive Category Performances

Really a Big Papi - RBI: 7-17
Too Big To Fail - Hits: 8-16
Don't Pull - SB: 6-15-4
Too Big To Fail - SB: 6-14-4
Don't Pull - Runs: 9-16

Surprising to see a playoff team show up twice here. But less surprising considering his outfield.
Really a Big Papi finished the season with the fewest RBI in the league - 122 fewer than the team ahead of him (Olympdicks) and 247 fewer than the league leader (Sophomore Slumps).

Some Random Shit

Best Single Season Winning Percentage - All Time
1. Dave: .646 - 2006
2. Parsons: .636 - 2006
3. Godsill: .623 - 2009
4. Parsons: .610 - 2010
5. Parsons: .608 - 2009

- For the second consecutive season, Steve (Really a Big Papi) was dead last in the league in total HR, RBI and OPS. He also had the worst K/BB ratio and the second worst ERA. Impressive all around futility.

- Steve lost his first 6 matchups and 9 of his first 10. Frank won his third matchup and then didn't win again until early July, suffering through an amazing ten week losing streak.

- The longest winning streak belonged to my Tickle Me Krusty squad that won 7 weeks in a row.

- The best records against any single opponent were:
Tickle Me Krusty vs Olympdicks: 26-7
SexwithAsianWives vs. Sophomore Slumps: 26-9

- Dave Gass, Frank Chang and Chris Fusco have been in the league all 7 years we've played Head-to-Head and none of them has reached a final. Even Steve and Jon have each been there twice.

- Another #4 seed won the championship. That's three #4 seeds in 7 years. The most of any seed. Still only a single #1 seed has won it all, and only three #1 seeds have even made the final.

- Another year of bad luck for Dave (Give Me My Freedom). Last year, he missed the playoffs because someone missed the innings minimum and gave Jon's team an easy win in the last week. This year, Dave made the playoffs, but was bounced because Yahoo changed the tie-breaker. If the tie-breaker from 2004-2009 (ERA) was in place, Dave advances and Godsill is out in the first round. Dave is starting to resemble the Minnesota Twins of fantasy baseball. Always in contention, but just can't seem to get over the hump.

- Amazingly, it was this same new tie-breaker rule that allowed Godsill to win the final against Joshwhite, when once again, the previous tie-breaker rule would have gone against him.

For 2011

I would like to discuss the following changes:

1. Going with a weekly format instead of daily OR instituting an innings MAX as well as MIN. Starting 10 different pitchers in a week isn't exactly simulating a real baseball team.

2. I'd like to make the consolation bracket mean something. So in 2011, how about those 4 teams play for the #1 pick. So if you win the consolation bracket, you pick #1 the following year. Maybe they play for $25? Or we can just leave it how it is.

3. How can we make this league more trade friendly? Why don't people trade more?

4. Frank Chang will be leaving us for the greener pastures of a yahoo keeper league. He will likely be replaced by Adam Gittes - whom most of you know. Like Frank, Adam and I went to high school together and Adam was a member of the very first fantasy league Jon and I played in. A league in which we finished 3rd, but will forever be remembered for this statement: "You gotta take McGwire." (If anybody is curious, McGwire finished that year - 2002 - as a pinch hitter, with a BA under .200.)

We say goodbye to Frank Chang and we remember that in 7 years of Head-to-Head he never won a single playoff matchup and we wonder what the action on the waiver wire will be like without him.

The 2011 Draft Order Will Be:

1. Steve Danishevsky (Really A Big Papi)
2. Adam Gittes
3. Mike Danishevsky (Olympdicks)
4. Chris Fusco (Dustin Clay Off Papi)
5. Jordan Beldner (SexWithAsianWives)
6. Dave Gass (Give Me My Freedom)
7. Jon Fusco (Don't Pull)
8. Chris Parsons (Tickle Me Krusty)
9. Joshwhite (4th Time's A Charm)
10. Dan Godsill (Sophomore Slumps)

Enjoy your offseasons.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

2009 Fantasy Season in Review

Fantasy Baseball 2009: Where Idiots Found Glory (and Shame)

To quote Principal Seymour Skinner, "It is with a great sense of everything is now back to normal..." Last year was a mirage. It was a blip. An outlier. The Danishevsky brothers - genetically engineered to finish last in fantasy leagues - both reached the finals. But in 2009, order was restored, and they were back at the bottom.

And so begins the least read blog post in the modern world. Fewer people will read this (9) than find Sarah Jessica Parker attractive (1?). Enjoy and feel free to argue with me in the comments. Or simply stop talking to me.

Best Draft Pick:

Mark Reynolds by Backdoor Sliders: 208th overall, after Blalock, Lowell, Gordon, Cantu, Devine, Motte. Reynolds ended the year ranked 20th overall, with 44 homers and 20 steals. Reynolds was the 20th third baseman drafted and ended the year the 2nd most valuable. That's pretty good value for Godsill's Sliders.

2nd Best Pick:
Aaron Hill by Hamburger Earmuffs: 254th overall, after other MI's like Khalil Greene, Iwamura, Weeks, Orlando Hudson and Kelly Johnson. Hill went on to hit 36 homers with 108 RBI and 103 runs and finish ranked 26th overall. Not bad for a last round pick. If Joshwhite wasn't so annoying, this might be #1.

Honorable Mentions:

Zack Greinke by DonkeyPunchers: 117th overall. Jordan nabbed the #2 ranked player after a run of second tier closers like Kerry Wood, BJ Ryan and Bobby Jenks.

Justin Upton by Rayswillrepeat: 176th overall, after Nady, Chris Young, Lastings Milledge. Upton went 26-20 and finished the year ranked 47th overall.

To me, what constitutes the worst pick isn't a guy who gets hurt, because that's just bad luck. So you won't see Webb, Reyes, Beltran or any other Mets here. The worst pick is a pick that looked bad on draft day and looks even worse at the end of the year. Unfortunately for me the pick that best fits that description was made by me. I knew it immediately. In fact, I still don't quite know why I picked him. But I did and he did nothing for me or the Rays all year.

Worst Pick of the Draft

BJ Upton by Naggers: 32nd overall, before Youkilis, Crawford, Kemp, Halladay. Upton went on to steal 42 bases, but post a .686 OPS and hit basically the same number of homers he hit against the Red Sox in the '08 ALCS. Rarely producing and always complaining, Upton was even benched a few times, just for being terrible. I didn't want him when I drafted him and I don't want him now. He ended up ranked 165th overall. Not great value at #32.

Coincidentally, this is my 2nd straight year having the worst pick in the draft. Nice little streak to get going.

Also Bad Picks:

  • Alexei Ramirez by Backdoor Sliders: 33rd overall, before Crawford, Youkilis, Kemp, Halladay. Clearly, Godsill was distracted by my stupidity.

  • Pena, Uggla, Ludwick by DonkeyPunchers: 37th, 43rd, 57th overall, all before Dunn, Haren, Brian Roberts, Cliff Lee. DonkeyPunchers was a bad team. Some of that blame can fall on David Wright and his 10 homers, but most of it falls on this series of picks in the 4th, 5th and 6th rounds. And his subsequent selections Chris Davis, AJ Burnett and Vernon Wells.

  • Papelbon by Big Papi: 50th overall. Next closer was taken 64th, then steve takes another one 70th. That’s pretty clear proof that he took one too early. And hey, the best way to fix that problem is to exacerbate it.
Best Free Agent addition:

Adam Lind – Hamburger Earmuffs
Picked up on April 6th , Lind ended the season as the 26th overall player with a final line of .305, 35 homers, 115 RBI

2nd Best:
Andrew Bailey – Penny for your Smoltz
Picked up on April 19th, Bailed became one of the most dominant relievers in baseball, ending they season ranked 17th in Yahoo with 91 K’s, 28 saves, a WHIP under 1 and a K/BB approaching 4. Who saw that coming?

Honorable Mentions:

  • DonkeyPunchers: Ben Zobrist – May 18th
  • BigPapi: Jason Bartlett - May 3rd
  • Mountain Oysters: Huston Street - April 30th
  • You Guys Should Kiss: Garrett Jones – August 16th
  • Backdoor Sliders: Wandy Rodriguez – April 6th
  • Gay Boys: Shin-Soo Choo – May 14th
  • RaysWillRepeat: Michael Cuddyer – May 22nd
  • Naggers: Hanson – May 28th and Wieters – Sept 21st (without him, I don’t beat Godsill)

Worst Free Agent Add/Drop:

Hands down, no question here. Hard to imagine a simple roster transaction going worse than this one did for Mountain Oysters.

Apr 1 6:18am
Carlos Villanueva (Mil - SP,RP)
Mountain Oysters
Apr 1 6:18am
Adam Lind (Tor - OF)
Mountain Oysters

On April 1st, before the season started, Frank dropped Adam Lind, the eventual 26th most valuable player for Carlos Villanueva, the presumed closer while Trevor Hoffman was getting ready to go. Villanueva started hot with a win and save in his first two outings, before then allowing 6 runs in his next 3, losing the closers job, and basically being terrible for the rest of the year, finishing an impressive 959th on the Yahoo player rater. For those of you keeping track, there are 30 teams and 25 roster spots (5/6 of the year). That's 750 regular players. Basically, what Yahoo is telling us, is that you'd be better starting an injured player who won't even pitch than leaving Villanueva in your lineup.

Despite that, Frank surged late (36-10 over the last 4 weeks) and ended the regular season with the 3rd best record in the league.

Worst Trade

Naggers: This one is also a no-brainer. Unfortunately. On August 8th, I was looking for saves and acquired Kevin Gregg from Penny For Your Smoltz for Orlando Hudson. On August 11th, the trade was posted. 6 days later, on August 17th, Gregg was removed from the closer role and I dropped him. In his four outings on my team, he took 2 losses, gave up 5 runs and didn't record a single save.

Best Offense:

Tough one to call between You Guys Should Kiss and Naggers. Our records are close:

Jon: 93-51-6
Me: 89-55-6
He's got me by a little bit there. But I led the league in Runs, RBI and OPS, finished 3rd in homers, 3rd in hits and 4th in steals.
Jon didn't lead the league in any category. In fact, he was only as high as 2nd in two - RBI and OPS. He finished 5th in hits and runs, 4th in HR and dead last in steals. Is it possibly his record is due largely to luck? This one goes to the Naggers.

Best Pitching:
Backdoor Sliders had the best overall record as his pitchers combined to go 94-47-9. But Penny For Your Smoltz led the league in Wins, ERA, WHIP and K/BB, so it's gotta be his staff led by Halladay, Beckett, Lester, Weaver and Lilly. His cindarella run into the semifinals as the #5 seed wasn't that surprising. If only he'd gotten any hitting (mainly from Manny)....

Fun With numbers

On our league page, you can see the cumulative leaders in each category. I know what you're wondering: Did the teams with the highest totals in each category have the best records? Let's find out.

Highest Total: Naggers, 1142
Best Record: Naggers, 17-7-1

Highest Total: Mountain Oysters, 2153 (148 more than the next team)
Best Record: Mountain Oysters, 21-4

Highest Total: Hamburger Earmuffs, 334 (4th best record, 15-8-2)
Best Record: Backdoor Sliders, 19-6 (2nd most homers overall)

Highest Total: Naggers, 1133 (16-9 record)
Best Record: You Guys Should Kiss, 20-5 (2nd most RBI total)

Highest Total: Gay Boys, 188
Best Record: Gay Boys, 16-8-1

Highest Total: Naggers, .846 (14-11 record)
Best Record: You Guys Should Kiss/Mountain Oysters, 17-8 (2nd and 3rd in total)

So looking at this, what do we see? First, Frank's team had a shitload of hits. And also, of course that Jon is a lucky motherfucker. But also that the offensive stats pretty closely match up. Now the pitching....

Highest Total: Penny For Your Smoltz/Hamburger Earmuffs, 104
Best Record: Hamburger Earmuffs, 16-7-2

Highest Total: Big Papi, 138 (15-8-2 record)
Best Record: Backdoor Sliders, 17-4-4 (3rd highest total)

Highest Total: Naggers, 1409
Best Record: Naggers, 19-6

Lowest Cumulative: Penny For Your Smoltz, 3.56 (6th best record at 12-12-1)
Best Record: Rayswillrepeat, 19-5-1 (4th best ERA)

Lowest Cumulative: Penny For Your Smoltz, 1.21 (3rd best record at 15-10)
Best Record: Rayswillrepeat, 17-7-1 (4th best WHIP)

Highest Total: Penny For Your Smoltz, 3.25
Best Record: Penny For Your Smoltz, 21-4

Pitching is different. Penny For Your Smoltz and Naggers had the best ERA's in the league and we went 12-12-1 and 11-14 respectively in ERA. By contrast, Hamburger Earmuffs and BigPapi finished 6th and 8th in cumulative ERA, and both went 14-11 in the category. How did that happen? I think it's all about matchups. Who your pitchers face can cost you in any given week.

Mountain Oysters and Penny For Your Smoltz had the most dominating performance in a single category - each going 21-4.

Unluckiest Team:

Gay Boys: Burdened with a terrible team name and hopes of a repeat, Gay Boys fell victim to an injury/underperforming plague, losing the following picks long term or just watching them disappoint:

  • Jose Reyes – 1st round pick, 36 games played
  • Lance Berkman – 2nd round pick, career low in RBI and Slugging %
  • Carlos Quentin – 3rd round pick, 99 games played
  • Brandon Webb – 5th round pick, 1 start, 4 IP
  • Jake Peavy – 6th round pick, 16 games started

Fittingly, Gay Boys is a Mets fan. Hard to overcome a start like that. Injuries to his top 2 starters left him with way to many non-Santana Mets pitchers in his rotation. But if any team deserved this treatment, it was this one – a year after winning it all as the #5 seed with a sub .500 record.

Runner up:
RaysWillRepeat: Cruising into the playoffs, he lost the 6th and final playoff spot on the last week when BigPapi failed to reach the innings minimum against You Guys Should Kiss, sending Jon into the playoffs and Dave home for the winter. This is three years in a row not making the big dance for Dave. Rebuilding?

Add/Drop Notes:

  • Jon added Kenshin Kawakami 4 different times this season. April 20th, May 25th, June 7th and August 17th. For a guy who hates Japanese people, this is unusual.

  • Speaking of Japanese guys, Hideki Matsui was our league's most passed around player. Like a strung out crackwhore waiting for Bukake, Matsui let 3 different teams have their way with him this year: You Guys Should Kiss, Backdoor Sliders and Naggers.

  • 8 FA closers put up 17 saves or more. Ryan Franklin and David Aardsma led the way with 38 each. These closers hammered home the benefits of not using a early round pick on the likes of Papelbon or Nathan. Though they do come with a lot more risk and higer ERA...

League Notes:

  • Hamburger Earmuffs and Mountain Oysters led the league with only 4 matchup losses all season. Impressive consistency. Earmuffs went 18-4, while Oysters went 16-4-2. The only team to beat them both? Backdoor Sliders.

  • Backdoor Sliders also had the best record against any opponent, facing DonkeyPunchers three times and savagely beating him 32-2-2.
  • Big Papi finished the season with the fewest RBI in the league (904). So of course he had the league's highest RBI total in one week with 70 in week 5. Not a great power year for Papi, as he had the fewest HR and RBI in the league as well as the lowest OPS.

  • Our league has been head to head for 6 years and this was first year that the top 2 seeds met in the finals.

  • Only once in those 6 years has the #1 seed won the championship.

2004: #1 vs. #3 - #3 won (Megan)

2005: #2 vs. #4 - #4 won (Steve)

2006: #2 vs. #5 - #5 won (Joshwhite)

2007: #1 vs. #6 - #1 won (Parsons)

2008: #4 vs. #6 - #4 won (Mike Danishevsky)

2009: #1 vs. #2 - #2 won (Parsons)

  • Amazing to think that #4 seeds have won more titles than #1 seeds.

  • Every seed but #6 has won the title. Moral: Just make the playoffs. (I'm pretty sure I wrote that same line in last year's roundup)

  • Also worth noting is Mountain Oyster manager Frank Chang. In these last 6 years, Frank has made the playoffs 5 times. He's never won a single matchup. He's 0-5 in the playoffs. How is that possible? Maybe he's the unluckiest owner. Like whoever owns the Bills, or whoever owns Steve.

  • Gay Boys only won 3 matchups all season. But one was against Naggers, the eventual league champ, over the last week of the regular season. The other two teams to lose to Gay Boys were You Guys Should Kiss and BigPapi.

  • Gay Boys also set a new standard for for terrible. His winning percentage was a shockingly bad .311, which is good for worst in our league's history.

  • Over the final 2 weeks of the season, in his consolation matchup, BigPapi hit 5 homers. FIVE. Over two weeks. 14 days. 5 homers. His team swung the bat like Torii Hunter in a key spot against the Yankees. (badly)

  • The Danishevsky brothers still have 2 more fantasy wins than the Fusco brothers.

Expanding to 10 teams made the league exponentially better. With fewer FA's, more competition and a third Jewish player in our midst, the league was greatly improved. I think the $50 made things better, too. People were definitely a little more intense come playoff time. I know that I for one was ready to murder Jon if he'd beaten me in the Semis.

Just a reminder, that our draft order for next year will be:

1. Gay Boys
2. Donkey Punchers
3. Big Papi
4. Rayswillrepeat
5. Hamburger Earmuffs
6. Mountain Oysters
7. Penny For Your Smoltz
8. You Guys Should Kiss
9. Backdoor Sliders
10. Naggers

Let the comments begin?

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

2008 Fantasy Review

So another fantasy season has come to an end. And an unusual end at that. This season offered us a lot of fantasy firsts - including a first time league member winning the title. But most importantly, 2008 showed us that the Head-to-Head format, while undoubtedly more exciting, is the least accurate measure of team quality in fantasy sports.

This year's review was a little harder to write than usual. My annual whipping boy Steve made a cinderella run to the finals from the 6th seed (his highest regular season finish in 3 years). And since that run went right through my team, which I grossly mismanaged, I find myself in the odd position of having to be harsher toward myself than to Steve. This feels completely wrong, but much like spooning with Jon on a cold winter night (or let's face it, even a mildly cool early autumn night), my heart tells me I have to do it.

First off, let's get the regular awards out of the way.

Dustin Pedroia (145th Overall - Yanks Suck): Dave snagged the 14th overall player at a shallow position with this 19th round gem. Selected after highly productive names like Kenji Johjima, Manny Corpas, Dontrelle Willis and Jeff Francoeur.

Honorable Mentions
Josh Hamilton (Little Moe Sizlak): 121st overall pick - 12th overall Rank
Tim Lincecum (3 Guys 1 Cup): 94th overall pick - 10th overall Rank
Roy Halladay (Beantown Boners): 70th overall pick - 3rd overall Rank
Evan Longoria (Mercenary...): 170th overall - should have held on to him.....

It seems odd that the two teams to make the finals didn't have a single draft pick greatly exceed his draft position....

**For worst draft pick, I wasn't just looking just for someone taken high who didn't produce or got hurt like Hafner or Victor Martinez. I'm looking for picks that looked dumb when they were made and were proven more dumb by the end of the season.

Gary Sheffield (57th Overall - Little Moe Sizlak): There are earlier picks that ended up worse, but honestly, what the hell was I thinking. There are owners who like young guys (francis) and then there are owners like me who constantly think 3 years in the past. Sheffield had 2 good months last year. They were great months, but they did not warrant picking him, at the age of 39 and riddled with health and personality issues ahead of Cano (which didn't turn out any better), Oswalt, Lackey, Markakis and Halladay.

Also bad calls:
Carl Crawford (22nd overall - Beantown Boners): Selected ahead of a few guys named Pujols, Teixeira and Braun. Hello 8th place.

Eric Byrnes (57th Overall - Mercenary...): If ever there was a flash in the pan for 2007, Byrnes was it. Francis took the bait, clearly distracted if not blinded by my Sheffield pick just before it.

Dontrelle Willis (141st Overall - Wright Stuff): Simply put, he should not have been drafted at all. I guess drafting horrible pitchers with familiar names runs in the family, because Steve continues to draft Barry Zito each year (209th this year). Willis ended 2007 with 5.17 ERA and a WHIP of 1.60. Then he moved from NL to the AL, at which point Wright Stuff decided that Willis' three year trend of getting more and more atrocious was over and that he was a good bet for a turn around. Willis then threw out an ERA over 9 and a WHIP over 2.20. He should never be drafted. Least of all, ahead of players like Billingsley, Pedroia, Wang, Burrell, Damon and especially not by the eventual league champion. I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

Eric Bedard (Little Moe Sizlak): A complete bust. I assumed CC would be tired in 2008. For 1 month, I looked like a genius. Unfortunately, the season lasted 6 months and I looked like a moron for the last 5.

It seemed like there were more All-Star seasons on the waiver wire than ever in 2008 and nobody befitted more than Heartfelt Elements who rode Cliff Lee (10th overall), Carlos Quentin (36th), Ricky Nolasco (57th), Justin Ducsherer (49th), Andre Ethier (78th overall) Evan Longoria (119th) and Geovany Soto (153rd) to the best record in the league.

Honorable Mentions:
Ryan Ludwick (20th Overall) - 3 Guys 1 Cup
Aubry Huff (26th overall) Beantown Boners
Nate McLouth (28th overall) - Yanks Suck
Carlos Delgado (39th overall) - Go Kcuf Yourself
Milton Bradley (81st overall) - Mercenary...
Edinson Volquez (113th overall) - Little Moe Sizlak (about all that remained of my pitching staff at the end)

*There is nobody on Wright Stuff that fits this description. Looking again at his team now, I have no fucking clue how he won this thing. What's most amazing is that despite not getting necessarily great value from anybody in the draft, he also made less than 15 add/drops during the season. Joshwhite had that many in April. So while he didn't get any steals in the draft, he didn't pick very many duds either.

Dontrelle Willis (Wright Stuff): And even when he did make a TERRIBLE pick, he still held on tighter than Steve's wife to his balls. Wright Stuff held onto Willis until June 11th. JUNE 11TH!! At that point, Willis was sporting an ERA over 10, and had a K:BB ratio of 5:21. No, I didn't reverse those numbers. He didn't K his first batter until his 4th outing of the season. But Wright Stuff saw something he liked and giddily stashed Willis away on his DL, waiting, hoping for his return. The only person more confused and uninformed about Willis is Dave Dombrowski the Tigers GM, who gave Willis a 3 Year/$29million dollar extension that starts NEXT YEAR!

Also Bad:
Carlos Delgado (3 Guys 1 Cup): Hard to blame him, but this is the reason you would think. Dropped on May 10th, Delgado went on to post 4 straight months of 20+ RBI. While he has no business being in any NL MVP discussions, his second half surge carried Steve late in the season.
Not to mention the 1.297 OPS he put up against 3 Guys 1 Cup in the Semifinals.

3 Guys 1 Cup: Led by Lincecum, Liriano, Lilly, Billingsley, Lidge and anybody else with a bunch of L's in their last name. Jon's staff had a won-loss record of 103-60-12 for the season.

Heartfelt Elements: This was probably the best team in the league. Once I relinquished first place after week 14, Joshwhite held it for the rest of the season. His offense finished with a record of 96-71-8. If he hadn't lost Carlos Lee and Carlos Quentin to injury, who knows what might have happened.

Little Moe Sizlak started off hot with 5 straight wins and 10 wins in the first 13 weeks. I was in first place as late as July, but finished the year with 7 straight winless weeks, including the playoffs and consolation (in which 8 starts didn't even get me 40 innings) to finish 6th overall.
Looking back, I don't remember when exactly I lost control, but I do know that I ended the season counting on guys like Willie Harris and Omar Infante, clear cut evidence that something was horribly wrong.

League Notes:
For the second straight year, the defending champion was knocked out in the first round of the playoffs. By a woefully inferior team.

Steve reached the finals by beating two teams who were a combined 58.5 games ahead of him. Little Moe Sizlak - better by 19 games

3 Guys 1 Cup - better by 39.5 games

In his Semifinal matchup with Jon, Steve was losing 13-1 on Sunday morning. And he ended up winning.

Jon got a 2 hit, 3 walk complete game from Brett Myers late Sunday night, that should have clinched WHIP, the category that would determine the Semifinal winner. That same night, Steve got a no-hitter from Carlos Zambrano. It was the only September start in which Zambrano pitched more than 5 innings.

2008 marked the first time that BOTH the #1 and #2 seeds didn't make the finals.

2008 is also the only year that both teams in the finals were under .500 on the season.

In the 5 years that this league has been Head-to-Head, only once has the team with the best record won the championship (2007).

2008 was Dave's (Yanks Suck) second consecutive year missing the playoffs. This after 2006 when he had the best record in the league. Is he the new Steve? It's amazing what 0.5 games can do.

Steve's team (the #6 seed) made the playoffs by exactly 0.5 games. A feat accomplished when Mark Reynolds hit a meaningless home run in an 8-0 game that cost Beantown Boners half a point in the last week of the regular season.

Wright Stuff's 12-2 beating of Go Kcuf Yourself is now the most lopsided victory in our finals history, replacing my 10-2 soul crushing defeat of Jon last year.

In 5 years of playing head to head, Chris Fusco, Dave and Francis have each made it out of the first round and into the semi's only once and the 3 of them have never made the finals.

Amazingly, the eventual 8th place finisher, Beantown Boners put up monumental offensive numbers in his consolation showdown for 7th place. Numbers so impressive that he would have beaten the league champ during those last 2 weeks 8-6 if they had been matched up against each other. Sadly, he still finished 8th, on a tiebreaker.

8th place Boners also had the most top 20 players (4) of any team in the league. Surprisingly, league champion Wright Stuff had the fewest top 20 players, with just 1.

Wright Stuff's win becomes even more unlikely if you look at his cumulative finish in each category for the season:

Runs: 8th
Hits: 6th
HRs: 6th
RBI: 7th
SB: 4th
OBP: 8th
SLG: 7th

How the hell did he do it? He had one of the 2 or 3 worst offensive teams in the league. It must have been his pitching.

Wins: 6
Saves: 1
K: 5
ERA: 5
K/BB: 2nd (tied)
QS: 5th

His average pitching finish was 4th. So he won the league with the 6th or 7th best offense and the 4th best pitching staff.

Of course, it's really hard to mock anybody's team considering I added and dropped Juan Pierre 4 times this year. God help me.

What all this really tells is that the winner of the leauge in all but one year has just been the team that has gotten hot over the last month. The moral: Just make the playoffs.


We have some decisions to make for next seasons. Right now, we have too few teams, too many categories and too many roster spots. As of right now, I'm leaning toward making the following changes:

2 new teams in the league (no more keepers)

12 categories instead of 14 (no more Quality starts, and combining OPS and SLUG into OPS)

Regular sized rosters (no more 2nd MI, 2nd Util, 5th OF)

I'm also interested in making this a weekly league. That means that we set our rosters every sunday night at midnight for the upcoming week and then we cant make any changes to our active roster during the week. You can add/drop whenever you want, but if someone gets hurt on Monday, you're fucked. This is probably better because we're all getting older and we'll have less and less time for daily roster changes and pitchers going in and out and all that.

What do you think? Leave a comment and let me know.


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Overheard on last night's ALDS game

Chip Carey: "There's really no such thing as an 'easy save' in Major League Baseball".

Oh really??
So pitching 3 innings with leads of 11 runs, 21 runs, and 27 runs doesn't qualify as an "easy save"

'Cuz it seems pretty damn easy to me.

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Monday, October 01, 2007

2007 Award Winners Special

AL MVPShould WinWill Win

What's interesting about this award is the fact that people weren't mentioned AROD as the clear winner back in April/May when the Yanks were struggling. Yet, all of a suddent since the AS Break, he's been the clear favorite (and rightfully so). Did his performance magically improve since then?? No, of course not. The team started winning because Cano stopped batting .240, Matsui decided he was able to hit more than 2 HR/month and the Yankees stopped throwing AAA level 22 year olds every 4th day. But yet somehow the above changes are due to AROD's value.

A-Rod's overall number are astounding. He almost single handedly kept his team afloat in April and May and without him, Jeter, Posada and Rivera would be fishing right now. The only way he doesn't win it is if voters give it to Ortiz to make up for robbing him 2005, but that's probably not going to happen.

NL MVPShould WinWill Win
DWTHTBWrightJimmy Rollins
Tent TimeHollidayRollins

Was Rollins really that more valuable to his team than Howard, Utley, or Rowand? Maybe Howard since he is a terrible defensive player, but Utley & Rowand each had great offensive seasons (better in RC/27 than Rollins) AND played difficult positions defensively (2B & CF) well. Maybe it's just me but I find it difficult to believe that a guy who isn't even the most productive (offensively) on his own team (5th in RC/27) is the MVP for an entire league. Because the Mets choked and the Phils won the NL East, Rollins will get the award. Hopefully, someone in the next century, the BBWAA will realize that MVP stands for Most Valuable Player, NOT best player on a team who made the playoffs.

The big question is whether BWAA sent in their ballots before Monday's Wild Card Playoff Game. If they did, then Rollins will probably win, but if they waited (and they should have, as the game was technically a regular season game) then they all saw Matt Holliday send his team into the playoffs with a tying triple and an ill advised head first slide into home plate. He led the NL in batting average, RBI, doubles, extra base hits, Runs Created and was third in OPS. He had a great year, and it's hard to come up with a legitimate reason that Rollins is more deserving other than calling him a "spark plug," whatever that is. If he wins, it won't exactly be anything close to a travesty, but his .342 OBP out of the leadoff spot is not terribly impressive. (30-30 is, but that's beside the point)As far as David Wright goes, he had a great year, make no mistake, but you simply cannot vote for a player, no matter how good he was, if his team has just completed one of the biggest regular season collapses in baseball history.

AL Cy YoungShould WinWill Win
Tent TimeSabathiaSabathia

This one really is a toss-up between Beckett and Sabathia. While Sabathia does have more IP, more 7+ IP 2ER or fewer starts, and a lower ERA, Beckett edges him slightly in DIPS (3.04 vs 3.09----FYI--Chien-Ming Wang was 17th in the AL). Also, Sabathia got wins when he didn't pitch great: 4+ R (6/20, 7/19). So yes, he has gotten screwed in terms of run support relative to Beckett but some of those outings (6/10, 8/10, 8/14) cancel out with the 2 listed above.

Sabathia led the AL in innings pitched, throwing 40 (Forty!) more innings than Beckett. That alone should secure him the hardware, but on top of that he had a slightly better ERA and led the world in K/BB ratio. If Sabathia wasn't saddled with Borowski trying to finish off his wins, there wouldn't even be a discussion.

NL Cy YoungShould WinWill Win
Tent TimePeavyPeavy

It should be pretty obvious that Peavy was the best pitcher in the NL this year AND will win the award. Besides leading the league in Wins, ERA and K's, he had a league-leading 1.03 WHIP and 2.67 DIPS.

The easiest award this year. Webb is a solid, though distant second as Peavy's ERA is half a run better. Most impressively, Peavy allowed 54 fewer hits than innings pitched. Now if he could just start translating that success into the playoffs...

AL ROYShould WinWill Win
Tent TimePedroiaPedroia

Matsuzaka can be eliminated based on his last 8 starts. So that leaves Okajima (who will also be eliminated because of his struggles down the stretch), Delmon Young, and . Pedroia has played good defense at 2B (compared to RF for Young) and Brian Bannister. Pedroia has a great AVG/OBP/OPS and # of doubles compared to Young. It's true that Young bests him in HR, RBI, and Hits. But no player with a .320 OBP should ever win a postseason award. Ever.

It comes down to Pedroia vs. Young and Pedroia's OBP of .380 obliterates Young's aforementioned .320. Plus, Pedroia obviously gets extra credit for playing so well in a pennant race and also not being a whining, spoiled, pain in the ass, who refuses to run out ground balls or even play the last game of the season.

NL ROYShould WinWill Win
Tent TimeTulowitzkiBraun

The only reason Tulowitzki shouldn't win this award is because he plays his home games in Colorado. +6 in HR, +20 in RBI, +.64 in AVG, and +.222 in OPS at home. They ended up almost equivalent from offensive production and Tulowitzki played great defense while Braun played terribly in the field. So on that basis, it should be Tulowitzki. However, we need to properly deflate his stats to take into account Coors Field and thus, this gives Braun a slight edge.

Braun's offensive emergence was nothing less than historic, breaking Ted Williams rookie record for homers and having a higher OPS than David Wright and Miguel Cabrera. However, defense just has to taken into account, especially since Braun led MLB third basemen in errors despite playing only 112 games. He was the only qualifying third baseman with a Fielding Percentage under .900. His range factor was .18 worse than the next worst qualifier, and his zone rating is the only one under .700. He is a great offensive force, but he should be a left fielder. By comparison, Tulowitzki led MLB shorstops in Range Factor and was second to Vizquel in Zone Rating. Oh and he also hit 24 homers and knocked in 99 runs, including a 4 hit performance in the 1-game Wild Card playoff.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

5 steps to proving John Kruk is an absolute moron

Why is John Kruk giving his opinion on the AL Cy Young Race on BBTN? Seriously, what makes him more qualified than say you or I to espouse who should win the AL Cy Young award. To borrow a Simpsons quote from Martin Prince, I believe "A blindfolded chimp with a pencil in his teeth has a better chance" of predicting the deserving AL Cy Young winner.

1) Steve Phillips explains why Wins really aren't that important when it comes to evaluating a pitcher's performance: "The 16 wins to 18 wins, to me, that's a team differential, not a pitching differential"

2) John Kruk tries to explain why Chien-Ming Wang is the best pitcher and flat out lies:

"He's giving all these stats about Escobar, you have to remember he's pitching in a division that is weaker than the AL East....Chien Ming Wang has pitched against the Red Sox, against the Orioles, pitched against Toronto, three teams that can score some runs." (emphasis added).

AL EAST: Avg runs/team for non-NY Yankees = 725 or 4.86 runs/game

AL WEST: Avg runs/team for non-Anaheim Angels= 728 or 4.87 runs/game

And TEX, SEA, OAK are all better offensively than both Toronto and Baltimore.

3) John Kruk admits he not only doesn't understand advanced pitching metrics, he doesnt' even understand WHIP. Fucking WHIP. One of the five original fantasy baseball pitching stats. You add BB's and Hits and divide by IP. Is it really that difficult to understand? Could your average 6th grader understand WHIP and how to calculate it? YES. Could a 46 year old washed up former baseball player turned analyst? NO. Sadly, no.

4) Steve Phillips tries again valiantly to explain why Run Support matters for a pitcher's won-loss record. "He's won by 4 or more runs in 15 of those 18 wins. That is the offense supporting CMW, it's not his extraordinary pitching."

5) Kruk concludes that because CMW has won most of his games with large margins of victory (a possible sign that he gets large amounts of run support and therefore large #'s of wins which he doesn't necessarily deserve), he should therefore give up even more runs in order to bolster his Cy Young chances. In other words, he should pitch even worse than he presently has in order to get more consideration for the best pitcher award--since he would then have more closer games.

BONUS: Orel Hershiser explains that pitchers sometimes give up runs in order to win a game. And that they give up home runs to stay in games longer, because naturally giving up a HR is a great sign to your manager, "Hey, I'm still going strong, I just gave up that HR on purpose, keep me in here"

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

"Clueless Joe" Morgan

Get it? It's a play on Shoeless Joe Jackson...anyways, the alternate title was "Joe Morgan--3 strikes you're out" but then I realized that Joe has already had about 800 strikes.

Strike #1: From today's chat 7/31/2007:

Chris (Tampa): Does adding Teixeira to the Braves lineup give them one of if not the most potent lineup in baseball?

Joe Morgan: (11:23 AM ET ) No, there are better lineups than the Braves--the Tigers, the Mets. He may help their lineup, but it doesn't make them the best.

Let's do a little comparison (note this is without Teixeira, so this is with Salty/Thorman at 1B)
Runs - Braves 506, Mets 481
OPS - Braves .764, Mets .756
TB - Braves - 1574, Mets - 1518

Now you're probably thinking, well what about park effects, cuz the Mets play in a pitcher's park so their numbers overall could be down because their home numbers would skew them lower (although so far this year according to ESPN Park Factor Turned Field is playing more like a pitcher's park than Shea Stadium) let's compare the Road Splits (since these should theoretically be similar since they each play in same road ballparks roughly the same number of games).

Runs - Braves 279, Mets 254
OPS - Braves .786, Mets .753
TB - Braves 866, Mets 778

So the Braves have clearly been a better offensive team this year, at least according to Joe's requirements "batting average really is secondary, the most important thing is run production" (primarily due to the fact that Reyes isn't homering as much and Delgado has been struggling--or not struggling in his own words) and now they are going to start Teixeira (7.69 RC/27) over Thorman (3.41) and Saltalamacchia (4.73).

Strike #2: From Joe's chat 7/24/07

Kevin (Hamler, OH): Do the Tigers have enough bullpen pitching without Zumaya and Rodney to make a serios run at a world championship?

Joe Morgan: That is hard to say because you never know who is going to step up. But if they get those guys back I think they will win it all. At the moment it is very hard to tell what is going to happen in Detroit. But at this point I think they may be the best team in baseball and that is even considering the hot streak the Yankees are on.

Notice Joe says that Detroit may be the best team in baseball...theoretically, the best team in
baseball usually makes the playoffs (not always, but usually)..Then later in the Chat

ben (new york): Joe- who are your playoff teams

Joe Morgan: I can only name a couple. I say Boston, Dodgers, Mets, and I would say the Yankees or Cleveland. But the Angels always make a good run. Those are the teams for now.

Notice that Detroit is coincidentally in the Indians are going to win the division from "may be the best team in baseball" and the Yankees will overtake "may be the best team in baseball" for the Wild Card...

Strike 3: From today's chat 7/31/2007

Charlie (NYC): Joe, do you think that the Dmitri Young extension by the Nationals was a good move?

Joe Morgan: You have to keep talent if you're going to build, even if you're going to trade him later for value. He's been their best hitter, so yes, I think it was a good move.

While it is possible that Joe is referring to the choices of
*Sign Dmitri Young to a contract extension
*Not sign Dmitri Young to a contract extension and let him leave the team

any normal, person who follows baseball realizes that the question was really between
*Sign Dmitri Young to a extension
*Trade Dmitri Young to a contending team for prospects

I won't bother going through and explaining the obvious reasons why the Nats should have traded him for prospects (difference in wins to Nats from Young over next 2 years is minimal compared to potential prospect impact over next 6 years, Young will theoretically have to play OF if Nick Johnson ever heals, Young is having a career year unlike any he has ever produced before) since Keith Law did an excellent job spelling it all out a couple of days ago here. But I would love to see a poll and see how far in the minority Joe is on this decision. 80-20, 90-10. I'd bet somewhere in the middle.

Finally, I would just like to point out that the title of reference for Joe in the chats and such on is "hall of famer". As if being in the Hall of Fame somehow qualifies him to discuss and analyze baseball on a regular basis and as we all know it clearly doesn't, based on the number of times Joe has answered with "I don't know", "I haven't been able to see much this year", and "It's hard to say really".


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Peter Gammons = Delusional Jeter lover

So Peter Gammons has a column up today where makes some of the worst declarations we have seen in a long time...

"So Derek Jeter has now played in eight All-Star games and the American League has won them all, except for the tie in 2002."
Peter, have you ever heard the phrase "correlation does not equal causation"? To try and tie Derek Jeter as the sole reason/factor why the AL has won the last 10 AS games is just ludicrous. This is the kind of crap I would expect from Kevin Kiernan or Murray Chass. Guess the AL's overwhelming record in interleague play is just coincidence..or Jeter has a magical influence on all the AL teams who have been destroying the NL ones...just ridiculous.

"Whether or not Sabean wishes to continue is not clear, but the man has done a phenomenal job. "
Hello?? Am I the only person who sees the Giants the last 3 years as the oldest average teams in the majors? Or the as the team traded away Liriano (future potential star), Boof Bonser (mid-level #4-#5 starter) and Joe Nathan (AS level premier closer) for 1 year of an above average catcher, Pierzynski. That terrible trade alone should relegate him to the bottom half of all GM's in baseball much less his job of assembling old and unproductive teams the last 3 years. Oh and he paid $16 million/year to a guy with 0 oustanding contract offers. Last but not least, the $17 million he is paying for a starter with an ERA+ of 88 and a WHIP of 1.45 who strikes out barely 4 guys per start.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

10 Biggest Pitching Fantasy Suprises

Similar to the surprising hitters post, this is meant to highlight pitchers that may be slipping under the radar this year. Again, this is not to highlight people like

Randy Wolf (W, K's) – It’s been years since Wolf was a productive pitcher, but so far this year he’s been excelling especially in Wins & K’s. Yes, we all know wins are a fluky category which can change dramatically by the end of the season, but his ERA/WHIP are respectable (4.06/1.32) and he’s average over 1K/IP.

Zambrano (W) – Yea, everybody knows he’s been getting lit up a lot this year, and his ERA/WHIP are not what you drafted for a starting pitcher. But he does have 7 wins which leaves him with plenty of time to get close to the 16 he had last year.

Valverde (SV) – If asked to name who is 2nd in saves (behind Cordero of course), how many people would name Valverde? He is with 21 and he’s also striking out more than 1 batter/IP. Yes, he’s has some meltdowns but 20/23 is pretty damn good so far.

Borowski (SV) – This is a prime example where his average stats don’t tell the whole picture. Normally when you see a closer with an ERA over 6 (Jose Mesa, Valverde last year, Julio, etc..) it’s time to bail out. But it isn’t the case here. Borowski has only blown 2 saves (technically the AROD Grand Slam wasn’t a save chance when the 9th started). 10 of his 18 ER have come in 2 games—1 BS and the AROD game. Besides that Borowski has been solid and right there among the AL leaders in saves.

Burnett (K's) – His ERA/WHIP are decent, but Burnett has been striking out batters at an amazing pace. He’s already had 4 double-digit K games and in addition 2 8-K and 1 9-K games.

Matt Morris (W/ERA) - Another pitcher that is putting together a fine season completely under the radar. Although he’s not striking people out, Morris has 7 wins, a very solid 2.56 ERA to go with a decent WHIP. Pretty sure he’s not going to keep this up all season, but you know what they say: strike while the iron is hot.

Ian Snell (ERA/K's) – He’s actually ranked ahead of Santana, Verlander, Escobar, Smoltz, Bonderman, Brandon Webb, and others because of his K’s 78 and his great ERA/WHIP 2.63/1.14. Probably won’t end up with more than 12-13 wins because he plays for the Pirates, but all the other peripherals are great.

Rich Hill (ERA/WHIP) – Hill had a great start to the season, then a so-so patch, but has turned it on as late to be a top-8 SP. His good ERA 2.81 and phenomenal WHIP 1.01 to go with 78 K’s show that he’s the real deal. Should hopefully get some more wins as the season progresses.

J.J. Putz (SV, ERA, WHIP) – Putz has been even more dominating than last year with his 1.19 ERA and .66 WHIP. He’s right up there for the AL lead in saves with 19 and we haven’t heard or seen anything regarding that elbow problem he had back in the spring.

Isringhausen (ERA/WHIP) – Isringhausen hasn’t piled up the saves as the Cardinals haven’t been a good ballclub, but he’s been just as dominant as some of the other closers. He’s only given up runs in 4 appearances (out of 25 total) and only 2 runs or more once leaving him with an ERA/WHIP 1.80/.84. He’s blown a total of 1 save so far and has performed very well so far.

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10 biggest Offensive Fantasy Suprises

The purpose of this article is not to point out individual players who are performing much better than their preseason projections. Rather it is to highlight stats/accomplishments which are flying under the radar, but are quite remarkable. Thus, Mike Lowell or Kevin Youkilis wouldn't qualify for this list even though they are having great seasons which far outweight pre-season expectations.

Magglio Ordonez - Everyone knows that Magglio is having an amazing season. But the most suprising stat is the number of runs he has scored, 50. He is on pace to score 140 which would be unparalleled for a cleanup hitter. Of the top 10 in MLB in runs, every player bats 1 or 2 except for Sheffield (discussed below) and AROD. (ed note: Yes, Youkilis has been batting in the #5 spot as of late, but the large majority of his runs 34/43 were scored from #2 position).

Sheffield - Just like Magglio, everyone should know now about Sheffields early season struggles which have now been corrected. But just how much has he turned it around? He leads MLB with 53 Runs and is on pace for 20 SB which would be his most since 1990.

Eric Byrnes - Byrnes is currently outperforming several prominent OF including Beltran, Crawford, and Soriano. He is on pace for solid 5 category season including 25 HR, 31 SB, and 90 RBI and his numbers, at this point, are virtually identical to BJ Upton, who many people should be aware of.

Dan Uggla - Uggla has quietly put up good numbers in Runs, HR, and RBI despite a slow start to the season. Currently on pace for 137 Runs, 34 HR and 100 RBI. While that pace will surely cool, he is the 3rd best 2B and probably falling under most people's radar screens.

Carlos Pena - Pena has been slugging like crazy since getting regular playing time and has gone 12-32 in only 45 games which would work out to 43-115 over a full season. Granted he won't come near to that since he has missed 13 of the teams first 58 games, but with everyday playing time he appears on his way to 30-100.

Gary Matthews JR- Everyone thought that one career year coupled with the taint of HGH and leaving a hitter friendly ballpark would hurt Matthews. So far, it hasn't and he is even outperforming last year's career highs. The 8 HR so far aren't out of line with previous years, but the 38 RBI (106 pace) and 9 SB (25 pace) are. Who would have thought that Matthews has more SB than Beltran, Abreu, Soriano and more RBI than Manny, Ibanez, Matsui, Beltran.

Xavier Nady - Nady is have a solid, but unspectacular season so far. But if you look at his HR/RBI numbers you see 25/98 pace; very suprising for a guy who bats 5th/6th for one of the worst offenses in baseball.

Bengie Molina - Everyone who follows MLB closely is aware of the starts of Russell Martin, Posada, and Victor Martinez. But how many know that Bengie Molina is 4th in RBI with 33 (on pace for 92)? He has been virtually identical to Pudge except that he trails by 7 runs, but has 20 pts in AVG.

Ichiro - The surpsising part of Ichiro's season so far isn't the 25 game hitting streak or the 7 SB he had in one week. It is the fact that he has 29 RBI so far, on pace for 81. He is at or above the likes of Vernon Wells, Sizemore, Matsui, Bonds, Burrell, and Abreu so far this season.

Just one final note I'd like to point out. While it's true that some hitters are off to amazing starts, it is also true that many will not keep up their projected pace over the rest of the season (and we understand that). So keep in mind, that no, Ichiro isn't going to end up with more RBI than Vernon Wells or Carlos Pena with more HR/RBI than Andruw Jones (barring some of injury of course). However, it is interesting to go back and look at what has happened so far this year and what may have been happening "under the radar"

Monday, June 04, 2007

More Joe Morgan Idiocy

From the Red Sox-Yankees game 6/3/2007 from our resident expert, Joe Morgan:

"Guys who walk enough lot, do not end up with 3000 hits..."

(ed note: We fixed the order of the quote and so this post has been slightly edited from its original form...also, yes, Joe did say "walk enough lot" )

So we hear at Real Baseball Blog present a list of all MLB players who walk a lot and DID end up with 3000 hits

# of BB's - BB Rank

# of BB's - BB Rank

Ricky Henderson

2190 - 2nd

Hank Aaron

1402 - 23rd

Carl Yastrzemski

1845 - 6th

Tris Speaker

1381 - 27th

Stan Musial

1599 - 11th

Rafael Palmeiro

1353 - 29th

Pete Rose

1566 - 13th

Eddie Murray

1333 - 31th

Eddie Collins

1499 - 17th

Al Kaline

1277 - 39th

Willie Mays

1464 - 18th

Ty Cobb

1249 - 44th

Wade Boggs

1412 - 22nd

Dave Winfield

1216 - 47th

So there you have it folks. 2 out of the top 6 career leaders in BB's got 3000 hits. Completely contrary to what Joseph Leonard Morgan proclaimed. Also, he mentioned Babe Ruth and Ted Williams as two examples of this. Just like to point out that Babe Ruth ended his career 127 hits shy of 3000 (2873); a total he would have presumably reached had he begun being a full-time hitter earlier than his 6th year in MLB. Also, Ted Williams ended up with 2654 hits (346 short), which again he would have presumably reached had he not missed 3 complete years (1943-1945) and major parts of 1952 and 1953. So even those aren't valid examples. Also just like to point out that Bonds should reach 3000 hits next year (assuming he doesn't retire) and that would Joe as the only one of the top 5 in BB's that is nowhere near 3000 hits. Can someone please explain to Joe that just because something is true for him, it doesn't mean that it is true for everyone else...So once again, Joe, you my good sir, are completely and totally wrong.

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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Worst Baseball Article Ever..

So, some guy wrote a post here giving 10 reasons why the Yankees will win the World Series. It's true that the Yankees do have a potent lineup once Abreu and Matsui start hitting. It's also true that they used 12 different SP's so far this season and going into Friday were tied for last in the AL East. So here goes...

<1> Rounding up, this means the Yankees must make up 3.5 games a month for the next four months. That’s only a game a week. Doesn’t seem that all that difficult when you put it in that perspective.

No team has ever come back from over 14 games back this late in the season, much less one that has used 12 different starting pitchers this season.

<2>What this leaves is a lot of players who are due (Johnny Damon, Bobby Abreu, Hideki Matsui, and Robinson Cano) to reach their usual productive seasons. I hate to be the team that plays the Yankees when three or four of these guys start to click.

Damon is injured, so I doubt he's going to return to form until he rests; Abreu was just never that good to begin with. And Posada is playing way over his head, so even if Matsui starts heating up, that should be negated by Posada's decreased production, unless you believe that 36 year old catchers can win batting titles.

<3>Just by saying that, Jeter proves once again to be an inspiration for his teammates and will continue to be just that as he leads his team into the playoffs.

This doesn't even merit a response because its so laughable..yes, downright HAHA laughable. But seriously, I'd love to see the explanation how Jeter's "inspiration" is going to fix an overworked bullpen in September or the fact that Abreu is Slugging under .300.

<4> Whether it be the distractions with steroids or his all-around poor play, Jason Giambi is not helping the Yankees.

Does he help the Yankees more than Kevin Thompson or Melky Cabrera does offensively??? Because those are his current replacements...

<5> In this past stretch, the team has gone 3-12, now opening the door up for both the Cubs and the Pirates.

Let me see if I get this straight....letting your lead on a team that is 25th in MLB in Runs Scored, 29th in OBP, and 27th in SLG %, get down to 7 1/2 games is "opening up the door"??? Yes, we all know winning and losing streaks happen over a season, but when teams are still 7.5 games out of first place, they still have some ground to make up.

<6>But this isn’t any man. This is Roger Clemens. Three years off a Cy Young Award, the Rocket is back and the man is ring hungry.

If Clemens is "ring hungry", then why did he choose a last place team that is 14.5 games out of first place and 7.5 games out of the WC to pitch for. The Astros and Red Sox are both closer to making the playoffs than the Yankees currently.

<7> AROD

Yea, AROD is a great player. No one is denying that..but explain how having him on your team is a reason that said team can win the WS. The Giants have Bonds; are they WS favorites?

<8> Boss

I still don't understand this one...Steinbrenner (who was supposedly going to back off of personnel decisions to give Cashman more leeway) is now so controlling that he will demand midseason trades which will send the Yankees to the WS. And Helton?? I thought you guys had enough overpaid, declining production 1B with multiple years left on their contracts...

<9> "His secondary leadership will prove invaluable to the team in the long run as they will find themselves in the middle of an exciting race this summer."

Again, I'd like to hear how Posada's "secondary leadership" will bring Abreu's SLG % over .300 or how he is going to improve a starting pitching staff which is 26th in Quality Starts. Or the fact that the Yankees have 10 Blown Saves, for an impressive 29% Save Percentage---which is actually less than half of the next worst team, the Cubs.

<10> "the team still wore pinstripes, shaved the bottom of their lip, and acted like champions. As players start to turn it around, we will find that the Yankees will be there."

Just like the past 6 years when they won..oh wait, they haven't won any WS titles in the past 6 years.

What a moron...

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Monday, May 28, 2007

Peter Gammons and a bad analogy

We like Peter Gammons here at REALBBBB, we really do, but there's just one thing I saw in his latest column which had to be mentioned:

"But these are two very good, fun teams. Sizemore is the Derek Jeter of The Rustbelt,"

The only problem with that analogy is that it is dead wrong on 3 counts.
1. Sizemore hits for power, Jeter clearly doesn't
2. Sizemore is a very good defensive, whereas Jeter is not. Yes, we know he has won 3 Gold Gloves, but look at any advanced Fielding Metric (+- system, FRAA, Range Factor) and Jeter is average at best)
3. Sizemore is not overhyped in the national or even local media like Jeter is. Take a poll of national beat writers and see how many list Jeter as one of the top 10 players in the game and how many list Sizemore. Has anyone ever talked about Sizemore's "aura" or "prescence" or as a "True Indian"?? No, didn't think so..

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

More Proof that former baseball players are terrible analysts

Exhibit A-John Kruk on BBTN on Wednesday(?) maybe saying that Vlad Guerrero was AL Player of the Month. Not Alex Rodriguez. You compare the Numbers.













Vlad Guerrero






But because the Yankees were in last place, Kruk asks, the Yankees are already in 5th, where would they be without AROD??

The real statistic to compare regarding each team's success would be this:
TEAM ERA LAA 3.65 (8th in baseball); NYY 5.02 (27th).

Exhibit B: From BBTN, on Friday May 4th, 11 PM edition. The host (I forget his name) asks Buster Olney and Fernando Vina to name the three best pitchers (it might have been NL--I forget) at this point in the season. NOT overall in baseball, but so far through the first 4 1/2 weeks of the season. Olney named Olswalt, Hudson, and Rich Hill. Vina named Jake Peavy, Brandon Webb, and..........Carlos Zambrano (is it just a coincidence I had all 3 of these pitchers on my 1st place fantasy team last year?). Yes, the same Carlos Zambrano who is 87th in ERA (5.80), 3rd in walks (22), who K/BB ratio is a miserable 1.32, has a WHIP of 1.61, and a DIPS of 6.26 (which ranks right up there with other standouts like Kei Igawa, Tomo Ohka, and Sidney Ponson). Yet he is one of the 3 (or 6 because Buster gave his 3 picks first) best pitchers so far this year...

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Joe Morgan--babbling fool

Joe Morgan has a long documented history of saying things which are completely ridiculous, weird, ambiguous, and downright laughable. But how often does he say something that is completely wrong/false multiple times in a row, only to finally admit his mistake when confronted with video evidence. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner. Flashback to Sunday April 8, 2007 Boston vs Texas on ESPN. Bottom of the 1st, Mark Teixeira up, count 2-2, take it away Joe and Jon Miller:

Morgan - “He’s asking for a fastball away”

Joe Miller – “Strike Three called , a fastball away it was and that froze Teixeira.”

Joe Morgan – “I don’t think that was really a fastball away, I think it froze him, but I don’t think it really was away; It was supposed to be away. Let’s take a look here Jon, the pitch was supposed to be away but it wasn’t. He threw him a lot of offspeed pitches……Now this is supposed to be away, but watch.

<ed. note: Was the pitch away???? Joe sure doesn't seem to think so. Click here to find out if the pitch really was away>

<well, Joe???> Oh wait, I guess it is away. It was away on the outside corner.”

Brilliant, just brilliant. Now if only someone could fax him a copy of the Moneyball cover page to prove that Billy Beane had not part in writing it, we'd be in business.

P.S. To see his idiocy in full visual and audible detail, go here and use your MLB.TV subscription. Fast forward to about 23:35 and enjoy the magic.