Archive for the ‘Today's Heroes’ Category

Today’s Heroes: 5/30 – Le Blogging

Sundays are free here. I have class from 9-12:15 5 days a week, and have class some days and activities other days in the afternoon until dinner. Then dinner, then either passing out, going out drinking, the latter followed by the former, or staying up late watching TV. Doing these activities leaves me dog-tired, and wanting nothing to do with hopping on the computer and banging out 700 words of fantasy advice when I barely have the time to pay attention (that didn’t stop Teamocil from climbing back into forth place on the heels of The Great Jason Heyward, Carlos Gonzalez and Robbie Cano’s strong weeks). But I’ve done it anyway, for you. Yesterday, I spent literally all day in the mediocre-at-best city of Marseille (go here if you want to hear why), was too tired to go out in France on a Saturday night, so the fact that a wrote a blog post was heroic, at the least.

Today is Sunday, though. Sundays are free. Completely free. I can wake up at 2:15 if I want to (check), I can have breakfast at 2:45 of espresso, a baguette smothered in nutella and apricot confiture (check), then download some hip-hop I had wanted to for two months (check), then listen to it while cranking out a Today’s Heroes (check). So here it is.

  • I don’t know how many people know this, but since 1996, only one team in all of the Major Leagues has a winning record against the Yankees. That team would be (sorry, Collin and *snicker snicker* O’s fans) the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. I hate them. Not enough to refuse owning any of their players (Kendry Morales and Jered Weaver, and I used to have a spot reserved for K-Rod on my teams in the mid-2000’s), but enough to never even secretly root for them against the Yanks. I bench Jered Weaver every time. Yesterday, I was given another very good reason to hate them. After their one non-evil hitter (Kendry), hit a walk-off grand slam, what do they do to thank him? Break his fucking leg, that’s what. And they all joined in to beat the living crap out of him and sideline him for 10-12 weeks. Serious pricks. Now that incredible keeper pick his so much less valuable, and I need offense. Members of the league, I’m listening to offers for a pitcher of mine.

Leg Assassination: The Montage

  • Continuing this morning’s theme of hatred, I hate Carlos Silva. He’s a below-average pitcher throwing up top-50 fantasy numbers for no good reason. After 7 innings and 11 Ks last night, my hatred builds, fueled by the certain knowledge that if I were to pick him up, he would immediately begin to suck on my team, I know it. The eventual regression will not take place on my starting roster, I assure you.
  • Dexter Fowler had a good run. However, if you play in the Rockies outfield, you’re on a preposterously short leash. Why? Because after Carlos Gonzalez and Brad Hawpe, they have 3-4 interchangeable outfielders. Enter Seth Smith, the Rockies’ Flava-Flav-of-the-week, hitting .409 with seven runs, three dingers and six RBI. He hits behind CarGo and ahead of Tulowitzki, Helton, Hawpe, Stewart and Olivo in some order. That’s a pretty sweet place to be, so you should keep an eye on this guy. If he locks that spot up, he’ll be even more valuable than his season total of 8 homers would have you believe (which is already adequately valuable).
  • The time difference pwned me in the Buster Posey sweepstakes me. While everyone was hearing the news of his call-up yesterday morning, I was stuck on some lame train through the historic district of Marseille (not my idea), handcuffed by the idea of time zones. Starting Miguel Olivo in both leagues, Posey would be a perfect addition because I’m not deluding myself that Olivo can continue to be on pace for 30 HR and 15 steals. Yes, those are his 475-AB paces. Obviously I wouldn’t drop Olivo, but Posey, a can’t miss offensive prospect at catcher, would be a very nice backup, keeping for 1 (he was already in the Yahoo! universe and available in both leagues). C’est la vie, as they say over here. Over there, we call it pwned.
  • Former Terrapin Brett Cecil continued his stellar widely-available play? Why widely available? Because the last time he had a stretch like this, everyone picked him up. Then he sucked for a few starts, and everyone dropped him again. Well, I’m not making that mistake again, unless of course I can trade two pitchers for a great power hitter. Then I might make that mistake again. Totally a viable option, guys. Just saying. I need hitting.
  • Is John Axford the Brewers’ new closer? I haven’t been reading the rags, but he has a win and two saves in his last two appearances, so that leads me to believe it is. In that case, there will be a scrum for him in all leagues, since the Brewers are a decent team that would be better if they hadn’t been employing Trevor Hoffman. They have an unbelievable lineup, and at least one pitcher of delivering consistently great performances (Yovani Gallardo). That should be a solid two-three saves a week if he can keep the job.

Thank God I have this blog to express my Morales frustration, since absolutely no one in France cares about baseball, if not, suppressing this rage would be very unhealthy.

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Todays Heroes – 5/3

After a whirlwind weekend pandering to the birthday girl…friend and spending too much time stuffing my face full of crab, pizza, waffles/french toast and beer and spirits, I’m back. This week is going to be just as crazy as the last with work, so the posts will be a little more abbreviated, but I will try my damndest to post once a day. On to the bullets:

  • Guys who won’t stop hitting and find themselves nestled on my teams: Robinson Cano, Paul Konerko, Andre Ethier, Jason Heyward (he’s baaaack) and Carlos Gonzalez. All of these guys have been just insane, the first three especially. Konerko, as Collin so delightfully explained, is experiencing a rennaissance, and is leading the majors in homers after hitting four in his last four games. He has 12, and the second-place guys (two of whom are Cano and Ethier, joined by Mark Reynolds and Kelly Johnson) all have nine. Cano leads the majors with a .387 average, Ethier leads the NL in batting average, homers and RBI, on pace for the first NL Triple Crown since Joe “Ducky” Medwick in 1936. No, I didn’t have to even look that up, it’s memorized. I’m scared for myself too.

What does this mean for my teams? Nothing of course. Both of them are middle-of-the-pack right now, thanks too average starts by their eventual offensive leaders (Matt Holliday and Ryan Howard) and inconsistent pitching (damn you, Scott Baker!). After an atrocious 1-20 stretch, Heyward has adjusted and homered in three straight games, then drove in another three runs to bring his numbers back to All-Star levels. Drooool.

  • Not to say I told you so, but I told you so.
  • David Freese demands your attention. Second only to Ethier in the NL in batting average, the Cardinals’s third baseman was a titan with the stick last week, socking three dingers and driving in 11, batting .500. Hitting behind Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday and the white Jason Heyward makes pitchers so exhausted that they’re probably just throwing junk to Freese. However, those guys will be there all year, so he’ll keep seeing the junk. If you’re thin at third, you have to pick him up. He’s got that starting job all to himself, he’s in that lineup, and he’s hitting, yet mind-bogglingly owned in only 18 percent of Yahoo! leagues. I would pick him up, but having Kung Fu Panda and Ryan Zimmerman with no room on my bench prevents me. You lucky schmucks.

    He's enjoying the ride. You won't

  • It’s that time of year again when you contemplate picking up Scott Hairston. It’s okay, it’s totally natural. He’s got this annoying tendency to pwn bitches for a week or two, then suck for months, then great again. Don’t do it. There are better options out there, especially at outfield, and especially not on the Friars.
  • Streamer options for tomorrow, quick version: Wade LeBlanc, though he’s already a member of Teamocil, pitching in Petco. I don’t care if he’s facing the Rockies, he’s a Padre, his ERA’s 0.52, he should be on your team if you’re streaming and not Jabula. The D-Train may finally be leaving the station, though Minnesota’s a dangerous club at home. Other random dudes who might give you quality innings: Ian Kennedy, Luke Hochevar and Scott Feldman.

That’s all for today. Hope you kids enjoy the beautiful weather. Oh, wait, it’s thunderstorming and I have to work on a golf cart all afternoon? Wha…wha…why squirrel hate me?

Scooter.

Today’s Heroes: 4/25 – Dancing Polar Bears

Good morning all you Winchestertonfieldvillians! I’ve woken up at 10:30 or later each of the past two days and therefore feel amazing. I hope you all heeded my advice and caught some basketball yesterday, ’cause there was some good stuff (notably the Thunder defecating on the Lakers). We apologize for the decline in posts the past two days. It’s a lot harder to do this stuff on the weekend when there’s sleep to be had, sports to be watched, and work to not do. I can officially promise you two or more posts from me today (probably just two though, let’s not get crazy). Keep the hits coming! Bullet time.

  • I need to address this whole Barry Zito thing. He tore apart the Cardinals lineup (even Pujols and Holliday) yesterday to the tune of 8 innings, 10 strikeouts and six hits/walks. No runs. No words (except that he’s only owned in 62 percent of Yahoo! leagues, and that number should be far higher. Pick him up if he’s somehow still available, he’s been doing stuff like this all year).
  • As promised, dancing polar bears!

    I told you!

  • Another depressing day in my teams’ history. The Loney Bones lost four points, Teamocil lost three. I would say I give up, but that’s just crazytalk. I just won’t talk about them until they turn the ship around even a little.
  • What to do with Will Venable. He’s generating some pretty awesome numbers – four homers, four steals, 13 runs, 11 RBI – but still isn’t assured of regular playing time. Why he isn’t I have no idea, but that’s why he’s not currently on any of my teams. If you can stomach the roller-coaster ride of a platoon player, or feel like waiting it out until Bud Black decides that the Princeton product deserves an everyday gig, go pick him up, he’s still only 10 percent-owned, with those numbers.
  • Ty Wigginton demands your attention. The newly-minted Teamocil employee (and now-and-forever Clay Bellinger) is now hitting .333 with six dinger and 12 RBI. He’s gettin’ up there in years for someone named Ty without the last name Cobb (he’s 32), but the power is and has always been there, he’s eligible at three positions, including 2B, and the Orioles need his bat in their lineup. Ride his bat until he starts hitting .230 again.
  • Streamables: Carlos Silva attempts to continue his wholly unsustainable run of dominance against the Nats, but what do you care how sustainable it is, you’re streaming! He’s still only 21 percent owned, so grab him if you can. Dana Eveland and David Huff are pretty much the same person – low ERA and WHIP so far, next to no Ks, and widely available because one of those will last (hint: it’s the bad one). However, Eveland’s facing the (I love saying this) struggling Red Sox offense, and Huff has already pitched well against the Tigers, Twins and Rangers, so him against the Angels doesn’t scare me that much.

That’s all I got for you cool cats. Enjoy Sunday baseball. I’ll be back later to post in between my insane amount of work (seriously, for like every class I got stuff).

Today’s Heroes: 4/24

Really a depressing day for Teamocil. The Loney Bones did fine, gaining two points and moving into sole possession of second place behind another gem by Tim Lincecum, who has yet to allow more than a single run in any game thus far (he’s 4-0 through four starts) and leads the majors in strikeouts, but it was just not a good day for my team on the other side of the tracks.

It began (yesterday actually) with me completing a trade, dealing Andrew McCutchen for Clayton Kershaw in a move I thought was terrific. I need starting pitching and Kershaw just happens to be a great starting pitcher. McCutchen may keep for one, but Kershaw keeps for two. However, yesterday the news came down that Manny Ramirez was headed to the disabled list. All of a sudden my glut of outfielders (Ramirez, McCutchen, Carlos Gonzalez, Curtis Granderson, Jason Heyward and Garrett Jones) shrunk by two, leaving me with only enough to fill out my starting lineup. I used the empty roster spot by putting Manny Ramirez on the DL to pick up Brett Gardner, who should replace McCutchen’s speed and Ramirez’s BA for now. Still, not happy. Couple that with another couple of disastrous starts (Cole Hamels and A.J. Burnett), another two points lost in the standings, and another home run from the afore-mentioned Jones squandered on the bench, and I’m just disillusioned with this team at this point. Hopefully Ryan Howard will hit a freaking home run, or Curtis Granderson will do something, or anyone will do something to get us out of this funk.

On to the bullets:

  • After a legendary start that raised everyone’s expectations to biblical proportions, Heyward has officially cooled off. He’s gone hitless in his last three games, lowering his average to .250, striking out five times along the way. He’s been bumped down in the lineup to seventh today, behind Troy Glaus, Matt Diaz and Melky Cabrera. I know he’s been slumping, but that is a ridiculously stupid move by the Coxster. Here are the batting averages of the Three Stooges listed above: .167, .162, .135. Just because it’s been three games since Jay-Hey’s last dinger doesn’t mean he should be forced to attempt to drive in those clowns.
  • Something I probably should have addressed days ago: Andruw Jones is apparently back. Six homers, nine RBI, three steals and a .293 average, capped by a two-homer game yesterday, including this walk-off shot. From that video, it’s clear that he’s lost a good 20 pounds at least. He looks like a solid pickup, but I’m wary. If he keeps it going, I won’t hesitate to say adios to Gardner.
  • Booyah.
  • Ike Davis, who has already been mentioned on this young blog, hit his first career home run last night, and it was a doozy. I said I’d keep an eye on him, and I have: pick him up if you have room. He’s not going to outpace any of the traditional options at the corners, but he’s a good add if you have a recently-DL’d player, or if you have a 1B need.
  • The Jets draft continued yesterday and this morning with these transactions seemingly happening rapid-fire: drafting guard Vladimir Ducasse (you know what they say, mi Ducassa es su Ducassa), releasing 28-time pro-bowler Alan Faneca, trading up to draft Joe McKnight, trading one of my favorties Leon Washington to draft John Conner to eventually replace Tony Richardson, who’s like 63. Good, cold-blooded moves from who I’ve convinced myself is the best freaking executive in the NFL, Mike Tannenbaumm. Man are they stacked for next year. 6-10 anyone?
  • Probably my three least favorite teams in the NBA all won last night, furthering my frustration. At least there are four awesome games today, including my two favorite remaining teams (pour some out for the Rockets and Nets), the Hawks and the Thunder. I highly recommend you tune in, as the games will be going on pretty constantly from 2-midnight. Yeah, it’s an awesome day for basketball.
  • Not a lot of streamer options Sunday, but there are a couple of good ones: Colby Lewis, who has a 3.12 ERA, two wins, and 18 Ks in 17 IP, will take the ball against the Tigers, who aren’t a scary team at least, and with numbers like that, you roll with him (also only 20 percent-owned). Other good options: my sleeper pick from last year Chris Volstad, Justin Masterson and the renaissance…d Dave Bush.

That’s all I got for now. WATCH BASKETBALL TODAY…PLEASE. Then comment about how thankful you are that you did.

Today’s Heroes: 4/23

Time for another installment of advice, counsel and worldly wisdom. More players, more advice, less talking. Before I get to it, though, I hope at least some of you caught the Thunder-Laker game last night. It was freaking awesome. Maryland may have the patent on the Gold Rush, Penn State on the White-Out, And the Cavs/Angels on Snuggie Records (Here’s the Angels’), but the Thunder just blew them all out of the water with what I’m calling Oklahoma Blue Balls.

Pre-Game Blue Ballin'

Derek Fisher gets balled while the Lakers get Blue Ball'd

  • Those of you in the know have either already picked up Justin Smoak or are kicking yourselves for missing out. Texas promoted him as Chris Davis struck out in his chance at the big leagues (much like he does far too often at the plate). I distinctly remember paying $20 for him last year and regretting it almost instantaneously. Man he sucks.
  • Clay Buchholz unfortunately has been dynamite this year, striking out 10 Rangers last night, but (*snickers*) still lost to the team in Arlington. Isn’t it hilarious when the Red Sox lose? I agree with you, everyone who reads this site but Collin. Buchholz should be owned in every league under the sun, but is inexplicably available in 57 of Yahoo! leagues. Go pick him up, if you can. Like, now. You can come back, I trust you.
  • More out of frustration than anything else, I’m combining the next two pieces of news to a single bullet. Ryan Zimmerman, who missed yesterday’s game, will miss today’s as well with a calf injury. This comes after already missing games with a hamstring problem. Willie Harris can’t solve everything, Ryan. Or should I say, Roger Dorn. Also, Miguel Olivo, who I dropped for Mike Napoli two days ago, per my post, homered again and is batting .303. That’s three homers and a steal on the year for the man who is making it his business to remove another Rhode Islander from the big leagues and to make me second-guess myself. What an ass.
  • Though Collin already regaled you of the tale of the Brewers’ beatdown of the Pirates, I feel the need to quickly re-hash a point I visited at length yesterday: Rickie Weeks‘ uncanny ability to cross the plate. He scored four times, or every time he reached base, yesterday, pushing his total on the year to 16, good for third in the majors. For every 550 ABs he’s had in the majors (or what I consider an average full season), he’s scored about 106 runs. Considering he bats leadoff, that’s a low full-season projection of ABs, and consequently runs. If he plays a full season, like I said yesterday, he will score 110+ runs, and threaten for 20/20, otherwise known as a sure-fire top-5 2b. Can you tell why I always fall into his trap?
  • Those of you looking for help at the corners, consider Casey Kotchman and Scott Rolen. I know, neither of these guys have been super fantasy-relevant during their careers, and neither are a spring chicken, but both of them have secure jobs in great positions in their lineups, both of them are absolutely raking right now, and both of them are available in more than 75 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Kotchman’s hitting behind Ichiro, Chone Figgins and Franklin Gutierrez – fast guys who get on base very well and need someone else to drive them in. Kotchman could be that guy with 100 RBI at the end of the year that no one realized. Rolen won’t have lasting success this year, he’s too old and to fragile, but he’s hit four homers so far, he’s in a great ballpark, in a solid lineup, so ride him while you can, if you have space.
  • Streamable guys for Saturday: The ever-impressive Doug Fister, of course. He’s facing the White Sox, who had four, count ’em four guys in the lineup batting under .200 yesterday, six under .220. They’re not very good. Fister has been amazing, so if you’re streaming, he looks great. Other good options: Fausto Carmona against the Athletics (a good rule for streaming is: if he’s facing the A’s, pick him up), Pirates prospect Brad Lincoln, 2006’s fourth overall pick, makes his first career start against the Astros…he’s probably better than anyone the Pirates have now, if yesterday is any indication, and Luke Hochevar, who was the first overall pick in that draft, against the Twinkies.  If you have no interest in a win or ERA or WHIP, I would bet Ian Kennedy accumulates 6 or 7 strikeouts against the Phils tomorrow.

I’ll leave you with this glorious play from the non-justice-system’d Agent Zero. If this doesn’t motivate you to tune into the playoffs, then you clearly don’t like Lamar Odom getting posterized or fun. Either one.

Today’s Heroes

As promised, here’s your morning cup of fantasy joe. A lot to get to from a full Wednesday slate of games, so here goes (Lisa, avert your eyes):

  • Teamocil Update: Thanks to three much-needed pitching performances, Teamocil rocketed up the standings…to fifth place. Still, 8 points gained and Phil Hughes (W – 7 IP, 10 K, 1 ER, 1 H, 2 BB) took a no-hitter into the 8th inning, just to see a ball literally hit him and ruin the bid. Good on ya, mate. Make me look like a genius! If Hughes is available in any of your leagues, PICK HIM UP NOW. He’s long been considered one of baseball’s best pitching prospects, he throws a mid-90s fastball, a ridiculous change, and added a changeup to his arsenal this spring. He also pitches for the Yankees (booyah), so he’s in line for a lot of wins this year, especially if he continues to pitch like this. Other great pitching performances for Teamocil yesterday: Jered Weaver (ND, 7 IP, 6 Ks, 2 ER, 6 H, 2 BB) and Yovani Gallardo (W, 5 IP, 10 Ks, 0 R, 3 H, 3 BB)
  • The Loney Bones Update: No movement, 0 points gained. Whatever. Phil Hughes is on this team too, so is Rickie Weeks, who homered on my bench (grumble grumble). Never overanalyze folks. Weeks is now batting .327 with 3 homers and 11 RBI. I picked him up off free agency in this league, and if you can do the same, I highly recommend it. Any Weeks investment comes with a major injury risk, but if you’re picking him up now, you have nothing to lose. He’s still unbelievably talented, he still plays at the shallowest non-catcher position in all of fantasy, and he’s still just 27. Update: Rickie Weeks is also historically awesome at scoring runs. He bats leadoff in front of the best 1-2 punch in the NL in Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder, and has already scored 14 runs this year, and his game today isn’t over yet (he has two today). If he ever played a full season, he would have scored like 115 runs in any year. Kevin Millwood continues to be a surprising source of production, as he had 8 decent innings for me. Four earned runs, four K’s, but a WHIP of 1.13 will help, and those other stats certainly won’t hurt.
  • Streamer Update: That’s right streaming haters, every day I’m going to post the guys who streamers should pick up for the next day. You’re welcome, Jabula. In every serious league, Kevin Correia and Jaime Garcia are long gone already, but they’re pitching tomorrow and have been great all season long, so add them if you can. Garcia in particular is facing the Giants, so if he’s available (he’s not, Alex), snatch him up for tomorrow and enjoy. Other guys that should help our streaming friends: Carl Pavano (he’s baaaack) against the Royals, Paul Maholm against the Astros, and Jake Westbrook (former Yankee) against the A’s. You see what Phil Hughes did to the A’s last night, so that should be a solid play.
  • Those interested in blasts from the past to add to their team are pretty happy about what’s going on right now: Ty Wigginton has 3 HR and 8 RBI in the past week and Ivan Rodriguez is hitting .444 on the year, .500 in the past week with 7 RBI and 6 runs. If you need a catcher, Pudge is not a bad pickup since he’s assured playing time. Why not ride him until he cools off? Wigginton is a known commodity now in fantasy baseball circles – he gives you homers and RBI in spurts, an atrocious batting average, but multiple position eligibility.
  • The Royals’ #3 hitter is a guy you should definitely be targeting if you’re in need for a 2B/3B and bragging rights at the end of the year. His name’s Albert0 Callaspo, and he’s hitting .288 with 3 HR, 11 RBI and a steal. From a 2B/3B, that’s pretty awesome. He’s owned in only 32% of Yahoo! leagues, but the key to his success in my mind is behind the surface numbers (that’s right everyone, deep analysis). His BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play) is sitting at .280, which is below the about average number of .300. His contact percentage is at 85 percent, below his career average of 90, and his line drive percentage is 15 percent, below his career average of 19. The power might not be entirely real (HR-to-flyball ratio is at 13 percent, far, far above his career average), but it’s not outlandish to think that he’s just getting stronger. Regardless, he’s not doing anything all that extraordinary in terms of his career numbers, so enjoy the numbers. He could very well net you a .300 average with 90 RBI and 15-20 homers if he stays in the 3-hole, which is yummy in your tummy at 2B.

Have fun with this guy for the next 148 games.

That’s all I got for today’s tips. Props to the wonderful baseball-reference.com for all the stats. The Villain will be back tonight with some more (don’t worry, there will be no overlap), and I’ll have another post at some point today. I’ll leave you with last night’s best highlight. Enjoy.