Posts Tagged ‘Roy Halladay’

Rudy, but mo’ gangsta

It’s been a frustrating year for me in fantasy baseball. I entered the year mired in a Konerko-esque career slump, having not even gotten a trophy (a top-3 finish) in any baseball league since 2005. Every year I’ve had at least two, sometimes more, teams. I had good keepers, but my team had a desperate lack of pitching. Jair Jurrjens’ injury, Scott Baker’s mental implosion, Tim Lincecum’s worst season to date, and Andre Ethier injured himself when he was leading the NL in all three Triple Crown categories. The luck seemed bad, the odds long.

Gangsta

Rudy

The calendar turned to June. I trade a still DL-stricken Andre Ethier to my older brother for David Wright (at that point, with eight homers, nine steals, a .260-something average and 34 RBI) and John Danks (who had just been blown up for eight runs and 11 hits and walks in four innings). Ed. Note: Ethier keeps for 13, so Jeremy isn’t a jackass. I guess.

Five weeks later, I deal Jason Heyward, an unbelievably good keeper at 8, to another manager in my league who had given up already (he was in a perfectly reasonable fifth place at the time) for Cole Hamels (sporting a 4.20 ERA) and Roy Halladay (cementing himself as the frontrunner for the Cy Young already).

In two big deals, and admittedly some awesome luck with midseason acquisitions (picking up Corey Hart, Paul Konerko, Jose Tabata, Ian Desmond, Mike Leake (early), hitting Josh Willingham on his hot streak, Chris Perez, John Axford, Joel Piñeiro for one start – a complete game shutout – they all helped the cause), my season picked up from a low point of 54 at the end of June.

I shot up the rankings to first place by early August, then was unceremoniously passed by the defending champion, my twin brother (and lifelong arch-rival), a few days leader. Riding fantasy offensive juggernaut-cyborg-roto-terminators Carlos Gonzalez, Albert Pujols and Carl Crawford (Y! season-to-date ranks: 1, 2 and 9 respectively), Roy Oswalt’s ridiculous production after his trade to the Phillies and Josh Johnson and Cliff Lee’s all-important early season contributions, Matt stormed past me and built an intimidating late season lead.

Beating me 79-68 on August 20-something, and 83-74 just ten days ago, Matt looked unstoppable. Climbing from that deficit seemed like an insurmountable task. What’s a ridiculous task that I could use to metaphorize and explain to you…

hmm…

It’s like climbing up….

uuuuuupppppppppp……

THE CLIFFS OF INSANITY!!!!.

But I Man-in-Blacked that shit. I did it. Today, I am in first place. 82-81.5. No, it might not last. I don’t care. Second place pays for both my leagues anyway. I made it back to the top. I caught Matt, and proved that I still got it.

Allow me to re-introduce myself.

The Playoff Push: Where the Phillies make me poop myself

The Yankees are pretty assured of a playoff spot. This much has been certain for a while. They will either win the AL East or win the wild card. The Rangers, Twins and Rays also will be in the playoffs. All of these teams are great. Probably not as good as the Yankees, but who is?

I’ll tell you who is. The Phillies is. The Phillies most definitely is. I wrote them off a few weeks ago

Do you really need more reasons to hate the Phillies than this?

because they were losing in the division race to the Braves. Since then, the Phillies have reeled off a record so terrifying I don’t even want to look it up. Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt form a pitching trio deadlier than any in recent memory – I think all of them have sub-3 ERAs since August, which is just…I hate it.

Roy Oswalt ‘s career has been on the schneid for like 5 years. All of a sudden, he gets traded to an already good team in a hitter’s park and turns into 2005 Roy Oswalt? Roy Halladay is who we thought he is, having just gotten win number 20 last night. Cole Hamels is my boi, has been for a long time, and finds himself on both of my fantasy team. He might be their best pitcher right now. In his last six starts, he has an ERA of 0.82, 45 strikeouts and five wins in 43.2 innings pitched. Needless to say (but I’m saying it anyway), he’s regained his 2008 form and then some.

Then, you have the Phillies offense. Jimmy Rollins is hurt, but at this point, that hardly matters. Ryan Howard is mashing, and Jayson Werth, Chase Utley, Shane Victorino and Raul Ibanez combine to form by far the best lineup in the NL, and they and the Yankees are neck and neck for the best in the bigs.

Which of course brings me back to the Bronx Bombers. The Phillies may be frighteningly hot right now and devastatingly talented, but does that mean they’re better than the Yankees? I mean, Alex Rodriguez is now clutch, Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher and Jorge Posada are one hell of an offensive core. Derek Jeter isn’t even one of our 5 best hitters, but that doesn’t mean he’s no longer Derek Jeter. Brett Gardner is faster than any Phillie, which counts for something, and Curtis Granderson is (FINALLY) hitting this month.

Don’t forget, we still have the single greatest playoff weapon of all time at the back of the bullpen, CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, and…well there’s the rub. The only reason the Phillies do scare me is I don’t know who comes after Andrew Eugene. Phil Hughes was dominant in the beginning of the year but has completely reversed course and become a mediocre-at-best SP since the break. A.J. Burnett might as well carry around his own personal Heimlich maneuver technician (which is my guess as to what one would be called) he’s such a choke artist and Javier Vazquez is allergic to pinstripes/expectations.

Granted, none of this may matter when the calender flips to October. These are the Yankees we’re talking about. Say what you want about this current manifestation, but they now know what it takes to hoist that multi-flagged trophy. The Phillies do too, but they have a different sort of aura. The Yankees’ is tradition, professionalism, nostalgia and The Memory of The Boss. The Phillies’ is tasers, Riot Punch, and of course, this guy: