Friday, May 19, 2006

MY OTHER FANTASY

Since there was no Sox game Thursday night, I guess it is time to look at my other Fantasy league team of jokers and chokers. This is what I call the Dan League, as my buddy and soccer scribe, Brigstah (congrats again on the new job starting this fall, my friend), invited me into a league with a few of his college buddies, who have a spirited, fun league (even though I know no one other than Dan, having met him at last at the fantastic Brigstah wedding last summer) in which eventually I will get into smack-talking when I move out of third place and start kicking butt. My weakness in the league, which is 5x5 cumulative stats, non-keeper, with max innings/games for each position, is that I burn out all my available innings by the end of August because I just cannot get enough starting pitchers. So I stay at the top of the standings due to my pitching stats, and then spend all of September dropping off to the middle of the pack. I am trying to stay under control and pick up some more set-up men to improve WHIP and wins without killing my innings, but it is tough to pass up those National League starters out on waivers. Anyway, here is the horrible team I trot out that is somehow in third place out of fourteen teams as of the middle of May:

Pos - -Batters
C-
J. Mauer-(Min - C) - As I made the point the other day in my post about my other fantasy team, I have tried to get Mauer even though he killed me his rookie year when he got hurt after getting three hits on opening day.
1B-
C. Delgado -(NYM - 1B) - I kind of lucked into grabbing Delgado early on in the draft. Sure, I think he is smart to have toned down his anti-American comments, but as long as he hits I can deal with it. I mean, it is not like he is Barry Bonds or someone evil of that ilk.
2B-
F. Sánchez-(Pit - 2B,3B,SS) - I just scooped up Ready Freddy from the abyss of the waiver pool, as I just could not get out of bed in the morning another day with Craig Counsell at second base. Freddy is far from an ideal pick, but I am only looking for adequate at this point.
3B-
Mi. Cabrera-(Fla - 3B,OF) - Again, I make it a point to get Cabrera every year. I think he could be as good as Albert Pujols someday.
SS-
O. Vizquel-(SF - SS) - Yeah, I seriously thought he would hit .300. Really, I was throwing up in my mouth when I realized he was my SS (wait, I can play Counsell there! Bleeeechhh!). I just pray he keeps hitting (although I know he will not).
CI-
B. Wilkerson-(Tex - 1B,OF) - I insult the guy last column then he blasts a two-run job against the Yankees. Wilkerson, you suck! You are the worst! (Now keep hitting!)
MI-
M. Grudzielanek-(KC - 2B) - I know what you are thinking, and yes, it is as pitiful as it looks.
OF-
B. Abreu-(Phi - OF) The only way he leaves my team is if he is traded to the Yankees, where my NO YANKEES EVER policy goes into effect.
OF-
C. Lee-(Mil - OF) - A steal. He may be one of the best free agents this off-season if the Brew Crew cannot wrap him up. He would look good in left field at Fenway next year.
OF-
R. Ibañez-(Sea - OF) - Nothing special. Adequate. Kind of like the Mariners in general.
OF-
J. Jones-(ChC - OF) - Dear Lord forgive me for putting this strikeout, low OBP machine on my roster. Of course I am desperate, see the two bozos coming up next.
Util-
D. Young-(Det - 1B,OF) - Da Meathook! Pulled him off waivers. No, I do not expect much out of him. If he gets hot, I may ride a few home runs and RBIs off him, but that is all I can hope for at this point.
BN-J. Cruz-(LAD - OF) - Jose Cruz Jr? His Dad may be almost 60, but I would rather have him on my team right now.
BN-C. Counsell-(Ari - 2B,SS) - I think I am going to start crying now. Craig Freaking Counsell?
BN-
C. Monroe-(Det - OF) Who? Exactly. A fringe outfielder. He probably will not do much, but there really is no better spare outfielder available.
-
Pos-Pitchers
SP-
B. Zito-(Oak - SP) - Again, as I had conveyed in an earlier post, I drafted him too high for the little bit he will contribute this year.
SP-T. Glavine-(NYM - SP) - My savior so far this season. Glavine has been the best left-handed pitcher in the National League this year. No, I thought I might get 12 wins out of him.
SP-
B. Arroyo-(Cin - SP) - Another lucky pick. I figured Arroyo for ten wins (and that still may be his maximum), but he really has pitched great for Cincinnati.
RP-
E. Guardado-(Sea - RP) - Steady Eddie: as in steadily inconsistent.
RP-
Ro. Hernández-(Pit - RP) - Oh God my closer selection is weak.
RP-
Ja. Wright-(SF - SP,RP) - Who? Who cares.
P-J. Lackey-(LAA - SP) - Another solid starter. My starter collection: always a strength.
P-
K. Millwood-(Tex - SP) - Surprisingly inconsistent this year, but he still should get 15 wins.
P-
B. Myers-(Phi - SP) – Another pitcher I carry in both leagues EVERY year. Ever since I saw him shut down the Red Sox in spring training when he was still in AAA, I made a decision to draft him every year until he was a star. Well, I am still drafting him, but this year he should break through and win 18 or 19 games.
BN-
D. Davis-(Mil - SP) - I love these Milwaukee starting pitchers. I just love them.
BN-
J. Lieber-(Phi - SP) - I did have ANOTHER Phillies starter, but three was just too many. Lieber is on the bench since he is pitching against the Red Sox (another fantasy league rule of mine).
DL-M. MacDougal-(KC - RP) DL - Even he were healthy, he would not have any saves.
DL-D. Hermanson-(CWS - RP) DL - Really I should just release him, since he would not be closing anyway, but I have the spot so what the heck.

* * *

O NO

Nope, not a post about Yoko and John Lennon, but rather touching base after the Red Sox blowing their chance to sweep the Orioles. Here is my game summary:

Innings one through seven: F@%# Eric F@%#*** Bedard! F@%# Eric F@%#*** Bedard! F@%# Eric F@%#*** Bedard! F@%# Eric F@%#*** Bedard! F@%# Eric F@%#*** Bedard! F@%# Eric F@%#*** Bedard! F@%# Eric F@%#*** Bedard!

Yes, the kiddos were once again introduced to the proper usage of profanity in context to a baseball game where the pitcher you had stole off of waivers when he was 4-0 and proceeded to go 0-2 and give up 13 runs in 13 innings for you until you released him (I desperately needed infield help what with injuries and no DL spots open), and the Eric F@%#*** Bedard goes out and shuts down the Sox, giving up two hits and one run in seven innings.

Of course, after Big Papi gave us hope with his bomb off of Chris Ray (I bet Chazer was agonizing over that at-bat: the beloved Red Sox or his beloved fantasy league closer? Of course, Chazer, bless his former accountant number-crunching, French horn playing heart, was rooting for Chris Ray to mow down the Sox and pick up the save, some strikeouts and improve his team ERA and WHIP.), I had to spend the next twenty minutes (yes, the kids were asleep at this point) muttering F@%# Willie F@%#*** Harris!

Of course, seeing Willie Harris get thrown out stealing second base to end the game brings two thoughts to my head:

1. Imagine if Dave Roberts had been thrown out against the Yankees in game four of the ALCS in 2004;
and
2. Babe Ruth ended the 1926 World Series by being thrown out stealing second base in the ninth inning of game seven down by one run. Can anyone even fathom that? I remember reading that as a kid and thinking how horrible it must be to end a season that way. Of course, Ruth erased it from the collective memory of baseball fans everywhere by hitting 60 home runs the next season and redeeming himself by hitting .625 in the 1927 World Series. Somehow I doubt Willie Harris is going to do that anytime soon.

In fact, speaking of Willie Harris, exactly why is he even on the roster? I would rather Bob Zupcik or Chico Walker was coming off the bench.

* * *

DH NONSENSE:

I hate that everyone is so concerned that the Red Sox have no DH in the interleague games in National League parks. Last I checked the fielding stats used by the big guns (Baseball Prospectus, SABR, Bill James, and Rob Neyer), David Ortiz was actually an upgrade in the field over Kevin Millar. Lest anyone forget, Big Papi gunned down Cardinals pitcher Jeff Suppan at third base during the 2004 World Series when Suppan made his ill-advised base-running blunder that officially gave the Sox all the final momentum they needed.

Big Papi may be rusty, but he is not a liability like Millar was at first base.

* * *

MY FANTASY:

Since I blab so much about my fantasy teams, I figured I would post them here to allow them to be mocked and ridiculed by all (Hey, I am equal opportunity when it comes to mocking and being mocked!).

This team is in what I refer to as the Rickles League, actually named Manny Being Manny. It is a Yahoo, non-keeper, head-to-head weekly with 5x5 scoring. Right now I am in seventh place of the twelve team league with a 24-30-6 record.

Pos-Batters
C-J. Mauer-(Min - C) - I love Mauer. I had him his rookie year when he had a great game, tore up his knee, and went on the DL for four months. The plus side was that I picked up Javy Lopez that year.
1B-C. Tracy-(Ari - 1B,3B,RF) - Yeah, pitiful, but Derrick Lee, my first round pick , is on the DL.
2B-D. Uggla-(Fla - 2B) - Ugg says it all. I did have Craig Counsell here, and can move Soriano if I can find an outfielder who can hit once in a while.
3B-Mi. Cabrera-(Fla - 3B,LF) - I have drafted Cabrera every year since I picked him up his rookie year. I think he is the most over-looked superstar out there right now.
SS-J. Hardy-(Mil - SS) DL - I just released his injured ass this morning. Picked up the blond mullet, Khalil Green of San Diego. His average sucks, but his power numbers are decent for the position.
LF-A. Soriano-(Was - 2B,LF) - I picked up Jason Giambi on waivers in the second week of the season, and since I have a strict No Yankees rule for my teams, I sent him to my Yankee Fan brother-in-law, Mike, for Soriano. That is the definition of win-win and getting something for nothing.
CF-J. Pierre-(ChC - CF) - This is the LAST year I ever draft someone entirely for stolen bases. Pierre is horrible.
RF-B. Wilkerson-(Tex - 1B,LF,CF,RF) – Somehow this chump is on both my teams. Kathy had him one year on her fantasy team and LOVES him now. Me, all I know is I wastched the Yankees game during commercials during the Red Sox game last night and saw Wilkerson strike out twice.
Util-A. Ramírez-(ChC - 3B) - Some guys get the big contract and do nothing. Oh look, Aramis Ramirez.
BN-L. Berkman-(Hou - 1B,LF,RF) - My MVP so far this season. He is only on the bench because Houston had an off day.
Bitmap BN-G. Atkins-(Col - 3B) - A pleasant surprise, but I would like to get more power out of 3B, move Cabrera to LF, and move Soriano to 2B.
DL-D. Lee-(ChC - 1B) DL - GET WELL SOON, BIG GUY!

Pos-Pitchers
SP-R. Dempster-(ChC - SP,RP) - The Dumpster has been lights out for me.
SP-C. Young-(SD - SP) - I love National League pitchers. LOVE EM!
SP-B. Zito-(Oak - SP) - Zito was drafted a little high and he really has not been the ace I hoped for him to be in a contract year for him.
SP-K. Wood-(ChC - SP,RP) DL - Finally healthy, I can finally see if this bum at least gets me a few strikeouts.
RP-B. Fuentes-(Col - RP) – The crappiest closers for the crappiest teams. That is my motto for the bullpen.
RP-D. Báez-(LAD - RP) - Safe to say, I was dancing when Eric Gagne went down. May his recovery take twice as long!
P-D. Weathers-(Cin - RP) - Just here to get me some low WHIP and ERA.
P-F. Rodney-(Det - RP) - Ditto, although I wish he would steal some saves for me.
BN-T. Wakefield-(Bos - SP) - I need him to get hot so I can trade him.
BN-T. Glavine-(NYM - SP) - My Cy Young for the pitching staff. Took a flyer on him in the late rounds and he has been my rock.
BN-G. Chacín-(Tor - SP) DL - Somehow, Chacin went undrafted. Another favorite of Kat, as he did well for her team last year, so I scooped him up just in time to see him go down with an injury.
BN-C. Capuano-(Mil - SP) - Yup, another National League starter.
BN-B. Myers-(Phi - SP) - Another guy I draft every year for every team I have rounds earler than anyone else waiting for that breakout season.
BN-N. Robertson-(Det - SP) - I have no idea why Nate the Great is here. Seriously. I assume I grabbed him off waivers at one point, buy I do not remember why or what I was thinking at the time.

Later, I will touch on my other fantasy team, aka the Dan League, where I am in third place in a fourteen team league.

* * *

HOCKEY?

Not to bring up a sore spot, but to everyone in San Jose: welcome to our world. We emphasize. Game seven for the San Jose Sharks, and who forgot to show up? Jumbo Joe! Much like his time in Boston, Joe Thornton decided to have ZERO impact with the season on the line. Not to bash on Big Joe, but this is what we saw all those years in Boston: great skills, great talent, but never a clutch performance. Just call him the A-Rod of the NHL.

* * *

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