Archive May 2009

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Playoff Observations -- Sunday

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • The Wings are to the Pens as synthetic oil is to conventional. Discuss.
  • Scott Walker had his automatic one-game suspension for instigating a fight in the last five minutes of a game dropped to a measly $2,500 fine. What will Evgeni Malkin's be reduced to? I'm beginning to think the NHL rule book has pop-up pages you find in kids' books.

Post-mortem of Conference Finals

The Magic and Lakers will meet for the NBA title this season.  But what happened to the Cavs and the Nuggets?  And what can they do to get back to the show next season?

NFBC Free Agent Results, Week 9

Here are this week's results in the FAAB bidding:

Hot Streak vs. Permanent Skill Growth

When a player's performing well, it's important to be able to distinguish between short-term positive results, i.e., a hot streak, and the emergence of a new baseline, i.e., permanent skill growth.

Playoff Observations -- Saturday

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • Henrik Zetterberg has a big butt. How else did the ref miss Zett's hand closing on the puck on Chris Osgood's back? Maybe he was staring like ol' Sir Mix-A-Lot. Blown call.
  • Marc-Andre Fleury pulled the old 'how I lost the World Junior Championships for Team Canada' trick in the third, skating out to play the puck and almost flipping it straight into the oncoming Red Wing. At least he didn't trip leading his team onto the ice this year.

What We're Keeping our Eis On -- Saturday Edition

Just pitchers today. Blame it on the softball.

Odd MLB Draft Rules

The quirky MLB draft rules make for an interesting scenario for the Royals, who stand to benefit greatly if Mark Grudzielanek signs before June 9th. 

FAAB: Who's Available in Your League?

I'm writing both FAAB articles this week, so please be generous with your suggestions. Who's available in your leagues - be it AL-only, NL-only, or Mixed?

Tips for Matt Wieters

Here's what big leaguers have to say to the No. 1 prospect ... this was posted earlier then i took it down now it's back again. enjoy

St. Wieters Day Live Blog

With today being a fantasy baseball national holiday and all, due to the ascension of Matt Wieters, I figured it would be as good a day as any to crank up the liveblogging machine. Except, of course, that Wieters' debut is delayed by inclement weather. Boo Mother Nature! I hope the liveblogging machine produces a ton of CO2. In the meantime, Josh Outman was cruising until Marlon Byrd just tied it up in the seventh and the rest of the 7 o'clock games are about to start. Let the St. Wieters Day festivities begin!

MLB Notes

Chris Carpenter remains a huge injury risk, but it’s clear he’s back to being one of the game’s best pitchers when on the mound. Chances are he eventually gives up a run this season, but Monday’s start against the Brewers was one of the most dominant performances of 2009. Despite the shaky status of his arm, Carpenter is throwing harder than ever, as his current average fastball velocity (92.3 mph) is the highest of his career. Moreover, no NL pitcher has thrown a harder slider (87.8 mph average) this year, with only Justin Verlander (88.9 mph) besting him. Carpenter is filthy, and while not on the DL, he will likely continue to pitch like a top-10, if not top-five, fantasy starter.

Playoff Observations -- Wednesday

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • Cristobal Huet channelled both the Amazing Kreskin and Rubberboy with that on-his-belly, mind-over-matter leg save on Marian Hossa in the dying seconds of the third. He saved the game... at least for a few moments.
  • Not that long ago, a shot off the backboards was considered a complete duffer. Now, it's good strategy. I have to tell my beer league buddies that -- we'd look mighty fine under those rules.

What We're Keeping Our Eis On -- Wednesday Edition

A preview of Wednesday MLB action

Baseball Can Kill You

Apparently about 900 people have died playing or watching baseball in the last 145 years.

Is LeBron Skirting the Line Between Individual and Team Greatness?

After the Magic won game 4 to take a 3 - 1 lead on the Cavs, there has been some talk that perhaps LeBron James is doing a bit too much and perhaps limiting his supporting cast.  Is there any merit to this?

Playoff Observations -- Tuesday

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • Beard comparison -- Eric Cole has more facial hair than Sidney Crosby, Marc-Andre Fleury and about half of the state of Pennsylvania. And those are the women.
  • When was the last time you saw a team captain touch -- let alone pick up -- the conference trophy? I was stunned. They usually treat that thing like it's contagious.

MLB Notes

Quietly, Andruw Jones has posted a 1.003 OPS this season, with more walks (18) than strikeouts (15). It’s a small sample size with 69 at-bats, and his production has been solely Arlington aided (1.209 OPS at home, .728 on the road). Still, after hitting .205 over the past two seasons, it’s surprising to see some life back in his bat. He’s not all that valuable in fantasy circles as a part-time player, but there isn’t any good reason he shouldn’t start getting more action at Marlon Byrd’s expense.

NFL Magazine Mock Draft

The RotoWire Magazine Mock Draft took place Tuesday, April 28, just two days after the NFL draft. It was a 12-team draft with 15 rounds, standard parameters and standard scoring: (QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 K, 1 D) and (3/6 TDs, 20/10 yards).

(Thanks to the Mock Draft Central for the use of their excellent draft software).

Here are the results:

Playoff Observations -- Sunday

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • Charles Atlas vs. the 98-pound weakling. Not only did the Blackhawks get sand kicked in their eyes but they got their undies wedged up so far it felt like butt floss. What a spanking.
  • Marian Hossa scored 40 in the regular season. But in the playoffs, he only scores in Game 4s of each series. And then he scores twice... every time. Guess it takes him until the fourth date to really get comfy.

NFBC Free Agent Results, Week 8

As always, remember that it's a 15-team league, $1,000 budget, no trading. I'm still on my heroic quest to add a closer, climbing from two to three total saves today with a Juan Cruz special.

Clearing the Air on Marques Colston and Microfracture Surgery

Mircofracture surgery. No two words are more feared by athletes and fantasy owners. Numerous professionals have undergone this arthroscopic knee procedure, most famously the Phoenix Suns’ Amare Stoudamire in 2005. Recently it was revealed that New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marques Colston had microfracture surgery in the offseason. However before you panic and reevaluate your draft strategy, understand that microfracture surgery can be performed at varying locations in the knee. Here is some basic information to help you better understand what to expect if one of your fantasy players undergoes the procedure.

Playoff Observations -- Saturday

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • Super Gino strikes again -- two goals and a helper this time. Evgeni Malkin credits his recent outstanding play to his parents' arrival from Russia and specifically his mother's homemade soup. You read that right. Gino is powered by borscht. He's full of beef, beets, beans, cabbage and potatoes. No wonder no one wants to go near him.
  • And here Eric Staal thought finding a cab in Pittsburgh was tough. Try finding the net. Three games, no goals, one helper, minus-6 and 12 shots. Maybe Mrs. Malkin can help him, too.

What We're Keeping our Eis On -- Saturday Edition

What we're watching on Memorial Day eve eve

Playof Observations -- Friday

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • Martin Havlat was texting while driving, dropped his phone in his feet and was flattened by a Mack truck named Niklas Kronwall. What's the squatty Swede supposed to do? Swerve to miss him? The hit seemed clean to me; the fur pile that ensued -- right on top of the momentarily unconscious Hawk -- was a bit too kinky for me, though.
  • Women really do crazy for a Sharp Dressed Man. Finally, studly sniper Patrick Sharp showed up. Maybe, just maybe, Joel Quenneville will figure out that you don't play your shooters on the third and fourth line. Remember, compact flourescent light bulbs always flicker a few times before they come on.

Can the Magic really beat the Cavs?

Before the start of the Cavs/Magic series I thought that Orlando had some nice mismatches and that on paper they could beat the Cavs, but that in the end it wouldn't matter and that the Cavs would win in five games or less.  After game 1, though, I find that perhaps I need to reevaluate my thoughts.  At the very least, let's go through some of the reasons why Orlando has a chance of keeping LeBron James from earning his crown.

MLB Options Quiz (Answers Included)

MLB rules are designed to generate confusion and debate just like any other good governing document. Here's yet another example...

Playoff Observations -- Thursday

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • It's a bird. It's a plane. No, it's Super Gino! Evgeni Malkin was un-freaking-believable. That one-bull, pseudo wrap-around,  backhand shelf, solo goal for number three was absolutely stunning.
  • It's hard to believe that it took Chris Kunitz 15 post-season games to pot his first goal. Ya, he's contributing in other ways but I expected more. You can't get a much better centerman than the one he has.

Rants, An Homage

In the great tradition of Bill Simmons' Ramblings, Dalton Del Don's MLB Notes and Andy Rooney's daily existence, here's what's on my mind on a warm Thursday evening.

MLB Notes

Carl Crawford is a remarkable 25-for-25 on stolen base attempts this season, and dating back to last year, he’s been successful on 34 consecutive tries. His 96-steal pace isn’t going to last in 2009, and it looks like his days of hitting 15-18 homers are a thing of the past, but it’s hard to argue with the current version of Crawford. Because the Rays’ lineup is so much better than when he was a unanimous first round pick in fantasy leagues, Crawford should also threaten career-highs in runs scored and RBI as well.

Joe Mauer and Trevor Hoffman

Usually, it's bad news when your player misses the first several weeks to a month of the season. But if you were initially worried after drafting Mauer and Hoffman, you're not anymore.
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What I Think You Should Know About The USMNT
Needless to say, it's been a great World Cup thus far. The USMNT having some success would be awesome.
La-La-La-L.A. Gets Lord Stanley!
Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • Alec Martinez's Cup-winning goal celebration? # priceless. I wonder if he'll ever get his gloves back.
  • Henrik Lundqvist stopped the 50th shot of the game. He couldn't stop the 51st. #connsmythe if the Rangers had found a way to come back in this series.
Do Analytics Take the Fun Out of Sports?
Apparently that was the topic of one of the presentations at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston last week. The presenter, Yale's Edward Tufte, opined:

Don't let people tell you analytics are reductionist and take the joy out of sports. They mostly just take the stupidity out of sports.

Is he right?

RotoWire's AL LABR Squad
The 2014 AL LABR auction went down at the Arizona Republic offices in downtown Phoenix Saturday night. It's a 12-team, 5 x 5, AL-only league with 2 C, 1 1B, 1 2B. 1 3B, 1 SS, 1 CI, 1 MI, 5 OF, 1 U and 9 pitchers. Everyone has $260 to spend.
The Problem With Drafting Billy Hamilton
Billy Hamilton went for $28 in the NL LABR auction this past weekend. I discussed this with a fellow writer who participates in Tout Wars with me later this month and we discussed the problem with investing heavily into Hamilton.

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