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Archive April 2010

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NHL Playoff Hockey Observations -- Thursday and Friday

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • P.K. Subban is more than just another pretty offensive face. He's much better with angling out and using his stick than I expected. And he has an impressive nasty streak.
  • The real reason the Flyers made the postseason? The ultra-hot Princess Madeleine of Sweden. It seems her fiance split the sheets with a college student and she bolted to NYC to the supportive arms of long-time "friend", Henrik Lundqvist. It's all about priorities, you know -- practice or princess? Princess or practice? Better yet, practice with the princess...

Just Catching Up On Baseball This Week

It's been very quiet so far on the baseball front. Does that mean a storm is brewing?

Interview with Fangraphs

Last Friday, RotoWire's Carson Cistulli, who also writes for Fangraphs, and I chatted for about half an hour. Here's the link.

RotoWire Mock Draft

We had our first NFL mock draft Tuesday. It was 14-teams, standard scoring, no PPR. QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, FLEX, TE, K, D. The results are below:

Andrei Arshavin and the English Tabloids

Arsenal and Russian international Andrei Arshavin says he's been misquoted in the English tabloids. Would the tabloids ever get a quote wrong?

Stay For a Nightcap, Early Edition (Home Run Thursday)!

Representing the East Coast, here's what's happened on a busy Thursday.  I'll add updates as the late games end.

Picks, 4/28/10

Season: 28-28, +0.24 units.

Fun with Numbers: Brian Fuentes


Rumors have Brian Fuentes' eventual demise may not be exaggerated.

They're all gonna laugh at you!

What a crappy pitching staff.

NHL Second-Round Matchups Set

Following the Montreal Canadiens’s improbable upset over the number-one-seeded Washington Capitals Wednesday night, the landscape and outlook of the Eastern conference has undergone a complete overhaul. The opposite is true in the West, where most would say nary a single upset took place (the Detroit Red Wings were technically underdogs to the Phoenix Coyotes, but still were favored due to the experience factor). Thus, the inevitable question looms: Who will move on now?

CL Semi a Special One

Inter Milan, reduced to 10 men, held the barricades on Wednesday night and progressed to the Champions' League final with a gutsy 1-0 loss in Barcelona. It wasn't pretty, but it was pretty nervewracking to watch.

The Nightcap: Wednesday's Games

Bob Uecker suggests that you pick up some Usinger's Sausage on your way home.

Trust him without question.

NHL Playoff Hockey Observations -- Wednesday

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • One-for-33; 'nuf said.
  • Alexander Ovechkin was good but far too predictable. Even I knew what he was going to do... and when he was going to do it. 

Hull in a Handbasket

Hull City is trying to stave off administration by slashing player salary. The problem's widespread. A salary cap could help.

Ned Colletti to Matt Kemp: "Your Defense Sucks"

I'm a Dodger fan and today, I'm fightin' mad...

It's All Come Down to This, Habs vs. Caps: Game Seven

Following the Detroit Red Wings’s game-seven victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday night, the focus now shifts onto the last remaining game seven (of just the two) of the first round. The Montreal Canadiens will look to complete the upset of the Washington Capitals tonight at 7 p.m. Eastern Time.

Stay For a Nightcap! Rogue Closers

Tuesday's games featured saves from the likes of Ramon Ramirez, Alfredo Simon, Frank Francisco and Jason Motte due to their team's respective closers having worked often recently

NFL Notes

Some observations about the 2010 NFL Draft:

Picks, 4/27/10

Season: 27-24, +3.60 units

World Cup Injury Bits

Wayne Rooney and David Beckham make unsettling comments; Thomas Sorensen and William Gallas hope to be fit in time to play.

Stay For a Nightcap! The RotoWire Curse Strikes Again

The Curse of RotoWire Fantasy Sports Today

- Jorge De La Rosa, who has been talked up by both Jake Fox and Jerry Hairston Jr. on our radio show, has a torn flexor tendon in a finger on his pitching hand and will be out for an extended period of time, though he won't require surgery. Jhoulys Chacin will replace him in the rotation.

NHL Playoff Hockey Observations -- Monday

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • Darius Kasparitus made the hip check look dirty; Dan Hamhuis has returned it to glory. He gave up four inches and about 45 lbs on Dustin Byfuglien but he executed it to perfection, leaving the Blackhawks a d-man short on a rush the other way. And we both know what happened on that rush.
  • Jaroslav Halak channeled his best Patrick Roy (pre-Colorado, of course), flashing leather at every turn on-route to a 53-save win. He even spooked Alexander Ovechkin into passing. Now that's an accomplishment.

Picks, 4/26/10

Season: 26-22, +4.815 units

Something About a Chicken


I don't know the original intent of Dan Okrent and company when they created rotisserie baseball – other than the fact that name was derived from the New York City restaurant (La Rôtisserie Française) where they met to scheme up the insanity that we've come to know and love. Maybe there was some hidden meaning in the name “rotisserie” – something alluding to the fact that the season is a long process that requires some patience, similar to the way revolving a chicken on a spit through a fire doesn't cook it as quickly as possible.

Whether you read RotoWire or any of the other fantasy sites out there offering insight and analysis, you're going to see columns preaching patience and a few will even share the same tagline “this is a marathon, not a sprint.”

Rangers are SPL Champions. (Yawn.)

Rangers have won a second successive Scottish Premier League title. I can't get interested in what's been a two-team league for the last decade or more.

Stay For a Nightcap! Dave Trembley Edition

With a 7 to 4 lead in the 10th inning, Dave Trembley left Jim Johnson in, after getting the last 5 outs.  Why?  I have no idea.  Johnson proceeded to give up a double to Youkilis, get Ortiz to fly out, give up a double to Drew, which scored Youkilis, give up a single to Beltre, and a single to Bill Hall, which scored Drew, before Trembley brought in Meredith.  What took so long?! 

NHL Playoff Hockey Observations -- Saturday and Sunday

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • Marian Hossa -- goat, goon or god? Discuss.
  • Free agent rumors in Canada start the day after a team bows out to of the playoffs. And it chases the team's first-round loss off the front of the sports websites. Wow, Anton Volchenkov is one powerful dude.

Spanish Liga and Italian Serie A Roundup

It's as-you-were for Barcelona and Real Madrid; Inter moves past Roma to lead Serie A; Danish international goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen goes off injured to leave his World Cup hopes in doubt. 

Picks, 4/25/10

Season: 24-21, +3.765

History Repeats Itself as Senators Get Eliminated

Hockey fans shouldn't be all that surprised that the Pittsburgh Penguins were able to come back from a three-goal deficit to beat and eliminate the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night, as they've done it before... one year less one day ago to be exact.
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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.
Payne's Daily Fantasy Basketball Experiment
Let's see if I can make any money doing daily fantasy hoops.
My 12-Team NFBC RotoWire Online Championship Team
I drafted out of the 11-hole for the "Beat Chris Liss" league. I had done a fair amount of research on optimal roster construction from that slot, and I decided I'd go hitter in the first round, three pitchers in 2-4 and then hitting for the next 10 rounds or so before filling in with upside pitchers late. Of course, few battle plans survive the actual war. Here are the results:

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