Thursday, May 31, 2007

The League - A Look at Rivals

Tony Allen has joined the blog writing fun.

Remember, if you want to write a blog follow these steps:

1. Write the blog
2. E-mail it to me

That's it. If you have any questions, you're an idiot.

Tony's words are after the jump.


St. Louis

Springfield Tones - The Zou, Columbia Schilbies

1. The Zou - The Zou currently boasts the second best record in the League at 5-3. This puts them tied at first with the Krunk Smurfs and Bolivar 300 in Kansas City. This is all fine and dandy, but The Zou holds the Tones’ first loss of the year. Not just a loss, but a Slobberknocker. The Zou beat the Tones like a government mule (431 - 249.5). The Tones feel that until they avenge that loss to Zou, Zou is at the top of their hit list.

2. Columbia Schilbies - Why would a team like the (2-6) Columbia Schilbies be rivals with a powerhouse like the (6-2) Springfield Tones? Besides being in the same division, the Tones embarrassed the Schilbs in the Inaugural week of our league (338 - 214). Just because the Schilbies suck doesn’t mean they can be rivals with a good team. Take the Cardinals and Royals. are being compared to the Royals...

P.C. Phantom Menaces - Springfield K.C.

1. Springfield K.C. - The P.C.P.M currently hold 2nd place in St. Louis with a 4-4 record. Right behind them are the 3-5 K.C. These teams are currently tied at 1-1 when facing each other. Their mirrored season series record combined with a tight 2nd place division race makes these two mediocre teams prime examples of rival teams.

Springfield KC - P.C. Phantom Menaces

1. P.C. Phantom Menaces - um.........basically same as above.......they can’t really offend many other teams being that they are so average......I mean come on, you aren’t winning the division.........I have that under wraps.

Columbia Schilbies - Springfield Tones; Blue Spring Royal/Cubs

1. Springfield Tones - um.....if you were the would be that jealous of the Tones

2. Blue Spring Royal/Cubs - With the Schilbs and The B.S.R.C.........they’re just mad at the world. And with that, they hate each other. They both proudly display a 2-6 record. But the B.S.R.C’s currently own the losers cup seeing the the Schilbs beat them in their “Toilet Bowl”

Kansas City

The Zou - Krunk Smurfs; Bolivar 300

1. Krunk Smurfs - Not only is there a 3 way tie in Kansas City for 1st place, but the Jason and his Smufs have not allowed Eric and his Zou to topple them yet this season. An already tense situation only escalates when one of your opponents can brag that you haven’t beat them yet. The first meeting between these 2 clubs was a blowout in favor of Krunk. But Zou G.M Mr. Johnson got to work improving his team and only narrowly missed the win the second meeting between these 2 clubs.

2. Bolivar 300 - The Bolivar 300 felt like slaying some Persians after their half point nail biting win over The Zou in their first meeting. The Zou felt like slinging some poo especially since on the Monday of their meeting the point total came to -.5. Talk about tragic.

Krunk Smurfs - P.C. Phantom Menaces; Bolivar 300; The Zou

1. P.C. Phantom Menaces - Papa Smurf has a score to settle with Darth Maul in Episode 1 of these two teams meeting. These Polk County ’s handed the Krunk ones their first lost of the year making even Little John saying WHAT!!

2. Bolivar 300 / The Zou - These two teams are being mentioned together because they hold the same significance to the Krunk Smurfs. Despite not losing to them once (and K.S. looking to cap off the B 300 again this week), The Smurfs have to share the division lead with them. I know two teams that are benefitting from interleague play with a weak division...

Bolivar 300 - Blue Springs Royal/Cubs; Krunk Smurfs; The Zou

1. Blue Springs Royal/Cubs - Who can forget that horrendous steroid scandal at the beginning of the season? Although both Andrew Wessley and Ben Neilson publicly deny any involvement in steroids, a cloud still hovers above these two team to this day.....and perhaps for the history of the league

2. The Zou / Krunk Smurfs - Besides sharing the division lead with both clubs, The Bolivar 300 to this reporters knowledge does not have beef with these two teams.

Blue Springs Royal/Cubs - Bolivar 300; Columbia Schilbies; Krunk Smurfs; Springfield Tones; The Zou; Springfield K.C.; P.C.P.M.

1......The Royal/Cubs hate anyone who defeats them and then again...........hates those he defeats too

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Erik's Power Rankings

If you can trust Ricky Clemons, then you can trust Erik Johnson...maybe.

It took alomost two full months, but FINALLY someone other than me sent in a post. This one is courtesy Erik Johnson. His words are after the jump.

By the way, if you want to write a post - write it and then e-mail it to me. That simple.


Quarter-year Review

We are one-fourth of the way through our inaugural fantasy baseball season, and there has already been a ton of action. Pujols (the obvious #1 overall pick) has been traded twice and the likes of David Wright, C.C. Sabathia, Mariano Rivera, etc. have been dropped and claimed. Now, I will take a look back at the initial Power Rankings put out by our beloved Ben Nielsen and see where everybody sits with a quarter of the season in our rear-view mirror.

Post-draft Power Rankings (courtesy of Ben Nielsen)

Blackhawks a.k.a Royals/Cubs (Current record: 2-5, Last in KC) – There’s a kick in the balls. Pick your own team to be the best, and have the worst record through one-fourth of the season (I know the Schilbies’ record is the same, but the Schilbies won the head to head). The Royals/Cubs did have a solid draft, but their owner inexplicably had a mental breakdown and managed to rid his team of players like Sabathia, Ordonez, Maine, Rich Hill, David Wright, Jered Weaver, and the list goes on. After getting out of the loony bin, Nielsen regained his sanity and has rebounded to form a solid nucleus on which he can build.
Ben’s Prediction Grade: F

Krunk Smurfs (Current record: 4-3, tied for second in KC) – Probably has the most potent line-up in the league, but injuries and inconsistent starting pitching has led to three game losing streak. Needs to get back a healthy Roy Halladay and have A-Rod return to his super-human April form.
Grade: B-; Pretty close

Tones (Current record: 5-2, first in StL) – Started the year by riding the coattails of King Felix, but maintained the pace when Hernandez went down with arm injury. Has upgraded line-up to include two all-stars in Pujols and Wright. Also has two more strikeout kings in J. Santana and Dice-K. Could be the team to beat if Hernandez returns to form, and Carpenter is able to make a solid recovery.
Grade: B; Maybe the best team in the league

300 (Current record: 4-3, tied for second in KC) – The team that had the best starting pitching is now relying on their offense. With V. Martinez, Helton, K. Johnson, Reyes and Holliday, not many teams can hit with 300. The big question is whether or not Andrew can get sustained success from his band of no-name pitchers.
Grade: A; Pretty much right on

Schilbies (Current record: 2-5, last in StL) – Solidified his line-up by adding the reigning AL MVP Justin Morneau and Carlos Lee. Lackey and Smoltz have been solid at the top of the rotation but the rest of the pitching is a question mark.
Grade: C-; Best Pick – Jose Lopez?

KC (Current record: 3-4, tied for second in StL) – On paper, this team doesn’t look overly strong at any position. But when you take into account Peavy, Guerrero and the possible increase in production from D. Lee and Clemens, this team could be dangerous … they could also end up in the geriatrics ward. They are still relying on Clemens, R. Johnson, Byrd and Griffey.
Grade: B+; Pretty much nailed it except for not naming Peavy as the best pick ever.
The Zou (Current record: 5-2, first in KC) – And I quote, “Would be a great AAA Team. Too bad this is a Major League Fantasy Baseball League. Guess Erik missed the memo.” Okay, he might have been a bit off. The Zou’s line-up isn’t great; it boasts the likes of waiver-wire pick-ups like Hunter Pence, Jack Cust, Robinson Cano, Jorge Posada and Mark Teahen. However, the starting pitching has been outstanding so far and carried the Zou to first place so far.
Grade: F; way off; plus the worst pick was listed as Tim Hudson

Phantom Menaces (Current record: 3-4, tied for second in StL) – Now that Kimball is here, he has put together a pretty solid team. J.J Hardy is the fantasy surprise of the year and waiver-wire pick-up Magglio Ordonez is raking. If the senior citizens like Glavine, Maddux and Lieber hold up, this is a team that might be one player away.
Grade: C; Despite not having any say in the draft, his team wasn’t that bad.


1. Tones – Santana, Dice-K and King Felix (if healthy) along with Pujols and Wright make this the team to beat.

2. The Zou – The ingredients are there but can the young pitching of Verlander, Weaver, Hill, Maine, Baker, Shields and Lincecum hold-up over a full season?

3. Royals/Cubs – No, I’m not completely insane. McCann, Prince, Manny, Hanley and Bonds can carry the offense and it’s best pick (Garret Atkins) while Hamels, Escobar, Oswalt and Sheets try to carry Zambrano. There’s talent on this team, but Nielsen might drop Hamels tomorrow to pick-up Ryan Braun or Andrew Miller so keep your eyes on the transaction list.

4. KC – Somehow you dropped David Wright. Wow. Still, if the old pitchers hold up, there could be playoffs at the end of the year.

5. 300 – The rest of the season depends on the unsung pitchers such as Looper, Blanton, Marquis, Sosa, James, etc.

6. Smurfs – Gay name. Anyway, if Halladay returns to form, the team with an amazing line-up could rise quickly.

7. Phantom Menaces – Should probably be higher, but there are just too many questions. Will the old pitchers hold up, can Hardy keep going and can Chipper stay healthy for a full year?

8. Schilbies – Arguably will have the best line-up when Mauer returns, but is very thin on starting pitching. Moseley could pay off though with E. Santana ready to be shipped somewhere.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Best Catcher

Is Jorge Posada going to be the best fantasy baseball catcher the remainder of 2007?

The following is the first installment of the "Best Fantasy Lineup" for the remainder of the 2007 season.

We will take this one position at a time. Today we have...


The easy choice here, looking purely at total fantasy points, would be Russell Martin. Martin has three home runs and 32 RBI to go with an impressive eight steals. He ranks sixth amongst all starting catchers with a .314 batting average and is tied with first amongst catchers with 20 walks.

The risk with Martin is that this is only his second year in the league. He has a career 30 point drop off in his batting average in the second half of the season and he does not play in a hitter’s park. Additionally, he does not have the kind of lineup behind him as catchers like Jorge Posada and Victor Martinez have. Martin has also been the benefactor of eight steals. At some point, pitchers and opposing catchers are going to catch on to his stealing ability and begin to attempt to take this away from him. One also has to think his legs will not be up to stealing bases in late July, August and September.

The other choice here would be Martinez. Martinez is second in fantasy in points and leads major league catchers with 34 RBI. His six bombs rank him in a tie for fourth among catchers and his .319 batting average ranks him third among the same group.

Martinez has the additional benefit of playing first base as well catching. He also has the benefit of being able to DH if Travis Hafner needs a day off or gets hurt. Victor is a .323 second half hitter and hits for better power than Martin.

History also shows that Martinez will cancel out his strikeouts with his walks. Martinez has never struck out more than 78 times and has had a good amount of walks to go with his strikeouts (71 BB – 78 Ks in ’06, 63 BB – 78 Ks in ’05, 60 BB – 69 Ks in ’04).

Last, we have the CRAZY hot Jorge Posada. How hot is Posada? Let’s take a look at where he ranks in the major offensive categories amongst catchers:

BA - .367 (1st)
HR – 6 (tie for 4th)
RBI – 27 (4th)
Runs – 28 (2nd)
2B – 14 (tie for 1st)
SLG - .585 (2nd – behind John Buck…)
OBP - .427 (2nd)

His 121 fantasy points rank him third amongst catchers.

Here is the issue with Posada – he would be having a career year at the age of 59,682. He would be having to either set career highs or nearly matching career highs that he set in his prime. Here are some of his career highs and the pace he is setting for himself right now:

Cat. Car. High Car. Avg. Current Pace
Games – 151 (2000) 135 42 151
BA - .287 (2000) .273 .367 .366
HR - 30 (2003) 21 6 22
RBI - 101 (2003) 83 27 97
Hits - 145 (2000) 124 54 194
Runs - 92 (2000) 69 28 101
2B - 40 (2002) 28 14 50

As you can see, a lot is going to be asked of Posada to maintain this pace. But, as we have seen with several players, it is becoming less and less uncommon for players out of their prime to have crazy seasons. So here is what sold it for me – career versus division.

Martin Road Career tOPS+ 2007 Park Factor

SF .100 .237 93 100
SD .226 .281 96 93
ARI .300 .286 99 107
COL .359 .329 116 107

Martinez Road Career tOPS+ 2007 Park Factor

CHI .360 .323 125 103
DET .237 .253 60 99
KC .279 .290 86 107
MIN .230 .255 75 98

Posada Road Career tOPS+ 2007 Park Factor

BAL .230 .258 93 99
BOS .266 .260 100 102
TAM .255 .261 87 102
TOR .320 .309 122 103

The first thing I take from this is that Martinez is automatically eliminated. While Martinez has essentially OWNED the White Sox, Martinez still has to go up against Minnesota and Detroit who, for lack of a better word, have owned him. Even the Royals have had generally good success against Martinez.

In order to separate Posada and Martin, we need to look at the Park Factor. While Posada seems to be the more reliable hitter on the road in comparison to Martin’s dreadful numbers at San Diego and San Francisco, you can see that Martin has been able to take better advantage of the hitters parks he gets to play in as well as having general success at home against those same teams. Posada seems to have showed little success against any other team in his division except for Toronto – those numbers almost look out of place – thought they are not necessarily terrible.

These numbers would indicate to me that Martin would be the more valuable fantasy player over the course of 76 divisional games than Posada would.

The argument against this is the crazy differential in sample size between Posada and Martin and Posada’s 174 OPS+ to Martin’s 128 OPS+. But I feel that Martin’s youth along with his proven success against the majority of his division gives him the slight edge.

WINNER – Russell Martin

Monday, May 14, 2007

Winners, Losers, Week Six Review, Week Seven, Ultimate Lineup

I’m 1-0! I’m 1-0!

You guys suck.

Wait, those other games weren’t preseason? Crap.

Well then…I’m 1-5! I’m 1-5!

It took six weeks, but I FINALLY have a win. Anybody find it odd that it coincides with my trade of Albert Pujols? Or that they guy I traded Pujols to had a great fantasy point week, but inexplicably had to deal with a team that went off for 388 points? Just saying.

Actually, that’s all I have to say…



Catcher – Jason Varitek, FA, 28
Backup – Russell Martin, Tones, 26

1B – Dan Johnson, FA, 48
Backup – Justin Morneau, Schilbies, 34

2B – Julio Lugo, KC, 30
Backup – Luis Castillo, FA, 25

3B – Alex Gordon…just kidding. Actually it was Mike Lowell, 300, 36
Backup – Andy LaRoche, FA, 35

SS – Derek Jeter, KC, 37
Backup – Rafael Furcal, FA, 27

LF – Jack Cust, FA, 33
Backup – Manny Ramirez, R-C, 28

CF – Ken Griffey Jr., KC, 34
Backup – Gary Mathews Jr., Schilbies, 32

RF – Magglio Ordonez, PM, 34
Backup – Vladimir Guerrero, KC, 32

DH – David Ortiz, R-C, 36
Backup – Jay Gibbons, FA, 25

Starting Pitchers
1 Brad Penny, PM, 90
2 Kelvim Escobar, R-C, 64
3 Jason Marquis, Tones, 56
4 Randy Wolf, Tones, 55
5 Roy Oswalt, R-C, 53

1 Ted Lily, KC, 51
2 Jose Contreras, FA, 48

Relief Pitchers
1 Brad Lidge, FA, 35
2 Jonah Bayliss, FA, 33

1 Billy Wagner, PM, 32
2 Rafael Soriano, Zou, 32


I want to keep this short and sweet so here we go..

KC vs R-C – HAHAHA you lost to ME! You suck KC!

Zou vs Schilbies – Schilb…yeah…I don’t know what else to say. Zou – your end is near…

Smurfs vs Tones – Jason you just got raped. And you lost Holliday too. Tones – you get Hernandez back this week. You suck.

300 vs PMs – First, I want to say that I have renamed the Phantom Menaces (PM) to the Bowel Movements (BM). Second, I want to say that I hope you enjoy being cursed 300 and that you remember that everyone dies at the end of 300. BM – umm…I would really appreciate it if you did not put another 388 spot this week. How about you go for – oh lets say – 147? Sound good? Great.


Match-up of the week HAS to be the Tones and 300. Why? Because 300 is going to fall hard.

The strikeouts of Santana, Hernandez and Dice-K will blot out the sun and 300 will not be able to fight in the shade because it makes it harder to hit.

In all honesty, 300 put up 300-plus points last week and the Tones have the ability to put up just as many. I will be fun to see how high the totals get.
Players to not suck – King Felix, Tones and Dice-K, Tones and Santana (he needs to get a nickname), Tones

Prediction – Tones over 300 by 1.5 points

Other Matchups

KC vs The Zou – I’m just going to be honest here, I want the Zou to lose. No reason other than I just hate you.

Prediction – KC over Zou by 7.98 million

Schilbies vs Smurfs – Unless the Smurfs lineup starts hitting again, this could be a very low scoring matchup. I give the edge to the Smurfs because of his closers.

Prediction – Smurfs over Schilbies

R-C vs BM – I win.

Prediction – R-C over the Movements of the Bowel (you know, I hope I’m spelling this right.)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Grading the Trades

Royals prospect Daniel Cortes at his finest. The future of the Royals looks bright.

I think we just went through our first series of serious trades. You know, trades that weren’t done because some of us were too stupid to realize that he/she did not draft a LEFT FIELDERRRRRRRR or because people were still trying to figure out their teams or too busy dropping David Wright and Barry Zito.

SO, here were the first series of trades:

300 traded Ben Sheets, Mil SP to Royals/Cubs
300 traded Cole Hamels, Phi SP to Royals/Cubs

300 traded Dan Uggla, Fla 2B to Royals/Cubs

CRAP traded Kelly Johnson, Atl LF to 300

CRAP traded Jeff Suppan, Mil SP to 300

CRAP traded Ian Snell, Pit SP to 300

Dan Uggla was latter dropped for Brandon Phillips.


CRAP dropped Bengie Molina, SF C to Waivers
300 traded Jermaine Dye, CWS RF to Royals/Cubs

300 traded Carlos Zambrano, ChC SP to Royals/Cubs

CRAP traded Dontrelle Willis, Fla SP to 300

It should be noted that Jermaine Dye was later dropped by the Royals/Cubs and then added by 300 who later dropped him for OF Josh Hamilton who had just recently been dropped by Royals/Cubs. It has now been noted.

300 traded David Ortiz, Bos DH to Royals/Cubs
300 traded Roy Oswalt, Hou SP to Royals/Cubs

300 traded Bobby Abreu, NYY RF to Royals/Cubs
300 traded Brett Myers, Phi SP to Royals/Cubs

CRAP traded Jason Giambi, NYY 1B to 300

CRAP traded Joe Blanton, Oak SP to 300
CRAP traded Albert Pujols, StL 1B to 300

Bobby Abreu was later dropped for Luke Hochevar who was then dropped for Jon Garland.


The obvious winner here is the Royals/Cubs.

300 essentially traded all of his consistent veteran pitchers for a young, inconsistent, unproven pitcher (Snell) and two mediocre guys (Blanton and Suppan). Honestly, would you trade Oswalt, Sheets, Hamels and Myers for Suppan, Blanton and Snell? No, you wouldn’t. That would be THREE points for R-C.

The Dontrelle Willis – Carlos Zambrano deal is a wash.

Now here is where it gets interesting. When taken into account who has been added and dropped along with the trade, the following occurred:

300 got: Albert Pujols, Jason Giambi., Josh Hamilton and Kelly Johnson R-C got: David Ortiz, Brandon Phillips, Shane Victorino and started Prince Fielder in place of Pujols

R-C got the better end of this deal. Here is why:

First, aside from the fact that Pujols is cursed, he is also going to have a down season (by his standards) then next couple of years. Rolen is old, Edmonds is old, Eckstein is old, Duncan can only hit when he is batting in front of Pujols and there is virtually NOTHING coming up through the minor leagues to help him. On top of this, the word in Gay Louis is that the owner is in the process of becoming more stingy with his money, which is why they did not work to keep Suppan and seek additional pitching help. In other words, Pujols is going to hit 30+ homers, but nobody is going to be on base.

Meanwhile…Prince Fielder is going nuts with the Milwaukee offense. The team is young and on its way to talking hold of the NL Central for the next couple of years. Fielder is only 22 years old and, in terms of keeper value, is a mere 28th round (or lowest pick) choice since he was not drafted. He also has people he can drive in because people actually get on base in Milwaukee.

Second is the acquisition of David Ortiz. Ortiz was, essentially, traded for Pujols. Ortiz will walk more, hit more home runs and drive in more runs this year than Pujols will. Ortiz is already out scoring him in Fantasy (as is Fielder by the way). Giambi, who will replace Ortiz for 300, strikes out a lot and hits in a position where he will lose most of his RBIs to AROD and Abreu (when he decides to start hitting again).

Finally, 300 downgraded at more positions than he upgraded. 300 upgraded at first base and second base, while downgrading in starting and relief pitching (losing Meyers and not replacing him) and also DH. He remained neutral in the outfield. R-C meanwhile slightly upgraded at first base, upgraded at DH, upgraded in starting pitching, upgraded in relief pitching, the outfield with Victorino, and, arguably, at minimum, maintained value at second base with Phillips.

SO, 300 gets TWO points for getting better on offense and R-C gets FIVE points for upgrading at three positions on offense and two points for not losing value at any position.

Final score: R-C 8, 300 2. Final grade: R-C A, 300 C-.


COL traded Alfonso Soriano, ChC LF to Zou
COL traded Justin Verlander, Det SP to Zou
COL traded Paul Konerko, CWS 1B to Zou

Zou traded Justin Morneau, Min 1B to Schilbies

Zou traded Carlos Lee, Hou LF to Schilbies

Zou traded Mike Mussina, NYY SP to Schilbies

This was an interesting trade. It is a trade that, I think, will end up being a better one for the Shilbies…barely.

This whole deal depends on how much Soriano improves over the next month and how much Sabathia and Maine continue to dominate.

The Paul Konerko – Justin Morneau trade, to me, is a wash. They will both put up equal numbers by the end of the season.

The Justin Verlander – Mike Mussina trade, this season anyway, will also be a wash. Both will win their share of games and strike out their fair share of batters. The difference here will be whether or not Johnson decides to keep Verlander and if Verlander continues to be dominate. If that happens, the Zou got a steal here, but only if he is kept and continues to succeed.

Now the interesting part and this is the part where trading pitching could come back to bite the Zou.

Lee is going to do very well for the Schilbies and will probably produce more than Soriano in the long run. So I can only applaud this upgrade.

The Zou had an obvious overload of left fielders (something the Smurfs does not have) and could handle trading the likes of Lee. The deal is that Soriano is both struggling and old. He is 31 and plays the same position as Grady Siezmore who could easily be more productive over the course of this year than Soriano. The other position Soriano plays is left field, which does not help because the Zou has Carl Crawford there who is a much younger, more productive player (this season) than Soriano.

The Zou made this deal to do two things: upgrade his lineup and boost the trade value of either Siezmore or Soriano to make a bigger splash for his lineup.

Here is where my problem is with this deal: there is a lot of risk and a lot of assumption. First, you are banking not wasting Siezmore at bats for a slumping Soriano. Then you must assume that someone is going to be willing to give up something of value for Soriano to upgrade your lineup. You are then also assuming that your pitching is going to hold up. Consider the following:

Sabathia, since going 17-5 his rookie season, has never lost fewer than nine games since. Remember that coming into this season, he was not even considered their Ace anymore, Cliff Lee was (not that I’m saying I agree with this, I’m just saying that is what was being said in Cleveland).

Sabathia has pitched over 200 innings once in his career, has had an ERA bellow 4 only twice and has a career ERA+ of 111, which is not a dominate number. Here are a few other things to consider: he plays in the AL Central, he plays in the AL, he plays in the AL Central and he plays in the AL. As an overview: he plays in the AL Central and he plays in the AL.

The same AL Central where every team is over .500 except the Royals. The same AL that has nine of its 14 teams over .500 (with one of the five sub .500 teams being the Yankees). The same AL Central that has four legit contenders to get to the playoffs. The same AL that lost the World Series to the Cardinals. Wait…

ANYWAY, the point is that the American League is rough. To have consistent dominance for the entire season there is going to be tough, especially when you have never been consistently dominate before. This began to show Friday when Sabathia got lit up by OAKLAND. Yeah the team that can hit absolutely nobody else except the Royals, hit two bombs, scored six runs and knocked out nine hits to give Sabathia his first loss.

To me, that is a bit of a risk.

Then there is John Maine. What Maine has going for him is that he plays for the Mets, which means he gets to pitch in Shea Stadium when he has to face Atlanta, Florida and Philadelphia. He also gets to pitch against Washington. Lucky.

But here is the deal on Maine, he has NEVER pitched more than 90 innings in the big leagues. NEVER. Yeah his numbers are AMAZING but he is also half way up to his career high in innings pitched. At some point Maine is going to fall and he is going to fall hard.

Then Johnson goes out and trades for Verlander, which is nice, but can he be relied upon in only his second season as a big leaguer? While he did pitch twice as much as Maine did last season, plus the postseason, Verlander is still only 24 and has to be on the verge of some kind of slump.

I say this because Verlander’s K/9 ratio and BB/K ratio has dropped since last season.
He is also walking people more frequently. And, as I said about Sabathia, he plays in the AL Central.

At least with Mussina, you have a battle-tested guy who is old enough to understand how to deal with AL East hitters. He also does not have to face the Yankees. And when you figure Clemens will be ahead of him in the rotation, Mussina will be going up against less superior starting pitchers.

OR, he could suck, Sabathia, Maine and Verlander will go off all season and the Zou will destroy us all. You just don’t know.

That is why I give Schilb a B for the trade and the Zou a flux D- to B+.

THE FINAL TRADE was as follows:

COL traded Mark Buehrle, CWS SP to Royals/Cubs
COL traded Eric Byrnes, Ari CF to Royals/Cubs

COL traded Kelvim Escobar, LAA SP to Royals/Cubs
CRAP traded Matt Cain, SF SP to Schilbies

CRAP traded David Wright, NYM 3B to Schilbies
CRAP traded Johnny Damon, NYY CF to Schilbies
CRAP traded Chris Young, SD SP to Schilbies

Here is my warning to Schilb – enjoy the rollercoaster ride of having one REALLY good start from Young and then one REALLY bad start from Young and so on. Same for Cain.

Young and Cain (who also walks a ton of guys) are inconsistent – Mark Buehrle and Kelvim Escobar (he also pitched a shut out for me his first time out) are not.

Eric Byrnes is in the top 5 in outfield production – Johnny Damon just got dropped by Schilb.

David Wright is the interesting part of this trade in that R-C never actually deserved to have him. He was just sitting there for no reason on the free agent market. For what I got in return for him, I’m satisfied.

Wright could end up being a huge upgrade for Schilb, but trying to break out of a slump in Shea Stadium is tough. Plus, you know the New York fans are not the most patient in the world. Still, Wright’s potential keeper ability salvages this trade for the Schilbies.

R-C gets a B+ Schibies gets a D+

Friday, May 11, 2007

Worst Rookies ever, Alex Gordon and George Brett

The little video above is two things: a brief summery of Alex Gordon’s first 32 games and the inspiration of this blog.

Below is my "all-time worst rookie season ever" team.

There were a few requirements to be placed on this team:

1. You could not have any previous appearances in the big leagues (i.e. a September call-up, George Brett’s 13 games in 1973 prior to his rookie season in 1974).
2. You must have played a minimum of 100 games.
3. You must have an OPS+ bellow 75
4. You must have had a batting average at or bellow .220 or had the lowest average of those who had an OPS+ at or bellow 75 (this mostly applies to the outfield).

Before we begin, I have a feeling a few of you have no clue what OPS+ is so here is a brief explanation. OPS+ is a way to compare your OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) to other players in the league that season. This number also factors in the ballparks you are playing in. This helps even out stats that are affected by the Green Monster in Boston, the thin air in Colorado and the terribly spacious grounds in Shea Stadium. The average is then set at 100. If your number is above 100, then you are above average. If your number is bellow 100 then you are bellow average. If you have a number bellow 75, you are really bad.

I chose OPS+ because it is a good way of filtering out good and bad hitters. It tells you not only how often you are hitting the ball, walking and getting on base, but also with what kind of power you are hitting.

SO, on with the list…

Catcher – Gary Allenson, Boston Red Sox, 1979

Rookie Line (108 Games): .203, 3 HR, 33 RBI, OPS+ 49

The average league player that season hit .277. Went on to play five more seasons with the Red Sox before playing his final season with the Toronto Blue Jays. He played over 80 games only two more times after his rookie season and had a career batting average of .221 and an OPS+ of 71.

First Base – Tony Bartirome, Pttsburgh Pirates, 1952

Rookie Line (124 Games): .220, 0 HR, 16 RBI, OPS+ 48

Bartirome would only play one season in the majors. He was the seventh youngest player in the major leagues that year at the age of 20. His 37 strikeouts that season were 8 more than his doubles, triples, home runs and RBI combined. He did not ground into a double play the entire season (355 at bats).

Second Base – Del Young, Philadelphia Phillies, 1937

Rookie Line (109 games): .194, 0 HR, 24 RBI, OPS+ 23

Young was gracefully allowed 386 plate appearances in 1937 and would play four seasons for the Phillies. He did not hit a home run until his third season in the big leagues (he hit three that season) and would never homer again. In his rookie season, he accomplished the near impossible feat of having a higher on-base percentage (.235) than slugging percentage (.231). Young stole six bases in his rookie year and would only steal one more base the rest of his career.

Third Base – Mike McCormick, Brooklyn Dodgers, 1904

Rookie Line (105 games): .184, 0 HR, 27 RBI, OPS+ 56

McCormick is recorded to have not struck out a single time in his rookie season. His rookie season would also be his only major league season. He walked 43 times and stole 22 bases and was never caught. Due to his walks, McCormick was able to produce a .278 on-base percentage to dwarf his .222 slugging percentage.

Shortstop – Rob Picciolo, Oakland A’s, 1977

Rookie Line (148 games): .200, 2 HR, 22 RBI, OPS+ 30

Picciolo set a career high in walks his rookie season with 9 while striking out 55 times (which would not be a career high). He would go on to play 8 more seasons in the majors with Oakland, Milwaukee and California. He also committed 21 of his career 71 errors in his rookie campaign. Picciolo was 1-for-3 in the 1981 ALDS versus Kansas City – a series Oakland would win.

Left Field – Howie Shanks, Washington Senators, 1912

Rookie Line (116 games): .231, HR, 48 RBI, OPS+ 75

Shanks has the lowest batting average of any rookie left fielder with a OPS+ 75 or under in a minimum of 100 games played in the history of baseball. Shanks played 14 seasons in the majors and had a career .253 batting average in the dead ball era. He also led the American League in triples (18) in 1921.

Centerfield – Lloyd Merriman, Cincinnati Reds, 1949

Rookie Line (103 games): .230, 4 HR, 26 RBI, OPS+ 68

Merriman is not related to Shawn Merriman. I know this because Lloyd went to Stanford and there is no way Shawn has any resemblance of having any kind of intelligence. Merriman played 5 seasons in the majors and was a career .242 hitter with 12 career bombs.

Right Field – Ken Walters, Philadelphia Phillies, 1960

Rookie Line (103 games): .239, 8 HR, 37 RBI, OPS+ 60

Walters would only hit three more home runs after his rookie season and would be come a career .231 hitter in three major league seasons. Statistically, he compares best to a guy named Karl Olson. The only good thing about being compared to Olson is that he is still alive.

Just for fun…

Starting Pitcher – Jack Bracken, Cleveland Blues, 1901

Rookie Line (100 Innings Pitched): 4-8, 6.21 ERA, 31 BB, 18 SO, ERA+ 57 (ERA+ is like OPS+ only ERA+ is for pitchers)

There is a reason why this guy never pitched again after is rookie year: he sucked. See above his K/BB ratio and ERA. What you do not see above are the following: 137 hits in 100 innings pitched, 1.680 WHIP and 10 hit batsmen. All of this and the guy was playing in the dead ball era. You know, there era where everyone sucked at hitting.

It should also be noted that the Blues defense did not help his cause. In 100 innings pitched, Bracken allowed 25 UNEARNED runs. This brings his total up to 94 runs allowed in 100 innings. Wow.

So, as you can see, what Alex Gordon is doing right now is, essentially, historical. All he needs to do is find a way to subtract two home runs off his line and he could be the WORST rookie third baseman of all-time. Neat.

But there is a little hope in all of this – George Brett truly was not much better (if not worse) through his first 32 games.

Gordon: .173, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 4 2B, 13 BB, 35 SO, .312 OBP, .269 SLG, .581 OPS

Brett: .196, HR, 7 RBI, 6 2B, 3 BB, 11 SO, .216 OBP, .293 SLG, .509 OPS

Other things to keep in mind, Brett committed 21 errors in his first full big league season and then followed with two straight years of 26 errors and a 21 error season. In 1978, Brett committed a more respectable 16 errors, but then followed it with a 31 error season in ’79. It wasn’t until 1980 that Brett had consistently stronger defensive seasons. That would be six full seasons before Brett figured out how to play third base.

Another thing is that Brett didn’t have to worry about filling someone else’s shoes. Brett wasn’t compared to another Brett-like player. For that matter, he didn’t have to worry about being the best prospect since Carlos Beltran or something like that either. Brett was the first of his kind in that regard.

Brett also played on a team that finished 77-85 his rookie season. According to the Pythagorean formula, the Royals actually UNDERACHIEVED that season and should have finished 82-80. He also had guys like Hal McRae, Amos Otis and John Mayberry around him to pick up the offensive load. As a team, they hit .259 and had an OPS+ of 94. This year’s team is hitting .246 and has an OPS+ of 86. And when you consider that Reggie Sanders, who was slugging .612 before he got hurt, is out of the lineup, we are an even more terrible offensive team.

Brett consistently batted 8th in the lineup his rookie season until the middle of September when he was moved up to the three hole. Gordon started the season batting 5th and has batted 5th as recently as Wednesday (he went 0-3 and struck out twice).

Another thing to consider is that the Royals had two winning seasons in the last three prior to the 1974 season. They were also entering their sixth year of existence. This year the Royals are coming off their third straight 100 loss season and forth 100 loss season in five years. People are desperately not wanting to suck and the guy who is supposed to be the Moses of the Royals franchise is sucking hard.

So in retrospect, we should probably lay off. Give the guy a chance to figure out where the heck he is. If you really think about it, Billy Butler is not doing much better; the only difference is that the guy had a good first four games. Since then he has sucked.

Butler first four games: 7-16 (.438), 2B, 2 RBI, 2 SO, .438 OBP, .500 SLG, .938 OPS

Butler last five games: 2-17 (.118), 2B, RBI, BB, 4 SO, .167 OBP, .176 SLG, .343 OPS

But when you look at his season batting average of .273 you feel a little better about yourself. That, and the guy is supposedly projected to be a better hitter than Gordon, if he isn’t a better hitter than him now.

What makes this whole thing difficult is that the Royals didn’t have a Gil Meche-type signing on offense. We don’t have that older guy who is slugging the ball in the midst of everyone sucking. The guy who is winning games by himself like Meche is right now. Mike Sweeney looks old. Mark Teahen is getting better, but he is sucking it up on the road and seems to be a year away for being consistently dominate.

I also consider the prospective we would be looking at this if our bullpen had just won HALF of the games they have blown and if Emil Brown did not exist. Wishful thinking I suppose.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

What? A Blog? No way...

PAP Meter: Pujols: “I am John.”

It is 11:22 PM (Monday night) and I am staring at the scoreboard of our fantasy baseball league in horror. I have a 56 point spot (minus Suppan’s win and quality start and Fogg’s, more than likely, loss) on Joel. One problem: Joel has a 40 spot going .

Here is why I am nervous. Joel has scored SIX offensive points today. Six. Yet Lackey’s gift start versus the Royals and a random 1.5 points from Heath Bell makes Joel’s really bad day into a pretty good one.

Looking at Joel’s Probable Starter list, you will see the following:
John Lackey @ KC
Justin Verlander @ KC
John Smoltz vs LAD
Andy Pettitte @ Tex
Kyle Lohse @ Hou
Mike Maroth @ KC
John Lackey vs CWS
Mark Buehrle @ LAA

Consider the following:
KC’s offense sucks. Houston’s offense sucks. Chicago’s offense is in a TERRIBLE slump. Texas has been no-hit this year. LAAAAA is a one of the most inconsistent offenses in baseball. It is feasible Joel could score 500 points with his pitching this week. This would send me to 0-5. That would send me into depression. That would lead me to transfer from SBU.



Ultimate Lineup

Catcher - Joe Mauer, 31, Schilbies
Backup - Victor Martinez, 29, 300

1B – Todd Helton, 38, Tones
Backup – Kevin Youkilis, 27, FA

2B – Chase Utley, 39, PM
Backup – Kelly Johnson, 30, R-C

3B – B.J. Upton, 29, FA
Backup – Mike Lowell, 27, 300

SS – Alex Gonzalez, 39, FA
Backup – Jimmy Rollins, 36, Smurfs

LF – Barry Bonds, 45, R-C
Backup – Carl Crawford, 28, Zou

CF – Vernon Wells, 37, PM
Backup – Aaron Rowand, 35, FA

RF – Magglio Ordonez, 49, PM
Backup – Sammy Sosa, 35, FA

DH – David Ortiz, 27, 300
Backup – Frank Thomas, 25, Smurfs

Starting Pitching
1 Dan Haren, 67, Zou
2 John Maine, 64, Zou
3 Aaron Harang, 56, Smurfs
4 Jake Peavy, 53, KC
5 Chad Durbin (FA) and Bartolo Colon (Zou), 48

1 Roy Halladay, 46, Smurfs
2 James Shields, 45, Zou

Relief Pitching
1 Brandon Morrow, 32, FA
2 Al Reyes, 31, Tones

1 Armando Benitez, 27, FA
2 J.J. Putz, 26, FA


Most of you won (except for Shilb…YESSSSSSS!) except for me. What I do not understand is how the Pansies can be so terrible. I mean, what do you have to do to be that bad? Next thing you know, he’s going to do some ridiculous thing like only score 49 points in one week. I don’t think that is possible though, even for a team as terrible as the Schilbies. Geez, he sucks.

ANYWAY, here are the standings through the first month of the season:

Kansas City

Smurfs 4-0 – Where would you be without AROD? Nowhere! Hear that? Nowhere!
300* 3-1 – 1-1 against teams who are not 0-4. Should be 0-2 but he cheated.
Zou 2-2 – I remember the 2003 Tigers losing games they way you lost to 300*.
R-C 0-4 – Undeniably the best 0-4 team in the history of fantasy baseball.

Gay Louis

Tones 4-0 – I’d like to see you beat a team that scores more than 49 points. Overrated.
KC 2-2 – Don’t have much here…so…you suck.
PM 1-3 – Better name. Crappy record.
Pansies 0-4 – You must be taking the same kind of steroids the Royals are taking.

As you can see, everyone has played four games. It is very clear that this is true.


At the one month mark, the Royals are CLEARLY better than the Gay Louis Cardinals. For proof, here is a statistical analysis:

GL has Albert Pujols. Point Royals.
GL has Jim Edmonds. Point Royals.
GL has Scott Rolen. Point Royals.

(as you can see, the Royals are winning 3-0)

KC has a bullpen. Point GL.
GL HAD (until it died) a bullpen. Point Royals.


GL is 10-14 while KC is 8-18. Equivalency meter says the Royals are 18-8 in the NL Central and GL is 5-19. HUGE point Royals.

Royals win 5-1.

Cardinals suck.