Posted on: September 23, 2008 6:30 pm
Edited on: September 23, 2008 6:31 pm

Winning Starts in Round 10

I first have to apologize to my beloved “What’s on the Menu” readers; I have let you down with my fantasy selfishness. Between fantasy football starting, the heat of fantasy baseball playoffs and my day job I have neglected to give you my column the past couple weeks. I promise the information that follows will ease your tempers.
  The 2008 fantasy baseball season has come to a close and if you are still reading this you are either in the championship in your league or you are as obsessed with fantasy baseball as I am. This year I learned to never give up on players that once rocked the fantasy sleeper sheets: Aubrey Huff, Cliff Lee, Carlos Delgado, Jorge Cantu, Carlos Quentin and Ervin Santana specifically. All of which I did not own in any league because I was too stubborn to snag them up when I had the chance. Who honestly predicted the year Cliff Lee would have after those first couple starts. Don’t kid yourself if you are speaking aloud right now, no one did. Who honestly thought Cantu, a guy with that dirty of a mustache could possibly eclipse 100 Runs and 100 RBI this season. Enough of my frustrations with the players above and on to the reason I’m in my leagues championship and the majority of teams that owned those players are done.
  I have done so well this year because of the players I drafted in the later rounds (I classify the “Later Rounds” anything after round 10). Any fantasy player can have a great draft for the first 10 rounds but it is the later rounds that separate the good from the great. Every year I try and outline players of value after round 10 and I then compile a list with about 2-3 players at each position. By doing this it gives you plenty of options during the draft. This year I was able to draft AJ Burnett (Round 11), Kevin Youklis (Round 12), Brad Lidge (Round 13), Josh Hamilton (Round 14) and Dustin Pedroia (Round 16) with this strategy. I made sure I laid off of tempting guys at these positions because of the value I could get at the position later. There are always exceptions; I passed on Kinsler because I was targeting Pedroia at 2B later in the draft. Granted this was a big exception because even I, the biggest Pedroia fan going into the season, didn’t predict this type of season. If you are depending on drafting a guy like Pedroia later on in the draft you have to make sure you draft him about a round or two ahead of his ADP or else this strategy is shot. Instead of filling my roster in the early rounds I always try and grab as many reliable Starting Pitchers as I can. I would rather take my risks on position players that play six times a week than the take a risk on a pitcher I send out once a week. The bad games for position players will not hurt your weekly outcome as much as a pitcher blowing up.
  Below are a few players at each position I’m trying to target after round 10 in 2009.  
Catcher: Matt Wieters(BAL): Elite catching prospect and could have a Soto like impact next season if he wins the job.   Pablo Sandoval (SF): If he is C eligible in your league he will pay big dividends as he will most likely reach 500 Abs between catcher and first base.  
1B:   Joey Votto (Cin): If the Reds don’t bring in any big hitters this offseason Votto has a strong chance at being the Reds cleanup man and in that park he has a real shot at 30 HR and 100 RBI with his rookie season already under his belt.   James Loney (LAD): His power is still lacking but I feel a breakout season for Loney as the Dodgers will only get stronger.  
2B:   Alexei Ramirez (CHW): I think by draft time next year this guy’s value will be to inflated to get him after round 10 but he has serious upside. If he reaches the base stealing numbers he was posting in the minors and you combine that with the power numbers he has displayed this year, he could be the only guy left with a legitimate shot at 40-40.   Matt Antoneli (SD): Antoneli will go undrafted in many leagues next year and for a good reason, he had a forgettable season in AAA, he will be playing for a horrible offensive team and he is still a raw rookie. But he has elite potential and if he is handed the starting job this spring I think it is worth the flier.  
SS:   Rafeal Furcal (LAD): He looked like an MVP to start this season and the risk involved with him on draft day next year will be too big for him to go earlier than the 10<sup>th</sup> round.   Jed Lowrie (BOS): Lowrie will probably end up hitting in the second leadoff spot in Boston and if he can hit for a high average he should be able to reach 100 runs.  
3B:   Chris Davis (TEX): If you can put up with the high K numbers he has a legitimate shot at reaching 30 HR and 100 RBI next season in that ball park.1Beligibility is also a plus.   Garrett Atkins (COL): A down year will make this once elite 3B option available in the later rounds. He is worth the risk next year.  
OF:   Hunter Pence (HOU): Another player who had a down year by expectations but he has come on in the second half and his potential is sky high.   Adam Jones (BAL): The key piece of the Bedard deal has had an average rookie season but next year the training wheels will be off and he should be a lock for 15 HR and 15 SB.  
SP:   Brandon Morrow (SEA): Seattle had a type of season many fans want to quickly forget but them being out of contention has allowed Morrow to reach the rotation early than expected. If his first start is an indication of what he is capable of then be prepared to go crazy next year.   Aaron Harang (CIN): Don’t be too scared of Harang next season he used to be the closest thing to consistency.   David Price (TB): It will be extremely difficult to draft Price next season because of all the hype surrounding him but if he wins a starting spot he will be worth the reach.
  RP:   Frank Francisco (TEX): The closers job will be Francisco’s to lose this spring and you can not overlook his 11.89 K/9, 1.17 WHIP this season. The saves will not come in surplus but his numbers will be worth it.   Chris Ray (BAL): George Sherill made many fantasy owners forget about Ray but the job was his before he was declared out for the season. If he comes back healthy and wins the job    he could reach those 2006 numbers at a discount.        
Category: MLB
Posted on: July 30, 2008 2:16 pm

What's On the Menu - Week 18: Familiar Faces

What's On the Menu - Week 18: Familiar Faces   - 7/25/2008

The "What's on the Menu" column is geared to give Head to Head owners advice on making the right moves when setting their lineups for the upcoming scoring period. Every week, "Uncle Charlie" provides you with the players who will become the fantasy studs for your team. I will also include my thoughts on players who are not worth adding and the column will end with a bold prediction for the upcoming week.

In this weeks article I review some familiar faces to the fantasy world. Some can help you in your pursuit of a playoff spot and some will leave you drinking aimlessly at your local drinking spot. Nevertheless, this is the week of the "senior" discount if these veterans are available in your leagues waiver pool.

The Soup of the Day -- I feel this player might be worth a "taste" for the upcoming week.

Melvin Mora - 3B, Baltimore Orioles

No! This is not 2004 and Yes! Melvin Mora is 36 and producing like a 27 year old.   Mora has been scorching for the Orioles lately and he remains un-owned in less than 50% of CBS leagues and that number needs to grow.   He's got hits in seven of his last eight games with four homers, 15 RBI and six runs scored in that span.   Melvin has shown no signs of slowing down and a 25-30 HR season is not out of reach for the Orioles third baseman.   Pick up Mora if he is still hanging around in your league's waiver pool and begin to party like it is 2004.

*Special: Two for One - I feel this pitcher is the best stream-able two start pitcher for the upcoming week.

Anibal Sanchez- SP, Florida Marlins

"Shoulder - 60-day DL. On Class A rehab assignment. Might return for July 28 start vs. N.Y. Mets," this status update is not the greatest thing to see when you view Anibal Sanchez's profile.   But if you look at his career accomplishments you will be sure to find the no hit performance he threw in 2006.   Sanchez looks to rebound from shoulder issues as well as fellow Fin Josh Johnson has, Sanchez begins that journey with a start at home vs. the NY Mets on Monday.   In his last start at Class A Jupiter, Sanchez allowed two runs and four hits in 4 1/3 innings in his second rehab start, throwing 49 of his 70 pitches for strikes. He threw 13 of 19 first-pitch strikes. He struck out three and walked two. His velocity ranged from 88 to 93 mph. The velocity is encouraging and his second start in Week 17 against the Rockies makes him somewhat desirable as a spot starter. I would pencil him in as a flier for the upcoming scoring period and hope you can call some friends over to party like it was 2006.

Waiter's Choice -- I feel this player is worth the gamble for the second half.

Joel Hanrahan -- RP, Washington Nationals

Hanrahan does not fit the profile for this week's column, he has only one big league season under his belt and is only 27. However, after the trade of Jon Rauch , the Nationals will hand the ball over to Hanrahan as their closer for the rest of the season. Hanrahan is currently second among major league relievers in strikeouts with 65. In the past four weeks, Hanrahan has a 1.80 ERA in his past 13 outings. If you haven't noticed the trend of pitchers I have outlined in previous articles, I like to attach myself to pitchers with high strikeout rates. If a pitcher has the ability to miss bats, he has the ability to create outs by himself which is a huge advantage when runners reach base.   With that said Hanrahan has strikeout potential and can be a serviceable closer in deeper leagues, especially NL-only formats. The only thing holding Hanrahan back from being viewed as a No. 2 closer is he plays for the disgraceful Nats. If you play in a league that rewards strikeouts and you can start more than two closers on a weekly basis then take a crack at Hanrahan.

The Porterhouse -- I feel this player will provide big power numbers in the upcoming week.

Jim Thome - DH/1B, Chicago White Sox

Icon SMI

Thome is a face we cannot forget, he was a fantasy mainstay in his early years and sure his bat speed might have slowed down a little but he is continuing to hit the ball out of the ball park at an alarming rate for his age. He is currently on pace to hit 30 HR, Thome has hit 30 or more home runs in every healthy season since 1998. He is also on pace to have 495 AB and the last time he reached 490+ AB, Thome hit 42 HR in the same ball park he is playing in now. Thome has raised his average 26 points this month and is starting to look like the Thome of old. He has begun to heat up and if this continues his HR numbers should begin to soar. Jump aboard the sluggers train if it is not to late and party like it is 1998 (I promise sooner or later I will find a player who had a big year in 1999, so when you read aloud it sounds like the Prince jingle.)

Chocolate Cake - I feel that although this player seems tempting, you should stay away.

Barry Zito - SP, San Francisco Giants

Don't skip over this section that quickly, I know Zito looks like an obvious fit for the Chocolate Cake dish but the former CY Young winner has won back-to-back decisions for the first time all year. Barry Zito is like the ex-girlfriend who hangs around your favorite bar only to hope you can get drunk enough to take her home. No matter what fantasy owners seem to give the box score a look every time Zito takes the mound. Why is beyond me, his stat line is still atrocious, he still has not regained his command (10 BB in his last 18 innings) and his once infamous 12-to-6 curveball looks more like a 9-to-6 hanger. Stay away from Zito and if you must have a "Guilty Pleasure" go down to the local waterhole and take home some lonely sea turtle because regardless of how Zito looks now he will shockingly resemble the same sea turtle the next morning.

Bold Prediction: Someone will write me an email to complain about my Zito analogy.

Week 16 Bold Prediction Results: There will be 12+ "Gold Ball" Homeruns in this years Home Run Derby.

Actual Results = 10 "Gold Ball" Homeruns. Who would have knew Josh Hamilton would have almost tripled this number in the first round.

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 18, 2008 1:28 pm

Lincecum Too Hung-Over to Pitch?

Lincecum Too Hung-Over to Pitch?

Everyone has caught the flu at least once in there life and I understand how running to the toilet every 10 minutes can get old when most of the time you just end up sitting there.

However, the confusing part with major leaguers is...whenever this happens to them they call it "flu-like symptoms." Last time I had the flu it was pretty apparent I had the flu not just symptoms. If we only had symptoms wouldn't that be the stage before the Flu?

Isn't it just the flu? I would get the picture loud and clear if they just said so...and had the flu. I wouldn't expect any human being to pitch under that circumstance. Granted there are no time-out limits in baseball like there are in football but I would assume the umpires and batters would get restless after the 10th trip to the "John."

So why throw in the symptoms...if someone is giving birth do they have "Pregnancy like-symptoms?" or if we shatter our legs do we have "Broken bone like symptoms?" I think you get the point, so why do major leaguers get the benefit of disguising their illness?

Only one conclusion can be had of "Flu-Like Symptoms" especially in Lincecum's case - let's look at the facts:

  • The All Star game is in New York City
  • Nightlife in New York is a lot better than those "silly" bars in SF
  • First All-Star game (Rookie Hazing?)

If you combine these three facts I would have to say the "Flu-Like Symptoms" Lincecum had were due to the "Red-Headed Sluts" and "Lemon Drops" Arod, Milton Bradley and Big Papi were sending over from their side of the bar.

We have all had the pulsating headaches, churning stomachs and sensitivity to light after a long night of drinking. So why do athletes get the privilege of getting out of the humiliation by playing the "Flu-Like Symptoms" card. When I'm hangover after a long night of partying I'm the brunt of the jokes or the one with sharpie on his face.

So next time you are stuck in this situation just wake up from your comfortable rug, grab your dignity off of the shower towel you used as a pillow and walk up to your friends and say I'm heading home guys I have "Flu-Like Symptoms." Your friends will be blind-sided by the mystifying language and sympathize with you like they do their favorite ball players.

Please send all feedback to


Category: MLB
Posted on: July 7, 2008 2:41 pm

What's On the Menu - Week 15: Fresh Marlin

What's On the Menu - Week 15: Fresh Marlin   - 7/2/2008

The "What's on the Menu" column is geared to give Head to Head owners advice on making the right moves when setting their lineups for the upcoming scoring period. Every week, "Uncle Charlie" provides you with the players who will become the fantasy studs for your team. I will also include my thoughts on players who are not worth adding and the column will end with a bold prediction for the upcoming week.

The Soup of the Day -- I feel this player might be worth a "taste" for the upcoming week.

Grant Balfour - RP, Tampa Bay Rays

Icon SMI
Don't feel threatened by this flame throwers last name, "Ball-Four." The Australian journeyman has decreased his walks since coming over to Tampa in a trade for Seth McClung last season and if you are in the need of cheap saves and plenty and plenty of strikeouts than "Ball-Four" is your man.   Old man Percival ran into his latest injury (Literally) on Monday and Balfour was given the opportunity to close out Tuesday's game and he made an impression that stuck. A four-out save to escape an inherited bases-loaded jam in the eight and three K's in the ninth. I would say that is making the most of an opportunity. If manager Joe Madden liked what he saw we could be regularly seeing Balfour come out in the ninth for saves.   If Balfour is given a chance to close out games for the first place Rays and maintains the numbers he is having so far 1.08 ERA a 0.78 WHIP and 25 k's in 16.7 innings, he could instantly jump to the elite tier of closers.   Think of Balfour as the Kevin Gregg of last year only he plays for a first place team with a lower ERA.   Pick up Balfour in all leagues next week while Percival is on the DL and you will be sure to let out a few "Aussie Aussie Aussie OI! OI! OI!" chants. Although, I would only recommend doing the 'Ball-Four" chant after every save and not after every strikeout because if coupled with beer it could get ugly.

*Special: Two for One - I feel this pitcher is the best stream-able two start pitcher for the upcoming week.

Jorge Campillo - SP, Atlanta Braves
Jorge is quietly having a beautiful rookie season with a 3-2 record and sporting a nifty 2.54 ERA 1.02 WHIP and 53 K's in 67.3 innings.   Campillo has been overshadowed by teammate Jair Jurrjens in Atlanta and hasn't received as much hype in fantasy. All of this only benefits you as he is only owned in 36% of CBS leagues so far (which is a fair estimate of ownership on other fantasy sites as well). Campillo will have two starts against the struggling Dodgers and the Little League team they call the "Padres" in Week 15.   Consider the Tijuana born Campillo a highly advisable two-start pitcher based on his matchups for Week 15. Odds are Campillo will bring su familia and amigos across the border to watch him pitch in San Diego, with that said look for Campillo to bring a little extra in his matchup against the Friars. I would say projecting a win; 3.50-4.00 ERA and 7-12 strikeouts would be conservative compared to his potential next week.

Waiter's Choice -- I feel this player is worth the gamble for the second half.

Josh Johnson -- SP, Florida Marlins
This 6-foot-7 Marlin has been hooked from Double-A Carolina and should be reeled into the starting rotation after one more rehab start for the Mudcats. Once he rejoins the struggling Marlins rotation around the All-Star break (Pre if his next rehab start goes well and Post if he struggles), Johnson hopes to be even better than he was in 2006, when he was 12-7 with a 3.10 ERA as a rookie. Generally Tommy John surgery requires a full 12 to 18 months of rehabilitation and another year of pitching before returning to pre-injury form (Kerry Wood, Billy Koch both reported they were able to throw with a higher velocity after the surgery.) Essentially, the body must convert a tendon into a ligament, get it carrying blood again and train it to start working as a ligament. That being said we must keep expectations low for Johnson and his second half; however, since the doc performed the elbow operation Aug. 3, Johnson lost 30 pounds, dropping his weight to 250, and retooled his changeup with Sergio Mitre, another rehabbing Marlins right-hander. By being in better shape Johnson's mechanics have came back to him quicker than normal and he is not fighting his body as much as he used to. The slimmed down Johnson hasn't looked to shabby in four rehab assignments, including two at the Class A level, Johnson has thrown 21 1/3 innings. In those 21 1/3 innings his command has looked amazing as he has struck out 16 and only walked 3. He is also reportedly hitting the radar gun consistently at 90-94 MPH without pain. If Johnson can recapture any of the magic from his rookie season he will be the beneficiary of a blazing Marlins offense that is scoring almost 5 runs a game. I would conservatively project 5-7 wins a low 4.00 E.R.A. and close to a strikeout per inning from Johnson. I took a flier on Johnson this week in my Head-to-Head league and dropped the human headache Oliver Perez. If you aren't risking too much, then I would strongly advise joining me in supporting Johnson's comeback. Please note, losing 30 pounds to support Johnson is not part of the comeback party and is entirely up to you.

The Porterhouse -- I feel this player will provide big power numbers in the upcoming week.

Chris Davis - 3B, Texas Rangers
Davis seemed to go undetected this season in the minors and was never subjected to the hype his fellow three baggers brought before they got called up (Braun, Headley, Longoria, and Gordon).   Nevertheless Davis made sure his name was heard once he got the call to fill in for Hank Blalock. Davis homered in each of his first two starts and Davis had 27 homers and 77 RBI in 77 minor-league games this season, so his power swing is no fluke. With 7 games at home next week and the fact that Davis is still fighting for a spot somewhere on the team once Blalock returns, he has a good shot at posting some serious power numbers in the hitter friendly ball park in Week 15.   Take the flier immediately in mixed leagues and watch Davis dial a couple long ones next week.

Chocolate Cake - I feel that although this player seems tempting, you should stay away.

Eric Stults - SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
The 28 year old lefty received a lot of attention after dealing a complete game - 4 hit shutout against the White Sox's on June 25 th . However, his place in the rotation isn't permanent and he remains just a stop gap until the return of Brad Penny. Not to mention Stults got roughed up a bit in his last outing as he gave up 4 earned runs to the Astros after only giving up one earned run in his first 15 innings as a starter this season.   I'm not taking anything away from his complete game shutout; who knows, maybe he decided to eat frosted cheerios that day instead of honey nut; something had to have clicked. I just don't see too much upside in Stults, he was a 15 th round draft pick who has never been a big strikeout guy in the minors or during his stints as a reliever, he might be able to manage a low ERA for the time being but his career ERA in the Majors suggests otherwise. In 76.2 innings he has a career 4.84 ERA and sports a 1.46 WHIP. I would advise staying away from the lefty and tipping your cap to the small percentage of owners who inserted him in their lineups for the dandy performance.

Bold Prediction: Josh Hamilton and Chris Davis will combine for more Home Runs than the Padres will hit as a team next week.

Do you disagree with this week's bold prediction? Send me your thoughts before Week 15 begins and if you are right and I' am wrong I will post your prediction at the bottom of next weeks story. Send your predications and any questions you have to

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 27, 2008 6:46 pm
Edited on: June 27, 2008 6:47 pm

Weekly Articles

I have recently accepted the opportunity to write for a fantasy baseball website ( I will write under the alias "Uncle Charlie," I look forward to this opportunity and hope to hone my writing skills during the process. If you have read the article below you will notice the "What’s on the Menu" idea. I chose this idea because I think it is a different way to look at the types of players I outline each week. The different menu items resemble the different types of players featured for the upcoming week.  The stories will be featured on the home page of the website and also under my specific alias page, I also plan on placing these stories on my Blog, so you can review these stories at any place. Please leave any comments or send emails with responses or ideas if they come to you, I will welcome any ideas you may have for players you feel should be featured in next weeks article, and if you explain your reasoning behind the idea well enough I will definitely consider the selection.
Category: General
Posted on: June 27, 2008 1:01 am
Edited on: June 27, 2008 1:01 am

What's on the Menu - Week 14: A Masterson Delight

What's on the Menu - Week 14: A Masterson Delight?   - 6/26/2008

The "What's on the Menu" column is geared to give Head to Head owners advice on making the right moves when setting their lineups for the upcoming scoring period. Every week, "Uncle Charlie" provides you with the players who will become the fantasy studs for your team. I will also include my thoughts on players who are not worth adding and the column will end with a bold prediction for the upcoming week.

Week 14 includes a lot of baseball, with only 10 teams (Atl, Min, Phi, Pit, SD, Cle, TB, TX, Tor, LAA) having six games and the rest having a full seven game week. We are just about at the midway point in the season and it is beginning to become a make or break time for our fantasy teams. Fantasy owners need to ensure they are making all the right moves to push for a playoff spot in the second half. If you are an unlucky owner who invested relatively high draft picks on hurt players and are stuck waiting around for production from guys like: Albert Pujols, Victor Martinez, Travis Hafner, or Gary Sheffield you need to make the moves to get some wins before your sluggers come back. Have no fear; "Uncle Charlie" is here.

The Soup of the Day -- I feel this player might be worth a "taste" for the upcoming week.

Justin Masterson - SP, Boston

Icon SMI

Masterson seemed destined for the minors until Bartolo Colon went on the disabled list with a strained lower back. Now Masterson is the beneficiary of Colon's top heavy body as he will see two starts in week 14. The "Papi-Less" Red Sox's are playing well right now and Masterson has great numbers thus far in his rookie campaign. If you couple Masterson's strike out potential (6.86 K/9), 3.43 E.R.A. and 1.19 WHIP with the scorching Sox's you get a recipe for at least one win, double digit strikeouts and a fairly low E.R.A. next week. Masterson is a sinkerball pitcher and can be compared to Derek Lowe when he played in Boston. His ability to get ground ball outs keeps his pitch counts low and keeps the Red Sox's offense in the game.   Both starts will be on the road where he is holding opponents to a .190 average and posting high strikeout numbers (10 k's in 11.2 innings). Not to mention his second start will be in New York where he is facing off against the journeyman Sidney Ponson. Masterson can be one Ponson outburst away from a win in Yankee stadium.

The Porterhouse -- I feel this player will provide big power numbers in the upcoming week.

Brad Hawpe - OF, Colorado

Hawpe is 7-for-20 (.350) with two homers, five RBI and nine walks in his last seven games. He has been scorching since coming off of the DL June 6 th , and gets 7 games at home in Week 14. The Rockies have 3 games against the beat up San Diego Padres pitching staff and then they follow that up with 4 games against an inexperienced Marlins staff. Hawpe has pleased those owners who stuck with him after a disappointing early season and pushed through his time on the DL. But if an owner in your league gave up on Hawpe pick him up and activate him immediately for Week 14. Hawpe should produce big offensive numbers at home where he has 6 of his 9 home runs this season.

Waiter's Choice -- I feel this player is worth the gamble for the upcoming week.

Brandon Morrow - RP, Seattle

Morrow has put up "Vintage Putz" numbers so far this season with an E.R.A. & WHIP below 1.00. His strikeouts are climbing at an alarming rate (13.5 K/9) and with J.J. Putz on the DL, Morrow should handle all of the closing duties. On paper you have to be asking yourself, where is the risk on this player? Well, Morrow suffered from back spasms he claimed were related to the BP that Mariners pitchers had last Wednesday at Safeco Field, leading into the nine-game stretch of Interleague games played in National League ballparks. He sat out the weekend series last week because of the back issues and missed the series opener with the Mets on Monday. Morrow says the back issues are behind him and if his nine pitch outing on Tuesday is any indication that seems to be the case. Activate or pickup the young closer immediately.

Chocolate Cake - I feel that although this player seems tempting, you should stay away.

Mike Aviles, SS, Kansas City

Aviles has been one of the few sparks for the Royals offense this season. They had high hopes for Alex Gordon this year but he can't seem to hit his stride and Billy Butler is now down in the minors, Mike Aviles has been the hidden sparkle in this lineup since taking the starting SS position in early June. Aviles had great numbers throughout his minor league career and always hit for a high average with a low BB: K ratio. But, Aviles is a rookie and if Gordon and Butler are any indication of the youngster fate, he should cool off a bit in the weeks to come. Don't give in to the temptation many fantasy owners are experiencing with Aviles, odds are there will be another player down the road who can contribute to your team with bigger numbers. If you are in need of a SS than Aviles can be a serviceable one but I wouldn't plan the rest of your season with him in that role.

Bold Prediction: Edison Volquez will strike out 25 batters next week between his two starts at home against Pittsburgh and Washington.

Do you disagree with this week's bold prediction? Send me your thoughts before Week 14 begins and if you are right and I' am wrong I will post your prediction at the bottom of next weeks story. Send your predications and any questions you have to


Category: MLB
Posted on: April 29, 2008 10:25 pm
Edited on: June 18, 2008 3:14 pm

Staying Put!

In this entry, I try and take a look at the appropriate time when you should jump all over a hot player and use your waiver wire pick.  For most of us the waiver wire is like a line at the Haircut store; It seems like only a couple of people are in front of you while you wait but that wait and line always end up taking forever. For those of us in the barber's chair we can take however long we need to pick our style, color and fashion for our hair. This same rule applies to you when you have the #1 waiver wire priority. There always seems to be some temptation to make an impulse decision on a frosted tip spike but we need to stick to our game plan and go with the most traditional player or step-cut for our roster needs. No matter how good a Chris Shelton, Lastings Milledge or Cliff Lee might look we always need to address the concerns of our team before we waste a waiver wire priority. You don't need 3 catchers just because a reluctant Jorge Posada owner dropped him; you need to wait for a player whose position you are weak in opens up. For instance, if you are an owner with a weak 2b you should wait until someone gets anxious and drops a Robinson Cano type player.  Fill your needs first before grabbing the player everyone is talking about. if this player's position or category strength has no value for your team then he is useless. Another concern is being able to pick the right guy that stays hot and not the guy that cools down the instant he hits your lineup.  This is obviously a hard thing to do or else there would be nobody wasting waiver wire picks. Everyone will use the same picks on the same guys much like it is in football. When a new RB hits the FA list everyone scrambles to grab that guy because they feel they should and if they don’t everyone else will.  I would say try and check out their career AVG’s or trends. If a guy hasn’t produced the last nine seasons at the pace he is going now, the odds are he won't keep it up.  But a young phenom who you haven’t heard much about, comes out blazing, the odds are that it is his real talent and not a hot streak. Because we all don't want to be the guy cussing at work the next day for all the wrong reasons (
Posted on: April 22, 2008 11:00 pm

Parting Ways

Placido Polanco was expected to follow up on an incredible 2007

When to part with the one you loved.

By Jared Norris<o:p></o:p>

If you are anything like me you study your three year trends, search for the new season projections and tier your players long before the draft for the new fantasy baseball season. By doing this you get exposed to all types of amazing stats. Did you know that Gary Sheffield led all baseball players in doubles when games were played at night on a Tuesday and he was wearing black socks? Not sure how stats like the one above influence us to get attached to players while making our cheat sheets, but they do.<o:p></o:p>


This was the case for me this year with Placido Polanco.  I know what you’re thinking: Polanco is not a sexy-type player with his lock for barely edging 10 Home Runs and 10 Steals a year. He doesn’t hit the long ball, isn’t fast and doesn’t look like a ball player. Hell you can even say Placido Polanco is your everyday balding mechanic at Jiffy Lube.  But because our league penalizes you for striking out and awards a point for every walk you get, Polanco stuck out like a blonde girl in freshman P.E. You think 39 strike outs in a year is almost 1/3 of the strikeouts sluggers like Dan Uggla or Kelly Johnson gets a year at second base. Then you add in his knack for extra base hits and a high average with about a 1:1 B/K ratio and he looks like a sexy type steal in the 13th round. <o:p></o:p>


I made sure to snag Polanco around this time in all my leagues and focus on pitching in the middle rounds, where second tier 2B typically went.  I will let the “other guy” pick Uggla in the 8th while I pick a Tim Lincecum or a Ben Sheets.  Now what do you do three weeks into the 2008 season when your spring crush is not crushing the ball at all? Do I sell out on Polanco my fun-fling for the last two months to grab an equally type player who is heating up like a ‘Dustin Pedroia’? Does anyone else in this league have the same attraction I have for Polanco? If so, will this attraction be a strong enough one to force owners to use a waiver or pick him up while we wait for him to get his figure back?<o:p></o:p>

These are all questions I pondered when my bench looked  to good to drop and Polanco's name stood out as the smart drop. I think in reality the perceptions we formed while studying our secret steals or value hunks were over-hyped by our inner dreams of a long happy season with a white picket fence around it. At this point we feel entitled to stick with our “Polanco” until he gets hot because if we drop him now everyone we went bragging to, will just laugh in our face and chuckle at the bold top five prediction we made pre-season.  At this point we are just dragging the relationship out when we both know it has lost its lust. Why would I want to go back to a .148 batting average when I can have something new and exciting?<o:p></o:p>

When you reach this point it is time to finally suck it up and take one on the chin and make the smart move. So I broke-up with Polanco and took all loyalty away from my brief stalker stint. I made the smart move and grabbed the scorching Pedroia who was also in my top 8 2b My Space friends. So the bottom line is this when you get to the point where you are starting to ask questions and starting to feel embarrassment for still being with a girl you once told your friends was a dime piece but they think looks like Topanga from Boy Meets World; you need to move on from that girl and find yourself the smart lab partner, whose beauty was hidden by our ignorance and greed…We were talking about women and not Polanco right?<o:p></o:p>

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