Tagged: Fantasy

Worst player of 2007 (so far) – Jeff Weaver

Worst Player of 2007 (so far)
Given my article about the Weavers last year (O Brother, Where Art Thou), some of you are going to think I don’t like Jeff Weaver. Well, truth be told, I am still pretty ticked off at him for being so terrible last year. When pitching for the Angels, he was utterly putrid, killing my fantasy baseball team’s ERA and Whip before I dumped him in April. Then he turns around and pitches fairly well for the Cardinals down the stretch and in the post season. Because he was mediocre in the last half of the year and good in the playoffs, the idiotic Seattle Mariners GM Bill Bavasi signed him to an $8.3 Million dollar one year contract. If you are getting Déjà vu about that amount, it’s because that’s what he earned in 2006 from the Angels last year. I guess the performance expected from pitchers is pretty low for your $8.3 Mil.

Jeff_weaver_biting_glove

I don’t know how much baseball GM’s get paid, but how does Bavasi have a job after making stupid decisions like this? Weaver obviously can’t hack it in the hitter rich AL. Throwing this kind of money after spares like this is not only stupid, it’s criminal. I am going to have to include major league teams in my job search. Surely they could use a consultant to advise them on stupid decisions like these. If asked about Weaver in the off season, all I would have had to say was “Look at the video from all of Weaver’s Angels starts last year. If you get all the way through them and you still want him, go ahead. If you throw up, you can thank me later for saving you $8.3 Million.”

How bad was Weaver last year with the Angels and this year with the Mariners? Let’s put some numbers to my ramblings, shall we?

Jeff Weaver Over the Past 2 Years
ERA W-L WHIP IP Games HR
2006 with Angels 6.29 3-10 1.52 88.2 16 16
2006 with Cardinals 5.18 5-4 1.5 83.1 15 18
Combined 2006 5.76 8-14 1.51 172 31 34
Post Season 2006 2.43 3-2 1.15 29.2 5 3
2007 with Mariners 14.32 0-6 2.59 22 6 4

After the 2006 season, how many pitchers with an ERA of 5.76, who give up a home run per start are rewarded with an $8.3 Million contract? I can only think of one. His 3 wins in the post season probably earned him 90% of his 2007 contract. Even though his numbers improved, he was hardly overpowering. In 2007 he has managed to bring down the number of HR’s allowed, but a 14.32 ERA, 2.59 WHIP and 0-6 is one of the worst starts in baseball history. Right now his BAA (batting average against) is .429 – said another way, he makes the average player into Ty Cobb or Rogers Hornsby (Ted Williams never hit that high). To use my favorite quote from Dave Schmotzer, my Assistant Baseball coach at TCU – “If we had 25 guys like him…………. We’d be oh and 25.”

The other funny thing was that the Mariners didn’t remove him from the rotation until this week. How long did he have to kill them before they figured that out? The next step is to release him like the Angels did last year because they can’t send him to the minors. He’s kind of an expensive mop-up reliever, but that’s his role for now. His 2007 season has been a model of consistency. He has lost every game he has started. He has allowed 6 or more earned runs in every start except one (He only allowed 3 ER in 3 IP against the Angels.) Maybe he liked that last year when he was released and cashed a $7 Million paycheck for guaranteed portion of his contract – who wouldn’t?

The thing that is even more off the wall is that Weaver is still on an active roster in my fantasy baseball league – the GDML. After last year’s debacle, I was surprised anyone drafted him. The team that drafted him has 9 staring pitchers and is punting saves. By keeping Weaver, he is also punting ERA and WHIP as well. Can you punt 3 pitching categories and be competitive? The person that owns him is trying to do as few transactions as possible to conserve money, which is a losing strategy to begin with. This past week, he had the third pick on the waiver wire, but passed on several good pitchers to hang on to Weaver. As Jerry Seinfeld would say, “Good luck with all that”.

Jeff Weaver – consecutive years for bust of the year? – Maybe. However one thing is certainly true. He has the worst performance of any player in the GDML history for a 45 day period to begin 2007. Look for him to be released in the next few weeks. (The same day I wrote this, Weaver was placed on the 15 day DL with right shoulder tendinitis. Strange that he has no pain and has not complained about it at all. Sounds like Bill Bavasi is trying to pull a fast one, stashing him on the DL, followed by a long minor league rehab assignment.)

Weaver’s agent? – How could I have not mentioned this sooner? It is the baseball Anti-Christ Scott Boras.

Boras_antichrist

Who would have thought that! (Heavy sarcasm while rolling eyes) Boras has been the instigator of some of the most ridiculous signings in baseball history. Why general managers continue to do business with this snake oil salesman is beyond me. When Boras retires, he is going to write a tell-all book about how he convinced all these baseball executives to pay stupid money year after year for dead weight like Weaver. Only then will we find out about his naked pictures of team owners and GM’s in all sorts of compromising positions. Either that or he has learned to use the force – “Jeff Weaver is the front line starting pitcher you have been dying to spend $8 Million a year on and these are not the droids you’re looking for – move along.”

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30 Seconds Can Change a Whole Year

After having our league written up for fantastic finishes 3 out of the last 5 years, the GDML has had the most bizarre finish in its history. Most of the time our league is fairly close, but this year we had one team that dominated the league, holding the lead every day from May 22 forward, only to lose on the last day of the season because of a game that should have never been played. From 5:22:00 to 5:22:30 PM Central time the GDML was turned on its head. Despite the race getting tight the last week, at no time did the eventual winner take the lead until 5:22:30 Central time on Sunday afternoon. The team that led the league since May 22 and had not trailed for as much as a second subsequent to that was a victim the most heinous 30 seconds in GDML history, costing him a nearly wire-to-wire victory. To really appreciate how far out of left field this came, you need a little background.
Mitch_green1

Jobu4

The Mudhens, owned by “trader” Rick Harwell have always been one of the better teams in the league, finishing in the money several times, but being cursed enough to not win a championship since 1993. Rick writes an article to rate all the teams after the draft and one of his favorite whipping boys is the Full Count owned by Mitch Green (not the boxer) who had the audacity to win the championship in his first year and finish in the money 4 of the 5 years he has been in the league. This has earned his team the moniker “The Hated Full Count”. After a another preseason prediction of failure for the Full Count, Rick commented in his mid-season tome that Mitch’s success this year could only be attributed to his worship of the black arts, dancing naked shuffling through baseball cards, calling out to Jobu. Mitch enjoyed his diatribe and was ready to sacrifice a live chicken if that was necessary.

Derosa

Otsuka

Papelbon

The Mudhens dominated virtually the entire year. To give you an idea of how good his team was, he got the following guys for $1 in our 10 team 5X5 league – Jon Papelbon, Akinori Otsuka, Alex Rios ($2 but who’s counting), Kevin Youkillis, Michael Cuddyer, Mark DeRosa and Gerald Laird. Needless to say, when you add in his paid players like Papi, ARod, Tejada and Ichiro, there should be a championship trophy on the mantle. Throughout the year his low innings approach served him well in starting pitching while blowing away the field in everything else. One other team (the Hated Full Count) was close to him, but at times the lead was double digits.

Late in the season, the Full Count made some moves, including trading all of his starters (Halladay, Millwood, Rogers, Padilla and more) to a team trailing the Mudhens in Wins and got back 3 closers and some offense. Going into the last 2 weeks, the Mudhens still led by 5 points. Going into the last week, it narrowed to 3 points as he lost a point in RBI’s (to me) and Runs the prior week. Those points could just as easily be won back the following week. The tight wins race convinced the Mudhens to make a few moves to get some Wins because his ratios looked to be solidly locked in. Wins were going to be critical to several teams fighting for position, so the last week’s 2 start starters were in demand. He didn’t get his first choice of Joe Saunders who was selected by a team with a higher priority, but he inexplicably listed Hayden Penn as his backup pick. Penn has probably been the worst starting pitcher in the AL in September. He is a highly prized prospect whose callup this year was delayed by an emergency appendectomy and he had not pitched very well since that surgery. However, the pickings were slim for 2 start pitchers in our starter crazed league. In a fit of desperation to get a win, on the final transaction Monday, the Mudhens dropped Ron Mahay and added Penn to his roster, passing on Shawn Marcum and a few other less explosive available 2 start pitchers. As the knight in third Indiana Jones movie once said, “He chose poorly”.

The Full Count had some upside entering the last week but without some declination in Rick’s numbers would need the stars to align to get an outright win. He was behind me in saves by only one. I had a 7 save lead over him a week before but lost a net 6 saves the week before. I had a rouge’s gallery of closers – Joe Nelson, Seth McClung and Mike Timlin while Mitch’s deadline trades netted him Rivera, Farnsworth, Putz and Street; so it looked like there was no doubt he would pass me as well. The Full Count also had some upside in SB’s, trailing one team by 2 SB’s and another by 3 going into the last week.

During the early part of the last week, the Mudhens pitching was alternately horrible and great. Jon Garland gave up 12 runs (8 earned) on Monday night and coupled with another bad outing, the Mudhens ERA dropped a full point to the last place team. At this point, his lead is still 1.5 points and it looked like the Hated Full Count had a decent chance to finish in first.

Garland921a_1

Cabrera

Later in the week, the Mudhens get two shutouts from Daniel Cabrera (one unearned run) and Jon Garland on successive nights, gaining back the ERA point, with no starts left (or so we thought) and the last place team trailing so far that a shutout for his remaining starter would not gain back the point. The Mudhens also have a two and three win lead on two other teams and they have only one and three starts left, respectively with three days to go. The lead is 2.5 points with the top two teams still tied in runs scored. Just a few days after having a glimmer of hope, the loss of the ERA point seems to put any chance of an outright championship to rest, with Mitch thinking that a tie would be the best case.

In the latter part of the week, the Full Count gets a save from Wes Littleton, who is now the Rangers closer with Otsuka on the shelf with migraines, to gain a half point and gets a stolen base to tie another team. Joe Nathan gets a win to pull the last place team within one win of the Mudhens with both teams each having one start left. The Full Count score 2 more runs than the Mudhens, cutting the lead to 1.5 points going into the final day. If the Mudhens get 3 more runs on the last day, he will win going away. Anything better than a tie looks almost impossible unless the Full Count gets 5 SB’s from his slow footed team.

Clifflee

Posada

On Sunday the Full Count scores 5 early runs to salt away that category early. Cliff Lee pitches a dominating complete game to gain a win for the last place team which cost the Mudhens a half point, making it a one point lead. His ratios improve but not enough to get below the Mudhens. Jorge Posada steals a base, gaining the Full Count another half point. Despite closing the gap, the season is ending. Its 5:00 Central time and the lead is now only one half point as the later games progress. The Baltimore – Boston game has been delayed by rain for over three hours and we assume that it won’t be played.

At this point The Mudhens appear to be able to do no worse than a tie, but there is a pretty good likelihood of a tie because any of Street, Putz or Littleton could still get a save while I only have Timlin left, and that game is probably rained out. Mitch goes out for some errands with the wife, thinking it was a great try, but he came up just short.

That’s when we realize that the Baltimore – Boston game was actually going to be played. After a 3 1/2 hour rain delay with a meaningless game, I figured the players were already home. Hayden Penn will start despite having a gimpy back earlier in the week. A Win by Penn would cement a Mudhens championship by getting him a half point. With bad weather, Penn’s start was all the more questionable. As the game started, Penn gives up a 3 run home run to Mike Lowell in the first inning. This brings the ERA margin between the Mudhens and last place team into striking distance, but the Mudhens still have a decent lead. In the second inning Penn gets out of a jam without any runs scoring. At this point, something catastrophic would have to happen to change the points in ERA. An inning later, it did.

Putz

Kapler

Pena

Fifteen Minutes later it starts to get weird. I am watching the Ranger game on TV while “watching” the other game on my PC using gametracker. In Seattle, the Mariners take a 1 run lead into the 9th and bring in J.J. Putz in a save situation. The Red Sox have a rally going against Penn in the third with no runs in, two on and two out. Putz starts mowing down the Rangers. He strikes out the first batter. Penn walks Eric Hinske to load the bases. Putz strikes out the second hitter. Penn walks Carols Pena, forcing in a run, still no blood on the ERA point. Putz strikes out the side to record the save. By getting the save, the Full Count gained a half point, and the GDML is now in a dead heat. Less than 30 seconds later – Gabe Kapler doubles home 3 runs off Penn. The Mudhens lose the ERA point and all of a sudden, trail the Full Count 73.5 to 72.5. Within 30 seconds the GDML has been turned upside down. Penn is yanked, so he can’t get anyone out to end the inning and improve the ratio. All of the other Mudhen and Dunk pitchers are done, so the point is not going back. At this point the only question was would the game go five innings or not. Sure enough, the game was called after 5 innings, ending the AL season and with it, the GDML season.

Penn

In the end, the season was determined by Carlos Pena, Gabe Kapler (Craig, I put this picture up just for you) and Hayden Penn. The fact that the game was actually a no hitter did not dawn on me until the following morning. Hayden Penn, a name that will live in infamy as long as people remember the GDML.

Fantastic Finishes – One At Bat

Fantastic Finishes
My fantasy baseball league, (The GDML or General Dynamics Memorial League) has been written up in Sports Weekly three times in the last 6 years for having one of the closest finishes in the nation. I finished second in 1999 after coming up short by a hair on 5 different categories and when the last at bat of the season determined the winner. That year really proved that one at bat can make the difference between winning and finishing second. In 2001, I got redemption by winning a tight race as a late inning rally was thwarted by a towering popup.

Flores

An unknown middle infielder named Jose Flores fell down as he clutched the major league popup in short left field to preserve the win. If a ninth inning single in the last game of the day would have won the game, I would have finished second. Jose Flores will never know how much I appreciated him making that catch!

In 2002, I dropped 4 hitters in favor of guys who would go on to get zero at bats. My good hitters left had a great week, pushing me up 4 points in batting average, winning the championship. Although my team has no chance to win this year, our league championship is up for grabs despite one team having the lead since May 22 and appearing to have a hammerlock on victory all through the last 2 months. I am in a battle for third place which also looked impossible a few weeks back.

This post is about how much fun the fantasy pennant race can be. As has happened in prior years, the importance of every at bat in winning a fantasy baseball championship is the topic. To illustrate this, the following is what the turn of one late season at bat can have on the whole season.
One At Bat

This year looks like the GDML may go down to the final day again with two very tight races. It is amazing that even with a full year of statistics under our belt, that something so insignificant as one at bat can have such a massive impact. The following is an example of how one at bat impacted our league standings.

Last night Luke Hudson (nobody has him) stymied the Twins for 7 innings. The Royals were clinging to a 1-0 lead in the ninth inning. The GDML races for ERA and Whip are tighter than ****’s hatband with changes on nearly every inning pitched. The Hitless Hustlers are tied with another team in ERA and another team in Whip.

Nelson

Joe Nelson comes on to pitch the ninth inning and gets the first two batters out. With those two outs, the HH move lower in both ERA and Whip, to 62.5 total points. As Joe Mauer steps to the plate, he is all that remains between a Nelson save and KC victory. An out would further lower the ERA and WHIP numbers. The save would give the HH another half point, raising them to 63 points and a three point lead over the Green Monsters. Mauer lines a 1-1 pitch over the wall.

Mauer_1

The result of that pitch – no save, ERA and WHIP both increase, dropping the HH pitching ratios one and a half points to 61. Therefore, there was a full 2 point swing on the outcome of that at bat.

I hear your comment now – so what! It affected third place, but didn’t impact the race for first. Not so fast my friend. That same at bat also had an impact on the race for first. Mauers’ HR and run scored also had an impact. At the moment he hit the HR, the Full Count and Mudhens were tied in runs scored. With that additional run, the FC went ahead by one, gaining one half point and dropping the Mudhens a half point. At the end of the night, that one run was still the difference between the MH and FC. If the FC pass the MH in runs, he has a chance to win. If the MH get more runs, it’s over and he will win. The additional HR padded the FC’s narrow HR lead over the HH to four, making it more likely he will retain that point. In the 10th Joe Nathan entered the game and finished the inning prior to the Twins pushing over a run, giving Nathan the win. Nathan is a Dunk pitcher and that win brought him within one win of the MH and gave him a 2 win cushion over the Green Monsters. The impact on wins could be just as big. The Dunks have as many starters going in the last 3 days and several releif pitchers. A win or two more by the Dunks could kill the Mudhens.

Melido Perez Cost Me 2 Wins Last Week!

Getting swept by the Yankees was bad. Losing two out of three to the Twins at home is worse. Now the Rangers head out on the road for 10 games against playoff caliber teams. I mentioned that this stretch of games will tell us a lot about this Ranger team. I don’t like what I am hearing.
Let’s switch gears and talk fantasy baseball:
Melido_perez

Melido Perez cost me two wins this past week. Oh not directly, but the memory of him haunts me to this day. I am sure Perez has retired to some cozy little Dominican village. He is probably sipping Pina Coladas under the shade tree by the beach telling people how great he was. Like all former players, the older he gets, the better he was. It must be nice living off the millions the Yankees overpaid him in the 90’s. He was paid over $15 Million by the Yankees from 1992 to 1995 and had a record of 33-39 for them or $454,545.46 per win, making him the early 90’s equivilent to Chan Ho Park and an early poster boy for the failed long term pitching contract.

Our fantasy baseball league has this obscure little rule that once you put a player on the DL, you can activate them before coming off the DL, but if they were never activated, you can’t put them back on the DL. You must keep them on your active roster or drop them completely. During his stint with the Yankees, Perez alledgedly had some value as a fantasy starter and as was often the case, was placed on the DL. It was Memorial Day weekend and he was scheduled to come off the DL and pitch on Monday. Since he had pitched on a rehab assignment and was scheduled to pitch twice that week in favorable matchups, I activated him. After the 12:00 transaction deadline, I was watching the game on ESPN when they switched coverage to the bullpen and reported that Melido had “tweaked” his arm and not only would he not be starting the game, but would not be activated from the DL. So I had to take nothing that week and then drop him. He came back later that year and was picked up by another team, although he was less than stellar.

Fast forward to 2006. C.C. Sabathia hurts his side on opening night, sending him to the DL. On Monday May 8 he is scheduled to come off the DL and have a 2 start week, although he does have to face the White Sox in one of the starts. Do I activate him “on the come” and drop a middle relief spare that has been holding his place? I decide that it’s too risky with a pitcher as valuable as C.C., especially considering he could “tweak” his side like he did on opening night. I keep him on the DL just in case. Of course, he pitches two great games, nailing down two badly needed wins.

I hope Melido chokes on his Pina Colada.

Fantasy vs. Reality – Mixed Feelings

How many times have you gone to the Ballpark and watched a game with your favorite team when they are opposed by a pitcher or hitters on your fantasy team?  It happens all the time.  When I am watching a pitcher on my team live at the Ballpark it is not usually good news.  If they escape with less than 5ER or even a win, it is a blessing because balls fly out of the Ballpark.

Last night one of my pitchers, Joe Blanton, faced Kevin Millwood and the Rangers.  Through 5 innings it was a 1-0 game – a very rare situation.  Both pitchers were being squeezed by the umpire in my opinion but neither team could get a clutch hit.

Blanton

In the 6th, C.J. Wilson relieved Millwood and immediately surrendered a two run shot to Nick Swisher (also my guy).  Was I happy about the Swisher 2 run jack?  It put the Rangers down 2-1 at the time.  It gave my starter the lead when he had at best 2 innings left and it also got a HR for my hitter.  OK, I’ll admit that I wasn’t totally ticked off when Swisher crushed it.  Then Chavez followed with a jet stream aided HR to right center. The Rangers answered with one run, but Barajas grounded into an inning ending double play with first and third.  After Blanton gets out of the 6th, he is yanked after throwing about 110 pitches.

For the remainder of the game do I root for the Rangers to come back or do I hope to get the win?  If the score gets tied, I become a total Ranger fan.  If it doesn’t get tied, well……..I’m not so much a Ranger fan.  Normally a one run lead with 3 innings to go isn’t safe, particularly with the weak hitting A’s and their bullpen lacking Huston Street.  However the A’s pen holds the Rangers in check.  When Marco Scutaro throws a ball in the dirt on the game’s potential final out, causing Young to reach on an error, bringing Tex to the plate as the winning run, am I supposed to be happy?  When he lines out to left to end the game was this a good thing?

If I were just a Ranger fan, last night would have totally made me mad, but because of fantasy baseball it was a bittersweet victory / loss depending on your point of view.

Typical Ballpark Game

Four of the five runs were scored on home runs.  I don’t know the percentage, but the Ballpark probably leads the league in that percentage.

A’s Lineup is Weak

Swisher

Other than Swisher and Chavez, this whole team is off to a slow start.  The last 4 hitters in last night’s order were at or below the Mendoza line (Ellis, Johnson, Kendall and Perez / Scutaro).  Frank Thomas looks like he is done and Milton Bradley didn’t show much.  This team is really in trouble if it can’t hit better than they have shown so far.  The lineup looks better with Crosby in it, but he has also been hurt / off to a slow start.  Pitchers should be salivating for a chance to pitch against the A’s, particularly if they are playing in Oakland’s cavernous stadium.

Wanderings on John Hunt, Bronson Arroyo, Ranger Pitching and trades that should be made

Since this is my first blog entry, I have a lot of ‘splainin’ to do about who I am and why you should read my blog.  You may want to skip the rest of this paragraph if you don’t care who I am.  I have participated in Fantasy Baseball for the past 14 years in a league called the GDML (General Dynamics Memorial League).  I have a lot of HSO’s (hot sports opinions) about fantasy baseball as well as the real world.  Over the past 3 seasons, my observations have been reported in Sports Weekly’s articles and mail bag more than anyone short of John Hunt.  I was also a regular guy for the 2004 AL LABR.  Since John Hunt is no longer there, my frequency of publication there will probably decrease.

Johnhunt

Let’s talk about John.  He has not responded to my email, so I don’t know the real story. However, since he doesn’t appear to have another rotogig lined up, I am assuming that he was replaced involuntarily.  If so, that is a shame. I am really going to miss him.  John had a knack for injecting humor into our sometimes geeky game.  Who else would coin phrases like “the anti-Ripken” or Tuffy Rhodes Memorial Award.  I only hope the editor that replaced him starts writing columns with some panache rather than the dry, editorial columns we have seen so far.  I can get that drivel at any number of sites.  Which is why I am doing this blog – to bring some badly needed comedy to our game.  John did make some comment in the Sports Weekly leviathan about how some fantasy players needed to get a life.  Why am I suddenly thinking of William Shatner telling that to a convention of Trekkies?  Who else is reading that article?

HSO #1 – This is old news, but I still don’t understand the Red Sox trading Bronson Arroyo for Willie Mo Pena.  The obvious implication is that Trot Nixon’s chronic back problems forced the BoSox to get another OF.  However, all they got was a Russ Branyan starter kit and they still don’t have a real shortstop or first baseman.  Their lineup used to be a murderers row, but after the top 4, it looks more like skid row.  Papi needs some protection or he will lead the league in walks. 

Arroyo Arroyo is a good young pitcher with a history of real bad hair choices (it looked like a little girl who got her hair done on the beach).  Everyone needs starting pitching!  How can they trade Arroyo and only get Willie Mo “better blues” Pena?

I know the Devil Rays have been asking an arm and a leg for their guys. We can blame the Mets for giving them Kazmir for Zambrano in 2004 – nobody is stupid enough to do a similar deal these days.  The Sox were in dire need of a shortstop, a big bat on the corner or in the OF.  The Rays rotation is one good starting pitcher and a gaggle of complete spares.  The Rays have Lugo and Huff in the final year of their contracts with BJ and Delmon waiting in the wings.  Why is no deal being done here?  The Sox could have added some prospects / cash to make a deal.  Did the Rays just refuse to trade within their division?  Do they think these guys value will increase as the deadline approaches?

So the Sox have dealt their best trading chip.  They have still have the offensive juggernauts of Youkillis / J.T. Snow (was he frozen in a block of ice or what?) at first base, Alex Gonzales at short, and a Nixon / Pena platoon in right?  Oh by the way, their closer has 2 bad knees and their setup guy is pushing 40. 

My crystal ball shows no playoffs for the Red Sox this year unless drastic action is taken.

HSO #2 – I am a Texas Ranger fan, proving I am a glutton for punishment.  The Rangers have great hopes for the DVD pitchers – John Danks, Edinston Volquez and Thomas Diamond, but when I look at the rest of their division, there are some other great prospects on the horizon.  The A’s keep developing great pitchers, Seattle has King Felix and the Angels have a quartet of hot position prospects.  Not many teams can match Jeff Mathis, Brandon Wood, Kendry Morales and Howie Kendrick for untapped potential.  Oh by the way, they still have Dallas McPherson and Casey Kotchman too.  Their bullpen is unquestionably the best in the AL.  The addition of the Weaver brothers makes their starters a force to be reckoned with.

Therefore, even though the Rangers have an all-star infield led by Tex, Hank and Young, it may be along time coming to beat the Angels, who should dominate the division for several years.

HSO # 3 – Fantasy Baseball is like an efficient stock market.  While there still may be some bargains and busts, the preseason value of players can give you an idea of what people think of your team’s plans.  This year Texas overhauled their entire rotation, keeping only #4 starter Kameron Loe.  What does the fantasy world think of their plan?  2005 Major League ERA Kevin Millwood was valued at $9 in the LABR, Adam Eaton – $5, Vincente Padilla – $1, Loe – $1     Uh-oh – The entire rotation has a value less than closer Francisco Cordero. 

Yeah, there’s the ballpark effect, but that can’t be a very encouraging sign.

HSO # 4 – For them to have any chance in the long run, the Rangers need to trade with the A’s and the Mariners.  With the strength of the Angels, these teams need to help each other rather than refuse to deal with one another.  Texas has trouble signing free agent pitching.  We will see about Millwood.  They have to overpay because pitchers know they will be rocked in Coors South AKA Ameriquest Ballpark in Arlington.  Do you remember Chan Ho Park, the worst free agent signing in the history of sports?  Several friends of mine have gone so far to suggest that Texas should never draft another position player in the top 10 rounds.  Free agent hitters should be drooling to sign with Texas.  The converse is true of the Tigers, A’s and Mariners.  Hitters loathe those pitcher’s parks and will demand a premium to sign there, while it’s a pitcher’s paradise.  Sounds like some great trade opportunities, except for the fact that 3 of the 4 teams mentioned are in the same division.

HSO #5 – The most worthless pitching staff in recent fantasy history has got to be the Royals.  I seem to recall Detroit having a pitching staff devoid of any value a few years back, but Kansas City may break the record.  If you discount MacDougal’s $11 LABR value to a more appropriate $3 given his injury and Burgos probably gets elevated to $5 tops. Let’s see, that would make the entire Kansas City staff have a value of $10 (and that’s valuing no-show Zach at $1). It is going to be another long season in KC.  But then again, we already knew that.

I look forward to my next blog entry. I hope you will check it out.