Now, some of you may know that fantasy baseball, to me, is a fun game that is a great way to make your baseball dreams come true. But it’s nothing more than that. It’s a game, nothing more. Now, I have made several rants on how I have a huge pet peeve over people who follow baseball, or whatever other sport, just to see how their fantasy team is doing. I mean, c’mon. That’s not why people love baseball. There are so many hypocrites out there that say they are baseball fans but only follow the sport to make sure their fantasy team wins. I hate that so much.
Well, I couldn’t think of anything else to write so I figured I would just talk about this. So, here we go. I myself love to play fantasy sports. It’s just fun. I love to make up my own team and manage it like I would if it was a professional team. But I still follow the game of baseball as a fan of the Yankees and not just as a fan of whoever is on my team. Whether or not I have any Yankee players on my team, I will still love the Yankees. As goes for Curtis Granderson or Ryan Braun or David Wright. I am still a true baseball fan whether or not I play fantasy. I play fantasy baseball, football, basketball, and hockey. But that’s pretty much it. I have fun with it and I usually don’t play in competitive leagues. Usually just casual. I figured I’d show you some of my teams.
Here’s one of my two baseball teams that I enjoy following more than the other. I am currently in sixth place out of ten, mostly because of injury problems. But here it is.
Team Name: The Silver Sluggers
C: Mike Napoli (LAA)
1B: Kevin Youkilis (Bos)
2B: Chase Utley (Phi)
3B: Emilio Bonifacio (Fla)
SS: Alexei Ramirez (CWS)
OF: Jermaine Dye (CWS)
OF: Jason Bay (Bos)
OF: Andrew McCutchen (Pit)
Util: Garret Jones (Pit)
Util: Shin Soo Choo (Cle)
Bn: Brad Hawpe (Col)
SP: Tim Lincecum (SF)
SP: Derek Lowe (Atl)
RP: Jonathon Papelbon (Bos)
RP: Huston Street (Col)
P: Chris Carpenter (StL)
P: Joakim Soria (KC)
P: David Price (TB)
Bn: Jair Jurrjens (Atl)
Bn: Johnny Cueto (Cin)
I’m doing pretty well in this league and I think I could make a run toward the end of the season. I have been playing a lot better of late because my team’s injury problems have diminished. I’ve been telling my friends that they better watch out for my team because I could be a spoiler in the playoffs.
On Friday, many of the people in the league that I have that baseball team in did a draft for football that starts up soon. I missed the whole draft except the last pick in which I chose Sidney Rice from Minnesota. I figured if Brett Favre ever signed with them that he would be a valuable guy. So I took a chance and picked him. Here’s the rest of my team.
Team Name: No Punt Intended
QB: Aaron Rodgers (GB)
WR: Steve Smith (Car)
WR: Marquis Colston (NO)
WR: Santonio Holmes (Pit)
RB: Adrian Peterson (Min)
RB: Frank Gore (SF)
TE: Anthony Fasano (Mia)
BN: Owen Daniels (Tex)
BN: Joseph Addai (Ind)
BN: Carson Palmer (Cin)
BN: Jericho Cotchery (NYJ)
BN: Sidney Rice (Min)
K: John Kasay (Car)
BN: Rian Lindell (Buf)
DEF: New England
So, this league is to start up obviously whenever the NFL season starts so I’m excited for that.
Well, now I’m really bored so I’ll hopefully have something more intersting to write about tomorrow.
The All Star teams were announced Sunday and I was pumped to see a bunch of my favorite players make the teams. Jay-Bay, Big Tex, Tim “the Kid” Lincecum, Curtis “How Grand He is” Granderson. They all made the team and I am pumped for the game and the entire All Star weekend. It’s going to rock.
So now, with most of the spots filled, there are the final votes to think about to see who will make the final spot on the AL and NL rosters. In the AL, Ian Kinsler, Chone Figgins, Brandon Inge, Carlos Pena, and Adam Lind make up the final vote list. In the NL, Pablo Sandoval, Shane Victorino, Cristian Guzman, Matt Kemp, and Mark Reynolds line up in hope of having their All Star dreams come true. All deserving, all willing, and all worthy choices of these two spots. But only one can be picked and everyone has their own opinions on who should be in St. Louis for the game. I believe my picks are solid and I can back them up. Some may not agree with them but some will. It all depends on your point of perspective. Here’s mine.
The first thing voters have to think of when they make their votes for the entire rosters in general is how they think the game should be played. Should it be played to win or should it be played with just the top players in each league. If you think the game is to be won, you might alter your picks to make sure there is more versatility on each roster. In the AL, instead of picking Ian Kinsler, who is having a STELLAR season, you may pick Chone Figgins who can play a few different positions. He can be moved around for a switch when you need to pinch hit for a pitcher. Since the game is being played in the National League, this is a very important aspect of the game, assuming you are playing to win the game. Now, if you take the “the best players should play” route, then Ian Kinsler and Carlos Pena would most likely be at the top of most peoples’ list. They have the best stats of the five players in the AL and they are the most worthy of the spot. But again, it all depends on how you look at the game.
On the NL side, you might pick an outfielder for the final vote, Shane Victorino or Matt Kemp for instance. The outfield is the most versatile position for the All Star game and outfielders can generally move around from each of the three positions. On the other hand, if you look at who deserves it the most, Victorino and Kemp would be up there, and Pablo Sandoval would be up there. Among the five, those three have the best stats. The same for the AL goes for the NL. It all depends on how you look at the game.
Personally, the way I look at it is this… the best players should make it, regardless of their versatility. I mean, yeah some guys that deserve it more than others aren’t going to make it because there is no spot for their position on the roster left. They might not be the best at their position and they won’t make the team. Say an outfielder makes the team because there are more outfield spots on the roster than second baseman. But say the second baseman is having a better season than the outfielder. Tough break. He’s not going to make the team. That is going to happen sometimes. But the best players at the positions available should make the team. That is the whole concept of the All Star Game. All Stars are the best in the game. They are meant to be honored at the All Star game as the best of the best. Not the guys who will help the team win. That rule was only recently appointed anyway. Back in the day when the All Star game was first started, the rosters were made up of those who were the best in the league. Now that the game counts, people take on a different perspective that I think ruins the voting process. All Stars are All Stars… that’s so simple.
The two guys I would pick would be Kinsler and Victorino. Now, Kinsler doesn’t give you much versatility. Big deal. He is having a better season than the starting second baseman, Dustin Pedroia, but might not even get in because of his lack of versatility. Victorino on the other hand is an outfielder and is more valuable as a versatile tool than maybe the other guys. Sandoval is also very versatile, able to play at the catcher, third base, and first base positions. It doesn’t get much more versatile than that. And Kemp is an oufielder too. But out of the three, I think Victorino is the best and is having the best season. In this case, it all comes down to who you think is having a better season. If the player is having a good season and is also versatile, than you have a great player and an easy pick. It’s pretty simple.
Now, those are my thoughts on how the All Star voting process should go. I’m sure there are many of you out there who disagree with my whole point of view, but I really don’t care. My final thought… All Stars are All Stars.
Alright… time for my weekly post of who’s who, who’s better, who would I pick, who would be more productive. Yeah. It’s awesome. Last week I talked about two of the best youngsters in the league who have been called up this season… the Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen and the Marlins’ Chris Coghlan. This week I’m bringing it back home, close to myself personally. The rivalry that I follow day in and day out. The Red Sox and the Yankees. And I’m going to be comparing the two first baseman in the top rivalry in sports. Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis.
Mark Teixeira: Now, Teixeira gets the edge defensively right off the bat. Not saying Youk isn’t a STELLAR first baseman, but Mark Teixeira is more than STELLAR. He’s that good. He is the solid firstbaseman the Yankees have been searching for. They haven’t had one in forever and the presence of Teixeira just makes me feel more secure when a ball is thrown into the dirt in front of first base. Tex has won a few gold gloves in his time and has proven to be the premier first baseman in the league. Now offensively, he is also tops in the league. He hits for power, can be clutch in the time of need, and just does everything right. He has made very few errors in his career offensively on the base paths. He is just an all around great athlete that knows how to play the game. This season, his stats include 20 homers, which is among the tops in the league, 60 RBI, a .274 average, which isn’t all that bad, and a .559 slugging percentage. Now, his home run numbers and his slugging percentage may have a little to do with him playing in Yankee Stadium and the new home run friendly right field, but he is still among the top offensive players in the league. He is great and a joy to watch play the game.
Kevin Youkilis: YOUKKKKKKKKK! His name is chanted everywhere. At home in Boston, away on the road (at Baltimore the most) and just everywhere he travels. Everyone loves Youk… except Yankee fans. Youk has had a tremendous season this year despite being on the DL early on. He has come back and proven he is ready to play and produce big numbers for the current first place Red Sox. So far this season, he has racked up 14 round trippers, 47 RBI, 19 doubles, a .314 average, and a .593 slugging percentage. He is also having a very good season at first base with a little time over at third. Youk has only made one error this season which matches Teixeira’s total. He has been able to make the transition over to third with ease to replace Lowell, who recently went on the DL. He is in the running for a starting position at first in the All Star game this year. He has a legitimate chance at winning that spot. He has been a solid guy at first and third for the Red Sox all year and has been one of the hottest hitters for the Red Sox at the plate along with Jason Bay who is having an MVP type year.
Now, here’s my pick. And before you say anything about him being a Yankee, hear me out. Teixeira is an all around great guy who plays the game right, can hit, can field like no one else, and is just a great face of the game. Youkilis is also a great hitter and a great fielder. He is in the middle of that powerful Red Sox lineup that has succeeded over the rest of the AL East this season. My pick of Tex came all down to defense. Youk is a good, solid firstbaseman but Tex has made the plays in the past, is doing it now, and will continue to do it. And other than actual fielding percentage, Teixeira makes a lot of nice plays that don’t show up in stat books or sheets. He knows what to do when the ball comes to him and he has done it over his entire career. Congrats Tex on your victory in this not-that-important debate. You rock.
-P.S.: another reason I didn’t pick Youk is because his beard is one of the ugliest things I’ve ever seen in baseball. And that batting stance… who taught him that???
So, the midsummer classic is coming up and some of my pals have been bugging me to post my picks for the game. Now, most of them are no doubters but others people might have an argument against. Well here they are.
C: Joe Mauer (Twins)
1B: Mark Teixeira (Yankees)
2B: Dustin Pedroia (Red Sox)
3B: Evan Longoria (Rays)
SS: Derek Jeter (Yankees)
LF: Jason Bay (Red Sox)
CF: Curtis Granderson (Tigers)
RF: Ichiro Suzuki (Mariners)
P: Roy Halladay (Blue Jays)
C: Yadier Molina (Cardinals)
1B: Albert Pujols (Cardinals)
2B: Orlando Hudson (Dodgers)
3B: David Wright (Mets)
SS: Hanley Ramirez (Marlins)
LF: Ryan Braun (Brewers)
CF: Raul Ibanez (Phillies)
RF: Brad Hawpe
P: Tim Lincecum (Giants)
Now as you have probably noticed on many other ballots before, the AL squad is stacked with Yankees and Red Sox players. That is because they are the two best teams in the AL and they have the most All Star worthy players. So don’t yell at me because I picked them because one- they deserve it, and two- a ton of others have picked them in their ballots. Two Cards start at their own home stadium for the game (Pujols and Molina).
Jason Bay has been the MVP of the AL so far this season… at least in my eyes. He is leading the league in RBIs with 69, has 19 round trippers on the season which is third in the league, has been a solid defensive presence for the Red Sox all season long, and has the left field starting position for the 2009 All Star Game in St. Louis locked. This guy is unbelievable. He is surely going to be in the running for the MVP at the end of the season for all these reasons. He has just been on a tear all season long, slumping very rarely. But lately, Bay hasn’t been succeeding the way he has so far this season. Today was a perfect example of his rapid decline in production. As I sat on my couch watching the Red Sox take on the Orioles only a day after the O’s came back from nine down, I witnessed Jason Bay have his worst game at the plate all season. He stepped up five times and every single time, he walked back to the dugout with another strikeout on his back. He went 0-5 with five strikeouts. He looked absolutely dreadful. He wasn’t even close on some pitches. On one pitch, he just waved at a fastball over the middle-outside part of the plate. It was hittable but it was like he didn’t want to hit it and just waved his bat over the general area. It was extremely strange.
Now, despite Bay’s slump of late, the Red Sox have still continued to win. They have gotten production from other guys that have filled in for Bay’s non-production. Jacoby Ellsbury has heated up after being moved down in the lineup. David Ortiz has been slowly getting his swing back. Dustin Pedroia and JD Drew have both continued to hit well. The emergence of Nick Green has also been huge as he has started to get it done at the plate as well as in the field. Now, Bay made a nice catch two days ago to end the game in Baltimore. He made a sliding grab that filled the highlight reels for the next day. So, his defense is still there, but his bat has been silented. The Sox would like to get his bat back to assure the team’s success but right now, his bat is the least of their worries. Bay is a STELLAR professional and will get out of this slump which is his first major slump since joining the Sox. And saying this is a major slump isn’t much since it has pretty much only been four or five games since he has been successful. He’ll do fine. He will get out of it soon and he will continue to be in the running for the MVP and will continue to help the Sox. I hope he doesn’t help them that much so that the Yanks can gain some ground on the Sox but I do like this guy and hope he does well.
There were homers leaving the yard all over the place yesterday. And there were only a few games played. Very impressive.
I was watching the Yankees-Rays game on ESPN on Monday night and in that game alone, the ball was just jumping off every player’s bat that stepped up to the plate. Well, it was Yankee Stadium, the new home run heaven, but still, it was crazy. It was fun to see Mark Teixeira hit an absolute bomb to right and also to see Mr. Damon continue his homer surge this season. Derek Jeter also went yard to the opposite field and had himself a good game. Unfortunately, Gave Kapler, as great a player he is, hit one out too to bring the Rays back into the game. Oh well. We still won 5-3.
Here’s a list of all the players who went deep yesterday:
- Marcus Thames
- Alexei Ramirez
- Jim Thome
- Scott Podsednik
- Jermaine Dye
- Paul Konerko
- Jack Cust
- Derek Jeter
- Mark Teixeira
- Johnny Damon
- Gabe Kapler
- Adam Lind
- Chipper Jones
- Nate McLouth
- Brian McCann
- Troy Tulowitzki
- Brett Carroll
AT first glance, you might not think this is a lot of guys who hit it out. But for the amount of games, this is pretty impressive. Every time I was looking down on the scrolling bar at the bottom of the ESPN screen, I saw another guy who hit a homer. It was kind of something that is hard to explain but you kind of had to be there to understand how I’m feeling.
So the power surge yesterday wasn’t everything that is on my mind right now. Here’s something else: How about that Andrew McCutchen? He’s on fire.
Yesterday, McCutchen continued his STELLAR start to his MLB career. He went 4-7 in the Pirates’ game agaisnt the Braves. He was so good. He looked like a veteran. His stats for the game included 1 RBI, 2 runs, and 2 triples. He was just flying around the bases. Every time the ball was hit into the air, the commentators would say how if the ball got to the ground, McCutchen would be flying and would be on third. That’s pretty much what happened. He is just so fast, it’s ridiculous.
Now here’s something else on my mind today: The Yankees and Red Sox start a series tonight in Boston.
They will compete in a three game series in which the red hot Yankees will try to get their first wins against their rivals on the season. The two teams will be lead by their league leading offensive stars, Mark Teixeira and Jason Bay. Not to mention the rest of their powerful offenses. So far, the Red Sox have dominated the season series. But when the first games of the season series were played, the Yankees didn’t have a red hot Mark Teixeira, they didn’t have good pitching at all, and their offense was sub-par. They didn’t look like the Yanks at all. Now… well now is a different story. Just wait all you Red Sox fans. I think the Yanks take two out of three… IN BOSTON.
Final Thought on the day: The MLB Draft will be fun to watch for the first five picks, but after that… ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!
This draft is far too long, far too boring, and we don’t know most of the players our teams are getting. It’s nothing like the NFL and NBA drafts. They are more exciting and we see most of these players go through college. The fact that this draft is so long is because we need more players for this sport than the others. The teams are bigger and the need of players is bigger. The NFL is close, but as far as the NBA goes, the numbers are so much bigger. The draft will be fun to see until the top five guys go because we have actually seen them for the past few weeks leading up to the draft. We know who they are now. Obviously we know the Nats are taking Strasburgh, and the other top five prospects are most likely going where they are projected to be going. So despite that, it might still be fun. The rest of the draftees, well, good luck in the draft but I won’t be sitting on my couch eating potatoe chips waiting to here your name picked.
Well, that’s about it…
I’m sure that’s exactly what Zack Greinke, the Royals’ young star pitcher, is thinking right now after he just got smoked for five runs on nine hits (two homers) and a walk. He also had two unearned runs allowed in his five inning outing. Greinke must have been shocked, after so many STELLAR performances to start the season. He is among the top two pitchers in the AL and is in the running for a start in this season’s all star game. He is no doubt an all star but his only other competition for the start is the Blue Jays’ Roy Halladay who is also having a STELLAR season. Some competition, huh?
Greinke is currently 8-2 on the season with a league best 1.55 ERA. He also has 91 strikeouts which is also one of the best totals in the league. He is having an overall great season and this one loss won’t hurt him. This loss is definitely shocking… I’m shocked. But it really isn’t that big a deal. He still has one of the best records, has the best ERA, despite it being over 1, and has a great number of K’s. He is great. A youngster who is having a Cy Young season is something that the Royals need. Someone who can lead the team and get them somewhere. He’s going to be fine.
Now, the competition for the starting all star job is between Halladay and Greinke. That’s no doubt. They are the top two pitchers in the league and there is no one even close to having as good a season as these two are having. So who should it be?
My pick: Halladay.
Why: He has a better record. His performances this season have equally matched that of Greinke’s, and his team is winning. Halladay has been great throughout his career. He still is. Greinke is still young and I have no doubt that he will be a starter in the all star game sometime in his career. But right now, the spotlight is on Halladay who has proven himself over and over again that he is one of the best in the business.
So nothing against Greinke, because I happen to like him very much, but I think this season, it should be Halladay. But next year… who knows? Maybe next year will be Greinke’s turn.
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Another “Wow, did that just happen” moment from this week was Randy Johnson’s entry into the 300 win club. Way to go man. You’ve earned it. Johnson’s career so far has been STELLAR and he is still going. That’s amazing. This milestone is one of the most respected of all milestones reached in baseball.. I think it is the one you have to work the hardest for. It’s great for everyone who has reached it and Randy Johnson is now among some of the greatest pitchers of all time. Throughout his career, he has pitched for the Expos, Mariners, Astros, Diamondbacks (two stints), Yankees, and Giants. Here’s a little summary of his career.
Johnson has been the type of pitcher who would be set to pitch and the other team wouldn’t want to face him. He was a tall, powerful pitcher. He had a good fastball and good secondary pitches. He was just a great overall pitcher that new the game. Opponents didn’t want to face him. He has pitched a perfect game. He has demolished a bird in mid-air (not something you want him to do to you) and has come up big for all of the teams he has played for in his great career.
So now that you’ve heard some of that, I hope you would come to appreciate how hard it is to get to this milestone. Way to go man.
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Now here’s the last of my stories from this week. This also happened last night. It happened in the Mariners- Twins game. Ichiro, riding a 2 game hitting streak, went hitless against Twins pitchign ending his streak at 27. It was a disappointing game for the Mariners and Ichiro as his streak was snapped and the Mariners lost 2-1. Ichiro’s streak wasn’t the first long one of the season. Everyone remembers Ryan Zimmerman’s earlier this season which ended at 30 games. There have been others but none have gone as high as these two which have gained much attention all over the MLB community.
Ichiro has had a great season overall this year and is bound to get an all star bid for the mid summer classic in St. Louis. I have Ichiro among my votes for one of the outfield starting spots. Along with Jason Bay and Curtis Granderson.