Tag:Fantasy Staff
Posted on: June 11, 2008 11:25 am

The Emack ZONE!

The following is a page that was on AOL Hometown dating back to the late 90s. Emack posted this, for what reason we have no idea, and years later, I think it was Jake Payton that discovered it. After having it up in my cubes for years, I thought it was time to share it with my readers since I'm leaving the company on Friday. While reading this, imagine a dorky picture of young Emack, hair parted down the middle and feathered, with the caption, "Me at the ripe young age of 22." Please join me in making fun of his gayness.

The Emack ZONE!

Emack himself:
  • Name: Eric Mack
  • Age: 22
  • Currently living in sunny South Florida
  • CBS.SportsLine.com staff editor
  • Syracuse University - B.S. Journalism
  • Monroe Community College A.A.S. Liberal Arts
  • Born and raised: Avon, New York (Home of the Braves baby!)
  • 5'8", 175 pounds, brown hair, blue eyes
What I'm into:
  • Softball, softball, softball
  • New York Mets
  • New York Giants
  • Syracuse Orangemen
OK, so I won't win any awards for originality. I threw this page together during a hang over one fine day. I try to get out, but unfortunately going out at night means I usually spend the day in front of this dumb ass computer. It's bad enough I work in front of a computer all day at SportsLine! But I am very proud of my job, and very passionate of my vices, particularly softball. Yeah man!

Thanks for stopping by!

I like boys.

OK, the last sentence might not be what Emack wrote, but the rest of what was written was verbatim off of his page.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 9, 2008 6:52 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2008 10:48 am

5 Days: Early East-Siiiiiiide SPLN Days

After five and a half years, about 31,250 player updates, and probably a couple hundred columns, I'm officially leaving CBSSports.com after this Friday. I'm moving on with another opportunity ahead of me, but these last five days will give me ample time to reflect on my SportsLine days -- as well as the many people I've worked with.

I ran my own site in the early '00s and I made contacts with Scott Engel, Tristan Cockcroft and Michael Fabiano -- three of the original SPLN Fantasy content guys. Engel helped me get my foot in the door and eventually grab a seat to replace Marlon McRae, who had moved back to New York. Dan Dobish had taken a job with the group, about six months before me, to work nights and write the hockey content.

We worked on the east side of the building at that time, which was secluded away from everyone in the building. No one claimed us -- and we were happy about it. We were able to act however we wanted without worries about who was walking around the corner.

So I thought I'd offer up a review of some of the people that have worked here during my tenure. The following are the owners that worked with me on the East Side of the building.

Scott Engel was the first of all Fantasy content writers at SportsLine, dating back to the mid-'90s, writing both Fantasy Baseball and Football. He was also a KISS freak, to put it mildly. Whatever you do, don't accidentally mention that you like KISS or else he will give you an impromptu air guitar concert for the next hour. He actually dressed up like Ace Frehley frequently (I think he was in a KISS air tribute band -- seriously). He also sat extremely close to his monitor. And whenever he did his cataclysmic sneezes, Dobish would say, "Ya get speckles on your screen?"

Engel was a good guy with a good heart, but he and Fabiano just couldn't get along. Have you ever worked with people that argued every day? They were like that -- but we (Tristan, Dobish and myself) thought it was great comedy. Fabs, who isn't the tallest of Fantasy writer, was ripping into Engel one day, and he remarked that he needed some Tic-Tacs for his breath. To which Engel quipped, "At least I can't fit into a Tic-Tac box." That joke still stands among one of the best in the group's history. Dobish laughed for two hours after that argument.

Here are a couple excerpts that I wrote about Fabiano after his going-away party in July of 2006. "His metrosexually clean cube looked like a model cube we use as a showroom to sell other cubes. You know, like with fake furniture and the cardboard TV? Nothing but right angles and an anally clean desktop" ... "Fabiano likes (and I'm not kidding): Dallas Cowboys, N.Y. Yankees, Los Angeles Lakers, Notre Dame football, North Carolina basketball and Italy's World Cup team ('Dood, I'm Italian!') He likes all of these teams despite the following facts: He's not from New York or Los Angeles. He's not Irish. He's not from Tobacco Road and the last time he watched soccer might have been the first time. I also hear that he's also a big fan of the Roman Empire, the lions (vs. the Christians), big banking conglomerates, big brother (Orwell's not Julie Chen's) and gravity. I think the last underdog he rooted for was Jesus Christ -- but even then -- it's the son of God, how much of an underdog is that?"

I'm happy to say that Fabs and Engel don't hate each other anymore. They're both good guys that helped me through my early stages.

Speaking of helping me in my early stages, no one mentored me more than Tristan Cockcroft. From the first day I joined the group, he taught me how to do just about everything. Writing updates and columns isn't exactly rocket science, but he taught me some of the nuances of both. I always thought he would have been a great manager for the group, but he, along with Engel, ended up going to the worldwide leader in 2004.

Now, let's make fun of him. He had a large, bulbous head that could have been a Macy's Day parade balloon. And there were few things funnier than seeing him angry at something. He's such a good guy that when he got angry -- really angry -- about something, it was almost cartoon-like. He'd smash his fist on the table and stomp his feet. And the only thing that smelled worse than his farts was the coffee candle that he would open up to mask the smell of his recently released fart. The mix of aromas made it smell like Juan Valdez's bathroom.

"TIOTSTIOOOOONIAN" has since had a child with his lovely wife Marlaina -- and he still thinks Don Mattingly should be in the Hall of Fame. Emack and Tristan are the only two other baseball writers I've worked with at SportsLine, and I can honestly say they are the most knowledgeable baseball guys I've ever dealt with.

Dobish left SportsLine last fall. He was the guy I worked with the longest -- one of the last of the old group. When we started here, things were much different. We both worked weekends, and he worked nights to my days. Dobish and I were also the only two that were assigned all four Fantasy sports. Now, Sergio, Hurc and Ross are capable 4-sporters. While Dobish was easily the most cantankerous of the group, he was also one of the funniest. The day he left was one of the saddest for me at SportsLine. I still see him often because we play softball together, and I'm hoping it will be the same with Emack and Jamey once I leave here. Dobish pitches and I catch -- which means he'll one-bounce a pitch off the plate into my chin a couple times a night. When he's not walking in three runs a night, he's a pretty good softball guy.

So those four guys made up the Fantasy content group when I joined it. Our manager at the time was Mark Swanson, who I also hope to keep in touch with down the road. Our weekly staff meetings would have made for a great webcam show. Swanny would come in and tell us what we needed to know from a content standpoint, then we'd discuss assignments and things we'd like to write about. We'd each chip in thoughts and ideas for the other sports in a roundtable discussion. At some point, Engel would do an impression of someone, Fabs would make fun of Engel, Tristan would look at me and shake his head, and Dobish would make an off-color comment. It was the circle of Fantasy life. Then Swanny would go around the table and ask anyone if they had something to say, and I'd wrap the meeting up with interesting quotes made throughout the week by everyone. So I thought I'd wrap up this blog in that same tradition. The quotes below are from the early days -- and I had to cut a bunch of them to make this a relatively clean blog.

Early SportsLine Quotes
  • Dobish: "Hey, this is the first time I've ever eaten a pickle on Christmas Day!"
  • Dobish: "I wish I had a urinal in my bedroom."
  • Gonos to Dobish: "Hey, your mom wants you to give her a call."
  • Dobish: "I'm going home to get me some sausage -- that's the highlight of my Friday night."
  • Fabiano: "Dood, play something cool like Hall & Oates!"
  • Engel's Thai order every time: "L3 Beef, No Vegetables."
  • Dobish to Tristan: "Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaatever dude, I just farted in your cube."
  • Fabiano: "Gonos won his wife in a cheeseburger-eating contest."
  • Dobish: "So I was talking to my racist uncle the other day ..."
  • Fabiano to Engel: "You eat Snicker-bar salads."
  • Dobish: "I don't believe in people having names like Jonathan Johnson, or names that rhyme."
  • Fabiano: "The 49er's used to have a burrito for a mascot?" (after reading they once had a burro as a mascot.)
  • Dobish: "You know me, I love a midget."
  • Engel's Subway order every time: "Foot-long white, with salami, tomatoes and mustard. That's it."
  • Dobish: "I wake up in the morning and have a little poll with myself ..."
  • Fabiano: "Man, I could go for a hot teabag!"
Category: MLB
Posted on: May 13, 2008 7:49 am
Edited on: May 14, 2008 10:45 am

Gonos is Burning

Here's our most recent podcast from this afternoon. We get a little goofier than usual. Emack's turkey pops out of the oven, Jamey takes five-minute no-talking breaks and I expound on the greatness that is Rays Baseball.

Looking at what happened over the past 24 hours, here's what you need to know while you scarf down three blueberry pancakes with plenty of syrup, four thick sausage links, a glass of cold milk and a cup o' joe:

  1. "Happy Mother's Day Mom! ... Now SIT YOUR ASS DOWN!": LeBron James' mother got in on the action in the crowd as a ruckus among LeBron and a couple Celtics moved off the court Monday night. King James turned around and yelled at the Queen Mum to take her seat ... Reports indicate that Paul Pierce will no longer be allowed to come over to LeBron's house after school.
  2. History's revenge: The South burns down the Yankees: Wildfires have enveloped Florida over the past day, especially in Central Florida. Including the Bay area, where the Rays torched the Bronx Bombers 7-1 for their 10th win in a row at Tropicana Field. SP Andy Pettitte lost to the Rays for the first time in eight starts.
  3. Asdrubal Cabrera turns an unassisted triple-play against Toronto: And some Fantasy owner in an obscure Head-to-Head league that thought it would be fun to add that as a scoring option got 398 points for that play.
  4. FSU C Buster Posey plays all nine positions in a 7-inning game vs. Savannah State: Every now and then, Noles head coach Mike Martin will allow a special player to play all nine positions in a game as a reward for his career. Posey is such a player, and he struck out two hitters and added a grand slam at the plate. It reminds me of that old cartoon, "Now playing first base, Bugs Bunny. Second base, Bugs Bunny. Third base, Bugs Bunnny ..." The other reason this note was interesting is that Tampa Bay, with the No. 1 overall draft pick in back-to-back seasons for the first time in MLB history, is considering drafting Posey No. 1 overall.
  5. Pavel Datsyuk pots hat trick Monday: The Red Wings are now just one win away from heading back to the Stanley Cup Finals after going up 3-0 on Dallas Monday. He has eight goals this postseason and he's just behind Henrik Zetterberg (18) with 17 total points. He came three points short of 100 this past regular season, playing in all 82 games, posting career-highs in goals (31), assists (66), plus/minus (plus-41) and points. The soon-to-be 30-year-old Russian should be a second-round Fantasy pick in 12-team leagues next season.
  6. Rafael Furcal's super season on hold for now: The Dodgers' SS is second only to Hanley Ramirez in Head-to-Head points, but he had to go on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a strained lower back. Chin-lung Hu will likely see time in his place, which makes him a nice add in NL-only leagues. Furcal's .366 batting average is third in the NL.
  7. Eric Gagne said he's ready to close again: Also in "It's not up to you" news, I've decided to give Jennifer Aniston another shot at making this work between us. Emack says he's ready for people to like his bad breath. And Dave Richard is willing to let people say he's skinny.
  8. Cliff Lee wraps up AL Cy Young award Monday night: Cliff Lee threw nine scoreless innings against the Blue Jays Monday (it went into extra innings and he didn't get the decision), but Lee has now posted the lowest ERA (0.67) after seven starts since the early '40s.
  9. Milton Bradley equals the Angels and demons of Fantasy Baseball: He homered for the sixth time this season, then left the game with a sore shoulder. Expect news that he also injured his hand after punching the doctor when he told him his diagnosis.
  10. Ramon Vazquez (yeah, Ramon Vazquez) earns Fantasy P.O.D. honors: Vazquez had two hits (including his second homer of the season) and two walks against Seattle Monday. He continues to start at third base in place of Hank "sugar-glass" Blalock, and he's now hitting .406 in nine games this month. He's owned in just three percent of CBSSports.com leagues -- and to be honest, we can't blame the other 97 percent.

Emack and I were discussing which catchers were top picks over the past decade or so, and I thought it would make a nice review piece for the ol' blog. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I have an affinity for backstops -- and Emack has a distaste for them. Which makes me cool and him lame.

Since the inception of the MLB draft back in 1965, there have been six catchers selected with the No. 1 overall draft pick:
  • 2001 -- Joe Mauer, MIN: The Twins knew they could sign the Minnesota native, so he was picked ahead of Mark Prior, Gavin Floyd and Mark Teixeira (oh yeah, and TB's fabulous selection of Dewon Brazelton). He was the first catcher to lead the AL (.347) in batting in 2006.
  • 1985 -- B.J. Surhoff, MIL: Started career as a catcher for six seasons, moved over to third base, shortstop and left field and ended up playing 19 major league seasons.
  • 1975 -- Danny Goodwin, CAL: The only player in MLB history to be draft first overall twice! After getting drafted by the White Sox in '71, he chose to enroll at Southern University.
  • 1971 -- Danny Goodwin, CHW: Unfortunately, he couldn't play college ball for eight years. His MLB career consisted of 252 major league games, with a .236 batting average and 13 homers.
  • 1970 -- Mike Ivie, SD: Split time between the Padres and Giants throughout most of his career, but he became a first baseman after his first season in the bigs.
  • 1966 -- Steve Chilcott, NYM: The Mets passed on Reggie Jackson (second overall to A's), and Chilcott never made it to the majors. Ahhhh, the Mets.
Going all the way back to A-Rod's draft class of 1993, here are the other catchers that were selected among the top 10 picks:
  • 2007 -- Matt Wieters (fifth), BAL: He was named the Carolina League's Player of the Week Monday, and he's now hitting .345 with eight homers, 22 RBI and 26 runs scored in 34 games at High Class A Frederick. With Ramon Hernandez a free agent-to-be, we could see the 21-year-old backstop at Camden Yards sometime next summer.
  • 2005 -- Jeff Clement (third), SEA: Getting at-bats at DH and catcher, with Kenji Johjima struggling this season. Clement isn't doing much yet in the majors (.162, 0 HR), but he could has the potential to be a 20-HR catcher in the majors.
  • 1999 -- Eric Munson (third), DET: The movie "Kingpin" came out in 1996, yet the Tigers still chose to get Munson'ed. He has a career batting mark of .214 in the majors, and he's batting just .136 with Triple-A Nashville.
  • 1995 -- Ben Davis (second), SD: The Padres just don't have great luck picking catchers high (Ivie, No. 1 overall in 1970). Davis was picked just after Darin Erstad, but ahead of Kerry Wood (fourth) and Todd Helton (eighth).
Posted on: May 12, 2008 7:31 am
Edited on: May 14, 2008 10:46 am

Brian Shouse is in the House!

While you indulge in your Big Texas Cinnamon Roll (winner of Pastry of the Year in 2003, 2004 and 2006) along with your second cup of mediocre office coffee, here's what you need to know happened this weekend while you were taking your son and daughter to Little League and ballet practice (not necessarily in that order):

  1. Managers are playing, "Which shell has the closer under it?" screwing up Fantasy teams in Mike Shanahan-like fashion everywhere: This time it's Jason Isringhausen and Eric Gagne getting the hooks for their respective clubs. So Brian Shouse gets a one-out save, helped by Salomon Torres, and Ryan Franklin trades in holds for saves and 6x6 owners are beside themselves. Once again, the closer position ruins many a-team if their draft picks weren't spent wisely. Even Jon Papelbon has a couple blown saves in the past week or so.Dan Uggla.
  2. San Antonio, Los Angeles, Utah and New Orleans are all tied up at 2-2-2-2: Kobe plays through a back injury, yet Sunday's OT loss likely hurts a little more this morning.
  3. O.J. Mayo might have received money and gifts in high school before coming to USC: Also filed under "Really? You think?" -- Fantasy writers might have eaten more donuts than they should have this weekend, someone might have looked twice at Amber Wilson, and my bank account is very low.
  4. Manny Ramirez didn't start Sunday off to rest a sore hamstring: The rumors that this happened while legging out one of his famous one-base doubles are unfounded.
  5. Dan Uggla wins Player of the Weekend: The Marlins stocky second baseman, picked up off of the Rule V Draft from Arizona a couple years ago, smashed three homers and knocked in seven runs (while batting .500) in a three-game series at Washington.
  6. Boomer Wells thinks he can help the Yankees: Apparently, the Yankees saw Wells pitch with the Padres and Dodgers last season. So much for that plan. And for the record, I doubt Wells could help our softball team (playoffs Wednesday, baby!)
  7. Dave Richard's streak is OVER at nine: With a chance at being funny for 10 days in a row, and getting his sign taken down in my cube, Richard choked and couldn't come up with a funny on Friday. The counter resets to zero this afternoon.
  8. Deron Williams, it's pronounced DARRin according to Sergio Gonzalez, is in great company: With four playoff games of 20-plus points and 10 or more assists, the Jazz point guard is second only to John Stockton with six career 20-10 playoff games. What's in the water in Utah that makes people wanna help others? I need to find a Mormon mechanic.
  9. Vernon Wells leaves my Tout Wars team for 6-8 weeks with a wrist injury: The Jays were thinking ahead when they obtained Brad Wilkerson, Kevin Mench and Dane Iorg on Friday. Meanwhile, my Tout team's offensive lead will begin to dwindle away, as I expected it would after a great start.
  10. The Tampa Bay Rays have a 9-game winning streak at The Trop: From the incessant cowbell ringing, to the annoying "G-rated heckler," to the din of playing baseball in your grandpa's carport, the Rays have swept the Red Sox, Blue Jays and now the Angels in three straight series at home.
  11. Parvati upsets Amanda in Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites finale: So much for seeing Parvati in Playboy anytime soon.
Posted on: May 9, 2008 9:59 am
Edited on: May 14, 2008 10:46 am

Daily Dose 5/9/08, Start 'em and Sit 'em: Week 7

Now that you're done with your blueberry bagel and big cup of coffee that was hot when you got it, but now it's kinda pee-temperature, here's what you need to know this morn:
  1. Fantasy hitter of the day? Dioner Navarro, C, TB: The 24-year-old Venezuelan backstop went 3-for-6 with a double and a game-winning grand slam against Toronto Thursday. Since returning on April 22 from a hand injury, only Geovany Soto (19) has more hits than Navarro (18) among catchers.
  2. Brandon Webb goes to 8-0 with a complete game win against the Phillies: This is the first NL pitcher to get to 8-0 since Pedro Martinez in 1997. The sinkerballer is on pace for 37 wins this season -- start him in NL-only leagues.Daniel Cabrera.
  3. Dave Richard has been funny 9 days in a row through Thursday: About a month ago, I posted a sign in my cube counting off how many days in a row the normally unfunny Dave Richard has been funny. (He's normally the guy that adds a joke to the conversation only to have the rest of the group then quietly change the subject.) If he's funny today, that will be 10 days straight, which means the sign comes down. It's a monumental day in the department -- we're all rooting for him. For the record, he got to the ninth consecutive funny day yesterday when Emack asked, "What should I go eat for lunch?" And Richard replied, "Rat poison."
  4. Clinton Portis is dealing with a strained hip: Reports are that the injury might have happened after he raced LaRon Landry in a 40-yard sprint. Someday, when we have video capabilities in our blog, I'll post video of a drunken Emack doing a 40-yard sprint down the hallway of a Jacksonville hotel. He pulled his hamstring -- it was awesome.
  5. Scotty Blanco once spent $70 to buy bootleg copies of the entire "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" series: Seriously. He told us yesterday when we were talking TV. He was quite proud of his purchase.
  6. Pop goes Neshek's elbow: For those hoping for some vulture saves at some point, needing Joe Nathan to get his toe stuck in the bathtub, Pat Neshek came down with a bad case of "Did you guys hear that noise?" after throwing a slider to Joe Crede. He'll be examined by the Twins' orthopedist Friday, but I've seen his teeth and he doesn't need braces.
  7. NHL Eastern Conference Finals begin tonight, PIT vs PHI: Is ANYONE rooting for the Flyers outside of inmates and people with bad decision-making abilities?
  8. Lance Berkman in quite a zone: Over the past seven days, Berkman is batting .667 with three homers, eight RBI, 10 runs scored and two stolen bases. Fat Elvis already has six stolen bases -- just three away from his career-high! Manager Cecil Cooper officially likes his team to run. Only Kevin Youkilis is outhitting Berkman over this span.
  9. LeBron James ready to head home: Like Eisenberg just said, "Not only does LeBron tip under 20 percent, he also shoots under 20 percent." The Cavs head to Cleveland down 0-2 with few answers against Boston.
  10. Daniel Cabrera finally finds umpire with a strike zone that measures 18-square feet: The mountainous Dominican threw a complete game against the Royals Thursday, two starts after walking seven batters. This time he walked only one -- and struck out seven.

Start 'em and Sit 'em: Week 7

Good Start Teams
  • St. Louis -- seven games, three vs. PIT, three at home
  • Atlanta -- seven games, three at Citizens Bank Park
  • Florida -- at Great American Ball Park for four, three at home vs. KC
  • Seattle -- three at Texas, three home vs. SD
  • Cincinnati -- Seven home games
Bad Start Teams
  • Baltimore -- Just five games
  • Washington -- Seven all on road, three at Shea
  • Milwaukee -- Facing STL/LAD/BOS pitchers
  • Colorado -- Just six games, three at ARI
  • Toronto -- Seven road games, Jays rank 26th in RPG on road
  • Oakland -- Six road games, at CLE and at ATL
Good starts
  • C - Mike Napoli, LAA: Slugging away with four homers in past eight hits.
  • 1B - Kevin Youkilis, BOS: Power surge lately, faces O's/Brewers this week.
  • 2B - Placido Polanco, DET: His 23 hits in the past two weeks leads the majors -- and he even has a pair of homers in that span.
  • SS - Erick Aybar, LAA: Seven RBI in past couple weeks rank him third at the position.
  • 3B - Scott Rolen, TOR: Seven road games are tough, but three are at Philly -- his former stomping grounds.
  • OF - David DeJesus, KC: His 12 RBI since April 25 are among top 10 at the position.
Bad Starts
  • C - Jeff Mathis, LAA: Getting more at-bats than Napoli recently, but not producing as much -- and he's getting over the flu.
  • 1B - Casey Kotchman, LAA: Dealing with a groin injury, check his status. Hasn't homered in 12 games.
  • 2B - Nick Punto, MIN: Had a great week, but he's the Twins' ninth hitter and he's dealing with a bad hammy.
  • SS - Edgar Renteria, DET: Other Tigers are finally coming through, but he's batting just .160 over past two weeks.
  • 3B - Casey Blake, CLE: Back to struggling ways once again, hitting under .150 over past 36 at-bats.
  • OF - Nick Swisher, CHW: Struggling at the plate and he's hitting under .200 against three of his upcoming pitchers over his career.
Good starts
  • C - Chris Iannetta, COL: Only three catchers outperforming him over past two weeks (Soto, Martin, Mauer).
  • 1B - Joey Votto, CIN: Three homers in one game -- inconsistent rookie can produce in stints.
  • 2B - Kaz Matsui, HOU: Along with Michael Bourn, giving Astros a great pair of table-setters with super speed.
  • SS - Felipe Lopez, WAS: Still hitting well and seven total games this week.
  • 3B - Jose Bautista, PIT: Only two other 3B have outproduced him lately, he has nine RBI in past 40 at-bats.
  • OF - Scott Podsednik, COL: Starting to see more starts for the Rockies, still has good speed (six SBs).
Bad starts
  • C - Jason Kendall, MIL: Back to his slap-hitting, low batting-average ways.
  • 1B - Mike Jacobs, FLA: A strained quadriceps could cost the slugger in Week 7.
  • 2B - Clint Barmes, COL: Six games this week, three at Arizona.
  • SS - Eric Bruntlett, PHI: He's playing well in Jimmy Rollins' place, but should be back on the bench next week.
  • 3B - Bill Hall, MIL: Just three hits so far this month.
  • OF - Reed Johnson, CHC: Batting under .200 over past 40 at-bats for Cubs.
NOTE: It's 4:48pm and Dave Richard has still NOT been funny. Tick-tock, tick-tock!!! --- UH-OH!!!
Posted on: April 10, 2008 5:16 pm
Edited on: April 17, 2008 4:13 pm

Start 'em and Sit 'em: Week 3

I just got done sending over my recommended starts and sits to Aaron Weisberg, our video producer, so he can create the graphics that go along with mine and Amber's shoot tomorrow. I thought I'd give you fine folks a peek ahead at some good and bad hitters entering Week 3:

GOOD STARTS -- <o:p></o:p>Yankees, Braves, Athletics, Orioles<o:p></o:p>

<st1:place w:st="on"><st1:state w:st="on">American League:</st1:state></st1:place>

  • C Kurt Suzuki -- Oakland has seven games this week and THIS Suzuki has been red hot.
  • 1B Aubrey Huff -- The O's have seven home games, and Huff already has 11 RBI in two weeks.
  • 2B Dustin Pedroia -- Against upcoming pitchers, D-Ped has hit .333 (Westbrook), .667 (Byrd), .400 (Wang) and .375 (Mussina) in his short career.
  • SS Bobby Crosby -- Less than 10 SS have more H2H points than Crosby right now.
  • 3B Hank Blalock
  • OF Hideki Matsui<o:p> </o:p>

National League:

  • C Jason Kendall -- Despite batting ninth for the Brewers, he's tearing it up with four multi-hit games in his past six. <o:p></o:p>
  • 1B Todd Helton<o:p></o:p>
  • 2B Yunel Escobar<o:p></o:p>
  • SS Stephen Drew -- Despite tough pitching opponents coming up, Drew has six hits and four runs scored in the past four games. <o:p></o:p>
  • 3B Mark Reynolds -- Wednesday was the first time in six outings that he didn't have two basehits.His 5 HR and 11 RBI are among the leaders.<o:p></o:p>
  • OF Austin Kearns<o:p></o:p>

BAD STARTS -- The entire NL West minus the Dodgers

<st1:place w:st="on"><st1:state w:st="on">American League</st1:state></st1:place>

  • C Ramon Hernandez -- Has hit safely in just one game so far this season.<o:p></o:p>
  • 1B Paul Konerko<o:p></o:p>
  • 2B Juan Uribe<o:p></o:p>
  • SS Asdrubal Cabrera<o:p></o:p>
  • 3B Mike Lowell -- Even without his jammed thumb that he suffered Wednesday, he still has yet to knock in one run.<o:p></o:p>
  • OF J.D. Drew -- Hitting .200 or below in his career against Westbrook, Byrd, Wang and Mussina.<o:p></o:p>

National League<o:p></o:p>

  • C Yorvit Torrealba<o:p></o:p>
  • 1B Adam LaRoche<o:p></o:p>
  • 2B Jeff Kent<o:p></o:p>
  • SS Khalil Greene<o:p></o:p>
  • 3B Edwin Encarnacion -- He's 1-for-18 since he hit a walk-off homer on April 2.<o:p></o:p>
  • OF Eric Byrnes -- Probably the most controversial name on this list. He has been hitting very well, but his upcoming opposing pitchers own him (he's hitting .067 lifetime vs. Zito and .158 against Chris R. Young). Three games in San Francisco, and three games against San Diego's pitching makes me rethink putting him in a 3-OF lineup for H2H play this week.
This just in -- A reader wrote in to Michael Hurcomb to ask him why he didn't win any awards for his role of McLovin. Sergio and I saw Superbad last year and immediately came back to tell Hurc that was his new nickname. Glad to see our readers agree with us!
Category: MLB
Posted on: April 7, 2008 9:21 am
Edited on: April 7, 2008 4:40 pm

Manic Mondays

I have video this afternoon (something I never look forward to, especially since I look like I ate Amber Wilson before going on air), and we have to churn out as many updates as possible before 12:30 or so since the Cubs play at Pittsburgh at 1p.m. Owners need info before deadline time, so set your lineups ASAP -- then check back around noon for any last-minute changes.

Here's how the Mixed Tout Wars FAAB went down (we have a Friday, 5pm deadline for bids):
  • Jon Rauch - Schechter $23, Ma $4, Gonos $4, Hoyos $3 - $5 to Schechter
  • Mark Lowe - Petera $12 - $1 to Petera
  • Carlos Silva - Hoyos $19, Petera $1 - $2 to Hoyos
  • Ryan Dempster - Hoyos $19, - $1 to Hoyos
  • Joe Saunders - Cushing $16, Petera $1 - 2 to cushing
  • Scott Hairston - Cushing $6 - $1 to cushing
  • John Buck - Kastner $6 - $1 Kastner
  • David Riske - Salfino $5 - $1 Salfino
  • Jake Westbrook - Ma $5 - $1 Ma
  • Jeff Keppinger - Cushing $4 - $1 Cushing
  • Xavier Nady - Gonos $7, Kastner $4 - $5 Gonos (Spending $5 wasn't what I was hoping for, but considering the fact I had Travis Buck in there for Week 1 because I had to reserve my normal DH (Evan Longoria), Nady is a nice addition. Plus, since our scoring periods begin on Saturdays, Nady's homer on Saturday counted -- sweet!
  • Angel Pagan - $3 Hoyos - $1 Hoyos
  • Todd Wellemeyer - Ma $1
  • Garrett Anderson - Hoyos $3, Kastner $1 - $2 Hoyos
  • Geoff Jenkins - Kastner $0
Here are the links to the three Tout Wars leagues:
I'm in first place by a chunk right now in the mixed league, powered mostly by my ... power hitters and my starting pitchers. I'm still woefully inept in speed and saves although it's so early right now that I'm in the middle of the pack in those categories. Hindsight: I hate Brendan Roberts of ESPN now. I looked back at our auction/draft results and he picked Carlos Gomez before my two picks (wraparound 1st/2nd rounds). Obviously, I had no idea he'd break out like he has or I would have bid on him in the auction ... but still. I hate him.

Nicknaming the Reds' Dominican Dandies
In today's Cincinnati Enquirer, the writer, along with some readers at the bottom, were trying to come up with some nicknames for Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez, both of whom had great starts to their seasons this past week. Johnny K-ueto and Edinson High Voltage Volquez were mentioned by the writers, whereas one commenter said, "I like 'Johnny Machete' because he slices up the bats ... and I think that 'Cueto' means 'to cut' in Spanish."

First of all, Johnny Machete? Not good. Secondly, "to cut" in Spanish is "cortar," according to Sergio Gonzalez, our resident Latino. Speaking of which, if we did horrible commercials about Fantasy Baseball using soap opera stars, we'd use Sergio for our telenovelas. Finally, "cuete" in Spanish is "rocket," according to Sergio.

So there you have it -- Johnny Cueto is the Spanish Rocket! Now, we just hope he's not taking los steroidos en la cola!
Posted on: April 4, 2008 4:09 pm
Edited on: April 4, 2008 10:33 pm

Slo-Tex, Used Sox, Fat Elvis.

Tex starts slow, finishes strong ... usually
Mark Teixeira, who I've mentioned before as a possible bust this season with the Braves, has started off slow with just a .105 batting average, one homer and two RBI. I'm not telling you this because I'm declaring myself correct -- I'm telling you to say -- this is quite common. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes his recent starts:
  • 2003: 0-for-15 in his first five games.
  • 2004: 8-for-40 (.200) with 2 HR, 11 Ks in his first 11 games.
  • 2005: 11-for-53 (.208) with 2 HR, 6 RBI in his first 13 games.
  • 2006: 12-for-33 (.364) with 0 HR, 3 RBI in his first nine games.
  • 2007: 16-for-75 (.213) with 0 HR, 3 RBI in his first 21 games. 
Same Ol' Red Sox
With 22 of 25 players returning from last year's October squad (missing Eric Hinske, Eric Gagne and Doug Mirabelli), the Red Sox became only the second championship team (2003 Angels) since 1985 to return that many players, according to Elias Sports Bureau. In 2004, the Red Sox replaced eight players. Continuity is important in MLB as well as Fantasy. The fact that the newer players (Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia) know what to expect -- and more importantly, that veterans know what to expect from the newer players -- they should continue to dominate.

Sports Rule No. 492, Section IX, Article b states: You can NOT give yourself a nickname.
Evidently, no one told Lance Berkman that. He nicknamed himself The Big Puma because they are agile, athletic and sleek -- just like him (wink, wink). He does have two stolen bases and he's been legging out doubles and scoring on sac flies -- but I still like Fat Elvis better.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com