Posted on: May 27, 2008 10:02 am

Back to Work, Slackers!

While eating your 2-Sausage McGriddle sandwiches for $2 (I've been meaning to talk to you about your diet lately), here's what you need to know after a long Memorial Day Weekend:
  1. Jay Bruce IS HERE! JAY BRUCE IS HERE!: Finally, after nearly two months of starting guys like Geoff Jenkins, Scott Hairston and Alfredo Amezaga in your Fantasy outfield, Jay Bruce can come off of your bench to start. The Reds are expected to call him up sometime Tuesday for his major league debut against the Pirates at Great American Ball Park. He hit .349 with nine doubles, five triples, 10 homers and 37 RBI in 49 games at Triple-A Louisville this season. His ownership is still just at 63 percent -- up from 55 percent a couple days ago.
  2. Clayton Kershaw IS HERE! CLAYTON KERSHAW IS HERE!: The Dodgers' young lefty struck out seven batters in six innings against the Cardinals on Sunday. He was the sixth pick of the '06 draft behind Andrew Miller and Brandon Morrow. Actually, seven of the top 10 picks in that draft are currently in the majors already. Only Pirates (4th) P Brad Lincoln  (Tommy John surgery), Reds (8th) OF Drew Stubbs and Orioles (9th) 3B Billy Rowell have yet to make their debuts. (Max Scherzer (11th) and Ian Kennedy (21st) have also arrived.)
  3. Willie Randolph still has a job: After meeting with the Wilpons, the Mets will continue to be managed by the former Yankees second baseman. Then the Marlins beat Randolph's Mets at Shea Stadium. Jose B. Reyes cranked out a pair of homers and didn't cost his team a win in the field -- so that's progression. The Mets are five games below .500 since June 1 of last season.
  4. Jeff Garcia is unhappy, but won't hold out: The Bucs offensive MVP last season said he won't hold out a day from training camp. It's possible the Bucs will franchise tag him if they don't come to contract agreement. Earnest Graham, meanwhile, continues to miss the team's OTA workouts. With Warrick Dunn in camp, you'd think Graham would want to get back and make a claim on the job -- then again, it's still just Warrick Dunn.
  5. Carlos Pena takes Fantasy Player of the Weekend honors: In the four games from Friday through Monday, Pena hit .727 with a home run, seven RBI and four runs scored. His teammates B.J. Upton (.571) and Evan Longoria (2 HR, 7 RBI) looked pretty good too.
  6. Syracuse beats Johns Hopkins for NCAA lacrosse title: This is the Orange's record 10th men's lacrosse championship, which makes them like the Yankees/Celtics/Canadiens of lacrosse ... which means people hate them. Trivia! Who is the only NFL Hall of Famer that is also in the Lacrosse Hall of Fame?
  7. Pair of Jays keep relievers well rested: On Friday, Roy Halladay threw a complete game against the Royals. Then on Saturday, Jesse Litsch followed suit with his own complete game against Kansas City. But the relievers threw four combined innings on their Nintedo Wii in the bullpen.
  8. Red Wings go up 2-0 in Stanley Cup Finals: As much as the Sidney Crosby fans (including myself) had hoped to see a great finals, the Wings are treating the Pens like a little brother that borrowed his Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti album without asking. Red Wings - six goals. Penguins -- zero goals. G Chris Osgood hasn't allowed a goal in 137 minutes and 33 seconds ... and counting.
  9. Antonio McDyess, of all people, puts Detroit on his back for series-tying win: McDyess -- the guy that was drafted by Denver, eventually traded to the Knicks in a deal for Marcus Camby and Nene in a draft day deal in 2002, and hasn't scored over 10 ppg since that deal -- scores 21 points to tie the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals.
  10. Some guy wins the Indy 500: Scott Dixon takes the checkered flag for his first Indy 500 win -- and even NASCAR fans yawned.
Posted on: May 22, 2008 10:12 am
Edited on: May 22, 2008 10:14 am

There Are No Songs About Thursdays

I'm guessing you were lazy and just drive through Burger King this morning, picking up a sausage/egg/cheese croissanwich, with hash rounds, coffee -- and an order of the Cinni-minis because you couldn't resist. Here's Your Morning Constitutional:
  1. A-Rod homers twice, gets credit for just one: Despite hitting two balls out of the park, Alex Rodriguez was rewarded with just one homer and a double (the ball bounced off some outfield steps before returning the field and unjustly credited as a double by the umps). My Tout Wars team was quite upset over the ruling. But he has four hits, two homers, four RBI and three runs scored in his two games since returning from his quad injury.
  2. Joba Chamberlain begins to get stretched out for the rotation: The big Nebraskan threw two innings Wednesday and the Yankees will try to give him more innings in each outing, but you have to expect he'll take a trip to the minors for a couple of starts. His ownership has gone up from 79 to 84 percent in CBSSports.com leagues.
  3. Jason Taylor's career in Miami is likely over: J.T. won't be attending team activities, which signals the end of his Dolphins career. I can hear the phone calls now from Bill Parcells to other teams: "Hey, remember when I laughed at you for that trade offer you made on Draft Day for Taylor? ... Well, I'll take it! And I'll get Tony Sparano to get an autographed pic of Sylvio for you as well." Way to get less for a commodity, Fins.
  4. The Falcons acquire Tony Gonzalez and Jamal Lewis in monumental day: This wide receiver and safety won't have the same effect as the more famous Tony Gonzalez and Jamal Lewis, but still! Someone wanted to play for Atlanta!?! That's a coup in itself.
  5. The Rays look good on the new cover of Sports Illustrated: Our media relations guy, Alex Riethmiller, texted me yesterday to tell me about the new cover of SI. It's in comic-book style, with a Rays player holding Derek Jeter over his head, with the headline, "Bizarro Baseball!" Then I went to SI.com to look at it yesterday -- and I couldn't find it on their site. Nice marketing, boys. It might be up there by now.
  6. One player hit by pitch, one pitcher hit by batted pitch: Chipper had to leave Wednesday's game after getting plunked in the right ankle, but he hopes to be able to play on Thursday in the series finale against the Mets. Chris R. Young took an Albert Pujols' line drive in the face and had to leave his start in the third inning. He's questionable for his next start Tuesday, so whoever might replace him could see a two-start week.
  7. Bartolo Colon takes a break from the buffet, pitches five innings vs. Royals for a win: After a long wait, we finally got to see Colon make his Red Sox debut -- allowing six hits, two runs and two walks in five innings against Kansas City Wednesday. His ownership has climbed up 19 percent in the past week to 67 percent. He'll be a two-start pitcher in Week 9 (at Seattle, vs. Baltimore).
  8. The 2008 American Idol winner is David ... : That's how many people's Tivo's cut off the end of last night's finale. Cook is the winner, while Archuleta goes back to being an expensive underperforming safety in my dynasty IDP league for the last season of my stupid four-year contract with him.
  9. Speaking of David's you care about: I'm doing well. The other David you care about, David Price, is set to make his pro debut Thursday night for Class A Vero Beach. He has battled shoulder issues and an elbow strain in recent weeks. He struck out 10 batters in five innings in an extended spring training game Sunday. He even struck out A-Rod -- and served up a homer to him. The Rays' pitching staff is currently deep, so they can afford to remain cautious with the No. 1 overall pick from 2007.
  10. Thomas Diamond pitches in a game for the first time in 14 months: The last remaining DVD prospect left in the Rangers' organization pitched 4 2/3 innings for Double-A Frisco Wednesday night. Diamond underwent Tommy John surgery early last season. He allowed six runs on four hits and four walks, to go with five strikeouts. He was hit hard in the first inning, which can be written off for nerves. He's a 25-year-old prospect that was a first-round pick in 2004. The Rangers named him their Minor League Player of the Year in 2005.
Posted on: May 14, 2008 9:48 am
Edited on: May 14, 2008 5:18 pm

Your Morning Constitutional

I believe your order was two scrambled eggs (not dry), with four slabs of crisp bacon, some thick-cut home fries, two slices of buttered rye toast, a cup of diner coffee, and large glass of orange juice (from concentrate unfortunately).

  1. I knew "The Daily Dose" had a good ring to it: Saw yesterday that another site uses that for its morning column. I prolly stole it. So I figure, you're likely reading this after your first trip to the can anyway (bacon and coffee does it to me too). I'm changing it to "The Morning Constitutional."
  2. Mariano Rivera's perfect season is officially ruined: The Yankees' future HOF closer allows his first earned run of the season to the Rays in extra innings Tuesday. In a season where closers are shakier than the office chair I'm close to breaking, it's been great to see Mo pitch this good in the first six weeks. (Oh yeah, and Troy Percival blew the save ... whatever.)
  3. The Rays are YOUR AL East leaders almost one quarter of the way through the season: In Tuesday's 11th inning, Jonny Gomes came on to pinch run for Cliff Floyd (Floyd is making it hard for me to continue to not like him) and then Gomes stole his third base in two games (what?), to get into scoring position for Gabe Gross' game-winning single. Gomes, Floyd and Gross combined to help the Rays to their 11th-straight win at Tropicana Field. But completing their fourth sweep in a row will be tough -- it's a four-game series against the Bombers. Tampa Bay has the best record in baseball over the past 19 games (14-5).
  4. Who are the two hottest teams outside of the state of Florida? The Houston Astros and Shermboat19's Texas Rangers. Houston is 8-2 in their past 10. And along with the Rays and Marlins, the Rangers have now won seven of their past 10 games, including last night's 5-2 win over Seattle. Has anyone else noticed that Gerald Laird is finally starting to hit like we hoped he would? He's batting .275 right now, which is up from .207 as late as April 20 -- just 13 games. He has 18 hits in 51 at-bats (.353) with 16 runs scored in that span. Lock him up! He's only owned in 18 percent of Fantasy leagues!
  5. Rocco Baldelli takes BP Tuesday: I know you're sick of reading about the Rays, but I found this point interesting. His body fatigue wasn't enough to sideline my favorite player, he even had an infection in his leg. My take -- it was probably from bed sores. COME ON, ROCCO! Man up!
  6. The Red Wings and Penguins are up 3-0 in the conference finals: Can't we just skip right to the Cup Finals?
  7. Great Scott! Luke Scott hits his second homer of the season Tuesday for Fantasy POD honors: He took Josh Beckett deep, which probably hurt more owners than it helped. Scott is batting .281 on the season, but we thought he'd be exhibiting much more power at this stage.
  8. Ross Devonport's New Orleans Hornets are now up 3-2 against the Spurs: Both teams are undefeated at home in the playoffs -- and it's heading back to San Antonio. Devonport is one of our Fantasy writers. He's British, worked for the Double-A Tennessee Smokies, roots for the Hornets and is a devout Florida Atlantic fan. Weird. He also won Fantasy Golf Writer of the Year from the FSTA this year. Another cool thing -- he lent me a DVD series called, "Little Britain" -- it's a BBC sketch comedy show. QUITE FUNNY! Here's a link to one of their skits.
  9. My favorite Cincinnati Reds pitcher, Edinson Volquez, runs record to 6-1 on the season: He allowed just one earned run in six innings against the Marlins Tuesday. He has 34 strikeouts in his past four games, he's second to Cliff Lee in the majors with a 1.12 ERA, and his 57 strikeouts for the year lead the majors. I LIKE! I LIKE!
  10. Oh yeah, and the Patriots cheated.
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: May 8, 2008 10:14 am
Edited on: May 14, 2008 10:47 am

Daily Dose of Fantasy/Reality

Things you need to know this morning, while you eat a melon medley of cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon, with a few red grapes, and a refreshing cup of fresh squeezed Florida orange juice ... followed by a CinnaBon --
  1. Harden ready to go for "one-start-in-a-row" streak: Rich Harden will start on Sunday at the Rangers. Scotty Blanco and I both whiffed on who would join the bullpen -- it's going to be Chad Gaudin (pronounced CHAD). Expect two great starts from Harden before he breaks your Fantasy heart again and goes on the DL for a sprained uterus.
  2. Carlos Gomez hits for cycle, something Johan Santana NEVER did: Gomez actually has two homers in his past eight games with six RBI and four stolen bases. Is he really available in 32 percent of CBSSports.com leagues?
  3. Brett Tresky went 3-for-3 with three runs scored in our Wednesday softball league: He also spelled everything correctly during the day's emails. Rumors of HGH abound -- although, Tresky spells it GHG.
  4. A-Rod close to returning in Week 7: Alex Rodriguez (sprained quad) is doing a little bit of everything right now, including taking BP and running in the outfield. He's eligible to return on Wednesday, and as the old saying goes, "Half of a Fantasy week with A-Rod -- is a weird phrase out of context."
  5. Lightning C Jeff Halpern out part of 2008-09 already: Halpern tore his ACL and part of his MCL and he's going to miss the first three months of next season ... which begins in like three weeks. He tore his knee up playing in the World Championships ... Dan Boyle hasn't dropped a skate on any wrists lately, so that's good.
  6. Magic win Game 3 in blowout, Billups' knee injury helped a little: Orlando stays alive with a win at home, but until they beat a healthy Pistons team, it doesn't quite count ... unless you bet the game.
  7. "My name is Votto, I like to get blotto!": Simpsons reference? Actually, it's his Fantasy owners that got a little blotto last night -- celebrating the rookie's three homers against the Cubbies. He's still available in 28 percent of leagues (Votto, not Otto the Bus Driver.)
  8. Richard Jefferson charged with assault: The New Jersey Net allegedly grabbed a man by the throat in a night club. To his credit, he didn't try to get his limo driver to take the blame like OTHER Nets.
  9. I nearly pooped myself on the way home from softball: After playing then eating wings at Bru's, my 20-minute drive home on the turnpike had to quickly become an 18-minute drive home, or else my upholstery would have a different color today. I made it ... this time.
  10. Rafael Furcal's back being problematic: Furcal thinks he can play on Friday after missing Wednesday's game. He's having an amazing season, making people add his name '00 Miguel Tejada-like to the Top Three Shortstops list. Scotty Blanco recently traded Michael Bourn, Stephen Drew and Micah Owings for Furcal in our Fantasy Mag Rotisserie league. Quite a haul for the contract-year shortstop. I nearly pooped myself when I saw that too.

When you get a chance, check out this blog entry by Baseball Jones, one of CBSSports.com's top blogging members. It's a great write-up about the blog genre in general and how some old school writers have a great disdain for it.
Category: MLB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com