Great quote of the week…

…not that we’ve ever had a “Quote of the Week” skit here. Anywho, Mets minor league catcher Joe Hietpas (he of the .208 BA in over 1,300 career ABs) is moving to the mound, which drew this response from Davey Wright:

“[Those will] be tough at-bats against a guy who throws that hard and has no idea where it’s going.”

Effectively wild has always been one of my favorite baseball terms, it basically boils down to “the pitcher is so bad, he’s actually halfway decent.”

In case you’re wondering, 2 Yankee farmhands have made the transition from position player to pitcher this offseason: outfielders Rudy Guillen and Wilkins DeLaRossa. There’s no hope for Guillen, he’s a bust in every sense of the word, but DeLaRossa has some potential; he’s lefthanded and touches the mid-90s.

(hat tip to Matt Cerrone)

Red Sox looking at Benitez?

Please let this happen:

Most recently, the bullpen-depleted Red Sox were said to have inquired about Benitez, who regularly got booed by Giants fans and is entering the final leg of his three-year, $21.5 million contract.

Haha! Get it? Final LEG — and Benitez is suffering from a knee injury! I love newpaper writers and their hacky puns.

Yanksblog.com Fantasy League

The draft for the Yanksblog.com Yankees Bloggers Fantasy League was held yesterday, and here’s who I ended up with:

(Round 1, Pick 2): Jose Reyes
2/19: Grady Sizemore
3/22: Jason Bay
4/39: Joe Nathan
5/42: Francisco Rodriguez
6/59: John Smoltz
7/62: Felix Hernandez
8/79: Daisuke Matsuzaka
9/82: Cole Hamels
10/102: Delmon Young
11/112: Russ Martin
12/119: Tad Iguchi
13/122: Chipper Jones
14/139: Pat Burrell
15/142: Derek Lowe
16/159: Jonathan Broxton
17/162: Conor Jackson
18/179: Chris Duffy
19/182: Edgar Renteria
20/199: Chad Tracy
21/202: BJ Upton

It’s your garden variety basic fantasy league – head-to-head competition in 5 hitting and 5 pitching categories. I got stuck with the second overall pick, and had originally planned to take a masher. I ultimately decided against it, because stolen bases, or lack thereof, has killed me in years past, plus HR and RBI are typically easier to find in the land of fantasy baseball.

[Read more…]

Today’s box score

Check it, yo.

Notes:

  • Yes, yes, Eric Duncan hit the game-winner in the top of the ninth. Solomon Torres was pitching, so it wasn’t like a minor league scrub.
  • Igawa showed some improvement this time out. No walks and four strikeouts in three innings, though he did allow five hits and a tater (two-run shot to Ronny Paulino). If he can keep up these strikeouts, he’s going to find some degree of success.
  • Clippard: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 K; making HIS case to be the first called up.
  • Haven’t seen Henn for a while, but he struck out the only batter he faced — the last one of hte game.

It should be noted that Pittsburgh didn’t exactly put out their A team — if they even have an A team. They did strike out Adam LaRoche twice, though.

Last night’s box score

Check it out.

Notes:

  • Jorge homered off a scrub. I wonder if he yelled HADOKEN!
  • Minky finally got a hit
  • Karstens: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 4 K, 0 BB; making his case to be the first called up
  • Wright: 2.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 4 K, 2 BB; between the starters and the relievers, Scranton is going to dominate the International League
  • Farnsworth: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 K, 0 BB; now that’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout. Now go and do it against non-scrubs

Fantasy Friday: To root for the enemy or not

With Opening Day just around the corner, it’s nearing draft day for millions of fantasy players. Time to break out those Street and Smith magazines and the Baseball Prospectus annual that just arrived in the mail.

For me, this is my seventh draft day with the same core of players, and most years I manage two or three teams in various leagues. I’ve won a few leagues; I’ve finished in the top three in many others. While I don’t memorize 700 EqA numbers or K/BB ratios of the top starting pitchers, I do have a draft day strategy. But talking about draft strategy is boring, and everyone thinks their draft strategy is the best.

Instead, let’s look at a draft day conundrum that I know affects many fantasy players. I’ll use a friend of mine as an example.

Like me, my friends is a very big Yankee fan, but he’s not as experienced with fantasy baseball as I am. As he manages his team, he subsequently lets his emotions get in the way with his efforts to win the division. His cardinal rule, in this day and age, can be very damaging to the long-term prospects of his team. That rule? No Red Sox.

My roommate will not accept any Red Sox on his teams. If he does an auto-draft and lands a member of the hated team in Boston, he will trade the player in question in a lopsided deal. Conversely, he has a love affair with members of the Yankees.

Last season, said friend once tried to convince me that Bernie Williams was a viable fourth outfielder for a fantasy team. Now, I love Bernie, but he was hardly a viable fourth outfielder for the Yankees, let alone a fake team that largely depends on power and on-base percentage. Nevertheless, my friend loved his Yankees to the detriment of his team.

In the end, my friend won one of his leagues, but we’re not talking about an über-competitive league.

In fantasy baseball, this handicap, this blind love of the Yankees, can be very very damaging. Who wouldn’t want David Ortiz’s or Manny Ramirez’s slugging stats piling up points for his fantasy team? But if you’re anything like this obsessed Yankee fan, you can’t root for the Red Sox. You can’t bring yourself to ever cheer for David Ortiz or Manny Ramirez. And don’t eve get me started on Curt Schilling.

But to be a top-notch fantasy manager, you have to suck it up for the course of the season. If Manny Ramirez is available or David Ortiz lands in your lap early in the second round of the draft, take them. Root for the Red Sox to lose and hope they hit a bunch of inconsequential home runs and drive in a bunch of inconsequential RBIs.

Fantasy baseball really tests the limits of fandom, and sometimes, you just have to pick one over the other. To win your fantasy league, you may need to rely on players you hate. You may need that Barry Bonds, that Daisuke Matsuzaka, that Roy Halladay. And it hurts to watch them play your team. That’s just the bottom line, fan allegiances be damned.