Once again, everyone's favorite leisure post is coming at ya, MLB Headlines Week 4!
Last week we had yet another tie. And as we know if there's a tie that automatically means I win!!! Bwa-ha-ha!
But seriously, how sad is it that boots~ got more votes than I did despite the fact that I wrote boots~'s headlines? Speaking of which, I played boots~ last week in fantasy baseball, and my log is below.
www.mlb.com Headline of the Week:
Cy it's so: NL West aces dueling in San Diego
Ah yes...the Cy pun. A particular favorite of www.mlb.com.
On to the headlines!
April 27th, 2008 – Red Sox 0 Rays 3
Shields shines, Sox Shutout
April 27th, 2008 - Twins 0 Rangers 10
Twins Offense = Oxymoron
April 27th, 2008 - Diamondbacks 2 Padres 1
Webb Wows! Wins 6th
April 26th, 2008 - Rockies 3 Dodgers 11
Rockies caught in a landslide of runs in first inning
April 27th, 2008 - Athletics 4 Mariners 2
Bedard makes Oakland batters look like...uh...the physically disabled
April 27th, 2008 - Twins 0 Rangers 10
Padilla Texas Ranger handcuffs Twins batters in one-sided Chuck Norris-esque ass kicking
April 25th. 2008 - Twins 5 Rangers 6
Morneau-t enough; Texas tops Twins in ten despite grand slam
April 27th. 2008 - Diamondbacks 2 Padres 1
Peavey, Padres caught in Diamondback's Webb
April 27th, 2008 - Yankees 1 Indians 0
Wang whips it out, shuts out Indians
As always, voting occurs to the left of this page. But really, we already know who the winner is.
Now, onto the Sunday Fantasy Baseball Blog!!!
11:36 AM - Every night this week, if you listened really closely, you would've heard a giant scream followed by a pathetic whimper. That would be the sounds I was making as my fantasy baseball team got its ass kicked consistently on a daily basis. Despite this, I'm managing to win 3 categories...for now. Here's how it looks:
R HR RBI SB AVG W SV K ERA WHIP
Me: 33 3 33 7 .312 3 5 36 5.40 1.64
Him: 43 10 28 3 .306 4 7 49 2.29 1.25
43 runs is a sick number. To put it into perspective, the person with the second most runs this week, so far, is.....me at 33. (Technically I'm tied at 33 with one other team, but who's counting?)
I think I have an outside chance of taking over home runs with a big Sunday. *sarcasm*
Aside from last week, my team has pretty much refused to hit home runs all season long. And yes, that annoys me.
Speaking of home runs, my bad beat of the week so far was on Friday night. I noticed that Brandon Phillips was not in the line up. I replaced him with Rookie Phenom John Bowker. Bowker went 1 for 3 with no runs or RBIs. I considered that a push. However, in the bottom of the 9th inning of the Cincinnati game Brandon Phillips came in to pinch hit and, you guessed it, promptly hit a solo home run. To make matters worse, after that and the single that follow, San Francisco was prompted to bring in their closer, who, of course, my opponent boots~ owns. So not only did I miss out on a home run, the missed home run contributed to a save for my opponent. Awesome.
That's just one of the many reasons you are usually better off just keeping the minimum number of batters in a Head-to-Head league. Which is where I'm at now. But that's mostly because my pitching pissed all over itself this week. ERA and WHIP are completely gone so I dropped my excess batters to pick up some pitchers. I just picked the pitchers that had a start on Sunday with the best K per 9 ratio. I have 4 pitchers starting today compared to boots~'s one. I still predict I don't win a single pitching category. But we'll see.
On a side note, two of the pitchers pitching for me today are actually being traded. I traded Wang and Blanton for Dan Haren. (That's right, I traded a pitcher with the name of Wang, I'm kind of shocked myself.) So, hopefully those two pitchers have a great swan song for me and then proceed to suck for the rest of the year.
I was competitive with saves all week until boots~ had a disgusting 3 saves last night. LAME!
Coming into Saturday I gave up on batting average, but some good batting by my team and some less than stellar by boots~ means I'm winning the category currently. I'm still not optimistic though.
It seems the only sure thing for me is Steals. So I could likely end up the day losing 9 categories. But first we have to see what happens today.
12:17 - First batter of the day is A-Rod...and he gets a walk. Alrighty then.
12:29 - Second batter of the day is Travis Hafner...and he gets a walk. Alrighty then.
12:37 - Brian McCann had a hit for my opponent. Stupid Brian McMcann. Just one of many players in the draft I was considering but then went with someone else who ended up being worse, in this case Joe Mauer. Chase Utley just lined out against one of my scrub pitchers. HAH!!! Lunch Time.
1:16 PM - Heard on the radio that Mauer struck out with a man on base. Grrr...I remember the first year Mauer played for the Twins and when he struck out they'd say "That's something you won't see very often." Yeah, if you count every other day as 'not often'.
1:18 PM - 5 at bats so far, still looking for my first hit. Two Walks though. Yay...
1:20 PM - My pitchers have 5 strike outs already. Keep it up boys.
1:29 PM - My pitchers aren't doing half bad. Wang hasn't given up a run and has 5 strikeouts but the score is tied 0-0. Lannan has 2 strikeouts and his team has the lead at 2-0. Maholm has not given up a run and his team is up 2-0. I was considering picking up 'Twins requisite over-the-hill veteran free agent' Livan Hernandez for today but didn't. He just gave up a 3 run homer in the first inning so I'm feeling good about that. Although bad about the Twins losing.
1:32 PM - Wang's Yankees are up 1-0 now. Wang...yank...it never gets old.
1:33 PM - My batters are now 0 for 9...with two walks.
1:37 PM - Maholm just gave up a run...stupid Maholm...but at least his team still has the lead.
1:39 PM - McClouth just hit a 2 run homer. Which is funny because not only does it help my pitcher but boots~ just dropped him a couple days ago. Bwa-ha-ha. I wish my players could hit home runs though...but I have to take whatever small victories I can get this week.
1:44 PM - 0 for 10...with two walks. Luckily, boots~ is currently 1 for 7, with I don't know how many walks.
1:57 PM - Miguel 'Spicy' Tejada just got a hit!!! One for Eleven...SCREW THE WALKS!!!
1:58 PM - Alex *Expletive Deleted* Rodriguez just struck out swinging with one out and a man on third......I should go put away the dishes or the Mrs. will yell at me. Oh yeah, and the Twins suck.
2:10 PM - OK, I'm back. Got to see Mauer pop up with two men on base, you know how I feel about that. Let's do a full status summary. 1 for 14....1 for freaking 14. No runs, no RBIs, nothing. God my team sucks. boots~ is 2 for 10 but still has 5 batters yet to play. I have 2 batters yet to play. Let's look at the pitchers. 11 Strike outs, that's good. Yankees up by 1 in the 7th, Nationals up by 2 in the 6th inning, and Pittsburgh up by 4 in the 7th inning. My last pitcher (Blanton) has yet to start. Same for boots~'s Brandong Webb. That's going to be ugly for me. Oh, and call Livan Hernandez this year's Sydney Ponson.
2:17 PM - Pence walked. Yay walks. I'm rolling my eyes at the moment.
2:23 PM - Crawford flied out, Nady struck out swinging. It's a good thing I don't own a gun because it's possible I would've driven a bullet through my brain to end this misery. I should go shower.
3:08 PM - Alright, I'm squeaky clean. I heard Joe Mauer get a hit on the radio. But let's get a full tally. 3 hits total! Crawford got one too...with an RBI! I nearly swallowed my tongue! Let's check the pitching. boots~ got a save to seal that category. But Wang and Maholm got a win! I'm in the lead with wins. And I've tied strikeouts. It looks like its going to be show down later this afternoon between Blanton and Webb for who can get the most strike outs. I like my odds...you know it's too bad sarcasm doesn't come through the written word very well.
3:13 PM - Brandon Phillips is batting, bases loaded, no outs, and Barry 'Worst Contract in Sports History' Zito is pitching. The excitement in the air is palpable.
3:17 PM - Hey, hey! An RBI single for B. Phillips. Not sure how you can single with the bases loaded and only get one run, but beggars can't be choosers.
3:18 PM - John Lannan just got me a win. Unless there's some relief pitching shenanigans, I've got that category! That's 3 wins, 2 coming from the scrub pitchers I picked up on a whim. Note that this is positively unbelievable. I also have a diatribe on these scrub pitchers that I may get into later.
3:22 PM - Phillips came around to score a meaningless run for me. But it's the thought that counts.
3:42 PM - Well Blanton's off and running. He already gave up a run in the first inning. I'm glad I traded him. I just don't think I could feel comfortable with a player on my team with the last name Blanton. Blanton sounds like an onomatopoeia a comic book would use when a bucket of paint falls on someones head.
3:51 PM - Because of Yahoo!'s stupid stat tracking, I've resorted to MLB Gameday. I hear ESPN's fantasy baseball site is pretty good...and has free live scoring. Maybe I'll suggest it for next year. Blanton has 2 strikeouts and Webb has 1. Sot I'm leading in Strikeouts...but for how long?
4:15 PM - Webb's coming on strong with 2 strikeouts. boots~'s taken over the category.
4:26 PM - Big strikeout for Blanton. The category's tied.
4:37 PM - Webb gets a strikeout. Back-and-forth we go.
4:53 PM - Just noticed Webb got another strikeout. It's slipping away from me.
5:o2 PM - A Brandon Phillips homerun!!! I'm actually more excited about the hit part of that than the RBI, Run, or Home Run part!
5:35 PM - Another Brandon Phillips homerun!!! I only need the hits man, save the home runs for next week. But again, it's the thought that counts.
5:45 PM - Bwa-ha-ha...another pitching performance, another win. Blanton picks up a W. That's 4 wins total. I almost feel guilty that my pitchers performed that well...almost.
6:24 PM - Well, the early games are over. One game left and since I have no pitchers going (he'll win strikeouts by at least 2) so it looks like the only category in doubt is batting average. I'm up by .13 points (.299 to .286) thanks to a surprisingly putrid hitting performance by boots~ (2 for 21). Because of this, I think I'm going to put the Mummified Remains of Gary Sheffield on my bench and hope Curtis Granderson doesn't have a grand performance. Like going 4 for 4 or something.
7:20 PM - Granderson struck out looking. So far, so good.
8:00 PM - Granderson walked...I can live with that.
8:10 PM - Interesting note, G. Anderson looks suspiciously like Granderson...think about it.
10:13 PM - The late game is over and in a way I was right to bench the Mummified Remains of Gary Sheffield. He went 0 for 4. But Granderson went 0 for 3 so even if I did start the Mummified Remains of Gary Sheffield I would've won the category. Thanks to a stellar pitching performance and since my hitting performance was just good enough to beat a terrible boots~ Sunday hitting performance, the final tally looks like this:
R HR RBI SB AVG W SV K ERA WHIP
Me: 36 5 37 7 .299 7 5 53 3.81 1.41
Him: 44 10 28 3 .283 5 8 55 2.01 1.27
Yes, I lost 6 categories to 4, but for some reason it feels like a victory.
The moral of the story is that you can't chase wins. I know that sounds silly from the guy who picked up two scrub pitchers on Sunday and got two wins from them, but believe me, if I were to choose two teams that were likely to win, Pittsburgh over Philadelphia and Washington over Chicago would not be the ones I'd pick.
But if you pay attention to why I streamed pitchers this Sunday it was not just for wins, but also for strikeouts.
Since wins is a nebulous and even fraudulent stat, I decided that it shouldn't even factor into which pitchers I chose for Sunday. You can't chase Wins, but you can chase strikeouts. So that's what I did. I looked for the pitchers with the best strikeouts per 9 inning ratio and went with them. I hoped they'd win me the strikeout category and I left wins up to fate. Oddly enough, I won wins but lost strikeouts. In fact, if I took this philosophy truly to heart, I would've won strikeouts AND wins. You see, if I truly picked the pitchers with the best k per 9 ratio, I would've picked up John Lannan (which I did) and Ted Lilly. But since those two played each other that meant they couldn't both get a win. So I picked up Paul Maholm instead of Lilly. Maholm did get me a win, but I won by two wins, that extra win and a quarter gets me nothing in today's economy. If I went with Lilly instead of Maholm and, in doing so, totally ignored the Win category I would've lost a win but still won the category by one win. Lilly, however, had 5 more strikeouts than Maholm. That means I would've won strikeouts also. So, even slightly chasing wins like I did cost me a category. Live and learn.