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Monday, June 16, 2008

MLB Headlines Week 11

Did I hear that you guys wanted more headlines? Well, you get what you ask for! Although, I think boots~ might have given up on the whole thing. His loss. Anyway, onto the headlines: Headline of the Week:
Snakes bite into Big Apple

That's a Diamondbacks/Mets reference. I'm actually surprised there isn't a New York team called 'The Apples.' Probably not threatening enough. They'd have to be called the New York 'Apples Thrown by Freaky Wizard of Oz Trees' to be threatening.

June 15th, 2008 – Rockies 5 White Sox 3
Rocky road for ChiSox as crappy Colorado crushes current Central champs

June 15th, 2008 - Twins 2 Brewers 4
A Scott Baker's Dozen: 4 strikeouts in one inning sets Twins record but isn't enough for the sweep.

June 14th, 2008 - Royals 12 Diamondbacks 3
Royal beatdown: crappy Kansas City creams venom-less Diamondbacks

Dr. Bitz:
June 15th, 2008 - Cubs 7 Blue Jays 4
Lilly gets win when Cubs pad lead in seventh

June 15th, 2008 - Pirates 5 Orioles 4
Closers can't cut it in Baltimore

June 14th, 2008 - Twins 9 Brewers 4
Nathan gets nicked but Twins still drop their TS and Win

As always, voting to your left.

Before I go any further, anybody watch the Twins game on Sunday? Brendan Harris was batting and during the at bat he called for a time out and assumed he'd get it. He didn't, the pitcher threw a strike, and Brendan was called out on strikes.
Apparently the umpire wanted to speed up the game and thus didn't want to grant the time out. Which is fine, I guess, except the problem is that like 99% of time outs asked for are granted. Which means batters are conditioned to expect it. And that 1%of the time the batter doesn't get it the batter is screwed. As soon as he lifts his hand for a time out if the time out is not granted then the batter has no shot of getting ready to actually hit a ball if the pitcher pitches fast enough. So to me something needs to change.
In the interest of full disclosure, I'll admit I wasn't paying much attention to the at bat at the time. I have no idea if he already asked for a time out like five times before that or if the umpire warned him about taking time outs. But, if neither of those things happened, then I have to think the umpire should have granted the time out.
I feel like the whole time out system is screwed up. A batter asks for it and the umpire may or may not give it to him. Sounds OK, but like I said before, 99% of the time it's granted, thus batters will assume they'll get it and thus they're vulnerable. I'm not sure how to best go about fixing this problem, though.
One solution would be to give the batter only one time out per at bat. That sounds good, but after a batter takes a time out the pitcher would probably stand there for like 5 minutes waiting for the batter to get tired of holding their bat at the ready position.
With that problem, you end up instituting a pitch clock. Which I'm not opposed to on principle, but when you look at the logistics of it all it breaks down. You need to make sure the pitcher can see the clock and determine who starts and stops the clock, and figure out when they should start the clock, and figure out how pick off attempts affect the clock...the whole thing gets messy.
So what's the solution to the time out problem? Who knows?
I did get a bit upset that after the whole time out issue the umpire started calling nearly anything within three feet of the strike zone a strike to like...prove a point or something. It was fishy.

Onto the log.

1:40 AM: I've got anniversary/father's day stuff planned for Sunday so the log won't be as extensive. No big loss though, because I'm getting my ass kicked.
Me: 24 7 22 3 .222 2 3 26 7.05 1.68
Him: 30 7 28 3 .302 1 2 30 4.15 1.51

Runs, RBI, Average, ERA, WHIP are all pretty much out of reach. Especially since I don't have a starter going tomorrow and my opponent does. So I have to hope to hold on to wins and hope my relievers have masterful strikeout performances while my opponent's pitcher doesn't strike out anybody. I was going with a less is more philosophy of having a limited number of starting pitchers go for me this week in hopes to keep the ERA down. It failed miserably. Not only did the majority of the starters I played this week crap the bed, but my relievers have been pissing all over themselves too! Only one of my relievers so far has not given up an earned run. This week sucked. Oh yeah, and I'm tied for home runs at 7. My opponent's home run total for all of last week was timing is impeccable.

1:16 PM: Back home from Father's Day Brunch. Checked out my fantasy team and it's about as expected. My team's 1 for 6 and nothing else to speak of. Also, Quentin and Nady are not in their respective games today, as well as Mauer and Crawford who I put on the bench. So I'm down two batters today. And thanks to Matt Holliday "Road" my opponent has another RBI. And as I'm typing this Tejada hit a spicy single. 2 for 7 now. Ain't no stopping me now!

1:23 PM: My opponent has Twins pitcher Scott Baker on the bench but I don't know if that's intentional. It makes the first inning run he just gave up all the more bitter. My opponent is down in Wins and has a fairly tentative lead in Strike Outs and a rather comfortable lead in ERA and Strikeouts, so I'm not sure why Baker would be on the bench. But it'll likely to work out for her.

1:28 PM: Baker struck out a batter with the bases loaded. At least I can enjoy that without worrying about what it means fantasy-wise.

1:29 PM: Brandon Phillips struck out. But he's not on my S List anymore. He performed relatively well this week.

1:51 PM: Alex *Expletive Deleted* Rodriguez walked and Milton Bradley struck out. Sounds about right.

1:59 PM: Carlos Beltran homered...that pretty much means I'm not winning home runs. God this week sucks.

2:21 PM: Jorge Cantu and A-Rod have managed to get me some meaningless runs. I need HOME runs.

2:38 PM: Hey hey! Milton Bradley has a solo home run that I'm pretending went a towering 600 feet. Home runs are tied.

2:47 PM: You know, if anybody on my team would like steal a base, it would be appreciated.

3:04 PM: This just in, Alex *Expletive Deleted* Rodriguez is a pretty good baseball player. He just hit a home run and I'm now up by one in homers. Apparently, rumors of my demise in the Home Run category were greatly exaggerated.

3:07 PM: Posada homered for the Yankees too. No fantasy relevance but it's a home run derby out in Houston!

3:10 PM: Well, Matt Capps is in the game and got me a strike out. There's two outs, so I wouldn't mind one more. That still leaves me two short though. Fuentes, I'm looking in your direction.

3:13 PM: And Matt Capps gives up a two run homer. Technically they're unearned, and I'm already safe in the save department...but that's two blown saves in as many days. I'm worried about Matt Capps' psyche...

3:16 PM: So I'm down by 3 RBI, if I get a big grand slam or something then there's an outside chance I take the category.

3:22 PM: Apparently my relievers need the Umpire the Twins have today. He's calling everything a strike. It's actually looking a bit shady. Not a conspiracy but...well, maybe I'll talk about it in the lead in.

3:26 PM: Because of Capps' screw up Sherrill is in the game, and has gotten a strikeout for me. A couple more would be nice.

3:31 PM: And Sherrill's out of the game. A nice 27 ERA and 9 WHIP for his third of an inning.

3:32 PM: Hey, Capps stayed in the game! First batter strikes out. I'm only down by one strike out!

3:39 PM: Capps has another strike out! The category's tied. Now one of my 3 remaining relievers need a strike out.

3:40 PM: Fuentes is in the game at Chicago. Time for a strike out!

3:44 PM: Fuentes gives up a hit...I said STRIKE OUT not HIT. They never pay attention to me.

3:45 PM: I said STRIKE OUT not bunt ground out. By the way, Orlando Cabrera, bunting in the bottom of the ninth with one man on and down by two runs...terrible, terrible idea.

3:46 PM: Another ground out. Well, one last chance at a strike out...

3:47 PM: Two strikes for Fuentes. How hard could it be to get one more strike?

3:49 PM: A we think Jim Thome can strike out? Two on, two out, bottom of the ninth...we know he will be swinging.

3:51 PM: A 5 pitch walk...'unintentional intentional' walk? Maybe. But now 'The Twins Killer' Joe Crede needs to strike out.

3:52 PM: Fly out...shhhhhhhucks...

3:53 PM: Mauer is pinch hitting, but not in my lineup at all. What are the chances he hits a home run? The Twins are down by two which means he could hit a meaningless solo home run in a losing effort just to make sure the whole thing is completely negative for me.

3:56 PM: Ground out by Mauer. I guess I'm not THAT unlucky.

4:03 PM: Well, it looked like Franklin was coming into the game but then the Phillies got 2 runs in the 8th to tie the game so I don't know anymore. We'll see. I can also hope Seattle puts Morrow in their game at some point.

4:06 PM: Stat Tracker is going through the entire Yankee game again doubling all the stats. So A-Rod's going to be credited with two home runs for a while until it's fixed...and apparently Cano struck out swinging 4 times in a row. Who knows what kind of stats this will mess with as I'm trying to look at it. But whatever. I'll figure it out. Gotta love Yahoo Stat Tracker.

4:10 PM: Franklin's was put in for the tied game. That's good. I just need a strike out. You can give up as many runs as you want!

4:15 PM: Wow, according to Yahoo Stat Tracker A-Rod managed to hit ANOTHER 3-run homer...I'm rolling my eyes. Stupid Stat Tracker.

4:27 PM: Two strikes on Werth for Franklin...

4:28 PM: Ball...Foul...

4:29 PM: Foul...Hit by pitch...WTF? Way to bring in Utley to bat. Yeah, he's going to strike out.

4:30 PM: Called Strike on a Foul...c'mon, one more strike...

4:31 PM: In strike out...I'm down to Morrow. Hopefully he comes into the game.

4:32 PM: Why isn't Milton Bradley in the second game of the Texas double-header? Is there any good reason?

4:35 PM: My batters are pretty much done. My opponent has Alex Gordon and Kelly Johnson still to play. I have to hope neither of them get a steal so I can keep a tie for that category. I also have to hope for no home runs.

7:51 PM: Back from anniversary dinner. Morrow never came in the game. Strike outs will be tied. Kind of lame. Luckily my opponent hasn't homered or stolen a base...yet. I still have to sweat through Kelly Johnson.

10:59 PM - No home run or steal from Kelly Johnson. Good for me. So I end up losing this week 3 to 5. Seems about par for the course. I was a steal and strikeout away from tying 5-5. Dang. The final score looks like this:

Me: 30 9 27 3 .230 3 6 30 6.53 1.74
Him: 35 8 32 3 .296 1 2 30 4.15 1.51

Well, last week I said 29 RBIs just wasn't cutting it. So my team came back with 2 less. Awesome. 3 stolen bases and .230 average are both pathetic. I have the exact same number of wins this week as I did last, but oddly enough, not a single starter of mine got a Win this week. That tidbit is more of a reflection of how poorly my closers pitched, not how well. (Except for Fuentes, the only reliever on my team to not give up an Earned Run.)

Nemesis of The Week:
Yeah, I think it has to go to Carlos Beltran with Alex Gordon being a close second. Both had two home runs, but Beltran had one more run with 7 and four more RBIs at 8. Mix in a steal and a .400 average and you got yourself a nemesis.

Savior of The Week:
Should I have a savior if I only manage to win 3 measly categories? I suppose I should just to point out that Alex *Expletive Deleted* Rodriguez had another great week. 9 Runs, 3 Home Runs, 8 RBI, and .417 Batting Average. It's funny, because you hear about Chipper Jones, Chase Utley, Josh Hamilton, and Lance Berkman (and rightfully so) but nobody talks about how A-Rod's been on fire the past month. He's also posting up great numbers for the season despite being out for 3 weeks. I guess it's just a non-story. "A-Rod's good...tell me something I don't know."

The moral of this week is that I have to come up with a good nick name for Milton Bradley. I was thinking 'The Monopoly Man' but A) That doesn't make much sense and B) Monopoly is apparently a Parker Bros. game...who knew? Put your hands down.
So I've got a list of Milton Bradley board games here and I should choose one of them. does Milton "The Dark Crystal Game" Bradley sound? No? Well, maybe I can come up with something better next week.


  1. Yeah. I got sick of losing so I took my ball and went home.

  2. I'm pretty sure the New York Apples Thrown by Freaky Wizard of Oz Trees is my new favorite baseball team. Sure, the name is a bit long and cumbersome, but so is "The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim."

    I also think Milton "The Dark Crystal Game" Bradley is a perfectly adequate nickname, though that movie is messed up and kind of freaky.

  3. As to the non-calling of time in the Twins game, I'd be in favor of something similar to what they have in softball. If a batter is taking too long to get ready, the umpire can call a strike against the batter. Likewise, if the pitcher is taking too long in between pitches the ump can call a ball. Of course the ump usually gives a warning first to alert the batter or pitcher that they're taking too long.

    I'm a fan of the system because it applies to both the offense and the defense and it doesn't require a clock. And it's clearly incentive to move the game along.

  4. boots~, you actually have the same number of 'points' as Teebore does. Of course, with last week's victory by me I've doubled you both up at 5. Bwa-ha-ha.
    Although, that will change soon with Teebore's inevitable win this week. But it's a win that's deserved.
    I had nothing this week. When I resort to a Lilly Pad pun you know I'm getting desperate. Especially when there's a pun involving "WANG coming up LIMP while rounding the bases in an ATTEMPT TO SCORE" just waiting to be hit out of the park by me. I can't believe I missed that...

    Anyway, as far the time outs are concerned, I'm fine with the softball system. I just think the real key is communciation. A player needs to know they're on borrowed time as far as time outs are concerned.
    Maybe a rule like 'the first time out of an at bat must be given to a player' should be instituted. And then also add, 'A player must be allowed a time out unless that player was given a warning by the umpire in the previous time out.'
    That seems fair to me and keeps everybody on the same page.

  5. I dunno, I kind of liked your lily pad pun (not enough to, you know, actually vote for you, but still).

    Your un-entered Wang pun is, however, a feat of awesomeness.

    Much better than the one I mentioned dropping the ball on, "Corey Hart WEARS HIS SUNGLASSES AT NIGHT, SURRENDERS go ahead run to Twins."


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