Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Why do teams keep useless players?

I have long wondered why teams often keep very useless players on the team and I still can't figure out why. Players like Enrique Wilson, Brian Jordan, Bobby Higginson, Roger Cedeno, Quentin McCracken, Carlos Baerga, Christian Guzman and Luis Rivas (to name a few) always seem to get a spot on the 25-man roster and over the last 4 years they have all been pretty worthless. None of these guys can hit their weight (which keeps getting higher each year), none are defensive wizards, and none of add speed to the lineup, so what makes them so special that they beat out the other 500+ players that are cut in spring training?
Why is it that they always make the rosters? A team usually has 1-AAA, 1-AA, 3-A and 1-R and there are always a bunch of fa's out there that are not signed, with all of those bodies, you'd think that a team could find a replacement for any of the guys above. You might say it is for their veteran leadership, well I have 2 arguments against that: 1) If you want some veteran leadership fine, but sign a veteran player that is useful not a detriment to the team, 2) You may say he is good with young players and like an extra coach on the bench. Well if that is the case then you need to get new coaches because you shouldn't need extra coaches and if the coaches you have can't teach your players well they shouldn't be coaching.
Next you might say it is bad contracts that keep him around, well if you have to already pay him and he is so bad, why not cut him and bring someone up, it is only (cheap in baseball terms) $316,000 more than say the 11 million already owed to Bobby Higginson (using him because he is listed above) and most likely will help the team out. I know it is hard to admit a mistake, but it is better to admit a mistake and fix it then just keep ignoring it because it won't improve that way.
I don't have an answer, but hopefully one day I will and if I ever find it out I promise to share it with the world of baseball fans. If you know the answer or even have a different opinion why, I'd love to hear it.

Cubs Pick: Mark Pawelek (updated)

The Cubs pick high school lefty Mark Pawelek, from Springville Utah. Now if you ever read the book "MoneyBall" and are a firm believer of it, then you will be very mad, because this pick is the anti-MoneyBall pick. The Cubs need some lefty pitching prospects especially since Luke Hagerty is rehabbing and the Cubs let Andy Sisco go to the Royals in the rule 5 draft this winter. I do know they have Renyel Pinto and Richard Hill, but Pinto was just demoted to AA and Hill though he was just promoted to AAA (he still needs time there) and though Pawelek probably won't beat either to majors, the Cubs still need more lefties in minors than righties and this is a step in the right direction. Another negative factor is that Scott Boras is his agent (I have a dislike for him, but if I were a player he would be my agent if the opportunity was there) and it might take some time for the Cubs to get him signed.
I had read before the draft that the Cubs might draft him or Luke Hochevar who also was a Boras client whose stock was falling a little. I am glad the Cubs picked Pawelek and hopefully in 4 years he can make it to the Cubs rotation.

Here are some scouting reports:

Baseball America:
Pawelek topped out at 94-95 mph this year with an effortless delivery. Scouts say his feel for pitching, presence and composure are so advanced for his age that he’s the equivalent of a college sophomore. He has command of four pitches and knows how and when to use his curveball and changeup. Pawelek is the only high school player in this year’s draft who is being advised by Scott Boras and that could have a profound impact on where he is picked.

According to the scouting report on :
LHP w/ ideal pitcher's frame. Tall and long w/ lean muscle. Explosive low-90s FB that sink and run come out of a quick, loose whip-like delivery. CB is out pitch, w/ 1-7 break that comes near the plate.

Update: One of my fears of drafting Pawelek was that Scott Boras was his agent, well looks like I was scared for nothing. When the Cubs made their 3rd round pick, they also announced that they had signed Pawelek to a contract that included a 1.75 million dollar signing bonus.

Draft Day: 1st round pick for Cubs since 1980

Today is draft day and hopefully the Cubs can pick a player in the 1st round who can make some impact on the team by 2009. Since 1980 they have not had the best of luck picking in the 1st round of the players draft these are the ones that have had useful major league careers: Shawn Dunston (1982), Rafael Palmeiro (1985, too bad not with Cubs), Doug Glanville (1991) , Joe Carter (1981, too bad not with Cubs), Kerry Wood (1995), Cory Patterson (1998), Jon Garland (1997, again not with Cubs) and Mark Prior(2001).
Other guys that played in majors were: Derrick May (1986), Don Schulze (1980), Vance Lovelace (1981), Kevin Orie (1993), Jon Ratliff (1993), Drew Hall (1984), Mike Harkey (1987), Brooks Kieschnick (1993) and Lance Dickson (1990).
Players drafted by the Cubs never saw the majors: Jackie Davidson (1983), Dave Masters (1985), Ty Griffin (1988), Earl Cunningham (1989),Tony Woods (1982), Stan Boderick (1982), Derek Wallace (1992),Jayson Peterson (1994), Todd Noel (1996) Ben Christensen (1999), Luis Montanez (2000, still in minors), Ryan Harvey (2003 in minors), Bobby Brownlie (2002, in minors), Luke Hagerty (2002,in minors, rehabbing arm), Chad Blasko (2002, in minors rehabbing arm), and Matt Clanton (2002,arm injury not sure about him).
This shows that the Cubs do not have a great track record. I remember reading the Tribune as a child the day after the draft seeing all these names in the paper and thinking ohh he sounds good. Well I am a lot older now and I know how to do my own research and hopefully so have the Cubs.

BrownBullfrog welcomes the Blood Sox

BrownBullfrog is excited to add Rob (from Boston Blood Sox) to the growing list of BrownBullfrog writers. Rob is from suburban Boston. He currently attends Ithaca College in upstate New
York. He is a lifelong Red Sox fan, and also a fan of Pedro Martinez.

Baseball Notebook Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Yankees lose to Brewers but only the Blue Jays distance themselves from Yankees as the Orioles and Red Sox fail to gain ground on the Yankees. Carl Pavano pitches a good game but with the anemic offensive support it wasn't good enough to pick up a win. For the second night in a row they only muster 4 hits....All the NL East teams except the Marlins last night as the Marlins sink deeper into last place falling 2 1/2 games back of first place Nationals....A's outhit the Nationals but lose on one bad pitch by Barry Zito a Nick Johnson 2 run homer. Kiki Calero pitches a hitless inning of relief while striking out 2 so could be a big help out of the bullpen again now that he is off the DL....Braves rookie Andy Marte drives in a run with a sacrifice fly in his first major league game. Marte also made a barehanded pickup on a slow roller that showed off his defensive skill. Wilson Betemit has 11 extra base hits in 62 at bats which is better than Brian Jordan with only 7 in in 169 at bats. Betemit played 2nd base last night but Giles probably will be back there tonight. They need a way to get Betemit and Marte both in the lineup if possible. If Betemit can get more at bats he would be a good fantasy league pickup....Greg Smith a former local prep player who went on to LSU was drafted by the Diamondbacks and may forego his senior year at LSU to play in their farm system....Time for a wakeup call for fans voting for NL shortstop Nomar Garciaparra...Hello!! He is on disabled list and wasn't worthy of being on All Star team this year when healthy so why is he first in voting for shortstop...and why is Derrek Lee over 300,000 votes behind Albert Pujols in first base voting?...With the two leaders in votes at 3rd base both on disabled list the All Star berth may go to Troy Glaus.

BrownBullfrog welcomes Eric

Please join me in welcoming our newest BrownBullfrog writer, Eric. Eric is a native Bostonian, now living in Brooklyn, lifelong Red Sox fan.

Boston Red Sox Game 58: St. Louis Blues

Final Score:

Boston Red Sox 2, St. Louis Cardinals 9

I decided before the game started that I really wanted to watch this one instead of listen to it, so I paid the $3.95 for rights to the game for the day on This move turned out to be a big mistake, as I have to say today was the angriest I've gotten at a Red Sox game since at least last July and I have a feeling that watching made it worse.

Right from the beginning, there was trouble. Johnny Damon singles...and then Renteria grounds into a double play, his first of two and one of three over all. The Sox only left six men on base tonight, because they were too busy doubling them off. In the bottom of the inning, Clement gives up a number of long outs and a two run homer to Jim Edmonds, all symptomatic of the troubles that would plague him for the first three innings of the game: his location was off. Tonight was not the Abe Lincoln we know and love. The Sox scored in the second off a Varitek solo shot and things started to look up...until Clement fell apart in the bottom of the second and gave up four runs. He picked up after the third...but then had to come out after the fourth (and two straight perfect innings), because the Sox mounted a rally and needed a real batter for the pitchers spot. Some times I hate the National League.

The Sox pick up another run in the fifth, Halama's pitching and although the Sox still can't really score, the pitching has settled down...until the real weirdness starts. Halama hits Larry Walker with a pitch in the sixth. It was pretty clearly accidental. The next inning, Cardinal reliever Al Reyes hits Varitek with a pitch, in a pretty clear case of retaliation for an accident. In the bottom of the inning, Matt Mantei comes on and retaliates back by hitting second baseman Mark Grudzielanek. Both sides are warned. Later in the inning, Mantei throws what amounted to a wild pitch and hits Larry Walker. Tony La Russa comes out screaming bloody murder and Mantei gets tossed. I am, of course, estatic at this debacle, especially when I am reminded by the NESN announcers that this ejection will probably result in a suspension. Actually, because the MLB discipline office hates the Red Sox, it WILL result in a suspension, along with one for Terry Francona. And, to top it all off, Reyes hits Youkilis at the top of the eighth inning, in the wrists (just to be malicious, I guess) and gets himself and his manager tossed as well. The only good part was that Youkilis wasn't hurt, but at this point I am screaming for a fight to break out, like it almost did when Mantei hit Walker in the seventh. I am willing to go on record right now and say that there will be a fight tomorrow unless things go very smoothly for the Sox; I think they're reached that level of frustration with St. Louis right now.

In the ninth, the Sox mount a mini-rally: Ortiz singles. Millar, batting for Manny, who had a dismal night, flies out on the second pitch. Jay Payton, batting for Nixon, who also did poorly tonight (not that most of the offense didn't) hits a single. Varitek singles. Bases are loaded. Things look like they could be happening. But then Ramon Vasquez, pinch hitting for Alan Embree/Bill Mueller* lines out to center and Mark Bellhorn, does his classic strikeout routine to end the game. With the bases loaded. But then again, it was that sort of night. I'm throwing my hat on the floor with gusto.

Cardinals fans: take no offense at what I'm about to say, because I think you have a really nice looking ball park in St. Louis and I'd like to see it (or its replacement) at some point and it's pretty clear that the fans get dressed up for the game...but your grounds crew is terrible. First there was Lake Busch back in World Series Game 3, then tonight, players and umpires were slipping on the grass and the Cardinals got a hit at one point because the ball took a ridiculous hop over Renteria's head...not because of the way it was it. Because it hit a poorly groomed spot in the infield dirt. I just checked the forecast for St. Louis from yesterday and there wasn't any what's the excuse? Do they pay the grounds crew in beer, which is consumed before the field is cared for?

Let's see, while I'm complaining: did the scheduling people sit down before the season started and decide to screw over the Sox? The past three series have been against division leaders. The next one is going to be against a team (the Cubs) who would probably be division leaders themselves if their team wasn't attacked by the injury gods for some unknown offense. The last time they had a day off, they had to play in the Hall of Fame game. Yes, I know that the end of the year will be much kinder, when all of those missing home games are made up for and Boston plays 10,000 games against Tampa Bay. I suppose I should be grateful; the Yankees are playing mediocre teams and can't buy a win** and the standings didn't change that much tonight, since Baltimore didn't win either. These roadtrips are starting to get to me, though.

Tomorrow night Boomer tries to avoid a sweep against Chris Carpenter in a 7:05 start. I'll be waiting for that cathartic fight to start and hope no one gets hurt. GO SOX!!!

* - Another thing I hate about the National League: as fun as the strategic substitutions are, it can be really hard to remember who's batting for whom.
** - Ha, I made a pun.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Welcome Dasbootykid

BrownBullfrog Readers,

Please join me in welcoming a new writers to the BrownBullfrog team, MDasbootykid. You have already seen some of Dasbootykid's posts the last few days and you should see mroe to come in the following weeks.

Baseball Notebook Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Doug Davis limits to the Yankees to 4 singles in 6 innings and the bullpen pitches 3 hitless innings as the Yankees fall to 1-6 on this road trip. If this continues there will be a certain interested party known as the Boss who may greet them at the airport when they arrive in the Big Apple and he won't be there to ask them how the weather was on the road trip. This is not a good time to be Brian Cashman or Joe Torre. They have lost 8 of their last 9 games and will be going to St. Louis to play the Cardinals in their next series later this week....Braves have now lost 8 of their last 11 games and Tim Hudson is only starter not on disabled list that has a winning record. Chipper Jones seems now to be injury prone and has seen his average fall 51 points over the last 10 games to .282 before going on DL yesterday. This may finally be the year the Braves don't make the playoffs but with nobody running away with the lead in NL East they may still be in it to the end. It is not a good sign when your leadoff hitter Rafael Furcal is hitting .225 and has a .278 on base percentage.Now with Andy Marte being called up and being their star of the future it will be interesting to see how Bobby Cox will use him since Wilson Betemit is doing so well and hitting 57 points better than any other player on the current active roster plus has a .457 on base percentage which is 117 points better than Marcus Giles at .340 OBP....A's have rebounded from a 8 game losing streak to win 6 of their last 7 games and the starters have won 5 of those games with Danny Haren winning 2 of those games....Eric Chavez is almost back to normal leading the A's in homers and RBI's but he would like to improve on his .298 OBP and .377 slugging percentage. Nick Swisher has improved his average by 40 points since the 29th of May. Still don't understand why Charles Thomas is still on roster since he has only 1 RBI after 45 at bats...hitting .111 which also happens to be his slugging percentage. Their next 12 games will be against
NL East teams....Surprise stat....Brian Roberts is 2nd in majors in slugging percentage with .642 with only Derrek Lee ahead of him at .712. This is an earthshaking accomplishment for Roberts who had never had a slugging percentage above .376 in his previous 4 major league seasons. His 11 homers this season is only one shy of the 12 total he had hit in his first four major league seasons. Before this season started the only stats that stood out for him last year were the 50 doubles and 29 stolen bases and now he has a chance to join the 30-30 club with 11 homers and 13 stolen bases with the season a long way from being half through....Freak injury department....NL Rookie of the Year candidate Clint Barmes injures his shoulder carrying groceries and will probably miss 3 months of season. Barmes didn't want to wait for elevator so decided to walk up to the 4th floor then slipped on stairs falling on shoulder. This fall was not exactly on his things to do list for this season especially considering he is 26 and was having a very good season leading NL rookies in most offensive categories....Johan Santana struck out 105 in 83 innings while giving up 67 hits. Earlier this season he struck out 14 in 8 innings but didn't get the decision in a game that went 13 innings....Major league draft today....Major league baseball conducts its annual player draft today with little fanfare. Part of the reason for so little media attention is that there are so many high schoolers in draft who are little known while in football and basketball draft many of the players have been in hundreds of games on TV during their career and are better known names coming into the draft.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Welcome two new writers

BrownBullfrog Readers,

Please join me in welcoming two new writers to the BrownBullfrog writing team, Marc Seror and Andrew (or Andy). You have already seen some of Andy's posts the last few days and you should see Marc start posting shortly.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Baseball Notebook Friday, June 03, 2005

Just to show how monumental of a feat it was for the Royals to sweep the Yankees - it was the first sweep for Royals after not having swept any team for the last 78 series. This is kind of team Yankees should beat without any problems. It looks like it goes back to the Red Sox series last weekend when the team lost its swagger after losing the series. Now they travel to Minnesota and play a team with a winning record so that will be a challenge after losing to the worst team in baseball. Carl Pavano has given up 20 hits in his last 9 innings and allowed 10 runs in those 2 games. They have now stretched their losing streak to 5 games after having won the previous 5
games. During the 5 game losing streak they have been outscored 37-9. The only good news for Yankees is that they haven't lost that much ground to the AL East leading Orioles as they are only 5 out of first because both teams have been 5-5 over their last 10 games....A's show they can beat teams with winning records too as they defeat the Blue Jays behind an Eric Chavez grand slam. His .225 batting average is at its highest since the 13th of April. Bobby Crosby has now lifted his average to .412 and he seems to have given the team a much needed lift in the offensive department. It is encouraging that the starters have now won 3 games in a row after a stretch when the starters had only picked up 2 of the team's win in the previous 26
games.With Octavio Dotel out for the season Huston Street should take over the closer spot with his 1.88 ERA with Justin Duchscherer more than likely taking over the setup slot with his 1.04 ERA. Fantasy leaguers should be interested in Huston Street because unless he falters he should get a lot of saves and strikeouts this season. He is averaging over 10 strikeouts per 9
innings....Pedro Martinez has allowed only 2 runs in the last 23 innings after giving up 10 runs in the previous 20 innings....Dontrelle Willis is first pitcher in baseball to notch his 9th win. Juan Pierre who played high school ball in this area for Alexandria Senior High School continues to
struggle hitting .260 and hit only .226 for the month of May....Danny Kolb threw more lighter fluid on the fire last night as he blows yet another game giving up 4 runs while only getting one batter out and upping his ERA to 7.29. If he had any hopes of regaining his closer job they probably went out the window for good. He is definitely not a John Smoltz in the closer role.
Leo Mazzone starts rocking as soon as Kolb takes the mound because he knows it will not be a pretty site. Might be better to give Mazzone and Bobby Cox blindfolds so they won't have to watch the carnage after Kolb enters the game. Most surprising stat for Braves is that Adam LaRoche is leading team in RBI's with 32....Hottest team in baseball is the Cubs with a 7 game
winning streak in spite of not having Kerry Wood or Mark Prior available....Coldest team is the Giants who have a 7 game losing streak and are 9 games out of first place....No team in NL East has a losing record with the last place Phillies only 2 1/2 games out of first....Tonight in
Houston my daughter and her family are going to be at the Cardinals-Astros game. The starting pitchers will be Chris Carpenter with 7-3 record going against Andy Pettitte at 3-5. This will be the first game my grandson who is 6 and plays T-Ball has ever seen. It reminds me of my first game I ever saw when I saw Pirates - Phillies game in August of 1957 when Bill Mazeroski hit
a homer over the left field roof we were sitting under. So when he hit the walkoff homer in 1960 World Series it reminded me of that night. I also remember how relentlessly the Phillies fans booed Del Ennis who was one of their best sluggers ever. They played this game in Connie Mack Stadium and to show how long ago that was they have discarded the stadium that replaced
Connie Mack Stadium and have opened another stadium now. So while Phillies have played in 3 stadiums the Cubs and Red Sox have continued to play in Wrigley Field and Fenway Park. I wish I could see the look on my grandson's face when he sees his first game tonight. He loves baseball with a passion. When he plays his T-Ball games he is completely focused on the game unlike some kids who wonder where the ball came from that just went to the outfield fence and they could have caught if they were paying attention. He practiced baseball with me for over 2 hours once and when it was time to quit he wanted to keep playing. If he can't find someone to practice with him he will throw the ball up in the air and catch it. His team is 11-0 this season
and he was moved to field the pitcher position because he throws so well to first base so instead of runners being safe because of bad throws he is recording outs. Baseball is a great game on any level but seeing my grandson play transcends them all because he is playing with so much fervor and has fun which is what baseball should be all about.

Octavio Dotel Out For Season

Octavio Dotel has elected to have Tommy John surgery rather than attempt to pitch in pain for the rest of the season.

Fantasy Outlook: This season has been painful, too, for Octavio Dotel owners who have watched him blow 4 of his last 6 save opportunities. They in fact haven't gotten a save out of him since May 16th. The good news is that Huston Street will be taking over for him. Street's posted a 1.88 ERA and a 1.15 Whip, while striking out 34 in 28 innings. Hopefully he's still a free agent in your league.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Baseball Notebook Thursday, June 02, 2005

Derrek Lee and Neifi Perez have 9 hits in 10 AB's with 2 homers and 7 RBI's in the 9-5 Cubs win over the Dodgers. Starting with the 1999 season Lee's RBI numbers have increased every year in this order: 20-70-75-86-92-98 and with 50 this year with the season one third over. Lee continues to lead NL in all triple crown categories....Overpaid player department...Brad Ausmus is making $3 million this year and yet only has 1 homer and 14 RBI's on the season. Roger Clemens and Jeff Bagwell are making $36 million this year leaving $40 million for the other 23 players to divide. With Bagwell having 3 homers and 15 RBI's and probably out for 3 months that money for him has been completely wasted....It is beyond comprehension how the Yankees have lost 2 in a row to a team that is 19 1/2 games out of first in AL Central. These are the kind of teams that the Yankees should be beating night after
night like they were but losing the series to the Red Sox this last weekend has taken some edge off of their momentum they had going. Tonight they send Carl Pavano to the mound who lost his last game by a 17-1 score so his confidence level could be in question....Since Bobby Crosby has returned to the A's lineup they have won all 3 of those games. Right before that they had lost 8 in a row. May be a coincidence but with Crosby hitting .385 since his return it may be making a difference. It still has to concern to the A's that Eric Chavez has only 4 homers in 206 AB's and has a .316 slugging percentage....Player for fantasy baseball fans to watch closely...Dallas
McPherson third baseman for the Angels. In his last 7 games he has hit 4 homers and drove in 9 runs while hitting .370. He is 3rd on the team in home runs with 5 and only 2 behind the team leading Vladimir Guerrero and Steve Finley with 7 each.

Note: This could be an interesting story to watch. Clearly the Astros are out of the pennant race and if Roger Clemens can make the same money with a pennant contender and stay in his native Texas this scenario could develop in the next month to where he could join one of the best hitting teams in baseball and jettison himself from a team that is giving him no run support at all. If he had pitched for the Rangers all season the way he has for the Astros he would be looking at 10 wins assuming the Rangers would give him much better run support. It is a 4 hour drive from Houston to Dallas but when you are making $18 million he could fly there much sooner to see his family or just move his family to Dallas area.

Clemens has interest in Rangers
Baseball notes

The New York Yankees could have some competition for Roger Clemens' services, after all, and this would be a battle in which George Steinbrenner lacked the home-field advantage. The seven-time Cy Young Award winner has expressed interest in joining the Texas Rangers, according to two people familiar with Clemens' thinking.

On Feb. 6, Newsday reported that Clemens, who will turn 43 Aug. 4, made a handshake agreement with Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane upon signing a one-year, $18-million contract for 2005. McLane agreed to trade Clemens to the Yankees if the Astros fell out of the pennant race.

In an interview with ESPN last month, Clemens, who refused to commit to playing the entire 2005 season with the Astros, said he would permit a trade only to the Yankees. Since then, however, the Rangers have surged, bringing a nine-game winning streak into Wednesday night's game in Detroit.

Any trade of Clemens would likely not occur until closer to the July 31 non-waivers trading deadline. McLane proved last season, when his club pulled off a remarkable late-season run, that he is reluctant to signal to his fans that he is surrendering. But McLane, with Clemens' help, could sell a trade by touting the prospects received, money saved and the possibility of Clemens' return for 2006.

Clemens owns a no-trade clause, and his $18 million contract for this season includes a $3 million kicker if he is dealt.

The right-hander, 3-3 with a sterling 1.30 ERA for the last-place Astros, has privately expressed admiration for the Rangers' powerful lineup, speculating that his record would be far better with the support of Texas' offense.

Then, of course, there is the issue of proximity. The drive from Clemens' Houston-area home to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex takes about four hours.

Clemens' oldest son, Koby, has signed a baseball scholarship with Texas, in Austin, and will begin school in September.

Rangers owner Tom Hicks seems more likely than the Yankees to grant Clemens the liberal schedule he has with the Astros. He is not required to attend games he's not pitching. If Hicks agreed to that structure, Clemens could virtually commute to Arlington from Houston.

Hicks, who signed Alex Rodriguez to his 10-year, $252 million contract in December 2000, has been more financially conservative the last few years. Yet acquiring Clemens would present a short-term, if high-volume, investment that would be done by year's end. Clemens would essentially pay for himself in increased attendance and souvenir sales, as he has with the Astros.

Although Clemens will drive this decision, McLane will have a say. Clearly, a trade of the team's top draw (and ace) to the hated Yankees or neighboring Rangers would generate negative reaction from Astros fans. The more McLane got for Clemens, the easier it would be to convince fans that the deal was worthwhile.

-- Newsday

-- Associated Press

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Andrew's Baseball Notebook June 1 2005

Juan Gonzalez almost lasted the whole top of first inning before being injured again. It is time for Indians to release Gonzalez....In a throwback to the old days Pudge Rodriguez wants to play through with a broken hand injury. That reminds me of Curt Schilling pitching in the playoffs and World Series with a very bad injury. Schilling may never be the pitcher he was before due to pitching with that injury but the Red Sox have a World Series Championship banner due largely in part to Schilling pitching when most pitchers would have not even thought about pitching in that kind of condition. Then on the other hand as I have mentioned before a couple of years ago Jason Schmidt refused to pitch on 3 days rest and watched from the dugout as the Giants were eliminated from playoffs that day....Yankees slide back into 4th place as they lose to Royals....A's finally win another game for a starter as Danny Haren pitches complete game giving up 5 hits and no walks. It was only the 2nd win for an A's starter in last 26 games. Not too much of a cause for celebration since they were playing the Devil Rays but still could help the team regain some of their confidence....Mike Hampton pulls a Juan Gonzalez and Frank Thomas by leaving first game back off disabled list with tightness in arm. 3 Braves relievers promptly give up 5 runs in 2 1/3 innings as the Braves lose to the Nationals....Padres record their 20th win in May as Trevor Hoffman picks up his 12th save during the month of May. It looks more and more like he will be the all time saves leader by the end of next season....NL East is only division in majors in which all the teams have losing road records....Astros are lowest scoring team in baseball with 182 runs scored while the best team in baseball is the Rangers with 279 runs scored. Devil Rays have given up the most runs with 310 runs allowed while Marlins are stingiest with 184 runs allowed....Derrek Lee is once again leading NL in all 3 Triple Crown categories while in the AL Alex Rodriguez is 1st in homers and RBI's but 4th in batting average....Derrek Lee is only player in baseball with slugging percentage over .700 with a .703 mark.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Baseball Notebook

Roger Clemens has allowed 2 or less runs in his last 10 starts yet only has a 3-3 record for the season due to the pathetic Astros offense. Still can't understand why they paid Clemens $18 million this season after paying $5 million last year. Maybe they had to offer him so much he couldn't refuse the offer and was only way of getting him to play another season. Way it turned out Clemens got the money Carlos Beltran didn't get so Clemens knows he is part of reason they didn't have money left or either didn't want to spend additional money after signing Clemens. After a winter of inactivity in acquiring some offensive help you could see the writing on the wall knowing if anything happened to Jeff Bagwell this team would self destruct since they no longer had Beltran or Jeff Kent....Huston Street picks up win in the A's 5-4 win in 11 innings against the Devil Rays. Street is only 21 and has struck out more than 10 batters per 9 innings and has held opponents to a .181 batting average and has only given up 17 hits in 27 innings with no homers allowed....Red Sox failed to build on their their series win over the Yankees by losing to Orioles 8-1 missing a chance to gain a game on the AL East leader. John Olerud is hitting .455 since joining the Red Sox last week. The biggest surprise for the Rangers this season has been the 5-1 record posted by Chan Ho Park. The talk of spring training was that the Rangers would probaby eat Park's huge contract to open a roster spot. It remains to be seen if he can pitch this well over the full season but for now he is a big reason they are in first place in AL West.

Monday, May 30, 2005

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Trade Jeff Kent While you Can

Dodgers 2B Jeff Kent, after getting off to a hot April, is on a slide. It appears his age and moving from a hitters' park in Houston to a pitcher park in Chavez Ravine in LA is taking a toll on his fantasy numbers. His average has dropped nearly 50 points in April and the homers have not come for the past few weeks.

Pick up Bil Mueller

Bill Mueller of the Boston Red Sox is our latest recommended pickup. Mueller is now eligible at 2nd base which is a position lacking many good players. If your original 2B pick is injured or not doing well, we would highly recommend picking up Mueller. Mueller's average has jumped almost 50 point in the last two weeks as well.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Fantasy Consequences of Prior Injury Podcast

Fantasy Consequences of Prior Injury Podcast

this is an audio post - click to play

K-Rod and Jeff Francis Podcast

K-Rod and Jeff Francis Podcast

this is an audio post - click to play

Vlad the Impaled Podcast

Vlad the Impaled Podcast

this is an audio post - click to play

Glavine and some hitter to keep an eye on Podcast

Glavine and some hitter to keep an eye on Podcast

this is an audio post - click to play

Weird year for closer and player updates Podcast

Weird year for closer and player updates Podcast

this is an audio post - click to play

Doh, Prior back to the DL

The bad luck this season for the Cubs continues. Seemingly juat back from a stint of the DL, Mark Prior suffered an unluckly fracture after getting a shot into his elbow.

Prior will be 4-1 with a 2.93 ERA for a while.
Prior is 4-1 with a 2.93 ERA while healthy this year.

Mark Prior took a line drive to his right elbow. X-Rays came back negative but the MRI showed a slight fracture. If you saw the highlights of the injury on Sportsceneter, you saw how nasty it was. Right now, it's hard to tell how long Prior will be out, but I would guess it will be at least 6 weeks until we hear more. The slight fracture could heal quicker than 6 weeks but it could take longer and Prior would have some minor leagues starts before he gets back with the club. Moreover, the Cardinals are running away with the NL Central and there is little hope for the Cubs unless something dramatic happens while Prior is out, so the Cubs will likely take a very cautious approach with Prior in order to ensure his long term value to the team. I wouldn't be surprised to see Prior done for the season, though I doubt it would likely happen.

If you own Prior on your fantasy team, don't expect to get any value from him until mid AUgust at the earliest and possibly nothing else for the rest of the year. With Wood and Prior now out, look for the Cubs to rely on Glendon Rusch more. If your league is deep, you should pick up Rusch to make up for Prior. If Rusch is taken, watch Sergiio Mitre for a good start in his next outing and pick him up if he pitches well because he is going to be the Cubs 4th starter for a while. Another ripple from the Prior injury is that Ryan Dempster may be moved out of the closer role and into a starting pitcher role to fill out the 5th SP spot, and that would mean Joe Borowski would become closer again.

Friday, May 27, 2005

K-Rod Knocked Out

This has to be the most bizarre year for fantasy closers that I can ever remember.

The latest closer to get knocked out is Angels' all-star Franciso Rodriguez who hit the 15 day DL this past monday with a strained right forearm. This adds to the rush of closer injuries in the last few weeks - 11 closers have found their way to the DL in the past 7 weeks.

Rodriguez has 10 saves, a 0.69 WHIP, and 23 Ks in 16 innings.
Rodriguez may be back this weeknd but probably not until late next week

K-Rod has been day to day and could be back sometime this holiday weekend, but I don't think he will be back until late next week. While K-Rod it out, much like looking at Juan Rivera to take fellow Angel Vlad Guerroro's place, look at picking up Scott Shields for K-Rod until K-Rod can return. Shields has been a great closer while he has filled in and should give you some saves in the short term (which seem extremely hard to come by for closers this year). Long-term, keep an eye on K-Rod's arm, he has a history of arm injuries and fantasy owners in keeper leagues who have him or are looking to get him could find themselves in a world of hurt if this young pitcher continues to have arm issues.