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Another day, another bullpen mess to deal with. The Cubs, by my count, appear to be on their 5th closer, and boy is he a blast from the past. The Tigers are promoting Jose Valverde and it looks like he will be given a shot in the 9th inning right away (so much for the Tigers saying, oh for about five months, that they had no interest in Valverde closing for them). The Yankees continue to have to deal with injuries and it's seeming more like, with each passing day, that they aren't being honest. Asdrubal Cabrera has been a mess at the plate, and the injuries are piling up. The Mariners have two guys who can't hit at shortstop, but the backup is now the starter as the team is making a change. Finally, should we be looking at Brandon Belt as a total failure at this point?
Though the events from Monday remain unresolved and our thoughts linger with those affected in both the city of Boston and around the world, the show must go on. Major League Baseball is not pausing the season and your fantasy leagues aren’t shutting down. Obviously it’s okay to be distracted but you still have to pay attention to what’s going on. There are job battles still being fought over, players coming on and off the DL, hot starts to consider and cold starts to shake off. You need to make sure you’re still dialed in and up to date on all the latest happenings.
As we gear up for our fantasy baseball drafts, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the growth that we’ve seen in the fantasy sports business and what the impact is on drafts from year to year. More specifically, I’m talking about the immense coverage and the disappearance of sleepers, an annual favorite of nearly every fantasy owner. In the past, the fantasy baseball magazines and the few web sites that were out there would have their lists of players who were considered far from mainstream but expected to perform at a much higher level. It was fine back then as the circulation wasn’t what it is today and those of us who actually did the research on our own and unearthed these hidden gems actually saw it as a chance to gain an alternate opinion on these lesser known players. But with the crazy amount of coverage there is today, these sleeper lists have turned the unknown commodities into the trendiest picks of your draft and the players are losing their overall return value because every Neanderthal who can point and click is now taking them far too early in drafts. And because of that, those of us who go that extra mile in the research and draft prep need to start fighting back. We’re not going to be able to stop the hordes of writers from outing our sleepers, but what we can do is change our strategy and use our competition’s herd mentality against them.
If there’s one thing you can say about Saturday’s games, there was quite the flair for the dramatic. It seems like every game you turned to, there was something big happening. There were three walk-off home runs, two complete-game shutouts, Derek Jeter tied George Brett for 14th on the all-time hits list, and yet another Heath Bell meltdown. We had more great pitching performances and plenty of offense to keep your fantasy teams juiced. So without further ado, let’s get to the highlights…
It’s amazing sometimes, the things in life we take for granted these days. A day and a half without internet might not make you feel like a caveman without fire, but it sure comes close. But everything seems to be back in working order now and it’s time to get back to our daily round-up for fantasy baseball. We’ll just make this a quick one as the Saturday games will be starting soon enough and owners who can make daily lineup changes might need this information sooner rather than later. So here we go….
Usually this section is reserved for one item in particular that either grabs my attention or something specific that really sticks in my craw – wow, do I sound like an 82 year old man yelling at kids to stay off of my lawn when I use that expression? – and commands my undivided attention. But with so much happening in the baseball world right now, I can’t even bring myself to focus on just one topic. Blame baseball for being so damn exciting or blame my scattered thought on sleep deprivation. Whatever the case may be, I’m going to break from our usual format and just hit you with some rapid fire baseball thoughts that are wrap up the events of yesterday and impact the fantasy baseball community at the same time.
Catchers of the world, unite! Your time is now! The fantasy baseball community is officially warned – the catcher position is no longer an afterthought. Grab your bid dollars, hoard those early round draft picks and get yourself a quality backstop! They have arrived.
Welcome to Bizarro baseball. While the anticipated debut of Yu Darvish was on everyone’s minds on Monday, the real excitement ended up coming from a very unlikely source. Barry Zito, the $126M albatross that hangs on the neck of the Giants organization and its fans, turned in a gutsy and vintage performance to help his team ruin the Colorado Rockies 2012 home opener. With the Giants seeking their first win of the season, Zito turned in a complete game, four-hit shutout with four strikeouts and no walks as the Giants offense went to town and pummeled the Rockies pitching for seven runs. Zito hurls a shutout? The Giants offense scores seven runs in a game? Bizarro baseball, indeed.
The Major League Baseball trade deadline has come and past and we have the news and analysis on all of the major deals right here on Fantasy Alarm. Someone in a New York state of mind took a pitch in the hand, the Orioles do more dealing to clear a starting spot for their newest acquisition, and the biggest pitching name on the market is finally moved. A middle infield prospect goes yard, a former first round pick pitches well but could be shut down, and one of the fastest guys in the majors has a new address. We now officially have just two months left as we head into August so maintain your lead by reading Rounding The Bases.
It's Tuesday which means it is time for the Top Ten list of fantasy baseball newsworthy happenings. However, due to some personal obligations I have tonight, I am going to make this a Top Five list. I hope you don't mind. Before I delve into this week's list, I must disclose something to you loyal readers. I am a lifelong Mets fan (hold your laughter and tears). This week has been even more embarassing to admit that, even after the last few years of collapses, disappointments and failures. If you haven't heard, Mets' owner Fred Wilpon was recently quoted in an article written by Jeffrey Toobin for the New Yorker where he essentially threw his three best players under the bus. He said Jose Reyes will never get Carl Crawford-type money in free agency, David Wright is not a superstar, and that he was a schmuck for signing Carlos Beltran to the 7 year/$119 million contract solely based on the 2004 playoffs (oh and that Beltran is now only 65-70% the player he once was). The disclosure I want to share with you is that Wilpon also said that my writing skills are mediocre at best and that I am as humorous as the German Funnybot from South Park. Thanks Mr. Wilpon. Onto the news.