Sunday, March 29, 2009

Auction Fantasy Baseball Keeper List - Ready for 2009 Draft

Next week is the draft for my auction fantasy baseball league. It's a 10 team league and this is our 12th year with the same set of owners. Keeper lists were due this past Friday here's where my fantasy baseball team is starting out this year.

Ryan Braun, OF $17 - this is the last year I have Braun under contract so he'll run me about $50 next year. All time favorite player Ryan Braun carried me to this league's championship in 2007 so its been a nice run.

Russell Martin, C $16 - this is the last year I get to keep Martin too. 20/20 potential with a high BA and tons of ABs make Russell Martin arguably the best catcher in fantasy baseball.

BJ Upton, OF $19 - Upton's attitude really ticks me off, during the stretch run last season he got benched several times for being and a-hole. I can't deny his overall fantasy baseball production so I'm stuck with him for one more year.

Chris Davis, 1B/3B $1 - looks like legit 35+ HR power with a decent BA, the position versatility is gravy. Could turn into Ryan Braun without the steals.

Alexi Ramirez, SS/2B $1 - he'll qualify at SS by mid-April so the versatility is huge. I can't wait to see what he does over a full season, he has a shot to be a top 5 middle infielder in fantasy baseball.

We start with a $312 budget and add $20 of cap space after the draft. So this leaves me with $258 left for the auction. Undrafted players can be picked up for the cost of their auction dollar value in the Fantasy Baseball Index. Enforcing a salary cap makes our fantasy baseball league play more like an 11 and a half team league.

Also see,
Auction Fantasy Baseball Draft Results - Part 1 of 2

Auction Fantasy Baseball Draft Results - Part 2 of 2

Check out eBay for autographed Ryan Braun baseball cards!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bad News Bears' Rudi Stein - on Just My Show

One of my all time favorite movies baseball or otherwise is the Bad News Bears. New Friend of the podcast Eric has a site called Just My Show and reached out to me when he found my original post about the Bad News Bears. Recently Eric posted a podcast of an interview he did with David Pollock aka Rudi Stein.

It's a great listen if you're a fan of the Bad News Bears. Currently David Pollock is active in local politics but most surprisingly says a lot of the Bears still keep in touch. Aside from the 'Where Are They Now' specials they have regular get togethers at each others homes - after all this time that's really cool.

Visit - The Retro Pop Culture Podcast - to listen to Eric's interview with David Pollock, Rudi Stein from the original Bad News Bears movies.

Also, has the Bad News Bears Triple play DVD set containing all three original films - pick up a copy today.

Monday, March 23, 2009

BABIP - Fantasy Baseball Debate Spring Training Continues

This week's question on The Great Fantasy Debate is a lot tougher. As the away team I have to take con to the following:

Using previous seasons BABIP is a definitive way to find future sleepers or busts in Fantasy Baseball?

Problem is, I like BABIP, or batting average on balls in play. Basically any batter or pitchers that varies much from 30% presents a good buy low or sell high opportunity. While BABIP doesn't fully account for all factors it is a super leading indicator. My tactic was to discredit BABIP as the "definitive way…" by pointing out some of it's short comings.

No it's not perfect but I do like batting average on balls in play - and click here to vote for Greg in the Great Fantasy Debate.

Learn more about baseball statistics and sabermetrics with the Bill James Handbook 2009

Sunday, March 22, 2009

NFBC Main Event Draft Results, Part 3 of 3

Fill one hole in fantasy baseball and dig another - or so goes it in the NFBC. The talent pool drains quickly and while I scrambled in the middle rounds to build an offense I now need to dig even deeper to build a rotation that will complement my Santana/Lincecum combo.

21) Dave Bush, SP - sabermetrcians love him, I'll give him one more chance, he should at least be a decent spot starter

22) Jesse Litsch, SP - nice up and coming starter with the Jays, not a great K rate but more importantly to me he has great command and a low WHIP

23) Kelvim Escobar, SP - out for a month or two but Escobar is way ahead of schedule in rehabbing his shoulder, if he can come back by June and be even close to what he was in 2006 he'll be my #3 starter

24) Travis Ishikawa, 1B - I'm big on this guy and desperate for a first baseman so this was a perfect pick, should have decent BA with 20 HRs and 5 or so SBs

25) Kyle Lohse, SP - he fell just about 3 rounds, I like him a lot as a spot starter if not a full time wire to wire guy - stellar pick up this late

26) Matt Joyce, OF - been hurt all spring but I needed some OF depth and a little pop, looks like he could put up Pat Burrell type numbers and I can wait a month or two and see if he delivers

27) Jamie Moyer, SP - may only be in my lineup 10 times this year but worth starting when he gets 2 in a week - especially if one is on the road

28) Dallas McPherson, 3B - has a shot at starting, could do Adam Dunn at third base, huge upside pick

29) Eugenio Velez, 2B/OF - Velez qualifies in OF and at 2B and has legit 40+ stolen base potential, even in a utility role he'll be a nice fill in when guys (Weeks, Bradley, Chipper) start hitting the DL

30) Cha Seung Baek, SP - great home park and good control, much like Moyer, Baek may only be out there 10 times this year, may also get cut by May

NFBC Main Event Draft Results, Part 1 of 3
NFBC Main Event Draft Results, Part 2 of 3

Get a Jesse Litsch rookie baseball card for your collection on eBay!

NFBC Main Event Draft Results, Part 2 of 3

Panic might be too strong of a word but to win the NFBC (or even be competitive in a fantasy baseball league like this) I know I need to execute really well over these next 10 picks. I'm either going to burry myself or build an effective offense to compliment my Santana/Lincecum tandem.

My draft strategy was to reach for a couple of players but also maximize value by going off script when guys fall far enough.

11) Rickie Weeks, 2B - I think this could be his year to put it all together, offers upside that would make him a second round draft pick next year and even half a decent season out of Weeks is solid for the middle infield

12) Xavier Nady, OF - the "Un-Tier" was never on my radar this off season, but he fell nearly 2 rounds and should be really productive in 4 categories, with Matsui DHing for at least 2 months Nady should play every day

13) Pat Burrell, OF - he just gets no love, lock in 30 HRs with 180 Runs+RBI, plus he fell by about a round with this pick

14) Edwin Encarnacion, 3B - really didn't need another third baseman (until Chipper hits the DL), but I like Encarnacion to continue to develop, he fell over 3 full rounds so I couldn't say 'no', fills Utility

15) Ramon Hernandez, C - I'm totally on the bounce back bandwagon and think Cinci will bump his power, I see something like .270 BA with 17 HRs

16) Milton Bradley, OF - don't trust him but he fell 4 and a half rounds and should provide at least half of a sick season, right now he's on my bench but I'll have to work him in there while he's still healthy - this may have been the best value in the draft

17) Edgar Renteria, SS - he's going to bat second and score a ton of runs, helps in the other 4 categories at least a little

18) Mark Buehrle, SP - I like Buehrle as a solid innings eater that won't kill ERA or WHIP

19) Christian Guzman, SS - looks like 300 BA is for real, good enough for the 19th round

20) Paul Maholm, SP - having a nice spring and was solid last year, nice mid rotation guy for a fantasy baseball league this deep

NFBC Main Event Draft Results, Part 1 of 3
NFBC Main Event Draft Results, Part 3 of 3

Click here to get autographed Xavier Nady and other New York Yankee baseball memorabilia on eBay!

NFBC Main Event Draft Results, Part 1 of 3

The NFBC Main Event was yesterday and this was my third year drafting out of New York. Although I've been doing fantasy baseball since the mid-90s I feel like I finally have enough experience to be competitive in a high-stakes format like the NFBC.

With the third pick in New York League #6 I spent well over a week agonizing over whether to take David Wright or Jose Reyes with my first draft pick. Ultimately I decided that if I had the choice I'd go with Wright due to his balanced fantasy production. The real surprise came in drafting Johan Santana and Tim Lincecum in rounds 2 and 3 - I just couldn't say 'no', but building an offense became a great adventure!

1) David Wright, 3B - Aside from Hanley Ramirez I think Wright is the only player with 300, 30/30, 100/100 potential - not sure where the steals went last year but even something in the teens makes David Wright first pick worthy

2) Johan Santana, SP - I had the Supernatural last year and he carried 4 categories, don't believe the downward trend hype, Santana is the best pitcher in fantasy baseball and a beast in the NFBC

3) Tim Lincecum, SP - wanted McCann in this spot but he was picked right before me, I believe in the Freak and I believe I just locked up 4 of the 5 pitching categories

4) Joe Mauer, C - don't like the back reports but even if he missed a few weeks he's arguably the best catcher in fantasy baseball, the medical concerns just pushed his asking price down

5) Adam Dunn, OF - I swore off of Dunn and his killer batting average but with 2 starting pitchers and a closer on the horizon I need some big numbers from somewhere - he's a stud in 3 categories

6) Joakim Soria, RP - trending toward elite, very economical pick and compliments my hammer of god rotation

7) Chipper Jones, 3B - I've never liked Chipper because of the injuries, but I need to think creative to make an offense, at pick 3 round 7 he fell 2 full rounds based on the ADPs

8) Andre Ethier, OF - I picked up about a round of value here too, high BA, 20+ HRs, couple steals and 180ish Runs+RBIs make this a nice pick up

9) Willy Taveras, OF - I still can't figure out why Taveras isn't valued more, he could steal 60 bases and put away one category by himself, a case could be made for him as a top 5 round pick

10) Frank Fancisco, RP - looked great closing for Texas last year and CJ Wilson is having more arm problems so the job looks safe, could put up great peripherals

NFBC Main Event Draft Results, Part 2 of 3
NFBC Main Event Draft Results, Part 3 of 3

Pick up a David Wright baseball card or autographed memorabilia on eBay!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hanley Ramirez Number 1 Fantasy Baseball Pick in 2009

Calling Hanley Ramirez the number 1 fantasy baseball pick in 2009 doesn't take a genius. Winning an online debate against the rest of the field is a little more difficult.

The Great Fantasy Debate kicked off this week with a little spring trainingesque exercise - as the 'home' team in the head to head blogging competition I have pro - meaning prove Hanley deserves to be #1. My competition Robert has the unpleasant duty of going con - however he does have more votes than me.

Among the reasons I cited include that Hanley Ramirez just turned 25, is moving to third in the order, statistically speaking was the most valuable fantasy baseball player last year, and gained 24 pounds of muscle in the off season.

Join the Great Fantasy Debate by clicking here! Vote for Greg and be sure to leave a comment.

Pick up a Hanley Ramirez jersey on eBay today!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Bloop Single Fantasy Baseball Sleeper Article Published in Fantasy Sports Magazine March Issue

The latest baseball issue from Fantasy Sports Magazine has a published a copy of an Alexi Casilla fantasy baseball sleeper article that I published last month on Bloop Single. Fantasy Sports Magazine is run by the same folks that put on the NFBC - National Fantasy Baseball Championship. About a month ago they reached out to members of the NFBC for sleeper articles to publish in the March edition of their fantasy baseball magazine (note, pictured is the February edition). The plan was to publish the top 20 articles and my Alexi Casilla one was selected. Check out page 11 of the edition with Hanley Ramirez on the cover.

You can read my original blog post about Alexi Casilla as well as 11 other fantasy baseball sleepers by clicking here.

Click here to learn more about Fantasy Sports Magazine's baseball and football publications.

Here is a link to learn more about the National Fantasy Baseball Championship.

Pick up a copy of Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster 2009 to get ready for your fantasy baseball league

Graphical Player 2009 Quotes Bloop Single on Back Cover

Bloop Single is starting to get a little bit of national recognition among fantasy baseball publications. One such example is the quote on the back cover of the 2009 version of Graphical Player by John Burnson.

I highly recommend it for veteran fantasy baseball players looking for an edge to help get their game to the next level.
—Bloop Single

I'm a big fan of Graphical Player as a tool to help prep for fantasy baseball. The visual presentation of the statistics highlight trends that simply can't be seen when looking at straight numbers. If you're looking for a little bump performance in your fantasy baseball league or just want to dig a little deeper into fantasy baseball stats check out Graphical Player 2009.

Pick up a copy of Graphical Player 2009 on today

Saturday, March 14, 2009

NFBC Satellite Draft Results, Part 3 of 3

15 team fantasy baseball leagues like NFBC style have the longest end game I've ever competed in. The goal is to scrape up everyday players with some upside and grab those one or two sleepers.

21) Brandon Wood, SS/3B - we needed a third base option and SS qualification is a bonus, if he put it all together he's Adam Dunn on the infield

22) Kyle Lohshe, SP - really came around with St. Lois last year, nice spot starter and maybe a little more

23) Travis Ishikawa, 1B - poor man's Joey Votto is still under the radar, 20 HR + 5 SB and 280 BA looks doable

24) Homer Bailey, SP - having a great spring, may be ready to fulfill his potential, could really bail out our thin rotation

25) Matt Joyce, OF - 20-25 HR potential, plays OF, was listed as 'alive' on the injury report

26) John Lannan, SP - little bit of a soft tosser, could still improve, nice spot starter

27) Eugenio Velez, 2B/OF - super utility man will qualify at MI/OF and may see enough playing time to swipe 40 bases

28) Dallas McPherson, 3B - finally healthy, 30-40 HR potential and looks like he'll play every day

29) Nick Blackburn, SP - command/control specialist strikes no one out but could eat innings with nice ratio

30) Barry Zito,SP - like the reports of him working out in the offseason, if he gets a little more zip back on the ball he could be spot start worthy, more likely first guy we cut

You can find Brandon Wood baseball cards and memorabilia on eBay!

NFBC Satellite Draft Results, Part 1 of 3
NFBC Satellite Draft Results, Part 2 of 3

NFBC Satellite Draft Results, Part 2 of 3

The middle rounds are where NFBC style fantasy baseball leagues are won and lost. It's important to snag a few upside plays but getting steady proven production with every pick is critical.

11) Rickie Weeks, 2B - there are lots of reasons why this backfires but I think this is his year, note how the Pedroia/Mauer picks make Weeks BA bearable

12) Mike Jacobs, 1B - getting a little hype but still not sure why he isn't a top 10 pick, 35+ HRs look real doable

13) Gil Meche, SP - has put together 2 solid carbon copy seasons in KC, light for a #2 but the skills are real

14) Mike Cameron, OF - another low BA guy with nice HR and SB #s, he should combine for 40

15) Mark Buerle, SP - K rate bounced up again last season, a resurgence is possible

16) Mike Pelfrey, SP - although I'm a Mets fan I don't love Pelfrey (yet), but I needed to just start adding a bodies that qualify as starting pitchers

17) Nick Swisher, OF/1B - again, only possible because of Pedroia/Mauer earlier, love him to bounce back, dual position eligibility is gravy

18) Paul Maholm, SP - pulse and starting pitcher gig, welcome aboard

19) Bronson Arroyo, SP - I think he's a little under valued, could bounce back nicely

20) Dave Bush, SP - been a sabermetric fav for years, might play out in reality this baseball season, should have really low WHIP

Get Rickie Weeks autographed baseball cards and other memorabilia on eBay!

NFBC Satellite Draft Results, Part 1 of 3
NFBC Satellite Draft Results, Part 3 of 3

NFBC Satellite Draft Results, Part 1 of 3

My brother in law and I drafted an NFBC Satellite team on Wednesday. It will be a nice tune up for me in preparation of the National Fantasy Baseball Championship next weekend. Although it was a blast the draft lasted until 1:00 in the morning, and I'm still pretty spent.

Here's a breakdown of the first 10 rounds of the draft (check back for the rest):

1) Carlos Lee, OF - El Caballo is perhaps the most underrated fantasy baseball player. You can't have enough OFs in NFBC style leagues and although the speed is fading a bit Carlos Lee is a stat stuffer in every other category.

2) Dustin Pedroia, 2B - I don't know if Pedroia's HRs and SBs will add up to what he did last year but the 320 BA will setup some things later in the draft. Middle infield is always thin and it's nice to pencil in 110+ Runs

3) Joe Mauer, C - not liking the injury reports but this league starts 2 catchers so I think it's important to grab one of the big guys. Again, the high BA opens up a lot of options in about 10 rounds.

4) David Ortiz, U - even if he's a little bit on the downside Big Papi should be really productive in 4 categories. I hate jamming my U early in the draft but 4th round represents awesome value.

5) Troy Tulowitski, SS - I've really come around on Tulo. He's good for 22+ HRs and a 275 BA but he's really going to set me up because I see him chipping in roughly 10 SBs which most people aren't expecting.

6) Mariano Rivera, RP - elite closer still has some gas left in the tank.

7) Brian Fuentes, RP - even if the Angles have 20% fewer save chances this year Fuentes could get better than 50 chances.

8) Zack Greinke, SP - could make a run at the Cy Young this year, love him as an ace and the price is right.

9) Willy Taveras, OF - we had a big stolen base problem up until now - problem solved. Dusty Baker may be a moron but he doesn't believe in OBP and he should give Taveras the green light all day.

10) Bengie Molina, C - hits for a nice average, will chip in 15-20 HRs and drive in over 80 RBIs. Bengie gets no respect but I love our catching tandem.

Click here to pick up Autographed Carlos Lee baseball cards and memorabilia on eBay!

NFBC Satellite Draft Results, Part 2 of 3
NFBC Satellite Draft Results, Part 3 of 3

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Great Fantasy Debate Invites Bloop Single

The Great Fantasy Debate over at Fantasy Pros 911 is just about ready to get rolling for this fantasy baseball season. The contest drew over 76 applicants and I was selected 10th! They are currently highlighting 1 participant each day until all 12 fantasy baseball debaters are unveiled.

The competition will consist of head to head blogging each week against one of the other debaters. Scoring is based on a number of factors including views, comments, and voting by the judges. The winner gets to be a regular on the Fantasy Pros 911 for the 2010 fantasy baseball season.

With this news and my satellite NFBC draft starting next week, fantasy baseball season is really kicking into high gear.

Pick up Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster 2009 to get ready for your fantasy baseball draft