Don’t they know??

Who was it that decided to schedule musical season right when fantasy baseball is to begin? Who decides these things? Whoever creates the master schedule for the world should be notified immediately of this discrepancy and make a change. Whoever created this conflict of interest should be made to spend a day being the mediator for the NFL and its labor union, arguing over who gets more of a $9 billion pot.

Oh, someone has that job already? Never mind.

Instead, they should be made to spend a day without being able to find out who led MLB in OBP last year (Joey Votto) or which five starters had the lowest WHIP in baseball (Lee, Oswalt, Halladay, Wainwright, Hernandez) or if Michael Young has been traded yet (I think the Phillies should deal for him- he could play 2B while Utley is hurt, be the right-handed part of a 1B platoon with Howard, and play SS or 3B when Polanco or Rollins ultimately get hurt).

Anyway, am I the only person on the planet with this conflict? Are there more of you like me? Please respond. We’ll petition the schedulers together.

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Third Base

1. Evan Longoria, TB:

2. Ryan Zimmerman, WAS:

3. David Wright, NYM: Our first Met making an appearance in a top 15 list!

4. Alex Rodriguez, NYY:

5. Adrian Beltre, TEX:

6. Jose Bautista, TOR:

7. Casey McGehee, MIL:

8. Aramis Ramirez, CHC:

9. Michael Young, TEX:

10. Martin Prado, ATL:

11. Mark Reynolds, BAL:

12. Pedro Alvarez, PIT:

13. Chase Headley, SD:

14. Placido Polanco, PHI:

15. Ian Stewart, COL:

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Second Base

Can anyone remember the last time there were this many quality second basemen? I can’t.

1. Robinson Cano, NYY:

2. Chase Utley, PHI:

3. Dan Uggla, ATL:

4. Brandon Phillips, CIN:

5. Ian Kinsler, TEX:

6. Rickie Weeks, MIL:

7. Dustin Pedroia, BOS:

8. Aaron Hill, TOR:

9. Martin Prado, ATL:

10. Chone Figgins, SEA:

11. Kelly Johnson, ARI:

12. Ben Zobrist, TB:

13. Brian Roberts, BAL:

14. Howie Kendrick, LAA:

15. Gordon Beckham, CHW:

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First Base

First base is deeper than…nope, don’t wanna make that joke.

1. Albert Pujols, STL: Contract or no contract, this guy has ten straight seasons of at least .312/99 R/32 HR/103 RBI. And those are his lows- he averages .331/123 R/ 42 HR/ 128 RBI, plus eight steals. First overall pick.

2. Joey Votto, CIN: Yes, I am putting him ahead of all these other guys. I believe in the MVP season and think he’s primed for more. The power has developed, and the guy plays in a bandbox.

3. Miguel Cabrera, DET: Added weight and off-the-field problems leads me to believe that he will decline- he’s not a slam-dunk pick anymore. He will probably prove me wrong but I’m not buying.

4. Adrian Gonzalez, BOS: I wanted to rank him higher, I really did. I know he will bang doubles off the Monster and homers over it. But if we credit pitchers for moving from the AL to the NL (see Vazquez, Javier), then shouldn’t we discredit the hitters as well?

5. Mark Teixeira, NYY: His power numbers and walk numbers were all there but some of the hits just didn’t fall in. Exepct a return to his .286 career average.

6. Prince Fielder, MIL: His power numbers are slightly less than Howard’s but I like Fielder’s average, as well as his potential for RBI. Plus he doesn’t strike out quite as much as his Philly counterpart- not that that’s saying much.

7. Ryan Howard, PHI: HR/RBI numbers are down from the 40s to the low 30s. BB/K ratio has dropped for five straight years. Let someone else overpay for him.

8. Adam Dunn, CHW: I almost put him in front of Howard because of Dunn’s move to US Cellular and his potential to DH full-time. At least now he doesn’t have to listen to people rag on him about his glovework.

9. Kevin Youkilis, BOS: He ranks this low qualified as just a 1B, but a season of .305 and 20 homers will rank him much higher as a 3B, which is where he will qualify early into this season.

10. Paul Konerko, CHW: Where did 39 homers come from? The guy is 35 and I think he got lucky last year- look for a regression closer to his 2009 (.277, 28 HR)

11. Buster Posey, SF: Don’t draft this guy as 1B. Versatility is nice and all, but there’s no reason you should use him here.

12. Billy Butler, KC: I keep waiting for this guy to break out. He will be a monster hitter someday. But for this day, he’s an empty .300 hitter.

13. Kendry Morales, LAA: No more home run celebrations, ok? If the ankle is healed, move him above Konerko.

14. Justin Morneau, MIN: I really hope the concussion is healed, because he was headed for a monster season last year. He was headed for .345, 106 R, 204 H, 50 2B, 36 HR, 112 RBI, 100 BB, 366 TB.

15. Adam LaRoche, WAS: I’ve always liked his sneaky power and sneaky second-half numbers. Plus I like him hitting behind Jayson Werth. Nice as a backup/bench guy.

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Catchers

Today we start our fantasy baseball positional rankings with the catchers- as Casey Stengel once said, “You have to have a catcher because if you don’t you’re likely to have a lot of passed balls.”

Here we go!

1. Joe Mauer, MIN: Oh, how we all long for the 28-homer, 96-RBI days…stupid Target Field. Mauer hit only one dinger at home, but the power is still there- he hit 43 doubles.

2. Victor Martinez, DET: More days at DH and 1B will help a guy that is now 32- expect the usual .300, 80 R, 20 HR, 90 RBI, no steals.

3. Brian McCann, ATL: He will return to his .280 days and should definitely be the #3 catcher off the board.

4. Buster Posey, SF: Might suffer a sophomore slump- or maybe just a sophomore setback before he figures it all out. Look out for this guy.

5. Carlos Santana, CLE: I’m going to let someone else bet that his knee is healthy, bu teven before the injury, he was only hitting .260. His numbers over 150 games extrapolate to 20 homers, 78 RBI.

6. Jorge Posada, NYY: Similar to V-Mart, he will spend the year as a full-time DH but still keep his catcher eligibility. I tihnk a return to .275 and 20 homers isn’t out of the question.

7. Geovany Soto, CHC: His batting average the past three seasons: .285, .218, .280. I predict that his batting average this year will have an 8 in it. Unpredictable but you could get some value for your dollar here.

8. Miguel Montero, ARI: Has this guy ever been healthy? He’s never played more than 128 games in a season. During that season he hit .294 with 16 homers which has led him to be over-valued ever since. I’m passing.

9. Matt Weiters, BAL: Will this be the year that he puts it all together? This ranking is based on the fact that he starts to put it together but doesn’t finish. Do you think Mauer’s 2005 is in reach (.294, 9 HR)?

10. Kurt Suzuki, OAK: Numbers were down almost across the board, but there’s a muscle strain and a family issue that we could blame it on. Or we could blame it on the fact that he played 295 games during the two years prior.

11. Carlos Ruiz, PHI: His average has gone up by 36 and 47 points over the past two seasons. I think he could level off at his current .302 but that empty batting average at least won’t hurt you.

12. Mike Napoli, LAA: If this guy gets any kind of PT in that tiny little ballpark, watch out. He could put up scary HR numbers. But I hate his situation for putting up fantasy numbers, and I bet he scuffles without regular at-bats.

13. AJ Pierzynski, CHW: Even though you might not like the guy, you have to admire his durability: he’s played in at least 128 games in every season since 2002 and has hit double-digit homers in seven of those seasons.

14. JP Arencibia, TOR: Handed the starting job after a .302/32 HR season in AAA. I’m sure he will struggle but he could put up some power numbers.

15. John Jaso, TB: Jaso’s plate discipline led him to bat leadoff for Joe Maddon- more of the same this year would lead to some extra runs scored.

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I’m not dead (yet!)

First person to name the source of the title quote wins a shiny new nickel. No, seriously, I’ll mail you a nickel.

Anyway, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted- almost two weeks- but basketball and hockey don’t interest me much. Do they even show the Anthem on the telecasts? I have no idea.

What does interest me is baseball, which is on the horizon! I’m also a fantasy baseball junkie- one of those people who knows 5×5 as a baseball format, not a math problem. “Rotisserie” isn’t a way to cook a chicken, folks. So this blog is going to take a new direction- towards fantasy sports. I’ve just finished my rankings and will be publishing them, one position per day, over the next week. And just to keep with the music theme, I’ll pick a song for each position as well that reflects my outlook on it for the coming season.

Tomorrow: catchers!

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2011 Super Bowl: Black Eyed TRONs

The 2011 Super Bowl halftime show was put on by the Black Eyed TRONs  Peas. Here’s the video:

I’ll give you the highlights:

0:08: The Black Eyed TRONs  Peas are lowered onto the stage, seemingly from nowhere. The TV feed, conveniently, doesn’t show where exactly they’re lowered down from. Maybe this is why they had the roof closed.

0:14: Obviously, they pulled every fan from the stands that happened to be wearing all white that day and let them run onto the field for the show. They would never have a staged audience. Would they?

0:59: Fergie starts in with “I know that we’ll have a ball…” but her mic isn’t on. Your mighty tape delay can’t save that one, FOX! The audio guy must just dislike her, because her mic is normal within two seconds. Imagine having that kind of power. “Hahaha, you’re  going to sound bad and every lame-o blogger on the internet is going to trash you!”

1:44: Boom Boom Boom, with glowing  green arrows on the field for no apparent reason.

1:51: Our first appearance of the TRON outfits. But they look like what you would get if you put lights onto lederhosen.

2:25 It sounds like Fergie is saying “Bum bum bum” instead of “boom boom boom”.

3:04: Can’t you make a better circle than that?

3:12: That awful, completely uninspired rap section ends, and all four of them are guilty. Were they singing about water buffalo? The GDP of Turkmenistan? They sounded like they really didn’t care at all.

3:13: Although the rap has stopped, Fergie’s high notes begin. *shudder* She’s screaming/belting and paying zero attention to the key that the song is in. The Black Eyed TRONs  Peas are melting down. So is my brain.

3:39: And who comes to save the day? Slash, playing the riff from Sweet Child o’ Mine!

3:53: Fergie starts to grind on Slash for no apparent reason. Can’t you just see him being like “come on, I’m playing guitar here! I’m playing the freaking Super Bowl Halftime Show! Leave me alone!”

3:58: Fergie starts an out-of-tune rendition of Sweet Child o’ Mine, complete with a fake accent. My ears are beginning to throb.

4:38: What were those words she said? She’s slurring her words together. Is she  drunk?

4:48: Fergie resumes her assault on Slash, throwing her hands onto him. He doesn’t even flinch.

5:40: After nearly a minute of nothing that’s worth a comment, we see these break-dancing trumpet players on stage. Where’d they come from? And where do they find them?

6:29: They start with that “everybody…everybody…get stupid” song. Behind the tempo and all. Somebody’s doing a good job of getting stupid. Good heavens, there’s still six minutes in this video. I don’t know if I can do it.

7:21: No wait, it’s Usher to save the day! Usher and Slash…Slusher? I’m calling them the Black Eyed (Slusher) Peas from now on.

7:27: You only see it for a second, but Usher’s hand gets caught in the chain that he held while being flown in from the ceiling. Murphy just called, and wants to know how his Law is doing.

8:44: The Usher split, after he vaults over will.i.am. That should be the only time I ever type that sentence in my life. Actually, I don’t mind Usher’s performance- it’s obvious that he’s lip syncing but I don’t care. At least the vocals sound decent.

8:59: The infamous “lo(v)e” sign. When I asked my students about the halftime show, this was the first thing they mentioned. Unfortunately, this segues into a bland, uninspired rendition of “Where is the Love.” I’m not a big rap fan, but I actually liked this song when it first came out. No more, Black Eyed Slusher Peas. No more. They boiled it down to singing in octaves, and they still can’t sing it in tune. Come on.

9:40: The Black Eyed (Slusher) Peas change the lyrics to their song to deliver their political message. We all know that the BE(S)Ps are very politically charged, and we see further evidence here. Here are the lyrics:

“In America we need to get things straight/Obama, let’s get these kids educated/Create jobs so the country stays stimulated/This is dedicated to all the (inaudible, thanks to Fergie screaming again)”

10:00: Are those harmonies that Fergie is trying to sing, or is she just yelling? I actually can’t tell.

10:46: We start that song that is a rip-off of Dirty Dancing. How do you think Jennifer Grey feels about this? Remember on Dancing with the Stars, where she gets teary-eyed over Patrick Swayze and all the good  times they had together? Wait, did I just admit that I watched DWTS? Damn.

10:59: See the box-head in the background? This, combined with the fake electronic sound, makes me  think we’re on Mars. Maybe we are. Maybe they enjoy out-of-tune performances there.

11:39: We get the recapitulation (there’s a word for you, music majors!) of “I Got a Feeling,” and now they’re just talking. Like they’re having a normal, every day conversation about their pets.

12:30: Mercifully, this abomination of a halftime show is over. How does one get to be on the selection committee for next year’s Halftime Show? Judging by this year’s talent, it doesn’t seem to be that hard.

Scores, just for fun:

Intonation: 12/20

Tone quality: 6/10

Character: 3/10

Tradition: 2/10

Total score: 23/50.

Hey, it was better than Christina’s score. Funny thing is that if you combine their scores, they still don’t have 50 points.

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