May 2006

About time Roger!!!!!!

Joe the software engineer writes…..

I’ve had Clemens on my bench since the draft.

Currently in 1st, should I throw Clemens out for his first start or wait and see how he looks first?

Will check the podcast and blog for answer later.



Joe, based on the Astros’ initial timetable for bringing Clemens back into the rotation, you have plenty of time to make a decision. This initial plan calls for him to make three minor league starts, one at each level, before rejoining the Astros on June 22 to start against the Twins. Although there should will always be plenty of uncertainty about any 40-something starter, Clemens is a special case and worth starting against any team, any time. After three minor league starts he should have a high enough pitch count to go fairly deep into the game, and even if the Twins offense is hot it still isn’t among of the best in the league, so they shouldn’t scare you off. In a sentence: he’s Roger Clemens, and when he pitches, you have to use him.


The more I think of it the more I have a sneaky suspicion Roger doesn’t’ make those three starts, that he feels great after two and gets himself out there sooner. Maybe I’m wrong, but it’s worth keeping an eye on, there is no reason to believe that he is out of shape and just needs some fine tuning to get into baseball shape both mental;mentally and physically. He is a must start and you must find room for him. I made the mistake of recommending CC Sabathia stay benched for his first start back and I am trying not to make that mistake again with a pitcher of CC’s or Roger’s caliber.

I really hand it to every owner who hung on to Clemens these two months making them play shorthanded. We have had a good week in baseball. Barry Bonds finally hit # 715 so his death grip on MLB is now a poke, Gagne solves one more bullpen mess and Clemens finally made a decision. All we need now is to get Chris Retisma some saves!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kornoka Donk got Koronka Zonked today!

For more fantasy insight catch us weekdays at 11 a.m. ET on the Fantasy 411. For more info go to

unread for may 30th 2006

Jeff in KC…..

This show is my heroin and I had the shakes all weekend and Monday.

14 team standard mixed 5×5 keeper where we keep 3 players. I traded Berkman
for Bonds/Billy Wagner/Kendry Morales. I think people assume that Bonds
would not be a keeper in a league like this, but what if he gets traded to
the Yankees or something like that and DH’s for 2 more seasons – his keeper
value would be high heading into 2007 assuming you’d get nothing out of him
in the future.

What are your thoughts on this scenario – am I smoking crack?


Jeff, the drug references are a little worrisome to me, we have a fine Employee Assistance Program here at the 411 and we’d be happy to refer you for some professional counseling. That said, the drugs are doing well for your brain; I like this deal very much. Although Bonds has sent plenty of mixed signals on the subject, I think you got enough in return that you can claim fair value even if he does retire… Wagner is a top-shelf closer and Morales has enough time this year to establish whether or not he’ll have any long-term value. Your best-case scenario is that he hits .300 with power the rest of the way, Bonds signs with the A’s, and you keep all three. Worst case, you get to keep an elite closer, so it was a worthy gamble.


There is a restaurant near me that years ago had a clam shucker who was a recovering heroin user. Let’s just say that watching a guy on Methadone shuck clams is pretty awkward.


Jeff, you could argue Berkman for Wagner straight up in most leagues so the fact that you get Bonds and Kendry Morales back is a great deal. If Bonds retires so what. I really think he’ll be in the AL next year because the experience of 715 rejuvenated him for the moment to chase Aaron. Morales will be around for good without a doubt in 2007 since it looks like the Angels need to revamp their offense.

Now go watch Pulp Fiction and don’t be a square.

For more fantasy insight catch us weekdays at 11 a.m. ET on the Fantasy 411. For more info go to

unread for may 26th 2006

Before we get to Bob from Boston a reminder there will be no show on Monday so we’ll see you Tuesday and have a safe Memorial day!!!!




Sizemore and Abreu provide the best combination of speed and power so focus on them. Berkman is the right target if you need a more pure power hitter, but I’d take any of those three over Rios, who was a reasonable gamble for a 20-20 season this year but is clearly overachieving right now in any case. Offer Isringhausen for Sizemore or Abreu, and if the other guy asks for Papelbon, pull the trigger.

Also, no way would I give up Soriano for Hanley Ramirez… but if I could GET Soriano for Ramirez, though, I’d jump on it. Both are playing beyond expectations, but one has a track record of 30-30 seasons and the other one has barely any track record at all… and his minor league track record certainly doesn’t support what he’s doing.


If you can get Soriano for Hanley Ramirez do it yesterday and then invite me and Schwartz to your league next year so we can play with 9 owners like that!

As far as the OF for Closer deal. Here is how I rank them . Abreu and Berkman tied for first depending on the need for speed and power or just plain power. I know Abreu has been struggling but he’ll struggle his butt to a 20-20 season which would be a very good year for Sizemore. Rios is having a superb 2006 but is still not at the level of these guys. For the closers it’s Rivera, his Papelness, Ray and Izzy. The point of this is too show you who could cost what. Want Berkman or Abreu be prepared to pay with Mo or Papelbon, want Grady or Rios it will cost Ray or Izzy.

For more fantasy insight catch us weekdays at 11 a.m. ET on the Fantasy 411. For more info go to

unread for may 25th 2006

Hey guys, Tim from Madison

Absolutely love the show.  Long-time listener, first time email-er.

Alright, here’s the great dilemma:

Head to head, 5×5, 10-team, weekly keeper league with the following categories:

Batting: HR, OBP, R, RBI, SB

Pitching: ERA, K, S, W, WHIP

We have to fill both corners with 1B and 3B.  3 OF, 1 Utility, and standard middle infield.  23-man roster with 7 active pitchers required for the week.  We can keep 8 players.

A guy in our league recently dropped Aramis Ramirez and he’s on waivers for two days until Saturday morning.  I’d love to get him, but I have too many options at third base already: Lowell, Chipper and Cantu (DL for now).  I’ve been playing Lowell at third and Chipper at utility, but Cantu is coming back soon.

Here’s my lineup:







Carlos Lee

Vernon Wells




with Derek Lee and Jorge Cantu on the bench (we have one DL spot).

Who should I drop to get Ramirez, assuming he’s still available (I’m number five on the waiver wire)?  I’m thinking, drop Morneau and try to deal Cantu, Lowell or Chipper to make room for Ramirez.  Good idea, bad idea?  Assuming I can get Ramirez, of the four 3Bs, who should I deal and what could I expect in return?  I need speed and strikeouts badly.  Maybe having four 3Bs is ridiculous, but Aramis will only get better and has shown some signs of life lately.

By the way, what do you think of this trade I made before the start of the season?  I gave up Manny for Carlos Lee and Suzuki.  Still need more speed, especially with Lee on the DL.

Thanks for any input you might have.


I’d take Ramirez over Cantu; even though he’s expected back within the next 10-14 days, you already have a loaded middle infield with Kent, Tejada and Lowell. Morneau isn’t hitting for much average but that should continue to rise, and his power numbers are fine; plus, you need the depth at 1B in case Swisher slumps, too. In any case, you definitely have depth to deal from, and position flexibility, so find the trade partner whose roster best fits your needs and let him drive the deal by telling you which players he likes.

BTW, we love Manny, but I love your trade, too.


I’m with Cory, Aramis and Morneau to be is better the Morneau and Cantu or Aramis and Cantu. With a ten team league you can cut some ties easier when a player slumps so it’s good to have depth and a backup and since you have that depth already like Cory said at MI you should hang on to Morneau.

If you are going to deal Manny, that’s the kind of deal you need to get. How about Ichiro 18 game hitting streak and Carlos Lee has been slumping but is still having a tremendous year so far, contract year anyone?

For more fantasy insight catch us weekdays at 11 a.m. ET on the Fantasy 411. For more info go to

late news and unread for may 24th 2006

What a late flourish of news! El Duque to the Mets for Jorge Julio, Cole Hamels on the DL and Chris Carpenter and Kerry Wood missing starts?

Here is the unread for the day……..Siano

Steve in Dublin…..California


I could use your help.  I’m in a 4X4, NL only league, weekly transaction, Roto league.  Currently I’m in first place and have a commanding lead with stolen bags with Reyes, H. Ramirez and Lofton on my roster.  However, my team needs home runs BAD.  I traded Roberts for Craig Wilson a while back only in time for Wilson to sit on an ice cube and go stone cold. 

My strength of my team is in pitching yet I could use another closer beyond the two I already have, Wagner and Fuentes.

So I currently have two deals on the table, both with the second place team.

I’ve offered Lofton and either Bush or Maholm for Hoffman and Preston Wilson.  My other offer is H. Ramirez and Bush or Maholm for Hoffman and Vidro.

Would you do any of these deals?  I’d love to get my hands on Hoffman but my focus here is more offensive, especially home runs.  Also, I’m very concerned about the possibility of either Vidro or P. Wilson going on the DL with their recent history of injuries.

Thanks and I’ll be listening on my iPod.


Two solid closers like Wagner and Fuentes should be enough in an unmixed league, so if you need depth there, you’re probably better off trying to get it for free off the waiver wire than you are by trading for it. Power will be harder to come by, so you’re better off focusing on that in your trade efforts. I wouldn’t do either of those deals, they don’t suitably address your need.

For more fantasy insight catch us weekdays at 11 a.m. ET on the Fantasy 411. For more info go to

unread for may 23rd 2006

After 6 straight hours of meetings for my real job (and you guys want us doing two hours a day? I’m flattered seriously but we’ll be dead by All-Star) here is the unread…….Siano

All you Schwartz.

Andrew writes:

10 Team, H2H, Bunch of Categories


Have both Thome and Howard for backups at 1B, and not enough roster spots to play them all.  I’ve shopped them both, but there doesn’t seem to be much interest.  Two different offers for Pujols…

Pujols/B. Molina/Otsuka for Johan/V.Mart

Pujols for Michael Young/Rivera

I feel like my starting pitching is a bit substandard for a 10 team league, and feel I have enough Offense to compensate for losing Pujols.  It’s tough to lose Otsuka though…  What are your thoughts on the trades?


I wouldn’t worry much about losing Otsuka in a 10-category league, since his saves add little value that he didn’t already have as a result of his strong ratios. The big issue is whether or not it’s a good idea for you to deal Pujols, and I don’t mind the first deal. Santana is the most valuable starting pitcher out there, so if you’re going to give up Pujols, he’s the starter to get. The upgrade from Molina to Martinez is enormous, and it’s costing you Otsuka to get it. You’ll miss the saves a little, but it shouldn’t be that hard to find a useful reliever to take his place… check out Juan Rincon, who’s been very effective lately.

For more fantasy insight catch us weekdays at 11 a.m. ET on the Fantasy 411. For more info go to

unread for may 19th 2006

I’m off to Mets vs Yanks at Shea so this one is all Schwartz. Have a great interleague weekend, no offense to Braves and Dbax fans. Kevin needs to be careful with the Norris slander even though lets be honest he is no Jack Bauer. The girl who played Michelle Dressler was smokin by the way…….Siano

Kevin writes:

Hey guys, thanks for all the great advice. I started listening over a year ago, and you guys provide some of the most reasoned advice on FBB, free or otherwise. I’m in a 12-team mixed 5×5, in first place and not really looking for a deal, but was offered the following:

I get:
J. Francoeur
C. Zambrano

I give:
C. Lee
F. Liriano

I think I could use Zambrano as a SP1, and am okay giving up Lee’s bat.  The Liriano-Francouer part of the deal makes me balk.  Is lee for zambrano straight up fair value?  Are there any other players I could include so I don’t need to play Feliz or Johnson?

Oh, and I was never really a big fan of Chuck No……


I’d pass on that deal. Zambrano is a solid #2 starter, and Liriano is still something of an unknown, but with a 32-to-4 K-BB ratio in his first 12 relief appearances this season, it’s reasonable to assume that he should make a smooth adjustment to the rotation. The real difference is between Lee and Francoeur; Francoeur is hot now and should provide good power as the season goes along, but Lee is a far more polished hitter with a consistent track record. He’s a sure thing to go 285-30-100 with a dozen steals, and if he’s able to maintain the excellent plate discipline he’s shown so far this season, a 300-40-120 season is not out of the question. Keep your two players, both of whom have excellent upside.

For more fantasy insight catch us weekdays at 11 a.m. ET on the Fantasy 411. For more info go to

unread for May 18th 2006

Jarrod from Columbus, Ohio:

Hi Mike and Cory.
Cory, I feel your pain with pitching woes. I’m in a 16-team 5×5 mixed head-to-head league and picked all offense in the first 11 rounds of my draft except for Gagne in the sixth. Consequently, I’ve played pitch or ditch with at least two of my pitching spots (we use seven active pitchers at the beginning of every week) and it’s not gone well. One thing I’m finding is that because this is a 16-team league instead of a 12- or 10-team league, pitch or ditch is not a good strategy for this particular league. I’ve been playing fantasy BB for about 10 years now, but it’s never too late to learn.


Jarrod, the viability of pitch-or-ditch is based on the depth of your league, and it’s much harder to execute in a 16-team league, since there are that many fewer players available via free agency. It’s also harder in a weekly league, although you can still do it… Just shift your focus to two-start pitchers whenever possible.


I like the two start pitchers off the wire but this is where strikeout become important. Try to only use guys who can strike some guys out and have good match ups that way even if they are mediocre at best in their starts you get the counting stats of the K’s and hopefully a win or two.

For more fantasy insight catch us weekdays at 11 a.m. ET on the Fantasy 411. For more info go to

Unread e-mail for May 17th 2006 and saves.

I wanted to use this e-mail because it stuck with our theme on saves the last few years I mean days and it’s a tad comparable to the Baez/Saito situation in LA.

For more info on closers check out the new 411 roundtable question on the fantasy homepage.

Chris from Cali:

Hi Mike/Corey,
I’m in a 11 team 4×4 AL Only deep keeper league and even KC Closers have
value.  With Burgos blowing saves and MacDougal still hurt, who is next in
line for all those KC saves? Dessens? Peralta? I know almost nothing about
Please help,


Chris, this is a **** shoot among **** shoots. Burgos had been pitching very well before blowing his last three save chances, and the Royals love his arm, so I wouldn’t assume he’ll be removed from the role. Dessens has pitched very well but has been valuable in middle relief, and Sisco has struggled too much to be viewed as an option. That would seem to leave the 29-year-old Peralta, who has pitched well in limited opportunities this season and has struck out over a batter per inning throughout his minor His upside is probably limited but he’s worth a cheap bid on speculation. In any case, remember that the Royals have only 10 wins this season, so it’s not like anyone is going to see that many save chances.


The one thing that jumps out at me Chris is that you are in an 11 team league. Would it be "easier" to just go out and make a trade since there are not as many needs for a closer? I would explore that before worrying about the Royals and Burgos. Joel Peralta is doing ok, but let’s not make him into Scot Shields. Worrying about who is next in line for save sin KC is like worrying about when the bikini clad ladies are coming back to the North Pole.

For more fantasy insight catch us weekdays at 11 a.m. ET on the Fantasy 411. For more info go to

unread e-mail for May 16th.

the lancaster lumber co. writes

Hey Guys,

Listen all the time.  Love the Pirates, Love the Steelers, Hate the Lebron.

Here’s the scoop: 13 team 5×5 mixed keeper with 2 catcher spots, 1st 2nd short and 3rd, MI, CI, 5 OF and a Utility spot.  I am dead last in Runs, Homers, RBI, and Average.  Second in the Steals category.  I just approved this trade and wanted to make sure I am doing the right thing.

I get Derrek Lee and Jason Michaels and I give up Carl Crawford.

With Barfield, Figgins, Furcal, and Corey Patterson left to swipe bags, is this a worthwhile trade for me?

the lancaster lumber co.


Lumber, this would be a fair value trade if Derrek Lee were healthy and playing every day, but he’s not so it’s not. In case you’ve been on vacation to Tibet, you should know by now that Lee is sidelined with a broken wrist and is easily a month away from returning, if not longer. You can definitely afford to deal Crawford’s speed, but not for a guy who’s on the DL, not even Derrek Lee.


WOW, Cory just killed you!

in fairness if your looking to Lee for the second half it’s a risky trade but not exactly a great one.

For more fantasy insight catch us weekdays at 11 a.m. ET on the Fantasy 411. For more info go to