April 2007

Over on Andruw

hey guys a couple of over/unders for the season. Willy taveras 100r 45sb . Todd Helton 28hr 100rbi. Vladdy 40hr 140rbi . Anduw Jones 35hr 100rbi . Brad lidge 10 saves .

Thanks Ronan in Ireland


Under on Taveras – Doesn’t yet possess on-base skills to score 100 runs.
Under on Helton – Humidor and age says return to 30 homers unlikely.
Under on Vladdy – He’s never driven in more than 131 runs, let alone 140.
Over on Andruw – He started slow in 2005 and still cranked 51 homers.
Over on Lidge – This is the least predictable one, but I’m putting money on Astros manager Phil Garner changing his mind again.

— Alex Cushing

The Johan vs. Kazmir dilemma

ok im new to FLB…what is protocol for pitching 2 guys you have against each other? I have both Kazmir & Santana and Im doing pretty well in Ks but my wins, ERA, and WHIP are terrible…what do I do??

Ken , East Lansing


Generally, it’s best to avoid throwing two of your starters against one another. That said, you shouldn’t necessarily lose sleep trying to keep it from happening, either.

Johan Santana is the top pitcher in baseball. Barring injury or overexposure to the sun, he should not be benched. Scott Kazmir, in his own right, has quickly developed into a top 20 starter, one who also rarely deserves to ride the pine, even against Johan.

At best, it’ll be a pitching duel. At worst, one or both get bombed — an unlikely scenario.

Either way, the only potential drawback is that you can’t receive two wins. And since you’re still able to benefit from ERA, WHIP and Ks, that’s hardly a reason not to start someone.

Beyond the same-team dilemma, there’s a larger point here at play here: when deciding who or who not to start, the opposing offense is of greater importance than the opposing pitcher.

— Alex Cushing

Kickin’ Dirt on Dusty!

Sorry I haven’t done this sooner, but here’s how to find the archive of one of my two all-time favorite 411 shows: the Dusty Baker bash on April 26, 2005! Visit the archive for April, 2005, the scroll down and click the link for "The Fantasy 411 for April 26, 2005". The whole show was a rip on Dusty so there’s no need to fast-forward any, just let it roll!

DustyPlus, some Dusty haiku for ya:

Prior’s shoulder hurts

Dusty’s legacy lives on
Cruel fragger of arms

I’m still looking for the metaphorical Ted Lilly-as-ex-girlfriend show, and I’ll post that link when I find the show.

In the meantime, though, check out the new Alyssa Milano blog and try to not get too carried away with yourselves!

Finally, the season is only two weeks old so it’s time for the first
"hitters hit" watch list. In short, don’t worry about whatever these
guys are hitting right now, the numbers will be there at the end of the

C – A.J. Pierzynski (entering his decline phase but still a decent #1 in 12-to-15 team leagues)
1B – Adam LaRoche (not a great player, but he’ll approach last season’s numbers again)
2B – Brian Roberts (I think I’m on record already with this one :-))
3B – Adrian Beltre (he’ll never do 2004 again, but he’s a solid bet for .270/22/80/8 or better)
SS – Michael Young (I’ve always thought he was a little overrated, but he’ll hit, oh, he’ll hit)
OF – Ichiro Suzuki (career lows are .303, 8 HR, 49 RBI, 33 SB and 101 runs)
OF – Gary Sheffield (getting old, but the strong plate discipline will help him get on track)
OF – Lance Berkman (I’m no believer in this odd/even year stuff, this guy is just a great hitter)
DH – Travis Hafner (the question isn’t even "when?", it’s "how sick will it be?")

(Also, be patient with youngsters like Alex Gordon, Chris Young, Kevin Kouzmanoff and Chris Iannetta… Sammy Sosa, notsomuch!)

Next time, along with the Ted Lilly link, I’ll try to blog up a list of guys who are off to slow starts that would already have me worried… hope your guys are not on that list!




The Physics of Baseball
Professor Alan Nathan

Professor Nathan from



Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Department of Physics has devoted much of his time to research the physics of
baseball. He has a GREAT website http://webusers.npl.uiuc.edu/~a-nathan/pob/ that I suggest
everyone check out.

On this weeks "Wire
Tap" Professor Nathan gives us factual insight into the infamous Gyro ball and
corked bats, he has lectured extensively on the subject and is one of the top
authorities on Sports physics and accordingly the gyro ball

I will include some
of his linked work here:


What’s all this gyromania about? To find out, click on the

to my own
presentation at the Science of Baseball Symposium entitled "How Would a
Physicist Design a Bat". If you like, you can observe the powerpoint slides as you

Dotel’s Delay

Hi Guys,
Thanks for all the help…I listen everyday. Here’s my pitching staff with Octavio Dotel on the DL as well. When he comes off of the DL I’ll have to drop one of these guys please let me know what you think.

Greinke, Zack (KAN)
Hernandez, Felix (SEA)
Hill, Rich (CHI)
James, Chuck (ATL)
Olsen, Scott (FLA)
Rodriguez, Francisco (LAA)
Weathers, David (CIN)
Webb, Brandon (ARI)
Octavio Dotel (KC) RP
Kazmir, Scott (TAM)
Snell, Ian (PIT)



Sorry to say, but the disabled Octavio Dotel (oblique) suffered a setback recently, and Royals manager Buddy Bell hardly sounded optimistic about him returning anytime soon. In the meantime, Joakim Soria is expected to close until the Royals are done running tests on Dotel and have a better idea about his new rehab timetable.

Let’s say, hypothetically, that Dotel doesn’t return until May. That gives you a fair amount of time to assess your current pitching staff, which is quite deep. By then, perhaps David Weathers will again defy the odds and remain the Reds closer, though I doubt it, and hopefully Scott Olsen will have overcome his most recent bout with wildness.

Sit tight.

— Alex Cushing

Going Greene

Hey guys
16 team league

Should I wait around Troy Tulowitzk or drop him & pick up one of these:

Juan Uribe
David Eckstein
Khalil Greene
Yuniesky Betancourt



The seventh overall pick from 2005, Troy Tulowitzski probably has the best upside of all these shortstops. That said, his slump over the first two weeks has opened the door for teammate Jamey Carroll to eat into his playing time. If it’s not a keeper league, then releasing him for a comparable player like Khalil Greene wouldn’t be a bad idea. Greene’s got a fair share of upside himself, experience and a 2007 slugging percentage above .500. He’s also not too shabby defensively.

Uribe is the least appealing option, especially with OBP as a category, while Betancourt and Eckstein have lower upside than Greene or Tulowitzki.

Drop Tulowitzki and go Greene.

Hey guys,
Who has the better upside for this season?
Adam Laroche or Adrian Gonzalez or Helton


Greinke or Loewen


Calvin in Queens,

Despite growing a fearsome beard this past offseason, Helton probably isn’t in the same category as the younger Gonzalez or the slumping LaRoche. The latter two could wind up with 10-20 more homers than the Rockies first baseman. I’d give the edge to Gonzalez, who’ll likely hit for a higher batting average than LaRoche.

As for the Greinke/Loewen comparison, there is none. Over two starts, Greinke held the mighty Red Sox and Blue Jays to two earned runs over a combined 13 innings. He’s clearly the better option.

— Alex Cushing

What to do about Julio

Is it too soon to dump Jorge Julio or do i hold onto him for the rest of the week?

possible pick up options would include his probable replacement Owens, Lidge who could make a return (thoughts?), or another starter in Kevin Millwood, Jeremy Sowers, Jake Westbrook, Jamie Moyer, or Clay Hensley

— Tim


What to do with Julio has become the hot topic of conversation. If only we could get him on Imus — surely we’d have the weekly news covered.

I digress.

Whether the cause happens to be mechanical, psychological or injury-related, something is clearly wrong with Julio. A few days ago here, I advised another anxious owner not to drop him, but reserve him instead, highlighting his 2006 strikeout rate as reason to remain hopeful. Problem is, he’s yet to strike out one batter, and even worse, has four walks in 2 2/3 innings. With his control out of whack, Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez on April 11 didn’t rule out the possibility of removing Julio from the closer role. I’d translate that as, “You’ve got one more chance, Julio.”

“Dump” is a strong word, one that’s generally associated with high school breakups. Before acting on your emotions, make sure he’s completely lost the job before you decide to start seeing someone else. With Florida’s bullpen fluid and unpredictable, I still wouldn’t drop Julio in a standard 12-team mixed league.

That said, if there’s another player you were thinking of releasing, Owens makes for the strongest pickup at this point.

— Alex Cushing

Contemplating Cabrera

Hey Guys:


Long time, first
time podcast listener.  Have a trade offer that I was hoping to get your
advice on.  Standard 12-team, 5×5 roto.  29 man rosters.


I would get:


Eric Byrnes

Akinori Iwamura

Scot Shields

BJ Upton



I would send off:


Pat Burrell

Adam Loewen

Daniel Cabrera

Manny Corpas



My other pitchers








Francisco Cordero

Trevor Hoffman

Dan Wheeler



Should I pull the
string on this deal?  Thanks for the help.



Jon In




If you need steals, pull the trigger.


B.J. Upton, who’ll soon qualify at second base, figures to swipe
gobs of bases and has the potential to become a top-15 middle infielder by the
season’s end.


And while first-week sensations Akinori Iwamura and Eric Byrnes won’t
keep up this pace, they’re upstanding contributors, both of whom will also have
their share of baserunning opportunities.


If you don’t need speed, however, then giving up on the promising Daniel
Cabrera, who finally appears to be turning the corner, might be something you’ll
come to regret later on.

— Alex Cushing


Hey Guys,

     Love the show.  Real quick:

Twelve team, 6×6 (extras are OPS and Holds) keeper league, 28 man
roster, 10 offensive starting slots.  My team is well balanced, maybe
below par on batting average.  Someone dropped Rickie Weeks in frustration
and I am thinking of using a waiver on him.  I don’t know who, if any, to
drop of these three: Barfield, Kinsler or J. Julio.  I also have Nathan,
Ray and Riske (w/ Dotel in a DL slot) as closers.  Keep up the good work!


TJ in NY