April 2008

Sunday night blog miscellaney

A few random blog
thoughts for a Sunday night:

* Since we don’t do
a lot of “pop culture” on the show these days, I’d like to pimp the album I can’t
stop listening to these days: “Worlds Apart” by …And You Will Know Us By the
Trail of Dead
(Buy it now, you won’t be disappointed.)


I’m really not into
musical labels – emo, prog, shoegazer, art rock, whatever – so I’m just content
in the thought that this is a great album on its merits. There are indeed a
variety of styles represented here and this band just jumps from one to the
next without missing a beat. The orchestration and vibe are very powerful
throughout. I have several of their records but I couldn’t even tell you what’s
on any of the other ones, this is just a superior achievement.

* Imagine if the first
day at your new job turned out to the best day
of your career? Then what would you do?

For instance, let’s say your a firefighter. It’s your first day in the house, and you start out bleigh-jennifer-jason-photo-jennifer-jason-leigh-6205591.jpgy cooking ham and eggs for breakfast, polishing the truck, folding all the hoses, feeding the dalmation and lining up all the axes and gear and whatnot. Then the alarm rings so you jump in the truck and your rig is the first one at the scene. You rush into the burning building to save three young kids, their goldfish and their supermodel looking babysitter, who rewards your gallantry like the very fine Jennifer Jason Leigh (right, in an even hotter role if that’s possible!) did for that dorky Baldwin guy in the back of the truck in “Backdraft.”

Now here’s the
fantasy baseball angle: how does Johnny Cueto top this??
* Looking back at
spring training, doesn’t it seem funny that the Brewers didn’t commit a
rotation spot to Manny Parra (below) on the very first day? He didn’t exactly “go Cueto”
his first start, but then again, he didn’t get to face the HackBacks, who have
plenty of upside but like to stir the breeze. So who do you like for the rest
of the season? Check out the minor league stats on these guys and see if you
can find a way to pick one over the other:

Player   W   L      ERA     G        IP        H       R       ER    HR    BB   SO    AVG
Cueto    32   21    3.16    87    425.0    366    178    149    26   108   426   .229
Parra     38   19    3.05  105    545.1    537    248    185    27   147   528   .257


Between Cueto, Parra and Edinson Volquez, who looked superb while pitching in a bandbox against one of the most fearsome lineups in all of baseball, the NL Central has some pretty impressive young arms. Imagine if Homer Bailey ever lives up to the hype? 

* In the year of
twisted testicles and anal fissures, let’s not rule out that there could be
additional contestants for the injury of the year. Consider the plight of
Keiichi Yabu – yeah, he’s still in the Majors! – who suffered an eye injury on
Saturday when the elastic bands he was working out with became unhooked and
snapped across his face, causing him blurred vision. There won’t be many
reasons to watch the Giants this year, and now he won’t have to!

* Finally, let’s wrap it up with a little
fast start/slow start haiku:


Nady more bombs than Vlad:
Still, who would you rather have?
Yeah, I thought so too

Sub “Maggs” or “Pence” or “Sheff” or “Hart” for Vlad, but it works out the same in any case. It’s only one week folks, don’t
get too high after a hot start or too lo
w over a cold start. It’s a long

So keep poppin’ them Viagras and enjoy the show!

Your friend in 411,

POD for Monday April 7th *updated 10pm ET.


Click here for the probables tomorrow.

Cory says ditch on


d cabrera






glavine and cook


so im either gutsy , stupid or right on our disagreements….Siano


Siano says: 

Ride the hot hand on some of the week one surprises like redding, wellemeyer, silva and blackburn.


I’m willing to go with Dan Cabrera against the M’s and give Gorz anohter shot as well as Wandy at home vs. Cards.


While there is some risk mentioned above I am pretty scared of the hammel @ Mussina and glavine @ cook matchups. Also Andrew Miller and Loaiza arent making me optimistic either.


The rest are no brainers like Hamels, Arroyo, Carmona, Haren, Maddux , Cain etc…. 


hey everyone,


wanted to thank you all for some well thought out responses and I will continue to check out the Blog for more so I don’t miss any.


I took some notes while reading and here are some new thoughts from me.


first of all love that calling viagra offices idea that is hilarious, DO IT!!!!!


newbie forum is a good idea and the suggestion of wikipedia is perfect. click here for that link. By the way it still freaks me out that there is a wikipedia page for us but its awesome (even though it is a little outdated😉


great call on where to go to get your podcast easier and not be bogged by the video which if it doesnt get better may be scrapped anyway since audio is so popular for you commuters out there. totally agree the audio has to get up ASAP and that is extremely high on the radar starting Monday.


thanks for the great support and check the blog tomorrow at 8:30pmish ET for Monday’s POD.


NEW 411 WEEK 1



If you missed today’s show or haven’t heard the replay I went off on a mini rant towards the end of the show about the state of the 411 in it’s new environment etc.. First things first. Nobody cares more about the show on earth then me. That being said I think in the long run some of the moves we made are by far absolutely right for the show and the brand. I’m going to list some topics and comments below. Feel free to express yourself but I would hope you will act appropriately and know what you are talking about before posting.


Commercials: Couldn’t agree more that there shouldn’t be any, but Viagra is our sponsor so it’s only right we play their spot. We will play the 30 second commercial twice and that’s it. One minute total will not effect the show. Let me tell you a little secret. If Viagra didn’t step up the show may have been cancelled. This is a business and even though you guys are great and I have a tremendous amount of respect for all of you your number isn’t that big. We have all been spoiled the past 6 years with really just catering to each other and having fun while doing it , but that’s not the real world. I meant what I said when I mentioned we have to go from a community to a nation and to that we have to appeal to more people and that doesn’t mean answering more e-mails it means allowing the non fantasy freak like us to get on board. For every jeanne in Hollywood who went from fantasy rookie to HOFer I would say 50 people never came back because the show was just too hardcore. Again like I said today we have to meet half way. Its a reason I wanted to amp up the unreads and the chat so that we have a home on the Blog to keep the madness going.


E-mails: You’d be surprised how close we really are to the old amount. we may get in less IM’s but that will change once we get our workflow going. E-mail the show early not during and check the Blog for the unreads. Keep calling too but call early during the show instead of last minute. 


Pitch or Ditch: You were right it’s been hurt, that will change, we will do POD a day ahead for everyone and we will Blog about it starting Sunday again bear with us. I disagree that its a staple of the show but I do know it’s important and fun. Check the Blog Sunday’s around 8:30pm ET for Monday’s picks. The reason we moved to 2pm  is it’s more of a prime spot for the show when you factor in east and west coast by the way. My call and I’m sticking to it.


3 Man Booth: I hated the 2 man show because every time me or Cory missed a show it was Johnny hold staff filling in until Casey came along and it hit me, Casey needs to join the show. He’s been a great addition and brings fire to the show everyday. He’s been here a long time and knows how to get it done. Cory missed two shows this week due to his real job and the show was fine. Sheehan will pop in a few times a month to help out and were excited about that as well. How long can me and Cory keep going doing this as the company grows? Who knows. I was talking to Mitch the other day about how much people wish they had me and Cory’s jobs. Now I won’t even for one damn second complain about my job in Multimedia and Cory won’t either about Stats but we don’t walk around playing catch with Big League Chew in our mouths either. We love it but even Adult Film Stars don’t feel like going to work sometime. No sympathy needed I get it, I used to mow lawns , dig ditches and deliver flowers, but please realize that we are not going to go out and hire people just to do this show when me and Cory have handled it this long.


Podcasts: I am on this, the studio reconstruction didn’t help with how fast we can get the audio posted. We’ll have it figured out soon, hopefully Monday. The video I want everyone to enjoy but man does it take forever, I had no idea. if the video is causing problems for you to download the audio e-mail us at baseballchannel@mlb.com so we know.


Camera Angles: I’m to blame the most I have no idea what I’m doing, we’ll all get used to


I think that’s everything but my brain is mush from the first week of the season. I hope everyone who has problems with the new show comes around and I hope everyone who likes the changes (and there has been way more good then bad) keeps liking them.


Have a great weekend and just so you know, i had my finger on Bill Hall for today and then saw Church going against a righty and took him. I hate Stat Heads, that lefty righty crap doesn’t matter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IM SO STUPID ARGGHHHHH




Unread Questions for 4/3/08

Hey guys,

Trade question for you.  I’m in a 12 team head to head 5×5 vanilla mix.  We start LF, CF, and RF instead of 3 outfield slots.  My only LF eligible player is Billy Butler.  I need some depth.  I was offered a trade where I would give up Teixeira and Daisuke and get Adrian Gonzalez and Carlos Lee (who is LF eligible).  My other starters are Rich Hill, John Maine, Oliver Perez, Adam Wainwright, Zack Greinke, Randy Johnson, and Yovani Gallardo.  Thoughts?

Jon in California


Even without knowing your other starters, this trade is a good one.  After learning of your starters, this trade is a great one!  Teixeira is comparable in value to Lee while Dice-K was taken around the same time in drafts as Gonzalez.  Losing Matsuzaka hurts, but Hill, Maine, Perez, Wainwright, and Gallardo (not even to mention Greinke) is a more than formidable staff.  All of these guys have a ton of upside, and all of them put up impressive strikeout numbers.  And the best thing is that you’re not sacrificing any specific category.  Add in the LF, CF, RF league format, don’t think twice about pulling the trigger.  By no means is this deal a steal but it clearly addresses your needs, and that’s always the ultimate goal.

Zach Steinhorn, MLB.com

In a 10 team, head-to-head 5×5 with OBP replacing BA, which of the following OF’s should be kept for the 3 OF slots and 1 Bench slot I have available?

Johnny Damon
Justin Upton
Willy Taveras
Lastings Milledge
Carlos Gomez
Xavier Nady

Jason in NH

Hey Jason,

Damon, Taveras, Milledge and Nady are the four I would choose. If this was a keeper league, I would pick Upton over Taveras, but for this season Taveras is a more stable base of production. Gomez is similar to Taveras statistically, only Taveras will reach base more often. Damon has averaged a .355 on-base percentage in his two seasons with the Yankees and should score plenty of runs batting at the top of that lineup. He’ll also contribute double-digit steals. Taveras is a cheap source for speed. He has 34, 33 and 33 steals the last three seasons and should benefit from hitting at the top of a very good lineup. Remember, he had a .367 OBP last season. Nady’s stats have improved across the board the last three seasons, so this could be the year that he turns the corner and posts 25-plus home runs and 80-plus RBIs. Hitting behind Jason Bay and Adam LaRoche will enhance his opportunities to produce runs. Milledge is a great choice for a breakout year. He doesn’t have to deal with the pressure of playing in New York and he hits in front of a player, Ryan Zimmerman, who is also primed for a breakout season. The Nationals seem committed to giving Milledge the playing time he needs to develop his skills. He really could benefit from playing on an obscure team such as the Nats. I would start Damon, Milledge and Nady while bringing Taveras off the bench when you need steals.

Kyle Stack, MLB.com

Hey guys,

First, I love the new set and the 3 musketeers format…I just wanted to get your thoughts on Nick Johnson. He’s already off to a nice start but so far the only league I’ve acquired him in is my 7×7 mixed league that counts OBP and doubles.  Do you think he’s worth a roster spot in other 12 team mixed?  

Dan in Los Angeles


I think Johnson’s a solid addition to your team, assuming you’re only using him to fill a bench/utility spot and he’s not your starting first baseman. He missed all of ’07 with a broken leg, and it’s gonna take some time to determine just how durable he is this year. He did blast 23 homers and 46 doubles when he last played in 2006, so you know he’s got some good pop. The hot start this year shows that he’s still got some life in him, and hitting behind Ryan Zimmerman and Lastings Milledge should give him the opportunity to drive in his fair share of runs. I think he’s worth a late-round draft pick, as long as you’ve already grabbed a big-time power hitter to start at first for your squad.

Corey Gottlieb, MLB.com

Unread questions for 4/2/08

Hey guys, love the show.  12-team, mixed h2h, 5×5.  Looking at pitching.  My staff consists of:   Scott Kazmir, Felix Hernandez, Pedro Martinez, Andrew Miller, Clay Buchholz, Joe Nathan, Kerry Wood, Jonathan Broxton, Brian Fuentes, Pat Neshek.  Starting pitching lacks and missed out on a good second closer.  I’m thinking I’m going to do pitch or ditch (pod) with both Miller and Buchholz at this point.  Need your opinion on whether I pod both these guys (until I find someone to stick with, E Volquez is still available) or whether either is worth holding onto.  Closer-wise, no one available except guys like Broxton, Fuentes and Neshek.  I’ve got Broxton and Fuentes in hopes they get opportunities this year.  Marmol is not available.  Others to consider Rauch, Benoit, Turnbow, Embree.   

Fat Dad in Seattle.

With the status of Pedro a huge question mark following last night’s outing and considering Kazmir’s health issues, it’s pretty clear to me that you can use at least one more reliable starter.  I’d try making a trade to acquire a Derek Lowe/Tim Hudson type, someone who at a reasonable cost can give you quality innings.  As for your pitch or ditch options, Buchholz seems like the better choice.  He’s more developed at the big league level than Miller and plays for a much better team.  I wouldn’t hesitate to cut Miller at this point.  The bigger issue is that in a 12 teamer, there’s got to be several safer waiver wire options, guys who might not be as talented as Buchholz and Miller but have more of a consistent track record.  At the moment, your bullpen can compete.  The instant Kerry Wood either gets injured or loses his closer job, you’ll be in trouble!  Joe Nathan signing a contract extension hurts Neshek’s value, and though Fuentes is more than capable of closing, Corpas hasn’t done anything to warrant a change.  Definitely take a flier on Rauch, as Cordero is already banged up.  I might consider dropping Neshek to pick up Rauch.  Most importantly, monitor the Cubs situation very closely.  Hopefully, you have enough bats to spare.  Yet another trade could be the best solution!

Zach Steinhorn, MLB.com


I’m a commissioner in one league (12 team mix, 5 by 5) and there is a trade pending: Matt Holiday for Trevor Hoffmann and Adrian Gonzalez.  What do you think?

Love your show and greetings from Germany…Moritz      


I think the trade’s a bit one-sided in favor of the team getting Holliday. The guy’s a fantasy beast–few players can simultaneously hit for massive power and top-five average the way he does. Granted, he doesn’t steal bases, but in my opinion he’s just as valuable as Hanley Ramirez or David Wright. That said, Gonzalez is an underrated power hitter–30 HR and 100 RBIs last year–and will probably put up numbers that are about one tier lower than Holliday’s. Add Hoffman’s 30-35 saves to the mix, and the deal is sufficiently balanced for you to approve it.

Hi guys, Loving the show and learning loads (I think). Very quick question: I am in a mixed, 12-team 5×5 rotisserie league in London, England.  Like many others, I suspect, I drafted Jarrod Saltamacchia. Our league allows three bench spots plus a DL spot. Is there any value in holding onto Salty in case he’s called back? Thanks…Steve


Tough call on Salty, as there’s been very little reported since the Rangers optioned him to Triple-A Oklahoma.  You’ve got to go with what you know, which is that the team very clearly prefers Gerald Laird’s defense behind the plate and wants to get Salty as many at-bats as possible on the farm. My guess is that they’ll call him up before the All-Star break, especially as their pitching begins to falter and they rely more heavily on big-time run support from their bats. If your starting catcher is solid, I’d say drop him…backup catchers are usually fairly useless in fantasy.

Corey Gottlieb, MLB.com



Unread Questions for 4/1/08

Hey guys,  I’m in a 20-team mix OBP SLG league. What do you think about G. Sherrill and Hafner for Adam LaRoche and Bobby Jenks…. We play net saves.  I get the Jenks half and need saves.  Other than Sherrill I only have Marmol, Qualls and Foulke as possible save guys.  Thanks

I’d do the deal.  Although I fully expect Hafner to have somewhat of a bounce back year, in the neighborhood of  .280-30-110, the drop in OPS from 1.098 in 2006 to .836 last season is more than a bit concerning.  Now LaRoche is no Hafner, but he’ll post solid corner infielder numbers, figure around 25 HR and 90 RBI.  But the key here is the huge upgrade at closer.  In a 20 team league, owning an elite stopper gives you a huge advantage over the competition.  In fact, at least to start the year, only about half the teams in your league will have the “luxury” of owning more than one of them!  And there are some bad closers out there.  For all the talk about Sherrill being a sleeper, let’s remember that 2007 was the first season his ERA was under 4, let alone under 3!  Not to mention he has absolutely no experience saving games.  Durability is another issue.  Sherrill’s never thrown more than 45 2/3 innings in a single year, so don’t be surprised if he fades down the stretch, that is if he’s still the closer.

Zach Steinhorn, MLB.com 

Hey guys,
                                                                                                                                       12 team 14×14 (we penalize a lot). Do I start H. Kuroda against SD, or P. Martinez against FLA? What about the rest of the season? I think Kuroda is looking like a pretty strong KO.  Thanks guys, Ed in Chicago

Hey Ed,

Pedro is the better option. In 57 career innings at Dolphin Stadium, he has posted a 1.89 ERA and 0.93 WHIP while opponents have batted just .206 against him. After you also consider his 67 strikeouts and 5-2 in Miami, he is definitely a more reliable choice than Kuroda, who will be making his MLB debut in San Diego.  I would go with Pedro for the season, as well. Kuroda may face the same rough adjustment period in joining a new league that Dice-K encountered last season. Pedro isn’t dominant anymore, but he is solid across the board.

Kyle Stack, MLB.com


I am in a 12 team mixed league, 6×6 (R, HR, RBI, SB, OBP, SLG% x W, SV, ERA,WHIP, K, K/9). My starting pitchers are Peavy, Smoltz, A.J. Burnett, Adam Wainwright and Manny Parra. My relievers are Joakim Soria, Rafael Soriano, C.J. Wilson, Brian Fuentes, and Bobby Howry. We start 2 SP, 2 RP, and 3 P. Is this a solid group of starters to have, or should I look to pick up some guys who might be a little healthier than Smoltz and Burnett, or should I be targeting perhaps some more consistent closers?  Thanks.

Jake Stern


Your starting rotation looks pretty solid to me here. Peavy is as good as they come, and I think Smoltz has another solid year or two left in his tank. As far as health is concerned, Burnett is always a bit worrisome, and apparently the Jays had him on a less vigorous routine this spring so that he could gradually work his way back up to mid-season arm strength. I’d keep an eye on him over his first six or eight starts to see what kind of velocity he’s throwing with (he also claims to he developing a good changeup to use as an out pitch, so you should watch his K numbers as well). Then there’s Wainwright, who I think has the stuff to be a top-level pitcher down the line…it’s just a matter of when. Still, all things considered, I wouldn’t worry too much about your staff.  Bullpen-wise, you’ve got three real hit-or-miss candidates in Soria, Soriano and Wilson. Wilson is my least favorite of the three, so I’d pick up Joaquin Benoit and/or Kazuo Fukumori to be safe (tough to know which is the logical successor if Wilson struggles). Soria converted 17 of 21 save attempts last year, so the question with him is more about how often the Royals will be in position to win games. As for Soriano, he may have the best stuff of the three, but keep an eye on the elbow issues that arose at the start of the spring.  All that said, I think you’re in pretty good shape here.

Corey Gottlieb, MLB.com

Tracking Tout Wars

Follow the standings and transactions for all three Tout Wars leagues throughout the season:

AL Tout

NL Tout

Mixed Tout

Cheer on Mike and Cory!  (and Cushing)