August 2008

Fave Five Cereals



1. Lucky Charms

2. Fruity Pebbles

3. Cinnamon Toast Crunch

4. Life Cereal

5. Frosted Mini Wheats


1. Lucky Charms

2. Granola
3. Frosted Mini Wheats
4. Fruity Pebbles

5. Sugar Puffs


1. Cookie Crisp   (Damn, I nearly had Lucky Charms as my #1, that would’ve been amazing)

2. Lucky Charms

3. Fruit Loops

4. Cap’n Crunch

5. Honeycomb

Unreads for 8/11

Which pitcher do I drop to activate John Maine off the DL for his start Wednesday vs the Nats?
Randy Johnson
Jorge Campillo
Mike Pelfrey
Justin from PA

Hey Justin,

This is a tough one!  I’d definitely keep Campillo who, despite a modest strikeout rate (81 K in 114 1/3 IP), has been by far the most consistent of these three.  Since he began starting in late May, Campillo has gone 7-4 with a 3.21 ERA and 1.08 WHIP.  When comparing Johnson to Pelfrey, we’re looking at one guy who’s on the way up and another who’s clearly in the twilight of his career.  Though you can make an argument to keep either of these two, I’m going to hold onto Johnson here due to his superior strikeout numbers and the fact that he boasts a 1.59 ERA and 0.83 WHIP over his last six starts.  So go ahead and drop one Met pitcher so that you can activate another!

Zach Steinhorn

Guys, I’ve come up on a serious dilemma.  16-team mixed auction 7×7, batter K’s, OBP, Quality Starts, Holds are extra.  29-man rosters plus DL and 10 minors spots, very very deep.  The minor league salary structure is much like reality; players called up are very cheap. For example, Longoria is $1 this year, $2 next, and can thus be very undervalued.  Veterans have a $5 escalator.  The top 4 spots get payouts.  I am in 6th place, but the top 6 teams are separated by only 10 points, so I have a good shot at the money.  The stats where I stand to gain points are mainly QS and Wins, and I have made significant trades to set myself up there.

Here’s the dilemma:  the top dog has had a rash of injuries and is desperate for help.  I am tempted to offer him Tex and Carlos Guillen at $33 and $23 respectively, plus Wandy Rodriguez at $1 for Longoria, Votto, both at $1, plus Joba at $4.  I feel this keeps me in position to be in the money this year and knocks my salaries down hugely for the draft and sets me up nicely for next year.  I will never be able to trade those two in the off-season.  I’m just trying to take advantage of his desperation.  Should I try for the trade?


Hey Allan,

As good as Teixeira is (at least after April), I would do this deal. You’re going to lose some power at first base by transitioning from Tex to Votto, but Votto isn’t exactly a scrub. He’s batting .280 with a .793 OPS and even though his power has cooled off (two homers and six doubles in his last 148 at-bats), he profiles as a .290/25/90-type player. Longoria is an obvious upgrade over Guillen, whose proneness to injury often requires insurance at shortstop. Guillen has great positional versatility, but Longoria looks like he’ll be a Top 5 third baseman – and annual first-rounder – for the next decade.

As far as Chamberlain is concerned, you have to leave open the possibility that he won’t help you this season. Considering Rodriguez can be counted on for a quality start about every other appearance, you’ll have to decide whether Chamberlain’s long-term value is enough to possibly sacrifice any immediate rewards. Chamberlain had an MRI at Dr. James Andrews’ office on August 6 to determine the extent of his right shoulder injury. No word has surfaced on Andrews’ prognosis, but Chamberlain won’t be eligible to be activated from the 15-day DL until August 20, but, again, he could be out longer.

Overall, the young talent you would receive, while drastically cutting your team salary, is too good to pass up. Make the trade.

Kyle Stack

Post-show blog for 8/11

Hey folks, post your questions and comments here and we’ll reply throughout the day. Feeling blue about Carlos Lee? Yeah, I would be too… makes you wonder why the Astros are so quick to dismiss rumors that they are considering signing mlb_us_lee2_275.jpgBarry Bonds to fill the void in left field. What, they don’t think the bat could help them?

Also, keep those Facebook friend requests coming, just make sure to identify yourself as a 411 fan so we know we’re not just being stalked by random people! And make sure to add yourself as a fan of the 411 on this page:




Updated Feud Standings

Siano pulling away and Sterno inching closer!




Miguel Cabrera…on fire and at home for 7 games                                                         Johan Santana… been saving him for this, vs. Nationals and at Pirates🙂


Brian Roberts
Rich Harden


Brad Hawpe
Dave Bush

411 representin’ in NFBC!

Hey all, the new sprint format doesn’t leave much time for me to blabber about our NFBC team, but I wanted to make sure everyone knows that the 411 is alive and well:;f=1;t=003317

For the season we are tied for third in our league with 106.0 points, but the second place team is just ahead of us at 106.5 and the league leader has 115.0, so it’s going to go down to the wire. As we’ve pointed out many times over the years, yes you can win or lose your league by one steal or one RBI, so carefully manager your roster every day to squeeze out every bit of production that you can.

Good luck to everyone down the stretch! See y’all at 11:00…






Unreads for 8/8

First, some breaking news:

RHP Aaron Harang
(3-11, 4.76) is expected to come off the disabled list and pitch against the
Astros on Sunday. RHP Edinson Volquez
(13-5, 2.93) will pitch in Pittsburgh on

Now on to the unreads…

Hi guys, who has better value for the remainder of the season. Melky Cabrera, Andre Ethier or Denard Span.

Rafael – Dominican Republic

Hey Rafael,

If you would’ve asked me this question 10 days ago, I would’ve said Ethier, without question.  But the moment the Dodgers acquired Manny, Ethier’s value took a significant hit.  Although I think he’ll produce enough to earn his fair share of at bats, the bottom line is that he’s now a part-time player.  Ethier will still be of some value in deeper leagues, but can no longer be relied upon as a fixture on your fantasy roster.  As for Melky, I just don’t like him from a fantasy standpoint.  Despite my Yankee allegiance, I’ve never owned Melky on any of my teams.  And if you thought last year’s numbers (.273-8-73) were pedestrian for a fantasy outfielder, 2008 has been much worse.  Melky’s seen his average drop by over 30 points from last year’s mark, and is on pace for just 50 RBI and 55 runs.  That leaves us with Span, whose torrid month of July (.321 AVG  20 runs scored) cemented his place in the Twins’ lineup.  I’m not fully sold on Span just yet, as it was only one month.  But he also performed well in the minors this year (.340 AVG  15 SB in 156 at bats).  There’s a good amount of upside here, and you can do a lot worse than Span as your fifth outfielder in a standard 12 teamer.

Zach Steinhorn

I’m seeing a report that V-Mart may not be back until the very end of August.  Of course, by then, a lot of fantasy seasons are basically over.  Do you really think it’s worth it at this point to hold him or should I finally cut my losses and try to get as good a player as possible in his place?  I have him on several of my teams.
Chris in Tennessee

Hey Chris,

You’re correct that he won’t return until later this month. In an encouraging move, Martinez took batting practice from both sides of the plate, ran the base paths and even threw to the bases from behind home plate on Wednesday. Despite that work, Indians manager Eric Wedge has said Martinez still isn’t ready for a rehab assignment. If you’re contending for the playoffs in your league, then it’s time to cut your losses and get whatever production you can from your catching spot. Since he’s dealing with an elbow injury, there is no guarantee he’ll hit well even when he makes it back to the Indians lineup. To tell you the truth, I’m not even sure he has much value as a keeper for non-contending teams. One would think an off-season should put his elbow injury in the rear view mirror, but Martinez will be 30 years old by Opening Day 2009. It’d be tough to keep a player coming off a major injury, especially as he enters his 30s. Martinez will have to show some pop in his bat to convince me he’s keeper-worthy entering 2009.

Kyle Stack

Baseball memories from a 411 fan

Hi all,


There’s no real fantasy angle here, but 411 fan Allan in Texas sent me this great e-mail and he agreed to let me post it here. I hope everyone will enjoy it and share their own fave (not five, one will be fine :-P) baseball memories!





* * *


The 411 has provided me with endless entertainment, so this is my attempt to give something back:


My sisters live in Colorado and are part of a season ticket consortium.


The guy who started the consortium had minor league season tickets to going way back, so got a high pick when Coors was built. 8 seats 8 rows behind the middle of the Rockies dugout at Coors. I’ve attended quite a few games there. Last year I was lucky to attend Game 4 of the World Series at Coors. The members of the consortium all wanted to use the season tickets, so my brother-in-law, who is a Coors executive, got us tickets. He sat in the first row of the first balcony, even with home plate, and gave my mom and I another pair 15 rows behind home plate!


It was a wonderful experience to share with my 80-year-old mother, and a true “bucket list” moment (next I want to vomit on a celebrity). The experience taught me that Red Sox fans are far more obnoxious than Yankee fans, so I root more for the Yanks now.


My parents had a mixed marriage – Dad’s side were White Sox fans, and Mom’s side were Cubs fans. Spent many childhood summers at my grandparents’ house with the daytime Cubs games on TV (I’m still against lights at Wrigley). The first game I remember attending: July 1967 at Wrigley against the Cardinals (World Champs that year with a few Hall of Famers). My sister tells me that it was not my first game, though.


Apparently my dad used to take me to Comiskey when I was even younger. I attended the last game at old Comiskey and the first game at new Comiskey (now U.S. Cellular). Did not make it to Disco Demolition Night.


Lived outside Washington D.C. in the late 60’s and went to many Senators games at RFK. I still have the programs. Opening Day against the Yankees, 1969, featured Mel Stottlemyre pitching against Camilo Pascual.


I saw Mickey Mantle play 1B for a few innings that day, and it was very sad to see him barely mobile as a shadow of the player he’d been.


I was a Senators fan but could never bring myself to really like the Rangers.


My friends and I used to hang around RFK after the games for autographs. One time, around 1970, the crowd largely dissipated, I saw Ted Williams, the Nats manager at the time, come out a side entrance a hundred feet away, trying to avoid attention. I walked inconspicuously over to him and asked him for an autograph, no one else near or having noticed. He thought for a second, looked over at the remaining crowd, and said, “Sorry, kid, can’t do it.” Maybe if I’d told him he was one of my dad’s heroes, that would have worked. True story.


a_williams_spt.jpgI want to see a game at every ballpark, but have a long way to go.


Unfortunately I will miss Yankee Stadium and Fenway, but I did go to Shea as a kid. That was my only visit to NYC ever.


Maybe it’s “grass is greener” but I totally envy you; you have what I would consider a dream job within the wonderful world of baseball. I’m a number cruncher from way back, a chemical engineer with an MBA in finance, if that tells you anything. I used to invent dice games, drafting a league, playing out a season and tracking the stats, in a poor simulation of what we do now in fantasy leagues.


I love baseball.


* * *

POD for Sunday-Monday



Pitch:  G. Smith, Lee, Buchholz, Floyd, Baker, Meche, Pettitte, Saundo, Edwin, Pelfrey, Volquez, Moyer, Lannan, Parra, C. Young, Billingsley, Cain, Webb


Pitch:  Carmona, Beckett, Danks, Pedro, Bush, A. Sanchez, J. Sanchez, Kendrick, Lowe

Post Show Blog For 8/8/08

Hope your fantasy week wasn’t as bad as mine. Amazing the highs and lows when you get to August and look at ths standings with one eye closed like you are about to get a shot from the doctor with a big *** needle.


A-Rod and Kinsler need to get their act together and you need to start posting your questions.



Unreads for 8/7

Hey guys.  Trade question here.  I’ve never liked to veto trades before, but something about this one rubs me the wrong way.  10 team h2h points keeper league.

First place team gives up Peavy and Swisher and receives Sheets, Quentin, and Lidge.

To me Sheets and Peavy are a wash this season and first place team gets Quentin and Lidge basically for free.  And if you look at it from keeper standpoint, Peavy and Quentin are a wash and first place team gets Sheets and Lidge for free. (no cap on keeper years)  Am I way off or do I have a reason to be leery?


Hey Jeff,

The trade favors the team which receives Sheets, Quentin and Lidge, but it doesn’t feel like the team giving up those three players is sabotaging this or next season. Peavy and Sheets aren’t necessarily a wash as Peavy has a much better ERA (2.59 vs. 3.14) and K/9 rate (9.0 vs. 7.6). Peavy also has a slightly better WHIP (1.11 vs. 1.19) and his eight wins nearly match Sheets’ 10 victories. But, yeah, they’re pretty close. Quentin is obviously the better hitter than Swisher. Perhaps the owner receiving Swish feels that his season-long struggles could amount to a hot August and September. Remember also that some fantasy owners feel Quentin could be a one-hit wonder this season, although I think he’ll be a 30-homer, 90-RBI guy for at least the next few years.

I’m not sure what to make of the Lidge throw-in. Maybe that was a way to sweeten the pot for an owner who was reluctant to trade in the first place. I wouldn’t count Lidge as a keeper, though.  Papelbon and K-Rod are the only two closers who should even be considered as keepers. All in all, this is a trade that favors the Sheets/Quentin/Lidge side, but Peavy is arguably the most valuable keeper in this trade. I’d leave it alone. You want to pick your battles when it comes to vetoing trades, so I’d save your veto for a more one-sided deal.

Kyle Stack

Good Morning guys,
I am in a bit of a dilemma.  I have Verlander and Liriano on my keeper league roster (14 team, 25 men, 7 keepers, 6×6 OB% and IP extras) and have been battling for a playoff spot, but now am out of it.  Slim to none for chances.  I am trying to build up my keepers. Do you think Verlander or Liriano would be a keeper in this format?  How many pitchers should I protect?  0,1,2?  Do you see any potential combos in my roster involving these guys to try and improve a position?
Thanks a lot guys!
My roster is:

Damon (DL)
C. Guzman
Alexei Ramirez
J Vazquez
Capps (DL)

Bench: Kobayashi, Volstad

Hey Brett,

Let’s look at it this way.  Berkman, Markakis, McCann, Granderson, and Cano (despite his extremely disappointing season) should definitely be kept.  In a 14 team league, they’ll all easily be taken in the top seven rounds on draft day 2009.  That leaves you with two spots to choose among the likes of Verlander, Liriano, Peralta, Gordon, and Broxton, assuming he’s anointed as the new full-time Dodgers’ closer.  Broxton has the potential to be a dominant stopper.  Since taking over for the injured Takashi Saito a few weeks ago, Broxton has gone 5 for 5 in save opportunities while posting a 1.59 ERA and 0.53 WHIP.  If, for some reason, he returns to a setup role, I’d keep both Verlander and Liriano. Otherwise, go with Broxton and Verlander.  The choice between Verlander and Liriano is an awfully tough one, but Verlander is simply the safer option.  After a very rough start to the season, Verlander has, for the most part, pitched to his 2007 form, allowing two runs or less in 8 of his last 11 outings while striking out 69 batters over 62 1/3 innings.  Liriano might have more upside, but we just don’t know yet how he’ll respond in the long term from missing about a year and a half of game action.  If Liriano enjoys a strong final two months and goes through a setback-free offseason, I might change my mind.  But if you ask me today who I’d rather have, it’s Verlander.

Zach Steinhorn