September 2008

Breaking News!

FLUSHING, N.Y., September 30, 2008 – Mets righthanded pitcher John Maine underwent successful right shoulder arthroscopic surgery today at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery. Mets Medical Director Dr. David Altchek and Mets Team Physician Struan Coleman removed a lesion from the back of his shoulder socket.

Maine will begin rehabilitation immediately and resume throwing activities as part of his off-season workouts, and is expected to make a full recovery in advance of spring training.

Early Mock Draft for ’09

Much thanks to Tony in Jacksonville for this!

2009 Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft.doc

The Final POD


Pitch:  Shields, Mussina, Litsch, Guthrie, Buehrle, Baker, Saundo, Johan, Hamels, Jurrjens, Wandy, CC, Kuroda, Lincecum, Unit

MONDAY (if necessary)

Pitch:  Floyd

Post-Show Blog for 9/26/08 (All-Fantasy Team)


          2007                             2008

C    Russell Martin          C    Russell Martin
1B  Prince Fielder          1B   Albert Pujols
2B  Brandon Phillips      2B   Chase Utley
SS  Jimmy Rollins           SS   Jose Reyes
3B  Alex Rodriguez        3B   David Wright
OF  Matt Holliday           OF  Grady Sizemore
OF  Magglio Ordonez     OF  Matt Holliday
OF  Grady Sizemore       OF  Carlos Beltran
SP  Jake Peavy              SP   Cliff Lee
CL  J.J. Putz                   CL   Mariano Rivera

                Your MVP is:  JOSE REYES
                And the Cy Young goes to:  CLIFF LEE

Post-Show Blog for 9/25/08 (All-Disappointment Team)

From R-O-Y to B-U-S-T                                                                                                                             
Neither Mike nor Cory nailed any of these exactly, and quite honestly, neither did well in general.  Both were right about Salty, but after that, the negatives far outweigh the positives.  Mike’s Carmona and Kendrick picks were solid while his Hamilton selection is about as bad as it gets!  Also, Lowell, Shields, and Hart all went on to have productive years.  Cory’s best pick?  Chad Cordero.  His worst?  How about Adrian, Manny, Halladay, and Oswalt.  The edge once again goes to Siano.

Zach Steinhorn


C    Victor Martinez
1B  Paul Konerko
2B  Robinson Cano
SS  Troy Tulowitzki
3B  Ryan Zimmerman
OF  Nick Swisher
OF  Jeff Francoeur
OF  Chris Young
SP  Justin Verlander
RP  Huston Street


C    Jarrod Saltalamacchia
1B  Carlos Pena
2B  Howie Kendrick
SS  Yunel Escobar
3B  Mike Lowell
OF  Magglio Ordonez
OF  Corey Hart
OF  Josh Hamilton
SP  Fausto Carmona
SP  James Shields
RP  Jose Valverde


C    Jarrod Saltalamacchia
1B  Adrian Gonzalez
2B  Placido Polanco
SS  Edgar Renteria
3B  Mike Lowell
OF  Manny Ramirez
OF  Hideki Matsui
OF  Vernon Wells
SP  Roy Halladay
SP  Roy Oswalt
RP  Chad Cordero

Post-Show Blog for 9/24/08 (All-Surprise Team)

Well, Siano hit it out of the park on this one!

We’re nearing the end of our year in review shows as the All-Surprise team was unveiled today.  So let’s compare Mike and Cory’s preseason sleeper picks with the All-Surprise list to see how the guys did.  Cory did a nice job with Greinke and Scott while striking out badly on Lugo, Gagne, McGowan (injury), and Kendrick.  As for Mike, Towles was a disaster and his choices of Weeks and Feliz have proven to be mediocre at best.  But the outfield trio of Bay, Kemp, and most notably Quentin easily makes up for all that.

2008 ALL-SURPRISE TEAM                                                                                                                                    
C    Ryan Doumit
1B  Kevin Youkilis
2B  Dustin Pedroia
SS  Cristian Guzman
3B  Jorge Cantu
OF  Josh Hamilton
OF  Ryan Ludwick
OF  Carlos Quentin
SP  Cliff Lee
RP  Joakim Soria


C    J.R. Towles
1B  James Loney
2B  Rickie Weeks
SS  Michael Young
3B  Pedro Feliz
OF  Matt Kemp
OF  Jason Bay
OF  Carlos Quentin
SP  Matt Cain
SP  Oliver Perez
RP  B.J. Ryan


C    Dioner Navarro
1B  Adam LaRoche
2B  Howie Kendrick
SS  Julio Lugo
3B  Edwin Encarnacion
OF  Franklin Gutierrez
OF  Jason Kubel
OF  Luke Scott
SP  Dustin McGowan
SP  Zack Greinke
RP  Eric Gagne   

Unreads for 9/23

Hi guys,

12 team 5×5 mixed, we keep 8.
Comfortably in first so the yoo-hoo shower will be mine.  I did trade away some solid players during the season to secure the victory, so here’s my current definite keepers:
1) A-Rod
2) Reyes
3) Cabrera
4) Phillips
After that, my options grow weak.  Pick 4 of the following possible keepers. Pence, Liriano, Valverde, Harden, Joba, Ethier, Mora, Bradley, or Dukes.

Newfoundland, Canada

Hey Deano,

This is the type of situation where, assuming it is allowed, you might want to keep less than the max number and take the extra draft picks.  Of this group, the only guys who clearly deserve top eight round consideration are Pence, Liriano, Valverde, and Harden.
I understand that many will draft Joba before the end of Round 8 in a single-season league, but despite this being a keeper, I’d be reluctant to do so.  Joba’s role for 2009 remains undefined, and I just cannot justify using a keeper slot on him in a league where there are no values attached.  It’s entirely possible that he’ll stay in the bullpen for the entire year, greatly limiting his fantasy appeal.            

Now when looking at the four names I mentioned, Pence and Valverde are safe choices.  Pence’s 2008 season has been somewhat disappointing, but last year’s immediate success probably placed expectations a bit too high.  His numbers this year (.271 AVG  24 HR  80 RBI  10 SB) are still very respectable, and there’s plenty of upside here.  As for Valverde, he’s not the most reliable stopper, but in this 8 keeper format, I think it’s important that you hold onto one for the simple reason that many owners could decide to keep two closers.  Although it’s true that the attentive owner can scoop up plenty of saves from the waiver wire throughout the season, coming out of the draft with less than two adequate options is not recommended.  I’m going to give Liriano the edge over Harden.  There’s no doubt that both are health risks, but Liriano doesn’t have the extensive injury history of Harden, and he’s experienced no setbacks since returning to the mound. 

 If you can keep less than four, those are the three I’ll pick.  If, and only if, four keepers are required, go with Joba based simply on potential and perhaps more importantly, trade value.

Zach Steinhorn


Found out about the 411 this spring and have been listening ever since.  Love it!  (By the way, I think the 3-man booth has been a huge success this year as well.) 14-team keeper league, we protect 10.  No dollar values or other rules associated; no limit to how many years you can keep a guy.  Cats are BA, HR, RBI, SB; ERA, K, Sv, W.  I have 8 of my 10 figured out.  They are 1B Pujols, SS Rollins, C McCann, OF BJ Upton.  SP Lincecum, SP Beckett, SP Felix Hernandez, SP Kershaw. I need to pick 2 of these remaining players:

OF Josh Hamilton
OF Carlos Quentin
OF Jay Bruce
SP Cliff Lee
SP Edinson Volquez
SP Phil Hughes
SP Zack Greinke

One note: whoever I don’t keep will be traded for draft pick(s), which also holds great value in our league.  In a way I’d love to sell high on Hamilton and Quentin and find a way to protect Bruce.  I’m also still intrigued by Hughes.  I know you guys prefer hitters, but pitching is a premium in our league.  Thanks for your help!

Brett Kruschke
Jordan, MN


Hey Brett,

This is almost a no-brainer for me: keep Hamilton and Bruce and trade Quentin. I’m not sure how your pitchers could be held at any more of a premium than hitters, especially considering your league doesn’t track WHIP. That means starters can affect only three cats (ERA, Ks and Ws) and Ws are pretty tough to predict. So that means only two cats in which you can realistically estimate a pitcher’s stats.

You have three hitters who will be valued highly heading into next season, and I think you need to add more power hitters to Pujols and McCann. Upton (8 HR) and Rollins (11 HR) have struggled to come close to matching their 2007 homer totals of 24 and 30, respectively.

Hamilton (.303 AVG, 31 HR, 124 RBI, 9 SB) and Quentin (.288 AVG, 36 HR, 100 RBI, 7 SB) have similar stats and their home ballparks are fantastic hitter’s environments, but I value Hamilton slightly more. I’d feel safer with Hamilton knowing that he gave an indication of what was to come in 2008 with a pretty good 2007, when he hit .292 with 19 homers and 47 RBIs. Quentin hadn’t produced anything close at the Major League level at the rate he did in 2008.

Now, one would think you could scratch Bruce and just keep Hamilton and Quentin. But as you noted, you could benefit from gaining a great amount of value for, say, Quentin and keeping the 21-year-old Bruce. Don’t worry about Bruce’s .260 batting average. He had a career .308 average in the Minors, including a .364 mark at Triple-A Louisville in 49 games this season. He can and will hit at a high level in the Majors. His .287 batting average at Cincy’s Great American Ball Park is a great sign that he has adjusted nicely to his home surroundings, and more experience should raise his road average.

Bruce and Hamilton will round out a strong offensive core for you and Quentin could deliver one or two high draft picks which could be used to regain Lee, Volquez, Hughes or Greinke.

Kyle Stack   

Post-Show Blog for 9/23/08 (SP Rankings)

    2008                           2009

Johan Santana            Johan Santana
Jake Peavy                  CC Sabathia
Brandon Webb            Tim Lincecum
Erik Bedard                  Roy Halladay
CC Sabathia                Cole Hamels
John Smoltz                 Brandon Webb
Josh Beckett                Dan Haren
Dan Haren                   Jake Peavy
Aaron Harang              John Lackey
Cole Hamels                Ervin Santana
Justin Verlander          Roy Oswalt
John Lackey                Cliff Lee
Carlos Zambrano        Chad Billingsley
Roy Oswalt                 Edinson Volquez
Chris Young                Daisuke Matsuzaka
Scott Kazmir               A.J. Burnett
Kelvim Escobar           Rich Harden
Daisuke Matsuzaka    Scott Kazmir
Roy Halladay              Francisco Liriano
Chien-Ming Wang      Josh Beckett

Updated Feud Standings


Manny’s monster week helped Cory create some separation from Sterno.  Now, with seven days left, can he possibly catch Siano?


That’s What I’m Talking About

This is from Pfelon. Great great stuff.

By the way The 411 does not condone underage drinking or drinking and driving.

Fantasy 411

Drinking Game



(standard drinking game setup: you will need a glass of beer or a cocktail, a shot glass, a bottle

of hard liquor)


Drink once whenever one of the guys drinks (obviously)

Drink once whenever alcohol or beer is mentioned
Drink once whenever someone says "it's interesting..." or "you

know what’s interesting is…”

Drink once whenever Sterno forces a segue (segway), and once

more if Schwartz or Siano laugh or comment about

Drink twice and do a little dance whenever Club DTM is


Drink twice and take one shot whenever "21" inspiration

Jeffrey Ma is mentioned or calls in

Drink four times whenever the guys make an Entourage

reference (you know, because there’s four of them), including saying “Is that

something you’d be interested in?”

Chug/finish your drink ("kill" it) whenever the bells toll

for someone’s now-dead season

Take a shot whenever Schwartz uses the phrase "by the same


Take a "single" shot whenever it is referenced that Sterno

is single, or he mentions that he likes the ladies, or that he will accept

friend requests from unknown ladies on facebook

Take a shot whenever Pitch or Ditch has a "TBA" listed
Take two shots whenever you hear "flags fly forever"
Take two shots whenever you hear "stay hot"