One week over, loads more to go. Here's your review of the last week, preview of the upcoming week and various more bizarre comments and insults after THE JUMP!!!
Last week's results:
Marmol Said Knock McLouth (430) beat Chin Music (252)
When I was younger I was absolutely useless at Biology. I couldn't stand the subject or teachers and, despite trying hard, could never really remember any of the basic information. Anyway, when I was about 14 I had to sit a biology exam and, by complete chance, all the right questions came up and I breezed through it. Despite being relatively quiet I was so confident in my performance that I boasted to all my friends that I'd found the exam really easy and repeatedly expressed my amazement that they'd found it challenging. Of course, when the results came in I'd actually come bottom of my class with an astonishing 31%. The lesson most people would have learnt would be about not boasting, not jumping to conclusions and not mocking your friends. Fast forward to last week and there was I mocking Chin Music for having spent nothing on starting pitching (when I'd spent only marginally more) and, gulp, facing him in the first week of competition giving him the chance to bask in schadenfreude. Of course, anchored by Street, Arroyo, Floyd and Chris Young (all over 30 points) my pitching scored 130 points annihilating that of CM which picked up a measly 32 points in total. So, while showing that I haven't at all learnt my lesson about boasting its also showed me that, although my starting pitching still looks weak, the grass isn't always greener on the other side. I think that might be something to do with sunlight and chlorophyll, but I'm not really the person to ask...
The Braun Supremacy (358) beat Phoenix Fire (289)
Now, Phoenix Fire is clearly either a reference to experts in fire safety or little-known Belfast indie 5 piece. I don't know why you'd really want to do the former and if its Northern Irish music you want you surely you could have referenced the relatively fantastic Ash or this instead? Anyway, with 289 points it's clearly nothing to do with fantasy baseball or even baseball itself. Otherwise, why would you have half a pitching staff of superlative quality (the under-rated Kuroda at 41, Halladay with 35 and Broxton with 30) and then lumber them with Cecil (-6), Blanton (-11) and Lackey (-23)? That's kinda like having half your home kept safe from fire with the liquefiable gas FM-200 Fire Suppression system and the other half with some small bowls full of petrol and permanently lit candles. By comparison, TBS's pitching was as safe and solid as a FD-120 certified interior fire door with both intumescent fire seals AND cold smoke seals with Lincecum, Tim Hudson and Mariano Rivera all scoring over 30 points and Nolasco and Cain a tad less. Plus, if you're looking for break-out candidates, the new Rickie Weeks might just be Alex Gordon (31 points) with only Ian Kinsler (39) getting more points for TBS on the hitting side.
Craig Counsell's Steakhouse (360) lost to Bringing Home the Bacon (384)
From the moment it was clear these teams would meat in the first round it was obvious that there was a lot at steak, with CCS having a beefy offense (Cano, Howard, drunken Miggy and A-Rod) and BHTB having some sizzling hitters as well (Choo and Tulowitski). After a ridiculously close contest it was CCS who had his rump kicked as he as outscored by 20 points on the last day to lose the closest match of the first week. The difference? While BHTB had Brandon McCarthy getting 17 points on the last day, for some strange reason Barry Zito's normally fantastic pitching deserted him as he ended the day with -12 for CCS. Its a bit of a shame because its entirely within my capacity to give CCS an extra 43 points under league rules for his excellent team avatar but that'd be just too cruel. Anyway, I know CCS will be gutted at losing this one but there's another match-up this week and perhaps he just needs to, errr, grillax a bit...
Social Anxiety All Stars (289) lost to Grubby Shanks (424)
Now, those who have had the misfortunate to read any of my comments on BCB will know that I'm no statistician, but by my calculation an astonishing 83% of Grubby Shanks points were accumulated solely by Jered Weaver (77 points). Yep, it might look like I've made a mistake but you forget to factor in all the points that have to be docked for Weaver's appalling haircut, didn't you? And before you ask, of course I'm not going to be docking bad haircut points from Branson Arroyo – he's on my team and I'm not a complete idiot. If I was I'd be putting Clay Buchholz (-19 points), Gorzellany (-3), Austin Jackson (6) and Tsuyoshi Nishioka (1) in my team like SAAS did wouldn't I? Anyway, SAAS doesn't actually have that bad a team with Gio Gonzales (36), King Felix (26), Beltre (28), Teixeira (27) and Hamilton (22) all having promising starts. Plus, he somehow coaxed 31 out of Alberto Callaspo (Alberto Callaspo!) but when your opponent has Tabata scoring 47 and closers Hanrahan and Perez putting in top performances (37 and 31 respectively) and that man Weaver on fire that's not going to butter your parsnips is it?
More Than A Feeling (340) beat Little Lebowski Under-Achievers (234)
So you’re going out on a date to a restaurant with this girl you’ve fancied for ages. It’s all going really well well. You’re had a few drinks and the pair of you are chatting relatively easily, she seems to be genuinely laughing at your jokes, she’s making eye contact and giving you subtle signs that fortune might be smiling on you tonight. So, when you wake up the next morning alone in your bed with a piercing hangover and a feeling of intense yet unfathomable regret you try to work out what went wrong. A cup of coffee and some pain relief later it all comes flooding back: the third bottle of wine, the fact you constantly compared her to your own Mum (comparing to an –ex would have been bad enough!) and, oh yes, the projectile vomiting. The repeated projectile vomiting. It’s fair to say you can’t really blame her for leaving early and letting you sort out the bill. Of course, the very act of taking part in fantasy baseball proves beyond any legitimate doubt that LLUA himself would never have any problem dating the ladies, but his team certainly shows some similarities to this fictional scenario. 198-147 up with only three days left in the match it all looked completely sorted yet they completely fell apart leaving only thoughts of what might have been. Joe Mauer is doing nothing to justify spending $256 on him (11 points), Eric Bedard has lost 18 points and apart from Dan Haren (51) the next biggest scorer was Jordan Walden with 25. Meanwhile MTAF was the model of consistency with Butler (37), Oswalt (33), Pedroia and Kennedy (26 each), Nunez, Gabi Sanchez and Crisp (25 each), Carlos Lee (24), Peralta (23), Bautista and Tejada (22 each) all scoring decent points. Actually, that's a very competent, highly consistent and therefore extremely boring team performance from MTAF. Come to think of it, such mind-numbing boringness in an opponent would totally justify LLUA's projectile vomiting...
Stinky Cheese (458) beat Gold Glove Gamels (295)
Back in the days when the sun never set on its empire it was a relatively simple matter for the Brits to ensure their uppity colonial subjects didn’t get any ideas above their station. Firstly, use the old “divide and conquer” strategy. Secondly, ensure you had someone in charge who had no qualms about bunging loads of “natives” into a dark, airtight chamber. Thirdly, exploit your massive naval supremacy by sending a few battleships around to intimidate the locals. The best example of the latter was Britain’s 1886 war with Zanzibar which lasted a full 38 minutes. At 9:02 am Britain declared war, launched off some artillery which set fire to the royal palace and sunk the royal yacht. At 9:40 the Zanzibar army surrendered having bricked it quicker than Brian McCann faced with a charging Nyjer. In fantasy baseball terms, it took a good bit less than 38 minutes for Stinky Cheese to completely trounce all over Gold Glove Gamels. Boom! (41 points from Prince Fielder), Boom! (37 from the Narv-dog), Boom (38 from Gordon Beckham – correctly identified as useless by yours truly) and low 30 totals from Verlander, Feliz and Placido Polanco (!!). And what did GGG have in return to fight off this barrage of heavy artillery? Apart from Jamie Garcia (45 points) it was solely a small green plastic catapult that cost 99 cents at Walmart (Napoli with 29 points), a butter knife (Craig Kimbrel with 31), and a couple of rubber bands to ping at people (24 from Putz and 22 from Byrd)? Pah! See, mocking Brewers in your team name title invokes some serious bad karma. Unless you're being serious about Gamel's fielding in which case you clearly need to be sectioned...
Never Gonna Give You Upton (230) lost to Poughkeepsie Footpickers (383)
Now, I know absolutely nothing about astronomy or physics but one of my favourite theories is that if the universe is infinite then, as any possibility can find itself our there in a universe that is truly infinite, there must be other worlds out there exactly the same as ours but with one small difference. Say that there are 4 moons, Zach Greinke is healthy, Justin Bieber is talented or Craig Counsell made an error. Ha! Fooled you! The latter is a logical impossibility no matter what the size of the universe but, hey, you get my general drift. Anyway, PF has clearly got some connection with a parallel universe where starting pitchers Matt Harrison (45 points), Derek Holland (34) and AJ Burnett (30 points) are pitching behemoths towering above mediocre dwarves of hurling such as YoGa (21) and CC Sabathia (20). Plus he got 33 points out of Asdrubal Cabrera. Yeah, Asdrubal Cabrera – a man about whom so little is known that his Wikipedia page feels the need to provide the startling information that “in the 2007 postseason, he became the first baseball player named Asdrubal to ever compete in the ALCS”. Who'da thunk it! As far as NGGYU goes, remember that poll we had to determine the Brewer of the Week for the first week of the season and Rickie Weeks picked up a few votes? Well, in fantasy terms Rickie picked up a mediocre 18 points but was blown out of the water by 25 from Kameron Loe. Now, however much you like Kameron Loe when none of your players score more than 5 points more than Kammy (Drabek on 30, Rollins and Justin Upton on 26) then you can't really complain when you lose. Saying that, I'm hoping that next week you try to capitalise on Loe's success by going with Sean Green, Mitch Stetter and Sergio Mitre. Actually, save that one up for the week when you play my team...
Harvey's Wallbangers (388) beat Bumpin' Ugglas (289)
BU's closer-heavy pitching kinda worked with K-Rod (19 points), Ax (9), Nathan (19) and Soria (25) combined for some major pointage, although apart from Carmona (14 points) his next best starter was John Danks (9). However, his hitting completely raked. In fact, they raked more than a man with a lot of rakes who's done so much raking he's really good at raking. Or something like that. Anyway, Kemp (44), Kendrick (42) and Quentin (40) were all superlative, with good performances from a number of others including Posada (16), Izturis (24) and Brett Wallace (21). Yep, they're the three guys I called scrubs last week, showing yet again that my knowledge of baseball is second to none. Faced with that, BU had decent peformances from Trevor Cahill (36), Logan Morrison (32) and, errr, that's about it. Except for Angel Pagan (27) and Starlin Castro (26) but I'm discounting these due to the fact one has a name that is theologically Manichaean (and therefore questionable) in its simplistic evil-versus-good dualism and the other is well-known for being merely a dropped consonant from referring to not one, but, count 'em, two dictators. You wouldn't want someone called Hiltler Franco in your fantasy team would you? OK, that might be mainly as Hiltler Franco is currently only batting .132 as the Astro's back-up catcher and is in danger of losing his roster space to Menglistu Mussolini, but you get my point...
Power rankings (if I call it “power rankings” it suggests I've done more than simply list the teams in order of points scored last week, yeah?)
Marmol Said Knock McLouth
Bringing Home the Bacon
Craig Counsell's Steakhouse
The Braun Supremacy
More Than A Feeling
Gold Glove Gamels
Social Anxiety All Stars
Little Lebowski Under-Achievers
Never Gonna Give You Upton
Match-up of the week:
Craig Counsell's Steakhouse vs Stinky Cheese
Yep, its another food match-up and one that could be quite close. CCS has got rid of most of the $1 filler that he picked up at the end of the draft and will be looking for his first win after being edged out by Bringing Home the Bacon. Oh my God, I've just noticed that Willie Bloomquist accumulated 42 fantasy points last week. Has the world gone completely and utterly mad? Are dogs and cats lying down with each other as well? Oh well, if he does that again then CCS should be well placed against Stinky Cheese. Saying that, Stinky Cheese looks awesome (please change your team name so I don't come across like some cheese loving weirdo?) and has Prince Fielder and the Narv-dog (I want him to be renamed the Narv-whal instead for added marine mammal excitement, and you can never have too much of that). Anyway, should be a good one...
Next week other match-ups:
Social Anxiety All Stars vs Marmol Said Knock McLouth
More Than a Feeling vs The Braun Supremacy
Phoenix Fire vs Little Lebowski Under Achievers
Gold Glove Gamels vs Bringing Home the Bacon
Chin Music vs Grubby Shanks
Harvey's Wallbangers vs Never Gonna Give You Upton
Poughkeepsie Footpickers vs Bumpin' Ugglas