Fantasy League review back up in this isht, bringing all the usual review and preview nonsense. My team has done so badly in the past week that I'm planning on going into hiding – my foolproof plan at the moment is not to disguise myself at all and stay at my cousin's house, I reckon there's no way that anyone could possibly find me then. Anyway, it's not just about me, it's about everyone who takes part (well, in reality, it IS actually all about me) so that's about enough Ratko Mladic nonsense for the moment. Unless he resurfaces as part of a witness protection scheme as a LOOGY for the Twins and I'm not quite prepared to discount that possibility quite yet. Anyway, here's the rest of this week's preview which, I should add, I'm only writing in an attempt to bump down in the FanPosts the ridiculous number of posts about minor league prospects and increase the ridiculous number of posts about inconsequential fantasy baseball information...
Week Seven Review
Poughkeepsie Footpickers (301) beat Social Anxiety All Stars (210)
I remember once taking my stepdaughter to this doctors in the middle of the night as she was in quite a bit of pain from her ear. We sat in the doctor's room as he asked about the symptoms before explaining that her ear drum would burst in the middle of the night. On seeing my shocked expression he then informed me that this was relatively common and natural, would heal quickly and would not be particularly painful. Of course, I'd have been 200 times happier if he'd mentioned this before making me feel my stepdaughter was about to be hideously disfigured, but I think scaring your clients is just one of games that medical people play to entertain themselves. It's like having something called “Exploding Head Syndrome” which turns out not to be a huge cranial rupture but merely hearing a loud noise when you're trying to get to sleep. Meh! It's also like PF proclaiming Mark Buerhle (-3) to be a decent fantasy player when he is actually nothing of the sort. Luckily he had YoGa and his immense 51 points and Jacoby Ellsbury and his slightly less massive 37 points and Sabathia's 35 points to help him to a pretty impressive weekly total. SAAS had little to offer in return, with Teixeira (28) and CJ Wilson (21) being the only notable contributors.
Craig Counsell's Steakhouse (245) lost to Little Lebowski Under Achievers (265)
If LLUA was a recent Brewers player I’d put him down as being Jason Kendall. I’m not meaning that to be disparaging as I always had a sneaky respect for the master of grit. Perhaps it was his high KRUG quotient, perhaps it was his bizarre Dave Kerwin rambling and perhaps it was the fact that he officially played in all 189 of the Brewers 162 games in the 2009 season but there was something kinda compelling about the guy who a Pirates blog once referred to as looking like “a fist with eyes”. Week after week LLUA has kept plugging away and has got his deserved reward this week with a victory over CCS. Yeah, CCS was very much the underdog and LLUA was perhaps the biggest, errr, overdog in any match-up this week but it didn’t stop the master of fantasy grit getting through. For LLUA it was all about Carl Crawford (41) who chose this week to remember that it is baseball he is meant to be earning a living from, not lounging about in a stadium being watched by thousands of people, although Correia (21) and Bell (20) also contributed. Actually, “Correia and Bell” sounds like a really bad 80's duo although I can't quite make my mind up if they'd do power ballads or weird electro music. CCS struggled again which is strange when you see major scoring from Kershaw (46) and Lohse (41) although that was largely it from his pitching and his hitting wasn't up to much, excepting Cano (21), Howard (20) and Aybar (19). Looks like CCS can't make the playoffs now but when you look at some of his players you really wonder how he's sitting at 0-7 as he's also got Miggy (18) and Nelson Cruz (11) as well as some of the talent mentioned earlier.
Harvey's Wallbangers (163) lost to The Team That I Refuse To Name (236)
HW had a remarkably schizophrenic week with his hitting prospering to the tune of 175 points while his pitching floundered a touch, costing him 11 points. OK, so its not quite as famously two-faced as the flag of Paraguay (oh yeah, I'm bringing the vexillology, baby!) or Alex Cameron, the guy with the perfectly spherical head in my sixth form who continued to try to be my mate even though I absolutely completely definitely knew it was him who was spreading the scurrilous rumours I'm sure you all heard about 20 years ago concerning myself and Emily Stewart but its kinda getting there. Actually, being completely honest, any rumour suggesting I might have had any type of involvement with the delectable Miss Stewart left my 16 year-old self with the same giddy excitement Brandon Crawford probably felt after that Grand Slam the other night. In truth, his hitting is focussed solely on Granderson (36), Quentin (28), Ortiz (25) and Young (24) which sounds more like the name of a firm of Lawyers specialising in medical malpractice than a competent hitting line-up but his pitching was baaaad. And, as Run DMC stated, that's “bad meaning bad, not bad meaning good”. In fact, Danks (-29), K-Rod (-13) and Soria (-18) have pretty much redefined the meaning of “bad” so miserable were their efforts. In comparison, TTIRTM was the epitome of the well-balanced fantasy side with 112 from hitting and 124 from pitching. A certain Mr Hart scored 34, Jered Weaver returned to pitching form with 29 and Brett Anderson scored 24. TTIRTM is now 6-2 and looking a decent bet to make the play-offs. Of course, if this was an actual baseball team it would give me the opportunity to stupidly waffle on about how this type of team always does well in the regular season but will fail in the post-season but its only fantasy baseball so I won't. Although, incidentally, I do think that this team will fail in the post-season but only because thoughts of someone else's failure make the recent collapse of my own side easier to cope with. Yep, that's the twisted way I roll...
Never Gonna Give You Upton (192) lost to Chin Music (229)
As Scarface, Bushwick Bill and Willie D professed, it's pretty easy for your mind to play tricks on you. I wake up in the middle of the night to find an intruder lurking in my room only to realise it's my dressing gown hung up on a coathook, I get home from shopping to find I've forgotten to buy the one thing I set out to get (normally jello in my case) and, just the other day, I put what I thought was a vase on my mantlepiece only to find out that what I'd actually placed there were two faces in profile looking at each other. Anyway, NGGYU's mind played the distinct trick on him of thinking that Ichiro (8), BJ Upton (7) and Justin Upton (13) would be big players for him and he's been badly let down all season by these three guys who should have been notably better. Rickie Weeks (24), Rollins (27) and Miguel Montero (22) gave him some respectability. For CM, Ryan Braun (31) proved more more explosive than a field of Chinese watermelons and Ryan Dempster (35) and Jose Reyes (31) scored well too, while Aaron Hill returned to form with 19. Well, its more of a return to relatively middle-of-the-road mediocrity than anything that could honestly be called “form”, but for Aaron Hill that's probably a result.
Stinky Cheese (143) beat Phoenix Fire (137)
Now, I'm no closet fascist (or even an uncloseted fascist) but sometimes you really wonder about giving certain people a choice about things. Take for example the highly vexatious issue of fossils. Yes, I know the news has been filled with debates over whether the crinoid fossils recently found outside St Louis can be dated back to the Ordovician period (I know most of you are intelligent enough to dismiss the simplistic and ignorant arguments connected with this view) but I think its worth looking at in more detail. See, as perhaps you know, each US state has an official state fossil with Wisconsin, for example, going down the rather standard route of choosing the trilobite as its state fossil. Now, I'm guessing that most states have chosen as their official fossil one that is found easily in the state or was first found in their state. But I'm also guessing that there are loads of fossils in most states so you've got a pretty good range of options. So, its fairly understandable that you might end up with some fairly cool state fossils like Alabama with the Basilosaurus Whale, Alaska taking the Woolly Mammoth, Colorado with the Stegosaurus (easily one of the coolest dinosaurs) or, best of all, West Virgina with the superb Jefferson's ground sloth. But why in the name of everything that is good, right and decent would you choose petrified wood (Alabama and North Dakota), the brachipod (Kentucky) or a type of herring (Wyoming)? As far as I am concerned when contraction of the states finally happens, and it had better be damn soon, those are the first four states I'm wanting to see gone. Similarly, when you've got a choice of everyone in the realm of baseball to pick in your team and you end up with Barton (2), Yuni (6) and Guillermo Moscoso (6) on your team you'd better hope there's a damn good reason 'cos whatever it is it damn sure has nothing to do with fantasy point scoring. There's obviously some reason for it in the deranged space that doubles as the mind of Phoenix Fire but I've no idea what it is. Anyway, in this match up the crucial difference was that SC's pitching (21) was marginally better than PFs (3) but that's very much like feeling pleased because you've just been named the second ugliest boy in your class. Finding decent scoring in either team was hard, but Lester (25) did OK for SC and Bruce (39), Arizona Chris Young (23) and Rasmus (21) did decently for PF – if only he hadn't played either of Kuroda and Lowe (both -13) and he'd have won this one.
Bringing Home the Bacon (182) beat The Braun Supremacy (100)
In general, 16th century Geneva was a pretty cool place to be. That is, a pretty cool place to be if you hated gambling, overindulgence and the theatre and loved Bible study, Calvinism and, err, more Bible study. Being completely honest, I can see the attraction in a bit of Bible study now and again, but I'm not sure if make-believe games based on people hitting a ball with a bat would have been looked on approvingly by John Calvin and the others in Geneva at the time. Especially as it might have involved, shame of shames, the occasional game on a Sunday. Anyway, it probably wasn't the type of place that many of us would want to be stuck in. Much like BHtB's line-up. In fact, with the exception of Tulo (14), his entire side is filled with guys who have a relatively high floor but a relatively low ceiling, making BHtB have all the living space of a badly-designed Manhattan bedsit. If Casey McGehee (2) is the epitome of a blue-collar hitter then the equivalent Brewers pitching version must be Shaun Marcum (-6). On top of this, there's also such workaday types as Infante (4), Luke Scott (5) and Kyle McClellan (14). Actually, there were a few very good performances in there this week too with Ricky Romero (23), Kelly Johnson (28) and Juan Pierre (26) not doing too badly although Max Scherzer managed to lose 23 points in merely two innings.TBS kept a very consistent team the whole week and must have been wishing he'd made some changes as Kinsler (28) and DeJesus (23) got almost no support, particularly from a -22 pitching staff. Porcello lost him 17 (in 3 innings) and Matt Cain must have faced a damn hot hitting line-up as he managed to lose -14 points in the week.
Bumpin' Ugglas (224) beat MSKM (174)
There's some very good and obvious reasons why a best-selling book has never been written about the link between radical politics and vegetables. Sure, there's all types of links between agriculture (and nowadays the environmental movement) and politics with perhaps the most obvious being the 17th Century Diggers, a kind of proto-communist movement that emerged at the end of the English Civil War and spent ages planting parsnips and other vegetables before eventually dissolving under internal pressures and external attacks, but that's about it. Mind you, one of my favourite bits of information of all time is that carrots are orange due to political reasons. Most experts think that carrots originally used to be white or purple and that the orange variety only became widespread by being grown by the Dutch in the 17th Century in tribute to William of Orange, the then king of Holland. Pretty bizarre, huh? Equally bizarre was the fact my top scorer this week was, of all people, Chris Ianetta (26) with 18 of his points coming in one match. Even more bizarre was Arroyo deciding he was a secret double agent on behalf of BU and thereby costing me 40 points and Ubaldo only costing me 14 points. The way Ubaldo is pitching at present I count that as a win. Of course, not remembering to put Bedard and Westbrook in the line-up cost me about 30 points but that wouldn't have made any difference to the final result. In total, 44 of BU's 65 pitching points were due to Jair Jurrjens, with CarGo (22), Ethier (19) and McCann (18) doing well in the hitting department.
Gold Glove Gamels (269) lost to More Than A Feeling (321)
The three most predictable things in American politics are that 1) the President will manage to find that he, surprisingly, has Irish heritage, 2) the President will then visit Ireland and take a trip to a local pub, 3) the President will tentatively sip from a pint of Guinness as if that is somehow the only way of proving your heritage. Forget the fact that many Irish drink various alcoholic beverages such as lager, wine and methylated spirits (often all three in the same glass) and engage in other activities such as, I don't know, kissing the Blarney Stone, having all their goods stolen by mischievous leprechauns and droving their sheep through Dublin city centre, it all tends to boil down to drinking a pint of the black stuff. Its cliched to the 200th degree and entirely, entirely foreseeable. Much as this fantasy league is resulting in a predictable processing for MTAF thereby rendering the entire competition pointless (much like Ubaldo Jimenez) and relatively meaningless (much like supporting the Royals). This week it was Hamels (36), Ibanez (34), Pedroia and Anibal Sanchez (both 29) who made the biggest contributions meaning that a relatively paltry 26 from Jose Bautista wasn't relevant. GGG put up a good effort in return and had monster pitching from Putz (32), Price (30), Hellickson (25), Kimbrel (24) and Greinke (22) but a highest pitching score of 22 from Jon Jay showed where his weaknesses are. Well, his other weakness is his bizarre fetish involving window cleaner and burnt toast but we won't go there...
Power Leagues. OK, I did Wisconsin music last week, so this week it has to be from the country that is to music what Chicago is to honesty in politics and Libya is to popular holiday destinations...
League 1 (Fey? Don't care if it sounds like this...)
More Than A Feeling – 924 (8-0, East)
Bringing Home the Bacon – 753 (6-2, West)
Poughkeepsie Footpickers – 747 (4-4, South)
League 2 (Only vaguely acceptable thing ever to come out of Dundee. Unless you think crack whores are acceptable)
Bumpin' Ugglas – 746 (7-1, South)
Gold Glove Gamels – 725 (5-3, West)
Social Anxiety All Stars – 720 (2-6, North)
League 3 (The lead singer's brother ended up a legendary goalscorer for the fantastic Meadowbank Thistle FC (RIP). Plus the song is excellent)
MSKM – 699 (4-4, North)
Harvey's Wallbangers – 674 (4-4, South)
Chin Music – 660 (4-4, North)
League 4 (100% pure distilled musical tartan. This proves that's not necessarily a good thing.)
Little Lebowski – 615 (3-5, East)
Stinky Cheese - 597 (6-2, West)
Never Gonna Give You Upton – 597 (1-7, South)
League 5 (“Deep” song about political issues? Boring as hell? Pretentious nonsense? Sung by a twat? Here you go...)
The Team I Refuse to Name – 585 (6-2, North)
Craig Counsell's Steakhouse – 561 (0-8, West)
Phoenix Fire – 545 (2-6, East)
The Braun Supremacy – 544 (2-6, East)
Next week's match-ups
MSKM vs Harvey's Wallbangers
More Than A Feeling vs Stinky Cheese
Little Lebowski vs Gold Glove Gamels
The Braun Supremacy vs Craig Counsell's Steakhouse
Phoenix Fire vs Bringing Home the Bacon
Social Anxiety All Stars vs Never Gonna Give You Upton
The Team That I Refuse to Name vs Poughkeepsie Footpickers
Chin Music vs Bumpin' Ugglas
TTIRTN may be sitting close to the bottom of the power rankings but, thanks to the immense ju-ju based voodoo skills of their owner, they are in with a chance of a sizeable lead in the North if they can get past Poughkeepsie. PF has had some great performances and are sitting third in the power-rankings but have a 4-4 record in the South and seem to be battling Harvey's Wallbangers for second place. Pujols, Utley, Stanton, YoGa, CC and Corey Patterson (!) for PF match up against Hart, Weaver and perhaps the best DL list in history with David Wright, Buster Posey, Travis Hafner, Rafael Soriano and Kendry Morales sitting there. Hmm, so perhaps its PF with the voodoo skills and the dolls of opponent's players at the ready...