Posted on: July 31, 2009 7:36 pm

The Cleveland Indians, the MLB doormat

Alright boys...I don't know how many of you are tribe fans but I'm about to rant so bear with me.  After all this shifting of the tribes star players for what I would consider close to the majors "B" prospects and projectable top prospects in class "A" or Sally league ball, I'd like to take a look at a best case scenario about what the Indians stating rotation will look like in 2011.   1. Jason Knapp(described by one scout as a "Roy Halladay Clone" and said to have by some scouts a higher ceiling then any other pitcher in Phils system)2. Carlos Carrasco(#1 prospect in the Phils system before poor campaign this year in triple A ball)3. Justin Masterson(Spent year bouncing back and forth from the Sox rotation to their bullpen before trade. Projectable starter with a power arm but he's no Clay Buchholtz, more on that in a moment.)4. Fausto Carmona(Head case but solid middle to back end staff guy. Great sinker)5a. Hector Rondon(Young lanky Latin pitcher that tops out at 96 mph currently with a plus slider and a improving change-up. 

5b. Kelvin De La Cruz is the wild card here.  He could be a starter as well when one of these pittles out.  Cruz has been described by scouts as "Carmona Left" has he is a southpaw carbon copy of Fausto. 

Like or not Cleveland has a odd way of accepting prospects that other organizations don't peg as a value return for All-Stars.  Toronto would not take Carrasco, Knapp, and the 2 position players for a former cy young winner in Roy Halladay but Cleveland was more than happy to take it for the CURRENT cy young winner.  All the talk/rumors today was that Cleveland and Boston would be swapping V-mart for Buchholtz but instead we got Masterson, Hagadone, and Price.  Reading the scouting reports I see Hagadone as a bullpen arm(I'm probably wrong) and Price as nothing more than organizational depth.  Masterson is the prize of this trade but when you could have had Buchholtz a pitcher that has a fastball that sits comfortably at 93-94 mph coupled with a plus-plus curve and plus change, oh and a MLB no-hitter to his credit, I don't see the value in taking Masterson just to get a higher ceiling prospect in Hagadone who by the way has already has Tommy John and is 23 years old in Class "A" ball.  In closing, I like what we got for Cliff Lee but I'm scaried of the value  of the package we got from Boston.  I don't care if Peter Gammons compared Hagadone to David Price, he's still 23 years old in class "A" ball.  Big Train Out.
Category: MLB
Posted on: July 16, 2009 7:52 pm

Got my fantasy baseball cherry popped this week..

       This was my first year of what was suppose to be many in the Moose Memorial Fantasy Baseball keeper sharing a team with a friend of mine that likes baseball but does not pay as close attention to it as I do.  It was a 7 team 5x5 A.L. only auction style format.  We started out innocent enought the middle of the pack in everything.  My friend had joined this league last year as an invitee from his brother in law that seemed nice enough.  He went to Germany for the 6 weeks last year and basically just let his team float for the second half in '08 so he was keeper lite going in to this year.  The auction strategy I came up with was to go after injury risk player that would not start the season but would be back after a month or less.  So we bought A-rod, Mauer, Victor Martinez, Crawford, and B.J. Upton at a discount and then tried to find value whenever possible.  Let me say that the rest of the league lives basicall in the same area in N.J. and we were the only team outside of their state and cronie circle.  Well we got quite a surpirse when V-mart, Bartlett, and Crawford came blazing out of the gate.  We then got Mauer and A-rod back and with in the matter of a week we were winning every offensive category and in 1st place.  We then continued with the idea to hord young arms so we went and added Chris Tillman and Neftali Feliz and stashed them.  By the end of last week we had on our roster: Brett Anderson, John Danks, Rick Porcello, Tillman, Feliz, Aaron Poreda, and Derek Holland as pitchers that we could in reality keep on our roster for more than 5 years on the cheap as all of their salaries except Danks who was a keeper from the last year was on the payroll for 1 dollar with the rule stating that players can be kept for a 33% raise from the prior year salary.  Needless to say we were stacked for the future. 
        Things started to go south in a hurry after we moved into first.  We had put a couple trade offers out there and they were not responded to.  Then by friends in-law called us a couple weeks ago and wanted to know if we could talk about trading him youk.  Too make a long story short here he over-offered cause he was short on corner infielder.  We then decided that we wanted to do it 2 days later and we put the trade out there for him.  He let it set for 2 days so we pulled it.  He then called my buddy pissed off that it was pulled.  He then called 2 days later and said that we would have to offer more to get the players he was offer before so we put Youk on the trading block looking for pitching.  He then called my friend his in-law again this time more pissed that we put youk on the block.  We then sent a couple, and let me stress "a couple" trade offers out to others in the league that were rejected that involved youk and halladay.  To see if we could get a couple pitchers in return for the 2nd half.  You see are pitching was not that good and with all the young arms I thought we would need pitching as we moved through the season.  Well anyway, once we got no response on the halladay offer I knew something was wrong.  Apparently this in-law was through with us after we didn't give him crack at Youk.  So he started the motion to kick us out of the league.  Quite possibly he sorest loser ever this guy has been known apparently for kicking family members out of fantasy leagues that he doesn't win every year.  My friend is the third victim!  Unbelievable!  We were booted from the league effective Monday for not offering the league commissioner a "sweet deal" and for offering trades.  I posted a story that night that simply said: "Wow, guess we're too good".  My friend sent an e-mail to the whole league on Tues. basically recapping how everything went wrong.  His in-law called him that night and told my friend that he "threw him under the bus" and that he "shot the messager", but he then said that it was his decision and that "the buck stops here".  What a moron.  My friend then told him that I was drafting a e-mail to the league and he lost it.  Screaming at the top of his lungs to get out of his life and that he knew cops and that he would drive to where we were at and kick both of our asses if we ever tried to contact him again.  Dude's insane!
Posted on: June 1, 2009 1:29 pm

The Cavs.

     Shy...Cleveland, what's the problem here?  Okay, so I get it Orlando presented matchup problems.  Their inside-outside game killed us all series.  Dwight Howard killed us.  Them shooting what seemed like 85% from 3 really killed us.  The biggest letdown though is that next year will be more of the same if not worse.  Jameer Nelson will be back.  Orlando is very young and is only going to get better.  Cleveland for the most part is old.  The only thing we have to look forward to is free agency....wait...there are no center on the free agent market except Big Z, ah the irony.  We have no answer for Orlando. Maybe a trade?  Probably not.  It's Cleveland were talking about here.  We need a perimeter defender and huge defensive presence in the center to slow Howard down so the entire team doesn't feel like they have to collapse whenever Howard has the ball. 
     The most frustrating thing about the series was that no one would challenge Howard on offense.  Lebron drove on him a few times especially in game 5 when Howard fouled out.  It doesn't take a Thomas Edison to figure out that when Howard is in foul trouble or out of the game Orlando's game plan goes out the window and they become a glorified Duke squad bombing 3 from everywhere.  Why wasn't this explored further?  Challenging Howard was the team's one chance to even the playing field.  Never happened, they wanted to settle for multiple lite hacking fouls on Howard and close calls almost being decapitated by flying elbows.  Either way the Cavs season is no over and everyone will have to ask themselves whether or not this prime of a opportunity to win the title in Cleveland will ever present itself again. 
Category: NBA
Posted on: May 29, 2009 5:26 pm

The Curious Case of B.J. Upton

     Back in my more naive days, namely 7 weeks ago, I believed that the road to the best fantasy baseball team ever essembled went through B.J. Upton town. I mean, come on he hit like 70 bombs in the playoffs last year after playing basically the entire season with a torn labrum. That torn muscle and the subsequent surgury to follow the World Series is what made us all drool. I'm sure all of us across the landscape of fantasy baseball we put 2 and 2 together on this guy. "Look, he hit 24 dongs in '07, stole 22, hit .300, and knocked in 82! He was hurt last year and still played alright plus he doubled his steals so that must mean he's some freakish combo of Barry Bonds, Vince Coleman, and Bert Reynolds or something, right?!?!!? I'm drafting this guy in the 2nd round...CHAMPIONSHIP!"
     Not so we all know by now. We might have jumped the gun on the Bert Reynolds comparison. With about 7 weeks of play under his belt and now healthy it looks more like if you took Chris Davis's average and strikeouts, add a few dashes of Juan Pierre's power, and sprinkle it with steals and runs you have B.J. Upton. Now, this isn't a death sentence. He is only 24 after all and we can't forget how mind numbingly difficult it must be to comeback from a surgery that used to mean you could kiss your baseball career goodbye, is that you Brien Taylor? But how did we all fall in love with this guy so easily as to pick him ahead of lets say...Big Papi? Well, the answer is unfortunely easy...were not fortune tellers. Looking at his stats from '07 and '08 it is easy to say that '08 was a down year because of the tear in the shoulder and it is even easier to talk yourself into believing that in '09 with a healthy shoulder the average and power would return to go along with the increasing speed numbers and your now staring down the barrel of a 5 category player, an all star, a future hall of famer. Just one thing though...they have to actually play the games.
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