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Daily blurbs from the Guru
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Go forward to more recent blurbs.

4/30 - The big story of the weekend was Geoff Jenkins. If you don't know what I'm talking about, then, well..., you just aren't paying attention. With 202 SWP in his last two games, he now ranks #6 among all outfielders in YTD SWP. With more than 40% of his total points coming in the past two days, it will be interesting to see which Geoff Jenkins shows up next week. It's probably safe to say that he'll cool off, at least somewhat. It may also be likely that he'll continue to do better than he showed during his first 27 days.

The top pitching game of the weekend also came from Milwaukee, where Jamey Wright really didn't have much use for Jenkins' pyrotechnics. Wright's 2-hit shutout was good for 158 SWP amd 191 SvP. All told, 17 pitchers achieved a 3-digit SWP score this weekend - and none of them were named Randy Johnson - although had he received some run support, his 71 SWP could easily have turned into 126 (converting the "L" to a "W").

Today's slate is rather light, with only 4 games on tap, including a makeup game between KC and Toronto.

I sure wish ESPN would fix their server. It's getting rather tiring to continually get "HTTP/1.1 404 Object Not Found". In fact, I just got that result six times in a row this morning before finally getting today's scoreboard page. I can't believe there's much site traffic at 10:24am EST on a Monday morning, so the problem must be something else.

If you're playing PSC baseball, don't forget to make your weekly roster moves this morning!

4/27 - After the recent dearth of stud pitching, we finally got a few (5) 3-digit SWP scores last night. Unfortunately for many, Greg Maddux wasn't anywhere near that neighborhood.

Upon further review of the Maddux end of the point listing, I see there was one more 3-digit result, with Brett Hinchliffe garnering a -114 outcome. Maddux owners, take heart! It could have been much worse!

The top pitching honors came from an unlikely source, as Kevin Jarvis had a 160 SWP complete game gem against Philly, including 10 Ks and no walks. (You were probably more likely to own his pitching opponent last night, Robert Person, who managed to avoid a negative 3-digit result by the narrowest of margins.)

Eric Chavez had the top hitting game with 92 SWP (103 SvP), and with that single monster game he climbed onto the radar screen at 3B, now ranking #6 in total SWP at that position. Other breakout games were posted by Devon White (who hasn't been getting much playing time) and Steve Finley (who hasn't been deserving much.) Finley has traditionally been a very streaky hitter, and when he heats up, there's no one better to own. The question remains whether last night's 83 SWP outburst (HR, triple, 5 RBI) is the leading indicator, or just an aberration in an otherwise awful month. He did reach double digits in each of his previous three games (15, 10, 10), which is remarkable only because his previous best result was only +7 SWP! If he does turn out to be the next "gotta have", you can thank me for the early alert. If not, then never mind... (For the record, I'm not jumping on board - at least, not yet.)

4/26 - Yesterday, I commented on how unusual it was to have only two pitchers exceed 100 SWP on a fully scheduled night. So, of course, last night's full slate had NO 3-digit outings. None,... zero,... nada. The only other times that has happened this year were on days when some teams were not playing. And last year, it never happened, regardless of the number of games scheduled. Even though the pitching point formula produced larger values, that's still rather amazing, since there were five days last year with only a single game played, and another 12 days with only two games. But so far this year, there have already been three dates with no 3-digit SWP pitchers - although in each case, the top pitcher would have reached 100 SWP under last year's formula. For example, last night's top pitcher - David Wells - would have had an even 100 SWP using last year's formula. The current formula produces only 90 SWP.

And once again, the worst pitcher had a larger absolute value than the top pitcher, as Jason Grilli uncorked a -96 SWP gem. His SW price popped up by $10K yesterday, so some teams owned him.

It's not apparent that hitters benefited from the pitching mediocrity. Todd Helton was tops with 75 SWP, but there were only three other hitters who barely broke 50 SWP. The hits must have been spread around.

Yesterday, I developed a version of the Assimilator which handles the Progressive Sports Challenge baseball game. Quite a few Gurupies are playing that game this season, and this resource should help you manage and track your roster. This Assimilator version is completely independent from the standard version, and even resides in a separate domain, so you roster cookies won't be commingled. To access this PSC version, click here, or use the new link in the left menu.

4/25 - With a full slate of 15 games last night, it's unusual that only 2 pitchers topped 100 SWP. Darryl Kile led with 126 SWP, and Omar Olivares was the other, with 101. It's also unusual when the worst pitcher has a larger absolute value than the best, but Kevin Tapani's -132 SWP accomplished the feat.

With the lack of pitching, hitting must have come through - and it did. Tops was Moises Alou with 84 SWP, while Larry Walker's 91 SvP led in Swirve scoring. A total of 13 hitters topped the 50 SWP mark.

With the revisions in the SWP formula this year, it has seemed like pitching points are down. But so far, that hasn't been the case. Through last night's games, the average pitching SWPs per game (both teams combined) has been 126.3, compared to only 121.6 through the same date last season. So total pitching points have actually increased by almost 4% so far. How can that be? The points for strikeouts were reduced from 5 to 3. Granted, there is no longer a +10 point credit for pickoffs - but I doubt if there were enough pickoffs to make much of a difference. I assume that pitching has been better in general, perhaps related to the high strike. I don't have any stats to support this, however; does anyone else have any overall statistical comparisons? (I think a valid comparison needs to compare this year's stats to last year though the same date, since pitching generally tends to improve after April. For example, while the average pitching SWP per game was 121.6 at this time last year, for the full season it increased to 129.7. So comparing this year's April stats to last year's full season stats would probably be misleading.)

Although total pitching points are up, the points for the top pitching performances are down, however. So far, there have been 84 individual pitching performances of 100 SWP or more. That represents 14.4% of all games started. Last year, though the same date, the comparable percentage was 17%. And this year, the average 3-digit score is 123.3 SWP, vs. 124.9 at the same point last year. So while pitching has scored better overall, the top performances have been down vs. last year. It will be interesting to see whether those trends continue as the season progresses.

At the other extreme, there have only been 8 pitching games of -100 SWP or worse this year. (Three of those occurred on one day - April 4th.) Last year, by April 24th we had 16 games in negative triple-digit territory. Perhaps that is part of the explanation for this year's general improvement.

On the programming front, yesterday's accomplishment was the inclusion of alternative periods for reporting point/game averages in the Assimilator. By default, the program will report pts per eligible game over the past 30 days, but you can now optionally select YTD, 15-day, or 7-day averages. This is done by selecting the appropriate button directly below the table of daily points. Once you change to a different period, that period will remain in effect throughout your Assimilator session, unless you change it again. But it is not saved from one session to the next. Each session will always begin with 30-day averages.

4/24 - Perhaps the speculation about the demise of Randy Johnson was a bit premature. Over his last three starts (since his awful outing) he's averaged 115 SWP and 154 SvP per start. By comparison, Pedro's last three starts have averaged 111 SWP and 135 SvP.

From time to time it's interesting to see what the best producing roster would look like. Using just the points produced over the past 15 days, here's the top (static) SW roster you could have had had:

Pos Name                 SW Price    SWP
 P  Johnson, Randy        $9,590     345
 P  Miller, Wade           3,070     322
 P  Schilling, Curt        6,200     318
 P  Maddux, Greg           7,670     309
 P  Radke, Brad            4,160     306
 C  Rodriguez, Ivan        6,800     229
1B  Giambi, Jason          7,080     308
2B  Menechino, Frank         920     200
3B  Koskie, Corey          3,250     253
SS  Rodriguez, Alex        7,200     353
OF  Sanders, Reggie        2,090     344
OF  Ramirez, Manny         7,360     316
OF  Gonzalez, Luis         7,030     292
OF  Gonzalez, Juan         5,390     276
    Totals               $77,810    4171
As a static roster, this ignores any additional point potential from pitcher rotations. And Pedro had only 2 starts during the 15 days, which is why he's not there.

While a lot of the names are expected, there are a few surprises - like Frank Menechino at 2B. I knew he's been doing well, but he only took over for Ortiz 8 days ago, and he's still the top second baseman over the past 15 days! I guess that's why 2B has been a difficult position so far. Also, with all of the hot third baseman, Corey Koskie is not the name I expected to see at that position.

This roster produced an average of 23.4 SWP/EG over the 15 day period. Note that it only costs $77.8m today. Obviously, no team can afford that yet. But it does suggest that it won't be long before some teams can be extremely productive.

Moving on to an administrative update, yesterday's programming accomplishment was the integration of GuruPatron designations on the message forum. Each contributor should now be recognized by having his/her giving category (Leader, Sustainer, Donor) listed with each forum post. I haven't identified all of the associated forum IDs yet, so if you are a GuruPatron, you might check here to see whether I have yours.

Adding the GuruPatron designations seems to have been a profitable move. In the past 24 hours, 6 new GuruPatrons have emerged, and several prior donors have given additional amounts. I'm humbled by your generosity and passion for this site.

4/23 - It's good to be back. Thanks for putting up with my vacation - not that you really had a choice.

A lot of stuff happened last week. The NBA regular season wound down, with the usual frustrations over lack of playing time for many key fantasy producers. And Small World seemed to be doing everything possible to drive away customers, starting with a Three-For-All rules interpretation that contradicted an explicit posted statement, and then prematurely closing the playoff survival game, not only keeping some potential paying customers from registering, but also disallowing legitimate picks for the first week. What a mess!

Congrats to the winners of the various RotoGuru Hoops Rankings. The following managers have qualified for enshrinement in the RotoGuru Hall of Fame:

  • SW Fullseason Hoops: lionprideguy
  • Swirve Hoops: Gangsters
  • SW Midseason Hoops: D.Dawkins
In addition, if the manager of the #1 WWR team for either of the fullseason games happens to be a Gurupie, he/she also qualifies for a HOF entry. I'm asking these new inductees to please prepare a brief bio for the HOF listing and email it to me. Once I have all of the bios collected, I'll post all of the basketball listings (including the Market Madness winners).

Meanwhile, the baseball season continued to take shape. The top SW price gainers for the week were Mark Quinn and Doug Mientkiewicz, each up more than $800K over the past seven days. Reggie Sanders look like the next freight train, with a cheap price and a monster weekend. And Albert Pujols probably didn't hurt his upward momentum with 2 homers on last night's ESPN game.

Pedro's price changes continue to be perplexing, with the latest theory that there is some extraordinary dampening occurring only between Pedro and Randy. When Pedro is being sold to buy Randy Johnson, the price change is apparently throttled down. But when other pitchers are involved - such as selling Pedro to buy Maddux, Schilling, or Brown - there is no dampening. I'm not sure if that's the correct explanation for Pedro's unusual loss pattern, but there certainly is mounting circumstantial evidence to support this explanation. With RJ pitching today, and Pedro coming up in a couple of days, it will be interesting to see whether the price shift seems to be unusually small.

I've got a number of programming challenges on my to do list, so I'd better get started. Over the next few weeks, you'll see a number of upgrades to some of the key features. I'll fill you in as they come online.

4/16 - I'll be traveling a good bit today, and price changes probably won't be updated until sometime tonight. In fact, that may be the normal timing this week. So if you're chomping at the bit for new price data, you'll just have to rough it and use the game sites.

I updated the Swirve standings yesterday. For Hoops, this will be the last update until the final results. For baseball, I'll try to get an update done sometime midweek.

4/13 - My kids start their spring break today, and I'll be vacationing on the road for the next week. I'll have my laptop with me, and stats will be updated each morning, as usual. Price updates may be delayed until late afternoon or evening, depending on the day's activities. And blurbs will probably take a one-week hiatus. Keeping tabs on two sports will be enough of a challenge.

Games in roofed stadiums always have some fantasy appeal, especially in April, because they aren't subject to last minute postponements. But with Toronto's snafu yesterday, there have been as many games closed this year by falling roofs as there have been by falling rain. Moral: assume nothing.

Last year, I - along with many others - got "Ramoned" and "Kiled" early in the season, with horrendous negative outings. This year, only the names have changed. In the past week, I've been "Randied" and "Hudsoned". At least I know that it's possible to recover from these debacles, since last year turned out rather well. For now, I'm just trying to recall - these things don't occur in threes, do they?

If you are playing the Swirve game, the owner of that site has requested some early feedback on this year's version of their baseball game. If you have any comments - or just want to see what others are saying - check the Swirve Player Feedback thread at the message forum. It's nice to be consulted!

No pitcher achieved a 3-digit SWP score last night, and only 5 barely made it in Swirve scoring. The aforementioned Hudson came close to doing it at the southbound end of the list, with -74 SWP, but only -25 in the more forgiving Swirve point system. The top hitter was Milwaukee's Jose Hernandez, with 80 SWP and 95 SvP. That only serves to add more confusion to the jumbled 3B situation, as his SW price is only $2m, and he's now ranked above Pujols, Aramis Ramirez, Soriano, and Truby in total points. It seems like every day there is a new alternative, and it will probably result in somewhat scattered trading - although Hernandez had his spurt a bit late to be a factor in today's trading, I'm sure.

4/12 - When I went looking for Willie Stargell quotes at the beginning of the week, I didn't realize I'd find so many good ones. Hence, it's been Willie Stargell quote week, if you hadn't noticed.

I'll be so glad when the NBA season is over. Managing the Hoops fantasy endgame at the same time as baseball is really a chore. I'm sure it's compromising my results in both sports right now. Only 7 more days...

Weather claimed its first victim last night, as Florida and Philly were postponed. (It screwed up my Swirve roster plans, too, as I had Randy Wolf, and was prepared to move him into someone else today. Aargh.) The game will be rescheduled as part of a doubleheader in late June, which is kind of surprising, since both team have an off day today. Whatever... I've updated the various schedules to reflect the change. Hopefully, I did everything correctly.

Houston's Wade Miller had yesterday's pitching gem, with a complete game, 12 strikeout win over Milwaukee, good for 171 SWP and 205 SvP. Seven other pitchers had 3-digit SWP totals, and the only one with a studly pricetag was Greg Maddux. You can score a lot of points without much cost if you know how to pick 'em.

The top hitter was Alphonso Soriano. That's rather painful for me, as I'm sure it is for many others. I had drafted Soriano on one team, but opted to dump him about a week ago for Chris Truby. I generally don't like to make quick moves like that, but Truby had hit 3 dingers in 3 games, and still had a series to go in Enron. Soriano had done little while batting in the #2 spot, and Jeter's imminent return was going to push him back to #8 in the order. And I hadn't been totally sold on Soriano, anyway. So that was my one early hitter trade. One week later, I am ahead by about $700K - but in the meantime, Soriano has outpointed Truby by 104 SWP. Good tradeoff? I'm not convinced, especially since it will now require another trade just to lock-in the gain. And it will take awhile for that extra dough to recoup 100 SWP. Maddening.

Small World added a few new players yesterday. Hopefully, you didn't really want Tony Fernandez, because although he was announced at $2m, they actually loaded him in the database at $3m for the free game. (He is listed at $2m in the pay game, however.) Quality control strikes again.

Hoops...? I'm sorry to be out of time this morning. Look 'em up yourself. (That's not an apology, by the way. Colin Powell taught me the distinction yesterday.)

4/11 - The pitching duel of the night was in Arizona, where Curt Schilling and Kevin Brown threw opposing complete games. Schilling's 185 SWP and 209 SvP were the tops of the night, but Brown's 104 and 135 were pretty good, too - especially with the loss deduction included. The surprise of the night came from Jose Lima, with 135 SWP on the strength of 8 shutout innings in Milwaukee. Actually, his pitching opponent did pretty well, too, as Paul Rigdon threw 7 shutout innings for 93 SWP. And the night's stinker award goes to Roberto Hernandez, whose blown save was a nice gesture to a lot of Mussina owners, sparing them the deduction for a loss.

Brian Daubach had the biggest stick, with 2 HRs and 5 RBIs resulting in 88 SWP and 96 SvP. Other strong hitting prerformances were contributed by Jeff Kent and Armando Rios, each with a pair of round-trippers.

I posted the initial RotoGuru Rankings for Swirve Baseball. The initial rankings were seeded with teams from all divisions with RotoGuru in the divison name. I excluded a few that were obviously inactive, and added a couple that had been submitted separately. If you wish be added to the listing, just email your team ID and team name. In addition to the usual point and rank categories, I'm listing current salaries, market salaries, and the percent of current salaries allocated to pitching. I thought it might be interesting to see how the pitching breakout develops. I plan to update these rankings each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday throughout the season.

In Hoops, Kevin Garnett was the stud-o-night, with 70.5 SWP and 249 SvP. It wasn't a triple double, but did include 8 assists and 7 blocks, so it wasn't all that far from a quad. And, in the process, Minnesota clinched a playoff berth. Meanwhile, Alonzo Mourning had the best game of his short season, posting 49 SWP in only 26 minutes.

4/10 - This morning, I've got a head cold, a cough, and a fever. I've got the points updated, and will update the prices this afternoon. Other than that, put me down for DNP...

My Hoops roster has been doing that to me all season. It's about time I returned the favor.

4/9 - One of the trickiest aspects of the beginning of a new fantasy baseball season is interpreting the early stats. There are always a number of unproven players who jump out to hot starts. Will they continue, or is it just a statistical aberration? Some veterans always get off to disappointing starts. Are they on the downslide, or are they "due"? I'm sure you never get all of those decisions right - although at times it seems like you can get them all wrong.

In SW baseball, it's always tempting to nab the first few cheapies who put up two or three good games. And it's equally tempting to dump an "underachiever" after a few dismal results. Sometimes those decisions are correct, but sometimes they backfire bigtime. Usually, I think it's better to be patient and see how the first few weeks unfold. A player with a good point ranking after 3 or 4 games can easily drop out of the top 25 with a few subsequent oh-fers. While I do think it makes sense to use a few trades to jump on a potential price gainer, I also think it's wise to go slow. You may find a much clearer picture after a few weeks, and that's when some conserved trades might really come in handy.

No, I don't have a particular horror story that inspired those opening paragraphs. If anything, I'm just having trouble finding hitter trades that I think make longer term sense. It's easy to see who will bag some price gains over the next few days. But it's tough to believe that most of those players can sustain their hot hitting. So, I'm generally following the maxim, "when in doubt, do nothing".

I'm not doing nothing about Randy Johnson, however. Yesterday's debacle was less painful than it might have been because RJ was pretty widely owned. But his next start is in Coors Field, and I suspect that carrying Randy for that game will be a differentiation move, rather than a "stay with the crowd" situation. Can Randy regain his dominance? Sure he can. But even last year, he started to show some inconsistency as the season progressed. Consider a few stats for before and after the All Star break:

Randy Johnson
Stat       Pre-ASB   Post-ASB
ERA          1.80       3.81
W-L          14-2        5-5
WHIP         0.92       1.39
Opp. BA      .193       .264
Before the break, the numbers are "Pedro-like". But after the break, they're unremarkable. Is this the trend? He is 37, and his heavy workload may be taking its toll. If nothing else, it's got to give you second thoughts.

There is at least one silver lining to Randy's meltdown yesterday. It may very well make the term "Randro" one of historical significance only. What remains to be seen is whether some other pitcher will become the natural tandem partner of Pedro in SW pitcher trading. There are certainly a few potential candidates. But it may turn out that pitching tactics become more varied, and that's probably good for the game.

If you're playing the Progressive Sports Challenge game, don't forget to make your roster moves for the week. The deadline is 1pm EST today.

4/6 - The Yankees have scored only one run on 7 hits in their last 16 innings. They still won both games. Yesterday's was courtesy of a strong outing by Mike Mussina, which produced 129 SWP and 139 SvP. But that was only the fifth best SWP game, and tied for sixth in Swirve scoring. The top games came from Chris Carpenter (158 SWP) and Rick Reed (180 SvP). Matt Morris had the stinker, with -87 SWP. Granted, Morris had to pitch in Coors Field, but so did his opponent, Pedro Astacio, who managed a lofty 140 SWP result.

Troy Glaus was the top hitter with 60 SWP, getting his first two dingers of the year. Houston's Chris Truby managed only 44 SWP last night, but got his third round tripper of the year, and will probably start attracting some serious buying interest at 3B, given his sub-$2m SW pricetag.

In Hoops, there's not much to talk about. Duncan and Shaq each had 57 SWP. Nazr Mohammed had a very nice 52.5 SWP effort, and may offer an attractive late-game option at center, particularly for the SW midseason game (where $ still matter). At guard, the top producer was Courtney Alexander with only 34 SWP. Admittedly, it was a night off for most of the stud guards, but still, it's unusual not to have at least one player top 35 SWP.

Today I'm posting the first edition of the GuruPatron Registry which recognizes the generous financial support provided by slightly more than 100 Gurupies so far. This listing will be continuously updated as additional contributions come in, adding new GuruPatrons, and bumping others up to a higher category as required. If you contributed but your name doesn't appear, the likelihood is that I didn't hear from you regarding what Gurupie name you wished to be listed under. Just send me an email, and I'll make the appropriate adjustment. Thanks to everyone who stepped up in this initial drive. I feel very good about the results. It's clear to me that many of you have a passion for, and are willing to make a commitment to keep this site going at a time when many free sites are falling by the wayside. I'm humbled by your generosity, and energized by your fervor. When I set out a little over 3 years ago to create a fantasy sports web site, I had no idea where this would lead, and whether it could be successful. I'm still unsure where this is all headed, but I have no doubt about the "successful" part - on many fronts. And many of you have played an active role in creating that success. Thanks a lot!

4/5 - The end of the Tribe's sellout streak didn't have any fantasy baseball significance. I'm not sure Hideo Nomo's no-hitter had much more. After his wretched spring, who would have owned him for this start? Actually, I see he had a small SW price gain yesterday, so there were some believers. Congrats if you were among them.

Nomo's gem obscured good outings by Curt Schilling and Andy Pettitte, each which reach 3-digit SWPs. Carlos Delgado almost matched the feat, with a 3-homer, 92 SWP monster. And there were some other good hitting performances, too. See yesterday's points for the rundown.

In the NBA, Tracy McGrady confounded those who dumped him yesterday, not only by unexpectedly playing, but by being the top producer of the night, with 68 SWP and 245 SvP. It turns out the guard to have dumped was Iverson, who took a dreaded DNP. Three others were in the SWP 50s, and 11 reached the 40s. My roster actually had a better than average night in total, even including Iverson's goose egg. At least I held onto McGrady.

It appears that there is much greater current interest in baseball than hoops, so I've decided to attack and post the daily baseball stats first each morning, and then process the Hoops numbers afterward. Assuming no glitches, I should have baseball points regularly posted by 8:30am EST. Hoops stats should still be up by 9:00am, but that's later than many of you have become accustomed to. (I suppose I could get up earlier to have both ready by 8:30... nah-h-h-h-h-h-h.)

I'll start collecting team IDs for the Swirve baseball rankings shortly. Don't send yours in just yet, because I'll start by automatically capturing those teams that are in RotoGuru-named divisions. I'll let you know when I'm ready. And speaking of Swirve, if you drafted players for the minimum contract period of 5 days, those players can be released after today's freeze. Time to start tinkering with those rosters.

4/4 - There would be many more excited fantasy managers this morning if Moises Alou had been the Houston right fielder to open the season with a grand slam and 6 ribbies. Alas, it was Alou's replacement, Daryle Ward, who accomplished the feat. But even he wasn't the top fantasy hitter of the day. That was another "sleeper" pick, Robin Ventura, who produced 66 SWP and 74 SvP. Last year was an awful season for Ventura, and I'm sure he hopes to quickly make it a statistical aberration as well.

Randy Johnson had a nice season opening 100 SWP start last night, but four other pitchers also reach 3-digit territory. The top outing (115 SWP) was from Barry Zito, whose $4m SW pricetag undoubtedly landed him a spot on many draft rosters. I almost drafted him myself - he was certainly on my short list. But there are a lot of pitching opportunities to choose among, and other than Randy and Pedro, I think we'll see a lot of pitching diversity, which is good.

By the way, if you click on any of the linked baseball player names, you'll see that the new player pages are now programmed. These players links are also provided in the sortable stats and the Assimilator. Each page shows daily detail for points and prices for the Small World (free and pay), Swirve, and Progressive Sports Challenge games. From there, you can also drill down to the corresponding RotoWire and ESPN player pages, as well as prior year game details. Enjoy!

Yesterday's SW price change looked much more like what we had been promised. Clearly, the pitching price changes were dramatically toned down from the day before. Randro may still be a popular pitching trade strategy, but yesterday's swing of $400K will probably give some managers pause about continued religious reliance on this tactic. Of course, Randy and Pedro are both slated to make their next starts on Sunday, so that will also confound those who would otherwise automatically flipflop between the two. And Randy's 3rd start will be in Coor's Field. So there are no automatic pitching choices in the next few weeks.

In Hoops, the studs were all over the place. Duncan had the top game with 70 SWP and 238 SvP. Stackhouse and Carter also reached the SWP 60s. But Iverson had only 10.5 SWP! I'll bet all those managers who dropped Paul Pierce to get Iverson are kicking themselves. Pierce had 34.5 SWP, and could easily have been in the 40s if he hadn't been a Shaq-like 10-19 from the foul line. Tracy McGrady managed only 7.5 SWP before leaving with an injury. Rasheed Wallace sat out a well-deserved one game (team imposed) suspension. (What took them so long?) Van Exel was also suspended for the game by Denver. It's bad enough to have to work around all of the injury problems, but these team suspensions must really be maddening if you happen to own those players.

Almost noon. I'd better wrap this up and start processing prices.

4/3 - Lots of things to deal with today. Let's work down the list, one sport at a time.

College Hoops: Congrats to the two winners of the Market Madness Contest:
Grand Prize: Fishin'Rod (Alfred Rodriguez)
Best basket-free entry: PureVaj (Alex Vajda)

Each of these entrants win $100. Fishin'Rod actually came very close to a $1000 prize, as his score (G$693) was just G$35 short of 90% of the best possible score, which was G$808. (To see the best possible score, look at the list of unit returns and select the top 10 for the longs, and the bottom 10 for the shorts.) If Fishin'Rod had taken Temple instead of Xavier, he'd have qualified for the $1000! Very impressive, nonetheless.

The overall second place finisher was also Alex Vajda, with his entry Vaj. But the rules stipulate that cash prize winners cannot qualify for other prizes, so the next two finishers get their pick of a RotoGuru shirt, mug, or mousepad. They are Bleeding Blue (Michael Sperry) and CinnamonRoll (Jonathan Sokol).

And last, and certainly least, the booby prize (choice of a RotoGuru mug or mousepad) goes to PooeyHoo (Duane Ockenfels), who totally annihilated the competition at the bottom of the standings. (And don't bother looking to see which entrant is second on this list. I have my rationale - but you wouldn't believe it, so I'll just keep it to myself...)

All prize winners will be notified by email within the next day.

Baseball: Mike Hampton must qualify for the most impressive outing yesterday, as the top point producer with his Coor's Field start. I wonder if any Coor's Field pitcher ever led the point standings before? For a complete listing of the daily baseball points, check the Yesterday's Points page. This page will usually be updated by 9am (EST) each morning.

The sortable stats and Assimilator are also updated, and will be regularly updated each morning and afternoon (after the price changes). In the sortable stats, the default option is to list only players on a active roster. If you want to see inactive players as well, you need to select that option. So if you can't find Nomar or Jeter, for example, that's why. (They are both on the D/L.) All players, active and inactive, are still available in the Assimilator, but I'll soon be paring down that list to save some download time.

Today's baseball processing chore is to activate the individual player detail pages. These pages show game-by-game price and point history for each player, and are linked to the player's name in the sortable stats and the Assimilator. Currently, prior year data is all that's available, but these should be updated by tonight.

Yesterday's SW price changes were a bit disconcerting. According to a preseason message from Don Mathis, Small World COO, pitcher price changes were doing to be dampened this year in an attempt to reduce the need for pitcher rotation tactics such as "Randro". To compensate for smaller price changes, prices were lower in general. But if yesterday's price changes are symptomatic of dampening, then we'll all have All Star rosters before the first May shower. For example, in the pay game (Hardball), my roster gained almost $2 million on the first day! If these types of gains persist, the game becomes very uninteresting very quickly. Hopefully, SW will recalibrate the pricing model, assuming that's the problem. But couldn't this have been calibrated before the first price change? Does anyone at SW do any testing or review before releasing numbers into production?

NBA Hoops: This is usually the weekday that I review the points for the concluding Three-For-All scoring week. But this blurb is already too long, so I'll let you look up the numbers yourself, if you're interested. Just go to the sortable stats, and select points for the past 7 days.

4/2 - The first week of April is always a busy one at RotoGuru World headquarters. College hoops is ending. The NBA is still in full swing, and baseball gets going. And I still haven't done my taxes.

I should have the baseball sortable stats and Assimilator updated by this afternoon, after the first price changes. I already have yesterday's points calculated (with only one game, I could have done them by hand - although I didn't), but I want to make sure the various programs are appropriately configured before posting everything else. With any luck, I'll be on a regular morning posting schedule by tomorrow. (Note: Individual player detail pages may take another day or two to get active. The current links still point to last year's daily detail.)

In the NBA, the only triple double of the weeked was from Lamar Odom on Saturday, although it was only worth 50.5 SWP. The top weekend game was by Allen Iverson, with 71.5 SWP and 269 SvP on Friday night. Van Exel and Kidd had the only other weekend games north of 60 SWP.

Today is a rare off day for all 29 NBA teams, in deference to the NCAA championship game tonight. I guess I'll get a slight reprieve tomorrow morning.

Many of you are aware that Broadband Sports, the parent company of RotoNews, recently ceased operations and filed for bankruptcy. The RotoNews staff had hoped to secure the rights to the RotoNews name and domain, but that effort was unsuccessful, and some of you may have noticed that the RotoNews site has been dormant since March 28, and this morning is not even available. However, there is good news. The staff has established a new site -, which was launched over the weekend. While it will take awhile for the new site to get fully operational, most of the critical functions (i.e., daily news updates) are up and running. So, you'll need to change some of your bookmarks.

And so will I. Many of my pages provide links to RotoNews, including player name links from the sortable stats. While I've updated the general RotoNews links from the message forum, the individual player links will require some additional coding, so this may not be in place by this afternoon. Hopefully by tomorrow, however. Meanwhile, once you get to the RotoWire site, you should be able to get around fine. It's good to know that RotoNews will survive this episode of the dot-com fallout.

Click here for prior daily blurbs, by month:

2001: March . . . . . February . . . . . January

2000: December . . . . . November . . . . . October . . . . . September . . . . . August . . . . . July . . . . . June . . . . . May . . . . . April . . . . . March . . . . . February . . . . . January

1999: December . . . . . November . . . . . October . . . . . September . . . . . August . . . . . July . . . . . June . . . . . May . . . . . April . . . . . March . . . . . February . . . . . January

1998: December . . . . . November . . . . . October . . . . . September . . . . August . . . . . July . . . . . June . . . . . May . . . . . April . . . . . March

RotoGuru is produced by Dave Hall (a.k.a. the Guru), an avid fantasy sports player. He is neither employed by nor compensated by any of the fantasy sports games discussed within this site, and all opinions expressed are solely his own. Questions or comments are welcome, and should be emailed to Guru<>.

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