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Daily blurbs from the Guru
If this is your first visit to this site, you should first stop by my home page to find out what this site is all about. And please support this site's advertisers. They make free sites like this one possible.

Go forward to more recent blurbs.

4/30 - It's the last day of April, and as the saying goes, the recent showers should bring May flowers. Most fantasy teams have a rather stormy April, as hoped-for sleepers fail to awaken, and surprising flowers spring up from among the weeds. By now, whether you're playing the TSN game, or Swirve, or PSC, or a standard roto game, you should have shed your disappointments, retooled with a few hopefuls, figured out your pitching approach, and settled into some sort of managerial rhythm. If not, then start mapping out your strategy, because the cream is going to start rising to the top.

That's enough mixed-up metaphors for this month.

In light action last night, Jeff Suppan lapped the field with a 161 TSNP jewel, but it doesn't appear that anyone had him. Sadly, I had penciled him into my PSC lineup for this week, but at the last minute opted to go with Brian Lawrence instead. Maybe it'll work out, because at least the slight cost savings allowed me to add Vlad Guerrero. We'll see. Meanwhile, Johnny Damon sat out another game in cold, damp Fenway. I guess that was probably a smart precaution by Grady Little, although Baltimore did win by 2. But there are a lot of fantasy managers who are tired of seeing zeros next to Damon's name.

Market Madness prizes were sent out yesterday. GuruPatron Hoops prizes are not yet out, as I'm still waiting to hear from a few of them about prize selections.

4/29 - Pitching dominated the weekend landscape. The primo effort was Derek Lowe's no-no at Fenway on Saturday. But no fewer than five starting pitchers produced more than 150 TSNP over the last three days, and another ten were in the 120-149 range.

It wasn't unanimous, though. Ryan Jensen and Mark Buehrle each authored negative 3-digit debacles. Those hurt!

On the hitting side, Vladimir Guerrero has been the man. He cranked out 121 TSNP over the weekend, and now leads all hitters by more than 100 TSNP year-to-date. But he wasn't the top weekend hitter, as Tony Batista produced 155 TSNP in the last three days. He's now only 20 TSNP behind Shea Hillenbrand, and with Hillenbrand's high ownership and Batista's $500K discount, I expect some shifting to occur sooner than later. Pay attention.

Only a couple days left for my current GuruPatron campaign, and then I'll shut up for awhile. Last year, 134 Gurupies had contributed something prior to the end of April, which was the inaugural full month of the program. Of those, 80 have not been heard from (financially) since. One of my projects for the next month (time permitting) will be to set up a system that allows each GuruPatron to check on his or her monthly donation history. (Don't worry - it will be password protected.) The first year returns for the GuruPatron program were sufficient to cover site costs plus a small margin, but it's going to require a consistent flow to keep up with ongoing costs. If you haven't renewed your commitment to, this would be a nice time to do so.

4/26 - Pedro Martinez says he is still not quite 100 percent. You'd never know after his last two outings. And he started to attract some noticeable buying yesterday in the TSN Ultimate game. With Randy Johnson starting today, Pedro may get quickly "Randro'd" by a bunch of teams, but it looks like the long-lost head of the three-headed-monster may have finally reappeared. If so, this creates some choices - maybe even a dilemma - for your stud pitching opportunities. You don't have enough trades to continually cycle through Pedro, Randy, and Curt - at least, not for long. And if you burn all your pitching trades rotating studs, you'll be hard pressed to take advantage of the price potential on some of the cheaper pitchers. Decisions, decisions. That's why they pay you the big bucks.

Speaking of cheaper pitchers and potential gains, Vicente Padilla and Josh Fogg each pitched pretty well yesterday. It will be interesting to see how managers handle them over the next 5 days. I would not be surprised to see both begin to give back some gains. Padilla is so heavily owned that it's hard to imagine he'd be attracting more buyers at this point, and there certainly will be at least a few sellers. Fogg is not as heavily owned as Padilla, but his next start in Coors Field will no doubt scare some managers away. Based on the early chatter at the forum, some managers are dumping both now, while others are taking a wait and see approach. Teams which are trade-constrained may try to hold on through another cycle. If you want to be safe, you should probably bail. But if you want to conserve trades, you can always cross your fingers and hope that you have plenty of company.

I finally got around to including the points for Progressive Sports Challenge on the page which lists yesterday's points. Those points were already included in the Assimilator and sortable stats, so now all three games (TSN, Swirve, and PSC) are fully covered.

4/25 - There are three pitchers in the Ultimate TSN game who have gained more than $1m since the start of the season. All three start today, and all seem to have lost their upward price momentum. Vicente Padilla lost $10K yesterday after 23 consecutive daily gains. Josh Fogg had a slight $10K gain, and Livan Hernandez has 2 consecutive days of zeros. If any of them falter today, look out below. Padilla is particularly vulnerable, because he appears to be on about half of all rosters, and his price has risen more than $2 million. Even a mediocre game from him is cause for concern. With easily identifiable alternatives like Odalis Perez, Paul Byrd, and several others out there, discretion will no doubt be the better part of valor. Don't burn all of your pitching trades prematurely! You really don't want to get "Fogged in".

Ryan Rupe was the top pitcher last night, with 142 TSNP on 7 innings of 1-hit shutout pitching. Another cheapie to keep an eye on. He opened the season with a 135 TSNP outing, but then immediately crashed and burned with a -53 in his second start. Had yesterday's performance replaced that second effort, he'd have probably been an early "Fogg". Timing is everything.

And speaking of price management, you might want to be a bit cautious with today's allocation of hitting trades. If you have heavily owned players like Hillenbrand, Barrett, Lofton, Jacque Jones, or even Jay Gibbons, the latest sampling indicates that they are all on 33% or more of all rosters (51% for Hillenbrand). When a player is heavily owned, it doesn't take much of a dry spell to get dumped. Sometimes all it takes is someone else at the position that looks better. Jones is already suffering from that problem, and the others are definitely in the caution zone. Keep a wary eye - and a few trades in reserve. Weekend price movements can be exaggerated due to light overall trading, and it might not take much to start a landslide.

4/24 - Perhaps one strategy for success this year is to take any starting pitcher named Hernandez. Orlando had last night's top game with 148 TSNP, and ranks 6th in total points among pitchers - just ahead of brother Livan, who starts tomorrow. And then Carlos Hernandez had his second straight good outing (71 TSNP), which wasn't quite of the same caliber as his other namesakes, but still pretty good for a sub-$1m price. The trend hasn't yet translated to Adrian or Roberto (still on the DL), but you could go for 5-of-a-kind if you wanted to. (Probably an idea whose time has not yet come, though...)

Looking for a cheap catcher? Baltimore's Geronimo Gil launched two dingers for last night's top hitting output. Going into the game, his Ultimate TSN price was just $10K over the minimum. Before you get too trigger happy, though, realize that he only has 80 TSNP for the whole season, of which 68 came last night.

Since I started my "GuruPatron awareness campaign" last Wednesday, I've gotten donations from seven new GuruPatrons, as well as several renewal contributions from previous supporters. That may not sound like much, but every little bit helps. Thanks a lot, and keep 'em coming.

4/23 - It looks like another cheap pitcher has emerged. This one isn't a young up-and-comer, however. This is a retread. Paul Byrd won his fourth game of the season, this one a complete game shutout over Detroit. He now ranks 7th among all pitchers in total TSNP for the year, and with a TSN price in the low $2m vicinity, will probably begin to attract significant interest - especially if any of the early gainers, like Padilla, Livan Hernandez, or Josh Fogg blow up. Those three pitchers have each gained more than $1m so far in the TSN Ultimate game. Which means they are highly owned. And highly combustible.

For those who may be relatively new to this site, I want to point out a few of the unique features that you can use to competitive advantage. One is the sortable stats. On the surface, this may look like the same type of report available at the TSN site. But look a little deeper, and you'll see that there is much more information to be found. For example, you can look at performance over the last 7, or 15, or 30 days. Early in the year, that isn't a big deal. But as we go along, you'll find that you prefer to look at more recent periods, since this better captures the hot and cold streaks, and the changes in playing trends. In addition, you can see (and sort on) points/game/$mil, which helps to identify the most efficient players to own. And of course, you can see all averages expressed over "eligible games", rather than actual games played. This baseline puts all player averages on a consistent basis, allowing relevant comparisons of pitchers vs. hitters, starters vs. relievers, and everyday players vs. platoon players. As far as I know, you can't get that info anywhere else. I know I can't, as I have to produce the eligible game stats manually.

I realize that stats aren't everything, but having superior statistical tools can certainly be one of the most important elements of a successful manager's arsenal. Ignore them at your own peril!

4/22 - There were a couple of monster performances yesterday which are worthy of special mention. Randy Johnson's complete game, 17 strikeout masterpiece over Colorado produced 203 TSNP for the best pitching outing of this season - so far (I think). As we get deeper into the season, Randy's exploits won't be quite as impactful, as most rosters will have him. But based on some recent random roster sampling (TSN Ultimate game), it looks like Randy was only on about 1/6 of all rosters yesterday. So if you had him, you should have noted a nice boost in your ranking this morning.

On the hitting side, Johnny Damon took maximum advantage of a doubleheader to crank out a daily total of 132 TSNP. Over the years, there may have been one or two hitting days of similar magnitude, but this ranks among the best. (Can anyone remember a better day?) That total propelled Damon into the top ten outfielders in YTD TSNP, and no hitters ahead of him come with a lower pricetag. This is the kind of performance that the pundits were expecting from Damon last year, but it never really materialized. Maybe he's an even-year specialist.

I added a number of new items to the RotoGuru store over the weekend. These items include a golf shirt, visor, apron, frosted mug, travel mug, ladies tank top, tile coasters, and a baseball jersey. The products are manufactured and distributed by, and everything I have ordered has been of excellent quality. receives a commission on each sale, usually in the range of $2-3. These items will also be available for prizes for the recently concluded GuruPatron Hoops Standings contest - and I'll be sending out individual notifications in the next few days. Meanwhile, if you aren't already a GuruPatron and you become one by May 1st, you'll be eligible for similar prizes in my Baseball contest, as announced on 4/17 (below). For information on how to become a GuruPatron, click on the banner above.

4/19 - First things first. And today, we have several firsts to acknowledge.

First, Gurupies claimed first place in both versions of the TSN Hoops game. Gurupie Dave R. capped a strong April to nip Gurupie blackjackis21 in Ultimate Hoops by a scant 6.5 TSNP. I can't remember such a tight photo-finish in any prior game. In the free game, Gurupie El Tel took the top honors by a more comfortable margin of more than 400 TSNP.

But that's not all. It's been clear for awhile that a Gurupie division would claim the top spot in that competition. We just didn't know which one. Finally, after weeks of seesawing back and forth, the GuruPatrons were on top when the season ended, outscoring the RotoGuru Belly division by only 81 TSNP, which works out to an average of just 8 TSNP per team.

Perhaps it has happened before, but I can't recall a previous Gurupie sweep like this in the TSN/SmallWorld games. Congrats to all!

And I'd be remiss if I didn't tip the hat to TSN, who managed a relatively incident-free offering of Hoops from start to finish this year. For the most part, TSN's role is like that of an umpire. If you don't notice them, they're probably excelling. Nice job, TSN! We hardly noticed ye!

Prize winners for the GuruPatron Hoops contest will be notified shortly. It turns out that CafePress has just made available some new merchandise options, including golf shirts, travel mugs, and visors, and I want to get all of those offerings set up before letting you pick your prizes. Hopefully, this will be all set up sometime next week. In the meantime, remember that you have until May 1st to become a GuruPatron and be eligible for the TSN Ultimate Baseball GuruPatron prize opportunity. (See the 4/17 blurb below for details.)

4/18 - I'm going to have to take a bye today. I'm taking my son on a whirlwind tour of several colleges today, so I barely had time to crank out the morning stats before hitting the highway. Also, be aware that I won't get to update prices (in the sortable stats and Assimilator) until this evening, when I return home.

Meanwhile, for you old timers, you might enjoy this developing trip down memory lane.

4/17 - As Lenny Wilkens said, it is amazing that the season can all come down to the final game. But that is what is happening in TSN Ultimate Hoops. The top 3 teams (incl. 2 Gurupies) are in a virtual dead heat (separated by less than 36 TSNP), and the prize is $5000 winner-take-all. Now there's pressure! And although the stakes are lower, the division prize is also up for grabs, as two RotoGuru divisions - the Belly and the GuruPatrons - are separated by about 4 stud games going into the last night. It could be decided by a few untimely DNPs, which are inevitable on the final night of the regular season.

Ten GuruPatrons will also be able to claim a prize after tonight. I offered prizes of GuruPatron merchandise (plus a few selected alternatives while supplies last) to the top ten GuruPatron finishers in the Ultimate Gurupie standings which are maintained at the basketball standings forum. I'll be notifying the winners within the next week. But this is a good opportunity to make the same offer for baseball. So here's the deal: the top ten finishers in the Gurupie Standings for TSN Ultimate Baseball will win a RotoGuru merchandise prize. To be eligible for this, you must become a GuruPatron by May 1st. All current GuruPatrons are already eligible, but new GuruPatrons must either send in their PayPal donation by May 1, or have their snail mail contribution postmarked by that date. This is just another way for me two thank those who have generously and voluntarily provided the financial means to operate this site.

4/16 - Down to the last two days of the NBA regular season. Tomorrow will present an interesting dilemma for managers who are still in the hunt. Four new Ultimate TSN trades, and virtually everybody is scheduled to play on the last day. But of course, some players will probably not play much, if their teams have nothing at stake.

It's that time of the year! Just about one year ago, abandoned an advertising-driven model and embarked on a voluntary GuruPatron system of support. I've been very pleased with the outpouring of support, and in fact, many of you have already "re-upped" for another year. Over the past 12 months, more than $12,000 has been contributed toward the financial support of this site. That is a little more than a true annual figure as it includes an annual renewal contribution for some. But over the same twelve month period, total advertising revenues have been less than $100, and commissions on the sale of RotoGuru merchandise have been approx. $90. So GuruPatron contributions are pretty much running the show.

For the balance of April, I'll be campaigning off and on for new and renewal contributions. Once May rolls around, I'll back off again until football season. You folks have been very good about continuing to respond without constant prodding, so I pledge to keep my begging to a minimum. But stay tuned over the next couple of weeks for announcements about additional RotoGuru incentives and promotions. And by the way, for more information on how you can join the more than 200 GuruPatrons, just click on the banner above.

Finally, thanks to Gurupie PAOK B.C. for suggesting today's quote from the Big Aristotle.

4/15 - The first couple weeks of the TSN baseball season are focused on identifying and acquiring the price "trains". It's not particularly difficult. But now we're getting to that point when avoiding the train wrecks is equally important. Sometimes that's not as easy, depending on how aggressively you've been using your trades. David Justice was one of the first trains to leave the station, gaining almost $1m in the first ten days. But in the past 3 days, he's already given back about half of that. I don't expect a pretty result today, either - especially after Sunday's DNP. David Ortiz has looked quite vulnerable for several days, and incurred a big drop in the Ultimate game on Sunday. Michael Barrett looks pretty tenuous right now, after leaving Saturday's game with a strained right hip flexor. While he's quoted as saying he'll play today, he's got $1m of TSN price gains stored up, so the risk is significant. And Jacque Jones hasn't sprung a leak yet, but he's also got $1m of potential energy, and he's only produced 28 TSNP in the last 5 games combined. So you can quickly discover that chasing every new train now can turn out to be penny wise and pound foolish. Sometimes, you just have to suck it up and accept some losses from a player that you trust.

Meanwhile, Vicente Padilla's remarkable start continues. He's got the largest cumulative price gain to date in the TSN Ultimate game, and with a 152 TSNP outing yesterday, that seems secure for at least another cycle. Interestingly, he ranks only 5th in cumulative gains in the Basic game, behind Livan Hernandez, David Wells, Jones, and Barrett. I guess funds are not as tight in that version.

Get your taxes filed today. Tomorrow, I'll kick off the baseball-related GuruPatron promotion, so you can just send your tax refunds here!

4/12 - After just five batters, Randy Johnson was already down 2-0 with the bases loaded and nobody out. Coors Field looked to be all powerful, if not in the air, at least in RJ's mind. But he proceeded to get the next three batters (two on swinging strikeouts), and the silver bullet was never apparent for the balance of the evening - as far as the Big Unit was concerned. His battery mate, Damian Miller, not only enjoyed catching the rest of the evening, but also cranked out 86 TSNP with the bat, which was almost triple his previous point total for the season. He now ranks #3 among all catchers.

I ran a preliminary Swirve baseball rankings yesterday, seeding the list with the 18 teams in the two divisions with RotoGuru in the name. Feel free to submit your team ID# if you'd like to be included. (Instructions are at the bottom of the table.) The top finisher in these rankings earns a coveted berth in the RotoGuru Hall of Fame.

I feel like I'm finally hitting stride on producing baseball stats. The last few mornings I've been able to get stats updated and posted by 9:00am. Once basketball season ends, it should be even earlier. At this point, I do not plan to continue to produce TSN basketball stats through the NBA playoffs, as the indication that I get from the message forum is that very few Gurupies plan to enter the TSN game. If I were to continue to produce playoff stats, it would require roughly 30-40 hours of personal workload over the next two months. I think I can find more productive (and more widely useful) ways to allocate that time. So if you plan to play the TSN playoff game, you're on your own for statistical analysis this spring.

4/11 - One of the trickiest assessments to make early in the TSN baseball season is to figure out which of the hot hitters will have some staying power, and which will quickly crash and burn. For example, when Jacque Jones banged out two homers on opening day, it was clear he'd get some early buying in the TSN game. But if he quickly returned to normal (normal for Jacque Jones, that is), the gains would probably be short lived. And while it is fairly easy to make decent gains in the first few weeks, it can be more difficult to retain them once all of the early gainers return to earth. It's not always a good idea to get too aggressive with hitter trades if you leave yourself insufficient ability to unwind the guys who cannot be held for long.

So far, Jones hasn't shown any signs of cooling off - although his -1 TSNP last night was his first game in red figures this year - and those who jumped in early have reaped very nice gains and points. He's second (to Bonds) in total points, so his favorable point ranking should persist for awhile longer, even if he resumes life as mild-mannered Jacque Jones. Is it too late to jump on board if you've been a non-believer so far? I sure don't know. But the trend is his friend.

If you went for Brad Penny yesterday, I hope you also had Michael Barrett. Barrett contributed to Penny's undressing, although Barrett's home run came after Penny was showered (and dressed, no doubt). It looks like the fortuitous pitching pickup for yesterday was Ryan Jensen, whose cheap price makes him likely to rival Vicente Padilla for pitching gains over the next cycle. Should you pick him (Jensen) up now, knowing that he won't start again until next Monday? It certainly will be a safe price move. But it ultimately depends on your overall pitching situation. You're going to have to make that call. (That's why they pay you the big bucks.)

4/10 - Only 8 days left in the NBA regular season. If your fantasy hoops team is in contention for a prize, or a division title, or anything for which you're motivated, then these are critical times, especially when some NBA teams begin to clinch and (potentially) coast. But if you're no longer contending for anything, then your attitude is probably much like the attitude of the NBA's bottom dwellers. Just mail it in. This malaise is particularly acute for fantasy hoops managers if they are also managing baseball teams, where hope still springs eternal... or at least for another few weeks.

It will be interesting to see how the new TSN pitcher trades impact pricing, not only today, but over the coming week. As I mentioned yesterday, I'm expecting guys with two starts during the next week to benefit, as many managers will be inclined to burn their trades quickly. What remains to be seen though, is how Randy Johnson is treated. He has 2 starts, but the first is in Coors Field. That should create some decision-making tension.

4/9 - Good day for second baseman. Craig Biggio hit for the cycle. Alphonso Soriano went 5 for 7, with 3 runs, 3 RBIs, a double, a HR, and a steal. Those efforts were worth 83 and 81 TSNP, respectively. And D'Angelo Jiminez had a pretty decent 50 TSNP outing himself. Meanwhile, a lot of us are trying to figure out if and when to bail on early disappointment Jose Ortiz, whose 6 TSNP on Monday brought his season total up to 7. It never feels right to drop someone at the start of a week in Coors Field. But when so many other second basemen have monster nights, it takes a lot of self restraint to hold.

New pitcher trades get doled out today in the TSN Ultimate game. Expect this to benefit the better pitchers who start in the next few days - particularly those who have had more than 5 days since their previous start. There are a few candidates out there if they fit into your plans. I'm not going to point them out, though. That's your job.

Prize confirmations for the Market Madness contest were sent out yesterday. If you think you should have gotten one, check your email (the email that you used to register for the contest.)

4/8 - A fair number of TSN Ultimate managers owned Curt Schilling for his first start last Tuesday. A smaller number (judging from price changes) owned him for his 205 TSNP monster yesterday. Now, who has the cahones to own him for his next start in Coors Field? Last year, he started three games there, getting no decisions with a 6.50 ERA. He was never completed ravaged though, getting TSNP scores of +49 (Apr. 15), +7 (June 22), and -14 (Sep. 18). If history repeats, last year he started with games of 136 TSNP and 185 TSNP prior to his Coors debut. That second game was a 10 strikeout, 2-hit shutout (over the Dodgers). Sounds like déjà vu all over again, doesn't it?

What is different this year is that his price dropped on the day of his second start. On the surface, that's very counter-intuitive. But if you think about the situation, you can figure out why. Remember that this year's pitching price changes use 5 days of trades. Five days earlier, he was heavily sold after his first start, enough to wipe out his $110K gain from the day before. For the next 3 days, his price changes were rather minimal, suggesting very little buying or selling. Then for Sunday's start, he most likely garnered some more buys. So why not a gain?

That's because the buys from the day of his first start were dropped out of the equation. So the only way he could have gained would have been if he experienced more buys yesterday than he had 5 days previously. Obviously, that didn't happen. And it shouldn't have been a big surprise, because (1) many managers were out of pitching trades by Sunday, and (2) it was a weekend, when managerial activity is always much lower than during the workweek. The net result was that he was on fewer rosters yesterday than he was for his previous start. Impact: -90K.

So what will happen today? I'll probably get this posted only a few minutes before today's freeze, so I realize this won't be very timely. It also won't be very definitive. Because there are two possible scenarios. Today, we drop off his sells from last Wednesday, which were substantial. But we add the current sells. If the new sells are much less than the dropped sells, then his price will rise. And given his lighter ownership yesterday, that seems like a good bet.

But,... and this is a big but... his next start is in Coors Field. That may induce proportionately more people to sell this time. There also may be some sellers who are spooked by yesterday's price decline. And, since it's a Monday, managerial activity will be higher than it was over the weekend, so plenty of people will be considering the action (those with trades, at least). There are also many managers who drafted Schilling with the expectation of holding for two starts before selling (like me, for instance). So there will be some sellers today who were not sellers a week ago. If Schilling has more sells today than he did last Wednesday, then his price change today will be like yesterday's.

What's the most likely scenario? Probably somewhere in the middle. (See, I told you this wouldn't be much help.) The post mortem will start in the message forum shortly after noon.

4/5 - I'm doing better. It's only 11:45am, and I'm already starting on today's blurb. More than an hour ahead of the past two days.

And speaking of being an hour ahead, most of the U.S. goes on daylight savings time starting Sunday. Let's see... "spring ahead, fall back." We set our clocks ahead this time. That means we lose an hour of sleep. And the roster freeze on Sunday comes an hour earlier. Forewarned is forearmed.

I made the mistake of drafting Hank Blalock on a couple of my TSN teams this year. I was hoping he'd get off to a good start. But I failed to consider that his first three games would be against Mulder, Hudson, and Zito. Not a good way for a rookie to break in. And he didn't fare any better against Cory Lidle last night. So, with 3 new hitting trades in the bank, this morning was the time to stop the bleeding. If he gets hot at some point, he'll probably be available at a much cheaper price. But for now, that's what hitting trades are for. (Now watch him bust out at home tonight!)

I activated the opposing pitcher stats in the sortables this morning. I developed this feature last year, and it proved to be popular. This tracks the performance of each team's opposing starters, which can be helpful in identifying when teams have been hitting well, or not at all. For example, the starters vs. L.A. (all Giants, in this case) have already racked up 362 TSNP in just three games. This suggests that you might want to look for the next guys to start against the Dodgers. At the other extreme, starters vs. Toronto have been tagged for -115 TSNP in two games. Drilling down to that "player page", you can see that the two starters were Pedro and Joe Mays. One more set of tools at that you won't find anywhere else. Enjoy!

4/4 - Maybe next week I'll be able to get a blurb posted before noon again. But this week seems destined to be fraught with complications. I've been getting baseball stats posted before 10am the past few days, but upon further reconciliation, I'm finding a handful of errors that need to be corrected each day. So I keep having to process everything twice.

If you're befuddled by the continued price decline of Randy Johnson, you really haven't thought it through. The problem is two-fold: (1) he was heavily drafted, and preseason draft buys are not factored into price changes, and (2) the pitching price formula is now based on the past 5 days of trades, rather than just the prior day. Thus, after Randy's initial start, he was heavily sold - and with very few preceding buys, there isn't anything to cushion those sells in a 5-day lookback. Once he gets bought back - which should be by Saturday (unless too many managers are gun-shy), his price changes will stabilize near zero, as they should - with some residual up and down noise, no doubt. But this first week's declines were predicted in advance (by some, at least) at the message forum, and anyone who thought about the formula change should have been braced for repeated losses. I'll bet that's why he hasn't been bought back much yet.

If you have comments on the opening of the TSN games, a feedback thread has been started at the message forum. Feel free to chime in. We have TSN's attention.

4/3 - Ugh. It's already afternoon, and I'm just getting to my blurb for the day. Baseball processing is still hitting snags here and there. I think I have everything correctly updated now, but it has been a challenge. Presumably, all of my information sources will stabilize soon. If not, I won't.

Since TSN has already repriced, I can comment on the first solid evidence of the 5-day adjustment for pitchers. Curt Schilling pitched yesterday. And today, he gained $10K (both Ultimate and Basic). It is very likely that he was sold quite a bit, but evidently not quite as much as he was bought going into yesterday. The buys and sells largely offset, and his price did very little. So far, so good.

Randy Johnson may have been on the buy side of some of those Schilling sells - that certainly was a popular trade last year - but not enough to overcome his post-opening-day sells. Some Schilling sells went into guys like David Wells and Roy Oswalt, who continued to appreciate. In the next few days, a lot of managers will return to Randy (if they haven't run out of trades by then), but it remains to be seen whether he'll turn the corner and start to gain again, or whether the bleeding will just stop. It will take a few cycles to get the full gist of the change, but the early signals comport with intuition - which is always comforting.

4/2 - Whew! What a day of activity. Thankfully, the NBA took a bye.

First, Market Madness. Congrats to the apparent contest winners, blockaa and knuss (excl. baskets). I still need to do a final review of the scoring to ensure everything is correct. Prize winners will be notified by email sometime later in the week (or next week at the latest).

The best possible score in this year's contest was G$887. To get it, you short the 10 worst scoring units and long the 10 best, according to this final ranking. Indiana was probably the biggest overachiever this year, and the scoring agrees with that assessment, as the Indiana team unit had the biggest net return, followed by the Big Ten conference basket. Perhaps the most unusual result is that the top two seed baskets were the #5 and #12 seeds. That's odd, since the #5-#12 matchup occurs in the very first round. But that's what happens when three #5s get upset immediately, and the other advances to the final game. I haven't reviewed the actual contest picks, but I'll bet no one had both of those on their long side.

I may do a little more post-mortem in the next few days, although baseball is consuming my attention right now. In any event, thanks to everyone who competed this year.

Now baseball. I think I have all of the various pages and reports updated through the points of April 1st. Part of the chore in managing the stats is to track "eligible games" (EG) for all players. I typically express point averages on this basis, as it allows for direct, relevant comparisons between pitchers and hitters, and between everyday vs. platoon players. Averages based on actual games played are useful in some limited contexts (like comparing points per start for starting pitchers), but eligible games are more universally comparable, and they are a stat that, to my knowledge, are not tracked anywhere else. Unfortunately, that leaves me to do it manually. While I do have the process semi-automated, I do have to manually adjust when players are brought up, sent down, or disabled. Once the season hits stride, this is not a daunting task if monitored day-by-day, but at the beginning of the season, it requires a lot of manual processing. So please bear with me for the first few days, as I get all reports fully cleansed and functional. And, as always, please report any apparent glitches, either in the functionality, or in the numbers themselves.

On most days, I should have points updated by 9am (often sooner - although be patient with me this week). For a quick look at the previous day's points, you can check the yesterday's points page. Currently, this lists only TSN and Swirve points, but I plan to add PSC points as well. Just give me a week or so to get that done. The sortable stats, individual player detail pages, and the Assimilator are updated at the same time each morning. Then, (usually shortly) after noon, price changes for both TSN games and Swirve are updated again. Links for all of the various pages appear in the baseball menu at the left, and also in the navigation menus at the message forum.

Back to the salt mines...

4/1 - Ron Artest had quite a game yesterday, flirting with a quadruple-double, though ultimately falling short by a rebound, an assist, and 2 steals. Still good enough for 73.5 TSNP. But baseball has started, so who cares? (Well, OK, I'm sure some of you care...)

Today I have to whip my score tracking programs into shape. Every season there are some differences in stats formatting, and I'm sure it will take some tweaking to get everything in shape. It's nice to have some live stats to work with. If all goes well, I should have yesterday's points updated in the sortable stats and the Assimilator by sometime this afternoon. 2002 player detail pages will follow soon thereafter. If I run into snags, it might take until tonight, or (worst case) tomorrow. But I don't anticipate any major problems - just the inevitable minor ones.

Once I get baseball up to snuff, I'll be starting my 2nd annual GuruPatron solicitation. It has now been a full year since I converted the site from an advertising-based site to a voluntary contribution basis. Many of you have already "re-upped" with a second annual commitment, and I thank you for your prompt support. But I'll have plenty more to say on this topic later in the week. Today, the top priority is to get baseball in gear.

And I've still got a Swirve team to draft this morning, too. Guess I'd better get moving on that!

Click here for prior daily blurbs, by month:

2002: March . . . February . . . January

Click here for prior daily blurbs, by month:

2001: December . . . . . November . . . . . October . . . . . September . . . . . August . . . . . July . . . . . June . . . . . May . . . . . April . . . . . 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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