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

4/30 - At this point of most fantasy baseball seasons, I’m comforted to remember that the season is a marathon, not a sprint. In terms of games played, we’ve completed only 14.8% of the full slate. So no matter how badly things have started, plenty of time remains to turn it around. There is no reason to cry out “May Day!” just yet,… unless, of course, your name is George Steinbrenner. In that case, you might as well start panicking now, because, … well,… that’s what you seem to do best.

It is curious that the only game won by the Yankees this weekend was the one in which their starting pitcher lasted only 2 batters before leaving with a broken leg.

Congrats to GuruGolf team Singh Along for posting the top score (-46) in this weekend’s tournament. Ditto to worstball winner Checkers 1Putt (+45), who obviously had a few holes with more than one putt.

4/27 - Baltimore closer Chris Ray has been consistently effective this season, except for two pitches. On April 7, he served up a walk-off grand slam to Alex Rodriguez. Last night, he reprised that role, although this time in the 8th inning against Boston’s Wilfredo Modesto Pena. Both pitches turned a one run lead into a 3-run deficit. The next time the Orioles are in a bases loaded jam with a one run lead, they might want to reconsider their pitcher selection.

As those of you who frequent the baseball forum know, many Gurupies have been playing a new fantasy baseball game this year offered by It’s similar in many ways to the TSN format, but offers real-time, continuous price changes, player usage limits (games played or innings pitched, as well as some other important distinctions. Yesterday, I updated the sortable stats to include the player data for this game. For more background on some of the enhancements made for this game, see this thread. In addition to the sortable stats, price data from this game will be added to the individual player pages, and the page listing yesterday’s points now includes the points for that scoring system as well. With Swirve and Progressive Sports Challenge both ending their foray into fantasy baseball, I’m glad to find a worthy alternative for which to provide this supplemental statistical support.

4/26 - The top pitching score of the evening came from one of the unlikeliest sources. Detroit’s Chad Durbin shut down the White Sox over 8 innings on 3 hits, with 9 Ks and no walks. He had to endure a near meltdown by Joel Zumaya and Todd Jones in the 9th, but the 6-0 lead was sufficient – even though the potential tying run did come to the plate. Actually, Jake Peavy was similarly effective, allowing one run while fanning 16. But the usually reliable Trevor Hoffman cost him the win when he didn’t have the luxury of a 6-run cushion.

Of the eleven MLB games on today’s schedule, seven are in the afternoon. Don’t get caught short by waiting until this evening to make your roster moves!

261 GuruGolf teams have four active golfers lined up for today’s EDS Byron Nelson Championship. 40% of them have Bo Van Pelt. Hopefully, he’ll do better than last week’s popular favorite, David Toms. (Toms did make the cut, but he managed only 10 birdies over four rounds.)

4/25 - The Yankees currently lead the major leagues in runs scored, with 120. They’ve even scored 20 more runs than they’ve given up. And yet, this morning they are 8-11 and in last place in the A.L. East. Only one of their losses was by more than two runs. And they are the only team with zero saves. Hope you didn’t pay up for Mariano Rivera. On the other hand, it’s still April. If you’re a Yankee hater, enjoy it while you can.

Washington has generally been perceived as the team most friendly to opposing starters. But the numbers – at least in TSNP – suggest that St. Louis really has that honor, as opposing starters have averaged 73 TSNP/G against the Cardinals. Perhaps the bigger surprise is that Tampa Bay has been the most pitcher-unfriendly team,.holding opposing starters to only 16.5 TSNP/G. I wouldn’t have guessed that.

The EDS Byron Nelson Championship tees off tomorrow morning. About 40% of all GuruGolf teams still have inactive golfers. Don’t forget!

4/24 - It’s hard not to be impressed by the month Alex Rodriguez is having. But if you want to be a detractor, I guess you could point out that the Yankees have lost four straight games, none by more than 2 runs. So what if he knocked in 8 runs over that span, almost one-third of the team total? It was never quite enough. Of course, the real problem appears to be on the mound. Last night, even eight runs wasn’t enough to conquer the D-Rays. Hey, Babe Ruth also pitched, didn’t he? Maybe that is ARod’s failing…

4/23 - In his previous two starts, Daisuke Matsuzaka was reminiscent of Roger Clemens of recent years, pitching very well, getting no run support, and taking two losses. Last night, he turned the tables with a mediocre outing, lots of run support, and a win. In fact, if he hadn’t notched the ‘W’, he’d have had negative TSNP last night.

The weekend golf tournament failed to generate much separation in GuruGolf. Only five rosters had tournament winner Nick Watney, and none had the top price gainer, Jason Schultz. Three teams tied for the top bestball score, and two tied for the maximum worstball result. Only one team gained more than $100 in aggregate value. [yawn…] Next up – the EDS Byron Nelson Championship, which offers a much stronger field.

4/20 - Congratulations if you drafted Rich Hill this year. After three starts, he’s amassed 3 wins with an ERA of 0.41 and a WHIP of 0.68. He’s got more TSNP than any other pitcher (Johan Santana has 25 fewer TSNP with an extra start), and almost as many as ARod. I know the season is very young, but you’ve certainly gotta take notice at this point.

If this page looks a bit differently today, it’s because I resequenced the left panel to move the baseballs up and the basketballs down. Now I’ve got to work on fixing the RIBC standings page. (Click on the icon if you must…) The team rankings appear to be upside down – at least for my taste. With a team ERA of 5.05 and a team WHIP of 1.58, you can tell I didn’t draft Rich Hill. Or Johan Santana, or any other highly ranked pitcher. I think the best prescription is patience, but after having dug such a deep hole, this is going to require quite a climb. Last year on this date, my team ERA was 1.61 and my WHIP was 0.91. Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore…

4/19 - Elton Brand may not want his season to be over, but I’m happy that mine is done. It’s a long marathon, and at this point, I’ve had enough – even though it was a fairly successful season from a personal standpoint, highlighted by winning the RIHC and finishing 3rd in TSN Ultimate Hoops. Congrats to Gurupie twolves, whose TSN Ultimate championship over Gurupie Senator Urine wasn’t decided until the final night. It’s particularly gratifying to see the overall TSN leaderboard so heavily concentrated with recognizable Gurupie names. Resistance is futile!

In baseball, the injuries seem to have picked up where the NBA has left off, as Felix Hernandez left his game with arm tightness after facing only five batters, three of whom scored.

Today’s Zurich Classic golf tournament is now underway, and the popular favorite in GuruGolf is David Toms, on more than 45% of all active rosters. If he doesn’t do well, there will be a lot of misery. Fortunately, the weekend weather in Louisiana looks pretty favorable – so that shouldn’t be an issue.

4/18 - It’s almost 3pm, and I just realized that I forgot to post (or even write) a blurb for today. Obviously, baseball, hoops, and GuruGolf are more than my multi-tasking capabilities can accommodate.

At least I’ll be able to knock one of those items off the list tomorrow. The NBA completes its regular season tonight, and although the slate is very full with 14 games scheduled, the real game is to guess who will play full minutes, who will sit, and who will try hard. Good luck. None of my title fortunes appear to depend on tonight’s results, so I don’t have to stew over the options too much.

Unless my records are off, I think yesterday was the first day of the baseball season that we had all 30 teams in action – which means that nobody was rained, snowed, or frozen out. Welcome to springtime!

The Zurich Classic tees off tomorrow morning, and the field isn’t particularly strong. The event is being played for only the second time at the TPC Louisiana course (the first was in 2005), so historical results for this tournament are not as relevant as usual. Get your coins out, and start flipping!

4/17 - The baseball season is now 16 days old, and we’ve already had 18 games postponed by weather. That may not be a record, but it’s certainly a few standard deviations above the mean. I just checked the weather outlook for today, and the most threatened game appears to be Cleveland (just what they need) at New York, where evening rain seems to be a 50%-70% likelihood, based on several different forecasts. There are a few other sites with a 30% chance of precipitation, but this is probably the best outlook we’ve had for a full slate since spring training.

The NBA regular season enters its final two days. Most playoff positions have been settled, but one spot in the west is still up for grabs, and seeding is still unsettled for a few teams. This page at Yahoo seems to provide a pretty comprehensive overview, for those enquiring minds who want to know.

The Verizon Heritage golf tournament was completed a day late. Congrats to Action Figure, whose two identical teams posted the top bestball score of -45. WB pfb posted the top worstball result (+52), and with that team name, we’re not left guessing as to whether the feat was intentional.

4/16 - Weather continued to wreak havoc over the weekend, claiming eight baseball games plus one round of a golf tournament. The NBA was immune from outdoor whims, but that still didn’t stop a few more players from failing to appear. In fact, of the top 100 players ranked by TSNP/G, 23 show “DNP” as the result of their team’s most recent game.

The NBA playoff situation is clarifying, although there are still a few races in play. In the East, the 8 teams are settled, but the seeding is not. In particular, Cleveland and Chicago are still battling for the #2 seed (with the loser dropping all the way to #5), and the bottom three teams (Washington, NJ, and Orlando) could still be sequenced differently. In the West, the Lakers clinched a playoff spot, but the final berth is still open to either Golden State or the Clippers. Utah and Houston are still battling for home court advantage in round 1. And the Lakers could still drop to the 8th spot. Whether a battle for the 7th vs 8th seed is meaningful to the Lakers is speculative. Would you rather face Dallas or Phoenix in the first round? The Lakers were 1-3 vs. each of those two teams in the regular season (with their win over Phoenix occurring way back on opening day).

In baseball, c-losers seem to be imploding left and right. On Saturday, B.J. Ryan gave up 4 runs for his second blown save of the season, and promptly landed on the DL. On Sunday, Joe Nathan and Mariano Rivera melted down in similarly spectacular fashion. When guys like that are evidently flammable, and guys like David Weathers and Al Reyes seem to run like clockwork, then,… well,… [cue Twilight Zone music].

4/13 - Another day, another rainout. Seattle completes its seven day road trip by playing only two games, and scoring only six runs. At least King Felix kept it from being a “complete and utter mess.” But how anxious do you think they are to get back home, where (of course) rain is forecast for the weekend, but the stadium has a retractable roof. Last year, the Mariners went the entire season without a single postponement, and only one game was washed out in 2005 (at Fenway, in May, made up the following day), so I guess they were due.

Baseball offers only one afternoon game among a full slate. That one features a potential pitchers duel between Aaron Harang and Carlos Zambrano. Set your lineups accordingly.

In Hoops, Corey Maggette has really done me in this year. I had him earlier in the season on my top TSN Ultimate team, and he stunk. I’ve avoided him more recently, and he’s punishing me once again. I’m not saying that he’s the sole difference-maker, but he’s certainly leaving a bitter taste. Catching the top two teams now seems highly improbable; time to turn my focus to holding off those approaching from the rear.

Prize emails for Market Madness and GuruGolf were sent out this week. If you were expecting one, please check the appropriate emailbox.

4/12 - The weather has been one of the dominant stories in MLB so far, and today appears to offer no reprieve, with games in Boston and New York certainly in jeopardy. And although Cleveland plans to return to Ohio for its first home opener in its home park, the weather forecast I just looked at calls for material probabilities of rain and snow this weekend. What ever happened to global warming? Maybe they should invite Al Gore to throw out the first pitch.

Daisuke Matsuzaka got all the pregame hype last night, but Felix Hernandez took over once the game started, hurling a complete game one-hitter in Fenway Park. He never lived up to preseason expectations last year, but so far in 2007 he’s looking like the primary “gots to have” pitcher. His next start will be in Minnesota, so weather won’t be a factor. Plan accordingly.

Another NBA star bit the dust last night, as Kevin Garnett sat one out and may be done for the season. If so, it’s déjà vu all over again, as he missed the final six games of the 2005-06 season as well. Regardless, it’s par for course in the endgame of any fantasy NBA season.

Speaking of par for the course, the Verizon Heritage teed off bright and early this morning. The popular favorite in GuruGolf is Vaughn Taylor, on roughly 30% of all teams. After watching last week’s mostly orange scorecards, this week’s look like a sea of green, with the early GuruGolf leader already showing -12 as of 11:30am, with all golfers still on the course.

4/11 - In yesterday’s blurb, I commented that my overriding team-management objective during this busy two-fantasy-sport week was to “avoid doing something stupid.” Unfortunately, I failed, by astutely picking up Andre Iguodala (DNP) on my top TSN Hoops team. At the time, I knew it was a risky move. If I’d have thought about it enough, I might have talked myself out of it. To those of you whose teams I’m chasing, consider it my little gift to you.

The Verizon Heritage golf tournament tees off at 7:20am tomorrow morning. If your rosters are like most, you’ll have a lot of moves to make, so don’t forget! It’s terrible to be stuck with only one golfer after the cut, but it’s (cue Bill Walton) horr-i-ble to be stuck with only one active golfer at the start of round #1!

The Florida-Milwaukee game was suspended after 10 innings last night, and the conclusion will be tonight, prior to the start of the regularly scheduled game. My expectation is that most fantasy baseball systems will simply score points for the first 10 innings based on Tuesday’s roster, and the resumption will be scored based on Wednesday’s roster. The tricky element occurs if Milwaukee scores in the top of the 11th, in which case the winning pitcher could be Greg Aquino, even though he probably won’t pitch today. You would think those points should be allocated back to yesterday’s roster. Of course, who would have Greg Aquino on their roster? That’s probably more of a theoretical issue without any real import in this specific situation. Of more consequence is how games played would be charged, for leagues with a limit. You clearly can’t charge a player with an extra GP just because the game laps over into a second day.

Thanks to Gurupie JeffG for suggesting today’s quote.

4/10 - Please forgive me if some of the site updates – stats, blurbs, etc. – are later than usual over the next 10 days. The overlap of baseball and hoops creates morning havoc at RotoGuru World Headquarters, not only in the production of site updates, but just as critically in the management of my various teams. At this juncture, I’m just trying to avoid doing something stupid. I’ll work on cleverness once the NBA regular season has passed.

And if you are a prize winner in either Market Madness or GuruGolf, don’t worry – you haven’t missed any emails. I simply haven’t gotten around to prize processing yet. It’s #2 on my list of things to do. Unfortunately, there are about 6 items listed as #1. (At least I did get my income taxes filed yesterday. So there are no longer 7 items listed as #1.)

I’d love to write something thoughtful or witty at this point, but I have nothing. Meanwhile, it’s already past noon, a dental appointment is imminent, the dog wants to be walked, and I still haven’t gotten dressed (one of the major fringe benefits of this job is the dress code!).

And, of course, there is always the pending excitement of Cleveland’s “home opener” in Milwaukee today!

4/9 - Zach Johnson. You all saw that coming, right?

This year’s Masters experienced a 16% decline in the frequency of below par scores, and a 30% increase in the proportion of above par scores. Nevertheless, this year’s best GuruGolf score matched last year’s best, at -40. Congrats to tournament winner Cyberwahoo7. The year-to-year parity falls apart on the worstball side, however. Last year’s worstball winner posted a +55. This year, six teams carded a +70! The winner, via tiebreaker (based on $value gain), was Blinker’s Spartans.

In Hoops, we had a rare double triple-double on Saturday, as Jason Kidd and Vince Carter each managed the feat in the same game. The last time that happened, the players were named Jordan and Pippen (1989).

4/6 - The first round the Masters did yield higher scores than last year’s first round, although there were a few more birdies. Here is the (unofficial) year-over-year comparison for the tournament’s first round:

Year# Eagles# Birdies# Bogies# Worse

Yesterday’s relative lack of eagles is striking, as are the extra 107 bogies. So if your GuruGolf scorecard looks brutal, I guess there’s a lot of that going around – especially since nobody has Justin Rose in their foursome. Oops! For that matter, the other three shunned golfers (Donald, Immelman, and Zoeller) are all on the positive side of the projected cut line as well.

Only one pitcher topped 100 TSNP yesterday, as Daisuke Matsuzaka gave the Red Sox a good return on their immense investment, at least for one outing. But perhaps the most notable pitching accomplishment of the season thus far belongs to Pirates closer Salomon Torres, who has already notched three saves his Pittsburgh’s first three games. Who knew?! Last season, the Pirates didn’t get their third win until their 10th game, and their third save wasn’t attained until April 15th.

4/5 - The Masters is underway, although Tiger Woods doesn’t tee off until almost 2pm. For many, that’s probably when the tournament really begins in earnest. But not necessarily for GuruGolf, where Tiger has only found his way onto 16 rosters (about 6% of all teams). For the second consecutive week, Jose Maria Olazabal is the popular favorite, this week joined at the top by Rich Beem. Each of them is on roughly 25% of all teams. In total, 93 of the field’s 97 golfers appear on at least one GuruGolf roster, with only Luke Donald, Trevor Immelman, Justin Rose, and Fuzzy Zoeller getting no love.

I hope you aren’t a fan of the Washington Wizards. Over the weekend, Caron Butler broke his hand and is probably out for the season. Last night, Gilbert Arenas sprained his knee after only 2 minutes. MRI results are not yet public, but you’ve gotta figure that if they are missing both players, they can’t survive the first round of the playoffs, regardless of opponent. And if your fantasy fortunes depended on a healthy Arenas down the stretch, your prognosis is probably no better than that of the Wizards.

I’ve got to confess that I really don’t have much of a sense for what’s going in on baseball so far this week. I’ve been so caught up in various site programming issues this week that it’s been difficult to keep up with my normal processing routine, let alone any sort of analysis. So I’ll have to leave it to you to forage through the stats on your own, at least for now. Have at it!

4/4 - I really didn’t think LeBron would play last night. Why wouldn’t he rest and get healthy for the playoffs?

Shows what I know. Not only did he play, but he played 42 minutes, scored 31 points, gathered 12 rebounds, with 6 assists and 4 steals thrown in. He wasn’t producing at this level for much of the season, but he seems to have turned it up a notch down the stretch.

The opening price changes for TSN baseball were processed last night. No big surprises that I noticed. You can look ‘em up.

The Masters tees off tomorrow, and you have until the 8am opening tee time to set your rosters. As a major tournament, there are prizes for the top bestball and worstball score for this tournament only, so even if you haven’t played yet, or if you feel like you’re out of contention, you might as well enter a team (or several) for this week. You might score some coveted RotoGuru golf balls!

For full year scoring, GuruGolf uses a “mulligan week”, which eliminates your worst weekly score from your cumulative total. Until this week, I had not activated that feature in the reported standings. But this morning, I did turn that on. If you want to see what score has been eliminated, just hover the cursor over the total score for a team and the excluded week should appear. And if you want to see the standings without the mulligan feature, then select the “Nissan Open” as the starting week, rather than selecting the “entire season.” While the Nissan Open was the first tournament of the year, the standings are set up that way to allow you to easily see the impact of including the mulligan.

4/3 - The baseball season is only two days old, and we already have our first complete game. Ben Sheets, when healthy, can be as dominating as any pitcher in the league. But that healthy thing has been his albatross. If you drafted him, enjoy it while it lasts.

Kudos to Market Madness Contest winner donkeyhunter, and also to Pistol, who posted the best score excluding basket units. All prize winners will be notified by email within the next 10 days. Many of the prizes are restricted to GuruPatrons, so if you did well and you are a GuruPatron, check to make sure you are properly included in the GuruPatron-only standings.

I’m not sure what the best possible score was for this tournament, but I have already come up with a set of picks that would have produced a score of 749, so no one qualifies for being within 10% of the best possible score. If you can work out a higher scoring set of picks (remember that the longs must have cost less than the shorts), let me know. Just curious. (Here are the raw materials.)

4/2 - Whew!! It’s been a busy morning, and there’s still plenty to do. The baseball sortable stats and Assimilator are updated, but the “yesterday’s points” page still hasn’t been run. I should have that ready by tonight, or tomorrow morning at the latest. There are some other baseball processes that still require some updating for 2007, but those should all be in place within a day or so.

With the finish of the Shell Houston Open, the “March to the Masters” contest has now ended. Congrats to bestball winner TD2 and worstball winner Liters. (We won’t ask the latter if he was really trying for a worstball score!) Emails will be sent out to these prize winners later in the week.

No NBA action today. Of course, there is a basketball game tonight, if you don’t want to watch baseball all day.

2007: March . . . February . . . January

2006: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2005: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2004: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2003: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2002: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

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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