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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.

5/31 - Pedro must have decided that the only way to beat the Yankees was to take matters into his own hands. So he did - for 8 innings. And fortunately (for Sox fans and Pedro owners), Derek Lowe pitched an effective ninth.

Minnesota's Joe Mays may not have been as dominating as Pedro - he fanned 10 fewer - but he was equally effective, with a complete game shutout over Anaheim. While Pedro topped the SWP listing, those two shared top honors in Swirve scoring with 175 SvP apiece.

Six hitters exceeded 50 SWP, headed by Mark McLemore's 70. Another 15 hitters were in the SWP 40s, so it was quite possible to post a good total last night - as long as you avoided Albie Lopez and Pat Mahomes. Lopez has been especially vexing this month, with negative SWP in 5 of his last 6 starts. That's quite a contrast to his first 5 starts, when he averaged almost 84 SWP/G. Go figure.

Tomorrow starts the rocky mountain high. As previously noted, from June 1-27 Colorado plays 19 games in Coors Field, 3 in Enron, and 3 in Cincinnati. I don't expect a massive shift toward Rockies players, but I do expect to see some upward price action for guys like Todd Helton, Todd Walker, Neifi Perez, Jeff Cirillo, and Larry Walker, to name a few. If you need some cheaper options, you might consider Juan Pierre, who's even been playing well at sea level lately. Or you could even take a flyer on Brooks Kieschnick, who figures to get some PT while Todd Hollandsworth remains on the DL.

Those who currently own Klesko might have a hard time parting with him, though. And there are three other first basemen who have outpointed both Klesko and Helton over the past week, so you do have some reasonable differentiation options to consider. (I'll let you find them - just use the sortable stats.)

5/30 - Four pitchers had 3-digit SW totals last night, and all were priced under $2m. And the most popular pitcher in the sub-$2m set, Omar Daal, wasn't one of them.

The top two outings were complete game shutouts from Chris Carpenter and Ben Sheets. Kevin Brown got roughed up in the seventh inning and ended up with -24, bringing his SWP total over the last three games to an even zero. But Oswaldo Fernandez was the one to avoid, with -104 SWP. Ouch!

Chipper Jones and Rafael Palmeiro each banged out 2 long balls, good for 77 and 76 SWP, respectively. The other player with a 2-HR night was Colorado's Brooks Kieschnick, whose feat was all the more remarkable because he didn't enter the game until the seventh inning.

SW delayed yesterday's freeze, which was appropriate given server problems in the morning. But for some reason, prices were never changed yesterday. This is the third time this month that SW price changes were skipped. And although the site indicates this morning that trading for the past two days will be considered in today's repricing, they've never applied a multi-day repricing in a way that effectively compensates for the lost day. To do it correctly, they would have to either run the repricing separately for each day and combine the results, or else double the price sensitivity, and they've never done either before. So you should probably expect today's price change to look like a normal day's change.

5/29 - If you've been away for the long holiday weekend, you have a lot of catching up to do. Suffice it to say that the big pitching games of the long weekend occurred on Friday and Saturday. Saturday also turned out to have a lot of strong hitters, with five producing above 60 SWP, although I don't think any were very widely owned. Monday's hitting results probably had more impact, as Paul LoDuca and Albert Pujols were among the hitting stars.

Doesn't it seem odd that 4 teams had no games scheduled on Memorial Day? And none of them were Canadian teams, so that's not the reason.

More SW server problems this morning. I have no inside info. With no games scheduled until tonight, though, they could easily decide to extend the freeze time if necessary. And if you made your SW trades last night, just remember that the last time this happened, your trades were voided, too. So no one is safe yet.

Mark McGwire had an auspicious return from the DL yesterday, going 2-3 with a HR while hitting in the 2nd slot. Before you rush out to add him, bear in mind that his SW price is still pretty hefty ($6.4m), he may not play everyday (if recent history is any guide), and for those looking for a premium first baseman, Todd Helton starts a major homestand on June 1st. Those looking for cheaper alternatives would probably prefer Klesko. In short, forget about it.

5/25 - Yesterday I wondered whether the Yankees knew what they were doing when they scheduled a makeup game to align with Pedro's turn in the pitching cycle. Maybe they did. Because in spite of pitching well each time, the Yankees have won the last five games that he's faced them. And yesterday was no exception.

The pitcher to have yesterday was Jon Lieber, who threw a 79-pitch one-hitter against Cincinnati. It was the first time Cincy has been shut out since the 1999 post-season, 208 games ago.

On the hitting side, Ryan Klesko went 0-1 last night. But before you moan (if you have him) or celebrate (of you don't), he still put up 47 SWP and 50 SvP, getting 3 walks, 3 steals, and 2 runs scored. I wonder if that qualifies as the highest point total for a hitless player.? Probably not, but it has to rank up there.

A-Rod was the hitting stud. His linescore: 3-4, 3 runs, 5 RBI, 2 HR, and 1 BB. 87 SWP & 95 SvP.

The national weather map shows a lot of moisture in the upper Midwest and all along the Atlantic seaboard. Looking at the schedule, as many as 8 games could be in jeopardy today. I'm suspect most will get played, but with rains forecast thoughout the weekend (in New England, at least), a few washouts in the next several days seems likely. Don't sell your starters before you know they have pitched!

5/24 - It makes a nice pair of matched bookends.

The other Randy - Randy Wolf - had the top outing with 145 SWP. Scott Schoeneweis countered with -145 at the opposite end. And almost exactly in between them, Randy Johnson had -3 SWP. So I guess you could have owned the bookends and done 3 SWP better than owing RJ. I'm sure most of us took the road more traveled.

Neither Klesko nor Bonds homered. Top hitting was from Derek Jeter, whose first career 5-hit game produced 65 SWP. Troy Glaus was 1 SWP behind, but topped Jeter in Swirve points by 3.

Assuming the weather cooperates, the next three starts for Pedro Martinez will all be against the Yankees. Today he faces them in day game at Yankee Stadium. Next week, he'll face them in Fenway on May 30. And then the following week, his normal turn coincides with a June 4th Yankee Stadium makeup game - the rescheduled game from Tuesday's postponement. I wonder if the Yankees thought that one through before setting the date?

5/23 - Today, it's Randy Johnson's turn to try to stop Barry Bonds, who now has 9 home runs in his last six games. Kent Bottenfield gets a similar assignment vs. Ryan Klesko.

A lot of hitters fared well last night, including five in the SWP 60s, headed by 69s from Klesko, Mientkiewicz, and Larry Walker.

On the pitching side, there were five 3-digit games, but none came from a pitcher with a SW price higher than $2.7m. 'Twas a night to go cheap.

And the rain claimed three games. Philly and Pittsburgh will try a pair today, and the weather sounds a bit more promising - at least according to Anaheim and Baltimore will make up their game tomorrow. Boston at NY will not be replayed until June 4th. Pedro, however, will still start tomorrow. Be advised, though, that it's raining in NY again today, and a second rainout could possibly upset those plans. Of course, if I had a choice of going with either David Cone or Pedro, the decision would be pretty easy. But I'm not making the decision. Best advice - stay flexible!

5/22 - Over the past 30 days, do you know who the top hitter has been? (The #1 ranking belongs to the same person for both SW and Swirve.)

Not Todd Helton. Not Barry Bonds Not Manny Ramirez. Those guys have all been en fuego, and rank #2, 3, and 4, respectively. But not #1.

The top hitter over the past month has been Ryan Klesko. Granted, he needed his 103 SWP outburst last night to propel himself past those 3 guys. But it takes more than one monster night to average over 27 SWP/G over a full month. And while most SW managers have been dialed into Doug Mientkiewicz at first base, Klesko is turning out to have been the one you would rather have owned - pointwise, at least. Mientkiewicz only ranks 30th in production among all hitters over that same period. Not bad, but that still puts him more than 300 SWP behind Klesko over the period. Of course, the SW price story is radically different, as Mientkiewicz has gained almost $2.5 million YTD while Klesko is still $360K below his draft price. But I think those winds are shifting, too.

There weren't many pitchers who topped Klesko's exploits last night. One was Curt Schilling (134 SWP, 179 SvP), whose complete game victory over SF was marred only by 2 longs balls, including one off the bat of (who else) Bonds. Tom Glavine was the only other pitcher with scores better than Klesko's, although Steve Parris did manage a marginally better Swirve score.

5/21 - Barry Bonds is cruising through a pretty impressive section of the career HR list. This weekend, he passed Mel Ott, Eddie Mathews, and Ernie Banks. Next in line are Ted Williams and Willie McCovey, each who are only 5 HRs ahead. That could happen by midweek, unless Schilling and Randy can find a way to slow him down. Barry's weekend total of 194 SWP made mincemeat of everyone else's weekend, including even Jason Varitek, whose sudden power surge propelled him to a very impressive 152 SWP weekend.

"Stud alignment day" pretty much fizzled. Pedro pulled his weight with 156 SWP, and Randy Johnson was OK (96 SWP), although a high early pitch count and a close game got him lifted for a pinch hitter after 5 innings. Fortunately, the pinch hitter - David Dellucci - scored the go ahead run, getting RJ the extra 30 SWP for the win. Greg Maddux had his 3rd consecutive disappointing outing, although his 37 SWP looked a whole lot better than Kevin Brown's result, as somehow the Mets pinned a -43 SWP stinker on KB. Go figure.

Pedro's game held up as the best of the weekend, and his SW price also behaved much better than many expected. His $11m pricetag is pretty hefty, roughly $1.5m higher than Randy's, and more than $3 million above any other pitcher. But unless he falters - and there is no evidence to suggest that's in the offing - I don't see much reason for his price to fall back to the rest of the field.

5/18 - Brad Radke survived a shaky start and wound up with a complete game victory over Boston, claiming top pitcher honors for the day with 123 SWP and 170 SvP. Two other pitchers reached triple digit SWP scores. Also notable was Matt Morris, who kept his strong season going with 96 SWP and 125 SvP.

Speaking of keeping strong seasons going, Luis Gonzalez cranked out two more long balls yesterday, bringing his season total to 20. At this pace, he'll hit 80 for the year. His 76 SWP and 84 SvP were tops among hitters for the day, but there were a lot of other decent hitting scores right behind him.

I don't know what the problem is with the SW server, but ever since late afternoon yesterday, it is pulling up the stats for the wrong teams. The listed roster seems to be correct, however, and apparently only the header and footer data is disoriented. Those who have braved a trade have said that trades seem to be working properly. So if there is a trade you HAVE to make, go ahead and try it. If it's not that important, you might want to play it safe and wait until server sanity is restored.

I did some light analysis yesterday, plotting SWP/EG vs. SW Price. The results are in Pointing Out the Efficient Frontier. As your roster value increases, it might help to provide you with some perspective on efficient areas to upgrade first. Don't worry - it's short, and not very technical. There's even a picture.

5/17 - Today's big news comes from off the playing field. Reuters is reporting that Vulcan Ventures Buys Small World Media. According to the story, Small World will continue to produce fantasy sports games, but will be folded into Vulcan's existing sports media company, The Sporting News. I take this to be very favorable news, as it clearly provides a more stable financial foundation for Small World's operations - at least for the time being.

On the field, seven pitchers reached 3-digit SWP totals, headed by 137's from both Darryl Kile And Jimmy Haynes. Last year, Kile was a fixture on most SW teams, given his high production and reasonable price. This year, after a slow first half of April, he's averaged almost 97 SWP per start over the past 30 days, ranking #3 among all pitchers in total SWP during that time period. Granted, at a SW price of almost $6m, he' still not the bargain he was last year, but if he continues to produce 100 SWP/start, he'll start appearing on more and more rosters.

The top hitter was Alex Rodriguez, who fell only a single shy of hitting for the cycle. This marks the second time in the past week that A-Rod has led all hitters. It still wasn't enough for a Rangers win, however. For the money he's earning, maybe they should see if he can pitch, too. Couldn't be much worse than the "hurlers" they're trotting out right now.

5/16 - When Javier Vazquez pitches, you really don't know what to expect. So far, in 9 starts he has

  • 4 games of +120 SWP or better,
  • 4 negative games, and
  • only one in positive double digits (a +15 in his first start of the year.)
Since that first start, he doesn't have any games in between -12 and +120. And last night, he had his best so far, with +177 SWP and 206 SvP.

The second best pitcher of the night, Rick Reed (141 SWP), is at the other extreme. Aside from a negative Coors outing, every start has been in the range of +63 SWP to +149 SWP. A model of consistency.

Carlos Delgado was the top hitter with 68 SWP. But the other two players who reached the SWP 60s last night are more interesting stories. Vinny Castilla celebrated his first game as an Astro with 66 SWP, and Ron Coomer took over at third for the injured Bill Mueller and promptly smacked out 64 SWP for the Cubs. And since Coomer is listed as a 1st baseman for both SW and Swirve, you can have them both if you wish! What a country!

This is "alignment" week for stud pitchers. Not only will Randy and Pedro both start on Friday, but it looks like Kevin Brown will also be working that day, and maybe even Maddux. From the message forum discussion, it sounds like a fair number of teams are setting up for at least a 3-headed monster day. If so, the challenge becomes what to do for an encore on Saturday.

5/15 - Most major league teams had off days yesterday. For 24 of them, it was because the schedule was blank. For three more, it was just the way things went.

One pitcher was certainly not off. Joe Mays hurled his first 3-digit SWP outing. He's been close before, though, as he's averaged about 85 SWP in his last four starts. Pretty good for a cheap price. And possibly due for "correction".

Speaking of corrections, Wade Miller has certainly returned to earth. Last night's -6 SWP outing gives him a grand total of +1 SWP in his last two starts. With pitcher trades being refreshed today, we're likely to start seeing some jumping off the Miller train. After last week's single digit performance, he dropped $280K in three days. But most of that was recovered in the last two days, no doubt helped by the scarcity of pitching options in yesterday's light slate. But SW managers are not known for their patience, and he may not get a 3rd strike before he's out on many teams.

The top two hitters of the day were both catchers. Jason Kendall led all hitters with 53 SWP and 60 SvP. Right behind him was the opposing catcher in the same game, Raul Casanova.

Speaking of off days, the SW server was AWOL for awhile again this morning, although it is currently up again (9.26am EST). If you have important trades to complete, you really ought to consider making them the previous evening, if you can. At the very least, you should consider the risk-reward tradeoff of making the trades early (without the benefit of any new information the following morning) vs. getting stuck. The morning track record for the SW server has been pretty spotty for the past week or so, and until we've seen some sustained improvement, morning trade capability must be considered speculative at best.

5/14 - It was a wild weekend.

You probably already know that A.J. Burnett threw a no-hitter that featured 9 walks, a hit batter, and a wild pitch. It was not only his first no-hitter, but it was also his first complete game. And it also tied the team record for the most walks in a game.

So yesterday, I guess all Major League pitchers decided to give wildness a try. The result was 18 hit batters for the day, which is the most on any day so far this year. Not only that, but three batters were each hit twice! (Knoblauch, Suzuki, and Orlando Palmiero)

Burnett's no-no produced the top pitching score of the weekend (136 SWP, 188 SvP), but not by much. Randy Johnson used 146 pitches to garner 131 SWP - and a rare win, although even this game was very much in doubt until Arizona's last at bat.

The top hitting game was on Saturday, as A. Rod snapped out of a mini-slump with an 87 SWP, 99 SvP effort. Todd Helton had the top hitting weekend, enjoying the home cooking while bombing out 2 doubles, 2 HRs, and 8 RBIs for a weekend total of 147 SWP and 160 SvP, solidifying his #1 ranking in YTD points among all hitters

Is Helton worth his lofty $8m+ Small World price tag? The answer is clearly "It depends." It depends on how much your franchise is worth, what the rest of your roster looks like, and who the alternatives are at first base. So far, Doug Mientkiewicz has easily been the best value at first base. Although he's produced about 300 SWP less than Helton, his price is still more than $5m cheaper. Using YTD averages, you only get an extra 7 SWP/EG for that extra expense, and I imagine you can find more productive alternatives for that money. At some point, though, price won't be much of a constraint, and Helton may be the one to have. When that happens, not only will Helton see his price start to rise (in fact, he's already begun a slight uptick), but Mientkiewicz will probably bear the brunt of the flip side. It's too early to be worried about that yet, but it is something to keep in mind as roster values continue to climb. Looking ahead, during the entire month of June, Colorado plays only 6 games away from Coors Field, and 3 of those are at Enron Park. That amazing homestand starts on a Friday (hitter trade day), too, so you may want to think about positioning your roster to take advantage of Rocky Mountain fever starting June 1st.

5/11 - It's been a rather tumultuous week. Small World suffered several outages, skipped two price changes, and instituted a highly controversial "solution" which left a very sour taste in many GM's mouths. Randy Johnson struck out 20 batters in 9 innings, but failed to get credited for tying the 9-inning game record. And the XFL folded. Well, OK, maybe that wasn't so controversial. In fact, not folding might have been more controversial.

Only one pitcher reached a 3-digit SWP result, as Kirk Rueter threw 8 shutout innings while his teammates provided a gaudy 13-runs. (Think Randy Johnson is jealous?) Meanwhile, a couple of yesterday's biggest price gainers undoubtedly disappointed more than a few managers, including Julian Tavarez (-26 SWP) and Bartolo Colon (-37).

One hitter stood out. Jeremy Burnitz stole a page from the Geoff Jenkins handbook, smacking 3 roundtrippers and knocking in 6, producing 103 SWP and 111 SvP. If recent history repeats, he'll hit 2 more today, and then be injured by the middle of next week.

I'm in the midst of some programming updates to the message forum software. All of the changes will probably be transparent to the user, but they should help the program run a bit more efficiently. I've been doing this while leaving the forum up and running, which is a bit dangerous, - but then again, it's not like national security is at stake. I mention this only because it's possible that you may notice a glitch or two at the forum in the next few days. In most cases, I'll probably catch 'em and fix 'em quickly, so just be patient. For example, yesterday I created a non-functional link in the upper drop-down navigation menu in some threads (those created between about 5pm and 10pm, I think). If I really screw something up, I'll take the forum offline to fix it, but I don't think that's likely.

5/10 - Roger Clemens had his best outing of the year, good for 144 SWP amd 160 SvP. Perhaps more noteworthy, however, was Wade Miller's 7 SWP outcome. Miller has the largect cumulative price gain of all SW players ($2.24m), and that would probably be even higher if price changes had been processed the last two days. Today we'll see how jumpy his owners are. Frankly, I'm not sure what to expect. A big negative would have been easier to call, but will a single-digit positive result precipitate a mass exodus, especially with pitcher trades recently refreshed? There seem to be a number of forum users who are not going to wait to find out. For better or worse, I haven't owned Miller this season (which was definitely "for worse" until last night), so I can comfortably sit on the sidelines and observe.

It was an usually tame night for hitters. Only two players topped 50 SWP - Troy Glaus (58 SWP) and Russ Branyan (51 SWP). Glaus has generally been a disappointment so far this year. On a hunch, I even drafted him ahead of Chipper Jones on one of my roto teams this season. So far, that's been an unfortunate hunch. He hasn't been a total bust, as he currently ranks 6th among third basemen in YTD SWP. But he's still more than 3 SWP/EG behind last year's average. One of these days, he's bound to heat up... right?

5/9 - Record or not, Randy Johnson had a beauty last night. If his teammates could score some runs for him, it would have been a rare 200 SWP outing. But 170 ain't too shabby. Greg Maddux owners would certainly be happy with it.

The Small World server is back up again this morning. Crashes are a fact of life, and we have to accept them from time to time. (At least I assume it was a server crash - they never really said what the problem was.)

The announced remedy for the downtime is certainly bizarre, however. They had several much simpler options. Since the server was up for awhile after the 5/7 freeze, they could have allowed any Monday afternoon/evening trades to stand as usual. Or, they could have reversed time and reset all rosters to the 5/7 freeze status. Neither of those solutions makes everyone "whole", but they are simple to understand and would probably be widely accepted.

Instead, they arrived at a much more convoluted solution which is non-intuitive, totally outside the rules, actually rewards some teams while screwing others, and leaves us all scratching our heads wondering if anyone at SW actually understands how this game is played. If you made a post-freeze, pre-crash hitter trade, you essentially got the new hitter for free. But if you made a similarly timed Randro pickup, you not only lost out on Randy's points, but you still own Randy, and have to spend a trade to move back to Pedro (meaning that the net impact is that you spend one trade to move from Pedro to Pedro.) Confused? Rather than belaboring all of the complex "who gained, who got screwed" possibilities, let me direct you to the Comments on SW Remedy thread at the message forum. Suffice it to say that I can't imagine what issues they thought they were solving with this convoluted solution, but it seems much worse than either of the simpler alternatives, in my not so humble opinion.

And I have no idea what to expect from today's price change.

Go figure.

By the way, this RotoGuru server was suffering some apparent "downtime" this morning as well. It wasn't actually a server problem, but a network glitch that caused server access to be very sporadic, often making it appear that the server was down. This server not only hosts the blurbs, but also the Assimilator, the daily points pages, and the schedule generator, to name some of the more active pages. The forum, sortable stats, and player pages are on other servers and have not been impacted. Persumably, if you are reading this, the problem is resolved - or at least better than it was - but it is still possible that I haven't been able to get all impacted pages updated. Hopefully the problems will be short lived. Thanks for your patience.

5/8 - There were only four games on tap last night, but half of them featured a 100+ SWP starter, and three of those were over 150. The fearsome foursome were Kevin Brown, Matt Morris, Robert Person (in Enron, no less!), and Russ Ortiz.

Todd Helton was the top hitter with a 69 SWP opening for his week-long homestand. Carlos Lee had 64 in a makeup game in Texas.

I added pts/EG averages to the individual player pages. At the top of the table, you will now see the averages for the most recent 7, 15, & 30 days, as well as YTD. I made the same addition to the Hoops player reports last winter, and it proved to be quite helpful. Hope these are too.

5/7 - The top pitching outing of the weekend belonged to... Ryan Glynn, of Texas, who produced 144 SWP on Saturday, which is pretty good for a $500K price tag. The top Swirve outing was from Florida's Chuck Smith, who yesterday tallied 155 SvP in his first start of the season.

The outing to avoid was Kirk Reuter's -120 SWP Sunday game at Philly, allowing 7 ER in just 1 IP. Terry Adams made it a contest for the weekend booby prize, though, with his -100 SWP contribution to the Cubs' slaughter of the Dodgers on Saturday.

The topic of worst outings has recently been raised at the message forum. The worst result last season was a 5/28 game from Jose Mesa, in which he surrendered 9 earned runs in just 1/3 of an inning for -145 SWP. There were even worse games in prior years, although I don't have my files readily available. Mike Oquist had a -229 SWP game in 1998, but that was using a different point formula. I don't have the details of that game, although according to the blurb archives, he gave up 14 ER in a game vs. the Yankees on 8/3/98. I also remember that Scott Sanders had a similarly hideous game sometime in the late 90s, but I haven't been able to track that one down.

The hitting monster of the weekend was Raul Mondesi, with a 100 SWP game on Friday night. The rest of his weekend wasn't too shabby either, as his 3-day SWP total was 161. The next best hitting weekend was from Ryan Klesko with 126 SWP in a weekend series at Cincinnati.

5/4 - Randy Johnson seems to be plagued by lousy run support. So far this year, Arizona has averaged 5.75 runs per game. But Randy has only gotten 4.12 run support (per 9 IP) so far. And last night was another prime example, as he left a 1-1 tie after 7 innings. Is it that the Dbacks just don't score for him, or does the matchup bring out the best in the opposing pitcher?

Ismael Valdes was the top hurler last night, and he wasn't even expected to start. He got thrust into action when the Angels decided to postpone Ramon Ortiz for a couple of days. If you owned Ortiz, I hope you didn't drop him prematurely.

Top hitting honors belonged to Mike Cameron, with 61 SWP and 67 SvP. He had plenty of close competition, though, as eight others were in the SWP 50s.

New injuries emerged last night, and some bear close attention, including Barry Larkin, Aaron Boone, and Carlos Beltran - and possibly others that eluded my attention. Some of them have already inherited the dreaded "blue cross of doom" at the SW site, while others have escaped thus far. For example, I'm told that Geoff Jenkins has never been "crossed", but he's already missed several games, isn't accompanying the team on the current road trip, and may well end up on the DL. Go figure. It seems to me that if an indicator can't be consistently applied, then it should be eliminated entirely. And injuries that don't place a hitter on the DL would seem to be too subjective to flag. Note to SW (if anyone is listening): please consider eliminating that day-to-day. Inconsistent application is irritating your most active customers.

5/3 - Perhaps the best way to manage pitching studs is to wait for a substandard outing, and then buy. It certainly would have worked with Greg Maddux last night, as he followed up last week's -41 SWP with a 192 SWP complete game shutout (also good for 219 SvP). From the looks of his price change, though, a lot of managers avoided him this week. The next best pitching choice was Mark Mulder, who had the other complete game shutout of the night.

Moises Alou was the top hitter, taking advantage of extra innings to nail his second bomb. Alou has been putting up very steady numbers since his return to full time duty. His price gains haven't been as strong as you might expect, probably because his late start still leaves him out of the top 25 outfielders in YTD points. Nothing wrong with slow and steady, though.

We're coming to that point in the SW baseball season when gains management can get trickier. In April, it's fairly easy to spot the early gainers and aggressively hop aboard. But if you continue to chase every new rabbit who emerges, you can suddenly find yourself with a bunch of droppings and not enough trades to clean them up. Remember, it isn't always necessary for a hitter to slump (or get injured) before his price starts to dive. If there are other attractive options at the position, the only one who can be sold is the one that's owned.

Take Pujols , for example. He's clearly the most widely owned third baseman today. He's gained more than $2m since his IPO, and has 9 straight days of 3-digit price gains, in spite of the fact that he's only produced 21 SWP in the last 4 days. Now, I'll be the first to acknowledge that this is not likely to derail the train. He has been putting up positive numbers, and there really isn't anyone else at 3B that is overly tempting, although watch out for Nevin, who's at a comparable price and who has been hot. At some point, an upgrade to Chipper Jones could also start to claim some Pujols sells. The point of this not to create a panic about Pujols, but just to point out that it may not take much to start an exodus, and the first signs of weakness could prompt a chain reaction. So you probably don't want to get stuck owning Pujols without a trade in reserve. And if you need to conserve some trades, then you need to pass on a few potential upstarts. Remember, the higher they go, the farther they have to fall.

5/2 - I got "Reamed" last night.

I drafted Britt Reames on my SW Hardball team this year, and for a sub-$1m price, he'd been doing OK, even with a -14 SWP outing last week. I knew I was playing with fire, however, and probably should have taken last week's result as my early warning signal. I didn't. Blog.

For those who look for these things to happen in streaks, be advised that I also have C.C. Sabathia on that same roster, and his circumstances are similar - including a -2 SWP outing last week. Will lightning strike twice?

Mussina was last night's pitching stud, even outdistancing Pedro by 34 SWP. (Last night's 180 SWP total almost doubled Moose's YTD SWP total.) The other two 3-digit outings were from extreme cheapies - Omar Daal, and Jason Johnson.

Jeff Kent was the hitting stud by a long shot, putting up 82 SWP. The next closest hitting results were almost 30 SWP back. Second base has been a tough place to find consistent value this year, and even with Kent's outburst last night, he still ranks only 6th in YTD points at that position. In fact, second base is the only position to be completely absent from the top 25 hitters in YTD fantasy points.

5/1 - May Day!

No cause for alarm. It just seemed like the timely opening line for today.

In a light schedule, there were still some decent outings. Brad Radke had the best result, with a 127 SWP (and 172 SvP) complete game win over the Yankees. Andy Pettitte was almost as good, but got saddled with the loss.

Two Mikes - Piazza and Sweeney - shared the hitting honors with 57 SWP, although Piazza took the Swirve title by 3.

Today starts a new monthly season of MadBall, hosted by (or in this case). This is a simple yet fun game in which you have a limited budget to spend on picking daily MLB winners over the next month. Team prices are based on their YTD winning percentages. If you missed the first month, you can get a fresh start today, as each month starts a new competition. It only requires a few minutes a day (and since your budget only allows an average of about 2 picks per day, you can skip days here and there without damaging your chances). It's a nice diversion that lets you focus on teams, rather than players. And it's free. Why not give it a try?

Click here for prior daily blurbs, by month:

2001: 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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