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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 - An interesting thread on pitching vs. hitting parity was raised at the message forum yesterday.

As you may recall, TSN changed the point formulas for both hitters and pitchers this year. The purpose was to improve the balance between hitting and pitching points. Last year, only 2 of the top 25 players (in total TSNP) were pitchers, and only 4 of the next 25 were pitchers.

Through May 30, the pendulum has swung. Fifteen of the top 25 TSNP totals belong to pitchers. However, only 9 of the next 25 are pitchers, so the top 50 reflects almost a 50-50 balance. And 24 of the next 50 are pitchers as well. So far, so good.

Last year, through May 30, the balance wasn't quite as lopsided as it ultimately developed, with 15 pitchers in the top 50 (vs. only 6 at year end). If the same trend continues, then hitters should again move up relative to pitchers. But the balance seems destined to be much better.

What's the ideal? Should it be 50-50? I don't think that's necessary. Major league rosters typically carry a few extra hitters, although middle relievers and utility hitters really don't factor into fantasy results. I'll simply opine that something near 50-50 is reasonable, and something near 10-90 is not.

5/30 - It's obvious that a lot of TSN Ultimate managers have been moving from Tim Salmon to Adam Piatt this week. Since last Friday, Salmon has dropped $270K, while Piatt has gained $370K, and almost half of that price swing occurred yesterday. But Salmon rewarded his believers (as well as non-believers who were just stuck without trades) with a 93 TSNP game last night, while Piatt garnered -1. If you made that switch prior to Sunday (and I did on one team!) you're still ahead on points. But Salmon's explosion last night will probably stop the bleeding from his side of the equation. Or at least slow it down considerably.

Erubiel Durazo may not be so fortunate. He took his second straight DNP last night, and with a lefty pitching opponent tonight, I imagine it will be another night for collecting splinters. It's interesting that there is no consensus pick at first base right now. Durazo has dropped $220K in the past two days, but you have to add the gains from 5 different first basemen to aggregate an offsetting amount of gains, and nine different first baseman have enjoyed current buying activity. Often, I think it's a benefit to have ownership spread around. As Durazo has very poignantly demonstrated, there is a flip side to rapid gains, as it becomes difficult - or at least painful - to practice patience. And the worm can turn very quickly.

Speaking of a quick turn, how's this for a night's activity? Alfredo Amezaga went 4-5, with a double, 2 runs, an RBI, and a stolen base. And after the game, he was promptly sent down to AAA. No good deed goes unpunished!

Remember all of the hype during spring training about three rookie third basemen - Hank Blalock, Morgan Ensberg, and Sean Burroughs? So far, Blalock and Ensberg have returned to AAA, and Burroughs was placed on the DL today, which probably spared him the same fate, at least for now. The one 3B rookie who seems to have staying power is Eric Hinske, although he got a lot less attention back in March - at least at the message forum. Oftentimes it's good to ignore preseason hype, especially when rookies are the subject.

5/29 - Who's hot and who's not?

The world has turned upside down. It wasn't too long ago that you would try to pick up pitchers who were going to start against the Dodgers. Ditto for the Cubs and the Royals. But over the past week, starters against those three teams have averaged negative TSNP. Meanwhile, Anaheim has proven to be the most accommodating opponent, with starters averaging almost 90 TSNP/G over the past week. Some forum users were reluctant to pick up Paul Byrd last week because his next two starts were against the Angels.

Last night's pitching gem was a near no-hitter by Matt Clement against Pittsburgh, who has been almost as generous as Anaheim. In fact, there were five starters with 130 TSNP or more last night. Most were fairly unlikely, so this probably didn't have much bearing on the standings. But if you had one of them, nice call.

I suspect no one has failed to notice the torrid week that Shawn Green has had. He's one of the primary reasons that the Dodgers have been so brutal to opposing pitchers. Green has banged out 334 TSNP over the past seven days, and that includes a measly 4 in last night's game. Green's week has overshadowed another monster by Brian Giles, who has quietly put up 231 TSNP during the same span, which is still 56 more than the third best, Todd Helton.

And speaking of Helton, do you suppose there are some managers who are sorry they flipped from Helton to Durazo last week? While Helton has produced 175 TSNP, Durazo has -15. There are a total of 74 first baseman listed in the TSN game. Every one of them had more TSNP during the past week than Durazo, including 27 who aren't even currently active. Yikes!

5/28 - I don't know about you, but I've been getting bludgeoned by my pitching lately. My hitters are doing OK, but that's just barely keeping my team scores above water. In fact, one of my TSN Ultimate teams had four negative pitching scores on the same day. I don't ever recall that happening before.

Which means, of course, that I didn't have Tom Glavine last night. Or Bartolo Colon on Sunday. Or Kerry Wood on Saturday. . Or Mark Buehrle on Friday. In fact, I missed all 17 of the starters that posted 3-digit TSNP totals over the long weekend. And my team rankings show it. Oh well.

Austin Kearns provided the largest single-day price drop that we've had so far in Ultimate TSN when he fell by -$200K on Sunday. His Saturday decline of -$190K is now tied for the second worst day, and interestingly, he shares that ignominious feat with Ken Griffey Jr. (on April 8). Griffey no doubt contributed to Kearns' plunge this time, so he's been involved in all of these debacles. I guess the Cincinnati outfield is no place for the faint of heart - or wallet.

5/24 - I know I don't need to tell you what yesterday's big story was. But I can add a little perspective that you didn't hear on SportsCenter. Shawn Green's total of 160 TSNP was the highest single game hitting total that I can recall since I started playing Small World about 5-6 years ago. It isn't the highest single day total, though. Last year, Roger Cedeno (of all people) did have 179 TSNP in a doubleheader last July (which would have been only 177 under this year's formula). In the TSN Ultimate game, Green had been mired in price gravity since April 9th, and he's down about $900K from his draft price. That will probably turn out to be his low water mark for the season. With hitter trades refreshed, I'm sure more than a few people will find a way to pick him up, even if he does face Schilling and Johnson in two of his next three games.

With his third straight strong outing, Pedro Martinez now has the most TSNP over the past 30 days, topping teammate Derek Lowe (until tonight, at least) by 39 TSNP, and outpointing the best hitter, Todd Helton, by more than 100. His recent price uptrend suggests that more managers are hopping on the bandwagon, although that could stall today, with Curt Schilling going tonight, and with other teams looking for an efficient time to add Mark Prior (or even Lowe). Curiously, the top five pitchers over the past month come from only three teams. The Red Sox have the top two and Arizona also has two - but Randy Johnson isn't one of them!

The news on Danny Bautista isn't good, but at least it's definitive. He'll have surgery and be out at least three months. That makes my Swirve decision pretty simple:

Oh Danny Bau, the pipes, the pipes are calling...
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side...
The summer's gone, and all the flowers are dying...
'Tis you, 'tis you must go and I must bide..

5/23 - There's no doubt that Mark Prior's debut was a success. 6 IP, 4 hits, 2 ER, and 10 K is a good result, especially with a win tacked on. Granted, it was against the Pirates, which have been the most generous team to pitch against for the past 15 days - even more generous than the Cubs! Opposing starters have averaged 67.8 TSNP against the Buccos, and 67.5 TSNP against the Cubs. And his next start will be against Pittsburgh again. So the question is, will the Pirates adjust, or will this be déjà vu all over again?

Yesterday's other top pitching price gainers (TSN Ultimate) didn't fare as well. Joel Pineiro managed only 11 TSNP against Tampa Bay, while Paul Byrd did slightly better (49 TSNP) against Anaheim. In some respects, Pineiro's stat line looks better than Byrd's, but life - and fantasy baseball - is not always fair.

If you held onto Danny Bautista through his recent slide, hoping that he'd quickly regain his hitting stroke, you were dealt a cruel blow last night. After diving for a line drive, X-rays revealed that Bautista has a partial tear in his left shoulder. He left my TSN teams a week ago, but I do have him in Swirve, where he is signed for the full year. So this creates a dilemna. Do I ride out this downtime, or do I suck it up and eat the termination costs? The optimal answer depends mostly on how long he's out, and at this point that's an unknown. So I guess I hang in there for a few days to see what information becomes available. Until very recently, he was looking like my best long-term signing in the Swirve game. My other full-season hitters were Nick Johnson, Eric Young, Morgan Ensberg, and Daryl Ward. But Johnson and Young have recently picked it up, Ensberg has been reasonably stable, and only Daryl Ward was disappointing. And they were all playing. But not now.

5/22 - If you're looking for a cheap pitcher to differentiate with, you might consider Joe Kennedy. Granted, he's on the D-Rays, so wins may he hard to come by, although he is 3-3 so far. And the only reason he got yesterday's W was because he fashioned a complete game shutout over Seattle, winning 1-0. And he's still mired in gravity. On second thought, he's pretty high-risk. If you go in that direction, consider it a speculative opportunity.

Meanwhile, Vicente Padilla continued to demonstrate that the Phils may have known what they were doing when they picked him up in the Schilling deal several years ago. After 10 starts, his ERA has never been above 3.0 this year. And last night's blanking of the Mets was a solid recovery after a disappointing result in Houston last week. Curiously, even though five of his ten starts have resulted in 3-digit TSNP scores, he has yet to do it back-to-back. So if you don't hold him now, you might want to skip a start.

Randy Johnson continued to disappoint. Granted, he got 90 TSNP, and there aren't many pitchers that can disappoint with that total. But in his last four outings, his best result is 107 TSNP, and that comes with a pretty high pricetag. I'm not ready to jump ship - been there, done that, & got burned in prior years - but slavishly finding ways to get his starts has not been helping my teams' performances lately. Over the past 30 days, he ranks only 22nd among all pitchers in total TSNP.

5/21 - In a light slate of only 5 games, Derek Lowe easily outclassed the field of starters, continuing his amazing season. Not only are opposing players hitting only .158 against him but they are "slugging" only .198. In his only loss, he gave up just 2 runs in 8 IP. That was also his worst fantasy point outing, a TSNP score of just 36. Six of his nine starts have resulted in 3-digit TSNP scores. And although his opponents have not been the strongest on average, he did have a 136 TSNP game against the Yankees in addition to last night's 155 against the White Sox. Only Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling have more TSNP over the past 30 days.

Speaking of the last 30 days, can you name the hitter with the most TSNP over that span? No, it's no longer Vladimir Guerrero, who is second. The answer surprised me. It's Troy Glaus, who's just recently started to attract some buying interest. Bernie Williams ranks 3rd, Sammy Sosa is 4th, and... drum roll, please... Adam Dunn currently ranks 5th, ahead of guys like Ichiro, Helton, and ARod.

5/20 - The two hitters with big weekends were virtually off the radar until Friday night. Erubiel Durazo wasted no time, banging out 3 HRs and 9 RBIs on Friday, and immediately generating some big price gains on Saturday, taking advantage of the weekend's light trading. Then, on Saturday and Sunday, Greg Vaughn hit his first 4 homers of the season for Tampa Bay, raising his batting average 22 points, all the way up to .129! It will be interesting to see if this translates into any buys.

Meanwhile, Adam Dunn took a few price hits over the weekend. Dunn's decline seems a bit premature, for although he hasn't homered in more than a week, he has been putting up positive TSNP numbers most nights - and with outs worth -2 and K's worth an extra -1, that's no mean feat. In fact, 13 of his last 14 games are positives. I certainly understand the desire to avoid price drops, but at this juncture, I'm planning to suck it up and ride out Dunn's turbulence.

I do think we've reached that juncture in the TSN Ultimate season when it's much more difficult to sustain decent roster value gains. Unless you've conserved a boatload of trades, we've come to the point where choices have to be made, and chasing the next Durazo often means that you have to sustain the next Dunn. If that's the position that you're in, just be patient and pick your spots. If you think a player can quickly recover from a slump, sometimes it's best to hang in there. If you're right, they'll come back, like Johnny Damon and Junior Spivey, both who looked like real price disasters just one week ago.

5/17 - There were three shutouts and three blowouts yesterday. The Yankees-DevilRays game satisfied both definitions.

Nine pitchers reached 3-digit TSNP totals, and Al Leiter narrowly missed being the tenth. Some were undoubtedly expected, like Roy Oswalt and Randy Johnson. Others were not surprising, like David Wells and Barry Zito. Some were long overdue, like Mike Hampton's second win of the season. And some came out of the blue, like Danny Wright's complete game shutout over Texas.

Mike Cameron had the best hitting night, with 91 TSNP. His grand slam was his first dinger since he hit 4 exactly 2 weeks prior. I guess he owns Thursdays. His Thursday average this season is 67 TSNP, while he averages less than 10 TSNP/EG for the rest of the week. His next two Thursdays are against Tampa and Baltimore, so plan accordingly.

5/16 - It was a good day to take the road less traveled.

The two pitchers who gained over $100K (TSN Ultimate) each suffered on the field. Orlando Hernandez had the more spectacular failure, losing 103 TSNP. By contrast, Vicente Padilla's -22 TSNP doesn't look too bad. Meanwhile, those who suffered through the recent $ losses of Derek Lowe ($310K since his last start) reaped a nice 106 TSNP reward.

On the hitting side, the top money loser was Junior Spivey, who homered en route to 50 TSNP. The top money gainer, David Ortiz, managed -4 TSNP. The top hitter was a similarly priced first baseman, Steve Cox, with 74 TSNP, some at the expense of El Duque. Cox has enough ownership to avoid gravity, but that's about it. Perhaps not for long, though.

As the saying goes... "Money isn't everything." Or perhaps the more apt cliché should be "Money can't buy happiness." Whatever.

Enjoy your losses.

5/15 - I'll describe Tony Graffanino's 103 TSNP game last night with two i's - interesting, and inconsequential. Prior to yesterday, he had amassed a grand total of 138 TSNP for the entire season. He's now the highest ranking 3B with a sub-$million TSN price. But at this point of the season, he won't attract much interest. Curiously, if he had done this during the first week, he might have been an early price "train". Timing is everything.

Speaking of early price trains, Ryan Jensen has now strung together three good outings, with last night's 137 TSNP bringing his three game average up to 117 TSNP. Of course, he did have a -101 prior to that. To be sure, that was a Coors Field disaster, but lately, Coors Field hasn't been a pitching problem for many. At his bargain price, he looks pretty appetizing. But before you leap, look ahead - it appears that his second start from now will be back in Coors Field. So it is certainly a pickup that'll take some guts.

Those who quickly pulled the trigger on Cliff Floyd yesterday may have jumped the gun. Not only did Floyd play last night, but he homered. Sometimes the early bird gets the worm; sometimes, he gets wormed.

5/14 - In a limited slate, three teams failed to get off the schneid last night. Matt Morris was the only starter to throw a complete game in the process, although Curt Schilling probably could have if it was necessary, as he left after 7 innings with a 11-0 lead. The third was by Cincinnati, with four hurlers combining to blank Milwaukee.

This has been, and will probably continue to be a tough week for TSN Ultimate hitter management. Injuries and slumps are taking their toll, and if you've got enough hitter trades to effectively deal with everything, then you're probably in the minority. If you are trade-poor, however, you can take some solace in the fact that when there are so many popular sell candidates, the losses tend to get spread around. Just pick your poison prudently. And don't sweat the small stuff. It wasn't very long ago that $1 million daily gains and losses occurred. Now those were the days when trade conservation was essential!

5/13 - I don't ever recall the top three hitting price gainers all coming from the same outfield. But over the weekend, that's what happened in the TSN Ultimate game, as Cincinnati's outfield of Austin Kearns, Juan Encarnacion, and Adam Dunn gained $240K, $150K, and $140K respectively over the past two days. The situation could get more interesting, as Ken Griffey Jr. is likely to return sometime in the next week or so. You don't suppose that all four might soon lead the gainers? Nahhh... Something will have to give.

Meanwhile, some of the longer term gainers have started to crack. Johnny Damon did a dramatic about face over the weekend, while Randall Simon and Junior Spivey began to leak noticeably. I already mentioned where Damon owners have turned. Simon sellers seem to be upgrading to Todd Helton or Carlos Delgado, although today's return of David Ortiz provides another option for those without the funds to trade up. Spivey sellers seem to be moving to Alphonso Soriano, although today is not the ideal day to make that shift, since Arizona is scheduled in Pittsburgh (weather permitting) while the Yankees are off.

Another cheap option in the outfield is Mark Quinn, who banged out 25 TSNP in his first appearance of the year yesterday. It will be interesting to see how quickly managers notice him. He won't be appearing in the YTD point rankings, but he does occupy the top spot in TSNP/G today. And his downside price risk is limited to gravity, for those with concerns about having too many Reds.

Disclaimer: I picked up Ortiz on one of my teams today, and Quinn on another. This blurb mention wasn't intended to promote players in whom I have an interest. I just thought they were worth mentioning, as they may take a few days to reappear on the radar - if they do at all. Caveat emptor.

5/10 - I just noticed yesterday what an amazing month of May Byung-Hyun Kim is having. He's pitched in all but one game this month, stringing together a series of TSNPs that looks like a stud hitter on a hot streak. Take a look. Evidently someone else noticed too, as he broke free from gravity with yesterday's price change. But it's rare for a reliever to get that much work, let alone with such success. And that's one of the maddening aspects of closers. You never know when they'll work. And with only a rear view mirror, it seems a little late to be going in his direction, at least right away. Consider that he had a string of 8 games in April with no appearances at all.

It was a good night for Cubans in Florida. Not only did a trio of Cubans combine for a shutout in Miami, but Orlando Hernandez continued his career mastery over the D-Rays in Tampa. If I recall correctly, his career mark against them is 8-1, with an ERA below 1.00. And he gets to face them again next week in Yankee Stadium, if you're a believer that the trend is your friend.

5/9 - Although the season is still young, Odalis Perez has certainly been the story so far, at least in terms of fantasy bargains. The only players with more TSNP this year are Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson, and that's pretty rarified company. Curiously, he's still on less than half of all sampled TSN Ultimate rosters - although I suspect he's on a much higher percentage of competitive teams. If so, his points shouldn't matter much in a relative sense. The real test will be to see how he is managed when he has a bad outing. You could certainly argue that he's due for one, although his next two starts are in pitcher-friendly Dodger Stadium. And his next opponent will be the Mets, who have been pretty accommodating to opposing starters lately.

Eight pitchers topped 100 TSNP last night. Perhaps the most surprising member of that group was Colorado's Shawn Chacon, with six shutout innings against the cooling Expos, who lost their sixth straight. Chacon's previous (positive) three-digit TSNP outing was last June 14, a 118 TSNP game against Seattle in Coors Field!

Speaking of Coors Field, it hasn't been the extreme offensive haven so far this year. There are any number of reasons, and random variation might be the most compelling, at least this early in the season. For more stats and insight, check out this thread at the forum.

5/8 - Once again we've reached that day when we pay tribute to those who have attained top rankings in fantasy sports. Today, we have six new enshrinees in the RotoGuru Hall of Fame. They are:

  • Allan Blocker - winner of the 2002 Market Madness contest
  • Kurt Nuss - winner of the 2002 Market Madness "basket-free" contest
  • Dave Richards - winner of the 2001-02 TSN Ultimate Hoops game
  • Terry Bullen - winner of the 2001-02 TSN Free Hoops game
  • Nathan Lucash - winner of the 2001-02 TSN Ultimate Hockey game
  • Steve Walker - winner of the 2001-02 Philliephan Standings for TSN Hockey
This is the first year I have included hockey winners in the Hall of Fame, but this continues a recent trend of expanding Hall eligibility to other sports. While I don't provide direct hockey coverage, there is a faithful following of Gurupies who frequent the hockey message forum, who independently produce their own statistical support, and who have bonded into a highly congenial and supportive community. So it is entirely fitting that I should honor excellence in fantasy hockey.

Congrats to all of these worthy inductees. It is especially noteworthy that the TSN Hoops and Hockey games were won by Gurupies this year. Please follow the Hall of Fame link to read their enshrinement blurbs.

Kerry Wood hurled the pitching masterpiece of the day, a 166 TSNP complete game shutout over slumping St. Louis. It doesn't appear that many TSN teams enjoyed Wood's success, though, as he has 14 consecutive days of price declines. Paul Byrd saddled his owners with a hefty string of recent price losses, but rewarded them with a 120 TSNP outing over Minnesota. Roy Halladay also delivered a 124 TSNP result, but he has posted price declines in 18 of the last 20 days. It looks like TSN managers didn't do a very good job of sniffing out the night's best starters.

The hitting winds are shifting. After a monster April, Vlad Guerrero has ranked only 34th in total hitting TSNP for the first week of May. The top hitter so far this month has been Sammy Sosa, who's averaged 30 TSNP/G over the past 7 days. Second best is a third basemen - and not the one you'd expect. Corey Koskie has produced 193 TSNP in the last week, but he's been mired in price gravity since the start of the season. Be advised, however, that he left last night's game with an apparent hamstring injury, so today is probably not the optimal time to hop aboard, from either a price or a point perspective. You might want to keep him on your radar screen, however.

5/7 - Only seven games were played last night, and no starting pitcher posted a 3-digit TSNP. The closest was Rick Reed, who might have been able to do it if he could find his slider. Randy Johnson managed only 59 TSNP, although he pitched reasonably well. Just not up to the standards of his pricetag. It's been a lousy week for the two- or three-headed monster. Pedro's turn tonight.

Do you know which team has been the best opponent for starting pitchers this year? Actually, it's a three team race right now, but the early leader is the Cubs, who have allowed opposing starters an average of almost 60 TSNP per start this season. Pushing the Cubbies are Tampa Bay and Milwaukee, allowing 57 and 56 TSNP/G, respectively. Meanwhile, Boston has been the toughest opponent, allowing opposing starters only 12 TSNP/G. You can see all of these stats here, including more recent totals and averages. When you're looking at pitching choices, it can be useful to see which opponents are the most generous (and vice versa).

RotoGuru Hall of Fame inductions will be tomorrow. Six new members will be enshrined, for Market Madness, Hoops, and Hockey.

5/6 - Quick - can anyone guess which hitter had the best TSNP weekend? It's not an easy answer, because no one had as many as 100 TSNP. The answers are Jeff Bagwell and Todd Zeile, each with 97 TSNP. But 24 pitchers did better.

You didn't have to spend a lot to get those good pitching performances, either. Of the 24 pitchers who outpointed all hitters, 7 were priced under $1 million (Ultimate TSN). The top cheapie was Ryan Jensen, who had to fill in for Jason Schmidt in the first inning on Saturday, and then proceeded to rack up 132 TSNP while surrendering only 1 hit over 6-1/3 innings.

If you are planning to pick up Pedro Martinez for Tuesday's start, wait until tomorrow to do so. Based on some roster sampling results posted at the forum yesterday, Pedro is in for a tough repricing today. That shouldn't be a surprise, though. With the 5-day repricing method, pitchers who work with a full 5-days of rest between starts have generally had a negative price change on the day before their start. This should go away the next day, assuming that Pedro is picked up by enough teams on Tuesday. The caveat this time is that by Tuesday, many teams are out of trades, and Pedro's last outing was not stellar, so some teams may have decided to skip this start. Make your own decision.

5/3 - Almost 2 weeks ago, Johnny Damon had a monster doubleheader (132 TSNP) which immediately propelled him to 5 consecutive days of 3-digit gains in the TSN Ultimate game. It will be interesting to see whether Mike Cameron's explosion has a similar aftershock. My guess is that he won't do quite as well, since his price is already north of $5m (while Damon was at $3m). But we shall see. Cameron had an 80 TSNP game on April 13, so almost half of his total points have come in two games. Further, in the 15 days prior to last night, he had accumulated a grand total of -5 TSNP. So it's been feast or famine with him.

Three cheapie pitchers started last night. Odalis Perez pitched well, and should continue to hold his recent gains, in spite of the risk that he is now the most widely held pitcher. Recent sampling suggests that he is on more than 40% of all Ultimate TSN rosters. Brett Tomko ranked second in ownership at 25%, but his -29 TSNP result will cause that to change in a hurry. Paul Byrd was the third, and his pitching results were more mediocre (46 TSNP). But I imagine he'll retreat, too.

5/2 - If you had your roster aligned for the 2-headed monster of Randy and Pedro yesterday, you certainly had a disappointing result. Pedro was fighting a head cold and left after five innings when Boston's bats made it easy to turn to the bullpen, since it was 9-3 at the time. And that was a better result than Randy's DNP. The uncertain timing of his next start creates planning problems as well. If he goes on Saturday, it might make sense to suck up a few days of losses; if he waits until Monday, holding becomes more painful.

And if you lined up your rosters with Phillies and Pirates to take advantage of their recent trips to Coors Field, you also had a rude outcome. Rockies starters are a combined 5-0 with a 0.78 ERA in the last five games -- all at Coors. Who knew?!

Now, if you had Vlad Guerrero and Manny Ramirez, life is sweet. Those two combined for 139 TSNP last night. Sometimes it is better to have stud hitters instead of pitchers. Last night was one of those times.

5/1 - Now that we have a full month under our baseball belts, it's interesting to compare results versus the first month of last year. The message forum has the Gurupie Standings for Ultimate TSN baseball for 2002 and the comparable standings for 2001. Notice that total TSNP are down by almost 1000 per team, which is obviously a result of the change in the formula (outs for hitters are now -2 instead of -1).

But the more interesting comparison is roster values. Last year, the top team was almost at $70 million, but this year's wealthiest team is worth less than $65m. If I compare values at various percentiles, the current values are down by $3.5-4.0 million this year. Last year's median value was $62m, while this year's is $58m. So the net impact of the various changes in the price formula is a decline of about 25% (in net gains) for the wealthier teams, and about 33% for the middle of the pack. This year's relative wealth is probably even lower, since the costliest players are more expensive this year than last. For example, Randy Johnson is currently priced at $11.8m. Last May 1, his price was $9.46m. Last year's most expensive hitter on May 1st was Todd Helton, at $8.14m. This year, Bonds is just a shade under $10m.

What's it all mean? Not much, I guess, since everything only matters relative to the competition at the time. But it does appear that, if TSN has tried to scale back roster inflation somewhat, it is working. And if you think it's too easy to build value this year, it was apparently even easier last year.

Today is the last day to become a GuruPatron if you want to be included in the baseball contest. Remember that at the end of the season, the top ten GuruPatron teams in the Gurupie rankings will receive a RotoGuru merchandise prize. Today is also the last day that I'll bug you about this. Thanks to all of you who initiated or renewed your support during the past month. I'm sure many of you will continue to come through during the coming months without prodding - because you always have. And I plan to make some programming improvements to the GuruPatron tracking system over the next month or so, which will serve as an indirect reminder. But for now, I'll shut up.

Click here for prior daily blurbs, by month:

2002: April. . . 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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