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

5/22 - This is my last blurb until June 2nd. Tomorrow I depart for Sweden (where it also gets late early). My son Jason will be updating stats for this site starting tomorrow, and as I mentioned earlier, on many days updates won't occur until evening, so please be patient during my absence. I will be checking in from afar, and will still be reachable via email or through the message forum. If you notice any glitches in the stats, feel free to post a message at the forum, and I'll make sure Jason checks in there each day to see if anything needs remedial attention. But the blurbs will be dormant for the rest of this month.


5/21 - Earlier in the season, it seemed as though the stud pitchers were erratic, and some of the cheapies were cleaning their clocks. Lately, some of the "old reliables" - guys like Schilling, Kevin Brown, and Tim Hudson, to name a few - have begun to reassert their dominance. Of course, Randy Johnson is still out, and Pedro has been frustrating, but paying up for pitching is starting to pay some dividends, both in points and in TSN price returns.

Speaking of consistent production, I suppose that Pat Burrell should be added to the list whenever he faces the Mets. More than 20% of his career home runs have been against the Mets, including 2 last night. Go figure.

As I noted several weeks ago, I'm going to be in Sweden from Saturday, May 24, through Sunday, June 1. Initially, I thought I would have to suspend stats production during that hiatus. But it turns out that my oldest son will be available during that period, so he is going to do his best to keep stats (sortable stats, Assimilator, etc.) updated during my absence. On most days, he probably won't be available to update the site until late afternoon or evening, so you'll have to get accustomed to being a half day out of phase. But that should still be far superior to having nothing current to work with.

5/20 - Curt Schilling pitched reasonably well, although two early long balls cost him a W. Six other pitchers posted higher TSNP totals, headed by a 169 TSNP afternoon masterpiece by Matt Morris.

Aside from Morris, the other breakout game came from Carlos Pena, with 3 homers, including a grand slam - good for 111 TSNP. But before you jump on the Pena bandwagon, realize that this game now reflects about 50% of his season point total. Sounds like he just found the right pitching staff in the right ballpark on the right night. But you be the judge.

5/19 - After a rare -68 TSNP implosion on Monday, Eric Gagne recovered nicely with a similarly rare trifecta, saving all three games of the weekend series against Florida. But John Smoltz seems to be the closer on the biggest roll, moving up to the #2 ranking in total TSNP for the season, after 2 weekend saves. And season-long frontrunner Mike Mussina may lose his hold on that top spot, after a very mediocre 43 TSNP yesterday. Smoltz is less than 2 saves behind him, and Mark Prior is less than 100 TSNP behind.

On the hitting side, Gary Sheffield has now taken the YTD lead in TSNP among hitters. But he's generally been noticed this year. There are a few names in the top ten that I really hadn't noticed before, including Rafael Furcal (now ranked #6!) and Scott Rolen (currently #10). The other surprise was Vernon Wells, who I had noticed from time to time, but never realized his entire season was strong enough to rank him 9th among all hitters.

5/16 - Seeing the Lakers end their reign was plausible, but not really expected. Seeing them get blown out in their final game was a surprise. Seeing that game played at home (with Kobe and Shaq both sitting on the bench in the final minutes) was a shocker. Maybe Duncan really was the MVP. Or maybe it was Rick Fox.

It's unusual to have the top pitcher of the day not even get a win, but Kerry Wood managed 123 TSNP without notching the W. The secret was 13 Ks, offset by only 3 hits, 2 walks, and no runs. And a bullpen that couldn't hold a 1 run lead.

Today's critical matchup is probably Gil Meche at Detroit. He's the most widely owned pitcher in TSN Ultimate (on more than half of all active rosters), and he has virtually no 5-day price cushion. Even with a moderately respectable outing, he could start to leak in price. The reason is simple - few potential buyers, many potential sellers. Be wary.

5/15 - Pitchers certainly had the upper hand last night. The top ten pitchers averaged 127 TSNP. The top ten hitters averaged less than 50 TSNP.

Curt Schilling seems to have regained his stature as one of the top hurlers. His last two starts have been complete game shutouts, surrendering a combined total of only 6 hits while striking out 24 and walking only 1. Yesterday's popular trade seemed to be a move from Mussina to Tim Hudson, who pitched well against Detroit, and could have had 111 TSNP if he had any run support. But Schilling more than doubled him.

5/14 - Preston Wilson certainly has been en fuego. Over the past week, he has cranked out 240 TSNP, an average of 34 TSNP per game. That surge has been enough to vault him into the lead for all hitters for the entire season! Just two days ago, I noted that Carl Everett was the leading YTD hitter. But he's already dropped to third, eclipsed not only by Wilson, but also by Gary Sheffield. It is likely that other names will percolate up and down, day by day. But it's also not hard to understand the recent price strength of these top three hitters, who have gained an aggregate $800K in the past week (TSN Ultimate).

Meanwhile, Mike Mussina decided to give the field a chance to catch up. Even with a 0 TSNP outing last night, he still leads all players by more than 100 TSNP. Recent analysis suggests that Mussina is on about one-third of all rosters, and on more than 40% of active rosters. He's not the most widely owned pitcher; Gil Meche and Mark Prior appear on more rosters. But he's the most expensive of the popular pitchers, and it will be interesting to see how he's treated today, especially with new pitcher trades just handed out.

5/13 - If you've decided to own some closers, over the past two seasons you couldn't have gone very wrong by owning either Eric Gagne or John Smoltz. Smoltz currently ranks 4th in total TSNP, and has only suffered two negative outings this year, both in single digits. Gagne had been right there with him until last night, when he got Bonged for -68 TSNP, his first game in red numbers. And Gagne had been gradually gaining in price over the past few weeks, so his misfortune was shared by more than a handful TSN managers.

You wouldn't guess it by looking only at the final scores, but no starters managed to reach triple digit TSNP totals last night (unless you count the -110 turned in by Glendon Rusch), and even though there were only seven games played, that's still unusual. In fact, the top ten hitters averaged almost as many TSNP as the top ten pitchers, which is even more unusual.

5/12 - Mark Mulder moved into 2nd place in total TSNP, following yesterday's 133 TSNP win over the Yankees. He does have one more start than Mark Prior, who could retake the 2nd slot with a good outing in Milwaukee tonight. And I suppose a pessimist would point out that Mulder is on a downward trend, with his last four starts of 162-153-146-133 (in TSNP). If that's the trend, I'll be happy to collect his next outing in the 120s against Cleveland. (Now watch him get lit up.)

Meanwhile, Carl Everett has taken over as the top hitter. He cranked out 75 TSNP over the weekend, passing Carlos Delgado, who managed only -9. Everett is also now the second most widely owned hitter, with teammate Hank Blalock the only one ahead of him. Blalock's hitting picked up over the past week, staving of a potential run on the bank, but he still ranks only 39th in total hitting TSNP, almost 250 behind Everett. Blalock's appeal, of course, is his low pricetag. None of the top 38 hitters are priced as low, and Marcus Giles (ranked #33) is the only hitter within a $million.

5/9 - Two pitchers surrendered negative 3-digit TSNP outings. Neither was widely owned, although both are (supposedly) respectable hurlers. Freddy Garcia was lit up by the Yankees for -106, while Brian Lawrence took 116 lumps from Montreal.

Neither of those pitchers were throwing their meatballs to Aaron Boone, who parked three solo shots against the Cardinals. In one of those uncanny "who knew?" moves, I actually picked up Boone yesterday morning in return for Alex Gonzalez (the Fla. version). In the past, I've been more prone to drop a player in advance of a monster day, so I'm hoping this is a harbinger of a season turnaround. So far, my results are nothing to..., well, just nothing.

I'll be traveling this weekend - although I'm not crossing any oceans on this excursion. I'll have my laptop with me, and will be able to update stats, although it is possible that some updates will be later than usual.

5/8 - Mike Mussina took over a commanding lead in the "stud of the year" sweepstakes. With last night's win, he now has 885 TSNP, almost 200 ahead of Mark Prior. Surprisingly (to me, at least), the top hitter is now Carlos Delgado, who is only 14 TSNP behind Prior, and now 66 TSNP ahead of the second best hitter, Alphonso Soriano, who has cooled off of late. As of yesterday, Delgado was only on about 8% of all TSN Ultimate rosters, so he certainly has some price upside. Soriano, by comparison, is on more than 33% of all rosters.

5/7 - Usually, a 95 TSNP hitting performance is good enough for top honors. But Jacque Jones was effectively 3 ribbies behind Dmitri Young, whose uber-cycle (2 HR, 2 triples, 1 single) propelled Detroit to its 3rd consecutive win. Needing only a double to complete the cycle, Young legged out a triple in his final plate appearance. As one of the ESPN SportsCenter anchors commented, had he been Ricky Davis of the Cleveland Cavaliers, he'd have certainly stopped at second.

Mark Mulder certainly has rounded into midseason form. His last three starts have produced TSNP totals of 162, 153, and 146. Last night's effort was a complete game 5-hit shutout, requiring only 105 pitches. So far, he's not very widely owned, either. If you're a believer that good things happen in threes, then this may not be the time to jump in. But he seems to have established himself as one of the year's elite pitchers once again, and now ranks 5th in total TSNP among all pitchers.

5/6 - There appeared to be other pitchers with better prospects last night than Miguel Batista, but with a complete game win, he set the top mark with 145 TSNP. And after two consecutive negative outings, Wade Miller would have been a gutsy pickup. In fact, until last light, he had a grand total of 29 TSNP for the entire season. So anyone looking for the Wade Miller of old got a nice payoff when he notched 134 TSNP against Pittsburgh. Now we'll have to wait and see whether these outings are enough to get either Batista or Miller out of TSN gravity.

Meanwhile, on the hitting side, with 101 TSNP Steve Finley boosted his year-to-date TSNP total by almost 50%, smacking two home runs and a triple. He's also mired in gravity. So if you had any of these three players, you didn't have much company.

5/5 - Detroit is still comfortably ahead in the "most kind to opposing starters" sweepstakes. But for the past week, there were seven teams who were more futile, headed by Milwaukee, who provided an average of 92 TSNP to opposing starters this week. Of the other teams ahead of,... err,... behind Detroit, the most surprising is the Yankees, who had 3 triple-digit outings against them (by Meche, Hudson, and Zito) during the week.

Time for an advance alert. From May 23-June 1, I will be visiting Sweden. My church choir is being hosted by a church just south of Stockholm. This is relevant to you because I do not plan to update this site during that period. While the forum will remain open and active, the daily points, sortable stats, players pages, and the Assimilator will be in stasis for about 10 days. Upon my return, I'll backtrack and capture all of the missed stats. But during that last week of May, you'll have to fend for yourselves.

Believe it or not, since the inception of more than five year ago, this will be the first time I've ever failed to provide current-day statistical updates. Since my statistical processing is only semi-automated, that means I've devoted several hours per day, seven days a week (except for occasional breaks, such as the MLB All Star break), to updating and posting stats. So I don't feel particularly guilty for deciding to take a short hiatus.

I know there are some Gurupies who live in the Stockholm area, and if you plan to be around during the May 24-31 period, please send me an email. While we will have group activities (performances and touring) scheduled for a good bit of our stay, we will also have some free time, and I'd love to try to meet you if we can arrange it.

5/2 - More evidence of advancing Alzheimer's disease. It is now 2:20, and I just realized that I completely forgot about today's blurb. Doh!

By now, it's 74 degrees outside, and the dog wants to go out and play. So, I'll take a pass today, while the dog takes a ...., well,... you know what. Enjoy the weekend!

5/1 - Those who elected to stick it out with Mike MacDougal following Sunday's blown save may not be so patient after last night, his second poor outing in a row. He's probably not as bad as he's looked the past two games. He also probably not as good as he looked until then. MacDougal still ranks #24 in total TSNP among all pitchers, but the trend is not his friend, in either points or TSN price change. Maybe this will turn out to be a minor blip in a strong season. And maybe he'll turn out to be nothing more than an early footnote, all but forgotten by the All Star break. For those who played hoops, remember Kwame Brown? Just about everyone had him by the end of the first week. Most had dropped him by the end of November, never to resurface for the remainder of the season.

Jason Schmidt apparently likes pitching on 12 days rest. After an extended bereavement leave following the death of his mother, he tossed a Unit-like game, a complete game, 12-K shutout against the Cubs.

Speaking of the Unit, if you have him on your Roto roster, yesterday's announcement was certainly not good news. Hopefully, he is able to return by June and complete the season in Schmidt-like fashion.

Click here for prior daily blurbs, by month:

2003: < a href="">April . . . a href="">March . . . February . . . January

Click here for prior daily blurbs, by month:

2002: December. . . November. . . October. . . September. . . August. . . July. . . June. . . May. . . 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

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