Hall of Fame
Daily blurbs from the Guru
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6/30 - Denard Span legged out 3 triples last night, tying the ML record. He did it at home, which certainly fits his statistical splits this season. He has a .969 OPS in Target Field, but only a .550 OPS on the road. His home batting average is .387, but it’s under the Mendoza line on the road. His slugging percentage at home is over .500, in spite of hitting no home runs in his home park. Five triples at home, though.
The AT&T National golf tournament tees off early tomorrow morning. There seems to be a lot of overlap with last week’s field, but check your foursomes nonetheless.
6/29 - At the end of May, the Nationals sported a 26-26 record, and with Stephen Strasburg about to arrive, the team had reason to be optimistic. But with June about to end, the team is now 11 games under .500, Strasburg is only 2-2 (in spite of pitching much better than that record suggests), and the “Natinals” seem to have re-emerged. The team has only scored one run in Strasburg’s last three games, so it really doesn’t matter how well he’s pitched. Welcome to the bigs.
I guess LeBron-mania has now completely consumed the NBA news. Yesterday, I saw two “confirmed” reports that LBJ was pretty settled on signing with both the Bulls and the Heat. Cleveland fans have to be on the verge of apoplexy about now.
6/28 - Back from a week of rest, relaxation, heat, and humidity – not always in that order.
Birdies returned to the PGA Tour this week. Congrats to Yankee Rebels (-51), with the top best ball score for the weekend. Worst ball honors went to Who dat? (+39) on the strength of a closing round +13 from Tim Herron – who was actually a provisional golfer fill-in for this team.
It wasn’t a total beat down, but the A.L. once again took the measure of the N.L. in interleague play, winning 53% (134-118). The White Sox (15-3) and Rangers (14-4) were the most dominant A.L. teams, while the Mets (13-5) had the most success of the N.L. teams. Cleveland (5-13) was the only A.L. team to be more than 5 games under .500, while four N.L. teams (Nats, Astros, Pirates, and Dodgers) achieved that standard of futility.
6/22 - Slow sports day.
Rumors are floating that the Hornets are making Chris Paul available, and that any team landing Chris Paul has a leg up in signing LeBron as well. Interesting to think about, but probably nothing will happen.
Someone pointed out yesterday that although Roy Halladay’s next start is listed as being in Toronto, the 3-game series will actually be played in Philadelphia. You may recall last month’s announcement that the series is moving due to security concerns in Toronto, where the G20 summit will be taking place. This will still be considered a home game for the Blue Jays; the DH will be used, and the Blue Jays will bat last. But Halladay won’t be pitching in front of his former home crowd.
I’ll be vacationing in Ohio for the rest of this week, so I’ll probably not be posting any more blurbs until next week. As always, stats will continue to be updated. Enjoy the rest of the week.
6/21 - If you had said at the beginning of the day on Sunday that neither of the 3rd round leaders would finish the tournament under par, you’d have probably figured that either Tiger or Phil would win – or maybe Els. So it was surprising to see all three of them backpedal in synch with all of the other leaders. Well,… not quite in synch with Dustin Johnson. The supposedly unflappable Johnson started flapping early and often, playing a style of game that was recognizable to duffers all around the world. At one point an announcer misspoke and called him Dustin Hoffman – and there was nothing about his golf game at the time to suggest otherwise.
The top score in GuruGolf was -37 by Favorites, who followed the “slow and steady” recipe, having all four golfers active throughout, even though only one of them was individually under double digits (over par). Worst ball honors (+75) were earned by Winnepeg Schlep.
We now enter the final week of interleague play in baseball. Roy Halladay will be happy to get back to NL opposition, after his third straight loss against A.L. teams. His final A.L. outing will come on Friday in Toronto against the one A.L. team he’s never faced in his career. That’ll be interesting.
By the way, after starting out well in interleague play, the N.L. has reverted to form, with the A.L. now sporting a .547 winning percentage against teams from the senior circuit. The two Soxes are the masters so far, each sporting a 10-2 record. The Mets sport the best interleague record among N.L. teams, at 9-3.
6/18 - Was it smothering defense on both ends, or a matchup of two gangs that couldn’t shoot straight? Regardless, the Lakers shot a bit straighter down the stretch. And the NBA season is now mercifully over. But not the NBA news cycle. Next the draft, then the LeBron sweepstakes.
Ubaldo Jimenez showed that he could easily handle one of the better hitting AL teams. On Sunday, Roy Halladay gets his shot at the same team. Cole Hamels works the day before, so this is a tough stretch of games for Twinkie hitters.
Sunday is Father’s Day. I’m looking forward to hunkering down in my favorite recliner with a cool drink, watching the U.S. Open. Hope your weekend is equally enjoyable.
6/17 - When considering whether the NL is an easier league for pitching, Joel Pineiro should be Exhibit A. Back in the American League this year, he was 4-6 with a 5.23 ERA through June 6. Then, after back-to-back games against NL teams (Dodgers and Brewers), his record is suddenly 6-6 and his ERA has dropped to 4.45, allowing only 2 earned runs in 17 IP. Taking a longer view, from 2005-2007, he was 16-25 in the A.L. with a 5.88 ERA. He was then traded in mid-2007 to the NL, and from 2007-2009 he apparently resurrected his career, going 28-23 with a 4.14 ERA. If ever a pitcher should have remained in the N.L., he would seem to be at the top of the list.
(With full disclosure, I conveniently ignored one start in May against his former team, St. Louis, in which he gave up 9 earned runs in 3 IP. Of course, he never had to face the Cardinals in his 2007-09 NL stint, since that’s the team he was on. Maybe they were more aware of his limitations. )
The U.S. Open is underway, and the most widely owned GuruGolfer is Francesco Molinari, probably more attributable to his price than his prowess (although he is ranked #43 in the World Golf Rankings). So far, that’s not working out so well. After four holes, he has gone birdie-bogey-bogey-double bogey. Still early, of course.
6/16 - Well, at least I didn’t feel a need to stay up too late watching basketball last night.
Roy Halladay apparently needs to stay in the National League. Twice this year, he’s given up 6 earned runs in 6 innings or less – last night against the Yankees, and last month against the Red Sox. His overall ERA is still a very impressive 2.36, with a 1.06 WHIP. But against National League opponents, those numbers are 1.51 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. His next start is Sunday against Minnesota. While the Twins aren’t as prodigious as the Yanks or Sahx, they do rank as the fifth overall in points against opposing starters, so they’re not the Orioles.
The U.S. Open tees off tomorrow morning on the left coast. The first tee time is at 10am ET, so you have until then to set your GuruGolf lineup. This is one tournament that you don’t want to enter short-handed, so don’t procrastinate until it’s too late.
6/15 - Hall of Fame day!
Today I am enshrining the next class in the RotoGuru Hall of Fame:
Congratulations to all of these competitors on their achievements over the past year. Visit the Hall of Fame for a brief bio of each inductee.
6/14 - I settled on the above Robert Garrigus quote as the quote of the day, but was tempted to go with this more hopeful one instead: “I play golf for a living. I'll be OK.”.
The question I have, however, is “Why did Garrigus have that big wet spot on the seat of his pants?” Sweat, I assume. In that case, he probably should have worn black.
But I digress. In GuruGolf, a pair of teams tied for the top best ball score of -47, while a pair of teams also tied for the top worst ball score, although they were both managed by the same person (and curiously, had only one golfer in common.)
In addition, here are the winners of the "Spring to the Open" contest, spanning all tournaments between the Masters and the U.S. Open:
I didn’t watch any of the US-England World Cup game live, but I did see the replay of the U.S. goal. Two of my three kids played quite a bit of goalie in their soccer playing days, and I’m quite sure I’ve seen them both make similar muffs. Of course, neither of them was asked to play on a national team. As someone mentioned in the RotoGuru message forum, the English goalie can think his lucky stars that he doesn’t play for the Colombian team.
6/11 - The Celtics did what they had to do, and what the statistical history said they would do (see June 9 blurb). Now the series starts – unless you believe that history has already spoken and the Lakers simply have to play out the script. Whatever. The surprise last night was that it was the second team of the Celtics that eventually won the game – for the most part playing against the Lakers starters.
Cleveland handled Boston ace Jon Lester with aplomb last night. Staked to a 5-0 lead after two innings, Lester couldn’t hold it. After beating Lester and Buchholz in back-to-back games, is the Tribe now ready for Stephen Strasburg?
The World Cup is about to start. I must confess that I haven’t got the fever. Maybe if the US team advances deep in the Knockout stage I’ll watch some game action, but until then, Sports Center highlights will be sufficient.
As you’ve probably noticed, this has been “John Wooden Quote Week” at RotoGuru.net. I could probably easily extend this into a “John Wooden Quote Month” if I wanted to, but I think I’ll stop here. Lots of good stuff.
6/10 - Justin Masterson took a 5.46 ERA and a 1.82 WHIP into a matchup against the Red Sox, one of the top hitting teams. On the other side, Cleveland was facing Clay Buchholz, one of the hottest pitchers in the last month or so. The final score was 11-0. And as they say, that’s why they make them play out the games on the field.
The St. Jude Classic is up and running, with Spencer Levin again the carryover favorite in GuruGolf. Rain possibilities are in the Memphis forecast for both today and tomorrow, so some delays seem likely. If so, we could end up with another reduced field for the final two rounds. But let’s let it play out before whining about that.
6/9 - So this Stephen Strasburg kid might be pretty good. In 7 IP, he struck out 14 batters (including the last 7) and walked none. In MLB history, only five other pitchers have ever struck out 14 with no walks in 7 innings or less. More than one-third of his pitches were clocked at 98 mph or faster (2 @ 100mph). Now if his arm can just hold up. Thank goodness he’s not pitching on the Cubs.
The weather in the northeast – Washington, Baltimore, Philly, and NY – looks problematic for tonight, with 70% chance of thunderstorms predicted at all four of those parks. Plan and adapt accordingly.
If you believe in streaks, then write down the Lakers as the NBA champions in ink. In addition to Phil Jackson’s 47-0 record when winning the 1st game of an NBA playoff series, I found this analysis at WhoWins.com:
In the history of best-of-7 NBA Finals from 1947 through 2009, teams (such as the 2010 Los Angeles Lakers) which win Game 1 and lose Game 2 at home and win Game 3 on the road have a stellar 11-0 series record, but an awful 1-10 Game 4 record. One could thus perhaps understand were the Lakers not too terribly crestfallen by a Game 4 loss in Boston, in the wake of such history.The St. Jude Classic tees off tomorrow morning. In addition to being the warmup event for the U.S. Open, it’s also the final tournament in GuruGolf’s Spring to the Open Contest.
6/8 - Stephen Strasburg makes his eagerly anticipated major league debut tonight. Since he faces the Pirates tonight, and his next start will be in Cleveland, it’s unclear when he’ll ultimately face his first major league hitters. But if you are breaking into the bigs, this is probably as gentle an entry as you can have. From a fantasy perspective, it’s not a long shot to expect that he’ll pitch well. It is a longshot to think he’ll pitch much, however. Hope for 5 good innings and an early lead.
After yakking up the resurgence of Albert Pujols in yesterday’s blurb, he promptly responded with an 0-fer. If you have him, though, I think I’d still hold…
Those who made their GuruGolf roster revisions early should probably take a second look. Sixteen golfers have already withdrawn from the originally announced field of the St. Jude Classic. It’s normal to have a few withdrawals each week; 16 is decidedly not normal.
6/7 - Apparently, we have a competitive NBA finals after all – at least for a few days.
Over the last two weeks, Albert Pujols has been the top fantasy hitter in just about any scoring format. And the world is once again restored to order. His stats over the period: 10 R, 15 RBI, 6 HR, 5 SB, .348 BA, .500 OBP, .739 SLG. Yeah, those are worthy of the top draft pick.
In GuruGolf, DWetzel rode a pair of Rickies to the top best ball score (-53). Worst ball honors were shared by a couple of teams that were each Ricky-free.
6/4 - Felix Hernandez not only pitched his first win since April, but he tied a major league record by striking out four batters in the 8th inning, courtesy of a 3rd strike wild pitch. Jered Weaver had a similarly strong outing, throwing seven shutout innings against the Royals.
Weaver’s pitching opponent was Zack Greinke, whose record now stands at 1-7. He does have an ERA of 3.60, a WHIP of 1.25, and a BAA of .259. Those numbers are respectable, but not stellar. And evidently not good enough to post wins on the Royals. Last year on June 4, Greinke was 8-1 with a 1.10 ER, 0.90 WHIP, and a .211 BAA. Almost Ubaldian.
By the way, four strikeouts in an inning is not as rare as a perfect game (for now, at least), but about 5 times rarer than a no-hitter, occurring only 52 times in major league history. The last instance was in June, 2008, when – curiously – the feat was accomplished twice within a week.
The historical stats on 4 strikeout innings were taken from Baseball Almanac, so I assume they are complete. There is an oddity, however. There are no reported instances between 1916 and 1956. Five instances were recorded from 1888-1916, and 47 occurrences are recorded from 1956 on. Makes you wonder whether there is some reason for the 40 year drought other than just random chance.
6/3 - The baseball story of the day on Wednesday would have been the retirement of Ken Griffey, Jr. Then Armando Galarraga threatened to upstage Griffey by pitching a perfect game. But finally, the “imperfect game” developed, resulting in what was probably an even bigger story than a perfect game would have been.
Frankly, this one seems easy to resolve. The rest of the world saw the instant replay, and easily saw that the runner was out. The umpire freely admitted it. That game should have ended. Why can’t Bud Selig, using his “best interests of baseball” powers, simply reverse the call and make it right? I understand the danger of setting precedents, but one of these days, this type of call will be reviewable anyway, and there seems to be no harm in actually “getting it right.” I doubt if that will happen, though.
And curiously, Galarraga may actually be better served by being remembered as the guy who was robbed of a perfect game – and then handled it so graciously. The postgame confession of Jim Joyce and the reaction of Galarraga should probably be required viewing for every professional and amateur player, coach, and umpire. Galarraga will probably never rise to the elite level in baseball as a pitcher. But he’s clearly already an elite player with regard to his comportment.
By the way, I wonder if Detroit will now try to sell out yesterday’s game? The reported attendance was only 17,783, so good seats are certainly still available.
As to Griffey, it’s been awhile, but there was a time that he was widely regarded as the best player on the planet. From 1993-2000, he homered 315 times, approximately once every 13.7 plate appearances. He had decent speed, typically swiping 15-20 bases each year during the first half of his career. And 10 Gold Glove awards testify to his stature as one of the best centerfielders in the game during his heyday. At one point, he was projected to retire with all time numbers in several categories, but injuries really impeded his performance in the second half of his career.
In golf, the Memorial Tournament has started, although inclement weather has already suspended play this morning. Spencer Levin is the carryover-favorite GuruGolfer, although the field is once again well dispersed.
6/2 - Arguably, the best pitching performance last night was by Mike Pelfrey, who held the Padres to one run on 4 hits over 8 IP, just one night after the Pads lit up five Mets pitchers for 18 earned runs.
Today’s full slate of MLB action features several games with problematic weather forecasts. If you have some roster flexibility, it may pay off to stay tuned to possible rainouts.
Although Memorial Day was last weekend, the Memorial Tournament tees off tomorrow in Ohio. GuruGolfers – prepare!
6/1 - We certainly had some unusual happenings over the weekend.
Roy Halladay pitched a perfect game. According to Wikipedia, this was only the second time that two perfect games were hurled in the same MLB season. Since Mark Buehrle also pitched one in July, 2009, there have now been three of them within a one year span. Is pitching catching up to hitting?
Curiously, the only other year with two perfect games was 1880, when the first two perfect games in MLB history were thrown just 5 days apart in June – after which the feat wasn’t repeated until Cy Young threw one in 1904.
Meanwhile, Kendry Morales found a way to hit a walk-off grand slam homerun and break his leg within the same minute.
Congrats to wimpy mule, whose -55 was two strokes better than any other GuruGolf team over the weekend. Wosrt ball honors went to whipsticks (+44), a full seven stokes ahead of the closest contenders.
5/28 - With almost two months of the MLB season in the books, some of the top hitters have yet to earn their lofty fantasy draft rankings. For example, Albert Pujols currently ranks only 14th among all hitters in total fantasy points (RotoHog SalCap). Hanley Ramirez ranks 30th. Alex Rodriguez, #37. Those were the consensus top three picks in the RIBC leagues. Chase Utley, the 4th pick, currently ranks 23rd. Not until we get to Ryan Braun do we see value matching expectations, as he was the consensus #5 pick, and currently ranks #4 among hitters.
Using a ranking system more in synch with the scoring framework of the RIBC leagues doesn’t really change much. In fact, one such system ranks Pujols at #20, Hanley #32, ARod #79, Utley #21,and Braun #4. Pretty similar, except for the negative discrepancy for ARod.
Those guys may still rise to the top of the heap as the season matures, but at this point, it looks like getting a top draft pick in the spring isn’t producing much of an early harvest.
Enjoy the long weekend!
5/27 - The NBA playoffs have certainly gotten more interesting in the past two days.
It’s been difficult this year to find a starting pitcher who is studly every time out. Topping the short list is Ubaldo Jimenez, who undoubtedly has the early lead in the N.L. CY Young race. In ten starts, his worst fantasy output has been 35 RSCP, which equates to 70 TSNP for those who are more comfortable with the relative values of the former TSN point structure. John Lester has also been very dependable of late, after opening the season with three weak starts (at which point he sported an ERA of 8.44). But after those two, there just doesn’t seem to be anyone that is a virtual lock. Even Halladay and Lincecum have been very pedestrian of late.
The Crowne Plaza Invitational is off and running, and GuruGolf teams show a slight preference for Spencer Levin this week, although he’s on just over 20% of all foursomes.
5/26 - The NBA West finals is now a best-of-three, after both teams held serve in the opening four games. Phoenix will have to win one in L.A. to prevail. That series is in striking contrast to the Eastern finals, where the home team has only won one of first four games.
The Yankees and Twins were suspended after 5 innings last night, and the game will be completed today. Depending on how your fantasy game treats suspended games, you might be able to get 1½ games out of those hitters today.
On the surface, playing the 2014 Super Bowl in an outdoor stadium in northern NJ sounds a bit looney. But maybe not so much. New York City will provide a good venue for the weekly hoopla leading up to Sunday. The corporate suites at the stadium will all be enclosed. The game will be the usual sellout, regardless of weather potential. (Whether all those seats are actually filled remains to be seen.) The world will still watch on TV, without regard to locale. So the only issue would seem to be that adverse weather might impact game play. If so – so what? Some of the playoff games leading up to the Super Bowl could be played in cold weather sites in January. Why not the Super Bowl itself?
The Crowne Plaza Invitational tees off tomorrow morning, completing the 3-week Texas swing. Get your GuruGolf foursomes ready.
5/25 - It’s interesting that Phil Jackson now seems to be in play, presumably linked with LeBron. July will be an interesting month.
In another non-story, Ryder Cup USA team captain Corey Pavin said that Tiger is not guaranteed a spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup team and will have to play his way on like every other player. As of today, he would have to be a Captain’s pick. Would he be? It’s not like Tiger has been a “must have” in Ryder Cup play, where his career record is only 10-13-2.
It must be a slow sports day. After staring at this page for more than an hour, all I’ve come up with is a rumored coaching move and Ryder Cup speculation. I guess I should just quit now.
5/24 - The NL took the early lead in interleague play, going 22-20 vs. AL teams this weekend. Perhaps more telling, NL teams won 9 of the 14 series. Only one weekend series was a 3-0 sweep – Oakland over San Fran. Every other series broke 2-1. The senior circuit gets the chance to expand on that next month, when interleague play starts in earnest on June 11th.
The typical pitching studs haven’t exactly been lighting it up of late. Over the past 15 days (3 starts), here are the top five starting pitchers in RotoHog points: Kershaw, Cueto, Hudson, Latos, Billingsley. The next three have stronger resumes – Josh Johnson, Jon Lester, and Ubaldo Jimenez. Then we revert back to names like Marcum, Clayton Richards, Saunders, Arroyo. So where are the studs? Wainwright ranks #42, Lincecum #53, Carpenter #63, Halladay #179, and Sabathia is not even in the top 200. It’s been a good couple of weeks to take the road less traveled.
In GuruGolf, kudos to the yips, whose weekend -53 in best ball scoring was a full eight strokes better than closest contender. In a much more closely contested race in worst ball scoring, Dave’s Duffers (+48) eked out a narrow one stroke victory over five other teams.
5/21 - Interleague play.
I guess this weekend is supposed to feature the natural regional rivalries, like Yankees-Mets, Baltimore-Washington, Oakland-San Fran, Cincy-Cleveland. But not all series follow that theme. The Chicago and L.A. intercity series don’t happen until next month.
I was hoping that Tommy Hanson would be a differentiator on my RotoHog teams last night. Sadly, I was correct. It was reminiscent of getting “Ramoned” many years ago. (Hard to believe that was a full ten years ago.) At least the Braves’ miracle comeback took away the potential loss. Whoop-de-doo.
5/20 - We get a mini-burst of interleague play this weekend. That means seven A.L. designated hitters will lose their customary lineup slot. If you have a DH on the Angels, Baltimore, Boston, Detroit, Yankees, Rays, or Toronto, be prepared for less than a full complement of action this weekend.
The Lakers prevailed again last night, wining by 12 after being tied at the end of three stanzas. It’s sometimes said that an NBA playoff series doesn’t really start to take meaning until one team fails to hold serve (i.e., loses on the home court), so – notwithstanding Phil Jackson’s 45-0 streak – this one still hasn’t really “started.” On the other hand, the pressure is squarely on Phoenix now, as they have to win the next two at home if they are to have any shot at advancing.
J.B. Holmes is the popular favorite in GuruGolf this week, on almost 40% of all active foursomes.
5/19 - The Celtics won the opening two games in Orlando. Historically, the visiting NBA team has opened a series with two road wins 25 times, and gone on to win 22 of those series. And when it’s happened in the semi-final round, the opening road winner has won all eleven times. So it’s looking good for Boston – except that they haven’t been a particularly strong home team this year. They lost 17 times in Boston during the regular season. None of the other surviving playoff teams lost more than 9 games at home.
The PGA Tour remains in Texas this week, this time in the Dallas area. Chances are your GuruGolf lineup won’t require much shuffling, although you should obviously check it out – especially since there have been a few notable withdrawals this week, including Charles Howell III, who was last week’s most widely owned GuruGolfer.
5/18 - The Lakers exploded for a 21-point win in the first game of the Western Conference Finals. And that’s not good news for the Suns. In Phil Jackson’s NBA coaching career, he has never lost a series after winning the first game. 45-0, going on 46. Yikes!
Andre Ethier has now missed three consecutive games, and he’s still the top hitter in RotoHog points over the last 30 days.
I just heard a radio commercial for “University of Maryland University College.” That name sounds like it was created by the Department of Redundancy Department.
Back to Phil Jackson. In case you’re wondering, he is only 7-8 when he loses the first game of a playoff series. So, his playoff series record is 52-8 overall.
Just how remarkable is going 45-0 when winning game #1? Consider these stats:
I guess if you are rooting for Phoenix, your mantra becomes “He’s about due…”
5/17 - The Celtics are Exhibit A in the case for “timing is everything.” After starting the season well, age looked like it had taken over and they were even finding ways to lose to teams like the Nets – in Boston! But somehow, everyone got healthy at the right time, and the team is now clicking on all cylinders – even though they almost ran out of gas yesterday in the fourth quarter (or perhaps Orlando finally recovered from the long layoff.) If they can stay healthy, the schedule should provide ample rest this week (only 2 games in the next 6 days). Then they have to find a way to keep their legs young for the second week, when games are scheduled every other day.
Andre Ethier had been the hottest hitter in baseball for the last month. Then suddenly, he sustained a broken fingertip while taking batting practice on Saturday. It’s not yet clear if he’ll try to play through it or head to the DL, but either way, it’s a big disappointment if you had him.
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
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 toGuru<firstname.lastname@example.org>.
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