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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.

7/24 - It has been an unbalanced week for home runs. If you are in an AL-only league, you should have done well the past two days, as 20 AL players have homered in each of the last two days (not the same 20, of course) - and some of them multiple times. Meanwhile, in the NL, only nine players went deep yesterday, and only four the day before. But then, on Monday the tables were reversed, as 20 National Leaguers went yard, while only six managed to trot around the AL bases. What's it all mean? Nothing, I'm sure. But it's the type of anomaly that I sometimes notice. And I doubt if you find this type of statistical minutiae at other sports sites.

While on the topic of arcane statistical minutiae, I also noticed that 21 players were hit by a pitch on Tuesday. Twenty-one plunkings is about twice the average for a 15-game day. More than half of them were in the NL, but based on the evidence in the prior paragraph, they weren't in retribution for long balls. Maybe the lack of NL home runs was because the hitters were expending too much energy diving for cover.

Enough irrelevance for one day. Unfortunately, I can't think of anything relevant to say.

7/23 - Y'all took my advice yesterday and picked up Jeriome Robertson, right? I wish I did!

It's tough to gauge if and when to pick up Schilling and Johnson. If they are in peak form, they are almost must-haves. But the evidence so far suggests that neither has yet rounded into mid-season shape, which is to be expected. If you are value-challenged, it probably makes no sense to chase them now. But if you have ample funds to be able to afford one or both, is it worthwhile take them now, realizing that it is probably still premature? Perhaps, if you don't find any alternatives that seem surer.

That's what I'm grappling with now. I have five TSN Ultimate teams this year, but I'm really running only two distinct rosters, at least so far. Of the five divisions I'm in, I lead in one, I'm contending in two, and I'm probably out of it in the other two. In the three divisions where I'm competitive, I have a reasonably significant value advantage which I hope to parlay into a point advantage by September. Going after the 3-headed monster now is something that I can do, but that most of my competition cannot (at least not without significantly weakening their hitting). But if the two recovering Dbacks are not going to put up consistent studly numbers for awhile, then I may be effectively conceding my biggest weapon.

No easy answers.

7/22 - The early leader in the "who do I pick up when I ditch Dontrelle Willis" sweepstakes was Jerome Williams. His +41 TSNP output last night wasn't inspiring, but it looks like he'll be a safe (and profitable) haven for awhile. I had thought that Jose Lima would be a good alternative, but it turns out he's going to miss tonight's start with a lingering groin problem. I suppose another cheap possibility is Houston's Jeriome Robertson, who works in Pittsburgh tonight, weather permitting. And of course, I suspect that many of you have the funds to be able to upgrade to a higher priced hurler. Holding onto Willis might turn out to be a reasonable option from a point perspective, but it promises to be an expensive one.

By the way, Willis had an interesting array of TSN price changes yesterday. In the full season Ultimate game, he dropped $40K. In the midseason Ultimate game, the change was zero. And in Basic 2, he gained $100K.

Speaking of weather, it looks like the eastern US will have unsettled weather for the next few days. It may be that no games are sacrificed, but if you have pitching rotation plans that depend on precise timing, you should probably think about contingencies. Forewarned is forearmed.

Thank to Gurupie Zio for pointing out today's quote.

7/21 - A case can be made that yesterday was the most prolific hitting day so far this season. Using TSNP as a yardstick, the slate of 15 games produced a total of 3127 for all hitters (and that excludes pitchers' hitting points). The only day which produced a higher hitting total was June 8, but that total was aided by two doubleheaders. On a per-game basis, yesterday was about 7% higher than June 8th. The average of 208 hitting TSNP/game was the highest this year for any day on which every team played. (By comparison, the average game this year has produced 157 hitting TSNP.)

In addition, 45 players hit at least one home run. I don't have a convenient way to compare that against prior days, but on June 8, the comparable number was only 40. Even Dodger stadium lost 9 balls in fair territory - an all-time record for that park. And the pitching matchup of Odalis Perez and Woody Williams seemed like an unlikely tandem to serve up that record. Go figure.

Rookie phenom Dontrelle Willis did his part, coughing up -81 TSNP. Someone counted that 72 of the top 100 TSN Ultimate teams had him yesterday. If you didn't, you gained nicely on the majority of the field. And, as the most widely owned player, watch out for the coming price avalanche.

Meanwhile, Gurupie threespleens noted an interesting item in Friday's Texas @ Tampa boxscore:

HBP - J Gonzalez (By J Gonzalez)
No wonder the guy is injury prone.

7/18 - Welcome back. To everyone but Ken Griffey, that is. As someone mentioned at the message forum, he is the Grant Hill of Major League Baseball. The question is not if he will get injured, but when.

Six pitchers reached 3-digit TSNPs. None were monster results, but Curt Schilling's strong outing will undoubtedly start the buying. Another notable outing was turned in by Jose Lima. His 81 TSNP was his worst result in his last five starts. If you have lots of money to spend, Schilling is probably someone to go after. If you are value-challenged, consider Lima.

During the break, I made a lot of progress on football processing, although not much is visible yet. The 2003 NFL schedule grid is now posted. Behind the scenes, I have been preparing the sortable stats, which necessitates looking up a lot of new player IDs for various info sites like RotoWire, RotoWorld,, etc. That's almost done, and the sortable stats (for TSN) should be loaded within the next week.

7/11 - This will be my last blurb until after the All Star break. I'll use next week's hiatus to get started on football pages, though. I hope to have the NFL schedule grid posted, and also to produce preliminary sortable stats for the 2003 TSN Ultimate game. At least, that's the plan.

I'll also need to update prices for the PSC baseball games. Remember that they reprice all players at the break. You'll be required to completely redraft a roster, as all existing rosters will emptied. So far, I've seen no indication as to when the new prices will be released, but the next freeze is Thursday at 1pm.

Enjoy the break!

7/10 - The Yankees not only had Bernie Williams back in the lineup last night, but Jeter and Soriano as well. In Toronto, Carlos Delgado produced well again. The price bleeding of Soriano and Delgado should reverse quickly, I expect.

If you are already looking ahead at your post All Star pitching plans (and you probably should be), I've started a thread at the message forum to report teams' announced pitching rotations after the break. If you have any local information to fill in, please do so. It's not uncommon to see conflicting projections coming out of the ASB, and this should help us solidify our outlook, or at least help to identify the discrepancies.

7/9 - The top pitching result of the day - by a long shot - belonged to a rookie lefthander with an unorthodox delivery. If I'd have given out that psychic advice yesterday, you'd have all known I was talking about Dontrelle Willis.

And you'd have been wrong. Willis pitched well, but adverse weather short-circuited his tenure on the mound. Meanwhile, Cleveland's Billy Traber turned the trick on the Yankees, who were admittedly depleted without their normal 1-2 hitters. But even so, the dominance was certainly unexpected. Traber's past three starts have all produced triple-digit TSNPs, but before you flock to pick him up, recognize that one of those was negative (-100 TSNP at KC).

You've undoubtedly noticed that I posted an ad for today. I've had good success with them over the past few years, ordering not only traditional batteries, but particularly some specialty batteries, including one for a security system and one for a wireless phone. This is not a "pay per click ad" (those really don't exist anymore), so I derive no benefit unless your clickthrough is followed by a sale. But I thought their latest offer of $9.99 for 24 AA Energizers was attractive, and I ordered a few packs myself yesterday, stocking up. Please keep them in mind when you are shopping for batteries of any type. And also remember that there are other advertising links posted on the sponsor page. Advertising doesn't provide much RotoGuru revenue anymore, and I don't devote much effort to promoting ads, but every now and then a reminder is probably appropriate. End of commercial.

7/8 - If you have plenty of hitting trades in reserve, you can probably find some current opportunities to use them. There are plenty of players who are either slumping or injured. But if you are trade-constrained, you can pick some slots to tough out. For example, neither Delgado nor Soriano look to be long term problems. It sounds like Delgado could play tonight. Soriano seems a bit more iffy, although Torre also has Jeter to work around. But again, neither should miss much time, if any. So if you are light on trades, grit your teeth when you see the price action, and hope for a quick return to productivity. But if you have an excess of trades, I suppose this is the time to use some.

There were only 9 games on yesterday's MLB schedule. Amazingly, 7 pitchers turned in 3-digit TSNP totals, including 3 complete games. Until yesterday (with a full slate of 15 games), we hadn't had seven 3-digit pitchers for more than two weeks.

7/7 - The Dodger pitching staff gave up only 5 runs in a 3-game weekend series. But the Dodger bats only managed to score 4 (of which only one was earned). With this sort of hitting momentum, they are making a run at the Tigers for the season lead in hitting futility. In terms of runs scored, the Dodgers now trail the Tigers by only 7 runs, 289-282. The big difference between the teams, of course, is that the Tigers have surrendered 449 runs, for an unfavorable differential of 167, almost 2 runs per game. The Dodgers have allowed only 266 runs, for a favorable differential of 23 runs.

If you are in an AL-only league, today is almost an off-day. The Red Sox and Yankees play an early afternoon game, and that's it. But in the NL, every team is scheduled tonight. It's unusual to see that degree of scheduling disparity between the two leagues.

7/4 - When the sinkerball is working well, Coors Field is not a big deal. Apparently, ground balls don't carry any better there than in any other stadium. And Brandon Webb has 100 TSNP this morning to prove it.

Meanwhile, Kevin Brown is today's big worry. He was very heavily bought yesterday, which should give him a reasonable price cushion going into a holiday weekend (with light overall trading). But he left after five innings with a lower abdominal strain, earning the dreaded "day-to-day" designation. Decisions, decisions...

Enjoy the fourth!

7/3 - A bit of a turnaround last night. Pedro pitched well, left with a 2 run lead, and the Boston bullpen held on (barely). Meanwhile, Dontrelle Willis pitched even better, surrendering only one run in 8 innings, but the Marlins failed to cover.

Neither had the best effort of the night, however. That belonged to John Lackey, with a complete game, 4-hit, no walk shutout over Texas. This is the first time all season that Lackey has pitched well in consecutive games. Perhaps he now warrants some attention.

If the various recoveries all go according to plan, the complexion of the TSN season may change soon. We could have all three heads of the proverbial monster back in action. Pedro, Randy, and Curt are still the only pitchers to exceed $8 million in TSN price, and there are now some teams that could comfortably afford to own all three. Until this point, bloated roster value has been of limited benefit. But if the 3HM begins to produce according to historical norms, wealth may provide a payoff. Of course, if cheap options like Willis and Loaiza continue to shine, then the advantage will be diminished. Regardless, it will be beneficial to have a few more attractive pitching alternatives thrown into the mix.

7/2 - Yesterday's top pitcher was a rather unlikely option. Detroit's Matt Roney generated 136 TSNP, pitching 7 innings of 1-hit ball against Toronto, arguably the best hitting team (so far) in MLB. Go figure.

Things are certainly looking up for the White Sox. In addition to yesterday's trades, Mark Buehrle seems to be back on track with his fourth straight win. If Joe Crede and Paul Konerko ever find their hitting strokes, they'll have a very potent offense. Earlier this season, they were one of the most accommodating teams for starters to face, but lately, they've been near the other and of that list. It looks like no team is prepared to run away with the AL Central title, and if the White Sox can claim that division, the trio of Buehrle, Colon, and Loaiza could put them in good stead for the playoffs. Of course, Robbie Alomar could still suck, and injuries or slumps could change the outlook dramatically, but White Sox fans have reason for optimism today, no doubt.

7/1 - Don't look now, but we have a new leader in total TSNP. Jason Schmidt, on the strength of three consecutive complete games, is now in the top spot. In his last three starts, he's surrendered only one earned run, and that was a harmless solo shot to Jim Edmonds in the 9th inning last night. I considered picking up Schmidt for last night's game, but the Cardinals had been hitting and scoring so well lately that I thought this was not the optimum time. Wrong. Perhaps the acid test will be next week, when (barring intervening rainouts) he is scheduled to pitch in Coors Field.

Speaking of Coors Field starts, there are a number of top pitchers who will be starting there in the next 2 weeks. If my projections are correct, the list will include Brandon Webb (7/3), Schmidt (7/10), Hideo Nomo (7/11), and Kevin Brown (7/13). There isn't much recent history to suggest whether any of the group are good bets or not. In the last three years, Brown is the only one with more than one appearance there, and his record (in 3 games) is respectable: 2-1, 3.10 ERA, .263 BA against. Not scary. In his career, Nomo has 7 Coors appearances, and has not fared particularly well (7.20 ERA, .297 BAA). Only one of those games was during the last three years, however. Schmidt has fared even worse during his career, with a 7.56 ERA and a .343 BAA in 5 Coors appearances. But only one of those was in the last 3 years as well. And Kevin Brown's career performance is not as good as his recent Coors past, with a 3.93 ERA and a .304 BAA in 8 games. You'll have to draw your own inferences.

Click here for prior daily blurbs, by month:

2003: June . . . May . . . April . . . 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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