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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.

7/30 - We turn the corner into August this weekend, and with that, I expect football draft activity to begin to gain momentum. You are invited to use the message forum for your league drafts, if you wish. My request is that you use the Football Standings Forum for this, as otherwise the regular football forum gets so choked with draft threads that you can't find any general news. The one exception will be draft activity related to the RIFC, which will not begin until August 16th.

Speaking of football, if you are a GuruPatron (or become one) and would like to be included in the TSN Ultimate Football GuruPatron division, I've already set it up. GuruPatrons can find the password info at the bottom of the GuruPatron validation page.

I'll be away this weekend at a family wedding (in Peoria, the hometown of Jim Thome), and won't be back home until Monday evening. That has two site implications: (1) I won't be as available to solve any problems over the weekend. If GuruGolf has a scoring conniption, hopefully it will just work itself out. I will probably only be attending to site issues in the morning and late at night. (2) I will be in transit most of Monday, so if there is no blurb (and there probably won't be), don't assume that there's any problem.

Enjoy the weekend!

7/29 - It sounds like an American League game broke out in Cincinnati last night. The Cardinals won 11-10 in a 9-inning game that lasted almost four hours and featured a see-saw battle with plenty of hits (29), walks (19), and 11 runs (combined) in the 5th inning alone. Scott Rolen may not have had any fun, but with 86 TSNP and a win, I don't see that he has much to complain about. He should consider the plight of someone like Wily Mo Pena, who not only was on the losing team, but went 0-5 with three strikeouts. And interestingly, those two are each on about the same number of TSN Ultimate rosters.

The Buick Open starts today, and 18 GuruGolf teams have already been blindsided by the late withdrawal of Fred Funk. I'm not sure when Funk formally withdrew, but I do notice that 2 GuruGolf teams added him between 3am and 7am this morning. Remember, it's always a good idea to do a last minute check of the official field. Still, in this case that might not have helped, because still lists Funk on its field page. He doesn't have a tee time listed on the tee time page, however. But I don't know when that was changed.

I guess 18 of you should just consider yourselves Funked.

7/28 - I remember the old saying, "Spahn and Sain, then 3 days of rain." No, I'm not really that old - I just remember it, that's all. The obvious context was that the Milwaukee Braves had pitching problems after their two studs. This year, for my TSN team, I think the corresponding expression is, "Santana and Schmidt, then 4 days of sh..." (This is supposed to be a family friendly site, so I'll let you fill in the blank.) And after two quality outings by Santana and Schmidt last night, if you're hanging around my pitching roster, you'd be well advised to duck.

I added some new features in GuruGolf yesterday. If you have been disappointed with your best ball score, now you can check out your "worst ball" results as well. Worst Ball scoring is simply the complement of best ball scoring - you simply count the worst score on each hole. Traditionally, for worst ball scoring, the high score wins. And, before you assume that worst ball rosters should be optimally selected from the dung heap of golferdom, think again; you still need golfers to make the cut. Getting zeros on Saturday and Sunday is not helpful.

Nothing fundamental has changed about the game. It was just easy to modify the scoring engine to score both ways, so you can now see your worst results and rankings, if you wish.

The other change was to allow you to run the standings using Major Tournaments only. I thought it might be interesting to see results only for those weeks that present the most difficult challenges.

7/27 - Sometimes patience is a virtue. But sometimes it will hurt you.

After Cliff Lee posted -67 TSNP last week against the White Sox, I decided to tough it out and hold for his next start against Detroit. Over the ensuing 5 days, I was pleased that he lost only 40K in total. And then, last night, I got my reward: -92 TSNP, as he lasted only 2/3 of an inning. Lately, I feel like I'd be better served with a pitching lineup of guys on the DL.

Oh well. Today starts the rest of the season. Tally ho!

7/26 - I'm back home and once again, assuming the position. Thanks for your patience while I was away.

A lot of things have happened while I was on vacation. Two golf tournaments were completed, a lot of baseball action (including a marquis series 'twixt the Yanks and Sox), Lance Armstrong said "I'll be back...", and Ricky Williams said "... but I won't."

I know I have a lot of catching up to do. There are a handful of GuruPatron donations that need to be acknowledged. It's gratifying that those continue to flow in even while I'm goofing off. I have some football setup to do, not only for the standard salary cap games, but also the RIFC. And there are a few programming tweaks to be made for GuruGulf. So, I have a full plate right now. I'd better start chowing down!

7/16 - The Yankees had only 5 hits in Detroit last night, and all five were unplayable. (The last time a team had at least five hits and all were home runs was June 24, 1989, when the Cleveland Indians hit six homers in a 7-3 win at Texas, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.) Two hits would have been sufficient for the Yankees, as Jose Contreras held the Tigers to just one run, and Rivera finished the job in a non-save situation.

I'll be vacationing on Long Beach Island on the New Jersey shore next week, so blurbs will be scarce - and quite possibly missing altogether. I'll have laptop in tow, and stats will be updated daily as always, but my overall web presence will be a bit lighter, as long as the sun shines.

7/15 - Baseball doesn't resume until tonight. But there's plenty to do this morning, with the British Open already midway through the first round. Shigeki Maruyama is the most widely owned golfer in GuruGolf, owing not so much to his expected prowess this week, but more to trade conservation, as this is his third straight week of playing. If Maruyama misses the cut, he'll screw up a lot of weekend scorecards. But he toured the first 18 hole in even par (or should I say "level par"), so there's no problem yet.

But, while watching the Open leaderboard, don't forget to attend to any needed baseball moves, particularly for the PSC game, where your roster will otherwise be empty.

7/14 - When I was in my formative years, the American League couldn't do diddly-squat in an All Star game. Now that I'm fully formed (very fully, I might add), the tide has certainly turned, as the A.L. has won the last seven decisions (excluding the infamous tie) and 13 of the last 16.

There isn't much else to yap about today, other than to remind you to get your GuruGolf rosters set for "The Open Championship", otherwise known on this continent as the British Open. Tee times for the opening round have been posted. Although the rules state that the freeze time is 3:00am EDT, it appears the the first tee time will be at 6:30am local time, which I think equates to 1:30am EDT. So, I am dictatorially advancing the freeze time to 1:30am EDT. If anyone is caught off-guard by this change, please send me an email and I'll consider whether any special consideration is warranted.

7/13 - A slow day, for obvious reasons. Even Miguel Tejada's surprising performance in the Home Run Derby, while impressive, has no lingering implications.

PSC did add about 20 new players yesterday, and all are now included in the sortable stats. Don't forget to refill your rosters before Thursday's freeze. It may be a short week, but going vacant for 4 days will probably cost you about 1000 points or so.

7/12 - Time to regroup. The baseball season is just slightly more than halfway over. To appropriately accommodate the All Star break, I've made the following site adjustments:

  • All trailing averages (30, 15, or 7 day) will ignore the three days of the All-Star break.
  • The Assimilator and individual player pages will now reflect Season 2 prices for the TSN Basic game.
  • Progressive Sports Challenge completely reprices all players during the break, and you must re-enter your roster(s) from scratch. All new player prices are now included in the sortable stats and the PSC Assimilator.
Hopefully everything is operating properly. But let me know if you find a glitch.

GuruGolf moves on to the British Open. There are a few special considerations for this tournament:

  • 16 golfers qualified for the tournament by their results in weekend qualifying tournaments. Of these golfers, 15 are not listed in the GuruGolf game. Since it is likely that these golfers will not appear in other GuruGolf events, I have decided not to automatically list them. However, if anyone would like to have a specific golfer listed, please send me an email. That golfer will have a GuruGolf price of $500.
  • The freeze for this tournament will be 3:00am EDT on Thursday, to compensate for the earlier time zone.
Enjoy the break. But don't forget to attend to those things that must be done.

7/9 - Kansas City once again failed to score, for the 4th consecutive day. This time, I suppose it was forgivable, as they were not even scheduled to play. The way things have been going for them lately, that's about as good as it gets.

The top pitching game of the day was from Ricardo Rodriguez, who returned to Cleveland to throttle the team that dealt him away roughly a year ago. The Tribe received Ryan Ludwick back in that trade, and while Ludwick closed the 2003 season well, he's been on the DL for most of this season, and only recently began a rehab assignment in AAA. So, the jury is definitely still out on that trade.

If you want to ride the contra-Royal pitching wave this weekend, you'll need to really have faith. K.C. faces the Baltimore trio of Erik Bedard, Sidney Ponson, and Rodrigo Lopez. As starters this year, the trio has held opposing batters to a collective .291 average (although, to be fair, Ponson is the primary culprit). Meanwhile, the Royals have been hitting at a .155 clip so far in July. The movable force against the resistable object. Bear in mind that Ponson is the only starting pitcher that KC has been able to hit in the past 2 weeks.

7/8 - I guess I should have followed my own advice and stuck with the contra-Royal choice of Kyle Lohse last night. That would have been worth 150 TSNP. Still, his total was only the 4th best among pitchers, as a number of gems were thrown. None of them looked like slam dunks a priori, however. Not tome, at least.

A fair number of hitters also got their licks in last night, in contrast to the night before. Three hitters were in the TSNP 90s, and twenty topped 40 TSNP. So there were plenty of opportunities on both ends of the scorecard. You simply had to pick your spots.

In golf, the John Deere Classic is underway. A look at GuruGolf rosters shows a definite bent toward trade conservation, as five of the top six golfers are also entered in next week's British Open. Topping the list is Shigeki Maruyama, who is on roughly half of all active rosters this week.

7/7 - Through 7 innings, Jason Schmidt had surrendered only one hit and one run. Unfortunately, he had walked 5 and fanned 12, so his pitch count was up to 116. With a 6-run lead, Felipe Alou can hardly be faulted for turning to his bullpen. Unfortunately, it appears that Cleveland's bullpen showed up instead. And Schmidt's potential 141 TSNP evening retreated to a mere 111.

Even if Schmidt had prevailed, he would have been a distant second in TSNP for the night. The top hurler was Johan Santana, who racked up 183 TSNP in a 3-hit shutout over the Beltranless Royals. I did everything I could yesterday (short of saying "get Santana!") to highlight the current potential of virtually any pitcher not named Ponson against KC. Hopefully, if you didn't have him already, you took the cue.

But if not, there were plenty of other successful options, as hitters seemed to take a back seat just about everywhere. Ten pitchers topped 100 TSNP for the night, while only 9 hitters garnered at least 40 TSNP. That's a very unusual imbalance.

Remember the GuruGolf freeze at 7am tomorrow morning. If you haven't done so lately, check the golf forum for John Deere field updates, a link to next week's British Open entries, and updated analysis on the value of a fourth golfer.

7/6 - I don't get it. We just had a national holiday weekend, when all government offices and most non-retail businesses in the U.S. were closed. The overwhelming majority of the wage earning workforce in the U.S. had a day to kill. And yet, eight of the 30 major league teams had no games scheduled. Now, why would you not want to schedule a game - particularly a day game - when most of your fan base is available? I remember when this was a perfect excuse for teams to schedule afternoon doubleheaders. I realize those days are long gone, but I can't understand the logic of an off day - or even a night game - on a day like this.

Tampa Bay could have used an off day. After being one of the hottest teams in the majors for the past few weeks, they found a way to lose two - to one of the unhottest teams. Baltimore had been 10-17 over the past month, while Tampa Bay was 19-7 over the same span. Admittedly, each team had been playing closer to equilbrium over the past week or so. But you wouldn't have expected the D-Ray bats to be totally shackled by the combo of Cabrera and Borkowski. All Tampa could manage was 4 runs on 10 hits over 2 games.

Still, Kansas City seems to have taken over the mantle of being the most pitcher-friendly lineup. In the eleven games since Carlos Beltran was traded away, starters vs. the Royals have averaged 91 TSNP per start. And if your throw away the June 29 start by Sidney Ponson, the remaining 10-game average is 101 TSNP/start. So I don't know who's more pitiful - the Royal hitters, or Sidney Ponson. We'll call it a toss up, I guess.

7/2 - It's too bad last night's Boston/NY game wasn't a playoff game. If it had been, it would probably be hailed as one of the greatest postseason games of all time. And Miguel Cairo probably could have become Miguel F. Cairo to all Bostonians, joining such other luminaries as Aaron F. Boone and Bucky F. Dent. And Derek F. Jeter, no doubt.

The subway series always seems to be a big draw in New York City, but for the Yankees it will certainly be a comedown after the 3-game Boston series. Mussina goes against Trachsel tonight. Who cares?

Although Independence Day is on Sunday in the U.S., Monday is the national vacation day for those who would otherwise not have to work on July 4th. I may follow suit and skip a blurb on Monday, unless something occurs to me. So have a great, long weekend - regardless of which continent you're on.

7/1 - The Red Sox already seem to be in post-season form. Of course, having lived in New England for almost 30 years, I realize that they'll rebound at some point, giving die hard fans another burst of optimism before the ultimate dagger is once again thrust. It's reminiscent of Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown to kick.

By the way, TSN added 30 new players to their game yesterday, including about 7 who hadn't yet appeared in a game. The complete list appears on your team's front page. It had been quite awhile since the last set of player additions, so this was not only a catch-up exercise, but evidently also a "get ahead" exercise, too.

In golf, the Cialis Western Open is now underway. There are almost 200 GuruGolf teams (run by 160 managers) that appear to be active heading into GuruGolf tournament #3. Charles Howell III is the most widely owned golfer, on 75 rosters - but 59 of those are holdovers from last week. The next two most popular choices are Shigeki Maruyama(70) and Vijay Singh(64), and it's no mystery why. Those two are both expected to play in the next two tournaments as well, so they are obvious attempts at trade conservation. For more analysis of this week's rosters, see the relevant thread at the golf message forum.

Click here for prior daily blurbs, by month:

2004: June. . . May. . . April. . . March . . . February . . . January

2003: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2002: December. . . November. . . October. . . September. . . August. . . July. . . June. . . May. . . April. . . March . . . February . . . January

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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