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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 - Iím home for a day to unpack, repack, and head off again tomorrow for a week in Ohio. So I figured Iíd make a drive-by blurb appearance, just to kept things from getting too stale here.

First, let me catch up on some old business. Here are last weekendís British Open prize winners in GuruGolf: golfer9er9er (best ball, -38), diablo (worst ball, +60, by tiebreaker).

I added a new game to the baseball sortable stats. If you play Facebook Salary Cap Baseball, you can now access that game data in the sortable stats. The game uses a simple salary cap format with almost unlimited trading allowed and prices that change (albeit very gradually). As with the RotoHog game, Iíll update prices once per morning Ė although I donít have the prices or points included on the individual player pages.

As an aside, if you do play the Facebook game, then youíll know how valuable the RotoGuru version of sortable stats can be. The stats provided at the game site are very limited. And I donít necessarily suggest that you try out the game if you havenít already. I was prompted to include this game for one reason: as a potential growth opportunity (there are more than 100,000 teams registered in that game). After a quick review of the game site, I knew that the RotoGuru Sortable Stats reporting would be of significant benefit to those who want to play that game seriously.

One caveat: Facebook data for opposing starters has only been calculated back to June 17th. Totals for the last 7, 15, and 30 days are accurate, but full season point totals will missing the first 2Ĺ months. Points for individual players are complete for the full season, however.

Football update: Recruiting for RIFC qualifying leagues has bogged down, as weíre still looking for someone to serve as commissioner for one AAA league and a AA league. If you might be willing, please indicate your interest in the RIFC Qualifying League thread.

7/17 - Today, I'm participating in the 2nd Blogger Fantasy Baseball Invitational Contest at Draftbug. For those who aren't familiar with Draftbug contests, the concept is simple - fantasy baseball contests lasting just one day. Each participant picks a team of players within a salary cap, and wins (or losses) based on the performance of their players in that night's games. Cash contests range from $1 up to $55, and a daily freeroll (with no entry fee and small cash prizes) is offered every day.

The format allows players to obsess over all the same details as in full season salary cap games (park, opponent, lefty/right matchups, home/away splits, weather, injuries, etc.), while not imposing any future time commitments on participants beyond the current day's contests.

The list of participants in the contest is below. The format basically mimics that of the daily freerolls, where the top five finishers each win $1, which can then be used to enter real money contests on future days:

Iím already on vacation on the Jersey shore today, but Iíll try to post my lineup and a scoring link tonight. Check the baseball forum.

Iíll actually be on vacation for most of the next two weeks, often restricted to dial-up access, so I will probably not be posting any more blurbs until August. I will continue to update stats as usual, and will try to keep at least a limited presence at the forum. Enjoy the rest of the month. And donít forget to sign up for a RIFC Qualifying league (see yesterdayís blurb for a link.)

7/16 - Only 3 GuruGolf managers found their way to early leader Tom Watson this week. Only 14 (7%) picked up Tiger. Suffice it to say that the former three are feeling better about their choice than the others. They are also feeling better than those who took (or held on to) this week's popular favorite Kenny Perry (28%), who matched Tiger with an opening +1.

We ease back into baseball action today, with 8 games on the slate. Tomorrow we return to full action.

I have started the recruiting process for the RIFC Qualifying Leagues. If you are interested in competing in a AAA or AA league this football season, please check out the listed criteria and post your interest. In particular, I am looking for volunteers to commish one AAA league and at least one AA league. While I know it seems early, the slow draft process necessitates that drafting get started in about a month from now, and it always takes awhile to get organized. In addition, we are also looking at options for alternative hosting sites for this year's leagues.

7/15 - One more day to goof off, and then back to business.

Winning pitcher Jon Papelbon and All Star MVP Carl Crawford should be glad the game wasn't played in Fenway Park. The ball that Crawford snagged over the fence would probably have been a wall ball in Fenway, and it's possible that the next fly to right field would also have been trouble, although I don't recall how close it was to the right field line, where the Fenway fence angles in quickly. But it wasn't in Fenway, and the A.L. won another (ho hum). As a kid, I always rooted for the American League back when the N.L. was the dominant team, and even though I have less of a rooting favorite now, it still gives me some satisfaction to see the A.L. have the upper hand.

By the way, why in the world don't they use a DH in the All Star game, regardless of the host league? Why should Roy Halladay be getting a plate appearance? I know that baseball is a game of tradition, but that's just so obviously wrong.

The British Open tees off at 1:30 am ET. Set your GuruGolf rosters by tonight. I'm hoping that GuruGolf scoring works OK at that hour, because I'm not going to get up to troubleshoot if it isn't. I'm just not that dedicated.

7/14 - Pretty compact day in sports. Prince Fielder won the HR Derby. Jeev Mikha Singh withdrew from the British Open. That's it. That's the list. Even the Tour de France took the day off.

7/13 - And they're off! Literally, this time. The All Star break gives us a three day vacation from fantasy baseball activity. Use it wisely.

I loaded up player prices for the Season 2 version of the TSN Salary Cap Challenge (a.k.a., the Basic game) in the sortable stats and the Assimilator. If you plan to play that game, you've got the ammunition to assemble your starting rosters.

In GuruGolf, two teams tied for the top best ball score for the John Deere Classic (-53), while Long Agin' ran away with worst ball honors, also claiming the worst ball crown in the Open Faced Sandwich Contest. The Best Ball contest champ was Long Island Divots.

7/10 - Tim Lincecum looked like he would turn in the stud pitching performance of the evening, but a ragged seventh inning knocked him back a few notches - behind Joel Pineiro (complete game), Felix Hernandez (one run in 8 IP), and [gulp!] even Manny Parra (7 shutout innings).

The baseball forum seems to be rather dormant of late, although that's become fairly routine around the middle of baseball season in recent years. According to Google Analytics, however, the RotoGuru site is still attracting a reasonably steady flow of visitors, averaging about 1000 visits and more than 4000 page views per day. So I guess it's just a silent crowd. Of course, some of the non-baseball forum areas are getting more posting activity.

I'm going to use the upcoming All Star break to begin organizing the RIFC (football) leagues. The first step is for me to figure out who should be invited to the RIFC itself, and then to establish a priority list for slots in AAA leagues. Check out the Football Forum sometime next week for updates. With any luck, we should be in sign-up mode by the end of the break.

7/9 - I should have mentioned this yesterday, but wasn't aware of it until after the blurb was posted. On Tuesday night, Alan Embree was the winning pitcher for Colorado without throwing a single pitch! He entered a tie game with 2-outs in the 8th inning, and promptly picked off the runner at first base before throwing his first pitch to the batter. The Rockies scored in the bottom of the inning, whereupon Embree was lifted for closer Huston Street. Arguably, a pickoff throw to 1B is somewhat like a pitch, so it's not as though Embree had no role in recording that out. But it is odd.

There are four early afternoon baseball games today, but the more unusual occurrence is the completion of the May 5th game between Houston and Washington, which resumes with the score tied at 10-10 in the 11th inning. This sort of event always creates headaches for fantasy game producers, so don't expect the results to be accurately scored right away. Some games may attribute the completion stats to today, while others could backdate them to May 5th, based on fantasy rosters in effect at that time. If it matters to you, you might want to keep track of your team score manually for a few days just to ensure that the results have been properly allocated.

Kenny Perry is the most popular GuruGolfer this week. That's no surprise to me, although I would have thought he would have made it onto more than one-third of all rosters, given that (1) he won his last tournament 2 weeks ago, (2) he is the returning champion of this week's tournament, and (3) he is slated to play in next week's British Open as well. I guess his surging price tag might have been an impediment for some teams. Charley Hoffman is the second favorite (28%), and he's also qualified for the British Open with a more affordable cost.

7/8 - Since I've been moderately out of touch the last week, I took a look this morning at the top hitting (fantasy point) producers over the past 15 days. I was a little surprised to see Hanley Ramirez atop the list, as he's missed the last three games. But he still has about a 10% margin over Bobby Abreu, Albert Pujols, And Jayson Werth. Notably, Pujols hasn't had a day with negative TSNP since June 18.

The John Deere Classic tees off tomorrow morning. Although many of the British Open qualifiers skip this tournament, there are still a reasonable number of golfers who do plan to make the overseas flight from Illinois. The tournament offers a charter flight on Sunday night, which seems to work well as a recruiting tool.

This is the final week of the "Open Faced Sandwich" Contest in GuruGolf, spanning the three tournaments between the two Opens. With so few weeks in this contest, it's still a tight battle for both best and worst ball scoring.

7/7 - I'm back at RotoGuru World Headquarters after a week at the Hall family compound on the Marblehead Peninsula in Ohio - where the Lake (Erie) is clean and the internet access is dial-up. Actually, there are nearby places I could go to get high speed, but to access the web from our vacation residence, all we have is dial-up, so that what I use mostly - which means that I don't watch my various teams as actively as I should. Fortunately, I didn't have Johnny Cueto on any team last night. He'd been pitching reasonably well of late - but was chased in the first inning with 9 ER charged, generating a lofty -129 TSNP result. That wasn't the worst result of the season, however; Reds teammate Bronson Arroyo produced -134 TSNP back on May 6 when he worked a full inning but gave up a couple more hits to go with 9 ER. I guess if you start a Cincy pitcher, you're playing with fire. Or fireworks.

Tiger Woods hosted and won the AT&T National tournament over the weekend. Congrats to Northeastern Chieftains who posted the top GuruGolf best ball score by 3 strokes (-50) in spite of not having Tiger. Worst ball honors went to Breedn'Kids (+56), with a 4 stoke margin over the second best - or worst - team.

One of this site's servers (rotoguru1) was experiencing intermittent network problems all day Monday and into this morning. Those problems seem to be resolved - at least for the moment. I think that most of the normal RotoGuru functionality was working OK for most of the day, although some accesses might have been slow or timed out. Some of the data feeds used by the affiliated site were more critically impacted yesterday, and there may still be some lingering effects today until all data has been refreshed. Thanks for your patience.

2009: June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2008: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2007: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2006: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2005: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2004: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . 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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