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8/31 - I'm still scrambling to get the site set up for football, so I'm going to dispense with today's blurb.
This morning, I released a preliminary version of the Football Assimilator with new prices, schedules, and averages for both the free TSN/SW game and the Swirve game. I plan to add Progressive Sports Challenge as an option sometime next week. And by the beginning of next week (not sure whether that means Monday or Tuesday), I hope to have Football Pickoff ready for registration and first round picking.
8/30 - The game in San Diego was obviously played at sea level, so you can't blame the altitude for the 30 runs and 30 hits in the Cardinals' 16-14 "squeaker" over the Padres. Ryan Klesko went nuts at the plate with 2 homers, 2 doubles, and 5 RBIs, good for 109 SWP and 115 SvP. That overshadowed what would usually be a "monster-of-the-night" performance by Aramis Ramirez, who had 98 SWP and 103 SvP at Milwaukee. The Brewers will be glad to see him leave town, as he pounded out 162 SWP in the 3-game series. (Klesko also has 162 SWP in his last 3 games.)
The night wasn't all hitting, however. Jason Bere snapped out of his 3-game skid with a complete game worth 161 SWP and 192 SvP. Jamie Moyer and C.C. Sabathia also posted 3-digit SWP totals. Moyer's outing moved him into the #3 ranking for total pitching SWP over the past 30 days, during which time he's averaged more than 100 SWP per start. And based on recent price changes, a lot more managers benefited from Moyer's outing last night than either of the other two pitching stars.
8/29 - Do you know who the top pitcher has been over the past month? None other than Javier Vazquez, who has virtually lapped the field with 805 SWP in his last 6 starts, an average of 134 SWP/start. Randy Johnson is second, but he's 132 SWP behind Vazquez' total. During the month, Vazquez has only one start below 100 SWP, and that was 95. Yet his SW Price is up less than $400K during that period. That may change over the next several weeks. And that probably signals the time to move to someone else. If you've got him already, though, I guess you continue to enjoy the ride. His next 2 starts will be against Philly - facing rookie Brandon Duckworth both times, in all likelihood.
Speaking of the top pitchers over the past month (if I may digress for a moment), I note that Curt Schilling ranks third (behind Vazquez and Johnson). But after that, the list isn't dominated by the household names. Maddux ranks only 36th! Clemens ranks #387, although he only has 5 starts, while many others have 6. Chan Ho Park is #75. Tim Hudson isn't even within the top 100. So it's been a month when spending a lot on pitching hasn't been very fruitful. Sometimes having a lot of wealth can be a tough obstacle to overcome.
End of digression. Back to yesterday's results.
Middle infielders dominated last night's SWP hitting, led by a pair of 65's from (listed) second basemen Carlos Febles and Frank Catalanotto (who is actually playing the outfield). Shortstop Jimmy Rollins had 62 SWP. Only Dmitri Young crashed the 60's infield party, garnering 63 SWP after missing a week of action.
Digression again. I just noticed that Sammy Sosa has been the top hitter over the past 30 days. That's absolutely no surprise, as it's well known that he's been putting up a monster August. What is surprising, though, is that even he is a few SWP behind Vazquez! Perhaps that's the best way to put Vazquez' recent dominance into proper perspective.
8/28 - On a day with only five games, there weren't many notable fantasy performances. Robert Person was the only pitcher to crack 3-digits in SWP with 138, although Greg Maddux would have done it with a more effective bullpen. On the hitting side, Richie Sexson clouted 2 home runs for 71 SWP. Barry Bonds was the only other hitter north of 50, with 52 SWP.
For those who may be making plans based on an older version of the MLB schedule, be aware that there have been changes in the Arizona/SD home-and-home series for the next two weekends. Evidently, the two series have been switched. The 3-game series originally scheduled in Arizona for this weekend will now be played from September 7-9. The 4 games originally scheduled in San Diego from Sept. 7-10 will be squeezed into this coming weekend, including a Friday night doubleheader. September 10th, which was an originally scheduled game day, is now an off day for both teams. A conflict with the Chargers on Sept. 9th appears to be the reason for the switch. Thanks the Steve Houpt for sending me a "heads up" on this.
8/27 - I'm back at home again, and rarin' to go. It will take a few days to get caught up on some routine site maintenance items that are generally transparent, but I hope to have the football Assimilator and Football Pickoff up and running by the end of the week. We're less than 2 weeks away from opening day in the NFL. So there's not much time to waste.
Keeping tabs on baseball was about all I could handle during my 2-week hiatus. Some of my teams did well, and some not so well. My midseason SW team has been doing quite well lately, and I'm at a bit of a loss to explain the success, other than perhaps not overmanaging. My biggest bungle on that team was dropping Jose Ortiz on the morning of 8/17, just in time to miss his 3-HR game. I had some spare cash that day due to some pitching moves, and upgrading to Robbie Alomar seemed like a non-stupid move. But it backfired. Oh well.
During the past 15 days, the best SW pitchers to have owned were all relatively cheap: Kelvim Escobar (407 SWP), Javier Vazquez (403), Albie Lopez (399), Roy Oswalt (336), and Keith Foulke (323). Randy Johnson ranked only 6th.
On the hitting side, the super stud was Sammy Sosa, with 499 SWP, an average of 33.3 per game. Shawn Green also averaged better than 31 SWP/G, but that still put him almost 100 SWP behind Sosa. The top cheap hitter has been Adam Dunn, whose 326 SWP rank #5 for the past 15 days. Interestingly, his price has been dropping over the past few days, but with 139 SWP in the last 2 games, the bleeding will probably stop abruptly.
Good to be back.
8/10 - I usually try to get my daily blurb posted by noon, but it is 4:15pm, and I'm just getting started. Fortunately, I call these "daily blurbs" and not "morning blurbs".
I've been busy getting the site retooled for football. I'm leaving tomorrow for two weeks of vacation, and I wanted to at least get the basics ready. For now, the sortable stats are set up for TSN/Smallworld and Swirve, based on last year's regular season stats, but with this year's prices. The Progressive Sports Challenge game will also be incorporated this year, but they have yet to complete their player listings. I'll hope to have that available as soon as all rookies have been included.
The Assimilator is not yet ready, and probably won't be until the last week of August. Ditto for the Football Pickoff game. At this point, the best place for those of you who just can't wait for football is the football message forum. With the first NFL game not until September 9th, there's plenty of time to digest the preseason.
For the next two weeks I'll be on north shore of the Marblehead Peninsula on Lake Erie, looking out at Put-In-Bay Island (or "Pudding Bay Ireland", as my kids once called it long ago.) As usual, I will keep the stats updated, although some days they may be later than normal. Daily blurbs will probably be sporadic, unless the weather keeps me indoors.
8/9 - Having a pitcher post a negative 3-digit SWP score is unusual, but it happens about twice per week, on average. Having at least two pitchers do it on the same day is rarer - but it has now happened 4 times this season, about once per month. Relief pitchers had only managed the feat twice before last night. So what are the odds of having two relievers from the same team do it in the same inning? But that's what befell Texas relievers Mike Venafro (-105) and Brandon Villafuerte (-100), as they combined to allow 13 Detroit runs while retiring only one batter between them. Truly amazing!
While the "Texas V's" dominated the southern end of the pitching point rankings, the "Chicago B's" captured the northern extreme, as Mark Buehrle and Jason Bere posted 133 and 124 SWP respectively. Buehrle has been a popular choice since his late-May surge, but Bere has not commanded much attention. That may change soon.
You'd expect that Detroit batters dominated the hitting landscape, although the Yankees and White Sox also scored in the mid-teens. Three hitters were in the SWP 70s: Damion Easley (75), Magglio Ordonez (72), and Shane Halter (70). The best Yankee was David Justice with 60 SWP.
8/8 - After a day with no 3-digit pitchers (SWP), last night provided 8 of them. Darryl Kile headed the list with 145 SWP and 181 SvP, and was also the only one of the eight with a high SW price. The only other one appreciably more expensive than $1m SWD was Mark Mulder.
Only two hitters managed to top 50 SWP. The leader was Bobby Abreu with 68 SWP, based on this busy stat linescore: 3-3, 2B, HR, SB, 2R, 2RBI. The other was Barry Bonds, who got more than half of his 51 SWP in the 11th inning.
With Hall of Fame enshrinements in the recent news, today I'm taking the opportunity to correct a recent oversight in the RotoGuru Hall of Fame. Neil MacPhee finished with the #1 worldwide ranking in last summer's SW Midseason Baseball game, and should have been listed last fall with the other 2000 baseball enshrinees. In fact, according to message forum participants with better memories than mine, Neil "blew everyone away last year." I'm happy to be able to finally accord this deserved honor, Neil. Better late than never!
8/7 - If some of you are having trouble accessing this site, the culprit is probably the Code Red virus. While the server is not infected, this hosting network has been bombarded for the past week with Code Red scans, resulting in intermittent access problems. Hopefully, this will run its course quickly, although the problem has evidently been pretty persistent for the past week. Make sure you have the message forum bookmarked, so you can get there directly if this page is inaccessible. The forum is hosted on a different server.
Even with a light schedule, it's rare to have a day with no pitchers achieving triple digit point totals. Actually, that's not quite accurate. While no pitchers eligible for the SW game broke 100 SWP, Danny Wright posted 120 Swirve points. He's not listed in SW, but he would only have had 97 SWP.
But just because pitchers were mired in mediocrity (although don't tell Charles Nagy), hitters didn't exactly light it up, either. Tops was Nomar Garciaparra with 54 SWP and 56 SvP. But lest you Nomar owners think you might have gained some ground on ARod owners, ARod was only 5 SWP behind. Johnny Damon was the top Swirve hitter, with 59 SvP.
8/6 - After Cleveland's 12-run comeback last night, and Pittsburgh's 7-run 9th-inning comeback a week ago, you wonder why Davey Lopes got upset with Rickey Henderson's SB last week when trailing by only 7 runs with three innings remaining. That was still a virtual cliffhanger!
Mark Buehrle had the top SWP outing for the weekend, piling up 164 SWP on Friday night. Roy Oswalt was a few SWP behind that, but he did post the top Swirve score with 192 SvP on Saturday. And on Sunday, Curt Schilling kept the weekend's daily pitching honors from being a clean sweep for cheapies.
The weekend's top hitter was Aramis Ramirez, who made the most of his visit to Coors Field with 140 SWP. The only other weekend hitter within 30 SWP of that was Wes Helms, who did most of his damage in a monster 101 SWP effort on Saturday.
I'm going to cut this blurb short, because I have a lot of work to do to get football stats posted by the end of the week. Ciao!
8/3 - There were a number of pretty good pitching performances yesterday. And there were a few stinkers, too.
Javier Vazquez took the honors with 8 innings of 3-hit shutout ball in Arizona, good for 146 SWP. Jason Bere would have matched that total had Ryan Klesko not grand-slammed away his 30 victory points.
At the other extreme, Kip Wells, Mike Mussina, and C.C. Sabathia all got scorched with SWP scores in the minus seventies. Judging from yesterday's price changes, Mussina inflicted the most widespread pain.
The top hitter didn't face any of those three pitchers, though. Garrett Anderson homered twice off of Bret Saberhagen to put up 81 SWP. Two other outfielders were in the SWP 60s, but in general, the hitting was pretty well dispersed.
Both Swirve and TSN launched their free fantasy football games yesterday. I haven't had a chance to review the rules yet, but will aim to have the sortable stats loaded with new prices for both games by the end of next week. Meanwhile, I'm sure the football message forum will see some activity evaluating both of these free games.
8/2 - Jason Schmidt may have discovered what he's been missing all season - a chance to face the Pirates. Last night he rectified that omission, pinning a 7-inning 1-hit effort against his former teammates. His 139 SWP topped the pitching list on a night when only three starters reached 3-digit SWPs.
In spite of the general lack of pitching masterpieces, only three hitters topped 60 SWP, and all three were outfielders. Tops was Jose Canseco's 2 homer outburst against the Royals, good for 71 SWP and 81 SvP. Doug Glanville placed second in a rain-shortened Coors Field game, and Luis Gonzalez went 4-4 in a losing effort against Montreal.
I posted the 2001 NFL Schedule in the usual format yesterday. Many Gurupies have found this format to provide a good season-long aid for schedule planning.
8/1 - August! The dog days are officially here.
Before I get started, if you are having trouble connecting with the Swirve game, try this link. The standard URL should be working again shortly, but your ISP may not have yet updated its DNS tables.
Eight pitchers reached 3-digit SWP totals last night, headed by Ryan Dempster's 3-hitter in Milwaukee (154 SWP, 192 SvP). Paul Byrd had his second straight strong outing, allowing only one run in 9 innings. And Curt Schilling returned to form after last week's negative debacle.
Todd Helton took the hitting honors, with 2 home runs leading to 68 SWP and 71 SvP. Todd has 158 SWP in his last four games, and seems to be over his recent slump. I wouldn't be surprised to see a shift in the Bagwell-Helton trade winds. Aramis Ramirez was just a few points behind Helton. His price is down more than $500K in the SW/TSN midseason game, and with a Coors visit looming later this week, it seems like a non-stupid time to pick him back up of you've already dropped him. I just held him and ate the losses, but if you want to continue to stay away, that's perfectly fine with me.
Two other noteworthy performances on the hitting side. J.D. Drew returned to action and promptly picked up where he left off, with 37 SWP. Meanwhile, Nomar managed only -6 SWP in Fenway. Those managers who dropped ARod prior to Monday's game have bagged a nice chunk of $change, but they are now 51 SWP behind. Of course, that can change anyday. But at least for now, most ARod holders are feeling just fine about that decision.
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
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