RotoGuru Menu
Daily blurbs
Message Forum
Forum Keepers

MLB Schedule
Favorite links
Base Advances
Player Lookup

TSN Baseball
Sortable TSN Stats
Yesterday's TSNP
Team Rankings

Swirve Baseball
Sortable Stats
Yesterday's SvP
Team Rankings

PSC Baseball
Sortable Stats
Yesterday's PSP

Favorite links
NFL Schedule
Field Goals
Player Lookup

Football Pickoff

TSN/SW Football
Sortable TSN Stats
Weekly SNP
Team Rankings

Swirve Football
Sortable Swirve Stats
Weekly SvP
Team Rankings

PSC Football
Sortable PSC Stats
Weekly PSP

[SW Hockey Stats]

Favorite links
Hoop Pointers
Player Lookup

NBA Schedule
Full Season

Next 4 weeks

TSN Hoops
TSN Stats
Yesterday's TSNP
Team Rankings

PSC Basketball
PSC Stats
Yesterday's PSP

Market Madness
Contest Site

Historical Stats
Favorite Links
Recap of Entries
Unit Returns

Home page
Hall of Fame

This site's features are best exploited using Netscape Communicator 4.0 or higher. You can download a Netscape browser free by clicking on the Netscape Now icon.
Netscape Now!

[RotoGuru logo]
[RotoGuru subtitle]

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.

8/30 - As I sit down to compose today's blurb, we still don't know whether this baseball season is going to continue - today, later, or at all. I'm waiting until the last minute before moving from Pedro to Randy, but aside from that, I've started thinking about football. I've got an ESPN roto draft late tonight, for which I'm ill-prepared. And I haven't begun to work out the possibilities for my various salary cap teams.

By the way, if you are waiting until the last minute to make baseball moves today, you have an extra 3 hours for the TSN games. They've announced that the freeze is pushed back until 3pm EST.

Erik Barmack, who is responsible for fantasy games at TSN, posted a State of the State message at the RotoGuru forum. Erik has been very attentive to the needs and ideas of Gurupies, and this is a good opportunity for us to understand how TSN grades its own performance, and what their priorities are for the coming year.

8/29 - Today, the big matchup is in New York, with the series finale of the Owners vs. the Players Union. I certainly can't add any insight to this contest, so I'll just wait and see like everyone else.

If you were scrambling to use up some pitching trades yesterday, you had plenty of fruitful opportunities. Eleven pitchers posted 3-digit TSNP results. Admittedly, a number of these were unlikely choices, including the night's top producer, Mike Mussina, who threw a Pedro-like masterpiece against the master himself. Prior to last night, Mussina had accumulated a not-so-grand total of 184 TSNP in 8 starts since the All Star break, so his 174 TSNP complete game effort was either very surprising, or very overdue, or both.

I'm not forced to make any aggressive choices today. My various TSN teams are not positioned to benefit from scrambling, so I can stay the course. But I'm sure some of you have some important maneuvering to do, just in case. Hopefully, you won't have to make any moves that might backfire if the season continues.

Pickoff update: After the first day, I've got about 70 registrations for Football Pickoff. I guess that's a good start, with the season still a week away. You may notice that this year, many of the prizes are reserved for GuruPatrons. Donations from GuruPatrons now provide well over 90% of the funding for this site (including prize money), so it seems equitable to target most of the prizes to those who have made a commitment to keep this gig alive.

One way to get GuruPatron credit is to use me as your referral when you register for RotoWire. If you are subscribing to RotoWire for the football season, just provide my name or email address ( for the referral source, and the $10 bonus that I receive will be credited to you as a GuruPatron donation. Two people did that yesterday, and I also got about a dozen referral bonuses prior to baseball season. Every little bit helps! (To make sure I give proper credit, please send me an email if you do this, so that I can be on the lookout. It's not always easy for me to properly identify the source of the referrals.)

8/28 - Chuck Finley was certainly rejuvenated when he got to St. Louis. He had 18 starts with Cleveland prior to his trade, during which he averaged 32 TSNP per start. In his 8 starts at St. Louis he's averaged almost 77 TSNP/start, including last night's complete game shutout. Over the past month, he's ranked #15 overall in total TSNP among pitchers. I guess there was some juice still left in his arm after all.

Barry Bonds made up for some lost time in a big way, belting 3 home runs in Coors Field. He only had 2 long balls in the past 2+ weeks, and he's way behind last season's record pace. But let's see, if he can average one HR per game the rest of the way, he could end up with... oh yeah, that's probably only 2 more home runs for this year. That would still make 40, though. Not a bad off-year, I suppose.

It's time to launch the 2002 version Football Pickoff. The rules are pretty much unchanged from last year. With the addition of Houston, there are now 16 games on non-bye weeks, so the potential for an extra 50 point bonus is present. Prizes are modestly reduced, and runner-up prizes are restricted to GuruPatrons. Other than that, everything's the same, except the URL, since the game has moved to a new server. (The old link should automagically forward, however.)

If you haven't played Pickoff before, the concept is very simple, and there are several old threads discussing strategy at the message forum. You can also review last year's final standings, and even drill down to see weekly scoring details. Registration is free, and you can enter up to 3 times. You might even consider using this as a family competition (the Hall's do), or perhaps an office pool. You can set up a separate division to track a subset of entrants, so smaller group competitions are very simple to administer, and divisional rankings have no bearing on the overall prize determinations.

I'll have more to say about Pickoff over the next few days, but the first NFL game is next Thursday, so you might want to get started thinking about it now.

8/27 - Ben Sheets was a questionable starter yesterday, nursing a sore back. But an opportunity to start against the Cubbies was enough incentive, and Sheets ended up being the top starter of the day with 131 TSNP, raising hi career record against the Cubs to 5-0. Meanwhile, Cory Lidle continued to demonstrate that the A's rotation doesn't weaken after Hudson, Mulder, and Zito. With several off days over the next two weeks (maybe a lot more than several, I guess), the A's will be going with a 4-man rotation, and any one of those starts is probably fair game.

Meanwhile, Manny Ramirez had his second game of 90 TSNP or better in the past 5 days. When Manny gets on a hot streak, he can single-handedly carry a team, and with the Yankees coming into town, the timing couldn't be better for the Red Sox. Of course, he's always a hamstring away from the DL, but if you've got him and a trade in reserve, enjoy the ride.

8/26 - Family vacations are often fun and usually relaxing, and mine was no exception. But it is nice to be back in the land of fast CPU processors and cable modems. Whenever I'm forced to manage with my 3-year old laptop and a dial-up connection, I regain appreciation for fast loading web sites and applications that don't hog RAM.

We'd normally be preparing for the final month of baseball about now. Instead, we're scrambling just in case we're down to the final days. Who knows? Rational thought suggests that, given the remaining open issues, a strike seems like a loser for both sides. But we also realize that rationality may be a difficult commodity to assert itself. So I guess the best philosophy for us is to hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and que será será.

I've been pretty quiet for the past 2 weeks, and during that time (15 days), here's the best passive lineup you could have owned for the TSN Ultimate game:

Pitchers: Johnson, Schilling, Rick Reed (!), Hudson, Schmidt
Catcher: Josh Phelps
1B: Rafael Palmeiro
2B: Jeff Kent
3B: Scott Rolen
SS: A-Rod
OF: Vlad Guerrero, Jay Payton, Chipper Jones, Jermaine Dye

That's a very affordable roster for many, running a current tab of under $75 million in the full season game. I suspect most of us have some overlap with this list, but beyond Randy and Curt, the pitchers probably aren't widely popular. I hadn't even noticed Rick Reed until I looked at the stats.

While in Ohio, I managed to get to Jacobs Field for one of Oakland's 4-game sweep. It was the second game, in which Harang and Westbrook were the starters. Jermaine Dye hit a monster home run that bounced off the concrete deck overlooking the left field wall, bounded over the fence beside the turnstile area, and would have rolled all the way to Gund Arena had not it been picked up by a pedestrian. The more interesting play, though, was one in which Ellis Burks was thrown out at the plate trying to score from third - on a single to center field! Although the ball dropped in front of Terrence Long, Burks tagged-up just in case, and Long uncorked a strike to nip him at home. I don't ever recall seeing a guy fail to score from third on an outfield single... although I'm sure it's happened before. It was one of those plays after which you looked at the person sitting beside you and said "What just happened?!". And it was generally symptomatic of the Indians' season, I suppose.

If baseball does go on hiatus, there's plenty of football preparations to consume our energies. I've got a roto draft coming up on strike day, in fact. I haven't begun to think about my salary cap (TSN, Swirve, & PSC) rosters yet. And Football Pickoff needs to be launched. I hope to have the latter up within a few days. The NFL season starts next Thursday, so time is getting short.

8/9 - Since the All Star break, Pedro Martinez has been the hottest pitcher in baseball, especially in terms of fantasy points. He's averaged 130 TSNP per start, and although he's only started 5 times (many pitchers have started 6 times since the break), he leads all players in total TSNP over this period.

That's not so surprising. But do you know who is second in total TSNP since the All Star break? It's another pitcher, and it's not Curt or Randy, (who rank only 8th and 10th, respectively). Nope, it's none other than Jamie Moyer, with an average of 106 TSNP per start, more than 20 TSNP/start better than anyone else (other than Pedro, of course). Since the break, he has a 1.26 ERA, and hitters are batting only .161 against him. A fluke? I don't know. Last year he had a similarly spectacular second half, including a 2.22 ERA and BA against of .217 after the break. This seems to be his time of year. Not bad for a guy who turns 40 in November.

I'm heading westward for my annual 2-week pilgrimage to the northern shores of the Marblehead peninsula in Ohio. I'll be on the road almost all day tomorrow, and although I hope to be able to update stats early Saturday morning, it is possible that I'll be delayed until late night. For the next two weeks, I'll probably forego the blurbs again (unless the weather forces me to stay indoors). I'll be back at RotoGuru World headquarters for the last week of August, at which time I'll launch the 2002 version of Football Pickoff.

8/8 - I meant to swap from Mulder to Roy Oswalt on my TSN "A" team yesterday morning. But, in what I can only chalk up to a "senior moment", I forgot. So of course, Oswalt has the top game of the the night, 138 TSNP. I hate when that happens!

At least I still have the trade. I guess I'll just hold onto Mulder now and let him pitch in Yankee Stadium. Although his history there hasn't been stellar, lefties are supposed to have an advantage there, aren't they? If he can do better than 138 TSNP, I can recite the "better to be lucky than good" mantra once again. It's a tall order, though.

There are a bunch of early games today. Six games should be completed before the afternoon is over, and another two will end by early evening. Plenty of diversions for a lazy summer Thursday afternoon.

8/7 - The three pitching studs were very efficiently aligned over the past 3 days. You could have used one slot to move from Pedro to Randy to Curt and combined for 404 TSNP. Of course, the trick was then to figure out who to hold in the other four slots. And, over the next two cycles, you won't be able to duplicate this rotation, as Pedro and Randy should align on Saturday, and then Pedro and Curt will collide 6 days later - all dependent on weather, of course. Now that they've been earning their lofty prices, everyone will be scrambling to figure out how to efficiently get all of those starts. And when that happens, inevitably the results are disappointing. Murphy's Law is immutable when applied to situations such as these. Yet, since we'll all be doing it (we will, won't we?), the points really don't matter much, do they? It's the rest of our rosters that will have the competitive impact.

Football sortable stats and Assimilator are now loaded with 2002 prices, positions, and schedules. Points are based on the 2002 NFL regular season, and are the same points reported during the season last fall. In some cases, they don't agree with the final official NFL stats due to post-game revisions, but those discrepancies are minor, so it's much simpler for me to just stick with what I've already got. On the sortable stats, there are links to four external sites for most players: Sporting News,, RotoWorld, and RotoWire. The individual player pages continue to show 2001 detail, and these won't be updated until the start of the new season. If you notice any bugs or improper links, please let me know.

8/6 - There were a multitude of reasons why this might have been a good time to skip a Randy Johnson outing. He had thrown 149 pitches in his previous start. He was pitching in Shea Stadium, where his history was less than stellar. It was hot and humid, with a good chance of thunderstorms. While none of these necessarily suggested a lousy result, a monster outcome seemed unlikely.

Wrong. 9 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 11K, 182 TSNP.

The other widely held starter yesterday was Rodrigo Lopez, who fared much worse. He's been increasing in TSN price for almost a full month, so this will probably turn the tide. With his next two starts against Detroit, there are plenty of reasons why you might want to grit your teeth and hold him. Just don't expect the masses to see it your way.

8/5 - Congrats to those of you who had the foresight to pick up Luis Gonzalez in advance of Saturday's doubleheader. In the past two days, he racked up 137 TSNP, and he's got another game today (weather permitting). That gives him four games scheduled during a 3 day period when a lot of players have only two. Now, I realize game count advantages don't always translate into more points. But this time it sure looks like it's working. Wish I'd have pulled the trigger - especially since I opted to hold onto Manny Ramirez on one team. Yikes!

I suppose you could have done even slightly better had you picked up Russell Branyan on Saturday. That would have garnered 141 TSNP in two days, including yesterday's 136. But that would have required extraordinary clairvoyance. If you made that pickup, you're wasting your talent playing this game.

I see that Swirve Football has now been launched. Sometime this week, I'll have football prices and stats loaded and available for all three of the covered games (TSN, Swirve, and PSC).

I'm in the process of moving some of my pages to different servers. I've leased a new dedicated server, which is now Ultimately, this new server will host the sortable stats, the detail player pages, the message forum, and my own games (Football Pickoff and Market Madness). Baseball stats have already been transferred, and football stats will be up on that server this week. Football Pickoff will be launched on the new server before the end of August. The message forum won't be moved until at least sometime in September. If you have any old links bookmarked, be aware they may not work as you have them stored. But as long as you use the internal links provided anywhere within this site, you shouldn't even notice the change. At least, that's the plan.

8/2 - Although the 19-7 Boston massacre (in Texas) stood out (and it wasn't as close as the final score suggests), on balance it was a night for the pitchers. There were four shutouts, three games with final scores of 2-1, one at 3-1, and another at 3-2. So if your hitters didn't do well last night, then they probably weren't playing in Texas.

The Boston massacre did produce at least one oddity. Two Boston pitchers achieved negative 3-digit TSNPs. Starter John Burkett managed -108, to be followed by -106 from Frank Castillo. I don't ever recall that happening, although it's possible, since blowouts often result in a battered reliever "taking one for the team".

Before I forget, let me correct one thing from yesterday. Randy Johnson's next start is slated for Monday, not Sunday. If you want to string together three stud starts, you should be able to go from Pedro to Randy to Curt on successive days, weather permitting.

Progressive Sports Challenge has launched its 2002 football offerings. The scoring format and game choices are essentially the same as last year. The one-price game offers a fixed amount of trades for the full year (as was done for their comparable baseball game this year) rather than unlimited trading, which I think makes for a better game. I'll be providing stats for those games again this year, and hope to have the new prices updated sometime next week, at the same time that I release 2002 TSN prices and stats. Swirve has yet to be heard from, but I'm assuming that they'll have their standard football offering, too - although you never know.

8/1 - Randy Johnson is breathing life back into the 3-headed monster. It's been awhile since Randy, Curt, and Pedro have all been earning their high pricetags at the same time. But, Schilling and Martinez certainly have been pitching up to stud standards lately, and Randy managed his second straight strong outing, a 151 TSNP, 15 strikeout complete game over Montreal. Of some concern, though, is Randy's 149 pitch count. Given that Arizona was up 5-0 heading into the 9th, and Randy had already thrown 127 pitches through 8 innings, it's hard to understand why Brenly left him in. I realize that he had a shutout going, but so what? This wasn't a rookie pitcher striving for his first ML shutout. According to Brenly, "The only reason we made the decision to go that deep with him is because he was so comfortable." Hmmm... In any event, bear this in mind for Randy's next start on Sunday, vs. the Mets. Add this to the fact that Randy's ERA at Shea Stadium over the past three years is only 4.77, and you have several reasons for pause. (Now watch him spin a no hitter.)

Adrian Beltre was last night's big bopper with 81 TSNP, further confounding the 3B position. This year, no third baseman seems to be putting up consistent numbers. Albert Pujols is the clear point leader, but he isn't actually playing 3B (although who cares, from a fantasy perspective), and even he has been inconsistent this year. Plenty of other 3Bmen have had hot streaks, but no one seems to be able to sustain a good, steady pace, and as a result, there always seems to be heightened player movement at that position, including names such as Hinske, Batista, Lowell, Ventura, Chavez, Rolen, Hillenbrand, Boone, and Glaus. All of those guys are averaging between 9.8 and 10.9 TSNP/EG for the full year. None have been doing it steadily. Beltre hasn't been nearly as productive as that group, but maybe it's his turn.

Click here for prior daily blurbs, by month:

2002: 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

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<>.

© Copyright 1998-2002 by Uncommon Cents, LLC. All rights reserved.