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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.

8/28 - Yesterday's big move in baseball was probably the off-field move, as John Smoltz was moved onto the disabled list. In the TSN game, this will create quite a ripple effect among pitchers. Some teams will probably shift into another premier closer, such as Gagne or Foulke. Others will simply migrate into a starter. But Smoltz has been a long term mainstay on many rosters - some since opening day, so this will cause a lot of managers to rethink some strategic decisions.

On the home front, Football Pickoff was launched yesterday. I decided to leave the game unchanged from last year. As the saying goes, "if it ain't broke..." Last year, I had toyed with the idea of some form of "mulligan" scoring, so that entrants with bad starts wouldn't feel a need to abandon their entry and start over. But after running some experimental scoring on that basis last year, I decided that this unduly complicated scoring, and that the limitation of three entries per person effectively prohibited excessive "do-overs". So I'll stick with the simple, tried, and true.

By the way, if you notice any glitches at the Pickoff game site, please let me know.

8/27 - A lot of runs were scored last night. In spite of that, 5 pitchers posted 137 TSNP or more. Two were probably non-factors: Brad Radke and Doug Davis. The other three mattered, though. In fact, one of my competitors owned all three: Prior, Loaiza, and Schmidt (who pitched in Coors Field).

Still, 15 hitters had 50 or more TSNP. So there were plenty of hitting points to go around. Hope you had your fair share. And I hope you avoided Roger Clemens and Odalis Perez.

8/26 - Who was that guy on the mound for Arizona last night, and what have they done with Randy Johnson?

Johnson clearly fouled up some roto drafts this year. But it has actually been a confounding year to for most of the top draft choices. A. Rod has only recently cranked it up, and based on the ESPN Player Rater, he's now ranked #6 for the full year. Johnson has been a bust. Vlad Guerrero has missed a lot of time. Soriano has been inconsistent, and only ranks #20 overall. Meawhile, the top hitter so far has been Sheffield (although Pujols is virtually tied), and the top pitchers have been Schmidt and Hudson. Pujols was probably a late first-round pick on average, but Sheff, Hudson, and Schmidt were probably not even drafted in the top 50 players many times. Go figure.

When do you suppose the spaceship Livan Hernandez returns to earth? In July and August, here are his stats: 8-1, 1.38 ERA, 6 complete games, 8.27 IP per start, BA against .198, and 0.91 WHIP, and 119 TSNP per start. I was surprised to see him pitch a CG last night in a 12-1 blowout, especially since he threw 131 pitches. Granted, he's always endured high pitch counts reasonably well. But with an 11 run cushion, you'd have thought that someone in the bullpen would have mopped up the last two innings. Livan had a similarly studly run in the late summer of 2000, although he did sustain a -90 TSNP debacle in his last August start against Pittsburgh that year. His owners (including me) are hoping that lightning doesn't strike twice in the same relative moment this year.

8/25 - Vacations are now over for the summer. Time to get back to work.

Over the past 15 days, one hitter stood out. A. Rod averaged almost 26 TSNP/G, and produced 88 TSNP more than his closest competition. Sharing second place were Jim Thome and Scott Podsednik (who amassed more than half of his total in the past 3 days). For the full season, Albert Pujols still has the overall hitting lead, but over the last week he's allowed Todd Helton and Gary Sheffield to narrow the gap considerably. And A.Rod now ranks #4 overall.

On the pitching side, quite a few starters have been doing well over their past 3 starts, headed by Mark Prior, who's averaged almost 142 TSNP per start. Over the past 15 days, the top 12 pitchers have all been starters, with Eric Gagne ranked #13. Gagne hasn't been too shabby, though, with 7 saves over that period, good enough to put him at the top of the season-long rankings. John Smoltz ranks 3rd overall, and the NL CY Young award might just come down to a battle between those two relievers, as no starters have been as dominant this year. The top starter in TSNP is now Tim Hudson. Several other starters have better per-start averages, but Hudson has been much more durable.

Forum activity has picked up in the past week, and much of it has to do with football drafting. The first regular season game is only 10 days away. Hopefully, I'll have Football Pickoff ready for registrations later this week.

Finally, if you haven't yet seen this photo of Ben Broussard getting hit by a pitch, it's worth a look-see. I posted a link in the forum as well, but I know that some of you don't use the forum.

8/7 - If you worked off of my list of pitchers for last night, the only one to avoid was Joel Pineiro. Based on sampling, he seems to have been the third most widely owned starting pitcher yesterday, so if you owned him, you had plenty of company. But those who didn't got a nice differentiation gain without the need for a trade.

Meanwhile, no fewer than nine pitchers cracked triple digit TSNPs. I don't have season stats on that, but it's an unusually high total. So much for the theory that when a bunch of popular pitchers align, the results are disappointing. And in spite of good pitching, there were plenty of popular hitters who pumped out a lot of points as well. As I survey the team results in some of my TSN divisions, I see a lot of dispersion. It was a good day to excel, and a bad day to crap out.

I did get preliminary football stats posted yesterday. Sortable stats and the Assimilator now have draft prices for both of the TSN games and the Swirve game. For more background, see this thread. Believe it or not, the football season starts in just 4 weeks.

I'll be pointing the GuruMobile westward tomorrow, heading to the shores of Lake Erie for a 2 week hiatus with 19 other Hall family members. Of course, I'll continue to produce stats during that time, barring meteorological or zoological calamities (at our cottage, we once lost phone service when a squirrel chewed through the wire - and I also once blew out a modem there when lightning came a bit too close) - but I'll probably dispense with daily blurbs again, just to keep site maintenance chores to a minimum.

8/6 - When Randy Johnson pitches well enough to win, he seems to lose. And when he pitches poorly enough to lose, he wins. Had he lost last night's game, he'd have had negative TSNP. With the win, he earned +40. Not bad, but not what you pay for with Randy Johnson.

If you picked from the list of pitchers I proffered yesterday, you did OK. Johnson had the weakest outcome. None had monster games, but most were either above 100 TSNP, or in the neighborhood. If you think I'm psychic (and my track record this season certainly suggests otherwise), note that I also suggested some starters for today - not that any of the names are difficult to uncover on your own.

A couple of weeks ago, I set up a division in TSN Ultimate football for GuruPatrons. One of the perks of providing financial support to this site is getting invited to participate in one of the top divisions in TSN games. In recent years, GuruPatron divisions have finished either first or second most of the time, so if you are looking for competition, this is a likely place. All GuruPatrons should have received an emailed invitation, but there are some for whom I do not have a current email address. If you are a GuruPatron, want to join the division, and did not receive the details, please send me an email. And if you are not yet a GuruPatron, it's not too late to become one. New GuruPatrons who contribute prior to the start of the NFL Season will also be invited to join. I realize it is still early for most to be thinking about football, but the GuruPatron division already has more than 10 teams registered.

8/5 - The action was light yesterday. Not only were there only three AL games, but none of the starting pitchers were of much consequence. Today is a different matter, however, as the pitching slate includes Randy Johnson, Rich Harden, Mark Prior, Kevin Brown, Esteban Loaiza, Roger Clemens, Jason Schmidt, and other respectable pitchers as well. That's followed tomorrow by Schilling, Pedro, Halladay, Hudson, Pineiro, Dontrelle Willis, Kerry Wood, Bartolo Colon, ... You can't have them all, and the choices of the next few days could turn out to be important. Or they may simply cancel each other out. And often it seems like when a lot of top hurlers align, the results tend to be disappointing. Well, they're certainly aligned.

I see that the Swirve football game has been launched already. It probably happened awhile ago, I just wasn't paying attention. The PSC football games are also up, although they have not yet released player prices. I'm going to try to get the sortable stats updated with draft prices this week. I will not be tracking preseason stats, however. NFL preseason stats are not good indicators of future performance. You will be able to line up this year's prices with last year's points, though.

Football Pickoff will also be back this year, but that will not be open for registration until late August. The first regular season NFL game is on Thursday, September 4th.

8/4 - Miss me? I doubt it, but if you did, get used to it. I'll be in the saddle this week, but then I'm off to the family enclave in Ohio for 2 weeks.

During my week away, A Rod seems to have awaken from his deep slumber. He's been one of the reasons that my TSN teams have not excelled this year. I stepped up and spent early on him, and have held non-stop since May 3rd. Unfortunately, he hasn't been a bargain. But yesterday, he caught up to Nomar in total TSNP, and if he overtakes him this week, it will be the first time he's topped the list of shortstops for a long while... - perhaps all season.

Now, if the 3-headed pitching monster would just shift into high gear, I might be able to salvage something, at least versus my more value-challenged competition. All three of them (Pedro, Randy, & Curt) have pitched OK, and would actually have fared much better with respectable support from either their bullpens or bats. At least John Smoltz has picked up some of their slack, notching 5 saves in a span of 6 games last week. But in general, overspending on pitching has not been a dominating strategy, to say the least.

Click here for prior daily blurbs, by month:

2003: July . . . 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

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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