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8/31 - I know that my locale puts me in the thick of Red Sox hyping, and Red Sox griping. But itís hard to imagine the teamís current meltdown would look any less disastrous from far away. They followed up their 5 game Fenway sweep by the Yankees with a 2-7 west coast swing, scoring only 17 runs in those nine games. With Ortiz and Manny out of action, Lester on the DL, Crisp and Pena day-to-day, and the non-Papelbon portion of the bullpen imploding, itís hard to find a silver liningÖ, unless youíre a Yankees fan.
GuruGolf tees off bright and early tomorrow morning (6:50am ET). If you forgot to set your lineup, you still have a day to get it done.
I see that TSN added nine more IPOs in its salary cap football game yesterday. Iíll get those added to my database today.
Meanwhile, Football Pickoff is now unlocked and loaded, ready for 2006. The rules are effectively the same as last year. I just had to make a slight adjustment to the bonus point threshold for the two weeks when only 13 games are scheduled. Last year, weeks 3-10 were bye weeks, with 4 teams off each of those weeks. This year, week 10 has a full slate of games, and weeks 6-7 each have 6 teams off, resulting in only 13 games on those two weeks. (That probably explains why week 6 seemed to be such a troublesome bye week to plan around during my recent fantasy football drafts.)
8/30 - I realized last night that I had neglected to call attention to a noteworthy GuruGolf scorecard from last Sunday. Kudos to gurudan for posting a ďperfect lowĒ in round 4 of the Reno-Tahoe Open, carding a birdie on every hole for a -18. He didnít even need the six birdies from Harrison Frazar Ė all six of those were duplicates! Joe Ogilvie did the heavy lifting with 11 birdies and Skip Kendall filled in 5 of the remaining 7, leaving the final 2 for Shaun Micheel. Nice teamwork!
Speaking of GuruGolf, this weekís tournament doesnít start until Friday, so you have an extra day to set your lineup.
As promised, I added the latest 40+ IPOs to my database for the TSN game, and updated team affiliations to reflect August trades and signings. There may be another set of IPOs added today, and if so, Iíll try to get them in pronto. If you notice any obsolete team affiliations, please let me know. Itís strictly a manual process during the preseason, so itís likely that Iíve missed some.
Thanks to Gurupie Challenger for suggesting todayís quote.
8/29 - The season certainly continues to spiral downward for the Red Sox. Now David Ortiz has been sent home after a recurrence of an irregular heartbeat. By the time they get back on track (if they ever do), it may be too late to salvage the season, as they are 7 games behind the Yankees and 6 behind Minnesota (and 5.5 behind the White Sox) for the wild card. What a difference a few weeks makes!
Today will be my day to update the sartibles and the Assimilator with the latest additions to the TSN player pool. Iíll also try to get the team affilations updated for August trades. With any luck, that should be done by evening, just in time for the next wave of TSN IPOs (which could happen tomorrow). Tomorrow, Iíll try to get Football Pickoff reconfigured for 2006. I donít anticipate any rules changes this year, but I still have to get the schedules all set up. That should be ready by Thursday, if all goes well. So, I have a busy couple of days ahead of me. Iíd better get to it!
8/28 - Scoring in the Reno-Tahoe Open was quite low. No GuruGolf teams had the tournament winner, but 60 GuruGolf teams posted best ball scores of -50 or better. Kudos to louky, whose -59 was three strokes better than any other team.
About 40 players were added to the TSN Salary Cap Football game last week, but I have not added them to my database yet. Iíll try to get that done in the next day or so. The NFL regular season starts in just 10 days, so I guess Iíll have to devote some attention to my own TSN roster. By the way, the GuruPatrons division still has only 6 team registered, so we need at least 4 more to be prize eligible. All GuruPatrons are invited.
8/25 - In case you havenít noticed, Progressive Sports Challenge has decided to shut down operations. The reasoning is posted on their home page, related to exorbitant licensing requirements from MLB and the NFL, and the lack of resources to be able to resist. I certainly understand the problem. In spite of the recent favorable court ruling, the situation will not be definitively resolved for some time, and smaller game operators will probably be driven out regardless of the outcome of appeals. I donít know if this is also the reason for Swirveís decision to skip fantasy football in 2006, but it wouldnít surprise me if it is.
In GuruGolf, Woody Austin has some work to do today to get back in the good graces of 123 teams. He starts the day 2-3 stokes under the probable cut line. The most popular pair of Austin & Frazar combined for -8 in Round 1, but managers would have been better off with a MacKenzie/McKenzie combo. That homophonic pair (I said ďpho-NicĒ) combined for -14 yesterday, but neither appears on any GuruGolf rosters this week. (45 teams owned both Austin and Frazar.) Actually, a MacKenzie/Estes combo would have been even better (-16), but thereís nothing funny about that. Estes did find his way onto eight rosters, however.
8/24 - Ten days ago, Cleveland pinned 11 first inning runs on Kansas City in the home half of the first inning. Yesterday, KC appeared to have turned the tables, racking up 10 in their first inning outburst. But somehow, Cleveland managed to come back, winning 15-13 in 10 innings. If would have been a classic game if played between two contenders. Sadly (for me, at least), neither qualifies for that moniker.
The Reno-Tahoe Open is underway, and GuruGolf managers appear to have mistaken Woody Austin for Tiger Woods. Austin dominates rosters for this event, on more than half. Of course, all of the top golfers are playing elsewhere this week. But if Woody fails, a lot of teams are going to have problems.
Todayís baseball schedule again offers three early afternoon games. Get those rosters set!
8/23 - This is going to be a tricky two-week period for GuruGolf. This weekís event is the Reno-Tahoe Open, which is missing all of the tourís top players. They are playing at the WGC event, which isnít used for GuruGolf because it lacks a cut. Next week, the tour moves to Boston, so the only golfers who can be carried over will be those who elect to travel from Reno to the east coast. If you have trades stockpiled, this will be a handy time to have them.
In any event, there are still more than 200 GuruGolf teams with at least one inactive golfer as of 11am Wednesday. Thatís about 100 more than usual at this time, so either some teams are planning to go with an inactive golfer, or early withdrawals are wreaking havoc (they probably are Ė there are a lot this week), of managers are procrastinating more than usual, or perhaps some teams are calling it quits after the 4th major. Regardless, thereís a lot of be done today.
The baseball schedule features a couple of afternoon games today, so donít get caught by surprise.
8/22 - Yesterday, my comments were limited to golf and baseball. Today, football is the sport du jour.
The TSN Ultimate game was launched some time ago, and sortable stats have been available since late July. Supposedly, rookies will be added to the TSN database later this week. Iíll try to react quickly. Meanwhile, if you are a GuruPatron and would like to compete in the GuruPatron division, check here for instructions.
I see that Swirve will not be offering fantasy football this year. I have heard nothing from PSC, but the lack of any updates at their site for many months leads me to suspect that nothing is forthcoming there either.
The RIFC draft started last week, and weíre already in round 12 (of 24 total). Each manager is asked to post a rationale of each pick, and these have been popular resources for many Gurupies over the years. The 2006 rationales begin here. In addition, there are several RIFC qualifying leagues drafting concurrently, and some of those are also posting rationales in the Football Leagues forum. Those draft grids can also be viewed via these links: AAA #1 AAA #2. For more background on the RIFC league rules and scoring formats, check the football forum.
I will be offering Football Pickoff again this year, but have not yet configured that site for 2006. Look for that to be updated and available for registration by the end of the month.
8/21 - All refreshed and rariní to go!
First things first. We have six GuruGolf prize winners to congratulate:
All prize winners will receive email notices this week. Special kudos to Wheatridge, who managed to complete all four majors with 15/16 golfers making the cut. His only miss was Zach Johnson in the British Open. By comparison, my best ball team managed to salvage only 8/16 in the majors, including a dreadful 1-for-4 this past week. Itís been a season to forget for me.
Even though the majors are over, the GuruGolf season still continues through the beginning of November, with a new six-week contest starting this week.
All across New England, Red Sox fans are busy slitting their wrists this morning. The weekend series with the Yankees (which still isnít over) has been the stuff that Red Sox nightmares are made of. While Iíd rather see the Red Sox win vs. the Yankees, itís times like these that Iím glad I never made the emotional commitment to ďdie-hardĒ. After a post-1am finish last night, the teams turn around to play another in less than 12 hours. Red Sox pitchers wonít have much time to recoup from throwing 813 pitches over the past 3 days, 156 more than the Yankees staff has thrown. Almost 400 of those Red Sox pitches have been by relievers. And todayís attempt to salvage the final game starts with the arm of David Wells. This has certainly been a nice weekend to be George Steinbrenner.
8/4 - After a soggy start, the weather looks like it should cooperate for the rest of the week at the Buick Open. It seems doubtful that the second round will be completed until Saturday morning, but everything should stay on track after that.
I hope so. Iíll be aiming the Gurumobile westward tomorrow, aiming for the usual family enclave in northwestern Ohio (20 Halls in one place Ė aye carumba!), where the weather should be similar. That does mean, however, that I wonít be able to post second or third round standings until late Saturday, as Iíll be on the road for almost 12 hours. (Boo, long car trips!) It also means that Iíll be skipping blurb duty for the next two weeks. (Yea, vacations!)
You have my permission to take a vacation yourself. Tell your boss I said it was OK.
8/3 - Tiger Woods got off to a fast start this morning, birdying his first 5 holes. He cooled off (metaphorically only, I suspect) after that, parring the rest of his opening 9. And the rest of the field is hanging nearby, as early scoring looks to be as blistering as the northeastern heat wave. Actually, according to PGATour.com, the local temperature in Michigan is only 73 degrees (although the humidity is 94%), which is hard to believe. Itís already in the 90s in Connecticut.
The temperature hasnít been the only hot thing in the northeast lately. Check out Yankees pitcher Chien-Ming Wang. In his last 2 starts he has pitched 17 innings, allowing only 6 hits, 5 walks, and zero runs. Heís certainly one of the reasons that the Yankees have overtaken the Red Sox in the A.L. East, not only picking up 2 wins, but giving their bullpen a chance to recoup each time.
Thanks to Gurupie Chuck for suggesting todayís quote.
8/2 - What a difference a year makes! Last year, Carlos Beltran was widely regarded as one of the biggest ďstud bustsĒ of the season, his first year with the Mets. Today, he stands atop the total TSNP rankings for all hitters this season. Further, the ESPN player rater has him ranked as the #1 player overall (4x4 and 5x5 formats). If you drafted him in your roto league this year, you probably got him at a bargain price. In the RIBC, he was the 2nd pick in Round #2, the 18th pick overall.
There are some early games in baseball today, so your roster moves canít necessarily wait until early evening. The earliest game is Texas facing non-Liriano.
The Buick Open tees off bright and early tomorrow (7am ET). This tournament has a pretty strong field, including Tiger, Vijay, Furyk, Toms, and Weir. As of this moment, about 100 GuruGolf rosters still look like they need some attention. There have also been quite a few withdrawals this week, so if your roster was set early, you ought to recheck it today. You wouldnít want to be one of those unfortunate teams with 2 no-shows and only one provisional golfer.
8/1 - Although some of the biggest names were not traded yesterday, there was a flurry of uniform switching. I counted about 27 players traded yesterday, and although many of them have little fantasy implications, it still creates a lot of work to get the database updated, as trade activity is all processed manually. In addition to the trades, there was a lot of call-up/send-down activity as well. Hopefully, Iíve got it right. If not, Iíll get there soon.
Today marks the official beginning of the ďdog daysĒ, and with local temperatures expected to reach 100 degrees (Fahrenheit) today, judging from my dogís reaction, thatís not a good thing. If youíre battling in a tough baseball league, thereís still about one-third of the season to go, so lots can happen. Tough it out!
Or, you can turn to football. Today I announce the latest ďSponsor of the MonthĒ, a new book which is formally released today. Co-authored by long-time RotoGuru.com friend Erik Barmack and Max Handelman, I was privileged to receive an advance copy, and read it on vacation last week. Itís not a deep treatise on fantasy football strategy, but it is an entertaining narrative about a recent fantasy football season in a league of 12 friends. I read it in about 2 days, so it moves right along, with lots of anecdotes that highlight (and occasionally ridicule) the idiosyncrasies and excesses that are all too recognizable. If you want an entertaining way to get your fantasy football juices flowing once again, I recommend it.
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
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 toGuru<firstname.lastname@example.org>.
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