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Daily blurbs from the Guru
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Go forward to more recent blurbs.

8/29 - When key Tampa Bay Rays players started dropping like flies a few weeks ago, many thought the team would be hard pressed to hold on to their division lead.

Not so fast.

Since Carl Crawford was lost for the season, they’ve gone 11-5, during which time the Red Sox have been 10-6. Too bad no one is filling the seats in Tropicana field. The three game series with Toronto drew an average of 13,400 per game. If they do reach the playoffs, will anyone come out to watch?

The Deutsche Bank Championship is underway, and Ben Crane is still the popular favorite, although he’s now on only about one-third of all active rosters. Vijay Singh and Briny Baird also continue to hold down the 2nd and 3rd slots, so I suspect most current rosters look pretty similar to last week’s version.

8/28 - I guess Jimmy Rollins is officially “hot.” Santana, Schmantana… It doesn’t seem to matter who’s pitching against him.

RotoHog football begins live trading tomorrow at 9:30am ET. Final player prices have been released and the sortable stats have been updated.

The GuruGolf tournament of the week doesn’t tee off until tomorrow morning, as is customary for the Deutsche Bank event which spans Labor Day weekend. So if you forgot to set your roster, you have a 24 hour reprieve. And this will be the last tournament of the season with a cut after the second round. Next week’s tournament will have a reduced field with no cut.

8/27 - Jimmy Rollins has put together a nice week, going 8-10 with 5 RBIs and 3 steals in 2 games. Today will be a good litmus test to see how well he’s really swinging the bat, facing Johan Santana – against whom he’s 0-11 so far.

I may have put the jinx on Brandon Webb when I all but handed him the Cy Young award after his last start. He couldn’t even get through five innings last night, against a Padres lineup that’s usually pretty accommodating to opposing starters.

I launched Football Pickoff yesterday. You can now register and make your picks – for the whole season if you wish! (That would be an interesting approach.) Invite your friends and family to join. The game isn’t a money maker for me, so that’s not my motivation. But it does benefit from a larger enrollment, given the nature of the scoring system, which is stabilized if we have a large sample of picks for each game.

8/26 - Do you remember that Baltimore-Chicago game back on April 28th that was suspended in the 11th inning? It was completed last night. If you had any impacted players in your April 28th lineup, you may want to see if and how your league host handled the processing. It ended up as one of those rare instances when the two teams split the games (each winning one), yet the home team lost both.

For the record, in my sortable stats and related databases, I credited the stats generated in yesterday’s conclusion to yesterday. Stats generated on April 28 remain on that date, while only the incremental stats were attributed to August 25.

If you are GuruPatron (i.e., anyone who has ever financially contributed to support this site), you are invited to join my GuruPatrons division in the TSN Ultimate salary cap football game. Details are in this thread.

By the way, I know that some of the football players in my sortable stats show outdated team affiliations. I’ll try to get those updated shortly. Patience!

8/25 - No more Olympics. Now I can go to bed at a more reasonable hour.

I just looked at the YTD player points in the TSN salary cap game, and was surprised to see that the player with the most points is now Tim Lincecum. When did THAT happen? It’s pretty impressive that he has managed a 14-3 record on that team. Curiously, there’s only one hitter among the top eleven in YTD points, and that’s (still) Lance Berkman, who did most of his damage in the first few months.

Four GuruGolf teams tied for the top bestball score of -48. On the worst ball side, copper clippers posted a 3-stroke margin over the second best (worst) with a +45.

8/22 - A few days ago I commented that CC Sabathia could conceivably enter the NL CY Young picture if Brandon Webb faltered.

It’s not looking like that’s going to happen. Webb threw seven shutout innings, allowing just 3 hits in notching his 19th win. And in recent years, Webb has not shown any tendency toward weak Septembers. In the past three years, he’s gone 9-4 in September with an ERA of 2.96 and a BAA of just .220.

I did update the football sortable stats yesterday, adding in the recent player additions for both the TSN and RotoHog salary cap games. RotoHog has also published a list of tentative prices for rookies, which will not be formally released until next week, and are subject to change. I didn’t include those players in the sortable stats for now.

I stayed up late last night to watch the men’s beach volleyball finals in the Olympics. Those guys must have leather carbon fiber ligaments in their knees and ankles. I’m pretty sure I’d be on crutches early and often.

8/21 - Last night’s apparent marquis pitching matchup fizzled, as Haren and Peavy each surrendered 5 earned runs in an 8-6 Dback win. Go figure.

Meanwhile, Francisco Liriano continued his winning ways in a 3-1 win over Oakland, even though wildness restricted him to only 5 innings (107 pitches). No earned runs surrended, however. Makes you wonder what the Twins were thinking when they kept Liriano in the minors for so long while continuing to trot out Livan Hernandez.

I see that TSN has released prices on 100+ more football players, and I now have to add those plus the recently added RotoHog player prices to my databases. Hopefully, I’ll get that done in the next day or so.

In GuruGolf, Ben Crane is the holdover favorite, on a little more than 40% of active rosters. Briny Baird and Vijay Singh each appear on about 25%. 117 of the 136 entered golfers appear on at least one roster, so there’s a lot of diversity this week.

8/20 - I’m in the thick of several football drafts this week, and it’s really distracting my attention away from baseball. This morning, I also had to unscramble a process-related draft snafu that further chewed up my normal review time – so I have almost no idea what happened in baseball last night – although I do see that Shields beat Shields in Tampa.

If you, like me, are sidetracked with football drafting, don’t forget to set your GuruGolf lineup before tomorrow morning. There are just three more events in the GuruGolf season. I decided to end the season before the final Tour Championship this year, since that event doesn’t occur until after the Ryder Cup, when the football season will be in full gear, and baseball will be coming down the stretch. 136 golfers are in this week’s field, the first week of the FedEx Cup tournament. 120 of them will survive to the next round – so trade conservation should not be an issue for the next week, unless you have a disproportionate representation of the bottom 16. Choose wisely, grasshoppers!

8/19 - If the Brewers don’t advance to the post season, they can’t pin it on CC Sabathia, who threw his fifth complete game since the trade, and is now 8-0 in 9 starts with a 1.60 ERA and a BAA of around .200. Brandon Webb clearly has the upper hand in the N.L. Cy Young race, but in the unlikely event he implodes down the stretch, Sabathia could even get consideration. At his current pace, he could be 15-0 with the Brewers. And if you have him in a fantasy league which counts both A.L. and N.L. stats, he’s already got his ERA down to 3.00, which is pretty impressive, considering it was as high as 13.50 in mid April (after back-to-back outings with 9 ER surrendered in each.) Of the 65 earned runs he’s allowed this year, 27 occurred in his first four starts. Since then, he’s allowed an average of 1.65 earned runs per start.

It looks like Ian Kinsler’s season might be over. It’s been a tough August for key players in the state of Texas, with Houston’s Carlos Lee prematurely finished in what would have been his career year as well. Neither the ‘Stros nor the Rangers were going anywhere in October, but if you were riding either of those horses on your fantasy team, that hurts.

8/18 - Yesterday was a day for baseball extremes. Five teams won with double digit runs scored. But there were also two shutouts and three one-run games. So monster hitting and monster pitching results were certainly within reach of many fantasy teams.

The RIFC draft cleared the first two rounds over the weekend, and rationale postings have now commenced at the Football Forum. In addition, some of the qualifying leagues may also be posting draft rationales, and those will appear in corresponding threads at the Football Leagues Forum. The NFL season opens in just a little over two weeks, so draft activity will be pretty intense for the next two weeks.

I see that RotoHog has priced some additional football players, so I’ll get those loaded into the sortable stats in the next day or so. TSN will be adding players to their football database later in the week.

Plenty of teams shared the weekend spotlight in GuruGolf. Four teams tied for the top bestball score of -56, and four shared the top worstball score of +40.

8/15 - Are the Red Sox swinging hot bats, or did they simply feast on a horrible Rangers’ staff? They just swept Texas in Fenway Park, scoring 37 runs in three games. But the Rangers have a MLB-worst team ERA of 5.45, and are on pace to surrender almost 1000 runs this season. The next foe to arrive at Fenway is Toronto, whose team ERA is 3.66, tied with the Dodgers for the best in the majors. Halladay, Marcum, and Burnett should provide more of a challenge. Then again, Toronto is scoring only 75% of the Texas output, so the Sahx shouldn’t need quite as many wall balls.

The RIFC draft has started, and will be ongoing for the next two weeks. This league’s format is somewhat unique, as rosters include both a team defense slot as well as 6 individual defensive players, and also awards points for kick and punt return yardage (for any player). So you don’t necessarily want to use it as a guide for your own league draft without first considering any of these potential differences. As is customary for Invitational leagues, managers will be providing brief narrative rationales for each pick, although these will be lagged by two rounds. Those should start early next week.

8/14 - Back again! Thanks for waiting. It’s always with mixed emotions that a lengthy vacation comes to an end, but there is plenty to do, and it is always helpful to be able to focus once again – and to have my broadband connection.

Football begins to take control, and in the fantasy context, that usually means drafts and team formation. The RIFC draft is on the brink – more about that tomorrow. I just checked the two covered salary cap games – TSN and RotoHog – and neither appears to have added any players during the first half of August. I suspect some updates will happen next week. And, of course, Football Pickoff still has to be retooled for 2008. Fear not – it’s on my “to do” list - but that may be delayed until nearer the end of August.

In GuruGolf, the Wyndham Championship has already teed off. But before getting too far ahead, I need to announce and congratulate the prize winners for the PGA Championship and the four majors combined:

PGA Championship prize winners:
moe eagles (best ball: -35)
”A” game (worst ball: +72)

Combined Majors prize winners:
G BB 2 (best ball: -120)
clueless (worst ball: +228)

The last GuruGolf prize contest will cover the final four events - the "Final Four" contest.

2008: 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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