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

8/31 - Heath Slocum was ranked 124th in a field of 125 players to begin the FedEx Cup. After an improbable win, he’s now ranked 3rd overall, virtually assuring his continued eligibility for the remainder of the Cup series. His putt on 18th was the clincher, but an eagle from the fairway on the par-4 5th hole was the blow that probably did it.

In any event, only three GuruGolf teams had Slocum this weekend. Neither of those teams tied for the top bestball team score of -44. The top worstball team was Brown, three strokes “worser” than the runner up.

This is the last day of August, which means that baseball rosters can expand to 40 active players tomorrow. Be alert for potential shifts in playing time, particularly for teams that are out of playoff contention.

The most recent TSN football player additions have now been included in the sortable stats and Assimilator.

8/28 - The Red Sox released Brad Penny to make room for Billy Wagner. Some NL team should probably pick him up; he may be one of that growing list of pitchers who can succeed in the NL, despite of sucking in the AL. The next Vicente Padilla.

My oldest son has now been married, and my daughter has been delivered to her freshman year of college, so I guess I’m now free to resume some sort of normalcy – whatever the new normal happens to be. I noticed that TSN recently released more football players and prices, including rookies, so I’ll work on those updates to the sortable stats either today or over the weekend. I’ve also got to get Football Pickoff ready for the fall, although that will probably wait for another week. No rush there.

Charley Hoffman was again the popular favorite in GuruGolf, and it looks like he’s finally rewarding the patient, with an opening round -5. Today’s scores are really ballooning, with only one player currently on the course in red numbers (C. Howell III, -1 thru 12). It’s apparently not raining now, but heavy rain is forecast for this afternoon and tomorrow (the edge of Tropical Storm Danny), so the second round may not be completed until Sunday. If this tournament finishes late, the next event has the convenient benefit of starting on Friday, rather than Thursday – so I expect they’ll make every attempt to play a full 72.

8/26 - Adam Wainwright has quietly been one of the hottest pitchers on the planet lately. In the month of August, he has a 1.26 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP, allowing only one walk so far this month. In TSNP terms, he ranks fourth over the last 30 days, ahead of studs like Lincecum, Sabathia, and Verlander.

The FedEx Cup tournaments start tomorrow morning. For GuruGolf, if you have many trades saved, you can start burning them now. The season lasts for only four more events, and for the last two of those, all accumulated trades are flushed and you get only two to use for two tournaments combined – in part to compensate for the lack of cuts in those tournaments, and in part to introduce more potential scoring volatility in the final two weeks.

I’ll be driving my (baby) daughter to college (Hofstra) on Thursday morning, so I won’t be blurbing again until Friday, my first day as an “empty nester.”

8/25 - Cliff Lee keeps chugging along, and now has 19 consecutive IP without an earned run allowed. I wonder what pitcher Cleveland will have to offer up next July? Should be a feeding frenzy.

I see that a bunch of new players have been priced for RotoHog football, and I’ll try to get them loaded shortly – but it may not happen today.

8/24 - Back home again after a whirlwind weekend trip to Plymouth, MA to see my oldest son get married. Great weekend, great experience – but now it’s time to decompress – and draft football teams.

All of the RIFC drafts are now in progress. Here are links to each of the drafts:
AAA #1
AAA #2

In addition, RIFC rationales will be posted here. I have a bit of work to do today to get that thread updated, but hopefully by tonight it will be relatively current.

Meanwhile, I am happy to announce the winners of the “Dog Days” Contest for GuruGolf, which included the latest five tournaments:
e-team (best ball: -214)
SANFORDORS (worst ball: +190)

8/20 - Since his trade to the Phillies, Cliff Lee is 4-0, never allowing more than one run in a start, with an ERA of 0.82 and a WHIP of 0.7. Meanwhile, Roy Halladay was knocked out of his game after 5 innings last night. Admittedly, Halladay’s 2-2 record and 3.30 ERA since the non-trade aren’t exactly chopped liver, but Philly has to be feeling pretty good about their choice.

In GuruGolf, Charley Hoffman continues to be the popular favorite, as GuruGolf managers are showing either patience, confidence in a rebound, or else they’re just trade-strapped. Probably the latter. But Hoffman surely hasn’t shown anything positive in the last couple of weeks, unless it’s his worst ball skills – and even then, he’s not helping much when he fails to make the cut.

The RIFC Draft is underway, with eight running backs taken in the first 10 picks. With 24 rounds to go, this draft will extend throughout the next two weeks.

My oldest son is getting married this weekend, and I’ll be traveling to Plymouth, MA tomorrow morning, so this will be my last blurb of the week. I’ll be wearing a tux and the ceremony is outdoors, so here’s hoping for moderate temperatures, low humidity, and no rain.

8/19 - Perhaps the most interesting (and ironic) pitching performance last night came from Jamie Moyer, who pitched 6 shutout innings in relief of Pedro Martinez after a rain delay took Pedro out of the game early. Meanwhile, Florida’s Ricky Nolasco hurled his third straight 3-digit TSNP game. Unfortunately for his owners, the middle game of the three had a negative sign in front of it. Feast or famine, evidently.

The Wyndham Championship tees off early tomorrow morning. For GuruGolf, this is the final tournament in the 5-week Dog Days Contest, and also the final PGA event before the FexEx Cup tournaments begin. If you are trying to conserve trades in GuruGolf, be aware that all trades will be wiped out prior to the BMW Championship (the next-to-last event), and every team will then have only two trades total for those final two FedEx Cup tournaments combined. So if you have 8 or more trades in reserve for the current week, you can completely turn over your foursome for each of the next three events (8 saved trades plus 2 new trades for the next two weeks = 12 total for three tournaments). If you’re confused or unaware of the season ending trade rules, please consult the rules (item 7).

8/18 - Often, the obvious premiere pitcher on a given night doesn’t have the best outing of the night. Not so last night, however, as the obvious Chris Carpenter held the Dodgers to 2 runs on 5 hits over 8 innings. In TSNP terms, it was a 126. The next best outing of the night was only an 88.

The RIFC (football) draft will begin on Thursday, August 20th. More often than not, the various RIFC qualifying leagues start their drafts prior to the “big league”, but not so this year, as the others will not start until next Monday. So I guess I’ll be drafting in the trend-setting league this year. All drafts will be publicly available at, and I’ll provide links for each as they begin.

8/17 - Well, that was certainly a surprise! I suspect that not even the five GuruGolf teams with Y.E. Yang saw this one coming.

Congrats to Cybewahoo9, whose seemingly unlikely foursome of Clark, Rollins, Schwartzel, and Merrick took the best ball honors for the weekend in GuruGolf. Worst ball honors went to fear the monkey with a +61. That also propelled this same team to the worst ball title for the four majors combined, while Smith32 claimed the corresponding best ball title.

I did get the TSN football player prices loaded this weekend, so the sortable stats and Assimilator should be good to go. Of course, rookies have not yet been priced. RotoHog prices are also available in the sortable stats, although they have released an even more limited subset at this point. When new players are added to either game, feel free to shoot me an email, as I may not notice right away.

8/14 - I suppose the evidence is circumstantial at best, but it seems to me like, over the last several years, when a good A.L. pitcher goes to the N.L., he becomes dominant. When a mediocre pitcher goes from the A.L. to the N.L., he becomes good. And when a decent pitcher goes from the N.L. to the A.L., he tends to get worse.

Exhibit A: Sabathia, Cliff Lee (limited data, I know), Chris Carpenter
Exhibit B: Joel Pineiro, Bronson Arroyo, even Kyle Lohse
Exhibit C: Kevin Millwood, Randy Johnson

I know, that’s a very limited and incomplete list, and there are age-related considerations for some of them as well. There may also be some obvious counterexamples that I’m not thinking off. And I realize that getting to face pitchers at the plate is a statistical help for NL pitchers. But I have a feeling Halladay would be even more dominant in the N.L. And I’m wondering if the White Sox are going to be happy with Jake Peavy.

Changing topics. It was pointed out to me this morning that TSN Football prices are actually available in spreadsheet form; they just aren’t loaded in the normal spot for buying players at the TSN game site. So I’m going to try to get them loaded in the sortable stats and Assimilator in the next several days. If you’re chomping at the bit, check back next week.

8/13 - It wasn’t quite vintage Pedro, who threw 99 pitches and allowed 3 earned runs over just 5 innings. But it was certainly good enough for the Phillies, who staked him to 12 runs in the first four innings. Several other studs could have used that kind of support, as Tim Lincecum and Felix Hernandez allowed only 2 runs combined last night, and neither has a victory to show for it.

The PGA Championship is underway, and Charlie Hoffman is the carryover favorite (43% of rosters), in spite of last week’s awful results. No other golfer appears even half as often. Tiger Woods found his way on to 15% of foursomes, ranking him #5 in this week’s popularity sweepstakes.

8/12 - There are five afternoon MLB games today, including Lincecum vs. the Dodgers. Make your trades and/or set your lineups early.

The PGA Championship tees off tomorrow, and four GuruGolf prizes hang in the balance. Prizes are provided for the top best and worst ball scorecard for each major tournament, as well as for the four majors combined.

I haven’t done much about salary cap football game coverage yet. Players and prices are not yet released for the TSN game, and the list at RotoHog is still very limited. Draftbug has not yet released football player pricing either. I’ll definitely be tracking those three formats. Let me know if there are any other games that should be considered. I’m not looking for extra work, mind you, but I’m open to possibilities if they would seem to add value.

8/11 - Hitting for the cycle is supposed to be as rare as pitching a no hitter, but lately, that seems not to be the case. Troy Tulowitzki produced the sixth one of 2009, and there have been eleven in the past two seasons, compared to only four no-nos. Since the year 2000, only 15 no hitters have been thrown, vs. 44 cycles. So while the historical comparison used to be pretty close, something has apparently changed.

If you play TSN Ultimate baseball, I noted this morning that a message at the TSN game site says that all trades made between 11pm and 8am (ET) this morning were voided and will need to be done again. Repricing didn’t go through properly last night, and they decided to undo all trades and rerun the price change at 8am this morning. Early risers (and particularly those east of the Atlantic Ocean), take note.

8/10 - If the Red Sox look in their rear view mirror today, they won’t find their closest contender for the AL wild card - because that team, Texas, is now travelling alongside them in the passing lane, while Tampa Bay is only 1.5 games behind. There are still 50+ games to go, so all sorts of things can (and most likely will) happen. Regardless, the angst in Beantown is palpable this morning.

It looks like the reports of Tiger Woods’ demise after the British Open were a bit premature. Of course, it helped to have Padraig Harrington play the 16th hole the way I would likely have played it: rough (trees), rough (next to trap), rough (next to green), pond, penalty, green, 2 putts – score 8.

Meanwhile, the other golf tournament was the GuruGolf event. Congrats to Cybewahoo9 who posted the top best ball score (-57), while affiliated team Cybewahoo8 claimed the worst ball honors (+54).

8/7 - The Red Sox may still lead the season series with the Yankees 8 games to 1, but I doubt if they take much comfort in that after last night’s Yankee Stadium beatdown. Of course, if they take the next three, that’ll change. Baseball is a game of momentum, and momentum changes quickly.

Speaking of momentum, the Phillies got another strong outing from Cliff Lee, and now enjoy a 7 game lead in the NL East. If they keep their pitching rotation as it stands now, they’ll “Happ-Lee” take these types of back-to-back performances.

Golfer Charley Hoffman has his work cut out today if he wants to please 50% of GuruGolf managers. Through 7 holes of round two he stands at +7, which ranks 125th in a field of 132. Yikes! I suppose if he craps out (as seems likely), he’ll still please 50% of managers – just the other 50%.

8/6 - So far, the Phillies have to be “Happ”-y they got Cliff Lee instead of Roy Halladay. The price for Halladay would reportedly have included James Happ, who tossed a complete game, 4-hit, 10-K shutout over Colorado last night. Of course, one game does not define the benefits of a trade (or non-trade), but the decision is working out well so far.

Baseball’s schedule is limited today, but not necessarily light. Eleven games are scheduled, including six in the afternoon. Pay attention when setting your lineups!

The Legends Reno-Tahoe Open has just gotten underway, and Charlie Hoffman is the dominant GuruGolf favorite, on more than half of active rosters. For each of the last two years, the cut was at even par – so that’s probably a reasonable target to bear in mind as the action unfolds.

8/5 - Yesterday was very much a “good new/bad news” day for me:

  • Bad news: home from several weeks of vacation
  • Good news: broadband access
  • Bad news: need to catch up on a lot of tasks that had been delayed
  • Good news: getting some things done, for a change
  • Bad news: Laptop fails to boot up – hard drive failure suspected
  • Good news: I had just backed up most of my files, and the laptop was still under warranty. And it didn’t happen while I was on vacation!
  • Bad news: I had to call Dell tech support
  • Good news: although it took an hour on the phone, it was only an hour, and they are sending me a new, preloaded hard drive via FedEx, which should arrive today
  • Bad news: I had to reload files onto my old laptop to do some processing today
  • Good news: the old laptop still works
  • Bad news: I’ll have to kill more time today (and this week) reloading files and software on the replacement hard drive
Suffice it to say that I didn’t get a lot of “catch up” work done yesterday. But it certainly could have been worse. A lot worse.

Meanwhile, don’t forget to reset your GuruGolf rosters for this week’s event, which is the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open (and not the WGC tournament). The secondary event was selected for GuruGolf because if offers a second round cut, while the other tournament does not.

8/4 - Back home for the duration of the summer. It’s sure nice to have that broadband internet access once again.

On the long drive home yesterday, I listened to the KC/Tampa game on XM Radio, Greinke vs. Kazmir. Neither pitcher was particularly sharp. Greinke had his worst outing of the year, getting hit early and often. After a sizzling April-May during which he was 8-1 with a, ERA under 1, he looked like a Cy Young shoo-in. But since then, he’s only 2-6 in 11 starts. The Royals bats haven’t helped, scoring only 22 runs in those 11 games. But Greinke himself has been only average since May, with an ERA of 3.84 and a WHIP of 1.42. Not CY Young Stuff, even if the Royals could score.

Meanwhile, Greinke’s opponent, Scott Kazmir, has really struggled this season, with a 6.10 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP, although he has been better since the All Star break (3.60/1.16). Still, he seldom gets beyond the 6th inning (lasting until the 7th only once in 16 starts), and certainly has been a disappointment to any fantasy team that drafted him last spring. Curiously, that one 7IP start was a crucial win over the Yankees last week, clearly his best outing of the season.

While I was in Ohio last week, the Tribe traded away both Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez. Time will tell whether any of the received prospects turn out well, but suffice it to say that the moves were not popular among local Cleveland fans. Then again, I suspect that trading away Bartolo Colon in 2002 was similarly unpopular. But the Tribe got Grady Sizemore, Brandon Phillips, and Cliff Lee in that deal. If these latest trades are anywhere close to that caliber, the fans will eventually forgive. It’ll take a few years to find out, though. Meanwhile, Lee and VMart are grabbing some quick headlines with their early post-trade exploits. Maybe a Boston-Phillies World Series would allow Clevelanders to live vicariously this October. Or maybe it would just cause them to gripe louder.

2009: July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2008: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . 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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