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

8/31 - Edgardo Alfonzo!   6-for-6, with 3 homers, a double, 6 runs scored (tied a ML record), and 5 Ribbies. Good for 135 SWP/141 BPP. That's the best single game SWP hitting total in the past two seasons, eclipsing Garciaparra's 127 SWP in his 3 homer, 10 RBI game on May 10th. (Nomar had 142 BPP in that game, however.)

And Fonzie wasn't the only hitting stud yesterday. In a doubleheader, Edgar Martinez produced 119 SWP/136 BPP. A good day for Edgars in any language, I guess.

Brian Moehler had the top pitching day, with a 3-hit shutout over Texas. But strong games were also posted by the two "most likely to be owned" studs of the day, Kevin Brown (196/166) and Pedro Martinez (176/134).

I did a quick scan this morning of the top 50 teams at each of the SW and CNN sites (full season games only), just to see how many had either Alfonzo or Edgar Martinez. The answer? One Alfonzo, no Martinez's. So if only one had Alfonzo, then the rest probably had Robby Alomar, right? Not really. In fact, Alomar only appeared on 61 of the 100 top rosters. The 2nd most popular second baseman was Tony Batista, on 13 rosters. No other second sacker appeared more than 5 times.

There are some other interesting observations on these top 100 rosters. Randy Johnson is the most widely held player, on 83 rosters. But since he starts today, that is totally expected. The next most popular players are Alex Rodriguez (64), Alomar (61), John Rocker (61), and Griffey (50). I'll post the entire list tomorrow, after I get a chance to dissect it more thoroughly.

One other quick observation on the top teams. For the SW game, 25 of the 50 teams have values exceeding $100 million, while 13 teams are still below $80 million. On the CNN side, only 28 of the 50 teams are worth more than $100 million - a surprisingly low number, since these teams were all staked to $75 million on opening day.

8/30 - Sammy Sosa may have gotten more attention, but Kyle Farnsworth was unquestionably the fantasy stud of the day, as he blanked the Dodgers with a complete game 2-hitter. And the big hitters for the day were actually Corey Koskie and Luis Gonzalez.

Gurupie Jeff Kang has graciously provided a special treat for anyone using the W95/98 operating system (sorry, Mac users). Called the Baseball Abacus, this program reads boxscores as games are in progress and produces up-to-the-minute SWP and BPP game totals for all players. Released over the weekend, it's already a big hit based upon initial message forum testimonials. If you want to try it, click on the link to download a free copy. Thanks for making this available to all Gurupies, Jeff. Nice job!

I updated the midseason team rankings yesterday. However, due to the large number of teams, I'll only be updating the full season SW and CNN rankings once per week now, usually just after the price update.

8/29 - Some hellacious pitching yesterday!

Kevin Millwood seems to be getting most of the attention today, after throwing 10 shutout innings against St. Louis. His 224 SWP is probably the record for a non-winning pitcher. But his pitching opponent, Darren Oliver, threw nine shutout innings of his own. Charles Nagy threw 8 innings of 4-hit shutout ball against the D-Rays. Mark Gardner allowed only two Pirate hits over seven innings. But the biggest point day - and probably the least likely - belonged to Brian Bohanan, who threw a 4-hit, 10-K shutout over the Phillies at Coor's Field! This is the same Phillies that had just scored 33 runs in two games. Who'd've thunk it?

With all that pitching, there must've been a hitting shortage. There certainly wasn't anything like the triple triple-digit hitting day we had last week. The best-o'day were Todd Helton, who capitalized on a Coor's Field double dip, and Miguel Tejada, who was only a single short of hitting for the cycle.

I made a few minor enhancements to the football Assimilator yesterday, the most noticeable of which was the addition of a column showing each player's bye week. With only 4 trades per week in the SW game, it's important to keep your bye week exposure spread around, and this should help you keep track of that.

8/27 - Football. 1999.

It's here. At

I've finally got my preseason football menus and pages together. Here's what I have to offer:

  • An updated set of football links, including several sites which offer free statistical projections for many players.

  • A 1999 NFL schedule, with all 31 teams and all 17 weeks in one convenient grid.

  • Archives of last season's football strategy articles, Field Goals, and room for more to come in 1999.

  • Sortable Draft Stats, with points calculated based on last season's NFL stats using this year's scoring formulas for all three covered games, along with draft prices and all of the ratios you've come to rely on.

  • A new Football Assimilator, fully loaded with players and 1999 prices for all three games, and continuing the popular "watchlist" roster capabilities that were introduced for baseball.
The NFL season starts on September 12, which is just over 2 weeks away, so it's not too soon to start working on your preseason drafts. Next week, I'll offer some commentary on the various covered games, pointing out changes from last year, and highlighting some of the strategies you may want to consider.

Meanwhile, baseball coverage will continue in full force. It's a busy time of year, but the staff of is committed to do whatever it takes to get the job done.

Speaking of baseball, "the other Pedro" showed why he isn't just "Pedro". After a string of strong starts, and a Thursday start in Pittsburgh rather than Coors Field, Pedro Astacio seemed like a relatively attractive pick on a day which offered only a handful of games. Ugh. Presumably, if you had "the other Pedro", you also had Randy Johnson, which should cushion the blow.

And the hot hitters stayed hot. Sammy Sosa just keeps slamming them out. Ditto for Vladimir Guerrero. They didn't have the best hitting totals of the day. But they sure have had long runs of prosperity.

I'm out most of the day Friday, so this blurb was actually written Thursday night. Updated Echelon prices won't be posted until Friday evening - so don't skip your lunch while waiting for the updated tables to arrive.

8/26 - Three hitters put up triple digit fantasy scores yesterday. Even though one (Bonds) was assisted by a doubleheader, that still sounds like some sort of record. Three dingers apiece for Manny Ramirez and Barry Bonds, while Rico Brogna only knocked two out of the park, but contributed 7 RBIs. The Phillies scored 33 runs in the last 2 games... and NOW they get to go to Coors Field. Hoo baby! Good time to be a Phillies fan.

Yesterday's obvious stud picks - Brown and Reynolds - didn't fare too well. The top pitching honors were earned by Reynolds' pitching opponent, Kenny Rogers, who fell just 2 outs shy of a complete game shutout. There were a good number of decent pitching performances, however, as the big three hitters would only have ranked #15-17 in the pitching category.

SW pricing was based on two weeks of trading data yesterday, but once again failed to compensate for the extra week in the price sensitivity. Consequently, price changes were dampened by about 50% vs. what they would have been if the factors had been appropriately calibrated (or if prices had just been done once per week, as they should be). If you got stuck with a net loss, this probably worked to your advantage, but if you were positioning for some late season gains, you probably got hurt a bit. In addition, trading activity was down roughly 20% vs. two weeks ago, suggesting that a fair number of managers may have gotten fed up and quit. That's a higher than normal rate of attrition. And at this point of the season, you'd think that managers who had stuck it out this long would probably be in it for the duration. Unless, of course, they feel overly abused.

I'll update team rankings later today. Most rankings will be as of yesterday, although the full season SW rankings will be through today, since my overnight download failed to run to completion, and I'll have to rerun it today.

Football preparations are rounding into shape, and I'm on schedule for tomorrow's launch of updated features and a revamped football menu.. In fact, I expect everything will be ready tonight, if you're that anxious.

8/25 - Another night of extremes. Five teams reached double digits in runs scored, headed by Philly's 18, and including one loser - Cleveland - which dropped an 11-10 game to Oakland.

The top hurlers were Pedro Martinez, who tossed his first Pedro-like game since returning from the DL, and Freddy Garcia, who threw a complete game shutout, topping the 200 point mark in both fantasy scoring formulas. If you can stand the game-to-game variability, Garcia can really put up some big numbers. But you never know which Freddy will show up on any given night.

At the other extreme, David Cone got rocked for a very uncharacteristic -65 SWP/-25 BPP output, lasting only 1-2/3 innings against Texas. However, he wasn't even close to the "anti-stud" of the day, Matt Whiteside, the sacrificial lamb against the Phillies last night, who posted a rare negative triple digit score in SWP.

Bobby Abreu took the hitting honors for the night, with 2 HRs, 3 runs scored, and 6 RBIs. Close behind was on-again, off-again John Jaha, whose 2 dingers included one grand slam.

Today we have a two-week repricing for SW, and I have no idea what to expect. If you are trying to manage your gains this time, good luck. If SW applies the formula the same way as they did for last two week repricing, all price changes are will be dampened vs. normal one-week changes. But you never know...

I'm getting close to having the football Assimilator ready, and my plans are to have it available by Friday morning, at which point all of my preseason football pages should be in pretty good shape.

8/24 - So far this year, it seems like Cleveland usually annihilates the weaker teams, but has had trouble winning against the playoff contenders. Meanwhie, the Yankees haven't done as well against many of the weaker teams (e.g., while Cleveland is 16 games over .500 against the other teams in the AL Central, the Yankees are only 2 over against those same teams), but seem to do well against the contenders. Last night marked the second time in the last month that the Bombers scored 21 against a division leader. The old Andy Pettitte could have won this game; they didn't need the new and improved version.

Seattle's Paul Abbott was the surprise "stud-of-the-day" pitcher, holding Cleveland to 3 hits over 8 innings while fanning 12. Abbott has quietly averaged 166 SWP over his last three starts, and with low price tag, it probably warrants figuring out whether he's a flash or a phenom. Darned if I know - though based on his checkered history, I'm betting on "flash".

On the hitting side, the Yankees produced the big guns (with 21 runs scored, someone must have been hitting!). Scott Brosius and Joe Girardi carried the biggest sticks, combining for 13 RBIs from the 8 and 9 slots in the batting order.

Stats seem to be missing all around this morning. As of 11:30 am, nothing updated at Smallworld, nothing updated at Echelon, and the CNN site hasn't been updated since Saturday - even though it says 8/22 stats are included, they're all listed as zeros. Am I the only one with stats up? (Oops, I take it back - Echelon's stats just appeared. It's always a surprise when you can't set your clock by their update.)

8/23 - I went blurbless over the weekend, but that isn't because I was sluffing off. Well, actually it was, but I was still busy with other RotoGuru pursuits. In particular, I've been working on football pages. Everything isn't quite ready, but I do have a preliminary version of stats tables ready for you to test drive. Let me know if you find any bad links, missing players, or other apparent problems. I'm currently retooling the football Assimilator, and hope to have it ready by midweek. I also have to get the left menu panel reconfigured. So much to do...

It was a tough weekend for a lot of baseball players. Among those joining the disabled list were Todd Ritchie, Eric Chavez, and Ramon E. Martinez, all who had been hot of late. Greg Maddux is questionable for his next start, after chipping a bone in his pitching wrist. Mike Mussina left Sunday's game in the third inning after taking a line drive off his right shoulder. Kenny Rogers left Saturday's game in the third inning with back spasms.

Meanwhile, Jeff Kent and Jose Canseco both returned from the DL, and both homered already. Todd Stottlemyre's reentry wasn't quite as smooth, and at his price, he isn't likely to attract many takers in the near term.

I just pulled up a sort of the best point totals over the past 30 days, and as usual, there are some surprises. Kevin Brown and Randy Johnson are the big kahuni, with Brown holding the top spot in SW scoring, and Johnson on top in the Echelon scoring system. Rounding out the top 5 pitchers are Pedro Astacio, Shane Reynolds, and Aaron Sele. For hitters, McGwire, Ivan Rodriguez, and Rafael Palmeiro rank 1-2-3 respectively in both scoring systems, with Jason Giambi and Sosa flipflopping the 4th and 5th spots between the two games. Even more interestingly, none of Griffey, Manny Ramirez, and Shawn Green are in the top 25 hitters over the last 30 days. If you can successfully maneuver between the hot bats, there are a lot of points to be made. But it's awfully tough to call those in advance.

8/20 - Yesterday's pitching duel du jour (or perhaps "du soir" is more appropos) took place in Cincinnati, where an 8th inning blast by Sean Casey was virtually all that separated winner Pete Harnisch from tough luck loser Kris Benson. If you owned them both, you collected 384 SWP or 298 BPP, slightly topping the 377/295 in last week's Reynolds/Ritchie pitcher's duel. And if you also had Scott Williamson (and I suspect that some teams did have all 3), then congratulations.

Another pitching duel was also rather productive, as Tim Hudson outlasted Pedro Martinez, generating a combined 318/237 - and pushing my SW, CNN, and SW-midseason teams to WW rankings of 26, 37, and 51 respectively. On a roll!

Perhaps the other most noteworthy pitching performance came from Ramon Ortiz, who pitched 8 innings of 4-hit, 1-run ball in his major league debut for the Angels last night.

Meanwhile, John Rocker will be glad to get out of Colorado, after blowing his second consecutive save opportunity, helping the Braves to once again take a step back in the standings.

The best hitting night was posted by Rockies outfielder Jeff Barry, who knocked in 5 runs on three hits (1 HR). You all had him, didn't you?

I updated all of the SW and CNN team rankings last night. Interestingly, I've experienced a pickup in full season team submissions over the last few days. Maybe that's a consequence of have my team name ( now appearing in the worldwide rankings. Now if I can just keep them there... especially once (if?) the retroactive SWP are awarded for the two or three outstanding invalid roster days. (By the way, I hear that some - but not all - of the teams that had their Saturday points restored before the server change have lost them again! What a mess!) None of those glitches directly affected my teams, so my SW rankings have almost certainly benefited somewhat. Maybe a lot. Frankly, though, I have my doubts that SW will ever get these fully corrected. If you are waiting with baited breath - you may find that all you will ever recover are the worms in your mouth.

8/19 - Credibility is such a fragile commodity. Once it is lost, it is so difficult to recover. Just ask Bill Clinton.

So why Smallworld would sacrifice theirs so casually is beyond my comprehension.

But my mother taught me that if you can't say something nice about someone else, then don't say anything at all. So I have nothing else to say on the matter.

My stats source was really screwed up this morning, so I blew all my energy on repairing the damage. I think I have everything in pretty good shape now. There were a lot of good pitching performances, but not many strong hitting days. Look 'em up yourself.

I guess the most unusual aspect of yesterday's games was the pitcher's duel in Coor's Field.

Meanwhile, I've been assembling football stats, and progress is being made. I haven't done a review of team affiliations yet, and may let you all help with that next week. I also need to update my football links page, and would welcome your suggestions for useful links to add. One that looks particularly interesting, since it offers player projections, is

Back to the salt mines.

8/18 - If you're waiting until the last minute to make your Wednesday SW trades, forget it. SW took down their games (but not the CNN versions) at midnight last night, for the purpose of upgrading to a new server. I sure hope this was a late night emergency (although evidently they did give about an hours "advance" notice, suggesting that there wasn't a total server failure), because to make a quick shutdown like this without advance warning would have been the epitome of stupidity, especially on the heels of their other recent difficulties. And if it was an emergency, then why doesn't the message say so! There is no implication in the message that this hasn't been planned for some time.

And once again, they apologize for the "inconvenience". That really isn't the proper term at all. It should really say "we apologize that once again many of you have been screwed."

From reports I've gotten, only Saturday's invalid roster points were awarded in yesterday's "fix". Those teams that also lost Friday points from the same problem are still missing those points - even though yesterday's message said that points were corrected. And the July problem hasn't been corrected either. If Smallworld is trying to drive their customers away, they could hardly be choosing a more effective strategy.

I am trying very hard to be objective and fair when discussing Smallworld's difficulties. I've said many times that technical problems are inevitable, and we should not expect a totally glitch-free experience. But their communications about recent problems have been tardy, ambiguous, unforthcoming, and sometimes even incorrect. We should not have to expect that.

On the field, it was generally a day of disappointing pitching performances - unless you held Brian Anderson, Gil Heredia, Dave Mlicki, Woody Williams, or El Duque.

Edgar Martinez was really the only hitting stud of the day, and I can't imagine very many serious players have him. So, you're all probably relatively disappointed with your teams' hitting output yesterday.

8/17 - A pretty good night for the obvious stud pitchers. Jose Lima continued his dominance over the Brewers. Randy Johnson coasted with rare 10-run support from his offense, even knocking in 2 runs himself with a double. And Roger Clemens, who certainly hasn't earned the "obvious stud" label this season, shut out Minnesota, falling one out short of a complete game. Among non-studs, Mike Sirotka was the latest beneficiary of the Angels potent hitting attack.

On the hitting side, Ivan Rodriguez took the honors, homering twice as the Rangers beat up Cleveland. Matt Williams rewarded those who have patiently held him throughout his recent slump, with 2 homers of his own. The other big hitting nights occurred at Coors Field, where Eddie Perez and Brian Hunter , and Jose Hernandez took advantage of the rarified air.

Smallworld's response to the weekend trading problems, while rather tardy, seems acceptable, and hopefully they'll get the July adjustment accomplished as well. Technical glitches are an inevitable occurrence in any internet venture, and while Smallworld seems to have suffered more than usual in the last month, I'm more bothered by the slow acknowledgements and slow fixes than I am by the initial bugs. Since similar trading problems have occurred twice in the last several weeks, it wouldn't be a bad idea to check the message forum before embarking on any trades. And if you encounter a trading problem, please post a warning at the forum. Ducking problems is certainly preferable to the remedies, which can never fully compensate for the harm.

8/16 - Those of you who got stuck with invalid SW rosters on Saturday will be happy to hear that I'm done with vacations for the baseball season. The weekend trade problems occurred on Saturday, the day I headed for home. The last time a similar problem occurred was the day I returned from my prior vacation. Hmmm...

I got a number of emails asking me whether I knew if others had trading problems. Frankly, if you had been following the message forum, you could have been alerted to the problem as early as the wee hours of Saturday morning, when it was first reported there. Many of you could have avoided the problem if you had just tuned into the message forum first. A word to the wise...

I assume that SW will credit points to invalid rosters. I am also aware, however, that they have not yet followed through with their promised similar adjustment for the last problem, which occurred back in late July. Hopefully, they'll post a message today. Until I hear from them, I'm going to hold any further comments.

(By the way, did you notice that a recent - and unrelated - message at the SW site refers to the "weekly breakdown of pricing and trading". How appropos.)

I not only dodged the trading bullet (got mine done early Friday night, since Saturday was a travel day - sometimes better to be lucky than smart!), but I benefitted from both sides of the Shane Reynolds - Todd Ritchie pitching matchup, as they combined for 377 SWP. I'd love to tell you I specifically positioned for that game intentionally, but actually, I just happened to have both on my roster already. (Once again, luck triumphs over smarts!) That duo propelled my full season SW team to a worldwide ranking of 55, although I realize that this ranking is inflated because there are obviously some trade-inflicted teams missing one or two days of points. (I wish they'd get those points posted soon - I'd like to know what my true ranking is!)

You could have done better than Reynolds & Ritchie yesterday. Pitching in separate games, Omar Daal and Esteban Loaiza were yesterday's "big kahuni", with each topping 200 SWP. Daal was probably on a lot of rosters, but I doubt if Loaiza was. On the hitting side, Todd Helton and Dante Bichette took full advantage of a Coors Field double-dip to post monster days. Ivan Rodriguez needed only a single game for his 77 SWP/82 BPP. And Edgardo Alfonzo picked up where he left off (after missing 2 days to attend a family funeral) with a HR, 4 RBI, 3 R, and a steal. Fonzie's output moved him past Craig Biggio into 2nd place for YTD SWP among Smallworld second basemen.

Once I get all of my files transferred back to the main computer, my project for this week is to start on football stats. My target date is to have sortable draft stats (for Smallworld and Echelon games) available by the beginning of next week.

Thanks for your patience during my 2-1/2 week pilgrimage to Ohio. After some stats problems the first week, things went quite smoothly during the past week, and I was able to maintain a pretty consistent schedule. But it sure is nice to get back to my cable modem.

8/13 - As advertised, it was a slow day. Joe Mays shut down Toronto for the best pitching performance. I went with Al Leiter, who did pretty well, too. In fact, well enough to push my CNN team into the top 100 (#91), and my SW team to a rank of an even #100. Top 50, here I come...

Tomorrow I point the Gurumobile eastward and begin the trek back to New England. Saturday's stats should be posted in the morning, as usual. But Sunday's may not be up until Sunday evening. And I'll undoubtedly go blurbless over the weekend. Starting Monday, I'll be back in the familiar confines of RotoGuru World Headquarters, resuming my normal schedule, and beginning preparations for football.

Seventeen games on tap today, including two twin bills. A lot of points up for grabs. Go get 'em.

8/12 - If you're like me, SW price changes have gotten to the anticlimactic stage of the season. It's interesting to see who the movers were, but it is only a secondary consideration in trading at this point. And while Randy Johnson garnered the virtually automatic $1 million gain, there were so many other quality pitchers throwing yesterday that Wednesday starts weren't of much benefit. It may also be that the Lima vs. Maddux matchup scared some managers away, and if so, that was fortunate - since neither threw up to his usual standards.

There were approximately 320,000 buys and 297,000 sells during the past week. I say approximately, because current data is still missing for about 180 players, and one of them was Andrew Lorraine, who appreciated over $100,000. The buy discount was roughly 7.5%, and after adjustment, 618 net trades produced a $100,000 price change.

Team rankings were updated again early this morning. Thanks to several loyal Gurupies who helped me download the team data during my vacation: Chris Adams, Jeff Goldberg, John Golzio, Keith Locascio, and Rob Treat.

Today brings a pretty sparse schedule, with only 5 games on tap. The weekend will be heavy, though, with several doubleheaders, including a pair in Colorado. So take it easy today.

8/11 - Baltimore's laugher over Tampa Bay looks like this morning's most interesting boxscore. All of the Orioles hitters reached base at least twice, either via hit, walk, or HBP. All of them accounted for at least two runs, either scoring or batted in. And although 17 runs were scored, there were no home runs. And of course, there's also Wade Boggs' pitching line.

Meanwhile, while Baltimore was scoring at will, Sidney Ponson provided the best pitching outing with his sixth complete game of the season. Close behind, though, was Pedro Astacio, who would probably be attracting more fantasy interest if he just didn't have to pitch half his games in Colorado.

In spite of all of Baltimore's offense, Mike Bordick was the only Oriole to lead his position in fantasy points last night, going 4-6 with 2 doubles and 5 RBIs. The SF-Fla game provide a couple of the other big hitters, with Ellis Burks going deep twice for the Giants, and Dave Berg going 4-4 with one HR amd 4 RBIs for the Marlins. Berg actually played SS last night, so you could say he even eclipsed Bordick at that position; but Berg is listed as a second baseman in all covered games, so I'll let Bordick have the award at SS.

8/10 - Doug Davis will probably not look back fondly on his major league pitching debut. He was the designated sacrificial lamb in Toronto's 19 run, 25 hit pounding of Texas, in 103-degree heat, no less. Although Davis is not eligible for any of the covered games (not that anyone would have had him), his performance would have earned him exactly -100 SWP. Not the worst pitching outing of the season by any stretch, but certainly in the bottom five - and perhaps the worst outing ever by a rookie in his first major league appearance.

At the other extreme, Bartolo Colon had his best game of the season, a 219 SWP/179 BPP complete game shutout over (who else?) Anaheim. Hope you didn't bail out after his disappointing start last Wednesday. I'm pleased to say I didn't, finding that upcoming Angels game too inviting to pass up.

Several other pitchers had very good outings, and I'm sure a few of these guys found their way onto many rosters last night, including Jeff Suppan, Kevin Brown, and Omar Daal. The most surprising start of the night undoubtedly belonged to Jeremy Powell of the Expos, who threw 8 shutout innings against the Padres. Some SW managers evidently believed in him, as his price rose $110,000 in the last repricing. Before you rush out to pick him up, though, be aware that his next start will be in the unfriendly confines of Coors Field.

Given the offensive onslaught by Toronto, you'd expect to find a number of Blue Jays with big days. The best were by Shawn Green, Carlos Delgado, Tony Batista, and Homer Bush. Outside of that game, other big nights were had by Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams (who's been on a tear lately), and Jermaine Dye. A lot of popular names there.

8/9 - Sorry to be blurbless for two days, but stats were totally screwed up on both Saturday and Sunday, and I consumed all of my RotoGuru time just cobbling together some reasonable stats pages. I am on vacation, after all. What a drag.

While I was busy, two guys managed to get their 3,000th hits. Gwynn went 4-5 on Friday. Then Boggs was the first ever to hit a home run for #3,000 on Saturday, one of three hits.. We've still got Ripken to go, and with a shortfall of 32 while he remains on the DL, getting #3,000 this year may be touch-and-go for Cal.

So what's up with the Mets? They were on such a great roll, and had the struggling Dodgers coming into Shea, but managed to drop 2 out of 3, including a 14-3 pounding yesterday.

I made a minor change to the player stats page. The standard page now only lists the last 30 days. If you want the full season detail, there's a link just below the table which will provide it. Getting only 30 days significantly speeds the generation and transmission of the page, and most times, that's enough history to satisfy your needs. When I'm traveling and must rely on my dial-up modem, I become more sensitized to slow page loadings - which is what prompted the quick adjustment.

8/6 - Two of the southern California teams were shut out again yesterday. Shane Reynolds tossed a complete game over the Dodgers in the afternoon. But in the evening, it was Anaheim on the winning end of a shutout, as Chuck Finley and Alan Levine combined to four hit the Red Sox. The day's other pitching gem came from the "other Pedro", Pedro Astacio, who four hit the Reds in Cincinnati, winning 2-1, and spoiling Juan Guzman's NL debut.

On the hitting side, Tino Martinez took an instant liking to Safeco Field, pounding two into the seats for career homers #200 and 201. Mark McGwire maintained his 300 career homer lead over Tino, bashing #500 and 501. Jim Edmonds found his hitting stroke quickly, going 4-4 in only his fourth game since his return from the DL. And Miguel Tejada continued a torrid week. In his last seven games, he's put up 241 SWP and 270 BPP.

SW Midseason worldwide rankings were updated yesterday, after I posted team rankings. I'll try to get an update done today, so you can see the more current values.

8/5 - Sorry for this morning's stats delay, but my usual stats source was AWOL, so I had to improvise.

It seems like it's been awhile since one of the leading pitchers has been the stud of the day, but Kevin Brown certainly qualifies, although he did just barely nose out Steve Trachsel for the day's honor. Meanwhile, Bartolo Colon, who did OK in the SW price sweepstakes, got roughed up in Fenway, while his pitching opponent, Mark Portugal, put up stud-like numbers. And Todd Ritchie continued this week's Pittsburgh pitching mastery of the Braves. Bodes well for Schourek tonight.

Steve Finley and Bernie Williams were the big kahunas (kahuni?) at the plate. And Tony Gwynn stroked a grand slam on his approach to 3000 hits.

Smallworld repricing seemed relatively normal yesterday, with trading getting more and more dispersed. Only Russ Ortiz moved the max, which was totally expected. He's probably got more to come, too. Overall, there were about 331,000 buys and 306,000 sells. I have to qualify those numbers, as there is no current trade data reported for 181 players now. Fortunately, none are players who moved in price, and the missing data is clearly quite minor. After discounting buys by 8.1%, 640 adjusted net trades were needed to produce a $100,000 price change.

I have all the data to update the SW and CNN team rankings, and I'll get that posted later today. Thanks to several of you who helped me download the team info. Hopefully, you can repeat the process next week.

8/4 - It certainly wasn't vintage Pedro, especially since he was pulled after throwing only 78 pitches in 5 innings. Still, it was good enough for a win, and but for the grace of Tim Wakefield's knuckleball, it might have been just that. But Jim Thome knuckled one out of the park, and Pedro had to settle for 98 SWP.

The Pedro-like performance last night came from Darren Oliver, who struck out 11 Padres en route to a 4 hit shutout. Jeff Suppan wasn't far behind, shutting out the Angels (who else?). Perhaps even more impressive was Kris Benson's dominance of the Braves.

Chris Singleton wielded the big stick, going 4-for-5, scoring 2, batting in 3, and even swiping a pair of bases.

Did you notice that the Yankees not only lack the best W/L record in the American League, but they also lack the best W/L record in the city of New York? Let's go Mets!

Isn't that recurring ad banner that flashes "Winner" irritating? You have my permission not to click on that one.

8/3 - Andy Pettitte outpitched David Wells in a matchup of lefties at Yankee Stadium last night. Wells certainly piched "well enough" to win, especially against a typical Pettitte outing - but this one wasn't typical.

Meanwhile, even better games were tossed by Dustin Hermanson, Freddy Garcia, and Kevin Appier, who made a nice debut for his new team.

Monday's best hitter was Ivan Rodriguez, although a number of others were very close behind.

8/2 - Brett Tomko and Francisco Cordova owned their respective mounds yesterday, each tossing very impressive complete game wins. Joe Mays continued to pitch well, but this time he was bested by Steve Sparks - although when Anaheim faces the Twins, you never know whether the pitching is good or the hitting just sucks. Mike Mussina was also victimized by lack of run support, even though the Birds had three innings to take their shots against the Mariners bullpen.

I don't see any particularly notable hitting performances, although there are a number of very solid efforts. No hitter topped the 70 point mark in either scoring system.

8/1 - Not a very strong day for the pitchers, as two teams scored 10 runs and lost. On the other hand, Randy Johnson made the most of the Diamondbacks' prolific 4-run support in a complete game victory over the Dodgers. It wasn't quite the best pitched game of the day, however; that honor belonged to Eric Milton, who had the good fortune to be facing the hapless Angels.

If the pitchers had problems, then the hitters must have done well. And some certainly did. Double dinger days for Sosa, Ventura, Alomar, Bonds, Bagwell, Berkman, Helton...
maybe even more, but I got tired of looking.

The big story for Saturday was the impending trade deadline. Although a number of deals were made, Cleveland's anticipated move for a starter never materialized. Meanwile, Chuck Finley remains in Anaheim. Go figure.

I'm now settled in by the shores of Lake Erie, and site updates should get back on schedule for the next 2 weeks. Thanks for your patience during the last two days, while the Guru-mobile was pointed westward. The traveling didn't seem to hurt my team performances, as both my SW and CNN teams advanced into the 200's in worldwide ranking. After getting off to a relatively slow start, I'm still hopeful for a top 50 finish for at least one of them, although the competition is going to get tougher as I start to reach the rarified air, as I'm sure those of you who were already up here can attest to.

Stay cool.

Click here for prior daily blurbs, by month:

1999: 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<>.