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SWEET [Aug. 26th, 2008|08:07 pm]
Yahoo Custom League 567883
This is the league ID number for our pay league. The initials of the league name is the password. Apparently, Yahoo allows for offline drafts to be imported. This means that it will be simple to manage, but I wanted to give you all one day to join the league with your own Yahoo IDs.

So join right now if you can. And PLEASE e-mail me and let me know who you are and what your team name is so there is no confusion. My e-mail address is samgslp@yahoo.com

You can also post your name under the message board on the league home page. You can also post it as a comment on this page. Either way, do it!

BTW, the Justin Forsett Invitational is league #510793
the password is poop.

That one is free, you should join it also!


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Tuesday [Aug. 24th, 2008|02:12 am]
The league will be up on tuesday. We need one more owner. Scott said his brother may join, otherwise I have somebody who's thinking about it. And my dad is in. So those are our teams. Tuesday, check in and all will be known. The address, your user name, errythang. Check it.
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Justin Forsett Invitational [Aug. 21st, 2008|10:28 pm]
Since we did things differently with the David Boston Invitational this year, I am proud to announce a new league. Acting as a continuation of the free, hyper competitive but ultimately bragging rights oriented, is the Justin Forsett Invitational. For those of you who don't know who Forsett is (a possibility I find improbable) he is only the greatest rookie to ever play the game of football.

Forsett's nickname is "The Truth." Which he will steal from Paul Pierce and soon be the ONLY "Truth." His father is a minister. He plays the saxophone.

He had over 60 TDs in his last two years in high school. Shot down by Notre Dame and Texas, his home state school, Forsett was finally signed by the University of California near the end of the signing period. At UC, he was stuck behind Marshawn Lynch and J.J. Arrington on the depth chart, but still managed 900 yards as a junior. When Lynch graduated, Forsett exploded as the started in his senior year. He rushed for over 1,500 yards on 300 carries and led the PAC-10 with 15 TDs.

The greatest rookie ever.

Oh, he's on Seattle, by the way. He might not make the team.
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DBI Results [Aug. 18th, 2008|11:39 am]
An excellent draft for the year 2008 and the 11th annual David Boston Invitational. At an entry fee of twenty doritos, the winner will take home a sick and tasty 140 doritos. It's nice to have a snack food at risk, as I have been dedicating a large portion of my free time to fantasy sports, with no incentive whatsoever to do so. It sounds kind of pathetic.

Oh well.

The outcomes of the draft is such. In a few days, the results will be up on Yahoo in standard league format. Check back here later for the URL and league number.

Mike Healey

Frank Gore, RB; Ryan Grant, RB; Torry Holt, WR; Brandon Jacobs, RB; Brandon Marshall, WR; Ben Roethlisberger, QB; New England Defense; Todd Heap, TE; Calvin Johnson, WR; DeAngelo Williams, RB; Javon Walker, WR; Owen Daniels, TE; Alge Crumpler, TE; Vince Young, QE; Phil Dawson, K.


Adrian Peterson, RB; Maurice Jones-Drew, RB; Braylon Edwards, WR; Ronnie Brown, RB; Derek Anderson, QB; Roy Williams, WR; Chris Cooley, TE; Jonathon Stewart, RB; Dwayne Bowe, WR; Bernard Berrian, WR; Philip Rivers, QB; Seahawks Defense; Ahmad Braadshaw, RB; Kevin Boss, TE; Neil Rackers, K


Brian Westbrook, RB; Willie Parker, RB; Marques Colston, WR; Carson Palmer, QB; Santonio Holmes, WR; Jeremy Shockey, TE; Laveranues Coles, WR; Dallas Defense; Deuce McCallister, RB; DJ Hackett, WR; Matt Leinart, QB; Darrell Jackson, WR; Ray Rice, RB; Randy McMichael, TE; Devin Hester, WR


Tom Brady, QB; Marshawn Lynch, RB; Larry Fitzgerald, WR; Edgerrin James, RB; Earnest Graham, RB; Greg Jennings, WR; Heath Miller, TE; Hines Ward, WR; Patrick Crayton, WR; Julius Jones, RB; Jake Delhomme, QB; Steven Gostowski, K; Tampa Bay Defense; Donald Lee, TE; Derrick Ward, RB


Marion Barber, RB; Peyton Manning, QB; T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR; Dallas Clark, TE; Anquan Boldin, WR; Rashard Mendenhall, RB; Kevin Smith, RB; Lee Evans, WR; Jacksonville Defense; David Garrard, QB; Anthony Gonzalez, WR; Josh Scobee, K; Ricky Williams, RB; Ben Utecht, TE; Shayne Graham, K


LaDanian Tomlinson, RB; Reggie Wayne, WR; Jamal Lewis, RB; Antonio Gates, TE; Steve Smith, WR; Roddy White, WR; LenDale White, RB; Jay Cutler, QB; Green Bay Defense; Eli Manning, QB; Rudi Johnson, RB; Aaron Rogers, QB; Nate Burleson, WR; Tony Scheffler, TE; Nate Kaeding, K


Clinton Portis, RB; Drew Brees, QB; Jason Witten, TE; Wes Welker, WR; Thomas Jones, RB; Minnesota Defense, Marvin Harrison, WR; Selvin Young, RB; Brett Favre, QB; Santana Moss, WR; Nick Folk, K; Michael Clayton, WR; Donte Stallworth, WR; Reggie Williams, WR; Bobby Engram


Steven Jackson, RB; Tony Romo, QB; Chad Johnson, WR; Willis McGahee, RB; Kellen Winslow, TE; San Diego Defense; Donald Driver, WR; Fred Taylor, RB; Jerricho Cotchery, WR; LaMont Jordan, RB; Pittsburgh Defense; Mason Crosby, K; Sidney Rice, WR; JaMarcus Russell, QB; Justin Fargas, RB

Team #1, looking for a caring owner

Randy Moss, WR; Larry Johnson, RB; Lawrence Maroney, RB; Plaxico Burress, WR; Reggie Bush, RB; Tony Gonzalez, TE; Matt Hasselbeck, QB; Chicago Defense; Chris Chambers, WR; Marc Bulger, QB; Chester Taylor, RB; Reggie Brown, WR; Ben Watson, TE; Jerry Porter, WR; Adam Vinatieri, K

#2, looking for a strong, independent woman who has also been abducted by space bears

Joseph Addai, RB; Terrell Owens, WR; Andre Johnson, WR; Michael Turner, RB; Derren McFadden, RB; Donovan McNabb, QB; Vernon Davis, TE; New York Giants Defense; Matt Forte, RB; Kevin Curtis, WR; Joey Galloway, WR; Ahman Green, RB; Matt Shaub, QB; Rob Bironas, K; John Kitna, QB

Please E-mail me or call me if you know or you think anything is wrong! It's very important that this information is correct, because it will serve as the permanent, unchangable basis for the official rosters on Yahoo. If you know anybody who wants to buy the two teams listed last, I have not found anybody who has said "for sure" yet. I may e-mail you to ask you questions about the draft. I'm going to write a column/blog thingy about it.

Because we matter.

So check back soon and everything should be taken care of, including the official rules. Last thing, VERY IMPORTANT. Hang on, let me . . . VERY IMPORTANT. Ok cool. You must e-mail me if you want to use YOUR Yahoo ID for the league. HOWEVER you have to either A. Give me your password, or B. Change the rankings yourself. This is because I don't want the rosters screwed up, and I know it's a strange and maybe inconvenient system, but it saves us so many doritos.

E-mail me at samgslp@yahoo.com with any questions and we can discuss. I will keep you updated!

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From 1987 to Today -- A Brief History of the Twins [Jul. 9th, 2008|10:37 am]
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From 1880 to 1890, the population of Minneapolis nearly quadrupled, from almost 47,000 to almost 165,000. It took another 60 years, but by 1950, the population had almost quadrupled again, and the city of lakes had over half a million people and was the 17th largest city in the United States (the Twin Cities area had an even higher ranking, of course).

Of late, it’s been more boom than bust in the big city. Population growth has trickled and become decline, the suburbs are bursting with new homes and families. Minneapolis is now barely hanging as one of the 50 largest cities in the United States.

All of this is, of course, my half-ass attempt to explain why the Minnesota Twins have gone from blue chip team to scrappy young self-described “piranhas.” Today’s question: how do the Twins of 2008, the piranhas, compared to the world championship team of 1987?

First off, the Twins of 2008 are younger. Four starters on offense are younger than 27, as opposed to only two in 1987. Two are older than 27 in ‘08, four were older than 27 in ‘87. But who really cares about that?

Man, could those ‘87 Twins hit. They could hit singles, liners, gappers, bloopers, and more than anything, they could go yard. The Twins of ‘08 just go meter. The World Series winners had three players that hit more than 30 home runs, Gary Gaetti, Tom Brunansky, and Kent Hrbek, who hit 34. Puckett hit 28. Randy Bush, who had fewer than 300 at bats, hit 11. However, and this is more a sign of the times than a knock on them, only Gaetti had more than 100 RBIs (109, Puckett had 99) and nobody had 100 runs (Puckett had 96 and Gaetti had 95). And, this is a knock on them, only Puckett hit .300. That’s the best knock I can give them, because their offense was spectacular. As a team, they hit 258 doubles, 35 triples, and 196 home runs. And they could run, too! Well, they all could run a little. Six players stole 10 or more bases, Dan Gladden led the way with 25.

Nothing about the ‘08 numbers should shock any respectable Twins fan. At their current rate, they will easily surpass ‘87 in doubles, triples, batting average, and stolen bases. Oddly enough – call it a coincidence – only Morneau is on pace to hit 100 RBIs and nobody is on pace for 100 runs. They hit a lot of doubles, they all make it to home plate with some frequency, but the pop is missing. Also, they have 16 players who have played in 20 or more games, which is surely part of why nobody’s numbers stand out above the rest. The ‘87 team, in 72 more games, only had 17 players who played 20 or more games.

Another big difference is the fact that the piranhas are filled with left-handed and switch hitters. They have six left-handed hitters that play often, and three switch hitters. The ‘87 Twins had two left-handed hitters and three switch hitters.

The 1987 Twins had two future Hall of Fame pitchers, Steve Carleton (who’s in) and Bert Blyleven (who will be in sooner than later), but their best pitcher that year was Frank Viola. Viola posted a 2.90 ERA, went 17-10, struck out 197 and only walked 66. His WHIP was just under 1.20, all of these numbers topped all other Twins starters. Bert Blyleven pitched one game for each year he had been alive, and then pitched one more for good measure. At 36 years old, he didn’t pitch 350 innings – as he did in 1972 – but he posted a respectable 4.01 ERA and struck out 196. He went 15-12, but he walked 101 batters and he allowed a ridiculous number of home runs (46).

Like I said, Steve Carleton was their Hall of fame Pitcher. In fact, at the age of 42, he might have already been on the ballot one season prior. He, and Joe Nierko (also 42!) Combined to go 5-14 with 68 walks and 74 strikeouts. What a difference six years can make. As a team, the Twins had the 10th best ERA in the American League, out of 14, but they certainly won their fair share.

So the 2008 Twins have one thing going for them: their pitching is much better. Three current starters have an ERA of under 4.00, and the supposed “ace” heading into the season isn’t even on the roster yet.

The 1987 and 2008 Twins have nothing in common, except for the fact that Kent Hrbek is very similar to Justin Morneau. Even with the lack of similarity, I’m waiting for the playoffs. Maybe Steve Carleton will be on our roster.
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To Clarify [Jul. 3rd, 2008|12:24 am]
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The day after the draft, the Minneapolis Star Tribune featured two interesting articles on the front page of the sports section. Jim Souhan and Sid Hartman both wrote articles about the draft, praising the Timberwolves. Hartman wrote, and I am paraphrasing: "The media was fooled into believing that the Timberwolves would pass on Mayo, the guy they wanted all along." He went on to call Mayo the much better player. Souhan was even more drastic in his analysis, calling Kevin Love a likely bust in the NBA.

The next day, when the trade was complete, Souhan wrote something interesting. He wrote that Mayo would be a bust, and Kevin Love was going to be a terrific NBA player. Somebody please tell these brown nosers that sports fans want honesty, not the sucking of a certain body part of a certain 7 foot tall man who looks like Frankenstein.

I'd like to clarify my position on the trade, because I was so angry when I wrote my last entry. It's not the trade that pissed me off so much as the overall handling of the team. I think Pekovic was a bad pick. He's going to play for two or three years in Europe, and he doesn't ever have to come to Minnesota if he doesn't want to. If you're going to pick a guy with the knowledge that he'll only play for you a few years down the line if he likes the look of your club, you better have a good club with a reputation. A Pekovic or an Ajinca (Charlotte's pick at #20, a French center) should be left to the Phoenix's and the San Antonio's of the NBA, teams with reputations, consistent talent, high payrolls, and warm weather.

Chris Douglas-Roberts was a guy that the Wolves were enamored with. DeAndre Jordan is a guy that could be the next Dwight Howard (maybe DH Jr.). Mario Chalmers could be a solid point gaurd, a la Raymond Felton or even Mo Williams. If so, the Wolves will look back and say "oopsies! We were wrong again, for the 36th consecutive time!" No-brainers are subjective, apparently.

Again, the trade was nothing compared to how the organization handled the rest of the draft. And now they say Sebastian Telfair and Snyder are going to be let go! That means this team will have one point gaurd next year and it's Randy Foye. That is pathetic. A friend of mine heard that Telfair was leaving and said "good. He's garbage." Have you all lost your minds? When did it become acceptable to carry one point gaurd on a team? Who are you people?

Like I said, this team is terrible. I had a plan all along, it dates back to early March. The plan was: draft Derrick Rose (I was being hopeful) or another guard, such as Jerryd Bayless or Eric Gordon, or even Danilo Gallinari, and then sign Joel Pryzbylla when he hits free agency.

I'm going to bed. Before I go, let's compare the two teams, in my version I'm going to draft OJ Mayo.

Sam's Team: Randy Foye, OJ Mayo, Ryan Gomes, Al Jefferson, Joel Pryzbylla, with Telfair, Craig Smith, Chris Douglas-Roberts, and Donte Green coming off the bench (I traded everybody else for the rights to Green, including the rights to DeAndre Jordan, who I also drafted).

McHale's Team: Randy Foye, Mike Miller, Ryan Gomes, Kevin Love, Al Jefferson, with Brewer, Craig Smith, and Jason Collins coming off the bench.

That's what I thought.

COMING UP NEXT (TOMORROW?) -- This Twins team compared to the Twins in 1987 and the question, "what gives the Twins the ability to go on long win streaks?"
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Mayo, Love, McHale [Jun. 27th, 2008|10:06 pm]
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[Current Mood |angryangry]

Let me start by saying that I have created a petition, which you can read or hopefully sign at: http://www.PetitionOnline.com/bball612/petition.html
By signing the petition, you are demanding that Kevin McHale resign from his position as Vice President of Baseketball Operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Last night's draft was the nail in the coffin for this Timberwolves fan. Actually, there were several nails in the coffin. But how many times can you get your hopes up only to have them let down?

OJ Mayo is the consensus number three pick in the draft. The Timberwolves take him, only to give him away to Memphis. This trade is bad for so many reasons. It's even bad for Memphis! A promising young Mayo heads to a team that now has no front court whatsoever, but was actually average before Pau Gasol was "donated" (as Kobe Bryant eloquently put it) to the Los Angeles Lakers late last season. So it stands to reason that their failure was more precisely attributed to their lack of a big men than their guard situation, which was comprised of Mike Conley, Kyle Lowry, Mike Miller, and Juan Carlos Navarro. Now Memphis has gained Mayo and lost Miller, which probably will add a little defense and not much else.

For the Timberwolves, though, the Mayo trade was just the tip of the iceburg in a monumentally disappointing draft night from beginning to end. First, Miami passes on Mayo and takes the much better player, Michael Beasley. I ask you this, loyal reader: had the Timberwolves landed Beasley, would they have traded him to Memphis anyways? That, while unlikely, would have meant a colossal uprising of Minnesota basketball fans and the outing of McHale, which would be better for this team than any one acquisition.

Instead, we don't have to ask "what if?" We are privileged enough to be able to ask, "what the hell is wrong with you idiots?" Again. Three times, to be exact.

With the addition of Kevin Love, Mike Miller, and the world's two worst professional basketball players, Brian Cardinal and Jason Collins, it should be an interesting year, by which I mean another bad year. The big addition here is Mike Miller's Hair.
Now, when I call Jason Collins and Brian Cardinal the worst players in the world, one might think I jest. No.

To argue how bad Jason Collins is, I will defer to his statistics and let them do the arguing for me. I will say, he's a 7-footer who has never averaged more than 6 rebounds or 1 block per game in his pathetic eight year NBA experience, in which New Jersey was stupid enough to put him on the court for 25 minutes a game, and even 30 minutes one season. His career field goal percentage is hovering right around 40. His presence should serve only the purpose of making Mark Madsen feel good about his game.

Lest you think that I think Collins is worse than Brian Cardinal, I'll put in my two cents on that 6 foot 8 bald turd. Cardinal was drafted in 2000. Shot 34 percent from the field last year with no peripheral stats. There's not much to say about Cardinal, except that he was a goon at Purdue and seems like a grade A horrible human being (I only know what he's done on the court, though).

Both could play the 4, Cardinal's better off at the 3.

Now, if you think I'm mad about this trade, read last night's rant. The crime committed by Kevin McHale and company was not the OJ Mayo trade, simply by comparison. The crime was the second round hijinks. Passing over Chris Douglas-Roberts and DeAndre Jordan among others to take Mario Chalmers to GIVE HIM to Miami for future a pair of future second round draft picks.

When they discussed taking Mayo, a big reason was "Foye is a natural at the 2" and that Mayo could play the point. So you take Mayo knowing that you're going to trade him for Kevin "Anybody who plays like Kevin McHale gets my" Love. That means you need a point guard. If I were in the draft room during the second round, I would be jumping up and down, saying "We can make the stupid trade you're hell-bent on and still get a solid point guard!"

Nope. That makes too much sense. McHale, congratulations, you've clothes-lined us again.

Take a moment to sign my petition. It's really all we can do to make things right.
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So Much Anger [Jun. 26th, 2008|11:17 pm]
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Kevin McHale has done it again.

The Timberwolves had three picks in this year's draft. Needless to say, it was the first pick, and the third overall, that Minnesotans were excited about. After a rollercoaster week of maybes and probably's and Beasley's, OJ Mayo emerged as the closest thing to a consensus number three as anybody.

When a player is a consensus third pick and GM's all over the country are lobbying to steal your pick, picking that player can't really be looked back on as stupid. I guess that's where I'm at tonight. I don't love Mayo, I think that he is more likely to be looked back on as the player who could have been the next Kobe Bryant than the second coming of Kobe Bryant. He's sort of like a cross between Kobe and Wade, selfishness and all.

But no, I'm not upset about Mayo. Nope. As the pick by pick went off the board, I got excited. Fantastic players were on the board. I went on a run after Nicolas Batum was picked by the Houston Rockets. Five more picks before the Wolves are back on the clock.

As I ran, I thought about the possibilities. My favorite player in the draft was Donte Green, the "lazy" 6-10 forward with the NBA-range shot, slick moves, and a 3 blocks + steals per night ability. What, I thought, if he fell to us? He won't. But who cares, because between Chris Douglas-Roberts and DeAndre Jordon, one will be left. Then it hit me. Chalmers is left! Omer Asik is left! That's five players the Timberwolves could use to build around, five players who could take the place of Jaric, Telfair, Walker, Brewer, Smith . . . yep, this is gonna be great.

For once in my life, I allowed the words to slip into my head: "McHale can't screw this one up."


Soon, I will start a petition to force McHale to resign. I call for each and every fan of the Timberwolves to stop buying tickets right now. Don't see games until McHale is gone.

The Timberwolves had two picks and the team has one and only one position that needs no improvement: power forward, the #4, the only spot in the lineup we've had full in the last 10 years.

What do the Timberwolves do with the number 31 and 34 overall picks?


First, they take Nikola Pekovic, from Montenegro, who's skills and prospects are less important at this point than the simple fact that HE PLAYS POWER FORWARD.

And then, at 34, they take Chalmers. They could have taken Chris-Douglas Roberts and had a solid three for the next five years. No? OK, there are two centers left with great potential: DeAndre Jordan and Omer Asik. No?

How about you take the best player on the board and give him to the Miami Heat for two future second round picks and cash considerations? THAT'S A GREAT IDEA! Why should the Timberwolves be a good team when they can use their pick to improve the Miami Heat? McHale is such a great guy, refusing to improve the Timberwolves because the Heat were just as bad last year. That's such a Christian thing to do, Mr. McHale.

Two future second round picks? Of course, it's "rebuilding." Sure, DeAndre Jordan's big drawback is that he needs to bulk up and improve to dominate at the next level. You could only draft him if you were in the process of . . . rebuilding.

Yes, two future second round picks. Two picks where nobody near as good as C-DR or Jordan will be available. Two useless, shitty picks from a shitty GM who would have been fired years ago if he were held to the standards of any other person in the world.

Mr. McHale, I reserve my hate for many to direct towards you. You are the worst enemy of the Timberwolves. You are the worst person in the world. You look like Frankenstein, but you are far less human and far more unintelligent. Frankenstein got laid. You can't. For somebody who was a member of one of the greatest teams in NBA history, it is amazing that you know nothing about success at the NBA level.

Fans in Boston and Miami must love you.

This just in: Minnesota is going to trade Mayo.

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Fantasy Sports and Minnesota Franchises- Totally BFFs [Jun. 24th, 2008|09:09 pm]
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It's that special time of year for a fantasy aficionado. Fantasy baseball in full swing, fantasy football draft guides being published in the next few weeks, and the NBA draft bringing plenty of promising young players to crappy NBA teams. As a self-proclaimed expert in all three fantasy sports, it
would seem appropriate to offer my insight into fantasy sports related to Minnesota teams.

My question this week is: which Minnesotans are worth owning in my fantasy league? And, for those applicants who get the job, what value do they have?

The Minnesota Twins are a team lacking fantasy producers. Not surprising, given the mantra of the Twins to knock in runs here and there. "Small ball," if you will. With the exception of Justin Morneau, you could look at the numbers for the rest of the team and be convinced you are looking
at a Dead Ball Era team.

Obviously, Morneau is the guy you want. If you are playing in an AL-only league, Morneau may be the most valuable first baseman around. Granted, Youkilis has better numbers and Miguel Cabrera has availability at first in most leagues. I'd expect Morneau to finish the year batting about .290 with
175 hits, 30 of them home runs, 100 runs, and 120 RBIs. Take that, Greek God of walks (Euclis/ Youkilis, Oakland A's nickname for the good old Jewish boy).

The only problem is that the NL has a handful of better players at the position. Albert Pujols would be number one, if he wasn't hurt yet again. Prince Fielder is turning it on, and should finish the year with about 40 home runs. Mark Texiera is finally producing, and should post Morneau-esque numbers, but a little bit better. Derreck Lee will put up slightly better numbers, as well, and Ryan Howard and Lance Berkman will annihilate the competition at RBIs and batting average, respectfully.

So I'd put Morneau at 6th or 7th overall, and that's ignoring the imminent return of Big Papi David Ortiz.

Mauer is the only other sure bet on the Twins. He was drafted as the third catcher this year in most leagues, behind only Victor Martinez and Russell Martin, ahead of Brian McCann by just a few picks. Besides the emergence of Geovany Soto and Ryan Doumit, the strong play of McCann, and the
complete lack of power and eventual injury of Martinez, not much has changed when it comes to the ranking of catchers, and Mauer sits about three or four on my list for now.

Delmon Young looked like a solid late second or early third tier outfielder when fantasy leagues were drafting, but now he looks like an official bust and a waste of space on rosters. Projected to bat .290 with 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases, he's turned into a .260 singles hitter, stolen bases
being his saving grace.

Carlos Gomez wasn't even on fantasy radars in March, but he's turned out to be more valuable than Delmon Young. As it stands now, Gomez has somehow been a better power hitter than Young, while he steals enough bases to keep him in the top five at that category in the AL, next to could-have-been-Twin Jacoby Ellsbury and perennial all star Ichiro Suzuki.

What Gomez lacks in defensive ability and base running doesn't hurt him too much in fantasy terms, except he'll likely lose 10 runs over the course of the season to unwise decisions.

Michael Cuddyer was taken in many drafts as a reserve outfielder, but his name was prominent on the Waiver Wire after landing on the DL early in the season. Despite predictable production, he became expendable because of the plethora of decent options that emerged at his position, such as Ryan Ludwick, Milton Bradley, David Murphy, Carlos Quentin, Eric Hinske, Nate McLouth, any other Pittsburgh Pirate, and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Rally Monkey, who flings poo with more than accuracy than Carlos Gomez trying to hit the cut-off man.

Ultimately, Delmon Young has wound up as a backup outfielder in 12 team leagues, Gomez a flex option for teams needing stolen bases, and Cuddyer is an option for teams with players on the DL, perhaps Ryan Church, Alfonso Soriano, or Gary Sheffield.

I like Brian Buscher a lot, and I believe he could be a valuable late-season pickup that rivals newcomers like Blake DeWitt and Alex Gordon as well as established veterans like Adrian Beltre and Scott Rolen. I wouldn't pick him up until his power numbers prove me right, however.

When it comes to pitchers, the only guy you want is Joe Nathan. Nathan was the fourth ranked closer at the beginning of the year, behind Papelbon, J.J. Putz, and Francisco Rodriguez. He is a sure bet to rack up 35 to 40 saves, and is therefore fittingly being considered trade bait for Minnesota. Staying on the Twins increases his value, as the Twins play as many nail biters as anybody else in baseball.

If Liriano looks like his old self any time soon, it's probably safe to pick him up. Otherwise, Kevin Slowey, Nick Blackburn, and Scott Baker are worth considering as stream pitchers or spot starters, but I wouldn't dedicate a permanent roster spot to them.

Vikings fans should be pleased to know that fantasy experts project Adrian Peterson as the number two running back this year, and the Vikings defense as the top unit in all of football. LaDanian Tomlinson is clearly the top back in the game, but Peterson may eclipse him this year with his breakaway speed. Either way, it feels good to see a Minnesota team who wound up using their top draft pick on an elite player.

I haven't written about football yet, so this seems like a prime time for a tangent. After last year, many Vikings fans felt let down by the team's failure to make the playoffs. Many an ESPN commentator stated that the Vikings were a team "you didn't want to run into" in the playoffs. Dangerous, maybe. Potential champions? I doubt it.

I'm almost glad they failed to reach the playoffs, in hindsight. After all, I hate the New England Patriots, and if the Vikings had beat the Giants, they would have certainly lost to New England. I believe that the Vikings organization owes it to the fans in Minnesota to win a Super Bowl, but when the time has come that they can actually win the game. Nothing would be a bigger slap in the face to fans here than to lose another Super Bowl.

One of my favorite stories is this: when my mother saw the film "Titanic," Denny Green sat ahead of her. That's it. That's the story.

I have to believe that Green was attracted to the plot because it reminded him of his team. They were the biggest and best team in the league. One of the greatest offenses in the modern game. And everybody knew they were going to lose.

Brad Childress doesn't have boasting rights, yet, but he's slowly made improvements. One of the most painful aspects of Green's Vikings was the inconsistency. All great football teams are consistent. Even the champion St. Louis Rams, who banked on incredibly offense to win games, somehow made it enough of an art to do it with consistency.

Childress has eliminated the bad seeds and the party boats, boosted the offense, and gotten this team on track. He seems like a hard ass and probably a Republican, but at least he doesn't take my parking spot
at Bunny's.

Oh yeah, Mike Tice. I forgot about that loser. I guess I just deleted him from my memory bank. Too bad I had to make that joke about Bunny's.

So Peterson at number two, Vikes defense at number one, and Sidney Rice as a "sleeper" at the wide receiver position. I don't buy into that nonsense, because no matter how big of a man-crush Childress has on Tavaris Jackson, his arm is weak. Rice has potential, I admit. And he's no Troy Williamson, the biggest bust since Ryan Leaf. So maybe he's worth a late round pick, but consider me a skeptic.

Finally, the Timberwolves. With draft day two days away, I feel it is a certainty that OJ Mayo will wear the black and blue come Autumn. OJ will become the second most important Mayo in Minnesota, behind the Rochester Clinic. However, I don't feel that OJ Mayo will be capable of curing the ailing Timberwolves, although he might give you a pretty decent bang for your fantasy buck.

Of all the Minnesota teams, the Timberwolves are clearly the most improved from a fantasy perspective. Last year, Al Jefferson was the only player widely considered worthy of a starting spot. He went mainly in the third round, and those who picked him got a good value, as he wound up the #20 player in the game by the end of the year, or slightly lower at #26 if you went by average stats. Randy Foye was actually ranked #73 overall by Yahoo, but most teams dropped him because of his extended stay on the DL.
While he wound up ranked below 200 by season's end, his average stats put him right around 110. His averages weren't that bad: 13 points on 43% shooting and 1.6 three-pointers per game, 3.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists, two turnovers and one steal. He shot well from the charity stripe (80%), but oddly enough, had fewer free throw attempts per game than he had the previous year, 1.7 from 2.3. This is unusual because he played a full nine more minutes per game in 2007-2008.

If I were you, and not me, I would take Foye in the 9th round, assuming you are not me. And I would only take a chance on Foye in the 9th round if I had a stellar point guard.

Ryan Gomes looks like another 8th or 9th round pick, but the Wolves have to resign him before his value can be considered.

Rashad McCants is a late round pick. He should go in all drafts, but very, very late. When he's on, he looks like a top 50 player. He'll hit two or three three-pointers and knock down 20 points, dish out a few assists, grab a few rebounds, and he doesn't turn the ball over. He plays like Jamal Crawford when he's on.

When McCants is off, though, he's way off. His numbers will look something like this: 2-10, 7 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 turnovers. Those games come too often for Rashad, and to make matters worse, "those games" have a habit in turning into "those weeks." That makes him no better than a high-end bench warmer.

Mayo is the biggest question mark. His fantasy problem should be akin to his problem finding a role to play for the Wolves. He's a combo guard, and we've gone through combo guards like free tortilla chips at the Baja Sol. McCants, Foye, and Jaric are already on this team, which makes Mayo a major question mark. His upside is enormous, but I think he belongs as a utility player on fantasy teams, meaning a 9th or 10th round selection.

The fantasy outlook for Minnesota teams is bright, which gives hope for the future of all three franchises. The Timberwolves are successfully rebuilding, despite Kevin McHale standing in their way. The Twins have held steady, but need pitchers. The Vikings have the brightest outlook of all, because Favre's retirement, the Bear's decline, and the Lion's history mean
that at least one Minnesota team will have the top ranking in their division.

Kudos to good coaching, I say. And screw you, McHale.
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NL Takes the Cake [Jun. 20th, 2008|12:17 am]
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Almost halfway into baseball season and one thing's clear: the National League is king. A few days ago I attempted to answer the question: "Are the Twins a .500 team?" The fact of the matter is that at the moment, nine teams in the AL are .500 teams. The breakdown of the division seems quite clear despite the hundred or so games to go before Boston inevitably takes on this year's challenger.

Three terrible teams. Two fantastic teams. A bunch of average teams.

Seattle, Kansas City, and Toronto are all but assured ownership of the cellar at season's end. Seattle went from bad (last year) to worse this year, despite the addition of Bedard. Their pitching staff clearly isn't the problem. The offense is boasts a few too many .220 hitters. Expect Beltre or Sexson to be shipped off to a team in need of some pop, because Seattle invested too heavily in them for too long.

Kansas City. Who would have ever thought they'd have a bad season?

Toronto's probably the big surprise on this list. They're not that bad of a team, but they're 10 games back due to being in the strongest division so far.

Actually, I take that back. Their record is average, but they suck. Things were looking up for them when Alex Rios emerged as a 30/30 candidate last year. Instead of improvement, they've fallen through the floor this year. I'd hold out for a rebound, but without Vernon Wells, I just don't see how they could fight back into the race.

In the middle of the pack is pretty much every other team. Texas is at .500, so is Baltimore, Minnesota, Detroit, and Oakland. The Yankees are a few games over, along with Oakland, and the Indians are a few games under. The White Sox and the Devil Rays are about 10 games over, but they're probably capitalizing off of the shitty play of all the other teams, which will improve sooner than later.

That leaves the Angels and the Red Sox as the two great teams. The Red Sox are an all around powerhouse team, overpaid players at every position. The Angels are more or less a fundamentally sound team with good speed and defense. Their pitching compares quite favorably to other rotations in the AL, and K Rod has pinned down saves as well as ever.

Here's my question: do the Chicago Cubs (when healthy) have a better lineup than the AL all star team?

First, let's establish who the AL all star team will be.

I'd put Justin Morneau at first base, Ian Kinsler at second, Alex Rodriguez at third, Michael Young at shortstop, and an outfield of Manny Ramirez, Josh Hamilton, and Ichiro. I guess I'll put Mauer at catcher. My sources (Caribou employees) say that Jeter will be the starting short stop because the game is in New York.

The Cubs have Geovany Soto at catcher, who's played every bit as well as Mauer this year. Better, actually. Derreck Lee at first, who's slightly better than Morneau. Mark DeRosa and Ryan Theriot at second base and short stop, respectively. While they've played relatively well this year, neither one is nearly as good as the AL's best.

Aramis Ramirez at third base is every bit as good as Alex Rodriguez this year. Maybe not last year, maybe not next year, but this year for sure. Their outfield is Fukudome, Jim Edmonds, and Alfonso Soriano. Not as good, but fairly close.

The answer to my question is no, the Cubs lineup is not as good as the AL all star team. But that's not my point.

The point is that you spent time to read the comparison. You had to think about it. The AL is so weak and the NL is so strong that one of their teams can be matched up against our all stars and it's no more unfair than when the Blue Jays play the Yankees.

One more quick question: would the AL all star team be better if it is comprised entirely of two teams, the Red Sox and the Yankees?

I'm not going to answer this question. I hate both of those teams.
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