An Open Letter To My Fantasy Baseball Team

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An Open Letter To My Fantasy Baseball Team

Posted on 23 April 2013 by Trish Vignola

Dear Team “Beat with an Uggla Stick,”

Yovani Gallardo, Milwaukee Brewers, must frustrating pitcher ever?

Hi,there! Remember me? I’m Trish, your general manager. I’ve given you the finest in fantasy facilities. I even forwent telling your fantasy girlfriends about your fantasy wives. I’ve treated you well.

So, riddle me this…why are you falling apart on me so early in the season?!

First, Yovani Gallardo – what are you doing? CBSSports.com projected that you were good to give me 205 innings and 18 wins. Do you know what you’ve given me so far? 7 points in three weeks and a DUI charge. A DUI charge?! If I wanted prospective prolonged absences due to legal issues, I would have kept Ryan Braun! You of course are one of my keepers. Nonetheless, you are useless to me when you have to miss a game due to a court date. It looks like you’ll be ridding my fantasy pine for a while.

Next, Josh Hamilton – which personality are you working with today? You gave me 9 points the first week, 23 the next week and -1 the next. Negative one! I didn’t even know you could do that. CBS Sports says that you cites an adjustment period behind your slow start. An adjustment period? I’m starting a new job. I get an adjustment period. You have a 5-year, $125 million contract. You doesn’t get an adjustment period.

Your adjustment period has resulted in 10 strikeouts and just one hit in your first stretch of games. Your 3-for-4 performance on Sunday lifted your batting average above .200 for the first time this season.

“Of course, there’s always an adjustment,” you told MLB.com on Sunday. I’m starting to hate that word.

“You go to spring training and you think you’re adjusted and then you make another move. You had to bring the family to L.A., had to get settled in and get in a routine as far as finding where things are around the stadium. It’s just a process. It’s been good to get into routine.” Really? Get a map.

I’m not going to start on Barry Zito and your atrocious outing this week. You were going to have to lose at some point. However, let’s discuss you, Ryan Vogelsong. You are another one who found new and exciting ways to give me negative points. Really?! However, I’m not giving up on you yet. You struggled last April before turning things around in May. Apparently, it’s normal for you to deal with reduced velocity early in the year. Last season, you were only throwing in the high-80s early in the season. By September, you were hitting between 92 and 94 mph with your fastball. I won’t cut you loose after just two starts. However, you don’t have until September to get warmed up. If I don’t see drastic change happening soon, you might see yourself on the bench next to that dummy Gallardo.

In my fantasy Steinbrenner days, I would have backed the fantasy truck up on my fantasy baseball team a week ago. I’m hanging tough for now. Nonetheless, Willin Rosario cannot hit for the entire team. If things don’t start improving soon, I will ignite a fire sale that would make the Marlins organization blush.

Love Always,

Your General Manager

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Barry Zito – Am I a genius?

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Barry Zito – Am I a genius?

Posted on 15 April 2013 by Trish Vignola

Or have I just gone plain insane? Fearing the impending Joey Votto 2012 injury to sink my team, I perhaps overcompensated a tad bit this year regarding my everyday players. By doing that, I neglected my starting pitching.

BarryZito

Ok. I only have five starting pitchers and three of them go on the same day.

This is not the wisest move you can make when playing head-to-head. So, it was time to let go of one of my three center fielders. (Seriously, I had three…I know.) Today, I went trolling the free agent market.

As of 6:50 AM this morning, I announced on Facebook (to an audience of no one) that “Beat with an Uggla Stick” picked up Barry Zito to solidify its staff. Stop, laughing. I’m serious. I might be a mad genius. Follow me here…

Why was he just sitting there? That’s the real shocker. Is anyone aware that he has not lost a game since Aug. 2? True! Barry Zito has not lost a game since early August 2012.

This baffling streak (as compared to Zito’s history with the Giants) included him winning his last six straight regular-season starts. He then proceeded to go 2-0 in three postseason starts. This spring Zito put the icing on the cake, going 2-0 within six spring outings (technically five starts) this year. This is an amazing fete, considering the Giants were looking for every reason to run this guy out on a rail last year.

Why are Fantasy owners overlooking this outstanding run? He should not have been siting there for the taking.

Barry Zito posted a 3.92 ERA in his last 11 regular-season starts in 2012. He posted a 2.70 ERA this spring and opened the 2013 season with seven scoreless innings. He was the team’s fourth starter in a row to toss a scoreless outing in a 1-0 win.

Zito threw 102 pitches and limited the Cardinals to just three walks and three singles. He picked up seven groundball outs and 10 flyball outs. He struck out four batters!

Zito allowed a runner to reach second base just once in the game. That was in his final inning of work. However, he quickly retired the side to secure the win.

Did you see what he did today versus the Rockies? He went 7.0 innings again. He allowed only 7 hits, walked 1 and struck out 4. He’s got a 0.00 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. Heck! He might be leading the team in batting average now too.

Not that I care. Barry Zito’s batting average buys me nothing!

Don’t get me wrong. At some point, Zito is going to start walk batters. His strikeout rate won’t be mesmerizing. Nonetheless, if he can make 30+ starts and maybe eat up some innings, I will look like a mad genius. CBSSports.com’s prediction of a 12 and 12 record will look like a woeful estimation if he keeps up this rate. Last week, he garnered his owners 27 points. That’s Strasburg territory. If he can help me get out of the gate strong, even if he starts to lose steam mid-season, he’ll still be worth the move.

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Josh Hamilton – Keeper or Bust?

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Josh Hamilton – Keeper or Bust?

Posted on 08 April 2013 by Trish Vignola

Is Josh Hamilton a keeper? He is a bust? Or is it too late to proclaim? If you have been following my fantasy baseball woes, I traded Ryan Braun for Steven Strasburg and Josh Hamilton before the season started. Sure, Braun was named the 2011 National League Most Valuable player. Strasburg was named the Opening Day starter and Josh Hamilton can hit homeruns in his sleep. Strasburg may (or may not) have a pitch count. Hamilton might be a sensitive soul but Braun? Braun was connected to the Biogenesis scandal! Was I wrong to not hedge my bets?

JoshHamiltonAngels

You are talking to the same woman who had Joey Votto on her team last year. In fantasy baseball, I’m frankly the Democratic Party.

And not in the good sweeping victory of the 2008 Presidential election way…

Did I make the right move? Is Hamilton’s prospective 30 to 40 home runs worth just as much as Braun’s prospective 30 to 40 home runs (minus the Major League Baseball investigation)? Hamilton debuted for his new team, the Los Angeles Angels, on Monday against one of his old ones, the Cincinnati Reds. He started in right field and hit fourth.

Hamilton was unable to score any hits against Johnny Cueto. He went 0 for 4 with a run scored and two walks with a strikeout in his performance. In fact, Hamilton went 0 for 9 before his first hit on Thursday. In the top of the third inning, Hamilton singled with Erick Aybar and Albert Pujols on base. Both runners scored, giving Hamilton his first two RBI this year.

We all recognize that Hamilton has been one of the game’s best hitters over the past five seasons. Nonetheless, he isn’t known to have the best plate discipline. Chris Cwik of CBSsports.com reports that Angels’ manager Mike Scioscia doesn’t want Hamilton to alter his approach regardless of Hamilton’s slow start. He said, “You wouldn’t ask a guy like Vlad Guerrero to try to draw more walks.” Scioscia points out that Hamilton’s aggressive mentality at the plate has worked for him in the past. He feels at this point there’s no reason to starting tinkering with Hamilton’s approach.

On Friday, the team hoped Hamilton would turn his fortunes around against another former team of his, the Texas Rangers. However, he wasn’t that lucky. Hamilton went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts in the game. He failed to work the count and was very aggressive at the plate. In his first game back, Rangers’ fans booed him loudly

As of 10 pm today on CBSsports.com, Hamilton has earned me 3 measly fantasy points. Braun has earned his lucky managers 16 fantasy points. Thankfully, Strasburg bailed me out a bit with 29 points. Nonetheless, I’m in trouble.

Listen, who says that Braun is not innocent? Can you name another person who was able to dispute his testosterone test and win an appeal of his 50 game suspension? I will not cast any dispersion on his name. Nonetheless, if I kept Braun, I guarantee that he would have been tossed from the game indefinitely.

I am the black widow of fantasy baseball. So to those of you who have Braun on your team, you are welcome. For those of you who wanted Hamilton, you are also welcome. At the rate he’s going, he should be batting my weight shortly. As long as he is on my team, he won’t be wreaking havoc on yours.

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Ryan Braun – Is he a keeper?

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Ryan Braun – Is he a keeper?

Posted on 04 April 2013 by Trish Vignola

Well, I guess that’s too late to figure out now. I traded him for Steven Strasburg. Sure, Braun was named the 2011 National League Most Valuable Player. However,Strasburg was named the Nationals’ Opening Day starter. Sure, he may (or may not) have a pitch count but Ryan Braun was … connected to the Biogenesis scandal. I did not want to hedge my bets.

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You are talking to the same woman who had Joey Votto on her team last year.

The same Joey Votto who missed like a third of the season due to injury.

In fantasy baseball, I’m kind of the kiss of death.

However, did I make the right move? Is 190 innings worth losing a prospective 30 to 40 home runs? The Milwaukee Brewers outfielder collected his first RBI of 2013 season on opening day and added to that total Tuesday night against the Rockies. He went 1 for 4 with a home run in the 8-4 loss. The 29-year-old launched a two-run shot off starter Jorge De La Rosa in the third inning. Braun has gone 2 for 8 with three RBIs through two games.

As of 7 pm today on CBSsports.com, Braun has earned his lucky managers 9 fantasy points. Strasburg has earned me 29. Nonetheless, the week is far from over.

Regarding anything that would keep Braun preoccupied…like I don’t know, the Biogenesis scandal, Major League Baseball claims that Braun is not at the center of the investigation. Michael Hurcomb of CBSsports.com reported on March 20th that Major League Baseball Vice President Rob Manfred denied allegations the league was targeting the Brewers outfielder in its investigation of the Biogenesis clinic in Miami. Biogenesis, for those of you who don’t know, was an anti-aging clinic located near the University of Miami. It is alleged that the clinic sold performance-enhancing drugs to what is growing to be a laundry list of baseball players, including Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun.

These newer reports contradicted an earlier USA Today report which suggested that Braun was “MLB’s Public Enemy No. 1″ in its investigation of Biogenesis. “Everyone whose name has surfaced surrounding the Miami New Times story and Biogenesis is being investigated with equal vigor,” Manfred said in a statement to the Journal Sentinel.

Listen, who says that Braun is not innocent? Can you name another person who was able to dispute his testosterone test and win an appeal of his 50 game suspension? I will not cast any dispersion on his name. Nonetheless, if I kept Braun, I guarantee that he would have been tossed from the game indefinitely.

I am the black widow of fantasy baseball.

So to those of you who have Braun on your team, you are welcome. Braun is projected for 38 home runs, 109 RBIs and a .312 batting average. Steven Strasburg? I hear he’s projected to buy a new insurance policy now that he knows I kept him.

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Stephen Strasburg – Is he a keeper?

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Stephen Strasburg – Is he a keeper?

Posted on 30 March 2013 by Trish Vignola

Stephen Strasburg – Is he a keeper?

sstrasburg

Well, I guess that’s too late to figure out now. I kept him. He’s now the “ace” of my fantasy baseball team. I know what you might be thinking. Keeping Strasburg? Isn’t that a no-brainer? He’s already been named the Nationals’ Opening Day starter. However, you are talking to the same woman who had Joey Votto on her team last year. The same Joey Votto who missed like a third of the season due to injury.

In fantasy baseball, I’m kind of the kiss of death.

Last Friday, Strasburg yielded 3 runs in 6 innings of pitching to the Tigers. All right that’s pretty average. Actually, that’s pretty good by mid-season standards. He only walked one person and he struck out five, which is even better. Then Strasburg took a comebacker off his thumb. Yes, it was his non-throwing thumb but shades of Joey Votto flooded my nightmares for the next half of week.

Yes, my nightmares are of the fantasy baseball variety.

There are positives though. He’s not Johan Santana and he’s not signed by the Mets. Seriously though, Rotoworld ranks him 5th. Only Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander, David Price and Cole Hamels are ranked higher. ESPN ranked him lower but still in the top 20. The key to Strasburg’s success though is pretty obvious. It comes down to two words…

Innings… Count…

Is there one or not? The Nationals ended Strasburg’s season in early September last year at 159 1/3 innings pitched. Their concerns about Strasburg’s health in his first season following Tommy John surgery seemed to trump the importance of their first trip to the playoffs. It seems ludicrous. However, think about the situation with Johan Santana. After throwing the Mets first no-hitter, coming off of a season ending surgery, he’s now headed again towards… you guessed it… season ending surgery.

Based on how the Nationals treated Jordan Zimmerman’s rehabilitation, there will be a watchful eye but no official innings count. I am essentially banking on Strasburg giving me 190 innings, give or take, in order to get me out of the fantasy cellar. (No, that’s not something from “Fifty Shades of Grey.” I’m that bad in fantasy baseball.)

ESPN is projecting that if Strasburg can give me (yes, me personally) about 196 innings, his line would look something like 16 wins, 244 strikeouts, a 2.94 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. That would pretty much keep him in the elite of fantasy statistics amongst starting pitchers. That also gets me out of the proverbial cellar. If he “Joey Votto”’s me, I’m going to start testing for mold because I will be living in the cellar for the rest of the season.

If Strasburg stays healthy, he could be the best keeper you or I could have ever traded for. A healthy Strasburg has tremendous upside. He’s only 24 and has an entire career ahead of him. Regardless of the little knock to his finger, Strasburg is projected to have no issue in completing the season. If that is the case, he might help me out of the cellar to at least the middle of the pack of my head-to-head league.

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