Tag Archive | "Chris Young"

Blackout … and I’m not talking about the good kind.

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Blackout … and I’m not talking about the good kind.

Posted on 16 July 2012 by Trish Vignola

Top of the 2nd, the Mets broadcast abruptly went to commercial. The first thing I thought, what did Ron Darling touch? The second thing I thought, Thank God! Chris Young totally does not have his stuff tonight. Finally, my ESPN ScoreCenter app informed me it was a blackout.

That got me thinking about other famous blackouts around Major League Baseball. Major League Baseball did not grow into an eight billion dollar business over the last two decades without cracking some serious eggs. There’s Iowa and Las Vegas. There’s North Carolina and all of Hawaii. Don’t forget Buffalo, and don’t get me started on Canada. Fans who want to watch a ballgame can’t. They are blacked out.

What kind of blackout did you think I was going to talk about?

Is this the price fans of the National Pastime have to pay as baseball reaps the profits of their television agreements? I know it’s hard to believe, especially for folks like myself. I live in the northeast, which has frankly never met a regional sports channel it didn’t like.

Come on! It’s 2012. Can’t we watch anything we want anywhere we want on any device we want at any time we want? Apparently, that doesn’t exactly hold true for Major League Baseball.

Television-based revenue has become baseball’s lifeblood. It brings in far more than ticket sales, merchandising, concessions and sponsorships. Live sports programming is DVR-proof and immensely valuable to advertisers. Television rights essentially saved the bankrupt Los Angeles Dodgers. They nabbed $2.15 billion when sold in April.

If you live in Iowa, you can’t see the Brewers, Cardinals, Cubs, Royals, Twins or White Sox. I was in Italy once and watched a Cubs game on television. Vegas? Forget about rooting for the A’s, Angels, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Giants or Padres, because you aren’t going to see them on television.

Baseball continues to black out televised games in areas like these because of territorial-rights. Please note. These rules were conceived when television was black and white. People actually watched commercials back then.

So why does baseball do it? They are protecting relationships with the regional sports networks that are paying billions of dollars for the exclusive rights to broadcast games in demarcated territories. This business deal enriches Major League Baseball, the networks and cable companies while passing on every last dime to fans. In my neck of the woods, we saw this during the basketball season. Time Warner cable pulled MSG, blacking out most Knicks fans in the midst of “Linsanity.”

So, why are Bud Selig and Major League Baseball willing to pay a premium to keep blackouts intact? When did leaving tens of millions unable to see their favorite team play make good business sense? The Associated Press says that preying on the very consumer who wants to buy your product seems like the antithesis of good business sense. Yet baseball has done nothing to change its tactics.

Commissioner Bud Selig commented: “We’ll figure it out. … We have to do something about it.” That was six years ago.

The lights are back on and the game has resumed. The Mets are now losing 5 to nothing. Geez. I wonder what the good folks of Iowa are doing right now.

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The New York Mets –  For Real or Newest Ride at Six Flags?

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The New York Mets – For Real or Newest Ride at Six Flags?

Posted on 04 July 2012 by Trish Vignola

If the Yankees are like the post office, “Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall” impede their inevitable playoff run, the Mets are like the Cyclone at Coney Island. Sweep…Get Swept…Sweep…Get Swept. I hope Mets fans aren’t susceptible to motion sickness. I sure am.

Currently, the Mets are approaching the lifthill.

R.A. Dickey (apparently the ace of my FSBB Fantasy Baseball Team) attempts to become the first 12-game winner in the major leagues Friday, when he leads the New York Mets into the second installment of a four-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Dickey has been one of the biggest surprises of the season and is 9-0 with a sparkling 1.64 earned run average in 12 starts since his only loss of the season back on April 18 at Atlanta. The Mets are 10-2 over that stretch with Dickey on the hill. Although he did not record a decision in Sunday night’s 6-5 debacle to the New York Yankees at Citi Field, that’s still an earned run average to make you look twice.

The right-handed knuckleball specialist allowed five runs, the most since giving up eight to the Braves a few months ago, in six innings. Dickey is still 11-1 in 15 starts with a 2.31 ERA. He owns a 5-1 record in seven road assignments, but is 0-1 with a 2.13 ERA in two career starts against the Dodgers. Dickey has made one career start at Dodger Stadium, but with this roller coaster ride of a season, the Mets are currently on an upswing. All bets are off.

New York opened this series with last night’s 3-2 win thanks to Andres Torres‘ RBI double in the top of the fifth inning. David Wright homered and drove in two runs and has eight RBI in his last three games for the Mets, who stopped a four-game slide on Wednesday with a win over the Cubs and have prevailed in six of their last 10 games.

Mets starter Chris Young gave up two runs on six hits with six strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings for the win. “It was fun with the pitching matchup, but I wanted to win the game,” said Young. “My slider is getting sharper, but it’s still a work in progress. I want to be better and I’ll keep working hard to give my team a chance to win.”

The Mets are 3 1/2 games off the top spot in the National League East. The Dodgers, a roller coaster ride within and of themselves, is mired in a five-game losing streak and lost the lead in the NL West, as it sits a game behind San Francisco. The Dodgers were held scoreless in a three-game sweep at the hands of the Giants before returning home for a six-game residency last night. Dodgers starter Chris Capuano lost for the first time in five starts and gave up three runs on five hits with five strikeouts over seven innings.

New York won five of seven meetings with the Dodgers last season.

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NL Pitching Planner: June 11 – June 17

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NL Pitching Planner: June 11 – June 17

Posted on 11 June 2012 by Mark Sherrard

Interleague play is in full swing this week, which means even more unpredictability when it comes to pitching.  Not only do you have to try to figure out each pitchers ever changing whims, but you have to figure out how they might perform against unfamiliar opponents.

In the NL, there’s not a lot of quality up top, but there’s not a lot of crap at the bottom either, so most of your two-start pitchers are fairly safe bets.

Here are the Week 11 two-start pitchers and other favorable matchups for you NL pitchers:

Two-Start Pitchers


Zack Greinke: 6/12 @ KC; 6/17 @ MIN – Greinke gets to face his former team for the first time this week

Johnny Cueto: 6/12 vs CLE; 6/17 @ NYM – 15-8 with a 2.42 ERA over his last 36 starts

Madison Bumgarner: 6/12 vs HOU; 6/17 @ SEA – 3.13 career ERA, but only 27-23 (if only the Giants could score)


Week 9 – 7 GS, 3 QS, 4 W, 45.0 IP, 53 H+BB, 43 K’s, 22 ER, 4.40 ERA, 1.18 whip

YTD – 56 GS, 37 QS, 23 W, 360.2 IP, 406 H+BB, 348 K’s, 122 ER, 3.04 ERA, 1.13 whip

Not Too Shabby

Josh Johnson: 6/11 vs BOS; 6/17 @ TB – has not given up more than 3 ER in any of his last 6 starts

Adam Wainwright: 6/12 vs CHW; 6/17 vs KC – still not 100% back, but getting better (4.05 ERA in last 8 starts)

Ian Kennedy: 6/12 @ TEX; 6/17 @ LAA – Diamondbacks ace has only allowed one run in last two starts

Bud Norris: 6/12 @ SF; 6/17 @ TEX – the Giants are 20th in the majors in runs scored, the Rangers are first

Edwin Jackson: 6/1 @ TOR; 6/17 vs NYY – has pitched well this year, but these are tough matchups

Chris Capuano: 6/11 vs LAA; 6/17 vs CHW – 8-2 with a 2.82 ERA nearly earns him the no-brainer label

Clayton Richard: 6/12 @ SEA; 6/17 @ OAK – below average pitcher, but gets to face light hitting A’s

Randall Delgado: 6/11 vs NYY; 6/17 vs BAL – should stick in rotation thanks to strong performance of late

Chris Young: 6/12 @ TB; 6/17 vs CIN- cannot throw over 85 mph, but can still get guys out


Week 9 – 18 GS, 8 QS, 8 W, 104.1 IP, 144 H+BB, 96 K’s, 47 ER, 4.05 ERA, 1.38 whip

YTD – 180 GS, 106 QS, 69 W, 1115.2 IP, 1392 H+BB, 884 K’s, 449 ER, 3.62 ERA, 1.25 whip

Risky at Best

Jeremy Guthrie:  6/12 vs OAK; 6/17 @ DET – two straight shellackings has raised talk of removal from rotation

Paul Maholm:  6/12 vs DET; 6/17 vs BOS – has given up 4 or more runs in 4 of last 5 starts

Kyle Kendrick: 6/12 @ MIN; 6/17 @ TOR – just does not have the stuff to consistently succeed

Brad Lincoln: 6/12 @ BAL; 6/17 @ CLE – 5 ER allowed in last start (4 IP) and career 4.97 ERA has me wary


Week 9 – 5 GS, 3 QS, 2 W, 32.1 IP, 35 H+BB, 21 K’s, 15 ER, 4.18 ERA, 1.08 whip

YTD – 65 GS, 34 QS, 17 W, 391.1 IP, 522 H+BB, 266 K’s, 196 ER, 4.51 ERA, 1.33 whip

Other Favorable Matchups (< 50% owned)

Jason Marquis (1% owned): 6/13 @ SEA

Not for the faint of heart, but Marquis does own a 1.95 career ERA against the Mariners

Travis Wood (6% owned): 6/14 vs DET

Has never faced the Tigers, which could work in his advantage

Michael Fiers (5% owned): 6/15 @ MIN

Has pitched well in first two major league starts and faces a light hitting Twins team.

Anthony Bass (39% owned): 6/16 @ OAK

Has been surprisingly good this year and faces a weak hitting A’s team


Week 9 – 3 GS, 0 QS, 1 W, 17.1 IP, 35 H+BB, 9 K’s, 18 ER, 9.35 ERA, 2.02 whip

YTD – 26 GS, 14 QS, 14 W, 163.0 IP, 214 H+BB, 150 K’s, 73 ER, 4.03 ERA, 1.31 whip

Up next is the AL.

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Finding Keepers:  Arizona Diamondbacks

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Finding Keepers: Arizona Diamondbacks

Posted on 20 March 2012 by Mark Sherrard

After winning the NL West in 2011, one would think the Arizona Diamondback would have a lot of quality players on their team. And they would be right. But how many of them are potential keepers?

Let’s take a look:

SP Ian Kennedy broke out in a big way last season, leading the NL with 21 wins to go along with a 2.88 ERA and 198 K’s. His numbers are projected to regress a little in 2012, but he still should be a quality pitcher on any fantasy staff. However, he consistently lasts longer in drafts than he should. His ADP is 70.57. He is ranked: CBS #35; Yahoo! #52; ESPN #72.

SP Daniel Hudson also had a strong season in 2011, with 16 wins, a 3.49 ERA and 169 K’s in 222 IP. More of the same is expected in 2012, but like Kennedy, he is undervalued in fantasy leagues. His ADP is 84.70. He is ranked: Yahoo! #56; CBS #63; ESPN #85.

C Miguel Montero hit .282/.351/.469 in 2011 with 18 homers, a pretty good line for most players and even better considering he’s a catcher. He should continue his assault on NL pitching in 2012, with a .270-.280 average and around 20 homeruns. His ADP is 101.70. He is ranked: CBS #53; Yahoo! #66; ESPN #116.

OF Chris Young is unlikely to ever hit for a high average, but he has posted back-to-back 20/20 seasons and should be in line to do the same in 2012. His ADP is 122.82. He is ranked: CBS #88; ESPN #106; Yahoo! #147.

3B Ryan Roberts (aka “Tatman”) is another player who will not post a high batting average but can give you double-digit homers and stolen bases. He nearly missed a 20/20 season last year with 19 homers and 18 stolen bases. His ADP is 194.75. He is ranked: CBS #123; ESPN #165; Yahoo! #233.

When healthy, OF Jason Kubel can provide you with 20+ homers and a .270 average. However, health concerns may be keeping his value down. His ADP is 238.99. He is ranked: ESPN #199; CBS #227; Yahoo! NR.

2B Aaron Hill is not too far removed from hitting 36 homeruns in 2009, but he has been far too inconsistent since then. He could provide double-digit homers and steals, but he could also fall flat. His ADP is 232.09. He is ranked: CBS #197; ESPN #211; Yahoo! NR.

SP Josh Collmenter had a strong rookie year with 10 wins and a 3.38 ERA, but still needs to convince people that he is for real. His ADP is 248.13. He is ranked: Yahoo! #130; CBS #231; ESPN NR.

Best of the rest, but not keepers

OF Justin Upton had arguably his best season to date in 2011, hitting .289/.369/.529 with 31 homers and 21 steals. He would be an obvious keeper, if he weren’t being overdrafted in most leagues. His ADP is 9.56. He is ranked: ESPN #9; CBS #18; Yahoo! #28.

1B Paul Goldschmidt had a strong rookie campaign in 2011, hitting .250/.333/.474 with 8 homeruns in 156 at bats. However, as with most highly ranked prospects, his hype is higher than his production, leading many to overdraft him. His ADP is 144.17. He is ranked: Yahoo! #125; ESPN #182; CBS #240.

SS Stephen Drew had one excellent season in 2008, in which he hit .291 with 21 homeruns, and has not approached those numbers since. Combine that with him likely starting the year on the DL and owners should probably pass on him. His ADP is 150.10. He is ranked: ESPN #160; CBS NR; Yahoo! NR.

The Diamondbacks gave up top prospect Jarrod Parker to acquire the more proven Trevor Cahill over the winter. Cahill has posted a 3.91 ERA over 583 IP in the AL and should benefit from the move to the NL, but many are expecting too much. His ADP is 178.99. He is ranked: CBS #179; Yahoo! #201; ESPN #269.

Finally, RP J.J. Putz saved 45 games for Arizona in 2011 while posting a stellar 2.17 ERA in 58 IP. However, elbow issues caused him to miss time in the middle of the season and at age 35 you have to wonder how much longer he can keep it up. His ADP is 137.86. He is ranked: CBS #113; ESPN #142; Yahoo! #169.

Note: All ADP values are from Mock Draft Central as of March 14, 2012 and player projections are based on BaseballHQ.com.

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DOs And DONTs: Arizona Diamondbacks

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DOs And DONTs: Arizona Diamondbacks

Posted on 03 February 2012 by Daniel Aubain

When preparing for the upcoming fantasy baseball season, it makes sense to go through a team’s roster as a whole to see what impact any offseason moves may have had (positively and negatively) on each player’s fantasy value. For example, adding Prince Fielder into the mix in Detroit pushes Miguel Cabrera‘s value up to possibly being selected number one overall.

The following is a list of DOs and DON’Ts to be used when evaluating the fantasy value of players on the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 40-man roster:

  • DO build your fantasy baseball outfield on the back of OF Justin Upton. He is currently being drafted sixth overall with an ADP (Average Draft Position) of 8.80 on MockDraftCentral.com and easily projects a standard 5×5 league line of .280/90/25/90/20 or better. Oh, by the way, he’s just 24 years old. Absorb that for a moment.
  • DON’T go too crazy when drafting SP Ian Kennedy as the ace of your fantasy pitching staff. His 21 Wins, sub-3.00 ERA and nearly 200 Strikeouts were incredible numbers in 2011 but unprecedented, at that. RotoChamp.com projects as few as 11 Wins and as many as 15 with an ERA as high as 3.50. The low WHIP and high Strikeout numbers should still be there in 2012 but remember, pitchers can’t control Wins and too many factors outside the pitcher’s control can negatively effect ERA.
  • DO expect another 20/20 season from OF Chris Young but prepare for the .240 batting average (or worse) to go along with it. He’ll probably chip in 80+ Runs and 80+ RBI, making him a solid 4-category. But that batting average. Blech!
  • DON’T wait too long if you are planning on grabbing 1B Paul Goldschmidt because every savvy owner in your league is targeting him, too. With an ADP of 147.45, you can expect him and his 30+ home run potential to start being swooped up between rounds 10 and 15 (depending on league size).
  • DO target 2B/3B/OF Ryan Roberts as a late-round option as your starting third baseman if you miss out on the top tier options or as a super utility type player if your league uses additional roster slots like Middle Infielder (MI) or Infielder (IF). You may not be excited over his .260/60/15/60/10 line but I promise you could wind up with a lot worse as your starting third baseman, especially in deeper mixed leagues.
  • DON’T write off 2B Aaron Hill as a bust. He probably won’t his 36 home runs like he did in 2009 or even 26 like he did in 2010 but he could go .260/60/15/60/15 and cost you virtually nothing on draft day.
  • DO keep an eye on SS Stephen Drew and his recovery from a horrific broken ankle injury which ended his 2011 season in July. Think of grabbing him late and stashing him on the DL to start the season if reports from Spring Training say he won’t be ready to start the year on the active roster.
  • DON’T shy away from CL J.J. Putz one of your team’s closers. He saved 45 games in 2011 with 61 Strikeouts in 58 innings pitched (9.5 K/9; 5.08 K/BB) and a minuscule WHIP of 0.91. The D’Backs are expected to be very competitive in the NL West and Putz should continue racking up the Saves and K’s.
  • DO you know which catcher ranked fifth overall in Total Bases among all major league catchers? Obviously I’m talking about Miguel Montero. He has the potential for a .280 batting average with 15-20 home runs with a healthy amount of Runs and RBI, too. With the Tigers’ Victor Martinez lost for the year, Montero has a chance to become a top 5 fantasy catcher in 2012.
  • DON’T know what to expect from outfielders Jason Kubel and Gerardo Parra? That’s okay. Neither do I. Signing Kubel makes little sense since both players are left-handed and Kubel is a defensive liability and much better suited as an AL DH.
  • DO fill out the middle-to-end of your pitching rotation with SP Daniel Hudson. He has 15 Win potential with around 175 Strikeouts and won’t hurt you in the ERA (3.19 career) or WHIP (1.15 career) categories, either.
  • DON’T overlook this team’s bullpen depth when looking for vulture Saves or Holds. RP David Hernandez (23 Holds; 10.0 K/9), RP Takashi Saito and RP Brad Ziegler would all be in the mix if Putz falters or is injured.

Did I miss anyone who you feel will have some level of fantasy impact in the 2012 season? Do you have your eye on a potentially sneaky rookie? What type of impact does manager Kirk Gibson have when it comes to platoons considering all the utility-type players on this roster?

Feel free to leave a comment here or engage me in a conversation on Twitter @DJAubain.

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