Sunday, January 16, 2005

Playoffs today...
While I'm in the posting mood, I'd like to make it clear to those that are too delusional to realize what's what: THE VIKINGS HAVE NO SHOT! I realize that Terrell Owens is out for the Eagles and you know what that makes them? The same team that's been to three straight NFC Championship games. Daunte Culpepper and Randy Moss are great, the Vikings defense is not.

Though it's at least plausible, I don't think the Colts will win either. The New England-Indianapolis series is getting to be like the Texas-Oklahoma rivalry in college football. With one team is dominating like New England and OU are, every time the two are getting ready to meet again, the media and fans psyche themselves into believing that the underdog is ready to do it. I do think the Colts will win at some point against the Patriots, but I won't be picking that game correctly because until it happens, I'm riding the Belicheck-Brady Bandwagon!

Eagles 24-13
Patriots 31-27
A return to blogging...
The grand re-opening of For Rich or Sporer is under way. I was out of the blogging game for about a year, but I'm looking to jump back into the fray. The angle I'm going to take with FRS will probably be focused on all sports with baseball remaining the primary focus. Poker as well as "real-life" things will creep into posts here and there, too. I might re-up with TypePad as well, but figured I'd go ahead and announce that I'm back into blogging here at the original FRS. I wonder if anyone even comes here anymore.... in fact, if you are by chance roaming around here and see that I'm back in biz, drop me a comment please.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

New Home... for at least 30 days
I've signed up with TypePad on a 30-day trial and as such, For Rich or Sporer can be found here.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

DRays Win Faux Opener
While I'm extremely that "real" baseball is virtually here, I do not consider the New York Yankees - Tampa Bay Devil Rays game in Japan at 4:00 AM Central this morning the opener. It was great to watch, but America's past time doesn't truly get going until Sunday, April 4th at 7:05 Central when Pedro Martinez faces off against Sidney Ponson in Camden Yards on ESPN. I was up to catch most of this morning's action and have a few observations for those that may've missed it:

Don't think that just because he went yard, Jason Giambi's power hasn't faded. It was an opposite field pop out in many parks.

The Tampa Bay lineup is not half bad. Their big three (Huff, Baldelli, and Crawford) went 3-for-14, imagine what will happen when they hit.

The stitched advertisments on the teams' uniforms has got to go, this isn't NASCAR.

A.Rod took a ball from Jeter and made it look easy. It was really funny to those that dislike Jeter.

Too bad he wasn't as hot as the plate with 2 Ks, including frozen pizza in the first.

Do not put too much stock into this preseason game. Yeah, it counts in the standings and fantasy leagues, but get back to me after 30-35 games and we'll see where these two teams stand.

Tampa Bay won 8-3.

Griffey Hurt
It's really not even funny anymore. It's just sad and makes you really feel for the guy, unless you hate him I guess, but Ken Griffey Jr. strained his calf on Monday. Reports are that it is not serious, but I have to imagine that the Reds will downplay any injury because of Griffey's past. Even if this injury isn't serious as Reds trainers predict, you can almost bank on another, future injury putting Griffey on the shelf.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Tigers ink Urbina
Sources including both ESPNews and mlive.com are reporting that the Detroit Tigers have signed Ugueth Urbina to close in 2004. The average to below average efforts of Fernando Rodney, Franklyn German and Matt Anderson coupled with the breakdown in negotiations between Urbina and Cleveland led to the signing. Outisde of the injury-riddled 2000 season, Urbina has netted 24 or more saves (topping out at 41 in 1999) since 1997 and will instantly solidify a shaky bullpen. The Tigers played in 37 1-run games last year and lost 18 of them.

The former trio of closers, using the term loosely, pulled together a collective ERA of 5.90 over the 97 and 2/3 innings they pitcher last season. To call that kind of performance atrocious would qualify as the understatement of the year. The Tigers continue their positive offseason with their second acquisition from the World Series winners. Anderson will move to the minors while Rodney will continue to close until Urbina is ready to pitch and will most likely assume a setup role once Urbina is ready.

If the defense improves, and it should with Ivan Rodriguez, Carlos Guillen and Fernando Vina up the middle, and the pitching staff achieves a level of consistency, the Tigers could find themselves on the winning end of almost twice as many games as last year's 43. Jason Johnson, Mike Maroth, Nate Cornejo, and Jeremy Bonderman have tons to prove before I'll set my sights that high, though. A goal of 70-80 wins is reachable.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Tournament Update
Like everyone else, my bracket is pretty much trashed. First off, those Gonzaga Bulldogs really hurt me, along with their other followers. Though I didn't have UAB beating them, I did have the ultimate posers in Kentucky losing in the second round. They were so far from being the top overall seed it wasn't even funny. The real killer was N.C. State because they are in my final. It's all moot though as long as Texas moves on. I was thoroughly impressed with the Longhorns against UNC and I'm eager to see how well they play against Xavier. Their continued willingness to penetrate the paint will be the key. In the losses, Texas has gone cold from the perimeter and hasn't been able to just get the ball down low for an easy two and stop an opposing team's run. They weren't scared against UNC and got plenty of paint points, but also open looks from the perimeter where guys like Brian Boddicker and Brandon Mouton flourish. All in all, I have 9 of my sweet 16 and my champion (Pittsburgh) still alive. I'd love to get that wrong if it meant that the Horns won it all in San Antonio.

Giant Downsize in the Bay Area?
As the protections for each in my NL only auction league came down this evening, I couldn't help but laugh when I saw a $5 Jeffrey Hammonds on the list. I mean, Jeffrey Hammonds? You have to be kidding me. As I looked at things deeper, it only got funnier. Not just from a Hammonds perspective, but from the entire San Francisco perspective. Outside of LF #25, the Giant lineup is absolutely atrocious. Take a peek:

C A. Pierzynski
1B J. Snow
2B R. Durham
3B E. Alfonzo
SS N. Perez
LF # 25
CF M. Grissom
RF M. Tucker


There is absolutely NO reason to pitch to LF #25 and he could feasibly walk 200 times, 52 more than a year ago. I think you might be hard pressed to find a worse lineup in the league. Detroit has Pudge, Dmitri Young, and even Carlos Pena and Rondell White to a lesser extent. Tampa Bay has Aubrey Huff, Carl Crawford and Rocco Baldelli. The in-division Los Angeles Dodgers might be the only team nearly as incompetent at the plate.

C P. Lo Duca
1B R. Ventura
2B A. Cora
3B A. Beltre
SS C. Izturis
LF J. Encarnacion
CF D. Roberts
RF S. Green


If you play fantasy baseball, acquire NL West pitchers... immediately! There may be games that have a higher total score than these teams put out in a month. Actually, I misspoke earlier. Get NL West pitchers, but continue to avoid Colorado Rockies pitchers like they're a hungry Anna Nicole Smith. Sit back and bask in the hilarity of owners overpaying/drafting guys like Shawn Estes because he's 3-1 with 0.60 ERA in 15 Spring innings.

Simply Unacceptable.
I don't care how much I enjoy his blog or how much I respect his writing, Mike Carminati has to be called out for his closing to his first post on March 22nd. Saying "Seacrest...Out!" is simply unacceptable unless you make it known that you believe that Ryan Seacrest is the biggest tool to hit the United States since the hammer. Worse yet, his complete and utter inability to grasp the depths of lameness only compound the situation. Seacrest actually thinks what he says is funny. I have watched American Idol about 10 total times and every time he was on the screen in his XXXXXS t-shirt, I just wanted to destroy my TV. Get a shirt that fits, get a personality that doesn't suck, and get a life you clown! Oh yeah, Mike, if you do realize Seacrest's lameness, all is forgiven.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Tournament Time!!!
Along with the beginning of each Spring Training comes the anticipation of the single greatest event in all of sports: March Madness! I love several sports more than college basketball as a whole, but there is nothing like the NCAA Tournament. In honor of it's start in just about 7.5 hours, I'd like to share with you all my picks for the 2004 Final Four Brackets.

St Louis Region -
1st Round Winners:
1 Kentucky
8 Washington
5 Providence
4 Kansas
11 Utah
3 Georgia Tech
10 Nevada
2 Gonzaga

2nd Round:
8 Washington
4 Kansas
3 Georgia Tech
2 Gonzaga

3rd Round:
4 Kansas
2 Gonzaga

Region Final Four Representative:
2 Gonzaga

East Rutherford -
1st Round Winners:
1 St. Joseph's
9 Charlotte
12 Manhattan
3 Wake Forest
6 Wisconsin
3 Pittsburgh
7 Memphis
2 Oklahoma St.

2nd Round:
1 St. Joseph's
12 Manhattan
3 Pittsburgh
2 Oklahoma St.

3rd Round:
1 St. Joseph's
3 Pittsburgh

Region Final Four Representative:
3 Pittsburgh

Atlanta-
1st Round Winners:
1 Duke
9 Arizona
5 Illinois
4 Cincinnati
6 North Carolina
3 Texas
10 Louisville
2 Mississippi St

2nd Round:
1 Duke
4 Cincinnati
3 Texas
2 Mississippi St

3rd Round:
4 Cincinnati
3 Texas

Region Final Four Representative:
3 Texas

Phoenix-
1st Round Winners:
1 Stanford
9 Southern Ill.
5 Syracuse
13 UTEP
11 West. Michigan
3 N.C. State
10 Dayton
2 Connecticut

2nd Round:
1 Stanford
5 Syracuse
3 N.C. State
2 Connecticut

3rd Round:
5 Syracuse
3 N.C. State

Region Final Four Representative:
3 N.C. State

Final Four and Championship Game-
2 Gonzaga v. 3 Pittsburgh
3 Texas v. 3 N.C. State

3 Pittsburgh v. 3 N.C. State

3 Pittsburgh

I know, I have 0 #1 seeds in the Final Four. That's just how it worked out. This is going to be yet another great tournament and unfortunately, I don't think UConn's big man, Emeka Okafor, will stay healthy, otherwise I'd have them as the odds-on favorite. Texas is a bit homerish, even more so than last year since we're without T.J. Ford now, but this team can make some noise with their depth and perimeter shooting. I have Maryland bowing out in the first round because I believe that they spent all their energy just getting here. Great ACC Tourney run, but they might have peaked a tad too early in March.

I have 10 first round upsets, but a portion of them are 9s over 8s and 10s over 7s, hardly upset specials. I like Manhattan again, but Billy Donovan may do another bend-but-don't-break performance like that against Butler a few years ago when Mike Miller hit that leaner to win it. I took Manhattan as a 14 last year, I have to take them as a 12 this year!

Continued coverage of this bracket can be found here at this very blog. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.


The Leviathon Hits Stores!
SportsWeekly just released it's fantasy baseball "bible" yesterday complete with LABR results as well as John Hunt's projections and prices for the upcoming season. When I first started playing fantasy baseball as a wee lad some 9 or so years ago, I truly considered this my bible for the draft. I knew the magazines were hokey and came out far too early to contain any real valuable information, so I relied on Mr. Hunt. The first year I went at it alone, that is to say I did not consult my father on each pick, my trusty bible lead to a 5th round pick of Mike Macfarlane in a 10 team AL Only. I drew a few chuckles and largest eye roll my father has ever executed. He wasn't mad, hell, it helped him. Later, I justified the pick by pointing out his 20 home runs at catcher just a year ago. I got 14 home runs and just 92 games worth ol' Mac that year. I still haven't lived that pick down.

I have since grown up in terms of my fantasy publications used to come up with my strategies, but I still buy the Leviathon, if for no other reason than tradition. It can be quite entertaining, too. Take for example the following tidbits found in pullout:

- Edwin Jackson, the 20-year old phenom vying for Los Angeles' 5th spot, is apparently the 22nd best pitcher in the National League. Ahead of such non-rookies currently battling for their rotation spot as:

Andy Pettitte
Carl Pavano
Kip Wells
Greg Maddux
Ben Sheets
Russ Ortiz
Wade Miller
Brad Penny


And the list goes on. This is indefensible. There is no way you can justify encouraging people to pay $16 for a rookie guy that doesn't even have a spot completely nailed down as of yet. And not only am I supposed to shell out $16 bucks, but $16 bucks that could've been spent on Maddux, Miller or Sheets? Please!!

- Jackson is then listed in the sleeper section, along with Morgan Ensberg.

I don't know about you, but I don't pay $16 for my sleepers or $23 as in Ensberg's case. I mean no disrespect to Mr. Hunt, but this is painfully inconsistent stuff here.

- Carl Crawford is apparently good 11 HRs this season.

After topping out at 7 in 2002 in Durham and hitting just 7 more in his 214 major league games, Crawford is apparently due for some inexplicable power surge.

-Fingers Carlos Beltran in his piece on overrated players and then posts him 2nd among AL hitters.

Which is it?! If he's not better than A.Rod and Guerrero, why isn't he below both of them on the projection list?! It just doesn't make sense.

So those are just a couple. I'm really not out to fry the guy, in fact I recommend buying a copy if for no other reason than to know what your opponents have read and may actually be heavily relying on. It's just that overall, there seems to be little consistency and little more than throws at the dart board when it comes to making these projections.


March is in ful effect!

Monday, March 08, 2004



Just Plain Stupid
Sometimes something can get so intense that it just enters a realm of stupidity unmatched in society. Such an occurence came to pass when it was reported that some moron paid $500 for a Yankees-Red Sox Spring Training game. It is unconscionable just how stupid that is. No matter how big a diehard for either squad one is, you cannot under any circumstance justify that puirchase. Bronson Arroyo was Boston's starter for crying out loud!! Spring Training games are never worth $500. NEVER!

Nevin Gets Hurt
Phil Nevin dislocated his shoulder in a split-squad contest against Anaheim on Sunday night. That brings the total of times injured to 1,238,673,813 for Nevin. Seriously, just get a desk job.