Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Derwood Morris Fantasy Baseball Team

I hadn't played fantasy baseball since 2006, the year I drafted Derek Jeter first overall and the other people in the league (one claimed his name was "Dave", sounded made up) said I was a fool. Then Jeter hit .343 and I won the league (I also had Johan Santana and Carlos Beltran, but I think Vinny from Jersey would agree that Chewing On Derwood Morris' Fingers doesn't win without Jeetah).

From 2007-2012 I skipped fantasy baseball season. I just didn't have time because I get so wrapped up in the NFL Draft.

Anyway, fast forward to late-April, 2013, and we have Lavelle Rondo Apologists, the first Derwood Morris-led fantasy baseball team in seven years.

Today was draft day in the Federal League at cbssports.com, and Lavelle Rondo Apologists had the fourth overall pick. The following is a running account of how it went.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Jean Segura Doesn't Care About Direction

There are a few certainties in life, guarantees if you will. The sun will rise in the east and, subsequently, set in the west. Your taxes will be due on April 14th every year. Ed McMahon will not be coming by my house anytime soon to deliver a giant check. When running the bases, you will not go back a base after advancing to the next one. These are guarantees in life that we can all rest our laurels upon. At least, they all were until today, when Jean Segura - the rookie shortstop for the Milwaukee Brewers - went and disrupted the space-time continuum by, essentially, stealing first base against the Chicago Cubs.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Joe Nathan Gets Save 300 With an Assist from Marty Foster

Once upon a summer's day, Joe Nathan was as elite a reliever as you could find in all of baseball. As a member of the one-time Major League Baseball organization Minnesota Twins, Nathan established himself as such with an ERA+ of 204 and accruing 18.4 WAR according to Baseball-Reference. He appeared in four All Star Games and had two seasons where he finished in the top five for the American League Cy Young award. Not too shabby for a failed starter.

Although he hasn't been the same quality of reliever that he was for the Twinkies, Nathan has been at the very least, consistent and reliable for the Texas Rangers. Of course, at age 38, it would be unfair to expect anything more from a person who is 12 years away from AARP benefits and 15 years away from needing a colostomy bag. He did post an ERA+ last year of 163 and was still good enough for a bWAR of 1.9. Tommy John Surgery may have extended his career an extra couple of seasons, but chances are, he is coming up on his last ride in the not to distant future.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Trevor Bauer Throws A Golden Huarache

So far, Trevor Bauer's adjustment to life in pro ball from UCLA is off to a much worse start than Keifer Sutherland's television career after 24. Have you seen Touch? Yeah, neither has anyone else. Making his Cleveland Indians debut after the Diamondbacks jettisoned Bauer (Trevor) for cents on the dollar, the 22-year-old pitcher turned in a performance that led me to believe I could have been an on base monster in the majors. Except, you know, I cramped up typing that sentence.

Before we get to Bauer's first inning where he was (allegedly) blindfolded and spun around a bat 10 times, I should explain the title of this post. I've decided to take it upon myself to name a stat that nobody is tracking because..you're welcome. A Golden Huarache is when a pitcher walks four batters in an inning. A huarache is a Mexican sandal. Sounds reasonable, right? What Bauer did, however, was throw a Natural Golden Huarache or walk the first four batters he faced. Let's see how the magic happened...

Bottom 1st: Bauer walks Desmond Jennings looking. Oh, I suppose all of these will be looking. I'm used to covering Golden Sombreros. Jennings took the first pitch for a strike before getting four consecutive balls. Four Consecutive Balls is also the name of a male strip club in New Orleans. So I've heard.

Bottom 1st: Bauer walks Matt Joyce. Bauer got ahead in the count 0-2 before falling behind 3-2. Joyce fouled two off before taking the walk.

Bottom 1st: Bauer walks Ben Zobrist. On four pitches. Here's my artist's rendition of the at bat...

Bottom 1st: Bauer walks Evan Longoria. This was actually a nine pitch battle because Longoria swung at stuff having clearly not watched the first three plate appearances by his teammates. But he managed to get that sweet bases loaded walk RBI anyway.

Bauer got out of the inning after James Loney fouled out on the first pitch he saw, Yunel Escobar lined out and Joyce was out at home. All said, Bauer threw 105 pitches (59 strikes) over 5.0 innings giving up just three runs on two hits and seven walks. The injured and often terrible Scott Kazmir can breathe easy, unless that strains his back, considering his fifth spot in the Indians rotations appears safe.

But it does raise the question of what is wrong with Trevor Bauer. Is he masking an injury? Is he just not that good? Is his pregame warmup stupid? Did his daughter get caught in a cougar trap in season two? No, that would be ridiculous. Could it be the dreaded yips? Because I hear Chuck Knoblauch holds a camp that teaches you how to not cry after throwing a baseball 50 feet from its intended target.

If I had to guess, Bauer probably just needs glasses and to stop sleeping with Corbin Bernsen's wife.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

John Lackey's Arm Blows Up, Again.

To say that John Lackey has been a huge disappointment since joining the Red Sox after the 2009 season, would be, well, I don't think calling it an understatement would actually do justice to just how underwhelming he has been since signing a five-year $82.5MM deal. He was very "meh" in 2010, then proceeded to have the worst season for a Red Sox pitcher ever in 2011 (minimum 140 IP). He got tons of bad press when he filed divorce from his wife after the 2011 season while she was battling breast cancer. Then he missed all of the 2012 season after having Tommy John surgery. I could go on, but I really don't need to.