Like General Motors, Hoagy Time has "reinvented" itself. Riding the emotional wave of a two-game winning streak, my fantasy baseball team has righted the ship ... and has even softened its stance on Jimmy Rollins now that he's begun to hit.
Is fantasy baseball a thinking man's game or does it come down to pulling some juvenile antics and working the waiver wire like a streetwalker on McMicken?
Two weeks ago I decided to jettison some of my super lame pitching staff and load up on Two Start Pitchers and repeat as necessary. It was frickin' sweet. Livan Hernandez put up two good starts. So did Jason Marquis.
The next week I cut Livan, kept Marquis, dumped Kyle "Ow Something's Wrong" Lohse and added Brian "America's Got" Tallet and Minnesota's Scott Baker. If you just keep trying to get as many pitcher starts as possible per week, you have a good chance of winning your head-to-head game unless you get bamboozled by a few terrible starts.
Even guys like Tim Wakefield are worth picking up. Like Hernandez, or current two-start pitcher Mike Pelfrey, you know that these guys win more games than they lose, and their offenses score enough runs most days to give the pitcher a chance. Take Pelfrey's outing last night in Baltimore (which I hear is just lovely this time of year!) for example. 5.2 IP... maybe 2 K's ... nothing special. Take on the 8 points for the W and that's a 14-point start from a back of your rotation guy. And he pitches again this week.
A sneaky and tempting tactic I employ is using guys like America's Got Tallet and A.J. Happ in a Relief Pitcher slot, since technically that's what they and guys of their ilk are listed as in many league formats. Two weeks ago I won by a hair because I had 10 pitcher starts. Pure and simple.
Anyhoot, remember all you
idiots respectable journalists who like Danny Cross who were talking about how Willy Taveras' speed would add a previously missing dynamic to the lineup and help the Reds out?
Well, I told you that he couldn't get on base very often, and I am right. 0-for thirty something isn't good at all. Micah Owings' OBP is .278. Taveras' is .281. It is tremendously difficult to win games when your leadoff "Speed Kills" terror on the basepaths guy gets on base so infrequently.
Lastly, why exactly did Major League Baseball have to relocate the Expos to Washington D.C. and give them those hideous uniforms (which is only partially OK because no one shows up to see them)? As a youngster in upstate New York, taking trips north of the border to see Expos games formed some of my fondest and most vivid memories of the game.
Tim Raines hitting an inside-the-park home run that I swear was a ground ball into the right field corner, nothing more. Jeff Leonard waving back to my brother and me. John Franco throwing me the only ball I've ever gotten at a game.
I hope baseball comes back to Montreal. With their French announcers, and 32-ounch Molson Export drafts. I miss it. No one cares if the Nationals leave the District. They draw no one and have the fewest promotional nights in the majors. A source in the know tells me that after the 8th inning all concession sales are halted. The game goes into extra innings (which is unlikely because the Nats are usually trailing by at least a field goal by the end of the ninth), and you and yours can't even get you a sodie pop. Lame.
Montreal deserves baseball. Sure those surly Quebecers held their grudge about that whole strike thing a little longer than most. Maybe it's because that Montreal team was definitely playoff, if not World Series bound, had the greedy parties decided to finish the season like real men would have.
Again, when Major League Baseball took control of the Expos they got jobbed. Omar Minaya was the Expos GM at the time, and when September 1st came around and rosters could be expanded he was told not to call anyone up because the MLB control didn't want to pay for it. Minaya maintains that the Expos could've remained in the Wild Card hunt, if not taken it, had they been permitted to bring up some young guns from the farm. Bring baseball back to Montreal.
Image: Pedro Martinez contemplating what might have been.