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It feels like forever ago that we started interleague play this year and finally, it is coming to an end. This is the final week of the cross-league match-ups and then these players won’t see each other until the All Star Game and then the World Series. I couldn’t be happier. Aside from the baseball purist inside of me that cringes every time he hears MLB try to hype one of these match-ups, the fantasy player in me gets aggravated by the unnecessary wrinkles that it causes in our game. If you’re in an AL-only or mixed league and rely on designated hitters like Billy Butler or David Ortiz, you suddenly lose them for a few games a week and in some cases, either have to take a zero for the day, or use up a waiver claim to get a (probable) subpar replacement for a pair of two-week stints. Why should I lose out on either player’s power because MLB wants to make a few extra bucks?
They say that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and that phrase became a reality for me after yesterday’s post here at Rounding the Bases. For those that didn’t check in or just have serious short-term memory issues, you can either click here and read for yourself or I can sum it up for you right now. I expressed my disappointment with Wednesday’s games, discussing the fact that there was no performance that stood above the rest and made for an exciting fantasy day and certainly was not going to give anyone the Fantasy Beast of the Day honors. Well, I got this email later that day and I thought I would share it with you here…
It was just 17 days ago when Philip Humber stepped onto the mound for the White Sox and took his place in baseball history forever when he threw the league’s 21st perfect game. 27 up, 27 down. No hits and no walks. Utter perfection. He will have that moment for the rest of his life and the story of how he perfectly disposed of the Seattle Mariners on that fateful Saturday night will be passed down from generation to generation in the Humber family.
Well, when no one is jacking three home runs in a game and you’re not quite ready to announce who the newest Fantasy Beast of the Day is just yet, it’s tough to focus on just one thing from Tuesday’s games. Do I talk about the possibility that Albert Pujols is this year’s Adam Dunn? The wild finish between the Rangers and the Blue Jays? News of Cory Luebke’s sore elbow and the perpetual concerns one should have with the health of young pitchers? Really, the options are almost limitless. So rather than just pick and choose, I’m just going to run through each game and toss out some fantasy nuggets that you may find useful as our season moves along. In no particular order, here’s what I noticed on Tuesday…
So it was Opening Day on Thursday….again. And while some people will mock the fact that MLB pretty much has four different Opening Days, I’m going to relish in it. For me, the offseason drags on for far too long. Sure, football is a nice distraction, but I’ll take a heated pitcher’s duel for nine innings any day. And that’s exactly what we saw on Thursday – outstanding pitcher’s duels. Roy Halladay squaring off against Erik Bedard, John Lester versus Justin Verlander, Johan Santana against Tommy Hanson, and Stephen Strasburg taking on Ryan Dempster. Some of the other matchups were good, but the show that these eight pitchers put on the other day was top notch. Maybe some of the offenses each guy faced were a tad anemic (yes, Pittsburgh, I’m looking in your direction), but overall, you have to love watching a guy standing on the hill pulling strings on pitches left and right, making hitters look just plain silly in the batter’s box.
To say that I woke up Wednesday morning feeling like a kid on Christmas morning is an understatement. Doesn’t matter how old I am, doesn’t matter how many Opening Days I’ve seen or been to, I get the same feeling I had when I was a kid heading to the stadium for the very first time – pure, unabashed excitement. It’s like Ray Kinsella when it hits him that he’s pitching to Shoeless Joe Jackson. It’s like Ben, Jimmy Fallon’s character in Fever Pitch, when he gets his new set of Red Sox season tickets. It’s like those kids in The Sandlot gazing at either the fireworks or Wendy Peffercorn. Just pure joy; complete euphoria. That’s what the start of the baseball season does to me.
Welcome back to another edition of the Tuesday Top Ten list of relevant and newsworthy fantasy baseball stories. This week presented a whole new batch of insignificant happenings that of course caught my eye and must be posted immediately. Now, without further adieu, here is the Tuesday Top Ten fantasy baseball headlines for August 16, 2011.
It has been a long time my friends but it feels good to be back here rounding up another sultry night of baseball. We still don't have an end to the NFL lockout but that is probably a good thing since temperatures around the country move past the 100 degree threshold and that would be pretty unhealthy for running two a days in full pads. Anyways, while my partner Ryan Hallam is off frolicking around Citi Field I am left to wonder how in the hell Curtis Granderson has 26 HR's already this season and even more surprising is Jacoby Ellsbury who hit is 14th and 15th HR's today. With that, let's take a stroll through tonight's fantasy baseball highs and lows.
A little over a week into the 2011 MLB regular season and it is already evident that pitching once again rules. If you spent early round draft picks loading up on hitters than you are probably in pretty good shape. But if you bought pitching early on then you are probably missing out on offense so far this season. Tonight we saw streamer pitchers such as Bruce Chen, Phil Humber and Chris Narveson dominate the opposition while trusted names such as Javier Vasquez and Clay Buchholz struggled. Let's take a look around the league and see which players produced on this fine Saturday night in April.
So much action taking place tonight but perhaps the biggest story of the year is our headline this evening. There are a number of reports that say Manny Ramirez failed another random PED test about a week ago and was about to be issued a 100 game suspension. But Ramirez abruptly retired this afternoon instead of facing the wrath of the commissioner's office and yet another suspension. It is a very sad way to go out for one of the games all-time greatest hitters but it has become obvious that "Manny being Manny" is nowhere near as charming as it used to be. Now let's check out what else happened around the league tonight....