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While perhaps the story of the day should be how Bartolo Colon hasn’t allowed a run in 20.2 innings, dating back to July 22, center stage again belongs to everyone’s favorite rookie, Mike Trout. Turns out that when Trout homered off of A’s reliever Travis Blackley, he became the youngest player in MLB history to hit 20 home runs and steal 30 bases in a single season. Even better is that he did it on his 21st birthday! That’s right, for the first time in his fledgling career, Trout could actually celebrate one of these milestones with a legal alcoholic beverage. No more getting drenched with non-alcoholic sparkling cider, no more guys buying him root beers and Diet Cokes after the game. When they say it’s Miller time, it’s actually Miller time.
With the short slate of games on Thursday and the lack of a clear-cut Beast of the Day, we’re going to change up the format again. We’ll start with some of the highlights from Thursday and then discuss a few other important things from the baseball world that you should be aware of as you head down the stretch towards your impending championship. Even with the passing of MLB’s non-waiver trade deadline, there’s still plenty ahead. We’ve got waiver trades that are being discussed, late-season injuries, and of course, the plethora of minor leaguers being summoned as teams that are out of contention begin to audition some of their more high-profile youngsters. We’ve even got a few contenders reaching into their farm systems for a few guys that may give them the added boost they’ll need as they work towards a potential playoff spot. So without further ado, let’s get to it…
Well, Tuesday’s trade deadline brought on a flurry of activity in the baseball world which obviously sends ripples through the fantasy community as well. There were a number of expected movers and shakers in there along with a few surprising non-participants as well. Some of the deals have serious fantasy ramifications while others were more pertinent to the real baseball world, so let’s just go through them and see what’s affecting your fantasy teams here.
With the July31st non-waiver trade deadline rapidly approaching, we’ve been seeing a few deals pop up recently that obviously have some effect on the fantasy baseball world. It’s not like we’ve seen any real big blockbusters that are sending owners into some panicked frenzy, but, rest assured, those will certainly be coming soon. For now though, there are some that are having a bit of an impact that we should probably be taking a look at as they are happening. So let’s just do a quick rundown here and see what’s been going on.
Ever wonder where the Angels would have been had Mike Trout not been called up to save the day? Angels fans shudder to think about it and fantasy owners of Trout want little to do with a baseball world that doesn’t include the 20-year old center fielder. With his incredibly humble, team-first attitude and his .355-64-13-44-30 batting line, Trout has injected new life into this game that simply gets everyone excited about the game.
As we settle in for the All Star break, it’s time to show out love and appreciation for the best value picks of the first half. Obviously there are players out there that may have better overall stats than some of the ones I’m about to reveal, but these are the ones who have given you the best return value for where they were drafted this year. First round picks that produce first round numbers are usually no-brainers, but as we all know, fantasy baseball championships are won in the later rounds when you get first round-type production form your 18th round pick. So without further ado, I present to you the 2012 First Half, Best Value, Stud-a-Licious Award winners…
Just a quickie recap of Saturday’s baseball games as I am needed elsewhere. Turns out, the Fantasy Sports Trade Association conference is this week so the Fantasy Alarm Radio Show will be done live from San Francisco and I’ll be heading into the studio to join Jeff Mans and Ted Schuster for what should be an exciting three hours beginning at 5pm (ET). I’m going to have to spend some time in hair and make-up in case one of them decides to bring a web cam in and stream this sucker. I’ve been told I’ve got a great face for radio, so I want to make sure I’m at my best.
When Todd Wilhelmsen closed out the ninth inning of the Mariners’ 1-0 win over the Dodgers, it wasn’t just another save chance for the 28-year old right-hander. The third and final out that he recorded put the Mariners in the MLB record books as the 10th team in major league history to throw a combined no-hitter and the second team to accomplish the feat with the most pitchers used – six – joining the 2003 Houston Astros who last threw a combined no-no against the New York Yankees. It was also the third no-hitter in Mariners history. Kevin Millwood started the action, throwing six no-hit innings, but was forced to leave the game afterwards due to a groin strain. Charlie Furbush and Stephen Pryor combined to finish the seventh inning, Lucas Luetge and Brandon League handled the eight and Wilhelmsen came in and with just nine pitches need, finished the job off with a perfect ninth.
So that’s a wrap for our first round of interleague baseball and I have to say, we saw some pretty good ball played this weekend. There were plenty of standout hitters, some amazing pitching performances and even a few stokes of the ol’ rivalry fires. The White Sox shows the Cubs who the boss of Chicago was, the Reds took down the Yankees in 2-of-3, and how about the Mariners opening a can of whup-ass on the Rockies this weekend? Fantasy-wise, we saw plenty of action from the usual suspects and a few shining moments of surprise as well. Sunday certainly didn’t disappoint as the capper for the weekend, so let’s get to the highlights, shall we…?
What an outstanding day for baseball on Tuesday! Normally, when I go through the games (the ones I haven’t watched first-hand, that is), the recaps, and the stat sheets, there are usually a handful of performances that stand out as a cut above the rest. Whether it’s a complete-game shutout or a two or three-home run performance, these events stand out and deserve to be recognized. But after everything that went down on Tuesday, that “handful of performances” just became a wheelbarrow-full. I can’t imagine that I was the only fantasy owner sitting there, eyes the size of saucers, mouth agape, a tiny stream of drool coming down from the corner of my mouth, staring at my live scoring page like a little kid staring at that new bike under the Christmas tree. The levels of performances given were outstanding. So much so, that I’m forced to forego the usual format, call them all fantasy beasts and just serve you up the highlights.