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Offense first – that’s what they say. Pitching may win championships in the real world, but this is fantasy baseball we’re talking about and in fantasy, it is a dominant offense that wins it for you. It’s said so many times that you would think it would be ingrained in people’s heads by now, yet we still see starting pitchers get taken in the first round and people reaching for “aces” faster than they really should. It’s an age old debate that leaves most scratching their heads as to how and why it is still even up for discussion. Well, if there were ever a day to prove the point for the pro-offense side of the argument, it was Sunday.
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…
On this special day in our nations history – by the way it might be more applicable for us to celebrate on July 2nd and not the 4th (see my report on why) – I'd like to extend my thanks to everyone who has ever fought for our freedoms be it with a sword, a cannon, a gun, a voice or the pen. Thanks you for giving us the freedom to do things like play fantasy baseball. Oh yeah, there's also some baseball stuff in this article too – though there really is no rhythm or reason today. I'm going to mention young hitters – guys like Brandon Belt and Ike Davis – I'll talk young callups on the hill like Chris Tillman and Trevor Bauer, and I'll also mention old guys like R.A. Dickey. Hey, what do you expect from a guy who is already four beers deep at 11 AM?
So far we’ve seen a nice , steady influx of top rookie talent brought up this season, between Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Anthony Rizzo and Trevor Bauer, just to name a few. Fantasy owners in keeper leagues are drooling over this youth infusion we’re getting and you can’t really blame them. The talent level is ginormous. So in the spirit of this fabulous youth movement, the Padres have joined in the fun and brought back up one of the top catching prospects in the game and it looks like they’re actually going to play him this time around. That’s right, San Diego finally grew tired of watching Nick Hundley try to pull himself out of a season-long funk and have decided to send him down to the minors to work things out. In exchange for Hundley, they’ve brought up Yasmai Grandal, a future-star behind the plate.
As if there was any doubt as to who was going to eventually win this little war between Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine and longtime third baseman Kevin Youkilis, the brewing kettle finally game to a boil on Sunday and Youkilis found himself with a one-way ticket to Chicago. In exchange for RHP Zach Stewart and utility-man Brent Lillibridge, Boston sent Youk and about $5.5M in cash to the AL Central-leading White Sox in a deal that actually works out for everyone. And by everyone, I mean everyone, including the fantasy world. OK, maybe not the guys that own Orlando Hudson, but both of them are probably in last anyway and stopped paying attention to their teams weeks ago. But as far as everyone else in the baseball world goes, this trade was win-win-win.
So I had just finished watching the first wave of games on Wednesday night and was going to get a jump on my article. Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey just pitched a one-hit, complete-game shutout, his second complete-game shutout in his last three outings, and had now gone four straight starts without allowing a single earned run. And as a topper, his 12 strikeouts gave him a total of 50 over his last five starts. Right? How do you not lead with that when doing a recap article of the night’s baseball highlights?
So normally, Thursdays aren’t a full slate of games and, like Monday, I should be taking a little quality me time. But with a little time on my hands this afternoon, I thought I’d give you a bonus post here and dole out some accolades for several jobs well done from Thursday night. We’ll forgo the usual fantasy wisdom-filled introduction and cut right to the chase…
Usually, you see it all in the show business world. A great comedian, a great singer, some fantastic band performs – it’s a phenomenal performance and the crowd goes absolutely nuts. A standing ovation followed up with, what could seem like an hour of straight cheers and applause. Moments like that aren’t necessarily rare, but when they happen, they stand out like a lone, bright star in a pitch black night. You never want to be the guy who follows that. Some comedian before you kills it, the pressure on you to perform up to those standards is ridiculous. One subpar joke and you’re finished. It’s the same with musical performances. If you follow one of those amazing moments, if you’re not perfect, you’re done.
Happy Memorial Day to you all! With a full slate of games and an early start here for the holiday, you’ve got to get those lineups in quickly before you disappear to the land of no work and lots of BBQ’s. No reason to delay you with a real wordy intro as I’ve go tto get those steaks marinating as well, so let’s just get to the Sunday wrap…
When I opened the email and saw the trade offer sitting in front of me, I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. Finally, someone in this particular league was using my writing jobs against me, something I’ve often suggested to those in the various leagues in which I play. If you want to know which players I like, who I believe in and who I don’t, all you have to do is read. It’s out there, all over the internet. Review at your leisure.