Archive for April, 2007

Week 4 Report: Brawlers Getting Beaten Up

April 30, 2007

The standings after four weeks:

1) 73.0 Team Phil Chu  -2.5

2) 69.0 SeaWolves      -2.0

3) 57.5 Craydawgs     + 4.5

4) 56.0 Ballbags      + 1.5

5) 42.0 Dirty Dogs    + 4.0

6) 41.0 Bears         + 4.0

6) 41.0 Barracudas     -5.5

8) 40.0 Snowmen       + 4.5

9) 30.5 Brawlers       -8.5

The expansion Brawlers took an 8.5 point dip into last place this week. Without question, Dave Diaz did not build this team for speed, so the measly 3 stolen bases this week was not a surprise. But the Brawlers need power to offset their snail’s pace on the basepaths, so just 7 HRs didn’t help. Beyond that, both Kevin Millwood and Dontrelle Willis pitched twice this week and got racked. Brawlers are struggling.

  Brawlers in intensive care after Week 4.

Team Phil Chu maintained their lead over the SeaWolves, but it’s down to just 4 points. Solid but unspectacular efforts was the rule this week for the TPC boyz, who dropped 2.5 points. On the positive side, Vernon Wells is up to .298 after going 11-for-24 this week (.458) with 3 SB. Chase Utley earned his keep with a 12-for-27 showing, including 2 HR and 10 BI. And Chipper Jones continued his hot start with 2 HR, 6 BI and a .345 average. But Eric Byrnes has cooled off dramatically: he went 1-for-17 this week; Rich Aurilia went 4-for-24 (.167); amd Paul LoDuca is still struggling with a .225 average and just 7 BI.

On the pitching side, TPC faltered a bit with lukewarm efforts from Chien-Ming Wang, Justin Verlander, and Cole Hamels. Wang suffered a broken nail:

 Wang’s fingernail.

The SeaWolves dropped a couple points this week, but still lead the 3rd place Craydawgs by 11.5. Adrian Gonzalez continues to light it up; he went .320 this week with 2 HR/8 BI. I really didn’t expect Jeff Francoeur to be playing so well, but he’s at .298 with 25 BI after a .444 week. Not much out of Bill Hall (.091) or Bobby Abreu (.087) this week.

The Craydawgs jumped 4.5 points this week and are back in 3rd place. Torii Hunter has been their best player; he went .400 this week with 3 HR and 5 BI and is .326/5/18/4 on the season. Jose Reyes (16 SB) is on pace for 100 RBI and 100 SB. It would be nice of David Wright to hit a home run. Kelvim Escobar came back with a nice outing Sunday: 7.7 IP, 2 ER, W. Welcome back, Kelvim!

The Ballbags picked up 1.5 points but fell behind the Dawgs to 4th place. They enjoyed Magglio’s production this week (.571, 2 HR, 11 BI). The Bags led the league in RBI (54) and BA (.305) but pulled up the rear in strikeouts (31) and ERA (5.36).

Dirty Dogs picked up 4 points this week and moved up from 7th to 5th (31 points back), but 14 points out of 4th. A-Rod cooled off a little (.304/2/3/1 on the week), but still leads the league with 14 HR. Double D led the league in WHIP (1.10) after some quality starts from Jose Contreras, Zach Duke, Roy Halladay, Bartolo, and Brad Penny. Only Andy Pettitte took a beating this week for the Double D.

The Bears are coming alive lately and are up to 6th after picking up 4 points this week. They led the league in HR (16) this week and now lead the league in that category. Looking for a spark, Rich Weiss exercised a quick hook on Hideki Matsui (.176 this week) and plugged in Rocco Baldelli today (.421 last week, 2 HR). Manny Ramirez continues to struggle at the plate (.148 this week).

  Bears are welcome to use the facilities at Weiss Field.

The Barracudas dropped 5.5 points this week and find themselves tied for 6th place. I am certain this does not sit well with owner Mike Markoski, who holds the league’s all-time best winning percentage (.652). For the second week in a row, the Cudas were last in league in HR (5), runs (37), and RBI (27). They were also last in average (.230) and are at just .252 for the year. Moreover, they posted a league worst 1.45 WHIP this week. Things are grim in Farmingdale. The BEML Blog hopes to get an interview with owner Markoski this week to discuss the plight of the Cudas.

 A barracuda, searching for an end to the Barracudas’ free fall.

The Snowmen led the league in saves (8) and ERA (2.80) this week, picking up 4.5 points and distancing themselves from the cellar-dwelling Brawlers by 9.5 points. Nice work from Derrek Lee (.522, HR, 5 BI) and Matt Holliday (.429, HR, 8 BI), and quality outings from Arroyo, Blanton, Smoltz, Zambrano and Zito this week. If Randy Johnson (6.55 ERA) and Adam LaRoche (.125 avg.) can kick into gear, the Snowmen might have something going.

 

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The 10 Best Individual Seasons By Craydawgs Players

April 29, 2007

I looked over the all-time Craydawgs stats and came up with what I believe are the 10 best fantasy performances by individual Craydawgs over the years. There is a slight bias given for seasons in which the player helped the Craydawgs to a pennant:

#10 Nomar Garciaparra (1999) .357 Avg., 27 HR, 104 RBI, 14 SB

The Craydawgs took home their second title in 1999. One of the main reasons was the play of Nomar Garciaparra that year. He contributed in every category and ended up with the Big East Meadow batting title. In one game in May, he hit 3 HRs including two grand slams.

 Nomar, contemplating what it means to be a Craydawg.

#9 Jeff Kent (2000) .334 Avg., 33 HR, 125 RBI, 12 SB

Kent led the 2000 Craydawgs to their third title (and second consecutive title) and was also the Big East Meadow MVP that year. Moreover, some commentators have called his 2000 season the best season by a second baseman in the history of the BEML.

  Jeff Kent knocks in Tony Womack during the 2000 season.

#8 Alfonso Soriano (2002) .300 Avg., 39 HR, 102 RBI, 41 SB

In the best trade ever for the Craydawgs (if not the history of the BEML), the Dawgs sent pitcher Carlos Hernandez to Trader Joe Pravato’s Team Phil Chu on Draft Day 2002 for Alfonso Soriano. Carlos Hernandez went on to post a 4.38 ERA and 1.56 WHIP and was out of baseball by 2004. Soriano won the league MVP and just missed a 40/40 year in leading the Craydawgs to their 4th title and 3rd title in 4 years.

  Alfonso cranks one, ironically, against Team Phil Chu’s Carlos Hernandez, the man he was traded for in 2002.

#7 Rafael Palmeiro (1999) .324 Avg., 47 HR, 148 RBI, 2 SB

The Craydawgs retired Raffy Palmiero’s jersey #25 this year. Part of his legend derives from his majestic 1999 season in which he set the Craydawgs all-time single season RBI record (148), besting Ken Caminiti’s (RIP) previous record (130) set in 1996. Raffy won four championships with the Dawgs (’99-2000, ’02-’03), but he has always claimed his first, from his incredible ’99 season, was the most special.

  Palmeiro is the Craydawgs’ all-time leader in at-bats (2,987), hits (845), HR (196), and RBI (608).

#6 Albert Pujols (2006) .333 Avg., 49 HR, 137 RBI, 7 SB

In 2005, Albert Pujols went .330, 41 HR, 117 RBI, 16 SB for the Craydawgs. The next year he did even better for the Dawgs in winning the league MVP, bringing home a ring, and besting Raffy Palmeiro’s 7 year-old team single-season HR record.

  Albert looks up at the owner’s skybox with admiration.

#5 Curt Schilling (2002) 23 W, 3.23 ERA, 0.97 WHIP

Schilling has pitched two seasons with the Dawgs (2002-03) and won rings in both. In 2002, though, Schilling was especially good. He set the Craydawgs single-season record for wins (23) and anchored the team from start to finish. Unfortunately, the Dawgs and Schilling parted ways when he insisted on campaigning for Bush during the 2003 season.

  Schilling blatantly disregards the Craydawgs’ “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy with Randy Johnson.

#4 Jose Reyes (2006) .300 Avg., 19 HR, 84 RBI, 64 SB

With his phenomenal combination of speed and power, Jose Reyes helped lead the 2006 Craydawgs to their 6th title. Reyes’ 64 stolen bases is second in Craydawgs single-season history only to Tony Womack’s 70 SB in the 1999 campaign. The Dawgs were so pleased with Reyes’ abilities that they brought him back this year to try to win title #7.

  Reyes gives praise to Craydawgs management after stealing another base.

#3 Greg Maddux (1994) 16 W, 1.56 ERA, 0.90 WHIP

Greg Maddux didn’t win a championship for the 1994 Craydawgs, but set the BEML all-time single season ERA record (1.56) and won the BEML Pitcher of the Year award. He won three such awards for the Dawgs from 1993-95 and is the Craydawgs all-time leader in wins (77) and innings pitched (1,015.3). The Craydawgs retired Maddux’ jersey #31 before the 2007 season.

  Maddux can’t believe the phenomenal run he had with the Dawgs from 1993-96.

#2 Barry Bonds (1993) .336 Avg., 46 HR, 123 RBI, 29 SB

The Dawgs finished 3rd in BEML’s 1993 inaugural season, but the Dawgs’ Barry Bonds won the league MVP award that year in posting the best ever offensive season for the Dawgs and one of the finest offensive seasons in BEML history.

barry-bonds.gif Who’s that lookin’ sharp for the ’93 Dawgs? It’s just Barry, baby.

#1 Greg Maddux (1995) 19 W, 1.63 ERA, 0.81 WHIP

In 1995, Maddux posted almost identical numbers to his magical ’94 season (#3 above), but this time got a ring to show for his superhuman efforts. His BEML record 0.81 WHIP may never be broken.

  Greg Maddux tips his cap to Craydawgs Nation upon the announcement that his 1995 season is the Craydawgs’ best ever individual performance. 

Sunday Scoop

April 29, 2007

So Phil Chu’s boy Justin Verlander got punked yesterday to the tune of 3 IP, 9 H+BB, 3 ER. Nevertheless, the TPC extended their lead to 11 points.

Meanwhile, the 2nd place Wolves delivered a clunker yesterday: 7 for 54, a .130 average, with 1 homer and 1 BI. That dropped them to .286 on the season, after being above .300 most of the year. On a positive note, Matt Cain posted 6 IP with 1 hit. He’s now at 1.54 ERA with a .83 Ratio. Just one win, though.

The Bags rocked out with a 19 for 54 performance (.345), with an HR and 3 BI from Josh Willingham. They also learned they will get Troy Glaus off the DL.

The Craydawgs got a beauty out of Dan Haren: 7.3 IP, 7K, 0 BB, 2 ER, W. Ramon Hernandez has added a spark this week, too, going 5 for 11 with 4 BI since his return from the DL.

Right now there’s a huge 13-point dropoff from the 4th place Dawgs to the 5th place Cudas.

 ’71 ‘Cuda

The Cudas’ Dave Bush got lit up: 5.1 IP, 7 ER. He’s got a 6.23 ERA now. The Cudas got more bad news when they learned slugger Jim Thome needs a trip to the DL.

 Dave Bush got lit up.

The Dirty Dogs led the league yesterday with 12 BI. Mark Teixeira is finally coming around: he went 3 for 4 yesterday and has hit his first two homers of the year on Friday and yesterday.

Snowmen got some nice work out of Smoltz (7 IP, 8 K, W) and Zambrano (7 IP, 1 ER, W)yesterday.

Bears are out of the cellar, yo, and they lead the league in HRs (4 of ’em yesterday).

Brawlers are bringing up the rear today, but got some nice work from Miguel Cabrera (5 for 5, HR, 3 R) and went .383 yesterday (23 for 60).

  Cabrera

News and Notes

April 28, 2007

Sorry I missed rappin’ at ya yesterday, my bruthas.

The SeaWolves‘ Julio Lugo went off yesterday: 3 for 4, HR, 3 BI, 3 R, 2 SB. I was concerned Lugo would not run as much this year in his current lineup, but Oehm is giving him the green light and he’s on pace for 60 SB.

The Wolves got more great pitching from Ian Snell last night (7 IP, 0 ER, W) to help offset two disastrous performances from Ervin Santana and Freddy Garcia (10.3 IP, 20 H+BB, 8 ER).

 The USS Seawolf

The 3rd place Ballbags (20 points back) got a second blown save in a row from Trevor Hoffmann (.7 IP, 4 ER). The Bags also learned that Ben Sheets will probably make his next start. They need him to perform, since they are sporting a 6.16 ERA/1.83 Ratio this week.

  Look at my ballbag.

Those Craydawgs appear to have uncovered a gem with Jamie Shields, who dropped some science last night in the form of 8 IP, 9K and a W.

 Shields

The Dawgs‘ Torii Hunter was back in the lineup one day after getting hit in the face by a Zack Grienke pitch. The Dawgs play with pain.

 Tough Torii.

The Cudas should get Chone Figgins back shortly. They need him desperately to shake them out of their offensive funk.

 Figs

The Brawlers‘ Nomar G. went 4 for 4 with 2 BI. He’s batting .326 with 19 BI.

Did you know?: Nomar has earned 3 championship rings with the Craydawgs.

 Nomar’s rings.

The last place Bears saw Mo Rivera get abused again last night: 4 ER in 1/3 of an inning. Mo’s got a 12.15 ERA/1.95 Ratio now with no saves. Ouch.

News And Notes

April 26, 2007

Team Phil Chu‘s Jake Peavy helped solidify TPC’s stranglehold on 1st place last night, striking out 17 in 7 IP. Peavy is 3-0 and is rocking a 1.67 ERA/1.05 Ratio with 36 strikeouts in 32 IP.

A mediocre showing by the SeaWolves last night; the Wolves’ Noah Lowry got pasted for 4 ER in 6.7 IP, with a 1.80 ratio.

The Ballbags‘ Jimmy Rollins hit his 8th HR and stole his 3rd base last night (.295/8/16/3). The Bags are once again in the hunt in 3rd place, 17 points back. However, the loss of Ben Sheets (groin) for any length of time will hurt.

 A ballbag

The Craydawgs welcome back Ramon Hernandez today. Hernandez’ stand-in Gerald Laird posted an underwhelming .056 average (2-for-36). The Dawgs also benched Coco Crisp (oblique) for Ty Wigginton. Go get ’em, Ty.

craydawgs1front12.jpg

The Dawgs have slipped up a bit this week and find themselves 30 points out of 1st, and 13 points out of 3rd. Yikes.

A day after I dissed him, the Barracudas‘ Todd Helton went 4-for-5 with 3 BI.

The Dirty Dogs got a nice outing from Zach Duke last night (7 IP, 1 ER). However, Duke only has 6 strikeouts in 26 IP.

The Snowmen had perhaps the best day in the league yesterday, with good pitching from Bronson Arroyo (7 IP, 1 ER) and Joe Blanton (9 IP, 2 ER, 6 K), but no wins to show for it. Snowman Ian Kinsler kept up his hot hitting, with his 8th HR and 4th SB. He’s battting .333. Derrek Lee cranked his first HR and is hitting .393.

The Brawlers batted just .205 yesterday (9 for 44) but got some nice pitching from Tim Hudson (8 IP, 12 K) and a win from Ted Lilly (7 IP, 1 ER).

Similarly, the Bears batted just .233 (7 for 30) but had a good outing from Curt Schilling (7 IP, 1 ER, W).

What’s up with the Bears’ Mo Rivera, by the way? Zero saves so far and a 7.11 ERA.

The Bears lost Greg Zaun to a broken leg. He’ll miss 6-8 weeks and presumably be replaced by Rod Barajas.

Barracudas’ Pitching Can’t Lift Anemic Offense

April 25, 2007

The Barracudas offense struggled again yesterday (8 for 41, .171, 1 HR, 2 RBI), and Markoski’s vicious fish find themselves in last place in every offensive category. Many of the Cudas are off to slow starts: potential 20/20 man Josh Barfield is batting just .123 with 1 HR and 1 SB; 35 HR threat Carlos Delgado has 1 HR and is hitting .203; potential 25/25 guy Mike Cameron is sitting at 0/1. It’s early, but I’m starting to wonder if the ’07 Cudas have enough offense to contend. I think the Cudas are counting a little too much on the past glories of Todd Helton and Miguel Tejada; I see Helton getting 15 HRs and Tejada maybe 20 this year, rather than the 30 HRs the Cudas might be expecting to see from each player. 

On the other hand, the Cudas have a nice pitching staff, anchored by the All-World Johan Santana. John Maine has been a revelation with a 1.71 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 26 innings. And Dice-K has pitched better than his 4.00 ERA indicates, with a 31/6 strikeout to walks ratio over 27 innings. The Cudas will need extraordinary pitching to overcome some potential deficits on offense this year.

   

Santana                      Dice-K           Maine

In other action yesterday, the Ballbags‘ Prince Fielder took the Craydawgs‘ Rich Hill deep, ending Hill’s 19 inning scoreless streak. In turn, the Craydawgs’ Pronk Hafner went yard on the Vicious Fish’s ace Johan Santana. Hafner has been scorching the ball this year and is off to a .381/5 HR/14 RBI start for the Dawgs.

The Seawolves lost third baseman Akinori Iwamura for 4-6 weeks yesterday. I see little on the Wolves’ bench to replace the loss (Theriot, Kouzmanoff, Helms).

Mark Prior will not likely be of use to Team Phil Chu this year, as he underwent arthroscopic surgery yesterday.

The Brawlers‘ Todd Jones blew the save yesterday. That’s the least of their closer problems, however, since they also lost Eric Gagne (hip) to the DL, Brad Lidge lost his closer role, and speculative saves source Kerry Wood (DL) has not thrown a ball in over a month now. 

The Dirty Dogs got a nice pitching performance and a win from Roy Halladay (8 IP, 10K).

The Craydawgs welcomed Kelvim Escobar back from the DL (5.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Ks). The Dawgs benched Bobby Howry to make room for Escobar.

A-Rod Unable To Carry The Dirty Dogs

April 24, 2007

A-Rod cranked his 13th and 14th HRs last night, but his record-setting April performance has not been enough to carry the expansion Dirty Dogs, who are languishing in 7th place, 39.5 points back.

  (Dirty Dog)

What’s troubling Manusama’s Dogs? Mark Teixeira has been disappointing so far (.224, 0 HR, 3 RBI), Ichiro has just one SB, Michael Young is batting only .165. Further, King Felix and BJ Ryan have hit the DL. The Dogs just haven’t hit on all cylinders yet. I’d look for the rest of the team to get in gear and take some of the burden off A-Rod soon.

Last year Rich Weiss’s Bears had their best ever finish (2nd place). This year, they are basement-dwelling (45 points back). Except for Bonds (6 HR, .348) and Jason Giambi (.310, 4 HR, 17 RBI), they’re not swinging the bat well. I do think Weiss improved the Bears a good deal by dealing for Crawford and Bonderman, and it is too early to relegate this team to last place.

   

                                 Crawford         Bonderman

Look out for those Bears…they can do some damage:

  Bear attack!!!

Week 3 Report: SeaWolves On The Prowl

April 23, 2007

The SeaWolves had a huge week. Oehm’s troops led the league in HRs (14) RBI (65), Wins (6), Strikeouts (65), ERA (2.06), and Ratio (0.92), which helped them pick up 12.5 points. The Wolves now trail TPC by just 4.5 points (75.5 to 71). 

seawolf.jpg

The Wolves were led by stellar pitching from fireballers Matt Cain (16 IP, .56 ERA, .75 Ratio), Ian Snell (14 IP, 1.93 ERA, 1.07 Ratio) and Aaron Harang (6 IP, 8Ks). A no-hitter from Mark Buehrle didn’t hurt, either.

 cain.jpg    

Matt Cain                 Ian Snell           Aaron Harang      Mark Buehrle

Hot hitting from Bill Hall (.429, 3 HR, 9 RBI) and Adrian Gonzalez (.353, 2 HR, 8 RBI) rounded out a week to remember for the Wolves.

Team Phil Chu still holds a kung-fu grip on the lead after three weeks, but dropped one point with a solid if unspectacular performance. TPC had a bit of a power outage (8 HR), but led the league in BA (.309) and saves (6).

phil-chu.gif

TPC’s pitching has been phenomenal thus far. Poppa Joe Pravato’s boys are averaging more than a strikeout per inning and have an incredible 2.66 ERA/1.07 Ratio over 162 innings. In a nice gambit, The Pork Chop drafted Dan Wheeler for a bench slot, and is now fortunate to have a cheap (and effective) closer on his hands. Well played, Poppa.

Wheeler

TPC suffered a big loss of speed this week when Scott Podsednik went down with a groin injury. It may be several weeks before Pods returns. TPC appears set to try out Ryan Garko in the meantime. Further, TPC’s Rich Harden will miss at least his next start. TPC will hope the injury bug will not derail its championship run this year.

The 2005 Champion Ballbags moved back into third place this week, 21 points out of first.

The Bags are off to a somewhat lackluster start this year after investing heavily in the underperforming Alfonso Soriano (.260, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1 SB), Paul Konerko (.175, 1 HR) and Ben Sheets (5.00 ERA). Look for these players to turn things around soon.

Meet The 2007 Craydawgs

April 20, 2007

           

 Andruw Jones    Torii Hunter             Coco Crisp

        

  Carlos Lee            Aubrey Huff               Albert Pujols

          

 Brian Roberts             David Wright           Jose Reyes     

            

Jorge Posada       Ramon Hernandez   Aramis Ramirez   

 furcal.gif   

Rafael Furcal       Travis “Pronk” Hafner

       

A.J. Burnett          Kelvim Escobar              Rich Hill                

     

  Eric Bedard       Dan Haren                      Adam Wainwright 

      

Jose Valverde             Scot Shields           Bobby Howry

Big East Meadow Visuals

April 19, 2007

Every team deserves a visual identity. I’ve come up with some suggestions for each team. Check it:

  CRAYDAWGS

 BARRACUDAS

 TEAM PHIL CHU

seawolf.jpg  SEAWOLVES (ferocious!)

  SNOWMEN

  BEARS   Huh?????

  BRAWLERS

  BALLBAGS!

  DIRTY DOGS!