Grapefruit and Cactus News Could Swing Your Season

by Eddie Mayrose

For many serious Fantasy owners, their pre-season prep work involves in-depth analysis of statistics, mock drafts and statistical projections.  Comprehensive stuff, and a great foundation for a successful Fantasy season.  Their work continues during training camps, as they track injuries and position battles that affect playing time.

In today’s world of instant information, delivered to smart phones and tablets, it’s extremely difficult for even the most casual Fantasy players to miss that Ryan Madson and Joakim Soria have been lost for the season. Or that Ryan Howard is two months away from playing and David Wright has been dealing with a rib injury. What used to be a significant edge for the hard working owner has been eliminated, mandating that more digging is needed in order to have a leg up heading into the draft. The question is, where to dig?

You might want to point your shovel toward the AL and NL notes published daily by USA Today.  With just a little practice, you’ll learn to read between the lines; unearthing valuable tidbits of information that will allow you to identify potential sleepers and busts not known to the more casual Fantasy player.  You may have to connect a few dots, but you’ll reap the benefits later on.  Here are a few players we’ve come across just this week. Continue reading »

by Eddie Mayrose

No More Calls…We Have a Winner

It happens every spring. As certainly as the tulips will bloom, Major League Baseball owners will victimize fans with their own, annual scam, known on these pages as Arbitration Fraud.

According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the owners and the players association, a player with three or more years of service, but less than six years, may file for salary arbitration. There is another category called “Super Two”, in which players with more than two years and less than three who have accumulated 86 days of service in the previous season are also arbitration eligible.  If, that is, they rank in the top 17% of service time for ALL players. So, if the promotion of a player is held up for two months, he will is likely to fall below the Super Two line and will definitely have another season added before he makes the three year mark.

To that end, many small market teams assign their top prospects to their AAA affiliates when they break camp, no matter how dire their needs.  While the “head fake” given to the fans is always something along te lines of”…he needs more seasoning”, the actual reason is that the organization is delaying the start of the “Arbitration clock” by a year, thus delaying his first big payday.  This “seasoning”, always comes, miraculously, around the end of May, no matter who the player might be. Continue reading »

Who Will Follow Their Lead in 2011?

By Moonlight Graham

It was a banner year for rookies in Major League Baseball as more than a few newcomers not only burst onto the scene in a big way, but turned their teams into contenders. The American League Rookie of the Year, Rangers’ RP Neftali Feliz, set a rookie record for saves and firmed up the Texas bullpen to the tune of a World Series appearance.   He wasn’t the AL’s only impact newbie, as Minnesota’s Danny Valencia filled a void at third base for the champions of the AL Central.   In the National League, Travis Wood performed so well for Cincinnati that even Dusty Baker, notorious for his disdain of rookies, couldn’t keep him out of the rotation. Then there was NL Rookie of the Year, Buster Posey, who was not just the most important player in the lineup for the World Champion Giants, but impacted the Rangers’ championship run by making then San Francisco catcher Bengie Molina Aavilable.  Now, That’s a game changer. Continue reading »

Former A’s GM Heads East

by Eddie Mayrose

The New York Mets made one very big statement this week in their hire of Sandy Alderson as GM. As a baseball lifer, there’s no way Alderson will stand for the meddling of Fred and Jeff Wilpon, neither of whom has ever heard an opinion he didn’t respect. With Alderson on board, there’s no doubt who’ll be calling the shots.

His first move was stellar, appointing J.P. Ricciardi as his assistant.  Formerly the Toronto Blue Jays‘ GM, Ricciardi’s skills as a talent evaluator are among the most respected in the game; skills the Metsies desperately need as they try to rebuild a farm system bereft of top prospects.

Alderson’s next move might be a little dicey, however, as the fan base clamors for the hiring of Wally Backman; a move destined to keep the Mets behind the eight ball.  Backman has no Major League experience, his volatility will quickly wear thin in a big legue clubhouse and, most importantly, he’s given no evidence that he’s tamed the wild lifestyle that got him fired in Arizona after just a few days.  When asked about Backman’s antics in the NY-Penn League, an exec from a rival team shrugged his shoulders and said, “Don’t get me started on the (crap) that guy pulled.” Continue reading »

Swallows Return to New York Sports

By Eddie Mayrose

Each year, around the feast of St. Joseph (March 19th) the famous cliff swallows of San Juan Capistrano return from their winter vacation spot 6,000 miles south in Goya, Corrientes, Argentina. While it is truly one of nature’s wonders, it isn’t as unique as many might think. Here in New York, we annually celebrate the return of our own type of swallows; loony birds with no capacity to remember past failures who are destined to perpetuate their own suffering.

New York Jet Fans Return to Capistrano

My heart goes out to Cheap Seater Lou Ricciardi. He’s been mentioned before in this space as a long suffering Jet fan that can’t stop himself from being sucked into the hype. Perhaps in an attempt to conceal his gullibility, Lou sent me a blurb that he found on a Jets blog, rather than put his own name to the same, misguided optimism. Anyway, some poor slob submitted a long post about the death of the “Same Old Jets” and mocking Gang Green’s naysayers. As if his heart won’t be broken once again. Continue reading »

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