By Eddie Mayrose
Who’s Number Three?

With MLB teams in training camp and the weather here in the Northeast, finally, heating up, Fantasy Baseball draft prep is well underway. One of the answers being sought by Fantasy Owners during the process, whether the format is Roto or Head to Head, is, “what player should be selected with the third pick in the draft?”

For the last few seasons, with few exceptions, the first two players to come off the board in most Mixed drafts have been Albert Pujols and Hanley Ramirez.  Pujols for his general excellence and Ramirez for his statistical prowess across all categories at an annually weak position. The next pick, however, is one that varies from league to league and player to player.  If you’re actually sitting in that slot, yours is an important position.  You are not only laying the foundation for your own team, but you’ll be dictating the direction of the rest of the first round.

What follows is an analysis of those MLB stars that have appeared in the three hole of a large number of Mixed Mock Drafts.  We’ll give you a brief rundown of the pros and cons of each, then let you know where we stand.  No matter where you come down on this issue, don’t let position scarcity factor into your decision.  It’s way too early to pass on pure production for the sake of grabbing a guy at a weak spot. Continue reading »

by Eddie Mayrose

Four years ago, when Tim Shanahan signed on as the assistant women’s basketball coach at the College of Staten Island, he thought it the perfect way to transition into retirement from his professional life.  A former Major in the Family Court system of New York, the married father of three was more than happy to fill the void in his daily calendar by coaching the sport he loves.  He’d worked with the basketball team at his alma mater, New Utrecht High School, and then with his boyhood friend from Dyker Heights, Tom Sclafani, who runs a program in New Jersey.  This gig, however, would allow the transplanted Brooklynite, now a Staten Island resident, to remain close to home.  The one drawback would be that his schedule would conflict with that of his daughter, who had accepted a basketball scholarship at Dominican College in Orangeburg, NY and was beginning her freshman year. Continue reading »

The Injured Return: Risk/Reward
by Eddie Mayrose

Stand outside the draft room of any Fantasy Baseball League and you’ll run into him when it’s all over.  He’s in every league; we all know him.  He’s the guy who selects an All Star team from two years prior but, because of injuries, starts every scouting report with, “If he stays healthy…”

Truth be told, there is room for but one or two comebacks on any successful Fantasy baseball team.  More than that and you’re pushing the odds that are stacked against you.  And, like your buddy who’ll spend the winter telling anyone who’ll listen that, “If my guys hadn’t gotten hurt…” you’ll be at the bottom of your standings. Continue reading »

by Eddie Mayrose

I’ve never liked hockey. The puck’s too hard to follow on TV, the fighting is a ridiculous waste of time and playoff games that went into overtime would cut into Baseball Tonight during the first month of the baseball season. It’s ironic, then, that a sport with so little meaning to me would serve as the starting point of one of the greatest friendships of my life.

It was 1980. Tommy Kane and I were each coaching in St. Patrick’s Little League that season, one in which volunteers were scarce. So scarce, actually, that the league had been forced to enlist coaches as umpires. This meant that, after you finished coaching your own game, you had to don the equipment and go behind the dish for the next. It wasn’t ideal, but it worked.

On this particularly hot, June Saturday, I had coached the 8 a.m. game and umpired Kane’s  immediately thereafter. Exhausted, I was on my way home when he flagged me down. There was urgency in his voice as he blocked my path.

“Mayrose, you have to do this game for me. I just got tickets to the Islanders game this afternoon!” Now, I was aware that the New York Islanders were on the verge of their first Stanley Cup, but I really didn’t care. However, I was an extremely kind and sensitive young man when I was 18, as evidenced by my response.

“Get bent, fat boy. I don’t care if the Islanders give you skates and let you play. It’s 100 degrees, I’ve been here since 7 a.m. and if I do another game I’ll melt. Forget it.”

Desperate, he played his ace in the hole: “I’ll take you to see Billy Joel.”

“Gimme the mask.” Continue reading »

By Eddie Mayrose

Knicks and Johnnies Bring Life Back to World’s Most Famous Arena

After the Golden State Warriors visited Madison Square Garden on November 10th and beat up a defenseless Knicks squad that saw its record drop to 3-8, it seemed as if the faithful were in for another terrible season of basketball on 32nd St. and 7th Ave.  Making matters more painful was that this was the year that Knicks’ brass had targeted for a turnaround.  But, they’d failed to land either LeBron James or Chris Bosh during the offseason and, worse, were floating the idea of bringing back Isiah Thomas; the very face of the debacle that had been the last decade.  A playoff berth, let alone a championship run, seemed like a fantasy.

Around the same time, I was discussing the decline of the St. John’s basketball program with Nolan Adams, assistant men’s basketball coach at the College of Mount Saint Vincent who opened my eyes with a comment that was both obvious and unbelievable at the same time.  When I suggested that the downfall of both Mike Jarvis and Norm Roberts was their failure to recruit kids from New York city, he pointed out that there was now, “… an entire generation of players that has never known St. John’s as a basketball power.”  It was a sad realization, but true nonetheless.  No one under the age of 20 would have seen the legendary Big East battles between the Johnnies and Georgetown, Syracuse or Villanova.  None would have watched them in a NCAA tournament game and, certainly, never have followed a St. John ’s alum through the first round of the draft and into the NBA. Continue reading »

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