Davey Johnson Back in the Game

by Eddie Mayrose

It’s been a wild couple of weeks for the Washington Nationals. First, and foremost, they’ve opened eyes around the baseball world by putting together an incredible hot streak that saw them register 12 wins in 13 games, raising their record above .500 at a later point in the season than at any time since they were the Montreal Expos.

Then, in a very bizarre twist, the Nats saw their skipper, Jim Riggleman, take his ball and go home when he couldn’t secure a contract extension. It was an act of virtual career suicide, as it’s hard to imagine any other franchise hiring a leader prone to abandon his troops mid-battle.

Riggleman, rumored to have had trouble with some of Washington’s more veteran players, maintained that his lame duck status undermined his authority. Whether that’s true or not, Riggleman decided he’d had enough, opening the door for what could be a great story. Continue reading »

The Doctor is In

by Eddie Mayrose

Ray Kinsella: “Fifty years ago, for five minutes you came within… you came this close.  It would KILL some men to get so close to their dream and not touch it.  God, they’d consider it a tragedy.”

Dr. Archibald “Moonlight” Graham: “Son, if I’d only gotten to be a doctor for five minutes… now that would have been a tragedy.”

One of our favorite scenes from the classic, “Field of Dreams”, regarded by FantasySportsDirt staff as the greatest film ever made.  While we admire Moonlight’s dedication to the wonderful people of Chisholm, Minnesota, we can’t help but wish that Giants’ manager John McGraw had “waved a bony finger in my direction” just a few innings earlier, enabling the rookie to get that one Major League at bat that had eluded him.

With just about half of the 2011 season in the books, maybe we can pave the way for Moonlight to combine his two passions, as our mailbag is filled with letters from patients complaining of many symptoms that have their Fantasy Baseball teams under the weather and seeking advice.  Whattaya think, Doc? Continue reading »

One Amazin’ Blunder

by Eddie Mayrose

Back in March, just as we were starting to find out that the Wilpons’ involvement in the Madoff scandal would have a significant impact on their franchise, Jose Reyes approached the Mets about a contract extension. Coming off three straight seasons that saw time lost to injury, Reyes wasn’t exactly in a prime bargaining position. However, at 27 years old and entering the prime of his career, he could at least point to the fact that, when healthy, he’d spent a few seasons as one of the game’s elite players. This was an opportunity for the Mets to lock up a core player — one around whom you build a franchise, on the cheap. As is their modus operandi, though, the Wilpons failed to pull the trigger.

Talk radio debates raged among the “first-time, longtime” crowd as to whether or not the Amazins’ should commit to Reyes. Then, the season started and Reyes quickly reminded the baseball world that it was, in fact, injury that had robbed him of his brilliance, not fading skills. He has reestablished himself as the game’s finest shortstop, while becoming an offensive juggernaut in a park seemingly built with his talent in mind. While the middle of the Mets’ order has spent much of 2011 on the disabled list, Reyes has kept his team in Wild Card contention, thrusting himself into the middle of MVP discussions. Continue reading »

by Eddie Mayrose

Gee, Can They Keep It Up?

After Friday night’s dominating performance against the Pirates, Dillon Gee’s record stood at 7-0, a level never before seen by a Mets’ rookie. Gee has made the most of the opportunity presented to him as a result of the many injuries with which New York has had to deal to this point, no doubt bolstering the chances of many Fantasy Owners that took a chance and plucked him from the free agent wire. The young hurler hasn’t convinced everyone, however, as he’s owned in just 65% of the leagues on CBSSportsline.  Those owners that are hesitant to jump on board are, no doubt, wondering if Gee has already peaked and an acquisition at this point is too late; something the late, great Forte Bellino of the Hausier’s Krowedum Fantasy League used to describe as, “Missed the wedding, made the funeral.”

In Gee’s case, his production  is supported by his peripheral stats, especially his AAA numbers, where he posted a terrific K/BB ratio last season.  That Gee has now established himself in the Mets’ short rotation, also reassures potential owners that he’ll have plenty of opportunity the rest of the way.  If you need pitching, Gee is a solid pickup in our book.  Should you be one of the sharp guys that picked him up early, hang on.  As for other players who have surprised so far, let’s shine the Moonlight on a few and take a look. Continue reading »

by Eddie Mayrose

Some Projected Stars Continue to Disappoint

Every Fantasy Baseball season introduces us to player performances that we never could have anticipated, and 2011 has not disappointed.  There has been the incredible rebirth of Lance Berkman in St. Louis and the jaw dropping performance of Jose Bautista in Toronto, where the Jays’ star has actually followed a breakout season with another.  We’ve had the surprise performances of Dillon Gee and Alexi Ogando, two hurlers that certainly went undrafted in all but the deepest leagues, each now sitting at 6-0.  Not many of us had heard the names of Darwin Barney or Justin Turner before the season started, but the two middle infielders have delivered more than 20 RBI apiece, giving a huge boost to owners, especially in NL only formats.  In Detroit, Alex Avila has burst on the scene with 8 HR and 31 RBI, while Asdrubal Cabrera has become the best shortstop in the majors.

While these and quite a few other success stories will no doubt be the ones recounted by league champions as the acquisitions that put them over the top, they are not the season’s most remarkable.  That title belongs to the surprisingly large number of stars that have broken from the gate in disastrous fashion.  We’re not talking about Joe Mauer or David Wright, disabled studs taken in the first or second round, as injuries are the obstacles that Fantasy Owners must, annually, overcome. Continue reading »

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