Obscure Pick-ups Could Hold Key to a Title

by Eddie Mayrose

During the course of a Fantasy Baseball season, there will be a number of opportunities for you to make a run toward the top of the standings.  Early on, there’s a lot of competition for free agents as owners not satisfied with the roster they drafted try to upgrade. Quick evaluations to distinguish who starts from breakout seasons are necessary here but, unfortunately, are not that common.  Big chunks of a transaction budget are often spent with little bang for the buck.

Another is, usually, after the first trade of the season is made within your league.  That initial swap always seems to open the floodgates for a week or two as owners in contention vie to keep pace. Here, again, it’s important to be able to recognize a flash in the pan, although, with a larger body of work, it’s a little easier.

Then,as the Fantasy deadline approaches,sometimes a few weeks after the MLB deadline, the HAVES, gearing up for a stretch run to a title, pillage the rosters of the, by now, disinterested HAVE NOTS, who are simply looking to improve their positions heading into next year. Continue reading »

As The Clock Strikes Midnight

by Eddie Mayrose

With the MLB trade deadline nearing and rumors about which players may be moved continue to dominate the headlines, Fantasy owners in championship contention must evaluate their own rosters while making sense of the ramifications of those deals made by their front office counterparts in the Major Leagues.

At this point in the season, the most direct method to upgrade one’s Fantasy team is usually via trade; as it is unlikely, except in the most shallow of leagues, that any viable free agents still live on the free agent wire.  Unlikely, that is, in mixed leagues, as there are even fewer options in AL and NL only formats.  That said, it is critical for any owner to focus on the most productive avenue to make the most valuable transaction possible.

In a previous column, we talked about the proper mechanics of a trade; that the focus should be on the statistical impact rather than equal value.  Let’s take that a step further today and offer up some names that could be helpful over the season’s final two months.

First, a quick glance of your position in the league’s categories is necessary.  Discount BA, OBP, ERA and WHIP and any other “average” statistics, as any player that you might acquire will not significantly impact those categories in such a short time.  Rather, it is the “accumulated” categories, especially SB, S and W where your new players will give you the largest return on investment. Continue reading »

Yanks’ First Half MVP?  It’s Brian Cashman

by Eddie Mayrose

Tell the truth. Last February, if you’d somehow found out that the Yankees would be without Rafael Soriano and Joba Chamberlain in the back of their bullpen, that Mark Teixeira would be hitting just .240 in July and that Alex Rodriguez would have just 13 HR in an injury-plagued season, you’d have been hoping for a third-place finish in the AL East. At best. Yet, here are the Bombers, without one truly reliable pitcher in their rotation after C.C. Sabathia, sitting just a game-and-a-half behind the Red Sox in the game’s toughest division while enjoying a seven-game Wild Card lead over its closest rival. How? Look no further than General Manager Brian Cashman.

Cashman was vilified over the winter for his perceived disloyalty to the Yankee organization — first, by refusing to be suckered into bidding against himself for the services of Derek Jeter, then, for not falling in line behind the signing of Soriano, which was orchestrated over his head. Jeter, despite the incredible fashion in which he eclipsed 3,000 hits, has been muddling along with a batting average below last year’s, the worst of his career, while registering just 17 extra-base hits. Soriano, after disappointing early, is on the DL with no return date in sight. At this juncture, Cashman looks anything but disloyal; rather, he seems to have had a crystal ball. Maybe the baseball decisions should be left to the baseball guys. Continue reading »

Making the Right Trade

by Eddie Mayrose

With the Major League trading deadline just two weeks away, Fantasy players, especially AL or NL only owners, are following the progress of trade negotiations involving their star players.  Will Carlos Beltran continue his resurgence in New York, where he’s stated he like to finish his career? If not, will he end up in San Francisco, where home runs are as hard to come by as they are in CitiField?  The Yankees are in the market for another hurler, especially after retreads Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon threw batting practice in Toronto this weekend.  Could their failure mean a new address for Wandy Rodriguez?

As MLB general managers seek to gain equal value throughout the trade process, Fantasy owners are also approaching trade deadlines- many under the misconception that they, too, must receive compensation on a par with the players they relinquish.

Too often, Fantasy Owners use the wrong criteria to evaluate a trade.  They forget that ours is a game driven solely by statistics and with no regard for defense, contract status or a player’s ability to assimilate into his new environment.  As a result, many miss opportunities to solidify their title hopes. Continue reading »

Who’d a Thunk? They Were Actually Listening

by Eddie Mayrose

It was a long and difficult season. I had been coaching the fifth grade CYO basketball team in my parish for five campaigns and that year’s version was, by far and away, the smallest. There was not a single team in the league that didn’t have three players taller than our biggest guy and it showed in our winless record.

We played hard every week, ran our offense, trapped all over the floor on defense and rarely lost by more than five or six points. But, we did always lose.

I learned a lot from that team; still, to this day, my favorite. We came to practice twice a week and worked hard — running drills, improving skills and supporting each other. We, as a group, became so focused on getting that first win that we bonded like no other team I’d ever had. Personally, I felt like I was right in there with them, a member of the team rather than its coach; wanting more than anything to see these determined ten-year-olds enjoy some measure of success.

Don’t misunderstand. This was a talented bunch that saw eight of its nine members go on to play in high school. They were just so … so small. When games would get tight in the fourth quarter, they couldn’t get a rebound, no matter how hard they tried. Yet, they’d show up at practice two days later as if it was the season’s first. Continue reading »

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