After the Break, Some Fly, Others Flop

by Moonlight Graham

Moonlight regular, Joe Mreczko, posed a question about pitchers that might be able to help his Fantasy Baseball team over the second half of the season.  It’s actually a two-sided question, as any Fantasy Baseball owner should be just as worried about the hurlers to avoid as the ones to target.  So, in order to help Joe work his way past all of the Phillie cheese steaks in his league, here’s a special, Moonlight, second half preview from sixty feet six inches.

Grab Bag

Any list of post All Star Break Studs has to begin with Johan Santana as the Mets’ ace is 64-19 over his career in the second half.  Don’t be fooled by his mundane 8-5 record, either. He’s suffered eight no decisions in which he’s allowed just nine runs.  Use his struggles to your advantage by grabbing him from J-Roller frustrated to this point.

Detroit’s Max Scherzer must have been given a magic elixir upon being sent to the minors a little more than a month ago as he suddenly discovered the velocity that had been missing through the early part of the season.  Since his return, Scherzer is 4-3 while averaging 7 K per start.  His numbers still appear unimpressive because of the slow start so, he may come cheap.

Javier Vasquez has spent half a season seeking the approval of ignorant Yankee fans convinced he didn’t belong in the rotation.  He’s the #2 starter now, (as predicted here in February), but may still be undervalued.  Go out and grab him. Continue reading »

MLB Clubs Undermine Own Chances at Title

by Moonlight Graham

In 2003, in an attempt to regenerate fan interest just a year after a lack of available pitchers forced MLB Commissioner Bud Selig to declare the All Star Game a tie, Baseball’s hierarchy decreed that the Mid-Summer Classic would now determine home field advantage in the World Series. It wasn’t already bad enough that the rosters were watered down by the requirement that each team, no matter how bad, must be represented; now, a player from a second division club could have a hand in deciding the outcome of the sport’s premier event months in advance.

While the move was and is opposed by many, I never really had a problem with it.  Not because I agree with the concept; it’s completely ridiculous to think I’m staying up that late to watch Garrett Jones of the Pittsburgh Pirates face Kansas City Royals’ closer Joakim Soria because I’d like the Mets to have home field if they get that far.  However, because the old system of alternating the privilege was also completely without merit, I figured, “Who cares?”  Until I realized that the new policy actually gives mindless fans the opportunity to hurt their team’s shot at a championship; often at the prompting of it’s own front office. We’ve all been to the ballpark in the early part of the season and heard the huge pitch to vote for the hometown boys.  Actually, you don’t even have to attend a game anymore, as on-line balloting has given everyone a voice.  “Send Joe Blow to Los Angeles for the All Star Game”, blare the ads.  “Forget the stats, vote for our guys!”  On the surface, a nice marketing strategy, but one that could prove fatal to a championship run.  Continue reading »

Why the World Cup is Outrageously Disappointing

by Chris Ippolito

During my years at Marist College, I came across very few true hockey fans.  As a die hard Rangers fan and ardent supporter of USA hockey, I felt obligated to push hockey on my housemates, who fortunately, were extremely open-minded about it from the beginning.  Two years after their introduction, I would consider three of the four of them good Rangers fans and all of them huge supporters of USA hockey (not a hard feat after Team USA’s Olympic performance).

With this in mind, all of my housemates were soccer supporters.  Realizing the strides that they took in their hockey fandom, they tried pushing “the beautiful game” on me.  Selfishly, I was not as open minded about watching soccer as they were to watching hockey.  To be blunt, I can’t stand watching the sport.  I played for about six years as an adolescent, even captaining my travel team for my final two years.  However, once I discovered football, I left soccer for good, never to return.  Every time one of my housemates would put soccer on the tube, I would go upstairs to my room to watch Mike Francesa or ESPN’s Around the Horn.  One afternoon, as I was about to do just this for approximately the 50th time, I was called out by all of them.  After insisting that I just simply couldn’t sit there watching a million inconsequential passes and a trillion dives a game, they made one simple request of me: “At least watch the World Cup and support the USA.”   So, wanting to placate my now fellow hockey supporters, I obliged. Continue reading »

by Eddie Mayrose

NBA Finals Dilemma

It seemed like such a simple choice.  As the NBA Finals began, I stood firmly behind the Boston Celtics as two of my favorite players, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett led Doc Rivers’ squad into another Finals matchup with the Lakers.  That Los Angeles features both Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant, a pair of NBA figures for whom I’ve never had any tolerance, made the decision to back the boys from Beantown all the easier.  Until I realized, however, that Nate Robinson, longtime headcase acquired in mid-season from the Knicks, would garner a championship ring should the Celtics triumph. Ouch. Now I’m left to pull for the impossible during tonight’s Game 7.  Can both teams lose? Continue reading »

By Eddie Mayrose

St. John’s Basketball May Be Out of the Norm

If this is where it ends for St. John’s Head Coach Norm Roberts, if yesterday’s loss to Marquette; his 100th, is the one from which he is not permitted to return, he need only to look in his own backyard as the reason he was unable to return St. John’s to the upper echelon of college basketball.

Charged with cleaning up the scandal ridden mess left by his predecessor, Mike Jarvis, Roberts has been every bit the classy, gentlemanly face Red Storm administrators had hoped when he was hired.  Despite their lack of success, his teams have been the kind of hard working, blue collar squads appreciated by coaches everywhere.  What they lacked, however, was that star player to put them over the top. The player that bails you out on a bad day.  The player that brings your school recognition with a successful NBA career.  The player that draws the media to practice and the fans to Madison Square Garden.  The player that, sadly, toils in High School gyms throughout the Metropolitan area but hasn’t decided to bring his game to Queens.  Having gone his entire tenure without recruiting a player that went on the the NBA, Roberts may have had his fate sealed last month, when just 3,500 showed up at the Garden on the night the Johnnies honored the 1985 Final Four squad led by Chris Mullin; the most recognizable player in their history. Continue reading »

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