Thursday, August 31, 2006

Fantasy Baseball Express: Adopt a Prospect! for the month of September!

Are you "in it to win it?" or did you already throw your team to the scrap heap and forget about your league? Whether you still have a shot at a championship or you're in a keeper league for next year, the following maybe be quite important so don't go forgetting about your team just yet! I know the Football tease is on, but just take a moment to soak in this strategy.

If you listened to the latest Podcast, I mentioned that it might be the right time to possibly unseat a veteran who has been taking up space in your lineup for someone more potent, like a hot hitting prospect! What I am saying is that now that September is upon us, we need to crack down and really do whats in the best interest for our fantasy teams. It might be time to bench "debbie downers" as my wife calls them for that "lightning in a bottle". Here's an example.....
The D-Rays just called up Delmon Young fresh off a suspension and major league ready since spring training. Anybody who's anybody in Fantasy Baseball knows the potential of this young man, so we all go and pick him up for the final month. Now, you look at your team and you say, "oops! Who the heck do I take out?" ........ Let me tell you who!

Now, if you are in first place or in second and quite close, you don't necessarily want to toggle with your lineup and ruin the chemistry, however, it could work in some ways. For example, Adam Dunn will get you a homerun or two every couple of games and some runs, but thats all he's good for. Since most of us have Dunn in our outfield, personally, I think its wise to finally bench Dunn and replace him with a Delmon Young.... if you have him of course. Other players you could give the 'ole "heave-ho" to are guys like Pat Burrell, Scott Podsednick, and maybe a Cliff Floyd who are sporatic as of late. Just keep in mind that Young is the only player I recommend this with in your outfield at this time. Obviously, if your outfield blows to begin with, you could also take a minute to look at guys like Chris B. Young, Carlos Quentin, Shin Soo Choo, Chris Duncan, Corey Hart and Gabe Gross who all can create a bit of a spark.

The only other two players I trust in this situation are Howie Kendrick and Stephen Drew. Kendrick has hit above .340 at every level and is in the majors to stay. He will find playing time everyday for the rest of the season as will Drew who both have been a hit machines since being called up. Both are fantastic options in Head to Head leagues because they do it all. Guys I might think about benching for Drew and Kendrick are Bobby Crosby, Aaron Hill, or actually anyone not name Jeter, Tejada, Reyes, or Hanley Ramirez at SS. Jhonny Peralta is borderline right now because he disappointed us this year although he has been hitting as of late. I'd even use Kendrick over guys like Marcus Giles, Josh Barfield, Jose Castillo, Tadahito Iguchi, Ray Durham, etc.

Just remember to do your homework. Young, Drew, and Kendrick are great young prospects and are risky, but should still be able to create the spark you may need to help your team up the standings in this final month. Don't be afraid to make changes. If your sitting pretty in 3rd or 4th with a shot, make a move or two and shake things up....I guarantee you see a difference! But don't get carried away taking out all your veterans for young call-ups. Only make the moves if the veterans you are benching are not getting it done. Right now, a boost in average, runs, and stolen bases seem to be what will propel your team up the standings!

Good luck and do your homework!

Fantasy Baseball Express

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Boston Massacre.... The Fantasy Man was there!

There was no John Adams or Paul Revere this time to help save Boston which witnessed its 3rd "Massacre" in 235 years and first since the incredible feat of the 1978 Yankees and the heroics of one Mr. Bucky Dent. As the Yankees destroyed the Red Sox in a five game sweep this past weekend, The Fantasy Man was lucky enough to just be in the stadium Saturday afternoon to witness this castastrophe. Of course, it was a catastrophe that put a smile on my face and a smile on the faces of all the other Yankees fans who outlasted Boston fans still in the stadium in the 9th inning. After the 6th and a Jorge Posada bases clearing triple and the excitement from Yankee fans died down, it was like crickets when the Sox finally came up to the plate. Why? Because all of the Boston fans were already filing out of the stadium. Man, what a sight! The beer never tasted better!

Fenway park is a masterpiece. You walk into this place and you can feel the aura, not like Yankee Stadium, but pretty damn close. I love going to places that feel and look historic and original and Fenway is such a place. As we walked around, I just couldn't help myself but to compare Fenway Park to Yankee Stadium and I thought you guys would enjoy this. Here's a little bit as to what I came up with.....

Yankee Stadium - The best hot dogs in town! NY Pretzels that are unmatched anywhere.
Fenway Park - Sausage and Peppers coming out of their ears. Can't get away from it. Pretzels are smaller that the frozen ones you get in the grocery store. However, more options for Chicken, Sausage, Sandwiches, Pizza.....and Beer! Many different kinds of Beer.

Food Service
Yankee Stadium - Yikes! You can be the 2nd person on line and literally stand there for an inning and a half. The lines go all the way down the hallway. The food customer service at Yankee Stadium blows!!!! People behind the counter are more interested in their nails, hair, and slowness then getting the food out quick and keeping lines short! Arrrghhh!!! I can go off all day about this!
Fenway Park - Young people, college kids serve food and do the vending. They are quick and lines are always short! Excellent!

Yankee Stadium - Unbeatable! No question the best but most ruthless/dedicated fans in all of sports! I can write pages upon pages on what Yankees fans like to do. Every Boston fan gets heckled no questions asked!
Fenway Park - From what I saw, I did not see one Yankee fan get heckled publically....although it seemed that 75% of fans were Yankee fans anyway. The people seemed.......nice. I had a nice conversation with an elderly lady sitting next to me who had season tickets since she was 10. Talk about die hard! She had the biggest smile on her face when Manny hit that bomb to tie it up 3-3 on Saturday. She made sure I saw that smile. I was going to shake her hand after the game and say good game.....but ooops, she left after the 6th inning! That made me smile!

Souvenir Prices
Yankee Stadium - Through the roof!
Fenway Park - See Yankee Stadium!

Yankee Stadium - Parking close to stadium for $12. Its a hassle but okay and plenty of parking if they squeeze you in the shady alleyways.
Fenway Park - Parking close to the stadium for $25-$30...if you can find one of the 2 lots. If not, you can park down the street somewhere for free and walk.

Yankee Stadium - Needs renovating (or a new stadium) but nearly all sightlines are clear. Seats approximately 56,000 and seats are comfortable. Bleachers are benches and are not to comfortable and nobody sits in the spot they are designated. Its a free-for-all!
Fenway Park - Still use the old style chairs under the upper deck. Park holds about 33,000 nice people. So small almost looks like a minor league ballpark. Old Style seats not too comfortable.

Thats all I have for now. This weekend was fantastic! Not only because the Yanks destroyed Boston, but because I got to spend a nice weekend in a city that I have never been too. Although this list above can go either way, I'd still prefer the ruthlessness of Yankee Stadium over Fenway anyday!

Go Yanks!

Fantasy Baseball Express

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

In with the Old and out with the New.....

I want to kick start our new theme at Fantasy Baseball Express with an article about a real strategy that works. I played around with this a bit last year and for me, it was a success. When I say "In with the Old and out with the New", I am talking about the possibility of dumping some young players for veterans who can help your team win. Then again, we are playing Fantasy Baseball to win money, to win a championship. Keeper league or not, if you are in a position to win that championship and that money we should have no hard feelings about letting go of a possible young stud keeper for a sure fire veteran to help you win. Nobody could have expected that Francisco Liriano would get hurt and possibly be out for the rest of the season. Imagine trading Liriano 3 weeks ago for say someone like Grady Sizemore and Greg Maddux as I did in a free yahoo league I play in. My pitching is so strong, I didn't need Liriano. I also did not know he'd get hurt, but lucky me...right? Imagine trading Jon Lester 2 or 3 weeks ago when he was still 5-0 for Greg Maddux who has been pitching lights out. Craig Biggio has been hot, David Wells is back, John Smoltz has also been lights out and racking up K's at the same time. Do you see where I am going with this?

I have been noticing a trend the past few years and maybe its all luck, but rookie players, especially pitchers, can get real streaky. They start hot and will have an ERA under 3 for their first 4 or 5 games and then they'll get ripped up for a few starts....i.e. Lester, Chuck James, Weaver, Sowers (although Sowers has been hot again). What I am saying is that the middle of August is a great time to trade those young studs who are still learning and going through growing pains for veteran studs who are putting it together for the home stretch and are more consistent. Think about this..... We know what Tom Glavine is going to do game after game, do we know what Jared Weaver is going to do? Does Tom Glavine give up 5 runs a game in 2 out of his last 4 starts? Not usually. Its normally the veteran pitchers who have to pitch well to help their teams make the playoffs. What I am saying is that rookie stud pitchers rarely keep up their hot streaks once they are called up. Jared Weavwe started out great and won his first few games before finally hitting a rough patch the last few weeks. Same with Lester and Sowers. Sowers has been super hot lately so he could be an exception as he has had his bumps already. Same with Hamels too. My point here is that if you have an offer of Greg Maddux for James or Hamels, I'd take it. Experienced veteran players are the safer pick. A lot of these rookies and prospects are still learning, unconsistent, and unreliable.

My next thought is the waiver wire. Its time to drop guys like Nick Markakis, Zach Duke, Jason Botts, the guys just wasting away on your roster, and pick up these veterans! Guys like Maddux may still be available. David Wells should also be available now that he is healthy and pitching for Boston. Its the veterans who you can trust now more than anyone. Even guys who have been good all year like Mussina and Tom Glavine. John Smoltz has been a total stud racking up K's and a nice WHIP lately. As for hitting, we are finally seeing Mark Tex hitting the way he should. Also, guys like Craig Biggio, Juan Uribe and Adrian Beltre have been scorthing hot. That's obviously an ugly list, but at the moment, they're hitting! My point here is to try to get these guys thrown in for a trade as an extra since their stock is already extremely low. If not, look add some of these veterans off the waiver wire. If they are helping their team make a championship, they can help you for your fantasy championship too!

The idea here is to shake up your team first. Second, you have to do some studying. Which teams are in the playoff race. Look at the American League with the Yankees, Red Sox, White Sox, Tigers and Twins. In the National League is the Mets, Atlanta, St. Louis and Houston and then the enitre NL West. Then look at those teams and see who has something to prove, especially veterans. Also, keep in mind, most of these players play every day as opposed to young players who often get spelled for a veteran player every once in a while.

This is just a strategy that I look into every August. My picks right now are Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and David Wells as veteran players who will have a good September. Keep your eye on them. Better yet, try to swindle them in a trade or steal them off the waiver wire.

Fantasy Baseball Express

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Fantasy Man: Redefined!

Over the last few months I have learned that a little persistence can really pay off! I have come to find that since January, when Fantasy Baseball Express @ hit the Superhighway, we have accumulated over 3.5 million hits in these few months. I am assuming thats a combination of page views, unique hits, and my very faithful returning hitters. I also know that the podcast "The Fantasy Man Show" consistently brings in over 500+ loyal listeners/downloaders every time I hit the air. I relate that to the Free and Knowledgeable Fantasy Baseball Advice I gladly share to anyone who needs it. I also receive about 20 - 30 emails per day asking for precious and timely fantasy baseball advice...... and they get it in a timely fashion!

Let's just say that I truly love Fantasy Baseball. Its a hobby for me, something to kill free time and keep myself busy. What started out as a fun test to see what I sounded like when I recorded myself turned into a full blown popular fantasy baseball podcast and website. Thank you to all of those who have supported this cause over the last few months. Now its time to bust out the whoopin' stick..........

Over the next few weeks, I will be slowly turning Fantasy Baseball Express into something larger. Its time for the boys to become men! I am going to be giving the website a bit of a make over, although I am not a pro web designer, nor will I ever pay for one, I am doing my best to make the site as professional, interactive and as user-friendly as possible. The new concept I have for this is great! I cannot wait to get the ball rollin'! I don't want to give it away just yet because I want to keep you all in suspense for now! However, this new theme I came up with will be coordinated with the Podcasts as well. Its a theme that will not only benefit the website and its overall perception, but it will benefit YOU, the people who need timely fantasy baseball advice.

Check back at the site every few days and I promise you will start to see the website take shape. Once my new concept is uploaded and updated, it will only be a matter of time before Fantasy Baseball Express turns itself into the favorite website of all Fantasy Baseball Junkies!

The success of this website and the Podcasts really depends on the people that use it, the fans, the Fantasy Baseball Fans that need Free advice when they have no where else to turn!

Let the Fantasy Man help!
Thank you!

Mikey a.k.a. The Fantasy Man