Thursday, April 29, 2010

NL King - "Be Who You Are" and Quick Hits

I have noticed in the past that many owners who have had their fantasy teams get off to slow starts, are sometimes very quick to pull a trade to wake up their team. Making the right trade for your team of course is a good move anytime. If you have depth in one area and you can pull a trade and get equal value to help another area that makes sense. But remember, "be who you are".

I am a big fan of the New York Jets and last off-season Coach Rex Ryan said we are going to "be who we are" when we take the field. What Rex Ryan meant by that is, the Jets were a running team that played good defense and put pressure on the quarterback and he said that's how we are going to play. So why do I bring this up in terms of your fantasy baseball team? Well, you have to remember the game plan you had putting together your team and what it's strengths are. So far instance, if your team is off to a slow start because you have a number of good hitters struggling you do not trade a strong starting pitcher because guys like Jason Bay or Brandon Phillips or Hunter Pence are off to slow starts and wreck one of your biggest strengths of your team. If you need help on hitting or pitching look to find a deal where you can get a $10 - $15 player who has some upside for an equivalent player in area where you have depth. However, you do not trade the core of your team due to slow starts. Remember be who you are and be patient.

Quick Hits:
- Ted Lilly showed that he had no rust at all in his 1st start of the season last weekend. He is so under rated in my opinion especially in an NL only league.
- Sounds like Carlos Beltran won't be ready until the all-star break

- Chris Young of SD had a setback in a different area of that shoulder. As a Chris Young owner (I had him at $1) I was hoping for 130 good IP this year. Don't expect more than that and quite frankly I would settle for 100 IP at this point.
- Trevor Hoffman is getting killed. Hoffman has already blown as many saves this year as he did last year (4) and more alarming is in just little under a month Hoffman has given up 6 HR. The Brewers are standing by him and quite frankly they need Hoffman to make it work. The Brewers do not have a Mike Adams or Luke Gregerson setting up as San Diego does so that gives Hoffman a touch of breathing room. However he has to settle down and settle down soon. As a Hoffman owner, I am very concerned because at his age and velocity he has to hit his spots and mix up his pitches well. If Hoffman doesn't do that he is going to get hit. If you are a Hoffman owner hopefully like me you have Latroy Hawkins if this is indeed the beginning of the end for Trevor. Now the Brewers have not said who it would be if they would make a switch who knows could be Todd Coffey or Carlos Villanueva or who knows else. But keep in mind the Brewers gave Hawkins a nice contract in the off-season (7.5 Million over 2 years) and remember Hawkins has the most experience in that bullpen besides Hoffman and probably most importantly Hawkins closed for close to 2 months for the Astros last year while Jose Valverde was injured and did a real good job. As a Hoffman owner let's hope it doesn't come to that.

NL King - C.Lizza

The Fantasy Man 2.0 - The Re-Invention is COMING!!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

NL King - The Art of theTrade - 5 Points You Should Follow

Point 1 - Respect Your Fellow Owner - I know there is a segment of fantasy baseball owners who feel they should start with a low ball offer. Personally if you are in a competitive league I don't see how you can expect a low offer to be accepted or close to being accepted. Furthermore, a vast majority of owners get very upset and insulted when you present with them a low ball offer. Also, not only will they not accept the offer most likely they will not counter back with a dialogue and in the future they will remember your poor offer and say to themselves... why am I going to contact that owner? Knowing this always send an offer that you can honestly say is at least fair.

Point 2 - Does the owner like your players? Has he communicated to you in the past... "I really like so & so?" Or has the owner had the player you are offering in the past and did that player do well for that owner? If you got the player in the most recent draft was that owner in the bidding towards the end? Did you outbid him in the end? Again the reason I am asking these questions is because if we can establish the other owner at least likes the player or players we are offering we are heading in the right direction in perhaps getting a deal done.

Point 3 - The Smell Test - Before sending the offer over to that particular owner review it one final time and ask yourself does it pass the smell test. Well, the trade works for me but how does it work for the other owner. Now everyone has different values on players and opinions and different philosophies on putting their team together. Having said that, if you can look at the offer and honestly say hey he may not do this deal or it may need to be tweaked etc but can say this is a fair offer then it's passed the smell test.

Point 4 - When the owner gets back to you and let's say declines the offer, try to establish a dialogue and find out why they turned down the deal and see if it's possible to change some of the parameters around to get it done. You need to effectively communicate to get deals done.

Point 5 - Always keep it friendly and positive. Good attitude and comradely helps gets deals done in my experience.

Final Point - Even if you cannot get a deal done and if you've followed these 5 points, the next go around with that same owner on a possible trade could work to your advantage. You have already established a positive rapport and given yourself a better chance to get a deal done.

NL King - C.Lizza

Sunday, April 25, 2010

NL King - Weekly Thoughts 4/25

Here are some quick hits on a few players in NL only leagues...

Aroldis Chapman - CIN - Once Chapman starts cutting down on the walks in the minors he will be up with the Reds. I would say between mid to late May. In his 1st 3 starts in AAA Chapman in 15 innings has only given up 1 earned run (0.60 ERA) and 9 hits while striking out 18. However he has walked 10 batters in the 15 innings.

Ike Davis - NY - What I like the most is he does not look overwhelmed and that is saying something for a young player who gets called up to the big leagues and playing in New York no less. Should be a solid $15 bat this year.

Chad Qualls - ARI - Very fortunate that the D-Backs do not have other bullpen options really to go to as this point and time in terms of closing games. But if Qualls continues to struggle it won't be long before he is loses his job.

Jason Bay - NY - Bay owners don't worry, he will get his numbers. Remember, Bay is very streaky.

Brad Lidge - PHI - Lidge looking good in his rehab outings and Ryan Madson has not jumped out of the gate. Lidge will be closing for the Phillies shortly.

Johnny Cueto - CIN - Off to a bad start and is complaining of a tired arm. Cueto owners keep an eye on him, Gave up 5 more earned runs on Saturday the 24th.

Ubaldo Jimenez - COL - Outside of Roy Halladay, no one has got off to a better start that Ubaldo. Already 4-0 with great ERA & Ratio numbers. It's looking like this is the year Jimenez will break through as an ace.

Matt Capps - WAS - Great start by Capps however must get those base runners down in save opportunities otherwise Capps will run into big trouble like he did last year.

NL King - C. Lizza

Thursday, April 22, 2010

NL King - The Cubs and Carlos Beltran

After watching the Cubs the first two games in their series against the Mets you realize the Cubs are a mess. They might be more of a mess than the Mets. The Cubs have made the Mets look good. Alfonso Soriano is not the same player anymore and in a radio interview Peter Gammons said that Lou Pinella told him that "Soriano can't run anymore." The Cubs have no table setters at all and all their guys strikeout way too much.

Not to mention the Cubs have no bullpen. In fact, the Cubs are so bad in the bullpen they are moving Carlos Zambrano from the rotation to the bullpen to cover the 7th & 8th innings as the bridge to Carlos Marmol. Zambrano will be the highest paid middle reliever ever (in the middle of a 5 year $90 million dollar contract which is 18 million per year). The reason Zambrano is moving to the bullpen is because Ted Lilly comes off the DL this weekend and joins the rotation. For Zambrano owners in an NL only league this a blow because in an NL only league I would imagine that Zambrano owners have him as their #3 starter. Hope the Zambrano experiment in middle relief is a short lived thing. Like I said the Cubs are a mess at least they are getting Lilly back. This is the kind of move that should have fans flock to buy Chicago Cubs MLB tickets ... NOT! You might now have to start looking around the MLB for a replacement SP but I'd stash Zambrano for now.

If the Cubs do not turn their season around soon you can expect some major changes from the Cubs with them looking toward the future. Both Ted Lilly & Derek Lee are free agents after this season and both are in their mid 30's. The Cubs have one of the top 5 payrolls in baseball and they are a bad baseball team. I would expect unless the Cubs to turn it around they will move both Lilly & Derek Lee for the best package of prospects they can get. It's impossible to find good pitching so as long as Lilly shows he is healthy a lot of teams will be interested. Interesting to note too is Aramis Ramirez has a player option after this season to void the rest of his contract. Having said that I wouldn't expect Ramirez to do that is he has roughly 3 more years after this season under his contract at about 15 million per season. Ramirez would have to put up a monster season or someone to give him a better deal going forward and when factor in Ramirez is getting older and has had a number of injury problems I would think that is remote. Having said all that I am sure the Cubs would be more than willing to move Aramis Ramirez given those factors. Remember the Cubs are stuck with the horrible Soriano contract and Zambrano is making 18 million a year as well for few more seasons.

Finally I can see the Cubs prized prospect shortstop Starlin Castro being part of the Cubs this season in two different scenario's. Now Castro just turned 20 in March and is playing for the Cubs AA team and Castro is tearing it up. In the first two weeks of the season Castro is hitting .380 with a 1HR & 12 RBI and has 3 doubles & 3 triples & 4 steals as well. Castro projects as lead-off hitter with really good power and huge speed. As I said at the top the Cubs a table setter and are desperately if Castro continues to light it up would they bring him up in May? Also if the Cubs decide to go the rebuilding route I can see the Cubs bringing Castro up come July to see if he is ready to be a major part of their team come opening day 2011.

Carlos Beltran - Not awful news but not good roto news for Beltran. Beltran saw his knee doctor this week and on WFAN (the #1 sports radio station in NY) they reported that Beltran still has hot spots on his knee and he cannot start baseball activities yet which by the way includes running. Beltran goes back to the doctor in early May to see if he can start baseball activities at that point and time. The word is those hot spots can need anywhere from another 2 to 6 weeks worth of rest before beginning baseball activities. Once Beltran begins baseball activities he should be back with the Mets in a months time from that point. So best case scenario for you Beltran owners is early June by also keep in mind the all star break is a realistic time table as well. Of course it could be somewhere in between as well but this goes against the last health report on Beltran that he was way ahead of schedule. That's why with injuries until the player is back assume nothing.

NL King - C.Lizza

Monday, April 19, 2010

NL KING - RED ALERT - Mets Call Up Top Prospect Ike Davis

Well folks, the Ike Davis era has began in Queens effective today, April 19th, as the Mets have called him up! Davis will be in the Mets lineup tonight.

Okay, so what do we know about Ike Davis? Davis was drafted in June 2008 in the 1st round by the Mets as a college player. Ike(the son of former major leaguer Ron Davis), is 23 years old and this off-season on Baseball America top 100 2010 Prospects list Davis was ranked # 62. He had a great spring for the Mets (hit .480 in 25 AB's with 3HR and 10 RBI's) and got off to a great start in AAA as well. In 10 games in AAA Buffalo, Davis was hitting .364 with a .500 OBP with 2HR and 5 total extra base hits. Davis is considered the Mets 1B of the future and the future is now. The Daniel Murphy injury(word is out at least another month hasn't even begun running yet), has opened the door for Davis. Davis is a very good power bat and by most accounts is a blue chip prospect.

If you have a hole in your fantasy baseball lineup or if you need some more power you should be able to snag Ike Davis off your league's waiver wire or free agency. Grab him if you can but don't confuse Davis as a savior to your lineup. Keep in mind, while Davis is a really good looking prospect at this point in the season, let's not confuse Davis'bat with Jason Heyward or Mike Stanton (Fla) or Jesus Montero (Yankees). Having said that, Ike can help your team in terms of power. Hard to gage what Davis would hit average wise but I would say be conservative and think around .250. If anything, pick him up and stash on your bench just in case he pans out... then use him as trade bait later in the season!

NL King - C.Lizza

Sunday, April 18, 2010

NL King - Patience Patience Patience

Patience my friends....patience! I know there is a bunch of you already pulling out your hair and cursing like a drunken sailor over the performance of your team and/or injuries for the first part of April. Remember one thing guys, IT'S APRIL !!!!

Look, I know everyone wants their team to get off to a good start and see their team on top of the standings. It's good for the ego - psyche and you have an extra bounce to your step it seems. I get it. But as I've said in a previous post, the baseball season for both real life and in fantasy is a marathon, not a sprint.

Currently, you should be reviewing your team for at least five minutes every day, looking at the waiver wire on possible guys who could help your team and seeing what is going on in MLB and how it effects your team and your league. But don't do anything rash like jump into some crazy panic trade. Don't get me wrong if after your draft you said to yourself I don't have enough steals or saves or power etc etc and you can make a trade where you deal from a area of strength / depth to help fix your weaknesses, then that is a good move. But don't go into panic mode because players like Jason Bay or Carlos Lee are off to horrible starts or a player like Jimmy Rollins is going to be out for 3 weeks or so.

Stay the course. I feel your pain and while my team is doing okay since my draft on Friday April 9th I have had Montero go down with a knee injury (out a month), C.Young go on the DL (SD, Pitcher), Ohlendorf miss a start and then eventually go on the DL, had Jeff Francis pushed back from late April to sometime in May and last night had Aaron Rowand get hit in the face with a pitch and he could go on the DL. So I get it but I feel I have a competitive team and if my guys perform I will be in the mix. KEEP THE FAITH AND DON'T PANIC !!!!

Quick Hits:
- Carlos Marmol owners should be very happy. Marmol has got off to a great start being absolutly dominant. Marmol has always had filthy stuff but his control has always been a problem. In his first 5 appearances Marmol has pitched 5 1/3 innings, batters are hitting .063 against him, has only issued 2 walks and has 11 strikeouts. Great start and maybe this year Marmol becomes the elite closer he is capable of becoming.

- Ted Lilly had a successful rehab start last week on now hopefully for Lilly owners will have his last rehab start this Monday the 19th. If that goes well Lilly will supposedly pitch for the Cubs on either April 24th or 25th.

- Jeff Francis starting to progress but his initial late April return is getting pushed back to sometime in May. Could be a good depth pitcher to stash on your bench.

NL King - C.Lizza

Saturday, April 17, 2010

NL King - Latest Thoughts During Week 2

- Brandon Webb threw from 70 feet this week and the D-Backs are now hoping he is ready to go June 1st. This is very eerily similar to what Webb went through last year. At this point, if he's on your team you cannot count on him.

- Ted Lilly makes an important rehab minor league start today. If all goes well he could be pitching in Wrigley by May 1st. He needs to get through a couple of rehab situations.

- Mike Leake got off to a pretty good start with his 1st MLB start on Sunday April 11th. Only gave up 1 run in 6 2/3 innings but would like to see more control (gave up 7 walks). Leake has a good pedigree as he was the 8th overall pick in last years draft and he comes from a strong college program in Arizona State. If he is on your waiver wire grab and stash him on your bench and see how he progresses.

- Watched the Mets earlier this week and the Met announcers mentioned that Carlos Beltran has not started baseball activities. Sounds like don't expect to see Beltran until at least June 1st.

- Jimmy Rollins was put on the DL with a calf strain and is out 2 to 4 weeks. These kind of injuries are slow healing so it probably will be closer to 4 weeks than 2. Don't waste your time with Wilson Valdez (he is there to catch the ball). Shane Victorino now goes from batting 7th to leading off. This is huge for Victorino owners.

- Looks like Miguel Montero will be out until late May. I feel your pain I am a Montero owner. Chris Snyder will give you some power numbers but I would be more worried about him killing your batting average.

- Jason Heyward looks like the real deal. If Heyward went $17 or less in your draft I hope you took my advice (article I wrote over the winter) and grabbed Heyward.

- Remember be patient. Monitor and keep close eyes on your team and the waiver wire but don't rush into any crazy trades. It's a marathon not a sprint.

NL King - C.Lizza

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Attacking The Attacker

I know I know.... It's not fantasy baseball but this article below about self defense and was contributed by a fantasy baseball manager and a huge loyal supporter of The Fantasy Man and Fantasy Baseball Express. Phillip has been emailing The Fantasy Man for advice for years and I wanted to help him spread his knowledge.

By the way, obviously you do not want to try any of this at home and I would assume this is just in case you are actually attacked. I am just passing along this useful information in hopes that maybe it becomes useful during a real attack. I, nor FBE, is responsible for any injury associated with this article. I'm just passing along the tips. So that's my disclaimer! Enjoy!

For more information about self defense, they're video series or to contact them, please visit the website at

If we ever become the victim of a violent attack, it is crucial that we understand how to attack the attacker. It is my advice to avoid, walk away or de-escalate whenever possible. However, when an attack is imminent, we must know how to shut our attacker’s body down. This is accomplished by attacking his vulnerable targets with confidence and commitment.

I would like to touch briefly on the psychology of surviving an attack. When we determine that we will not be able to avoid a physical attack, we must BECOME the predator and we must make him BECOME our prey. We need to overwhelm him mentally and physically. We need to realize that it is not enough to just attack him, we must BECOME the new attacker in the situation. It is very important that we attack with total confidence and with no doubt or hesitation. We can’t be concerned about what he “might” do to us. Our only concern must be what we “ARE” going to do to him. Anything else is not an option, because we must make it home that day. Once it is safe to do so, exit the area immediately and go to safety.

Now, let’s look at our targets. When it becomes time for us to “become the attacker” and for us to “turn him into our prey”, we can look at him as just a “collection of vulnerable targets” and choose the appropriate target and cause trauma to that target. Below is a list of targets and methods of attacking them, but we are not limited only to the targets and methods listed below.

EYES – Causing trauma to the eyes can cause your attacker to lose vision, disorient him, and cause him to panic. While striking the eyes with a flicking motion can be effective and can gain you a second or two to hit another target, I prefer to strike the eyes in such a way as to shut down the bodies ability to see (at least temporarily) out of the eye/eyes that are struck. One effective way to attack the eyes is to shape your hand in the form of a “C” and powerfully ram the tip of your thumb deep into the eye socket. A variation of this is to use your curled fingers to grab behind the ear to assist with the eye gouge and to make sure he does not pull his head away from the gouge. Another effective way to attack the eyes is to curl the fingers as if holding a grapefruit and strike the eyes with the fingertips by sending your hand forward toward his face. This attack can be used to strike/claw the eyes or to dig your fingers deep into his eye socket/sockets.

NOSE – A hard strike to the nose can cause the cartilage of the nose to shatter, the eyes to water hindering his vision, and cause him to panic. An effective way to strike the nose is with a hammerfist. Ball the hand up into a fist and strike in a downward hammer-like motion and strike the bridge of the nose with the solid part of the outer edge of the hand. Get good hip rotation into this strike and get your whole body into it. Another effective strike is the palm heel strike. Pull your hand backwards, exposing the hard base of the palm, also known as the heel of the palm. Thrust the palm heel upward and outward into the base or the front of the nose making sure to thrust with the hips and get the entire body behind the strike.

TEMPLE – The temple is the flat part of the skull located on each side of the head just to the outside of and above the eye. Since the temple is one of the thinnest parts of the skull and has numerous nerve endings, we can cause a knockout by striking our attacker forcibly to the temple. One way to effectively strike the temple is with a hammerfist. In this case we will use the hammerfist in a different way than we did when striking the nose. Instead of striking downward, we will swing the hammerfist in a sideward motion striking the temple. We can swing toward the front of our body with the palm facing up or toward the rear of our body with the palm facing down. We are still torquing the hips and getting the force of the entire body into the strike. Another effective strike for targeting the temple is the palm heel strike. Instead of striking upward and outward as we did when striking the nose, we will strike from the side as if slapping the attacker, but instead of slapping with the flat palm, we will still curl the hand backwards and hit with the hard heel of the palm. Remember to torque the hips in the direction of the strike and to get the force of the entire body behind the strike. The power of the strike is intensified by rotating on the toe of the same side foot as the hand that you are striking with and turning the knee inward and downward. A third way that that is effective for striking the temple is to use the elbow. Lift the elbow with the inside part of the arm facing down and the thumb facing toward the body. Explode through the attacker’s temple with the elbow by turning on the toe as before, making sure to torque the hip and getting the body behind the strike. To do maximum damage, strike with the hard surface of the actual elbow and not with the forearm.

CHIN/JAW – A hard strike to the chin or jaw creates a whiplash-like effect. This whiplash-like effect can cause a response in the central nervous system resulting in a knockout. An effective strike is the palm heel strike. To strike the chin, strike up and out with the heel of the palm as we did when striking the nose and hit just under the front of the chin or on the front of the chin, remembering to thrust with the hips and get the entire body behind the strike. To strike the jaw with the palm heel strike, we swing the arm from the side and hit the jaw line just as we did when striking the temple, remembering to hit with the hard heel of the palm. As we did before, remember to rotate on the toe in the direction of the strike, torque the hips and get the entire body behind the strike. The hammerfist is also a very effective strike to attack the jaw. We will swing the hammerfist in a sideward motion in the same way that we did for striking the temple. We can swing toward the front of our body with the palm facing up or toward the rear of our body with the palm facing down and hitting the jaw line. We are still torquing the hips and getting the force of the entire body into strike. We can also use the elbow to attack the jaw in the same way that we did the temple. Lift the elbow with the inside part of the arm facing down and the thumb facing toward the body. Explode through the attacker’s jaw line with the elbow by turning on the toe as before, making sure to torque the hips and getting the body behind the strike. To do maximum damage, strike with the hard surface of the actual elbow and not with the forearm.

EARS – A hard strike to the ear/ears can result in a ruptured ear drum, cause the attacker to lose his equilibrium, disorient him and/or cause him to panic. An effective way to strike the ear is with the palm of the hand. Swing the arm in a sideward motion as you did with the palm heel strike, except hit with the palm of the hand over the opening of the ear. Just like before, torque the hips and get your bodyweight behind the strike. It is very popular to cup the hand when striking the ear, to cause suction to rupture the eardrum. However, I prefer to hit with the flat palm. You still get suction into the ear canal, plus the flat palm gives you a better chance at greater impact.

THROAT – A strike to the throat can damage the trachea, hinder the attacker’s ability to breath and cause death. An effective way to attack the throat is with the web of the hand. Spread the thumb and index finger exposing the web that connects them. Strike forward and slightly upward driving the web of the hand through the trachea. This is very much like the palm heel strike, except we are striking with a different part of the hand. Remember to thrust with the hips and get the entire body behind the strike. Another effective strike for attacking the throat is the knife hand strike. Swing the arm in an outward direction with the palm facing down as with the hammerfist, except extend the fingers to allow the hand to enter the small opening between the chin and clavicle, still striking with the hard surface along the outer edge of your hand, remembering to torque the hips and get the entire body behind the strike. I suggest keeping the fingers together tightly with the thumb tight along the side of the hand to make the hand more solid for delivering greater impact.

BRACHIAL PLEXUS – The Brachial Plexus is a bundle of nerves that runs along each side of the neck. Striking that nerve bundle can cause an “overload” effect in the brain resulting in a knockout. My suggestion for striking the brachial plexus is to hit with a knife hand strike or a hammerfist. The main difference between the two is whether the fingers are straight or curled into a fist. Swing toward the front of our body with the palm facing up or toward the rear of our body with the palm facing down striking the brachial nerve that runs along either side of the neck. Strike with the hard edge of the hand or side of the forearm. We are still torquing the hips and getting the force of the entire body into strike.

SOLAR PLEXUS – The solar plexus is located at the base of the breast bone between the two sides of the rib cage. A strike to the solar plexus can rupture the spleen and liver, both of which are very vascular organs and bleed heavily internally and can also cause difficulty breathing. One effective way to attack the solar plexus is with the front stomp kick. Bend your leg and bring your knee up high and inward, then thrust your foot forward into the solar plexus as if you are kicking down a door, striking with the bottom of the foot, preferably the heel. Remember to thrust forward with the hips and get the entire body behind the strike. Another effective way to attack the solar plexus is with the knee. Grab the attacker on the upper shoulder area in order to control him and to pull him into the strike. Raise your knee upward and outward driving the hard bone of the knee into the solar plexus, while at the same time pulling him into your knee. Again, you are thrusting forward with the hips and getting the entire body behind the strike. When grabbing the attacker and pulling him toward you, a lot of people like to grab behind the head in a Muay Thai clinch, which is good for controlling his head and body. However, I prefer to grab the top of the shoulders. The reason that I prefer to grab in this manner is because it allows me to keep my elbows in to protect my body and my hands close to my head to protect it. Grabbing in this manner also keeps my hands and elbows in a better position to use them to strike with, because they are positioned very close to the attacker’s head.

GROIN – Striking the groin can rupture the testicles, cause nausea, difficulty breathing and panic. An effective way to strike the groin is with the instep of the foot or shin bone. Raise the knee upward and outward, extend the leg and strike the groin, remembering to thrust forward with the hips and get the entire body behind the kick. Another effective way to strike the groin is with the knee. Just as you did when striking the solar plexus, grab the shoulder area in order to control the attacker and to pull him into the strike. Raise your knee upward and outward driving the hard bone of the knee into the groin, while at the same time pulling the attacker into your knee. Again, you are thrusting forward with the hips and getting the entire body behind the strike.

KNEE – Striking the knee can tear the ligaments and tendons of the knee and can also break the kneecap which will limit or prohibit use of the leg. The sidekick is very effective for damaging the knee. Turn the body to the side with your hip lined up with the area of the knee that you are going to attack. Lift your leg that is closest to the attacker’s knee by bringing your knee up toward your chest. Then, stomp outward and downward into and through his knee. Thrust with your hips and get the entire body behind the kick. The target areas will be the front, inside or outside of the knee.

We have discussed the psychology of surviving an attack and the importance of attacking the attacker and doing so with full commitment. We have also identified some vulnerable targets on the human body and explained methods of attacking them. Use the principles of target selection and methods of attacking them that we have discussed above and apply them to different scenarios that you can think about in your mind. Remember that your safety and the safety of your loved ones is serious business. For more information about us, our video series or to contact us, please visit our website at

Yours in safety,

Phillip Poe

Some of Phillip Poe’s Accomplishments:
Began Martial Arts training in 1985
Founder of the American Free Style Fighting System
8th Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do
4th Degree Black Belt in Jujitsu
2nd Degree Black Belt in Hapkido
2-Time World Champion
International Champion
2-Time National Champion
5-Time State Champion
5-Time MATT Champion
WIF International Hall of Fame
AMAA Hall of Fame
AFKA Hall of Fame
2-Time Competitor of the Year
Lifetime Achievement Award
2-Time member of the Team America International Competition Team

Sunday, April 11, 2010

NL King - Week 1 Thoughts

With the first week of the season nearly done here are some things I've found interesting...

- Jose Reyes came back on Saturday April 10th. Didn't do anything especially but seems really to prove he is still an impact player and for the fantasy purposes, a roto stud.

- Ike Davis is tearing up AAA the 1st week. If the Mets continue to flounder on the MLB level with guys like Mike Jacobs & Fernando Tatis and if Daniel Murphy doesn't come back from his injury soon, you might see Ike Davis in Queens by early May.

- If I was a Shane Victorino owner I would not be happy with him batting 7th. If I was actually Shane Victorino, I wouldn't be happy.

- Willy Taveras & Willy Harris can give owners some nice contributions this year for NL only owners as secondary players.

- I worry about Ian Desmond's defense which could mean less playing time.

- Tyler Colvin got off to a nice start with a HR off Tommy Hanson this week. Colvin, former top 50 prospect in MLB according to Baseball Amercia had a torrid spring. Pinella wants to find him AB's.

- Garrett Jones fast start can have him believing that last year was not a fluke. Remember 90% of this game is half mental.

- Carlos Gomez gets the first crack at the top of the Brewer lineup with Alcides Escobar batting 8th. Remember what I wrote in the winter? Escobar owners be patient.

- The Astros are in for a long year.

- Dave Duncan magic has already done wonders with Jaime Garcia & Brad Penny the 1st week.

Injury Updates:
Lance Berkman - Lance says he is just about ready, the Astros want to wait another week, he is coming back from knee surgery so I would still say late April and hope for sooner.
Huston Street - Not rushing him sounds like Mid May.
Brandon Webb - Same for Webb - Mid May.
Carlos Beltran - Making great progress and way ahead of schedule the Mets think Mid May, which is great because when Beltran 1st had the surgery the Mets thought maybe the all-star break
Brad Lidge - Had awful minor league outing on Saturday April 10th. Phillies won't rush him back, could be late April.
Jeff Francis - Like Street not rushing him but could be back late April.
Ted Lilly - Had setback with his back the last couple of days and now they are talking Mid May.

NL King - C.Lizza

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Fantasy Man - Thinking Ahead to Week 2

I love it when you go to Yahoo's Fantasy Sports home page, you click on the "Who's Hot / Who's Cold" links and when you click on the "Cold"..... you get Placido Polanco who's hiitting .579 with 7 runs scored! I love it! Fantasy Baseball is here!

So I'm taking a look at my 15 or so teams right now and trying to figure out a game plan for Week 2. I figured it could be beneficial to our readers to "figure" out loud.

One man's waiver wire junk is another man's championship-run gold! Here's a few players to think about this week going forward who I actually believe will keep up their hot streaks and be potential breakouts...

1. Chris B. Young, OF, ARI - Slapped a Granny last night and has been off to a hot start hitting .300+ in the first few games. He's 26 years old and thats a great age fantasy wise for a guy who's been in the league and has struggled for a few years. If he hits .260 and goes 20+/20+, you grabbed a nice sleeper. If he hits .260+ and goes 30+/30+, you hit the freakin' jack pot! Owned in only 56% of CBS leagues started in 28% and could be an easy trade target. Owned in only 43% in Yahoo leagues.

2. Magglio Ordonez, OF, DET - He's healthy! Period. His hot spring and hot start is for real. Stick with him. If you try to sell high your not going to get great value anyway.

3. Travis Hafner, DH, CLE - Same deal. 100% Healthy again, has a healthy Grady Sizemore to protect and two quality OBP guys in Asdrubal Cabrera and Shin Soo Choo hitting in front of him. He's not known to last a full season but when he does play he has monster power and hits .300+! Owned in only 41% of CBS leagues and started in only 17% so he should be an easy trade target. Owned in only 12% of Yahoo leagues.

4. Delmon Young, OF, MIN - Word is he lost about 30lbs. in the off-season and came into camp super motivated. I like those stories and Delmon had a hot spring and already has 2 HR and 1 SB in his first few games. He's always been able to hit for a decent average so if this power surge is for real, I wouldn't be surprised if a .290/30/15 type of season is in line. remember, he was orginally touted to be a 30/30 guy and be a superstar and now he's 24 or so and still hasn't hit his prime. Owned in 65% of CBS leagues and 31% of Yahoo leagues.

5. Dontrelle Willis, SP, DET - Could he be back? Pitched a solid game the other day after a solid spring and new attitude. Only owned in 19% of CBS leagues and started in 6%. Could be a cheap throw-in for a package deal. Owned in only 4% of Yahoo leagues.

6. Mike Pelfrey, SP, NYM - This one is a hunch. Pitched a great game against the Nationals but also has a solid spring and his teammates have been raving about him all spring. pelfrey still needs to work on his walks but after listening to New York Sports Radio everyday and interviews with Mets players, I simply can't ignore this guy who is still looking for that big break out season!

Best Buy Low Candidate - Carlos Zambrano - He got rocked on Opening Day, but guess what? He gets rocked every opening day and according to CBS, he's never had an ERA over 4.00 for a season!

In Weekly Leagues I'm Benching (but not dropping)....
Jay Bruce
Kyle Blanks

Nate McClouth

I'm Dropping...

Scott Sizemore
Ryan Raburn

I'm Adding...
Sean Rodriguez
Delmon Young
Chris B. Young
Chris R. Young
Brett Gardner
Brian Matusz
Dallas Braden
C.J. Wilson (taking a flier)
Barry Zito
Mike Pelfrey

Mike Kuchera
The Fantasy Man

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

A.L. Maharishi - American League West Injury Report

Texas Rangers: All-Star 2B Ian Kinsler was placed on the 15 day DL on Sunday with an ankle injury. He is not eligible to come off the DL until mid-April. He should be back in a couple weeks but I’m not sure his stolen bases will be. Kinsler is normally a threat to go 30-30 any season now, but with the ankle injury I don’t think he’ll come close to 30 SB as an ankle injury can sap a stolen base threat. Proceed with caution! Tommy Hunter went on the DL with a left oblique strain and may have a hard time finding a spot in the rotation when he does get back in possibly two weeks. He could be a nice pickup, pitching in front of that offense this year if he can crack the rotation. Warner Madrigal and Eric Hurley were also placed on the DL but don’t really have any fantasy value at this point.

Los Angeles Angels: Under-achiever Scott Kazmir is on the DL with a shoulder and hamstring issue, the Angels say he should miss just one start and be able to pitch in the April 13-15 series at the Yankees. Speedster backup outfielder Reggie Willits is also on the DL with a hamstring issue and should be back in two weeks…if you’re in a deep league and you need steals, Willits probably sits on the waiver wire waiting on an injury in the Angels outfield.

Seattle Mariners: If the Mariners can get back Cliff Lee and Erik Bedard off the DL and the issues don’t continue to haunt them throughout the year and they pitch up to their abilities, the 1-2-3 slots are "off-the-hook"! That’s a big if? Lee has an abdominal strain and Bedard is dealing with a bad shoulder. Lee should be back in two weeks or so but Bedard is out until early June. Bench option Jack Hannahan has a strained right groin and will probably be back in a couple weeks if anyone wants to know? Bueller...Bueller…Bueller?

Oakland A’s: Andrew Bailey has a “nuisance” in his knee, but should be able to pitch through it…Many pitchers…many DL slots. Reliever Joey Devine will be out until at least late April recovering from surgery to his elbow. RP Josh Outman is also recovering from elbow surgery but he will be out until late July. Dominant set-up man Michael Wuertz is dealing with shoulder tendinitis and hopefully will be back in 2 weeks or so…check back. Starter Trevor Cahill was placed on the DL with a shoulder blade issue, but he had already been beaten out of a rotation spot by Gio Gonzalez and his mad K’s skills. Don’t worry about Cahill though…there are a number of DL candidates in the Oakland rotation just waiting to blow up. (Sheets, Braden, Duchscherer) Oh yeah, you want something other than a pitcher? Quasi-lead-off speedster? CoCo Crisp is on the DL with a broken finger he got when he was tagged out by Juan Uribe….can you say brittle…BRI---TTLLEEE. Good, I knew you could. He’s out 3-8 weeks. Pick him up when he comes back but have a plan to fall back on because it won’t be the only time he goes on the DL this year. Trust me!

Enjoy the beginning of the season…if you’re like me, you’ve been waiting all winter for it!

P. Kelley - A.L. Maharishi
About the A.L. Maharishi

Sunday, April 04, 2010

A.L. Maharishi - American League Central Injury Report

Minnesota Twins: We have to start with the end…All-Star Closer Joe Nathan already had Tommy John surgery and is out this year. If you are in a keeper league, you may want to take a chance on rostering him on your bench with the hope that he’ll be back next year where he left off…Top 3 dominant closers in the league! That’s a big question mark though. Jon Rauch is the guy tabbed to be the closer to start the season. Journey man relief pitcher Clay Condrey has a hurt shoulder but should not land on the DL. Backup catcher Jose Morales to All-World Joe Mauer is on the DL and will resume his backup position when he comes back possibly at the end of April. Better left off your roster unless you’re in the deepest of leagues and they count bench time.

Chicago White Sox: Backup catcher Ramon Castro is hurting but not on the DL and will be back in action in a few weeks from a heel injury. Other than an occasional homer in limited duty, you’re probably not needing him anyway.

Detroit Tigers: Right handed relief pitcher Zach Miner and Lefty reliever Bobby Seay both are on the DL. Miner has tendinitis in his pitching elbow and is out until at least late April. Seay has a shoulder issue and will be sidelined for six weeks or so. Last year Seay had 6 vulture wins and Miner had 7, both with ERA’s in the 4’s. Better left for the scrap heap as you can almost always find a starter in the free agent pool that will give you at least these numbers if not better. Outfielder Carlos Guillen is dealing with a hamstring issue and is expected to be ready for the regular season. He was a lot more useful when he was a shortstop.

Cleveland Indians: Oft-injured closer Kerry Wood is out until at least late April with a strained muscle below his right shoulder. Wood states…”I’ll be ready sooner rather than later.” I don’t believe him or expect him to be healthy at all this year as he’ll have a setback. Youngster Chris Perez is taking over the closing duties while Wood is out. First Basemen Russell Branyan will start the season on the DL with a herniated disk in his back. I would not want to invest anything but a last round pick or $1 bid on Branyan. Former top prospect Anthony Reyes is on the 60 day DL with an elbow injury and will be out until July.

Kansas City Royals: Disappointing 3B Alex Gordon will start the year on the DL with a broken thumb and likely will be back mid-late April. Is this the year he finally fulfills his potential? Other third basemen Josh Fields will also start the season on the DL with a hip injury…23 homers in his rookie season of 2007 seems light years away from here. Pickup Alberto Callaspo as his batting average and run production I believe will be good…at least until he’s traded away to a contender at the deadline. Former first round pick Luke Hochevar took a ball off his ankle the other day but looks prepared to start the season in the rotation. Gil Meche is expected to be placed on the DL with shoulder tightness but the Royals are looking at April 11th as his return. I’m skeptical!

There you go! AL West up next!

P. Kelley - A.L. Maharishi
About the A.L. Maharishi

Saturday, April 03, 2010

N.L. King - Checking out the MASH Unit on the Big NL Players to start the Year

There are a number of excellent to really good players who will start the year on the DL in the National League. Let's take a quick look at these players, again the list is in alphabetical order. With injuries, always be conservative in terms of time frame of players coming back....

Joe Blanton - Just came down with an oblique injury. Oblique's are tricky injuries, they are slow healing and if you come back just a little to quick you can re-injury it again. Same can be said for groins and any muscle pulls. Word is Blanton will be out 3 to 6 weeks which means figure at least end of April and maybe he wont make his 1st start to early May.

Carlos Beltran - Word is he is progressing really well from his knee surgery. When the surgery happened in late January I think the Mets would have signed off on Beltran coming back Memorial Day weekend. I heard recently on a local NY radio station that Beltran could be back in early May. However be conservative and plan for late May.

Lance Berkman - Keep in mind Berkman just had knee surgery so I thought it was to optimistic to expect Berkman to be ready opening day. Berkman just had a little setback and will start the year on the DL. I would say expect Berkman back late April - early May.

Brad Lidge - Lidge has not come along as fast as he would like with his off-season surgeries. Lidge just had a cortisone shot which is worrisome. Be very careful and temper your bidding.

Ted Lilly - Progressed nicely from his off-season surgery word is Lilly could be back in late April.

Brandon Lyon - He got off to a slow start in the spring and is a little behind the other pitchers so he may not start the year as the closer. Astros also have Matt Lindstrom although seems hard to believe that the Astros would give Lyon a 3 year deal for $15 million dollars to be a setup man.

Russell Martin - Word now is he could be ready for opening day but remember he is coming back from a groin injury. That and the added weight he put on probably means Martin's stolen bases will be very limited the first couple of months of the season.

Jose Reyes - He starts the year on the DL but he could be activated as early as April 10th. Remember the Mets are going to be cautious with Reyes stealing to start the year.

Houston Street - The MRI came back clean but it's a slow go for Street and now they are saying he won't be back until sometime in May. The Rockies just signed Street in the off-season to a 3 yar deal for 22 million so they will be cautious.

Brandon Webb - Supposedly Webb just got a positive report although he won't be back until sometime in May as well. Remember last year Webb kept getting pushed back. How can you not be concerned at this point after what Webb went through last year.

NL King - C.Lizza

NL King - Jose Reyes back to Mets Camp *UPDATE*

UPDATE: As of this past week, it looks like the Mets will put Jose Reyes on the DL retro to last week and he will start the 5th game of the season (Saturday 4/10) assuming no setbacks. The question now becomes..... do I put Reyes in my roster just to get Saturday and Sunday stats the first week in weekly leagues? We'd recommend sitting Reyes assuming you have a viable back up. Let's give him a day or two to get back into fantasy game shape and if all goes well, feel free to start him for Week 2.

Jose Reyes came back to Mets camp and word is there is a 50-50 chance he will be on the opening day roster. As long as Reyes does not have a setback (we are talking about the Mets) it seems to me that the worst case scenario would have Reyes back no later than the 1st or 2nd week of April.

We will have to see if the Mets will have Reyes start the season as the #3 hitter. Again buyer beware come draft day as the Mets want Reyes to run a lot less this year especially at the beginning of the season. I would be ultra conservative and assume 30 to 35 steals this year for Reyes in terms of figuring out his draft day auction price or what round to take Reyes in a traditional draft.

NL King - C.Lizza

N.L. King - 12 NL Middle Relievers You Need to Know

Having two or three strong middle relievers can go along way to building a excellent pitching staff. Three strong middle relievers can give you 200 plus innings of excellent ERA, Ratio, K's and with a little luck between 15 to 20 wins. If they can give you a few saves, even better. Also the beauty of these guys is most of them go at the end of the draft when teams fill out their rosters so you can get these guys for just a couple of dollars most of the time. Here is the list in alphabetical order.

Mike Adams - SD - Age 31 - 2009 Stats - 0W, 0 SV, 0.73 ERA, 0.594 Ratio, 45K's in 37 IP.
No, those ERA & Ratio are not a typo, after missing the 1st couple of months of the 2009 season saying Adams dominated is putting it mildly. With the chance of Heath Bell getting traded (Twins are scouting him with Joe Nathan out for the year) sometime this season Adams would have a chance to become the closer as would Luke Gregerson.

Rafael Betancourt - Col - Age 35 (end of April) - 2009 Stats - 4W, 2SV, 2.73 ERA, 1.107 Ratio, 61K's in 56 IP. Colorado manager Jim Tracy has said that Betancourt is his 8th inning man. With the Rockies offense maybe can you some more cheap wins.

Todd Coffey - Mil - Age 29 - 2009 Stats - 4W, 2SV, 2.90 ERA, 1.159 Ratio, 65K's in 83 2/3 IP. Will be the 7th inning man for the Brew crew. Again with Milwaukee's offense can get some cheap wins along with good ERA & Ratio.

Luke Gregerson - SD - Age 25 - 2009 Stats - 2W, 1SV, 3.24 ERA, 1.240 Ratio, 93K's in 75 IP. Remember what I said about Heath Bell.

LaTroy Hawkins - Mil - Age 37 - 2009 Stats - 1W, 11SV, 2.13 ERA, 1.200 Ratio, 45K's in 63 1/3 IP. Did a nice job closing for Houston last year when Valverde was hurt.

Ryan Madson - Phil - Age 29 - 2009 Stats - 5W, 10SV, 3.26 ERA, 1.228 Ratio, 78K's in 77 1/3 IP. Brad Lidge most likely will start the year on the DL which means a few saves for Madson. Also after the year Lidge had last year if he falters again Madson will be 1st in line for the ball regarding the 9th inning.

Nick Masset - Cinn - Age 27 - 2009 Stats - 5W, 0SV, 2.37 ERA, 1.026 Ratio, 70K's in 76 IP. The 8th inning man for General Dusty.

Dan Meyer - Fla - Age 28 - 2009 Stats - 3W, 2SV, 3.09 ERA, 1.165 Ratio, 56K's in 58 1/3 IP. Leo Nunez is the closer come opening day HOWEVER remember Nunez has a bit of a high walk rate (27 in 68 2/3 IP last year) and Nunez gave up 13 homers last year as well. Meyer starts the year as the setup man but if Nunez falters Meyer could get 1st crack at the closers job.

Franklin Morales - Col - Age 24 - 2009 Stats - 3W, 7SV, 4.50 ERA, 1.525 Ratio, 41K's in 40 IP. Has great stuff, I know the ERA & Ratio were high last year but he is kid and will get better this year. Most likely Street will start the year on the DL and Morales will be the closer the 1st couple of weeks of the season.

Jason Motte - Stl - Age 27 - 2009 Stats - 4W, 0SV, 4.76 ERA, 1.411 Ratio, 54K's in 56 2/3 IP. Like Morales, Motte has really good stuff and is young so he should get better. Keep in mind Ryan Franklin is not exactly a kid anymore.

Takashi Saito - Atl - Age 40 - 2009 Stats - 3W, 2SV, 2.43 ERA, 1.347 Ratio, 52K's in 55 2/3 IP. Numbers should be better now that he is back in the NL. Also keep in mind how much are the Braves going to use Wagner on back to back days? Saito if he stays healthy might get you 10 saves as well as his other numbers.

George Sherill - LA - Age 23 - 2009 Stats - 1W, 21SV, 1.70 ERA, 1.115 Ratio, 61K's in 69 IP. Joe Torre's 8th inning man closed for Baltimore last year before getting traded to the Dodgers last year and setting up Broxton.

NL King - C.Lizza

A.L. Maharishi - American League East Injury Report

New York Yankees: Mark Texeira was HBP in the right elbow the other day, he looks to get back into game action Thursday, but if you’ve already drafted Tex, you’re holding your breath. Alfredo Aceves has lower back tightness and will possibly start the year on the DL. Unless you’re in a very deep AL only league he’s probably not really an option unless he gets a shot at full-time starter.

Boston Red Sox: Dice-K is having back and neck problems and will start the season on the DL. The Red Sox are looking at a possible April 23rd return date…IMO, he will be out longer and need some time to tune up and possibly come back to a resemblance of who he was 2 years ago. Junichi Tazawa had some value if your league uses Holds as a category and the occasional vulture win, he is probably done for the season though. Jeremy Hermida was hitting well in the spring but is experiencing tightness in his hamstring. If you need an OF in a deep league with upside, here is a sleeper, because you know sometime this year he’ll get at-bats as JD (something hurts) Drew goes down with an injury and Hermida will step in and deliver.

Tampa Bay Rays: JP Howell, part –time closer last year for the Rays is experiencing shoulder weakness…not good. He will open the season on the DL and doesn’t have the closer role this year as the Rays brought in Rafael Soriano to close out games. Matt Joyce has a sore elbow and isn’t looking to have a starting gig with the amazing Sean Rodriguez tearing the cover off the ball. So even when he starts playing again, the positions are probably Rodriguez on 2B with Zobrist moving to RF, leaving Joyce and his power/K’s on the bench.

Baltimore Orioles: Koji Uehara has a strained left hamstring and hasn’t pitched since March 18th…not really sure why I’m sharing this info with you as Koji is not a viable alternative for your roster even when he comes back in Mid-April?…try E85. No other injuries for the Orioles (knock on wood)

Toronto Blue Jays: How much time do you have and how many pitchers do you need? Dustin McGowan is probably the best of the injured and could come back and be the ace for this young staff. He is shut down for another two weeks with a bum shoulder and wondering if he’ll ever make it back on the rubber. Scott Richmond is starting the year on the 60 day DL with trouble in his right shoulder. Brandon Morrow has a sore shoulder and may return on April 3rd and be the Jays third starter. Probable 4th starter Mark Rzepczynski has a fractured finger and will be out at least 6 weeks and won’t be able to throw for 2 weeks. He had a 3.67 ERA with basically a K/Inning last year and could be worth a flyer if he gets/stays healthy. “Tommy John team member” Jesse Litsch on the 60 day DL and out until July…don’t worry about him. Done with pitchers? How about a catcher? Starting catcher John Buck is dealing with a minor finger injury but is scheduled to catch a game on 3/30/10.

There you go! AL Central up next!

A.L. Maharishi
About the A.L. Maharishi