Posted on: May 6, 2009 3:35 pm
Edited on: May 6, 2009 3:41 pm
Major League Baseball has all sorts of awards. The most popular awards include the MVP, Cy Young, Golden Glove and Rookie of the Year. Baseball fans love awards. Therefore, as a fan of baseball, I've come up with my own. My award is only for elite players whose accomplishments should be acknowledged. You probably think the MVP and Cy Young already serve this purpose. But my award is different. I call my award, "The Chevy Nova Award".
When I first started college many moons ago, I owned a 1976 Chevy Nova. It was orange with black tinted windows. Lifts were installed to lift the back end. It looked great. It looked fast. It looked intimidating. But in reality it was slower than a lawn mower. 0-60 in two hours. It was incredibly decieving because it could not live up to how it was perceived.
Keeping this description in mind, I give to you the leading candidates of the 2009 Chevy Nova Award:
For pitching, my nomination goes to C.C. Sabathia. Here we have a well known and elite pitcher in MLB. So valued and coveted was he, the New York Yankees signed him to a multi-million dollar contract and you probably used a #1 draft pick to get him on your fantasy team. Opening the 2009 season, Sabathia was a well coveted player in every way. But now we enter May 2009 and the story has changed. We have an era of 4.85 with a win/loss record of 1-3. Is he is giving runs away for free? No longer do we rub our hands together with that vicious smile on our faces when his start comes. Instead, we scratch our heads and "hope" he has a good outing. We "hope" the opposing team has mercy on him and that Sabathia can keep his era below 5. Maybe with a little luck we can get the win and limit the amount of point loss.
For hitting, the nominee for the 2009 Chevy Nova Award goes to Josh Hamilton. For those of you who didn't draft Sabathia as your #1 pick it was probably because you drafted Hamilton instead. Who would have thought Adam Lind would be producing far more fantasy points this year? I sure didn't. This Texas star was playing poorly before his rib strain so let's not use the injury as a basis for the poor statistics. You were probably expecting Hamilton to repeat 2008 (as I did). But he has been nothing but that 1976 Chevy Nova. He just looks intimidating on your team but has yet to back it up.
On one hand we look at these two elite players and scratch our heads. Afterall, it's May already. But on the other hand, it is still May. Which means we have four more months of this torture. The MVP, Cy Young, Golden Glove and Rookie of the Year awards are not given out until after the season has ended and all the statistics are in. The Chevy Nova Award should be no different. I've given my nominations now but I'm hoping it's not lived out.
Category: Fantasy Baseball
Posted on: April 9, 2009 10:41 am
Edited on: April 11, 2009 10:28 am
The 2009 MLB season has be begun and it's time for this year's picks. The following are my predictions for this season:
AL East - NYY will win the division. The Yankees have not looked good to open the season, I admit. Both CC Sabathia and Chien Ming Wang in particular seem to be giving away runs for free. Not to mention that Alex Rodriguez opened the season on the DL while recovering from hip surgery. There are question marks surrounding every team, I know. But not every team buys their championships. With the amount of money put into the Yankees, one would think there would be no concerns what-so-ever. But nevertheless, here they are: 1. Will AJ Burnett, Jorge Posada and Hideki Matsui stay healthy all season? 2. Will the pre-season issues surrounding Alex Rodriguez (hip surgery, steroid exposure) have an effect on his production in 2009? These could all be considered legitimate concerns. However, I think the biggest question mark is with their coach, Joe Girardi. So far I personally have not been impressed with the Yankee's accomplishments since Steinbrenner replaced Joe Torre. In his first year coaching, the Yankees didn't make the playoffs even with the wild card. Nevertheless, I think the Yankees will come through and win their division this year. With the amount of talent on that team it would take effort to miss the post season. And if they don't make the post season, Girardi will have a lot more to worry about.
AL Central - KC will win the division. A year ago this would have been a silly choice. But in 2009 I'm not so sure it's funny. The Royals do not have any superstars on their team. There is not a single player that is glamorous. Because of this, I think they are over looked this year. The team is filled with young talent. The above-average players on the Royals include Gil Meche, Zack Greinke and Joakim Soria. These pitchers are top quality pitchers and are detrimental to the Royals' accomplishments. KC cannot afford to lose even one of these three players. But despite excellent pitching, you can't win if you can't score runs. Mike Jacobs hit 30 HR last year and drove in 93 RBI albeit with a .243 BA. If he brings that average up, he would be considered a legitimate first baseman in fantasy. Other players who could have big seasons include Alex Gordon, Mike Aviles and Billy Butler. For the past two years, Gordon and Butler have not followed through with their expected break-out seasons. But it could still happen, I'm hopeful. The addition of Coco Crisp will prove fruitful for this team with his speed and veteran Jose Guillen will continue to help if he stays healthy. David DeJesus could also be a major factor for KC. Mark Teahan is decent. I'm taking KC to win the division based on potential. It's a risk, but one I'm willing to take.
AL West - LAA will win the division. This is a no-brainer, even with John Lackey and Ervin Santana opening 2009 on the DL. Adenhart has pitched well in pre-season and pitched well his first start during regular season. He's making a nice substitute while Lackey and Santana wait patiently to return. Even with the loss of Mark Teixeira to the Yankees, the Angels are a stellar team. There is too much talent to think anyone else in this particular division can beat them. With a lineup that includes Bobby Abreu, Vladimir Guerrero, Tori Hunter and Chone Figgins, it will take effort to lose this division.
AL Wild Card - BOS will make the playoffs by wild card. It was hard to decide between Boston and Tampa Bay to win the wild card. The idea of Tampa Bay not making the post season seems rediculous. But considering they are in the same division as NYY and BOS, means one of these three teams has to lose. As good as Tampa Bay is, I think Boston is the better team. So I take BOS to make the post season with the wild card since I take NYY to win the division.
NL East - ATL will win the division. The Braves are a good team. Chipper Jones is clearly the star of the Braves but only by luck will they get 400 games out of him. There is no doubt that Jones is an elite hitter. He just can't stay healthy. This is the reason he didn't make my top ten 3B in fantasy this year (for those of you who have read my prior blog regarding drafting a third baseman. Many of you were concerned that Chipper didn't make my list. This is why.) Nevertheless, Jones will produce nicely when he plays. I think we'll see some good production with rookie Jordon Schafer. I think Jeff Francoeur will return to 25 HR, 100 RBI and .280 BA. I think Yunel Escobar will stay healthy. Casey Kotchman, Garrett Anderson and Kelly Johnson will also be factors in the success of Atlanta in 2009. Let's not forget Brian McCann folks. This is an elite player in baseball and will contribute greatly to the division title. I like the pitching staff. Bringing in Derek Lowe and Javier Vasquez was an excellent move. Combine them with youngsters Jair Jurrjens and Kenshin Kawakami, the Braves could surprise everybody this year. My only concern with the Braves is their bullpen. I don't find any stellar relief pitching either with closer or set up. But I still take Atlanta to win the division title in the NL East.
NL Central - CHC will win the division. I'll be honest. This is my team. I'm a Cubbies fan. And due to my biast opinion, I think the Cubs have the best team in MLB. They have it all. Their lineup includes Aramis Ramirez, Derek Lee, Alfonso Soriano and Geovanny Soto as the major contributors. Ryan Theriot hits above .300 and steals bases. I think Kosuke Fukudome will have a much better 2009 than his first season now that he's adapting both to MLB and U.S.A. I'm not crazy about Milton Bradley because he can never stay healthy. But he has the potential to help when he does play. Then we come to the pitching staff. Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Ted Lilly and Rich Harden as the top four starters. If Harden stays healthy like 2008, this staff could be outstanding. The Cubs brought in Kevin Gregg for relief. While I think Carlos Marmol should be the closer and Gregg set-up, (and I think by May it will be this way), either way the Cubs have an excellent bullpen. I think the Cubs will not only win their division, but I'm taking the Cubs to win it all. Yes folks, even the World Series. I can hope, right?
NL West - LAD will win the division. This clearly is the best team in the NL West. Manny Ramirez now has a full season with the Dodgers. He's going to make Matt Kemp, (which by the way has the same batting stance and swing as Ramirez), Andre Ethier and James Loney better hitters. Rafael Furcal enters 2009 healthy. I think Casey Blake is a quality player as well. And of course, Russell Martin is an elite player. The Dodgers certainly have the lineup. This is the best Dodger's team I've seen in many years. My only concern with the Dodgers is the pitching staff. Chad Billingsly I think will have a stellar year. I'm actually choosing Billingsly to win the NL Cy Young. I think Clayton Kershaw will make his mark in 2009 as well. Jonathan Broxton is an excellent closer. But after this the pitching is questionable. But I don't think any other team in this division can beat them.
NL Wild Card - NYM will make the playoffs by wild card. It was hard for me to decide whether to take the NYM or ATL to win the division. In the end I obviously took ATL which means I take NYM to win the wild card. The same factor applies with the NYM as it does with the NYY and LAA: it would take effort for this team not to make the playoffs.
AL MVP Prediction: Miguel Cabrera
AL Cy Young: Roy Halladay
NL MVP: Albert Pujols
NL Cy Young: Chad Billingsly
So there you have it. These are my picks.
Posted on: April 4, 2009 9:21 am
Edited on: May 4, 2009 9:14 pm
Call me crazy but I'm ranking Ryan Zimmerman in the top five at third base in 2009. The top five. Here is how I rank third base entering the 2009 season:
Posted on: March 15, 2009 7:04 pm
Have a fantasy baseball draft coming up? Having trouble ranking your players? Don't know which positions to draft first? If your draft is automated, you don't have much control on the order of positions. You have more control with the live draft. So if your upcoming draft is live, let me give some suggestions on first base.
Posted on: February 14, 2009 9:03 am
Edited on: February 14, 2009 9:05 am
Ah, the season is beginning. Baseball Season. It should be a season all it's own. Winter, Spring, Baseball, Summer and Fall. You have to love this time of year. Crunching the Numbers of every single player in baseball, steadfast preparations for your upcoming fantasy baseball draft. One league is not enough. We must have three fantasy baseball teams! Drafting your team early before the season, even before spring training. Looking at your team every single day even though nothing has changed. Did I miss that one all star still on waivers that nobody else knows about? Fantasy baseball is a good time of the year.
Posted on: January 19, 2009 7:50 pm
My vote goes to Matt Cassell for the Most Valuable Player in the NFL this season. Let me first tell you that I'm a New England Patriots fan. I have been a Patriots fan since following the NFL. But my vote to Cassell does not stem from my football loyalty. I vote for Cassell because of his accomplishments. I believe he truly is the most valuable player this past season.
You can imagine that week one of the 2008 season was a football tragedy for me after Tom Brady went down with a knee injury in the first quarter. Like all Patriots fans, I thought our season was over before it started. But enter Matt Cassell. Matt Cassell is a quarterback who sat on the bench in Tom Brady's shadows for several years. In fact, up until this NFL season the last time Matt Cassell actually started a game was in high school. (In college he was backup to both Carson Palmer and then Matt Leinart.) After Brady went down in week one, Cassell was given the reins of the New England Patriots. My first thought was, "Oh no. We're done."
Cassell's first two weeks in the starting role were very shaky, which compounded my belief the season was over before it started. But now approaching the final week of the NFL season, we are tied for first in the division with a 10-5 record (and I predict a final record of 11-5 after this coming week) and a chance to make the playoffs. If that is not enough to prove Cassell is a true quality quarterback, here are Cassell's stats thus far: 15 games, 3615 passing yards, 21 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and an 89.1 rating. He's had two games above 400 passing yards and four touchdowns and several more games above 300 yards and two touchdowns. He's playing like a football star. Not bad for a guy who up until this year hadn't started since high school.
After leading his team to a winning record, Matt Cassell has proven to be the Most Valuable Player in at least the AFC if not the entire NFL. Several other teams were forced to start games during the season with their backup quarterbacks. Brad Johnson started for the Cowboys for three straight weeks while Romo sat out with a broken pinkie finger. That was an obvious disaster and Romo returned early and played through pain just to get Johnson off the field. The Lions lost John Kitna (not that he was great to begin with) but the backups, Dan Orlovsky 1391 passing yards, 6 touchdowns and 6 interceptions with a 56.8 rating, and Daunte Culpepper 786 passing yards, 4 touchdowns and 6 interceptions with a 52.2 rating, have also proven disastrous. Let's not forget the emergence of Ryan Fitzpatrick after the Bengals' lost Carson Palmer early in the season. Fitzpatrick stats are 1776 passing yards, 8 touchdowns and 9 interceptions with Houshmenzadeh and Chad Johnson as his wide receivers. Compared to these backups, Cassell is a gem.
Even if the Patriots do not make the playoffs they still had a good season considering they lost Tom Brady in week one. Now that Cassell's confidence has increased, he will only get better and I predict he will continue to out perform most quarterbacks in the league. It's safe to say Cassell won't be with the Patriots next season. Brady will return and Cassell is a free agent after this year. After his success this year, it will be of no surprise when another team signs Cassell as their full time starter. I can think of plenty of teams searching for a Cassell-quality quarterback.