Monday, September 28, 2009

Bgal update

This time next week it will all be over. It would be hard to estimate the amount of time and effort put into the bgal for me this year, but I spent a lot of time even before the season started looking at rumors, projections, and stats, mulling over each one of my keepers and even making a couple of trades. Who knows how many hours I spent during the season looking at the live scoring page, MLB mix (8 games at once on DirecTv) or just plain watching games. And that doesn't even count following the Reds.

But here's what all of that time and effort boils down to: I'm in fourth place, just out of the money. If the season ended today, I'd be in the worst spot, out of the money and picking 7th in next year's minor league draft. I went pretty much all-in this year, making several win-now trades. I did this because I have so many high salary guys who can't be kept next year for budgetary reasons.

The good news is that I'm only one point out of third. I just picked up points in average and era that I might be able to keep. The average point looks stronger than the era point right now. The era point is critical because the guy right ahead of me (in third) is right behind me in era (4.19 to 4.20). I just read that Beckett was scratched for tonight. So that will hurt.

So where could I gain ground? Assuming I keep my era and average points, my most likely point gain is in saves. I'm in third, only one point behind second. The second place team has Andrew Bailey (thanks to me) and Fernando Rodney. I have Brian Fuentes, Jason Frasor, and Matt Thornton, who I just picked-up last week (he's already gotten me two saves). That one point puts me in a tie for third. But the guy in third overall just lost Jenks and only has Downs as a reliever. He's sixth in saves, only two ahead of seventh. So if he drops, and I add one, I'm in third. The guy in seventh only has Kerry Wood.

I'm six points out of second in wins, so a move there seems unlikely. I'm also seven points ahead of fourth, so my spot there is secure. My strikouts spot is also secure.

I'm six points out in home runs and nine points out in rbi's. A huge run this week would give me a chance, but it seems unlikely. In steals, I can't go up (down ten) but could go down (up 2). Needless to say, a non-event, like Lowell stealing second the other day for only his second steal of the year, has huge implications for my fantasy standing.

Pie in the sky: I hold on to my steals, average, and era points, pick up a point in saves, and my offense goes crazy in hr's and rbi's, giving me two more points. That would likely put me in second place, with 57 points. I don't see any combo where I could still win.

Right now, I'd settle for third.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

How to lose Survivor . . .

. . . first, make sure I pick you in the pool, because then you're doomed. But it also helps to get invited to the other tribe and immediately go off on everybody. Of course, Yasmin couldn't go out tonight because she was on the winning tribe; but she took a great opportunity (a chance to bond with the other tribe) and ruined it. We'll see if it hurts her (me) down the road.

You know you're in for a real treat when the first challenge comes very early and it's immunity and reward. I hate any challenge where tribe members have to have any kind of physical contact with the other tribe. Hit 'em with a giant Q-tip, but don't have them tackle, etc.

The old dude went out early (you never want to see Survivor: Medical, but you don't want to see a dead Survivor.) But the yellow tribe still had to vote some one out. The cop fought for her life, but in the end, they kept Ben (who seems crazy) because he's "stronger."

I loved the Cops theme song from the cop. (Then Ben went all good cop/bad cop.) Good episode. I'm still in for now, but don't expect it will last. Yasmin's mouth will do her in.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fantasy football

If you read this blog, you know I'm a fantasy baseball guy, but I don't do fantasy football. Here's a short story to explain why. For the last couple of years, I've been in a football pool that is kind of like a king of the hill pool. Every week, I have to pick one winner. I can pick any team I want and can pick any team as many times as I want throughout the year. The only rule: you're team has to win. They win, you move on; they lose, you're out. Last person standing wins. Some years, the pool is over in week 15. Other years, we need the playoffs and tiebreakers. One year (I think it was last year) I went out in the first week.

Oh yeah, there is a second rule: you have to actually pick a team, which I forgot to do in week one. Fortunately, a friend had my back so I'm still in. (Ah, the magic that is Tom Brady.) This week, I've got the Washington Redskins. The one rule that I've implemented is don't pick for or against the Bungles.

Anyway, if you can't remember to pick one team, how can you manage a fantasy team.


Survivor is back . . . with a vengeance. We took a break from GG to see the premiere and boy was it worth it. (We still managed to squeez in 3 episodes. We have the Reds game tonight but may pull an all-nighter to finish up. We've only got 4 episodes left. Come on, Luke!)

SPOILER ALERT! If you TiVo'd Survivor and haven't watched yet, stop reading.

Back to the game. Russell, not the "better looking Lennox Lewis" (or the "worse looking Milli Vanilli" -- thanks Dalton), the Oil Co. owner guy, is probably the "best" Survivor contestant since Coach. But I can't imagine a set of circumstances where I'll end up rooting for Russell to stay on like I did with Coach (to entertain, not to win). Maybe we should call him Russell Fairplay for now. This guy is a real turd. I assume he's the one kicked out of the challenge next week (as teased by the credits this week). That's especially true after I saw the exclusive deleted scene on where he talks about injuring someone, even if he gets hurt in the process, and how the injured person, even if it's a girl, will have to be crated off in a helicopter. (No. I did not make that up.)

Every contestant tries so hard to be liked or to, "fly under the radar." But R.F. has a completely unique strategy: align with everyone and, while doing that, sabotage the tribe. It certainly won't win him any friends at the live reunion show, but it might make for some very interesting t.v. I was disappointed that so few in the tribe sniffed this out. The female cop did (she credited female intuition -- I wonder if she doesn't want to say she's a cop) which bodes well for her in the game, even though her numbers seem to be in minority right now. As usually happens right off, we see a lot more of the tribal counsel tribe and not much from the winners. So picking a winner right now seems pointless. But I will do so soon. (It won't be the female cop ... or Shambo!)

Should be an interesting season. By the way, I have Yasmin in the office pool. Rachel had Marissa, the woman from Cincinnati, who went home last night. But it was a random draw, so I can't really be blamed.

Next year? . . . and Scout

Kevin Goldstein, the prospects guru at Baseball Prospectus, has been doing a series on the couple of prospects in each organization who improved the most this season. Here is what he said about the Reds:

Cincinnati Reds: A second-round pick in 2005 who had all but fallen off the radar after a pair of mediocre seasons (at best), Travis Wood is a short, stocky lefty whose best pitch is a changeup, but he was one of the best pitchers in the minors this year, compiling a 1.77 ERA in 27 starts between Double- and Triple-A.
Runner-up: As a 17th-round pick, outfielder Chris Heisey has gotten little attention despite performing at every level, but everyone is starting to pay attention after another big year at the plate, as he delivered a .314/.379/.521 line split between Cincy's two upper-level affiliates.

Herrera has proven that a small, soft-tossing lefty can get people out in the bigs (at least as a reliever). And the Reds could certainly use a lefty next year in the rotation. Maybe Wood can push Maloney for that fifth-starter spot.

We saw Heisey in Louisville. He didn't look like much, but I'm no scout (or analyst for that matter). He did hit well this year, but it's tough to see a spot for him next year in front of Bruce, Stubbs, Gomesy, Balentien, and Nix. (I left out T-Virus. I hope the Reds do, too.)

Speaking of Gomesy, those of you on Facebook know that he tried to pet Scout the other night at Bark in the Park. And Barker (appropriately named) called Scout, "awesome." (Rachel got on t.v., too.) Scout's now been to four games and something special has happened at everyone, whether it was Kiss Cam, the Enquirer photo, catching a foul ball, or meeting Gomesy and Barker. Good stuff. And it was a good thing the dogs were there, as the human tally was not very high.


Lots of things have conspired to keep me away from the blog, including our push to finish all seven seasons of The Gilmore Girls before fall t.v. starts (more on that later) and the trial I had recently. But the real reason is I'm a little burned out on baseball. In addition to the blog, I had three fantasy teams this year and more Reds tickets than usual. We even scored tickets to some Louisville Sluggers games and travelled to Cleveland to see the Reds on the road. Count the pre-season time getting ready for three drafts, and that's a lot of baseball. But I plan to get back to posting several times a week and appreciate your hanging with me.

During the hiatus, I hope you caught up on UK Football with UKFootballFan, which is listed on this cite and is a great blog for UK fans (and still pretty good for everyone else).

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Fantasy update -who knew?

I think it's over for me in the bgal. I'm in fifth and not that far from second (first has been decided) but don't see much room for improvement. My guys could go on a run, but I don't see it. If Grady had had a typical year, I would have finished in second pretty easily.

The League of Nations is in the playoffs (Yahoo! league; top 6 make it; I finished 5th). I'm currently behind but not by a lot and could advance to the semis, playing the number 2 team.

Now the fun stuff. I've payed very little attention to the Colonial League, but I'm now in third and only four points out of first. I've got a real shot with some runs scored and a small uptick in my pitching. I think the lesson here is to trust your draft and don't over think everything. I guess I'll have to think about whether or not to adopt that strategy for next year.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

All's well that ends well.

It's been a rough couple of days in the Z household. Last week was tough with the trial and all but by Sunday night, the eve of our anniversary, things were looking up. I was feeling great about the relationship and Rachel was posting nice things about me on Facebook. Then all hell broke loose; Luke and Lorelei broke up. Finally, late last night (after a big Reds' win) they got back together. Rachel and I finally got a decent night's sleep last night after two days of being in shock. Thank goodness we're watching on DVD or it would have been four or five weeks instead of two long days.