Brian, Feature, Head-To-Head, Poll, Roto

Rotisserie versus Head-to-Head (2013 version)


baseball-003Every year, fantasy baseball grows in size, exposing more of the population to the sad, masochistic, stat-filled addiction that the strange few of us already know like the back of our hands. Usually, the first decision new managers have to face is which format they want to play under: rotisserie (roto) or head-to-head. My recommendation to new owners: join one of each because even though both are amazingly addicting, they’re remarkably different. I enjoy head-to-head formats better than rotisserie because I like the thrill of week-to-week drama. The rivalry aspect is also unique to head-to-head formats. But let’s not put the cart before the horse.

Before we delve into the differences, let’s make sure we don’t leave any stone unturned and quickly discuss the history of the “sport.”

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Butler, Outfield, Player Profile

Player Profile: Mike Trout


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Earthquakes are no joke.

I started watching baseball in 1989. I still distinctly remember the Giants beating the Cubs in the NLCS before being swept by a far superior Bash Brother-powered Oakland A’s team in a World Series made memorable more by the earthquake than for anything else that happened on the field. The respective NL and AL Rookies of the Year that season were Chicago’s Jerome Walton and Baltimore’s Gregg Olson, who is not to be confused with 1920s Negro League star Greggg Olson. Walton would go on to have an exceptionally mediocre 10-year career (25 home runs, 132 RBI in 598 games), while Olson saved 217 games with a respectable 3.46 ERA. Winning the ROY does not always portend a stellar career; for every Mike Piazza there is a Ben Grieve, and for every Justin Verlander there is a Jason Jennings. In my lifetime, players like Nomar Garciaparra, Ichiro Suzuki, Ryan Braun, and Albert Pujols have produced incredible rookie seasons and gone on to become superstars.

Piazza’s rookie season remains, to me, the most impressive. Not because he was selected in the 62nd round by Tommy Lasorda as a Mafia-style favor to Mike’s father, but because he did it from the catcher position. Great hitter, but mobile as a microphone stand (17 career SB). In 2001 Ichiro became only the second rookie to win league MVP. He’s one of the great jackrabbits (452 career SB), but has averaged 55 RBI and 8.6 HR per season. Ryan Braun, who bravely succeeded where all others failed in resisting the nefarious overtures of deposed U of Miami strength coach, scumbag, and roid pusher Jimmy Goins, discovered each of the past two seasons that stealing 30 bags isn’t that hard. Garciaparra had little interest in running. Pujols has sneaky, opportunistic retard speed.

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When asked if he had any clue how he would play in 2013, even Mike Trout said, “Go fish.”

And then there’s Mike Trout, who as a rookie displayed a power/speed/average combination the likes of which had not been approached since before Barry Bonds became a hydrocephalic, baseball-murdering gargoyle. He steals bases (49 thefts in 54 attempts) at will and tracks pitches like a cyborg.  Continue reading

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Brian, Projections, Rankings, Shortstop

Brian’s Top 13 Shortstop Rankings and Projections for ’13


He'll listen to all your girl talk, ladies.

He’ll listen to all your girl talk, ladies.

For as long as anyone can remember, shortstops have been the black sheep of the family. While all the other players are interested in manly things like home runs (Chicks dig the long ball) and RBI and human growth hormone, the six spot is more interested in sensitive things like glove work and eking out infield singles. I mean for Pete’s Sake, Lou Boudreau is a Hall of Famer with 68 career home runs and 51 career stolen bases. Boudreau even made the All-Star Game in 1941 with this fantasy line: 95 R, 10 HR, 56 RBI, 9 SB, and .257 BA. If he isn’t the Solange Knowles to Babe Ruth’s Beyonce, I don’t know who is.

It’s true, shortstops are the redheaded stepchildren. They’re the sensitive ones. While all the boys are out hunting with father, the shortstops are back at home with mom baking pistachio walnut tassies.

In 2013, you’ll likely find better numbers than what spritely Boudreau mustered in 1941, but let me tell you, this group is a sad state of affairs. Jose Reyes and Troy Tulowitzki are huge injury risks. Hanley Ramirez, the diva that he is, might rather hang out in West Hollywood instead of Chavez Ravine. Starlin Castro would probably rather look at the hot guy standing behind him in left field than play hard. And Derek Jeter is more concerned which fragrance of body butter he’s going to put in his gift baskets.

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Brian, Projections, Rankings, Second Base

Brian’s Top 13 Second Basemen Rankings and Projections for ’13


Cano is the last solid rock in the once great Yankee lineup.

Cano is the last solid rock in the once great Yankee lineup.

Ever since Chase Utley fell out of the top five second basemen two years ago, this list hasn’t dramatically changed very much. But just because this list is more stagnant than an African pond infested with malaria carrying mosquitos, doesn’t mean we aren’t going to go in for a dip.

The top five in this position are staple guys. They’ve been at or near the top for years now. You can pretty much look at what they did the year before and expect similar, if not identical production. Robinson Cano is a perfect example of this. Over the past three years Cano has reached 100 R, 28 HR, and nearly 100 RBI (last season he dipped in this department). Dustin Pedroia, who does come with his fair share of risk due to injury, is easily the number two second basemen when healthy because of his speed and power. But the most consistent source of HR and SB is Brandon Phillips, who has produced exactly 18 HR in each of the past three seasons to go with SB totals of 16, 14, and 15.

Last year I incorrectly had Dustin Ackley above Jason Kipnis in my rankings. While Ackley was a more consistent player (consistently poor, in fact), Kipnis produced the better end of season numbers, by far. Neither of these two players are slam dunks, but both have immense upside if they ever produce what they’ve been expected to do.

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Brian, First Base, Player Profile, Thaller

Player Profile: Prince Fielder


It's all smiles 'round here.

It’s all smiles ’round here.

The story behind Prince Fielder isn’t unlike that of a tall tale. A larger than life kid, son of a larger than life baseball player, toting around a gargantuan piece of lumber, launching home runs into different Detroit zip codes. It’s the sort of thing that, after Prince (he even has a majestic name) is dead and gone, people will still talk about, embellishing it even more. He’s two shakes away from owning an ox the size of Mount Rushmore.

Now that Fielder isn’t a prepubescent phenom, and his fable has transformed into non-fiction, Tiger fans have that glossed over “I just had Thanksgiving dinner” smile on their faces; perfectly content. Fielder isn’t complaining, either, as he always looks like he’s just had a turkey (or two)…oh, and he’s got $214 mil. stuffed under his kids’ race car beds.

Every folk tale also needs a villain, or a trickster, and in this case it’s Prince’s father, Cecil. Reportedly it’s a broken, if not completely nonexistent relationship between the two. Cecil, as told by Prince, was a terrible father. I’m sure if you ask Cecil, he will tell a different story (“Hey, what other kid got to take batting practice with Sweet Lou?”). Either way, Prince seems on a mission to stick it to his old man, with his words and his play on the field.

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Brian, Butler, Jared, podcast, Rotoballs, Spring Training

Rotoballs Offseason Podcast: Episode 4


Rotoballs Offseason Podcast: Episode 4

Special thanks to Sparta and Darkest Hour for providing the music for this episode.

Brian Dorsey

Brian Dorsey: Creator/Editor

Jared Cothren: Contributing writer

Jared Cothren: Contributing writer

 

 

 

 

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Player Profile, Projections, Starting Pitchers, Wooden

Player Profile: Tim Lincecum


Tim hasn't been killing them all lately.

Tim hasn’t been killing them all lately.

Remember when Metallica decided to collectively get sober and cut their hair? It signified a new era for the band. They began going to group therapy and getting all lovey-dovey while learning how to deal with their pent-up frustrations. They were committing themselves to something new, hoping they could recharge their careers, grasping at their legacy and all of its glorious hair-metal past to ensure it would be more than a footnote in the annals of rock music. Remember?

Metallica, meet Tim Lincecum. He too enjoyed nearly unprecedented success in the not-too-distant past. I mean this is the guy who won Cy Young Awards in each of his first two (full) seasons. This is the guy who struck out batters with authority with his long-hair-don’t-care approach on the mound. This is the guy who developed the nickname The Freak for his off-field persona as much as his unorthodox pitching mechanics on the mound. This is the guy who smoked pot and ate In-N-Out burgers and still went out and breezed through opposing lineups the way Liz Taylor breezed through spouses in her prime. This is the guy who probably knew how to ride the lightning.

Let’s also not forget that this is the same guy who had an ERA that was unsightly enough to relegate him to the bullpen for the 2012 playoffs in favor of Barry effing Zito! This is the same guy who gave up career highs in home runs and who saw his walk total rise for the 3rd straight season, even as he pitched fewer innings than the previous seasons. This is the guy who looked more like Tim Tebow on the mound than Tim Lincecum.

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