Forgive me readers for I have sinned. It's been a day and a half since my last TRUM.
Since we last spoke, I've done the following:
• Three segments on ESPN2's "First Take"
• Two podcasts (available at Podcenter at ESPNradio.com and on our fantasy pages)
• Three episodes of "Fantasy Focus," our daily online fantasy show.
• Attended meetings about our upcoming (and very popular) Pigskin Pick 'Em game, a senior staff meeting, our weekly fantasy department meeting, meeting with ESPN.com editorial and a meeting with people from ESPN TV production.
• Two interviews with potential candidates.
• Conference calls about the prizing for our upcoming fantasy football games (wait 'till you see what we're offering. It's really cool), ESPN Radio, ESPN Mobile and a long one about an internal project we're doing for the big muckety-mucks.
• Meeting, follow-up call and wrote a document about a new fantasy tool we are working on.
• Wrote my part of said project for big muckety-muck, researched for the podcasts, segments, shows, did a one hour chat on Thursday and wrote my column for ESPN the Magazine.
Also, a lot of e-mails written and returned in that time. Luckily, you guys got my back, right?
Anthony Michael: Mr. Berry, this e-mail regards the regular absence of the supposedly "daily" TRUM from ESPN's fantasy baseball site and your other site, TalentedMrRoto.com. I understand that you are hard at work trying to establish yourself at ESPN now and making the necessary adjustments, relocations, etc. However, the regularity and quality of the TRUM has severely deteriorated as a function of your increased workload and the relocation mentioned above.
It used to be that I looked forward every day to reading the TRUM, and I am still a devoted reader by the way. I have noticed a sharp downturn in the quality of insight and the number of times that the TRUM is published. Before the move to ESPN, I could count on you publishing the TRUM every day before the games started for that day. It included certain statistics, position changes and other noteworthy events from the previous day that stood out to you. I got much of my fantasy information from your TRUM.
My advice to you would be to do the TRUM if you have time. If you feel like you never really have the time to do the TRUM, then discontinue it. Stop jerking people around and don't compromise the quality of it. That just makes you look bad and also reflects poorly on ESPN and TalentedMrRoto, two things you have worked very hard to make successful. I would suggest that you either hand over the reins of the TRUM to someone who has the time and the inclination to do it, or if that is not an option, then discontinue it. If neither of those options appeals to you, then consider this letter a sincere entreaty to do a better job and make the time for it
TMR: Yeah, you make a lot of fair points and it's tough. Time management is something I really need work on and this is all a learning process. I will say that I waver on this one. So sometimes I feel like I should do one every day, no matter what. Sometime I feel like you do -- unless I have the time, I shouldn't do one. I've thought about killing the TRUM and just going back to a once or twice a week column, like I did in the old days. The issue has come up before and I'm working on it ...
Dan Simon: Berry -- I enjoy reading the TRUM every day at like 6 p.m. when it's finally posted, but it's always a dagger when it doesn't show up at all. Do you think there's any way you could get some sort of heads-up posted for when new TRUMs will be coming? I always click on the link on the ESPN.com front page, and I feel like it'd be cool if they could put a little text next to it that said whether or not a new one was coming later that day, or when the last was posted. I guess their real estate is precious on that front page, but if they could have a few extra pixels for you and Karabell that'd be great. Thanks man, and keep up the good work.
Hey... you know... I will ask a question while I'm at it... thoughts on Jack Cust versus Dan Johnson? I picked up Dan Johnson because I got the idea he was more consistent/less streaky, just to plug into my utility spot until Richie Sexson (a waiver wire pickup!) gets things going later in the season. I'm curious though whether Cust would be a better plug there or anyone else fairly available for that matter. Thanks again, Dan
TMR: We're toying with the idea of doing a newsletter so it gets e-mailed to you every day - we did that on the old site. I'll let you know. But I am trying to get it up as soon as possible. On the Fantasy pages, by the way, the link to the TRUM always contains the day it was posted, so you'll always know if it's new or not.
I like Dan Johnson quite a bit this year and have been saying for a while that there is a reason Jack Cust struck out over 400 times in the minors the last three years.
Dan Prinzon: I thought you said Kei Igawa was going to be as good as Dice-K? Last time I checked Igawa was in Tampa. Anytime you want to apologize for roasting the Red Sox and praising the Yankees for their signings feel free. Sorry to you and Steve Phillips that your beloved Yanks are struggling.
TMR: I hate the Yankees. For the record, I said I thought Kei Igawa in the 17th round (where he was being drafted) was a better value than Dice-K was in the third, which is where he was going. Now, I happen to be wrong, Igawa stunk, but I wasn't as wrong as you think. And by the way, I was right that Matsusaka was overrated in pre-season.
Sean Reynolds: Matt, as a lifelong resident of Connecticut, I hate to break it to you but the state of radio up here is abysmal. There is no such thing as "modern rock" on the dial any more, everything is classic rock or contemporary/easy listening or worse.
Assuming you're in the Bristol area, the closest thing you will find to modern rock is 106.9, WCCC, which I can't always get down here at the shore. As I said, I've lived here all my life, so if there's anything you want to know just ask.
TMR: Yeah, where the hell does a guy get brunch on Sunday?
PFN in Pittsburgh: You should be fired for your stats on A-Rod. You don't have to like the guy, but you have to present statistics to the public that are true and dignified. You obviously haven't held up to that standard. Last time I read your stuff. PFN.
TMR: That would be a fun HR meeting. "Mr. Berry, says here that ESPN is not renewing your contract due to your stats on Alex Rodriguez..."
TMR: Alternate answer that I was gonna use: Just fired? Not feathered and tarred?
TMR: Alternate-alternate answer: Just fired? Don't you think that's too good for the likes of me?
Mr. Yamak Odeh: I got your e-mail contact through my search as a reliable person and I decided to contact you for a business proposal that will be of great benefit to you and my family. To lighten you on this, I will like to invest in your Country/Firm a huge amount of $16.5 Million dollars which is an inheritance from our late Father, if you are interested in this project please kindly reply soonest to enable me give you the details. I will need from you a mutual understanding and then we shall make plans of how the funds would be secured into an account in your name for our lucrative investment legally in your position. I look forward to your response. Best Regards
TMR: Thanks, but I think we're good. If ESPN decides to raise money, I'll let you know.
Lee from KC: From your TRUM the other day "There was a rumor that a kid in the next neighborhood jumped four bricks and a piece of wood. But no one's ever jumped five bricks." That sounded really familiar, but I can't for the life of me remember what it's from. I've tried googling, but no luck. A little help?
TMR: It's from the X Games bike commercial that runs on ESPN. Love that commercial.
Dan Idell from San Diego: Hey Berry, you suck. Don't talk [something not nice] on the Padres. I'm sorry they don't inspire you as much as heartthrob Nate Ravitz's dimpled cheeks. Screw you Mr. Roto (notice the omission of the adjective in your name; it was intentional). By the way, Padres won tonight over the Brewers. Why don't you take that little bit of inspiration and [something else not very nice.] [At all.] Thank you.
TMR: Dan, you have represented Padre Nation well. I take it all back. Stay classy, San Diego.
Drew Dinkmeyer: I write for another site that's not quite as reputable as ESPN, but I think puts out a really strong product as a part-time job and constantly find myself searching for new ideas and new things to write about regarding fantasy baseball. Anyways, while this might sound like the opening of how can you get me "in" the business, it's not.
I just wanted to write and say that while I disagree strongly with a lot of your projections (not a Capps or Lyon guy, Big V and Torres for life!) and at times your brashness makes you a bit hard to take, I think your writing style and your energy are pretty unrivaled from any of the coverage on .com. You've found the way to garner interest by ruffling weathers and seemingly just being yourself and I think you do a really solid job.
TMR: Yes, just being myself tends to ruffle feathers.
Paul Vigil: Okay, hot chicks and Presidents? You used to be my hero because of our pathetic commonality, but now you've let me down and the rest of the RotoNerds.
TMR: Trust me, I still have a lot of pathetic commonality.
Here's some of the nominees for "biggest screw job" from the Celtics column
Brian Grozdanoff: Gotta be the infamous fifth down that Colorado got against Missouri in 1990. Two screw jobs in one -- not only did Missouri get screwed out of a win, but Georgia Tech got screwed out of a national championship (AP voted Colorado No. 1, coaches voted GT No. 1).
Kevin M. Lazan: University of Miami loses the national championship to Ohio State on the phantom pass-interference call four seconds after the completion of the play in OT. Players were running on the field and fireworks had started.
Lee Weiner: The Celtics easily rank as the No. 1 team to get screwed over the years.
1. Losing Tim Duncan in the lottery (and thereby ruining the pro coaching career of Rick Pitino)
2. Drafting Len Bias at No. 2 in the draft the day before he overdoses
3. Losing Reggie Lewis to heart problems at the height of his career
4. Getting No. 5
The Leprechaun is not wearing lucky green anymore, even with Tommy Heinsohn there for the pick. Maybe this is just payback for all those great teams and championship banners that hang in the Garden, or Fleet Center, or whatever they call it now. Most of your readers are probably too young to remember those teams except by reading about them in Simmons' column!
Jeff Barnes: My Grodd, man, it's not even close to being close. Game 6 of the 1985 World Series, where Don Denkinger called Jorge Orta safe even though he was out by two steps. Cost the Cardinals the Series.
Geoff Burgan: Matt, I've never been a Celtics fans, as I've grown up rooting for D.C. teams from my home in Columbia, Md. I was never alive to watch Len Bias play, but I've seen his game film many a time (I'm a huge Terps fan and a member of the Class of 2011 at UMD) and I'd have to say that Len Bias' tragic death after being drafted by the Celtics was them getting screwed at their finest. Bias was more physically imposing than Durant, and more skilled then Oden, if you want to compare them. Not only that, Bias was widely regarded as the best player in the country (You're obviously aware of the Oden versus Durant debate). Coach K, who has more than seen his share of great talent, called him the best player he'd ever seen. Bias could have been MJ's rival for two decades. Instead the Celtics lost a superstar and the University of Mayland lost a beloved son.
Scott: It has to be the University of Missouri.
Two monumental screw jobs in the same decade. The Fifth Down game versus Colorado in 1990 and the Flea Kicker game versus Nebraska in '97. Both games were potential program momentum-turners for Missouri. They would have been huge wins. In the Fifth Down game, even on fifth down, the Colorado dude didn't get in the end zone. The Flea Kicker was out and out illegal. Can't kick a ball to a teammate. I can't think of another program that's taken two bigger shots than that.
Scott Thompson: Matthew, one of the worst screw jobs was in the 1996 ALCS between the Yankees and Orioles. Derek Jeter hit a fly ball to right field that Tony Tarasco was camped under. He did not make the catch because a fan (Jeffrey Maier) interfered. It was ruled a home run by Rich Garcia. He obviously blew the call and the fact that, in the playoffs, they have umpires down each line most likely for that purpose makes the blunder even more egregious.
Also, in a TRUM, you picked Matt Stairs to homer against Steve Trachsel since he had allowed a home run in four of his six road starts. However, Trachsel was pitching at home. Someone should pay more attention to their homework.
TMR: Yes, but Matt Stairs didn't know that.
Alexander Battle: My suggestion is Roy Jones Jr. In the Seoul '88 Olympics he absolutely battered a Korean boxer, who because of the locale, and some good old-fashioned fixing, wound up winning. At the end, the Korean, whose face was mangled, ended up picking Roy up in the air and shaking him around as a humiliating cherry on top. I believe that Jones refused the silver medal because of the injustice. I remember hearing stories of little kids sending him their gold medals from different events they had competed in to try to make him feel better about one of the all-time hosejobs. I was nine at the time and I have not been able to take boxing seriously since.