True story: I was halfway through this blog when I stopped. As promised, I was doing the bad-date-karaoke story. It then turned into something longer because there was an addendum. And then it turned into something else. Too long for the TRUM and too fun to not use.
So it's going to be the intro to my "Love / Hate" for the ESPN Fantasy Football Draft Kit. Those are always long and fun and this will fit perfectly. It ALSO will save me having to come up with a topic, since I am writing it this weekend. The kit comes out next week, just like the '07 version of ESPN's league manager product. With free live scoring. You heard me.
Now with the intro scrapped, I have a problem. OK, I have a lot of problems. But one specific to today's blog. Normally on Friday I do a mailbag. But I did one on Wednesday and I didn't do a blog Thursday, the result of not enough time between writing the Redskins piece -- now on the football page -- and Thursday's chat, podcast, "Fantasy Focus" show, "Baseball Tonight" and a bunch of meetings about our game, our draft kit and our integration this year with ESPN Radio.
So, what's a TMR to do?
I want, as Van Halen once sang semi-obscurely, the best of both worlds. Which is exactly what we'll do. Some baseball nuggets and then a mini mailbag. Let's dive in.
Well, as I was writing this, Mike Maroth was traded to the Cardinals. He's an add for deep NL-only leagues, as he'll be a solid, middle-of-the-pack starter for a team that's been playing a lot better. The lefty is the definition of an innings eater. He doesn't strike anyone out, he has an ERA higher than 5, a WHIP more than 1.6, he is -- what's the word? -- stinky.
But the Cards have a good team that gets a fairly easy schedule, so if you need a starter that will get some wins in NL-only, get him. Of more interest here is what the Tigers will do. With Kenny Rogers coming back, the question becomes whether they keep Chad Durbin or Andrew Miller for the last spot. Personally, I bet they keep Miller in the lineup, as he's been more effective than Durbin so far. ...
So Miguel Tejada's wrist is broken. Hard to say who takes his place if he has to miss time. He keeps saying he's gonna play through it. Chris Gomez and Freddy Bynum would probably split time. Bynum has a little bit of speed, so maybe he's worth a look in deep, deep AL-only leagues, but otherwise ignore. It makes me think that this injury kills any chance Tejada had of getting his power back, though.
One name you should consider, however, is Troy Tulowitzki. He's hitting .324 in his past 10 games, with seven runs and a steal. He's available in tons of mixed leagues.
... That as long as we are in Colorado, it's worth noting that Garrett Atkins hit another home run. He now has three homers, 8 RBIs and a .286 average in his past six games. And in June, he is hitting .317 with 16 RBIs in 17 games.
... That I am worried about Jered Weaver. The missed start Friday night is just another example of why to worry. Did you know he has a 1.53 WHIP this year? That ain't good. Once he comes back, I sell.
... That Milton Bradley will be in the National League sooner than later, I bet. And will do well. The Pirates are apparently interested. Remember, Bradley played for Jim Tracy in Los Angeles.
... That I would sell, sell, sell Felix Hernandez. Look, he mowed down the Pirates. Yay. I could mow down the Pirates. Hell, even Jeff Weaver mowed down the Pirates. Batters are hitting .340 against Hernandez this month. Since April 2006 through June 1, 2007, Felix has had only three months with an ERA below 4.00. And only one month with an ERA below 3. Too inconsistent, not healthy: sell high. Or, as high as you can.
... That yeah, my bad on the J.D. Drew stat showing up wrong again. I put in what I thought was the magazine-edited version of my piece and it was my raw version where I mistyped.
Mini Mailbag time:
Kyle J (Audubon, N.J.): First, I wanted you to know that you're growing on me. When I first read you, I didn't like your nonfantasy opinions; I thought you were [something not nice]. But now I realize that it's good to have a personality to go along with all of the numbers and figures. So, please, keep with your opinions. It's kind of like getting to know you (instead of a mystery writer who I know nothing about), and it's easier to trust you. Anyway, two questions: What does TRUM stand for? And who selects the coaches for the All-Star game? Is it MLB or did LaRussa and Leyland pick their buddies?
TMR: My fungus-like growth on folks is the secret to my success with readers and women. The managers pick their coaches, and for what TRUM stands for, look up, up, up to the top of this column.
Cody (New York, N.Y.): I wanna start by saying I love your posts and the "Sopranos" analysis was the best. Anyway, I have been reading a lot of posts from your colleagues, and you may have said something as well (not sure), but, yeah, does Hunter Pence continue to be looked at as someone that is playing above his potential? Or is he putting up a very strong case for rookie of the year, since he still has yet to show signs of slowing down?
TMR: Pence is very legit.
Andy (Portland, Maine): I'm in a semi-shallow 10-team mixed league and I need to cut a pitcher with Rich Harden back this week. With Curt Schilling's recent struggles and loss of velocity, is he a safe bet to cut or should I look elsewhere? Other options include Yovani Gallardo, Bob Wickman or Brad Lidge/Dan Wheeler.
TMR: Cut Lidge. In a league that shallow, there is no reason to keep a hurt set-up guy/pseudo-closer.
Fobio1886: Way to give up on King Felix right before he shuts down the Pirates. I hope ESPN doesn't actually pay you to write two columns of B.S. a week. Do you just make things up as you go?
TMR: That's pretty much what writing is, yeah.
RIllo807: You say Jonny Gomes is going to "play every day" in Tampa, so who is the odd man out going further in Tampa? I drafted Gomes very late in a deep league (particularly for the type of weekend he just had) only to drop him when he became the odd man out and got sent down. With Rocco Baldelli coming back this week from injury, won't he take at-bats from Gomes as the DH before moving into center field? Then when B.J. Upton comes back, he'll likely be back in at second base, and with Carlos Pena also hot, is Wigginton going to start losing at-bats? I mean I'd imagine their outfield, going further, will include Crawford, Baldelli and DelmonYoung. Then, Akinori Iwamura, Brendan Harris, Upton and Pena/Wigginton man the infield? This leaves Pena/Wigginton, Gomes and Dukes as the odd men out with only one DH spot, or can we expect to see one of the Rays be dealt before the trade deadline? Is Gomes really worth a second look?
TMR: Baldelli is out another six weeks, at least. Dukes is being shopped. I see their eight hitters being, in no particular order, Crawford, Young, Gomes, Pena, Wigginton, Upton, Iwamura and Harris.
Jeff (Pittsburgh): Regarding hot females in Pittsburgh on your chat Thursday, there are hot females in Pittsburgh. Duquesne, the university I went to in Pittsburgh, was previously ranked top-10 for campuses by "Playboy." I am not sure who told you otherwise, but stay away from the blogs for a weekend and visit Pittsburgh yourself to see.
TMR: Check, please! I'm off to Steel City.