Tag Archives: ty wiggington

Texas Two-Step

As in, step one: buy a sports team.   step two: PROFIT!

Not Jim Crane. Sadly.

Baseball is shaking things up.  Let me rephrase that.  As much as they can allow themselves to become more exciting, baseball is making some changes.  As I outlined brilliantly in my 3-part “Gritty MLB Reboot” series (or rant, depending on how you take it), baseball is in dire need of some different spices in the pot (Part One, Part Two, Part Three).  Perhaps this purchase and movement of the Astros, and the dominoes their scenario knocks around, is a step in the right direction.

Let us address the sale of the Astros and subsequent move to the AL West.  Effective 2013, the Houston Astros will join their Texas brethren in the AL West.  This instantly creates a legitimate in-state rivalry, unlike the ones MLB and Fox try to force upon us when interleague play arrives (my distaste for interleague is a different story for a different day).  The battle for Texas will provide an interesting tweak on both the division it is entering and the one it is leaving.  Competitively, the NL Central loses  a punching bag, as the Astros have been downright astro-cious the past few years.  Horrible puns aside, the World Champion Cardinals especially benefitted from the Astros, going 10-5 against the 100-loss Houston team.  With the additional wild-card games and an added loser (the Astros, undeniably, will be bad for several years at the very least), the AL West becomes legitimate players.  Do the Athletics take a big step forward?  And does their impending success help persuade the A’s move out of woeful Oakland?  The ramifications of this move could prove to be far reaching competitively, financially, and emotionally – if Nolan Ryan would just say something outlandish to stir the pot (I sincerely hope this happens).  This nugget does not suffice:

“I’ve always thought of the Astros as a National League team,” said Rangers team president Nolan Ryan (who played for Houston from 1980-1988.)  “But when I look at it from our perspective, I like it.”

With a big, big TV deal in place and a mini-dynasty in the making, the Rangers surely like the idea of having a bad team to beat up on.  But the Astros, bad as they might be, will benefit from this too.  Texans are stereotypically a competitive lot, so, somewhat counter-intuitively, two teams in the same state should build up both teams’ TV share and attendance.  Jim Crane paid a pretty penny for a struggling team.  But he may have lucked into the perfect storm of circumstance.  Additional playoffs and a Champion-caliber, in-state rival should put the Astros in a good position financially going forward.  Now if they could only find some players.

Here are some other bits from around the league:

–> Infielder Matt Antonelli will undergo a physical on Monday to finalize his major league deal with the Orioles, tweets Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun.  Matt’s a good dude.  And he’s from Peabody.  And he’s read our blog before, so he’s wicked smaht.  Good to see Dan Duquette give him a go.  Glad he’s healthy again.

—> Joe Nathan signs a 2 year (3rd year team option) with the Texas Rangers.  This really makes me mad, actually.  I have been saying for several weeks now – louder since Papelbon left for Philadelphia – that the Red Sox should make Daniel Bard a starter and sign Nathan to be their closer.  It was a concept borrowed from these same Rangers, and a damned good one, so they did it with their more-than-a-closer Neftali Feliz.  The worst part of this going forward is now the Red Sox must either overpay for a guy who’s not that good, have open tryouts a-la “Invincible” or… gulp… make Bobby Jenks their closer.

—> Philadelphia Phillies acquire Ty Wiggington for a bag of trail mix.  I’m confused by the Phillies reluctance to sign players or develop players under 30.  Between Jim Thome and Ty Wiggington, the Phillies’ bench seems better equipped for lumberjacking than winning baseball games.

—> The Red Sox are circling around Bobby Valentine for their managerial position.  More details and lots of swearing to come in the following weeks.

—> The MLB is working on a new CBA and it will allegedly address issues such as HGH testing and draft slotting.  More details will begin to emerge and once they announce the official parameters, I will break them down.

 

 

Adios, muchachos, enjoy this phenomenal new Black Keys song and the awesome dancing.  Don’t know how this guy stole my moves.

-w

 

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Filed under Baseball, BOOMSHAKALAKKA, Cajones, Closers, Dance, MLB, offseason, Opinion, Posted, Random Thoughts, video

Shiny New Toys – Hitters

Every offseason, there are moves.  Some statement, huh?  But every year, guys switch teams.  Sometimes this is stupendous for fantasy purposes (example: Leaving PETCO) other times the move is irrelevant (say, anything pertaining  to Placido Polanco).  I am here today to discuss some of the moves that will alter the fantasy landscape, moves that will make a player more valuable to your team, moves that will score you a ‘nice move’ by your fellow drafters on the big day.  Here are some hitters that moved and how they’ll be that much better for it in the upcoming year:

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Carl Crawford

Obviously, I was going to start this post with my new friend’s upside.  Carl Crawford doesn’t really need to be hyped up for you to know going to the Red Sox will be beneficial for his numbers.  But I’m going to give you a few ideas anyway.  Here is one time I’m going to completely ignore Bill James’ predictors.  He seems to think Carl is not going to have 100 runs scored.  I’m willing to bet my left ear that Carl Crawford will score a ton in the newly revamped Sox lineup, easily scoring 100 runs.  Also take into account that Crawford has always been a good Fenway hitter.  Give him a bunch more at bats in our beloved banbox and he could definitely see a spike in both homers and triples, what with the 300 foot foul pole in right and all kinds of juts and jabs in the outfield wall.  Take a look at Crawford’s projections then add up- he’s going to have a monster year.

Adrian Gonzalez

Much of Crawford’s production will be due in large part to this man.  I salivate thinking about Adrian Gonzalez in Fenway.  Notorious for being an excellent opposite field hitter, A-Gone could potentially hit 50 homers and set the record for most 301 foot 4-baggers in the history of baseball.  You see, Fenway, in all it’s glory, has the unique dimensions ideal for a power hitter like Gonzalez, short porch in left for those lofty fly balls to the opposite field and short down the line for the extreme pull.  With a good lineup, Gonzalez should hit 40 homers and have 100 walks easily, it’s some of the other stats that interest me.  Doubles, RBI, Runs, in this new Sox lineup Gonzalez should flourish.  He’s a power hitter, sure, but he also consistently puts good wood on the ball.  Don’t you think some of those line drives to left in PETCO are suddenly going to be high up on the Monstah at the Fens?  I expect the new Slugger to put up big, big, big numbers in all the useful categories: Homers, Doubles, RBI’s, Runs, OBP, OPS, all the stats you would want a slugger to provide in fantasy.  Draft him accordingly.

Mark Reynolds

I know, be afraid.  Be very afraid.  Many owners don’t want even a sniff of Reynolds on their team but I’m not one of them.  You don’t make up that kind of power.  I acknowledge and accept his strikeouts, those aren’t going anywhere.   Mark Reynolds is not going to win you a week with singles and average.  Draft Ichiro if you want that.  Mark Reynolds can mash.  I draft him as a late cheap source of power, and let the season sort itself out.  So why am I such a Mark Reynolds madman this year?  Power is contagious.  Camden Yards is a fairly good hitters park, so his power shouldn’t take a hit at home.  Removing PETCO and Coors from the equation, where he doesn’t have great numbers also will serve to help Reynolds.  Let’s also not forget that he suddenly gets to play a handful of games at Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, and the new launching pad in Toronto.  I’m betting Reynolds, at the very least, has an excellent power year, filling up the Homers and RBI categories, while maintaining his lumberjackian strikeout rate.

Adam Dunn

Speaking of sluggers at launching pads, Adam Dunn, known for his big bat, is heading to an absolute rocket pad of a home stadium.  Especially in the summer, Comiskey tends to be a homer-happy stadium where you can put it on the booooaaarrrrrd.  Dunn joins a solid lineup this year and let us not forget, he put up his usual numbers playing on a team protected in the lineup by Ryan Zimmerman and not much else.  Now paired up with Paul Konerko, I expect an upturn in homers, as well as more RBI’s with there being more people on base in Chicago as opposed to the Nats.  If Adam Dunn can hit 40 homers in Nationals Park, he should be able to put up big numbers in Comiskey with his eyes closed.

Dan Uggla

 

Just wrote up Mr. Uggla here, in our Second Base post, and it should be pretty obvious I like the guy going into the year.  The Braves have a pretty nice lineup and Uggla should be in line for some excellent RBI/Run numbers.  Playing in the same division, the parks are relatively the same and I believe Turner Field is a fairly neutral park.  However, much like Dunn, Uggla seems to be pretty much guaranteed for 30-100 (HR-RBI) regardless of what’s going on around him.  I expect nothing less this year and he could benefit greatly from a year-old Jason Heyward’s improvement that we all see coming.

Cameron Maybin

There is a certain type of player who can thrive in PETCO Park.  I believe Maybin is one of them.  Long and athletic, Maybin is the perfect fit defensively for the stadium, able to gracefully cover the spacious park’s outfield.  But who cares about actual baseball when there are fantasy implications to discuss?  Maybin has great speed.  This speed/athleticism is also perfect for PETCO’s spacious alleyways as a hitter. Bill James (yea, him again) has him hitting .277.  I would be thrilled with that.  At PETCO, I can see Maybin being a Mike Cameron-like player for the Padres, hitting 15 homers, a bunch of doubles and triples, and stealing 20 bases.  Doesn’t that sound better than ‘what the hell is the deal with Cameron Maybin?’ which is what was happening in Florida.  With a fresh life in San Diego (which is Spanish for a whale’s vagina), and his notoriously fresh legs, I’m looking forward to a good year from Maybin in 2011.  Without a doubt, though, he’ll win you the Web Gem category if you have that stat…

Ty Wiggington

Sigh.  I wanted 7 players and this is what I came up with.  Wiggington is a useful fantasy chip for his versatility and power.  He figures to only strengthen both in Colorado, where he’ll play all over and should see a considerable spike in his home numbers.  Though a small sample size, he has good numbers at Coors, but then again, most people have pretty good numbers at Coors.  Wiggington is my go-to guy for injury plug in, but once again, his usefulness in understood and likely not changing.

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There you have it, my thoughts on some of the guys who have switched colors this offseason.  Don’t hold me to my own thoughts, I’m no ‘expert’.  Now enjoy the snow and drink lots of water, New Years Eve means long island iced teas for everyone!

first stop, long island iced tea st. next stop blackout circle...

 

-w

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Filed under batter v. pitcher, Fantasy Baseball, offseason, Posted, Random Thoughts

Random Thoughts for the Week Ahead: 7/26

Here’s some stuff kickin’ around our brains we thought we’d share with ya’ll.  Our pleasure to drop such exquisite and random knowledge on the loyal population of readers, even if it is only 3 of you.

–> Carl Crawford suffered one of the strangest sports injuries we’ve ever seen.  It got me thinking about where it ranks with some of the odd injuries that have befallen baseball players (like, say, holding back a sneeze or carrying meat from the hunt).  And I have to tell you, that is one hell of a cup-check there, Jake Arrietta.  And what a break in the bro-code by Wiggington, you gotta stop that baseball, man!  Baseball injuries rank atop my list, followed by football, because the way  Belichick revolutionized the vagueness of the injury report leads to endless amusement from pretty much the entire league.

NOT the right Wade Davis.

–> I know I hyped (excessively) his would-be replacement, but Wade Davis has been really solid recently. Whether he goes to another team or stays with the Rays, he looks like he has worked out some kinks going back through the league.  Watch him at the deadline, as his moving or not moving has serious, legitimate, playoff-for-fantasy altering ramifications (as well as the less-important-but-nationally-relevant real life baseball ones).

–> This is frankly an astonishing story that Dave found (ny times) from 2008.  What an ingenious player, Mr. Newsom.  I’m surprised something like this hasn’t taken off yet.  It’s a pretty great idea.  I wish I had thought of it.  Are you teased enough? Read the damn article!  He has since retired, but good for a Northeast fella for making a name with not only baseball but being clever (how’s that working out for you?  being clever?)

–>Dan Haren to the Angels.  Yawn.  This move bores me.  But it does allow me to discuss a highly sought after prospect who DIDN’T move, Mike Trout.  Here’s a scouting report with video linkage on the man, who’s really just a boy.  In addition to having a stupendous baseball name, Trout profiles as a speedy and dynamic (read: fantasy relevant) player who is on track to big league standout. He runs very well and hits for raw power.  We will be keeping tabs on him for you, but mostly for ourselves going forward.

Related to the deal, I like it for Joe Saunders‘ fantasy future.  Saunders gets to face the Gents, Dodgers, and Pads all the time now.  Even if the D-Backs aren’t great, those less-than-stellar offenses should do nothing but improve a solid AL pitcher into a very useful NL one.  Remember Clayton Richard?  Well Saunders is a better pitcher than him.  Think about it.  People own Richard.  You’ll like having Saunders.  This is all I’m saying.

–>  How great was that Fight Club clip?!  Here’s where I got it:  (via)

–> Some guys that need to move at the deadline to get us excited for them in fantasy:  Jose Guillen (Dejesus would follow, but the man just smashed himself into a wall); Ichiro.  Yup, we went there.  We come to take Ichi for granted in fantasy.  Imagine him in a playoff race on a good team?  My goodness I’m already drooling; Oswalt is an obvious name, but my god if he doesn’t need a change of scenery, I don’t know who does; JJ Putz– GET HIM SOMEWHERE WHERE HE IS THE CLOSER AGAIN ALREADY!  Yeeesh; Adam Dunn as a DH somewhere.  This would make his value skyrocket in the fantasy world.  Imagine him in Detroit behind Cabrera.  Go ahead, think about it.  Awesome;  Ty ‘Nutella’  Wigginton– on a better team with a good offense (read: the Yanks),  Wiggy is a super-utility fantasy stud;  Dan Johnson could use a move, so he could attempt to be good once again in the MAJOR leagues.  For now he will continue to rake for the Rays minor league team; Brad Hawpe needs to get out of Colorado; So does Iannetta (hellooooo Red Sox?  Please?); Aaron Harang should plead to move at the deadline- what happened to him????  The Phils could use an open OF spot (Raul Ibanez, Victorino, Francisco, are all part of this list) because the second coming of Eric Davis, aka Dom Brown is on the rise- look the ‘f’ out;  Doesn’t it seem like Ryan Dempster has been pitching for 100 years?  I know you said yes.  And that is reason enough for Dempster to go somewhere a little less… dysfunctional than Chicago.

–> Another Northeast guy is making waves in fantasy, as Chris Denorfia, the former Cincinatti great, is raking for the Friars in Petco.  I snagged him in a deep league because, well, he has an outstanding name and is a power/speed combo guy who is hot.  Do I really need more of a reason?  Look at his minor league stats.  Maybe he just needs the right role in the right place?

–> Look at Brandon League‘s pitching motion (in sweet, sweet superduper slo-mo).  He throws 99 MPH.  This blows my mind.

–> Final thought: the Reds can mash and are heading to Milwaukee this week.  I expect sparks to fly.  Go Gomes Go.

CONGRATS to Andre Dawson, great player who looked great in the old Montreal Uniforms.  Love the flow, Hawk.

-w

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Filed under MLB, Opinion, Posted, Random Thoughts, Weekend Hijinks