Weller’s Fantasy Baseball Team

As you may recall, I am attempting to become a baseball fan this year. I took a big step in that direction by joining a fantasy baseball league on Yahoo. It’s a standard public league with 12 teams/managers and head-to-head scoring. My first real shock came when I found out that I was in a live draft league. I had actually thought that I’d signed up for a league with an automated draft because I knew that I wouldn’t have heard of enough of the players to pick my team, and I certainly wouldn’t know enough about the players that I had heard of to know which to draft and when. I was wrong, it wasn’t a auto-draft league. Here’s the story: Continue reading

Playoff Predictions

I’m a little late since one game is already in the books, but we love meaningless predictions around here so I’m giving mine.

Phillies vs. Brewers – I would love to see the Brewers pull this out, since they are a fun team to watch.  Their heriocs at the end of the year with Sabathia, Braun, and Fielder kind of endeared me to them.  Having said that, I don’t think they’ll beat the Phils.   Howard, Utley, and Rollins will be too much for them in the end.  Plus, if Cole Hamels can pitch anywhere near like he did today, that’s another win.  I’ll take the Phils in 4.

Cubs vs. Dodgers – I would love to see the Cubs lose in agonizing fashion.  All the brand new Cubs hats around campus were really annoying today.  If the Dodgers can get to Dempster today, then they have a shot.  The Cubs are very difficult to beat when they throw Dempster-Zambrano-Harden at you to begin the series.  The Dodgers counter with Lowe-Billingsley-Kuroda.  Not quite the same, still good, but not the same.  Cubs in 4.

Red Sox vs. Angels – This is a very intriguing series, pitting two of the best teams in baseball against each other.  The Angels have the best record in baseball, but it’s a little deceiving since they play in the AL West.  The Sox are very strong, but Josh Beckett may not be completely healthy and they will miss Manny Ramirez.  The opening game starters are John Lester for the Sox and John Lackey for the Angels.  Lackey has been terrible in his last few starts, so this game is key for the Angels.  I don’t know how big of an upset it is for the defending Champions to win, but Sox in 5.

Rays vs. White Sox – Another good series has the upstart Rays making their first ever playoff appearance agains the veteran White Sox.  The Sox had to beat three different teams on the final three days of the season just to get in.  I have to imagine there will be some sort of hangover from all that drama, but the Rockies proved me wrong last year.  I can see this one going either way and for the record, I’d like the winner of this series to win the whole thing.  I just flipped a coin: Rays in 5.


Phillies vs. Cubs – The Cubs are the better team here, but this is where the Cubs die.  I really hope something catastrophic happens, like Zambrano pummels someone in the dugout and can’t pitch or Geovany Soto trips while rounding third and gets tagged for the series ending out.  I think the Phils offense might top the Cubs, who have been on cruise control since about August.  Phils in 6.

Rays vs. Red Sox – The Rays have proved me wrong all year, I think they’ll be the better team in this AL East showdown.  The Rays young pitchers won’t tire out as fast as the potentially injured Josh Beckett and company.  The Sox will really miss Manny against Kazmir and friends.  Rays in 6.

World Series

Phillies vs. Rays – This is where it hits the Rays that they’re actually in the playoffs.  Howard and Utley will pound the ball in Tampa while Hamels shuts down the Rays offense.  I’m not going to spend a whole lot of time breaking down this match up since it will probably be the Angels and Cubs anyway but just for fun, Phillies in 5.  MVP – Cole Hamels.

Have predictions of your own?  Let’s see them in the comments.

Big Baseball Day

Today was big day in the world of Major League Baseball.  Last year’s Cy Young Award winner CC Sabathia was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for power hitting prospect Matt LaPorta and some other unconfirmed minor leaguers.  I was surprised about the urgency with which this trade went down.  It seems like the Brewers never tried to low ball the Indians and work their way up.  This didn’t give anyone else a chance to top their offer, so the Indians just accepted.  Quick and painless.

I like this move for the Brewers for many reasons.  At the close of the day the Brewers sat 3.5 games behind the first place Chicago Cubs in the AL Central, Sabathia gives them another dominant, front-line pitcher to compliment Ben Sheets, giving then one of the best 1-2 punches in all of baseball.  It also allows Jeff Suppan to slide back into the number three spot, where he thrived for the Cardinals before signing his free agent deal with Milwaukee.  While I am a big fan of Mr. Suppan, as detailed here, he is not a number two starter.

As for LaPorta, the Brew Crew may miss his power, but their Double A team is loaded.  LaPorta converted from first base in his college days to outfield this year, where he’s only made two errors.  This year, he’s put together an eye popping line of .288/20/66 in 84 games.  They’re not exactly losing their offense at Double A since Third Baseman Mat Gamel is putting together an equally impressive line of .374/15/75.  Gamel, however, has committed 23 errors in 87 games.  I would look for a swap of positions in the near future; maybe 1st Base if Prince Fielder gets traded in the offseason (not as crazy as it sounds, we’ll discuss this in a minute.)  The report also says that they were not forced to give up shorstop prospect Alcides Escobar who’s hitting .324/7/52 to go along with 22 steals.  The Brewers are going to be set for a while.

Another interesting thought was brought up by Buster Olney on Baseball Tonight.  He said that if Sabathia and Sheets both leave after this year via free agency, the Brewers will have five of the top 35 picks in the 2009 Draft.  That’s kind of frightening for the rest of the National League.

Now back to that little bit about Prince Fielder.  My friend and frequent commenter, Nick, were discussing this possibility a couple days back.  Back in March, Tim for MLBTradeRumors posted this about Prince not being happy with his contract being renewed, rather than the possibility of an extension.  Think of the return the Brewers could get for a controllable player who is in his early 20s and has a 50 homer season to his credit.  It would be something we’ve never seen before.  The two comparables I can come up with off the top of my head are Mark Teixeira’s trade to the Braves last year for Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Elvis Andrus, Matt Harrison, Beau Jones, and Neftali Feliz.  This was for 1.5 season’s of Teixeira if the Braves are unable to resign him.  The second is the Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis trade to the Detroit Tigers for Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin.  Both of these involved superstar players under contract for over a year…but neither one has hit 50 homers.  The return for Prince could be astronomical.  We settled on the Giants as the team who could get him.  The Brew Crew would need pitching and the Giants have the young pitchers to get it done.  Tim Lincecum would be the starting point.  Would it also need Madison Bumgarner and/or Tim Alderson?  It’s fun to speculate.

Anyway, enough Brewer talk for tonight.  Maybe I’ll come back to criticize the All-Star selections tomorrow.  Geovany Soto is my new least favorite player in baseball.

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