Blog Entry

Tout Wars: AL-Only Friday

Posted on: March 21, 2008 7:08 pm
Edited on: March 21, 2008 9:52 pm

When I walked into the conference room to watch Friday's AL-only Tout Wars auction, I knew something was different immediately.

There were girls ... Three girls ... And they were pretty.

What in the world is happening to this league? Finally, I scanned up to see that the room was full -- packed actually -- and there were two huge lights, about five film cameras and an entire film crew, which I believe the aforementioned women were all a part of. Sam Walker, author of FantasyLand, is getting a movie made out of his book. The rumors that Matt Berry was being played by Matthew McConaghey were unsubstatiated. It's going to be a documentary, and judging by the way Fantasy owners usually look, I get the feeling this is going to compare more favorably to "Super-Size Me" than anything Michael Moore has put out. Although, Moore could certainly portray a Fantasy writer well also.

So let's get right into some interesting observations about the baseball players being bid on:

Josh Hamilton, OF, TEX: $22 --  He's leading both leagues in hitting this spring, he appears to be happy in his new digs, and his teammates are going out of their way to help him. He could be the AL's reply to Mark Teixeira's trip to the NL last season.

Evan Longoria, 3B, TB: $14 -- I think he opened for $5, and slowly, dollar by dollar, with "going once, going twice" happening three or four times, the price on the Rays' phenom climbed another $7.

Brian Roberts, 2B, BAL: $25 --'s Ron Shandler nominated him with the tag, "Soon-to-be-a-Chicago-Cub Brian Roberts." The stats will stick with his owner in case he is traded to the NL though. A move to the Cubs would certainly make this basethief even more valuable in Fantasy. Emack and I are still on for our 45-SB over-under wager. I have the under ... and Emack is ugly.

Fausto Carmona, SP, CLE: $17 -- Granted, Carmona doesn't bring home the K-acon, but you still have to love his win potential in his second full season as a starter for the Indians. Interestingly, Berry paired Carmona with Seattle's Erik Bedard, who I think will lead the AL in strikeouts. He spent $50 for two of the best pitchers in the AL and he can almost coast from here and still come out looking good in four pitching categories.

Taking a look at the outfielders snatched up so far (these are not in any particular order):

  • Carl Crawford ($40)
  • Ichiro Suzuki ($34)
  • Grady Sizemore ($32)
  • Bid Bad Vladimir Guerrero ($30)
  • Alex Rios ($29)
  • Nick Markakis ($29) -- It's interesting to see Kake still up in this grouping of top six or so outfielders despite what will be a lonely bat in Baltimore. I like Kake and I love cake, as we all know, and since I have him in a few leagues, I'm happy to see this number. But Granderson brings more speed in a brilliant offense, and he goes for $1 less.
  • Bobby Abreu ($29)
  • Curtis Granderson ($28)
  • Magglio Ordonez ($27) -- Last year's AL batting champ will come back to the group, but how much? Again, an interesting number compared to Granderson's. I would have thought Maggs would be a little higher.
  • Torii Hunter ($26) -- Manager Mike Scioscia is an 80s manager, and he has proven that he likes to run the bases when he gets a chance, which is a great sign for Hunter's Fantasy owners. He's coming off a contract year though, which would normally indicate he's in for a decline, but joining a Series contender could cancel that theory out.
  • Nick Swisher ($25) -- I was in a mixed league auction last night, and Swisher went for $26. His home run power will come in handy now that he's away from Oakland's big ballpark. With Orlando Cabrera joining him as the new jersey in the White Sox clubhouse, he'll have an established table-setter ahead of him, and power behind him in Paul Konerko and Jermaine Dye.
  • Vernon Wells ($21)
  • Jacoby Ellsbury ($21)
  • Hideki Matsui ($20)
  • Adam Jones ($18)
  • David DeJesus ($16)
  • Jason Kubel ($14) -- I want to come back to that one,
  • Travis Buck ($12)  

Just had an interesting conversation during one of the breaks with Rick Wilton, who helped Shandler start and currently writes for The Fantasy Baseball Injury Report (
). Here are a couple nuggets I culled from chatting with someone that's considered one of the best at analyzing injuries and their effects on players' futures. (He's a former sports trainer and he has medical experience from his time in the Navy):

  • Scott Kazmir was too sore to throw long-toss from 60 feet this week, and he hasn't thrown now in about seven days. My take: For a guy the team was extremely cautious with two seasons ago, only to let him throw a million pitches in the first five innings of nearly every start last season, the Rays have no one to blame but themselves if he can't go in the first few weeks of the season. Kazmir's injury obviously hits Fantasy owners hard, considering he led the AL in strikeouts a year ago (and nearly the majors if not for Jake Peavy's extra start in the Padres' 163rd game). He went for $19 in tonight's AL-only draft to Steve Moyer.
  • With the northeast still blanketed by cold weather this March, Wilton noted that it could affect the disabled list much like he believed it did last April. There were 404 players placed on the DL at some point last season, which was the first time the 400-mark was breached. One point he was making was that with HGH as prevalent as it is, possibly more than even two seasons ago because players can't be tested for it, they might be more susceptible to injuries as their bodies are pushed to the max. Was last year an aberration? So far this spring, there have not been very many names mentioned in red-cross reports, despite what Kazmir's owners are telling you. Wilton was basically saying that it's like waiting for the other shoe to fall, he knows it's going to happen, but which players will it affect is anyone's guess -- or his, because that's his job.
  • Hanley Ramirez could start the season very slowly as he returns from offseason shoulder surgery and has to become the face of an offense that lost Miguel Cabrera. It might not be until mid-May, when the entire country starts to get as warm as it is in South Florida, before Ramirez starts to get into a groove. His advice sounds like you should target him in a trade when he's batting .240 on May 10. Steals are still going to be a big part of his game though, considering the Marlins are going to have to produce runs with their legs more than past seasons.

Mixed Tout item: Larry Schechter is the league's two-time defending champion and my personal auction-neighbor nemesis (we always sit next to each other -- and he always beats me.) Last season, he started the draft off with Carl Crawford for $39. He said he won't be doing that again this season -- or any other ever again possibly.

Things that make you go Hmmmmmm -- B.J. Ryan was sold for $9, then his setup man Jeremy Accardo went for $14 to Lawr Michaels (which by the way, is one of the best Fantasy Baseball characters you'll ever meet). So a few baseball writers and Fantasy veterans think that Accardo has a 50-percent better chance of helping owners over the long haul. Take that for what it's worth, but Emack and I have been leery of Ryan all spring. Closers coming back from Tommy John surgery in less than a year have much less room for error compared to starters like Francisco Liriano. Eddie Guardado and Octavio Dotel proved that last season, TJ-surviving relievers are not reliable. Accardo was one of three closers to save at least 30 games and not be among the top 300 players drafted on average drafts last year. Bump him up your rankings a smidge. Toronto should win a ton of ballgames.

Even the veterans screw up sometimes: With film crews rolling, microphones clipped to each owner's lapel, and spectators watching -- Michaels' inadvertently drafted one extra pitcher, making his team illegal. His laptop crashed and he was going by the projector's spreadsheet, that showed him missing one more pitcher. They backed out his last pitcher selected, Jon Lester, and he went back up for bid. Yes, it screws stuff up, but things like this happen. Don't yell at your buddies next time they do it. Just call a party foul and make him do a shot. (Between you and me, I made a similar transgression last night and Emack caught it. I thought I had one more $1 ... isn't that always the case?)

Jeb Latkin, Come on DOWWWN!!!: Latkin is the "movie star" that will be taking on the rookie Fantasy guy role that Walker laid out in his book two years ago. Basically, the film crew is going to be following him as he tries his hand at Fantasy Baseball, following Walker's footsteps by talking to scouts, mathematicians, players and managers in his quest for Fantasy greatness. NOT SO FAST! He similarly had a party foul when he tried to win Billy Butler, who is DH-only eligible, despite the fact that he already had DH-only Gary Sheffield on his squad. They made him drink a 20-oz beer while standing on his head for that party foul -- or at least, they should have.

Rocco Baldelli -- $1, Joe Sheehan. And the faint crying sound you heard in the background was me wimpering about the demise and decline of my favorite player that never broke out -- he just broke up.

Strike THREE!!!: It's Berry's turn with a party foul, as he nominates Willy Aybar thinking he was eligible at more than third base. We made him drink a beer with a cigarette butt floating in it and then sing an N'Sync song, which he was just a little too happy to do.

 Here's the AL-only Tout Wars Reserve draft results:

Round 1

  1. Nic Adenhart, SP, LAA
  2. Ryan Sweeney, OF, OAK
  3. Kendry Morales, 1B, LAA
  4. Ben Francisco, OF, CLE
  5. Brandon Inge, 3B, DET
  6. David Murphy, OF, TEX
  7. David Price, SP, TB
  8. Alberto Callaspo, 3B, KC
  9. Octavio Dotel, RP, CHW
  10. Brian Boucher
  11. Andy Marte, 3B, CLE
  12. Reid Brignac, SS, TB

Round 2

  1. Barry Bonds, DH, FA
  2. Shelley Duncan, DH, NYY
  3. Jack Hannahan, 3B, OAK
  4. Justin Ruggiano, OF, TB
  5. Mike Sweeney, DH, OAK
  6. Kenny Lofton, OF, FA
  7. Kenny Rogers, SP, DET
  8. James Hoey, RP, BAL
  9. Jarrod Washburn, SP, SEA
  10. Alan Horne, RP
  11. John Patterson, SP, FA
  12. Jeff Clement, C, SEA

Round 3

  1. Adam Loewen, SP, BAL
  2. Scott Linebrink, RP, CHW
  3. Eric Hinske, 3B, TB
  4. Miguel Batista, SP, SEA
  5. Garret Olson, SP, BAL
  6. Dustin Moseley, SP, LAA
  7. Adam Miller, SP, CLE
  8. Ryan Shealy, DH, KC
  9. Jorge De La Rosa
  10. Jason Jennings
  11. Mike Moustakas, SS, KC
  12. Tike Redman, OF

Round 4

  1. Greg Norton, DH
  2. John Bale, DH
  3. Mike Morse, SS. SEA
  4. Edwar Ramirez, SP
  5. Brian Anderson, OF, CHW
  6. Freddy Guzman, SP
  7. Alan Embree, RP, OAK
  8. Dallas Braden, SP, OAK
  9. Vicente Padilla, SP, TEX
  10. Jeff Karstens, SP, NYY
  11. Jay Payton, OF, BAL
  12. Luis Mendoza, SP, TEX

Round 5

  1. Leo Nunez, SP
  2. Joel Peralta, RP
  3. Aquilino Lopez
  4. Wilson Betemit, 3B, NYY
  5. Nelson Cruz, OF, TEX
  6. Willy Aybar, 3B, TB
  7. Bob McCrory, P
  8. Jesse Litsch, SP, TOR -- Former Devil Rays batboy! Could see a lot of starts for Toronto.
  9. Frankie Francisco
  10. Jason Michaels, OF
  11. Todd Linden, OF
  12. Sammy Sosa, DH, FA

Round 6

  1. Jeremy Reed, OF
  2. Morgan Ensberg, 3B, NYY
  3. Scott Downs, P, TOR
  4. Jose Molina, C, NYY
  5. Brandon McCarthy, SP, TEX
  6. Taylor Teagarden, C, TEX
  7. Brandon League, RP, TOR
  8. Jack Egbert, P, CHW
  9. Wade Davis, SP, TB
  10. Grant Balfour, RP
  11. Greg Smith, P
  12. Dennis Sarfate, RP, BAL -- Mr. Irrelevant!!!


Category: MLB

Since: Mar 22, 2008
Posted on: March 22, 2008 10:15 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Mar 22, 2008
Posted on: March 22, 2008 1:25 am

Tout Wars: AL-Only Friday

nice mock draft i think dats about 95 percent right of whats going to happen holla





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;  2008-2009 season belong to jaguars

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