March 27, 2012

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Perfect MLB Fantasy Team

By: Joe Williams

My league had our MLB fantasy baseball draft recently. As always, I got some of the guys I wanted and missed out on a few as well. But since my draft has come and gone I don’t have to worry about the other guys in my league knowing who I want on my team. Therefore, I will give you a rundown of what my ideal team would look like. It’s not like I had much to worry about, anyway. Chances are none of those guys would have seen this since most of them can barely even read. (Bazinga!) Trash talking your league members is one of the best parts of a fantasy league. Anyway, here’s who I would realistically try to take going by the average draft position on the site my league uses.

Round 1            Miguel Cabrera, 1B

I want my first pick to be a sure thing. Cabrera has put up an average of .320 batting average with 33 home runs, 115 RBI and 102 runs for the last eight years. That’s as much of a sure thing as you will find.

Round 2            Carlos Gonzalez, OF

Again, I want a sure thing if I can get it. Gonzalez has had at least 25 home runs, 20 steals, 90 runs and 90 RBI to go with a .295 average for the last two seasons. He is the real deal.

Round 3            Jose Reyes, SS

Here’s a guy who has led the league in steals and in batting average. Reyes joins a Miami team that has loaded up on talent and brought in Ozzie Guillen to manage. Guillen had the White Sox running a lot and he should do the same in Miami.

Round 4            Michael Bourn, OF

Just in case Reyes isn’t 100 percent healthy and his steals come down again, adding Bourn will make up for it in a hurry. You can pencil him in for 50 steals and he gives you a solid batting average as well.

Round 5            Zack Greinke, SP

Greinke will be nearly as good as the biggest name pitchers in baseball but will cost you a much lower pick to get him.

Round 6            Carlos Santana, C

There aren’t a lot of great catchers so if you get one of them you will have a big advantage at at least one position.

Round 7            Carl Crawford, OF

If Crawford is still available in the 7th round you better jump on him. He had injury problems last year and was a big disappointment. I believe he will bounce back big time.

Round 8            Kevin Youkilis, 3B

Here’s another guy who had a disappointing year in 2011 and should be better in 2012. Youkilis could end up being a steal.

After a down year last season, Youkilis could be the steal you need to bolster your lineup.

Round 9            Brian Wilson, RP

This guy is awesome. I want Wilson on my team regardless of what he does on the field but it just so happens that he can pitch.

Round 10          Josh Johnson, SP

Because of his injury history this is a high-risk, high-reward pick. Go for it. You aren’t playing for third place are you?

Round 11          Matt Garza, SP

I’m a Cubs fan. I always need a Cub. I choose Garza.

Round 12          Heath Bell, RP

He’s going to a better team which will hopefully translate into more saves.

Round 13          Brandon Beachy, SP

He averaged almost 11 strikeouts per nine innings last year.

Round 14          Torii Hunter, OF

Hunter is a solid player and the addition of Albert Pujols should help everyone in the Angels lineup.

Round 15          Ryan Roberts, 2B

You are going to have a weak spot somewhere. This is mine. And it’s not that bad.

Round 16          Emilio Bonifacio, SS

I love guys that can play multiple positions because they provide lineup flexibility.

Round 17          Josh Willingham, OF

Not a guy people will be desperate to get, but always gives you at least 20 long balls.

From this point on in the draft, grab as many high-upside players as you can. If they don’t pan out, you can always drop them and find someone else.

October 13, 2011

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“Who Would Win?” with Kevin Youkilis of the Boston Red Sox

By: Lionel

The Boston Red Sox have taken a beating from the media over the last few weeks, with the team melting down in the last month of the regular season, the departure of Terry Francona and Theo Epstein, and the recent accusations of players partying in the clubhouse during games.  We could get caught up in the drama, but we prefer to talk about happy things.  Besides that, we have a fun interview with Kevin Youkilis that we’re excited to publish while people are still talking about the Boston Red Sox.

We asked Kevin Youkilis to play “Who Would Win?” with us.  The premise is simple.  We just asked Kevin to tell us which of his Boston Red Sox teammates would win various hypothetical events.  His answers are below in bold:

“Kevin Youkilis, of your Boston Red Sox teammates, who would win…

1. …a game of Trivial Pursuit?”  Ryan Lavarnway, only because he went to Yale.

2. …a car race?”  Marco Scutaro loves fast cars.

3. …a political election?”  Jed Lowrie, because he went to Stanford and wears 3-piece suits.

4. …a singing contest?”  Daisuke has a good voice.

5. …a dance-off?”  No idea.  Luckily never seen some guys dance.

6. …a humanitarian award?”  Too hard to answer because we have a lot of guys that do a lot of charity work.

7. …a trash-talking contest?”  Pedroia for sure.  A daily routine for him [is] to talk trash, but it’s all joking around and never too serious.

8. …an arm-wrestling tournament?”  Varitek.  He is one strong dude.

9. …a stand-up comedy contest?”  Marco Scutaro for sure.  He is always making guys laugh and keeping the locker room loose and fun.

10. …a hot dog eating contest?”  Jacoby Ellsbury and Jonathan Papelbon.  They can eat a lot.

April 25, 2011

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Biggest Surprises of 2011 MLB Season

By: Anson Whaley

I know, I get it – the MLB seasonis really just getting underway, and many fans aren’t even paying attention yet with the NBA and NHL playoffs dominating the sports world. But some early season surprises are still worth noting – here are a few:

The Boston Red Sox

What’s going on in Beantown? The Sox were picked by many prognosticators to not only reach the playoffs, but win the World Series. Until this recent hot stretch, though, Boston’s lineup of All Star MLB players hasn’t translated into a lot of wins. So why the early struggles? Offseason acquisition Carl Crawford is batting around .150 – about ½ the production at the plate most expected. Another player picked up, Adrian Gonzalez, has only one home run to date after hitting 31 last year. And Jacoby Ellsbury and Kevin Youkilis, both near .300 career hitters, are batting a little over .200. In a nutshell, too few players are contributing far too less.

The verdict: All of the aforementioned MLB players are veterans and likely just off to slow starts. I expect the current hot streak to continue; the Red Sox will turn things around and sneak into the MLB playoffs. 

AL Central

Over in the AL Central, things have been literally upside down. On the bottom of the standings, there are perennial contenders, the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins. The Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royalsare sitting on top and are doing it with offense – both MLB teams are tied for first-place in the league in scoring runs. Neither was expected to do much, but each squad has some young players stepping up, including Indians’ pitchers Justin Masterson and Josh Tomlin (a combined 7-0) and the Royals’ Alex Gordon, who looks to be finally cashing in some of his enormous potential, hitting over .350.

The verdict: Neither MLB team has had much trouble scoring runs to date, but the Indians have had some of the best pitching in baseball. Because of that, Cleveland should be able to contend throughout the duration of the season, but I expect the Royals to drop off a bit at some point…especially without former ace Zach Greinke, who went to Milwaukee in the offseason.

Jose Bautista

After doing little in five seasons in Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Baltimore, and Kansas City, Bautista slugged a league-leading 54 home runs last year for the Toronto Blue Jays. While his past track record didn’t indicate he was capable of such a year, he proved everyone wrong with a highly-publicized alteration to his swing. Many have been anxious to claim that last year was a mere fluke (a la Brady Anderson circa 1996), but that doesn’t appear to be the case. Bautista is again leading the AL with seven home runs and is batting .360 – more than .100 points over his career average. Jose’s on pace for another 50+ home run season and doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

The verdict: Pitchers are starting to catch on to the fact that Bautista is a real threat, as evidenced by his league-leading 19 walks. Because of that, his home runs should dip a bit, but I’m not betting against him for another big year.

The Mediocrity that is the NL Central

It’s early, but the NL Central is looking like it will produce a .500-ish champion. Heading into the Sunday night matchup between the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals, both were tied for the Division lead at 11-10 with the Milwaukee Brewers. The 10-11 Cubs were only a game back, while the Pirates (9-12) and Astros(8-14) weren’t far behind. With only 3.5 games separating the first- and last-place teams, this is the tightest division in all of baseball. The NL Central appears to be wide open and could be reminiscent of 1997, when the race went right down to the wire with the Astros taking the title with only 84 wins.

The verdict: Predicting a winner in this Division would be akin to predicting when Charlie Sheen will utter another iconic phrase or when Donald Trump will call out another celebrity, but I’ll go with the Reds.  I also think that by the MLB season’s end, there will be a clear separation of the top three teams (Reds, Cardinals, and Brewers) and the bottom three (Cubs, Pirates, Astros). There’s also not much pitching in the NL Central, so there will be some big numbers offensively by some of the individual MLB players in the division.

The New York Mets

When you look at the Mets’ lineup, consisting of great MLB players like Jose Reyes, David Wright, Carlos Beltran, and Jason Bay, you expect great things. But so far, this season has looked like the past two when the club finished under .500, despite the big payroll. In all fairness, though, New York has had to deal with some major injury issues. The team is missing staff ace Johan Santana, who is on the disabled list with an elbow injury and not expected to return until June or July. And the aforementioned Bay just began his season, coming off of a DL stint of his own.

The verdict: With so much talent, it’s hard to see the Mets finishing below .500 again. While they don’t have the horses to compete with the Phillies (few teams do), a second-place or even Wild Card chase isn’t out of the question if they can stay healthy and add a pitcher down the stretch.

July 27, 2010

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Charles: Makin’ Mountains Out of Molehills

By: Charles

Breaking news ladies and gentlemen. In a flagrant display of disrespect for tradition, Dez Bryant refused to carry Roy Williams’ pads. Now you might be saying to yourself “why Charles, I don’t care about over paid and underperforming athletes’ soap opera drama” but you are wrong. You do care. This is the story of the year, and we, the dedicated interns at Fathead, will be there to overcover it every step of the way.

The first, and most important question is why didn’t we see this coming? All of the signs were there. Hindsight is twenty-twenty, but surely, someone could have put it all together and stopped this horrible tragedy from occurring? Flaring tempers and bruised egos in Jerry Jones’ Taj Mahal to football!! And the line between TMZ and ESPN continues to blur…

Bryant has shown similar tendencies to break from tradition before, like the time-honored tradition of remaining an amateur athlete, so it should come as no surprise that he is doing it again! The man considered himself a pro when he was *technically* an amateur, so it figures that he would consider himself a veteran while he hasn’t even played his first down as a rookie yet. I hereby cast my vote for Dez Bryant to be the first player to ever be voted into the hall of fame while still playing. In fact, he should be voted in before he ever starts playing, because boy, if one thing’s for sure, he has proven that he thinks he deserves it.

Which brings us to our SAT Prep of the Day!

Between Romo’s love life, Jerry Jones’ ego, and this new highly-documented-and-media-driven drama……..

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Questions, Comments, Concerns and Clown Jokes

Apparently Chris Paul has decided not to flake out, and will be staying in New Orleans. Also, the Hornets are saying he never even requested a trade. Leaving the rest of the world saying “?????????”

And in Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad News, Dan Haren, recently traded pitcher, was injured in his first start with his new team, the Angels. He took a Kevin Youkilis line drive off the forearm in the fifth inning. Apparently he’ll be fine but you’ve got to wonder if that’s not a sign…

And, in world news…. actually forget it. There is no oil spill so there is no more world news.

Peace. Love. Fatheads.