Welcome To Jaime Town

April 17, 2010

Hey-oh! I went there. Did that one take you back to the 80’s? Well Jaime Garcia (pronounced “Hy-mie,” hence the title) got all Hot Tub Time Machine on The Mets today, channeling master corner-painter, John Tudor, with excellent command over an assortment of pitches. Today young Jaime, making his third career start – second since coming back from TJ Surgery – out-Johaned Johan, going seven scoreless before leaving the game with the score tied. Walking two and striking out five, the lefty kept Mets batters off balance all day, inducing little but weak contact. In fact he allowed just two hard hit balls all day. The Mets only hit came off of him as soon as Tim “No-Hitter-Ruiner” McCarver acknowledged the No No, prompting Angel Pagan to loop a broken bat single into center. He doesn’t over-power anyone, but Garcia hides the ball very well, hits his spots and gets ahead of hitters. That’s that magic Dave Duncan pixie dust at work I tell ya!

Needing a Win, WHIP and a QS, I threw Garcia out there for a spot start against the punchless Mets. Now it’s looking like this guy is for really real and I’m going to have some interesting decisions to make when Fuentes and Hill get healthy and come off the DL.

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Fantasy Breeds Strange Bedfellows

April 17, 2010

“It’s a sick sick world, so what do you do kid?” – “Sick Sick World,” Rancid

That chorus wafted through my mind last night as I saw Chris Carpenter shut down my beloved Mets last night, on the way to a 4-3 Cardinal victory at Busch. I have Carpenter in my 15 team league and at that moment, my team had collected one lone Win in about 80 some-odd innings of work. Oh it gets worse for a Mets fan. I have Cardinal’s rookie lefty, Jamie Garcia going today against Johan. Oh wait, what’s that? I’m not feeling dirty enough… how about Adam Wainwright on Sunday? Yeah got him too. I need wins from that trifecta. This weekend I’m singing, “beat the Mets, beat the Mets, head to the park and…” I feel like Harvey Keitel in “The Bad Lieutenant,” betting on The Dodgers in a fictional playoff series against his home team.

Some readers might not be old enough to remember that in the 1980’s the St. Louis Cardinals were The Mets most hated rival. At the age of 10, I was throwing garbage and hurling insults at Cards fans brave enough to visit Shea. I was a young, rabid Cardinal hater, frothing at the mouth at the very mention of the name Whitey Herzog. My father fueled the hatred, telling me a story about how he once asked Stan “The Man” Musial for an autograph before a Giants game at The Polo Grounds. Stan replied, “you look like one of the fat cows on my farm.”

Fuck you and your 3,630 hits Stan.

***CORRECTION***

My father called to correct me. Musial ignored him when he asked for an autograph. It was actually Cardinals infielder Solly Hemus who had insulted him.

Well fuck you and the horse you rode you rode in on too Solly

That rivalry had a good run. This was before the six division realignment, that now has The Cards playing in the NL Central. The Cards played in the NL East and year after year, they would go down to the wire with The Mets, usually getting the better of them. It was tougher than seeing The Phillies win these past few years. At least The Phils have a murderers row of hitters and a couple of big time arms. I don’t blame the Mets players for not being good enough, it’s managements fault for assembling such a flawed team and still pay out the 3rd highest payroll in baseball. With all the incompetence the various cabals in the Flushing front office has displayed, I can feel comfortable saying that The Mets aren’t going to win the NL east this year. If you’re the ’10 Mets, you look at the names and say, “lets try for the wild card guys.” Well in the ’80s there was no Wild Card. You beat the Cards or you go home in October, and I couldn’t understand how we didn’t finish ahead of those guys in ’85 or 87. Of course The Bulldog did us in 88 and after that it was down hill.

I’d always marvel at how those Cards managed to win. The Mets always looked like the better team, top to bottom. St. Louis had one home run hitter in Jack Clark for fucksake and a bunch of speedy guys! Pitching? Look at this starting five from ’87: An injured Tudor’s your ace??? Danny Cox? Matthews? Magrane? An over-the-hill Bob Forsch? Are you kidding me? They didn’t have phenoms like Doc or Darryl, or household name All-Stars like Mex or Kid. The Wiz is a Hall of Famer for his glove, not his bat. They had nothing that could compare to Pujols. The Cards just won a lot with solid D, fleet and aggressive feet and consistent pitching. You can say they were very similar to Scioscia’s Angels. Mets injuries and off the field shennanigans did them ultimately, but it was maddening to see this Cards team deliver clutch hits, make great plays and win tight ball games, over and over again. Pendleton’s homer off of McDowell in ’87 still haunts me. I brought that inbred hatred with me to Shea during the 2000 playoffs as I delighted in watching The Mets crush St. Louis on their way to The Series. I expected to see the same thing in ’06, watching from the stands as The Mets grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory in games 2 and 7 of the NLCS. Just swing the bat Beltran! Now Adam Wainwright’s the ace of my keeper staff.

The Mets had just won it all in ’86, running away with The East. This was the sort of team that’s supposed to win year after year, we felt. The Mets felt it too, but too many injuries and too many parties helped derail that dream. Aside from the feeling that “we should be killing those guys,” that Mets fans felt, there was a genuine animosity between the two teams. This wasn’t good natured ribbing like J-Roll and Beltran traded a few years ago. Just about every series between these teams provided each clubhouse with more bulletin board fodder. “I think they’re a little scared of us now,” Carter said. “The Mets are pond scum,” Whitey so famously said. These teams didn’t just want to win. They wanted to beat each others brains out in the process and we fans felt that intensity.

So here I am with three Cards starters going this weekend. I need Wins. I got one last night as The Mets bullpen spoiled a splendid start by ’06 hero Oli Perez. I think I’ll get two more before Wainwright’s game on Sunday is over. My pops always told me to bet with your head and not with your heart. This is a guy who had The Bills in Super Bowl 25. Grey Albright, the genius behind Razzball calls it “fucking your step-sister,” when you’ve got your fantasy guys going against your favorite team. This weekend, I’m running a train on my step-mom. To quote Lou Reed, “I feel sick and dirty, more dead than alive,” much like The Bad Lieutenant. If my Cards pitchers don’t perform, you might see something like this…

*WARNING NSFW*

For the record, Bad Lieutenant director, Abel Ferrara is a Yankee fan. Figures.

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Hitting The Cutoff Man

April 10, 2010

Hitting the cutoff man is a fundamental part of baseball. Thank you very much Captain Obvious, AKA Tim McCarver. I like to draw similarities between real ball and fan ball, so I’m going to run with it anyway

In fantasy baseball, owners have to draw a cutoff point, when looking down the list free agents available. How low can I go down this list to find bargain basement production? Seemingly marginal players are always emerging from obscurity to dazzle experts and casual fans alike. “Mr. Hill, may I introduce you to Mr. Zobrist?” Buried beneath god forsaken lineups, or stuck hurling from mounds in homer happy ballparks, there are always surprises to be found for astute fantasy owners. Since we’re talking fundamentals here, I suppose digging deep into the waiver wires is a fundamental part of fantasy baseball blogging. So this is me throwing my at into the fortune telling ring. Feel free to agree or call me a fucktard.

  • I don’t expect Colby Lewis and C.J. Wilson to be lights out all season long, (although Oliver loves Colby Lewis long time) but both Texas pitchers put up impressive lines this week. Both are gone in my leagues, but are a nice add if you need back of the rotation depth. I’ll get more excited about Wilson when he performs well against a team other that’s not The Blue Jays.
  • Mike Pelfrey was very impressive against The Nationals and could be of fantasy significance very soon. Big Pelf From The Group Home has added a splitter and he had it working last night. If he can continue to use the splitter effectively, Pelfrey could post some surprising numbers this season. I’m totally stalking him now.
  • Luke Hochevar had an impressive start to 2010, by posting 7 2/3 shutout innings against The Tigers. I read that he’s throwing gas, so he might be primed for a breakout. He has the misfortune of pitching for The Royals of course, but maybe Zack Grienke’s taught him the zen of pitching for an awful team.
  • Jamie Garcia has looked real good today against The Brew Crew. Maybe Dave Duncan’s magic pitcher pixie-dust can shape Garcia into a waiver wire gem this year. Definitely a kid to watch closely.
  • Casey Kotchman has a good eye and should see regular playing time. I should have picked him up in my 15 teamer, that uses OBP. Instead, I’m rostering Aubrey Huff as a backup corner guy.
  • I’m really excited about Ian Desmond’s bat. He’s shown some extra base pop and decent plate discipline so far. Desmond seems to have taken his fielding cues from Roberto “Manos De Piedra” Duran, however, booting balls with alarming frequency. I’m really hoping that Desmond’s awful D doesn’t get him yanked from the lineup. It would be pretty cool for fantasy purposes, if he were moved to right though. I have him in my MI right now, and I just picked up Casey McGehee, to provide some depth in case Desmond rides the pine.
  • J.J. Hardy’s name popped up on Razzball last night and it had me rethinking my position on the free swinging, Twins shortstop. He’s got more verified pop than McGehee, but should probably have a lower average and OBP by year’s end. I don’t like AVG killers and to drain both AVG and OBP is criminal, but depending on what you need, Hardy could produce for you. I went with McGehee, since he’s 3B/2B eligible and I could use another guy to cover a corner. I have a feeling Hardy will be grabbed off of waivers in my 12 team league very soon though.
  • Mets rightfielder, Jeff Francoeur smacked two homers on Friday night, instantly putting him on the radar of many deep-league fantasy owners. Another low AVG/OBP guy, he will give you some power and drive in his share of runs. In fact he did a good bit of both of those things back in ’06 and ’07. Frenchy seems to be a very good fit in Flushing, drawing raves about his character and enthusiasm for the game. Unless your league uses grit and determination as categories, that’s meaningless of course. Hearing that leads one to believe that Jerry Manual likes to pencil his name into the lineup every day, which is a good for Frenchy. He’s also a fine outfielder with one of the league’s best arms, so his defense will get him at-bats.
  • Light hitting firstbagger, Daric Barton, is available in my 12 team, OBP league and is an interesting option if you’re really into Sabermetrics. That’s me mocking Billy Beane, like a stodgy, old school baseball guy. I’ll be surprised if Chris Carter hasn’t taken the Oaktown 357 1B job by year’s end, but in the mean time, Barton is getting on base, which we all know is the most important thing a hitter can do. Aside from looking good in his uniform that is.

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