Can people shut up about John Elway

Everything I have heard about Jay Cutler on ESPN is that he needs to shut up and stop pretending like he is the next John Elway, or ever worse better than John Elway. Stewart Scott made some smart ass comment about how Elway has won 15 playoff games and 2 SB, while Cutler has never won at anything in life. Even his Mom thinks Jay is a complete loser!

Let us look at a thing we at GOI like to call "numbers".

Elway started as a 23 year old rookie for the Broncos in 1983 with a god awful season. In 11 games, he compiled a 55 QB rating thanks to a 47.5 completion %, 7-14 TD-INT ratio with a league average 6.4 YPA. He went 3-7 as a starter and lost the playoff game.

Cutler started as a 23 year old rookie for the Broncos in 2006 playing in only 6 games because of the immortal Jake Plummer, who has more career picks than TDs. He had an 89 QB rating while completing 59% of his passes, and having a 9-5 TD-INT ratio with a well above average 7.3 YPA.

In Elway's first 10 year in the league, he never had a completion % of better than 58.6, a QB rating above 80% just once(normally in low 70's), 158-157 TD-INT ratio and a YPA around 7. If I randomly gave you those numbers, would you think this is an all-time great QB? Not so much

Cutler, in his 3 years, 2 of which he has started every game, has a rating of 87.1, 62.5%, 54-37 TD-INT ratio, and a YPA of 7.4

Elway stepped up his game in the final 6 years of his career, resulting in 2 super bowls, but his best 6 years are only as good as Cutler has been in his first 3. Certainly Cutler will improve over the years, and possible accumulate some SB wins himself. To say that Cutler's name doesn't belong in the same sentence as Elway is just wrong. One day it may be the other way around. Elway may have the stronger arm, but so does Kyle Farnsworth. So shut up ESPN and look at some numbers before you make pretentious remarks pretending your authority on sports supersedes things like numbers and stats.

Does the bullpen really matter?

I have always had an idea that the major league bullpen does not matter. Not to say that the performance of the bullpen is irrelevant, but the constitution of the bullpen is overstated. I don't believe any team needs any high priced or high reputation guys in the pen. The cliche that a team can't win in the playoffs without a strong bullpen is accurate, but it seems most GMs take it to mean you need a bunch of millionaires.

Firstly, bullpen pitchers are failed starters. They are inherently flawed in not having great stuff, or not having enough pitches to go all 9 innings. What do Ryan Franklin, Joe Nathan, Mariano Rivera, Carlos Marmol, and Rafael Soriano have in common? They are all failed starters but are considered among the elite relievers. Hence, an argument can be made that every team has a bad bullpen. No team would prefer to face the starting pitcher as opposed to the relievers. You always want to get into the bullpen.

Secondly, there is very little predictive value into which teams/players will have good and bad years. You can look through the best and worst bullpens per year on ESPN, and it will show you that there is no rhyme or reason to who has the best bullpen on a yearly basis. The Dodgers are best this year, but who could have known? Who even knew who Ramon Trancoso, Ronald Belisario, Cory Wade, of Hong-Chih Kuo were before this year? Who could have guessed that Guillermo Mota would wake up from the dead? Relief pitchers are awesome one year and atrociously bad the next. What happened to Grant Balfour, Marmol, Putz, Rafael Perez, and Brad Lidge? Just fell off the map, just like relievers every year.

Thirdly, can you think of any great bullpens of the past? I can think of a handful in the past decade, out of 10 x 30 = 300 bullpens in the last 10 years. The 2001 Mariners with Suzuki, Jeff Nelson, Arthur Rhodes. The 2002 Angels with K-Rod, Percival, and a great Scott Shields. The 2004 Astros with Wagner, Dotel, Lidge. The 2005 White Sox with Jenks, Hermanson, Cotts, and Politte. That is it! Everyone else sucked

Conclusion: Stop paying people 4 million, let alone 10, to relievers when your team probably has an equivalent replacement in the minors for 400K. If the Cubs are smart next year, they should dump Gregg, Heilman, Gorzy, Grabow, and anyone making over 2 mill for John Gaub, Blake Parker, Jeff Stevens, And Jeff Samardjia. They can't do much worse than the 19th ranked bullpen we have now

Why is Jack Wilson wearing a Diamondbacks Uniform?


Wasn't Jack Wilson traded from the Pirates to the Mariners? If so, why is he wearing a Dback's uniform/hat in his profile picture? I call shenanigans on the authenticity of these pictures. I smell photoshop. I always thought George Sherrill's hat looked too big.

_____________

Correction: I guess the Mariners plucked Josh Wilson off of waivers from the Padres (who got him from the Dbacks) in an attempt to make an entire roster of Wilsons.

FJM: Jason Marquis

Tim Kurkjian of ESPN, most notable for collecting box score and scanning baseball history to make sure no one has ever been hit in the head twice in the same game, when played at night, on turf, and a lefty on the mound, recently wrote a piece proclaiming Jason Marquis baseball's grindiest winner since Derek Jeter.
The remarkable Colorado Rockies are making their push to the playoffs, which should come as no surprise because, after all, Jason Marquis is on the team.
Yes, of course, whenever I think of a team fighting for a playoff spot, Jason Marquis is always at the for-front
If the Rockies pull off this extraordinary comeback to make the postseason, Marquis will become the first player in major league history whose teams have made the playoffs in each of his first 10 seasons, playing for at least three teams.
Kurkjian went through his box score collection and found Marquis to possibly be the first to make the playoffs every year, since year one, for at least 3 teams. He forgot mention being the first Jew. I wonder if Ernie Banks was the first player to never make the playoffs, from year one, while playing for the same team. And not being Jewish. Obviously, they should replace the Banks statue outside Wrigley with Jason Marquis' jew-fro
So, is it skill or luck?
I can't wait to find out. Does the below average pitcher, who has been left off the playoff roster multiple times for multiple teams, has an uncanny skill of putting his team in the playoffs
"I firmly believe that pitching is all about winning. I've averaged 14 wins a year for six years, so I was contributing...It's nice to have a 2.00 ERA, win Cy Young Awards, strike out a lot of hitters and make All-Star teams, but the idea is to win games. And it doesn't matter how you do it. I am a baseball player who can pitch.''
Pitching is actually about getting hitters out. That is all. You can do it with strikeouts, groundballs, or an Andy Pettitte pick-off move, but it's all about outs. He has averaged 14 wins a year, since 2004, lets disregard those 4 years you spent in Atlanta. Let's also disregard the 4.6 ERA you contributed to the team.
He has a chance to set the Rockies' club record for wins in a season with 17, held by Kevin Ritz, Pedro Astacio and Jeff Francis, and he has a shot to set the club record for the lowest ERA in a season, held by Joe Kennedy (3.66) in 2004.
Who, who, is he still alive, and who? Does Kurkjian know about the humidor? You see how Helton is no longer hitting 110 XBH per season and every game isn't 12-11
"I have been more consistent...My stuff has always been good, but I'd have three good starts, then two bad starts. I just go about my business"
Great stuff? According to fangraphs, the fastball, curveball, and change have all been raped over the course of Mrquis' career. His most successful pitch, being the cutter, he only throws 3% of the time. 3 good starts, 2 bad ones, yup that's what Marquis considers consistent.
But now he is one of the top pitchers on a team that has become the seventh in league history to go from 12 games under .500 to 15 games over .500 in the same season.
Kurkjian really needs to put down the box scores. Are you sure it's only the 7th time in the same season? What about seasons separated by a decade? has any team been 12 games under one year and then up 15 games 10 years later? I need to know!!
"When you combine competitiveness with good mechanics,'' Marquis said, "the sky is the limit.''
Wait, I thought it was about winning and nothing else?! Selfish bastard

Characters Welcome! Final Game!

Homer Simpson (The Simpsons) v Dr. Gregory House (House)

TBO never loses! (Except when the comp autopicks BJ Upton)

I decided to take on Sexy Rexy's challenge and create my own team in the salary cap league in yahoo fantasy. Here is my first week lineup

QB- Drew Brees
RB- Frank Gore
RB- Adrian Peterson
WR- Randy Moss
WR- Devin Hester
WR- TJ Hooseyourdaddy
TE- Jeremy Shockey
K- Adam Vinatieri
DEF- Washington Redskins

Characters Welcome! Final Four

(1) Homer Simpson (The Simpsons) v (2) Jack Bauer (24)
(1) Dr. Gregory House (House) v (1) Jack Donaghy (30 Rock)

Try And Beat Me!

There's a function called Salary Cap Football on Yahoo! where you're given $100 (imaginary) dollars and you can choose from any player who are assigned (sort of arbitrary) dollar amounts. You have to use your 100 bucks to spend on a quarterback, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, a TE, a K, and a DEF to try and create the best team possible. Here's the team I created.

QB- Matt Hasselbeck
RB- Michael Turner
RB- Adrian Peterson
WR- Andre Johnson
WR- Reggie Wayne
WR- Vincent Jackson
TE- Greg Olson
K- Adam Vinatieri
DEF- New York Giants

Go here and create your team. If you wanna face me join the "Fans of Chicago" and 'Fans from Illinois"- the groups I'm in.

TBO Top 12: Quarterback

In the past 2 weeks, i have heard nothing but fantasy football analysis. Everyone has their own top 20 list, so I decided to join in on the action and create top 12 lists for every position. Why 12 you ask? Because 10 team leagues are queer. Yeah, i'm talking to you ESPN.com

Quarterbacks:
  1. Tom Brady - Belichick must be pissed after missing the playoffs after an 11 win season. What happens when Belichick is pissed? He puts up 49 points at halftime. Ask the Dolphins if you dont believe me . He may not have another 400 point season in him, but 380 possible.
  2. Peyton Manning - The smartest man in football outside Bill Belichick. If anyone knows how to move the ball down field and put it in the endzone, it is Peyton. Still put up 300 fantasy points last year despite missing all of training camp and undergoing surgery to clean out an infection. Now that he is healthy and doesnt have to pretend like he wants to throw the ball to Marvin Harrison, he will have a monster 350 point season.
  3. Drew Brees - Sean Payton has proven he can run an offense as well as anyone from the sidelines. Despite Brees' miniature Grossman like stature, he constantly leads the league in 20 yard passes. With a healthy Marcus Colston, can he improve on his 5000 yard season? No, but 330 points is a given
  4. Aaron Rodgers - As much as I hate the Packers, Rodgers scares the living shit out of me. He has the arm and athleticism to hit the jackpot on every play. Packers would have been better off showing Favre the door long ago. I believe he has the best WR group that make the Packs offense scary. 320 points
  5. Phillip Rivers - Despite not having a true number 1 receiver, he has so many weapons around him on offense and defense including Antonio Gates. I expect the Chargers to be the best team in the AFC and Rivers will be the center of it all. 310 points
  6. Matt Schaub - If Schaub is able to stay healthy for the first time as a Texan, I expect him to put up silly numbers. He has put up a 90 QB rating in his 2 years in Houston and has some guy named Andre Johnson to throw to. That alone will help him put up a 300 point season.
  7. Tony Romo - Romeo will find life a lot more difficult without having TO to throw too. Roy Williams is a lazy fuck and Crayton is a number 3 receiver. I expect Witten to dominate the ball. Still, Romo's improvisational style will lead to many big plays for a 290 point season.
  8. Kurt Warner - I don't believe in Warner the way most people still seem to. His age and history of fumbling the ball scare me silly, such that I wouldn't expect a 16 game season. He makes the top 10 because of Fitzgerald and Boldin on either side, not to mention Breaston and Urban to boot. 280 points
  9. Jay Cutler - Did you see his second preseason game? Dude overthrew Hester with a 60 yard bomb in the air while running from defenders. He'll get picked, but he might replicate the 4000 yard season. Maybe Royal and Marshall were a product of Cutler, just like Hester and Olson may become. 270 points
  10. Donovan McNabb - I never saw McNabb as an overly efficient quarterback. With his running skills gone, his arm is only slightly above average. He does have crazy weapons around him. I love the Jackson/Maclin combination to go along with Westbrook and McCoy in the backfield. 260 points
  11. Carson Palmer - His shoulder is healthy, though his ankle is not. He throws one of the prettiest balls in the league, and Ochocinco is overlooked as a great wide out. I expect big numbers on a horrible team. 240 points
  12. Matt Hasselbeck - Former top 10 QB prior to injuries, he still has a great touch on the ball. His receivers are short and unreliable though he should maximize whatever talents Burleson and Branch still possess. 230 points

Put It On The Board: Football

Since our sister blog Put It On The Board is for DME and TBO and only for baseball, TBO and myself will just have to do our own version here.

Here's some bets to start off with

Bet One:

Pierre Thomas is a top 12 fantasy RB next year, min 200 carries

Sexy Rexy: Absolutely! Gotta give love to my Illinois alum brothas! Plus, he's awesome.

The 'Bright' One: No, not only is he not good, but Reggie Bush will take carries and TDs away from him

Winner: Na na na na na na's

Bet Two:

Speaking of Reggie Bush, over/under Reggie Bush rushing and receiving TDs: 8.5

Sexy Rexy: Under, Reggie Bush has never eclipsed 8 in a season, his TD/carries ratio is extremely low and he'll lose even more carries to Thomas

The 'Bright' One: Over, gotta love me some Bush[sick bastard]!

Winner: I Told You So

Bet Three:

Who will be a better fantasy running back next year: Ahmad Bradshaw or Fred Taylor, min 160 carries?

Sexy Rexy: Gotta love me the guy with a career 4.2 YPC and the amazing NE O-line

The 'Bright' One: A wise man [Sexy Rexy] once told me Bradshaw will get over 1,000 yards." Plus I don't think Taylor will be any good next year

Winner: A podcast praising to the other

FML I'm a Cubs fan

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, the Cubs get 1-hit by the mighty Randy Wolf and his career 1.33 WHIP. This season is obviously over. I think so, you think so, Bob Brenley practically has one foot out the door waiting for the offseason.

There is a bigger problem for the Cubs future. We have no flexibility in the next 3 years to fix the heaping mess that Jim Hendry has assembled. Lets start with Soriano's 8 year contract that still has 5 disappointing years remaining. He has been demoted to the 6th spot in the lineup and may not reach double digits in steals for the season. So there goes left field for the next 4-5 years at $18 mil per.

Fukudome has 2 years left on his $12 mil per contract. He has actually proven to be a capable everyday player, especially at the top of the order, but if he continues to play out of position in center field, where his career UZR/150 is 24 points lower than right field, any offensive contribution will be counterbalanced with below average outfield defense. What was wrong with keeping Edmonds until he proved he could no longer walk without a wheal chair? A .244 iso with a 14% walk rate from the left side couldnt hurt, especially with Fukudome in right field.

Right field is covered for the next 2 years at $10 mil per by the combustible Milton Bradley. His power is gone considering he has a lower iso than Marco Scutaro. Even his outfield defense has become below average after being a constant positive throughout his career. Is a 16% walk rate worth 20 million dollars? It better be cause that is all you get from the monopoly man

Third base is locked up for 2-3 more years at $15 million per. Ramirez is a beast when healthy, but this year has been a giant disappointment with the dislocated shoulder and subsequent injuries. He may have a decrease in power, a la Derek Lee following the broken wrist, so who knows how his off season surgery will affect the rest of his contract years.

Short stop is in the hands of Theriot for at least 2 more years. He is one of the only players to play to his maximal potential on a daily basis. He's not the best top of the order guy or smoothest SS, but he is very reliable every game. Signing a high priced free agent at short, not named Hanley Ramirez, would be a grand mistake.

Given Hendry's history, Jeff Baker will be the Cubs starting second basemen for next year. Hendry gets fooled easily by players who over perform in small sample sizes(Neifi Perez, Aaron Miles, Koyie Hill, Milton Bradley, Mike Fontenot) and will probably give Baker 5 million to stay with the Cubs.

Derek Lee is only signed for 1 more year at $13 million, which is a shame considering he is the one guy I want to stay with the Cubs. He is a pure hitter, with resurrected power, that plays great defense at first base. He would be my top priority to resign after the 2010 season

Soto is still young and cheap and was the rookie of the year last season so he will have a second season to prove that he isnt a fat, lazy, pot smoking retard.

Only the bullpen will have open spots to fill following the season. I would get rid of people like Gregg and Heilman and replace them with minor leaguers. Triple A is full of good young arms that can do the job. Since the Cubs let Peavy go to the White Sox, it is essential to resign Harden to have any chance of competing in the years to come.

As you can see, Hendry's loyalty and overzealous contracts have put the Cubs into a deep whole for years to come. The best the Cubs can do is put together a better bench for next season, though Fox, Hauffpauir, Fould, scales, and Johnson is good enough for me. If I was Tom Ricketts, first order of business would be to fire Jim Hendry. He is a good guy, but his propensity to sign friend, negotiate horrible contracts, and draft bad prospects from his old Dunedin High School warrants his termination. Could we make Eckstein the GM. I'm sure he would take it over law school

Fuck the fucking Cubs

Seriously. Between bullpen issues and runs scoring problems, the Cubs have been disappointing this season. Law school may have deprived me of the time I used to spent trolling daily changes in BP projections and fangraphs statistics, but it doesn't take a stat-heavy person to recognize the deficiency of the Cubs!

Despite Milton Bradley's .400 OBP abilities, his lack of any semblance of power has left Cubs fans drinking for Mark DeRosa juice. Even with the return of Ramirez and resurgence of Derrek Lee, the Cubs have failed to do anything necessary to win. Much of the problem has lied in the bullpen (Marmol's increasing BB/9 ratio, Kevin Gregg's inability to pitch, ETC.) and lineup's ability to score runs (where did the balance of power go? The Cubs have the 12th best ISO, but it's skewed between players like Fox and Ramirez). This season, the Cubs have the sixth worst Cluch rating in baseball -- in other words, as it is apparent to ANYONE who watches Cubs games, the Cubs cannot fucking cash in on runs scoring opportunities.

GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I hate this team's underachieving bullshit so much. When will be sign GOOD players?? When will we stop OVERPAYING mediocre ones (I'm looking at you, Alfonso Soriano)? My generous hope is that the sale of the Cubs to the Ricketts -- which was allegedly completed tonight -- will enter our organization into a new era of fan recognition in by which team management will finally fill areas of leadership with competence. Since Hendry was promoted from player development coordinator to GM, his track record has been spotty. Nothing he has picked in the first round since Mark Prior has been valuable and despite the awesome trade he engineered for the Ramirez, most of his moves have been questionable at best. The Cubs need a new direction. Such direction, in my opinion, is a new beginning. Fuck Hendry. Fuck the new Hitting coach. Fuck everyone. Put Ryno in the managerial position, get me a competent GM (hell, the Brewers got Doug Melvin!) and get me some draft talent!!

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Cubsfan4ever argues he should be a GM if for no other reason than Steve Phillips were one. I argue that I should be one because I have some idea of statistical knowledge in reference to impact. If I were the Cubs, as of Aug 10, I would have made the following two moves:
1) Pick up John Smoltz off waivers -- the high K, low BB rate and inflated HR/FB rate all indicate that Smoltz still has gas left in the tank. His 4.37 FIP is well below his current ERA and the HR/FB rate is statistically due for regression to league average levels, given his peripherals.
2) Claim Billy Wagner off waivers -- if the Cubs have truly finalized the team's sale, new ownership should begin its tenure by efficiently spending its resources. Wagner struck out two tonight with 0 walks and 0 hits, putting 90s velocity on his offerings. If that's not a guy who is healthy and able, show me someone who is. Even if Wagner isn't 100% healthy, the Cubs are 6 games back after tonight's loss and need to start taking some high upside risks if they want to catch the Cardinals (or Wild Card).

If the Cubs took a risk with B.J. Ryan, why not with Smoltz? Oh yeah! Smoltz isn't a lefty! BRAIN FREEZE! :( -- Is it that unreasonable to expect at minimum this from a GM? Ugh!!

Washington D.C. Represent, Yo!

Another MTV U video I saw while working out. A very unimpressive song but it had one of the best lines I had ever heard: "I Remain A Giant And You Jeremy Shockey". There's also some other sports references like him getting "A-Rod Money" but I just loved that Shockey line. You can watch the video here

Another thing, the dudes from D.C., why's he wearing a SF Giants hat? I realize the Nationals are bad and it would be embarrassing to rock a Nats hat, but to go with the Giants, really? I mean he's not Asian so he's of course not wearing a Red Sox hat and I'm glad he's not a dumbass fair whether fan so, gladly, he's not wearing a Yankees hat, but Giants? What's up with that dude!?

Speaking of black guys wearing hats, one funny anecdote. I was in a speech class with an Illini receiver and he always wore a baseball hat, mainly a Tampa Bay Rays hat. One day, like half way through the semester we asked him (BTW the baseball season was underway) to name five Rays players. He named Ryan Howard.

Illinois For The Three-Peat!

Two years ago Illinois RB Rashard Mendenhall was drafted in the first round. last year Illinois CB Vontae Davis was drafted in the first round. And now, before any football has been played, Mel Kiper has a list of the top 10 guys for the 2010 draft. And #10 on that list- Illinois WR Arrelious Benn. He did get over 1,000 yards last year but he only has 5 receiving TDs in two full seasons which worries me. After watching him play for two years, I frankly don't see it. But hey, Vontae was drafted in the first round so why not fuck up another late round draft pick on an Illinois player again!

Characters Welcome! Elite Eight

Entourage Bracket

(1) Ari Gold (Entourage) v (2) Jack Bauer (24)

Funny Bracket

(1) Jack Donaghy (30 Rock) v (2) Adrian Monk (Monk)

Effeminate Bracket

(1) Homer Simpson (The Simpsons) v (3) Liz Lemon (30 Rock)

Bad Ass Bracket


(1) Dr. Gregory House
(House) v (2) Don Draper (Mad Men)

only one upset this late, huh?

Plaxico to the Bears! Not so much

Plaxico Burress plead guilty to weapons possession charges and is now going to jail for 2 years, with 2 more years of supervised living. It's a better deal than if he went to trial where he could have face 17 years in the slammer. I'm not even gonna bother comparing Stallworth getting 24 days for killing a man while impaired versus 2 years for shooting yourself. I wonder the prison time Plax would have gotten if he actually killed himself with his own gun. I say 3 lifetimes.

I have three problems with this ruling:

1) Didn't P-Diddy once fire a pistol at a nightclub with J-Lo and I dont recall him ever serving a day of jail, community service, or losing a dollar for that matter. I dont know if Diddy had a registered gun, but i still dont believe you are allowed to shoot it in a private establishment. Maybe the two lawyers on this blog can fill me in.

2) Why has no one else been arrested in this investigation. Didn't Antonio Pierce hide the weapon Plexico shot himself with. Didn't he also hide the Plexico's bloody clothes to intentionally deceive the police? Didn't the club he was at know that he had a gun when he walked through the front door? Yes, yes, and yes.

3) Plexico would have been a perfect fit for the Bears. A tall wide receiver who knows where to line-up, where to run, and how to catch the ball before it hits the ground. If he was good enough to make Eli Manning the richest man in the history of the NFL, he could have made Jay Cutler Marino, Montana, and Elway all rolled into one. Fuck!

You had to know it was all downhill for Plex when he spiked the football after making a diving catch as a rookie. Whats the problem you ask? No one touched him. He wasnt down yet. Fumble. It's not college retard

Odd Man Out



I just finished reading the book Odd Man Out by Matt McCarthy and it was a great book. It was one of the best baseball books that I have read in a while. This was the only worthwhile baseball book I have read since Fantasyland by Sam Walker last summer. The author of Odd Man Out is Matt McCarthy a former minor leaguer who was with the Anaheim Angels. Matt was a left handed pitcher from Yale who the Angels drafted in the twenty-sixth round of the 2002 Major league Baseball draft. Matt was only a minor leaguer for one year in their system, but had some great stories from his experiences in that short time. It was interesting to get an inside look at the minor league system and how it works. Avid baseball fans already knows how it works, but this book gives you a better feel for how decisions are made and how the career of all of these prospects are in their coaches hands. If you get on the wrong side of your rookie ball coach, your career with the organization could be in trouble. I read this book in less than two days because it was such a fast read from all of the stories of many players we heard off and have successful careers in the majors.

It is interesting how many of these prospects bounce around from organization to organization before they get to the big leagues. Many of the players are Angels that we have heard about like Erick Aybar, Howie Kendrick, and former Angel Casey Kotchman. There are other players like his friend from Yale Craig Breslow, teammate with the Provo Angels Alberto Callaspo, and of course the stories from minor leaguers in their system like Bobbie Jenks, Chris Bootcheck, and playing against Manny Parra, Prince Fielder, and Ryan Shealy. It is a good book so I recommend it to any baseball fan.

Seattle, Represent Yo!

I was working out and the channel that I automatically turned to was MtvU. Apparently it's this music station designed specifically for students in Universities and such? What, high schoolers and post grads can't listen to popular music? Anyway, it was nice to see an MTV station actually play music. The first music video that came on mentioned some Seahawks references so I thought it was blog worthy. Turns out that's about for about 5 seconds of the song about 2:37 into the song, but what they hell, at least you get some fresh Seattle rhymes.



Also, as I was watching a Lil' Wayne song came on. As if Lil' Wayne wasn't bad and shitty enough already, this was a song from his name album- his new ROCK album

Lil' Wayne/ Youtube is dumb and won't let me embed the video but you can watch it here

Garrett Anderson hates baseball, not Adam Dunn

Here at GOI, we have made a big fuss about J.P Ricciardi's comments last year that Adam Dunn hates to play baseball. I cannot agree with this statement solely based on the fact that Adam Dunn walks so much. If he hated baseball, I bet he would swing away at everything and not give a dman about getting on base to help his team win. He has played less than 152 games in a season only once in his career. Dunn was also one of the most excited guys to make the USA WBC team this past March. So it's hard to make the judgment that he hates baseball for things like taking a lot of strike threes and having horrible pitching staffs.

My argument as to why Garret Anderson hates baseball comes from pure stats and personal emotions I have of him while growing up. ESPN just reminded me that Anderson has the lowest career hit by pitch rate of anyone in major league baseball. In tonight's Sunday Night Game, he was hit for the 7th time in his entire career. That's like a slow week for Carlos Quintin and Craig Biggio. In 8845 career plate appearances, he has only been hit 7 times. One can say that it is pure probability and every large sample size will have outliers, but this is more than just random chance. Anderson is notorious for bailing on pitches from lefties and righties. God forbid anyone find a video of him facing a loogy and you would see his ass be halfway in the dugout as the ball is approaching. Anderson is also allergic to walking with a career 4.7% rate. The combination of never taking one for the team through the walk or HBP, makes him a prime candidate for hating baseball as opposed to the Adam Dunns of the world.

He did have a 10 RBI day once so maybe he doesnt hate baseball that much

Three True Outcomes

Special thanks to Recondite Baseball who do a fantastic job of pointing out the little particularities in baseball that make us love it so much. They compiled this list of the highest percentage of TTO which include homers, walks, and strikeouts. Not surprising that Adam Dunn is the all time TTO king


Most Career TTO/PA, 1913-2007, min. 3000 PA

RankNamePASOBBHRTTO/PA
1
Adam Dunn
4749
1256
797
278
.4908
2
Rob Deer45121409575230.4907
3Jim Thome90292190
1550
541
.4741
4Mark McGwire766015961317583.4564
5
Carlos Pena
3143
810
408
163
.4394
6
Mickey Tettleton57451307949245.4353
7
Pat Burrell5388
1273785
251
.4285
8
Jay Buhner59271406792310.4231
9Gorman Thomas54861339697268.4200
10
Brad Wilkerson
3753
947
492
122
.4159
11Danny Tartabull58421362768262.4094
12Don Lock3116776373122.4079
13Jose Canseco81291942906462.4072
14
Troy Glaus
5840
1269
788
304
.4043
15Mickey Mantle990917101733536.4016
16Reggie Jackson1141625971375563.3972
17Darryl Strawberry63261352816335.3957
18Gene Tenace5525998984201.3951
19Pete Incaviglia46771277360206.3941
20
Richie Sexson
5604
1313
588
306
.3938
21
Eric Davis61471398740282.3937
22
Jason Bay
3259
734
397
149
.3928
23Jim Edmonds73071669974382
.3924
24
Cecil Fielder
5939
1316
693
319
.3920
25
Ray Lankford
6674
1550
828
238
.3920

Evaluating Fantasy baseball draft

The game of inches money fantasy baseball league is coming to an end soon with the season almost over. My Colleague “The Bright One” recently did a post where he looked back at his draft to see how he did now that were at the end of the season. DME is 20 points ahead of everyone else and ran away with this thing. I am currently in fourth place with 73 points. My goal is to try and finish in third place. Right now the person in third place has 82.5 points so I need to make a good run the final month and a half to have a chance for that. So here I give you my draft order and the outcome of each of these players.

1. Miguel Cabrera-I actually tried trading him at the beginning of the season, but no one made any good offers. Then people started trading for him again, but they undervalued him again. He has been one of the anchors of my team with Adrian Gonzalez.
2. Carlos Beltrán-Traded him part of a three for one deal with Jhonny Peralta and Matt Lindstrom for Evan Longoria.
3. Jason Bay-Still on my team. He had a monster first half for me and has tailed off lately, especially in average.
4. Brian Roberts-I traded him with Edwin Jackson and Brian Wilson for Nelson Cruz, Chone Figgins, and Shawn Hill.
5. Adrián González-He has a great first half where he carried my team in most offensive categories, including Homeruns.
6. John Lackey- He was supposed to be one of the anchors of my rotation. He was injured to start the season and took a while to get back into his old form. He has been better lately.
7. Ervin Santana-Still on team. He was injured and has been very disappointing since retuning.
8. Carlos Mármol-Traded for John Maine.
9. Jhonny Peralta- Traded him part of a three for one deal with Carlos Beltran and Matt Lindstrom for Evan Longoria.
10. Bobby Abreu- Still on my team.
11. Brian Fuentes-Still on my team.
12. Willy Taveras-Traded him with Chris Volstad for Bengie Molina and Jonathan Papelbon.
13. Brian Wilson- I traded him with Edwin Jackson and Brian Roberts for Nelson Cruz, Chone Figgins, and Shawn Hill.
14. Mike González- I traded him for Johnny Cueto who had a great first half and has been struggling since.
15. Matt Lindstrom- Traded him part of a three for one deal with Jhonny Peralta and Carlos Beltran for Evan Longoria.
16. Clayton Kershaw-Still on my team.
17. Pablo Sandoval-I dropped him after his rough start. This turned out to be a big mistake.
18. Chris Volstad- Traded him with Willy Tavaras for Bengie Molina and Jonathan Papelbon.
19. Ramón Hernández- He started out cold so I benched him for Pablo Sandoval. Sandoval struggled so I ended up dropping him and trading for a catcher. He had good numbers for my team in limited action because I didn’t play him much because of his struggles.
20. Oliver Pérez-I dropped him before the season started.
21. Kenshin Kawakami-I currently have him, but dropped him after his rough start and then picked him up again.
22. Jesse Litsch- Dropped before the season started.
23. Sean Marshall- I dropped him a few days after the draft.

I still have nine players from my draft still on my team. I did several multiplayer trades as you can see. My pitching staff was weak from draft and something I could never fixed. I am in fourth places in spite of a very weak pitching staff and a under performing offense.

Is Joe Mauer having the best catcher season of all time?

This questions is fairly difficult to answer for a number of reasons

1) Mauer missed a month of baseball and may only play 120 games
2) Most great catcher seasons have most likely been influenced by steroids: Piazza, Pudge, Javy Lopez, Todd Hundley(drunk)
3) Catcher defense is very hard to quantify for any given season

For this I will not evaluate the great catcher seasons of the past and focus entirely on the greatness that is Joe Mauer.

The former 2 time batting champion is currently leading the american league in average, on-base, and slugging percentage as a catcher. Batting .378 in mid-august, he has a realistic chance of touching 400. If he does end up hitting in the .390 range, we may have to consider this the best season of any player in the history of baseball.

At his current rate, Mauer would amass 33 homers, 65 XBH, 104 runs, 110 RBI and a 1:1 K/BB ratio. He has amazing plate discipline and an even greater ability to make contact given his 79% contact rate on pitches outside the zone. His career win value per pitch type shows that he destroys all pitched besides the split finger, which just so happens to be his most valuable pitch to hit this season. He is a line drive, ground ball machine who has developed opposite field power with a otherworldly 23% HR/FB rate. He is also a gold glove catcher with a great arm and averages just 3 errors per season. If it was any other player, the conventional wisdom would be assume he would regress to the MLB mean, but Mauer has proven to be a baseball freak that not even a spinal cord injury can stop.

Fantasy Baseball Draft Retrospect

The game of inches money fantasy baseball league is nearing the end, and as previously noted DME has a 99% chance of winning and everyone else is competing for second place. His 20 point league in a 10 category league is almost insurmountable. I am currently sitting in a disappointing 5th place in the standings and am curious how my draft turned out and what mistakes were made. Here is my draft order and the outcome of each player.

1. Grady Sizemore - Injured, ranks 174. Still on team
2. BJ Upton - Internet died, autopicked. Ranked 145. On team
3. David Ortiz - Steroids, ranked 366. Still on team
4. Kevin Youkilis - Great start then traded for Arod
5. Joe Mauer - Great start, traded with Bruce for Hamilton/Soto. Fuck
6. Troy Tulowitzki - Believed in him. Dropped when hitting .220. Fuck
7. James Shields - Ranked 218. Disappointing
8. Jay Bruce - Traded for Hamilton
9. Roy Oswalt - Traded for Bedard and Qualls
10. Carlos Delgado - Injured, dropped
11. Derek Lowe - Ranked 277, disappointing
12. Lastings Milledge - Autopicked. Sent to minors
13. Randy Johnson - Good start. Traded for Scott Baker
14. Joel Hanrahan - Dropped 3 separate times. Worst pitcher ever
15. Johnny Cueto - Traded for Mike Gonzalez
16. Gil Meche - Injured back, dropped
17. Richie Weeks - Great start, traded for Aaron Hill
18. Ubaldo Jimenez - Dropped after 3 starts. Fuck!
19. John Maine - Dropped. Picked up. Traded for Marmol
20. Chris Ray - Dropped
21. Jemery Guthrie - Dropped
22. Rick Porcello -Dropped
23. Jake Westbrooke- Dropped

I only have 5 of my 23 draft picks still on the team, and 3 of them are my top 3 picks. Considering my top 3 picks were horrific in Sizemore, Upton, Ortiz, a 5th place position is fairly impressive. Clearly I lost the league on draft night. Having the internet connection die twice resulted in Upton/Milledge, plus i wasnt overly prepared for the draft. I went primarily with the Lima plan, which would have worked out if guys like Meche, Lowe, and Shields performed up to their career numbers. Also dropping guys like Jimenez and Tulowitzki were definitely overreactions. I also went with the strategy of taking risks in order to win. Picks like Ortiz and Mauer were risky but it would have worked out if I didnt trade Mauer for the injured Soto, Hamilton combination. Best free agent pick up was Ben Zobrist.

As the saying goes. Wait till next year.

David Eckstein enjoys being gritty

MLB.com has a piece up online about how David Eckstein rejected the chance to play for a contending trade visa vie trade in order to help the Padres rebuild their future team. So much to FJM here.
"Eckstein...[said] his reasons for wanting to remain in San Diego were because of the challenge of helping mold a young team and being a part of something that's growing, not something that's on the decline."
The Padres won 89 games in 2007. Last year they won 63. They were on pace to win 67 this season before trading away established superace Jake Peavy for several prospects with a lot of talent but little experience or major league success. Their team has gotten worse in terms of cumulative wOBA (from .319 (6th worst) in 2007 to .311 (5th worst) in 2008 to .308 (3rd worst) in 2009) and FIP (from 3.81 in 2007 to 4.33 in 2008 to 4.35 in 2009, all of this, mind you, BEFORE trading one of baseball's premire pitchers) each of the past three seasons (maybe more, not sure -- didn't look it up). Fangraphs rated the San Diego minor league system a C- and claimed "it isn’t a horrible farm system, but it’s not a very good one either, and for a team in need of a talent injection, that’s a problem." By the very definition of this information, the San Diego Padres are a team on the decline -- at least for the foreseeable future.

Eckstein elaborates:
"I want to be a guy who can help these young guys out. I don't think this club is as far off as some people think. They've got to learn how to play the game the right way, because next year, there's not going to be any excuses. These guys are starting to step up."
All I can say is that's my boy. He even dropped a Darren Erstad reference somewhere in the article. Bravo, bravo.

DME makes his SECOND appearance in the Fantasy Focus Baseball Podcast!

Check out the Fantasy Baseball Podcast for 08/10/09; at the 21:48 mark, Nate again reads (part) of one of my emails. As always, they refused to read the whole email because it is "too long" (the email is posted below; is it really too long compared to my three-page Dan Haren emails?), but at least this time they got where I was from right.
Hey Matthew and Nate,

This summer, I work at a liquor store and recently two new wines were released in theme with both the White Sox and Cubs. One is Mark Buehrle's merlot called "Buehrlot" and the other is D Lee's Carbernet called Caberlee. Though neither tastes perfect, it it fair to say that I'm drinking the juice on each player this season, as both have somewhat helped carry me in my deep 15 team mixed league. What do you see as their fantasy values not only going forward, but also come next year? Will Derrek Lee return to his top 100 draft status? Will Mark Buehrle be draftable (finally) in ten team mixed leagues?

Also, why was Raise Your Hands never mentioned in the Bon Jovi trilogy for either Pod Vader or Matthew? Do either of you even like Bon Jovi, because no Jovi lover would ever forsake his legacy by leaving out Mog's jamming theme (Spaceballs reference).

Jeffrey of Chicago, IL
We're just on fire this week. NBC News, ESPN Podcasts, MLBTradeRumors. Everyone's getting in on the Game Of Inches action! Hell, even Eno Sarris of Fangraphs.com has gotten in on the action:

One criticism I have of your piece is that Rios was great last year (worth $25+ million), and that it doesn’t seem his defense was ‘trending’ downwards, it’s just been crap this year. UZR, though a great measure of defense, is not always stable from year to year.

Look at Carlos Gomez’ defensive stats. He can hardly be trending downwards, but he’s gone from 16 UZR/150 to 6 this year. Mark Teixeira had a 9.3 UZR/150 last year and is negative this year. The number oscillates pretty wildly from year to year, even for players widely considered strong defenders.

On the other hand, Rios has been fairly stable on defense, worth around 9 runs defensively in the three years sandwiched between his great debut and his very good last year. I think it’s safe to say that Rios is above-average on defense, and at 28 should be so for another couple of years. 5 years will be pushing it, for sure.

White Sox acquire Alex Rios...why?

MLBTradeRumors.com is reporting that the White Sox have acquired Alex Rios off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays for nothing in return. This essentially means the White Sox are responsible for Rios' remaining, prorated contract for 2009 and the roughly $60 million remaining on his contract over the next five seasons. Was it a smart move for a franchise that has been utilizing some combination of DeWayne Wise (.248 wOBA) and Brian Anderson (.283 wOBA) in center? My answer, is a firm no.

Despite all of the hype and brand name recognition (courtesy of Moneyball and Fantasyland) behind Alex Rios, his career has been nothing short of disappointing. While a lifetime .285 hitter who averages 90.3 runs per season and boasts a career 77.2 SB% may appeal to most fantasy baseball players, a player with a career .342 wOBA (league average is .335) and declining range in CF does not.

Since his peak of production 2007 (.368 wOBA, .201 ISO, 7.9 BB%, 9.3 Fielding Runs Above Average), Alex Rios has been on a steady decline. In each season since, Rios has seen his wOBA, ISO, BB%, K%, contact rate and defensive production all trend in the wrong direction. He quickly went from a young and promisingly productive 20/20 leadoff man worth 20.9 Batting Runs Above Average to an overvalued, underproducing asset whose bloated contract was not even the most ridiculous on the team (that honor goes to Vernon Wells, who signed a 7-year, $126 million contract in 2006). If not for the aberration uptick in the quality of defense Rios provided the Blue Jays last season (23.9 runs above average, the highest of a career that averages 11.3 Fielding Runs Above Average per season), Rios's total Runs Above Average value would reflect his three year skills decline.

So why, knowing all of this, would Kenny Williams allow J.P. Riccardi to dump Alex Rios and his monstrous salary on the White Sox? I am not entirely sure. Of course both DeWayne Wise and Brian Anderson* have been below replacement level in terms of their offensive productive for the White Sox this season, but so has Alex Rios, whose season Batting Runs Above Average mark sits at an embarrassingly low -0.5 runs. Furthermore, both DeWayne Wise and Brian Anderson provided considerably more defensive value for the White Sox this season than Alex Rios has for the Blue Jays. Where the two White Sox centerfielders combined for 10.1 Fielding Runs Above Average rating over 1561.0 innings of outfield work, Alex Rios has only been worth 0.1 Fielding Runs over 1951.1 innings! That's approximately one less win of contribution over almost 400 MORE innings of work. So yes, yes, those same two outfielders have cost the White Sox almost two full wins with their poor batting skills, but it's not like the Alex Rios machine and his slightly below league-average offensive this season are going to help the South Siders very much -- especially when you consider his .290 BABIP, declining speed score (5.6 this season) and decreasing line drive rate. At best, Rios has been league average this season. In reality, however, he is an underproducing player who eats up a lot of payroll and a valuable spot on a major league roster.

At Rios' current pace, the White Sox would have been better off acquiring ANY purely average minor league player and giving him a home in centerfield. It would not only save $60 million over 5 years, but give the White Sox an expendable option come this off-season and allow them to acquire a much better player at a much cheaper cost. Even if Kenny Williams thought this upcoming off-season's centerfield market was weak, there is no conceivable way to justify taking Alex Rios's contract off the hands of J.P. Riccardi, even at the cost of no talent (not that the Sox have much minor league talent to fawn over). Williams is paying $11.6 million more per season than he would a random journeyman minor leaguer of average ability and getting the same level of overall production.

Chalk this one up as a big win for J.P. Riccardi. He got the best value any team is going to see from Rios over the last two seasons, largely thanks to an abnormal UZR spike last season. For once, he did something good for the franchise. Kenny Williams, however, well...that's a different story.

*-Apparently some people think that retroactively commenting on the production of Brian Anderson somehow implies that I think he is still on the team. It does not.

New podcast with Richard

Richard makes his second appearance on the GOI podcast with TBO

Podcast here

Meaningless NFL Predictions



You can listen to The Bright One and myself say our full NFL predictions above. But since no one does that anyway, I'll take the off chance someone types in "NFL Predictions" into Google and will read this post. Now granted actual prediction means nothing, I WILL be wrong on many times, and injuries and surprises will happen everyday affecting these outcomes. Nevertheless, here is how I predict the divisions to end up.

AFC East
1) New England Patriots
2) New York Jets
3) Miami Dolphins
4) Buffalo Bills

AFC North
1) Pittsburgh Steelers
2) Baltimore Ravens
3) Cincinnati Bengals
4) Cleveland Browns

AFC South
1) Indianapolis Colts
2) Tennessee Titans
3) Houston Texans
4) Jacksonville Jaguars

AFC West
1) San Diego Chargers
2) Kansas City Chiefs
3) Denver Broncos
4) Oakland Raiders

NFC East
1) Philadelphia Eagles
2) New York Giants
3) Dallas Cowboys
4) Washington Redskins

NFC South
1) Atlanta Falcons
2) Carolina Panthers
3) New Orleans Saints
4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFC West
1) San Fransisco 49ers
2) Seattle Seahawks
3) Arizona Cardinals
4) St. Louis Rams

NFC North
1) Green Bay Packers
2) Minnesota Vikings
3) Chicago Bears
4) Detroit Lions

For shits and giggles I say the AFC Wild Card teams are the New York Jets and the Tennessee Titans and the NFC Wild Card teams are the Seattle Seahawks and the New York Giants

And I know on the podcast I had the Bears making it to the Wild Card game but I think the division is SOOOO good this year, that I just can't see it. The Packers went 13-3 just two years ago and would have won the division if not for multiple multiple injuries and the Vikings probably have the best D-line and a great O-line that it's just so hard for me to leave them out of the playoffs. Plus they did win the division last year as well. I think the Bears will be much more competitive this year than they have been, the games will be a lot more fun to watch and I I'll feel happy about this team. I also think the Bears will win at least nine games again but I can see the Packers and Viks splitting games with us and them winning at least 10. This division will be a shit ton better than in years past, but the Bears cynic in me tells me to leave the Bears out of the running.

Characters Welcome! Sweet Sixteen

Since nobody really cares I'm just going to post the winners and how they advanced

Entourage Bracket
(1) Ari Gold (Entourage) vs. (5) Johnny Drama (Entourage)
(2) Jack Bauer (24) vs. (6) Hank Hill (King of the Hill)

Funny Bracket
(1) Jack Donaghy (30 Rock) vs. (4) Dwight Schrute (The Office)
(2) Adrian Monk (Monk) vs. (3) Barney Stinson (How I Met Your Mother)

Effeminate Bracket

(1) Homer Simpson (The Simpsons) vs. (4) Charlie Harper (Two and a Half Men)
(15) Jenna Maroney (30 Rock) vs. (3) Liz Lemon (30 Rock)

Bad Ass Bracket
(1) Dr. Gregory House (House) vs. (4) Sylar (Heroes)
(2) Don Draper (Mad Men) vs. (3) Eric Cartman (South Park)

Let's also do a little bet, if both Don Draper (Mad Men) or Charlie Harper (Two and a Half Men) were after the same girl, who would fuck her first?

How To Kane A Cabbie

Step One: Be the #1 overall pick in the NHL draft in 2007
Step Two: be out at 5 in the morning in Buffalo, NY
Step Three: Bring your cousin
Step Four: Punch the cabbie multiple times and take back the fare you gave him
Step Five: Get arrested

This is exactly what happened to Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane recently. Here's an excerpt from the article about this on ESPN.com

Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane, the top overall pick in the 2007 NHL draft, was arrested early Sunday morning in Buffalo, N.Y., and charged with robbery and other counts following an altercation with a cab driver in his hometown.

The 20-year-old Kane and his cousin, James M. Kane, 21, were taken into police custody at about 5 a.m. ET after allegedly punching the driver and taking $15 in fare they had given him after he said he didn't have 20 cents in change, a police report says. Police say the cousins apparently caught a cab from the city's downtown nightclub district at about 4 a.m. Sunday.

Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane, the NHL's top rookie in 2008, was charged Sunday with robbery and other counts after an incident with a cab driver in Buffalo, N.Y.

Buffalo police spokesman Michael DeGeorge says the cab driver suffered cuts to his face and his glasses were damaged after being struck in the face and head. Both Kanes were charged with felony robbery and misdemeanor counts of theft of services and criminal mischief.

White Sox may have claimed Alex Rios off Waivers

Alex Rios was recently placed on waivers, as many players are following the July 31st trading deadline. If a player passes through waivers, he is free to be traded to any team in baseball just as he would be prior to the deadline. If a player is claimed off waivers by a team, the team the player belongs to can give his contract to the claiming team, work out a trade with the claiming team, or take back the player and pretend the waivers never happened. Most of the time, a team just wants to see if their player can pass through waivers, if not they will reclaim him. But rarely does a guy with 60 million dollars left on his contract get claimed off waivers. The Blue Jays can relieve themselves of all that money if they wish.

Since teams are forbidden from discussing their waiver claims, it remains a mystery as to which team claimed Alex Rios. It would really take a mad crazy GM to have the balls to add 60 guaranteed million to the roster. There are rumors floating around that Kenny Williams was that crazy GM to claim Rios and stands a chance to acquire a replacement for Jermaine Dye. Rios has had an off season, but he is a young 5-tool player that is relatively cheap at 10 million per year.

While you were sleeping...

TBO may be the king of back up sports player interviews, but while most of you were sleeping in this morning, DME and Journalissimo was rocking it out at Lollapalooza with some playboy bunnies, sippin' champagne and playin' Guitar Hero World Tour. What songs did we play? Blondie's One Way Or Another and none other than Bon Jovi's Living On A Prayer. Shout out to Matthew Berry.

Not to brag or anything...but seriously. That shit was off the hook. Woo! Take a gander at some of the evidence.




Tim McCarver is back

Watching the Yanks Sox game on Fox being forced to endure Joe Buck and Tim McCarver for the first time in a long time. Tim has something you should know about Clay Buchholz
"Confidence and stuff are one of the same thing"

All you kiddies out there who hope to pitch in the major leagues, just know that all you need is confidence. Forget height, weight, elbow, shoulder, strength, or practice. All it takes is confidence to have major league stuff. I bet Dustin Pedroia could throw 100MPH if given the chance

Josh Hamilton has been a bad boy

Someone has been holding on to photos of Josh Hamilton partying hard at an ASU bar while preparing for baseball season. Clearly, he came off the wagon yet again by drinking excessively the entire night, supposedly asking where he could buy cocaine, and going to a local strip club from the bar. Here are some of the pics released this morning of Hamilton partying it up with some of the bartenders. It seems like his wedding ring slipped off with all that whip cream




Ranking the Woman of ESPN

Men like ESPN. Men like women. Why not make a top ten list of the hottest female personalities on the only cable sports network that matters. The general criteria I used to define hotness involved: appearance, personality, seniority, newsworthiness, and notoriety.

10) Sage Steele

Bloggin aint easy

Bloggin' aint easy

Now Sage has always come off as a well mannered, respectable woman who is nothing but professional every morning on ESPN’s “First Take”. She doesn’t really exude sexuality like some of the other woman on this list, but look at her name. You cannot tell me that Sage Steele is not a made up porn name from her younger, wilder days. Doing porn automatically puts you on the hott list. Unfortunately, it also puts you on the filthy filthy whore list. Of course, ESPN has confiscated all the old video footage from the internet so we can never know the whole truth.

9) Dana Jacobson

You cant tell me what to do! Youre not my daddy

You cant tell me what to do! You're not my daddy

First off, she’s quite a bit pudgy, but you can still imagine cuddling up with her in bed…after a few drinks of course. But lucky us, Dana doesn’t require much convincing when it comes to downing an Absolut, Stoli, or Grey Goose you happen to throw her way. He infamous “performance” of getting hammered at the ESPN roast, coming up to the stage with a bottle of hard liquor in her hands, and proclaiming “Fuck Touchdown Jesus” was not her shining moment. What is it with fat chicks and alcohol. Hint hint, booze is not a dietary supplement. Luckily it only drew her a suspension and not a dismissal from ESPN. Hey, everyone knows First Take is the ESPN purgatory for all the networks degenerates, whether it be drunks or molesters or simply being Skip Bayless

Honk Honk!

Honk Honk!

8 ) Linda Cohn

Bill Parcels is my sugar daddy

Bill Parcells is my sugar daddy

Linda surely has the seniority on ESPN of any woman on this list. Although not the modern version of hott, Linda still turns the older generation on. She has a confidence and self absurdness to herself, opposite to Dana Jacobson, that only adds to her humor and natural hosting ability. She is also famous for playing hockey goalie in her youth, so she’s used to having things go through her 5-hole. Jewish girl #1, ohhhh yeah

7) Colleen Dominguez

Yes, I am better than you

Couldn't make it on telemundo, had to settle for ESPN

Anyone who has watched telemundo for a little too long knows that latina girls are muy caliente, hence it would be a shame to leave the only ESPN representative off the list. If this girl had any personality, notoriety, or longevity she could possibly compete for the top spot based on looks alone. But since I know next to nothing about her, she will have to be happy with 7th place.

6) Bonnie Bernstein

You know you want my 2.5 biblically named children

You know you want my 2.5 biblically named children

Jewish girl #2, ohhhh yeah! She has been around ESPN for over a decade covering basketball, football, and baseball most recently. Her long, crooked nose is her trademark feature, to go along with a smoking hot body. There have been rumors that she “spent” a lot of time with athletes over the years. She did gain for continually leaving her legs open while sitting down wearing a skirt.

5) Hannah Storm

Ride em cowboy

Ride 'em cowboy

Hannah has had quite the career. Working for CNN, NBC during the Olympics, and most recently with ESPN. Her confidence is unchallenged and her reputation picture perfect. Always being a sports sex symbol, a la Farrah Fawcett, she has not trouble getting her way and pushing the men at ESPN around. She is the perfect face for the morning Sportcenter edition.

4) Rachel Nichols

Love me or hate me, you still cant %#&! me

Love me or hate me, you still cant %#&! me

By far the most polarizing woman working for ESPN. She may as well be the Michael Vick of female sportscasters. Some people swear by her and would hands down put her number 1 on this list, while others like me, think there is something wrong with her face that simply cannot be overlooked. It simply lacks symmetry. The nose is crooked, the smile is very one sided, and her cheek bones are too high for my liking. Everyone loves a red head, but her’s looks blood red as opposed to the natural variety. The body is nothing to get excited about, but she does have a very distinct reporting style and voice. So love her or hate her you still cant touch her

3) Suzy Kolber

Good enough for Joe Namath, good enough for me

Good enough for Joe Namath, good enough for me

Despite being around ESPN for ages, Suzy became a household name after her infamous interview with a drunk Joe Namath who very openly said “I want to kiss you”. Suzy played it off very nicely, only making herself look more cute in the process. And that is how I would describe her, cute as a button. The voice, the face, the whole package.

2) Michelle Beadle

I literally live next door to EVERYONE

I literally live next door to EVERYONE

The newest acquisition to the ESPN staff, Michelle Beadle was hired away from the Yankees to co-host with Colin Cowherd on sportsnation. She is the perfect girl next door. The tomboy. The little step-sister you never had, Brady Bunch style. I feel I could go to the beach with her right now and play tackle football without her worrying about breaking a nail or wetting her hair. She’s really one of the guys, yet maintains her womanly charm and sexiness.

1) Erin Andrews – All she requires is a photo montage

I hit that

New Podcasts!

There have been four new podcasts since the last GOI blog update

1) My cousin Eric joins me to discuss the Red Sox and a little Celtics
2) My buddy Keith talks to me about the upcoming Bears season
3) TBO and myself discuss our trip to Bears training camp and our new internet sensation video involving back up QB Caleb Hanie
4) TBO and myself preview the 2009/10 NFL season and predict where teams end up division by division

Find all these great podcasts here or search Game Of Inches into the iTunes store

You can still vote on your favorite characters here

Jason Giambi: The Career That Was


Seriously? That's Jason Giambi! He looks like Craig Counsell in the Team USA picture. He barely looks strong enough to hold that smile up, let alone hit 400 homers in the majors. His HR rate in the minors was 1 every 30 at-bats, but 1 every 17 in the majors. After winning the MVP award with a ridiculous 476 on-base percentage, it should have come as no surprise that he would unofficially test positive for steroids. With his release from the Athletics today, it may be the end to hsi controversial career.

At least he left us with so many memories, very few of which involve the game of baseball.


Is that Giambi or Craig Biggio?

Just one in a long line of *MVP* winners


WWF wrestlers told me they were injecting lidocaine and vitamin B12


I apologize for being wrong at whatever it is I did, which is nothing


There's a reason they call me "The Giambino"


Admit it, you're jealous of the stach


That's actually the look from the front. Shrinkage!

At least his head was always huge

You don't get that big just from drinking protein shakes

And so it continues, the list of players who tested positive for performance enhancement drugs continues to be leaked one by one. This is like taking the band-aid off bit by bit instead of ripping the entire bandage off. Somehow just because the records for the tests were sealed, the players thought these stories would never come out. Through all the controversy of protecting those names even though federal prosecutors threatened players to testify under a grand jury, the names still got leaked one by one.

Ortiz is just the latest player to suffer from a damaging PR story made worse by the continuing denial of his own use. Earlier in February this year, Ortiz commented on testing for performance enhancing drugs stating:

“I would suggest everybody get tested, not random, everybody. You go team by team. You test everybody three, four times a year and that’s about it...suspend them for the whole year"

Now those words will bite him in the back with a vengeance. It seems like every time athletes deny doing something in the media and try so hard to absolve themselves from suspicion, they are most likely the ones that are doing it. So what do you say Big Papi, should we suspend you for the entire season or are you going to come out and say you didn’t know why Manny was injecting you in the butt inside the Boston dugout.

Of course, I have to say, many people were shocked by this revelation but it didn’t surprise me that much. Look how big he got in the first picture from when he was a rookie! Also, you can also spot cheaters because they are always spotted with other cheaters.

My man, let me feel what HGH did to your chest - A-Rod
Who gave you those butt shots -Manny

Now the Red Sox have something else to be proud of. Maybe there will be fake needle give a ways at Fenway Park to the first 10,000 fans to a game, so everyone can get in on the action.

Is Johnny Damon next to test positive? Those beards don’t grow without excessive testostrone!

sportshumor23

The 2 RB vs the 2 WR Approach

The vast majority of fantasy experts, including me, will tell you to draft a RB first and probably 2 RBs in the first two or three rounds. They tell you to do this because it is safer to have RBs and having good elite RBs will help your team. However, there is a new approach arising among the minority, saying that if you don't draft a RB first, and you draft wide receivers instead, you will be fine. So which approach is better? Well, I intend to figure that out.

In 2008, out of the top 25 fantasy performers, 10 were RBs, 12 were QBs, and 3 were WRs. So your first reaction should be, why not draft a good QB considering they seem to be huge fantasy producers? However, as Yahoo! as kindly showed us, getting an elite QB is probably more of a detriment than an advantage. So that leaves only WR and RB (you can obviously wait to get a TE, K, and DEF). The best ranked WR was Larry Fitzgerald and he was the 15th best fantasy producer. Andre Johnson was the #2 wide out and the 23rd best fantasy producer and Calvin Johnson was 25th overall.

And although I believe and maintain that if you have a good corps of RB and a decent set of WRs, you can win your fantasy league. And if you look at fantasy production, it definitely shows that RBs produce more than receivers do. But the problem is where to find the elite RBs. Here's a list of the top ten fantasy RBs and which round they got drafted last year*

1) DeAngelo Williams (7)
2) Michael Turner (3)
3) Adrian Peterson (1)
4) Thomas Jones (4)
5) Matt Forte (5)
6) LaDainian Tomlinson (1)
7) Steve Slaton (undrafted)
8) Brian Westbrook (1)
9) Clinton Portis (1)
10) Maurice Jones-Drew (2)

AD and LT went 1 and 2 in essentially all drafts so getting or not getting one of those two guys had nothing to do with your draft strategy. But if you didn't have a high draft pick, you could have drafted two wide receivers, let's say Andre Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald (both went in the second round) and still gotten guys like Forte, Jones, Turner or picked up Slaton in waivers. That way you would have two elite WR AND RBs, even though you drafted WRs first.

But the equation gets even more complicated when you look at the production of how the RBs in the first two round produced. Barring injury (which you can't really take into account when drafting), the top RBs still produced. Here's a list of the top ten RBs drafted* and their overall fantasy production among wide outs and running backs. (I'm excluding LT and AP because this is a post about draft strategy and the first two guys off the board has nothing to do with strategy)

3) Steven Jackson (17)
4) Brian Westbrook (9)
5) Joseph Addai (67)
6) Marion Barber (23)
7) Frank Gore (18)
8) Marshawn Lynch (19)
9) Clinton Portis (10)
10) Larry Johnson (53)
11) MJD (11)
12) Laurence Maroney (only played in 3 weeks)

Addai, Johnson, and Maroney all got injured so it makes sense that their numbers are so low. But now let's take a look at how well the top ten drafted receivers* and their overall fantasy value compared to all WRs and RBs:

1) Randy Moss (30)
2) T.O. (29)
3) Reggie Wayne (35)
4) Andre Johnson (12)
5) Braylon Edwards (72)
6) Steve Smith (20)
7) Larry Fitzgerald (7)
8) T.J. Houshmandzadeh (66)
9) Marques Colston (73)
10) Torry Holt (83)

Out of this group only Colston was injured. The low numbers of Holt, Edwards, and Housh were due to their suckiness and nothing more.

The average production position of a top ten RB (excluding LT and AD and including more injured players) was ranked 25.2. The average production position of the top ten receivers was ranked 42.7. That's not even close. Granted RB seem more injury prone than WR, but still put up much more numbers.

Now I understand this study is just based on one year, and just based on one draft, but I would put money that results like this show up year after year. I would put money on this just because of the nature of the position. First RB are far more likely to score TDs. If you have an average RB and an average receivers, I'm sure they would put up similar numbers. But you're looking for the elite wide out and the elite back to build you team upon. You want to build your team around your WR and RB corps so you want the best of the best. And the elite RB will get a lot more TD opportunities and TDs than the elite receiver. The back is also more likely to touch the ball. The back is guaranteed to touch the ball. Even a really good back up like what MJD has been is guaranteed to get touches. A receiver is never guaranteed to even get thrown to nevertheless catch passes. Now a receiver can do a shit ton of damage with only three receptions, but it's still an unknown every game. RBs are more of a sure thing.

So final conclusion: which approach is better, drafting RBs first and then WR or vice versa? Well, it depends on how good of a drafter/ trader you are. I don't think either approach is out of the question. I don't think it's so rogue as many experts might think it is, but it's harder and riskier. There were many RBs like Reggie Bush, LenDale White, Fred Taylor, Rudi Johnson, and Julius Jones that went in the 4th, 5th, or 6th rounds that didn't nearly produce like Matt Forte or DeAngelo Williams did. There were also many WR like T.O. and T.J. Who's-Your-Mama that went early, and seemed like sure things, that also did not produce like others like Fitz, and A Johnson did.

That is why I, like many many others, tell you to draft RBs early. Your first rounder may not have produced like you had hoped he would, but he still was a damn choice you made. It's just safer to draft RBs over WRs.

So just remember, do your homework! That's all it is. There is plenty of value in the later rounds that can help your team, it's just knowing where to look for them plus a lot of luck. It is obviously possible to dominate drafting WRs first then go look for your backs, but it's much harder to do. And I think that's why many people stray away from it and suggest the RB norm.

So good luck and happy drafting!

*based on my 2008 Yahoo! draft last year

Randy Wells for NL ROY?

Unlike my Chris Getz post, Wells actually does does have a legitimate chance to win ROY. In fact, with Wells and Bacon, Chicago might produce two ROY this year. (Stupid Evan Longoria for ruining that last year!). My AL bias says I should just delete this post and go watch Sportscenter, but my objective side I should do this post. Plus OTL and NASCAR NOw is on ESPN and ESPN2 so why not.

Randy Wells (SP- ChC). Wells has done surprisingly well considering the Cubs only brought him up due to injuries. I'm sure all Cubs fans and my fantasy team in one league are still thrilled nonetheless. Wells is t-1st in W, 1st in ERA (min 60 IP and only by .001%) and t-6 (out of 8) for BB. His only flaw is that he's only 4th in SO. Wells has a 3.74 FIP, a 1.40 WHIP and a 2.83 K/BB.

J.A. Happ (SP- Phi). Happ is also t-1st with Wells, is 2nd in ERA (by only .001%) and SO. Happ is also 3rd in BB. He has a 4.00 FIP, 1.12 WHIP, and a 2.32 K/BB.

Tommy Hanson (SP- Atl). Hanson was a huge name coming into this season and probably the favorite to win ROY. He had great SO numbers in an extremely offensive friendly minor league. This SO success hasn't *quite* carried over into this bigs but he sure has had success. He's 3rd in ERA, 2nd in W, but only 6th in SO. Even Randy Wells (a K/9 rate DME doesn't believe in) has more SO than Hanson. Hanson has a 4.49 FIP, 1.33 FIP, and a 1.59 K/BB.

Cobly Rasmus (CF- StL)
. Rasmus was my favorite to win this thing, but then I looked up his numbers. Sure he's 1st in HR and R and 2nd in RBIs but he's only 5th in BB, 7th (out of 8) in BA, last in OBP, and 3rd in SLG. He's 1-2 in SB, but because he doesn't really steal, I won't discredit him for that. However he is a pretty darn good defender posting a 13.3 UZR and a 22.5 UZR/150 with a 2.3 WAR.

Dexter Fowler (CF- Col). Fowler is actually having a better season than I thought. He's 1st in SB, BB, OBP, H and 2B. Fowler is 5th in SLG, RBI, and BA and 2nd in R. However he has a negative UZR and UZR/150 and is only worth .03 WAR.

Andrew McCutchen (CF- Pit). Hmmm, a damn good year for rookie CF, no? McCutchen in 1st in BA, SLG and OPS and 2nd in OBP and HR. He has a slightly negative UZR and UZR/150 and has posted a 1.9 WAR.

Some other notable rookies in the NL this year: Jordan Zimmerman (SP- Was), Shairon Martis (SP- Was), Kenshin Kawakami (SP- Atl), Gerardo Parra (OF- Ari), and Travis Ishikawa (1B-SFG)

You know what, I actually take back the things I said about Rasmus because he plays phenominal defense that makes up for his lack of offense. But I would still give the ROY to either Happ or Wells. They have posted extremely similar numbers but Wells has the better FIP and K/BB so I'll say he deserves it more. But to be honest I don't think there's a clear stand out in the NL either.

So can Chicago have two Rookies of the Year? Well I think it's deservedly so. So we'll just have to wait and see how the eastern seaboard bias ruins this again.