Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Get Your 19th Century Baltimore Orioles Nickname!

Thanks to Not Graphs (a division of Fan Graphs) I received my 19th century Baltimore Orioles nickname! 

My nickname is "Manslaughter Klondike"

Anyway, this is pretty awesome so type in your name here and let me know what you guys get!

In other news... opening day is two days away!!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

San Jose Mercury Columnist Predictions: Idiot Edition

I arose in my hometown of Salinas, CA at 8:31 A.M. this morning (way earlier than intended). When I entered the kitchen, the San Jose Mercury newspaper sat on the table and the front page indicated that today's paper had the yearly A's and Giants team previews. Intrigued, I scanned through the articles to find nothing really worth mentioning. However, on the next page there was an (extremely brief) overall outlook of the baseball season. I was struck with mild excitement when at the bottom of this page I noticed a set of Mercury columnist predictions. These picks were all about the A's and Giants and asked to predict both the teams' win-loss records and position in the division, to go a long with a couple other more specific questions about the clubs.

One of these questions was "Who will lead the Giant's (and A's) in home runs this season (and give a prediction)."

An answer to this question stuck out like a sore thumb. Apparently, San Jose Mercury columnist Mark Purdy believes that Mark DeRosa will lead the Giants in home runs this season! Not only that, but his prediction for the 36 year old utility player is 28 bombs... 28, yes 28, I'm writing 28 again so you know this isn't a typo. His career high of 23 home runs came in 2009. So lets get this straight, an aging player coming off of injury who has only twice hit over 20 home runs in his career and doesn't currently have a starting position is going to lead the World Champion Giants in home runs and improve on his career best by 5.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

RBP Blog League Draft: Day 1

The RBP annual league hosted by Ottoneu started drafting yesterday and got through 78 players starting with Troy Tulowitzki ($41 to myself) and ending with Brain McCann ($18 to Bazinga!!!). The rest (or majority) of the draft will be taken care of on Tuesday.

Pick of the Day: I think that there are two picks in the conversation for this one: Joe Mauer at $30 to Bust My Posey and Justin Morneau for $20 to Bazinga!!!. Mauer is potentially the most valuable catcher in the league, however, we saw Buster Poser go for $43 and Carlos Santana go for $30 as well. As for Morneau, he is a former AL MVP coming off of an injury and we saw Albert Pujols ($57), Joey Votto ($54), Adrian Gonzalez ($54) and Prince Fielder ($44) all go for for over over double the price of Morneau. After serious deliberation, I decided that Justin Morneau was vastly underpaid and that Bazinga!!! earned the pick of the day.

In other news, the best conversation of day 1 came when Barry Zito was nominated for bidding and ended up going to Bust My Posey for $4.

Izzy Kicks: zito time! (Barry Zito brought up to the auction table)
Bazinga!!!: hahahahahahahahahah (Initial reaction)
Sick Duck: someone bid 2 (egging on the other bidders)
Sick Duck: HAHAHA (obvious uncontrollable laughter)
Team Goodell: waste (truth)
Bleed Blue: even 1 buck is a waste (possible truth)
Bleed Blue: i would rather have mark prior (Burn)

Despite the historically horrible contract and being left off the postseason roster, Zito actually did put together a string quality starts last season. The winning bid of $4 may be too much, but I'll say that he should, at the very least, drafted for the 2011 season.

There were a couple bumps in the road getting started, but now that we all completely understand whats going on I'm extremely excited to complete the draft. It seems like we've got a good group of guys that will keep the league competitive this year!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Year 5 Keeper League: Power Rankings

There is nothing like good old fashioned fun. That pretty much sums up Wednesday night's draft in our 5th year keeper league. There were insults, taunts, outrageous claims, "homer" picks and I'm sure if we had been all in the same room, multiple fist fights would have occurred.

With the draft over and opening day on the horizon I thought I'd put together some preseason power rankings! Let me know what you guys think. By the way, it's in reverse order for dramatic effect!

12. Bazinga!!! (New Owner)- Last year's finish: 10th
The good: Building young from ground up. The bad: Playing for next season...or season after that.

11. Dragons- Last year's finish: 6th
The good: Offensive potential in all spots. The bad: An unfortunate auto-draft mess with the staff.

10. purasangre- Last year's finish: 12th
The good: Nine offensive keepers. The bad: Relying on a VERY young rotation.

9. Slapaholics (New Owner)- Last year's finish: 11th
The good: Pujols, Arod and a solid rotation. The bad: Has virtually no offensive bench.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fantasy Bet: Year 5 Keeper Draft

We had our draft last night in the 5th Year Keeper League and below are the final results for Brandon, Casey and myself. This is a 12 team league where we keep 10 players from year to year. The (K) denotes a player that was kept from the previous season.

Let us know who you think has the best team and best chance at winning the league!

Mat- (Honey Nut Ichiros)

Offense:
C-Matt Wieters (K), 1B-Prince Fielder (K), 2B-Rickie Weeks (K), 3B-Adrian Beltre (K), SS-Alexei Ramirez (K), OF1-Matt Holliday (K), OF2-Vernon Wells, OF3-Rajai Davis, UTL1-Pablo Sandoval, UTL2-Travis Snider, Bench-Dexter Fowler/Manny Ramirez/Desmond Jennings.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Form For Your Preseason Predictions!

Once the season starts I'll make the google document public so everyone can see their picks and how they compare to everyone else!

Submit your 2011 preseason predictions in the survey below:
*Make sure you don't pick the same team twice in any of the divisions*

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Fantasy Baseball Bet 2011

This year Brandon, Casey and myself are making things interesting! We are in two different fantasy leagues together and we are all convinced that each of us is more skilled than the other.

The Bet: Whoever finishes highest in the Yahoo Year Five Keeper league gets $10 from each of the two losers. And, whoever finishes highest in the Ottoneu dynasty RBP Blog League receives a 6-pack from each of the two losers.

Updates on current rosters and standings to come!

By the way, I'll take that $20 in cash, and I prefer ------------------------------>

Thanks guys,
Mat

Quote of the Week: Spring Training Brawl

"Miggy throws like Miss Iowa, anyway." - Ian Desmond

I guess some explanation may be needed for this one. Apparently there was a brawl in the Nationals-Cardinals game today that that came to fruition after Miguel Batista hit Ian Desmond. The above quote by Ian Desmond describes what it's like to be hit by Batista. The Miss Iowa reference comes from last year when Batista described himself as Miss Iowa compared to Strasburg being Miss Universe, in the eyes of Nationals fans.

The Nats-Cards intensity stems from a play last year when Nyjer Morgan ran over catcher Brian Anderson. The buildup of today's brawl started when Nyjer Morgan ran into Albert Pujols at first base which was followed up by a couple of hit batters.

You can read a more complete description of the benches-clearing
spring training game at Big League Stew here.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

10 Rapid Predictions: Stanton Hits 40

Rapid predictions need no explanation. They are rapid.
This one is all about players...

1. Mike Stanton will hit 40+ HR's this year.
2. Ichiro will get another 200 hits.
3. Brett Anderson will be in top 5 of AL ERA.
4. Manny stays healthy enough to hit 20 HR's.
5. Tulo will be on the wrong side of a .300 BA.
6. B.J. Upton goes for .275+ BA, 20+ HR's, 40+ 2B's and 40+ SB's.
7. Ryan Raburn hits 25+ HR's, if given 450+ AB's.
8. John Lackey will win 18+ games.
9. Bryce Harper plays in the big leagues this year.
10. Pedro Martinez signs with the Phillies when they get tired of Blanton.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My 2011 Player Predictions

In the second installment of my preseason predictions I'll focus on the player awards and achievements. These are obviously hard to predict and in some cases nearly impossible, but getting any of these correct gives you bragging rights for the entire off season and potentially your life. Now I'll be honest, going into these picks I was only 100% confident in about two or three choices. In all the other spots I kept writing down names and replacing them with others. However, what I've got down below are what I truly believe are the right choices.

I'll start with the American League:

MVP: Adrian Gonzalez
Reasoning: This is a difficult one to pick. I also considered Joe Mauer, Kendrys Morales, Adam Dunn, Robinson Cano and Miguel Cabrera. In the end, I decided on Gonzalez. Just like everyone else, I am excited to see what he'll do now that he's out of Petco Park (a.k.a. where hitters go to die and mediocre pitchers go to prosper). His career road splits are awesome and he'll be surrounded by talent. What's not to love? Well he plays for the Red Sox...


Monday, March 14, 2011

Quote of the Week

"I copied (Shoeless Joe) Jackson's style because I thought he was the greatest hitter I had ever seen, the greatest natural hitter I ever saw. He's the guy who made me a hitter." - Babe Ruth

Credit to Baseball Almanac.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Soccer Movie About Baseball


This is my first and probably only animation video ever. I hope you enjoy.

POWER Rankings!

Everybody loves the power rankings, so here they are. Everything is taken into consideration, from last year's record to yesterday's injury. Once the season begins, new power rankings will come out every week. If you think I'm wrong then respond and maybe I'll consider your input, maybe.

1. Red Sox - Additions making them the obvious preseason favorites.
2. Phillies - Halladay, Lee, Oswalt, Hamels, enough said.
3. Giants - World Champions bring back everyone and have Buster and Bum for a full season.
4. Reds - This team is for real, Chapman here for a full season.
5. Twins - Bringing back Morneau and Nathan to last year's playoff team.
6. Braves - If everyone stays healthy they can be scary good.
7. Rangers - Losing Lee hurts bad.
8. Yankees - Losing out on Lee hurts bad.
9. Rockies - Need everyone behind Ubaldo to step up.
10. Brewers - Adding Greinke makes rotation redunkulous.

Friday, March 11, 2011

My 2011 Team Predictions

This is the first of two posts that will complete my official preseason predictions. I'll start with how the divisions and playoffs shake out. Feel free to completely bash or agree with any prediction you see below.

Lets start with the American League:

West:
1. Angels, 2. Rangers, 3. Athletics, 4. Mariners
Reasoning: So this division is only partially driven by a homer pick. Yes my favorite team is the Angels, but they are vastly underrated this year. Their pitching staff is as good as any in the AL and the Vernon Wells trade helps the offense, regardless of how bad his contract hurts the team. Also add in a healthy Kendrys Morales and the Angles have a great shot to rebound. It's hard to pick the Rangers to win without Cliff Lee on the team and the A's offense doesn't scare a 3 year old girl. The Mariners, well their team looks too similar to last year's squad, enough said.

Central:
1. White Sox, 2. Twins, 3. Tigers, 4. Royals, 5. Indians
Reasoning: This is the first of what some may consider a couple surprising picks. I've got the White Sox winning because I believe they've got what could be the best offense in the American League and have enough pitching to keep them on top. I think it'll be a dog fight with them and the Twins with the Tigers falling out of the race 3/4ths of the way through the season. The Royals will in the mix in two years and will outdo the Indians this year with their incoming young talent.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

RBP's Annual Fantasy League

We are still looking for a couple of people to join the blog's annual fantasy league! It will be hosted by Ottoneu which is powered by Fangraphs. This is a new 12-team dynasty league format where you auction draft 40 players and keep as many as you want from year to year. I'm excited about trying out a different type of fantasy league and am already enjoying a lot of the settings. If you're looking for a different experience from your normal Yahoo or ESPN league, this is it!

The league will be discussed on the blog at length throughout the season. Discussing trades, dumb moves and bets to go along with ranking teams and just full on trash talk.

It's only 10 bucks to play so if you're interested let me know and I'll send you the info!

Looking For Your Predictions!

With spring training in full swing it's about that time to start gathering preseason predictions! I'm looking for as many people to get in on this as possible (seriously, hundreds). That way we can really get to comparing what people think and ultimately figure out who is the smartest (or luckiest) baseball fan! To figure out who has the best picks I'll devise a point system similar to that noted in the past post about 2009 predictions.

This is what I need from you...

Name and Location Would be cool to do a region comparison

For both the American and National Leagues:
MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year Of course we need all the basics!
Where every team places in their division (1st, 2nd, 3rd, ... etc.) Throws in knowledge of every team
Wild Card winner, Pennant winner, along with best and worst record

Then, for all of Major League Baseball:
World Series Winner The glamor category
World Series MVP Talk about epic if you got this one right
Longest hitting streak, one no-hitter candidate, and one cycle candidate Just awesomeness right here

And that's it!

The plan is to get all of your predictions into an Excel spreadsheet and I'll either send them out through email or make them accessible in some other way. Honestly this has the potential to be really cool, so spread the word around!

Send in your picks by simply commenting them here, or EMAIL them to matawith1t@gmail.com

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Lincecum Hit Bet: 2007

The year was 2007 and it was the last quarter of freshman year of college. Andy, being the huge Giants fan that he is, was pretty excited about his newest top prospect Tim Lincecum. There was talk about how little experience the 16 year old lookalike had at the plate and it brought up the heated discussion about whether or not Tiny Tim would get a hit during his first season.

Being an optimistic Giants fan, Andy took the stance that just by luck he would end up with a hit. Now that sounds pretty realistic, pitchers get hits every once and a while and being in the NL he would have plenty of opportunities. Let me give you my rationalization to why I thought it would be unlikely that he would get a hit. It amounts to one "fact" that very well may be completely untrue (and after 15 minutes of research still couldn't confirm or deny). I was under the impression Lincecum didn't get to bat in college and that he had limited time hitting in high school. So, I figured he had about as much of a chance as me to get a major league base hit. I considered the probability of me getting a hit to be zero, so I went for it.

The Result: In his 13th AB of the season Lincecum hit a weak ground ball double down the 3rd base line and my dreams were crushed. Andy got the win and Timmy ended up with 4 hits on the season in 43 AB's, which amounts to a .093 AVG.

The wager of the bet, while not memorable, did not go in my favor. To this day it remains to be probably one of the dumbest bets I ever made. But I did have one heck of a run through 12 AB's!

2009 Season Predictions: A Look Back

Before the start of the '09 season Casey, Brandon and myself decided to make the ultimate preseason predictions and bet on them. This is the look back at who was right, who was wrong and who WAY OFF.

Below are all three of our preseason predictions, with comments:
Note: Point value worth is in parentheses, totals were put together and differences in points between the three of us was the dollar amount owed.

Mat: 36 Total Points

American League 

MVP: Mark Teixeira (5) 2nd in voting to Joe Mauer
Cy Young: Felix Hernandez (5) One year off... 2nd in voting to Greinke
Rookie of the Year: Matt Wieters (4) No votes...
Manager of the Year: Mike Scioscia (4) Correct!

MLB Dream Job Essay - Biggest Storyline

This was my essay for the biggest storyline of the upcoming year. Just to be clear, Phillies vs. Red Sox is not my official World Series prediction. An in depth full season prediction post will be on its way shortly.

Best Ever?

There is one big question on everyone’s mind this season. Will the Phillies’ rotation end up being the greatest ever? I remember the night Cliff Lee signed like it was yesterday. I work part-time as a city league softball scorekeeper and I had just arrived to the field. When I got out of the car I looked at my phone and saw that I had four text messages. They all basically said the same thing, “You won’t believe this, but Lee just signed with Philly.” My first reaction was shock, my second reaction was relief that he wouldn’t end up back in Texas and pitch against my team, the Angels. Then the thought popped up in my head, “Best ever?”
 
The potential is there. Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels, and Cliff Lee, you get shivers just saying those names in a row. Oh yeah and Joe Blanton. There may be past rotations with more Hall of Fame players when all is said and done, but never has a team had four pitchers that could all vie for the Cy Young Award in the same season. Heck, Halladay and Lee have got three between them, Oswalt has been in the top six in voting six times in his career, while Hamels just took a gigantic leap in becoming an ace himself. Oh yeah, and there is Joe Blanton.

MLB Dream Job Video

As many of you know, I've put a bunch of time into applying for the MLB Dream Job. Due to abundant requests, below is my video submission...

video

Just in case you have no idea what the dream job is, it's pretty much the most awesome gig ever created. Basically, MLB is choosing one fan to move to New York and watch every game of the season. 162*15=2430 total games many of them watched simultaneously on large flat screen TV's. They then want this fan to blog and video blog about the games and interact with fans while doing special promotion stuff for MLB. This is literally eating, sleeping, and dreaming baseball. Like I said: DREAM JOB!

Lots of credit to Andy for editing, filming and having the vision for the intro! Not to mention that perfect throw haha.

Uribe and Tejada: Prediction and Bet #1

This is prediction and bet #1 on the blog. It arose a couple of months ago after the signing of Miguel Tejada by the Giants. Here is the situation...

The natural question after the signing went down was... who will perform better? The former Gigante, Mr. BIG SWING Juan Uuuuribe? Or the new addition and roided-out/defensive shortstop liability, Miguel Tejada?

To facilitate who has a "better" season, we decided on a best of 5 category scoring system. The categories are: AVG, HR, RBI, OBP, SLG.

We've got 20 bucks on the line, I've got Miguel Tejada and Casey's got Juan Uribe. It might be close, but honestly, I think I've got this one in the bag.

So let us know who you think will win this one and we will revisit periodically throughout the season!

Welcome!

I have created this blog for multiple reasons.

1. I can't remember half of the predictions or bets I make that relate to baseball and would like to start remembering. I know that I will never get credit for saying the Rays will make the playoffs in '08 (before the season started), so for now on EVERYTHING will be documented here.

2. After applying to the MLB Dream Job I realized that I'm too young to give up on my true dream, to work in baseball. And, must continue to write about the game and follow it even more closely than before (yes it's possible).

3. Um, that might be it.

Welcome and enjoy! I'm not sure what this will turn into, but, at the very least it will be a place for Casey, Brandon, myself and others to bullshit around about baseball.