The last twenty comments in true blog fasion, with the links to their authors and the player commented upon.

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Nolan Ryan Texas Rangers

Pitchers who celebrated Quince de Mayo.

Roberto ClementeMorgan EnsbergWillie HortonLen BarkerTom Seaver

May 15 All-Time Top Performers


Len Barker* (CLE, 1981): 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 11 K, 98 GmSc

Tom Seaver* (NYM, 1970): 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 3 BB, 15 K, 97 GmSc

Nolan Ryan (CAL, 1973): 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 3 BB, 12 K, 96 GmSc

Virgil Trucks* (DET, 1952): 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 BB, 7 K, 93 GmSc

Don Cardwell (CHC, 1960): 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 BB, 7 K, 93 GmSc

* - pictured above

Alex Patton Alex
Jean Segura Philadelphia Phillies

Friday, May 15Read in Browser.
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Roberto ClementeMorgan EnsbergWillie HortonLen BarkerTom Seaver

May 15 All-Time Top Performers


Roberto Clemente* (PIT, 1967): 4-5, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 3 R

Morgan Ensberg* (HOU, 2005): 4-4, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R

Willie Horton* (TEX, 1977): 3-3, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R

Paul Molitor (MIL, 1991): 4-5, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R, cycle

Danny Valencia (OAK, 2016): 3-5, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R

Jose Bautista (TOR, 2011): 3-5, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R

Roberto Kelly (NYY, 1989): 3-5, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R, 4 SB

Mike Davis (OAK, 1985): 3-5, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 4 R

Jean Segura (SEA, 2018): 3-5, 1 RBI, 3 R, 4 SB

Reggie Smith (LAD, 1978): 4-5, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R, 2 SB

Alex Patton Alex

Peter -- Well if you hear about an NL-only league and need someone I'd be up for it. Side note: I still don't understand how you are figuring out the stats on the fly unless someone is just copying and pasting them in.

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Jordan Hicks St. Louis Cardinals

Jordan Hicks (P) STL - May. 14

Hicks (elbow), who could return from Tommy John surgery shortly after the start of the proposed abbreviated regular season, may play an integral relief role according to president of baseball operations John Mozeliak, Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. "Given the circumstances of the season, the likelihood of his being able to contribute are a lot different than had it been a normal year," Mozeliak said. "There is some optimism that if we do have a season, he'll have some way of being a key member of it."

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: Mozeliak relays Hicks continues engaging in regular bullpen sessions at his home in Houston, usually throwing 30 pitches per outing in an effort to mirror his approximate maximum pitch count in an actual game setting. Tuesday, Hicks worked up to 40 total pitches by throwing two blocks of 20 each, and if the current early-July timeline for Opening Day comes to pass, the 23-year-old will be close to 13 full months removed from his June 2019 Tommy John procedure. However, Mozeliak notes the Cardinals would also be particularly cautious with the hard-throwing right-hander due to his Type A diabetes, as the condition could potentially make him more at risk for serious COVID-19-related complications. 

Alex Patton Alex
Aaron Hicks New York Yankees

Aaron Hicks (OF) NY-A - May. 14

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Thursday that Hicks (elbow) has advanced to taking dry swings in addition to taking part in a throwing program, Lindsey Adler of The Athletic reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: The organization is seemingly pleased with how Hicks is bouncing back from the Tommy John surgery he required for his right elbow in October, with Cashman noting that the 30-year-old is a "legit option" to reclaim his everyday role in center field at some point during the summer. Hicks should continue to gradually increase the distance of his throws and intensity of his batting work on his own in the weeks to come before the Yankees are cleared to resume full-squad workouts.

Alex Patton Alex

The fly in the ointment of this otherwise good analysis are the players with contracts guaranteed for '21 and beyond, and, to a lesser extent (because imagine the complexity this year introduces into the process), the high-end guys eligible for arbitration in those years.  Blake Snell et al. are likely counting on this being a one-off, and things picking up as normal next spring, so why risk your health, and the bargaining principles involved, for 1/3rd or whatever of this year's salary.  Thus the short-term costs of this year will be borne by those on the free agent market.  Long-term is a different matter but not everyone considers that.  The owners may be counting on the cleavage in the union membership  between these haves and the have nots for their leverage.

John Thomas Roll2

One thing that I haven't seen discussed a lot - it is most certainly in the players interest to generate revenue this year.

Back to my point earlier - contracts are not based on intrinsic value.  They are based on what owners are willing and able to put on the table in order to procure a players services.

Player A gets paid based on what Team X will pay, which is a function of what Team Y will pay.

Team Y will be willing to pay Player A based on an evaluation of how much better than Player B he is ... and how much Team Z is willing to play Player B (which dictates how much they'd have to pay Player B if they don't get A).

And so on down the line.

Teams X, Y, and Z (and most of the other teams) will all have more money in the next offseason to spend on players if they make money this year.  If they don't make money, they'll be offering a lot smaller contracts next winter.

Moreover, there is tremendous opportunity this summer, since there are massive captive audiences.  Baseball has a chance to expand its base, especially since I'm much more sceptical about football's ability to proceed safely next fall with its inherently close contact combined with massive active rosters.

Phil Ponebshek Texpope
Ryan Klesko San Francisco Giants

The kingmaker in the XFL 1999 retro draft last night. There was so much hitting that year, he was still available in Round 23. Fred Zinkie catapulted himself from middle of the pack to first (comfortably) with the third to last pick.

After Ron Shandler took Butch Huskey with the second pick in Round 22, all other outfield and DH slots were filled. All Fred had to do was bide his time. 

It's possible he could have sealed the deal right then by taking Klesko with his pick in Round 22 (immediately after Ron's) but he still needed a pitcher and there were 12 other pitching slots to still open. Clearly, the smart play was to take the best pitcher available with his next pick.

For Fred that was Bob Wells.

Alex Patton Alex
Blake Snell Tampa Bay Rays

If you're a younger pitcher who's already had some arm trouble -- like Snell -- can't blame him.

Mike Dean TMU2009

LynchMob: I think dumping one cat is effectively dumping two, so might as well start out dumping two, but you may be right. Planning on one may keep more options open. If I took Klesko instead of Goodwin I would end up with two fewer points. Klesko's strength was a good BA with 21 homers and 80 RBI. Goodwin actual scored eight more runs than Klesko and stole umpteen more bases, which I valued. 

I've been playing around replacing my guys in the endgame and haven't found a better finish available to me. I think if I take Rickey Bottalico instead of Steve Parris I gain points but don't pass Jeff. No doubt I'll do some more of that.

Peter Kreutzer Rotoman
May 14

Seadogs: I believe NL and AL only would increase dumping. The key here is that if you compete in 10 cats you're going to end up doing poorly in one or two of them, and those stats are wasted, so you get more efficient by consciously not paying for one or two stats. That increases your efficiency. 

Peter Kreutzer Rotoman
May 14

Have there been any NL-only or AL-only drafts? I think that would lower the ability to do well and punt multiple categories.

Kent Ostby Seadogs
May 14
Blake Snell Tampa Bay Rays

An agent says some players aren't up for taking the risk this year, and Blake Snell says he's one of them if the pay is cut.

John Thomas Roll2
May 14

Why not "Better figure out a path to dump one category, not two or three"?

If you had taken Klesko with your last OF pick, would Fred still have won?

Howard Lynch LynchMob
May 14

It was a tough night. For the first time I wasn't in the lead early, because I took no hitters, but after fleshing out a staff I had 12 wins points and 11 saves points and great qualitatives, with three pitchers left to buy. But then the rot set in. As I'm putting together an offense, teams with bad ERAs and WHIPs start loading up on bad pitchers with plenty of wins and saves. I made up some ground with Pariss and Veres late, but then they chipped away and it hurt.

For the third try I didn't pay enough attention to position scarcity, and I think that was the difference. All the top productive catchers except Pudge went a couple rounds early (Pudge couldn't have gone earlier). I made sure to get my middle infielders done, so I could take advantage of outfielders late, and I didn't worry about catchers because there were a few low AB ones with decent batting averages that I figured would be there. What happened, however, was that I needed  80 runs and could only eek out about 40, while Fred was able to jump over a bunch of teams in Runs and RBI with Klesko. Fred was able to do that because he took two good catchers early. 

The thing about not planning to dump a category is you can end up wasting picks adding stats that you end up not using. On the other hand, there is definitely an advantage to dumping one category, as Fred did, rather than three, as Jeff and I did.

One interesting tidbit is that Paul, Justin and Al, three of our four newbies, competed in all 10 categories and finished fifth, eighth and 11th. Newbie Eric, who planned on punting saves only, finished fourth. I'm not sure Ron and Scott planned on dumping cats, but they finished next to last in six categories and in 10th in two more. while finishing 10th and 12th. 

The teams with the most wins are the teams with the worst ERAs, for the most part, while the teams with the best ERAs are the teams with best ERAs, generally. This isn't a surprise, but it argues for choosing to go one way or the other. My effort to win all five pitching categories was likely doomed from the start.

My lessons this time: Better factor in position scarcity. Make a pitcher or outfielder your last choice. Better figure out a path to dump two categories, not three.

Peter Kreutzer Rotoman
May 14

Actually the agreement was signed on March 26, almost two weeks after spring training shut down.  Games without spectators was a distinct possibility at that point, given that NCAA conference tournament games were held without them earlier in the month.  The owners let the issue drift because they figured, correctly, that they would have more leverage at this time.

John Thomas Roll2
May 14

Eugene is right. Owners will do their damnedest to hide revenues. But much will be revealed. At the very least, Tony Clark and the players should be open to discussion. To point to a piece of paper that was signed in haste on Opening Day, one day after the nation was plunged into all-out panic, and say "See? Gotcha" is not the way to go.

There's an opportunity here for baseball. Both side should make concessions.

Alex Patton Alex
May 14

When everyone knows what players are going to do, it's impossible for any one team to run away from the pack. I think that's the main thing.

I'll be doing one more of these (next Wednesday, also 1999). Now that we all know what we're doing, it's become something of a grind; I imagine it will be my last.

The question is, how do I play it? I'm trying to think outside the box and find myself boxed in.

Maybe I'll give my spot up to Peter. He's come this close each time.

Alex Patton Alex
May 14

Do we think that if 11 out of 12 teams "play it straight", then the 12th team (the one that punts a category) will win?  And so enough owners know (or at least suspect) this ... so fewer (much fewer?) than 11 out of 12 team "play it straight" ... and so results are ... mixed?

Is a game that promotes "team balance" a better game?

An example of a change that might promote "team balance" is reducing the points for finishing 10th/11th/12th ...

Howard Lynch LynchMob
May 14

But Fred had 17 saves, in a 12-team mixed league, good for two points. The team below him had three saves and finished fourth. The highest finish for a balanced team is fifth. The next best balanced team finished eighth. 

They may not all have started out with the idea of punting a category or two (or three; Jeff and Peter punted three) but they ended up there.

Alex Patton Alex
May 14

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