Fantasy Baseball: Outfielders

Matt Kemp of the Dodgers is talking 50-50. That’s 50 home runs; 50 steals. In the same season. That’s the kind of talk I like to hear from the leading hitter of my fantasy baseball team.

No one’s ever done it before, but Kemp says it’s possible and he’s going to show everyone how to do it. Even if he comes up a bit short, that’s still one hell of a fantasy baseball season.

Kemp and current two-time home run king Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays should be the first two outfielders taken in most drafts, but they’ll have plenty of company right behind them. Continue reading

Fantasy Baseball: Shortstops

Troy Tulowitzki is the gold standard for shortstops in fantasy baseball. The question is, who are the silver and bronze standards?

Jose Reyes or Hanley Ramirez? Hanley Ramirez or Jose Reyes?

The Marlins thought so highly of Reyes that they brought the National League batting champion in to supplant Ramirez, their own All-Star shortstop. And by shifting Ramirez to third base, they accomplished a couple of things: they put a middle-of-the-order hitter at third base and they provided him with plenty of incentive, something that the talented Ramirez has shown little of in the past. Continue reading

Parcells, Vizquel not acting their age

What’s tougher? To play shortstop in the major leagues at 45 or be the head coach of a NFL franchise at 71?

Omar Vizquel has been told that he’s going north with the Toronto Blue Jays after having a terrific spring. The 11-time Gold Glove winner came into camp with a minor-league contract but leaves with a big-league deal for what will be his 24th season as a major-leaguer.  

Bill Parcells says he owes it to his friend, New Orleans coach Sean Payton, to at least consider taking over the Saints for a year if he’s offered the job. Continue reading

Fantasy Baseball: Third Basemen

The sheriff is back in town, and he’ll be eligible at third base in about a week’s time. His name is Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers, and although he may not look  pretty while manning the hot corner, he’s in a league by himself and Albert Pujols  as a slugger.

Another high-profile player who will be new to third base this season, meaning he’s not eligible at third in your draft but will become eligible after the first five games he plays there, is Hanley Ramirez of the Marlins. Continue reading

Pat Summitt and the right to say ‘when’

I’m the type of guy who loves an underdog. It’s not often that I root for a No. 2 seed to beat a No. 11 at the NCAA Basketball Tournament, but that’s the situation I found myself in yesterday as Tennessee rallied from a 14-point deficit to knock off Kansas, 84-73, and reach the quarterfinals of the women’s tournament.

I’d like Pat Summitt to get one more trip to the Final Four in what is most likely her last go-around as head coach. Perhaps even win one more championship before walking off into the sunset, retiring on her own terms and with the sounds of celebration echoing throughout the arena rather than the quiet calls for her to just go away. For the good of the program.

Getting old sucks. Getting old and sick is much worse. Continue reading

Fantasy Baseball: Second Basemen

Second base has been one of those positions that I have targeted early in my fantasy baseball draft in seasons past. The reason behind the strategy is that, like the catcher position, there aren’t many second basemen who can make a difference in winning or losing a fantasy title. If I can get one of the top 2 or 3 best performers behind the plate or at second base, then I feel I have an advantage.

Of course I’ll have to hold my own in the positions with deeper reserves, such as outfielders or starting pitchers, especially when I’m picking later. Continue reading

Fantasy Baseball: First Basemen

The top two players at first base are arguably the two biggest names in the sport. In fantasy baseball, the discussion about sluggers begins and ends with Albert Pujols of the Angels and Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers. You don’t have to have one of them to win a championship, but it sure does help.

This year finds Pujols with a new team in a new league. Cabrera is relearning how to play third base, the position he played when he came to the big leagues. Each presents their own challenge, but at least Pujols hasn’t had a bone under his eye broken by a bad-hop groundball this spring. Continue reading

Tebow-Mania Hits New York

Tim Tebow is a Jet. If Lin-Sanity hadn’t already been elbowed toward the door by the Knicks themselves, the arrival of Tebow-Mania today would have shoved it all the way out the door.

The Jets have acquired the celebrated quarterback and a seventh-round pick from the Broncos for  fourth and sixth-round draft selections. Tebow-Mania and Lin-Sanity in the same market. Unbelievable. On several levels. Continue reading

Fantasy Baseball: Catchers

About this time last year I was setting my sights on Mike Napoli, who had just come over to the Rangers from the Blue Jays, who had traded him right after acquiring him in a deal with the Angels.

Two teams dealt Napoli away in the offseason, but I still wanted him.

Napoli wasn’t expected to play every day behind the plate, but along with the bats he got while filling in at first base and designated hitter, I figured he would hit enough to hold down the catcher’s position for me. Not exactly high expectations, but that’s the catcher’s lot in life as a fantasy baseball player. There’s just not enough offensive-talented backstops to go around. Continue reading

Fantasy Baseball: Relief Pitchers

At first glance, the sight of Craig Kimbrel sitting atop the list of fantasy baseball’s top relief pitchers doesn’t exactly inspire awe. Not to take anything away from the third-year Braves closer, but even the great Mariano Rivera at the age of 57 is still a Top 5 relief pitcher this season.

Okay, I’m joking about Rivera’s age – he’s actually 42 – but the message is the same. In what most likely will be his last season, Rivera remains one of the top relievers in  the game. What does that say about his competition? Continue reading