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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

LIVE From the Desk of Toothless McGee...


Well, friends, it was bound to happen. My string of good health finally came to an abrupt and aggressive halt this weekend, and the aftermath has left me in no position to hit you with an adequate dose of my weekly brilliance. But hey, that's what happens when you chase a case of stomach flu with the wrench-like removal of suddenly infected back tooth. And it's not helping that fresh off the weekend from Hell, I'm slated to start a stint on the morning news @ AM790 starting in T-minus 10 hours. Not helping my desire to blog, that is...

And to be honest, as much as I would love to do a normal week's worth of the topical stuff you've some to expect, the stuff that's currently "topical" right now isn't exactly the type of stuff I'm excited to talk about. Brett Favre's return? Gag me. Roger Clemens' indictment? Don't care, because everyone long ago formed their opinions. And Johnny Damon vs Red Sox fans in the great Waiver Wire War of 2010? It's a microcosm of what I loathe about Pink Hat Nation, so I think I'll pass on that one, too...

Yeah, truth is, I'm more or less waiting for the Red Sox to officially be eliminated, and I'm waiting for the football season to get going for real. Don't get me wrong, I'll still be monitoring the Sox, and using them for dependable everyday entertainment purposes, but it's to the point now where my MLB interest is almost strictly limited to monitoring my fantasy teams. Who are both still in 1st place, you'd be happy to know...

So rest assured, the next time we meet, I'll be coming strong on the NFL tip. Maybe with my '10-'11 predictions, I'm not sure. They're rounding into form, but they're not quite there yet. Still tinkering and trying to figure out if it's "The Year of the Beard II" or not, if you know what I mean. But when I do unveil them, it'll be a scene, man, so make sure you check back every so often so you're not left out in the cold. At the very least, next week I'll have the results of my own personal fantasy football draft for you to critique, and a report of my trip to the reservation, as I again try to master the $1/$2 no limit hold 'em cash game at Foxwoods Resort & Casino. Doubt I get even the slightest glimpse of the "resort", but should I somehow manage to comp my way into the Pimp Suite, I'll be sure to post photos on every social media network my Droid has to offer. AKA I'll Four Square the SHIZNIT out of that place!..

Until then, this is Toothless McGee, signing off. I hope you all have a good week, and here's to none of us losing a tooth between now, and our next encounter. Ooo, and that reminds me. I have a pillow that I need to be checkin' under...

Be good, pimps...


Teddy Williams...
Rollo_Soze...
100...

#$>

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Thoughts From a Man Drinkin' Long Beach Iced Tea...



Well, it happened again. And no, I'm not talking about more racism from the wait staff at Vito's Crab Shack in Long Beach, NY. I stress that it was Long Beach and not Long Island, though. Josh Astin, a dear friend of mine (and a member of my hilariously named fan club that I will get to later), made sure to remind me of this when I visited him at his beach front apartment. And he's right. In Long Island, they drink Long Island Iced Tea. In Long Beach, they drink strictly vodka and Gatorade. So there ya go. Ya know, for the record...

What "happened again" does have to do with the fact that I was out there, however. Or more directly, it's what happens every time I venture outside my cozy little nook between Boston and Providence...

I don't necessarily gain perspective due to all the "different" people I run into. Definitely nothing that deep. Sorry, but from the fanciest and richest of aristocrats to the dirtiest and most overcoat laden of street sleepers, people don't really surprise me anymore. Even in New York City. Not that I don't take time to appreciate the different types of people we see in our lives on daily basis, it's just I've come to expect everything and anything from people, so it takes a little more to throw me for a loop...

So it's not my conscience that's changed from my latest weekend excursion, but indeed it's more just my mindset. I think it's mostly due to the hectic nature of your average 3 day weekend. Sure, you take a 3 day weekend to "relax", but more often than not you spend that relaxation time trying to do as many things as you possibly can. And this weekend was no different...

So that's where I'm at. Trying to do a million things at once, and maximize my time. And I figure if that's how my life is right now, that should be reflected in this week's post. I mean it is my blog, right? So why the Hell wouldn't it be like that? Plus, it makes for slightly easier reading for your average ADD stricken Intrawebber, and that should do well to help boost my site's traffic. So we have that goin' for us, which is nice...

And seeing as I just worked a line from Caddyshack into the last line of my introduction, what better place to start than with this past weekend's PGA Championship. Get your read on, and enjoy...

Whistlin' by the Wanamaker...

OK, I'll admit that the ruling that kept Dustin Johnson out of a 3 way playoff @ this week's PGA Championship at Whistling Straits made for a pretty strange turn of events, but I think most people are missing the real story. What if Johnson had made that 5 foot putt for the "win" on 18? I know it didn't happen, but isn't just the fact that it almost did happen more of a story than the actual events that unfolded? Think about it. Instead of a guy missing out on a playoff because of a 2 stroke penalty after the conclusion of his round, Johnson would have gone from winning his 1st major with a clutch putt on the 18th green, to completely missing out on a playoff all together. Now that's a story right there. And while I guess we'll never know, it also would have made for a much more interesting situation for which the PGA to make a ruling. Would they have assessed the penalty if Johnson had made the putt, effectively ripping the Wanamaker trophy from his hands? Who knows...

I feel bad for Johnson, having fallen victim to such a trivial situation, but I agree with the ruling and how it was handled by all parties involved. Especially seeing as it allowed Martin Kaymer, a starter on my Fantasy Golf team, to come away with his first major title and some much needed bonus points. What I think people are missing, is that while Johnson's mistake made for an interesting story, the chance for the real story went out the window when he missed that putt. A sadistic point of view, perhaps, but for a guy that's constantly searching for the most interesting stories, I see less of a controversy and more of a missed opportunity...


It's a Hard Knocks Life...

If you're not watching "Hard Knocks" on HBO, then allow me to formerly inform you that you are missing out. And while the show, now in it's 6th season, is a ratings monster for the folks at Home Box Office, it appears nobody gave the J-E-T-S the heads up that people would actually be watching...

First off, you have Rex Ryan cursing like a drunken sailor @ a Turret's convention. I mean, did he really think that wasn't going to illicit a reaction from people with the # of F-bombs he was dropping? Granted I didn't think his dad, Buddy, a man known infamously to my generation for choking out a fellow coach on the sideline, would take offense, but I'm just gonna go ahead and assume he's gotten soft and/or forgetful in his old age. Or just senile. That crazy bastard...

Then there's the first pass they ran in their first pre season game last night against the Giants. There I was, sitting there watching the Jets on their first offensive possession, and I see LaDanian Tomlinson enter the game. I think, I wonder if they're gonna do like they did on Hard Knocks, and the 1st time LT steps on the field send him in motion and throw him a pass. I mean, they all nutted all over themselves when they did it at practice and it went for a TD. Well, not only was I right, but apparently the Giants and their staff had been seeing the same stuff I had. LT goes in motion, Sanchez throws to him despite him being double covered, and BAM!, the Giants Antrelle Rolle picks if off and nearly takes it all the way back to the house...

So yeah, somebody might wanna go ahead and tell the Jets that when that red light is on, it means people can see what they're doing and hear what they're saying. IT doesn't just mean it's time to act like a complete ham. But keep that up, too, please. The bulletin board material you're providing can only be doing good things to the psyche of the teams that are gonna be trying to knock them out. And Lord knows it's got their fans thinkin' Super Bowl. Heard a lot of "So you think we need to work about the Patriots this year?" when I was in the city. Pretty heady stuff for a team that backed into the playoffs last year and is still without their #1 player. One look at Hard Knocks, and you'll see where they get it from...

Unabashed passion and optimism. They work when you win, but when you lose, they can get you in a assload of trouble. And if anyone knows about assloads, it's Rex Ryan...


He's Bettah Than Welkahhh!..

While a lot of the buzz surrounding the Patriots these days has to do with the contract situations of both Tom Brady and Logan Mankins, there's also a new fan favorite rapidly emerging from the Foxboro locker room. His name, is Julian Edelman, and despite the fact that he has no defined role in the offense, the combination of his lightning quick speed and undeniable versatility have fans in New England all aflutter with hope...

The question is, what should they be hoping for? IS Edelman going to be the Patriots long awaited answer to the WildCat? Is he, the WildPat, or better yet, the historically insensitive, "Kent State Riot"? Or is he just another receiver in the Wes Wlker mold, someone who's a 1st down machine and the master of the screen and slip passes?

Well, my friends, I hate to disappoint, but what I see in Julian's future is less towards the WildPAt, and more towards the role of a 3rd down running back...just not strictly on 3rd downs. Let me put it this way. The WildPat doesn't work for me, nor do I think it works for the coaching staff, mostly due to the fact that it would too often take the ball, and the decision making ability away from Tom Brady. Just not a great strategy, no matter how white and fast the alternative may be...

No, what I see the Pats doing is using Edelman in normal slot receiver packages, as well as sliding him into the backfield to either serve as a runner on a sweep himself, or to be a unique pass catching option. He should still be given the opportunity to make plenty of eye opening plays, bringing joy to all the PinkHats that sprained themselves jumping off the Jacoby Ellsbury bandwagon, I just wouldn't expect to see him passing the rock. Maybe when you play with the Pats on the latest version of Madden that's what you'll do, it's not a strategy I see the real version of the team employing on even a semi regular basis...

I know Patriot fans are anxious having not won a Super Bowl in 5 years, but taking the ball out of Tom Brady's hands isn't the answer...


Sign of the Times...

Sticking with versatile white guys in the NFL, Denver rookie QB, Tim Tebow, is predictably making waves before he's even seen the field for a regular season game. And this time, it's not even because of his religious views...thank God!

This time, the former Florida star QB has become entangled in a battle over whether or not it's acceptable for media members to ask for autographs from players. An age old "no no", but something that seems to have gone out the window with the ever widening definition of the term "media member"...

Yahoo! Sports had an interesting take on the topic, which you can read here, but my take on the topic is a little more simplistic, and a whole lot less "life and death" as the folks at Yahoo! seem to think it is. To me, asking a player for an autograph is fine, as long as all parties involved are well aware that this is a business through and through. Just because you sign something for me, doesn't mean our relationship should change. And if I think you can't handle that fact, or you think I can't, then maybe the transaction shouldn't go down. Other than that, it should be fine. More than anything, I'm going to want that autograph to either keep in my collection, give to someone as a gift, or quickly sell to the highest bidder. It's not like I'm going to tuck in under my pillow and hope the player's talent seeps into my brain during sleep through osmosis. So I just don't see the big deal...

Now granted, the locker room might not be the best place for that type of interaction to take place, as it did in this particular example, but drawing attention to how bad and unprofessional the simple act of getting an autograph can be to me sends an even more disturbing message of the industry as a whole. Essentially, the practice of abstaining from autographs comes from the thought process that "we can't trust people to simultaneously carry on personal and professional relationships". To me, that's just a sad commentary, and true or not, it's not one that I'm going to willingly partake it. I say autographs for everybody that wants one. Maybe not in the locker room, but to hold such a hard line on such an irrelevant subject exposes just how foolish people can tend to be...

Get over yourselves, people. After all, it's just an autograph from a 3rd string Bible thumper with the worst haircut known to man. Nothin' to get all worked up about...


Rays of Hope?...

Speaking of not getting worked up, I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry at what's going on these days with the Tamp Bay Rays. Or more importantly, their fans/lack there of...

Arguably the 2 best lefties the AL has to offer, Cliff Lee and David Price, squared off last night in Tampa Bay in a battle of what appears to be two teams destined for the playoffs...and only 18,000 fans showed up to see it go down. Man, oh man. 18,000 peeps? That's just embarassing. And as a fan of a team that seems destined to miss the playoffs, and just a general fan of everything they have goin on in Tampa these days, I really can't decide whether to laugh or cry. It's pathetic, for sure, but I'm not really sure who to be mad at. Major League Baseball, for putting a team in Tampa when even they knew it probably wouldn't work? The citizens of Tampa, for not getting on board? Theo Epstein, for not making the Red Sox better and actually making this an issue for me to deal with? Eh, screw it. I blame 'em all!

Here's what you do. You take the Rays franchise, move them to Pittsburgh andput the Pirates in the AL East. Then, you send the team that's in Pittsburgh to Las Vegas, and the AL West. That will put a legit franchise in a legit baseball town (Tampa to Pittsburgh) where they can be properly appreciated, and it will move the world's crappiest team (Pittsburgh to Las Vegas) to a place where their hilarious missteps can become fodder for all the gamblers on the strip. Win, freakin win, if you ask me. The Rays get a legit following, the Pirates get as far away from the East Coast as humanly possible, and Major League Baseball gets 6 divisions with 5 teams each, as opposed to this nonsense they're selling us now...

Far fetched? Yes. Possible? Eh, no. Probably not. But this is the type of thinking I'm forced in to when a team with 72 wins plays a team with 67 wins and they only draw 18,000 fans. It's just not fair, man. I'm here in Massachusetts, lucky to get a ticket for $125 at the last minute to a game featuring a team that's all but a playoff afterthought, and there they are im Tampa, deciding NOT to go to games but to instead wander around strip malls in the crippling late Summer heat. It's a freakin' shame, is what it is. And the more legitimate that franchise gets, the more obvious and painful their fans' dsinterest is going to become for those of us here in the NorthEast...


So there you have it, friends. Straight from my mind, as muddled and frantic as it may be, and straight to your eyes. I hope you enjoyed this week's post, and I look forward to pumping you full of Rooch Nation goodness around this same time next week. Oh, and I almost forgot! For those of you out there that have been diligent in spreading the word about Rooch Nation, and believe me, your efforts have not gone unnoticed, I've been given a nickname for you from a fan that prefers to remain anonymous. From hence forth, supports and promoters of Rooch Nation will be known as "PORN Stars". "PORN" in this case, being an acronym standing for Promoter Of Rooch Nation. Hahaha. Hey, I love it! It's always been a dream of mine to be flanked by porn stars, and with this latest development, I feel I'm about as close as I'm ever going to get to that reality without starting my own sex toy company and moving to the California valley. So, needless to say, I'll take it...

So get out there, PORN Stars, and while you're out enjoying the fleeting moments of your Summer, don't forget to spread the word about yours truly. Or if you're really inspired, come up with an idea for a Rooch Nation PORN Star t-shirt design. Now that would really get you in my good gracious...

Have a great week, pimps. And I'll catch you on the flipman...


Teddy Williams...
Rollo_Soze...
100...

#$>

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Plenty Of Fish in the Fantasy Sea...



Poker and fantasy sports. Two of my favorite activities, and for today's purposes, 2 things I'm going to compare at times in order to help explain what your proper mindset should be when approaching a season of fantasy football. I'm not going to tell you who to pick and why for your upcoming fantasy campaign, or try to compare a full house to a good receiving corps, but what I will hopefully provide you with, is the correct frame of mind you should have upon entering the 2010 fantasy football season...

What, you expected me to chronicle the fallout from the Red Sox/Yankees series and the MLB stretch run? Why? Because I have readers out there that actually care about the Red Sox? Well that would be news to me. Except for my mom, of course, whose faith will never waiver. But seeing as she sends more baseball related texts than Buster Olney, I figure I can keep her up to speed on the side without having to bother you fine folks...

So, seeing as my often mentioned Sea Biscuit-like run for the Sox has yet to lead the Pink Hats back into the fold, I'm going to give the people what they want. And judging by all the conversations I've been having lately, people are much more focused on their own potential for the 2010 fantasy football season than any potential the Red Team might have to grab the Wild Card...

So, without further dudes, here are a few tips and pointers on how to navigate your way through not only the upcoming fantasy draft, but also the 2010-2011 fantasy football season. And a few poker references to help move things along. Take a gander, and enjoy...


First and foremost, before you even make pick #1, you want to determine what type of fantasy player you are, and what type of players you're up against. Not so you can temper your expectations, but more so you can identify the different strategies being enacted by the different league members and attack them accordingly. Just like you would at a poker table. And also just like at a poker table, you need to be conscience of not only the image and tendencies of your combatants, but also the image you yourself are portraying to them. Not only so you can thoroughly destroy them and take their pride, but also so you can properly identify which type of league best suits your style...

In my experience, much like at a typical poker table, there are basically 3 types of players in any given fantasy football league...


1) The Enthusiast

Being an "Enthusiast" is more or less a nice way of saying someone is an "amateur". And in fact, I was going to originally call player #1 "The Amateur", but I figured that would come off a little too smug. And considering what I'm about to say next, I figured dialing back the smugness would probably be a good idea...

Being an Enthusiast doesn't mean you've never played before or that you're just in it to "have fun", it simply means that in the long run, you haven't made a profit. In poker slang, you'd be labeled, "a fish"...

Now, a lot of fantasy vets will immediately take offense to that statement, but that just means they've dumped hundreds if not thousands over their past fantasy ventures, and don't like having their "experience factor" scoffed at. Well, I'm sorry kids, but if you're a loser in the long run, that just makes this an expensive hobby. There's nothing wrong with having expensive hobbies, mind you, it's just that dumping money into something year after year doesn't necessarily mean you know what you're doing. It does mean you have enthusiasm, though, and in my eyes that's the most important thing when it comes to doing anything for fun and recreation, let alone fantasy football. So you got that goin' for ya, which is nice...

And seriously, who the Hell am I to tell you how to spend your money? Especially when I happen to part of the group that greatly benefits from said reckless spending. You can call it the "Don Draper Division", if you'd like, but for today's purposes I've labeled that player as...


2) The Fantasy Guru

"The Sports Guy", Bill Simmons, recently came out with a column titled "Throwing Rocks In Fantasy Football Pool" in which he outlined some of the ways he would uniformly change fantasy football. He has some good ideas, for sure (most notably the mandatory auction draft), but what I'd most like to extract from his column is this. Less than 10% of fantasy football players actually make money. And that's in any given year! In the long run, you can probably cut that percentage down to 5 or 6, if not lower. The Fantasy Guru's? They make up this 5-10%. And yes, as if you hadn't already guessed, I consider myself a proud member of this elite echelon...

Much like the Enthusiast, The Fantasy Guru can come in many shapes and sizes. They don't need to be sports nerds, like yours truly, although they usually are. More importantly, no matter how they do it, these are the guys that year in and year out find themselves in contention...

To continue with the poker theme, these guys are the pros. They believe there's basically 75% skill and 25% luck involved in winning, and know that by utilizing their edge in that 75% they can minimize the damage the 25% can do, or even be in a position to reap the rewards should luck go their way. And I know the 75/25 split seems sort of random and extremely arbitrary, but it's more just a mindset that it's "mostly skill" with "some luck" involved. Don't get too focused on the numbers...

Granted, even a pro as accomplished as yours truly has been known to have a less than stellar season, but usually not without cause. Ya know, injuries and whatnot. Conversely, it's obviously not 100% skill when we win...

Great example I think in describing what I'm talking about is Aaron Rodgers last season. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You all know he was my #1 Bearded Pimps 'n them. But it's his surprising rise to #1 Fantasy Pimp that's going to help me prove my point. Now if you had Aaron Rodgers on your team last year, and didn't finish in the top 3 of your league, you're more than likely an Enthusiast. He probably fell to you wherever you were drafting, and while you were blessed with his presence, you were less than able to surround him with a competent supporting cast. A Guru like me? I targeted Rodgers, and built both my team, and the team I was GMing for around him. Result? 1 regular season title. 1 Super Bowl title. 1 Super Bowl runner up. It's not all about me being better than you, although it this case it certainly seems like it, it's about being the beneficiary of luck, versus creating your own. Gurus use their skill to create their own luck, and as #1 Beard can fully attest, when a Guru's well planned gamble pays off, it usually gets paid back in spades...

And hey, I didn't start off writing this piece with the intention of lauding my own merits. Matter of fact I think the Enthusiast and the Guru play an equally important role in any successful league. Both competitively and for entertainment purposes. It's this 3rd type of league member that you need to watch out for. Despite what his friendly beard may suggest...


3) The Gambler

In the poker world, this player would be known simply as a "degen". And if you can't figure out how and why that nickname is appropriate, then there's a good chance you probably are one...

This player will usually have 3+ teams with completely different rosters, the most transactions in every league they're in, and virtually no participation in any league beyond setting their lineup every Sunday morning. Now, some of you may say that's all there is to fantasy sports, with which I would counter with asking then why do we go out of our way to be in a league full of our friends? Right. Because if it were all about the $$, most of us wouldn't care who we were going against, as long as we won...

But for the Gambler, it is all about the money. For them, it's Moneyball sans the strategy and sense of achievement. Now while we all channel our inner Kenny Rogers from time to time, treating fantasy football as simply a monetary venture just isn't doing it justice or treating it with the proper respect that it deserves. And besides, you should be treating this as an expense, and enjoying the time you have anyway. Flipping your priorities like this is only doing to lead to constant anguish and disappointment. Needless to say, I don't recommend it...

Oh, and this person will often be the 1st to offer you any sort of "deal" Italicin the playoffs once the money rounds have been reached, and is the most likely to offer a certain type of trade that I will address later on. As for the "deal making", it's only in my last 2 or so years that it's become an issue. Pretty sad commentary on their confidence, if you ask me, and definitely NOT a boost towards the integrity of the game. I always say, if you have to make a deal, that means you can't afford to be in the league. And if you can;t afford to be in the league...well then I don;t wanna play with you in fear you might lose and not pay (paging, Mike Adams)...

But hey, if you're in a league where your Commish allows it, then I guess all the power to ya. Participants from my 2009 Baseball league can attest to the fact that I am not one of those commissioners, as I immediately disbanded the league upon hearing about unsanctioned deal making...

Again, I liken it to poker, where there's nothing worse than the second you're knocked out of a tournament, than having the remaining players immediately start making deals for the rest of the money. Sure, there might be certain instances where this type of action is appropriate, but those instances should be few and far between rather than par for the course...

And hey, just like with the Enthusiast, who has the right to lose their money year after year, the Gambler is well within his rights to spend his money any way they'd like. Unlike the Enthusiast, you need to be weary of having too many of them in your league. IF I had it my way, all the Gamblers would have to be in league's only with each other, that way there could be a clear line drawn between those who are there to have fun, and those that are only in it to make money. But that's not the way it is, which is why I'm warning you of their lurking presence...

So, now that you've figured out who you may be up against, allow me to toss out a few


1) Always draft for value

In the Bill Simmons column mentioned above, another good point he makes is that 5-10 years ago, you could actually gain a substantial edge on your league if you knew where to go for the right draft information. Now? Every body's reading the same shit. That's part of the reason I'm not big into handing out draft advice, actually. With so little wiggle room now between the Enthusiast and the Guru, at least in terms of the draft, saying anything would be saying too much...

The other thing that was easier about drafting "back in the day", was that all you really needed to focus on was getting as many good running backs as you could. That is, if you knew what you were doing. With a limited # of viable backs in the league, landing 3 to start on your weekly roster gave you a really good shot of at the very least making the playoffs. Now? The role of "featured back" has all but disappeared, and the league in general has just become much more focused on the passing game. Where there were once only 15-20 legitimate backs for a 14-team league to scrap over, now there are closer to 25-30 runners that you could at least start at your "slash" position if you really needed too. Granted that's still not enough for every team in your league to get 3, increasing the RB pool by at least 50% definitely takes some of the effectiveness out of that once fruitful draft strategy...

Nowadays, especially in the first 5 rounds, it's all about value. And this isn't even a theory, it's more or less a fact proven year in and year out by the people in your league who allow Yahoo! to pick their team. 5-10 years ago, "autodrafted" teams were slaughtered like so many delicious lambs, but now, those teams seemingly have little difficulty with, at the very least, making the playoffs. Why? Because while the rest of the league tries to get creative and second guesses themselves, they're team is buys stocking it's starting roster with the best value, round after round. I'm not saying don't take chances, and I'm not saying you should listen to Yahoo! or ESPN 100% of the time either. What I am saying, is that until your starting roster is completely filled out or until you start running into major conflicts, you need to draft the player you feel is capable of scoring the most points for your team week in and week out. Don't bother with "having to draft a running back" or "having to take a tight end", just take who you think is best...

It sounds like an insanely simple strategy, I know, and that's party because it is. That being said, you'd be shocked at how many people not only don't employ it, but go out of their way to defy it. Last weekend, for instance, I was chatting with some fellas over the merits of taking Aaron Rodgers over Adrian Peterson with the #2 pick. Obviously, I was on Team Rodgers, but the pro-Peterson argument completely blew my socks off. The logic they were using was that since there are fewer viable RB's than there are top flight QB's, so it would be better to take a top flight back when you could instead of missing out one completely. OK, I get that, but if you're then going to submit to me that Rodgers and Peterson are going to have similar statistical seasons to the ones they had a year ago, then I'm sorry but that's where your logic ends. Think of the acronym KISS. Keep It Simple, Stupid. As long as your roster isn't handcuffed, and at the #2 pick it CAN'T be, put the player on your team that you believe is going to get you the most points. If you think it's Adrian Peterson, then freakin' take Adrian Peterson! But when you start over thinking, it's when mistakes are made. And it's those mistakes that will not only lead to the demise of your roster, but also the demise of your mood for the remainder of the season...

Take it from a Guru. The only thing worse than listening to a bad fantasy football war story, is listening to one from somebody who you know had a shitty draft. Droz said it to Gutter, and I'll say it to you. Draft for value, and don't be that guy! I Droz would have value drafted the Hell out a team in PCU if he'd been given the chance. And I have to imagine watching Jeremy Piven draft a football team would probably be a lot of lot more entertaining than watching him trying to buy one...

Ohhhhhhhh Entourage BURNNNN! Watch MadMen, kids, and spare your DVR...


2a) If you don't make a trade in the 1st 5 weeks, then you probably shouldn't be making one at all

AND

2b) NEVER accept someone's first trade offer to you

I know nobody's going to want to hear this, and this will probably come off as the most preachy part of the column, but trading is simply an advanced move that most "Enthusiasts" shouldn't even bother trying to pull off. Especially if you've been doing a lot of it in the past and NOT winning...

But if you do decide to trade, despite the statement I just made, I'm not totally against it as long as you follow the two rules I labeled above...

Why shouldn't you accept the first trade offer proposed to you? Because 99 times out of 100, it's a low ball offer that even Isiah Thomas wouldn't touch if it were attached to the crotchless panties of a New York Knicks intern. Your response to that should ALWAYS be an equally, if not even drastically more lopsided trade offer. Your trade partner will get the picture, believe me. Either it will clear the air and open a window for legit trade discussion, or you'll be forever saved from receiving lopsided proposals from them in the future. Win freaking win...

As for the first 5 weeks thing, that goes back to value. Past week 5, players have too much of a proven track record on the season, and the best you can usually do is swap positional need for positional need at a very low level. Again, this isn't to say you shouldn't keep your eyes open right up til the trade deadline, it's just that the deeper you get into a season, the riskier trades become. I advise that past week 5, you do the majority of your transactions on the waiver wire, which is why the next piece of advice is so critical...

3) Be quick on the trigger with waiver wire acquisitions

You don't need to literally be "quick", at least not any more. Not with the "Sunday waiver freeze" that most leagues are now employing. But that doesn't mean you should be any less diligent. Here's another "fact" for ya: 10 or more impact players will emerge in the first 2 weeks of the season that will be on your league's waiver wire when week 1 kicks off. So keep an eye on the highlights, get your claims in, and make sure you don't miss out on that early season fantasy treat. And don't be afraid to drop that backup defense or that return specialist you have stowed away on your roster, either. Remember, it's all about calculated gambles, and no place is that more true than on the waiver wire...

And finally...


4) Be weary of coaching and/or philosophy changes within an organization

Probably could have incorporated this with "drafting for value", but whatever...

Simply put, this is looking for guys whose roles may have changed, for better or for worse, because of a situation changing around them. Like Shonn Greene taking over as the #1 RB in New York or Mike Martz taking over as the Offensive Co-Ordinator with the Bears. As the #1 back, Greene might get more carries, but will he be used as frequently near the goal line? And Martz, when he's OC, his teams will always be at or near the top when using 4 + 5 WR formations. That means a team not known for it's passing game might all of a sudden have more than 1 viable fantasy receiver. It's just something else to think about, and while you shouldn't use it to second guess yourself, you shouldn't be hesitant to incorporate it into your personal definition of "value"...


So there you have it, kids. I hope I was helpful. I truly believe you have to be in the right frame of mind to succeed at any game of skill such as fantasy football, and I hope this primerwas able to help you out in that regard. And if I could paraphrase Don Vito Corleone, I wish you the best of luck in your fantasy interests, so long as your interests, don't interfere with mine. Hey, he may have been the Don of the mafia, but I'm the Don Draper of this shit, so I feel that quote is more than appropriate...

Have a great week, everybody. Make sure to check back next week for yet another full and enticing version of the Nache, but more importantly get out this week and enjoy the Summer while it's still here. I'll be doing that this weekend as I again venture out to Long Island and the Big Apple, and wherever you may roam I hope you have equally as pleasant a time. And rest assured, if I meet any more racist fish vendors on the beach, you'll be sure to read all about it...

Be good, friends...


Teddy Williams...
Rollo_Soze...
100...

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Tuesday, August 03, 2010

August: No Time For Horsin' Around...


Memorial Day, the 4th of July, and BAM!, it's August. Happens every year, yet as is often seen in the anger that accompanies the first annual snowfall, it seems to catch us off guard. From August, you can actually see September, and when September becomes a reality, it's a sober reminder that whether good or bad, your Summer is coming to an end...

And hey, I'm not trying to be JD Downer, here, telling you your days of soaking up rays are nearing their conclusion, it's just a less than pleasurable fact of life that once you flip your calendar to August, you're in the stretch run. Like, if you're Summer were an actual horse in a race, this would be the time the midget on it's back would start whippin' it. And as is this case with the little man and his big horse, by the time you hit that stretch run you usually have a pretty good idea of how you're gonna finish...

For yours truly, that means yet another busy month filled with a typically heavy workload over @ Citadel Broadcasting, a bachelor party, 2 family birthdays, a trip to NYC + Long Island, my glorious return to both live and online poker and yet another cameo as the morning news guy on my mothership of AM790. For the Red Sox? Well unfortunately I fear their stretch run is going to likewise be a mirrored image of their Summer to date. If mine's been busy, there's has been...well...lackluster. To put that in terms of horse racing, I'm leaning less towards Sea Biscuit, and more towards Eight Belles. What, too soon? For which, the horse or the Sox? Well not soon enough for either, if you ask me. And if the Sox finish up the way their trade deadline behavior suggests, it won't be long before even the most loyal of Red Team fans starts shifting their eyes a few mile south to that other Bay State squad, a few weeks earlier than they had anticipated...

And by "most loyal Red Team fans", I mean me...


Red Sox Update
Overall: 61-46, 7 games back in AL East/Wild Card LOSS column

This Week: vs CLE (8/2-8/5) @ NYY (8/6-8/9)

Well, the trading deadline has come and gone. And while the waiver thing where you can really still trade for guys...kinda...is still in effect, Theo Epstein made it perfectly clear with his inaction that even with this season's outcome looking more and more bleak by the day, he is content to stand pat and more or less "see what happens". I mean, you tell me. Do these moves look like a team that's making a run for the 2010 playoffs?..

Ramon Ramirez traded to SF Giants for minor league LHP Dan Turpen

When I saw this deal come across the wire, it was essentially all I needed to know about Theo's plans. Just the fact that the Sox were dealing someone, anyone, away for prospects told me they were less likely to be buyers, and more likely to hang back and let things play out...

Red Sox acquire C Jarrod Saltalamacchia from Texas for prospects + cash

When I saw this deal the first thought that came to mind was "Hey 2007 called, they want their ill prospect back". The once elite catching prospect dubbed "Salty" has seemingly been in Theo's cross hairs since he hit the scene back in '06, and in giving up so little to eventually get him it could turn out as a very shrewd move...down the road. For now, we're talking about a guy whose a career .251 hitter in 3+ seasons and who has more strikeouts (247) than he does hits and home runs combined (222). OH, and he can't really catch, either. Not exactly someone you can plug in right now and expect to help you out...

So to answer my original question, NO, these don't resemble the moves of a team that's trying to improve it's roster here and now. Good value for the future, perhaps, but no help to the team that's actually attempting to win games here in 2010...

Now, does this give validity to the theory that the Red Sox always viewed this as a "bridge year"? Eh, yes and no. IT certainly doesn't hurt the argument, that's for sure. But it obviously doesn't do much to discredit it, either. Here's my take. I think, if put on the truth serum before the season, Theo Epstein would have told you that while he felt the team as constituted would be able to ride it's pitching depth a position of contention come deadline time, he wasn't going to be willing to part with big time prospects to bring in a big time player if that's what was necessary to get back into the race. Basically, he felt in his heart of hearts it would work out, but if it didn't, he wasn't going to take seemingly extreme measures to help salvage the season. He figures he's got the pitching talent and depth he wants in place for years to come, and seeing as next season is already filled with potential departures on the offensive end (Ortiz, Martinez), he feels he's better off holding onto his pitching now and taking a fresh stab at rebuilding the offense in the off season (Carl Crawford, anyone?). A nice long term strategy, just not one that's going to help revitalize a team that sits 7 back in the Wild Card and AL East loss column with just 56 games to play...

Listen, I'm still holding out hope that some move comes out of left field a la 2004 and provides the jolt this team is looking for, but not only does it not seem like it's in the cards, it just doesn't seem all that practical. Then again, neither did signing JD Drew to a massive contract, so who knows...

For me, I'll be sitting back with the Theo for the rest of this season, praying for a miracle while at the same time acquiescing to the obvious. This season, while it's had plenty of Sea Biscuit moments, is destined to have an ending more akin to Eight Belles. A solid effort that only ends in cheap dog food, glue, and utter disappointment. If we're lucky, maybe we can get Theo "the jockey" Epstein have JD Drew re-enact Eight Belles final race as he runs the bases for the last time this season. In failing that, I don't see much else worth smiling about...

Then again, last time I publicly voiced my doubts about the rest of the season, the Sox won 4 in a row and 7 of their next 10. So what do I know?...

Well I'll tell you what I know. Whatever the Sox end up doing, one thing is for sure. Football is close, friends. So close I can taste it. Well, at least my Droid can...

New England Patriots Update

You know how I know football season can't be too far off? No, it's not the fact that training camps have already started. And no, it's not even the fact that some of my ADHD/OCD/TED friends have already had their fantasy football draft lottery. Nope. How I know that football is near, that the season is a mere precious week's away, is that text messages like this one are popping up in my inbox more regularly than the bowel movements of a bran muffin addict...

This particular gem is courtesy of New York City resident, New Jersey native, New York Jets fan, and all around sports fanatic, Mr. Jared Hutter (picture far right). I often refer to him as "Nappy Hutts", "Lord", or any distorted variation of those two nicknames, but for today's purposes, we'll just stick with calling him "Jared" lest any of you get thrown off course. And here's the conversation Jared and I engaged in on Monday afternoon. Take a look...

Jared: I've got a hookup for authentic NFL jerseys if you're interested at all
Me: Nice. Yea, lemme get a Darrelle Revis Cowboys jersey
Me: Ha!...but yeah don't buy me one of those now just to spite me, please, because I'm not payin'
Jared:
Besides the Pats, who wouldn't pay him anyway, that's my worst nightmare
Me: If he ever went to the Pats, I'd have that pic you guys took with him in Vegas blown up and put on a pro Patriots t-shirt (similar to the crude paint job above)
Jared: I don't blame you. If he goes to the Pats I may have to shoot Belichick out of spite, though.
Me: Not gonna lie, as long as he doesn't die I wouldn't mind you doing that as long as you allow me to tag along and tape it for Internet millionaire purposes
Jared: I don't want him to die, but I want him to suffer. And you could tag along, but only if the tape were made in such a way as I could not be positively identified.

Ha! Classic stuff, right?

Obviously I was referring to Jets DB Darrelle Revis and his current holdout, and obviously, for all you narcs out there, Jared isn't really planning on shooting coach Belichick...at least I'm pretty sure he isn't. It's just the typical banter of yet another NFL season, and I for one couldn't be happier that it's nearly upon is...

For now, I direct Patriot fans to Mike Reiss, for all their pertinent Patriot info, and all other NFL fans to ProFootballTalk.com, where Mike Florio will make sure you're in good hands no matter you're squad. I'll have my full pre season predictions when the time comes, and I even might throw the dogs a bone with a few fantasy draft tips from time to time. So be on the lookout. You may think you don't want my fantasy advice, but you're wrong. You want, nay!, you need it, my friends. You crave it...

And as long as we're talking about fantasy football, and seeing as I've already made several mentions of dead horses, allow me to take this time to express how important it is that you put a lot of thought into nailing down a good fantasy football team name. What does that have to do with dead horses, you ask? Well I've always likened naming a fantasy team to naming a race horse, something I've wanted to do since I myself was the size of a jockey. So let's call it, 9 or 10 years old. But since I lack the ways and means to obtain a horse worthy of racing (for now), I use fantasy sports as a way to capture what would otherwise be wasted creativity. Example: Here's a list of the team's currently under management by the fantasy branch of Rooch Nation Enterprises...

Baseball: Pete Rose Haircut (1st place)
Baseball: The Naxed Nixons (Otis, not Trot...or Dick, and also in 1st place)
Football: The Ted Whisperer (that photo is my team logo-->)
Golf: The D'Oyly Carte Operea Company
College Picks: WWJosephGordonLevittDo?
NFL Picks: Sexy Alf + The Melmac Dancers (because why the F not?)

Not a bad little stable there, if you don't mind the pun. And if you do mind the pun, then you probably suck at naming fantasy teams. So there. Listen, I'm just trying to remind you that the opportunity is there to be creative so don't just waste it by sticking with the same name every year or naming it something gay like the Attleboro Patriots. Maybe if you're 10 that probably sounds cool, but 10 year olds are also big into vampires right now, so let's not go followin' them into the depths of creativity. I did hear that one of those vampires is named Edward, though. And that's mighty close to Ted. So I guess you could work with that if push really came to shove. But don't let that happen. Get your brain out, dig deep, and get your fantasy season started on the right foot with a baller name that has your league in awe of your pimpness. Just think to yourself, "What would Don Draper name his fantasy team if he came up with that name after drinkin' scotch and smokin' buds all day?", and go from there. Then, it won't be long til you have your own Melmac Dancers, and you too are headed for the fantasy winner's circle...or maybe running onto the track with a big needle and a body bag. Either way...

So there you have it Teds and Tedettes, another Nation in the books. I didn't get to a lot of things I wanted to touch on, but that's what Twitter is for (@RoochNation) and that's why I come back to frequent this space this time on a weekly basis. Come football season, you'll get my regular updates along with my weekly college and pro picks, so mark that on your virtual calendar, too...

Until then, this is Brett Ferruccio saying "Keep your hooves on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars!"

Goodnight Everybody!


Teddy Williams...
Sterling, Frosco, Draper, Rooch...

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