Archive for July, 2009

Raptors Republic Article - Small Deals Buoy Colangelo's Design

I spit hot fire in my latest article for Raptors Republic. You can check it out here - it takes a look at Bryan Colangelo’s reputation in light of his (lack of) ultimate success, and how small deals like the Belinelli deal help him a great deal.

I’m also on Twitter. You can follow me here.

Matt Kemp and the Batting Order Question

Matt Kemp Pictures, Images and PhotosThe Dodgers sit at 62-35 right now, good for first place in the AL West. They have a sizable lead in the division, up a full nine games on second place Colorado, giving them an 86.9% chance of winning the division. Their chances of making the playoffs sit at 96.7%. The Dodgers are eighth in runs scored, first in ERA, and appear to have no real weaknesses in the lineup or pitching staff.

The Dodgers are widely assumed to be primed for a great playoff run. Lead by Joe Torre, a man with loads of playoff experience, I agree that the Dodgers have a damn good chance at a World Series run.

Still, I have a question for the man who has killed more middle relievers than Tommy John Surgery and Regression to the Mean combined, Joe Torre: why the hell is Matt Kemp batting 8th?
More after the jump!

The Good Point Article - The Continued Quest of Carl English

I made my debut over at The Good Point! My articles for them will generally be more in-depth ‘feature’ articles rather than my usual blogs. You can check this one out here - it’s an update on Carl English’s career and path to the NBA. As a reader of The ODC, you’ll likely remember Carl from the two interviews I’ve done with him, and you’ll likely support him as a fellow fan of Canadian Basketball. Check out the article and drop a line to show Newfoundland’s Carl English your continued support.

I’m also on Twitter. You can follow me here.

Raptors Republic Article - An Early Look at the 2009-10 Toronto Raptors

Wrote my second article for Raptors Republic. You can check it out here - it’s an early look, player for player, at the 2009-10 Raptors. We’d love to hear your feedback on the team and whether you think they can reach the unstated goal of 4th seed in the East.

I’m also on Twitter. You can follow me here.

Just How Bad Has Vernon Wells Been?

The Roy Halladay Trade Saga has brought a great deal more attention to the Jays in recent weeks than they are normally afforded. Naturally, the extra light on the Jays in general has brought extra light on a few Jays in specific. While the trade winds have also picked up for Marco Scutaro, Scott Rolen, and the whole bullpen, the trade speculation has included Vernon Wells in a roundabout way.

Mostly, people have wondered if the Jays could possibly package Wells’ albatross contract with Halladay. Doing so would save the Jays a fortune over the long haul, open up an outfield spot for a prospect (presumably one received in a trade), and give the team a chance to rebuild almost instantly with no bad contracts.

Unfortunately, the reason there is little substance to this pipe dream is that Vernon makes a lot of money for very little production. The Toronto media hasn’t been kind to Wells this year or in years past, but just how bad has he been? Has he been straight up awful, or just mediocre in comparison to his large price tag?
More after the jump!

Buehrle's Perfect Game and the Fantasy Impact

Yesterday afternoon, Mark Buehrle threw the 18th perfect game in Major League Baseball history. This, just 27 months after he posted a no-hitter, making him only the sixth player ever to do both. Buehrle went 27-up, 27-down with a potent Tampa Bay Rays lineup, striking out six. The perfect game was made possible by Buehrle’s control, his composure, and, well, this…

Big League Stew called it the web gem of the decade. I’d call that an understatement.

Buehrle’s final line is a staggering 9.0IP, 0H, 0ER, 0BB, 6K. Truly, it is one of the greatest performances on the mound that baseball has ever witnessed. This is no exaggeration – read this article’s first sentence again. And while I’m proud to say that I own mark Buehrle on my fantasy team, I have to regretfully inform you that a perfect game, for fantasy purposes, isn’t anything special.
More after the jump!

Three Methods for Evaluating a Halladay Trade

For several weeks now, speculation has been running rampant about a possible Roy Halladay trade. After J.P. Ricciardi announced that the team would listen to offers for the perma-ace, the internet and radio waves exploded with possible trade scenarios, outcry, and salivation.

There have been two very clear sides to the rumors and speculation that have followed; fans who clearly don’t want it to happen, and experts wondering just what kind of package it would take to pry him away. I am more in the former than the latter, but as the July 31 trade deadline approaches (which happens to be three days later than Ricciardi’s self-imposed deadline), I find myself asking questions about just what kind of package the Jays could expect to get in return.

With that question in mind, I looked at three methods to try and find out what a star like Halladay may bring in via a trade.
More after the jump!

Video of Jordan Crawford Dunking on LeBron

Courtesy of several tweets, links, and hat tips, The ODC has (finally) found video of Jordan Crawford dunking on LeBron James.

This is the video that was allegedly confiscated by Nike after it was caught on tape at the LeBron James Skills Academy. Crawford, a 6’4″ guard at Xavier, drops a two-hander on the King. Here is Crawford discussing the dunk at a point when it would apparently never be seen.

BUT…here is the video, in good quality, of the mystical mythical dunk itself. Witness.

Oh, and I’m also on Twitter, though I’m inclined to follow that sentence with ‘sadly.’ You can follow me here.

Risk-Seeking Behavior at the Fantasy SeasonMid-Point

What I’ve noticed is that fantasy leagues generally take on a much different tone in the second half of the season. Regardless of the fact that there is very little difference between 51% of games left to play and 49% of games left to play, the All-Star Break (or “halfway point”) tends to mark a shift in focus for a lot of teams.

This can be unfortunate in non-keeper leagues, as weaker managers may just drop off from league activity (or worse, make senseless trades for no real reason). In keeper leagues, all owners have a reason to stay active, but the misalignment of manager incentives can create tough situations for those battling at the top.

For example, the teams at the bottom have incentives pointing them towards acquiring younger or cheaper (if you play in a budget/$-value league) players, which can afford higher ranked teams effective talent at short-term discounted prices.

Maybe more importantly, teams in the middle of the pack seem to take on a high-risk, high-reward approach for the second half, knowing they’ll have to do extremely well to make up a few spots. This risk-seeking behavior can actually help the higher ranked teams by providing them with useful low-risk solutions for the second half. But for higher-ranked teams looking to hold a lead, the need to take on risk is much less apparent.
More after the jump!

Raptors Republic Article - Where Does DeRozan Fit?

My triumphant return to writing is going to take me several places. Among potential others, I plan to get back to writing for Hoops Addict, begin providing features for The Good Point, and write at least once a week for Raptors’ mega-site Raptors Republic.

My debut article is up over at Raptors Republic. It takes a look at Demar DeRozan’s summer league performance, where he fits with the Raptors this season, and what is long-term potential might be. You can check it out right here.

Oh, and I’m also on Twitter, though I’m inclined to follow that sentence with ‘sadly.’ You can follow me here.