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Posts Tagged ‘Ryan Braun’

It feels like it has been, well, forever. After securing a weekly Scouting the Unknown for Razzball, I am hoping to ease myself back into some sort of fantasy blog again this summer. This may become increasingly difficult as the summer progresses as my grandfather is nearing the end of his mortal time line, along with a stressful summer job that pays expensive private college tuition. Needless to say, at least a weekly post should be doable. Enough with season introduction formalities.

This year, more than last, seems to be surrounded by extraordinary amounts of prospect hype ranging from Strasburg, to Hanson, to Maybin, to Andrus, to Wieters, etc. Seriously, when did baseball become like football? The NFL draft and rookies have so much expectations placed upon them. Deemed as the next best thing, or the savior of the franchise, or worst, the next _____!

In recent years, baseball has been surprisingly blessed with Ryan Braun and Evan Longoria. They rose to the occasion and have become amazing ball players. But for every Braun or Longoria we have players like Marty Cordova (who one the Rookie of the Year in 1995) who hasn’t done anything since. Tommy Hanson and Matt Wieters are being hyped beyond sane believes. Its great that they have amazing talent, but very few times does their talent pan out in their rookie seasons. Wieters is struggling mightily so far this year, and Hanson has a so-so first start.

Why so much pessimism? It’s not because I am bitter or even vengeful. Instead, its because I see ESPN at the root of the problem trying to create buzz and “insight” while they ignore the complexities of a players rookie year. For example, look at Stephen Strasburg. He is the “next best” pitcher to every hold a baseball. USA Today recently that talked about Ben McDonald, who in ’89 was considered everrything that Strasburg is. How did his career turn out? Well he had mild success posting 78 W, 70 L, 3.91 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP in a 7 year career marred by injuries.

The thing as will all rookies is you never know. You never know who they will react to the intensity of professional sports, the demand the media places upon the rookies, or if the scouts were right. There are so many variables that are often unaccounted for when talking about rookies/prospects that I want to vomit.

Enough for this rant. The following articles will provide more insight and quality. For now this is what it is.

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Is anything more boring than watching the Home Run Derby, especially with Chris Berman, Joe Morgan, and Steve Phillips as the announcers? I think I rather watch a Giants-Padres game at Pecto would be more legit than this contest. If it sounds like I’m a bit harsh on an event that was created for the MLB to acquire more money, well rightfully am. Two hours to watch the first round, and praise the Lord (PTL) that Josh Hamilton finished with a record 28 1st round homers. Not that Bobby Abreu’s second half numbers in 2005 reflected any power, but hey he did have the record for a few years. Lets hope that Josh’s spectacular season isn’t tarnished by a repeat of Abreu’s season.

After those two hours, I decided that I had seen enough, knowing that I had better things to do on a day when I woke up at 5:45 AM, like shower, post and sleep. Not that I care about who wins. Serious, its only there for awful, over hyped announcers to rant all nigh. How many times can a Chris Berman’s “Back… Back…. GONE!!!” can one hear in one night? I was going insane by the middle of Hamilton’s amazing feat, not by Chris but by Joe Morgan because with 8 outs Josh Hamilton was just crushing the ball (he hit a lot out with 8 outs, not sure the number but don’t really care to find out), but Joe kept saying, “I wish he’d hit an out so all the homers he gets will be on the money ball.” Or something along those lines. Kid you not he said that about 10 times, and then when Josh does get to that ball first contact he made was an out. Ironic no, satisfying to hear Morgan shut-up, yes.

Enough with my rant, I have to end it here because, well I didn’t watch anymore of the contest, and don’t care to know who one.

PS for those want to know, Justin Morneau over Hamilton. Looks like someone wore themselves out.

Other contestants: Ryan Braun, Chase Utley, Dan Uggla, Evan Longoria, Lance Berkman, Grady Sizemore.

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One of the hardest decisions that you as a manager have to make is whether or not to hold on to your ‘star’ producer. Is the latest hot streak legit? Is this cold streak player x for real? Do I trade high, sell low, or holdout and hope things stay the same?

Due to my night owl tendencies, my desire to show up my friends, and my longing to find that next hot streak to ride I am always looking to deal my players. In my first year I was really hesitant to trade my ‘star’ players and even my popular named players because I felt like they would always come around. The truth is that sometimes last year number will never be reproduced (thank you very much Ian Snell). Or the worst is that you over valued a player at draft time and they have yet to produce what you expected them to do (Curtis Granderson, Joba Chamberlain).

So here the late night second guessing comes in to play. I cannot make the decision for you to trade a player, but in this game if you create a personal attachment to a player you are going to develop a skewed sense of what that player can accomplish.

This happens to many people who draft last year’s saviors for their teams. This is extremely tempting to do; I was in this situation this year with Ryan Braun. He single-handedly saved my team from oblivion in my 20 team league (went from 12 to finishing in 6th by .5 point). I know a team that took Dontrelle Willis in the first round last year because in the previous year he saved his ass. This, by itself isn’t a bad thing, but when all your decisions have this much personal attachment to them you will have a negatively skewed idea of what a player will do for you now and in the future.

These personal attachments usually are your favorite player(s), or players from your hometown team. I have seen Red Sox teams, White Sox teams, and Minnesota teams in my league and even if your favorite team is the World Series winners, that doesn’t meant they will lead you to fantasy baseball championships. So essentially what needs to happen is that you lose all personal attachments to players and teams to put in place a championship winning team.

Now go make some trades that will benefit you in the long run. If there is one thing that I want you to remember it would be this, “The past is done, the present is what you sell, and the future is what you buy”.

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