Across all of my deeper leagues, invariably Chipper Jones is on one of the top teams. In the shallow leagues, Chipper is buoying teams above fifth place all by myself. Heard the Braves announcers talk about Chipper’s chances at .400. A question that would make more sense is, “What’s Chipper’s chance to get 400 at-bats?” I think he gets there, at-bats that is, not average. He’s a .309 career hitter, but his average has been steadily climbing as he gets older (which is a normal occurrence, batters just get better at knowing what they can and cannot hit). So he could hit .350. But unless you’re struggling with a lot of low average guys, average is, well, average. Chipper’s home runs have been declining. He hit 29 home runs last year, but 12 in April/May, so his early season outburst this season isn’t necessarily a sign of great things.  Of course, everyone’s main concern is his games played. I think you have a better chance of guessing what Joey from The Real World: Hollywood is going to say next than how many games Chipper is going to play. (Sober Joey, “I’m an alcoholic! And I love the albino stripper.” Drunk Joey, “I love everyone, but really love the albino stripper!” Drunker Joey, “I will rip off the albino stripper’s head and toss it into the eight foot aquarium!” Sober Joey, “I wasn’t like this when I came into this house!” Actually, now that I write it out, that’s much more predictable than Chipper Jones’s injury history. But I digress.) So going forward with Chipper, what did we learn from this exercise? The home runs are not going to get into the forties. He will miss some games. He won’t bat .400, but should get to 400 at-bats. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday:

Claudio Vargas – Should be owned in all NL-Only leagues. (And all leagues that require you have a Vargas on your team. But then, Claudio Vargas was probably already on a team.)

Carlos Beltran – The Mets pitching staff and I often sat in the dugout sipping espresso, then afterwards would talk baseball. During batting practice, I discussed open and closed stances with Howard Johnson. We laughed about “high hard ones” and Carlos Beltran punched me in the nose.

Scott Feldman – Looked tremendous today, giving up only one earned run. He was about to be featured in the opening, until I realized he was facing the Mariners. Right now, he’s not that great looking forward. (I mean, he is capable of looking forward, just his stats may not be that good in the future.)

Jeff Clement – He’s one game away from qualifying at catcher in five game leagues. (That means he just caught his fourth game, Einstein.)

Gary Sheffield – He’s moving back to DH. The same DH spot that he said was the reason why he was hitting poorly. I think he’s hurting and just playing around with excuses. He shouldn’t be on any teams at this point.

Nick Johnson – He has a sore wrist. In other news, taco diarrhea burns.

Jim Edmonds – He will force Felix Pie back to Triple-A. Matt Murton better clean off his couch.

Manny Parra – Thank God for the Dodgers’s offense.

Guillermo Mota – Let’s try Torres.

Blake DeWitt – Has the highest average amongst rookies and he just hit his third home run.

Jeff Kent – You know how you can tell when a baseball player is suddenly old, when they look like Luis Gonzalez, but not as agile.

Brett Myers – I mentioned before that Brett Myers and I went to poetry night at The Turtleneck on Philly’s South Side. It was April. Brett had just thrown an eight K performance at the Bank. He said he could have struckout nine. I said it was a good outing, though not a great outing and that’s the way it was for future middle relievers. We laughed over this and Brett Myers punched me in the nose.

Ryan Howard – Barring injury, still looking at 40 home runs as he now sits on 8 after a home run yesterday.

Blaine Boyer – Got the Atlanta save. Just another member of the committee.

Ian Stewart – So far I’ve picked him up and dropped him three times in the last two weeks. (Yes, I am that annoying owner.) My thought process is, I pick him up and hold him for a couple of days. When I need another hitter for a short schedule day, I drop him. If I have him when he is called up, I’m golden. If I don’t have him, then chances are he’s on waivers and at least someone has to use their claim for him. Win-win, in my book. (BTW, that book is titled, “Annoying the Crap Out of Your Opponents When They Don’t Restrict the Amount of Adds and Drops, 7th Edition”)

Scott Downs – Just got his fifth save.

C.C. Sabathia – I think this is closer to the Sabathia you’re going to get this year. I also don’t have him on any teams. Just when you think I’m going right, I go left! Or maybe left-right!

John Lackey – Looked solid in his return with 7 IP, 1.29 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 4 Ks. Pretty far off in the pick the line game.

James Shields – Very solid game in the loss.

Robinson Cano – 4-for-4. His buy low time quickly evaporates as he’s batting .350 with two home runs in May.

Mike Mussina – I mentioned before that I was in St. Petersburg. It wasn’t the first time I had been to Florida. I was there many years ago with Mike Mussina. Mussina had just finished second in the Cy Young voting and we were competing in a Scrabble tournament. He had just pulled the tiles t-h-k-k-o-y-a and I said there was no way he could make a seven letter word from that. He said this is the first time I’ve had two Ks all year. We laughed over this and Mike Mussina punched me in the face.

  1. Freak says:

    I wish I could punch Jim Hendry in the face.

    The Jim Edmonds signing is redonkulous.

  2. Russ says:

    i got Lackey in the 17th round.


  3. Baron Von Vulturewins says:

    Ah, the return of taco diarrhea. We’ve missed you, TD.

    @Russ: Niiiiiiice. Someone in my league picked up Lackey in the 7th, and everyone needled the guy (it was probably a a few rounds too early) but I was secretly thinking, ‘Dudes, May is not that far away.’

    A few questions for the braintrust: Someone dropped Doumit (apparently some owners are not familiar with the DL function). I’ve been hurting at C all year, having drafted Ramon “Now Dead To Me” Hernandez, then run through various waiver chaff, currently starting Chris Ianetta.

    Is it worth my mid-range waiver pick to grab Doumit (I had him once too; dropped him early for Volquez; spilt milk, etc.) and stash him? Or should I save the claim and re-pick up the about-to-be-C-eligible Clement? Or both? Should I carry 8 catchers? 9? 30?

    Also: Drop Longoria for Doumit?

    re: Chipper. I have taken some solace in the fact that each of the teams ahead of me (I’m in 3rd) has one guy who’s been absolutely other-worldy, e.g. Berkman and C. Jones. My offense, on the other hand, has only one guy who (in the spirit of overrated, underrated and rated) is overperforming (the currently DLed Furcal). Everyone else is either underperforming (Rios, Zimmerman) or performing (Holliday, BJUpton). On the other other hand, my offense is currently as appealing as a donkey balls sandwich with a side of hair.

    Greatest regret of the year so far: Not drafting Josh Hamilton.

  4. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Freak: I can’t even wrap my head around it from a real baseball standpoint.

    @Russ: Out of curiosity, what round did Harden go in?

    @Baron Von Vulturewins: I would definitely grab/stash Doumit on my DL.

    FWIWBVV, I’m liking Navarro better than Iannetta at this point.

    re: Longoria — He seems to be taking the same career path as Gordon. Longoria could be useful this year, just not right now. But because of his upside, you’ll have to monitor him closely if you want to get him back if he heats up.

    re: Hamilton — See your excuse for drafting Lackey. “It’s only May.”

    EDIT: Cuz that’s how I do.

  5. JR says:

    How long do you stick with R. Hill and Francis in a 14-team mixed league with deep benches? I figure keeping R. Hill is just as good as speculating on an excellent prospect (he’s better than Gio, Adenhart or Volstad) so I’m inclined to keep him. I would call Francis a fluke and bail on him, but his 2004 year at AA/AAA was insane (196 K’s in 150ish innings, 30-thirty something walks) and his scouting reports are high on his stuff.

    Alternatives are slim: Parra, S. Hill, Colon, Pelfrey, Looper, Robertson, Vargas

    PS This is a head-to-head league with a playoffs, so I can wait a bit on them. I just need them to come around by the end of the year. I also waited to draft pitching so I need to take some shots on upside.

  6. JR says:

    F&%!in’ lefties!

  7. Baron Von Vulturewins says:

    @Grey: Yeah, Navarro’s taken. We’re a 12 team league with only one C each, and yet there still aren’t enough decent ones to go around. I pity people in two C leagues. Five catcher league? Forget it.

    As it happens, I have Gordon too. What’s that? I spend a little too much time reading Baseball America, you say? Like I said: Rookie spaghetti. Someone’s gotta stick.

    As for Hamilton, make no mistake: If I had him, right now I’d be flipping him faster than a short-order cook. My guess is that he’s at about 47% of his RBI total for the season right now. I just wish I’d taken a flyer on him rather than, say, Gordon. Or Longoria. Or Fricking Frenchy. (I offered Volq for Hamilton earlier this season — you know, like in real life! — and got turned down. I think eventually I’ll be happy about that. Or should I be flipping Volg, burger-style, as well?)

    By the way, I only got so far as “For What It’s Worth” in that acronym. BVV? WTF?

    Also: the Cubs today announced the signing of Andy Van Slyke. Said Van Slyke, “I do expect to be their second worst outfielder which, at given my long standing retirement, is doing okay.”

  8. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:

    LOL on Myers. What a jerkoff. It would have been funnier had you said “We laughed over this and Brett Myers punched me in the GROIN.” Nutshot jokes are always funnier than most other jokes. Just keep this in mind for your future job as Bob Saget’s America’s FHV commentary writer.

  9. Grey

    Grey says:

    @JR: In a 15 team league, I dropped Rich Hill when he was sent down. I’d grab Parra, Hill, Vargas, in that order.

    re: Francis, I liked him a lot coming into this year, but he’s struggling mightily with his control and I wouldn’t hold him either.

  10. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Baron Von Vulturewins: I think you should definitely be exploring trades with Volq. Batters look like he can’t square him up, so that’s a great sign but he also lost his cool last time out over very little; it was no reason to freak out. That wasn’t a good sign. As a rookie pitcher with control problems, you don’t want him losing his shizz.

    re: Slyke — hehe

    BVV is your moniker.

    @IowaCubs: Those punched in the nose things are a Woody Allen 70s standup thing. Pretty funny stuff.

    “I mentioned before that I was in Europe. It’s not the first time that I was in Europe, I was in Europe many years ago with Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway had just written his first novel, and Gertrude Stein and I read it, and we said that is was a good novel, but not a great one, and that it needed some work, but it could be a fine book. And we laughed over it. Hemingway punched me in the mouth.”

  11. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:

    @Grey: Rich Hill looked pretty good when I saw him in Des Moines this weekend. Don’t laugh. Des Moines is funny, but it’s not that funny. Rich made Chase Headley look super silly.

    Should I drop Brett Myers or bench him until he has a few solid starts and then trade him? I’ll refrain from calling him a retard until then.

  12. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:

    @Grey: Woody Allen is a funny man with the Hemingway satire, but the nutshot would work much more swimmingly here. I could see Hemingway writing this:

    “I met Brett Myers for some applejack in Monmarte. He was a former boxer at Princeton. I asked him about his work. It was good work that he did. He did his work at Princeton. He learned how to throw a change-up there in New Jersey. He told me about throwing his change-ups and humiliating women with his left jab. We got along just fine. He told me to not let’s get drunk. Then Brett Myers kicked me in the nuts.”

    Just imagine. My boss just paid me to write that.

  13. Grey

    Grey says:

    @IowaCubs: I saw he walked four, did he look wild?

    Myers looks like Wainwright from last year. Might take him a couple of months until he’s usable. I’d drop him and maybe pick him up later in anything but the deepest of leagues.

  14. Baron Von Vulturewins says:

    @Grey: Oh, yeah. That BVV. Heh heh… I, uh… well. IAAACM*.

    re: Volq. My post Smoltz, post Gallardo staff is a bit thin: Hamels, Volq, Cain, Snell, Laffey, with Westbrook on the DL. Avail as FA, the usual suspects: S. Hill, R. Hill, Guthrie, Parra, etc.

    I do need dingers though. What’s a fair return for Volq? Context: I’ve got Adrian Gonzalez, Upton, Furcal (DLed), Zim, Holliday, Rios (in the doghouse), Frenchy (il est merde), Pence, various undercooked and overhyped spare parts (Longoria, Gordon), catchers not worth mentioning.

    *I Am An Acronymically Challenged Moron.

  15. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:

    @Grey: Hill looked fine. Those walks weren’t like four straight balls or anything. They were 6-8 pitch walks.

  16. scott says:

    @ IowaCubs — LOVE the faux Hemingway! I cut B. Myers before the farkin’ came was over last night. The bell tolled for he… Thinking about picking up Parra and stashing him…did he look good yesterday?

  17. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:

    I’m looking to add an OF since I just traded away Shagglio. I’m golden on BA, but need pretty much every other category. Any suggestions in the following list: G. Anderson, Patterson, Stairs, Kotsay, Casey Blake (my Des Moines homeboy), Winn, Gathright, Willits, Schumaker, David Murphy.

    Also, is Gathright going to continue to steal bases at this pace?

  18. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Baron Von Vulturewins: Parra, Guthrie, S. Hill, in that order.

    re: Volquez, I would look for a 2nd tier OF. Vlad, Beltran, McLouth, Lee, etc.

    @IowaCubs: That’s good to know, thanks.

  19. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:

    @scott: I saw the Parra game last night. I thought he looked fine, but only had 4 k’s. He lost it when supergenius Ned Yost let him lose it in the 7th, but I guess that’s the joint for whom George Bell rolls. He also should have gotten the win if it wasn’t for Manny Mota’s third cousin.

  20. Grey

    Grey says:

    @IowaCubs: I’d try Patterson, but only play him when he’s facing a righty.

    Gathright is fast, but is not going to give you much besides steals.

  21. BSA says:

    Still looking at doing something with Myers and thinking through changing him out for another closer which allows me to keep a four man starting rotation and have three closers with one closer one starter on the bench.
    I just looked to see that the free agent list includes Capps as well as Rauch, Gagne, Isringhausen and the starters Harden, Parra, and Vargas.

    Something has to better than the punchy pitcher who definitely took some frustrations out on the water cooler last night AGAIN.

  22. Baron Von Vulturewins says:

    All right Hive Mind: Someone just offered me Pujols for either of Hamels or BJ Upton.

    Do I jump at this? Do I remain slightly scared about The Elbow? Do I go back with an offer of A Gonzalez and Volquez?

    I used to be able to make decisions for myself, once upon a time.

  23. Grey

    Grey says:

    @BSA: Capps, Rauch, Gagne, Isringhausen — for closers.

    Parra, Harden, Vargas for starters.

    I’d drop Myers for Parra, Harden, Capps or Rauch.

  24. JR says:


    “I’d drop Myers for Parra, Harden, Capps or Rauch.”

    You’re that high on Parra? Am I simply jaded because I sat on him and Morales for four weeks?

  25. Grey

    Grey says:

    @JR: Parra has a lot of talent. He flew through the minors because of that talent. Few walks, high Ks, very low home runs. All the good indicators are there. But he did hit bumps each time he was promoted. If he comes around, he could be the best rookie pitcher for the 2nd half of the year.

  26. JR says:

    OK. I’m (re-)sold on Parra. Who would you drop: Sanchez, Francis, or R.Hill (one of my five late-round keepers)?

  27. Grey

    Grey says:

    @JR: Hill

    *****BTW, this is to everyone********

    Go to the Parts Unknown links, click on UmpBump and watch the Manny video on their first post, if you didn’t see his high-five yesterday. It’s wonderful.

  28. BSA says:

    I know I said that CBS sportsline would not let me drop Thome. So since I don’t like being handcuffed I wrote a complaint that Thome is rated behind Sheff, who is droppable, and Oila! Thome is droppable as of 1:00 EST.
    Keep him or use his spot to pick up another option?
    ARam, Figgins
    Damon, Kemp, Quentin, Wells, Vlad, Pence

    I was thinking of Votto, getting Longoria back, Melky, etc.
    Any ideas?

  29. Grey

    Grey says:

    @BSA: Way to take matters into your own hands, BSA.

    Votto should be picked up.

  30. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:

    @Grey: I don’t have that luxury of platooning Patterson. Our rosters are set weekly. When Jay Bruce gets called up, CPatt will be benched unless Dusty’s still the manager.

  31. Grey

    Grey says:

    @IowaCubs: If you don’t need Gathright’s steals, then GA or Stairs.

  32. scott says:

    I’m a Yankee fan and by definition not a Manny fan….having said that, the high-five was awesome. Yeah, you play hard and you play to win and its the antithesis of “old school” hardball but there is room in the game for fun too….the hi-5 was as good if not better than Mattingly’s popcorn grab back in the day…

  33. Baron Von Vulturewins says:

    @scott: I’m not a Sox fan, but I agree. I actually enjoy most of Manny’s antics. Then again, I couldn’t believe when everyone in New York plotzed over Lastings Milledge high-fiving the fans on his way out to right field after he hit the game-tying home run. I thought that was pretty awesome too.

  34. mike says:

    Do you like Chris Carpenter once he comes back? worth the DL spot?

  35. Grey

    Grey says:

    @mike: Definitely worth a flier if you have an open DL spot. But I wouldn’t drop anyone worthwhile from the DL spot just to make room for Carpenter.

  36. mike says:

    Im gonna get rid of Schmidt for Carpenter. Any news on Santiago Casilla’s injury.

  37. Grey

    Grey says:

    @mike: Schmidt for Carpenter is fine. I haven’t heard anything on Casilla since last night, but I’m thinking he’s droppable. Might want to wait a day for more news, but I’d grab Kobayashi if you’re looking for potential saves.

  38. mike says:

    To anyone who got nervous and traded Ryan Howard……im thinkin hes about to put in some serious yard-work!

  39. Chase says:

    @mike: I just traded for him! And he’s gone 4/10 with 2 home runs so far hahaha i love it

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