Dear Reader,

On my way back from a charity fundraiser for koalas who are addicted to pot (This is why koalas sleep 23 hours a day!), I started thinking about the ways I could make this a better world — in addition to the koala relief work. Do I open a pet cemetery in the shape of a giant toilet bowl? Do I manufacture yarmulkes with curly locks attached to the side? Or should I just point out ESPN’s top fantasy analyst, Eric Karabell’s misuse of brains?

As always, you need to be an ESPN Hindsighter™ to fully appreciate Karabell’s dumbitude, but I’ll cut and paste the relevant twigs and berries.

McLouth might or might not have hit the proverbial wall, but you don’t hear his name associated with fantasy MVP honors anymore, not after he’s hit .248 with nine home runs since June 1.

Might or might not have hit the proverbial wall. Hmm… Picture you sit down at a fine dining establishment — no, not Denny’s — and you ask the waiter if the Soup of the Day is any good. Now imagine the waiter says, “It might or might not be good.” Mommy, where’s Daddy? Erica, Daddy’s out hedging his bets. Then the next part about Fantasy MVP is pretty easy thing for him to say about McLouth, until you realize he was the one crowning McLouth Fantasy MVP back in May. I like to call this dish, “The Best Pile of Macaroni Salad You Will Ever Taste, Until I Point To Another Pile of Macaroni Salad and Say It’s Better.” It goes really well with “The Most Robust Wine You Will Drink Until You Have This Other One.” Am I the only one who’s stumped by this Jenga building of logic?

The Japanese import (Fukudome) is owned in far too many leagues for the numbers he’s supplying.

He was the one telling everyone to pickup Fukudome. Or did an evil cyborg take over Karabell’s human skin and give that advice? Or is there a tiny alien inside Karabell’s human skin and he hasn’t figured out the controls yet for the brain?

For the final month, (Jay Bruce’s) OK and should, along with Joey Votto, hit some home runs, but neither guy is tearing it up. Votto has hit .320 since the All-Star break, but with only two home runs. Other Reds with two home runs since the break include Corey Patterson, Javier Valentin and recent callup Chris Dickerson. Bruce has hit eight home runs since then, but the .240 batting average negates quite a bit of it.

He told you he was this year’s Ryan Braun. The Ryan Braun of numbers we see hardly never — even if we go back to the days of The Tin Lizzie and when people called their friends, contemporaries? Yeah, that Ryan Braun.

Okay, here’s ESPN’s fantasy coverage. Appetizer — McLouth will be the best hitter of this season, bar none. Entree — McLouth will have some struggles, but this is a horse you wanna ride. Dessert — I just shat into a dirty ashtray and you ate it. Hey, Karabell, go get your shinebox!



  1. Steve says:

    Which 2B/CF combo do you like better:

    Al-Ram @ 2B + Nady @ CF, or

    Wiggy @ 2B + Al-Ram @ CF

  2. BSA says:

    As I think about my utlity spot this week is it better to keep Cruz in there or get Atkins back out there since he seems to be heating up. I haven’t watched closely but Cruz appears on AAA autopilot after his great re-entry to the majors and not able to connect.

  3. knighttown says:

    “The Padres have decided to push back Jake Peavy’s start until tomorrow”. I’m quoting someone who I can’t recall, but that’s what TSN says. ANy ideas why this would be?

  4. martin says:

    hey what spot start is better wakefield v chisox or arroyo v san fran

  5. Shogun says:

    I’ve got an MVP-sized McClouth problem on my team. I already have three solid OFs, so I’m considering dropping McClouth and filling my Util spot with the best hitter available. Some choices include: Mora, Byrd, Delgado, Ian Stewart, Shoppach, Dickerson, M. Bradley, Co-Jack, Pence. Anyone here you’d drop McClouth for?

  6. wassup says:

    Bench Zambrano against the Phillies tommorrow? Z’s past 4 starts have been 21 2/3 inn., 21 runs, 14 walks to 16 strikeouts and 6 home runs and phillies have been heatin it up recently. My mind is saying bench him but I’m not sure. Im losing in era this week in my head to head league by 1.00 and losing in whip by 0.3. I have Webb startin tommorrow and should I take the risk of starting Zambrano to win the era category…… or bench him, start Webb and see if Webb allows 0 earned runs and I get help from my oppenents pitchers?

  7. Grey

    Grey says:

    @wassup: I don’t trust Z against the Phillies tomorrow. I’d go with just Webb.

  8. Lolhamburger says:

    Getting anxious with playoffs coming up. Had a charmed season so far, but anything can happen in the playoffs. Rotoworld announced that Gregg looks to be out for at least a week. Lindstrom is officially the favorite to close in the meantime. Got that finger on the trigger to switch out Ayala, but not pulling yet.

    A quick look at Lindstrom: His K rate is way down compared to last season. His K/BB ratio is also considerably worse. Lindstrom still sports an elite GB rate of 49.3%. But his ERA is probably a bit lucky considering that his HR/FB ratio is an unsustainable 3.3% and his strand rate is a bit high at 75.8%. The strand rate could be sustainable for a RP of course and is not too far off of his rate from last year.

    Anyone else getting nervous about H2H playoffs? I had such an overpowering regular season that it feels like the cosmic balance/pendulum must swing the other way at some point.

  9. SoS says:

    @Lolhamburger: I’m feelin those nerves. Happened to me last year where I dominated the regular season and got to the finals, then my team left numerous surprises in my sheets every day for two weeks. Now this year, I’m in second and thinking about the same fate. Fantasy baseball sure gives you a positive outlook on life. My teams always seem constructed like my phillies…built to win games but not championships.

  10. BigFatHippo says:

    @Lolhamburger: @SoS: I hate playoffs, that’s why I love roto.

    Don’t know if you guys play fantasy football but this is my sob story from last year. 12-0-1 going into week 14 playoffs, undefeated and unstoppable. Big Ben going in an ice storm in Pittsburgh so I start Garcia in sunny Tampa Bay vs. Arizona. Big Ben throws 2 td’s and runs one in, Garcia scores 1 point (I repeat,one frikkin point). My team loses by two and I go on to win 3rd place by 70 points the next week. Juggernaut? Not when playoffs are involved.

    So yeah, I feel your apprehension.

  11. BigFatHippo says:

    @Grey: The koala shit was hilarious but what’s wrong with Denny’s?

    Denny’s IS a fine dining establishment. I’ll take Moons over MyHammy any day in place of sushi, tofu, kelp or any of that other shit you guys in Hollywierd eat.

    And I’m keeping my Wiggy too, you can’t have him. Reggie Jackson wannabe, Mr. August, soon to be Mr. September.

  12. BSA says:

    @BigFatHippo: You keep your Denny’s and Sushi. I still drool for the Waffle House’s Scattered smothered covered and chunked. Why can’t we get the Waffle House up in CT?

  13. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Lolhamburger: @SoS: @BigFatHippo: This is why I prefer roto as well. If you assemble a great team, you win. There’s none of this shizz like you had 25 great weeks then one bad week and you lose.

    @Lolhamburger: I’d stick with Ayala.

  14. BigFatHippo says:

    @BSA: Waffle House is the shit man, my arteries are hardening just thinking about it. Doesn’t help that I just got home from Happy Hour, think I’ll call a cab and go to Huddle House, Waffle House’s mother.

    On second thought, can’t watch the Illini-Mizzou game there.

    You got Ankiel in the lineup tonight?

  15. BSA says:

    Sonofa………but I do have Wright and Sparkakis dingers. In another league I have Ankiel and McLouth alternating. Grandy and Markakis have been pretty consistent for me so I leave them alone until they doink me link Guthrie last night and Looper sis to me tonight in the RCL. Fuckin’ 8 ER in 4.1 IP.

    Go for the Chinese after happy hour.

  16. royce! says:

    @Grey: I’m a rookie (1st year, haven’t yet played roto), so this might be a totally played out argument (I can imagine it being the impetus behind the creation of h2h), but doesn’t the fact that one week can undo a season make it more like real baseball, or any other major sport for that matter? (I’m trying to think of a game where the points are over an entire season, but coming up empty.) Goliath can be slayed, and all that shizz.

    Then again, the soul crushing suffering that players and fans have to endure when a team implodes at season’s end might be something that’s best avoided. Having rooted my entire life for teams that have gone a combined 0-4 in the Series over the last 20 years hasn’t done me many favors.

  17. BigFatHippo says:

    Albert Pujols es en fuego.

    If you can still trade in your league, sell the farm.

  18. knighttown says:

    I’ve got some tough matchups on Sunday. Rank:
    Matsui vs. Halladay
    Aviles vs. Galarraga
    Dickerson vs. Cain
    Cruz vs. Lackey
    Konerko vs. Wakefield
    Need to sit two batters…

  19. martin says:

    haha your right about bradon looper’s on and off months

  20. martin says:

    and btw, gregg is out as the florida closer

  21. yak says:

    Sorry to Hi-jack, but I need Fantasy Football help. I know the conveyors of this site dont do football, but I am callong on the knowledge of my fellow razzball commenter brethren to help me out. I proprosed a trade in my money re-draft playing with my friends league, and I wanna know if it’s not disrespectful. I would give Favre and Ryan Grant for Peyton Manning and Mendenhall(his number 3 RB). I know…..I know! But our starting lineup is 1 qb, 2 rb, 3 wr, 1 te,1 k, and 1 d/st. Pre trade his RB situation is M. Turner/J. Lewis/ Mendenhall. My Rb’s are SJax/Grant/ Edge. We just changed rules from having our bench be 1 backup per positiom(except def) so its a shallow league. 14 players per team. Scoring is 6 pts per td passing/rushing/receiving, 1 pt per 25 yards rush/rec, 1 pt per 100 yds passing. I look at it his dropoff at qb is more than made up for by his upgrade at rb. Right?

  22. Grey

    Grey says:

    @BSA: I’d get out of Looper and possibly Guthrie depending on your situation.

    @royce!: You play the whole season for a division title (or Wild Card), right? Don’t the best teams invariably rise to the top after a 162 game marathon? 99% time. So you’re finding your true champion. The one who plugged the injuries properly, the team that had the hot hands at the right time and knew when to bench slumping vets. With H2H, you sneak into the playoffs, have one hot week at the end and win because Nelson Cruz had a hot week (please let him have a hot week). Not to mention, in your example, …”but doesn’t the fact that one week can undo a season make it more like real baseball, or any other major sport for that matter…” don’t all of the teams play their best guys? In H2H, you find yourself dealing with Vlad being benched because the Angels are out of it. Are teams in playoffs just chucking rookies out there to get their feet wet? That also happens at H2H playoff time. That doesn’t seem equal to real life playoffs.

    @knighttown: Dickerson been hot, so I’d go with him and Aviles or Konerko. Depends what you need. If you need a 1-for-4 with a HR then go Konerko. If you need a 2-for-3 with one run, go Aviles.

    @martin: I told everyone about the on and off month thing. He was one day early this month. Anyway, get out of Looper.

    @yak: I got no clue, but someone should be able to help. I betcha Hippo knows.

    @BigFatHippo: Help Yak.

  23. royce! says:

    @Grey: The passion of your response makes me think that I don’t understand roto. Is there a playoff?

    Regarding h2h being similar to baseball, and generally other sports, I was just observing that once you get to a playoff luck seems to have much more sway over the result. And that makes playoffs sublime and infuriating. And I fully expect to experience the same thing come fantasy playoff time, when my opponent’s Marco Scutaro and Ryan Theriot inevitably outslug my David Wright and Hanley Ramirez. (I’m using “inevitably” rhetorically, of course, because (please dear god) that would never happen.)

    I also think that perhaps this is pronounced in h2h because the a higher % of teams make the playoffs, which is silly. I mean, in my 10 team league the top 6 have a chance at the championship, and that just plain sucks.

  24. BSA says:

    At this point and this position I am in, getting out of those two pitchers is as easy as:
    My team
    Drop players
    confirm drop

    In my other league I picked up Josh Johnson and dropped Guthrie for the two starts next week.

  25. BigFatHippo says:

    @yak: I see nothing wrong with that trade, matter of fact it’s so even I’m not sure it helps either of you.

  26. Grey

    Grey says:

    @royce!: Guess it’s good that the response was passionate since I’m the guy writing the blog. Nah, no playoffs. Maybe it’s a personal preference, but I find it more rewarding to assemble the best team over 162 games than sneaking into the playoffs and winning with Brian Giles (This is not a Brian Giles endorsement.) BTW, I don’t hate H2H, I just think it’s less rewarding.

    @BSA: Nice.

    @BigFatHippo: Thanks.

  27. cruisinkc says:

    @royce!: I always wondered if you had a league will all the same teams do both H2H and roto league if the same team would win. It would be pretty impossible to do considering all the pick-ups and trades would have to be the same in each league but it’d just be interesting to see how the results would compare.

  28. royce! says:

    @Grey: I applaud the passion. I wasn’t expressing a preference for H2H, and for me to do so would be really stupid. But, at the risk of looking stupid, I think I would like roto more as well, since it seems likely to reward or at least identify who is truly the best.

    RE: Giles: As a Padres fan, I wish that this could happen in real life, as opposed to them “sneaking in to the playoffs with Brian Giles” and promptly getting swept (I do acknowledge that the better team usually wins in a playoff system!).

    @cruisinkc: It would take way too much time, but you could go over results from some completed roto year and just do the same moves in a simulated H2H league using the same year’s real stats. Of course, all of this would probably have to be done manually, which would be mind numbingly boring. But I think the result would be just as Grey argues- you would have a different winner. (Esp. b/c real actors wouldn’t necessarily make the same moves in roto, b/c the rules dictate different strategies).

    Ok, now I’m totally boring myself. Sorry, everyone!

  29. wassup says:

    Someone just dropped George Sherill and i dont know why but I’m guessing becuz first week of playoffs start tomm. and they dont feel like waiting til he recovers. Im in first place and i have a bye for the first week. Should I get Sherrill and stash him at my DL?

  30. Grey

    Grey says:

    @wassup: Who would you be dropping for him?

  31. wassup says:

    Can you rate these 5 closers for the rest of the year? Cordero, Capps, Chris Perez, Jensen Lewis, Sherrill

  32. wassup says:

    I would be dropping one of the 4 closers listed above. I have a bye this week so I can afford to wait til George returns next weekend. I have already clinched first place so who will get the most opportunites out of those 5 closers starting sep. 8 (2nd round of playoffs and first week of playoffs for me)

  33. Grey

    Grey says:

    @wassup: How long can you wait until you have to pick him up? When does he clear waivers? I’d like to hear if there’s any setbacks on Wednesday when Sherril throws before picking him up, but I could see dropping Lewis for him. My gut tells me to stay pat right now, unless there’s changes in the Indians pen (Betancourt could move up the food chain too) or the Orioles.

  34. wassup says:

    @grey: He was dropped today so he will available to add wednesday so that is perfect. I will wait til wednesday and thx for advice

  35. Steve says:

    @Grey: And anyway, what’s wrong with sneaking into the playoffs and hoping to get hot?

    It’s my only hope ;-)

  36. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: Nothing wrong with it at all if you’re in a H2H. It’s the best way to go. Probably the most exciting way to go. I just think it’s more satisfying to win in roto.

  37. Steve says:

    @Grey: No doubt – and I am actually thinking of suggest we try Roto next year, or alternatively I’ll try and hook up with a Roto league.

    I’m a bit sick of the sometimes random nature of H2H. Like today for example. I’m up 8-4 going into today and my opponent picks up Beltre for today and starts Wandy plus a bunch of schmohawk relievers off the wire who go scoreless and the next thing I know it’s 8-4 to him.

    Better this week this week than next, I guess, and as it is, it’s now 7-5 to him and I’m looking at getting through in the 6th spot, 3-4 games clear of the guy in 7th.

    Will try and restrict my whining to the forums in future!

  38. Lolhamburger says:

    @everybody: Thanks for the empathy re: H2H playoffs. Notwithstanding my nervousness, I am fairly agnostic re: H2H v. roto. There are some skills that come into play in reducing risks of the ups and downs of H2H that, to me, are interesting. There are, of course, somewhat different skills that come into play in roto that are also interesting.

    @yak: With all due respect to Hippo, I would not do that trade. With each team being allowed to carry not more than 2 QBs in your league, relative scarcity, in my mind, would make Grant much too valuable to give up for the difference between Farve and Manning. If you do not trust Farve (and I do not blame you), you should still be able to find an usable alternative starter so you can play matchups on a week to week basis. Try looking at Warner, Schaub, Eli, Garrard, Bulger, Young, Campbell and Rodgers, probably in that order. I understand that some of these choices may very well be rostered already.

    The way that I see it, H2H, regardless of whether it is baseball or football, is all about minimizing downside risk and maximizing evenly distributed performance over time (hopefully at over par). If Farve goes down due to injury, your season is still salvagable. If you had Manning and he goes down, as painful as that might be, you probably could still find an usable substitute. If you trade Grant away and start SJax and Edge, and SJax goes down, you are in a lot of trouble. Edge and Mendenhall simply will not do it for you on a week in and week out basis.

    Just my $0.02. Hope it is a helpful alternative perspective.

  39. martin says:

    hey grey i just waned to let you know that every year there are some unappreciated players that go under the radar yet give you good numbers, aka gerut and jason werth. Do u know any others?

  40. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: Eh, you can whine whereever. No worries.

    @martin: As of right now? Ethier seems under-owned, Wigginton had an incredible August and Mike Cameron is batting close to .400 in last three weeks and he’s at 24/16 on the season. Not sure what you meant by your question, but there’s some underappreciated names or people that weren’t owned two to three weeks ago.

  41. Steve says:

    @Grey: You’ll like this one.

    Just before game time, I benched Ethier just to be extra-safe that I would get through (I’m ahead in OBP by .001).

    Need I go on?

  42. BSA says:

    Alright I am looking for input as I take care of my lineup for next week. My infield is pretty set and solid with Fielder, Utley, Rollins, and Wright.

    My outfield and utility are the questions. At this hour I am rolling with Sparkakis, Grandy, and Cruz with Atkins at utility. That leaves me with Ankiel, Tulo, and McLouth on the bench. I think Atkins should continue as they go back to Coors and Cruz should wake back up as he heads back to Arlington. Correct?

    Also in the weekly H2H format I am going against ten pitch starts to my 8. I have Harang, JJohnson, Billingsley, Liriano, Myers, and Wainwright with either Broxton or Fuentes closing. I also have Shields on the bench. Obviously I could drop a starting pitcher for two closers. Any changes you would consider there?


  43. BigFatHippo says:

    @Lolhamburger: @yak: The upgade at QB makes sense to me and it’s not much of a droppoff at RB. Mendenhall will be the new Bus in Pittsburgh, did you see him run all over the USC D in the Rose Bowl? He was the only offense Illinois had. The rest of it was just offensive. Mendenhall went in the 4th round in my league today. One pick before I was gonna take him, dammit.

    That being said, I don’t see the other owner doing the deal anyway.
    Guys don’t draft Peyton just to trade him away in the 1st week. Good luck yak, let us know how it turns out.

  44. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: Well, you got the OBP win anyway, right?

    @BSA: I agree on Cruz and Atkins. Not crazy about dropping a starter for another closer.

  45. BigFatHippo says:

    @Grey: What’s up with Webb? He allergic to 20 wins?

    Ah well, I still got a 15 pt lead and wins from Shields and Halladay.

    BTW, Halladay costs 27 next year so I’m thinking………

    Halladay, Webb, Hamels, Shields, Bills for 88 bucks with Ludwick as a 5$ outfielder. What you think?

  46. Steve says:

    @Grey: Yep.

    Was probably uneccessarily cautious – ’tis possible to overthink these things sometimes. He’s 2-3 with 2 RBI now!

    Over the course of a season, I’m sure you’ll have more success than failure by letting your players play in these situations.

  47. Grey

    Grey says:

    @BigFatHippo: I think next August we’re going to be talking about which of those guys you should keep again.

  48. BigFatHippo says:

    @Grey: Shields and Bills will cost 15, nuff said. Everybody thought I was crazy when I traded AJ Burnett for Bills last year early in the season, who’s laughing now?

    @Steve: I hear ya man, you know how many HRs and RBIs I left on the bench by not trusting Ludwick? Lost count.

  49. Grey

    Grey says:

    @BigFatHippo: @Steve: My ideal situation is no bench hitters and just grab one for short schedule days.

  50. Steve says:

    @Grey: I’d like to be in that sitauation too, but over the season I’ve painted myself into a bit of a corner roster-wise.

    I’d have to drop someone Markakis, Hawpe, Pena or Burrell to make that happen. Like you said somewhere yesterday, Grey, it’s probably better to get sonavabenched than have them hit HRs for someone else.

  51. knighttown says:

    Two minor injuries to my MI tonight. Anybody have anything on Upton and Aviles?

    And an extra special thanks to Trevor Hoffman for blowing Jake Peavy’s 13k shutout today. My league is going to be decided on wins as 6 teams are spread apart by 3 wins.

  52. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: True.

    @knighttown: Sucks about Peavy. Aviles will be out possibly a few days; Upton should be fine by tomorrow.

  53. p0rk burn says:

    @cruisinkc: @royce!: I’m-sort-of-kind-of-not-really in the process of converting a current H2H league’s stats to roto for that very purpose. One of the guys in the league is the type that would rather let his manhood burn off than admit that his pants are on fire if he had denied it in the past. After trying to argue all season that his team is good (its not) and that he is a better manager this year (he isn’t) which would be shown by a playoff berth (which isnt happening) his last thread to cling to is that if this were a roto league he would be doing much better. I’m not convinced and I’m nearly as stubborn (but fortunately better at fantasy baseball) so I’ve started the scintillating process of doing the math. You know, now that I’m done with the Bar and law school I have to find something to numb my mind or else I’m just not living. I’ll post something in the fora (can’t bring myself to write forums anymore) once its done. Don’t hold your breath.

  54. Grey

    Grey says:

    @p0rk burn: I think you can prove that his H2H team might be better or worse as a roto team, but it’s an empty exercise because if you’re worth your salt you are playing differently in these two leagues. So you can transfer his team to roto, but he hopefully wouldn’t have the same team in roto.


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