What Was That About Breathing and Stuff?

Halfway there, I am, thanks to Carl Pavano, kind of (at least he got a win) and Jake Peavy, who held the Tigers to pretty much nothing, striking out eight, winning a game, and making me wonder how the standings would be had Mr. Peavy been healthy to pitch a month ago, as originally planned.

And, no complaints. At least I have two starts, two wins, and his effectiveness put me back up to 92 points meaning it looks like Mike and I might go into the final week of the season tied. Ugh. Tied.

Funny to, because though I had  pretty good offensive day (go Arod and his three swipes and Michael Cuddyer, well what can you say?) with a pair of homers and eight RBI.

I even got within one RBI of Mike, whose hitters then exploded as his squad notched 14 RBI and three homers. Sigh. So close, yet so far.

Of course Mr. Shandler is lurking below both of us with 88 points, waiting for us to falter just a little. At least that is what I would do/hope for.

So, this weekend I have a freebie. Nothing save a guitar lesson and some bass practice and maybe a trip to the dog park with Jazzy and Pavi on the horizon. Well, that and, like it or not tracking my team during Ben Hur (which is on TCM tonight) because it works better for my players to not actually watch them play, as noted.

I will check back in before football tomorrow and see how things shake out. Have a great Saturday.

The Four “P’s” and Shandler


Well, Mike got his wish as Oakland, whose bats have been a red hot .300 the last two months (since trading Cabrera and Holiday, interestingly enough) tore poor Scott Feldman to pieces, costing me another point.

Adding to the mix Ron Shandler got 30 whiffs and three wins yesterday, boosting him to 88 points, just 1.5 off my tail, and 2.5 from Mike. So, Ron is this year’s Twins in a Tout sense.  (I am not sure whether to welcome him to the insanity, or advise him of the grief to come).

As for me, after my first “P” (no inuendo, please, which is another “P” word), that being PANIC,I reminded myself that Pavano, Peavy, and Pettitte (the other three “P’s”) all start this weekend, and relax and let my players do their thing.

There are, by my calculations, seven points I can pick up over a couple of days with some good play. And, well, this Tout team is really different than any other team I have had in that they really are a team. That is one guy has a bad day, and someone else has a good one to pick him up.

As an example, I could really use a guy like Julio Borbon right now, who is stealing everything in sight, and successfully. Not that I don’t have stealers (Cabrera, Figgins, Aybar) but, the question is whose place would Borbon take?  For, everyone, from Ryan Sweeney and David Murpy, to Arod have contributed.

The second thing is I had this huge lead two months ago that evaporated. And, I have to remind myself that my team has not choked. Rather it has been hanging at between 88-93 points for months. It is just that Mike and Ron made the tweaks to catch up.

Which means I simply have to rely on a fifth “P”: PATIENCE.

Welcome to the roller coaster Ron. And, be careful what you wish for, right Mike?

no safe lead

my worst nightmare was realized by the combo of jeremy gutherie and justin masterson, in basically getting clobbered (11 innings, 11 runs, 16 baserunners), dropping me a point each in ERA and WHIP.

i might have held a slight lead, despite that, but jeff erickson picked up some swipes and dean peterson got a win, and poof, my 3.5 point lead vaporized into me trailing by a point.

i do have all my control pitchers going the rest of the week, so i think i can pick the points back up, but somehow, despite the presence of erick aybar, chone figgins, asdrubal cabrera, and arod steals are hard to come by.

all i can do is shrug, and hope for the best tomorrow. that is the beauty, for there is always tomorrow. at least for ten more days.

btw: I will be joining Mike and Cory on their Fantasy 411 show Friday at 7:30 eastern on XM.

this makes no sense…

i have been leary of this week’s yankee/angel series because i have five angels (four of them hitters, one pitcher) and three yankees (one hitter, two pitchers).

yesterday my starters went against one another, but i feared for chad gaudin, so i benched him this week. good thing cos the angels knocked him around, just like the yankees knocked around monsieur santana.

i actually collected two homers in the game, and with the two michael cuddyer and jason kubel hit, that gave me four for the day, and seven RBI with a .340 average. and, i got a save with a k from joe nathan.

that is enough to climb within three homers and eight RBI of mike, who would probably agree that if i can pass him in those categories that would probably seal a pennant for me. note the words “if” and “probably” which acknowlege the lack of certainty in this game.

to prove my point, despite the great offensive day, and vitually no pitching, i lost half a point of my lead because of steals.

makes no sense, no?

breathe a little more quietly

well, i had my fingers crossed all through the mess of an oakland game, where the rangers beat the athletics like they were an old rug hanging in the yard. at least good old david murphy banged three hits and drove in two, thank you.

but, my laptop completely melted down during the game, wreaking havoc on my scoring chores, and worse, making it impossible for me to see the details of the yankees/angels game which featured my pitchers, andy pettitte and joe saunders.

but, by the time i got home, a couple of homers and a win and some great innings from my starters kicked me back up to 94.5 points and a bit more cushion.

i still have seven starts this week, to just four for mike, and seven for dean peterson and 11 for jason grey, so i am guessing that mike, in playing a tad defensively in pitching, might drop a point in whiffs and maybe another in wins if jason’s starters hit paydirt.

of course, it goes against the grain of zen playing to wish trouble on another team and players.  the essence is to pick players and root for them. so, i hope, as usual, mike’s team and jason’s and dean’s do well. as long as mine stay on track too.

but, if you wonder how this works on the inverse, after sitting lyle overbay for two weeks (he went around 5 for 21 during that span, with an RBI) and played mike sweeney, who belted a homer and hit around .318. but, since the season was nearing an end, i sensed sweeney would not get the same playing time, so i reactivated overbay for the final two weeks. and, overbay gave me a homer today, so, i pulled that string correctly.

all i can say is “whew.” and i only have to hang for 13 more days. they will be long and torturous days. but, i would not trade with anyone in the league. even mike!

breathe. rinse. repeat…

whew. made it through the weekend, scoreboard watching while the athletics dismantled jeremy sowers. but, since it was rosh hashona, i watched jake peavy and scott feldman go into the sixth and eighth, respectively, but until seth kweller confirmed wins for each i was unsure of the standings.

sure enough i managed to gain a lead over mike of 93.5 to 90.

then ian snell took over for even though i gained a half point, tying joe sheehan in homers (thank you howie kendrick who is red hot) but losing it right back to dean peterson who is now tied with me in wins with 77 (mike has 76).

but, thanks to snell steve moyer passed me back up in ratio and ERA so i go into the penultimate week with a slim lead of 91.5 to 90.

i do have room to move, meaning there are points out there. but, i also can lose some points. i have picked up on mike in rbi, btw (he has 12 more than i with 848 to my 836).

so, time to breathe. at least i have the lead. for now. two weeks to go.

focus. breathe. rinse, and repeat is my mantra.


i guess today is the day. though, as mike pointed out in a previous post, it could be a whole lot of nothing.

but, today jake peavy starts for me, and that indeed might tell the path forward. with peavy i have scott feldman and carl pavano starting today: three pretty good ratio pitchers.

which is good because right now i dropped to 90 points with mike holding steady at 92.

the points i lost were basically ratio points and i dropped from ninth to seventh.

but, again, to get how close this is i will give you ratio and whiff totals…

siano 1.319 first
colton 1.327 second
walker 1.330 third
they are clustered, followed by

erickson 1.359 fourth
moyer 1.360 fifth
michaels 1.363 sixth
berry 1.365 seventh
shandler 1.374

note ron shandler has 81.5 points, a third not as distant as it may seem. but, you can see a lot of room for movement all over.

as for whiffs, mike is sort of safe. sort of…

siano 937 first
peterson 912 second
walker 900 third
michaels 898 fourth
grey 897 fifth
shandler 895 sixth

again, things could stay the same, move all over and stay the same, or flip flop us all over.

note that right now grey, peterson, and i are all loading up with starters to get a chance at wins because

siano 76 first
michaels/peterson 75 second

in the scheme of things i traded cc sabathia gambling i could survive and hopefully replace sabathia with peavy.

and, i have and well, jake starts today. a good solid start might point the way to two more this season which would be great.

it will be tough without him.

for now, i am off to the yard to score the athletics/indians game. but, i will be scoreboard watching.

deceiving eyes

so, i have been sitting at my desk in my office this afternoon, working with the TV on. jeremy gutherie is pitching and well, i need wins and strikeouts and a good whip and ERA: the usual stuff.

but i cannot watch, though i feel compelled to. eyes squinting,i  turn the game on and gutherie coaxes a third out with elsbury on second. safe. so i turn the channel back to the news (watching another game would just make me want to check out gutherie even more) and during commercials, kibbitz the game.

first commercial, gutherie allows a single and kotchman scores. crap, that kills era and ratio and puts me behind with one swing.

i turn the channel. and when i turn it back it is just as luke scott clobbers a home run, tying the game, and daring me to continue watching. since i have scott on my xfl team, all the better.

when the score shifted to 2-1 boston, i turned back to the news.

but, i opened a window on my desktop to the tout wars live scoring page instead.

now i started today in first place, with 92.5 points to mike’s 92, and it had actually simply stayed like that for a day, but, when i tuned in, i had dropped to 91.5 and mike was ahead. i looked and noticed jeff erickson passed me in ratio thanks to my watching gutherie.

and bingo, as i scrolled back up i suddenly dropped to 90.5, then a second later jumped back up to 92.5, passing mike back up and putting me back in first.

but, the changes were all in the blink of an eye, so i am not really sure they really happened, you know?

there are actually five categories–whip, ERA, runs, whiffs, and wins–that pretty much moment to moment, are so tight that literally an extra out or run or strikeout initiates the pinball effect i had witnessed. mike is pretty stable in whiffs actually, leading by around 30, and i have a commanding lead in runs scored. but whiffs i want and runs he needs. in ERA we both go up and down with a coupleo of other teams and same with whip, but not against one another.

in wins, however we are fighting for the same turf with dean peterson (to whom i traded cc sabathia: a move i had to make, but one that could indeed come back to haunt). mike leads with 76 and dean and i both have 75.

sigh. while i was writing this–over a 20 minute spread– i dropped back down to second with 91.5.

see what we mean?

nerve-racking. and there is another four hours of games to play tonight.

of course it is a very cool thing that my team is even in the race, so, i am not complaining. but, this is not for the faint hearted.