Creativesports.com and Mastersball.com Merge!

Tout Wars 2009 juggernaught Creativesports.com, home of AL champion Lawr Michaels and NL champion Brian Walton, have merged with Mastersball.com, a fantasy industry stalwart. The new entity will be called Mastersball.com.

Read the press release here: Mastersball Creativesports Press Release 2009 (doc file).

The winners!

There is more to be said about the Tout Wars winners than will be said in this post. You can read some of it in The Fantasy Baseball Guide 2010. Surely Lawr and Brian will write about it at CREATiVESPORTS.com, and Chris will write about it at Rotowire.com. The fact is this:

TOUT WARS WINNERS

AL: Lawr  Michaels, Creativesports.com

NL: Brian Walton, Creativesports.com

Mixed: Chris Liss, Rotowire.com

post mortem

wow. what a game #163. throughout it, mike and i were texting one another with possibilities, thoughts, highs, and lows. not to mention rick wolfe sent me a note noting that though i was in first, that there were a number of variables that could rattle the statistical house of cards and send my team tumbling below mike’s.

but, rick porcello pitched well enough, and jason kubel belted a homer to secure third in that category for me, and in the end, amazingly, my team prevailed.

but, not without a serious fight. mike forced me to keep pressing hard all season, something essential to win any league.

and, well, mike plays as well as the two best players i know: jason grey and tony blengino (though tony retired from fantasy when he started working for the brewers a few years back).

not to mention ron, who came out of nowhere to threaten my peace.

i am still shaking my head with some kind of disbelief that i won, but, there are the standings, proving i did.

what a year, capped by that amazing twins tigers game.

in closing, thanks for following us here. thx to mike and ron for forcing me to play my hardest. and, of course, thx to monsieur peter kreutzer who was our SWAT and who organized and managed the web site here.

see you all next year (and don’t forget to log into creativesports.com, the little site that grabbed two tout and two nfbc titles this year!)

it ain’t over till…

man, what a day i had yesterday.

i got back from a guitar lesson, in time to watch the athletics game while tracking the rangers, as i had saunders and feldman pitching. i knew that being tied with dean for wins, i needed to convert one to be able to hang onto a tie or finish first in tout.

as is my wont, i don’t run to the computer first thing when i get home. i try to exercise a little discipline and self control.

so, i made some lunch and i let jazzy and pavi out and opened the back door for them so they could either watch with me, or lie on the warm sun-baked bricks in the back yard as the afternoon passed.

when i did log in i was shocked to see that arod, jd drew, and jason kubel all already had two-homer games, and i was just two behind ron.

more amazingly, carl pavano took the ball with three days rest and had left with a lead and seven whiffs, giving me ostensibly a win sans feldman/saunders and putting me just seven whiffs behind sam with both my starters yet to pitch.

more amazingly, brad kilby, whom i picked up the sunday before to replace justin masterson, was starting for oakland making my whiff chore more attianable.

and, at 2:12, pm, yesterday, as michael cuddyer homered to tie me with ron, scott feldman logged a whiff that tied me with sam. those two achievements negated the need for my whip to stay lower than matt berry’s, and, well, one strikeout later i had the lead.

now, it is iffy. mike has already pointed out all the directions in which things can go right/wrong, depending upon.

but, i also know a serious pitching meltdown in a game like this is unlikely simply because a manager will not allow a game to get away like that.

still, yesterday john mcdonald homered, and if he can, so can nick punto.

either way, eight homers on the final day of the season with a 18 RBI, a pair of wins, and 17 whiffs is pretty sweet.

not to mention mewelde moore tossing a td pass for two of my teams: something as unexpected as 8 dingers.

like i said, what a day i had yesterday.

How I could still win Tout.

If you haven’t heard about Lawr’s epic power display yesterday you should. His team had 16 hits and 8 of them were dingers which got him an improbable half point from Ron in HR. He currently holds a you guessed it half point lead over me with the play in game tomorrow. By no means is this the only reason Lawr would win, this is a season long games and there have peaks and valleys for both of us that would take weeks to write about, but we are fascinated with last days and amazing or disgusting performances. I may be missing some scenarios but I had to stop and move on.

Couple of things could go both our ways. On the surface

Porcello getting rocked really helps me, I’m 0.02 back of a half point in ERA

Guerrier getting a win beyond huge, that would get me 0.5 back or for some reason Edwin Jackson with a weird vulture win.

Moyer not getting a steal from Cabrera or Harris. I lead him in steals by 1.

Lawr not getting a homer from Granderson, Cuddyer or Kubel. Granderson will probably lead off with a homer. Imagine this, if Punto homers for Ron and Lawr gets non from the players above we drop back into a tie in theory.

punto power

Nathan getting roughed up enough to drop Lawr in Whip.

A few of these combos gets it to a tie or maybe even a win. Possible……………Siano

5.5 points in 0 days? Problem.

Yesterday’s carefully-constructed, category-by-category analysis turned out to be completely moot. All categories that I thought were safe were undone by a massive offensive outburst on the season’s final day. Of course, the big bats belonged to Lawr (8 HRs? Really?) and all against my stud pitchers. I still got 2 wins and 20-something strikeouts but got caught in HRs, runs and stolen bases. Net = nothing.

We still have one game left, and with Lawr holding a half point lead over Mike… it ain’t over yet. For them, anyway. Stick a fork in me.

On a completely unrelated side note, I witnessed one of the most bush, unsportsmanlike moves – though completely within the rules – in one of my local leagues. AL-only contest and I wake up to find myself one point behind first place. Jumped in to see if I could grab a Twin or Tiger or two for the final game, but the first place team had already gone in and cleaned the pool. The eight remaining DET/MIN names of any value — all claimed by him. Unlimited daily free agent access — fastest mouse wins — is a bogus way to play.

5 points in 1 day? No problem.

I thought it might be interesting, for posterity’s sake, to document exactly where things stand on the final day of the season. It’s almost anyone’s title to take…

STANDINGS AS OF SUNDAY MORNING OCT. 4
Mike Siano, MLB.com: 92 points
Lawr Michaels, CREATiVESPORTS: 92 points
Ron Shandler, BaseballHQ.com: 87 points

Let’s review each category…

HOME RUNS
Seven HRs separate Mike from me and me from Lawr, and Mike and Lawr are about 10 away from the next team in the standings. Unless someone has a monster power day, this category is set. [NO MOVEMENT]

RBIs
Mike has a 32 RBI lead over Lawr, who is ahead of Jeff Erickson by another 25. I am one RBI behind Steve Moyer. [SHANDLER +1]

RUNS
Lawr has a 58 run lead over me and I am 9 ahead of Jeff. Mike would need 12 runs to catch Jason Grey. [NO MOVEMENT]

STOLEN BASES
Mike has a 1 SB lead over Steve; Lawr is tied with Jeff. I have a 1 SB lead over Jason Colette and two over Matthew Berry. [SIANO -1, MICHAELS +.5/-.5, SHANDLER -2]

BATTING AVERAGE
Nobody is moving anywhere here. [NO MOVEMENT]

ERA
Mike has a .01 lead over Sam Walker, but Mike’s starters are all done and Sam has John Danks going today. Lawr is not moving. I have a .05 lead over Jeff which should be safe unless my four starters blow up today (in which case my season would be over). [SIANO -1]

WHIP
Mike is safe. Lawr has a slight 1-2 point downside and has Scott Feldman and Joe Saunders pitching today. I have a slight 1-point upside. [MICHAELS -1, SHANDLER +1]

STRIKEOUTS and WINS
Here is where it gets interesting. Mike has a 2-K lead over Dean Peterson and is only 1-W behind Jason, but does not have any starts left. Lawr is 15 Ks behind me and tied with Dean in wins; a “W” from Feldman or Saunders nets him half a point.

I am 5 strikeouts away from gaining a point and 28 Ks away from gaining 3 pts. 4 wins gives me three more points. And this is what I have going today:

Justin Verlander is pitching for his team’s playoff spot. He has hurled two gems against the White Sox this year, both complete game victories, allowing only 1 run in each.

Felix Hernandez is pitching to help his Cy Young cause. He is 3-1 against the Rangers this year with a 2.31 ERA and 29 strikeouts.

Clay Buchholz needs to rebound from Tuesday’s poor outing to help his chances for a rotation spot next year. Before Tuesday, he had allowed only two runs in his prior four starts. This is the first time he is facing Cleveland, a team that has lost 4 in a row.

Wade Davis is likely playing to ensure a 2010 rotation spot as well, and has perhaps the toughest task against the Yankees. He’s never faced them, but the Bombers have lost three in a row and are coasting into the post-season.

The opposition could rest many regulars on the final day, except likely the White Sox. All four pitchers are at home.

Two weeks ago, this quartet got me 3 wins and 30 strikeouts. Last week, 3 wins and 20 strikeouts. Even if they just replicate the latter performance, I am back in the thick of this.

To recap:

TEAM TODAY UPSIDE DOWNSIDE
Mike 92.0 93.5 90.0
Lawr 92.0 93.0 90.5
Me 87.0 ~92.0 85.0

There’s little question about how I am going to be spending the day….