I figured it’s time to bring it over to the blog: The Mapes Fantasy Special. It’s for fantasy baseball players in daily leagues that are looking for a starting pitcher to pick up that is widely available. The standard for me is the pitcher must be available in at least 50% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues. It all started with Orioles “ace” Jason Hammel (49% owned) picking up a quality start against the Twins with 6 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, and getting a win. Nothing too great, but you’ll take the WHIP and a win any day.
And then good things started to happen.
— Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes) April 3, 2013
Milone’s line: 7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, Win
He settled down after giving up two early runs and was great. I love Milone and a lot of the Athletics when they pitch at home.
— Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes) April 4, 2013
Guthrie’s line: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, Win
This was my pick of the week; he was available in 99% of leagues! Guthrie has since been bumped up to 13% owned in Yahoo! leagues, but his dominance over the White Sox continues. He’s going to be a future pick I’m sure, especially when facing Chicago.
— Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes) April 5, 2013
Straily’s line: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 11 K, Win
I like Straily and his make-up. It’s why he was my American League Rookie of the Year pick. He sadly got sent down to the minors after this start due to Oakland’s current six-man rotation, but man, was he fantastic blowing away Astros hitters. I’m in the court of starting any pretty good pitcher against Houston this year.
— Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes) April 5, 2013
Colon’s line: 6 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, Win
Do I feel bad picking on Astros again? Yep. Do I feel good picking a 97% available pitcher for a win and quality start? Yep.
This is where I started realizing things are going quite well, but there weren’t a lot of options for Sunday and went with a guy who was facing off against the American League Cy Young winner.
— Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes) April 7, 2013
Masterson’s line: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 8 K, Win
Sometimes the Rays offense is non-existent and Sunday was one of those days. Masterson was the best pitching surprise of week one, going 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA and 13 K in 13 IP. Even more impressive, he picked up wins while squaring off against each of last year’s Cy Young winners.
For Monday, I’m going with a pitcher I feel won’t be under the 50% threshold for much longer in Paul Maholm. The Marlins offense is pretty weak and Marlins Park is a pitcher’s park.
— Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes) April 7, 2013
The final lines on Mapes Fantasy Special for the week. 38.2 IP, 27 H, 11 ER, 6 BB, 36 K, 6-0 W-L, 6 Quality starts, with 2.56 ERA, 0.85 WHIP. Not bad at all for guys available in at least half of leagues. Hopefully I can keep it going for all of 2013.
Follow me on Twitter for a daily Mapes Fantasy Special to (hopefully) help out your teams!
Every baseball fan knows that Alex Rodirguez admitted to using PED’s from 2001-2003, but of any player that had a chance for redemption it was A-Rod. He was the MVP. He was the youngest player to reach 500 home runs. He was the player who many would define as the “perfect” player. Rodriguez was going to be the one that would make a run at 700 home runs and even go for the all-time home run record. Would breaking that record be enough for him to un-tarnish his name? That’s what the fans wondered. They will wonder no more.
Rodriguez among with many other big name players, including Nelson Cruz, Melky Cabrera, and Gio Gonzalez, were all linked to Miami doctor Anthony Bosch. Bosch’s records were released by the Miami New Times on Tuesday showing that Bosch had provided players with PED’s including HGH. With this news, it’s hard to believe in the adage of “innocent until proven guilty”, not in the age of Lance Armstrong denying use for years and finally coming clean. It’s especially damning to Rodriguez who may have continued using or at least bought PED’s since his admission in 2009.
With this news, it’s clear to me that Alex Rodriguez will never be a Hall of Famer. He can finish his career with 700+ home runs, win two more World Series rings, even take home another MVP, but he won’t be enshrined in Cooperstown. We have a Hall of Fame player that was busted for PED’s in his career in Rafael Palmeiro that is barely hanging on to the ballot. Sluggers like Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa with A-Rodesque power numbers that can’t even sniff the 75% needed to get enshrinement. Even if Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens break down the suspected steroid user wall and get plaques in Cooperstown, it’s not going to be enough for Rodriguez.
When it comes to PED’s and Cooperstown it’s not three strikes and you’re out. For Alex Rodriguez, two strikes is more than enough. The real problem lies in the $325 million that A-Rod has already made in career, with another $104 million on the way.
-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)
It’s that time of year again. That time when you realize your resolution to lose 30 pounds failed – in fact, we gained 30, didn’t we? When your declaration that your vampire novel would finally be finished and sent to the publisher, never got off the shelf.
Or that your dream of visiting Tahiti ended up being a shady motel for a weekend in Oakland on business.
Now that we’ve set a bleak mood, here’s the point: It’s New Years resolution time. We will all be making them, whether it’s private or public. And likewise, our favorite MLB teams must have one resolution they are aiming to accomplish in 2013.
Since we survived the apocalypse for now, here are Three Up, Three Down’s resolutions for every MLB team:
Texas Rangers – Make a new friend – The Rangers either shopped in the wrong place or got screwed over for every player on their Christmas wish list. It’s not too late to snag Justin Upton from the D’Backs, though it gets less likely with each passing day. Texas should be going after the powerful right fielder hard in January.
Los Angeles Angels – Make a little money – Hear me out. Everyone knows that Arte Moreno and his Angels are filthy rich, but do they really have enough left over to re-work the decimated starting rotation? Trading for Jason Vargas was a nice touch, but will Vargas, Joe Blanton and Tommy Hanson really replace Zack Greinke, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana?
Oakland A’s – Move to a better ‘hood – Lew Wolff is fooling nobody. Because everyone and their mother knows that o.Co Coliseum is not a viable venue for a professional baseball team. Wolff claims he wants at least another half-decade in Oakland, but I’m calling his bluff. Their resolution should be to get OUT, and fast.
Seattle Mariners – Bulk up – No, not on the Bartolo Colon diet. The M’s took a good first step toward that workout regimen by trading for Kendrys Morales. But just because that punch-less offense now benches the bar doesn’t mean opponents will quiver with fear. The M’s need to go out and get some more power to legitimize those playoff hopes.
Houston Astros – Graduate – It’s no secret that the ‘Stros are a big work in progress. Moving to what was last year’s best division in baseball isn’t going to help things. While the other four teams in the division are – at the very least – grown men, Houston is struggling to graduate from a student to a serious businessman. Can they take that step in 2013?
Detroit Tigers – Learn to close – Take this as you may. There are thousands of frat boys in America resolving to improve in the same fashion next year. But I meant it as a nod to the Tigers getting handled in a sweep in the World Series in 2012. Adding Torii Hunter and bringing back Anibal Sanchez were big steps, but 2013 will be a failure without redemption.
Kansas City Royals – Become a “cool kid” – Oh, don’t pretend like you weren’t aspiring to be one your whole academic life. The Royals got some nice clothes and a haircut over the winter vacation, and are looking to butt their way into the “in” crowd. In baseball speak, that means they are aiming to be the new playoff darlings after adding much-needed pitching.
Cleveland Indians – Get along with Dad – The relationship wasn’t that bad before, but the Indians sure would like to impress new skipper Terry Francona in 2013. Cleveland is loaded with untapped potential, and they are hoping to play well for a full season to show their manager and fans that they are serious about this job.
Chicago White Sox – Prove everyone wrong – Wait, didn’t they do that last year? Sure, but people like me are still unconvinced. Their numbers were unexpectedly good, but that just makes the boss curious. Can they repeat? Do they actually deserve the promotion? The Chisox sure would like to move on up, but they will have a tough road.
Minnesota Twins – Get back on their feet – Plenty of people have to resolve to do this every year. Whether it be an economic downturn, family problem, or injury, some years are just destined to be awful. The Twins know they won’t contend in 2013, but they can start the grueling process of getting back to a stable place.
New York Yankees – Forgiveness – They better learn how, because former public enemy number one, Kevin Youkilis, will be manning third base for the Yanks in 2013. What this really means, is that if Youk bounces back and has a good year, the Yanks will forget all about their problems, and likely return to the postseason.
Boston Red Sox – Get cleaned up – This kind of resolution is usually reserved for a junkie of some kind, but it’ll fit nicely with the BoSox here. Boston got so far off track last season that they traded away millions of dollars in bad contracts for below-average prospects. Once they finish cutting out the rot, the Sox might contend again, even in this division.
Toronto Blue Jays – Build an empire – Such a wish is much more foreboding when applied to business in the real world, but opponents of the Jays should really be terrified of the changes this team has made. Their one and only goal with so many major acquisitions must be to not only make the playoffs, but to dominate everyone on the way.
Tampa Bay Rays – Try something crazy – I want to go skydiving, or hike a volcano, or start a band. The Rays, however, should do a whole different kind of crazy. Start Wil Myers in the big leagues, and see if it takes off. The kid is ready, and the lineup needs a boost. Anything remotely good from Myers may mean a playoff berth for Tampa.
Baltimore Orioles – Update the security system – In this day and age, you can’t be too careful with home security. I’m not talking a drawbridge and moat, but we’ve learned that the best teams are thriving because of good pitching staffs, to protect any other weaknesses they may have. Baltimore NEEDS a couple starting pitchers.
Los Angeles Dodgers – Give to charity – I swear, this isn’t even a “rich ownership” joke. Okay, it kind of is. But with all the money this team has shelled out over the past ten or so months, why isn’t their most deserving commodity seeing any of it? They keep talking about an extension for Clayton Kershaw, but show the fans you mean business!
San Francisco Giants – Share with friends – Not the World Series title itself, although this Dodgers fan would appreciate them passing that honor along next season. I’m talking about the Giants sharing with their San Francisco cohort, the 49ers. As the new year starts, the 49ers will be in contention for a title of their own, and any advice would be great.
Arizona Diamondbacks – Cut ties with a family member – Sometimes it’s just necessary. You hate to see anyone secede from the clan, but signing free agent outfielder Cody Ross makes it inevitable. Will it be Upton? Adam Eaton, Jason Kubel or Gerardo Parra? One will need to go, and it’s only a matter of time before they get dumped.
Colorado Rockies – Get health insurance – I know, I know. It’s not affordable in this country anymore. That’s one thing I won’t argue! But you have to think, given the regularity of major injuries to Colorado’s best players (Michael Cuddyer, Troy Tulowitzki, etc.) they would find any way to keep everyone off the DL.
San Diego Padres – Earn a promotion – Any opponents who take the Padres lightly in 2013 are foolish. With Chase Headley, Alexi Amarista and Yonder Alonso backing an underrated pitching staff, San Diego could be the A’s of 2013. They will have to fight and scrap their way to get there, though.
Cincinnati Reds – Follow through – This is a tough one for any given person to accomplish. We make all sorts of promises to ourselves that oftentimes go unfinished. The Reds have made a silent pact to be even better than they were last year, and finally achieve what they’ve been on the brink of for years now. They might be the team to beat in the NL next year.
St. Louis Cardinals – Rekindle the flame – In a non-romantic way, of course. One of the reasons the Cardinals were able to shock fans everywhere and make that insane title run in 2011 was the clutch gene. They weren’t missing it last year, but everything was just too inconsistent in St. Louis. If they rediscover their balance and passion, watch out everyone else.
Milwaukee Brewers – Be a good parent – Confused? Good. The Brewers almost clawed their way all the way back into a Wild Card slot in 2012 after a dismal, bullpen-failure-laden start to the year. With a loaded lineup and above average pitching staff, this should not happen again. So their resolution is to help tutor young shortstop Jean Segura into a star.
Pittsburgh Pirates – Improve their grades – The Pirates were so close to being eligible last year. Not for the playoffs, or any nonsense like that. But to finally getting over the hump. Pittsburgh needs a 2.0 to be eligible – in this case, they need 81 wins – to be taken seriously. Will they reach the .500 mark? A slight improvement in 2013 will do it!
Chicago Cubs – Change their image – There really is no changing an entire image built around loss and devastation, as Cubs fans have known all too well for over a century. But even a slight uptick in wins and a breakout season from one of their young stars (Brett Jackson, maybe?) will at least give people hope that they can change.
Washington Nationals – Make up – Adam LaRoche needs to be back in D.C. for 2013. All he wants is one extra year on a contract he has more than earned. Without a doubt, he was the most consistent hitter on the best team in the league in 2012, and should get paid as such. My New Years advice to the Nats is to make up with him. Sign the guy for three years.
Atlanta Braves – Learn acceptance – I remember being taught in psychology that the standard grieving process goes Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Braves fans and any good fan anywhere are surely coming out of the Depression stage right now (I know I am) and trying to transition into Acceptance at the fact that Chipper Jones has retired.
Philadelphia Phillies – Become more patient – This is easier said than done for anyone, but it’s especially pertinent in Philadelphia. From an outsider’s perspective, I thought Philadelphia was caving into a sinkhole given the fans general reaction to last season’s debacle. Patience, Phillie fanatics. Your team is still very, very good. They are close, too.
New York Mets – Have more fun – I presume life as a Mets fan hasn’t been very enjoyable for the past three seasons – well, at least after the All-Star break. But they re-signed poster boy David Wright and gained some really solid prospects in the R.A. Dickey trade. Everything is headed in the right direction, Mets fans. Just calm down and have a little fun with it.
Miami Marlins – Make amends with people – Strange, you say? Au contraire! The smaller fan base that follows the Marlins are no doubt let down by the shocking fire sale that took place this winter. No more executive-speak, front office. Give it to the fans, and your best remaining player Giancarlo Stanton, straight. What is the plan? Honesty will take you far.
– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)
We briefly brought up this topic on our most recent podcast: Should the A’s and Giants as teams be punished further for their PED-suspended players?
Everyone knows the names. Melky Cabrera for San Francisco and Bartolo Colon for Oakland, both major contributors to their respective teams’ success in 2012, were suspended for 50 games apiece by Major League Baseball for testing positive for testosterone.
And under the improved, more stringent suspension rules, they got a fair punishment. Both players will lose a lot of money in that span, don’t get to play in playoff races, and likely will receive a lot less interest as free agents. And even though the teams probably had no idea what was going on, should they be punished too?
Before you jump on me for being “biased” as a Dodgers fan, let me remind you that I’m also an A’s fan. I hate that PED’s are still a part of the game, and am not clamoring for an excuse as to why my Dodgers trail the Giants. The Giants have simply been better, and I’d rather beat them with Melky in the lineup if that was at all possible.
Now, back to the question. I truly believe that players would never screw around with serious PED’s if they knew it would take away wins from the group of guys that become like brothers to them over the course of a 162-game season. Do you think Cabrera would have screwed over his manager and buddies on the Giants for personal gain if he knew the team as a whole would be docked?
Would Colon have cheated if he knew that his rotation-mates and all the passionate fans in Oakland would lose in the win column? I doubt it.
I researched Cabrera’s WAR before the suspension for the 2012 season. It hovers around 4.5, depending on the source. You can reasonably assert that Cabrera was worth 4-5 wins for the Giants before his suspension this season. Colon is a trickier case because he’s a pitcher, but his WAR is listed as 2.8. I feel fine going out on a limb and saying a starting pitcher’s WAR can be doubled, considering they have a hand in every play.
So let’s say Cabrera was worth 5 wins for the Giants this year, and Colon was worth 6 for the A’s.
That would put the A’s in third place in the AL West, way back in the Wild Card race, and scrambling to make a comeback much like their division rival Angels are. It would put the Giants either tied or 1 game back in the NL West, and still on the verge of a Wild Card spot.
Personally, I think it’s worth discussing. Sure, the teams didn’t know what was going on. But they still benefited from the testosterone-fueled success that player may have brought to the team before the suspension kicked in. It may be difficult to figure out a system, but even having that provision in the doping rules would potentially reduce use by a good margin.
Do you think this is something MLB should take into consideration? Should a suspended player’s team also be punished for the wins they accumulated with that player on the roster? VOTE below, and let us know your opinion in the comments!
– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)
Well, it seems we know where the PED’s all come from. Much like babies come from storks, presents on Christmas come from the North Pole, and penguins come from Antarctica, all performance enhancing drugs taken by baseball players clearly originate in the San Francisco Bay Area.
I do live here. I am NOT on PED’s. I swear. Test me.
But after Melky Cabrera became the second San Francisco Giant to be suspended for use of an illegal substance, the fun was just beginning. Apparently, the Oakland A’s “fluffy” (for lack of a kinder term) starting pitcher Bartolo Colon wasn’t all beefed up on In-N-Out alone.
He was also suspended earlier this week for use of testosterone, and much like Cabrera, straight up admitted guilt without appealing.
I don’t get it. At least try to fight the suspension. DON’T try to make a fake website. But as Colon and Cabrera have so aptly demonstrated, abandoning your teammates, management and fans is the new thing to do these days.
I won’t go into the detail of why taking PED’s is stupid and wrong and unfair, or how it affects the MLB policies and all that jazz that I mentioned in the Melky blog.
But, I’ll tell you how this affects the A’s: not as much as you might think.
If you haven’t noticed (you haven’t – nobody outside Northern California follows the A’s!), the young pitching staff of the A’s has been absolutely rocking it. And just when the rookies like Tommy Milone and Jarrod Parker are beginning to experience growing pains, back come Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson to improve the rotation.
Losing Colon hurts. He’s been the team’s most consistent pitcher in 2012 (alas, it was all a dream!). But the two guys they are getting back off the DL are both better than Colon, meaning the A’s may have actually improved their rotation. Imagine that.
So will Colon’s suspension knock the A’s out of playoff contention? Tell us below in the comments!
– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)