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Ah, the season is so young and one should just rest on their wonderful laurels and watch their teams statistics grow. That is, unless you own Mike Gonzalez and Brian Fuentes for your closers, and realize right off the bat if you don’t trade for saves you’ll be pulling a solid 1 or 2 in a category. Which will not win a league, by god. Which brings me to my first trade this season:

I trade Mike Cameron to Zegen for Brandon Morrow

If you remember, I have so many outfielders I couldn’t start Mike Cameron. I did manage to slot him into my line-up when he hit two homers (BONER!) but otherwise his starts have been wasted. I have all 5 outfield spots covered by sweet stats (besides YOU Maggs, hit a double or something!), and I still have Markakis as my UTIL. So yeah, you could say I was dealing from a strength.

So, bye bye Mikey C. and hello Brandon Morrow. Morrow is intriguing, a guy who went from closer to starter to closer this year, and the ride was bumpy. However, the day I made the trade, literally right after I clicked “Accept,” Jason Grey had this to say about Mr. Morrow’s future:

On Friday, we saw the power of a fully armed and operational Morrow, as he retired the Tigers on 12 pitches (11 of them strikes) to earn his third save. He legitimately hit 100 mph twice, and was 97 mph on the low end. The one ball was an 89 mph splitter that had sick break and dropped off the table, and Curtis Granderson just managed to hold up on it. This was the Morrow who posted a 1.47 ERA, a WHIP under 1 and 47 strikeouts in 36 2/3 innings as a reliever last season.

Um, could you say this destroyed any qualms I had with my acquisition? Yes. To be honest, I’d simply like a K/per inning with 22 saves and I’ll be happy. Cameron can be a beast for Zegen and that’s fine. Also, I’m not sure he’s planning on hitting .300 for the season. Just a guess.

Dropped Emmanuel Burriss

As much as this hurts, I don’t really need him currently. He was just moved back to eighth in the Giants lineup, and their are other options on waivers who have as much upside if not more. Plus he just can’t hit.

Activated Scott Baker

After stashing Scotty on my DL through his terrible starts, I feel confident that I will play him against the Rays. Much like I’m confident that he’ll probably get thrashed, but hell, what do I care? It’s just my precious ratios, right?

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Gregg Zaun, formerly Canadien, has been signed by the Baltimore Orioles.  He will earn 1.5 million dollars.  That’s a tidy sum.  He will start for the Orioles if they decide to hold back hype-inducing catcher Matt Wieters (recently named the number 1 prospect by Keith Law).

Implications:

1. Zaun is a pretty hilarious fantasy catcher. He’s actually the catcher-equivalent of Aubrey Huff, a player notorious for producing until you pick him up, at which point he hits .015 with 2 ribbies over two weeks. You drop him, someone else picks him up and starts producing again. Thus is the Aubrey Huff circle of life. Except with Zaun he’ll hit 5 home runs in 10 games, and then not hit any for the rest of the season. You don’t want him on your fantasy team.

2. It must be obnoxious to have every new report sum up this section of your career as “stop-gap.” Them’s the brakes. And because I can:

Zaun is a pawn in Mannys World

Zaun is a pawn in Manny's World

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From Underachiever to Underachiever

From Underachiever to Underachiever

Honestly, I wish the best for those folks in Washington. As Slanch pointed out, the Scott Olsen/Josh Willingham move was nice, and netted them some cheap, quasi-talented youth. I still believe they’ll grab Adam Dunn at a pretty good price and move him to first base somehow. People will complain. He will crush his traditional 40 homers, walk a ton, and provide the necessary stability a major league line-up needs at the clean-up spot.

And then, this, via Rotoworld:

Sources told MLB.com that the Nationals and Daniel Cabrera have come to terms on a one-year deal.

Quoting Cockcroft here: “Ick. Ugh. Dear Fucking God.”

I can’t really disagree with him here. Will Cabrera be any better than Odalis Perez? Yes. Ballpark factor isn’t really an issue, as the Nats moved out of spacious RFK stadium to a more hitter-friendly arena. Will the move to the National League help Cabrera’s numbers? Not if his WHIP can help it.

He will strike players out, but if he continues to over-throw the ball and  lose all semblance of control, he is as unreliable and erratic as Odalis. Too bad, as Cabrera’s always had huge potential.

Implications: The Nat’s starting five doesn’t look too pathetic anymore, with Cabrera, Lannon, Olsen, Bergmann and Balester available. Lots of potential, but can they deliver? I’d like to say yes, as it would make a great story. But my heart is nodding it’s tiny head no.

Which brings me to my last point: What happened to Shawn Hill?

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Every spring we get our draft boards ready and rub our hands together as if the friction represents how much we want to win/destroy our friend’s sporting livelihoods. At least I rub my hands together, and if I’m sporting a handlebar mustache, I may give it an evil twirl. I mean, what better to do when trying to figure out if Alex Gordon will be Alex Gordon or “The Royals Entire Future on One White Man’s Shoulders.” I choose the former. Some of my league-mates will disagree.

Here is my completely arbitrary list of future missteps my league-mates will make regarding talent next season. Enjoy!

1. Cockcroft- Remember that Alex Gordon fellow? I have a feeling he’ll end up on Cock’s team once again. He’s the epitome of Cockcroft’s drafting strategy, which involves grabbing the best guys on paper and looking great going into the season. The season begins, and Cockcroft is in the basement. He does find his way out eventually, but Alex Gordon has the high-upside that Cockcroft digs, especially after two lame-duck seasons which see his value dip to all-time low in the high teens/low twenties. That is, if he doesn’t completely fail next year.

2. Tristan- Carlos Delgado. Or Moises Alou. Or Fernando Tatis. You get the picture. Home team bias is the name of the game for Tristan, and it doesn’t matter if you’re old/broken, a scrubby Utility OF/IF, or if your name is fucking Billy Crystal. If you’re Billy Crystal, and you’re wearing a Mets uniform, Tristan will draft in the last two or three rounds, citing your potential to steal and score runs in the Met’s “potent” line up.

3. Shatraw- After this year’s “over-balanced team” debacle, Shatraw will draft pure power hitters and pitchers. Someone along the lines of Ryan Howard, Lance Berkman or Ryan Braun. Eric Byrnes is a thing of the past, a figment of his Traw-magination. He’ll end up getting short-changed on pitchers, though, drafting John Lackey in the 6th round as his ace. Mark my words.

4. Zegen- He will reach for Jeter in the fourth round. Again. This one is too easy. If not Jeter, then Cano. And when you try and pull a trade in the second half, Zegen will speak of Cano’s tendency to heat up Adam Laroche-style as the summer grows old. Jeter is nothing but the poster child for mediocre shortstop in real life/mediocre fantasy shortstop in fantasyland. Seriously. Jose Lopez is having a better season than Jeter. But he isn’t dating Jessica Biel, is he?

5. Shanks – Shanks loves his solid power guys, so I have him taking a 5th round shot at a drastically under-valued Travis Hafner. Either that or his usual solid Jack Cust pick that guarantees him a .200 BA and 25 homers in the 19th round.

6. Slanch – Dortiz. No matter what. Or Jason Bay. Although quite the deluded Red Sox fan, he will not bite on your Varitek garbage. He’ll probably end up taking Dustin Pedroia in a second round reach, to be honest. Gotta love that slap-happy swing.

7. Eick – Ryan Zimmerman, early third round. As you can see, a decent amount of owners in our league are geographically biased. Eick in DC, Shanks outside of Oakland, Tristan in NYC, Menaker…you get the picture. Eick loves this guys upside, injury problems or not. At this price, it would be a bargain, as long as he doesn’t get the dreaded Shawn Hill-disease (wherein your body is always hurt in relation to your team being awful and giving a roster spot to Belliard).

8. Dubie – Here are Dubie’s first 5 picks if everything falls the right way. J. Santana, J. Peavy, D. Haren, Manny Ramirez, Aaron Harang. Dubie loves pitching. Loves it. His penchant for hoarding endgame closers (Brian Wilson among others) is notorious. So I’d also conservatively say he grabs Joel Zumaya in the 20th round.

9. Lucas – Easy. Unless I get him, Carlos Lee in the beginning of the second round. If not, I guarantee a second round Justin Morneau. I just have a feeling, you’ll have to go with me on this one.

10. Mattraw – Having been spurned by a J Roll, Matt will avoid pricey middle infielders and opt for pricey OF’s instead. I see him grabbing Carlos Beltran in the second round. First round he could go with a risky Johan Santana grab, but perhaps this year’s humbling experience in the basement will see him take less chances. On the other hand, I see him reaching at least 4 rounds to get Matt Kemp at any cost.

11. Dibbes – He’ll go home run crazy due to this season’s crippling bomber drought. I see a 2nd round Texeira and a 7th round Jermaine Dye in his future…

12. Me – I will once again reach for the stars…and end up grabbing Andre Ethier about 5 rounds too early. Love him for next year if Torre can get all of the Juan Pierre slapped out him. Meanwhile, I’ll probably make a run at Kevin Slowey and get burned when he turns into Glen Perkins.

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Over this very short season, the DL has been lit up like a loose joint smoked by Scott Spiezio as he drives his pick-up truck backwards on the highway.

I drafted two guys (Gallardo, Owens) who were on the DL when the season began. And then my ace pitcher (Bedard) hit it. And then my scrubby closer (Borowski) hit it. And then my waiver closer Pete Moylan hit it. I think on one day I lost Bedard and the two closers, so yeah, I know what pain is.

Meanwhile, Eick’s pitching staff is literally BEGGING to hit the DL. Just last night, Ben Sheets remembered who he was and promptly left the game early with triceps soreness. I watched the game, and while he blanked the shit out of the Reds, he didn’t look like his overpowering self. I see the DL in his future…

Future guys on Eick’s staff destined for disability: AJ Burnett, Randy Johnson, Kerry Wood, and Brett Myers. You may think Myers is a weird pick, but try and tell me converting a starter to a closer BACK to a starter isn’t going to have a negative effect on a guy’s mentality and mechanics. Something will go wrong there. Not saying Eick doesn’t have some back ups, namely James Shields and Gil Meche, but sorry Eick, your goose is cooked. When your offense is comprised of DL stalwarts Troy Glaus, Gary Sheffield, Nick Johnson, Jeremy Hermida, and Joe Crede you have nothing to lean on.

Alfonso Soriano, Howie Kendrick, Jimmy Rollins and J.J. Putz have all been hit by the DL bus, so I’m not the only one missing key elements this early on.

I can’t wait to get my #1 and #3 starters back. I’m not sure how long Lincecum and Cueto can keep my pitching stats respectable…

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