Thursday, May 7, 2009


Can any of us who follow baseball be surprised that outfielder extraodinaire Manny Ramirez of the LA Dodgers is serving a 50-game suspension for taking performance-enhancing drugs?
He's always lived in his own private Idaho with his own set of rules and own way of doing things.
Average baseball fans probably just shrugged their shoulders when they heard the news of Ramirez's suspension. But if you're in fantasy baseball money leagues like me, and you have Manny on your roster, it's a bummer. You're taking a huge hit in production with average, runs scored, RBIs and homers until he returns on July 3.
The question is, who is out there to take his place? Who's on your waiver wire that could be available now who can contribute almost as much production?
I have Ramirez in three leagues and on Thursday I made some decent pickups of the waiver wire. There are some really decent outfielders out there.

In one league, I replaced Ramirez with Chris Duncan of St. Louis. In Yahoo, ESPN and leagues he is only on 15-25 percent of the teams and has 11 runs scored, three homers, 18 RBIs and a .284 batting average.

One of the hottest outfielders available in many leagues is Minnesota's Jason Kubel. Last week he hit .375 and in the last 16 games he is hitting .375. For the season he has 14 runs scored, four homers, 16 RBIs and a season average of.315. He is only on 30-40 percent of the leagues on the aforementioned Web sites.

Another outfielder under theradar has been Luke Scott of Baltimore who is only in 7-20 percent of the leagues in Yahoo, ESPN and Last week he hit .356 and is hitting .280 for the season with 11 runs scored, five homers and 15 RBIs.

Another outfielder to consider is Dan Murphy of the Mets. He is in only 13-25 percent of the leagues on the three Web sites and has 17 runs scored, threehomers, 11 RBIs, a stolen base and a .314 batting average.

Also available in many leagues is Jack Cust of Oakland. He is batting .299 with 17 runs scored, three homers, 10 RBIs and a stolen base. He is only in 10-20 percent of leagues on those Web sites.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


When quarterback Brett Favre retired from the New York Jets, despite his valid reason of having an arm injury, I don't think anyone believed he was absolutely 100 percent retired. From a fantasy football perspective, I'd still pick the guy up at the very least as a viable backup.
I didn't believe he would really retire...and here we are with Favre apparently about to meet with the Minnesota Vikings in an effort to go to the team that was No. 1 on his list of teams to play for last season.
The sports media examines this move incessantly by speculating on whether he is healthy enough to play, how the Jets front office feels about the chance Favre will play again, whether Green Bay Packers fans will still revere the man that led their team for nearly 20 years, and whether he will indeed play for Minnesota.
But I don't see anyone reporting on what could be a huge blunder by the Jets, especially if Favre's arm is healthy enough to play another season.
Why would you release a seasoned and accomplished quarterback like Favre, the epitome of a prototypical QB, when you drafted your quarterback of the future in Mark Sanchez? What better way to groom a potential QB star than under the tutelage of Favre?
Sanchez isn't a Dan Marino, at least not yet, and he's not going to lead the Jets to the Super Bowl as a rookie.
But a smart move by the Jets would have been to talk Favre into staying for one more season, as a starting QB if his arm allowed it and as a mentor for Sanchez.
Even if Favre only gave you 10-12 solid games like he did last season, if Favre faltered in December, then you put your future franchise QB out there and have Sanchez get his live game experience to close the season. By December, if need be, Sanchez would likely be better prepared to take over as the Jets starter.
And if Favre gives you another 8-3 record through 11 games, maybe this time the Jets get to the playoffs, either with a healthy Favre or maybe with a more prepared Sanchez.
Sure, the Jets would have had to pay Favre a bundle to stay and is likely at least one reason, in addition to the injury, they never even asked him to stay. And even if they talked to him, Favre might have still pursued his "retirement" with the ultimate goal of going to Minnesota.
But imagine what Sanchez could have learned, the shortcuts to success he could have absorbed, by picking the brain of Brett Favre, one of the best quarterbacks who ever played the game.
I'm not really sold on Sanchez and maybe he'll be another great QB someday. But the growing pains would have been less painful if Favre was still on board.