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MLB: Yankees GM balked at hiring trainer in Clemens case

(Reuters) – The New York Yankees’ general manager testified at ex-pitching ace Roger Clemens perjury trial on Thursday that he opposed hiring the trainer who later alleged he injected Clemens with performance-enhancing drugs.

General Manager Brian Cashman said a “frustrated” Clemens, his injured right leg iced up, asked that the Yankees sign trainer Brian McNamee after he had bombed out of a 1999 American League playoff game.

Outlining McNamee’s seesaw career with the Yankees, Cashman said the team’s late owner George Steinbrenner agreed to the star pitcher’s request. McNamee was taken on as an assistant strength coach in 2000 to work with Clemens, who agreed to pay his $30,000-a-season salary.

“I didn’t think we had the need to hire Brian McNamee,” Cashman said in U.S. District Court.

McNamee, who is central to charges that Clemens lied to Congress about using performance-enhancing drugs, had worked for Yankees in the early 1990s as a bullpen catcher and pitcher. He then went to the Toronto Blue Jays as strength coach, where he met Clemens.

Moving up from warmup catcher with the Yankees “was a pretty big leap,” Cashman said, but Clemens “clicked with Brian McNamee.”

McNamee has alleged he injected Clemens with anabolic steroids in 1998, 2000 and 2001 and human growth hormone in 2001. Clemens’ lawyers have labeled McNamee a liar.

Clemens is being tried for a second time on federal charges of lying to the House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in 2008 about whether he used performance-enhancing drugs. His first trial ended in a mistrial last year.

Clemens, a record seven-time winner of the Cy Young Award, baseball’s highest annual honor for a pitcher, is among the game’s biggest names linked to alleged drug use.


Cashman said Clemens made his locker room plea to hire McNamee while the third game of the 1999 American League play-offs between the Yankees and Boston Red Sox was still going on at Fenway Park.

Clemens had started for the Yankees but left in the third inning after giving up six runs and injuring his right hamstring.

“He was frustrated. He thought he had let the team down, he thought he had let himself down,” Cashman said.

The Yankees won the American League pennant and went on to beat the Atlanta Braves in the 1999 World Series, with Clemens winning the final game.

McNamee was released by the Yankees in late 2001 after complaints of insubordination and that he was “bleeding into everybody else’s responsibilities,” Cashman said.

He was let go after police investigating a Florida rape case said the trainer had lied to them. McNamee was never charged in the case.

The Florida case in October 2001 came just days before Cashman was called away from his dinner to McNamee’s Seattle hotel room following a barroom incident involving the trainer, the general manager said. He did not detail the incident.

After leaving the Yankees, McNamee continued as personal trainer to Clemens and Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte, who has admitted injecting human growth hormone.

Cashman called Clemens “the greatest” and praised his dedication, work ethic and ability to lead a team by example.

“Could you use a 50-year-old ballplayer who can still throw 90 miles an hour?” defense attorney Rusty Hardin asked.

“Maybe,” Cashman replied.

The trial recessed until Monday, when McNamee is expected to take the stand.

(Reporting By Ian Simpson; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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Josh Beckett In Golf-Gate: Like Chicken-and-Beer-Gate, But With Less Calories

Seeing that deep, high loft makes Beckett want to golf

It’s been a tough year to be a Boston Red Sox fan. Last August, the team looked like a lock to make the postseason, but staged a historical collapse in September that saw them bounced out of the wild card on the last day of the season. Then there were reports that some starting pitchers were drinking beer and eating fried chicken in the clubhouse on their days off and suddenly the collapse all made sense to Sawx nation. It wasn’t about the aging Red Sox lineup or inflated expectations from the fans…it was about beer and chicken and how the team had lost their “grittiness” by the team allowing for the general “grittitude” to wane. Heads were called for and general sweeping out happened that jettisoned manager Terry Francona and saw GM Theo Epstein leave for Chicago. Surely that fixed everything!

Turns out, not so much. The average age of the roster is still hovering around “ancient,” and the Sawx have stumbled out of the gate this season and currently sit 12-19, five games back of the New York Yankees…who sit in fourth place of the AL East. They are just 2-8 over their last 10 games, including currently riding a three game losing streak. The hitting has been good, with the team in the top-5 of runs scored, batting average, and slugging percentage while also being in the top-10 for on-base percentage. Their pitching on the other hand….not so much.

The team is currently in the bottom five of baseball in team earned run average, quality starts, walks and hits per inning pitched, and batting average against. Possibly their biggest disappointment in the pitching staff has been Josh Beckett, their supposed ace. The 31-year old righty, who was one of the culprits in last season’s “Chicken-and-Beer-Gate,” has been struggling with injuries this season and has posted a very pedestrian 2-4 record with an ERA hovering around six. He was skipped over in the rotation prior to his last start due to a sore lat muscle and came back to get chased in the third inning by the Cleveland Indians after giving up seven runs on seven hits. Even better, though, is the fact that Beckett apparently spent an off day playing golf just one day after being scratched from his scheduled start. Red Sox fans obviously responded by booing and jeering their own team and demanding that Beckett explain his lack of solemn rehabilitation so he could come back and humbly serve Sawx Nation by striking out a dozen. Beckett’s reply: “Mmmm, nopes,”:

“I spend my off days the way I want to spend them,” he said. “My off day is my off day. We get 18 days off a year. I think we deserve a little bit of time to ourselves.”

Oh Josh….nooooo. If there’s one thing Boston fans can forgive, it’s an act of sabotage flavored with beer and chicken, as long as you say you’re sorry (no matter how much you don’t really mean it). What they can’t forgive is you telling them to mind their own business. They have lines that you just don’t cross.

This latest PR snafu on Beckett’s part could be another sign that he may be on his way out of Boston. While he endeared himself with his gutsy and dominating performances when he first arrived in Fenway, the injuries have cost him a lot of his effectiveness, which has made everyone look more closely at the way he spends his free time, which is obviously harshing Beckett’s mellow. Beckett obviously is not as gung-ho about bringing Boston out of the cellar single-handedly with nothing but grit as Sawx fans, so this relationship is probably only going to get more tense…but if he takes up Guitar Hero, Sawx fans are going to burn Fenway to the ground.

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Fantasy Feast Closer Report – 5/12/12

By Brandon Berg
Hector Santiago is out as the closer for the White Sox. Chris Sale is being moved back to the ‘pen to help keep his elbow healthy. Sale is a moot point fantasy-wise, the only way you could get him is by trading for him, but I don’t advise that. Drop Santiago.
Andrew Cashner gave up three earned in .2 innings last night, but should still be the Padres’ closer while Huston Street is out. I wouldn’t bother with Cashner in standard leagues, given that he plays for
the Padres and isn’t a solid option, but in deeper leagues, he’s worth a look for the short term if you’re desperate.
With Kyle Farnsworth moved to the 60 day DL, he won’t be eligible to return until June 5 th. Fernando Rodney is pitching lights out and I’m not sure he’ll have to relinquish his closer role when Farnsworth returns. Obviously hold on to Rodney over the next month and we’ll revisit him when Farnsworth starts throwing again.
David Robertson has pitched exceptionally well over the past couple years and appears to be in line to split save opportunities with Rafael Soriano. Many believe Robertson will run away with the job, which could happen, but I’m having a hard time believing that the Yankees are going to keep Soriano in more of a setup role after they handed him a 3 year, 35 million dollar deal last year. Honestly, take your pick and hope for the best if you’re in a deep league, but neither should really be owned until we figure out who has the upper hand.
Keep Scott Downs on your roster for now, but with LaTroy Hawkins getting placed on the DL and Walden pitching a scoreless eighth inning a couple nights ago, his job is far from secure. If Walden can string together some decent innings, he should regain the closer role before too long.
Grant Balfour is starting to play well again and should stave off Brian Fuentes for the closer duties in Oakland. Hang onto him.
I suppose you could say Rafael Dolis is the closer for the Chicago Cubs, but there really is no sure guy to get the chances on any given night. Don’t bother with Dolis… yet.
With Heath Bell demoted to a non-closer role, Edward Mujica got the save chances for the Marlins the last couple times, but Steve Cishek should see the opportunities from here on out. Go ahead and give
him a look.
Check out the Fantasy Feast at 11:30 Eastern.


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Fantasy baseball 2012: Hot and Cold players

Over a month into the season now, some players are working their way out of preseason slumps, while others are still struggling to find their swings.  Here are the hottest and coldest baseball players of May.

All of these stats are for the last week of games played.

Depending on which category you need help in, there are different players to suit your needs.



MIAMI, FL – APRIL 29: Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the Miami Marlins hits a home run in the ninth inning during a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Marlins Park on April 29, 2012 in Miami, Florida. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

1. Giancarlo Stanton – 5

2. Adam Dunn – 4

3. Carlos Beltran – 3

3. Carlos Gonzalez – 3

3. J.J. Hardy – 3

3. Chris Johnson – 3

3. Bryan LaHair – 3

3. Will Middlebrooks – 3

3. Hunter Pence – 3

3. Wilin Rosario – 3

3. Kyle Seager – 3

Mike Giancarlo Stanton has finally found his power stroke as he has cracked 5 HR’s in the last week, one of the hottest waiver wire pickups right now is Bryan LaHair who is absolutely tearing the cover off the ball for the Cubs.  Will Middlebrooks is doing his best to make an impression on the Red Sox as he smacked 3 HR’s in 2 days at Fenway, and Kyle Seager is showing everyone the early season success wasn’t a fluke and he is here to stay for the Mariners.

Stolen Base Leaders

ATLANTA – APRIL 15, 2012 – Michael Bourn pulls in with a double(Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

1.  Emilio Bonifacio – 5

2. Michael Bourn – 4

2. Jose Reyes – 4

3. Alejandro De Aza – 3

3. Rafael Furcal – 3

3. Cameron Maybin – 3

3. Angel Pagan – 3

3. Jordan Schafer – 3

I was dubbing this the year of the stolen base, and so far there are plenty of young speedsters running wild on the base paths.  Most notable is Emilio Bonifiacio who is showing no signs of slowing down, and could eclipse 75 SB’s this year.  Rafael Furcal is nearly old enough for social security, but that isn’t stopping him from running for the surprising Cards, and if he can stay healthy he looks like the steal of the draft thus far.  Jordan Schafer is doing his best to stay fantasy relevant as his only HR came off Jamie Moyer, but with guys like Jose Altuve and J.D. Martinez hitting behind him, he will score plenty of runs and steal you some bases.

RBI Leaders

HOUSTON, TX – MAY 02: Chris Johnson #23 of the Houston Astros gets a high five from Dave Clark #35 of the Houston Astros after hitting a three run home run against the New York Mets in the second inning on May 2, 2012 at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

1. Chris Johnson – 10

1. Kyle Seager - 10

2. Carlos Beltran – 9

2. Allen Craig – 9

2. Chipper Jones – 9

2. Will Middlebrooks – 9

2. Carlos Ruiz – 9

3. Freddie Freeman – 8

3. Carlos Gonzalez – 8

3. Brian McCann – 8

3. Hunter Pence – 8

3. Hanley Ramirez – 8

3. Giancarlo Stanton – 8

No surprise here that most of the HR leaders are also RBI leaders as guys like Will Middlebrooks and Giancarlo Stanton are doing their damage with men on base.  Freddie Freeman has continued his assault on the baseball, I thought he was 2 years away from elite status, but he is trying to get there now.  Hanley Ramirez still isn’t hitting for a high average, but he is doing well in the power and RBI departments, and now that he qualifies at third base and SS, his value has gone up.

High Average Leaders

ATLANTA, GA – SEPTEMBER 1: Martin Prado #14 of the Atlanta Braves and teammates celebrate with Chipper Jones #10 after Jones’ solo home run in the second inning of the game against the Washington Nationals at Turner Field on September 1, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

1. Chipper Jones – .524

2. Asdrubal Cabrera - .481

3.  Elvis Andrus – .480

4. Yunel Escobar – .450

5. Rafael Furcal – .429

6. Austin Jackson – .423

7. Derek Jeter – .423

8. Allen Craig – .421

8. Andy Dirks – .421

9. Howie Kendrick -  .417

10. Starlin Castro – .407

Even though Chipper leads the high average category he isn’t an advisable add due to his age and AB’s per week. Asdrubal Cabrera and Elvis Andrus are proving they are elite shortstops and should be started in all formats right now.  Derek Jeter who is one of my favorite sell high candidates is still hitting for a high average, but as expected the power pretty much disappeared.  Austin Jackson’s new swing seems to have improved his contact rates this year, and he should be picked up in most mixed leagues.


Last 7 days

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JULY 4: Corey Hart #1 of the Milwaukee Brewers goes down swinging for the 3rd and final out as the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Brewers during their game at Miller Park on July 4, 2011 in Milwaukee, WI. The Diamondbacks defeated the Brewers 8-6. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

 Michael Saunders – CF - Seattle Mariners – .125/1/1  24 AB/ 12 KO  0 SB

Dan Uggla – 2B – Atlanta Braves - .233/1/2  30 AB/ 12 KO  2 BB 5 R

Corey Hart – OF – Milwaukee Brewers - .174/0/0 23 AB/ 11 KO  3 BB  0 SB 2 R

Ryan Raburn – 2B – Detroit Tigers – .059/0/1  17 AB/ 9 KO  0 R

Adam Lind – 1B – Toronto Blue Jays – .111/1/1   18 AB/ 8 KO  0 SB  1 R

Buster Posey – C – San Francisco Giants – .200/0/2   25 AB/ 8 KO   2 R

Dustin Ackley – 2B – Seattle Mariners - .208/0/0  24 AB/ 7 KO  5 R  1 SB

Robinson Cano – 2B – New York Yankees.240/1/4   25 AB/ 7 KO  0 SB  3 R

Danny Espinosa – 2B – Washington Nationals – .150/0/0  20 AB/ 7 KO  1 SB 2 R

Dexter Fowler – OF – Colorado Rockies – .133/0/3  15 AB/ 7 KO  0 SB  2 R

Rickie Weeks – 2B – Milwaukee Brewers – .130/0/0  23 AB/ 7 KO  0 SB  2 R

Brennan Boesch – OF – Detroit Tigers – .125/1/3  24 AB/ 6 KO  0 SB  2 R

Ike Davis – 1B – New York Mets - .118/0/1  17 AB/ 6 KO   0 SB  2 R

This list could go on forever, as there are plenty of star players not producing up to their potential (Albert Pujols).  A quartet of disappointing second basemen in Uggla, Cano, Weeks and Ackley are on the list.  Cano was a late first or early second round pick for most owners in 2012, and he is going to need to heat up soon in order to approach the 30 HR/ 100 RBI plateau most his owners expected him to reach.  Ackley was a favorite sleeper, and after cracking a HR opening day it seemed like the sky was the limit.  Now hitting out of the leadoff spot, he sports a lowly .208 average and just 1 SB so far in May.  Rickie Weeks is playing his way out of many fantasy lineups as he hasn’t showcased much power or speed in 2012, he might be injured, because there is no way he is this bad… right?  There were plenty of owners (not me) who felt that Dexter Fowler was poised for a breakout season this year, and he has shown some power early on, but over the past week hitting just .133 with 0 HR’s and 0 SB’s isn’t helping his cause.  For a supposed speedster he doesn’t steal many bases, and with that long looping swing I still feel it takes him too long to get to the baseball.  I think Fowler gets another year or two with the Rockies and they move on, I keep hoping to see Tyler Colvin get regular playing time as I like his power potential, but with CarGo, Fowler, and Cuddyer in the OF for the Rox, Colvin is currently the odd man out.

Looking for advice on these players or more?  Check out the forums where fantasy baseball discussions are ongoing daily.

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Andy Pettitte to start Sunday for Yanks

GM Brian Cashman has announced that 39 year old Andy Pettitte will pitch this Sunday, May 13th, against the Seattle Mariners. This will be Pettitte’s first start since retiring over a year ago. The veteran lefty has a 240-138 career record but more importantly has a new hunger for the game. The Yankees were stacked with starters entering the year but with injuries (Pineda) and horrible slumps (Hughes) the Yankee staff could use some stability. Pettitte should provide just that, as the reports coming from Yankee camp say that he is in great physical shape and should be ready to compete this weekend. 

I just picked up Pettitte in a league where i needed some help with my ERA and WHIP. Pettitte has a great chance to get you some wins as well.

If you want to talk more about my Yankees hit me on twitter @Awies28

Alex Wiesner

People that study pick up a freedom in order to the hyperlink from accessible authority.

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Bobby Valentine’s latest Red Sox cry: Who can pitch?

Here’s the pitch thrown by position player Daniel McDonald that sank the Boston Red Sox last night in the 17th inning at Fenway Park. McDonald, an outfielder, pressed into service as a pitcher threw one right down the middle that the Orioles Adam Jones liked and he rode it over the left field wall for a three run homer. Boston and Baltimore each used eight pitchers before going to position players Chris David and Darnell McDonald. The last time two teams brought in position players to pitch in the same game was 87 years ago, October 4, 1925, when Hall of Famers Ty Cobb of Detroit and George Sisler of the St.Louis Browns closed out the second game of a doubleheader on the last day of the season. The last time any position player wound up as the winning pitcher was May 25, 2011, when Philadelphia infielder Wilson Valdez threw one scoreless inning in a 19-inning victory over Cincinnati. Chris Davis, Baltimore’s DH, now finds himself in baseball records book as the games winning pitcher. As the Orioles DH last night he was terrible. He went 0-8 as DH, striking out five times and grounding into a double play. Davis, struggling at the plate was told by his Oriole manager to get out to the bull pen and start warming up. 


Darnell McDonald’s an outfielder. He played for Baltimore in 2004. Last night manager Bobby Valentine reached deep down into his barrel of tricks and ordered him to take the mound in the 17th inning. Before the inning was over Orioles Adam Jones hit his three-run homer. In Boston’s bottom of the 17th Chris Davis shut the Red Sox hitters down, striking out All-Star slugger Adrian Gonzalez, and got Darnell McDonald to ground out into a double play to end a game that took 6 hours,7 minutes. Final score of the 17 inning marathon, 9-6 Baltimore. The win put Baltimore into first place in the American League East Division race, a half game over second place Tampa Bay. Boston’s loss, their fifth straight at home, including nine of their past 10, are in last place, seven and a half games behind division leader Baltimore. Boston’s playing terrible baseball with a 11-16 record (.407)

The New York Yankees are not doing much better sitting in the next to last position,four games from the top with a 15-13 record (.536)


There’s no doubt the Boston franchise is in trouble. How much blame can be attributed to the internal conflicts between Red Sox players and Valentine is pure speculation. Obviously an up-set clubhouse is not healthy for any pro sport team. Negative Fenway fan reactions to Valentine has to have ownership/management concerned. Valentine has never managed a “calm”, relaxed ball club. Over time his personality, his abrasive, in your face style of interacting with people ruffle feathers in the clubhouse, and executive suites of franchises he’s worked for. He’s ticked off players, owners, fans in two countries, the United States and Japan. That’s no small feat. His closest friends say,”Bobby Valentine is his own worse enemy-if only he could keep his mouth shut!” 


Now we have a great franchise, great team with a history unmatched, the Boston Red Sox, playing .407 baseball, wallowing in last place with no light shining at the end of the tunnel. How long will Fenway fans remain “patient?” How many more times can manager Bobby Valentine step out of the dugout to a sell-out crowd chorus of “boo’s” before even he has to wear down? How many times will it take for the grounds-crew to replace the worn-out grass between the Red Sox bullpen and the mound? How much longer will it take owner John Henry and his new front-office executives to figure out Bobby Valentine was a terrible fit for Red Sox baseball? Many baseball experts voiced those words when we heard the news Bobby was hired. How long will it take for Red Sox ownership to understand once the insane patients (players) took over the asylum, all was lost. Terry Francona and Theo Epstein knew that at the end of last season. Ownership reacted by forcing them out and bringing in Bobby Valentine, the biggest “nut,” biggest “head case” of all. 

Boston’s sport talk radio shows must be bombarded today with callers screaming for change..screaming for Valentines head. Relax Fenway fans, It’s only May 7th, we still have plenty of baseball ahead. Your team can’t do any worse. They’re in last place. No pressure. 

Today’s another day at Fenway Park. When Red Sox players arrive in the clubhouse Valentine’s cry will be -…….”WHO CAN PITCH?”

by Larry Upton

“Upton on Sports”-source:washingtonpost/nydailynews/

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Fantasy Baseball Two start pitchers week 7 May 14th – May 20th, 2012

Week 7 will showcase some of the best pitchers in the game as two start options.  Chances are you won’t need to dip into the third or fourth tier if you are looking for a two start pitcher in the upcoming scoring period.

All projections are current as of May 7th, 2012.  These projections are subject to change if there are rain delays or injuries.

Tier 1

Clayton Kershaw pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Clayton Kershaw – LAD                        5/14 vs ARI – Ian Kennedy                    5/19 vs STL - Jake Westbrook

Stephen Strasburg – WAS                    5/15 vs SD – Anthony Bass                   5/20 vs BAL – Jason Hammel

Dan Haren – LAA                                   5/14 vs OAK – Brandon McCarthy        5/19 @ SD – Jeff Suppan

C.C. Sabathia – NYY                              5/15 @ BAL – Jason Hammel                5/20 vs CIN – Johnny Cueto

Zack Greinke – MIL                                5/15 @ NYM – Dillon Gee                       5/20 vs MIN – Jason Marquis

David Price – TB                                    5/15 @ TOR – Henderson Alvarez         5/20 vs ATL – Tim Hudson

Ian Kennedy – ARI                                 5/14 @ LAD – Clayton Kershaw             5/19 @ KC – Danny Duffy

Cliff Lee – PHI                                        5/15 vs HOU – Aneury Rodriguez           5/20 vs BOS – Josh Beckett

Lee is still a low #1 option as he returns from injury, but should be able to get on track with that first start against the Astros.

Tier 2

Jon Lester – Getty Images

Anibal Sanchez – MIA                            5/14 vs PIT – Erik Bedard                        5/19 @ CLE - Zach McAllister

Johnny Cueto – CIN                               5/15 @ ATL – Tim Hudson                       5/20 @ NYY – C.C. Sabathia

Jon Lester – BOS                                   5/14 vs SEA – Kevin Millwood                 5/19 @ PHI – Joe Blanton

Brandon Morrow – TOR                         5/14 vs TB – Jeff Niemann                       5/19 vs NYM – Miguel Batista

Tim Lincecum – SF                                5/15 vs COL – TBA                                    5/20 vs OAK – Tyson Ross

There is plenty of concern about Lincecum this year, but with 2 very winnable games against the Rockies and A’s, he is a tier 2 starter this week

Colby Lewis – TEX                                  5/14 vs KC – Danny Duffy                        5/19 @ HOU – Lucas Harrell

Kyle Lohse – STL                                    5/15 vs CHC – Paul Maholm                    5/20 @ LAD – Chad Billingsley

Lohse has been one of the surprises of 2012, and is very nearly a tier 1 starter for the upcoming scoring period.  He should be active in all formats while he is pitching like this.

Derek Holland – TEX                               5/15 vs KC – Bruce Chen                         5/20 @ HOU – Aneury Rodriguez

Brandon McCarthy - OAK                      5/14 @ LAA – Dan Haren                          5/19 @ SF – Ryan Vogelsong

Tier 3

Ryan Dempster – Wikipedia

Chad Billingsley – LAD                           5/15 vs ARI – Wade Miley                         5/20 vs STL – Kyle Lohse

Jason Hammel – BAL                             5/15 vs NYY – C.C. Sabathia                     5/20  @ WAS – Stephen Strasburg

Hammel has looked extremely solid through the first month of the season, but with two tough matchups against the Yanks and Nats he doesn’t quite make the second tier of pitchers

Ryan Dempster – CHC                            5/14 @ STL – Jake Westbrook                 5/19 vs CHW – Eric Stults

Dempster pitches like a tier 1 guy, but with no offense backing him up, and the bullpen blowing all his wins, he falls to the third tier for week 7

Josh Johnson – MIA                               5/15 vs PIT – Kevin Correia                      5/20 @ CLE – Jeanmar Gomez

Max Scherzer – DET                               5/15 @ CHW – Jake Peavy                        5/20 vs PIT – Kevin Correia

Scherzer gets two easy offenses in week 7 as he faces the White Sox and the Pirates, and his owners could get a nice week out of the young hurler

Josh Beckett – BOS                                5/15 vs SEA - Jason Vargas                    5/20 @ PHI – Cliff Lee

Drew Smyly – DET                                   5/14 @ CHW – John Danks                      5/19 vs. PIT – Erik Bedard

Tim Hudson – ATL                                   5/15 vs CIN – Johnny Cueto                     5/20 @ TB – David Price

Ross Detwiler – WAS                               5/14 vs SD – Jeff Suppan                         5/19 vs BAL – Wei-Yin Chen

Detwiler has been turning heads in Washington, D.C., and he vaults into the third tier for week 7.  If you are in need of a solid pickup, he should be available in most fomats, and has two very winnable games against the Padres and Orioles.

Erik Bedard – PIT                                     5/14 @ MIA – Anibal Sanchez                   5/19 @ DET – Drew Smyly

Bedard looks like he is capturing his old form, but with two power offenses upcoming in the Marlins and Tigers, it will be hard for him to lock up two wins, and he is a low tier 3 option.

Tier 4

Ervin Santana – Wikipedia

Ervin Santana – LAA                               5/15 vs OAK – Tyson Ross                       5/20 @ SD – Anthony Bass

Most owners still see Santana as a tier 2 or tier 3 option, but this year he is barely ownable as his control is all over the map and strikeouts are down.  The good news?  Two pitchers ballparks in Oakland and San Diego make Santana a high tier 4 option.

Jason Vargas – SEA                                5/15 @ BOS – Josh Beckett                      5/20 @ COL – TBA

John Danks – CHW                                  5/14 vs DET – Drew Smyly                        5/20 @ CHC – Paul Maholm

Henderson Alvarez – TOR                       5/15 vs TB – David Price                           5/20 vs NYM – Dillon Gee

Alvarez is another young arm to keep an eye on in 2012, he is starting to turn heads but with a tough matchup against the Rays he remains a tier 4 option in week 7

Jake Westbrook – STL                             5/14 vs CHC – Ryan Dempster                 5/19 @ LAD – Clayton Kershaw

Joe Blanton – PHI                                     5/14 vs HOU – Lucas Harrell                    5/19 vs BOS – Jon Lester

Ryan Vogelsong – SF                               5/14 vs COL – Jeremy Guthrie                 5/19 vs OAK – Brandon McCarthy

Jeff Niemann – TOR                                  5/14 @ TOR – Brandon Morrow               5/19 vs ATL – Randall Delgado

Danny Duffy – KC                                      5/14 @ TEX – Colby Lewis                       5/19 vs ARI – Ian Kennedy

Duffy might have a funny name, but he throws in the high 90?s from the left side, and could be the ace of the Royals staff in a few years.  Having to face the Rangers and Diamondbacks won’t help much in week 7, which is why you find Duffy in the 4th tier.

Jeanmar Gomez – CLE                              5/14 @ MIN – Carl Pavano                       5/20 vs MIA – Josh Johnson

Tier 5

Homer Bailey – Getty Images

Wei-Yin Chen – BAL                                  5/14 vs NYY – David Phelps                    5/19 @ WAS - Ross Detwiler

Homer Bailey – CIN                                   5/14 @ ATL – Randall Delgado                5/19 @ NYY – David Phelps

Wade Miley – ARI                                       5/15 @ LAD – Chad Billingsley               5/20 @ KC – Bruce Chen

Dillon Gee – NYM                                       5/15 vs MIL – Zack Greinke                     5/20 @ TOR – Henderson Alvarez

Marco Estrada – MIL                                  5/14 @ NYM – Miguel Batista                  5/19 vs MIN – Carl Pavano

Randall Delgado – ATL                              5/14 vs CIN – Homer Bailey                    5/19 @ TB – Jeff Niemann

Carl Pavano – MIN                                      5/14 vs CLE – Jeanmar Gomez              5/19 @ MIL – Marco Estrada

Lucas Harrell – HOU                                   5/14 @ PHI – Joe Blanton                       5/19 vs TEX – Colby Lewis

Bruce Chen – KC                                         5/15 @ TEX – Derek Holland                  5/20 vs ARI – Wade Miley

David Phelps – NYY                                    5/14 @ BAL – Wei-Yin Chen                   5/19 vs CIN – Homer Bailey

Paul Maholm – CHC                                    5/15 @ STL – Kyle Lohse                        5/20 vs CHW – John Danks

Kevin Correia – PIT                                     5/15 @ MIA – Josh Johnson                   5/20 @ DET – Max Scherzer

Tyson Ross – OAK                                      5/15 @ LAA – Ervin Santana                   5/20 @ SF – Tim Lincecum

Jeremy Guthrie – COL                                5/14 @ SF – Ryan Vogelsong                  5/19 vs SEA – Kevin Millwood

There is no reason to own any of the Rockies pitchers in 2012, let alone the “ace” of the staff Guthrie.  Even with two winnable games against the Giants and Mariners, Guthrie will probably give up 4+ runs in each game.

Jason Marquis – MIN                                   5/15 vs CLE – Derek Lowe                      5/20 @ MIL – Zack Greinke

Kevin Millwood – SEA                                 5/14 @ BOS – Jon Lester                         5/19 @ COL – Jeremy Guthrie

Aneury Rodriguez – HOU                            5/15 @ PHI – Cliff Lee                              5/20 vs TEX – Derek Holland

Miguel Batista – NYM                                   5/14 vs MIL – Marco Estrada                   5/19 @ TOR – Brandon Morrow

Jeff Suppan – SD                                          5/14 @ WAS – Ross Detwiler                  5/19 vs LAA – Dan Haren

That is it for today, as always any questions please take to the forums!

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Rehashing the first month of the Mets Season

David Wright is the Mets MVP so far this season

Well Mets Fans , The New York Mets are 13-10 and 1.5 Games out of first place after the first month of the season. Of course, there is along way to go, but the Mets have surprised the baseball world early.

The Mets Manager Terry Collins has impressed me filling in the early voids of players that have been hurt. He has changed lineups around , but what’s more impressive is that he gets every ounce of effort out of his young players and that’s what makes the Mets fun to watch. I Never thought he get the job done in New York but has shown he can handle everything openly and candidly.

The Catching abilities of Josh Thole look like they have improved and his bat has been hot of late (.317). The problem with Thole is going to be if he can hit left handed pitching all season as he is batting right now .417 vs lefties. It looks like Mike Nickeas is not going to be much of a factor in the offensive department.

At First base, Ike Davis has been slumping.. and his average reflects that (.185). Ike needs to breakout in May and there have been signs that he will do so. He has batted .317 in the last 7 days….

Daniel Murphy is starting to look like a second basemen on the field defensively. He has never looked bad at the plate, just never really had a permanent position . Call me crazy, but I think Daniel Murphy is the type of player that can win a batting tittle…if he stays healthy!

Ruben Tejada, not Jose Reyes has been the focal point so far this season. Tejada’s .299 batting average with 8 2B’s has been impressive and looks like nothing has fazed him since Reyes’ departure. By the way, Jose Reyes is batting .220 and in his last seven days he is batting just .190. Look like the Mets have made the right move so far not to sign him, but it is early to tell.

What more is there to say about third basemen David Wright. David Wright has been the MVP of the NY Mets so far this April batting .389 with 4 HR’s and 14 RBI’s. He looks to be a lock for the All-Star Game and maybe MVP if he keeps his numbers up. He is also playing with a broken pinkie which is also pretty impressive. The Mets must sign him long term and not let him get away like Jose Reyes did…

In Left Field we have seen the same Jason Bay batting just .240 with 3 HR’s before his injury..The injury now opens up opportunity for Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Scott Hairton to get some AB’s. Nieuwenhuis has accelerated his progression batting .325 with two Dingers and 8 RBI’s. He is definitely a favorite of mine and could be the future leadoff man for the Mets. Scott Hairston who has hit for cycle, has been doing a fine job replacing some need right handed pop that Bay left void..

We have not seen much of Andres Torres in Center Field so far. Kirk Nieuwenhuis pretty much filled in for him while he was on the disabled list. Torres is needed for the speed that lacks the New York Mets…It’s Torres’ job to lose especially if Nieuwenhuis keeps hitting the way he has..

Since the Mets rid themselves of Carlos Beltran, much was talked about whether Lucas Duda can fill the void in Right Field. Duda has not hit for Average, but he has had some key hits along the way. He is batting .256 with 4 HR’s and 13 RBI’s.. Carlos Beltran is currently batting .255 with 5 HR’s and 11 RBI’s, not much is lost in Mets land..

The Mets bench compiled of Mike Baxter, Ronny Cedeno, Mike Nickeas, Justin Turner has been adequate. Mike Baxter has been great off the bench batting .333 with 4 2B’s..Cedeno has been injured and now has been replaced by Jordany Valdespin, who could provide some speed and can be used at 2B and SS… Turner has seen some limited action at 1B and 2B when tough lefties are pitching, but has been clutch in some spots off the bench.

Some have written off the Mets Starting Pitching Staff, but the staff has held it’s own in the first month going (7-6). The one, two punch of Jonathan Niese and Johan Santana have held the Mets at bay..Johan Santana who has not been so lucky in the win department (0-2), but has a ERA of 2.25. Jon Niese who has not been beaten in four starts so far (2-0) has a ERA of 2.81. Also in 25.2 innings he has struck-out 23…Mike Pelfrey looked like he was getting his act together (ERA 2.29) before getting injured, but that’s just the Mets luck. Mets will look to Chris Young to fill that void , who should be ready by the end of May.. R.A, Dickey may not have lowest ERA on the team, but leads the Mets starters with 3 Wins..Dillon Gee who had a rough start looks like he is on his way back to the form he had last year…All in all very promising… Mets Starting Pitching Staff has a ERA of 3.98

The Bullpen that Sandy Alderson has reconstructed has done it’s job in the last month.. Jon Rauch has impressed some with his 3-0 record and 2.53 ERA, While newcomer Frank Francisco started good with four saves in a row, but has hit a wall of late as the Mets have seen his ERA inflate to 7.71. Ramon Ramirez has had a slow start out of the gate and Bobby Parnell continues to have his ups and downs. Tim Byrdak has done his job facing some lefties and Manny Acosta looks as though he will be a mop up guy at best.. Mets Bullpen is 6-4 with a 5.02 ERA.

The Mets will have to continue to play winning baseball in May and find ways to win just like in the first month. The Nationals look like they can be the real thing (14-8), The Phillies (11-12) right now have no offense production without Utley and Howard and The Braves (14-9) will always be a thorn on the Mets side as long as they have Chipper. The Marlins (8-14) will look to creep up as the Bats of Stanton, Ramirez and Reyes arise..

Play Hard, Play Well, Let’s Go Mets!

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