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NJNR’s Tom ‘The Bomb’ picks $32 Kentucky Derby Winner plus $306 cold exacta! NFL Hall of Famer Harry Carson, mentor to Junior Seau, makes head trauma a priority Titanic message for sports and athletes: Get desperate now
 
NJNR’s Tom ‘The Bomb’ picks $32 Kentucky Derby Winner plus $306 cold exacta!

NJNR’s Tom ‘The Bomb’ picks $32 Kentucky Derby Winner plus $306 cold exacta!

Tom The Bomb Valledolmo, newjerseynewsroom.com racing correspondent and professional handicapper, continued his amazing run in the Triple Crown series by picking the Kentucky Derby winner for the third straight year when he not only tabbed I’ll Have Another, the $32 winner Saturday, but the $306 exacta with second-place finisher Bodemeister as well. Watch for more [...]

NJNR’s Tom ‘The Bomb’ picks $32 Kentucky Derby Winner plus $306 cold exacta!
NFL Hall of Famer Harry Carson, mentor to Junior Seau, makes head trauma a priority

NFL Hall of Famer Harry Carson, mentor to Junior Seau, makes head trauma a priority

BY ADELE SAMMARCO NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM NFL football great, Harry Carson, and Meridian Neuroscience spokesperson, made a surprise visit Thursday to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune. With a charismatic style all his own, the former New York Giants team captain visited stroke patients and popped in on Edison native Ken Kramer in his hospital room. [...]

NFL Hall of Famer Harry Carson, mentor to Junior Seau, makes head trauma a priority
Titanic message for sports and athletes: Get desperate now

Titanic message for sports and athletes: Get desperate now

BY MIKE TULLY NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM COMMENTARY All those Titanic movies over the weekend got me thinking about hitting golf balls. That may sound like an odd connection to make, until you see those passengers standing on the stern, hundreds of feet above the ocean, just before the ship goes down. They are doing anything they can [...]

Titanic message for sports and athletes: Get desperate now

Jets Prove through Draft that Offensive Philosophy has Changed

Don’t think the Jets are dedicated to the Ground and Pound? When Mike Tannenbaum said “That would be just a coincidence” when responding to questions that it looks like the Jets drafted players to fit the option type offense.

Mike, I call bullox. There is NO WAY I believe you when you draft the following:

  • A WR who has the threat to go deep but his major function was to block and be a best opening up holes. (Stephen Hill).
  • A Running Back who played in the Option offense in Baylor (Terrance Ganaway)
  • Then the very NEXT pick, A guard who played in the SAME offense in Baylor (Robert T. Griffin)

It appears the Jets will be running quite a bit with Greene and Ganaway as the A Backs, and McKnight and Powell as the B backs.

Still don’t believe me? The Fifth Down Blog finds even more clues leading up to the draft:

1) The hiring of Tony Sparano as the team’s offensive coordinator. Sparano is known as a run-first offensive tactician who also likes to stretch the field with a deep passing game. Sparano is also the “father” of the N.F.L.’s modern Wildcat offense. As Miami’s rookie coach in 2008, Sparano deployed a Wildcat offense that featured a direct snap to running back Ronnie Brown as a complement to a broader offensive scheme run by former Jets quarterback Chad Pennington to help the Dolphins go from 1-15 in 2007 to 11-5 in 2008.

2) The trade for quarterback/rusher Tim Tebow. Tebow’s athleticism makes him a threat every time he has the ball. Mark Sanchez may be the starter, but the Jets didn’t get Tebow just to hold a clipboard. It will be up to Sparano to find a way to use him to the Jets’ best advantage, whether in the Wildcat or a read-option attack.

3) The failure to draft an offensive tackle. Speculation before the draft was that the Jets needed to find a replacement for Wayne Hunter, who struggled for much of the season, especially in pass protection. A strength of Hunter’s is his run blocking. On Saturday, Ryan talked up Hunter, saying he expected him to have a good season. If Hunter is the starter again, it may be a sign of just how much the Jets intend to run this season. Even so, does it make sense to stick with Hunter after his performance last season?

4) The additions of Hill and Ganaway. I will leave out Griffin here, because there is little chance he will be a starter this season. But Hill and Ganaway figure to have important roles. Ryan has already said he expects the big-and-fast Hill to be a starter, and he is known to be a devastating downfield blocker. Tannenbaum mentioned the 5-11, 240 pound Ganaway in the same breath as Shonn Greene on Saturday. Given Ganaway’s success with Griffin last season, would it be a stretch to see him on the field at the same time as Tebow this season?

Mark my words. Mark Sanchez will go back to the player we saw in 2009/2010 with a dominant running game and where Mark’s role will be to manage the game. The Jets will have the threat of throwing the ball and will connect from time to time, but the base offense will be to “Ground and Pound”.

Bringing Tebow in will cause opponents fits as they will have to prepare for both quarterbacks, and drafting the new players to fit the new offense, we clearing will see a different New York Jets on offense.

Be sure to check out other great articles at Jets Twit.

Posted in NFL8 Comments

Post NFL Draft: How Do The 2012 Rookies Rank In Fantasy Football

With the 2012 NFL Draft wrapped up and experts grading out all 32 teams’ picks, it’s time to dive right back into Fantasy Football for the 2012 season and see where the new guys rank. This is definitely a list that Dynasty Football owners will want to take a look at since most rookie-only drafts will be taking place within the next several weeks to months.

QUARTERBACKS

1. Robert Griffin III – Washington Redskins
2. Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts
3. Brandon Weedon – Cleveland Browns
4. Ryan Tannehill – Miami Dolphins
5. Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks
6. Ryan Lindley – Arizona Cardinals
7. Brock Osweiler – Denver Broncos
8. B.J. Coleman – Green Bay Packers
9. Kirk Cousins – Washington Redskins
10. Nick Foles – Philadelphia Eagles

SUMMARY

I really like Griffin’s potential as a QB2 in larger redraft leagues this year. With better coaching, better players around him and his ability to run, he could be a strong sleeper option in leagues that allow two starting fantasy quarterbacks. Luck should have success right out of the gate. But with an iffy backfield and Reggie Wayne as the lone veteran weapon in the offense (Austin Collie is right behind him), Luck will take a bit longer to truly succeed. Either way, both are going to be the top two quarterbacks taken in all dynasty leagues. Whether or not Colt McCoy is still a Brown by training camp is irrelevant. The job will be Weedon’s to lose. Tannehill is going to find it rough going in Miami and could be a boom-or-bust prospect. After the top four, it’s anyone’s call. Wilson and Lindley could find success entering quarterback stables that are on shaky ground. Everyone else will be backups or third stringers for the time being. The Redskins are believed to have drafted Cousins for the sole purpose of trading him for future picks.

I couldn’t end the quarterbacks without posting the hilarious gifs of Russell Wilson’s wife going crazy face after Wilson was selected by the Seahawks with the No. 75 overall pic. PRICELESS!! Courtesy of SB Nation.

RUNNING BACKS

1. Trent Richardson – Cleveland Browns
2. Doug Martin – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
3. David Wilson – New York Giants
4. Bernard Pierce – Baltimore Ravens
5. Isaiah Pead – St. Louis Rams
6. LaMichael James – San Francisco 49ers
7. Lamar Miller – Miami Dolphins
8. Ronnie Hillman – Denver Broncos
9. Chris Polk – Philadelphia Eagles
10. Chris Rainey – Pittsburgh Steelers

SUMMARY

I was pretty close to ranking Martin over Richardson as I like Martin’s outlook past 2012 over the Cleveland running back. But because Martin will still have to contend with LeGarrette Blount for carries this year, Ruchardson holds the top spot. Either way, I love both players and I wouldn’t fault anyone for taking either one first in a dynasty league. Richardson should easily be in the mix for Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. With Brandon Jacobs gone and Ahmad Bradshaw’s propensity for injury, Wilson should be in the mix for carries right away and is easily Bradshaw’s handcuff. Much like the quarterback rankings, it’s anyone’s guess as to who will have more fantasy value beyond the top three. I have Pierce ranked at No. 4 because he stands to have the best chance at being the primary backup behind Ray Rice. The same goes for Pead, who could wind up as Steven Jackson’s eventual successor as the starter under Jeff Fisher. Ranked as a low-second-to-high-third round pick before the draft, Polk went undrafted due to issues regarding his shoulder. But the Eagles may have gotten one of the undrafted free agent gems with the backup spot behind LeSean McCoy left open after Ronnie Brown left for free agency. Rainey projects as a Dexter McCluster clone who OC Todd Haley could utilize in the rushing and receiving game.

WIDE RECEIVERS

1. Michael Floyd – Arizona Cardinals
2. Justin Blackmon – Jacksonville Jaguars
3. Kendall Wright – Tennessee Titans
4. Stephen Hill – New York Jets
5. Alshon Jeffery – Chicago Bears
6. Brian Quick – St. Louis Rams
7, Rueben Randle – New York Giants
8. Ryan Broyles – Detroit Lions
9. Mohamed Sanu – Cincinnati Bengals
10. A.J. Jenkins – San Francisco 49ers

SUMMARY

Blackmon may have been the top pick at receiver in the draft, but I love Floyd’s fantasy outlook in both dynasty and redraft leagues in 2012. Playing across from Larry Fitzgerald, who is the ultimate tutor in receiving, will pay dividends for Floyd immediately. Blackmon’s fantasy outlook is a bit murky in 2012 with Blaine Gabbert at quarterback. Not to mention that the team really doesn’t have any other legit weapons in the passing game outside of Laurent Robinson, who may have benefited more by playing with Miles Austin and Dez Bryant in Dallas. I love what the Titans are doing in their offense. With a bounce-back candidate in Chris Johnson, Kenny Britt coming back and Jake Locker expected to make a push for the starting job against Matt Hasselbeck, the Titans have a young talented squad that will grow together in an AFC South division that will no longer have to deal with Peyton Manning. The next three, Hill, Jeffery and Quick, all have chances to start immediately in 2012. Even though he will be stuck behind Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, I like Randle’s upside playing in the Giants’ offense. Broyles could start the season on the PUP list because of ACL surgery, but his dynasty value is looking up if he can secure the No. 2 spot across from Calvin Johnson. He is an upgrade over current starter Nate Burleson. Jenkins rounds out the top 10, but he shouldn’t be a redraft option considering the logjam at receiver at the moment.

TIGHT ENDS

1. Coby Fleener – Indianapolis Colts
2. Michael Egnew – Miami Dolphins
3. Dwayne Allen – Indianapolis Colts
4. James Hanna – Dallas Cowboys
5. Orson Charles – Cincinnati Bengals

SUMMARY

Having played with Andrew Luck in Stanford, Fleener should have fantasy value as soon as this year as Luck’s security blanket. The team wound up taking Allen with their next pick, which makes many believe that the Colts are going to try and duplicate the success that the Patriots have with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Egnew is a dynasty option only, as Missouri’s past draft prospects Chase Coffman and Martin Rucker were complete busts. Unless something changes between now and Week One, Fleener looks to be the only tight end from this year’s draft class to be worth anything.

Be sure to check out other great articles at Fantasy Knuckleheads.

Posted in NFL7 Comments

Comparing the NFC East rivals’ quality of Draft to the Eagles’…

It’s always tough to compare division rivals and their spoils in the Draft. Each team has a unique matrix of combined needs and wants. Where you fall in picks for the draft in numerical succession affects everything…so that it’s more about a numbers game than extreme scouting abilities in competition.

Here’s how the numbers fell in the 2012 Draft for the NFC East:

Vinny Curry to the Eagles…. how could you not see this pick as a once-and-future message of Defensive End rushing threat to every offense in the NFC East?

Brandon Boykin… How did the rest of the division overlook this cat? As Leo Pizzini pointed out in yesterday’s comments, not only is Boykin a potentially greater cover cornerback than Asante Samuel, but he can return kicks and punts…and has the athleticism equivalent to Michael Jordan in terms of vertical leap…

DALLAS DRAFTED FOR DEFENSE…

Dallas Cowboys: Dallas used its first 4 picks on defense and with good reasons. After giving up 33 touchdown passes in 2010, tied for the most in the league, the Cowboys made some improvement in this area last season numbers-wise. But it’s worth noting that while Rob Ryan’s unit allowed only 24 scores through the air, 9 of those came in the 4 losses to the Giants and Eagles. Combined with free agent addition CB Brandon Carr (Chiefs) and former first-rounder CB Mike Jenkins, the Pokes figure to be better in the secondary. And the additions of Crawford and Wilber hope to aid a pass rush that produced a respectable 42 sacks, but 19.5 came from OLB DeMarcus Ware.

RD PLAYER/SCHOOL
1/6 DB Morris Claiborne (LSU)
3/81 DE Tyrone Crawford (Boise State)
4/113 DE Kyle Wilber (Wake Forest)
4b/135 DB Matt Johnson (Eastern Washington)
5/152 WR Danny Coale (Virginia Tech)
6/186 TE James Hanna (Oklahoma)
7/222 LB Caleb McSurdy (Montana)

GIANTS DRAFTED FOR OFFENSE…

N.Y. Giants: The defending Super Bowl champions had a few holes to fill following the release of RB Brandon Jacobs and the free agent departure of WR Mario Manningham, both signing with the 49ers–whom the Giants obviously beat in the NFC title game. David Wilson is not necessarily the power runner that Jacobs was but could help the team in many facets, including kickoff returns. Meanwhile, the 6-3 Randle will get a chance to learn behind WR’s Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks. While the Giants did sign former Cowboys’ TE Martellus Bennett, Adrien Robinson will get a chance for some playing time, as both look to fill the gap in case TE Jake Ballard isn’t ready to go this fall.

RD PLAYER/SCHOOL
1/32 RB David Wilson (Virginia Tech)
2/63 WR Rueben Randle (LSU)
3/94 DB Jayron Hosley (Virginia Tech)
4/127 TE Adrien Robinson (Cincinnati)
4b/131 T Brandon Mosley (Auburn)
6/201 T Matt McCants (Ala.-Birmingham)
7/239 DT Markus Kuhn (North Carolina State)

EAGLES DRAFTED FOR A SWEET MIX OF DEFENSE AND OFFENSE…

Philadelphia Eagles: Andy’s team stressed defense in the earlier half of the draft and added some playmakers in the final 2 rounds. The Eagles tied for the NFL lead with 50 sacks last season, 46 of those from their defensive linemen, but they were a mediocre 16th in the league against the run and allowed 130 or more yards rushing in 7 games last season… hence the addition of the versatile Cox and Kendricks, the latter added to a young linebacking crew that did get a little more seasoned this offseason via the acquisition of former Texans’ Pro Bowler DeMeco Ryans. Curry hopes to learn from DE’s Jason Babin and Trent Cole, while one-time QB McNutt is an intriguing prospect at WR…

RD PLAYER/SCHOOL
1/12 DT Fletcher Cox (Mississippi State)
2/46 LB Mychal Kendricks (California)
2b/59 DE Vinny Curry (Marshall)
3/88 QB Nick Foles (Arizona)
4/123 DB Brandon Boykin (Georgia)
5/153 T Dennis Kelly (Purdue)
6/194 WR Marvin McNutt (Iowa)
6b/200 G Brandon Washington (Miami, Fla.)
7/229 RB Bryce Brown (Kansas State)

REDSKINS DRAFTED FOR CRAZY!

Washington Redskins: For the second straight year and coming off selecting an NFL-high 12 players in the 2011 Draft, their organization was very active during the 3-day process–the team’s combined 21 selections in two years the most by the franchise over a two-year span since the draft was shortened to 7 rounds in 1994. Griffin III cost the Redskins plenty to move up to get him, but the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner is a perfect fit for what Mike Shanahan likes to do. Much was made about the addition of Kirk Cousins at QB (pick #3), but the former Spartan was simply too good to pass up in Shanahan’s opinion. The team also continued to look to improve the offensive front, using 3 of its 9 selections on G’s Leribeus and Gettis and T Compton.

RD PLAYER/SCHOOL
1/2 QB Robert Griffin III (Baylor)
3/71 G Josh LeRibeus (SMU)
4/102 QB Kirk Cousins (Michigan State)
4b/119 LB Keenan Robinson (Texas)
5/141 G Adam Gettis (Iowa)
6/173 RB Alfred Morris (Florida Atlantic)
6b/193 T Tom Compton (South Dakota)
7/213 DB Richard Crawford (SMU)
7b/217 DB Jordan Bernstine (Iowa)

I liked the Claiborne pick by Dallas, but was pretty “meh” on the rest of Dallas’ draft. Philly nailed it obviously. I liked New York as well, but I liked David Wilson a little more than most here, I think. I don’t quite grasp the Cousins pick for Washington. There is no doubt that top to bottom the Eagles had the best draft in the division.

Be sure to check out other great articles at Eagles Eye.

Posted in NFL0 Comments

The New York Jets cussed out the Seahawks for drafting red hot DE Irvin

Some way, somehow out of all the alleged bad boys with character issues in this year’s draft, Bruce Irvin was the most coveted acquisition.

Public jaws dropped when the Seattle Seahawks took him the first round. Beyond his personal issues Irvin was seen as project player that can do one thing well and that’s speed rush the passer.

According to the NFL via Sports Xchnage, there was no way he was making it to the second round. Teams such as Chicago, Green Bay and San Francisco had their sights firmly set on him if he was available.

That was not happening as the Jets were so excited to pick him at 16 that they called Seattle and “good-naturedly” cussed out the Seahawks after they picked Irvin directly before them at 15.

Wow. That should make the Jets number one guy Quentin Couples feel really good.

It’s hard to tell what the teams know that we can’t see on tape. Let it be known, Bruce Irvin may not have stopped the run very much in college but he can definitely sell himself.

Be sure to check out other great articles at Players View.

Posted in NFL0 Comments

Paging Mr. Gaborik! | Rangers Pulse. By James Wrabel, Jr.

Hockey This Week

Hockey This Week

Why Marian Gaborik Has to Play Better for the Rangers to Advance.

Paging Mr. Gaborik…a Mr. Marian Gaborik, you are needed for the New York Rangers immediately.

Since scoring in Game 1 in the opening round of the playoffs, Rangers sniper Marian Gaborik—the team leader in goals in the regular season with 41—has been held without a goal in eight straight playoff games.

Hardly the numbers you want to see from your No. 1 offensive threat. But has it been THAT bad for Gaborik? Not necessarily.

In last night’s Game 2 loss to the Washington Capitals, Gaborik had the primary assist on Brad Richards’ goal late in the first period. Using his underrated playmaking abilities, Gaborik cut to the middle, allowing Richards a lane to the net and fired a pass that was redirected past Braden Holtby.

Objectively, it’s plays similar to that which have escaped Gaborik during the playoffs, as well as having the time and space to fire off his deadly shot. But is that a byproduct of not giving maximum effort?

Hardly. It’s more a case of Gaborik being marked extremely well.

Hockey This Week

It’s almost common in the NHL to know each team’s top-six forwards will cancel each other out and it’s up to the respective role players to come up huge. It’s why we’ve seen players like Ruslan Fedotenko, Mike Rupp and Maxim Talbot, to name a few, score critical, Cup-clinching goals for their teams in the past.

The getting isn’t too good in the NHL’s second season.

During the Senators series, Gaborik was not only marked well, Ottawa defenders were very physical with him, possibly taking him off his game. Gaborik thrives in the open ice, and need time and space to be effective. Take that away, and you’ve rendered Gaborik useless.

Through two games, Washington has done a superb job of limiting Gaborik sans a breakaway chance in Game 1. The competition only gets tougher as the playoffs move on.

Is that an excuse for Gaborik to have just one goal in the playoffs? Absolutely not. There are no excuses in the playoffs and it’s up to the Slovak to find a way to make a difference.

It’s a critical reason why the New York Rangers need to get their power play—ranked 23rd in the NHL in the regular season and just 10th of 16 teams in the postseason—in order. If goals aren’t going to come five-on-five, then the power play becomes paramount. It’s the area where a team’s skilled players like Gaborik have a chance to make a difference because of the man advantage.

New York’s power play was inconsistent at best during the regular season. Despite seeing glimpses in Game 2, it needs to be better going forward.

So does Marian Gaborik. Otherwise, winning the series with Washington becomes much more difficult.

James Wrabel, Jr.
Hockey This Week

Follow James on Twitter @thewrage

Be sure to check out other great articles at Hockey This Week Magazine.

Posted in NHL0 Comments

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!

Posted in Baseball0 Comments

Fantasy Baseball: May 1st MLB Sell High

May 1st Sell High MLB Trends

Here are some of the more intriguing stats at this point in the 2012 season. It is Tuesday, May 1st early in the morning as I write this piece with the hopes to give my readers a more insightful look at certain players and their progressions and tendencies. If you want to discuss any of these players in more depth hit me on twitter @Awies28 or email the show at mrfantasyfreak@yahoo.com

Edwin Encarnacion TOR 3B
He is currently hitting .322 with 8 home runs and 21 RBI’s. E5, as he is known as, is playing out of his mind right now and I believe he is in line for a regression. In his home/road splits there is too much of a difference to ignore. In 44 road at bats he has totaled a .250 average with only one home run compared to his 46 home at bats where he has clubbed 7 home runs and a .391 average. His BABIP is close to .300 so I don’t think that has anything to do with his hot start but against lefties this year he is only hitting .241 (29 at bats). Since 2008 he’s only hit over .270 once (.272 in 2011) and his current ISO (isolated power) rate is .333 which is over 100 points higher than his career average. His previous high ISO power rate in a season was .238 (2010). At this pace if E5 plays 146 games (146 games played is his career high, 2008) then he will have 50 home runs. None of these trends make me feel good about him as the season progresses. I’m not buying Encarnacion to continue at this pace. Sell high at your own inclination.

Mike Aviles BOS SS
Aviles is playing at a high rate right now but the underlying statistics prove he is not going to keep this up. Mike is another guy with horrible road splits as he is only hitting .250 in road games this year for Boston. Aviles has never been a power guy and he already has 5 bombs so far this year (career high is 10 in 2008). His HR/FB rate is already double of what it was in 2008 (this year HR/FB rate is 16.7% and in 2008 it was 8.3%). He is bound for a regression mostly due to his current isolated power rate being over 80 points higher than his career average rate. I believe Aviles can keep his batting average around .300 but the power will drop as the season progresses. He’s never had over 430 at bats in a season and he’s never played in over 110 games so durability will become a factor as we enter the summer months. Sell high on Aviles and look to get in on Jose Reyes (struggling) or Alcides Escobar (underrated). Keep in mind Aviles is not Bobby Valentine’s choice shortstop as the controversial manager openly admitted he preferred minor league prospect Jose Iglesias over Aviles in spring training.

Matt Moore TB SP
Moore gets the nod today (May 1st) on the bump for the Rays against the Mariners. He may very well come out and throw a gem but if he doesn’t, expect me to tell you to sell high on Moore as the rookie is struggling. I want to write about him but because he is pitching later today the stats wouldn’t be the same. Just keep in mind that Matt Moore is on the verge of my “Sell High” list.

Derek Jeter NYY SS
The Captain makes my sell high list for obvious reasons. He is fantasy gold right now because not only is he a big name Yankee player, he is also playing a prime fantasy position at shortstop. He is hitting .389 which includes his .449 average on the road. Here is what concerns me with Jeter; he only has 2 stolen base attempts this year with a .433 OBP to go along with his high average. I’d expect at least 5 or 6 more attempts with the amount of times he’s been on base. This means he hasn’t been receiving the green light from Girardi limiting his fantasy value. His average will regress due to his current career high BABIP of .421. He is hitting the ball on the ground at a 63.3% clip which is higher than his career 57.6% average. Jeter is also at an extremely high HR/FB rate of 30.8% which is 13.7% higher than his previous career best (2005). Basically Jeter is playing out of his mind but the counting numbers (home runs, stolen bases, RBI’s, and runs) don’t show the high increase that you would expect to continue with the statistical data. When his average begins to fall back to career norms the counting stats will take a major hit. I’m selling high.

Aaron Hill ARI 2B
Hill is hitting .266 this year with 4 homers and 2 stolen bases but he also has a career high 17.6% strikeout rate. In 2009 Hill crushed 36 home runs (158 games played) for the Toronto Blue Jays. That season he had an ISO power rate of .213 with a BABIP of .288 which led to his .286 batting average. That year he swung at a career high 51.1% of pitches seen. He swung at 74.2% of pitches in the strike zone in 2009 during his career best season but this year he is only swinging at 61.8% of pitches in the strike zone. This year he is showing a lot more patience by only swinging at 40.4% of pitches as a whole. He is seeing 4.33 pitches per at bat compared to his career average of 3.65 pitches per at bat. Hill is basically hitting the ball with the same authority as he did in 2009 (this year an ISO power rate of .215 and a .481 slugging percentage) but he just isn’t swinging at the same volume as he did in 2009. I think his strikeout rate is a concern and therefore will begin to be overpowered as he just isn’t as aggressive as the power numbers would appear. I’m selling high.

Cliff Lee PHI SP
I’m selling high on Cliff Lee because reports from Philadelphia say that Lee will not be activated from the DL when first eligible this Friday. In fact, Lee hasn’t even thrown a bullpen session since being placed on the disabled list April 21st. Lee is dealing with an oblique injury which is always one of the more difficult, non-arm, injuries for a pitcher to return from. I think this issue may linger longer than first thought and I’m looking to deal him for the right price. If I have an open DL slot on my fantasy team I’d prefer to stash him there but if the right offer comes along I won’t hesitate to move him.

Cody Ross BOS OF
Cody Ross has shown solid power numbers this year hitting 5 home runs in 74 at bats. Ross is at a career high HR/AB rate and I don’t think that will continue. Ross currently has a high fantasy value in RBI’s as he is tied for 12th in all of baseball. His best statistical value in terms of batting order would be in the 6th spot because this year, in 17 at bats, he is hitting .412 but when he has to hit 4th or 5th in the lineup he’s at a .182 average. If you look at the Red Sox lineup, Ross may be forced to hit higher up (4th or 5th) due to injuries to Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford and Kevin Youkilis. Bobby V. has been moving him around in the lineup on a day-to-day basis. I’m sure that can’t be good for his psyche. I’m selling high.

Tim Lincecum SF SP
If your new to the site and this is the first article of mine that your reading then you won’t know how much I’m down on him this year. I think there is an injury to Lincecum that the Giants have not announced to the public (back or arm). I don’t think he will throw over 150 innings this season and right now he is coming off an okay start so I think that this may be the best “sell high” time on Big Time Timmy Jim.

Carlos Beltran STL OF
I’m selling high on Beltran mostly for health reasons but there is some batting trends that concern me here as well. Beltran has his best HR/AB rate over the past 5 seasons at 15.6 and that is bound to regress (over the past 5 years he has a HR/AB rate of 26.4). Beltran missed 179 games in 2009 and 2010 combined with knee issues. Beltran’s health is a concern as is the fact he hasn’t hit a home run in the past 10 games after hitting 5 homers in his first 11 games this year. I’m selling high.

Chris Capuano LAD SP
Capuano has gotten off to a great start this year with a 3-0 record, 2.73 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. He’s also tallied 29 strikeouts in 29.2 innings pitched. I’m selling high on Chris because I don’t think his opponents batting average will continue to stay this low. He currently has a .215 batting average against compared to his career .265 average. He also has a career best K/9 rate of 8.80 right now which would explain his outstanding 85.4% strand rate. His BABIP against is at .256 which would make it seem like he will regress as the year progresses. He also has a career high walk rate of 3.94 BB/9 right now which shows a lack of control. He is averaging under 6 innings thrown per start. I’m selling high on this Dodger starter.

Other Sell High Candidates:
Bartolo Colon OAK SP
Yoenis Cespedes OAK OF
Jason Kipnis CLE 2B
Wandy Rodriguez HOU SP
Austin Jackson DET OF
Mike Moustakes KC 3B
Jason Vargas SEA SP

I had a hard time putting Mike Aviles on this list as part of me wants to believe he’s figured it out but I just don’t see him having a 20/20 season. I also had a hard time with Derek Jeter but that’s just because I’m a Yankee fan. For fantasy purposes I’m 100% backing my sell high on him.

Hit me on twitter @Awies28

Alex Wiesner

Be sure to check out other great articles at Mr Fantasy Freak.

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Osi Umenyiora fires back at New York Giants GM Jerry Reece.

NEW YORK -Ding. Ding. Round three of the annual Osi Umenyiora vs. Jerry Reece title bout is underway. As reported, during the NFL draft festivities, Reece, the Giants GM proclaimed his love for Osi. He went as far as to state that the team wants him to “retire” as a Giant. He also said that the team had offered him two contract extensions that Osi turned down.

Today the New York Daily News is reporting that they received an e-mail from Umenyiora that refutes Reece’s advances and the light that this situation is placing him under.

“Last year I was offered incentives. This year they offered me in guaranteed money, HALF of what they just gave Kiwi guaranteed. HALF,” Umenyiora wrote. “I’m not making that up. Then Jerry tells the world they offered me an extension and I turned it down. And I look like a greedy pig for turning it down. Hilarious.”

Kiwi refers to OLB/DE Mathias Kiwanuka who just completed an extension with the team last week.

When teams and talent go to war with each other in the media, it rarely if ever ends well. Jerry Reece is not the kind of GM that will allow himself to look “soft” and Umenyiora is done playing the good student that flares up from time-to-time but for the most part can be controlled.

Place your bets. This heavyweight battle is not over.

Be sure to check out other great articles at Players View.

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