Friday, April 30, 2010

Patience is also a Virtue for Fantasy Owners

posted by Jon Williams

Photo from fOTOGLIF


The toughest moves to make in Fantasy Sports is none at all. Everyone preaches patience this time of year but inevitably some owners will overreact to Grady Sizemore hitting .192, Mark Teixeira batting .139, or Aramis Ramirez hitting .159. These stats are horrible and they hurt your fantasy squad but dumping these players just because they're slumping would be a huge mistake.

The second toughest move to make in fantasy is to acquire a player like this while in the midst of such a slump. I do recommend it. Especially if you can trade a hot hitter unlikely to last for one of them. Players like Kelly Johnson ( I love the guy, he was one of my sleepers, but if you believe he's going to hit the 60 homers he's on pace to hit there is a bridge I'd like to sell you), Paul Konerko (on an incredible hot streak but I'll eat my hat if he leads the league in homers), or Austin Jackson (a rookie hitting .330, please).

I'll leave you with The Three Most Important Aspects of a Good Trade:
  1. Mission Accomplished - You went into the trade talks with a clear objective, and even if the players changed you still accomplished what you set out to accomplish. (You acquired the steals you needed, Re-Built for next year-- wuss, Or sold high on a player with an inflated value.)
  2. Feeling Good - You are happy with the package you received in return. You should love your side of a trade or at the very least be satisfied that the package you received will accomplish your goal of improving your team. (If you feel bad or uneasy about a deal DO NOT MAKE IT!)
  3. Integrity Intact - Your deal doesn't need to make your league mates happy but it should past the smell test. You should not have deceived your trade partners in any way. You did everything by the rules of your league. (Sometimes the rules are not so clear, its okay to test those rules as long as you do not break them. Maybe the new rules will be named after you.)

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RosterSlots.com Caters to Fantasy Baseball Micro-Managers

posted by Jon Williams
My friend Peter would like me to share with you the news of a great new fantasy oriented website. RosterSlots.com allows you to build a fantasy team through a virtual slot machine. I'm participating in an expert league with teams built with this system I'm expecting it to be a blast. But I'll let Peter's press release do most of the explaining.

For Immediate Release

RosterSlots.com Caters to Fantasy Baseball Micro-Managers

Northborough, MA - Ever picked up a free agent starting pitcher on a hunch? Ever traded away a star player just to shake things up? Ever just wanted to "do something" during the season, but thought better of it? If so, RosterSlots.com is for you.

In fantasy baseball, there aren't a lot of opportunities for experimentation with your roster. Teams that show patience and discipline are rewarded in the standings, but it's roster transactions (the draft, free agent pickups, and trades) that make fantasy baseball fun. At RosterSlots.com, which begins fantasy baseball play on May 1, transactions are the focus of the game. RosterSlots.com's "slot machine" user interface provides a fun, easy access outlet for serious players and casual players alike - especially those seeking more immediate gratification (or a second chance) as the baseball season plods along.

The slot machine user interface is the key to the transaction-rich game play. Each day, you are provided with a certain number of "spins" to build your team. Each spin of the slot machine's reels returns 3 players. You decide to keep or replace all 3 players together, as a single unit. To replace the players, you either use another spin or trade the players to another team for more spins. Your team consists of 15 players and you score points based on the daily performance of each player.

Your lineup and your spin count reset everyday, but you don't need to play everyday: there are daily, weekly, average-per-play, and season long leaderboards. You can also create your own Personal League of unlimited size by adding teams (friends or foes) from any of the leaderboards - sort of a social network for fantasy baseball.

The slot machine interface works because slot machines are the ultimate in transactional gaming, but this is not a gambling site; in fact, it's free! With traditional slots, you go broke. With RosterSlots.com, you get to evaluate and experiment with more players, invite more of your friends to play, and you always have something to do during the fantasy baseball season. Go to www.rosterslots.com and use your existing Google, Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, or MSN user account to sign up, or create a new account.

About RosterSlots.com

RosterSlots.com is a fantasy sports-based Internet startup founded by Peter Wikander. RosterSlots.com provides a unique fantasy baseball game where you build your team using a virtual slot machine. The idea originated in 2007 as a way to create a more interactive fantasy baseball experience. The site launched for a closed beta for the Arizona Fall League in November of 2009, and then an open beta for the Winter Olympics in February of 2010. The open baseball beta launches on May 1, 2010 and will feature a 12 team Expert League, featuring industry veterans from such web sites as KFFL.com and FantasyPros911.com.

Mr. Wikander works as a technical writer in Chelmsford, MA and resides in Northborough, MA with his wife and daughter. He can be reached at peter@rosterslots.com.

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Top Prospect: Adeiny Hechavarria

posted by Jon Williams

Photo from fOTOGLIF


The story has been out there for weeks but the Toronto Blue Jays finally made their signing of Cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria official. The 21-year old received a four-year, $10-million major-league deal. He expects to be playing in the majors very soon. So soon in fact that he chose the Blue Jays over the Yankees based on the contract extension Derek Jeter is expected to get, while Alex Gonzalez has just a one-year deal.

Bob Elliot of the Toronto Sun describes all the events that led to the signing by the Blue Jays. This is a great article that will give you a true sense of the talent level of the player and what the team was thinking when they signed him.

“Scouting is about comparison,” Anthopoulos said. “I wanted Dana there because he’d been scouting director (Washington Nationals) for eight years. Andrew knew shortstops eligible for the draft.”

Beeston’s question was “where would Hechavarria go in the draft — if eligible.”

“Marco felt really strongly about Hechavarria, we thought we could set the competition at our complex,” Anthopoulos said.

Antopoulos’ first impression seeing the 5-foot-11 178-pounder?

“His body, he’s wiry, strong, not an ounce of body fat,” Anthopoulos said. “Watching him walk was impressive. When you look at young shortstops you wonder if they are going to get thicker in the lower half which might cause them to lose a step defensively”

Anthopoulos said the prospect was not as thick as Alfonso Soriano, but had a similar build to Julio Lugo, Edgar Rentaria and B.J. Upton, who is taller.

What the Jays entourage saw was an athletic fielder with quick twitch muscles.

Hechavarria runs a 60-yard dash.

“He was 6.4 or 6-5, but he’d been 6.3 before,” Hernandez said.

The right-handed hitter took batting practice with an inside-out swing, hitting the ball the other way.

Anthopoulos said they did not see him swing and miss a pitch.

Hechavarria faced some of harder throwers from the Jays rookie-class Dominican summer league and free-agent international pitchers.

In a simulated game Hechavarria led off every inning. If he got an extra-base, hit or made an out he returned to first and attempted to steal.

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Monday, April 12, 2010

New Episode of "Lineup" Tonight!

posted by Jon Williams
Last week, the panel declared Jackie Robinson as New York's All-Time Best Second Baseman. Tonight, Monday, April 12th starting at 10:30PM, the panel will discuss NY's All-Time Best Third Basemen. David Wright? Alex Rodriguez? or Billy Cox? See which other top third basemen are in the running for the lineup! Also, if you missed last night's episode, you can watch video highlights here: http://msg.com/lineup/

Stayed tuned to see if you won a signed baseball from a baseball legend! Each week you play the The Lineup fantasy baseball game is a chance to win more signed memorabilia!

“The Lineup: New York’s All-Time Best Baseball Players,” is a new original series and interactive fantasy game that will determine the best baseball players in the history of New York. Each 30-minute episode of “The Lineup” will present a number of nominees for consideration at each position, from the Yankees, Mets, New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers, with one episode dedicated to the best New York manager of all-time. MSG’s Fran Healy hosts a panel, consisting of Hall of Fame Mets catcher Gary Carter, former Yankee bullpen ace Sparky Lyle, New York Magazine contributing editor and baseball aficionado Will Leitch, and executive vice president of the Elias Sports Bureau Steve Hirdt. The panel will whittle down a larger list of players from each position and determine the top five from each spot on the diamond. By the end of each episode, they will crown the top player at each position and name him to the official “Lineup” card.

With an interactive fantasy game launched in conjunction with the on-air program and hosted on http://msg.com/lineup/, viewers can see how they stack up against The Lineup's experts. Fans will try to predict the five players who will be nominated each week and ultimately who will be selected as the starter in the final “Lineup.” Participants will receive points for each correct pick and will be eligible for weekly prizes such as signed memorabilia from baseball greats like Don Mattingly, Joe Torre, Reggie Jackson and Derek Jeter. At the end of the series, the participant with the most points will win a Grand Prize. The site will also feature chats for fans to interact and debate each position, quizzes about the nominated players, photo and video galleries, and player statistics for fans to comb through before making their picks.

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