2012 Mastersball Forum Draft: First Round PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ryan Carey   
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 11:28

Yesterday I was joined by eleven eager Forum regulars as we completed the First Round of a 12 Team Snake Draft. Over the next couple of weeks we will be working our way through this 30 Round draft, filling out our rosters and offering some analysis of each pick me make along the way. The nice thing about these results is this is not a Mock Draft, as we have done in the past.  This year we decided that we would play this league out, with FAAB pickups throughout the year. Regular readers of our Forums will recognize many of the participants and I look forward to a spirited draft, with some interesting commentary, from this group we have assembled.

Here is a look at the First Round we’ve just completed:

1 – Albert Pujols 1B, LAA – Trav the Ump

2 – Miguel Cabrera 1B, DET – Whipsaw

3 – Matt Kemp OF, LAD  - Black SOX

4 – Ryan Braun OF, MIL  - Steve B

5 -  Joey Votto 1B, CIN  -  P. Evans

6 – Jose Bautista 3B/OF, TOR – AllstonRockCity

7 – Troy Tulowitski SS, COL – mbendar

8 – Jacoby Ellsbury OF, BOS – Ryan Carey

9 – Adrian Gonzalez 1B, BOS – Southpaw

10 – Justin Upton  OF, ARI  - T Grant

11 -  Hanley Ramirez  SS, MIA  - Mickey4081

12 – Carlos Gonzalez  OF, COL  - Rotonut


We invite you to drop into the forum and follow along as we work our way through the player pool.  The Forum for the draft can be found here: 2012 Mastersball Forum Draft

We also have a separate commentary thread for observers to post comments and/or ask questions of the participants.  So if you want to add your two cents or slam our picks please feel free to join the conversation.

Beware Ichiro and Figgy PDF Print E-mail
Written by Lawr Michaels   
Monday, 05 March 2012 00:00

I gotta say that as much fun as it is to scramble off to Phoenix for some spring games and some drafting, as my poor old body ages, I have to take it a little slower.

Saturday I got up at 4 a.m. California time and got off to the airport where Diane dropped me for my flight. As soon as the flight landed, off to my rental car and Peoria, where I watched the Athletics and the Mariners do some early spring battle.

There were some good things I saw too, starting with Jemile Weeks hitting a single, stealing a base, and later whacking a home run. As did big Seattle slugger Carlos Peguero. Jarrod Parker tossed two fine innings, giving up a baserunner on an error, but striking out four tossing 25 pitches, 16 for strikes.

Not so effective were Kevin Millwood, Aaron Heilman, and Tyson Ross, all of whom labored.

But, I was really interested in watching two players: Ichiro Suzuki and Chone Figgins. That is because one of the best sources of player value is the solid guy who underperforms one year is often a value the following season (are you listening Aubrey Huff and Adam Dunn non-believers?).

Figgins managed a couple of at-bats and weakly grounded out once, and whiffed the second time. All things being equal, Figgins just did not look like he was competing at the same level as the other guys on the field.

Similarly, Ichiro, of whom it pains me to write this, just looked out of place. Parker whiffed him once during an at-bat where I don't remember the great Seattle right fielder looking so badly fooled.

Now, I realize we just have a couple of spring games completed, and it is early. Not everyone has their timing, and well, pitchers have the advantage over the first few months of the season anyway. But, I would be very cautious picking up either of these players for the 2012 season. Figgins for a couple of bucks in a deep league, and a reserve flier in a mixed format is a good path, while Ichiro is probably ok as a #3 outfielder. But, not much more by my reckoning.

Note that after the game I booked straight to the AL LABR draft and ensuing activities. Meaning I have just been shagged all day Sunday, where I am taking a day off before toddling off to the NL LABR draft tonight.

More to come on that, for sure.

Last Updated on Monday, 05 March 2012 09:34
The Big T(estosterone) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Pasko Varnica   
Sunday, 04 March 2012 08:37

I must preface this piece: I am no medical doctor. Nor do I have any medical training. 

Having said that, given that I am a male approaching that magical age when testosterone (T) begins to run scarce in the body, I have attempted to educate myself on the topic.

Everyone with even a side interest in fantasy baseball knows by now that MLB has detected an unusually high level of testosterone in the "specimen" (and we can stick with that euphamism for the word urine) collected from Ryan Braun. The amount of T was apparently the highest ever recorded by MLB. The collection--and love the word as much as specimen--was collected right after a playoff game last year. And, as we all know, due to a procedural technicality, Braun's suspension was overturned.

Well, let me tell you a few facts about I learned about T as I struggled to understand the chemical. 

First of all, it is good for you. Laugh as much as you want, but, without it your bones become brittle. There you go: that should make you stop snickering.

So, there is a legitimate reason for our bodies manufacturing T aside from, well, you know what.

Our bodies--both male and female--also generate T to keep us energized. Without it we become sluggish. In fact one function of physical exercise is to induce our bodies to produce T, which is one reason they say that a bit of exercise is good for your sex life.

We have seen female athletes accused of doping with T when in reality it could have been naturally produced by the respective body order to support a physical effort. And, an unintended consequence, a cliché for social engineering, is the effect of excess T swirling in the body of female athletes when they become pregnant.

Hormones washing the fetus during the first few weeks of formation determine the gender, and a lack of hormonal equilibrium may in turn cause an imbalance between the fetus’s gender and its sexual orientation. And, an excell of T may be one of the underlying causes of this imbalance.

Due to Title IX's support of equality in high school and collegiate sports--encouraging female students to join athletics programs--current and future generations may even experience a rise in female bisexuality due to female fetuses swimming in amniotic sacks with too much T.

In fact, to stretch that, T is exuded from our pores together with sweat, and our saliva is laden with it. This is why we kiss (well, aside from the fact that kissing is fun). But, in the scheme of birds and bees, humans kiss to transfer T because it is known to increase libido in women (don’t you just love mother Nature?) and help keep the species replicating itself, avoiding extinction.

Now, I am not saying that Braun has been kissing his team-mates in and around the dugout (not that there is anything wrong with it). But, Braun may have been licking his sweat off his upper lip and by doing so introducing even more T into his body. But, the point is there are plenty of human situations when our bodies can wind up overloaded with T.

And, to apply to Braun, who is going to have a higher level of T? A guy who spent two weeks prior to the collection at a sea-side resort like a beached whale, or a guy who is going through the playoffs and has just finished playing a game (a rhetorical question, of course).

Bearing all the above in mind, my opinion, there is absolutely no way for MLB to determine that the T found in Braun’s specimen was not naturally produced to counterbalance the mental and physical stress of playing baseball. For the level of T in our bodies shoots up and down like a rollercoaster and is situational.

So, if that aforementioned guy on the beach has been observing a group of bikini clad females playing in the surf (and let’s say that guy was me) and one of the women looses her top, I have learned that while I am straining to help her find her lost top, in that very instant of time the level of T in my body would shoot up sky-high. And, if in that very instant in time MLB shows up to collect my specimen, if I were a baseball player, I would get suspended just like Ryan Braun. Swear. Which really means major league baseball, your timing sucks!

How is this going to help you figure out when to draft Braun? It won’t. For that you ought to read Lord Zola and Zen Master Lawr. From me you get this other good stuff.

Last Updated on Sunday, 04 March 2012 09:12
Mastersball at KFFL’s Fantasy BAD PDF Print E-mail
Written by Pasko Varnica   
Thursday, 01 March 2012 13:22

Every year KFFL invites the best and the brightest of the fantasy baseball crowd to participate to their Fantasy Baseball Analysis Draft (BAD) Experts league. And naturally Mastersball was invited back. In addition to us and our friends from KFFL, this year’s participants were with Roto Experts, FanGraphs, Baseball Sharks, Baseball Guys/Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, USA Today/Sports Weekly, Baseball Prospectus, Baseball HQ, RTSports and The Hardball Times.  BAD requires each participant to explain in approximately 50 words his rational behind each pick.  Analysis is posted on KFFL’s web site.

League’s top page is here:

The randomly selected draft order gave us the 4th pick. I must add that the draft started before the verdict about Braun’s suspension was made public. We decided to go with Troy Tulowitzki unless one of the top three (Pujols, Cabrera or Kemp) were still available, yeah, dream on. Basically, we felt that the drop in quality of SS is so steep this year that Tulo would be our best choice.

Picking Tulo determined our entire draft strategy. We focused on scarcity and in the second round we picked Adrian Beltre’, given the drop in quality among 3Bmen and in the third round we went with Josh Hamilton.  You got to love those Rangers.

I will spare you the rest of the draft. You can check it out if you click on the above link. Let me give you a few of the salient points.

To my surprise and joy, Jered Weaver was still available in the 6th round, yet another confirmation that one can wait on starting pitchers. Ryan Roberts was picked in the 12th round. He has multi-position eligibility and will fill our 2B position. His projected stats place him right after the elite 2basemen. These elite 2B guys were gone fast, hence Roberts in the 12 round is a steal. If he performs as expected, that is. Even if he is slotted to play third for the Diamondbacks, think of him as a possible 2Bman.

In the 24th round, the first bench round, we selected Henderson Alvarez. I am very high on this guy. Do not ignore him at draft time. Our 28th and last pick was Shelby Miller, a guy to stash away, given his high potential. If you are in a keeper league, grab him, if you can.

I like our team, but, that being said, Steve Gardner from USA Today/Sports Weekly took a risk and drafted Ryan Braun in the third round.  Remember, this was done before the verdict was announced. No guts, no glory. With Kemp and Braun on his team, I think that this year’s crown will go to Steve. Maybe. You never know in fantasy baseball. That’s why I love it. But if we win or do well, you will hear it from me.

Todd on SiriusXM Tuesday 2-28 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 28 February 2012 18:59

Todd will be back on Big Lead Sports with hosts Steve Kyler & Ryan Bonini Tuesday night, February 28 at 10:30 PM ET/7:30 PM PT.

Tune into Fantasy Sports Radio, XM-87, Sirius-210 to hear the interview.

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