Daily Dose: February 1st

This is the Daily Dose.  Daily Dose of what you might ask?  For that there is no concrete answer.  There will be article recommendations as I love to read and then share interesting things that I read.  90% of the time it will be baseball-related stuff.  I don’t want it to be a pure link-roll type thing as there are plenty of those out there now.   I’ll have my commentary on various baseball stories from time to time.  It will be stories I only have a quick opinion or two on.  Obviously anything in depth would be post in itself.  I’ll also be dropping fantasy baseball knowledge bombs on you in order to hopefully help you in your offseason preparation.

Why the name Daily Dose?  There is no special meaning.  It’s not terribly original.  I’m sure there are tons of things, possibly things similar to this, named the Daily Dose out there.  It was a name that hit me as I was thinking this up (thinking this up, who am I kidding?  This isn’t a revolutionary idea.  As I was deciding that I wanted to do something like this, the DD name just popped up).  With a name like Daily Dose, I’m planning to do it… you guessed it, daily!!!  I will still finish the Three Questions series and of course I’m still working very hard on the 2011 Starting Pitcher Guide, which is coming along nicely if I may say so myself.  Anywhere, Daily Dose: Take 1… annnndd action.

Jason Collette of Baseball Prospectus looks at how one of his opponents fared with a $9 pitching staff strategy.  That isn’t a group of pitchers valued at $9 apiece, that’s 9 pitchers at a buck each.  He also analyzes the challenge of putting together a $9 staff in 2011.

Having done the Starting Pitcher guides the last few years, I’m not sure I would have the discipline to pull off such a strategy because there are guys I end really coveting for the upcoming season.  Sometimes they are cheap end-game options I can get for a dollar, but if I like them enough and someone pops them to $2, then I’m definitely firing $3 without blinking.  On the other hand, the depth of the SP guides would leave me well equipped with options if I were to undertake such a strategy.

Stick with BP, R.J. Anderson put together a handy list of players who are out of options heading into the 2011 season.  This list can be especially useful in analyzing position battles.  If there is a tie between a guy with options and one without, you can almost certainly favor the latter and feel more comfortable spending your roto dollars on them.

This is the funniest thing I have read in quite a while.  That said, I may need to sue Jon Bois for nearly killing me as I read the Dad Meek entry.  My grape & strawberry Starburst jellybeans were nearly the death of me.  Do not, I repeat DO NOT, enjoy tasty treats while reading this excellent work.

I don’t hate this piece by George Winkler that looks at the Pros and Cons of Hanley Ramirez for the 2011 season, but  I have a bit of a problem with the subtitle “Is he still worth a top-five pick?” which I think is a slam-dunk “yes” any way you slice it.  I was also taken aback at Winkler’s assertion that shortstop might be thinner than second base this year and that it would be the first time in seven years that this was the case.

Not only is second base much deeper than shortstop this year, but it was last year, too.  Second base wasn’t even the second-thinnest position in 2010, it was third base.  Not only does second base smash shortstop in a comparison of top tiers, but the second and third tiers also have much surer options than the Olsen twin-thin shortstop.  Of course Winkler reaches the same conclusion re: Ramirez’s value, but it just took him 595 words.

Ted Berg of TedQuarters.net takes a look at the Johan Santana trade from a bit of a different angle.  Instead merely judging it in terms of what the Mets gave the Twins, he looks at the financial implications for the Mets which are especially important in light of the money issues plaguing the team thanks to venereal disease-like Bernie Madoff, his sting just won’t go away.

Over at Beyond the Boxscore, Satchel Price ranks the four rotations of the AL West.  I’m going to bookmark this one and revisit it after the SP Guide is released so we can compare it to my ranking of the West rotations.

With the first baseball-related post in his new gig over at SBNation, Rob Neyer eviscerates… himself.  He looks back on a prediction column from the winter of 1999-2000 where he tried to predict the best players at each position over the next decade.  By the way, I was as shocked as everyone else was that Neyer left ESPN, but I was even more shocked that he resurfaced at SBNation merely a day later.  I, like many, am a HUGE Neyer fan.  He was kind enough to come on my college radio show years ago.  It was a pretty big “get” and thanks to Neyer, I was the man around the studio for a few weeks leading up to and immediately afterward.  Neyer is, in effect, this generation’s Bill James in a lot of ways.  Many of the top baseball writers on the internet have Neyer to thank for the inspiration.  I think he’s going to be great for SBNation.

And finally, RotoHardball’s Eno Sarris has released the site’s preliminary third base rankings.  I think they overrated Chase Headley while at the same time underrating Aramis Ramirez.  Sarris and I debated this on Twitter shortly after the rankings came out.  He felt that Headley’s speed was worth quite a bit and that Ramirez was unquestionably in a decline phase.  For me, Ramirez’s worst season (last year) was just about as good as Headley’s best.  With so much cheap speed available, I don’t need Headley’s mid-teens speed.  I need power from third base as it isn’t as prevalent anymore.  Ramirez offers power, including 25 home runs in, again, his worst year.  I don’t have any major quibbles with the rest of the list and it is labeled a working document so it will be interesting to see how it evolves over the course of Spring Training.

FYI: Yahoo! is opening their fantasy baseball registration up a week from today.  I think you get what you pay for with Yahoo!, but if you don’t want to pay then it’s just fine.  Personally, I love CBS and I try to use it for as many as leagues as possible.  I do use Yahoo! for my Free Agent Only league every year.  I fill my predraft list with the worst players possible and then add/drop my team from the remaining free agents after the draft.  I’ve a mixed bag of success in this yearly endeavor.  The highest I have finished is 2nd.  I know some folks who have won these leagues, but a lot of it depends on how stupid your league mates are in terms of who they get impatient with and how much and who they will trade.

Speaking of coming soon, the 2011 edition of the MLB2K series is just over a month away and I can’t wait.  I think they keep making this series better each year with the 2K10 version being far & away the best yet.  I actually hated 2K9, so I was thrilled that 2K10 made major improvements.  I expect some quality improvements again this year and I’m sure I’ll be playing the 2K11 version next winter as I am the 2K10 version still today.

Knowledge Bomb: Batting Average is a tricky fantasy category to plan for because honestly in a one year sample, a lot of it can come down to luck.  In general, this is why I am in favor of switching leagues to On-Base Percentage as the primary rate stat for hitters, but that change has only been incremental in the last few years.  So with BA sticking around in the bulk of leagues for the foreseeable future, I want to leave you with this: over the course of a 600 at-bat season, the difference between a .257 hitter and a .300 hitter is a hit per week across the 26-week schedule.

It sounds simple enough, but when you think about it, it’s kind of crazy.  A few inches north, south, east or west on an “at-em ball”, a bleeder in between the shortstop and third baseman or a no man’s land bloop per week is difference between being a scrub and being classified as a brilliant hitter.  Think about that when you are assessing Matt Kemp’s 2010 in comparison to his 2009.  He fell from .297 to .249 thanks to 30 fewer singles last year and all of a sudden he is persona non grata to some fantasy owners.

His BABIP fell 50 points to .295 while the rest of his skills are essentially flat.  He is a perfect example how luck that goes against you for a season can change how you’re perceived despite not suffering any legitimate skills decline.  The average aside, Kemp was hardly chopped liver with a career high 28 home runs and down but still viable counting stats (82 R, 89 RBI, 19 SB).

He needs to work on his stolen base choices (19-for-34) but after going 69-for-88 (78%) in 2008 and 2009, I don’t think he just lost the ability to steal.  I love Kemp for a big season in 2011 and I think he’s a great value play among early rounders as you can get first round talent in the second round or later.  A definite buy.

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3 Responses to “Daily Dose: February 1st”

  1. I agree with your bit about batting average. However, after reading it, I was left also wanting Crash Davis’s solliloquoy on Lee Harvey Oswalt, no DH, real grass, and the small of a woman’s back.

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