Daily Dojo 8-5-2013

What a weekend in baseball…

We found out that Alex Rodriguez will be suspended through the 2014 season, at least. I am writing this before the suspensions are handed down, so I am still speculating that a lifetime ban is possible. However, it looks like that is not the case and he is going to be suspended under the drug agreement. I think this is a mistake by the MLB, but Buster Olney had a good point, for once. If Selig lets him play while he is appealing, he will be able to go to the MLBPA and say they need stronger penalties. This is something that is needed in baseball. The penalties don’t stop players from cheating. I’ll finish this topic with this question… Would you be willing to cheat by taking an illegal substance to make 100 million dollars and support your family for the rest of your and their lives? Ryan Braun and A-Rod said yes.

Now for the good parts going on in baseball.

Jose Fernandez (cbssports.com)

Jose Fernandez (cbssports.com)

Jose Fernandez is one of the best pitchers in baseball… he turned 21 years old this year. He is ridiculous. He has had two straight games in which he had recorded 13 strikeouts. His ERA is the 8th best in the entire MLB ahead of Cy Young candidates Yu Darvish, Max Scherzer, and Adam Wainwright. The Marlins are building a superstar team just like the Astros are. They have Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Jake Marisnick, Andrew Heaney (still in the minors, but was their 2012 first round draft pick) and more. They always seem to have the worst management team, and out of no where… they win a World Series. Mark my words, 2017 World Series… Houston Astros vs Miami Marlins. You’ll see. Oh another Fernandez note… I traded him in a keeper league… I hate myself for that. It saddens me everyday he pitches, but he is an amazing talent and awesome to watch.

Wil Myers (abcactionnews.com)

Wil Myers (abcactionnews.com)

Remember how I wrote up Wil Myers? He started off sucking, but he is now playing extremely well. Besides Yasiel Puig and the Dodgers, Wil Myers and the Rays have been the hottest team in baseball by far. Since Wil Myers call up, they have gone 27-12 and skyrocketed to second in the AL East, only a game back of the Red Sox. They also have a 4 game lead for home field advantage in the Wild Card game. The only sad part for the Rays is they could have had Wil Myers all year. They made a mistake by waiting to call him up. If somehow they don’t make the playoffs or don’t win the AL East and lose in the Wild Card game, they will be second guessing themselves because they have a championship caliber team with Myers in the fold.

Final thoughts

Johnny Manziel needs to chill out with the partying and being a celebrity because I do not think the NCAA likes it, and once they start a probe, it usually ends with some sort of punishment. I also think the NFL won’t be thinking too highly of him next year when he leaves A&M.

Tiger Woods is amazing. He dominated this weekend. He is back physically. All he needs to do is put it together mentally for a major weekend. Next weekend… PGA Championship… Tiger gets 15.

Pumped for the NFL season. 31 days until Thursday Night Football with Ravens at Broncos.

Greg Danchik

Daily Dojo 8-2-2013

After a lot of traveling the past day and a half, I have finally been able to sit down and write about the past couple of days. I gave my Alex Rodriguez suspension thoughts the last time I wrote. He’s done. I think he gets some of his money from his contract, but he won’t get to play again.

Now, there are some GREAT things going on in baseball right now. It is great to be able to watch a good game every night, and so many teams are playing well and pushing for a playoff spot. The Orioles are not playing good, but there are some teams playing amazing.

Andrew McCutchen (espn.go.com)

Andrew McCutchen (espn.go.com)

The Pirates are now 1.5 games ahead of St. Louis, a team widely considered the best team in baseball, for the NL Central division lead after winning 3 of 4 this week. They are playing great, and I am sure that they will make the playoffs after TWENTY losing seasons. I do not think they will win the division, but again, they’ll make the playoffs. They rank low in every offensive category as a team, but they are getting the job done. In terms of fantasy, Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte have been studs and will continue to do well. I would take a look at Neil Walker if you are weak at second base and he was dropped in your league. He is going to be batting second almost every game for the rest of the year, between McCutchen and Marte. His batting average is about 30 points less than his career average, so once he starts to hit more, people will be on base to be knocked in so you can get counting stats. I like Walker the rest of the way if he is available or try to get him cheap in a trade to help you down the stretch.

The Cleveland Indians are probably the biggest surprise to me. Terry Francona has been exactly what that team needed. When they signed Michael Bourn, it didn’t make sense to me because I assumed they wouldn’t be contender. But now, they now hold a half game lead for the second wild card spot over the Orioles and Rangers after this 8 game winning streak. Averaging over 6 runs a game in that span, it probably helped your fantasy team out a lot if you have Indians. I just have a question in terms of fantasy, is Jason Kipnis a better second base option than Robinson Cano? Actually, I think it may not be a question at all. The answer is yes. Kipnis has 15 home runs, 65 RBI’s, and 57 runs with a .297 batting average. That is elite for a second baseman. While Cano has 21 home runs, 70 RBI’s, and 56 runs with a .293 batting average. I would say that Cano is better with those stats. What makes Kipnis the better option is steals. Kipnis has 21 to Cano’s 6. That difference is what I believe makes Jason Kipnis the best second baseman in fantasy baseball. However, I bet Cano gets drafted higher next year because of his consistency and Kipnis will have only had 2 full seasons in the majors. But, we’ll see.

The other AL Central team on a roll is the Kansa City Royals. They are on a serious run with a 9 game winning streak, but they can’t make up ground in the division because the Indians are on a roll too. Not to mention, the Tigers are on a five game winning streak. A big reason of this turn around… Eric Hosmer. After his disastrous season last year, in terms of fantasy because he was drafted so high, he has finally turned it around since the beginning of June.

This is a ridiculous stat line. If you did not give up on him, you are reaping the benefits. Of course, you did have to deal with him for the beginning of the season. I am excited to see if he puts together for a whole season next year and becomes a dominant fantasy force.

 

Daily Dojo 7-31-2013

I realize that I have not written in awhile. I am on vacation and work started to get really busy. The Daily Dojo is going to become more of the almost Daily Dojo. If something big happens in sports, I will most likely be able to write about it. Also, I think I am going to start putting a fantasy sports spin on all the news and notes I write about, but that will happen after today. I am already writing about fantasy sports at RosterDoc.com. I would suggest checking out their fantasy football game and my fantasy football articles. But for now, here is an almost Daily Dojo…

Alex Rodriguez and Bud Selig

Alex Rodriguez and Bud Selig

It is very clear that Bud Selig hates Alex Rodriguez. It had been reported that Selig will use the labor deal, instead of the Major League Baseball Drug policy, to suspend A-Rod. This will be one of the most talked about news stories in the entire country, on every news station. But we all know it will be beaten to death by ESPN, a classic ESPN move. Selig and the MLB will have to defend this in court and it could go on forever. The key thing here is A-Rod will be serving his suspension while he tries to appeal it. I don’t doubt that he could possibly win the appeal, but by the time this thing ends, his body won’t let him. A player who has seen a decline in the past two seasons, is coming off of a second hip surgery, and will receive CONSTANT verbal abuse from fans at every stadium even his own stadium will not want to play. His image is ruined publicly, forever. He was supposed to be the player that could become the Home Run King as a clean player. Alex Rodriguez will never recover from this even with the 100+ million dollars that will be the carrot in front of him. No one can overcome this situation. I will be absolutely shocked if Alex Rodriguez ever steps on the field in an MLB stadium again.

Jake Peavy

Jake Peavy

NFL training camps have started and that is all that is being talked about now. It is upsetting to me because I would like there to be consistent baseball coverage throughout the entire season, I realize that this is a unreasonable expectation. But I will hold off on football for a bit longer. Once the preseason games start, I will get into it more. Now, the MLB non-waiver trade deadline is today at 4 pm. I am interested to see who will be dealt. It appears that the Orioles want to deal more. I think that they won’t be getting anything significant by the deadline. The trade deadline has become slightly less significant as I have outlined previously in a story about my car ride back to Bucknell in June. The only big name that gets dealt, in my opinion, is Jake Peavy. I do not know where he will end up, but I know he won’t be in Chicago by the end of Wednesday. I think Cliff Lee should be dealt, but Philadelphia is not going to get the prospects they want for a pitcher that has roughly 70 million dollars left on his contract. The Phillies need to blow it up and rebuild, but they won’t and they’ll sit in a nice 3-7 years of mediocrity, not counting the last two years. The faster Ruben Amaro Jr. is kicked out of the front office, the faster the franchise will turn around.

Greg Danchik

EDIT: Jake Peavy was traded to the Red Sox after this was written. If he stays healthy, this is not good news for the Orioles and the rest of the AL East. Great trade for the Sox.

Daily Dojo 7-26-2013

I am sorry about that I haven’t posted a lot this week. I have had a lot of work to do, but here are some quick thoughts on this weeks sports happenings.

Dustin Pedroia

Dustin Pedroia

Dustin Pedroia‘s contract is VERY team friendly considering what he brings to the Red Sox. He is their best player on that team, and this contract will keep him around for the rest of his career. The Red Sox did well to lock him up before Robinson Cano goes onto the free agent market. Cano might get twice as much money. I am hoping he doesn’t go for too much more and ends up in Baltimore. The O’s will have the best line up in the majors with Cano. Of course, they will need to fix the pitching.

The Alex Rodriguez saga is ridiculous. The Yankees definitely do not want him to play, and they are hoping that the MLB can suspend him before he can get on the field. They do not want to pay him this year, but we’ll see what happens. I just want him to give up and go home.

Aaron Rodgers and Ryan Braun

Aaron Rodgers and Ryan Braun

I feel really bad for Aaron Rodgers. He is a great guy for defending his friend. It is very unfortunate Ryan Braun did that to him and put him in that situation. I feel bad that he gets all the backlash when it is Braun’s fault. Rodgers’ trusted him and is a co-owner of a restaurant with him. There is supposed to be a second one built. I would say that is doubtful at this point. I’m sure this isn’t the only person Braun has to give some explanation.

Finally, if you are a fantasy sports fan, check this site out. DraftStreet.com is offering a free MLB game tonight. You pick players for 8 tiers and if you win, you can win actual money with out putting any money down. You should give it a shot. Sign up and start playing. It is a lot of fun and I have enjoyed the daily fantasy games a lot since some of my fantasy baseball teams are flounder. Sign up play for the rest of baseball season and into football season. New team everyday.

 

Daily Dojo 7-23-2013

Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun

Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun

First things first. If you are surprised by the Ryan Braun suspension, you just haven’t been paying attention. Braun had already met with the MLB and had become target 1b (behind A-Rod). The documents showed that he was involved with Biogenesis and he could not escape the facts. By not appealing this suspension, he provides all the credibility to Anthony Bosch’s information that the MLB needs. Braun, in fact, gave the MLB more ammo to attack the players on the Biogenesis list. I think the MLB is going to start handing out suspensions left and right after this. Most players will probably appeal and get suspended at the beginning of next year. Also, I have read that the evidence against A-Rod is SOOOOOO MUCH GREATER than the evidence against Ryan Braun. His suspension could end his career. That is going to be the most interesting thing that happens with the Biogenesis scandal, and I want to see who all of the other players are. This could be another cloud that looms over baseball for a long time if handled incorrectly. So far so good MLB, don’t screw it up.

Fantasy baseball side of this suspension… buy low in keeper/dynasty leagues. I just bought him in one league and I couldn’t be happier. He may not have as much power as before, but he will still be a top 10 player next year. Assuming he stops cheating.

I wrote yesterday that the Matt Garza deal fell apart over the weekend. Well, it happened yesterday. The Cubs sent Garza to the Rangers in return for a package of prospects with the headliner being Mike Olt. I think this is a good trade for both sides, right now. If the Rangers DO NOT make the playoffs, Cubs win this deal. Matt Garza may not sign with the Rangers after this season, just like Cliff Lee in 2010. Actually, I change my mind within 2 sentences. Rangers need to win the World Series or Matt Garza needs to sign long term and perform, otherwise the Cubs win this. They get players that are under their control for a long time and could be on a team that is contending a couple years from now. It should be interesting to see who wins this trade a couple years from now.

Von Miller chasing Joe Flacco

Von Miller chasing Joe Flacco

Von Miller being suspended by the NFL would make me the happiest man in the world for Week 1, but after that, I would be upset. He is an unbelievable talent and has proven it with his 30 sacks in two NFL seasons. Miller is exciting to watch and I love watching him attack the quarterback, unless it is Joe Flacco. This is why I would be happy if he was out Week 1. If he is out Week 1, the Ravens road to a victory just got easier. Since Denver lost Elvis Dumervil to the Ravens, the Broncos would not have any pass rush. When Flacco is not under pressure, he is a star. He can light up a scoreboard. If he is under pressure, he is VERY inconsistent, to put it lightly. The reason the Ravens won the Super Bowl is Flacco was consistent under pressure, but I am not so confident it stays that way in the 2013 season. That is why having a game with no pass rush on opening day would help carry the momentum of the Super Bowl into the 2013 season. He should carve up the Broncos, much like he did in the 2012 playoffs, and the Ravens defense would just have to not crumble for a victory.

 Greg Danchik