Matthew Berry's TRUM for March 26
The man brings up a good point:
Matt B you have too many irons in the fire and your writing suffers from it. You sure write a lot about how tough things are and how much you're doing. Please, it's not like you're laying bricks or anything.........Steve B from Ann Arbor
Back to me now, and he's right. It's not as though I am laying bricks or anything. I have the greatest job in the world.
I also do have many irons in the fire, what with the moving cross-country, selling my house, my divorce, not to mention my gig at the Worldwide Leader. We're knee deep in promoting our new League Manager (not sure if you heard, but it's free this year, and it rocks) and I've been all over TV so much even my mom's like "Eh, I missed it, but I'll catch another one."
Stop. Pause the ride. Allow other riders on.
Welcome kids, to my TRUM, now broadcasting on the pages of ESPN.com. For those seeing this for the first time, it's my fantasy blog. It's a very different blog than you're probably used to.
Let's start with the title. TRUM stands for Thoughts, Ramblings, Useless Information and Musings. And that's exactly what this is.
Starting today, it will run every Monday to Friday. I'm taking weekends off, and Fridays will be "Phone-In Fridays," when I'll do something super easy, like a mailbag or cut and paste something interesting. You'll see. Phone-In Fridays will be fun.
The TRUM is different every day. There's no real structure, my rule is I have to write it in one take. No stopping. You can almost always count on some mixture of pop culture, my life and, most importantly, fantasy goodness. Like this nugget:
Deep AL-only leagues might want to take a gander at Joakim Soria, a young pitcher for KC who has a 15:1 K/BB in 15 innings so far this spring. That's right. Fifteen strikeouts. One walk. Fifteen innings.
He was drafted in the reserve round of Tout Wars (not by me, sadly), which is where I was this weekend. Tout Wars is the famous "experts" league that was featured in the book "Fantasyland." Despite my having spent seven years as "The Talented Mr. Roto," Sam called me "Hollywood" Matt Berry, for those who have read it.
By the way, Tout Wars will be playing the league out right here on ESPN.com. Good enough for the experts, good enough for you, no? And we'll be following all the action, starting with a draft recap article this week.
Anyways, we gathered there in New York City this weekend. Two TMR guys represented us as well. Nando DiFino, who is also featured in the book and has been on ESPNEWS regularly, took part in the Mixed League, and Pete Becker, senior editor for ESPN Fantasy, took care of the NL. (For you newbies, I owned a site called TalentedMrRoto.com that ESPN acquired, so anytime I refer to TMR guys, I am discussing guys who wrote for me over at that site but are now at ESPN.) I handled the AL, and you're not escaping this TRUM without being subjected to my team and how I came away with folks.
Before we get there, however, let me clarify that even though you haven't seen it (save for one bitchin' article on Fantasy Dancing with the Stars -- www.abc.com), I have been writing all week. For TV and the Magazine, dontcha know.
Every time you appear on TV, you gotta write something, of course, to let the video, graphics and host type folks know what you're gonna talk about.
Here's some stuff I had wanted to get to but for time reasons or whatever I just never got a chance to discuss:
• Adam Lind, the rookie from Toronto, hit .330 with 24 HRs and 89 RBIs combined between Double-A and Triple-A last year.
• In a cheap speed segment, didn't get around to Alfredo Amezaga of Florida, who had 20 steals for the Marlins last year in just 336 ABs.
• Shin-Soo Choo is a guy I really like this year as an end-draft flier. Stuck right now behind brittle Trot Nixon, he hit .295 in just less than 150 ABs with Cleveland last year. He has both speed and power potential.
• I was actually bitter when Rick Wolf and Glenn Colton got a pitcher for $1 at the end game in AL Tout Wars, because I was also down to buck pitchers at that point and he was my next pick. The pitcher? Wait for it ... Big Fat Bartolo Colon.
I hate myself for saying it, but I actually like him this year as a sleeper. Same for Randy Wolf, who is healthy and pitching in Dodger Stadium.
I am still living in a hotel. Finally found an apartment here in Connecticut that is dog-friendly and that I like. Moving in next week. But in the hotel, they don't have TiVo. Which means I have not seen "American Idol" at all this year. Driving me crazy. OK. Crazier.
My house in LA is on the market. We had an open house today, and the ex-Mrs. Roto called to tell me that it looks as if we're getting an offer. Which is great, of course, but still. Another sign that life is very different these days.
Thank goodness some things remain constant. Like drinking with Nando in NYC. Always fun. We had a good time at an Irish Pub in Times Square. Then I ran into a girl from my hometown of College Station, Texas. How random, eh?
Now, we get to my Tout Wars team. You'll see I at least put my money where my mouth is ... lotta guys I like made the team. I did a version of my "Zima" plan, which is my own twist on Ron Shandler's famous LIMA plan. It's a little more complicated than this, but basically LIMA is where you spend only $60 of your $260 on pitching, with half of that going to a closer. My version is more or less the same, but you get two stud pitchers to anchor your staff and just have cheap middle relievers the rest of the way with one low-end closer. Spend closer to $80.
Pete Becker has an "MRI" theory that is in the same ballpark as well, and it also is terrific. But I'll let Pete tell you about that. Anyways, here's my team. Feel free to tell me what you think of it. For those unfamiliar with the league, it's a 12-team AL-only league with 29 man rosters. So it goes deep.
C Ivan Rodriguez - $14 (my biggest mistake. I was price enforcing and got caught. It's fine, but this happened midway through and I could have used the money to help my OF, as you'll see.)
C Matt LeCroy - $1
1B Richie Sexson - $24
2B Jose Vidro - $9
SS Miguel Tejada - $28
3B Chone Figgins - $24 (cheap because of the injury -- it's not his legs that are hurt. He'll still steal 45.)
CL Carlos Pena - $1
MI Tony Pena Jr. - $1 (Berroa was sent down later that day; pretty proud of this one)
OF Ichiro Suzuki - $31
OF Marcus Thames - $4 (As you can see, I got caught with no money left and four outfield slots to fill, so I went for upside bargains. Half a season of Kotsay and Rivera will certainly get me more than $3 worth.)
OF Sammy Sosa - $6
OF Juan Rivera - $1
OF Mark Kotsay - $2
DH Travis Hafner - $31
P Johan Santana - $36 (was planning on going up to $40 for him)
P Roy Halladay - $22
P Craig Hansen - $1
P David Riske - $1
P Arthur Rhodes - $1
P Brian Stokes - $1 (one of many folks in the TB closer picture)
P Jeremy Accardo - $1
P Danys Baez - $4 (Ray insurance)
P Chris Ray - $17