- Matthew Berry, Fantasy
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I am not quitting. And I cannot put up pictures of scantily clad women. So if the old adage is "Give the people what they want," then what can I, in fact, give the people?
Well, the people, they like the lists. Always have, always will. As we embark on another fantasy baseball season, I'll be doing my usual brand of pieces. You can already read Love/Hate and the Draft Day Manifesto in our free draft kit. You'll have Just Sayings , You Heard Me and Rankings coming down the pike in addition to updates to Love/Hate, my podcast (currently weekly, it goes daily in March) and everything else you've come to love, hate and tolerate from me.
And you will also get my Ten Lists of 10. I'm saying "mine" because it's really an idea that originated with Pierre Becquey. I stole it from him since he wasn't writing last season and it was better than any ideas I had.
Those of you who used to hang around my old TalentedMrRoto.com site back in the day knew him as Pete Becker. But Pierre is his real name, he's back to writing for us this baseball season and I figure I ought to get this out there before he comes back and does it and I'm forced to come up with something new. He's been away, let him come up with the new thing. And while he does that, I'll let you peruse yet another Ten lists of 10.
List 1: Ten reasons the Yankees won't be all that this year from a fantasy perspective
Jorge Posada is a 37-year-old career .277 hitter who is coming off major surgery.
Joba Chamberlain has never pitched more than 112 innings in a single season in his professional career.
A.J. Burnett has won more than 12 games only once in a 10-year career. He has pitched more than 200 innings only twice in the past six years. His ERA and WHIP last year were the worst they've been in five years.
Thanks to research genius Matthew G. Willis, we know that of the 13 starting pitchers signed as free agents or traded for in the off-season by the Yankees since 2001, the average ERA for a starter is 4.29 and average WHIP is 1.33. Not bad, but consider what they usually spend.
You have to go back to Mike Mussina in 2001 to find a free agent or traded-for starting pitcher who was better in his first year as a Yankee than he was previously. (David Wells was as well in '02, but he had pitched in New York before). Javy Vazquez, Kevin Brown, Randy Johnson, Carl Pavano, Jaret Wright and Jon Lieber are among the folks who were worse in their first year with New York than they had been in the previous year. Jeff Weaver, Esteban Loaiza and Sterling Hitchcock were worse after they were traded in midseason to the Yankees than they were prior, as well.
It would appear that it is hard to pitch in New York.
Derek Jeter's batting average has gone down for three straight years. He was ninth last year among shortstops in home runs and 12th in steals.
Only the Texas Rangers' bullpen pitched more relief innings last year than the Yankees', and they no longer have Joba in relief.
Hideki Matsui has failed to play 100 games in two of the past three years. Nick Swisher hit .219 last year. And Melky Cabrera, backup to both, has had his batting average go down for three straight years.
Alex Rodriguez, never one to shine in the face of adversity, seems to have been in the news recently, eh?
List 2: Ten guys who are not currently listed as the closer for their respective teams but will wind up with double-digit saves this year
List 3: Ten guys who are not sexy, will go very late in drafts but are not done yet
Ken Griffey Jr.
List 4: The first 10 songs that played when I hit "shuffle" on my iPod
Ebn-Ozn: "AEIOU and sometimes Y"
Billy Joel: "Big Shot"
Bruce Hornsby: "The River Runs Low"
Genesis: "I Can't Dance"
Jimmy Buffet: "Gypsies in the Palace"
Commodores: "Brick House"
Prince: "I Would Die 4 U"
Led Zeppelin: "Over the Hills and Far Away"
Suburban Legends (an obscure ska band from Orange County that I love): "Powerful Game"
Bachman Turner Overdrive: "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet"
List 5: Ten guys who won't end up on any of my teams this year because of where I'd have to draft/what I'd have to pay for them
List 6: Ten guys who are currently not listed as starters on depth charts but who will have legit fantasy value before the end of the season
List 7: First 10 cheesy pick-up lines that come up when I shake my random line generator on my phone (It's hilarious.)
I never need to see the sun again because your eyes light up my world.
I lost my phone number. Can I borrow yours?
Hey beautiful ... That is your name, right?
I don't necessarily agree with everything I say.
The best thing about me is you.
You know we've actually met before. Remember the dream you had of the perfect guy? I was the guy standing to his right.
What does it feel like to be the most beautiful girl in this room?
Falling for you would be a very short trip.
Do you drink a lot of Snapple? Because you look like you're made from the best stuff on earth.
Do you eat a lot of Lucky Charms? Because you look magically delicious.
List 8: Ten surprising stats
According to our park factor stats, there were only five parks that gave up more runs than Detroit's Comerica Park.
Everyone thinks the Phillies' park is a bandbox, but it's worth noting that Ryan Howard was tied for the major league lead in home runs hit on the road with 22 and Pat Burrell was second with 21.
Matt Holliday was 28 of 30 in stolen base attempts last year. The A's were middle of the pack in stolen bases in the American League.
From April 1, 2006 to Oct. 1, 2008, there were only nine players in baseball who had more RBIs than Raul Ibanez. He has more in that time frame than Mark Teixeira, Manny Ramirez and Carlos Lee, among many others.
Here are stats for two shortstops after the All-Star break last season:
Player A: 43 runs, 9 home runs, 34 RBIs, .326 average
Player B: 45 runs, 10 home runs, 22 RBIs, .282 average
Fifteen different catchers had double-digit home runs last season.
In 17 road games last season (and 104 2/3 innings), Jamie Moyer was 10-3 with a 2.92 ERA
In 17 home starts (and 115 innings), Mark Buehrle was 11-3 with a 2.65 ERA.
Here are the stats for two rookies from last season:
Player A: 67 runs, 27 home runs, 85 RBIs, 7 stolen bases, .272 average
Player B: 65 runs, 21 home runs, 77 RBIs, 13 stolen bases, .290 average
Player A had six more home runs and eight more RBIs. Player B had six more steals and hit 18 points higher. According to our ESPN.com live draft results, Player A, Evan Longoria, is going about 40 picks higher than Player B, Alexei Ramirez. For the record, we have them ranked No. 30 and No. 63, respectively, and I personally would rank Ramirez higher than that.
List 9: Ten starting pitchers whom I really like this year
List 10: The ten funniest Facebook status updates of my friends (Join my Fan page here)
Amanda is trying to decide whether to accept a LinkedIn request from someone who de-friended her on Facebook.
Keith says if he doesn't talk to you today it's because he has a sore throat or doesn't like you.
Matthew would like to thank Robin Wright-Penn because ... well, someone should, right?
Kristy wonders if anyone else has poked themselves in the eye with a hairbrush?
Rina is gearing up for the season finale of "Privileged." (TMR note: It's on the CW on Tuesday nights and the lead girl is smoking hot. I highly recommend it).
Eric is already hard at work writing "Slumdog Card Sharks." Hello Oscar!
Kymberly wishes people would stop telling her how she is going to bleed to death.
David is feeling super, thanks for asking. (TMR note: Love the reference)
Heather really enjoyed playing the Oscar drinking game tonight. Highlight was "Drink if 'The Reader' was incorporated in a musical number."
Holland has thought of 25 things she expressly does not want you to know about her. It's her fervent hope that we can still be friends.
Matthew Berry -- The Talented Mr. Roto -- is now on Twitter.com as "TheRealTMR." He may or may not be entertaining. He is a five-time award winner from the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, including a Writer of the Year award. He is also the creator of RotoPass.com, a Web site that combines a bunch of well-known fantasy sites, including ESPN Insider, for one low price. Use promo code ESPN for 10 percent off. Cyberstalk the TMR | Be his Cyberfriend
6hBy Ian O'Connor
9hFantasy Football Insiders