Wednesday, April 4, 2018

My Draft 2018

I decided to continue the tradition of recapping my results from the annual fantasy baseball draft since it is one of my favorite days of the year. It starts the 13th year of our league and I have known some of the others through work, playing softball or both for much longer than that. The format was changed to head-to-head but that didn't change my draft approach. We have a $300 cap and I had $137 available to fill 15 spots.

Going into the draft my core team was Joey Gallo at first, Kris Bryant at third, Carlos Correa at short, Austin Hedges at catcher, Mitch Haniger, Trey Mancini and Hunter Renfroe in the outfield, Alex Bregman for CI, Trea Turner for MI, and CJ Cron, Matt Olson, Ryan Rua, Eugenio Suarez and Eric Thames available for flex. The initial pitching staff to build on was Alex Wood, Luke Weaver, Mike Clevinger, Sean Manaea, Robbie Ray, Mike Foltynewicz, German Marquez, Edwin Diaz, Corey Knebel and Chad Green.

Needing a second baseman that had to be one of the priorities along with building depth at catcher, outfield and the pitching staff. I also intended to pick up a handful of farm eligible players to build on the future and to be able to bring players like JD Davis, Austin Hays and Gleyber Torres up when necessary. My top prospect target would be Scott Kingery.

The first round consisted of the usual big names plus the typical screwball pick. Clayton Kershaw started off the draft at $37. He was followed by Jose Altuve ($43), Chris Sale ($37), Yu Darvish ($29), Sixto Sanchez ($2), Bryce Harper ($38), Jose Abreu ($26), Evan Gattis ($18), Dee Gordon ($30), Charlie Blackmon ($38), Carlos Santana ($14) and Kenley Jansen ($29). I did some bidding but didn't land anyone. It was bittersweet to seeing Kershaw, Altuve, Harper and Gordon from my team last year go off to new owners. At the draft I said Harper was one of my babies since I had drafted him before the MLB did.

This year I didn't keep track of what round I took players but the first player I took was Tyler Wade of the Yankees for $6 which filled a need at second base. My second pick was Justin Verlander ($29) which immediately gave my pitching staff an upgrade. Took a chance on Matt Harvey ($3) and Alex Avila ($3) who might do good things at the Arizona launch pad. The rest of my first ten picks were Carlos Gonzalez ($4), Tyler Naquin ($5), Adam Eaton ($12), Delino DeShields Jr ($11), Cole Hamels ($15) and Jarrod Dyson ($5).

I had then picked up Jake Odorizzi ($10) and Roberto Perez ($1) when I realized someone had thrown out Kingery for bidding. Ronald Acuna had set a new league record for a farm eligible player a bit earlier going for $22. I wasn't pleased that I was in a bidding war for Kingery but landed him at $17. My initial intention was to start him on the farm but since he already impressed enough to stick with the Phillies he's going to be my second baseman over Wade.

After drafting Kendall Graveman ($1) for the fourth year in a row I filled my final roster spot with Kyle Tucker ($7). Tucker will be the only player I drafted sent to the farm. Truthfully I lost track of how many spots I had because I put Verlander in the wrong spot on my sheet. There is one more farm player I will be secretly tracking this season as he develops.

Draft is over. Fun as always. Now time to enjoy their performances.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Not Farewell

It is with a heavy heart I decided to severely scale back my efforts on Baseball Me Love. I poured myself into it for seven years especially in 2017 without the results I hoped for. It was especially disappointing that the college showcases for YouTube didn't catch on since NO ONE else was doing that. The previous post was intended to be the cornerstone of the foundation for a premium sister site I never gained support for. Yet I'm not totally shelving it because I will return twice a year to continue the two efforts I am most proud of: The College World Series Preview and the MLB Hall of Fame articles. Now I am trying to focus my efforts to make a greater impact on mankind. Until next time.

Friday, December 29, 2017

New York Yankees Retired Numbers 1 Thru 9

Derek Jeter had his number retired with the New York Yankees on May 14, 2017 completing the list of all the single digits with the team. Here are the players and managers tied to those retired numbers.

Topping the list with number 1 was Billy Martin who captured the Yankee hearts as both player and manager. He played seven seasons with the Yankees from 1950 thru 1957 as a utility player who helped claim four World Series Championships (1951-1953, 1956). As a Yankee he played second base, shortstop, third base and a single game in the outfield while hitting .262/.313/.376 with 30 HR, 188 RBI, 220 R, 19 SB in 527 games. He was traded to the Kansas City Athletics in 1957 and also spent his final five MLB seasons with the Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Braves and Minnesota Twins. He later had five stints as manager with the Yankees (1975-1978, 1979, 1983. 1985, 1988) with his first being the most successful winning the World Series in 1977. Over his career he also served as manager with the Twins, Tigers, Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics. The number was retired in 1986.

Number 2 was worn by Jeter who played his entire 20 season MLB career with the Yankees from 1995 thru 2014. The shortstop hit .310/.377/.440 with 260 HR, 1311 RBI, 1923 R, 358 SB in 2747 games. His games played and steals were among his all-time Yankee records which also included doubles (544) and hits (3465). He was a 14x All-Star and 5x World Series Champion (1996, 1998-2000, 2009). 

Number 3 was worn by the iconic Babe Ruth who played 15 MLB seasons with the Yankees from 1920 thru 1934. The outfielder hit .349/.484/.711 with 659 HR, 1978 RBI, 2174 R, 123 SB in 2084 games as a Yankee. He had started his MLB career with six seasons with the Boston Red Sox and finished with a season with the Boston Braves. His home runs  and runs are still all-time Yankee records along with walks (1852) while his RBI are still second. He was the AL MVP in 1923. His Yankees were 4x World Series Champions (1923, 1927, 1928, 1932) after he had won three with the Red Sox (1915, 1916, 1918). Ruth was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame in 1936. The number was retired in 1948.

Number 4 belonged to "The Iron Horse" Lou Gehrig who played his entire 17 season MLB career with the Yankees from 1923 thru 1939. The first baseman hit .340/.447/.632 with 493 HR, 1995 RBI, 1888 R, 102 SB in 2164 games. That included his legendary 2130 consecutive games only surpassed once since. His RBI is still an all-time Yankee record along with triples (163) while he is still second in doubles (534), hits (2721) and batting average and third in home runs, runs and walks (1508). He was the AL MVP in 1927 and 1936 plus won the Triple Crown in 1934. He played on six Yankee World Series Champions (1927, 1928, 1932, 1936-1938). Gehrig was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame in 1939. The number was retired in 1939.

Number 5 was showcased by Joe DiMaggio who played his entire 13 season MLB career with the Yankees from 1936 to 1951. That was interrupted by three years of military service during Word War II (1943-1945). The outfielder hit .325/.398/.579 with 361 HR, 1537 RBI, 1390 R, 30 SB in 1736 games. His 56 consecutive game batting streak in 1941 is still a MLB record. Even with his interrupted career he is still third all-time in RBI and triples (131), fourth in home runs, fifth in runs and sixth in hits (2214) and doubles (389). He was the AL MVP in 1939, 1941 and 1947. The Yankees won the World Series 9 of his 13 seasons (1936-1938, 1941, 1947, 1949-1951). DiMaggio was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame in 1955. The number was retired in 1952.

Number 6 is associated with Joe Torre who guided the Yankees through their most recent glory years as manager. He was manager of the Yankees from 1996 to 2007 with a 1173-767 regular season record and 76-47 in the post season. Under Torre the Yankees claimed 10 division titles, six American League pennants and four World Series Championships (1996, 1998-2000). He earned the American League Manager of the Year award in 1996 and 1998. Over his career he was also manager with the New York Mets (1977-1981), Atlanta Braves (1982-1984), St Louis Cardinals (1990-1995) and Los Angeles Dodgers (2008-2010). Torre was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame in 2014. The number was also retired in 2014.

Number 7 was famously worn by Mickey Mantle who played his entire 18 season MLB career with the Yankees from 1951 to 1968. "The Mick" was a speedy switch-hitting outfielder before his motor slowed and he parked at first base his final two seasons. He hit .298/.421/.557 with 536 HR, 1509 RBI, 1677 R, 153 SB in 2401 games. His HR total is still second All-time on the Yankees list along with his walks (1733). Plus he is also fourth in RBI, runs and hits (2415). He was the AL MVP in 1956, 1957 and 1962 while also winning the Triple Crown in 1956. He played on seven World Series Champions (1951-1953, 1956, 1958, 1961, 1962). Mantle was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame in 1974. The number was retired in 1969.

Picking a pair to represent number 8 may help the Yankees gather positive energy.

The first was Yogi Berra who donned the Yankee uniform as both player and manager. The majority of his MLB playing career was with the Yankees from 1946 to 1963 before finishing his career with a handul of games with the New York Mets in 1965. Those would also be the two teams on his resume as manager with two stints with the Yankees (1964, 1984-1985) and one with the Mets (1972-1975). The C\OF hit .285/.348/.482 with 358 HR, 1430 RBI, 1175 R, 30 SB in 2120 games. His career caught stealing rate was 49%. His HR and RBI totals are still fifth All-Time on the Yankee list. He was the AL MVP in 1951, 1954 and 1955. As a player his Yankees made the World Series 14x and he has the MLB record of playing on 10 winners (1947, 1949-1953, 1956, 1958, 1961, 1962). Berra was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame in 1972. 

The second to rep the 8 was Bill Dickey who played his entire 17 season MLB career from 1928 to 1943 and then 1946 after World War II.  He was the catcher that passed the torch to Berra and he hit .313/.382/.486 with 202 HR, 1209 RBI, 930 R, 36 SB in 1789 games. His career caught stealing rate was 47%. His RBI still rank eighth All-Time on the Yankee list while his hits (1969) are ninth. The Yankees won seven of the eight World Series he played in (1932, 1936-1939, 1941, 1943) plus won in 1928 although he didn't play. He was the Yankees manager in 1946 and was later the first base coach and catching instructor as the Yankees won the World Series in 1949 to 1953 and 1956. Dickey was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame in 1954. The number was retired in 1972.

Finally there was Roger Maris with number 9 who spent seven of his 12 MLB seasons with the Yankees (1960 to 1966). The rest were spent with the Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Athletics and St Louis Cardinals. The outfielder hit .265/.356/.515 with 203 HR, 547 RBI, 520 R, 7 SB in 850 games with the Yankees. The highlight was 1961 when he surpassed Babe Ruth with both the MLB and Yankee record of 61 HR which still stands as the current American League mark. He was the AL MVP in 1960 and 1961. The Yankees won two World Series Championships (1961, 1962) and he later won one with the Cardinals (1967). The number was retired in 1984.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Enrique Hernandez hit 3 HR vs Cubs 101917

Enrique Hernandez of the Los Angeles Dodgers hit three home runs to help propel his team to an 11-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs on October 19, 2017. For the game he was 3 for 4 with 3 HR, 7 RBI,  3 R and 1 BB while hitting sixth and playing left field. Clayton Kershaw picked up the win as the Dodgers clinched the NLDS and advanced to the World Series for the first time since 1988. This season Hernandez hit 64 for 297, .215/.308/.421 with 11 HR, 37 RBI, 46 R, 3 SB in 140 games. Over four MLB seasons with the Dodgers, Marlins and Astros he has hit .236/.312/.413 with 28 HR, 91 RBI, 46 R, 3 SB in 367 games. He was originally drafted by the Astros in the sixth round in 2009, was traded to the Marlins in July 2014 and traded to the Dodgers in December 2014. Hernandez turned 26 on August 24.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Jose Altuve hit 3 HR vs Red Sox 100517

Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros hit three home runs in the first game of the ALDS to help propel his team to an 8-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox on October 5, 2017. For the game he was 3 for 4 with 3 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R while hitting third and playing second base. He hit solo shots in the first, fifth and seventh innings. Justin Verlander picked up the win. This season Altuve hit 204 for 590, .346/.410/.547 with 24 HR, 81 RBI, 112 R, 32 SB in 153 games. Over seven MLB seasons with the Astros he has hit .316/.362/.453 with 84 HR, 403 RBI, 561 R, 231 SB in 982 games. He originally signed with the Astros in 2007 as an amateur free agent out of Venezuela. Altuve turned 27 on May 6th.

Andrew McCutchen NL Player of Week 092517 to 100117

Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates was selected the National League Player of the Week for the span of September 25, 2017 through October 1, 2017. For the week he hit 8 for 17, .471 with 3 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 6 R, 0 SB and 2 BBThis season the outfielder hit 159 for 570, .279/.363/.486 with 28 HR, 88 RBI, 94 R, 11 SB in 156 games. Over nine MLB seasons with the Pirates he has hit .291/.379/.487 with 203 HR, 725 RBI, 814 R, 171 SB in 1346 games. He was originally drafted by the Pirates with the 11th pick of the first round in 2005. McCutchen turned 31 on October 10.

Carlos Correa AL Player of Week 092517 to 100117

Carlos Correa of the Houston Astros was selected the American League Player of the Week for the span of September 25, 2017 through October 1, 2017. For the week he hit 13 for 25, .520 with 4 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 8 R, 0 SB and 3 BBThis season the shortstop hit 133 for 422,  .315/.391/.550 with 24 HR, 84 RBI, 82 R, 2 SB in 109 games. Over three MLB seasons with the Astros he has hit .288/.366/.498 with 66 HR, 248 RBI, 210 R, 29 SB in 361 games. He was originally drafted by the Astros with the first over all pick in 2012. Correa turned 23 on September 22.