FLB Buzz: Tuesday, May 18

  • 1. Glaus = toast
  • 2. Vinny, Vidi, Vici
  • 3. David Wells slits wrist?
  • 4. Closer update
  • 5. Comings and goings...
    LET'S RANT
    Sorry, but today's rant was delayed a few minutes. You see, I sneezed a great sneeze, and my fingers couldn't type, and then ... OK, people. I did say I wasn't a doctor, right? Poor Sammy. Man, the e-mails I got about the Monday Sosa rant. Everyone and their plumber has apparently broken a rib by sneezing. Who knew? Some great lines. John Morton in Astoria, NY, writes about the incident: "Big sneeze could be an allergic reaction to cork." Tremendous. Steve in Springfield, Ill., asks "Is it me, or just a coincidence, MLB has the tests from BALCO, then all of a sudden there is an attack of back spasms with Sosa, Giambi, Bonds." Yes, pretty odd. And my favorite, from Vishal in Altamonte Springs, Fla.: "Last year, I once sneezed after I got of the shower one morning and ended up crawling out of the bathroom. My back and the muscles around my ribs were pulled and it hurt with every breath. While standing, I would get a shooting pain up my back that would cause me to keel over every couple of minutes. I always figured it was because my muscles were tight in the morning, while my girlfriend said it was because I was out of shape. I can't wait to tell her about Sammy. For all of the fantasy owners tell them the severe pain went away in a day or so, and back to normal in about 4 days. To this day, I do a little bit of stretching in the shower every morning." Good for you, Vishal! Be careful out there! People, I can't make this up. Get well soon, Sammy!
    Other articles:
    Yesterday's Buzz | Out of the Box
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  • Well, there's this one smart/annoying guy in a few of my leagues who peddled Troy Glaus earlier in May. And he dealt him in both leagues. Was a 5-for-5 in one league, and he ended up with then-slumping A-Rod. Anyway, did he know something we didn't? Nope. It was a smart move to deal Glaus because his April was tremendous, and he had become a tad overrated. A league leading homer total, continued injury issues and what's this, a .296 average? For a career .254 hitter who played only 91 games last season? It wasn't obvious Glaus would get hurt like this, but one had to think he couldn't keep up the pace even if healthy. Well, Troy couldn't. And now, if you're stuck with Glaus, it's too late. Good luck trading a fella who is out for probably the rest of the season with a serious shoulder injury and a knee problem. They're saying it's two months. It's likely more. He's done. Maybe he returns in August to DH, but don't bet on it. Glaus is 19th on the Player Rater currently. It's a shame when injuries play a major role in fantasy - kind of like how a referee or umpire shouldn't affect the outcome of a game, let the players win it - but it does happen. If you were lucky enough to trade Glaus before this, congrats. If not, we'll deal with replacement third basemen in Waiver Wire Work later today. We've been telling you to add Chone Figgins and Jeff DaVanon for weeks, now it might be too late. ... Man, you think the Braves couldn't use Vinny Castilla? Mark DeRosa, a middle infield utility guy, is hitting all of .206 with zero power at third base. There's no 2B or SS with Marcus Giles out two months and Rafael Furcal deserving a DL trip. There's no outfield depth, with Chipper gone. I mean, Gary Matthews Jr. isn't great, but the Braves cut him in spring training - a decent fourth outfielder - and are stuck with Triple A guys. Sure, who knew Eli Marrero would get hurt. Or J.D. Drew. I mean, they were so healthy last year. Anyway, Castilla left the Braves without an offer and now has 10 HR, a .333 average and is two RBI off the major league lead. That's all. ... David Wells Hey, David Wells (left), playing in San Diego's not that bad. It's not worth it. Don't take your own life...OK, so Wells didn't really do that, but he did mysteriously cut his right wrist and left palm while playing with some sharp glass at home. I like the quote from the Padres GM the best: "It was not a fight." You ever hear that before? Guy cuts himself real bad, and because of his past, a man in power actually has to point out it wasn't a fight. Tremendous. Wells, who was pitching well, is out at least two weeks. Should be no problem replacing him in fantasy with spot starters. ... Tim Worrell didn't get the job done Monday, but he's still the short-term closer with Billy Wagner out. It will not be Ryan Madson, no matter how much you think it should be. Worrell just had a bad outing, and it was Todd Helton and Vinny Castilla here AND at Coors. Not like Tampa lit him up. As for that Twins save, and it not going to Joe Nathan, no worries. Was a four-run lead, not exactly time to panic as Aaron Fultz closed the door. Nathan's the guy. ... Richie Sexson seems to think he should be activated from the DL today. Doesn't look it will happen this week, though. Scott Hairston has been recalled again, but that could mean Matt Kata's recent slump might land him on the bench. Might not have anything to do with Sexson. As long as Shea Hillenbrand AND Chad Tracy keep hitting, it would shock me if Sexson was brought back too soon. ... Some of you have asked if I would add Tanyon Sturtze now that he's a Yankee and starting this week. Nope. His career stats pretty much speak for themselves, no? I know it's the Yankees, and everyone thinks "they must know something." Sturtze has always had nice stuff, and was pitching well for L.A. in the minors this season. Maybe after a few good starts I'll believe. I mean, he's replacing Donovan Osborne here, not Mussina. You don't have to look far to find someone better than Osborne. ... Big news outta Oakland! Rich Harden might someday close! Well, not today, though. But it could happen someday. ... I'm enjoying having Chone Figgins in most of my leagues, but why has he stopped running since getting more PT? Odd, no? Run, Chone, run!

    Tomorrow's Starters New day, New arms...
  • 25 percent-75 percent owned: Carl Pavano is a good pitcher. Has a very nice ERA and ratio, so why is he owned in only 59.4 percent of leagues? Sure, that number is up 20 percent over the last week, but still. Pavano is nearly as good as some of the guys owned in 99 percent. Tomorrow, for example, Oliver Perez, Mark Redman and Jon Lieber are in action. Are all owned by many, many leagues. I'm just saying Pavano has turned the corner, and could be a 14-win guy with nice peripheral stats. I own him. Hideo Nomo, at Philly. I sit him, until I see improvement.
  • Under 25 percent: Every five days I discuss Steve Trachsel, so you know that already. Owned in 11.6 percent, nice stats. Hey, maybe you just don't like him. That's fine. I avoid John Lackey against the Yankees. I do like Jeff Suppan to rebound against the Mets. I do like Scott Schoeneweis and believe he'll be a solid starter all season. You know, the only thing separating Scotty from Jarrod Washburn right now is run support. Mike Maroth is close to becoming a guy you want; decent stats. And at Oakland, he'll be in the game. I don't touch Jimmy Gobble at Texas.

    NUMBER O' THE DAY
    21
  • I've been talking about Victor Martinez quite a bit lately. The guy has been the Indians cleanup hitter in 13 games, and has 21 RBI in that span. His ownership in ESPN leagues is up 60 percent to 93.9. OK, so in 6.1 percent of leagues he's not owned. Don't wait. Even if you have Pudge or Posada, add him somewhere. No outfielders have 21 RBI in the past 13 games, I can tell you that.

    QUOTE O' THE DAY
    "It was not a fight. It happened at his home. It sounds like he cut himself with some glass. How he did that, I don't know."
  • Padres GM Kevin Towes on David Wells. I love baseball.



    MAILIN' IT IN: Click here to send e-mail to Karabell...and they don't all have to be about potential trades. Just spout off, make a point, quickly and in few words, tell a joke, just no whining...
  • Question: Eric, you mention that San Juan's stadium is not performing like the bandbox is was last year. Has no one at ESPN informed you that the fences were moved back to typical major league distances this year? It is no longer a bandbox in size, even if the Expos are a AAA team. -- Brett Muney, Glen Ridge, NJ.
  • Eric: Yep, I am well aware that the fences were moved back, but still, this is a crazy change from last season. The fences weren't moved back 50 feet. Last year that stadium played like Coors. This year, nothing. The reason? Oddly enough, as bad as the Expos offense has been - and make no mistake, it's horrific - the pitching has been great. The Expos are third in the majors in ERA. Again, I don't think it's the stadium. Livan Hernandez has been great, a nine-inning starter. Zach Day and and Sun-Woo Kim have been very good. Tomo Ohka has been unlucky. The only bad reliever here has been closer Rocky Biddle. It's actually a nice staff. What surprises me is not that the Expos haven't scored runs; there's no leadoff hitter, no depth. No Nick Johnson or Carl Everett. But it's the middle infield Hit, please! Jose Vidro and Orlando Cabrera are borderline annual All-Stars at this point. Vidro should hit .300 with 80-plus RBI hitting third. He's not even close. I blame the team, not the park.

    TODAY'S USER RANT(S): from Jeff, Columbus, Ohio
    When will the Reds realize that Danny Graves is not a closer? I know he's leading the majors in saves but that's ONLY because he's had more opportunities than anyone else. There's no doubt in my mind that 75% of major league relievers (not necessarily closers) could rack up the same amount of saves. I don't know the official number but I would guess that at least half of Graves' saves have come with more than a 1 run lead. He's a sinker ball pitcher that relies on groundballs but when he misses, and he does a lot, that ball hangs up there at 85 MPH and ends up in the seats. He's given up more HR's (6) than the next 5 save leaders combined. I think he would be better utilized in the setup role. He'd be perfect for coming in with runners on base and coaxing a ground ball for a double play. I would go on but this is probably way too long already. I just had to reply to your "Danny Graves is unbelievable" quote. He's unbelievably overrated. [Karabell: I don't disagree, but the give the guy some credit. He's got 17 saves. Only two other relievers have more than 12. Graves also has four 30-save seasons on his resume. He may not be the best closer, or even better than Ryan Wagner (certainly long term Wagner will be the choice) but right now Graves is getting the job done. Ask Billy Koch owners how they feel about Graves.
    Check out ESPN Fantasy Games Senior Editor Eric Karabell on ESPNEWS, in ESPN The Magazine, on the Fantasy Focus show on ESPNRadio.com and of course on these fantasy pages of ESPN.com.
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