Sunday, May 13, 2007

Counting my blessings . . .

Unless the GDR computers find 3 points for Fargo Highlife overnight (backups, stat errors . . . it could happen), I'll have the high score in all of the Mantle Conference this week.

As Lee pointed out, much of the credit goes to my starting rotation, which was what I intended to be the strength of my team and which so far as been performing above expectations. Ted Lilly made it awful close with his gem over the weekend, but I barely held on and swept the SP matchups, a 30-point boost (more like a 60-point swing, as it is 30 for me instead of 30 for him) that I think was underestimated by some of our fellow Mantle-ites in the pre-season.

But the injury bug is beginning to hit, so in case I didn't already realize (and believe me, I did!), this good thing isn't going to last forever. King Felix has missed a few weeks and I'll be on eggshells each time he pitches for the next few weeks, crossing my fingers that his "forearm tightness" doesn't turn into a visit to Birmingham anytime soon. Now Josh Beckett has -- shock of shocks! -- problems with his fingers. This marks approximately the 983rd time that Mr. Beckett has had issues with blisters or similar conditions. The boy needs to talk with Nolan Ryan, another Texas bred power pitcher who had similar problems early in his career, who solved those problems with -- I kid you not -- pickle brine.

Add on some bad pitching matchups this coming week, and I am filled with anything but overconfidence coming off the league-best week and heading into my matchup with the Boochies, who are playing a game right now with a margin of less than 1 point. THAT'S why virtual series make sense. That game is essentially a tie. It is borderline criminal that one of those teams is going to get a loss that counts the same as the 90-point loss Tuna is taking at the hands of the Highlife. But them's the rules, like 'em or don't. (I don't, but hey, nobody asked me. I'm just a rookie here.)

Oh, and one final point that Lee would appreciate: my starting bullpen (i.e., not including the Flex) scored 45 points this week, on a total investment of $1.5 million. Lee's bullpen scored 54 points and cost him $4 million. Here's a look at other teams' bullpens this week:

Reds - 15 points, $12 million
Bats - 7.5 points, $4.5 million
Wives - 49 points, $16 million
Spawn - 9 points, $8 million (only 2 pitchers - didn't start 3 RP)
Boochies - 95 points!!!, $8.5 million
Yard Dogs - (-8) points?!?, $10 million
Mosquitoes - 19.5 points, $7 million
Flowertots - 71 points, $14 million
Highlife - 57 points, $7 million
Tuna - 41 points, $5.5 million

Top scoring RP year-to-date:

F. Cordero - 211 pts, $4 million
M. Capps - 177 pts, $0.5
A. Reyes - 176 pts, $0.5
R. Soriano - 171 pts, $1
T. Saito - 170 pts, $3.5
H. Okajima - 163 pts, $0.5
T. Jones -162 pts, unowned
D. Turnbow - 161 pts, $1.5
B. Jenks - 159 pts, $6
F. Rodriguez - 158 pts, $7.5
J. Broxton - 157 pts, $3.5

Highest paid RP:

F. Rodriguez - $7.5, 158 pts
J. Nathan - $7.5, 120 pts
B. Jenks - $6, 159 pts
B. Wagner - $5.5, 139 pts
J. Zumaya - $5, 65 pts
S. Linebrink - $5, 105 pts
H. Street - $4.5, 147 pts
M. Rivera - $4.5, 34 pts
A. Otsuka - $4, 103 pts
F. Cordero - $4, 211 pts

So is it worth spending the big bucks on relief pitching? You make the call.

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