Eagles Vacation

Back when this blog was most active it was, probably at a minimum, eighty percent Eagles content.  That was simply a reflection of what I’ve been most passionate about, which was always the Eagles.  This was my space for barfing up my Eagles stream of consciousness.

But something happened to me as last season came to an end.  Maybe this was unique to me but I don’t think it was.  I got burned out.

It had nothing to do with a change in how much I cared about the Eagles.  Far from it, that fire still burns.  But I simply couldn’t spend another off-season reading every day about another failed playoff run and the predictable, tired “who will McNabb play for next season” drama while the same arguments play out in every paper, radio, and blog that covered the subject.  I just wasn’t up for it, so I reduced my winter and spring investment in the Eagles to basic news.

The trade made me feel as twisted up as anyone else.  And all the relief that came with Donovan’s baggage (well, most of it) being taken by truck down to DC somehow reinforced my decision to keep the Birds at arms length for a while.  It was cathartic.

It’s nice to be getting back in the swing of things, though.  I’m guessing I’m not alone.  Just seeing NFL teams square off this August really got the blood flowing again and I feel like I’ve hit stage 8 or 9 of my Donovan recovery.  Just in time.

Minnesota

I’ve been in The Star of the North this week, and I’ll finally be back to regularly scheduled programming tomorrow (once I un-thaw).  It’s been a good trip, but I won’t miss waking up to those sub-zero temperatures.

Testing…

I’m off to see if the DMV has become a model of efficiency since my last visit.

I’m betting on “no”.

I’m Back, Baby!

To anyone out there who has been paying me the compliment of visiting this blog, I’m sorry. I was on hiatus for a long time but I promise it won’t happen again. And it was for a good reason – I got married.

The few weeks before the wedding were incredibly hectic and we are now wrapping up a two week honeymoon. It’s been awesome, and I’m going to share a bit of it here. We’re currently in San Francisco, and today I saw my first Giants’ game — Matt Cain threw a complete game shutout.

Matt Cain

Matt Cain Wins

We wrap up the honeymoon by spending the rest of this weekend in San Francisco, then it’s back home. From that point I’ll really be revving things up around here — focusing heavily on the Eagles and even paying a couple of visits to Bills’ training camp (right down the road from me).

So, again, apologies for the long break — now let’s get psyched for football season.

Back in the Saddle

I finally returned from Quebec late last night after a fantastic extended weekend of golfing fun. It was a good break, but I am looking forward to getting back to the regular schedule – blogging included – tomorrow.

My Memorial Day

Tonight I’m in Montreal. Tomorrow I’m playing in a charity golf tournament (through work) on Celine Dion’s private course (Le Mirage in Terrabone). Dinner tomorrow is by her personal chefs.

Tomorrow night, the famed St. Catherine district. The next morning, another golf tournament.

So yes, I’m enjoying my long weekend.

Wednesday, more NFC East off-season talk.

Fantasy Baseball Advice — Checking in on my Predictions

One of the fun things about this blog, from my perspective, is the ability to look back on some of the boneheaded things I was thinking two weeks, two months, or two years ago.

It’s fun in that I can see what paths my mind has traveled since then — but I also hope it’s fun for anyone reading to get a glimpse of my dementia and the glorious turns it takes.Dustin McGowan

Back in March I gave out some free fantasy baseball advice. Today I’ll judge, 6 weeks into the season, if that advice looks good, bad, or somewhere in between.

1. Go young. If I’m trying to make a decision between two players with similar stat projections, I’m going with the younger one. Younger players tend to be injured less and more likely to have an even better season than you would expect. As an example, if you’re looking for a #1 outfielder in your AL-Only league and you’re trying to decide between Bob Abreu and Alex Rios.. go with Rios.

2. In a mixed league, try to take one closer from the AL and one from the NL. It really sucks when your closers are playing each other.

3. With Johan Santana gone, there’s no sure things in the AL for top-tier pitching. Take a chance on some guys who just came off “down years” — like Jeremy Bonderman.

Those were three general principles I was going to follow at my auction and draft this year. #1 looks like sound thinking to this point — especially in the pitching department. Guys like Gavin Floyd, Jarr Jurjens, Edwin Jackson, Clay Buckholz, and Tim Lincecum are tearing up the league. I could name five or six more guys.

Many of the hyped young hitters aren’t making as big of a splash — Carlos Gomez is OK if you need steals. Adam Jones isn’t making any noise. Jeff Clement, a top catching prospect for the Mariners, has had a rough start to his career.

So maybe that piece of advice is more like a mixed bag to this point.

#2 on my list isn’t really anything capable of judging. Outside of St. Louis and Milwaukee, closers have been more reliable than usual this season.

#3 however, at least the specific player I named, has been a complete disaster. Bonderman has been hit in nearly every game he’s pitched. He’s been wild, too — issuing 29 walks in 45 innings. Not a good start for the 26-year old.

Let’s move on to some player specific advice I had that day. I listed some guys to have on your radar, and some guys to keep off:

Guys On My Radar:
Dustin McGowan (SP, Blue Jays) — Coming off what was quietly a very good second half.Jack Hannahan (3B, Oakland A’s) — Eric Chavez mystery injury sounds like it could keep him out for a while. Hannahan may not smack a ton of homers, but he’s hit for average at every level.

Jeremy Bonderman (SP, Detroit) — Coming off a down year so stock could be low. Only 26.

Jeremy Guthrie (SP, Baltimore) — Future ace in Baltimore

Jeremy Accardo (Closer, Blue Jays) — BJ Ryan is not ready for full-time duty and may not be for some time.

Edwin Encarnacion (3B, Reds) — Ready for a breakout year.

McGowan: This guy is a stud, even with the dud against the Indians over the weekend. He strikes out a ton of guys and he’s got three fantastic pitches. He’s young and will have some inconsistent moments, but this is a guy you could build an AL staff around.

Bonderman: Booo!

Jeremy Guthrie: This is another inconsistent youngster, though he’s giving more good innings than bad. He’s got a solid WHIP (1.26) — but predictably doesn’t get much run support.

Jack Hannahan: He’s been a disappointment so far. He does walk a ton, but that doesn’t really help any fantasy team. He’s started to heat up a little bit of late (6 for his last 13), so keep an eye on him.

Jeremy Accardo: Was pitching well until he hurt himself. Dud.

Edwin Encarnacion: 8 home runs so far. That could be fantastic production from a guy you should have taken late.

Guys I’m staying away from:
Josh Beckett (SP, Boston) — Let someone else pay a king’s ransom for him. He came in to camp fat and he’s already injured.

Any Hitter on the Giants — **Tear…

Jermain Dye (OF, Chicago) — Getting old, due for an injury, and if the White Sox are in trouble could be traded out of the AL (they have Carlos Quentin waiting).

Nick Markakis (OF, Baltimore) — Everyone is talking about him, and he has no protection in that lineup any more.

Richie Sexson (1B, Seattle) — Do not even consider him. Just cross him off before you start.

Carlos Delgado (1B, NYM) — For whatever reason, people still consider him a legitimate #1 first baseman. He’s not.

OK, so I was wrong about Beckett. He’s been fantastic. Jermain Dye had a difficult April, but may be coming around. He has six homers. Nick Markakis is predictably having a difficult time finding guys to drive in. Richie Sexson is a disaster, as is Delgado. I couldn’t have been more right about those two.

In summation, a mixed bag. I did a great job on some (McGowan, Encarnacion, Sexson, and Delgado) but completely missed on others (Hannahan, Beckett). If you’re interested, I’ve included a screenshot of my 12 team 4×4 AL-only roster after the jump (I’m currently in 5th).

Read the rest of this entry »

Draft Day

I’m spending the morning with the wifey doing things that couples do. Then around two, five buddies are coming around for the festivities — a Giants’ fan, a Bills’ fan, a Niners’ fan, and two Dolphins’ fans. Lots of food and beer. Should be a lot of fun.

I think the NFL could market gardening and get men together for it. God they’re good.

Tonight

Beer, Pearl Jam, Bloggin

I’ve got a little bit of coding work to do on the blog.  Mostly non-aesthetic stuff, but you may notice a new item or two.  I’ve got beer, and I’ve got Pearl Jam — Live at the Garden to accompany me, so I should be just fine.

Traveling…

No chance to put any thoughts together today, or even get around to my daily Internet reading.  I’m still in Seattle for work until Thursday morning.  Hopefully tomorrow will bring more free time, and I’ll get to update the Mock Draft spreadsheet.

I just turned on the TV as I’m writing this, and see the Giants blowing a 2-1 lead in the ninth… after a great outing from Lincecum.  Sigh.