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Posted on: April 1, 2008 12:13 pm
Edited on: April 1, 2008 12:47 pm

Alpha Blog: We've gone completely Chico here

It's going to get ugly. I'm completely smitted with Chico.

All four of my Fantasy baseball teams have Chico in the name.

  • Chico 2 Chico: Nats justice
  • Chico in Charge
  • Chico TiempoMatt Chico's windup is deadly ... and getting deadlier.
  • Chico: Spanish for awesome

I'm going too fast again. Who is Matt Chico?

Matt Chico is the No. 2 starter for the Nationals. Of course, it didn't use to be this way. Matt Chico was the maybe-he'll-make-the-team starter in spring training. Last year he was the guy-who-Manny Acta-was-forced-to-turn-to-every-fi
healthy starter. The year before that he was the maybe-a-mid-level-prospect-for-the-
D-Backs guy.

He's also my favorite National. Case in point. Opening Night at Nationals Park emcee Donny Sutts was introducing the pitchers and mid-sentence, "He's the tallest player in baseball..." Matt Chico starts walking out. Chico is 6 feet in heels. Sutts was talking about mound monster Jon Rauch.

Chico is also durable -- he pitched 31 games as a rookie -- and relies on pitch placement, not strikeouts. Chicks dig pitch placement, I'm told. Of course, chicks also dig the Lifetime ("television for idiots").

Now, here's what really gets me gaga for Chico. He's still tinkering with his windup and mechanics, yet managed to hold the potently potable Phillies to just three runs over 5 1/3 inning.

Here's from the Washington Post's Barry (and I'm Barry) Svrluga:

"The Matt Chico experiment continues. The left-hander, who is trying to restore his old windup while simultaneously retiring major league hitters, lasted 5 1/3 innings and allowed three runs in Monday's 11-6 win over Philadelphia. Those are mixed results from a mixed delivery.

'I kind of got lost mechanics-wise, was going back and forth between the new and the old," Chico said. 'Couldn't really find it.'"

So as you can see, not only does Chico have the name (Chico), the look (pudgy), the cookiness (happening to walk out when Sutts is talking about the tallest guy in baseball) and the grit (how ya feel now, Phillies?), he's still a diamond in the rough. Or as CBSSports.com editor George Maselli says, "serviceable." I didn't look that word up, but I'm sure it means excellence of execution.

On to the best four blogs ... around! (Opening Day Edition)    

 Turns out Sandy Koufax isn't Bernie Lomax. This may be the most-hyped Reds team of the decade. Apparently names like Cuerto, Bruce and Volquez are enough to make bloggers like THE OBJECTIVE GUY forget about how bad Dusty Baker is with young talent.

Happy birthday to neophite Fantasy fella Scott White, who turned 12 Monday. However, I White; You Read reminds us of an important lesson regarding Joakim Soria vs. Jonathan Papelbon.

Contrary to HBO reports, Sandy Koufax is alive, well and throwing out a first pitch for the Dodgers' home opener, Scott Miller reports in his Scott Miller's Bull Pennings.

We always thought Fantasy writers have it rough, the Wonderful World of Gonos confirms our suspicions. (included is a one Johnny Roast Beef prediction)

Klick of the Day     

What sort of accent do you have? Like our buddy (Insert Name Here), we're boring ol' Midland. I do have a good voice for TV, which is nice. Damn you Maryland and your lack of dialectical charm!

If you have a good link to share, post below or send a PM and I'll highlight it later in the week.

Posted on: March 12, 2008 11:43 am
Edited on: March 12, 2008 3:52 pm

Alpha Blog: Bud Selig makes Mike Hampton's salary

If you were ever a doubter that baseball -- and all sports -- are 98 percent business, 2 percent about the game, then read up on Bud Selig's compensation.

The baseball commish pocked $14.5 million buckaroos last year. He'll do it again this year. So he's worth around one Mike Hampton. Or if Did you hear how much Buddy boy makes?you like players that actually produce, he's worth one Lance Berkman, Vladimir Guerrero or Carlos Delgado. (salary list)

Now, I know what you're thinking. Eric, we know baseball's a business and of course the CEO is going to get paid in accordance with how well the business is doing.

I hear ya.

But how much of how well baseball is doing is due to Selig?

I don't think much.

Baseball has more equity than any other sport. It's been around since the 19th century and has the easiest marketing hook of all the sports -- tradition. It also has the summer sports marketplace to itself, highly visible stars and ballparks that serve as mints.

(Quick note: he failed to properly nip performance-enhancing drugs in the, uh, bud and/or instill a hard salary cap)

There are more economics to that, and even some that counter-balance profits (strong labor union), but in the end baseball is a business still worth buying into it.

So I'm not surprised to see his salary. But I was surprised to see his expense account. Who's he hanging with, Spitzer?

On to the best blogs ... around!    


You can have beefs with our writers all you want. But there's nobody I know who lives and breathes baseball like Scott Miller. A must-read for Jake Peavy -- or pitching -- fans. Scott Miller's Bull Pennings reports.

What did Butler winning the Horizon League title do to its seeding hopes? Dantheman4250's College Basketball Blog bumps the Bulldogs up to a No. 4 seed. I can't disagree. Who says mid-majors can't be seeded like BCS schools?

Our value metric is the hot topic along the boards. (Insert Name Here) wants an explanation. I'm not the person to give it right now. I am investigating it -- this thing is actually pretty complicated, sort of like figuring out the Luxury Tax in Monopoly -- and once I have an answer I'm comfortable writing, I will share. Sorry I can't give you more at the moment. And by the way, we're CBSSports.com!

Player evaluation skills a must brings up an interesting issue. Let's say a coach, we'll call him Bell Bilichik, gets caught cheating. But we all sort of agree cheating happens in the sport. Then other coaches, who may or may not have cheated as well, start pointing fingers and dropping fluffy quotes about how Bell Bilichik is ruining the game. Is that OK?

In the Crease has a problem with hockey coverage, notably ESPN's lack of it. We're here for ya buddy. We've got puck heads coming out the wazoo, and not to toot my own goal-blaring horn, but I'm poised to win our in-house Fantasy league.
Posted on: February 10, 2008 8:01 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2008 12:30 pm

Blog Day Afternoon: Is my team really bad?

Maybe you've noticed. I'm in the AL BIGS draft right now and it's going painfully slow, which means, it's a good time for you to give me a little insight on how my team is shaping up. Yes, I know talking about another person's Fantasy team is like talking about a vacation you weren't on.

But maybe by talking this one out, it won't just help me, it will also help you.

It's AL-only and I'm quickly learning how shallow the talent pool is in the American League. You can count all the quality shortstops and second basemen on one Count Tyrone Rugen hand, true Fantasy aces are as common as good blogs and closers are so rare, I'm thinking about drafting Ricky Roma (I suck).  

I went with a strategy of filling in shallow positions like shortstop and catcher early on and tried to ensure I sprinkled in sure things (Ichiro, Dye, Bedard) with risks (Santana, Cabrera) and 27-year-olds (Garko, Blalock).

My team may not be sexy, but sexy picks are for Fantasy writers on their 57th draft this winter looking for big oohs and ahs from other Fantasy writers.

C: Victor Martinez Round 2 (#13)
1B: Ryan Garko Round 8 (#73)
2B: Coming soon
SS: Derek Jeter Round 1 (#8)
3B: Hank Blalock Round 7 (#68)
OF: Ichiro Suzuki Round 4 (#33)
OF Jermaine Dye Round 9 (#88)
OF: Jack Cust Round 12 (#113)
DH: Jason Kubel Round 13 (#128)
SP: Erik Bedard Round 3 (#28)
SP: Jered Weaver Round 5 (#48)
SP: Ervin Santana  Round 10 (#93)
SP: Shaun Marcum Round 11 (#108)
SP: Daniel Cabrera Round 14 (#133)
RP: Huston Street Round 6 (#53)
RP: Rafael Betancourt Round 15 (#148)
Bench 1: Ben Broussard Round 16 (#153)

Eight bench spots still to be filled

Hey, I know you guys

You may have noticed over the weekend, but the rest of our writers joined the blogging fray.

From Parrish to Doyel to Mejia et al, they'll be mingling and blogging amongst us. If we're lucky, we may even get some news and insight from them (rimshot!).

At least his name is catchy  

I think the best thing about the Redskins hiring of Jim Zorn is the fact his last name rhymes with porn and corn and horn and torn and worn and sworn and bjorn.

On to the best blogs ... around! (weekend roundup)   

 You know who the stealth winner of the Marion-Shaq trade was? Dorrell Wright, according to Mejia's Reflections. Yep, that's the sort of insight writers can bring to blogs. Yep, Dorrell Wright.

So many wonderful choices, but just who will be the Orioles' opening day starter? Whats left for the Orioles to do? has a prediction -- and it's not Rick Sutcliffe.

If you forgot who won the Tigers trade with the Marlins for Miggy and Dontrelle, or just like trade analysis (I mean, really, who doesn't?), read Cant wait for baseball season.

(Insert Name Here) shares some of his best Sportsline (cough: CBSSports.com) mottos. Included is the classic "don't poop with your pants on." We should all be so wise.

LSU will open the season with Appalachian State. dook's buzz! is mad as hell her Mountaineers are still overlooked and she isn't going to take it anymore. Well, not really, she just wants some Bayou respect.

Wes Goldstein, master of all things hockey, has a blog. It's usually about hockey. This one is about Wade Redden. He's a defenseman for the Senators and doesn't want to be traded. He'll fill in the rest in Backhand shots.

This isn't a blog, it's really just a sentence or four. The return of the Dolphins Dynasty! wants Chad Johnson to come to Miami. That's really all the blog has to offer. But it has me thinking ... yes, it's a good fit since the Tuna always has pain-in-the-arse receivers on his teams (Terry Glenn, Keyshawn, T.O.). He's like the chick who can't stop dating a-holes despite knowing how bad they are for one's mental health.

Not to be left out of the killing-of-animals trend, Jared Allen is now a swine swashbuckler. Doyel's Dribbles isn't impressed

Posted on: January 22, 2008 5:41 pm
Edited on: January 22, 2008 5:55 pm

Blog Day Afternoon: Don't leave work without 'em

I don't know if anybody remembers this, but when the Giants and Ravens were in the Super Bowl back in 2001, there was a segment one of the networks did about how great buds Brian Billick and Jim Fassel were.

It showed them boating together with their families co-mingling. It was sweet, it tugged at the hearts, if you were talking about it on IM you'd probably drop a BFF at some point of the conversation.

I'm guessing that segment really touched Danny Snyder. Ever since he inherited sunburned ol' Norv Turner back in 1999, he's been looking for his next best friend. It just so happens that buddy also has to have this job description: head coach of the Redskins.

He tried Marty Schottenheimer. Too cold.

He tried Steve Spurrier. Too hot.

He tried Joe Gibbs. Ah, just right. But Gibbs had a family of his own to tend to.

So now it's time to find his next toy, er friend, and all indicators pointed to Gregg Williams. He was Gibbs' friend, so you'd think he'd enjoy being Danny's friend, right?

Uh-oh. Apparently Gregg isn't Jack Brown-enough for Eric Bates, er Danny.

So Danny now has that guy from the segment he saw one day before the Super Bowl in line for the job of being head coach-friend.

Despite the fact it means another coaching overhaul in D.C. Despite the fact teams without continuity rarely find success. Despite the fact Jim Fassel fits every meaning of the word "retread" in a game that's heavy on innovation.

For the first time in a long, long time this season being a Redskins fan felt special. It felt like we had the right kind of momentum going forward. That will all be wiped away when Francis, er, Danny, gets his new shiny bike, er friend, er puppeteer-coach Jim Fassel. Excuse me while I call my friend with the couch, Dr. Rosenstein.

In other news, RIP Heath Ledger. A Knight's Tale is an extremely underrated comedy and I'm looking forward to your take on our favorite prankster villain.

On to the best ... blogs around!

Speaking of comedies, (Insert Name Here) shares his Top 20. RSILI! is saddened to see a lack of respect for The Naked Gun ... and Dr. Strangelove. But that's a different debate.

Brett Favre can throw a football over 50 yards. Vijaykanth can throw Brett Favre even further. Who is Vijaykanth (look below)?  He's also the outsourced version of Chuck Norris. The Words of Dezy explains.

Blog Day Afternoon regular The Sports Comedian has some "breaking" news. Apparently a torn ACL wasn't the only thing hobbling Philip Rivers Sunday. The quarterback also had a broken heart. I hear duct tape fixes that.

On the day the Academy Award nominees are announced Mouthing Off From the Catbird Seat has his Warpy Awards. If you like the Wild or are from Minnesota, click the link. Otherwise, well, try clicking below.

If you enjoy big words like pontificating, lambasting, infomongering and the, check out Letters from The Den's facts of the day.

If you like Pac-10 basketball -- only communists don't! -- check out NaterB's Junk Drawer's preview of the upcoming week. It's thorough, just like Maude Lebowski's doctor.

 Still confused by the new ratings system? Building CBS Sports.com explains it all.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com