I'll admit I watched next to nothing of the All Star Game last night, even though it "counts". The first thing I did when I woke up this morning was log onto Yahoo to check the outcome at was happy to see the Al won and surprised by the length of the game. And the fact that the MVP of the All Star celebration on the Bronx is the Red Sox own JD Drew certainly got a chuckle from me in the am.
The Red Sox came into the break regaining first place in the AL East and should be getting healthier with the return of Big Papi. I will admit that I think the Sox are sitting in a nice spot to win the division and at the very least take a wild card spot and make some noise in the playoffs. I'm not worried about the team as a whole and expect them to be there come October.
But this post is time to reflect and take a couple moments to check out the health of my Fantasy Baseball Team. When you are a blogger playing in a league that is started by and Commish'd by Tony Pierce of busblog fame and the editor of the Los Angeles Times Blog section as well as other bloggers from around the USA and abroad you better be bringing your A game onto the field.
And at the half way point I am holding my own, sitting with a decent record of 189-159-27 I am 5.5 games out of the 6th and final playoff spot and currently take up the dreaded spot of the #1 seed in the consolation round. And we all know the consolation round is a step below kissing your sister... Not that I have a sister. However I am only 10 games out of 2nd place so I am certainly in the thick of the playoff hunt.
I'll get stat geeky and break down my position players:
C- Dioner Navarro- 9th ranked catcher in the MLB picked him up off the waiver wire when Kurt Suzuki was struggling in May. Great batting average for a catcher but low on HR and RBI.
1st Base- Mark Teixera- 10th ranked 1B in the Yahoo game. I could have gotten better value if I took Youk, but Teixera is on a pace for 35+ HR and 120+ RBI.
2nd Base- Placido Polanco- Slow start this year but has been heating up as of late. Looking at stats this is one position I should try to upgrade for the stretch run.
Shortstop- This position has been a state of flux and drops and adds for me. Currently using KC's rookie Mike Alives who is batting .310 since his May 29 call up.
3rd Base- David Wright- 2nd rank 3B in the MLB on pace to put up 35+ HR and 130+ RBI. No complaints there.
Infield Sub- Aubrey Huff- I picked up Huff off waivers at the start of the season because I knew he is a serviceable player and I like his apperances on the Bibba The Love Sponge Show. Thought I would give him a start of the year tryout. Huff has responded with his best season to date hitting 18 HR and 59 RBI going into the break. Orioles fans are fast forgetting him calling Baltimore a "horse shit town" in the offseason.
My outfield consists of- Manny being Manny, Jeremy Hermidia, Ryan Ludwick, David Murphy and Cody Ross. Here is to hoping that Manny can lock in for the second half of the season. Ludwick was a waiver wire pickup in April that has rewarded me with an All Star appearance and 21 dingers to lead my team. Hermida and Murphy have been steady workers and Cody Ross was recently added in the midst if his 17 game hit streak after Elijah Dukes went on the DL.
My pitching shakes out as follows-
Cliff Lee was a waiver wire pickup on April 4th and has got to be the steal of the season as he is the 3rd ranked SP in the game, has posted 12 wins and earned the start in the All Star game.
Both Lackey and Kazmir started their season on the DL, but since becoming active each have played well coming up with 6 and 7 wins respectively and nice K numbers. Gavin Floyd has been an unsung hero clocking in with an impressive 10 wins and Jon Lester has been added, dropped and added again and should round out my starters for the rest of the season.
Relief pitching has been a bit shaky with saves coming only from Brian Fuentes and Ryan Franklin. If Fuentes gets traded to a contender before the deadline to become a setup man that will impact my save chances, but I will cross that bridge when I come to it. Beyond Fuentes and Franklin I have Grant Balfour and Matt Thorton racking up high K numbers for me.
That rounds out the team as it is currently constituted. I just went back and looked at the draft board to see who I originally drafted and dropped, and hopefully those drops haven't bit me in the ass.
I hope this post will help my second half push. Putting my team down on paper like this has made me look at the players and needs in a way that I don't normally, and might help me make some needed adjustments to get right into the meat of the playoff chase.