Thursday, August 7, 2008

Achievers/Bums - 8/7/08

Joel Hanrahan - RP - Washington Nationals -2.0 IP, 2 SVs, 1 K - Hanrahan still might be available in your league, but not for long. I picked up him last night in my HTH league. His appearances won't be a pretty, but a save is a save is a save.

Jonathan Broxton - RP - Los Angeles Dodgers - 1.0 IP, SV, 2 Ks - Broxton has not shown the jitters that he showed last season as closer. With his strikeout potential, he will be a top-five closer next year.

Lastings Milledge - OF - Washington Nationals - 5/9, 2 HRs, 5 RBIs - Milledge had a pretty good doubleheader today against the Rockies, but he won't help you much this season. Click HERE for a good insight into Milledge and the life of a batting coach in MLB.

David Wright - 3B - New York Mets - 3/5, 2B, HR, 2 RBIs - Inspired by Donny's harsh comments, Wright hit a game-winning (I do not believe in the term "walk off") HR in the bottom of the 9th against the Padres. Hopefully for the Mets, he can also pitch in relief.

Raul Ibanez - OF - Seattle Mariners - 1/4, HR - Ibanez's bottom of the 9th home run was Seattle's first GW (see above) of this season. Ibanez is hitting .367/7/24 since the All-Star break. Ibanez is a free agent at year's end. Why is he not playing for the....


Arizona Diamondbacks offense- The D'backs were shut out for seven innings last night by Charlie Morton. The day before, Randy Johnson's 7/1 IP, 2-run effort was wasted when Jeff Karsten shut them out. While the Dodgers made the bold move of acquiring Manny Ramirez (who has four HRs in six games), the D'backs made no moves for their milquetoast offense, not even acquiring a cheap rental like Ibanez. The D'backs are relying solely on their starting pitching and upgraded bullpen to get them through the stretch run. While their pitching moves have been very wise (the Mets and Cardinals have to be kicking themselves for not grabbing Jon Rauch or Brian Fuentes), but it will interesting to see in retrospect if the D'backs should have grabbed another bat.

Willy Taveras - OF - Colorado Rockies - 1/8, no SBs. You would hope for more from Taveras in a doubleheader at home. If you can tolerate the awful batting average, Taveras is still a great source for SBs, especially if he is one of his hot streaks.

Javier Vazquez - SP - Chicago White Sox - In the first two months of the season, Vazquez started with his usual strong numbers - 5 wins and a 3.43 ERA with 77Ks in 78.2 IP. Since June 1, Vazquez has fallen apart, winning only 3 games with an ERA of 6.23. While the Ks are still there (64 Ks 69.2 IP since 6/1), Vazquez will kill you on ERA and WHIP. I would recommend sitting him or selectively pitching him until he puts together a few good starts.

Brett Favre - QB - New York Jets - While this is still a good move for the Jets, who desperately needed a brand name on their team and somehow upgraded at QB, this trade is fitting justice for Favre. After doing his best to ruin the Green Bay Packers (HERE is a great summary), Favre is sent to AFC purgatory with the New York Jets, where he will inherit a rebuilding team and an unfamiliar offense.

I would expect some glimpses of 2007 Favre (28 TDs, 15 INTs), but probably more of 2005 or 2006 Favre (20 TDs, 29 INTs - 18 TDs, 18 INT respectively). In the off-season prior to 2007, Favre had a rigorous work regime to offset the diminished returns of the past two seasons. Favre spent the 2008 off season "retired" and not committed to playing football. At age 38, it will difficult for Favre to be much of a positive factor if he is not in game shape.

Favre's tenure in New York will be unmemorable. Other great players have finished their careers with "other" teams (Montana with the Chiefs, Jordan with the Bullets/Wizards), but memories of their performances were mere footnotes and quickly forgettable (I forgot Joe Montana even played with the Chiefs until it was mentioned during the Favre saga). However, none of these detours came with the rancor of Favre's break-up with the Packers. Hopefully, Favre and the Packers will be able to put this behind them in a few years, and Favre will be remembered for what did for the Packers and not to them.

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