Saturday, April 19, 2008

Mailbag: How to snag the Longorias

Fantasy Mailbag:
So, where do you get all of the late-breaking updates? Are there certain Web sites you use?

I can't divulge all my secrets, now.

There wouldn't be any reason to click on the baseblog, would there?

OK, OK, I'll spill.

For the most up-to-the-minute news, the best source is from the beat writer's blog from the newspaper covering the team.

These guys are hanging around the field every day and their job is to not only report the latest, but also give their spin on how bad a player is injured and what sort of ripple affect it will have on possible call-ups, roster moves, etc.

Case in point: Evan Longoria.

Last Friday evening, around 5:30 p.m., the co-owner of my AL-only team was perusing the Tampa Tribune's Rays blog, when he stumbled across this tasty nugget:

It’s been a busy day already at Tropicana Field. Beyond the Al Reyes fallout, the Rays also put Willy Aybar through some drills during BP, testing his sore hamstring. If they determine he still isn’t where they want him to be, there’s a possibility Evan Longoria may be called up from Durham to take his spot.

Immediately, we picked him up, but we had to drop Nathan Haynes, who has been a nice quick burst of speed for our Ron Cey-slow squad and we knew within an hours, if not minutes, Haynes would get snatched in this very shallow, streamable league, so we wanted to confirm the news, in case it was just all speculation.

We pulled up, which posts minor league box scores online, sometimes up to an hour before the game. The Scranton-Wilkes Barre vs. Durham lineup cards had not yet been posted yet. Refresh. Refresh. Refresh.

There was only one thing to do: Call Michael Scott at the Scranton office? No. We all know Pam leaves the office at 5 p.m.

Call the Durham press box and find out if Longoria was playing.

A quick google search provided the number and after wading through a couple automated menus, I had a live voice on the other end.

"Yeah, this is a little random question, but is Evan Longoria playing tonight?"
Long pause. Evan. Let's see. Ummm....yeah, he's right here on the roster.
Roster? That didn't sound convincing.

"You mean the lineup? What spot is he hitting?"

Ummm... (more scuffling of papers) ... he's hitting third tonight.

Sigh. "Third? Are you sure?"

Yup. Third.

"OK. Thanks for the help."

Now, a guy like Longoria in a mixed league is a borderline pickup. But in an AL-only league, when even the Mark Grudzielaneks are snatched up as soon as you drop him, throwing back a talent like this was too risky to base it on one shaky bit of info.

Maybe he's playing on Friday, then will get called up after the game.

There was only one thing left to do. broadcasts all its games online. Surely, if Longoria got the call, they would be talking about it.

So, after a quick registration, the pre-recorded pregame show was airing.

Finally, the broadcast team came on live and, almost between commas, they mention that the Durham Bulls' offense took quite a hit with Longoria just getting the call.

Longoria got the call? Is that what I heard?

Technology can be a nuisance. But it can also help you win your league.

But I don't recommend going to these lengths.

You won't have a life.

(btw, for anyone interested in watching Longoria's first major league HR, here he is, tying the Yankees 7-7 this week).


David said...

Hey, Trev, I know this is off the beaten path, but, I'm almost positive that Harry Caray's nickname for Greg Maddux was "The Little Pinto." My brother, who has lived in San Diego for 20 years, says nobody every called Maddux that. I know dang well that Hawk Harrelson calls Jim Thome "The Peoria Lumberjack." He's never heard that one either. Have you or any of your readers ever heard these players called these nicknames? Cooler King