Friday, August 29, 2008

Will K-Rod break the record?

It's been an ongoing saga. But now, it's getting juicy.

Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez saved his 51st game Thursday night.

This means he only needs seven saves in the final month to break Bobby Thigpen's record of 57 saves back in 1990 with the White Sox.

Will he do it?

I say yes, with a week to spare.

But what do you think?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Blue Jays really sending Marcum to AAA?

Shawn Marcum meet the cliff.

According to your bosses, you just fell off.

Before the All-Star break, Marcum was cruising. A 2.65 ERA. A 1.00 WHIP. Almost a K an inning.

Then, the arm injury.

And after a month off, Marcum came back as a shell of his former self. ERA was up to 3.57 in just three starts.

But then, Marcum settled down. Into a groove. Three strong starts and three wins.

But one bad start Friday night (5 ER, 3 2/3) and poof! -- the Blue Jays ship Marcum off to AAA.

Please. Doesn't the Jays brass know anything about folks steeped in a fantasy title hunt.

Of course, they don't care.

But they say Marcum needs to work on his control. Uh, just two walks on Friday. Sure four walks the outing before, but just four walks in the three outings combined....where's the big control issues?

Just another tale in a long line of them north of the border.

Marcum owners might wanna suck it up. Sounds like he should be back with Toronto in two weeks.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Zambrano hitting Cubs to playoffs

Who says pitchers can't hit?

Carlos Zambrano has defied those odds this season, batting .361 with 4 home runs after single-handedly winning Thursday's afternoon tilt with the Reds.

Zambrano held Cincy to just 1 ER and smacked a HR as the Cubs won 3-2 and increased their lead in the NL Central to 5 1/2 games.

Zambrano also has a 12-game hitting streak and has pinch hit on several occasions for the Men in Blue.

Perhaps someday, fantasy baseball will evolve to a point where pitcher's hitting stats will count, but until then, the only real value a good-hitting pitcher gives you is possible an extra couple wins throughout a season with a little extra run support.

Zambrano, never one to be labeled level-headed, seems to think of himself as a legitimate .300-plus hitter, as evidence of his temper that flares up sometimes when he whiffs.

Here's one where he got caught on a check swing against Roy Oswalt, and promptly broke his bat over his knee.  Snap. It's quickly becoming a Zambrano staple.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wagner, Bedard done for the year?

News came out today about two fantasy big dogs.

And the news bites.

Mariners SP Eric Bedard and Mets RP Billy Wagner are both likely to miss the rest of the season with shoulder and elbow injuries.

Bedard tried to throw a side session and it did not go well. Wagner's left elbow is still painful. And today the Mets went out and signed Al Reyes of last year's Devil Rays closer folk hero.

Fantasy-wise, Bedard had turned into a non-factor, simply shocking since he was a consensus top 5 pitcher in any format going into the season. If this is it, he finishes with a 3.67 ERA, 6 wins, 72 KS and a 1.32 WHIP. Not at all, what the doctor ordered on draft day.

Wagner, who had 27 saves and a 2.30 ERA, is showing signs of a 37-year-old pitchers. The Mets plan on using Aaron Heilman as closer the rest of the year. Tread lightly with Heilman as the ERA/WHIP will likely not be kind. Reyes could get some save opps.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

O's Sherrill on DL; grab Johnson

And down goes Sherrill.

The Baltimore Sun reports that closer George Sherrill has been placed on the 15-day DL after he couldn't get his back loose Monday night.

The good news for Sherrill owners is he's eligible to come off Sept. 1, since he hasn't pitched since Friday.

Also positive is that his likely replacement, Jim Johnson, is probably floating on just about every waiver wire except maybe the one Michael Phelps might belong to in the Baltimore area. Not sure Phelps has had much time to play fantasy baseball. Although some may call what he did last week fantasy swimming.

Outside of Baltimore, most folks probably haven't heard much about Johnson, but he's been quite dependable this year. He doesn't strike out a ton, but holds a 2.37 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and a save in 64 2/3 IP.

Johnson's August has been a little rough, giving up 6 ER in 6 1/3 IP, but before that he had posted seven straight scoreless outings, so maybe it's just a rough patch.

Sherrill has been somewhat of a surprise this year, posting 31 save,s although his ERA and WHIP have been a drain.

Maddux still wanted, dealt to Dodgers

After all these years, Greg Maddux is still getting it done.

Never one to overpower hitters, Maddux's laser-like control has extended his career to age 42, where his ERA is still under 4, albiet just barely at 3.99.

On Monday, he was traded yet again to yet another contender. 

The Dodgers have reportedly acquired Maddux, who has 353 wins and a 3.14 career ERA, for a player to be named later.

One of the guys you just can't help root for, Maddux winning a World Series would be a fitting end to his career, although not to Cubs fans. A Dodgers championship would mean at least 101-year drought for a championship to the north siders.

Maddux could very well put the Dodgers over the hump as they are locked in a tie with the Diamondbacks at 64-60.

Can you imagine a Dodgers-Cubs NLCS with Maddux and Zambrano squaring off in Wrigley? Ghost of the past vs. the present. 

This is why baseball is great. Forget fantasy for a moment. It's the players and personalities that make the game what it is.

In part, I guess, it's why fantasy is so popular as well. We like to pull for individuals to succeed just as much as teams sometimes.

The Mad Dog may be the last player ever to win 350 games and because of that, we should be pulling for L.A. to make a run in these playoffs.

OK, a small run.

Fantasy spin: Maddux was pitching in a pitcher's paradise but Dodgers Stadium is not too far behind Petco. Look for similar ERA and WHIP numbers and an uptick from his 6 wins this year. His run support has been atrocious and with the new Manny-energized Dodgers, 4-5 wins in September is possible.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Quentin defies logic, may win MVP

"What it means to be a top prospect is simply a statement. A label. Personally, i don't think it's any different than being a non-prospect."

The philosophical quote was made last year by someone who for years had been just that - a top prospect. (Click on the video below to hear them yourself).

But now?

Prospect no longer.

How fast can you rise from "top prospect" status to MVP candidate?

For that answer, we'd have to ask White Sox OF Carlos Quentin.

Quentin just smacked his 34th HR this afternoon in Oakland, and now has 95 RBIs.

In most leagues, Quentin went undrafted this spring. He didn't even have a starting job at the beginning of the season.

And now, he's getting legitimate buzz for American League MVP.

How can this happen, you say? It sometimes goes beyond logic. 

Occasionally, it just all clicks for a player. In Quentin's defense, he battled shoulder injuries all last year and the Arizona Diamondbacks, who thought they had a glut in their outfield, dealt him away for yet another top prospect Christopher Carter.

On the surface you would think the D'Backs must be kicking themselves and you may be right. Eric Byrnes ripped up both hammies and has been useless since May. Justin Upton, who everyone compares to Ken Griffey Jr. and he may be someday, has been on the DL with a left oblique strain since July 18.

Arizona, trying to recover, shuffled 1B Connor Jackson to LF and recently traded for Adam Dunn.

Think they'd like to have Quentin back?

To the D'backs defense, Carter has smacked 35 HR himself in AA Stockton this year, so you may see him make an impact in the desert soon.

But Quentin has been a remarkable story and the guy simply doesn't quit producing. Rarely can you scoop up a 40 HR, 115 RBI guy off the waiver wire. 

That, however, is why fantasy baseball is great. 

Its unpredictable nature makes those lucky few who took a shot at Quentin look like and feel like geniuses, even though we know it's not really true. Some traded him away early, thinking they were selling high. Some traded for him, then cashed him out again, thinking, like everyone else, this pace simply can't continue.

But it has. And sometimes there's simply no explanation for it.

Don't try to figure it out. It'll make you crazy.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Are the wheels falling off Rays?

First it was Carl Crawford.

Then Evan Longoria. Now Troy Percival.

Believe me. I want these pesky Rays to win the East.

Who doesn't. OK, who outside of all the northeast.

But with Percival popping the hammy about as often as NASCAR drivers pop the hood, with Crawford likely out the rest of the regular season, with Longoria out for three weeks with a fractured wrist...

I'm just not buying it.

Not this year anyway.

The pitching's been extraordinarily good. Can that continue?

The hitting's been extraordinarily average. It may not even be that anymore with a hitter's row of Willy Aybar, Cliff Floyd and Gabe Gross.

Sends shivers up the spine of Mariano Rivera and Jonathan Papelbon, I'm sure.

Now, they have a guy with the last name of balfour closing out games, at least some of the time while Percy is icing the leg.

Balfour? Closing?

That's either hilarious or ironic, I'll have to consult Alana Morissette to make sure.

There were rumors the Rays had claimed Raul Ibanez this week, but it turned out to be the Tigers, who couldn't consummate the deal.

The deadline has now passed, so unless Tampa has another trick up their sleeve, possibly hiding out in Durham, the extended honeymoon may be over.

It's possible that top prospect David Price could get called up soon and help out the bullpen or the rotation. Price is one of the few can't-miss prospects that could make an impact this September.

But outside of Carlos Pena, there's really no power there and while B. J. Upton can steal a million bases, he was benched again Friday night for not hustling, the second time in as many weeks.

But already, the Rays have set a franchise record. People are coming to that hideous dome and watching games in a sterile environment and they really have built this thing the right way.

Hopefully, we'll see them in October, but I think we're looking at the Red Sox, Angels, White Sox and Twins this fall.

Friday, August 15, 2008

For Cards fan, all is Wellemeyer

He's 6-foot-3 and throws 94-mph gas.

Yet, the Chicago Cubs, after three season, gave up on him, as his ERA was never below 5.92.

Then the Royals grabbed him, threw him in their bullpen, but after a half season of decent relief work decided they'd ship him to the Marlins.

The Marlins, after 18 games, had had enough. You can have him back, K.C. 

Thanks, anyway.

The Royals trot him out 12 times and after he compiles a 10.34 ERA says goodbye.

That in a nutshell is Todd Wellmeyer.

And like the St. Louis Cardinals have done time and time again, they grab a guy off the scrap heap -- correction, buried underneath the scrap heap -- and resurrect his career.

See Jeff Weaver, Joel Pineiero, Jeff Supan, Braden Looper, etc. The list goes on and on.

After a 10.34 ERA with K.C., Wellemeyer appeared in 20 games in St. Louis, including 11 starts, and posted a 3.11 ERA.


Then this year, Wellemeyer has only compiled a 10-4 record and a 3.79 ERA after a 3-hit gem Thursday night against the Marlins.

At the start of the year, I went on the record with a co-worker saying Wellemeyer would not hold up. He's a reliever by trade. The most he's thrown before this year is 79 innings.

Now, he's at 134 2/3.

I'm not ready to buy Wellemeyer stock quite yet, even though he keep piling up the quality starts. September can be awfully painful for reliever-turned-starters in their first season.

See Looper's 2007.

So tread carefully with Welly. Sell high if you can.

This might not end well.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Why did Crawford opt for surgery?

Carl Crawford is going under the knife.

Officially the word is 6 to 8 weeks recovery time after the subluxation of his right middle finger tendon is repaired.

The options, according to Rays Andrew Friedman, executive vice president of baseball operation, were simple.

1). Have the surgery and possibly miss the rest of the regular season.

2). Rehab.

The problem with rehab, according to Friedman, is that while rehab may have temporarily fixed the injury, it's very possible the same injury could reoccur and Crawford would end up in worse situation, needing a more serious surgery.

The timing, as all Rays fans know (and I know both of you are reading this), is terrible. Actually, it seems almost every other person now is a Rays bandwagon jumper, but it seems more about rooting for the small-market team than specifically for the Rays.

Folks are tired of the Red Sox and Yankees year after year.

The Rays are clinging to a 2 1/2 game lead after their 3-2 win over Oakland late Wednesday.

Good news of sorts from Rays Nation (OK, that's a stretch), is that rookie sensation Evan Longoria will likely just miss three weeks with the fractured right wrist, which if you know anything about wrists is, well, not too shabby. Seems like wrist injuries linger worse than a suitcase of limburger cheese.

Here's hoping the Rays have just enough fire power to make it to October.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dissecting the 19-17 Fenway bonanza

Charlie Zink, thanks for showing up.

Who is Zink? The knuckleballer the Red Sox called up to replace Tim Wakefield. And he was pretty good in Pawtucket, posting a 13-4 record with a 2.89 ERA in 25 starts this year.

But Tuesday was not kind to Zink, as the Rangers unloaded the kitchen sink, racking up 20 hits and 17 runs ... and LOSING.

That's right, the Red Sox matched Texas with 19 runs and 17 hits, including two HR apiece from David Ortiz and Kevin Youkilis. Ortiz finished with 6 RBI, Youks 5 RBI.

One game can't make up for such a disappointing season, but Ortiz's night sure helps and it all came in a 10-run first inning. 

You could say it was a short night for Rangers SP Scott Feldman, who gave up 12 runs, although just 6 earned.

Zink's final line: 11 hits, 8 ER and 1 K in 4 1/3 IP

It's safe to say, there won't be much clamoring for Zink's services on tomorrow's waiver wire and Feldman had actually been doing OK until Tuesday night, but he'll be dropped plenty Wednesday

Monday, August 11, 2008

Dunn traded to Ariz.; Longoria DL'd

Rumors of Adam Dunn being traded have been going on longer than most of his mammoth HR blasts.

Today, Cincinnati finally parted ways with their country-strong left-handed slugger, sending him to Arizona for three prospects, most notably, pitcher Dallas Buck, 23, who was 1-4 with a 3.94 ERA at Class-A South Bend.

If you're a Dunn owner, you know he's been struggling the past month, as his average has dipped to .233 with the predictable power (32 HR), Ks (120) and BBs (80). 

What do the D-backs want with a .233 hitter? Just look at Dunn's .380 on-base-percentage and you'll know why. 

Not to mention with OF Eric Byrnes likely out for the season, OF Justin Upton on the DL and 2B Orlando Hudson out for the season, Arizona needs any bats it can find to keep up with the Manny-led Dodgers.

And even if you're not a big Dunn fan, you have to like a guy who supports his country with spots like this:

Fantasy spin: Dunn's value away from Great American Park would seemingly take a dive, but not so fast. The D-backs have two series at hitter-haven Colorado left, not to mention a trip to Houston. And most trades to contenders seem to rejuvenate hitters, so it's likely you may even see an uptick in Dunn's production. Not to mention he's playing for a contract, as free agency looms at the end of this season.

Longoria put on DL: Turns out those initial X-Rays on Evan Longoria's right wrist were not, how do you say it, accurate. Longoria's wrist was fractured after being hit by a pitch and he'll miss some time, although the Rays are not saying how long just yet, possibly because they simply can't believe this rash of injuries. Considering Carl Crawford was just put on the DL Sunday, only Red Sox and Yankees fans can find any silver lining in what was turning out to be the best story in baseball this year.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Crawford on DL; Baldelli activated

Carl Crawford owners may be wincing louder today than Crawford himself.

OK. Maybe not. But I bet it's close.

The Rays left fielder suffered what is being called a right middle finger tendon subluxation and is being put on the 15-day DL. The Mariners team doc says it could be a six-to-eight week deal.

Talk about painful.

If Crawford's substandard season wasn't enough. He was hitting.273 with 8 HR, 57 RBI, 69 runs and 25 SB.

These isn't horrible production, but considering you likely paid a 2nd-round price, you should be feeling a little buyer's remorse. Not that you can control injuries. But a dozen HR and mid-30 SB is not at all what Crawford owners were hoping for.

For years, Crawford has been living off hype and upside. We've read so many times that this is the year Crawford develops into a 25-30 HR guy that you'd have to think Roto magazines have it on a save string.

But after 18 HR in 2006, the year Crawford turned 25, we saw 11 last year and likely single digits this season. Of course, when you're consistently churning out double nickles in the SB department, you can overlook the power outage.

But this year, the steals haven't come and while part of that can be blamed to hamstring issues, you can't help but wonder if CC will ever regain his elite status.

Speaking of CC, check out this borderline funny clip on the speed demon:

Good news for Rays fans is that Rocco Baldelli has been activated from the disabled list. Of course, Tampa doesn't know what to expect from Baldelli who has missed all season with Mitochondrial (or fatigue) disorder.

But emotionally, it has to be a shot in the arm, especially after losing Crawford.

Add Baldelli in AL-only leagues and keep the expectations low.

But you never know. After all, how many predicted the Rays being in first place on Aug. 10?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Did Manny tank it in Boston?

The dirt is starting to fly around the Manny Ramirez trade situation.

Seems that MLB is looking into whether or not Manny's agent tanked his last days in Boston, after the Red Sox would not drop his two single option years.

The report is that Manny's agent, Scott Boras, who won't see any kickback until Manny signs a new deal, called the Red Sox, saying if they drop the two option years left, Manny would play hard the rest of the year.

The Red Sox did not. And Manny's production, ironically, tailed off.

And after Manny decided he couldn't play in a key Friday night game against the Yankees despite being looking plenty healthy enough earlier in the day, the consensus in the Boston media was that Manny had to go.

Shortly after, Manny lands in Los Angeles and is seemingly reborn, smacking 4 HR in the past 6 games for the Dodgers.

Reports are that MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred is investigating the situation.

It seems doubtful that there's any proof of Manny taking a dive or that Boras made such a call. Before all this shook down, Manny often looks like he's not hustling, taking short cuts, high-fiving fans in the middle of a double play, you know, Manny being Manny.

But it sure would make for a juicy story if it's true.

Fantasy spin: Those who had the stomach to own Manny have no problems reaping the rejuvenated slugger's results on the left coast. Look for these types of numbers to continue for the most part, so long as the Dodgers are in the thick of the NL West race and there's motivation. But with the Dodgers lineup as weak as it is, he might be a perfect sell-high candidate as most of his HR have been of the solo variety.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Karstens' career reborn in Pittsburgh

Who is Jeff Karstens, you may be asking yourself.

Coming from almost total obscurity, Karstens carried a perfect game with two outs into the 8th inning Wednesday, before Chris Young of Arizona broke it up with a double.

Karstens came over from the Yankees in the Xavier Nady/Damaso Marte deal and since, he has thrown 15 scoreless innings for the Pirates.

Before Wednesday, he was best known for throwing six scoreless innings in November as Team USA beat Mexico 3-0 to kick off World Cup play.

In fact, one fantasy web site called him nothing more than a poor man's Bronson Arroyo, which may be one of Arroyo's biggest compliment in years.

Karstens is probably nothing more than a journeyman-type pitcher, but he's showing the Yanks that they made a mistake by giving up on him so quick.

He showed promise in 2006, starting six games and finishing with a 3.80 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.

But the 6-foot-3 righty showed no signs of flirting with perfection some 23 batters into a game.

Fantasy spin: Don't believe the hype, but if you need to fill a pitching hole (possibly for Joba Chamberlain, then jump on the Karstens bandwagon as there are plenty of good seats available still. Don't expect much in the way of wins (as he pitches for the Pirates) or strikeouts as Karstens has just 6 Ks in those 15 scoreless frames.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Waiver Wired: Add Tatis, Mora


Fernando Tatis, OF/IF, Mets

In a season filled will feel-good stories, Tatis is the flavor of the month, coming  out of left field - literally - to lead the Mets back to playoff contention.

Perhaps you missed Tatis' huge night Tuesday that included two HR and 4 RBI as the Mets held off the Padres, 6-5.

Tatis, who has only played in one season since 2003 has bounced around the minors and finally was called up by the Mets on May 13. Playing sparingly for the first month, Tatis has taken over in the outfield and is becoming a cult hero.

Mets fans are calling him superman and why not, after 9 HR, 33 RBI and a .316 in 177 at-bats.

Here's a game-tying home run 10 days ago, video taken from possibly the worse seat in Shea Stadium, which will be torn down after the season.

Melvin Mora, 3B, Orioles

Quick question? Check back in the last month and see if any hitter on your team has driven in 28 runs. The answer is almost always no. Yet the O's Mora has 28 RBI and is still sitting on my waiver wire - and likely yours.

Along with his 4 HR in the past 30 days and a .330 average, Mora is not only red hot, he's also taken over the third spot in the Orioles lineup, which makes him a prime candidate to keep the turnstiles moving.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Ibanez, Byrd feasting on grand salami

This is not why they call it the wild, wild west.

But Monday night, while most of you were sleeping, the A.L. West was as wild as its ever been.

Raul Ibanez: How often does a player drive in 6 runs in one inning? We'd have to call Elias for that answer, but it's rare. And Ibanez's 7th inning, including a grand slam fueled a 10-run bonanza that brought Seattle back from the dead, down 6-0. Ibanez is quietly putting up solid fantasy numbers: 16 HR, 73 RBI, .284. Owners surely soured on him after last year's putrid start, but in an age where prospects are wanted by everyone, every team needs a few steady guys like Ibanez.

Marlon Byrd: All the Rangers OF needed was a walk, but instead he opted for the walk-off grand slam, another rare feat, although not as rare as the 6-ribbie inning. Still, the Rangers climbed to within 2 1/2 games of the Yankees in a wide-open A.L. wild card race. Joba Chamberlain owners, take note: The fireballer left the game in the fifth inning with a sore shoulder and Joe Girardi sounded doubtful that he would be able to make his next start. Stay tuned.

Chone Figgins: Now here's the walkoff walk we were hoping for. Figgins' third walk of the game came against Baltimore closer George Sherill, who had only given up 27 walks in his previous 45 IP. Of note, Francisco Rodriguez blew a chance to get his 46th save, but did pick up the vulture win. K-Rod is still well on pace to break Bobby Thigpen's save record (57).

Monday, August 4, 2008

Yanks' Nady finding fantasy niche

Show of hands: How many owners have ever grabbed Xavier Nady off the wire?

Now, how many have dropped him three weeks later? Same signal.

For so many years, Nady has flirted with fantasy relevance. 

First with the Padres. Then with the Mets. Then the Pirates...

And now with the hallowed New York Yankees.

Nady has been the ultimate trading piece GMs have used throughout the years. 

In 2005, he was dealt from San Diego to New York for CF Mike Cameron. In 2006, he was shipped to Pittsburgh on trading deadline day for SP Oliver Perez.

With decent power and average numbers, Nady has been a promsing prospect for years. Now, at 29, it's time for him to put up or shut up and Sunday he wasn't very quiet.

Just a 4-for-5 day with a HR and 6 RBI ... not a bad day at the office for this borderline journeyman.

So, what's this mean if you're an owner? I'm guessing you'll see two months of primetime Nady, hitting behind Abreu, ARod and Giambi in what is still one of the Top 5 MLB lineups. He could be an RBI bonanza in the making.

It's hard to label any batter who hitting .334 with 16 HR and 67 RBI as a buy-low candidate. But if you can pry Nady off his owner, I say there's more upside to come this year.

Obviously, it's a little tricky trading for a guy the day after a 6 RBI day. But with the fantasy trade deadline looming for most leagues in about a week don't wait too long. 

Nady's a great target to be thrown in a package deal.

After all, that's what he's been his entire life.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

K.C.'s Butler making up for lost time

OK, so maybe it was just lousy White Sox pitching.

Or maybe the big fifth-inning brawl added fuel to the Kansas City hitting attack.

But something has gotten into the Royals the past couple days: 23 runs on 38 hits in only two games.

That's right, 38 hits in two games. Sometimes, the Royals are lucky to get that many hits in a week.

Part of the explosion can be directly linked to the second-half redeeming of Billy Butler.

You know what I'm talking about if you spent a mid-round pick in the draft on the can't miss kid, who was sent to AAA for a month to work on his swing.

In the past week, Billy B. has five multi-hit games, 2 HR and 9 RBI. Better yet, he's raised his average from .253 to a palatable .271. And he's hitting in the heart of the order, albeit usually a quiet fantasy order.

It's not too late to make a run in HR and RBI. Find that weakest on your team (Butler qualifies in both the OF and 1B) and make the switch today.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Manny, L.A. a perfect fit?

So much for that Dodgers hair policy.

Manny Ramirez, complete with the dreadlocks, made his debut on Friday after a somewhat surprising trade from Boston, who gave up a lot just to rid themselves of the Manny headache.

The irony is now Manny is playing for former Yankees manager Joe Torre. But now maybe they both can bond about being anti-Red Sox.

Trying to make a quick impression, Manny smacked a first-inning home run on Saturday, and celebrated as if his star was going down on the walk of fame.

Now, he's saying he wants to retire as a Dodger.


Perhaps, it's just Manny being mouthy. Or maybe he's relieved that he's finally free of those awful Red Sox, who actually had rules against him pushing down and fighting with other employees.

The nerve.

Evidently, the Dodgers have either relaxed their policy of no long hair or Manny can't get an appointment with Frederick Fekkai until Monday.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Liriano called up; Livan cut

Time to call off the dogs.

The investigation into why Francisco Liriano was still in Rochester and not in Minneapolis can be put to rest.

The Twins called up Liriano, cutting ties with veteran Livan Hernandez, who was 10-8 but had a 6.44 ERA in July.

Liriano's agent, Greg Genske, was asking the players’ union to investigate why the 2006 fantasy phenom not been recalled, saying conspiracy to slow Liriano's arbitration clock was the motive.

Liriano, was 10-0 with a 2.67 ERA in his last 11 AAA starts, will start Sunday's series finale against Cleveland.

Fantasy spin: If by chance he's still out there, hit the button. It's possible he could be suspiciously hanging around the waiver wire. If that's the case, you likely are winning your league anyway and don't need Liriano's services.