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A Bad Franchise Getting Worse
From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer this morning:

"Since divisional play began in 1969, no team in the American League has finished last more often than the Mariners. And the team didn't exist until 1977."

Quite remarkable, acually. Chalk up another cellar-dwelling campaign for 2007.

Posted by Jason Thornbury at 1/26/2007 9:58:00 AM

Comments (7)

5x5 NL Draft Results
Last year, I brought home a pennant for Rotowire in CBSSportsline's 5x5 NL-only 'Experts' Draft league, thanks in large part to Ryan Howard and a catching tandem of Brian McCann and Josh Willingham.

We just conducted the 2007 draft this afternoon. I got the #9 slot out of 12 teams, with competition that includes Will Carroll (representing Baseball Prospectus), Damon Lichtenwalner from Baseball Info Solutions and Rob Tracy from the Elias Sports Bureau. Here's how my draft went, with various snarky after-the-fact comments...

#9 - Jason Bay, Pit

Coin flip between Bay and Lance Berkman (who fell to #12) at this spot. Was hoping to get Hanley Ramirez coming back around in the second round, but he went at #10. In retrospect that's not as surprising at it seemed at the time.

#16 - Jimmy Rollins, Phi

Maybe a bit early, but I wanted to shore up steals and he wouldn't have lasted until my 3rd round pick (Soriano, Reyes, Beltran, Ramirez were all gone by this time, and Furcal and even Pierre went later in the 2nd.)

#33 - Ben Sheets, Mil

#40 - Brett Myers, Phi

Starters were beginning to drop, and I was quite happy grabbing both these guys when I did.

#57 - Carlos Quentin, Ari

My first "reach for upside" pick. I ended up having to go for more of a balanced approach on offense this season, so a potential four category stud in a young, blossoming offense was very enticing. Stephen Drew went five picks earlier, but Chris Young (#71) and Conor Jackson (#95) lasted much later, so I can't tell how much of an overpick this was.

#64 - Freddy Garcia, Phi

#81 - Edwin Encarnacion, Cin

#88 - Mike Jacobs, Flo

Much less sexy picks. Garcia was just a value grab, given the general track record of AL pitchers moving to the NL, and Encarnacion and Jacobs filled a growing need for some pop.

#105 - Jeremy Hermida, Flo

Post-hype sleeper poster boy?

#112 - Chris Burke, Hou

I didn't yet have a second baseman, and Burke was the proverbial Last Good Player At the Position. (Mark DeRosa went three picks earlier... the next 2B taken was Adam Kennedy at #182.)

#129 - Nick Johnson, Was

A risk, given that he'll get a late start to the season due to his broken leg, but if I can get 3/4 of a season of production from him (.300/15/75, or thereabouts) I'm content.

#136 - Zach Duke, Pit

#153 - Chris Ianetta, Col

More upside picks.

#160 - Mike Gonzalez, Atl

In 5x5 leagues I pay no attention to closers, and instead look for a few closers-in-waiting with good K rates and troll the free agent pool during the season to get saves. Last year I got very lucky with Jorge Julio midseason using that method, which netted me a few critical points in saves. Later picks following this strategy include Ricky Nolasco (#184), Jon Rauch (#232) and Jonah Bayliss (#304). If only one of them pans out (or two of them half-pan out) I'm good.

#177 - Jose Bautista, Pit

Yarrrr. I guess I'm rooting for the Pirates to be this year's Tigers... a Pirates/Diamondbacks NLCS would be even better...

#184 - Nolasco

#201 - Kevin Mench, Mil

#208 - Ryan Theriot, Chi

Hitters who have a chance at providing some value. 200+ picks in, that's all I'm asking for.

#225 - Dana Eveland, Ari

#232 - Rauch

Not a fan of either of these picks, really, but I needed live arms.

#249 - Felix Pie, Chi

#256 - Scott Hairston, Ari

One of these guys will be my Utility hitter. I don't care which. Seeing Hairston get traded in spring training to an NL team that needs offense would certainly be nice.

#273 - Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Atl

#280 - Kyle Davies, Atl

Back-to-back upside Braves. Somebody's got to start for Atlanta, and it might as well be Davies, while Salty will either be a steal as my 2nd catcher or not be in the majors at all. I like 2nd catchers who won't be able to hurt me.

#297 - Travis Lee, Was

#304 - Bayliss

#321 - Brett Tomko, LA

#328 - Enrique Gonzalez, Ari

#345 - Jeff Salazar, Col

#352 - Aaron Boone, Flo

Say hello to a bunch of guys who will get cut when I start signing free agents... Lee, at least, will fill in for Johnson while he's out.

There weren't too many players I was sorry I didn't get. Aside from Ramirez, probably my biggest forehead slap came when Joey Votto went off the board at #278, after I passed him over to take Salty.

All in all, a solid but unspectacular roster. A little light on power, but I should have some steals to trade depending on how much action Theroit sees.

Posted by Erik Siegrist at 1/25/2007 6:43:00 PM

Comments (7)

Six starting pitchers?
The Phillies head into spring training with six starting pitchers: Brett Myers, Freddy Garcia, Jamie Moyer, Cole Hamels, Jon Lieber and Adam Eaton. GM Pat Gillick has been reportedly trying to deal Lieber, perhaps for help at third base or for prospects, but hasn't been successful. Given that Lieber is on the downside of his career and is owed $7 million in 2007, it will continue to be tough to deal him for a good return. As we have seen clearly this off-season, young players are worth their weight in gold. The Phillies might have to take on another team's high-salaried veteran to move Lieber, or wait until the season starts to see if all six are healthy. Hamels and Eaton have been notoriously injury-prone.

Posted by James Benkard at 1/24/2007 6:17:00 PM
Comments (3)

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