Tagged: Carlos Silva

Honey Nut Ichiros?

I absolutely love this: CBS Sports.Com’s list of the 200 most frequently used team names in its 100,000 fantasy baseball leagues. 

Most of these names are absurdly obvious or overly familiar (Gashouse Gorillas, Chico’s Bail Bonds, Boys Of Summer, Naturals, etc.) But many of them provide tremendous insight into the nature of the rotisserian’s mind, and maybe a little bit into what’s popular in baseball and what isn’t:

1 Evil Empire

5 Bronx Bombers

6 Yankees/New York Yankees

7 Bombers

20 Murderer’s Row

42 Highlanders

86 Yankees Suck

131 Damn Yankees

136 Pinstripes

169 Beantown Bombers

I’m beginning to sense a little theme there. Obviously “Evil Empire” probably vaulted to the top with the help of more than a couple of Star Wars/Not Yankees fans, but still, that’s a lot of Yank reverence (honestly, how many “Beantown Bombers” could there be? No hard numbers are offered here – by 169th place three of one team might be sufficient).

But what on earth is that 6th entry. You call your fantasy team The New York Yankees? What part of “fantasy” is unclear to you. Thankfully that’s the extent of the pure rip-offs of extant franchises.
Or not:

2 Springfield Isotopes/Isotopes

9 Red Sox/Boston Red Sox

10 Cubs/Chicago Cubs

13 Mets/New York Mets

16 Tigers/Detroit Tigers

19 Brew Crew

23 Braves/Atlanta Braves

29 Indians/Cleveland Indians

32 Big Red Machine

39 Dodgers/LA Dodgers

49 Cardinals/St. Louis Cardinals

54 Redbirds

60 Phillies

61 Mudhens

75 Reds

76 Brewers

80 Splendid Splinters

81 Red Sox Nation

87 Durham Bulls

92 Amazins

100 Rangers

108 Mariners

115 Tampa Bay Rays

118 Gas House Gang

121 Cubbies

122 Minnesota Twins

123 Louisville Sluggers

129 Kansas City Royals

132 Astros

137 Orioles

140 Expos

162 Dodger Blue

165 San Diego Padres

166 Florida Marlins

172 San Francisco Giants

178 Toronto Blue Jays

180 Rockies

184 Chicago White Sox

185 Senators

188 Homestead Grays

190 Washington Nationals

Your fantasy team is named The Chicago White Sox? I mean I get “Washington Nationals” if you live in the state, or in Washington, PA. If you’re Jay, “Toronto Blue Jays” sounds pretty cool. But where are the Ed Sox, Dead Sox, Fred Sox, Ned Sox, Ted Sox,
and ‘Nuf Ced Sox?

Here is yet another subtle theme:

14 Roid Rage

37 Juiced

57 Balco Bombers

64 Balco

82 HGH

127 Roid Ragers

170 Balco Boys

All right, enough ripping. Five of these I really liked, the first because as cliched as it might be, it represents an epic failure to come up with a fake name in a different context and might thus be described as “meta”:

35 McLovin

43 Kenny Powers

51 Honey Nut Ichiros

128 Little Lebowski Urban Achievers

139 Jeters Never Prosper

I would definitely be proud to call a team of mine “Jeters Never Prosper,” or, especially, “Honey Nut Ichiros,” which is inspired – as long as you’re not in an NL-only league.

For the record I have largely tried to avoid puns for my teams (my teams this year are homages to my Dad: The New York Watoshes and Still Mad They Traded Souchock). But I have operated franchises called New York Annyongkees (I was in a league with a bunch of guys from “Arrested Development”), Somali Pirates, and Keith Myaths (the last one must be said aloud to get the full effect – but may be offensive to, I don’t know, somebody).
Tangentially, if you’ve read this far, a couple of fantasy tips that also seem relevant to the real game. First, it sure looks like the jig is up in Colorado for Clint Barmes, and a line-up spot (in fact a lead-off spot) has been opened for Eric Young, Jr. I’d grab him, and Jaime Garcia of the Cardinals if you have not, to say nothing of the guy who might be the annual “I Wouldn’t Touch Him…They’ll Figure Him Out Soon…I Passed On This Guy 10 Times?” award winner: Carlos Silva of the Cubs.

Hey You Kids, Get Off My Mound; And The Next Manager Is…

I have to agree with Dallas Braden – it was a sign of disrespect, or an attempt at gamesmanship, for Alex Rodriguez to cut back to first across the mound in the afternoon in Oakland. And I have to agree with Rodriguez that Braden’s temper tantrum in the dugout was bush league. And I have to agree with whoever investigates Braden’s comments that they probably already constitute a threat, or certainly something to watch in future meetings.

Here in New York the Cubs just completed a somnambulant series loss to the Mets and the listlessness of the team makes one wonder if Lou Piniella has just had enough of his underachieving, poorly-designed team. The irony here is that Cub starting pitching may not have been this good in decades – good enough that I entirely buy the idea of moving Carlos Zambrano to the bullpen, at least unless and until Carlos Silva or Tom Gorzelanny collapses.
But Piniella’s ennui and the unlikely fact that two other big league skippers are already official lame ducks has made me think, and put out a few calls, about who would be the likeliest successor to each of the current 30 big league skippers. There are some interesting facts to consider: none of the current managers were promoted to the big league job from having been manager of the team’s AAA affiliate, and only six (Gardenhire, Geren, Jerry Manuel, Riggleman, Trembley, Tracy) were promoted from their own team’s coaching staff (although Cox, Gaston, Girardi, Hinch, and Charlie Manuel were working in their organizations in other jobs when they became the boss). 
Thus 19 of the current 30 big league managers are outside hires, making predicting successors a dicey business. Still we’ll try – and none of these names are meant to suggest I know anything about any imminent changes – I’ll start in the NL and try the AL over the weekend. Where I have no clue, I’ll say so:
ARIZONA: No clue and given the last hire, it could come from almost anywhere.
ATLANTA: Maybe Chico Cadahia or Eddie Perez, but I think the best bets are two former Cox lieutenants, Fredi Gonzalez of the Marlins, and ex-Brewers boss Ned Yost. If the latter were the obvious choice, he’d probably be back on the staff, not an advisor in KC.
CHICAGO: It’s Ryne Sandberg. If Lou walked away suddenly there’d be a good chance Alan Trammell would be an acting skipper, but in any kind of orderly transition, it’s Sandberg.
CINCINNATI: No obvious candidate. Possibly Mark Berry – it would be nice to see AAA skipper Rick Sweet given first shot, but he may be a victim of his own development ability.
COLORADO: No clue.
FLORIDA: It would be Carlos Tosca short term, but the Marlins would probably like a name if they made a change.
HOUSTON: Very unlikely that any change would take place. Dave Clark would probably get another chance if Brad Mills runs screaming into the street.
LOS ANGELES: Mattingly. How odd will that look?
MILWAUKEE: It was a surprise that given how well Dale Sveum handled what could have been a sinking ship, coming in weeks before the playoffs in 2008, that he didn’t keep the job. Even now when Ken Macha goes, it could easily be not Sveum but Willie Randolph.
NEW YORK: Bob Melvin, Major League Scout. His managerial track record is pretty good. Ironically, the man for whom he took over in Arizona after the briefest off-season tenure in managerial history, Wally Backman, is the top minor league possibility.
PITTSBURGH: They like Carlos Garcia. How much, I don’t know. The Bucs (despite the 20-0 loss) have a serious conviction they are breaking through under John Russell.
SAN DIEGO: No clue.
SAN FRANCISCO: No clue. Last internal hire was Dusty Baker.
ST. LOUIS: Jose Oquendo, unless somebody else has grabbed him first.
WASHINGTON: Pat Listach. That may not be soon, but that may be the plan.

2010 Forecasts: NL Central

Having already tabbed the Rockies for a possible runaway in the West (pursued perhaps by the Giants), we move to the Central:

may represent a startling fact about this division – there not only isn’t a
great team here, there isn’t even a good one. The starting line-up is
five-eighths made up of guys who significantly regressed from 2008 to 2009,
plus Marlon Byrd. The new ownership seems to have already committed to the age-old easy way out of worrying more about the ballpark than the ballclub. Larry Rothschild has gratefully plugged Carlos Silva and Tom
Gorzelanny into his rotation. The bullpen is headed by a shaky Carlos Marmol
and not one experienced right-handed set-up man. The Cubs are a mess.

It still
didn’t make any sense for CINCINNATI to invest in Scott Rolen, nor bring back
Ramon Hernandez, and with considerable irony, this might as well still be 2007
when the Reds were pinning their hopes on Homer Bailey and Jay Bruce. Their
epiphanies – Bailey’s last September, and Bruce’s during his injury – must be
lasting for the Reds to compete. But there is at minimum some sense of upswing
in Cincinnati. Dusty Baker gave Drew Stubbs the chance to play last year, and
might even find spots for Aroldis Chapman, Mike Leake, and Yonder Alonso this season. The
bullpen is strong, the rotation potentially deep.

For years,
Terry Francona’s top lieutenant, Brad Mills, has deserved a major league team
to manage. He may yet get the chance – for now he’s stuck with Houston. There
is an outfield and there are two starting
pitchers (providing Roy Oswalt isn’t seriously hurt, and doesn’t go home to his
ranch in sheer frustration). The rest of the line-up, and the pitching staff, are disaster areas, made no better by today’s news than Lance Berkman’s bionic knee is ‘cranky.’ Things could brighten somewhat if
Matt Lindstrom harnesses his talent, and if Jason Castro or J.R. Towles squat
up behind the plate, and if three fans turn out to be viable starting pitchers.
Otherwise, this is a franchise that has gone to seed.

What’s the
psychological saw about repeating the same unsuccessful action with confidence
that this
time it
will succeed? The Brewers are confident Dave Bush, Doug Davis, and Manny Parra and/or Jeff Suppan constitute three-fifths of a pitching staff. They’re certain Rickie Weeks and
Corey Hart will harness their talent. Everybody knows
this is the year Yovanni Gallardo
leaps to the forefront of NL starters. This is a recording. The Brewers will be
deceptively entertaining as long as Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder are around,
and they could get a wonderful spark if Carlos Gomez decides not to style his
way out of the game before his 25th birthday. But all the bullpen depth in the world
isn’t going to help that rotation.

deserves better. Surely they are, on average, a better set of players than the
Astros. But nothing seems to progress in Pittsburgh; Andrew McCutchen and
Garrett Jones arise fully grown from the minors, but Freddy Sanchez and Jack
Wilson are dished off. They make a seeming salary dump to Atlanta and in fact
rip the Braves off, selling Nate McLouth at his high point, opening up a spot
for McCutchen, and getting the remarkable arm of Charlie Morton – and Morton is
the only guy in the state who doesn’t believe he has
a remarkable arm. And still, if
lightning strikes – if Pedro Alvarez, Chase D’Arnaud, and Tim Alderson were all
productive big leaguers by June 1, they’d suddenly have an actual real-life
.500 team. And a .500 team might run away with this division.

Pittsburgh can hope, because
ST. LOUIS is the most overrated team in the majors. Albert Pujols glitters so
brightly, he makes you forget that the rest of the infield is an assortment of
Brendan Ryans and Felipe Lopezes and David Freeses. Chris Carpenter and Adam
Wainwright were so dominant that they obscured the reality of what happened if
you actually beat them on consecutive days – the Cards’ season would be snuffed
out in a sweep. This is a team that was ready to trot out a rotation in which
Kyle Lohse, Brad Penny, and Rich Hill would pitch more often than did Carpenter
and Wainwright (the first light bulb going off: giving the fifth spot in the rotation not to Hill but to Jaime Garcia). The bullpen is a jumble, the bench non-existent, and lord help
Tony LaRussa if Yadier Molina is really hurt or Pujols’ back is cranky for more
than 45 minutes at a stretch.

You know what? I’ll take the long-odds bet on the dice coming up for the Reds
and not the Cardinals. It’ll be an exciting race, to see if you actually can
get into the playoffs with 79 victories. Chicago third, Milwaukee fourth just
ahead of Pittsburgh, and Houston sixth, unless they decide to conserve energy
and just forfeit all games in lieu of much needed fielding practice and weeding
through resumes of infielders and pitchers.