I absolutely love this: CBS Sports.Com’s list of the 200 most frequently used team names in its 100,000 fantasy baseball leagues.
1 Evil Empire
5 Bronx Bombers
6 Yankees/New York Yankees
20 Murderer’s Row
86 Yankees Suck
131 Damn Yankees
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).
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
80 Splendid Splinters
81 Red Sox Nation
87 Durham Bulls
115 Tampa Bay Rays
118 Gas House Gang
122 Minnesota Twins
123 Louisville Sluggers
129 Kansas City Royals
162 Dodger Blue
165 San Diego Padres
166 Florida Marlins
172 San Francisco Giants
178 Toronto Blue Jays
184 Chicago White Sox
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?
14 Roid Rage
57 Balco Bombers
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”:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.