CATCHING MY BREATH …

Just barely, though. Normally that span of a week or two between road trips is a chance to chill a little bit. Sure, I get caught up on a lot of writing, including the written features that will run on the site (this week I had the Louisville dynamic duo of  Jay Bruce and Homer Bailey, for example), and try to bring myself up to date on all things baseball but in a less frantic way than when i’m on the road.

This year, the very nice powers that be were kind enough to let me add a new weekly feature into the mix, one I’m REALLY excited about. We’re calling it “Movin’ On Up” and given all the extra work my friends and colleagues on the copy desk have to do to give it its bells and whistles, I hope you all will take a look at it here!.  It will go up on the site every Friday and will feature the Major League debuts that were made in the receding week … what transaction led to the promotion, what the player did in his very first taste of the bigs and some news and notes about him. PLUS it will link to hs MiLB Player Page which means readers will have pretty much his life story and full stats at the click of a mouse!

Back in the days when I was at USA Today Baseball Weekly I handled the debuts as well and although it was labor intensive, it was in a good way. It made me very aware at all times who was on the 25 and 40-man rosters (there used to be a game they played on this overnight radio sports show locally where they’d try to stump the caller as to whether a player was up or down and I ALWAYS knew the answer!!!) and also more aware of how the newbies would factor into their teams.

AND it was a hugely popular feature. On the weeks when they’d decide there wasn’t room for it (because, you know, we’d have to run ads for Russian mail-order brides or something), I’d get a LOT of unhappy phone calls wondering where their debuts were (although I guess it could have been worse — they could have been calling to find where their Russian mail-order brides were). So when my bosses here agreed to let me give it a shot I was delighted and apparently I am not the only one …

Many thanks to those of you such as my friend/reader Jimmy in Richmond who wrote in to let me know how happy they were to have the Debuts back!

In the meantime, all hell seems to be breaking loose at home. None of it catastrophic (knock wood) but just enough that I’m like “OK, NOWWWWWWWWWW what?” every time the phone rings. All I want is, like, 24 hours of nothing. Just nothing. Maybe a hot bubble bath and a good book. Tom Perrotta’s “Bad Haircut” has been sitting there calling my name since I got home (It’s the last of his books that I haven’t read. He is just brilliant). Or even some reality TV. I’m sure I could find reruns of “America’s! Next! Top! Model!” or even “Rock of Love 2.” As long as it keeps me from angsting.

 

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3 comments

  1. be_the_ball

    Hi Lisa,

    I originally sent this to the blog formerly known as “He Said, She Said” only days after the change. I got some feedback from Jonathan but was hoping to hear what you had to say. You were very nice to help me out last year with my list of minor leaguers I drafted on my fantasy team and your advice was very helpful. Unfortunately, I have none of last year’s prospects on my team anymore as the unexpected happened. My team did well. As a result I traded all of my prospects and came in 3rd of 18. Not awful, but this year I intend to keep my top prospects and was hoping you could help me identify the best I got in my draft.

    Below is a list of 15 who I will own at $5 for three years once they begin their major league time. If they will debut in ’09 or get less than 130AB/50IP in 08′ their clock will start ticking next year. So how close they are to a full time role in the bigs is important, but secondary. Identifying those with the highest upside is the key as I’ll probably need to drop 4 or 5 over the course of the season and I’m hoping you can help me decide who. My league is a dynasty league so I’m looking to keep the guys with the biggest upside with emphasis on power and/or speed. Also, Errors is a category in my league, so if any of the middle infielders has a good glove, that would be nice to know too.

    I am also curious about your thoughts on Eugenio Velez of the Giants. He’s rather old for a prospect and I was wondering if you would categorize him as more of a late bloomer with a chance of proving himself worthy of 450AB’s for seasons to come or if he is more of a career minor leaguer who will find his way back there soon.

    I’ve been an avid ATM listener/viewer for years and used the ATM podcasts over the pre-season to help with my draft prep (though I still miss the old one hour version). You’ll also notice a few of the names were on the Top 50 list as well as the 100 best fantasy prospects. Thanks for all your help. Thanks again.

    Go Seadogs!

    Mark from Maine of Queens

    The List:
    Stephen Pearce
    Matt Antonelli
    Brett Lillibridge
    Bryan Anderson
    Beau Mills
    Matt Latos
    Will Inmann
    Tyler Robertson
    Jensen Lewis
    Jaime Garcia
    Tyler Colvin
    Brandon Jones
    Alcides Escobar
    Justin Maxwell
    Kyle Blanks

  2. gotmilb

    Hi Mark!

    First of all, congrats on the great finish. I honestly can’t remember the last time I’ve finished in the money so let that be a caveat when you read my response here (that said, I always have a damned good minor league system … last year my first two “ultra” picks were Yovani Gallardo and Johnny Cueto … it’s just that I tend to overstock with the kids … occupational hazard I guess!)

    Re: Velez, I would definitely lean towards late bloomer rather than career minor leaguer. He was one of a handful of players I had specifically targeted in my own auction (we’re NL only keeper 4×4 league with $260 cap) and while I figured he could get pricey depending on where he went in the scheme of things, what I DIDN’T expect was his to be the FIRST name thrown out. So I may have overspent at $15 but I got him anyway.

    Remember he was one of the Dominican kids who turned out to have different name/different age (in fact, he originally went by the last name Van Comper, his middle name, and his old teammates still call him by his nickname “V.C.”) One of his teammates back in his Blue Jays days told me that even when he was at Class A Lansing, they knew he’d be a Major Leaguer.

    So, on to your 15 … here are the guys I’d put at the top, though overall I’d call it a really strong list … and these are in no particular order:

    OF/1B Steven Pearce (our Player of the Year, my husband got him with HIS first pick. Must talk trade).
    2B Matt Antonelli (I actually had him ranked third overall in available players in my league behind Maybin and Pearce, and though I took an active player with my first pick in Brian Barton, I was ECSTATIC when Antonelli fell to me in the second round)
    C Bryan Anderson (one of the few offensive potential catchers who could be up soon)
    1B Kyle Blanks (I got him with a late pick and think he’s going to be a major keeper for me by ’09 or ’10).
    IF Alcides Escobar

    On a few of the others … OF Justin Maxwell is a big favorite of mine, partly because I love his tools across the board, and partly because he’s a local guy whose middle school basketball coach is my daughter’s teacher (and the dad of one of her close friends) and Justin is just one of the nicest guys you could want to meet. I really do think he’s going to be up by the end of ’08 and be a very good keeper. I wish I had him on my team but the Nationals fanatic got him (I am not kidding, I think more than half of his team are Nationals players. I should go count.).

    I also like Brandon Jones a lot … though his stock may have just risen quite a bit in the last few days, my concern is that the Braves are pretty well stocked at that spot even if Schafer does not show the same pop post-suspension, what with Jason Heyward, Gorkys Hernandez, et al. BUT Jones is the best LF in the group.

    I also think you can’t go wrong with Colvin … good tools across the board though no one category where he’s going to win it for you. I got him for my husband (how weird does that sound? But he had to leave early for work so I had to do his minor league draft simultaneously with mine) and he was delighted.

    I like Beau Mills a lot but wonder if his arm will withstand the rigors of third base … and if not and he moves over to first, well, there’s kind of a logjam in process there.

    Hope that helps!

    And hoping to get up to some Seadogs games in the next few years as well with my daughter heading up to college in Boston in September.

  3. earthdyedred@yahoo.com

    LOL on the Russian mail-order brides – as a 9-year-old BW reader I always thought that was an odd fit for a baseball publication (though I remember surprise at the switch to South American mail-order brides toward the mid-’90s). I somehow missed that you wrote the debut section, though – I loved it too.

    До свидания,
    Brandon Isleib
    Hardball Times

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