Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Hot Wing Baseball returns!

Yes, it's a new baseball season and when opening day rolls around even the Cubs fans think their team has a shot.

But more important than that is the return of Hot Wing Conspiracy Fantasy Baseball! And it returns in new and improved fashion! We've got a dedicated blog that will be all Hot Wing sports, all the time. So check it out for the full weekly recaps, news, notes, and sexy chick pics!

My Wookies return to the field with a chance to defend their title, and with Albert Pujols leading the charge at first base again this year, we've got a good shot. So let's look at the rest of the roster...

Replacing Paul LoDuca at catcher this year is Jason Varitek. To me that's a bit of an upgrade. Jason's pretty clutch and seems to get those big hits when Boston needs them.

Ray Durham replaces Nick Punto at second base, and again I feel its an upgrade. I'll lose a little in batting average, but I think Ray will make up for that in power numbers and maybe a few extra stolen bases.

Chipper Jones' spot at third is being taken this year by Scott Rolen. I want to call this a push, but to be realistic Rolen is more potential than anything else. Chipper will have another solid year, but Scott hasn't done much over the past couple years so I think this ends up being a net loss.

Rafael Furcal had a stellar year for me last year, so he's leaving Miguel Tejada some big shoes to fill, but if anyone can do it, it's Miggy. Even if Miggy has an off season like he did last year, the power numbers are a push with a small upgrade in RBIs. I'll lose out on Raffi's stolen bases though, so I'm calling this an overall push as well, with a possible upgrade if Tejada puts up the out of this world numbers Baltimore's paying him the big bucks for.

Last year's outfield of Jermaine Dye, Magglio Ordonez, and Alex Rios (with Garret Anderson subbing where needed) is replaced by Corey Patterson, Jeff Francouer, and Hideki Matsui (with Sammy Sosa as a sub). With Dye's near MVP like numbers from last year and Rios' huge breakout season, it's a tough act to follow. Overall I'm losing power numbers but picking up stolen bases thanks to Patterson. The key I think is going to be Sosa. I picked him up off waivers which is a steal if he can find his homerun groove again. But as it stands now, I have to think this is a net loss overall.

As far as utility players go, I've got an excellent one this year with Hanley Ramirez (and perhaps Placido Palanco every so often). But Ramirez is replacing Carlos Delgado who couldn't play first base because Albert Pujols was a baseball god last year. I obviously lose a lot in power numbers, but Hanley should make up for that with stolen bases, runs, and batting average. I think it might be a bit generous but I'm calling this a push.

Starting pitching this year is going to be a bit interesting however. Last year I was pretty consistent with John Smoltz, Curt Schilling, Tim Hudson, Jason Marquis, AJ Burnett, and Woody Williams. combined they had 80 wins last season. This year they are being replaced by Eric Bedard, Mark Buehrle, Dave Bush, Brett Myers, Zach Duke, Josh Johnson, and Esteban Loaiza and these 7 only had 4 more wins last year than my starting 6. Since Johnson and Loaiza started the year on the DL, I picked up Matt Morris and Mark Redman. Morris has bounced back well from a dismal season last year; Redman on the other hand ran into a bit of tough luck and has Atlanta's only loss so far this year. Overall, this I've got to say my sarting pitching has been downgraded.

Relief pitching isn't looking much better. Bob Wickman and Tom Gordon combined for 67 saves last year. All I've got this year is Jonathan Papelbon. Definitely a downgrade simply because I don't have that second closer.

And since we've put the first week behind us already, let's see how my defending champion Wookies played last week!

Wookies Will Repeat - 7
Fmragtops Spewers - 6

This score was a repeat of last season, only this time wookies were leading the whole time. Pitching wise, both teams sucked it up with the winning team having a 5.80 ERA And offensively both teams seemed pretty average. We'll see how these teams perform later.
Game MVP: Hanley Ramirez - .320 average, 3 Stolen Bases, and 8 Runs. That's a good lead-off hitter.
Game Goat: Jose Contreras - 1 inning, 8 hits given up, and 7 Runs for an ERA of 63 for the week. Eww.

Hanley even threw me a bone and knocked a homerun for me too!

This week's matchup for the Wookies is against Anna Benson is Yummy. And hopefully the Wooks will beat the pants of her... them... whoever...

Anna's got some damn good pitching, but I think my offense can wipe them off the field. So we'll see who wins this one, pitching or offense.