Thursday, October 30, 2008

Checks are in the Mail!

Hi Gang,
This morning (OCT 30), I wrote out and mailed the HARL prize checks. So your roto-baseball winnings are on their way!
Congratulations to everyone for another fine HARL season. 22 years in the books is hard to imagine. I sincerely hope to see everyone participating again in 2009. Sometime during the offseason, I'm going to ponder and propose some significant changes to the rules for next year with the aim of keeping things fresh after all these years of play. So it could be a very different league in 2009. Feel free to share any ideas that you have with me this winter. 
For all you life-long Phillies fans out there..... as the t-shirts say: PHINALLY!!!  Now I can die a happy man. 
PS: Dougie Fresh, I included your Hershey Bears hockey tickets in your envelope, so be on the lookout for those.
Talk to you guys later.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Champion Is Crowned!

The long wait is finally over. The HARL Champion for 2008 has been crowned. Who won?

Did the JOKERS hang on to their skinny lead? Or did the ASSASSINS sneak up from behind and give them the old shiv in the back? Or did the COBRAS strike from below? Or maybe just maybe, the GRILLERS turned up the heat? Or could it be that the RHINOS (gulp gulp) made a frantic last-week comeback to claim their 8th HARL title?

Well? Well?

Well... it was a very close points race, for everyone except the eventual winner. Three teams were separated by less than 1.5 points! But the champs won comfortably.

So who won? The suspense is killing me dammit!

Cue the medieval fanfare music and send in the clowns! The 2008 HARL Championship wears pointy shoes and a silly hat, and hails from the Great White North region of Pennsylvania.

Hail hail to the 2008 Champs... the JOKERS!

The Final Playoff Standings were as follows:
  1. 45.32 = Jokers
  2. 35.40 = Grillers
  3. 32.18 = Cobras
  4. 32.08 = Rhinos
  5. 30.88 = Assassins
You can check out more details by perusing the league reports. I'm uploading the PSR reports as we speak. I haven't edited the web-reports yet, but will try to squeeze that in soon when I've got some extra free time (perhaps tomorrow morning or night). So hang loose.

FOR NOW... Please join me in congratulating JACK SOLTIS and the JOKERS on their 1st ever HARL Championship!

Kudos to Joker Jack for a great season. It was well deserved.

Until we meet again.... Enjoy the MLB Playoffs... and GO PHILS!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Final 2008 Stats

This snippet (which I just posted on my business website) also applies to us. So I've posted it here to alert you guys as well.

The Final Stats for 2008 will not be posted until the AL Central winner has been determined. The outcome of the Tigers/W-Sox makeup game on 9/29 could determine a winner, or else a 1-game regular season playoff game between the Twins/W-Sox will be played on Tuesday 9/30 to determine the winner. Since the stats from these games count as Regular Season stats, we cannot publish the final stats until these games are complete. 
As a result, the final set of player stats for 2008 won't be published until Tuesday (1 PM) or Wednesday (1 PM), depending on the outcome of the AL games that are still to be played.
Note that the FINAL STATS will be dated 9/28/2008, although they WILL include those AL stats from 9/29 (and 9/30 game if applicable). Users of Rhino Baseball should use 9/28/2008 as the date of these final stats. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Jokers Wild

Can the Jokers pull off their first-ever HARL Championship?

After 3 weeks of a crazy playoffs which have seen three lead-changes, Joker Jack's boys are currently holding down the top-spot. That will teach me to overlook anyone's 1st-place chances ever again! If you recall, at the halfway mark of the playoffs I predicted it would come down to a 2-horse race between the Assassins and Cobras. I was wrong.

At this point, anything could happen. In hot pursuit of the Jokers are the Assassins and Grillers, and even the Cobras are within striking distance if they can get red-hot this final week. This is exciting!

About the only thing I feel sure of is that my injury-riddled and pitching-poor Rhinos club has virtually no chance of bringing home an 8th HARL Championship. Yes, I realize that nobody but me is boo-hooing about that!
So good luck to all the contenders and have fun watching SportsCenter this week! There's really nothing to do at this point other than sit back, pop a cold one, and pray that your sluggers hit, steal, and field the ball cleanly, and that your hurlers record outs, rack up the K's, and snag some Wins and Saves. It sounds so simple doesn't it?

By the way... Stat reports (both web-stuff and PSR) are now available at HARL Central.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Week #3 Playoff Standings

HARL Playoff Standings thru Week #3 are available on the HARL stats site. I haven't posted any of the reports yet; just the Standings.
PS: Looks like we've got a NEW leader!  Hint: Think Worst to First!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Halfway to the Finish!

Two weeks are gone in the 2008 HARL playoff race. We're halfway to deciding a champ. Who's it gonna be this season? Here's the quickie point-score rundown at the SEP 14 checkpoint:
  1. Assassins = 43.2 pts
  2. Grillers = 37.6 pts
  3. Cobras = 35.4 pts
  4. Rhinos = 31.1 pts
  5. Jokers = 29.8 pts

Pretty amazing to see the Assassins holding down the top-spot eh? In the history of the HARL Playoffs, no 5th Seed playoff team has ever managed to win the playoffs and secure the league championship. Dougie Fresh is doing his best to make history, that's for sure.

I'm also surprised to see the Jokers languishing in the basement. What gives? Is this really the same club that took 1st Place in the Regular Season standings after 22 weeks?

The Grillers offense nosedived big-time this week, while the Spitting Cobras slithered their way up the standings and crawled out of the basement. The Rhinos sort of held steady. With the sudden spate of key injuries to the Rhinos and Grillers, those two teams will be very hard pressed to win another championship this season.

There are still lots of really close categories stats-wise, so it's too early to make any surefire predictions as to who will reign victorious. The upstart Assassins are in the driver's seat, but I'm expecting the Cobras to make a 2nd-half playoff run and battle them hard for the title.

So buckle your seatbelts baseball fans, it's gonna be a wild finish!

You can check out the full set of stats reports at HARL CENTRAL (

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

HARL -- Playoff Stats/Reports Posted

Both PSR and Web Reports have been posted for Week-1 of the HARL Playoffs. 
I don't really have too much to say about who's leading the playoff point-standings at this point, since experience shows us that in the immortal words of Kennesaw Mountain BigHorn, "1-week does not a playoff champion make."

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

PSR Reports Posted

PSR reports through Week-22 have been posted and are ready to download from the HARL CENTRAL website.  
I probably won't get to create the web reports until later tonight.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Who Made the HARL Playoffs?

Want to know who made the 2008 HARL Playoffs?
Check out HARL CENTRAL or go here to see the final, regular season standings thru Week-22.

Final FAD Results (AUG 31)

Results from the Final FAD of 2008:

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Saturday Waiver Claims

Waiver claims from Saturday (AUG 30):
  1. Corey Patterson        OF-CIN      Mudhens
  2. Daniel Murphy           OF-NYM    Rhinos

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

HARL Stats Posted!

Stats thru Week-21 have been posted. Phew... I'll be glad when the baseball season is over and my "fall vacation" arrives. I'm really getting burned out doing the stats every week. It happens to the best of us.
The HARL STANDINGS didn't change very much from last week. Looks like we have a nip/tuck race for 1st Place between the JOKERS and COBRAS over the final week of the Regular Season. The Jokers have the edge right now, but with only 1-point separating the teams, anything can happen.
The GRILLERS remain entrenched in 3rd Place and are a lock to remain there heading into Labor Day. The RHINOS are holding down the 4th spot and things look solid for them playoff-wise. The final playoff spot looks like it's going to come down either the MUDHENS or ASSASSINS, although the BREWSKIS could surprise if they get red hot this week and the Hens & Assassins falter. Stay tuned.
This Sunday's FAD is the LAST ONE of the 2008 season. So if you have any remaining dough left to spend, you better spend it while you can!
As you're well aware by now, the TOP FIVE finishers through WEEK #22 make the HARL Playoffs. They also win some prize money in the process. Once LABOR DAY is upon us, the rosters of the non-playoff teams are FROZEN. That means those teams don't make any more roster moves for the rest of the season, and cannot pickup anyone off the Waiver Wire. 
The five playoff teams may EXPAND their Active Rosters to 26 players on Labor Day by adding 1 HITTER and 1 PITCHER to their lineup (position does not matter, so your hitter could be a 2B, C, OF, or whatever, and your pitcher could be a SP or RP). 
During the month of September, only teams participating in the HARL playoffs can claim players off the Waiver Wire. These players are TEMPORARY PICKUPS and will be automatically force-waived after the season ends. 
That's all for now... Enjoy the final week of the REGULAR SEASON. Best of luck to all those who are fighting for a playoff spot.

Monday, August 25, 2008

FAD Results from Sunday

FAD Results from SUNDAY... Only 2 picks:
  1. Andy Tracy        1B/OF-PHI    .05    MAYGAMERS
  2. Josh Bard            C-SD          .05    RHINOS
Sevy out!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Two Weeks and Counting!

There's only 2 weeks left in the HARL Regular Season. My oh my how times flies! Once September 1st rolls around, the top-5 teams will compete in the HARL playoffs to determine who will be crowned this year's league champion. For everyone else, it's time to pack up the rotisserie stuff and say "better luck next year". Truth be told, the bottom four clubs are so far down the points-rung that they probably packed it in some time ago.
Well, it's currently a 7-team race for five playoff spots. There's a really tight race for 1st Place going on right now between the JOKERS and SPITTING COBRAS. A mere 2 points is all that separates Joker Jack from his good friend Cobra Mike in the standings. It appears that the race for 1st Place regular season prize money will go right down to the Labor Day wire. Fortunately for both of these clubs, they don't have to worry about making the playoffs. They're playoff shoo-ins. But neither team has ever won a HARL title, so it's assuredly exciting, nail-biting, bed-wetting times around those two clubhouses right now.
With 85 points, the GAS HOUSE GRILLERS also look like shoo-ins for the playoffs. It would take a Herculean effort for them to catch the Jokers and/or Cobras in the point standings, as they trail that duo by more than 15 points. But barring a late-August collapse, the Gas House gang will be cooking playoff-dogs come September. Their July trade acquisitions of Ryan Howard and Andre Ethier are paying huge dividends offensively. 
Lurking in 4th place are the ever-dangerous SEVY RHINOS. The Rhinos have been treading water for a couple of weeks, thanks to a mix of injuries and slumps that have zapped the offense of its usual strength. The Rhinos need to weather the storm from the hungry teams clawing at them from below (Hens, Assassins, and Brewskis). If the Rhinos can hang on and make the playoffs, they present an interesting team to deal with. They've got one of the best offenses in HARL, but their year-to-date pitching stats (with the exception of Saves) have been atrocious. But over the past month, the Rhinos staff has improved somewhat, thanks to surges from Oliver Perez and The Big Unit. A clean stats-slate would do them a world of good come September. 
Fighting for the 5th and final playoff spot are the NORTH MARKET MUDHENS, ASSASSINS, and BREWSKIS. Right now, the HENS are in the driver's seat, holding down 5th place with 75 points (4 behind the Rhinos). They have the luxury of complete health (nobody on the Disabled List) and a starting rotation that looks as strong as anyone's on paper. They're kind of the anti-Rhinos in many respects (weak offense, strong starting staff, so-so bullpen). After tasting the playoffs for the first time last year, Judge Mike and the boys are hankering for a return to glory. 
At 71 points, the ASSASSINS need to make a late-season run in order to push themselves into the playoffs. Without Justin Upton, Ryan Church, and Jonathan Sanchez in the lineup, that could be a tall order. Rental superstar Manny Ramirez has been worth every penny, but he's going to need hot streaks from Wright, Holliday, and Kouzmanoff to bolster the offense. And Ben Sheets really needs to step it up and carry this staff if they're going to reach the postseason. 
Although 7 points out of 5th place, the BREWSKIS are still in this thing. They've got Chipper back and the Atkins-Hawpe-Stewart-Baker-Iannetta contingent on offense. Chris Dickerson was also a great late-season free agent pick who is playing regularly. JJ Hardy is hot, Mike Cameron is solid, and we all know the streaky Cody Ross can get red-hot on occasion. So if the offense can tear the cover off the ball, the Zambrano-Maine-Myers starting trio can hurl some gems, the beermakers could make a surprising rally. 
So stay tuned... we'll know how it all turns out in 2 weeks!

Monday, August 18, 2008

FAD Results of AUG 17

Sunday's FAD Results...
  2. MIKE FONTENOT      2B-CHC   .05  COBRAS 
  3. WIL OHMAN          RP-ATL   .05  LEMMINGS 
  4. PEDRO ALVAREZ      3B-PIT   .55  LEMMINGS    (TOP=.55, NEXT=.50 GRILLERS) 
  10. DAN DORN           OF-CIN   .05  RHINOS 
IMPORTANT NOTE: This past weekend's FAD was the last chance for anyone to pickup Minor Leaguers (rookies) in the FAD for the rest of this season. From today going forward, you CANNOT draft rookies in the remaining weekly FADs (those of AUG 24 and AUG 31).
ALSO... as a friendly reminder to those who need to perform roster moves, here's a recap of the ROSTER POLICE note that I sent out earlier this week:
  • David Ross was designated for assignment on 8/10 and needs replaced.   
  • Elijah Dukes went on DL on 8/07 and needs replaced.
  • Chipper Jones came off the DL on 8/08.
  • John Maine came off the DL on 8/13.
  • Orlando Hudson went on DL on 8/10 and needs replaced.
  • Paul Loduca was released on 8/01 and needs replaced.
  • Blake Dewitt was sent to the minors on 7/26 and needs replaced.
  • Tim Hudson went on DL on 7/28 and needs replaced.
  • Micah Owings was sent to the minors on 7/29 and needs replaced.
  • Chris Carpenter came off the DL on 7/30 and needs to be activated/reserved or waived. 
  • 1 too many Veteran players on your RESERVE LIST. You can have 7 max. Must drop 1 Veteran player from the group of: Abercrombie, Burke, Hairston, Montero, Velez, Hendrickson, Howry, and Morales.
  • Billy Wagner went on DL on 8/05 and needs replaced.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Saturday's Waiver Claims

WAIVER claims from Saturday:

Friday, August 15, 2008

Updates to ROSTERS and WAIVER WIRE reports

Looks like one of Stampeder Dave's emails got lost in the shuffle and I overlooked his moves for the week as a result. I updated that today and have posted new ROSTERS online, as well as a new WAIVER WIRE report (because he waived a bunch of guys).
So take a look at that.  

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Stats Done

Sorry for the delay with the HARL stats... They're out now.
I'm having a really hard time getting motivated to do any baseball crap right now. It's been a long season, my team is just so-so, and all the other non-baseball stuff going on is starting to wear on my nerves and tire me out. Oh well, I doubt that you guys really care anyway.
C'est la vie. 

HARL Roster Police

Looks like people are getting lazy with roster management and have a case of the "August Blues".
The mid-August edition of HARL Roster Police brings the following things...
  • David Ross was designated for assignment on 8/10 and needs replaced.   
  • Elijah Dukes went on DL on 8/07 and needs replaced.
  • Chipper Jones came off the DL on 8/08.
  • John Maine came off the DL on 8/13.
  • Orlando Hudson went on DL on 8/10 and needs replaced.
  • Paul Loduca was released on 8/01 and needs replaced.
  • Blake Dewitt was sent to the minors on 7/26 and needs replaced.
  • Tim Hudson went on DL on 7/28 and needs replaced.
  • Micah Owings was sent to the minors on 7/29 and needs replaced.
  • Chris Carpenter came off the DL on 7/30 and needs to be activated/reserved or waived. 
  • 1 too many Veteran players on your RESERVE LIST. You can have 7 max. Must drop 1 Veteran player from the group of: Abercrombie, Burke, Hairston, Montero, Velez, Hendrickson, Howry, and Morales.
  • Billy Wagner went on DL on 8/05 and needs replaced.
  • 1 extra guy on your RESERVE LIST. You can have 10 max. Must drop 1 player from the group of: Antonelli, B. Jones, Ruiz, Rodriguez, Backe, Balester, Burton, An. Miller, Jar. Parker, G. Reynolds, Scherzer.
  • Khalil Greene went on DL on 8/01 and needs replaced.
  • Josh Bard went on DL on 8/09 and needs replaced.
Kennesaw Mountain BigHorn
HARL Commissioner

Monday, August 11, 2008

Weekend FAD and Waiver Results

Hi Gang,
WAIVER CLAIMS from Saturday... Just one claim:
FAD results from Sunday:

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Dallas McPherson

Due to a correction with the Grillers roster moves, please note that Dallas McPherson is NOT on the Waiver Wire any longer.

Friday, August 8, 2008

HARL Reports and News (AUG 8)

Hi Guys,
This is really the first chance I've had to breathe and focus on other stuff since last Saturday (8/02). Anna and I were hosting and entertaining 6 visitors at our house (4 adults and 2 little kids ages 3 & 7) since Monday and spent a good chunk of yesterday in Philly. Needless to say, HARL wasn't anywhere in the picture during that time.
I did the HARL moves & stats this afternoon. The PSR reports are now posted online for download. I'll get to the web-stuff in a little bit, although it's going to be bare-bones since everything is way late this week.
There were two trades to report from last week....
1) STAMPEDERS traded 1B-Albert Pujols to the JOKERS for SP-Mike Pelfrey, 2B-Matt Antonelli, the Jokers 1st Round Farm Pick next season (2009), and $2.00 of FAD money.
2) BREWSKIS traded 2B-Ray Durham to the GRILLERS for RP-Heath Bell.
Remember that this coming MONDAY (AUG 11) is the HARL Trading Deadline. No trades are allowed after the deadline passes until the offseason begins (after conclusion of the MLB World Series).  
A couple of teams left out some roster changes this week, so I had to make some forced moves to get your roster in order. Please check your roster PSR report to see what happened. ALWAYS doublecheck your roster move email before you send it to me each week, so you don't overlook anything (ie: make sure all positions are filled on your ACTIVE ROSTER, you're under the $18 salary cap, and you don't have more than 10 reserves and 15 bench-guys total (combo of 10 resv max + 5 DL). 
That's all... Hoping life returns to normal soon!

Monday, August 4, 2008

FAD -- Addition to Posted Results

Hi Guys.... Forgot to include Greg Dobbs in the FAD results list. Here's the updated list:

As expected during most post MLB Trade Deadline FADs, there was insane bidding this week on lotsa new players.
Trying to get as creative as I could and still use Manny, I didn't get him. I didn't get any of the big guys. Dammit! Who got them? Here's what transpired:
  1. MANNY RAMIREZ    OF-LA   3.65  ASSASSINS   (TOP=4.10, NEXT=3.60 RHINOS)
  3. CASEY KOTCHMAN   1B-ATL  2.95  MUDHENS     (TOP=3.00, NEXT=2.90 RHINOS) 
  4. CHRIS BURKE      OF-ARZ   .05  JOKERS      (TOP=2.05, NEXT=NONE)
  6. CRAIG HANSEN     RP-PIT   .40  MUDHENS     (TOP=1.50, NEXT= .35 RHINOS)
  7. JOE MATHER       OF-STL   .40  GRILLERS    (TOP=1.40, NEXT= .35 RHINOS)
  8. GREG DOBBS       3B-PHI   .05  COBRAS      (TOP=1.35, NEXT=NONE)
  9. JEFF KARSTENS    SP-PIT   .30  RHINOS      (TOP= .75, NEXT= .25 MAYGAMERS)
  11. GREG NORTON      OF-ATL   .05  MAYGAMERS   (TOP= .45, NEXT=NONE)
  12. J.A HAPP          P-PHI   .05  BREWSKIS    (TOP= .45, NEXT=NONE)
  13. GEOFF BLUM       3B-HOU   .10  JOKERS      (TOP= .40, NEXT= .05 LEMMINGS)
  14. JORGE DE LA ROSA SP-COL   .05  JOKERS      (TOP= .50, NEXT=NONE)
  15. DAN MURPHY       OF-NYM   .05  RHINOS      (TOP= .35, NEXT=NONE)
  16. HENRY BLANCO      C-CHC   .05  COBRAS      (TOP= .15, NEXT=NONE)
  17. LARRY BROADWAY   1B-WAS   .05  COBRAS      (TOP= .05, NEXT=NONE)

Manny & Friends Bidding Extravaganza!

As expected during most post MLB Trade Deadline FADs, there was insane bidding this week on lotsa new players.
Trying to get as creative as I could and still use Manny, I didn't get him. I didn't get any of the big guys. Dammit! Who got them? Here's what transpired:
  1. MANNY RAMIREZ    OF-LA   3.65  ASSASSINS   (TOP=4.10, NEXT=3.60 RHINOS)
  3. CASEY KOTCHMAN   1B-ATL  2.95  MUDHENS     (TOP=3.00, NEXT=2.90 RHINOS) 
  4. CHRIS BURKE      OF-ARZ   .05  JOKERS      (TOP=2.05, NEXT=NONE)
  6. CRAIG HANSEN     RP-PIT   .40  MUDHENS     (TOP=1.50, NEXT= .35 RHINOS)
  7. JOE MATHER       OF-STL   .40  GRILLERS    (TOP=1.40, NEXT= .35 RHINOS)
  8. JEFF KARSTENS    SP-PIT   .30  RHINOS      (TOP= .75, NEXT= .25 MAYGAMERS)
  10. GREG NORTON      OF-ATL   .05  MAYGAMERS   (TOP= .45, NEXT=NONE)
  11. J.A HAPP          P-PHI   .05  BREWSKIS    (TOP= .45, NEXT=NONE)
  12. GEOFF BLUM       3B-HOU   .10  JOKERS      (TOP= .40, NEXT= .05 LEMMINGS)
  13. JORGE DE LA ROSA SP-COL   .05  JOKERS      (TOP= .50, NEXT=NONE)
  14. DAN MURPHY       OF-NYM   .05  RHINOS      (TOP= .35, NEXT=NONE)
  15. HENRY BLANCO      C-CHC   .05  COBRAS      (TOP= .15, NEXT=NONE)
  16. LARRY BROADWAY   1B-WAS   .05  COBRAS      (TOP= .05, NEXT=NONE)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

FAB Balance Adjustments

Just an FYI for everyone...
This week, I suddenly realized that I have NOT made any adjustments to the Remaining FAD Balances for HARL teams that have lost players to the American League.
I will try to remember and play catch-up with those adjustments when I do next week's stats (whenever that is, since we're entertaining visitors who are staying at our house for the first-half of next week). 
Anyway... Here's a quick rundown of players who were traded to the American League and the associated COMPENSATION (in terms of extra FAD money) that HARL teams will receive for those traded players:
  • MARK TEIXEIRA    ASSASSINS    to ANA    team gets $1.75 
  • ERIC PATTERSON   ASSASSINS    to OAK    team gets $ .05  
  • JASON BAY        MAYGAMERS    to BOS    team gets $1.25
  • XAVIER NADY      MAYGAMERS    to NYY    team gets $ .75
  • KEN GRIFFEY JR   MUDHENS      to CHW    team gets $ .75     
  • DAMASO MARTE     MUDHENS      to NYY    team gets $ .50
  • GABE GROSS       MUDHENS      to TAM    team gets $ .10  
  • MATT LAPORTA     COBRAS       to CLE    team gets $ .05
  • JONATHAN MELOAN  COBRAS       to CLE    team gets $ .05
  • SEAN GALLAGHER   GRILLERS     to OAK    team gets $ .50     
That means the adjusted FAD Balances for the affected HARL teams should now be:
  • ASSASSINS:  $4.75 + $1.80 compensation = $6.55 current balance
  • MAYGAMERS:  $2.85 + $2.00 compensation = $4.85 current balance  
  • MUDHENS:  $6.30 + $1.35 compensation = $7.65 current balance
  • COBRAS:  $4.70 + $0.10 compensation = $4.80 current balance
  • GRILLERS:  $4.60 + $0.50 compensation = $5.10 current balance  
The remaining clubs current balances are:
BREWSKIS ($5.40), JOKERS ($5.20), LEMMINGS ($1.35), GAMBLERS ($4.00), RHINOS ($5.60), STAMPEDERS ($0.75)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

HARL Stats for 7/27 are now Online

Hi Gang,
The HARL stats reports for 7/27 (stat period 17) are now online. Enjoy them! This week's reports include IMPACT RATINGS for hitters and pitchers, Team Stats for the month of July (from 6/30 thru 7/27 to be precise), and a corresponding Team Points Comparison over that same timeframe. Some interesting stuff to peruse to be sure.
It's hard to conceive, but there's only 5 weeks left in the HARL Regular Season (including this one). That means:
  • The HARL Trading Deadline approaches. It falls on AUGUST 11 this year. That gives you just 2 more weeks to swing any late season fantasy trades. It's been a very quiet year trade-wise. I'm not sure if it's just extreme conservatism due to a year where the point standings are pretty tight, with 7-8 teams battling for FIVE playoff spots. Or maybe it's simply owner apathy or mistrust of the other guys trying to screw you! Perhaps there just haven't been enough "good matches" between teams -- roster makeup, injuries, and what's available in the free agent pool all have a significant effect on trading. Whatever it is, I'm not clairvoyant enough to put my finger on the exact reason.     
  • The HARL Playoffs begin on SEPTEMBER 1st (Labor Day). The top 5 finishers as of the 8/31 stats will make the playoffs. At that point, the stats slate is wiped clean and it's a 4-week race to see who can accumulate the most points and win the coveted HARL Championship. Unless disaster strikes, I've gotta believe that the Cobras and Jokers will be 2 of those 5 teams. The rest is up in the air right now, coming down to a 5-week push through the Dog Days of August to see who plays in September and who sits on their couch and turns their attention to football and other pursuits.   
It has been quite a strange year in many respects. I've had an extremely busy summer and baseball (among other things) has moved by me like a blur. I haven't watched as many games as I've liked, although I've been fortunate enough to attend a handful of Phillies games this season (got another one coming up in early August). I've followed my team's stats via the box scores religiously, but I really haven't spent any appreciable time analyzing my strengths/weaknesses and formulating trades. It shows too. 
My offense has been pretty good (I expected it to be better though as Beltran and Weeks have really underperformed, and Andruw Jones has been a monumental bust). But my pitching has sucked more than a giant sponge in the Atlantic Ocean. Hindsights shows that I was too patient hoping for a statistical rebound from key starters like Francis and Gorzelanny, and now I've dug myself a huge hole in ERA and WHIP that I cannot possibly recover from. Pitching has been my Achilles Heel all season long, although my Fielding is starting to catch up with it! 
So I've sort of had a laissez faire attitude to my roster in some regards (although I have still mined for free agents, but have been outbid on several key ones). Perhaps 22 years of continual play and running the league has caught up to me? I still enjoy rotisserie baseball and want to win, but the excitement hasn't been as palpable for me this season for several reasons (I'll spare you the details). Part of it might just be frustration with my team as well. Life is always more exciting when you're contending for 1st Place. 
Speaking of 1st Place, it's unusual to see the COBRAS and JOKERS sitting 1-2 in the standings. I think it's good to see new faces atop the leaderboard. I'm pretty sure that Jack is enjoying his success. I'm not sure what's up with Cobra Mike. His wife is expecting in September and I believe it's been another busy year for him preparing his home for the new arrival. I'm not sure baseball is at the top of his mind right now. He's fortunate that his team has been fairly healthy most of the year and that his cheap holdover guys have played extremely well (hello Ryan Braun and Tim Lincecum). Getting Fred Lewis off the free agent heap early in the season was also a super move. It will be interesting to see if Mike can hold onto 1st Place thru Labor Day. I'm sure he'd like that prize money. Baby needs some new shoes! 
That's all for now.... Talk to ya later. 

Monday, July 28, 2008

FAD Results for the Night of JULY 27

Sunday Night FAD Results:
  1. CASEY BLAKE     3B-LA  3.20  MAYGAMERS   (TOP=4.55, NEXT=3.15 RHINOS)
  2. JOEL HANRAHAN   RP-WAS  .05  GRILLERS    (TOP=1.30)
  3. MIKE HAMPTON    SP-ATL  .05  RHINOS      (TOP=1.00)
  6. JOE NELSON      RP-FLA  .05  MUDHENS     (TOP= .50)
  7. JOSE TABATA     OF-PIT  .25  GRILLERS    (TOP= .30, NEXT=.20 RHINOS)
Lotsa bids on Casey Blake this week...
  • $4.55    = MAYGAMERS
  • $3.15    = RHINOS
  • $2.55    = GAMBLERS
  • $2.50    = MUDHENS
  • $2.50    = GRILLERS
  • $2.15    = BREWSKIS
  • $2.15    = JOKERS
MLB Trading Deadline is this coming THURSDAY. Send us some more good AL players to bid on!!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Brewskis Additional Drops

The BREWSKIS had to drop 2 guys to get down to the 15-man Reserve/DL limit.
They dropped:
  • John Smoltz
  • John Lieber
These guys are now available on the WAIVER WIRE

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

HARL Stats Posted!

Hi Guys...
HARL Stats thru 7/21 have been posted. I kept to just the basic stuff this week (so there's only 10 web reports) since last week was only a HALF WEEK due to the All Star Break and there wasn't a lot of stats accumulated.
Anyway, there ya have it. It's been a hectic past 2 weeks for me, and I really haven't had any time to focus on rotisserie baseball. Soooo... I really have nothing to write this week. These are the times when I wish we had a "communal blog" and someone else (or several other team owners) could step in and write commentary instead of me. Maybe some day...
Anyway.... COBRAS are in 1st Place!!! Although Head Snake Boy Mike Hughes hasn't said a peep lately. I suppose he's full blown into "baby prep" as his wife Karen is expecting fairly soon. Let me know what's up MIKE!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday Night's FAD Results

FAD Results for Sunday, JULY 20:
  1. JOE BLANTON    SP-PHI  2.20  ASSASSINS    (TOP=2.45, NEXT=2.15 RHINOS)
  3. IVAN OCHOA     2B-SF    .05  BREWSKIS     (TOP= .25)
Everyone else bid on Joe Blanton and was outbid. Bids included Rhinos @ $2.15, Grillers @ $1.95, Jokers @ $1.10, and
Maygamers @ .95.

Saturday Waiver Claims

Waiver Claims from Saturday:
  1. Scott Podsednik        OF-COL    BREWSKIS
  2. Johnny Estrada          C-WAS    RHINOS
Commissioner... Out!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Rule Change Proposals

I'm not sure when I'll get to revisiting my proposed ideas for HARL rule changes. I've just been too busy with other things over the past month (especially game design work) to really give it any additional thought. So it's being put on the backburner until I have enough free time to address it. That's sure not going to be this week (got playtesting and a wargame convention coming up).
Anyway, just wanted you guys to know what's happening on that front. It's weird, but my usually relaxing summer doesn't feel relaxing at all this year. Guess that's just life in 2008!
Kennesaw Mountain BigHorn
HARL Commissioner

HARL Web Reports Posted

HARL web reports for the All Star Break have now been posted. 

Friday, July 18, 2008

All-Star Break PSR Reports

The PSR reports set for the ALL STAR BREAK have been posted for download at HARL Central.
The reports include YTD Dollar Values for all HARL batters and pitchers.
WEB reports will be posted later on (either FRI Night or SAT morning).

Monday, July 14, 2008

HARL FAD Results -- JULY 14

All-Star Break FAD Results:
  5. CHAD GAUDIN    RP-CHC   .15  RHINOS     (HIGH= .80, 2ND= .10 GAMBLERS) 
  6. JOHN BAKER      C-FLA   .15  LEMMINGS   (HIGH= .55, 2ND= .10 MAYGAMERS) 
  7. NICK EVANS     OF-NYM   .05  GAMBLERS   (HIGH= .15)
  9. ALEX ROMERO    OF-ARZ   .05  ASSASSINS  (HIGH= .10) 
As expected, lots of bids on the 2 AL import pitchers this week, and some solid bidding on Fernando Tatis as well. 
SABATHIA = $4.50 (Lemmings), $4.15 (Stampeders), $4.05 (Gamblers), $2.75 (Assassins), $2.45 (Maygamers),
$2.10 (Jokers), $2.05 (Rhinos), $2.00 (Grillers). 
HARDEN = $4.20 (Lemmings), $4.15 (Stampeders), $4.05 (Gamblers), $3.00 (Assassins), $2.50 (Jokers),
$2.45 (Maygamers), $2.05 (Rhinos), $2.00 (Grillers).
Enjoy the ALL STAR break! Remember, your roster moves are not due until THURSDAY NITE (7 PM) this week.     

Sunday, July 13, 2008

All- Star Break Deadlines

Since it's the ALL STAR BREAK, there are 2 things I wanted to make note of:
  1. I will do the FAD results on MONDAY afternoon (once I complete my morning stats service work and after lunch).
  2. You do NOT need to send your ROSTER MOVES in for this week until THURSDAY NIGHT at 7 PM. That's because there are no NL games on Mon/Tue/Wed due to the All-Star Break. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Stats N Stuff

About 40 minutes ago, I was crunching numbers & editing web reports and babbling all kinds of really interesting stuff about HARL to myself while I was at it. And then it hit me like a ton of bricks... MENTAL FATIGUE.... BURNOUT.... TIREDNESS.... You know, that sudden yawning feeling that follows the 15 minutes of utter ephoria you feel after you've slept with the entire squad of Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. Okay, maybe you don't know that feeling. I'm not a MAN WHORE either. But at least you get the general idea.
Geoff and I spent the whole day creatively playing with numbers trying to devise a sensible point value system for the wargame me and the guys have been developing for the last few years. Yeah years. So it wasn't a simple task. I'm starting to see tiny yellow octal digits (0 to 8) float across my field of vision when I close my eyes. I'd rather see boobies. But then, that's just me.
Anyway, I'll save any meaty commentary for another time and just leave you with some dribs & drabs of random thoughts before I go doze off for the night. My pillow is looking good right about now. 
I hate CODY ROSS. I drafted him because I predicted he'd be semi-decent; a nice low-cost power source. Then I dumped him just a few weeks into the season when he wasn't getting to play and seemed basically worthless. Kev scarfed him up. Last week he went nuts and had 15 RBI. FIFTEEN. Not a typo. He's sitting at around 15 dingers and 45+ RBI for the season. And I dumped him like a complete jackass. I HATE YOU CODY ROSS!
Speaking of Cody Ross and Kevin's association with him, the BREWSKIS offense went FRICKIN BONKERS last week. Absolutely crazy nuts. I looked at the team stats after clicking the button and letting the magic sabermetric computer elves generate the results for me. I saw 71 Runs, 26 HR, 86 RBI. Crikey I said, those look like 2 weeks worth of stats!!! Weird. But then I studied the individual team results for the Brewskis from last week. Everyone had monster weeks. Kev has lots of Rockies and Marlins hitters, and they had a supernatural weekend series filled with scoring, scoring, and more scoring. It was a MIRACLE WEEK sent from Heaven itself. That vaulted the Brewskis 10 points ahead of their prior offensive points total. That's almost impossible to do in early-July. Crazy, but awesome all the same time. Now if I could just get 2 miracle week's worth of PITCHING like that!!! 
Hey Dave, stop trading with Geoff dammit! The newly acquired Griller trio of HOWARD-ETHIER-BAUTISTA had a great week. Geoff's team would have led the league in offense quite easily last week had it not been for the God-sent Hitting Mana from Heaven that drifted down and showered its golden beauty across the Brewskis dugout last week. Meanwhile Michael Bourn is still trying to figure out how to steal 1st Base, and Brandon Jones and Max Scherzer are still toiling away in the minors waiting for a second chance to make a splash on the major league scene. Yeah, this could be a very good Next Year trade for Dave, but I hate when my closest competitors get something that will beat me THIS YEAR! As they say... DAT'S LIFE! I shoulda tried to snag Howard and/or Ethier first! 
All Star selection time always creates some controversy. David Wright not on the team? WOW. Soriano and Fukudome as STARTERS over Pat Burrell, Corey Hart, and Carlos Lee? LUDICROUS. Do we really need 12 Pitchers? Wouldn't TEN be more than enough? Jeez. Christian Guzman made the team? REALLY? Over Jose Reyes or Brandon Phillips? SAD.
And as for C.C Sabathia.... Okie dokie... Ain't touching that one again.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

HARL stuff coming WED Night

Since I'm working OT tonight to prepare for a daytime project meeting with Geoff tomorrow, HARL stats and reports will be done on WED Night rather than tonight.

Sorry, but work comes first.



Monday, July 7, 2008

REVISED FAD Results for JULY 6

Here are the REVISED FAD Results from JULY 6. The Sabathia pickup was disallowed since his trade to the Brewers did not become official until this morning according to Also, I made a typo on Chan Ho Park's draft salary (thanks to Mayer for catching that and giving me the heads-up).
  1. DAMIAN EASLEY    2B-NYM   .05  LEMMINGS    (TOP=1.10) 
  2. CHAD DURBIN      RP-PHI   .05  RHINOS      (TOP= .75) 
  3. CHAN HO PARK      P-LA    .20  GRILLERS    (TOP= .75, 2ND=.15 BREWSKIS)
  5. GEOFF GEARY      RP-HOU   .05  BREWSKIS    (TOP= .25) 
  6. ROGER BERNADINA  OF-WAS   .05  JOKERS      (TOP= .25) 
  7. JASON PERRY      OF-ATL   .05  BREWSKIS    (TOP= .10)
  8. BRYAN ANDERSON    C-STL   .05  LEMMINGS    (TOP= .05) 
Two things to note regarding bids on players that are already on someone else's team.
    <> Omar Infante = is on the Rhinos reserve list
    <> Collin Balester = is on the Stampeders active roster
Kennesaw Mountain BigHorn
HARL Commissioner

Commissioner Ruling on SABATHIA

HI Guys,
After some further investigation this afternoon, I have made a Commissioner's ruling against the pickup of CC Sabathia in this weekend's FAD. Sabathia is still a free agent, and remains in the HARL free agent pool. Let me explain... 
When I was doing the FAD results this morning, I really wasn't sure if the Sabathia to the Brewers trade was really OFFICIAL or not. Like many of you probably did, I read on RotoWorld last night that Sabathia was being traded to the Brewers for Matt LaPorta and several other prospects. So I put in a bid for him in the FAD. But nothing said the trade was "official" or not. It was an inside scoop that the trade was about to be completed.
I was thinking about that issue this morning when I did the FAD. I rushed through everything because I had to start work, and I probably should have investigated it thoroughly more before sending out the FAD results.
Looking at the news on a few minutes ago, it appears that the Sabathia trade really didn't become official until this morning. The RotoWorld info was a premature announcement -- they are always looking to give you the inside scoop, and their heads-up was another example of that. So considering that the trade didn't officially go down until MONDAY MORNING, I must make the correct ruling and disallow anyone from picking up Sabathia in Sunday night's FAD. Sorry to Gambler Joe for the reversal of my earlier FAD posting, but it's not fair to break the rules and I want to get this right as it was confusing to several other owners (not just me).
ALSO, since folks asked me to clarify this: Our official deadline for submitting FAD bids is 9:00 PM (it was published in an earlier note regarding the 1st FAD of the season this year). The deadline used to be 7:00 PM in previous years, but so many people sent stuff in late (and I never processed the FAD until late Sunday night anyway), that I pushed the deadline back to make it easier on everyone.
Any players who come over from the AMERICAN LEAGUE into the NL, must be officially on an NL team BEFORE 9:00 PM on Sunday Night's FAD deadline. Guys that don't officially sign or get traded by that deadline, are not allowed to be picked up until next week. Jacque Jones was a good example of this from earlier in the year --- he was rumored to be signed by FLA on Saturday/Sunday, but didn't officially sign until Monday morning, so he wasn't eligible for the FAD as quickly as some folks had thought (because they read RotoWorld again!). 
Anyway I will re-post the revised FAD results in a minute.
Kennesaw Mountain BigHorn
HARL Commissioner

FAD Results for Independence Weekend

Here are the FAD Results from "Independence Weekend". Sorry that I didn't get to these last night; I was watching the Fireworks downtown with Anna and my Mom.  
As suspected, there were lots of crazy bids on new AL-import, CC Sabathia. It took a wacked-out bid to fetch him!
  1. C.C. SABATHIA    SP-MIL  2.75  GAMBLERS    (TOP=4.05 OTHER=2.70 2.55 1.80 1.05) 
  2. DAMIAN EASLEY    2B-NYM   .05  LEMMINGS    (TOP=1.10) 
  3. CHAD DURBIN      RP-PHI   .05  RHINOS      (TOP= .75) 
  4. CHAN HO PARK      P-LA    .05  GRILLERS    (TOP= .75, 2ND=.15 BREWSKIS)
  6. GEOFF GEARY      RP-HOU   .05  BREWSKIS    (TOP= .25) 
  7. ROGER BERNADINA  OF-WAS   .05  JOKERS      (TOP= .25) 
  8. JASON PERRY      OF-ATL   .05  BREWSKIS    (TOP= .10)
  9. BRYAN ANDERSON    C-STL   .05  LEMMINGS    (TOP= .05) 
Two things to note regarding bids on players that are already on someone else's team.
    <> Omar Infante = is on the Rhinos reserve list
    <> Colin Balester = is on the Stampeders active roster
I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday weekend!  

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Saturday Waiver Claim

One waiver claim from Saturday:

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I Am a True Patriot

Alrighty then on to the.... Wait a minute....

Is that our nation's flag I see over there on the right-hand side of the blog-post? Well, I'll be damned.

In times like these, with July 4th around the corner, who cares about HARL? All I can say is this....


Oh and by the way, the JOKERS are still in 1st place. For those who can pull themselves away from staring at Miss Liberty over there, here are the standings as of June 30th:

101.1 = JOKERS
92.8 = COBRAS
82.9 = RHINOS
81.3 = MUDHENS


There was one blockbuster trade to report this week, which happened while I was away in Gaming Heaven. It was between the GRILLERS and STAMPEDERS.

GRILLERS swapped 1B-John Bowker, OF-Michael Bourn, OF-Brandon Jones, P-Max Scherzer, and SP-Anibal Sanchez to the Stampeders.

STAMPEDERS swapped 1B-Ryan Howard, 3B-Jose Bautista, and OF-Andre Ethier to the Grillers.

On the surface, this is very good "THIS YEAR" trade for Griller Geoff, who adds some much needed offensive pop to his lineup and finally fills his weak-link at 3B. For the Wild Horsemen, they got a windfall of inexpensive and up & coming talent for 2009. I'm especially high on the upside of Brandon Jones and Max Scherzer, and Bowker has done well as an out-of-nowhere rookies this year (showing good power). If Bourn could ever grow to hit around .270 or so, he could easily lead the league in Stolen Bases with his blazing speed. He's the next Wily Taveras, and that's not a bad guy to have for rotisserie purposes. Sanchez flashed his potential prior to getting injured, and may be back for a 2nd-half audition this year.

Interesting trade guys!


Now that June has passed, any players you acquire in trades will get that extra "Option to Extend" clause added into their contracts. So if you trade for a PF1 guy, he'll become AO1 for you. If you acquire a MY2 guy, he becomes an OE2 guy for you.


Pretty soon, I'm going to followup on last week's overview of prospective rule changes to shake-up and re-energize the league. HARL isn't as vibrant as it used to be years ago. There are lots of reasons for that.

For starters, many of us have been playing rotisserie baseball for a very LONG time, and like anything else in life, enthusiasm tends to wane over time when things become too familiar and too routine. So I'm certain that change would be a very good thing for us. Bring back the excitement of new challenges and new twists to our favorite game.

Secondly, all of our lives have gotten busier as we've gotten older. Whether it's caring for kids, marriage commitments, job stress, or other extracurricular activities, none of us seem to have as much free time as we used to. Things change, that's life, and we all must learn to deal with it. While some members of HARL wish there was more trading activity, more interleague banter, and more roster changeover, I just don't forsee things returning to the way they were years ago (rule changes can improve this a little bit, but they can only do so much). I'm very accepting of all of this. With the current group of people in HARL, the days of rabid, uber-competition are probably not going to be seen again anytime soon. I think that everyone wants to win, and tries to dedicate time & effort to get there (as much as they can spare with everything else that's going on). And I'm well aware that the amount of time and effort spent on HARL varies from person to person. But hey, you pay your money to play, and you'll get out of it what you put into it. I've been in a lot of fantasy sports leagues, and not a single one was perfect from a team owner perspective.

Thirdly, I think the social dynamics of fantasy sports has greatly changed with the advent of internet-based leagues. There's much less face-to-face contact and verbal communication than in the old days when owners chatted over the phone and got together to talk shop. That tangible communication has been replaced by cold, impersonal emails. I feel that all rotisserie leagues have suffered somewhat from a social perspective as a result of that. Technology is great in many ways, but it's no replacement for live, human contact.

So what do we do to recapture the magic so to speak? Is it even doable? Your input and ideas are always welcomed.

I would still like to play in HARL next year. I've committed so much time and energy into doing this (making it part of my business even), that I can't imagine NOT playing. I've been playing ever since I graduated from college!

But what about you? Is there anyone who is seriously considering dropping out next season? If so, could you let me know fairly soon? Finding new people that we know to join HARL has become harder & harder each year, so I would really appreciate any heads-up if you're planning to bail out for whatever reason. Before I undertake a lot of work refurbishing HARL into something new & shiny, I want to be certain we'll have enough people to play in 2009.

So let me hear from you. I'm taking the pulse of the league. Your time to speak is NOW.

Monday, June 30, 2008

CORRECTION -- FAD Results for JUNE 29

CORRECTION to my earlier post...
I got home last night after my weekend in Columbus and was totally zonked from the 6-hour drive (plus, we had to go to Palmyra to feed Rob's cat while he's away, which took another 80-90 minutes). Anyway, to make a long story short, this is the first time I've been on the computer since Thursday of last week. 
So anyway... Here are the FAD results from Sunday:
Kennesaw Mountain BigHorn
HARL Commissioner

Posted By Steve Severino to HARL Baseball at 6/30/2008 09:38:00 AM

HARL -- FAD Results for JUNE 29

Hi Guys,
I got home last night after my weekend in Columbus and was totally zonked from the 6-hour drive (plus, we had to go to Palmyra to feed Rob's cat while he's away, which took another 80-90 minutes). Anyway, to make a long story short, this is the first time I've been on the computer since Thursday of last week. 
So anyway... Here are the FAD results from Sunday:
Kennesaw Mountain BigHorn
HARL Commissioner

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

It's Alive!

What's alive? The MONSTER packet that is this week's set of PSR reports, that's what.

There are 30 reports in the file-set, including year-to-date HARL player values. So open up that monster and dig in!

Current HARL Dollar Values have also been posted online along with the regular stuff (rosters, team stats, point standings, HARL player stats, free agent list, waiver wire, etc.). You can find everything at HARL Central (

Speaking of monsters, sometime next week I'm planning on publishing a survey regarding possible HARL rule changes & new additions.

Keeping the game fresh is a major challenge when you're talking about a rotisserie league that's 22 years old. But I think we really need to do something to spur excitement. While I believe everyone is still having fun, my Spidey Sense has detected a palpable degree of apathy amongst the team owners that concerns me. Joey calls it a general malaise. Perhaps folks are just squeezed for free time in this increasingly hectic world that we live in? Life certainly isn't the same as it was 15 or 20 years ago.

Anyway, my goal is to try and inject some new life into HARL, and spur more interaction among the group. Here's a quick rundown on some of the ideas I'll be sharing with you:

Two Halves of the Season = Play a 13-week mini season and count your Points (the top 5 teams win prize money). Then play another 13-week mini season during the 2nd-half of the major league season (the top 5 teams win money).

At the end of 26 weeks, each team adds its Points together from both halves to determine the Final Order of Finish (the top 5 teams win end-of-year prize money).

Mid-Season Reserve Re-Draft = At midseason (All-Star Break), we all get-together to hold a live draft called the Reserve Re-Draft. Prior to this draft, each HARL team is given the chance to protect 4 bench guys (this total includes both Reserve and DL guys). Everyone else from your Reserve/DL that was not protected gets thrown back into the Free Agent Pool.

The Reserve Re-Draft is then held to restock your bench. Teams get $5 to draft 8 free agents in an auction-style draft. This gives us some midseason draft action, which is nice since everyone really enjoys live drafts.

Trade Meetings = Schedule two (2) Trade Meetings during the regular season. The first one is held around May 15, and the second is held around August 15. The purpose of the meetings is to get-together, eat some munchies, talk trade, and hopefully spur some deals.

Franchise Players = On May 1st, teams may designate up to 2 players with MY2 contracts as "Franchise Players". You may only have 3 Franchise Players on your HARL roster (you could have players leftover from the prior year).

The contracts of these Franchise Players changes to MY3 -- so you are getting an extra keeper year out of them. In exchange for the longer contract, you must keep that player for all 3 years of his contract. If you waive him anytime during those 3 years, his Salary gets deducted from your FAD Balance and you lose 1 Farm Pick next season.

Trader Award = I'm still thinking about the specifics here, but the idea is to award a $50 prize at the end of the year to the team owner who made the most trades or best quality trades (with trades rated on 1 to 3 point scale as determined by a simple formula). The gist of this award is to spur trading since it will pay to deal!

Rookies Signed to 3 Year Contracts = This is Rich's idea. Any rookies signed by your club automatically get ML3 contracts.

New Definition of Rookie = To improve the quality of the Farm Draft, the definition of a rookie (Minor Leaguer) is someone who has never exceeded 100 AB or 40 IP during any previous season. In effect, we're doubling the AB and IP from their current values.

Expand the Player Pool with 4 AL Teams = In addition to the National League, players from 4 AL teams are now available to be drafted and used on HARL rosters. The teams would probably be the Yankees, Red Sox, Orioles, and 1 other AL club to be decided. I would like to stick with historically good, high-payroll teams, or teams that are close by (eg: it's easy to go see the Orioles play).

While this is certainly a radical idea for HARL, the free agent pool isn't as interesting when it's comprised mostly of scrubs. So beefing up the available players pool would increase the talent level, but HARL still would not become an "all-star league" -- something I strongly dislike.

Two New Stat Categories = Add 2 additional stat categories: Total Bases (TB) for hitters, and Quality Starts (QS) for pitchers.

These categories are readily available for us to use (they're included in the weekly stats data that I generate for the Rhino Stats Service), and I'm currently showing them on the HARL reports as extra statistics.

Total Bases is a worthy offensive stat because it incorporates 2B and 3B which we currently ignore, represents slugging ability well without being another ratio-style stat, and counter-balances OBA (ie: it's good to have a high OBA, but you also need guys that rack up the bases on a cumulative basis). Quality Starts is a solid way to evaluate Starting Pitching and this helps give good starters their just due (relievers are always a bit overrated in fantasy terms).

So there you have it. Some bold new ideas to chew on and seriously consider. I'll followup on these later. For now, if anyone has any comments, suggestions, or questions about any of these things, feel free to shoot me an email or leave you comments on this blog (just click on the Comment link at the end of this post and write whatever is on your mind).

ONE LAST THING.... Since I'm away at the Origins game convention in Columbus, Ohio this weekend, I won't be home to handle the Waiver Wire process. So please send you waiver claims to Joey this Saturday. Thanks!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

This Saturday's Waivers

Since I'll be in Columbus this weekend with no access to a computer, please send any Waiver Wire claim emails to Joey. 
He's handling the HARL stuff while I'm away. 
Kennesaw Mountain BigHorn
HARL Commissioner

Sunday, June 22, 2008

FAD Results

FAD Results from Sunday (JUNE 22):
  2. SEAN MARSHALL       SP-CHC  .05  BREWSKIS    (HIGH=.55)
  3. CHAN HO PARK        SP-LA   .05  BREWSKIS    (HIGH=.45)
  4. RAUL CHAVEZ          C-PIT  .05  MAYGAMERS   (HIGH=.30)
  6. JARED BURTON        RP-CIN  .05  STAMPEDERS  (HIGH=.05)
One thing that I wanted to make note of...
A couple of people put in FAD bids for Wily Mo Pena and Jeff Salazar this week. They are still on waivers, so you cannot bid on them. For those of you have forgotten about the rules, whenever a player is dropped by a HARL team and goes on the WAIVER WIRE, he stays there for 2 weeks unless he's claimed during that period (on one of the Saturday Waiver Claim days). 
For example, Wily Mo Pena was dropped by the Grillers last week (6/16). Nobody claimed Wily Mo this Saturday. So, that means Wily Mo is still on waivers. If nobody claims him next Saturday (6/28), then he becomes a free agent and you can bid on him during the FAD. Of course the smart thing to do is just claim him in the first place (it's free and costs you zero FAD money). 
Kennesaw Mountain BigHorn
HARL Commissioner

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Halfway to the Playoffs!

Eleven weeks of regular season play are in the books. Only 11 more to go. Yep, you read that right; we're halfway to the HARL Playoffs already! 
It's been a really weird year. The standings were in extreme flux for the first 8 weeks or so. There are still teams experiencing significant point-swings each week, but the view from the top has settled down of late. Here's the current scoop: 
  1. 98.4 = JOKERS
  2. 93.2 = COBRAS
  3. 87.9 = ASSASSINS 
  4. 85.3 = MUDHENS 
  5. 79.2 = GRILLERS 
  6. 78.2 = RHINOS 
  7. 78.1 = GAMBLERS 
  8. 67.8 = BREWSKIS 
  9. 58.9 = STAMPEDERS
  10. 52.3 = MAYGAMERS 
  11. 42.9 = LEMMINGS
The Jokers and Cobras are currently 1-2, while the Assassins and Mudhens sit roughly 8-10 points behind the leaders and round-out the Top-4 teams in the HARL standings. 
Without a doubt, the loss of Alfonso Soriano for 4-6 weeks with a broken hand is going to hurt the Joker's offense. But Jack's club has one-hell of an offense, so he can absorb this blow a lot better than most clubs. Still, the Jesters have to be feeling a wee bit uncomfy with the Snakes striking at their heels.   
Can the Cobras catch Joker Jack's team? Well, they've certainly weathered some major injuries already (Tulowitzki, Gallardo, and Dave Roberts have all hit the DL for very long stretches), so it looks like they have the staying power to remain a bonafide contender for 1st Place. If they could just address their holes at SS (Gomez is a bum) and Catcher (Paulino got sent to the minors), they would have a legitimate shot at overtaking the bell-jangling Jesters.
The Assassins need to ride out boo-boo's to Ryan ChurchTad Iguchi, and Nick Johnson. So far, so good, as they've still got the 3rd best offensive output in HARL right now. Their pitching is middle-of-the-road, and they could probably use another solid SP and a valuable middle reliever -- but then, can't we all!
The Hens seem poised for a big push, especially now that Jake Peavy and Pedro Martinez are healthy, and Jim Edmonds has finally started to put things together and garner more playing time. They look like a team on the rise from where I'm sitting. The only thing that might come back to bite them in the tookus is AGE. Six of their key players (Delgado, Kent, Griffey, Edmonds, Pedro, and Izzy) are 35 years old or older. Guys at that age are more prone to injury and time off. When your team is built like that, you pray a lot.
The race for 5th place is WIDE with three teams (Grillers, Rhinos, and Gamblers) all within a gnat's eyelash of each other. Things could change here in a hurry, and you can bet that injuries and trades will play a huge factor in the 2nd-half as these three clubs try to climb up the point standings ladder.
Despite Gasser Geoff's griping about how lousy his team has been, the Grillers are still in the hunt. Sure, they've got some infield issues and the bullpen isn't going to blow anyone's socks off, but they're pretty solid elsewhere. A little more run production (Runs and RBI), another power bat in the OF, and a viable Closer would do them a world of good. And we all know Geoff likes to trade, so I'm sure some deals will be coming. I got snookered a bit on my earlier Sean Gallagher / Odalis Perez -for- JR Towles swap with him. Towles has been an utter bust so far this season. Maybe he''l turn it around, but it sure hurts to see Gallagher throwing well for another club when my pitching staff blows more than the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleading squad.
I've got to be honest, I'm flummoxed, bedazzled, and stupefied all at the same time. Several short days after analyzing post-draft rosters in early April, I thought my beloved Rhinos were poised to go all the way this year. But a combination of key injuries, underachivement, and unexpectedly god-awful pitching has me stuck in the middle of the pack. Hitting-wise, the Horned Ones are just fine. The 2007 NL MVP, J-Roll, is back. Ryan Doumit, Jayson Werth, and Ty Wigginton have recently returned to action. But just when you think all is well, Rickie Weeks goes down with a knee injury. Weeks wasn't doing as well as I had hoped, but was still a key  contributor in Runs and SB. And Andruw Jones... don't get me started. He flat out stinks and now his fat ass is on the DL. But the #1 problem in Rhinoland has been a horrid starting rotation. My projected top-3 starters (Jeff Francis, Oliver Perez, Tom Gorzelanny) are nowhere close to repeating their successes of 2007. And that has really killed me. Couple that with the absence of Noah Lowry, a fragile Joel Pineiro, and a somewhat mediocre Big Unit who is nearing the end of a great career, and you've got nothing to cheer about. Bottomline, I need to put a sign in the front-yard that says WILL WORK FOR PITCHING.
My rascally brother and his Gamblers team is keeping me company in the middle-standings logjam. It's not a spot that he's used to being in most seasons. Much like the Rhinos, the Gamblers bugaboo has been pitching. Edinson Volquez has been lights out (damn, if I just would have gone another few cents at the draft!) and is surefire All-Star. Tim Hudson and Greg Maddux have been reliable, and so was Adam Wainwright before he landed on the DL. Everyone else has either been bad (Snell, Jimenez) or too marginal to make much of a fantasy impact. I'm also not sure why Joey traded a power-hitting, everyday 3B in Kevin Kouzmanoff for a platoon OF in Skip Schumaker. Skip has been surprisingly decent, but I still think Joe got the short-end of that deal. Maybe it's just not the Severino's year this year? 
Nobody else is out of the running yet, but everyone is certainly facing a real uphill battle. 
The Brewskis still have hope, but they desperately need their good young prospects (Maybin and Rasmus) to come up in the 2nd-half and boost a moribund offense. Ian Stewart also appears to be getting a shot at the Rox 2B job, so maybe he'll stick and Kev will call him up soon to fill the Utility slot. Where would this club be without Chipper Jones and his .400 batting average? I think it's high time to deal one of the Closers and perhaps a good Starting Pitcher like John Maine in return for some top quality bashers at 1B and OF. Sure that's scary. Sure, people can be unreasonable in their trade demands. But it pays to knock on as many doors as possible when you're dead last in Hitting or Pitching and don't have anywhere to go but up. 
As for the Stampeders, their outfield is a total mess. Maybe swapping Ryan Howard could yield 2 pretty good guys? The call-up of phenom Chase Headley should also help. Maybe trading a Closer would also be a good way to bolster the offense? Just sayin...
Much as I suspected, it has been a re-learning year for the Maygamers. You just can't step away from rotisserie baseball for a decade, then come back in and be intimately familiar with all the players like you were years ago. That said, Mayer found several surprise performers this year, and for that he can be very proud. Mike Jacobs, Xavier Nady, and Jorge Cantu have been excellent underappreciated power sources. Cantu is a major sleeper that flew beneath most of our radars. I was very high on Nate McLouth prior to the draft, and he has certainly justified that enthusiasm with an All-Star quality 1st-half. As Geoff and I discussed earlier, we figured he would have more SB's than HR's at this point, but the flip-flop isn't anything to be disappointed about. And I simply love Johnny Cueto. His excellent control coupled with a strikeout arm gives him Volquez-like potential to be sure. If I was Mayer, I'd start analyzing the potential core pieces of my 2009 club (Jacobs, Cantu, Ramirez, Kendall, Bay, McLouth, Nady, Cain, and Cueto), and consider trading away anyone else for another inexpensive, good quality keeper. 
Richie Lemming, where have you gone? Off a cliff with the rest of your little furry friends perhaps? The last 2 years have not been very kind to the younger of the Hetrick clan. On paper and when healthy, the Lemmings appear to have a solid lineup. But take a look at that Disabled List. It's hard to compete when Furcal, Zimmerman, Alou, Willingham, Freel, Estrada, and Chad Cordero are in the roto infirmary. I won't mention Nomar, because, well you simply expect to see Nomar here. To make matters even worse, Rich has had a Sevy-like experience with his top hurlers. Roy Oswalt, Brad Penny, and Barry Zito have all collapsed into relative suckitude compared to their usual fine selves. At least there's uber-phenom Jay Bruce to make a little lemming smile. That's something.