Saturday, June 5, 2010

WWE Smackdown: The End Of The Undertaker

The show opened with Teddy Long informing the WWE Universe that Kane found his brother The Undertaker in a vegetative state. Long said there would be an investigation to find out who is responsible.

Kane In-ring Promo:

Druids carried in an empty casket. The ring was decorated like it was a funeral. Kane spoke about The Undertaker as if he was gone forever. Kane vowed there would be vengeance for those responsible.

Kane did a stellar job on this promo. Looks like The Undertaker’s injury has given Kane a great storyline leading up to the Fatal Four Way pay-per-view.

(World Champion) Jack Swagger vs. MVP

Jack Swagger made his way to the ring wearing an Oklahoma Sooners jersey for added heat with a Texas crowd.

MVP definitely has the crowd popping as the match started with an “MVP” chant. Swagger controlled the beginning of the match using some Greco-roman wrestling.

Swagger started to mouth off at MVP where it was answered with a slap in the face. Swagger rolled to the outside where he recouped.

Both Swagger and MVP traded shots. Swagger proceeded to slow things down with some traditional wrestling holds. He wore down MVP with shoulder locks.

MVP mounted a comeback but wasn’t able to get a cover.

Swagger threw a roadblock on MVP’s momentum when he delivered a power slam followed by a Vader splash.

Swagger held down MVP with a key lock until MVP broke loose and executed The Drive-By.

The crowd popped big time when MVP landed the Ballin’ elbow drop. MVP attempted the upset pin after a fisherman’s suplex without success.

Swagger went for another Vader splash but MVP reversed it and attempted another Drive-By. MVP missed and Swagger rolled him up for the three-count.

Curt Hawkins and Vance Archer attacked MVP after the match.

Match Rating: 7.5/10

Vicki Guerrero/Teddy Long backstage promo:

Vicki Guerrero suggested that Teddy Long add Dolph Ziggler to the Fatal Four Way match. Teddy Long decided to have a roster battle royal to decide who would fill-in for The Undertaker.

Kane/CM Punk backstage confrontation:

Kane grabbed a masked CM Punk and asked him if he was responsible for what happened to The Undertaker. CM Punk offered his assistance to Kane.

Intercontinental Championship Match
(IC) Kofi Kingston vs. Drew McIntyre:

The champion and Scotsman traded shots to start off the match. McIntyre sent Kingston to outside and noticed Matt Hardy walking in the crowd. Apparently the suspended Hardy purchased a front row seat.

McIntyre worked on Kingston for a few minutes. McIntyre drove Kingston into the steps and then delivered a snap suplex on the outside.

McIntyre held a modified surfboard until Kingston kicked his way out of it.

Kingston mounted a comeback as he landed some strikes. Kingston executed a beautiful flying body press and went for the pin.

Kingston landed his Boom Boom leg drop and waited for McIntyre to get up to hit his Trouble in Paradise. McIntyre avoided it and rolled to the outside. McIntyre caught Hardy off guard and back handed him.
McIntyre threw Kingston back into the ring but was distracted by Hardy. Kingston hit the SOS for the victory.

Following the match, Hardy dropped McIntyre with the Twist of Fate. Hardy fled through the crowd as security gave chase.

McIntyre was really dominant and Kingston didn’t get much offense during the match.

Match Rating: 8.5/10

Kane/Rey Mysterio backstage confrontation:
Kane confronts Rey Mysterio and questioned him about the attack on The Undertaker. Rey Mysterio denied having anything to do with the attack.

Jack Swagger backstage promo:

Jack Swagger talked about his contribution to the Oklahoma Sooners defeating the Texas Longhorns. Kane walked up during Swagger’s singing of the Okalahoma fight song.

Promo was developed to further garner heat from a Texas crowd.

Kelly Kelly vs. Rosa Mendes:

It was a pretty decent match-up between the two ladies. Kelly Kelly has shown even more improvement this week and defeated Mendes with a Rocker Dropper variation.

Lay-Cool came out during the match to watch the match. Lay-Cool appeared annoyed with Kelly Kelly’s victory.

Match Rating: 6/10

Kane/Big Show backstage confrontation:

Kane interrupts Big Show and Hornswoggle’s card game. Kane reminded Big Show that The Undertaker has had his number and questioned him about the attack.

Roster Battle Royal:

Surprisingly, Finlay was involved in this battle royal. Finlay was previously taken off the roster page and looked like his wrestling days were done as McMahon is weary on his age.

Rey Mysterio attempted to take CM Punk’s mask off during the match when he was on the outside.

A large number of participants were teaming up to throw out Kane when Gallows oddly interfered.

Gallows threw out Caylin Croft for the first elimination of the match.

Kane followed suit by tossing out Chris Masters.

Gallows proceeded to throw out the other Dude Buster, Trent Beretta

Kane launched JTG out for the elimination.
Kane and Gallows squared off.

Kofi Kingston and Drew McIntyre eliminated each other.

Christian eliminated Dolph Ziggler.

Finlay tossed out Christian who preoccupied with Ziggler.

Rey Mysterio used some fancy lucha libre style maneuvers and eliminated Chavo Guerrero.

Finlay and MVP tossed out Vance Archer.

Finlay eliminated MVP shortly there after.

Kane eliminated Finlay.

Rey Mysterio eliminated Curt Hawkins.

The masked SES member attempted to assist Gallows to no avail.Kane tossed out Luke Gallows.

Rey Mysterio eliminated Kane after reversing a choke slam.

Match Rating: 9/10

The winner:

Rey Mysterio won the battle royal.

The Fatal Four Way match will now feature CM Punk, Big Show, Jack Swagger, and now Rey Mysterio.

Overall Rating: 8/10
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Friday, April 23, 2010

WWE Pink Slips: Mickie James, Jimmy Wang Comment about their release

There were several unsuspecting talents who received their pink slips on April 22, 2010. World Wrestling Entertainment has come to terms on the releases of the following superstars:

Shelton Benjamin 2000-2010

Kung Fu Naki 1998-2010

Katie Lea Burchill 2008-2010

Mickie James 2005-2010

Mike Knox 2005-2010

Slam Master J 2007-2010

Jimmy Wang Yang 2003-2005 & 2006-2010

Jimmy Wang commented on his release via twitter:

"3 strike and your out i hear florida is a nice place to visit."

Mickie James commented on his release via twitter:

"Awe... Thank you James Gang! I just want to say its been a beautiful journey... Wwe has been a childhood dream come true & I have loved every step... There is not a moment I would change for the world... It breaks my heart but the world doesn't stop turning.. I'm grateful for all my friends, family, loved ones, and fans who have supported me along this wonderful ride. To all the guys and gals I've had the pleasure of sharing the ring with... We made some magic! History... Memories to last a lifetime... Thank you... I love you all with all my heart! Every chapter has its close... The next one Is only gonna get better... I promise you that! =) One truly never knows what tomorrow may hold... That's why we embrace every moment... In love & joy! The James Gang Rides! Even stronger than before.... To Victory! Haha.... On ward & upward! Much Love.... Muah! JG4L...... MJ"

Shannon Moore posted a comment via Twitter:

"It sucks to hear that people lost jobs today. From what I hear that place is a black hole anyway. A lot of peeps are miserable going to work. They don’t understand what talent is. They would rather hire a jackass that don't know nothing about the biz rather than someone that loves it and pay pennies on the dollar to get someone to sign their life away. I think that the talent should think about making the jump. I thank god everyday for my chance to be family with TNA. From the office to talent in TNA it's nothing but fun. All I can say is @tnadixie thank you for bringing me into the family. I love going to work. Hogan F'N rocks. I wear TNA colors with pride and will bust my ass to better the company. TNA TNA TNA TNA."

Mike Knox, Jimmy Wang, Grand Master J, Kung Fu Naki, and Burchill are big surprises as they have been hardly used on television as of late.

The releases of Shelton Benjamin and Mickie James will not be well received by the WWE Universe.

Benjamin has always displayed a high level of athleticism. Benjamin scored a pin fall on Dolph Ziggler just before Wrestlemania. “The Gold Standard” was recently a participant in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match at Wrestlemania. The decision to release Benjamin appears to have not been planned.

Mickie James was recently the Women’s Champion until losing it to Michelle McCool. We have all heard of her aspirations to start singing professionally so this isn’t as big a surprise as Benjamin. Like Maria, she bought her pink slip with her mouth.

So as we approach the WWE Draft, “Who’s Next?”

Message to A-Rod: Respect Dallas Braden

Oakland Athletics pitcher Dallas Braden was on the hill to take on the 2009 World Series champions The New York Yankees on Thursday.

In the top of the sixth inning Alex Rodriguez jogged across the mound after a foul ball. Braden yelled at the Rodriguez for trespassing immediately at the conclusion of the inning. Rodriguez brushes Braden off like a child.

Dallas Braden said "I don't care if I'm Cy Young or the 25th man on the roster, if I've got the ball in my hand and I'm on that mound, that's my mound ..., He ran across the pitcher's mound foot on my rubber. No, not happening. We're not the door mat anymore."

Rodriguez didn’t seem to care much about Braden’s objection and made light of the situation.

“He just told me to get off his mound,” Rodriguez said “I’d never quite heard that, especially from a guy that has a handful of wins in his career.”
The reporter told Rodriguez “he said you ran over the mound and you are not supposed to do that.” Rodriguez said “Who said that?” The report stated “he did”, “Exactly” Rodriguez answered with a smug.
Rodriguez finished the interview stating “I thought it was pretty funny, actually”
"He's right, I don't even have a handful of wins, I have three. Do the math A-Rod." Braden responded.

"Well, now he has, you know? I don't go over there and run laps at third base. I don't go over there. I don't spit over there. I don't spit over there. I stay away. You guys ever see anybody run across the mound like that? He ran across the pitcher's mound, foot on my rubber. No. Not flyin." Braden said.

Braden said “I’m not a spec on his radar and that’s fine but he will know I was out there and will know to not do that again, because there will be repercussions if it happens again.”

A-Rod has been criticized for his “bush league” antics. During Game 6 of the 2004 American League Championship, he slapped the ball out of Bronson Arroyo’s hand during a tag. Most recently he yelled at Blue Jays infielders to distract them during an infield fly ball.

It does not look like Dallas Braden intends to feud with Alex Rodriguez after the end of the series.

"It's over and done with as far as I'm concerned," Braden said. "Like I said, the guy's a first ballot Hall of Famer. I'm sure he's moved on already but I'd like to think an impression was made and that he could honor and respect the game and our team and our club and what we're trying to do a little more next time." Braden concluded.

Braden go the last laugh earning the win over the New York Yankees giving him a 3-0 season record.

With two more games left in the series, there could be more drama ahead.

Rodriguez seems to always be in the headlines. From Madonna to illegal substances, Alex Rodriguez acts more like a rock star than he does a ball player.

Do you agree with Dallas Braden’s reaction?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter 11: Episode Three Recap

The show opens with the fighters at the gym waiting for Dana White’s announcement. The fighters suspect it isn’t going to be good news.

Elimination without losing:

White arrives at the gym and announces that Chris Camozzi has a fractured jaw. Dana White said that the doctor believes that the jaw could be easily broken if Camozzi competed. Chris Camozzi is sent home.

Dana White advises Tito Ortiz that he will choose who replaces Camozzi. Ortiz and his assistant coaches will have four fighters who lost in the preliminary fights to choose from.

At the Training Center:

Team Liddell is focusing on striking. Liddell is working with is team and receives praise from the fighters for giving equal time.

Team Liddell Asst. Coach, John Hackleman, says that the team is a “happy camp”.

At the house:

Charles Blanchard is shown giving Nick Ring a massage. Blanchard is a licensed massage therapist and says that he is willing to help out anyone in the house regardless of their team affiliation.

Jamie Yager makes fun of Nick Ring’s sleep wear and how he stands.

At the Training Center:

Tito Ortiz announces that he has chosen Seth Baczynski to replace Camozzi. Ortiz says he choice was based on his heart against Court McGee.

Fight Announcement:

Chuck Liddell chooses his fifth pick, Brad Taveras to fight James Hammortree.

At the Training Center:

Nick Ring gets upset about Jamie Yager calling him a bitch. Tito Ortiz brings the team in for a meeting and tells them they need to work together if they expect to make it to the finale.


Both Tavares and Hammortree make weight and pose for the face off. .

Fighters comment on both fighters’ striking and go for broke style. Tavares said that he likes the pairing because they both like to stand up and bang. Hammortree said he might take Taveras down and dish out some ground-and-pound.

Mid-commercial spot:

Footage is shown of Yager throwing a tire over his head at night outside of the facility. Yager comments about liking Ortiz’s strength and conditioning program.


Rd 1

Both fighter touch gloves in the idle of the cage. Tavares starts out with some leg kicks. Hammortree shoots for a take down but doesn’t get it. Hammortree drivers Tavares against the fence but can’t get him down.

Tavares executes a nice hip throw and takes Hammortree’s back. Tavares attempts a rear naked chokes but can’t get Hammortree to tap out.

Hammortree reverses and gets half guard. Hammortree tries some ground-and-pound but isn’t giving a lot of damage.

Tito Ortiz yells at his team I believe to signify them to be quiet so that Hammortree can hear him.

Hammortree tries for a wizard and then to take Tavares’s back but instead gives him his.

Hammortree then stands up and shrugs Tavares off his back only to give it back to him again.

Hammortree quickly escapes and Tavares tries for a takedown resulting in giving Hammortree the half guard. Hammortree continues with some light ground-and-pound.

Rd 2

Hammortree starts the round by going for the takedown but doesn’t get.
Tavares gets top position and they shortly move to stand up .As they stand Tavares delivers a vicious knee to Hammortree’s head.

Tavares attempts another hip throw but misses it and gives Hammortree back control.

Tavares secures Hammortree’s arms to set up a kimura.

Hammortree keeps Tavares on his back for the rest of the round without really inflicting any damage.

Tavares is frantically attempting to set up a triangle at the closing seconds of the round.

Mid-commercial spot:

Team Liddell is shown practicing some wrestling techniques.


Dana White advises that the judges have declared a draw and the fighters’ will fight a third round.

Rd 3

Both fighters touch gloves and Tavares gets some distance. Tavares looks like he wants to strike. Tavares lands a few weak jabs and inside leg kicks.

Hammortree gets the takedown and sits in Tavares’s half guard.

Hammortree slides in for a full mount on Tavares but he quickly gets out with a basic escape.

Hammortree takes Tavares’s heel for leverage to attempt a reversal.

Hammortree goes for yet another takedown but only manages to push Tavares against the cage as Tavares holds on to a weak kimura lock.

Hammortree tries to lay some pipe but can’t get it as long as Tavares holds on to the kimura lock.

Both fighters stand up and clinch against the cage to finish the round.

Ortiz is excited about the outcome of the third round. Ortiz said that he believes with the takedown and mount, Hammortree wins it.

Liddell is shown freaking out like he does at cage side.

Liddell believes Tavares wins the round barely.

A winner Declared:

Dana White announces that he judges score the third round 10-9 for the winner, Brad Tavares.

Tito Ortiz is baffled at the judges’ decision.

It was a great back and forth battle with two guys with great heart. There were a lot of failed takedowns which usually led to the other fighter getting a superior position. This was definitely one of the more compelling fights on the show thus far.

Preview for the next show:

There is a controversial finish that leads to a post fight riot.

Jamie Yager continues to cause problems within Team Ortiz.

Ortiz is shown destroying a door.

The will be two fights on next week’s episode.

2010 Fantasy Baseball Pitchers: Week Two Top Guns Report

1) SP Ubaldo Jimenez Col

Ubaldo Jimenez is pitching the best baseball of his life. Jimenez gave Colorado their first no-hitter in history. He struck out seven and pitched a hundred and twenty eight pitches.

He has a 1.29 ERA after flawless pitching and has a perfect 3-0 record.

2) SP Mike Pelfrey NYM

Mike Pelfrey was a killer on the hill with twelve strikeouts for the week. Pelfrey gave fifteen innings of shutout baseball. He is snatching the attention in the star studded city of New York. Pelfrey is a perfect 3-0 for the season.

Pelfrey stepped up in the 19th inning during the seven hour slugfest. He secured his first save in his career.

3) SP Livan Hernandez Was

Washington Nationals have found a gem in Livan Hernandez. After an outstanding spring, he earned the fifth spot on the rotation.

Hernandez threw nine innings this week and picked up a win with three strike outs and only giving up four hits. His 2010 season is looking good with a 0.00 ERA and two wins after sixteen innings.

4) SP AJ Burnett NYY

The Yankees pitcher threw seven shutout innings and sat down seven in his last outing. This week he sports a 0.00 ERA for New York. Burnett is in top form with two wins and a nice 2.37 ERA.

4) SP Chris Carpenter StL

Carpenter destroyed ten hitters and sent them back to the dug out with strikeouts. He put in seven shut out innings giving up only four hits. This week’s work gives him two wins for the 2010 season.

5) SP Josh Beckett Bos

The Red Sox Ace toss seven shut out innings with eight strike outs. Beckett’s effort left him with a no-decision because the Red Sox defense allowed an unearned run which led to the suspended game. Beckett needed this week after such disastrous opening day.

6) SP Johan Santana NYM

Santana struck out nine after giving the Mets seven scoreless innings. The Johan Santana we all know was back this week improving his season record to 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA.

7) SP Tim Lincecum SF

Lincecum had another great week on the mound. “The Freak” gave six shutout innings with seven strikeouts. He has an overall 0.90 ERA and 0.80 WHIP for the season. He is undefeated in three starts.

San Francisco pitcher helped his cause and went 3-for-4 and garnered three RBI in the batter box Saturday.

8) SP Matt Garza TB

Garza is on fire after another week of impressive mound work. The Tampa Bay hurler didn’t let one touch the plate after eight innings of work

Garza makes his way onto the top pitcher report for another week. He is a perfect 3-0 record and rocks a 0.75 ERA for the season.

9) SP Francisco Liriano Min

Liriano pitched seven shutout innings and struck out eight in his last outing. He has a 1-0 record and has eleven strikeouts for the season.

10) RP Mariano Rivera NYY

Rivera has two saves and three strikeouts in two shutout innings. He has five saves with six strike outs and a 0.00 ERA this season. Rivera has been unstoppable for New York.

2010 Fantasy Baseball: Week Two Major Slump Report

It’s the end of the second week of the 2010 Major League Baseball season. Production this week was near empty for these sluggers. Each of them is desperately trying to find a repair man for their mechanics.

1) OF Colby Rasmus Stl

The Cardinal outfielder has been suffering being hitless at the last fifteen plate appearances. He could only provide a single walk to help his team this week.

Rasmus had a .000 AVG this past week which dropped his season total to .179 AVG.

He is now batting eighth in the line-up after starting the season in the fifth position.

2) OF Matt Holliday Stl

Holliday has only been able to scrape up one hit in the last twenty-one tries. The sole hit was a homerun but that wasn’t enough to save his week.

Holliday missed some games late this week due to illness which may have been a factor in his poor production.

3) Mark Teixeira

Teixeira continued his slump hitting only one base hit with twenty at-bats this week. The Yankees first baseman is now four for forty to start the season.

Teixeira is hitting only .100 so far making this season. April has never been kind to the Yankees slugger. Teixeira may be a staple on the Major Slump Report for the next few weeks.

4) OF Chris Coghlan Fla

Coghlan is hitless in nineteen at-bats giving him the horror of a .000 AVG this week. The Marlins outfielder will drop to the two spot behind Cameron Maybin.

5) Carlos Lee

Reynolds managed to only dredge up two hits this week with twenty-five plate appearances. He is dragging around a pitiful .104 AVG with only one RBI.

This is Carlos Lee’s second straight week on the Major Slump Report.

6) OF Carlos Quentin CWS

Quentin is hitting .111 and was three for twenty seven. The only light for the Chicago White Sox outfielder is his grand slam on Wednesday.

7) OF Raul Ibanez Phi
Ibanez is depressing with a .059 AVG garnering only one hit in the last seventeen at-bats. He had an issue with his elbow during the spring which might be affecting his swing.

8) SS Edgar Renteria

There are hopes that Renteria may have a decent year after such a hot start. Those thoughts may be dwindling with his .125 AVG this week. San Francisco felt the chill of only three hits in the last twenty-four at-bats.

Renteria was 0-5 in Friday’s game and saw his .600 plus batting average take a dive. For those who grabbed him for your fantasy team during his hot streak, let’s hope that he can turn it around.

9) SS Jason Bartlett TB
Bartlett had a torturous week with only two hits in twenty-three attempts in the box. He is hitting .087 AVG for a bad string of at-bats.

10) OF, DH Julio Borbon Tex
Julio Borbon road the pine a few games this week. David Murphy has been getting some playing time due to Borbon’s slump.

The Texas outfielder only managed two hits in the fifteen at-bats he got between the bench and the field. Borbon makes the list of “bad” for the second week straight.

For fantasy baseball advice and MLB news, head over to MLB Soup

The Ultimate Fighter 11:Episode Four Recap

Show kicks off with highlights of the Hammortree/Tavares match. Team Ortiz team mates Nick Ring and Jamie Yager argue about cheerleading etiquette.

At the House:

Jamie Yager talks about his friendship with Brad Tavares, Kyle Noke, and Kris McCray. Yager has named the group “The Minority Report”. Bro-mance is in the air.

Nick Ring, Hammortree, Blanchard and Kyacey Uscola are talking about Yager’s recent behavior.

Kyacey Uscola said that he would root against Jamie Yager. He calls Yager a piece of dung.

Fight Announcement:

Chuck Liddell chooses Rich Attonito from Team Liddell to face Team Ortiz’s Kyacey Uscola.

At the Training Center:

Uscola is training for the fight. Tito Ortiz said he is happy with the pairing.

Team Liddell’s John Hackleman states that Rich Attonito is probably the best fighter on the show.

At the house:

The drama starts to get thick. Uscola confronts Yager about stealing his sweatshirt. Yager starts acting gangster and Uscola mocks him.

In the locker room:

Uscola and Yager continue to bicker in front of Tito Ortiz.

The First Fight:

Round One

They touch gloves and start to trade some strikes. Looks like Attonito is getting the better of the exchange.

Attonito drops Uscola and starts hammering down a flurry of punches. Uscola looks like a fish out of water on his back. It’s time to jiu-jitsu classes.

Attonito picked up Uscola and dropped him like yesterday’s trash on his head. It was vicious and made everyone cringe.

Attonito continues the assault and out of nowhere, Uscola grabs for a kimura and sweeps Attonito.

Uscola starts to drop elbows and Attonito goes to stand. Uscola throws two knees and the referee stops it for the illegal strikes.

However the replay looked like the knee strikes didn’t land on Attonito’s head. He drops to the ground and acts like he was run over by a semi-truck.

The winner is declared:

The referee calls for the disqualification due to Attonito being unable to continue as a result of illegal knee strikes to a downed opponent.


Tito Ortiz takes out his frustration on the door.

Attonito has his hand on ice and believes it’s broken. It might be the end of the show for Attonito.

Fight Announcement:

Chuch Liddell chooses Charles Blanchard from his team to face “Crab Man” Jamie Yager from Team Ortiz.

Mid-commercial spot:

Attonito is showing off an impressive Governor Arnold impression.

At the Training Center:

Blanchard and Yager are shown training for the fight.

Tito Ortiz talks about Yager coming from nothing and that he understand it because he was in the situation.


Attonito obviously isn’t a fan of Yager like most of the others in the house. “Side Show Bob” makes weight and faces off with Blanchard.

Mid-commercial spot:

Jamie Yager talking about his superior striking compared to Blanchard.

The Second Fight:

Round One

Both meet in the center and touch gloves. Yager gives Blanchard an awkward pat on the shoulder.

Blanchard shoots for the take down but doesn’t get it. Yager sprawls and gets it standing. Jamie Yager hits Blanchard who falls and curls up. Yager lays down some rights for the TKO.

The winner announced:

Jamie Yager gets his hand raised to give Team Ortiz control of the match choices.

Preview of the next episode:

Ortiz gets to make the matches.

A Team Ortiz fighter is injured.

2010 Fantasy Baseball: Week Two Hot Streaks

After two weeks of baseball we have been surprised by some of the bats this week. These names have been taking a joy ride all week. Let’s see if these ball players can keeping stealing the show.

1) OF Shin-Soo Choo Cle

The Cleveland outfielder was on fire this week. He put up a .579 AVG in nineteen plate appearances. Shin-Soo Choo knocked in eleven RBI, six XBH, and three homeruns.

Choo hit a grand slam on Sunday to continue his seven-game hitting streak. The Indians are happy to have him turn it around after a .111 AVG start.

2) 2b Chase Utley Phi

Five bombs made Chase Utley the unexpected power plant of Major League Baseball this week. Held a nice .333 AVG, drove in eight and stepped on the plate eight times himself this week

3) OF Matt Kemp LAD

Four bombs made their way out of the park when Matt Kemp was in the box. The Dodgers outfielder had a .333 AVG, eight RBI, and walked into the dugout after scoring eight runs.

4) SS Derek Jeter NYY
New York’s favorite ball player holds a .500 AVG with three homeruns. Jeter drove in seven runs this week to help the Yankees to stay on top of the AL East.

Jeter reluctantly missed Sunday’s game with a head cold. He will only miss a few days and be back putting up great numbers.

5) OF Andre Ethier LAD
Andre Ethier was the hero of Los Angeles with a two blast on Friday. The highlight of the week was the first grand slam of Ethier’s career.

The Dodgers outfielder hit three homeruns, nine RBI, and a phenomenal .423 AVG. You couldn’t ask for a better week of production.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have the best outfield today. Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier had a stellar week. Manny Ramirez also had a good week hitting two homeruns with only twelve at-bats. Ramirez stepped up with a pinch-hit home run to help LA win on Sunday.

6) 3b, 1b, DH Ty Wigginton Bal

Wigginton bashed four over the wall and pushed ten of his teammates across the dish. A .348 AVG this week makes him Baltimore’s most reliable player.

7) OF Jose Guillen KC

Guillen is turning heads this week with three dingers and a .462 AVG. He is looking healthy doesn’t show any effects of last year’s extended hospital stay due to blood clots in his legs.

8) OF Scott Podsednik KC

Podsednik didn’t homer this week and likely won’t do it next week either. But you can’t deny his .542 AVG giving him the second best batting average this week.

9) C Bengie Molina SF

Bengie Molina is hitting .529 AVG, five RBI, and one homerun. The Giants catcher is easily the best catcher of the week

10) 2b Dan Uggla Fla

Dan Uggla sent two into the stands and had an impressive .464 AVG this week. The Marlins fans had something to get excited about this week.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

2010 Fantasy Baseball: Week One Top Performers

This series is devoted to spotlighting each week’s top fantasy producers. Each player awarded a position is determined by their statistics for the last seven days. Game changing contributions are also considered.

Top Stat Stars

American League: Vernon Wells OF (Tor)
7-Runs, 4-HR, 7-RBI, .500-AVG

National League: Edgar Renteria (SF)
4-Runs, 1-HR, 3-XBH, 5-RBI, 3-BB, .688-AVG

American League Stat Stars

C Matt Wieters (Bal)
3-Runs, 1-HR, 2-RBI, 2-BB, .429-AVG

1B Miguel Cabrera (Det)
3-Runs, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 2-BB, .471-AVG

2B Robinson Cano (NYY)
3-Runs, 1-HR, 2-XBH, 3-RBI, .375-AVG

SS Jeff Pennington (Oak)
3-Runs, 1-HR, 3-XBH, 5-RBI, .353-AVG

3B Evan Longoria (TB)
2-Runs, 2-HR, 3-XBH, 5-RBI, .375-AVG

OF Vernon Wells (Tor)
7-Runs, 4-HR, 7-RBI, .500-AVG

OF Nelson Cruz (Tex)
4-Runs, 3-HR, 4-XBH, 7-RBI, 2-BB, .500-AVG

OF Magglio Ordonez (Det)
4-Runs, 1-HR, 3-XBH, 2-RBI, .500-AVG

DH: Vladimir Guerrero (Tex)
3-Runs, 1-HR, 2-XBH, 2-RBI, .600-AVG

SP Matt Garza (TB)
9-K, 1.13-ERA, Win

RP Mariano Rivera (NYY)
1-K, 0.00-ERA, 2-Saves

Team: Minnesota Twins 5-1

Other notable Stat Stars:
C Jorge Posada (NYY) 3-R, 1-HR, 2-RBI, 4-BB, .357-AVG
1b Justin Morneau (Min) 7-R, 2-HR, 4-RBI, 5-BB, .389-AVG
2b Mark Ellis (Oak) 6-R, 1-XBH, 3-BB, .400-AVG
SS JJ Hardy (Min) 3-R, 2-HR, 3-RBI, .333-AVG
1B/3B Kevin Youkilis 4-R, 3-XBH, 3-RBI, .385-AVG
OF Franklin Gutierrez 3-R, 2-XBH, 2-BB, .389-AVG
OF Rick Ankiel 1-HR, 3-XBH, 4-RBI, 1-SB, .375-AVG
OF Rajai Davis 6-R, 1-HR, 2-XBH, 4-RBI, 2-SB, .375-AVG
SP Dallas Braden (Oak) 10-K, 1.29-ERA, No Decision
SP Carl Pavano (Min) 6-K, 1.29-ERA, Win
SP Mark Buehrle (CWS) 3-K, 0.00-ERA, Win
SP John Lackey (Bos) 3-K, 0.00-ERA, No Decision
SP Brett Anderson (Oak) 4-K, 0.00-ERA, Win
SP Max Scherzer (Det) 3-K, 0.00-ERA, No Decision, *1-hit in 6 innings
SP Luke Hochevar (KC) 2-K, 0.00-ERA, No Decision
RP Chris Perez (Cle) 1-K, 0.00-ERA, 2 Saves

National League Stat Stars:

C Miguel Montero
2-Run, 1-XBH, 3-RBI, .545-AVG

1B Ryan Howard (Phi)
4-R, 2-HR, 5-XBH, 7-RBI, .400-AVG

2B Placido Polanco (Phi)
7-Runs, 1-HR, 8-RBI, .579-AVG

SS Edgar Renteria
6-Runs, 1-HR, 3-XBH, 5-RBI, 3-BB, .688-AVG

3B Martin Prado (Atl)
5-Runs, 2-XBH, .625-AVG

OF Matt Holliday (Oak)
6-Runs, 2-HR, 4-XBH, 5-RBI, 1-SB, .471 AVG

OF Carlos Gonzalez (Col)
5-Runs, 1-XBH, .450-AVG

OF Jeff Francoeur (NYM)
3-Runs, 2-HR, 4-XBH, 6-RBI, .429-AVG

SP Jorge De La Rosa (Col)
9-K, 0.00-ERA, Win

RP Brian Wilson (SF)
4-K, 0.00-ERA, 2-Saves

Team: St. Louis Cardinals 4-1

Other notable Stat Stars:
C Ivan Rodriguez (Was) 2-XBH, .462-AVG
1b Daric Barton (Oak) 3-R, 2-XBH, 7-RBI, 6-BB, .438-AVG
2b Jeff Keppinger (Hou) 3-XBH, .545-AVG
SS Jimmy Rollins (Phi) 6-R, 4-XBH, 6-BB, .467-AVG
3b Juan Uribe (SF) 4-R, 2-XBH, 3-RBI, 1-SB, .375-AVG
OF Ryan Braun (Mil) 2-XBH, 2-RBI, 2-BB, .429-AVG
OF Chris Young (Ari) 3-R, 2-HR, 3-XBH, 7-RBI, .400-AVG
OF Colby Rasmus (Stl) 4-R, 1-HR, 2-XBH, 7-BB, 1-SB, .400-AVG
SP Tim Lincecum (SF) 7-K, 0.00-ERA, Win
SP Hiroki Kuroda (LAD) 7-K, 0.00-ERA, Win
SP Roy Halladay (Phi) 9-K, 1.29-ERA, Win
SP Barry Zito (SF) 5-K, 0.00-ERA, Win
SP Chris Young (SD) 5-K, 0.00-ERA, Win, *1-hit in 6 innings
SP Ryan Dempster (ChC) 9-K, 1.50-ERA, No Decision
SP Chad Billingsley (LAD) 7-K, 1.69-ERA, Win
SP Ubaldo Jimenez (Col) 6-K, 1.50-ERA, Win
SP Rodrigo Lopez (Ari) 5-K, 1.50-ERA, Win

2010 Fantasy Baseball: Week One Top Pitcher Report

This is a weekly focus on the hurlers that dominated their adversaries. These pitchers put up nasty numbers this week and made big league hitters wish they were playing T-Ball again.

SP Jorge De La Rosa (Col)
9 K, 0.00 ERA, Win

Jorge De La Rosa was stellar when he handed the San Diego Padres nine strikeouts in seven innings. He was straight up nasty for the home opener, pleasing the fans of the Colorado Rockies.

De La Rosa had an excellent March with 30 innings of work. He left the small parks of Spring with 1.50 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. He is carrying that over into the regular season.

It looks like his hot streak is on full steam. I think it’s time to get excited about Jorge De La Rosa.

SP Matt Garza (TB)
9 K, 1.13 ERA, Win

Matt Garza was dripping with awesome when he sat down nine hitters with eight innings on the mound. Garza looks poised to continue the season with excellent production.

SP Tim Lincecum (SF)
7 K, 0.00 ERA, Win

The Freak came back where he left off. Lincecum put away seven hopefuls and walked away with another win.

With a new two-year contract in hand, Lincecum is sitting comfortable in San Francisco.

SP Roy Halladay (Phi)
9 K, 1.29 ERA, Win

Halladay has new laundry to care for with his move to Philadelphia.

The Phillies looks to win more pennants and championships in 2010 and will have the arm of the newest National League threat on the hill.

Halladay didn’t do anything that he hasn’t been doing. He made nine guys wish they could ask for a “do over” and left with a win on his debut for National League champions.

SP Hiroki Kuroda (LAD)
7 K, 0.00 ERA, Win

The Dodgers have an injury-free Hiroki Kuroda and the result is a win with his first game.

A confident Kuroda was on the mound Friday. He had command and struck out seven Marlins after eight innings. Make the trade if it’s available, he’s going to have a nice year.

SP Dallas Braden (Oak)
10 K, 1.29 ERA, No Decision

In his first outing against Seattle, Braden was impressive with 10 strikeouts. Oakland’s starting pitcher was also amazingly able to pick off Ichiro Suzuki.

It wasn’t pretty when he threw a wild pitch and balked, but he is worth taking a shot at.

RP Mariano Rivera (NYY)
1 K, 0.00 ERA, 2 Saves

Rivera already has a save against the Boston Red Sox and looked flawless doing it. Every time critics start to count out the Yankees closer, he shows them why is he is the best at ending a ball game.

RP Brian Wilson (SF)
4 K, 0.00 ERA, 2 Saves

Wilson ripped the Astros in the ninth Tuesday and picked up his second save.

Wilson agreed to a two-year, $15 million dollar contract with the San Francisco Giants last Friday.

More Impressive Pitchers:
SP Barry Zito (SF) 5-K, 0.00-ERA, Win
SP Chris Young (SD) 5-K, 0.00-ERA, Win, *1-hit in 6 innings
SP Ryan Dempster (ChC) 9-K, 1.50-ERA, No Decision
SP Chad Billingsley (LAD) 7-K, 1.69-ERA, Win
SP Ubaldo Jimenez (Col) 6-K, 1.50-ERA, Win
SP Luke Hochevar (KC) 2-K, 0.00-ERA, No Decision
SP Rodrigo Lopez (Ari) 5-K, 1.50-ERA, Win
SP Carl Pavano (Min) 6-K, 1.29-ERA, Win
SP Mark Buehrle (CWS) 3-K, 0.00-ERA, Win
SP John Lackey (Bos) 3-K, 0.00-ERA, No Decision
SP Brett Anderson (Oak) 4-K, 0.00-ERA, Win
SP Max Scherzer (Det) 3-K, 0.00-ERA, No Decision, *1-hit in 6 innings
RP Chris Perez (Cle) 1-K, 0.00-ERA, 2 Saves
RP Francisco Cordero (Cin) 3-K, 3.00-ERA, 1-Save

2010 Fantasy Baseball: Week One Hot Streak Report

During the first week of baseball we have all been spending our days in front of the tube watching as much baseball that the women in our lives will allow. Here are a few guys that have shocked us with their savage bats during week one.

1.) Edgar Renteria, SS

San Francisco Giants short stop Edgar Renteria has been on fire. He is sporting the best average in baseball: .688. Surprisingly, he is only owned in 23 percent of fantasy leagues.

Renteria had a horrible 2009 that included right elbow surgery. He needs to stay healthy for the duration of the season to have any hopes of a comeback. At 35-years-old and with 14 seasons under his belt, he doesn’t have a lot of time.

In 1996 he started out with the Florida Marlins, ending the season with a .309 batting average. He stuck around Florida for three years, until he left for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1999, where he spent six productive seasons. Since then, Renteria has bounced from team to team, landing most recently in San Francisco.

I would recommend picking up Renteria as a free agent in exchange for one of your bench players. If he cools off, drop him and cut your losses. He is worth the risk at this point, though.

2.) Vernon Wells, OF

The Toronto Blue Jays must be happy with Vernon Wells this past week. Wells is the American League-leader in nearly every offensive category. He already has four home runs and has the second best average in the AL.

Wells is yet another player that has been plagued with injuries in past seasons. Now healthy, he has the makings of an All-Star.

I wouldn’t be jumping at the opportunity to make any trades for him; it is, after all, only the first week of baseball. Count yourself lucky if you already have Vernon Wells on your roster. Enjoy those monster stats he’s giving your team.

3.) Martin Prado, 1b, 2b, 3b

The former Atlanta Braves utility man is holding a .625 average, good for second best in the majors. Martin Prado is a valuable fantasy player, as he qualifies for 1b, 2b, and 3b.

During the fantasy drafts, Prado was undervalued and went for dirt cheap. Take him off your bench and let him bring in the points.

4.) Placido Polanco, 2b

The Philadelphia Phillies welcomed Placido Polanco to their club this offseason. Now, Polanco has the best average in the National League. To top it all off, he is the RBI leader and has scored seven runs.

He is a 2006 ALCS MVP, 2007 Silver Slugger, and has pair of gold gloves. Polanco is a solid player to make a decent trade for.

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UFC 112: Renzo Gracie to Defend Family Legacy

On April 10th, 2010 Renzo Gracie will have the weight of the world on his shoulders as he steps into the Octagon against former two-time UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes.

Renzo Gracie is a BJJ expert and Gracie Barra black belt. He is a part of MMA royalty as a member of the Gracie family. On the night of UFC 112, he will fight for the family name.

The match has all the makings of a Hollywood blockbuster. The storyline is compelling and has a lot of history behind it. A feared and hated warrior conquered the beloved family members and students. Now one man is the last hope to avenge the family.

Hughes made a controversial statement prior to the Royce Gracie fight back in 2006.
Hughes said, “The Gracie name means nothing to me. He’s just another opponent. The Gracie’s think that Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is all you need to win and that’s wrong. B.J. Penn could take him, Georges St. Pierre could take him, there’s a bunch of people in the welterweight division who could take him. Winning the first two UFC’s means nothing.”

Matt Hughes dominated Renzo’s cousin, UFC legend Royce Gracie at UFC 60.
Matt Hughes later would feud with Matt Serra, a Renzo Gracie black belt, during the Ultimate Fighter 6 show. Matt Hughes would go on to defeat Matt Serra at UFC 98.

Matt Hughes has already been to Abu Dhabi, the location of UFC 112, when he defeated Gracie standout student Ricardo Almeida in an ADCC championship match in 2000.

Renzo Gracie is coming off three victories over MMA legends Frank Shamrock, Carlos Newton and Pat Miletich. There are some who would say Renzo never looked better in those victories.

Renzo however has not fought in nearly two years. Renzo stated “I’m feeling like a kid”. Gracie said, “I lost 27 pounds and I’m back in the game. I can’t wait to fight.”

Renzo Gracie’s schools and businesses are at a point they are running themselves according to Renzo. He said that now he is concentrating on himself for the first time and is only training to fight.

Gracie said, “I believe I’m going to surprise a lot of people.”

Gracie and Hughes have not fueled the fight with any disrespectful interviews. Matt Hughes actually gave Renzo praise in a comment he made that cited Renzo as the best of the Gracie clan.
“I’ve always said that from the beginning, if you want to fight the best Gracie, you need to fight Renzo, and I still say that. He’s the best one carrying the name in my opinion.”

“I’ve watched (Hughes) develop from just a pure sport-wrestler to a well-rounded mixed martial artist” Renzo Gracie said. “I have a lot of respect for the guy’s fighting ability and his achievements. I admire his work ethic and longevity”.

Despite his obvious intent to avenge Royce’s loss, Renzo knows that Hughes is one of his strongest opponents of his career.

Matt Hughes secured a multi-fight deal with the UFC in 2009.

Renzo Gracie recently signed a six-fight contract with UFC which guarantees that we will see more of Renzo Gracie in the Octagon.

For more MMA news and fight previews, check out

The Ultimate Fighter 11: Ep.2 Recap

The show begins with the fighter cast running around the fighter house excited about making it on the show. Chris Camozzi and Clayton McKinney talk about the injuries they sustained in their first fights.

Picking Teams

Dana White explains that after the first fight the winning fighter’s team picks the next fight. Tito Ortiz wins the coin toss and chooses to get the first pick, which leaves Chuck Liddell with the first fight pick.

The following is the order of picks by each coach:

Nick Ring 10-0 Team Ortiz
Kyle Noke 16-4-1 Team Liddell
Kyacey Uscola 18-15 Team Ortiz
Rich Attonito 7-3 Team Liddell
Kris McCray 5-0 Team Ortiz
Charles Blanchard 7-2 Team Liddell
Jamie Yager 2-1 Team Ortiz
Josh Bryant 10-0 Team Liddell
James Hammortree 5-1 Team Ortiz
Brad Tavares 5-1 Team Liddell
Clayton McKinney 4-2 Team Ortiz
Court McGee 9-1 Team Liddell
Chris Camozzi 12-3 Team Ortiz
Joe Henle 3-0 Team Liddell

Ortiz says that Liddell picked all the guys he didn’t want and was happy with his team. Dana White questions Liddell’s strategy during the picks. Liddell tells White that he watched their previous fights and looked at their records.

Chuck said that he is going to focus on refining what his fighters already have, rather than teaching them new techniques.

Ortiz believes Clayton McKinney isn’t training hard and wants to stay on top of him to push him to be his best. McKinney is shown nursing his shoulder during training. McKinney says that he is limited due to his shoulder injury.

Chris Camozzi says that he is all banged up and expects to be picked to be the first fight.

Fight Announcement

Chuck Liddell chooses his top pick Kyle Noke to face Clayton McKinney. They pose for the fight face-off.

Kyle Noke said he wants to be Australia’s first UFC champion and hopes to open doors for other Australian fighters.

At the House

Jamie Yager, Brad Tavares, and Kris McCray talk about how they have bonded and would remain a clique regardless of team affiliation.

Yager, Tavares, and McCray run around the house with horns after declaring no one would sleep that night.

James Hammortree said during an interview that he thought it was an alarm and he was back at his fire house.

McKinney’s MRI reveals that he sustained only a minor injury and that there are no torn ligaments. Ortiz pokes fun at McKinney for milking the injury.

At the Training Center

Liddell talks to his team about what Ortiz said during an interview. Ortiz claims that Liddell was an alcoholic and that Dana White had to have an intervention, which Liddell refutes. Liddell then says that he might drop Ortiz. Liddell states that “knowing Tito, he’s that much a pussy, he would press charges.”

Ortiz tells his team that it’s his birthday. Ortiz starts punching a “Chuck Liddell” piƱata full of cash. But his team is disappointed that the cash was just one dollar bills.


Both Noke and McKinney make weight and do the face-off for the matchup. Dana White picks Noke to win but believes it would have been tougher if McKinney were healthier.



Noke and McKinney touch gloves and begin to trade leg kicks for about two minutes. McKinney takes Noke’s back and attempts to slam him without success. Noke rolls for a knee bar on McKinney. McKinney stuffs the submission attempt and a scramble takes place. Noke throws up his legs and catches McKinney in a triangle. Not much defense on McKinney’s part as he taps quickly.

McKinney is upset and attempts to walk away but Ortiz calls him back. Ortiz asks him to give him a minute. Ortiz demonstrates a triangle escape. McKinney reluctantly demonstrates two triangle escapes after Ortiz asked him to. Ortiz reminds McKinney that there is a wild card and it isn’t over yet.

Preview for the next show:

Dana has a shocking announcement.

More footage of Jamie Yager as he continues to cause problems in the house.

The Ultimate Fighter 11: Ep.1 Recap

It’s hard to believe that this is the 11th season of The Ultimate Fighter. The coaches for this season are Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell. Both coaches have suffered some recent losses but are still riding the wave of fame associated with their championship reigns.

The feud between Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell has lasted for years. Their rivalry fuels the hype behind this year’s TUF 11. Both Ortiz and Liddell have been coaches before on TUF during previous seasons. Ortiz has proven to be one of the best coaches of the series despite his arrogant attitude. At the conclusion of the season, Ortiz will face Liddell in the cage for an anticipated rematch.

This season started with all of the hopeful fighters entering the new TUF gym. UFC President Dana White announced to the fighters that there will be a “wild card” this season. White explained that 14 fighters will make it into the house leading to seven preliminary matches. The coaches and White will decide which two of the losing fighters will have a second chance to fight their way into the quarter finals.

Dana White gave his broken record speech about not leaving it in the hands of the judges and failed dreams. White mercifully left out his usual “So you want to be a fighter?” catch phrase.

Jamie Yager dropping Ben Stark after a series of vicious head kicks.

Brad Tavares finishes Jordan Smith with a right hook knocking out Smith.

Kris McCray defeats Cleburn Walker after a beautiful hip throw by McCray causing a possible injury to Walker.

James Hammortree wins after Norman Paraisy actually quits in between rounds without any known injury. Paraisy in an interview prior to the match stated that he would prove that the French were not soft. Paraisy obviously failed in disproving the stereotype. Ortiz, Liddell, and White sat cage side surprised by the outcome. Paraisy later explained that he wasn’t feeling himself.

Nick Ring defeated Weatherby via decision.

Kyle Noke defeated Thompson via decision.

Court McGee wins via decision after a battle with Baczynski.

Chris Cmozzi defeated Victor O’Donnell via decision after a brutal war that left O’Donnell with a broken orbital socket.

Kyacey Uscola knocked out Brent Cooper with a nice right hand.

Joe Henle wins via last minute armbar over Philippou.

Rich Attonito defeated Steffens via decision after doing what wrestlers do, take down and hold down.
Josh Bryant defeated Rebello via decision.

Charles Blanchard defeated Flynn with ease.

Clayton McKinney knocks out Charley Lynch after a war and leaves Lynch with a badly broken nose. During the bout, McKinney even told Lynch in between punches that his nose was disfigured. Let’s give some kudos to Lynch for being one tough son of gun.

Fighters that made it into the house:
Jamie Yager Brad Tavares Kris McCray
Nick Ring Kyle Noke Court McGee
Kyacey Uscola Joe Henle Rich Attonito
Charles Blanchard Clayton McKinney James Hammortree
Chris Camozzi Josh Bryant

To close the show, interviewed fighters expressed the strength of the talent this season and admitted that there was tough competition ahead.

The show ends with future episode highlights depicting disorderly conduct between the fighters inside the house and coaches destroying those poor doors yet again.

There isn’t a door safe on The Ultimate Fighter show. This season looks like it may redeem the series which was criticized the last few seasons for choosing fighters based on their entertainment qualities rather than their talent.

For more Mixed Martial Arts news and fight previews

2010 Major League Baseball's Opening Night: Yankees Vs. Red Sox

It’s the day you have been waiting for since your favorite NFL team was knocked out of Super Bowl contention. Baseball is here and the boys of summer are ready for another fight to make it to October.

On April 4th, Major League Baseball opens the 2010 season with the most storied rivalry in all sports. The defending 2009 World Series champion New York Yankees will be in enemy territory when they battle with the Boston Red Sox.

The first game will feature two the American League East’s top pitchers. The rivals are sending in their best with CC Sabathia to face off against Josh Beckett.

Josh Beckett has struggled against the Yankees with a career 5.33 ERA. The Yankees hit several bombs last year with eight home runs when Beckett was on the mound. It gets worse as Yankee sluggers Jeter, Posada, and Cano have a .300 plus avg. against the confident hurler. Beckett is the ace of the staff but Lester would have been a better choice for the opening night game against the Evil Empire.

CC Sabathia has owned the Red Sox and is rocking a 3-1 record with a 2.22 ERA last season. Red Sox standouts like Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Victor Martinez and Adrian Beltre hit under .200 when in the box against the Yankee ace. If anyone will do well on Sunday night for the Red Sox it will likely be new additions Mike Cameron who sports a .462 avg. and Marco Scutoro with a .353 avg.

The Yankees have lost some key players with Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui. Yankee management attempted to answer the void in the off-season by bringing in Curtis Granderson and Nick Johnson. Even without “A Thrilla from Godzilla," the Bronx Bombers are still contenders with Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, and Mariano River in pinstripes.

The Red Sox let Jason Bay go without a fight and took in the gold gloves of Mike Cameron and Adrian Beltre.

The Red Sox have arguably the best pitching rotation in baseball and that’s with Dice-K on the disable list to start the season. There is fantastic group of relievers to set up a nice ninth inning for closer Jonathan Papelbon.

It’s apparent the focus this season for Boston is pitching and defense but they still have some bats in their line-up to provide some run support.

This will be the first of many games between the two big market franchises. But ask any member of the Red Sox Nation and you will learn that every game against the Yankees is important. The Fenway faithful root for the Red Sox and any team facing the Yankees that night.

The Yankees and Red Sox are heavy favorites to go to the World Series. We get the see what could be an early preview of the American League Championship Series with the first game of the season. Let’s all take a seat and enjoy another great season watching our heroes play the game we all love.

For fantasy baseball advice and MLB team previews, head over to MLB Soup .

2010 Fantasy Baseball Draft Focus: Hitting

Your first round drafts are Albert Pujols (Stl), Hanley Ramirez (Fl), Alex Rodriguez (NYY), Ryan Braun (Mil), Chase Utley (Phil), and Mark Teixeira (NYY). Any fantasy team owner would be happy ending up with one of those guys as their first pick on a snake draft.

The auction draft is a different beast. Those headline grabbers can be a budget buster. Be mindful that Albert Pujols and Hanley Ramirez are going to be in the high 40s. In some leagues, you might have a maniac bidder which could drive up their prices into the 50s.

Remember, you still have 24 other roster positions to fill after that so be careful when bidding on the sexy picks. You don’t want to blow one fifth of your cash on one player and be stuck with bottom dwelling hitters for your outfield.

Pablo Sandoval (SF) should be on your team if you expect to win. The Kung-Fu Panda was making a big splash in San Francisco last year hitting .330 with 25 home runs. Sandoval was only second to Hanley Ramirez in NL batting. I think Sandoval is perfect fit for anyone’s roster because he is qualified for both first base and third base.

Listed for first base and third base is a big plus in fantasy. Kevin Youkilis (Bos) like Kung-Fu Panda falls into this category. Youkilis has been consistent with the Red Sox for the last few years and will bring nice numbers to your categories.

Jose Reyes (NYM) will be on the DL on opening day but it won’t effect his draft position. Hanley Ramirez is of course your dream short stop but if you can’t pick him up or afford him, I would go with Jason Bartlett (TB).

Chase Utley (Phi) is far and beyond the top second baseman. Ian Kinsler (Tex) will bring some power and speed that most second basemen don’t give. You can’t go wrong with Dustin Pedroia (Bos) was Rookie of the Year and MVP in his first two years.

Andre Ethier (LA), Ichiro Suzuki (Sea), Johnny Damon (Det), Adam Lind (Tor), Andrew McCutchen (Pit), and Nyjer Morgan (Was) are my picks for the outfield if you are staying away from big dollar players like Ryan Braun (Mil), Matt Kemp (Phi), Justin Upton (Arz) and Matt Holliday (Stl).

Jacoby Ellsbury (Bos) has 70 stolen bases and is an early round two draft pick. Ellsbury is also very over priced in auction drafts. Ellsbury just isn’t enough bang for your buck.
Instead of dropping your second pick for steals, I would recommend taking Andrew McCutchen who has 22 steals and Nyjer Morgan with 42 steals in later rounds. If you can’t get McCutchen, you could settle for a Juan Pierre who will get you 30 stolen bases.

Don't forget Juan Pierre had a fantastic 2007 with 64 steals, Ellsbury will likely slow down after this year and isn't your man for a keeper league but thefts should not be ignored.

Magglio Ordonez had a .368 avg. with 25 home runs in 2007. I believe that he will get you a decent .300 average with 15 home runs this season. Ordonez would be a nice fourth outfielder for a bargain or a later round snake draft pick. Your catcher should be Victor Martinez or Brian McCann. V-mart and McCann will provide 20 plus home runs and .290 avg. Joe Mauer is projected to hit 25 home runs and a .332 avg. Mauer is just a tad better but way too popular this year and will cost you a pretty penny to land him. The Twins are moving into their new stadium which could cause problems for Minnesota’s favorite son. Yadier Molina (Stl) is the perfect back-up catcher to your fantasy team.

In a Keeper League you will want to secure prospects Jason Heyward OF (Atl) and a Justin Smoak 1B/DH (Tex). Heyward is a top notch hitter in the minor leagues and looks like he might get the nod on opening day for the Braves. Justin Smoak did well last year after battling some injuries, bet on his appearance in the majors sometime in 2010.

Gamble on injured players. They will be cheap and if they return to greatness, your team will get the benefits.

Remember, video game cover boys alone won’t win you a fantasy baseball championship.

For fantasy baseball advice and MLB news, head over to MLB Soup and

2010 Fantasy Draft Focus:Pitchers

There are various theories about when and where to draft your pitching in fantasy baseball.

I would avoid picking up too many big name hurlers at the high dollar or 4th round picks. Use those early rounds to draft big bats. Zack Greinke, Tim Lincecum, CC Sabathia, Jon Lester, Johan Santana, Chris Carpenter, Felix Hernandez, Justin Verlander, Josh Beckett, and Roy Halladay are your top tier starters. I suggest picking up just one of those rock stars.

Spend your cash on cheaper (but just as effective) names like John Lackey, Wandy Rodriguez, Ubaldo Jimenez, Josh Johnson, or Clayton Kershaw. In an auction league you could pick up two of the aforementioned players for the same cash as just one Roy Halladay.

Some guys will spend some cheddar on those magazine cover boys which leaves their batting order at a Kansas City Royals level. Stack your staff with Second Tier starters and pick up some sluggers to get those winning points.

If you are in an auction league, you can get Ted Lilly, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Ben Sheets, and Randy Wolf for dirt cheap. On a snake draft, those cats would not even be on page one for starters. Dice-K is going to start the season on the DL which makes some fantasy owners stay clear. You should pick him up and put him on the bench. When the season begins, place him on the DL and snatch up a replacement lower level starter from waivers like a Kawakami.

When Dice-K starts to pitch, he is going to put up at least 14 wins for you this season. Ben Sheets is coming back from injury and is on a new team. Sheets would be a nice number 9 pitcher on your roster who could pay off big time.

Ted Lilly and Randy Wolf are really cheap steadfast pitchers that you could place on your 7 or 8 slots. Some other pitchers you might want for later in the draft are John Maine, Jason Marquis, Hiroki Kuroda and Joel Pineiro.

Your top closers are Mariano Rivera, Jonathan Papelbon, Francisco Rodriguez, Heath Bell, and Jonathan Broxton. I would always snatch up one of those names to help out in the superhero saving. Some guys throw away the saves category which I believe to be a big mistake. If you can’t grab a top tier guy, you should pick up Jose Valverde and Frank Francisco.

With Joe Nathan out for the season, the Twins closing spot may be a revolving door so stay away from the flavor of the week. Brad Lidge will bounce back after a horrific 2009. He is listed for $1 on most auction drafts and nearly forgotten on snake drafts. He will start the season on the 15-day DL but he will return with championship thunder when he steps back on the mound. Lidge would be a great last pick for your team.

Everyone gets giddy like a school girl when talking about sleepers. All fantasy owners want to find that virtual unknown. You imagine putting him on the mound and giving you an unexpected 12 plus wins. It will be the talk of the town. You must take Brian Matusz of the Baltimore Orioles if you are in a keeper league.

Another sleeper pick to wow your opponents is Kyle Drabek of the Toronto Blue Jays. Kyle’s dad is CY Young winner Doug Drabek. Your pitching staff is now ready to fast ball your way to a fantasy baseball championship.

For fantasy baseball advice and MLB team previews, head over to MLB Soup.