October 30, 2005

Trick Or Treat

I'm busy putting the finishing touches on The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2006 (although not nearly as busy as Dave Studeman, who is working like a mad man), so blogging is light today and may be light this whole week. Or not, I can never be sure.

A few very quick notes ...

  • I'm not normally a big fan of sub-titled movies, but I watched Maria Full of Grace this weekend and really enjoyed it. While the story wasn't exactly packed with action it moved quickly enough to keep my attention, and I thought the acting was excellent. Plus, the lead actress, Catalina Sandino Moreno, is right up my alley. I give it a 7.5 out of 10, and I fancy myself a tough movie critic.
  • The AG.com Fantasy Basketball League drafted yesterday morning. I picked ninth, continuing my remarkable lifelong streak of never picking first in any league, regardless of sport. I ended up with Tracy McGrady, which probably isn't the worst thing in the world. Here's my whole roster:
    Tracy McGrady         Donyell Marshall      Mike James
    Vince Carter Samuel Dalembert Joel Przybilla
    Manu Ginobili Josh Smith Deron Williams
    Lamar Odom Al Jefferson Raja Bell

    Keep in mind that it's a 12-team league, so the roster is stronger than it looks. My basic strategy was to take young players and focus on guys who do a lot of things fairly well, rather than guys who are great in a category or two but lacking in others. For the most part I followed the plan, ending up with a very young roster and a bunch of players who contribute in just about every category.

    Still, I'm not thrilled with my team. The Samuel Dalembert pick was a dumb one, as I'm not all that high on him and he's out for at least two weeks with an injury. For some reason I strayed from my plan and went after blocks, when I could have grabbed a player I liked a lot more in that spot. I've found that about 90% of winning in fantasy basketball has to do with in-season moves, so I'm not too worried.

  • I turned the Vikings game off in the third quarter, just because I couldn't take it any longer. It was bad enough that they played like crap yet again, but watching Daunte Culpepper go down with what is likely a season-ending knee injury was too much to handle. Plus, he's on my fantasy football team, so I'm now without my "stud" QB.

    Also, watching Fred Smoot get absolutely torched by Steve Smith while trash talking the whole time was pathetic. It is the second time this year that Smoot has shot his mouth off, either to the media or on the field, and then been lit up by a receiver. First it was Chad Johnson, who went for 139 yards and a touchdown on seven catches. And yesterday Smith racked up 201 yards and a score on 11 catches.

    Smith dominated Smoot like I've rarely seen a wide receiver dominate a cornerback, beating him deep several times, running over him after catching short passes, and drawing several penalties. I don't mind athletes who run their mouths -- in fact, I typically enjoy it -- but when a guy does so and is consistently made to look silly, it's embarrassing.

  • Finally, if Culpepper is indeed done for the year, the Vikings will be better off losing all of their remaining games. The NFC North is horrible, but the Vikings' chances with Brad Johnson at the helm are very slim. Going 3-13 or 4-12 would guarantee them a top-five pick, which would give them a shot at Reggie Bush, LenDale White or Laurence Maroney.
  • Today at The Hardball Times:
    - But for This ... (by Dan Fox)
    - I Can See Your House From Here: 2005 World Series TV Ratings (by Maury Brown)

    Today's Picks (132-111, +$2,175):
    Pittsburgh -11.5 (-110) over Baltimore

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