New Favorite Pitcher

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Yeah so; Yordano Ventura was as-advertised. I cannot state how much fun it is to watch this guy mix 101 MPH aspirin tablets with devastating offspeed stuff to middle of the order hitters like Wil Myers and Evan Longoria.

The Royals were futile enough that they couldn’t even get the kid a run so he could win his first big league start like he deserved, but that didn’t blemish the fact that we’ll always remember the first time we got to see Yordano take the pill and shut down the opposition for six strong.

If You’ve Been Looking for me for the last week – I’ve been on DraftStreet

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Fantasy Baseball as I know it will never be the same.

Take a guy with an addictive personality who will bet on anything; and put him on this site. What you have is me – sitting up late at night, researching what Norichika Aoki has done lifetime during day games against left-handed pitchers in even-numbered years.

And then I swap out the entire lineup I’ve researched so hard for some fly by night guy who I just feel is overdue. It’s madness. It’s a street where no one is your friend, and it’s every many for himself.

Since Opening Day began and I gave this daily fantasy baseball site a shot, I haven’t been able to stop. In fact, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.

During my workday I’m sitting at my desk, and I’m wondering Jordan Lyles’ odds at shutting down the opposition. I never thought I would use my money to depend on Jordan Lyles. And then I found myself on DraftStreet. And I placed in my first two tournaments.

It’s like online poker, only the cards are replaced by my favorite thing in life: baseball players. And even though I don’t own Miguel Cabrera or Mike Trout in any of my real big money leagues (and never will), I make sure to own one of them at least nightly.

And I’m no longer depending on that ace on the river to take down the sit and go poker game. Quite the opposite in fact. I’m depending on a shithead like Miguel Gonzalez against the Tigers to take down the $100K ‘Big Score’ tournament for me. And I failed miserably. Miguel Gonzalez was bad to the point that when my wife got home from her long day at work, I did not have much to say. She asked what was wrong, and I told her that sometimes things do not go as they should. I lied, because in this case things went exactly like they should. The gambler in me played Gonzalez on the grandest of Daily Fantasy stages, and I did not learn to tell about it. Lesson learned.

Today my family gathers for lunch. I arrive and don’t have much to say. My aunt asks me if my wife and I had an argument, and I tell her the truth; we haven’t argued in weeks. If they only knew the reason for my smug demeanor was that Justin Masterson got tuned up all afternoon by the Twins and Billy Butler couldn’t buy a fucking hit against Chris Sale (who he has owned lifetime).

On Draft Street, up is down and down is up. The man who played Edison Volquez against the Cardinals today and Scott Feldman against the Angels walked away with my money. And I’m pissed about it. Yet, because I am a glutton for punishment, the only thing I could think about tonight was building tomorrow’s winner.

I have thought less about my yearly teams this year than I have my entire life – and the sad thing is those teams are performing admirably. DraftStreet is the Rubik’s Cube I vow to solve before I draw my last breath. It is a challenge I cannot stop striving for the top for. I will crack ‘the model’ if I have to work day and night to do so. I can do this. I don’t think there is a human being on this earth who thinks about this twisted game of baseball as much as I do – it’s a matter of time until I find out the grid on DraftStreet.

As frustrating as it can be, if it weren’t so much damn fun I wouldn’t be this into it. If you play Daily Fantasy Baseball on DraftStreet, you’ll love it. Where else does Charlie Blackmon become baseball’s prized golden-goose? Where else can I find myself being the biggest Brandon Belt fan on the planet? Adeiny Echeverria made me as proud the other night during his four-hit performance as anyone has in a long time playing fantasy. And Jared Saltalamacchia was not far behind.

Look for a weekly column with a few picks – and if you want to sign up at DraftStreet and start with $25 in free play, tell them Diamond Hoggers sent you.

Meet A.J. Pollock, baseball’s biggest Doofus

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So 99.9% percent of the time you turn on a television and you see guys who are supremely talented, coordinated, and gifted. That other 0.01%? Well that’s A.J. Pollock.

Pollock first caught my attention because I was the lucky winner of his services for $1 in a deep Ottoneu auction league. I figured he could be depended upon to play against left-handed pitching. He’s in an underrated lineup, and he’ll get regular at-bats; I thought to myself.

Well Pollock has started the season hitting .156, commonly missing 88 MPH left-handed fastballs down the middle of the plate. He’s just all forms of awful and I wonder what a talent evaluator saw in the guy. I can’t help it.

He’s pictured here in last night’s game – of course he volleyed a ball hit by Nolan Arenado over the fence for a home run. Pollock can’t just get out of his own way.

You watch a guy like Mike Trout for a couple of innings and then you change the channel to the A.J. Pollock show and you’re left wondering whether or not it’s the same league.

Pollock will probably be teaching 8th grade Earth Science in his hometown in two years.

Rank Relief: The pinnacle may have been reached

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We may have witnessed the worst relief performance possible.  Forget Aroldis Chapman, the Reds just need Jonathan Broxton back.  JJ Hoover has been good as a reliable bullpen arm an has worked out of plenty of jams.  Tonight he put himself in one and then decidedly did not work himself out of.  He came in to close with a one run lead after Brandon Phillips helped the Reds get the lead with a two run shot.

This was his line:

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I guess you could say that Joey Votto didn’t help him by going for the double play instead of taking the out at first, but the rest was very bad.  Lead off walk, bunt for hit, walk, grand salami.  What the f*ck?  That is very bad.  The Reds love Hoover…as a regular relief guy.  Not as the best arm in the bullpen.

Good luck to the Reds as they continue to chase their second win of the season.

Guy in the Brown Coat goes in the Pants at yesterday’s Indians Opener in Cleveland

This video is sent to us from a good friend, former teammate and fraternity brother, and Diamond Hogger army member himself Bryan. Bryan is an Indians fan and caught a funny tidbit while waiting out the rain delay in yesterday’s Indians home opener in Cleveland.

The Indians won the game 7-2.

If anyone can provide a screenshot or distinguish any information about the whereabouts about the guy in the brown coat who went down the pants during player introductions in Cleveland yesterday, please send us an e-mail.

Game 4, 2014: Mets 4, Reds 3

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[Box Score]

Another ballgame, another heartbreaker one run loss for the Reds. Another Jay Bruce home run in a losing effort.

Mike Leake provided a very Leakian effort – he went 6 and 2/3 striking out three and walking three, but gave up two two-run bombs to Lucas Duda which was all the Mets needed to thwart the Reds.

Bruce’s home run was the 166th of his career, and his second of the season. It came off lefty John Lannan and put the Reds within a run at 4-3. He drove in all three Reds runs while also adding an RBI single earlier in the ballgame.

The story of the game for me was little Jenrry Mejia who went six innings while striking out eight for the Mets in earning the win. he walked five batters but had the stuff to get out of several jams with the strikeout; he might be a guy to watch as the season goes on because he has exceptional stuff with a plus fastball to go with.

Of course, it was gut wrenching to watch Jose Valverde work himself into trouble in the ninth inning only to get out of it by Joey Votto having a poor at bat and popping out, then dropping a splitty in to Jay Bruce to get the final out of the game and lock down the save.

Your Saturday Baseball Post

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It’s the first Saturday of the regular season and there’s baseball on all afternoon and evening. There’s really nothing better in sports than a Saturday with a full slate.

So don’t slack – if you were out this morning trying to get your taxes done in time for that April 15th deadline you better have made sure that your fantasy lineups were all set before you left home. We’ve got a long season ahead of us and can’t afford any slackeys this early in the year. Even if you’re sitting 10th in your ten teamer.

Enjoy your Saturday and all of the tremendous action that will take place. It’s baseball season, finally.

Thank you for your continued support of Diamond Hoggers.

Jay Bruce got one yesterday

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The Reds dropped another heartbreaker to the Cardinals yesterday afternoon, 7-6. The game featured a rain delay that took the start time from 12:35 PM ET to around 4:35 PM ET.

Jay Bruce hit a towering two-run home run off Lance Lynn in the first inning to put the Reds up 2-0 for his first home run of the season. Todd Frazier followed with a towering bomb to left field and the Reds were out front and running 3-0. Frazier would later add another home run later in the game off Pat Neshek that cut the Cardinals lead to the one-run deficit they would win by.

Overall, Homer Bailey was not sharp. He allowed seven hits and four earned runs over 4 and 1/3 innings. The two-run homer he allowed to Jhonny Peralta proved costly because it nearly erased a three run lead and was foreshadowing for the tough outing that Bailey had ahead of him.

Here’s Adam Dunn, Sean Casey, Danny Graves and some 2002 Reds at a Poison/Cinderella Concert

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This photo serves as proof that we look at Adam Dunn’s twitter feed entirely too little. This photo would be tough for the common man to put a date to, but we’re going to begin by saying it was 2002.

Pictured in the photo from left to right is Todd Walker, Sean Casey, Danny Graves, Aaron Boone, and the legend Donkey himself. By 2003, Todd Walker was no longer a Cincinnati Red. He was a Jim Bowden casualty.

The group played together in 2001, but it is important to note that Dunn was not called up until very late in that season. We’re comfortable with dating this photo from 2002, not that it matters any.

What matters is that Adam Dunn is awesome (editor’s note: he hit career home run 441 today in Chicago), and this group of Reds was a lot of run. In this picture is a group of really nice guys who were never anything but really nice to the fans. We’ve also heard dozens stories from around this period in time 2002-2004 when we lived in Cincinnati about this group’s off-field theatrics. They went to see Poison and Cinderella. I also went to see Poison and Cinderella that same summer. That was my third time drinking moonshine: first, last, only.

Wilson Ramos wouldn’t have luck if it weren’t for bad luck

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Here’s a news story that sucks: Wilson Ramos is out four to eight weeks with a broken hamate bone in his left hand. The injury was sustained during the Opening Day game in New York.

We really loved this guy’s bat as early as about three seasons ago. But he’s running out of time to turn his career into anything other than an injury-marred bunch of radar blips. You can’t exactly blame Ramos; as these injuries aren’t his fault. They’re just happening. Plus he was kidnapped.

We were actually at a game in 2012 in Cincinnati when he hit a monster home run to center field; and then his knee blew up later in the game.

Hopefully he’s back and swinging a strong bat in a month; but we have our doubts. It’s just a shame because while it’s the Strasburg’s and Harper’s that everyone talks about in Washington, Ramos had a chance to be an excellent offensive catcher. He had the look – and had a monster spring (.385 with 1 HR and 13 RBI, see we back our claims up with numbers to quantify ‘monster spring’).

Jose Lobaton assumes the starting catcher duties for Washington. He’s a career .229 bat.

Screen-Shotting the Game

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For all of you that are concerned about Yasiel Puig’s sophomore campaign he’s got a little news for you because you see Yasiel Puig is just going to visit the Metal Supply Co. building out in left field at Petco while you’re eating dinner you see and that was a monster bomb, so Yasiel is just fine for now thanks. Yasiel does not mind my run-on sentences. Dodgers win 3-2, hanging on by the skin of their teeth and Kenley Jansen’s blazing fastballs.

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This is the last, first-day of school for The Captain. Derek Jeter went 1 for 3 in Houston and the Yankees got knocked around by the Astros.

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Adam Lind took a piece of Alex Cobb earlier tonight that Cobb can never have back. And Lind is sporting a new gnome beard. He’s getting rounder folks.

To all of you who bought the tremendous Alex Cobb hype; he is still just a decent pitcher with some hype until otherwise noted.

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The Mariners are a pesky bunch thus far.

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‘Erasmo Ramirez really resembles your everyday gardener’ – Detroit Stars/Corey.

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Here is quite possibly the world’s only A.J. Pollock fan. And what the Hell does this sign even mean anyway? If anyone can decipher it, you will be awarded a prize. The ‘#1 Back DBack’ has hit like garbage this year so far and he’s quite possibly the most ordinary player that ever lived.

Pittsburgh Pirates 2014 Team Preview

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Today’s season preview is written by one of my good friends and a long-time Pirates fan who has seen Roberto Clemente play live. He grew up near Pittsburgh watching Zambelli Fireworks nights and can recite Pirates history with the best of them. My good friend Matt Sarich hopes for another year like last year but worried about the team relapsing after their first loss in Spring Training. Such is the life of a Pirates fan. He has no twitter, and he has no other blog. Put your hands together for Matt as he shares his thoughts on the 2014 Pittsburgh Pirates.

Welcome Pirate fans to opening day……and here is the first pitch……and the season is over. That refrain was repeated for 20 long years and then HOPE came!!

It has been a long time since so much optimism surrounded this team. A year ago fans were gearing up for a 21st straight losing season but with many years of investing in their farm system things started to pay dividends. Continue reading

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