Articles By Rich Mcvey
Quarterback great Kurt Warner recently popped up in a video poking fun at his desire to return to the game. Kudos to Warner on his acting chops and his sense of humor.
The 2012 baseball season is just around the corner. As players gets loosened up at Spring Training, we thought we'd catch you up on some of the top players at each position to help you win your 2012 fantasy baseball league. Today, we look at catchers, starting with the top tier players and work our way down.
1. Joe Mauer, Twins Although the sickly Mauer may have to play the season in a Hazmat suit, his combination of résumé and career stage makes him the No. 1 choice at this perennially anemic position and a potential “best buy.” Target Field precludes anything resembling his .365-28-96-94 showing of 2009, but even .300-15-80-70 is something no catcher’s done since then.
2. Carlos Santana, Indians Though it’s just his second full season, we’re confident in projecting Santana as the 2012 positional HR and RBI leader. Of his last 90 hits, 47 went for extra bases. The rub is that his average was never above .245 after April 10, but .270 should be doable this time around.
3. Brian McCann, Braves McCann is the safest — if not the highest-ceilinged — pick in the tier, given that only three catchers (Yogi Berra, Mike Piazza, Jorge Posada) have ever exceeded his ongoing six-season run with minimums of 18 homers and 71 RBIs. His other categories are essentially neutral.
4. Mike Napoli, Rangers We were all over Napoli last year (“Thirty homers wouldn’t surprise…” — exactly what he hit), albeit as a projected DH. Now that he’s unambiguously a catcher (with some moonlighting at 1B), he merits a whole new level of fantasy deference. He holds the all-time record at the position with a HR in 6.6% of his ABs, but there are few prospects of anything close to another .320 AVG.
5. Matt Wieters, Orioles Wieters is looking a lot like McCann at this point, although he’s three years behind Brian’s age curve. Doubtful if there’s a ton more upside left, but 2011-type lines (.262-22-68-72) should be the norm for awhile.
6. Miguel Montero, Diamondbacks In the two years (2009, 2011) he’s been the Snakes’ primary catcher, Montero has averaged .288-17-73-63. That’s good stuff, but his injury proclivity casts a shadow.
7. Buster Posey, Giants (F) As he’s yet to play a full season, what we’ve seen from Posey to date is nothing more than a few bona fide hot streaks. Clearly he can be a special player, but, like Mauer, he’s emasculated by his ballpark (.697 career OPS at home, .915 elsewhere).
8. Alex Avila, Tigers Avila can hit, but whether he can hit .295-19-82-63 again is dubious. The AL’s third-highest batting average on balls in play (BAbip) at .366 suggests that many of the holes he found were providential.
9. Wilson Ramos, Nationals (B) Ramos pinged .227 in a May-through-August malaise, but he bracketed that with .358 in both April and September. One of our sleeper specials last year at 23, he’ll round out those edges and edge into 20-jack territory very soon.
10. Jesus Montero, Mariners Montero is this year’s Santana, but with all the breathless expectations and hold-your-breath uncertainties of being four years younger. His .996 OPS was the fifth-highest ever at his plate appearance level (69) by a 21-year-old in his first season. But will he follow in the footsteps of three of those ahead of him (Willie McCovey, Ted Williams, Albert Pujols) — or the fourth (Daric Barton)?
11. J.P. Arencibia, Blue Jays Arencibia is all about how you weigh 25 homers and 75 RBIs against 350 outs. Matt Nokes and Piazza are the only rookies ever to have hit more bombs, all as a catcher. Then again, only Adam Dunn and Vernon Wells had a lower 2011 AVG (.219) at his plate appearance level.
12. Yadier Molina, Cardinals (E) Molina obliged the fantasy “age-28 rule” with personal bests of .305-14-65-55, but his prospectus is more aligned to his full-season career norms of .274-8-54-38. A major attraction is that he’s kind of a robo-catcher who, unlike most at the position, is predictably decent.
13. Kurt Suzuki, Athletics Batted .276 in 2008-09, then .240 in 2010-11. Combined for 86 RBIs in ’08 and ’11, but 159 in ’09-10. See the pattern here? Neither do we. One thing you can count on is that he’ll play — an AL-high 528 games caught in that span.
14. Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers Ran out of gas last year (.188 AVG in his last 34 games), but slightly exceeded expectations. More apt to be serviceable than a star.
15. Geovany Soto, Cubs His seasons can be characterized as huge-poor-good-fair, in that order. Even when he’s got his “Arencibia” on, he has value since McCann and Napoli are the sole catchers to have hit more home runs since 2008.
Other Fantasy Baseball Content:
2012 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: The Big Board
2012 Fantasy Baseball: First Base Rankings
2012 Fantasy Baseball: Second Base Rankings
2012 Fantasy Baseball: Shortstop Rankings
2012 Fantasy Baseball: Third Base Rankings
2012 Fantasy Baseball: Outfield Rankings
2012 Fantasy Baseball: Catcher Rankings
2012 Fantasy Baseball: Starting Pitcher Rankings
2012 MLB Fantasy Closer Grid
2012 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers and Busts: Infield
2012 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers and Busts: Outfield
The rumor mill is working overtime as reports are coming out that Broncos QB Tim Tebow and singer Taylor Swift were spotted having dinner Monday night at an Italian restaurant. The possible pairing has already earned the nickname Swebow. Of course, we kind of like the sound of Taybow.
During Monday's bizarre Juan Pablo Montoya crash that left drivers waiting around for a couple of hours, two drivers kept racing…sort of. Dale Earnhardt Jr and Brad Keselowski both made a mad dash for the Port-o-Potty at the Daytona track. There was some drafting and a little bumping along the way before Earnhardt nudged out Keselowski.
Although Matt Kenseth took home the checkered flag at the Daytona 500 last night, most spectators will be talking about the bizarre crash involving driver Juan Pablo Montoya. The crash took place while under caution when Montoya crashed into a jet dryer filled with about 200 gallons of jet fuel. The collision sparked a massive fire that scorched the track and delayed the race for more than an hour.
UPDATE, MONDAY, 10:20 am: NASCAR President Mike Helton has just announced that the race has again been rescheduled. The green flag is set to drop at 7 pm ET.
The Daytona 500 was scheduled to run Sunday, but scattered Florida showers kept drivers off the track and the guys in the Fox commentary booth scrambling to fill several hours of live TV.
NASCAR has since rescheduled the start time for noon (Eastern) Monday. However, a look at the Daytona forecast makes the likelihood of a noon start time seem unlikely.
Although rain has disrupted the Great American Race in the past, this marks the first time in the 54-year history of the race that is has been postponed to another day.
For historical reference, here's a quick look at previous rain disruptions at the Daytona 500.
1963—First 10 laps run under yellow due to rain.
1965—Rain-shortened -- 133 laps (332.5 miles).
1966—Rain-shortened -- 198 laps (495 miles).
1979—First 16 laps run under yellow due to rain.
1992—Laps 84-89 run under yellow due to rain on backstretch.
1995—Red flag on lap 71 due to rain. Red flag lasted 1:44.
2003—Two red flags for rain. 1st: lap 63; 1:08. Rain-shortened -- 109 laps (272.5 miles).
2009—Rain-shortened -- 152 laps (380 miles).
We're not sure who the Michigan fan is at Google, but we noticed something rather interesting while looking up "Ohio Stadium" on Google Maps. If you search for the Buckeyes home stadium and scroll over it, a notation (albeit for "Columbus Crew Stadium") pops up that offers a not so flattering description.
As the 2012 NASCAR season revs up, we've put together a quick look at this year's Sprint Cup schedule. To get links to tracks, driver bios, and race times, be sure to check out our comprehensive NASCAR 2012 Schedule and our NASCAR Hub, which celebrates 10 years of NASCAR annuals at Athlon Sports.
2012 NASCAR SPRINT CUP SCHEDULE*non-points race
Gary Carter, the Hall of Fame catcher best know for his years with the New York Mets, died on Thursday at the age of 57.
Carter, who was nicknamed The Kid, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor last May, two weeks after finishing his second season as coach at Palm Beach Atlantic University.
"I am deeply saddened to tell you all that my precious dad went to be with Jesus today at 4:10 p.m. This is the most difficult thing I have ever had to write in my entire life but I wanted you all to know," Carter's daughter, Kimmy Bloemers, wrote on the family website.
"He is in heaven and has reunited with his mom and dad. I believe with all my heart that dad had a STANDING OVATION as he walked through the gates of heaven to be with Jesus," Bloemers wrote.
Nobody said it was easy putting on a dog costume and entertaining thousands of fans. Just ask the Cavs mascot Moondog, who, while trying to work the crowd into a frenzy of drum-beating excitement, took a nasty fall. Of course, his pain is our entertainment. Kids, don't try this at home. Well, unless you have a dog costume.
The always-fabulous Kate Upton is gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated's 2012 Swimsuit Issue. And we love that. But what we love even more is that SI also has a video of Kate Upton during one of her photo shoots. So the question is, why are you still reading this?
Be sure to check out Kate's entire SI Swimsuit gallery.
With time ticking down, basketball sensation (and former bench warmer) Jeremy Lin made a clutch 3-pointer last night to help his team, the New York Knicks, top the Toronto Raptors 90-87. The game-winning shot continues the "Lin-sanity" that's been sweeping the NBA the last week as the 6-3, 200-pound point guard has been on fire, taking his team on a six-game winning streak.