9.01.2014

On Abe Lincoln

As you've seen elsewhere on the website, sometimes I include stuff simply because I feel like it. What follows is one of the greatest speeches in the history of humanity by one of the two greatest Presidents in the history of our great nation. Lincoln was beset by more problems than any other President - lost a son while President, lost three brother-in-laws who were fighting for the opposition, a wife with her own problems, bitter criticism from all sides, etc., etc., etc.

I recently spent a day at the Lincoln museum in Springfield, Illinois --- something I would heartily recommend for all. I believe there's a biblical text to the effect that 'humility comes before honor'. It certainly was the case for Mr. Lincoln. Enjoy:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.


8.29.2014

Beware the Left

Who are the baddest bad guys of the 20th century and from whence did they come?  Let's have a quick review.
  • Joseph Stalin  Murdered somewhere around 30 million of his fellow citizens including many of his own family. How did he come to power? From the left as a member of the Communist Party.
  • Mao Tse Tung  Starved somewhere between 30 million and 50 million of his fellow citizens via his Great Leap Forward. Then killed off opposition via the Cultural Revolution. How did Mao come to power? From the left as the leader of the Communist Revolution.
  • Adolph Hitler  Good old Adolph, what can you say? 50 million dead and another 70 million homeless..... And whence cometh ol' Ado? From the left as the leader of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (whose English abbreviation became Nazi).
  • Pol Pot  Let's not forget good ol' Pol either. Although he only killed 1.7 million of his fellow citizens, he started with 4.2 million. So give him credit. How many petty leftist dictators can claim that percentage?
Beware the left, my friends. Beware those who promise to cocoon you in ease.  That cocoon may just strangle you.

8.25.2014

Ben Carson

Dr. Ben Carson is on the scene in many ways these days.  I wanted to share a story from one of my friends in Baltimore.

As you probably know, Dr. Carson is the retired Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital.  Years ago he was scheduled to go to South Korea to perform surgery for a child of one of the leaders there.  My friend's son (age 4) had a brain-related medical emergency.  Dr. Carson delayed his trip to Korea in order to operate on the unknown, higher need individual.  He saved the life of my friend's son - and then saved the life of the child in Korea.

This is a man of great & humble character.

8.15.2014

Fantasy Football Auction Draft Strategy

In an auction draft, each manager is allocated a certain number of dollars with which to assemble his team. You need to understand that there is no other use for the money after the auction. Spend it all at the auction or lose it.

The strategy below is based upon the following auction type.
$200 Budget
1 QB
2 RB
3 WR
1 TE
1 K
1 DST

While there are many different approaches to an auction, the one I recommend as a guideline is to spend about 40%-45% of your budget on the RB1 & RB2 positions combined. For the typical $200 budget, this would mean spending between $80 and $90 on your top two running backs.

Target getting your three wide receivers for 30%-35% of your budget. Thus you would spend $60 to $70 for your receivers.

That leaves about $50 for your QB, Tight End and your bench. If you allocate $20 to $25 for the QB, you'll have $25 or so for your TE, D, K and bench. Some managers prefer to keep money back for bargains late in the auction (and there will be bargains) while others prefer to get the top players early and just fill in around them with whomever they can get later. Either is an acceptable approach.

The position of TE has become more important in the last few years with the emergence of the TE as more than a blocking position. (See Graham, Jimmy.) You may choose to spend a little more in that arena – maybe 5% to 7% of your budget. Just recognize you'll need to take that money from somewhere else.

I personally prefer not to spend a lot on my Defense. Statistics for defenses vary greatly from year to year based upon injuries to key players. Usually a $2 or $3 investment will get you a serviceable defense.  Exception:  I will throw some money at the Seattle DST but I’m usually too cheap to get them.

Finally, you should never spend more than $1 ($2 at the most) for your kicker.

A favorite stratagem is to nominate players early that you're not that interested in. Hopefully, others will bid up the price to nab them while you save your money for players you want later. It doesn't always work but it's fun to try.  Caveat:  Don’t be ‘that guy’ who nominates scrubs.  Nominate good players – just ones you don’t care if you get or not.

Another fun strategy is to nominate players for positions which you have already filled. Watch your opponents spend their money on a position which is no longer of any value to you. If things go well, they'll have less money to bid on a player you would like to get later.

Recognize that, just like in the draft, you will not get all the players you would like. There will be players that you want who are being over-bidden. Let them go. Your job is to get a team with some studs and then fill in around them --- just like the draft.

One other item: Each player is a new opportunity for you. What do I mean by that? At some point during the auction, you will probably make a mistake. Do not let that affect your confidence. Move on. Everyone else will make a mistake, too.

Finally, let me add.  I have not included Individual Defensive Players in the discussion. The IDP aspect is a favorite of mine but it's outside the scope of this article.

8.14.2014

Abe Lincoln

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.

8.08.2014

Ronald Reagan

How do you tell a communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin.

8.05.2014

Minor League Rosters 8-5-2014

Brooklyn DL’s
1.     Rafael Montero, P, NYM
2.     Kohl Stewart, P, MIN
3.     Colin Moran, 3B, MIA
4.     Tyler Austin, OF, NYY
5.     Brian Goodwin, OF, WAS

Project33
1.     C.J. Edwards, P, CHC
2.     Eddie Butler, P, COL
3.     J.P. Crawford, SS, PHI
4.     Oscar Taveras, OF, STL

Hockey Nation
1.     Mark Appel, P, HOU
2.     Mookie Betts, 2B, BOS
3.     Byron Buxton, OF, MIN
4.     Max Fried, P, SD
5.     Travis D'Arnaud, C, NYM

The Holy Handgrenade
1.     Robert Peterson, P, CIN
2.     Tyler Glasnow, P, PIT
3.     D.J. Peterson, OF, SEA
4.     Delino DeShields, Jr. 2B, HOU
5.     Alex Meyer, P, MIN

Skip Caray’s Ghost
1.     Raul Mondesi, SS, KC
2.     Austin Hedges, C, SD
3.     Carlos Correa, SS, HOU
4.     Mike Montgomery, P, TB
5.     Mike Olt, 3B, CHC

Planet 10
1.     Clint Frazier, OF, CLE
2.     Jorge Soler, OF, CHC
3.     Bubba Starling, OF, KC
4.     Robbie Erlin, P, SD
5.     Francisco Lindor, SS, CLE

Clown City
1.     Joc Peterson, OF, LAD
2.     Mike Zunino, C, SEA
3.     Miguel Sano, 3B, MIN
4.     Jake Odorizzi , P, TB

stangnut
1.     Henry Owens, P, BOS
2.     Aaron Sanchez, P, TOR
3.     Albert Almora, OF, CHC
4.     Jameson Taillon, P, PIT

Outlaws – All in WDW
1.     Maikel Franco, 3B, PHI
2.     Lucas Sims, P, ATL
3.     Hunter Harvey, P, BOS
4.     Noah Syndergaard, SP, NYM

Hammering Fastballs
1.     Joey Gallo, 3B, TEX
2.     Corey Seager, SS, LAD
3.     Courtney Hawkins, OF, CWS
4.     J.R. Graham, P, ATL
5.     James Paxton, P, SEA

puerto rican perfume
1.     Kevin Gausman P, BAL
2.     Allen Webster P, BOS
3.     Kyle Crick, P, SF
4.     Hak-Ju Lee, SS, TB
5.     Michael Ynoa, P, OAK
6.     Addison Russell, SS, OAK

Tri State Turmoil
1.     Rougned Odor, 2B, TEX
2.     David Dahl, OF, COL
3.     Dylan Bundy, P, BAL
4.     Nick Castellanos, OF, DET

Milwaukee Braves
1.     Lucas Giolito, P, WAS
2.     Austin Meadows, OF, PIT
3.     Matt Davidson, 3B, CWS
4.     Archie Bradley, SP, ARZ
5.     Kris Medlen, SP, ATL

San Diego Chickens
1.     Marcus Stroman, P, TOR
2.     Matt Wisler, P, SD
3.     Kyle Zimmer, SP, KC
4.     Alen Hanson, SS, PIT
5.     Jurickson Profar, 2B, TEX


In-Season Changes
            April 21st:  Clown City called up Carlos Martinez, P, STL
            May 30th:  stangnut called up George Springer, OF, HOU
            June 11th:  Outlaws called up Gregory Polanco, OF, PIT
            June 14th:  Turmoil called up Jonathan Singleton, 1B, HOU
            August 5th:  Addison Russell traded from P33 to PR Perfume