The ’41st’ Obiter Dictum

The ’41st’ Obiter Dictum

'41's' Fantasy Chronicles

The ‘41st’ Obiter Dictum

Week 1 Notes

When I first came across the word, ‘Obiter Dictum’, I as well was baffled and confused as to what it meant.  Though I could direct you to Dictionary.com, I’m happy to present you with the definition below.

1.  an incidental remark

2.  an opinion voiced by a judge on a point of law not directly bearing on the case in question and therefore not binding

I believe, ‘Obiter Dictum’, accurately describes what my fantasy columns and articles will represent.  I’ll voice my opinions, speak confidently without regard, and toss out stunning predictions and analysis.  That being said, should any of my statements not pan out to the best of my fantasy knowledge, insert ‘Obiter Dictum’, and it suddenly isn’t a binding thought and has no bearing on the success or demise of your fantasy career…In all actuality, however; I’ll gladly take responsibility for the advancement or annihilation of your fantasy leagues… I just like using the word, ‘Obiter Dictum’.

And now… At long last… The Major League Baseball season is underway.  Before I begin to analyse certain happenings around the world of Fantasy Baseball, I’ll first introduce myself to those of you wondering what the hell my alias means.  I’ll make it as brief and descriptive as possible. 

Chico EsquelaA few years back, I was watching an old episode of Saturday Night Live with a friend of mine, and there was a sketch in the show that involved fictional baseball character, Chico Esquela.  The premise of the sketch was that Chico was making his return to the New York Mets, at the age of, ‘41’.  Simply put, we thought the skit was hilarious, created an enormous inside-joke out of Chico, his giant smile, the number ‘41’, and other baseball players who displayed a ridiculous amount of happiness on their baseball cards.  For those who need a visual, lets use former major leaguer Cecilio Guante as an example.

As for the ‘Wraith’ portion of my moniker, I suppose I adapted it around the time that Lord of the Rings was in theatres, and I developed a fondness for the ‘Ring Wraiths’.  I melded my lucky number and Sauron’s evil minions together, and cemented what is now my permanent fantasy name…

The 41st Wraith. 

Now that I’ve formally introduced myself, I’d like to point out that I’m a huge fan, follower, advocate, student and teacher of fantasy sports.  I’m looking forward to continually writing columns and articles about every facet related to fantasy sports.  Even though I’m currently in my Championship Week in Fantasy Basketball, the 2008 MLB season has begun, and after Week 1, there are some very interesting things to note.   

1) Cueto Gets the Love / Volquez in the Shadows

Johnny Cueto, the flame-throwing right hander for the Cincinnati Reds, had a remarkable and unforgettable major-league debut.  I’m not discrediting his performance in the least, because there is absolutely nothing to discredit.  His only blemish, a solo-shot by Arizona’s Justin Upton. 

Other than that, his line was as follows.

7 IP, 1ER, 1H, 0BB, 10K

That’s an unbelievable and historic pitching line.  Cueto is the 1st pitcher in the modern era (since 1900) to record 10 strikeouts while walking no one, in his major league debut.  He deserves all the credit and accolades he receives.

Edinson VolquezBut what about the other pitcher in the Reds’ rotation with less than 75 IP of major league experience?  That pitcher is Edison Volquez, and he, like Cueto, is an exceptional talent.  Volquez made his season-debut Sunday against the Phillies, and pitched a very impressive ballgame.

5.1 IP, 1ER, 5H, 2BB, 8K

Volquez’ stat-line isn’t as sparkling as Cueto’s, but it’s beyond serviceable, and as an owner of Volquez, I couldn’t be happier with his performance.  He’s so amazingly under the radar right now, there’s a good chance he’s still available in your league.  I happened to pick him up in one of my leagues even AFTER his dominant performance yesterday.  If Cueto and Volquez can stay healthy, avoid the rookie wall, and smile as hard as Cecilio does, Cincinnati is going to be a formidable force in the National League this season.

2) David Ortiz’s Slow Start

I’m just not feeling Big Papi this year.  He’s off to a terrible start, though I do give him a little leeway because of the schedule Boston has been on.  Ortiz’s stats thus far are as follows. H/AB = 3/26, .115 AVG, 1HR, 3RBI, 4R, 5KOrtiz just looks slow and painful at the plate.  He’s chasing bad pitches and appears to be lacking that ‘lustre’ that we’re so accustomed to seeing from him.  I think he’s taking a trip to the DL once or twice this season, and I think 25HR and 110+ RBI is asking a lot from the aging big-man.  Then again, if he does surpass those numbers, insert ‘Obiter Dictum’ here, but I don’t think you’ll need to.

3) A Plethora of Talent in Tampa

The new look Tampa Bay Rays are an exciting team to watch.  Not only are they young, athletic, hungry and talented, they are providing solid fantasy numbers early on.  It certainly says a lot when Carl Crawford is at the bottom of the rung in team batting average, swinging at a .174 clip. Cliff Floyd and Carlos Pena both hit 2HR last week, and Tampa’s offense averaged 6 runs per game.  With a solid combination of speed and power, this team is going to score some serious runs.  While B.J. Upton and Carl Crawford are the obvious strong fantasy plays, I’m real high on Akinori Iwamura, and don’t see Eric Hinske, Johnny Gomes and Willy Aybar as bad starts in deeper leagues.  Aybar will have his time cut when super-prospect Evan Longoria arrives in the next few months, but any available Tampa batter who’s seeing significant time during a week is worth a look.As for Tampa’s pitching, Edwin Jackson looked real good in his first start of the year and James Shields has only given up 4ER in 12 IP.  This is a scary team at the moment, and Kazmir isn’t even in the rotation.  Stay away from Garza and Sonnanstine until they have a quality start or two under their belts.  If you’re in severe need of pitching, they may not be terrible plays, and could grab you a W due to the offense.

  

Here To Hit‘41’s’ H-T-H (Here To Hit) 

The following are some players who had great first weeks, and will continue to produce throughout the season.

  • Chris Young – OF – Ari – While his average needs improvement upon last year and early this year, the guy has ‘pop’ and will steal a great amount of bases.  He was 30/30 last year in his rookie campaign.
  • Ryan Church – OF – NYM – Church is starting in a great Mets lineup, and I’m an advocate that anyone who bats in an already explosive order… will get his.  Church is off to a great start, and if he stays healthy, will have a ton of opportunities to knock in runs all year.  100+ RBI.  Book it.
  • J.D. Drew – OF – Bos – Drew had a terrible first year with Boston, and there’s no way he could hit worse than he did.  Maybe that’s an easy prediction, but Drew is already off to an encouraging start with 2HR, 4RBI and batting .375 in his first week.  That average will level out at about .260 – .275, but I fully expect Drew to blast 25 HR and knock in over 100 runs this year.

I-D-B- (I Don’t Believe)Gabe Kapler – OF – Mil; Ben Broussard – 1B/OF – Tex; Carlos Quinton – OF – CWS; Nate McLouth – OF – Pit

Looking forward to Week 2.. 

That is all,

‘41’



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3 replies on “The ’41st’ Obiter Dictum”
  1. I have to chuckle at the juxtaposition: David Ortiz is on the ‘cold’ list but J.D. Drew is a guy who is “here to hit”! I agree that Ortiz has looked awful. But Ryan Howard has been equally bad in the N.L. (11 K’s in 25 AB’s). However, we know that it’s only a matter of time before these two Kongs start mashing.

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