Top 10 active innings eaters

Chances are, you need a few pitchers on your fantasy baseball roster that can eat up innings. You know, that silly rule that prevents you from loading up on closers? Well, here is a list you could use, especially if your team if floundering and you need some steady pitchers to deliver quality innings of work. This is the list of active leaders in innings pitched. Some of the names will surprise you, but certainly not all of them:

1. Jamie Moyer, Philadelphia Phillies (3966 innings)—Remember when Jamie Moyer pitched for the Cubs? Yeah, neither does anyone else. He was a rookie in 1986, the year Mookie Wilson hit the ball through Bill Buckner’s legs. I know, most of you don’t remember that, either.

2. Andy Pettitte, New York Yankees (2984)—Though it’s early, Andy Pettitte is having a career year at age 38. And I’m just glad I had the foresight (errr, luck) to draft him for my fantasy team.

3. Tim Wakefield, Boston Red Sox (2980)—Remember when Tim Wakefield pitched for the Pirates? Seriously, he started out there in 1992 and joined the Sox in 1995. And dude is still beloved by the chowder heads.

4. Livan Hernandez, Washington Nationals (2795)—Two things are baffling. One, that Livan’s age is listed as 35. Thirty-freaking-five! Um, no. And two, that this guy is still getting hitters out with that blistering 80 mph fastball of his.

5. Javier Vasquez, New York Yankees (2532)—So this guy has banked $92 million in his career to date for losing as many games as he wins (145-144). That’s proof right there that innings eaters are worth something, but still sounds like highway robbery to me.

6. Jeff Suppan, Milwaukee Brewers (2437)—He’s relegated to the bullpen for the most part, but still racking up innings of work.

7. Kevin Millwood, Baltimore Orioles (2382)—Remember when Kevin Millwood was the fourth starter behind Smoltz, Maddux and Glavine in Atlanta? That was in 1997 but seems like it was 50 years ago.

8. Derek Lowe, Atlanta Braves (2191)—He may have peaked a few years ago, but this guy still has some of the nastiest stuff in the game.

9. Tim Hudson, Atlanta Braves (2124)—Through all of the injuries, it’s truly amazing that Tim Hudson has pitched that many innings. And hey, Javier, put this in your pipe and smoke it—a 153-79 career record.

10. Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies (2123)—This dude just keeps winning, but even he’s only got 154 wins to date. Does that seem right?

Source: Baseball Reference

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Yankees win 2009 World Series

What a difference a year makes.

This time last year, the New York Yankees were at home on their couches watching as their 2009 World Series counterparts, the Philadelphia Phillies, defeated the Tampa Bay Rays to become world champions.

One of the big reasons the Bronx Bombers were at home during the Fall Classic and not participating in it was because their pitching wasn’t good enough. That’s why GM Brian Cashman opened George Steinbrenner’s fat checkbook to sign starting pitchers CC Sabathia (7-years, $161 million) and A.J. Burnett (five-year, $82.5 million). And just to make sure he had enough offense, Cashman also inked the top bat on the free agent market, Mark Teixeira, to an eight-year, $180 million deal.

The end result is that the Yankees got what they paid for.

With their 7-3 victory over the Phillies in Game 6 of the World Series, the Bombers won their 27th championship in club history. Hideki Matsui (who was later named Series MVP) went 3-for-4 with six RBI and a run scored, while Derek Jeter finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored. Long-time veteran Andy Pettitte earned the victory, yielding three runs on four hits over 5.2 innings of work.

The Yankees are clearly at an advantage because they’re willing to spend. But at least they spend their money the right way unlike clubs like the Mets, who spend widely only to miss the postseason every year. The Yankees want to win and they knew last year that they’re pitching wasn’t good enough to match their offensive firepower. So yes, they spent and spent big. But they spent to win and they accomplished their one and only goal: To win a World Series.

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Yankees sweep Twins, set up ALCS matchup with Angels

Brady

Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada each homered on Sunday as the Yankees defeated the Twins 4-1 to complete a three-game sweep in the ALDS. New York will now face the Angels in the ALCS.

“People can say whatever they want about home runs and big hits,” Rodriguez said. “If you don’t pitch and you don’t defend, you are not going to win. The story of this has been CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettitte, and all three of them were fantastic.”

“I think we played the same way we have been playing the whole regular season,” Posada said. “I think pitching is just so important when it comes to a series like this. Once you see it, you understand why pitching is so important now.”
Pavano frustrated the Yankees for four years of an injury-marred signing, and for six innings, he did it in a different way.

Setting a new Twins postseason record with a nine-strikeout performance, Pavano saw his cruise turn sour in the seventh as A-Rod continued his monster ALDS.

The reborn slugger crushed a game-tying line-drive home run that struck the top row of the football bleachers in right field. It was the second homer of the series from Rodriguez, who belted a game-tying shot late in Game 2 at Yankee Stadium and finished the series with a .455 batting average and six RBIs.

The Yankees have a long way to go before they’re hoisting a World Series trophy, but they have to be encouraged from what they saw vs. the Twins. A-Rod is actually hitting in the playoffs and their biggest concern over the past couple of years (their pitching) is coming through as well.

That said, it’s imperative that CC Sabathia pitches well to help set the tone for the ALCS. The Angels have one of the top offenses in baseball and will certainly test the Yankees’ resolve. This should be a great series.

The Rocket is looking through rose-colored glasses

Last week, Roger Clemens went on ESPN radio to defend himself against allegations written in a recently released book, American Icon. He once again denied that his former trainer Brian McNamee had injected him with any form of performance-enhancing drugs and his former teammate, Andy Pettitte, still “misremembered” their conversation on steroids.

And at the conclusion of the interview, you could slowly see Clemens turning into Pete Rose. Both determined to bully the public into believing their innocence, with the hopes of clearing their name and reputation.

After being banished from baseball in the summer of 1989, Rose would go on various interview shows to vehemently deny the allegations brought against him. He would laugh at the suggestion that a meeting took place between outgoing baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth, incoming commissioner Bart Giamatti, and himself to discuss his gambling habits. That was his story and he stuck to it until 2004, when Rose took the money and wrote a tell-all book about his baseball gambling exploits. He wanted to beat baseball executives on their playing field, but it wasn’t game to them.

Clemens hired a media marketing firm that assists high-profile clients through PR crises, and they suggested getting his side of the story out to the press. Bad move. He said that it would be suicidal for him to take steroids with his family history of heart trouble. Clemens said that heart disease took the life of his stepdad and older brother. Hey, wait a minute! How can you inherit a genetic trait from your stepfather?

Clemens brought attention to a book that otherwise wouldn’t have received any media attention. Unfortunately, he sees this as a competition and challenges anyone to prove him guilty of steroid usage. Last year, Clemens told major league baseball to effectively “kiss his ass” following the release of the Mitchell Report. McNamee offers syringes with his DNA as evidence of steroid usage, and Clemens in turn files a defamation of character lawsuit against him. His competitive personality will eventually do him in.

A person is presumed innocent until proven guilty, but just like Barry Bonds, the general public has convicted Clemens of using performance-enhancing drugs. And if he follows Rose’s script, the Rocket will eventually admit to his usage in a book deal a few years down the road. Assuming he needs the money, of course.

Lupica: Clemens sticks to fiction

In one of his recent articles, New York Daily News columnist Mike Lupica hammered Roger Clemens about what the former pitcher said on the “Mike & Mike in the Morning Show” for ESPN Raido.

McNamee is making it up. And Andy Pettitte is still “misremembering” a conversation he and Clemens once had about HGH. And of course the four reporters from the Daily News who have written the book “American Icon” about Clemens – Teri Thompson, Mike O’Keeffe, Christian Red and Nate Vinton – must be making it up for 428 pages, plus footnotes.

Then, referring to “American Icon,” Clemens said, “I’ve seen excerpts from the book and they’re completely false.”

He didn’t say which false excerpts he’d read. But then once you get Clemens off his talking points, almost everything becomes a brain buster.

He even suggested Tuesday that “common sense” had to tell you he wouldn’t take steroids, because of a history of heart trouble in his family. One of the people he cited was a stepfather who died of a heart attack. As if somehow they weren’t just related by marriage, but by blood as well.

So Clemens does add a new wrinkle, that he was worried about what steroids might do to his heart. You wonder how they could ever do as much damage as Clemens has done to himself over the last year and a half. Somehow he still wants that to be everybody else’s fault. The media’s most of all.

He is a little bit like Barry Bonds now, though Bonds does a much better job of keeping his mouth shut, probably because he has much better lawyers than Clemens, starting with Rusty the Lawyer down there in Houston. Bonds is as good as retired. So is Clemens. Bonds can’t hit home runs to change the subject, Clemens can’t strike people out.

What’s absolutely ridiculous about what Clemens said about his family’s history of heart conditions (besides the idiot comment he made about having heart issues because of his stepfather), is that this is his first mention of anything like that. He has never said that it would be “suicidal” of him to use steroids because of his family history – that was the first time since the steroid allegations came out that he referred to any kind of family heart history. Did he actually think that the American public was going to buy that? That’s what he and his crisis coach came up with over the past year?

Lupica’s right – Clemens should take a page out of Bonds’ playbook and just stay out of the public. Clemens does more damage to himself when he opens his mouth.

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