August 2005

August 11, 2005

I’ve been secretly playing in a rookie-level, head-to-head league all season, in an attempt to actually win a league for once in my life. I know that sounds kinda lame, but considering my current track record, do I deserve to play in a top-level league?

On Sunday I held a narrow 5.5-point lead over my opponent as the Diamondbacks-Rockies game entered the bottom of the seventh. The only player left who could cost me the week, Troy Glaus, was due up third in the inning. After a Luis Gonzalez groundout and a Tony Clark home run, Glaus stepped to the plate for what would probably be his last AB of the game.

The count ran all the way to 3-2 before Glaus clobbered a Marcos Carvajal pitch 839 feet for a home run. Four points for the homer, one for the run and one for the RBI. I was now down half a point after being one pitch away from sealing up the week.

The good news was that I still had Jeromy Burnitz, Derrek Lee and Braden Looper in the ESPN Sunday night game. All I needed was a walk, run or anything to give me the W for the week and keep my team in second place in its division (the top two teams from each division make the playoffs).

The game begins, and Burnitz is not in the starting lineup. Turns out that Dusty Baker decided it would be a good time to give Burnitz the night off since the outfielder supposedly looked weary. No big deal, I still had the league’s leading hitter, who reaches base 43 percent of the time. Lee was coming off an 0-for-4 Saturday, but what were the odds on him getting shut out again, especially since he had recorded back-to-back hitless/walkless games only once all season?

Sure enough, Lee made an out his first three times up, including a popup on a 3-2 pitch in the sixth that probably would have been ball four had he not swung. In his last AB in the ninth, he hit a slow chopper to third baseman David Wright, who made a solid play to throw Lee out by half a step.

Since the Mets were up five runs, Looper never entered the game and I was left with a half-point loss for the week — the third time this season I have lost a week by less than three points.

More Derrek Lee

Watch out Lee owners. I just completed a trade this morning where I dealt Eddie Guardado and Grady Sizemore in exchange for Lee and Jose Valverde. Lee hasn’t been great the past few weeks, but now that I have my hands on him in two different leagues, any chance of him making a run at the first NL Triple Crown in 68 years is all but over.

Reed Johnson

As I’m sure eight of you are probably aware, Johnson’s six-game hitting streak came to an end on Sunday. Why the heck am I writing about this? Only because the announcers on TV pointed out that Johnson’s streak ended on Sunday — as if he was right on DiMaggio’s heels. Is a six-game hitting streak really worth mentioning? Doesn’t Albert Pujols have a six-game streak just about every other week?

To Johnson’s credit, he did surpass Juan Gonzalez’s famous four-game hitting streak from 1997. Remember that one? Probably not, but ESPN felt it was important enough to mention the night it came to an end.

Hey, did you know that Craig Counsell has stolen three straight bases without being caught? He now only trails Vince Coleman’s mark by 47. But an even more exciting fact is that Danys Baez (four straight saves) has now inched to within 80 of Eric Gagne’s record.

Trading Spouses

The only league I’m actually doing well in is a 10-team mixed league that includes my wife’s family. Heading into Thursday I was actually sitting in second place, only five points out of first. The fact that half the league stopped paying attention in May has helped my cause just a bit.

I’ve been struggling in steals all season (last place entering the week), so on Tuesday I traded John Lackey — who I just picked up a week ago — and Hideki Matsui for Juan Pierre. Seems like a lopsided trade in the other person’s favor, but I am way ahead of everyone in homers and RBIs, and already have Jake Peavy, Rich Harden, Ben Sheets, Danny Haren, Javy Vazquez and John Patterson in my rotation. Since I can make up 5-7 points in steals, I needed a speedster like Pierre.

Here’s the problem — the trade was with my wife, something that probably should never, ever be allowed in fantasy baseball. I’ve avoided even considering doing business with her all season, but the folks who own Rafael Furcal, Jose Reyes and Chone Figgins haven’t checked their teams in three months, and thus haven’t responded to any of my trade offers. I also made attempts at acquiring Scott Podsednik and Carl Crawford, but as important members of the first- and third-place teams, respectively, they weren’t really for sale.

As a result, I had nowhere else to turn to pick up some speed. Besides, Mrs. Klayman needed power, average and strikeouts, so the trade made a lot of sense for her since she has plenty of speed already (Bobby Abreu, Adam Everett, Coco Crisp, Derrek Lee and others).

I’m sure this breaks some unofficial fantasy law/rule, and the roto gods are now preparing to strike down this team, as they already have with every other team I’ve owned since 1998.

Two Katastrophes straight from the keyboards of other fantasy owners?

In March, full of hope, I thought Jason Giambi would be a fine piece of my club, as a 19th pick over 21 rounds. Drafting last of twelve forced me to gamble a bit and Giambi looked, at the time, like a good bet.

Things turned out so badly in April-May-June, seeing me dropping to the last rank in our league because of a dreadful attack (dreadful to myself of course). With guys like Victor Martinez, Steve Finley, Justin Morneau, Rafael Furcal and friends, I could not believe that almost everyone on my club would tank at the same time. I was even below a guy not even managing his team because he left our rotisserie pack. I had no other choice than to do some major cleaning up.

First things first, I got rid of Mr. Giambi. At the time, it looked like a very good move. Having Morneau, Dmitri Young and Giambi at 1B, all of whom were in deep slumps, I guessed Giambi was the worst of the pack since he proved he had nothing left and that his power was gone.

Then, July came. After the first three homers, I told myself, "Gee, you might have missed something, go grab him again." Then I tried to. I still remember it — it was a Friday night, around 1 a.m. He was right there, in the available free agent pool, waiting. Then, before I could even select him, my internet provider let me down, my line was cut for eight hours and, guess what? In the morning, he was gone. Easy prey. Easy go.

— Portland’s Kangaroos owner 

I think a lot of fantasy owners can relate to this. Nothing is worse than being the one who dropped Giambi, then having to listen to the lucky owner who scooped him up brag about his/her pickup, as if he/she really knew Giambi was going to become this good again.

Check out the team I drafted at the beginning of the season — looked great on paper, but I must have a jinx I don’t know about. Is it even possible that I could get this unlucky?

The All-Injured or Underachieving Team

C — Javy Lopez: DL 8 weeks
1B — Todd Helton: Career .335 hitter, STILL not over .300 and now on DL
2B — Jose Vidro: DL 8 weeks
SS — Nomar Garciaparra: DL 14 weeks
3B — Mike Lowell: Nothing needs to be said here
OF — Corey Patterson: In Triple-A for a month
OF — Steve Finely: Batting .228, are you kidding me? Also spent time on DL
OF — Raul Mondesi: Retired
SP — Russ Ortiz: DL twice
SP — Jason Marquis: 15-7 last year, currently 9-10
RP — Eric Gagne: DL most of the season
RP — Brandon Lyon: 60-day DL
RP — Chin-hui Tsao: DL most of the season

I also picked up Chad Fox on April 24 — the day he got his first save as the "new Cubs closer" — only to see him throw out his arm on April 25.

— Andy R, Dubuque, Iowa

Andy, it’s always nice to know that some people actually have worse luck than I do. If you ever want to join a league I’m in, just let me know.

August 4, 2005

A very depressing season was made much shoddier by these five Klayman Katastrophe Award nominees…

Tony Womack

In the beginning of July, I was all set to cut Womack. He was starting to cement himself on the Yankees bench, was hitting .240, and except for the occasional steal, had almost no fantasy value.

But then I made the mistake of reading a few columns that said Womack could get dealt to another team. If he wound up in the right situation, he could steal 30 bases in the second half with all his speed. Since I was mid-pack in steals, and only 20 or so from the top of the category, I stashed him away on my bench for most of July, hoping he’d wind up as some other club’s leadoff hitter.

For the next few weeks, whenever I was looking to add an arm or a new bat, I would consider cutting Womack, think about it for a minute or two, then decide against it — all because of the potential 20-30 steals down the road. I missed grabbing guys like Zach Duke, Jeff Francoeur and Fernando Rodney, and instead got zilch out of a player who had a meager two at-bats between July 6-28.

So last Friday I decided I just couldn’t take Womack anymore. I already had one bench spot clogged up by minor leaguer Corey Patterson, and couldn’t afford to wait any longer for a trade to actually happen.

Frank Catalanotto was sitting on our league’s waiver wire, despite hitting close to .400 in July. Since I was last in batting average, I grabbed him and sent Womack to waiverland, four weeks after the thought initially entered my mind.

Then something very unusual happened on Friday night in the Bronx — Womack was actually in the starting lineup for the first time in 24 days. Out of nowhere, Joe Torre decided it was time to give him another shot. It’s as if the fantasy gods came down and whispered in his ear "Hey Joe, Klayman just dropped Womack this morning. Time to start playing him again."

Womack went 1-for-4 on Friday, including his first extra-base hit since May 13. But that wasn’t nearly as bad as what I had to endure on Saturday afternoon. After stealing a base in both the second and fourth innings, Womack walked to lead off the ninth with the Yankees down 7-5. With New York trailing by a deuce, there was no way Womack was going to try to steal second, or at least that’s what I thought. On a 1-1 pitch, Womack got a terrible jump, but still beat Josh Paul’s throw to pick up his third base swipe of the game.

The following day, Womack knocked in the game-winning run in the 11th inning — his first RBI in 29 days. Simply amazing. Catalanotto, of course, has gone 1-for-12 with no power, speed or RBIs since the move.

Torii Hunter, Larry Walker and Trot Nixon

As if the Womack situation wasn’t bad enough last week, I had to deal with losing three of my outfielders to the DL in the span of 72 hours. First it was Walker (neck) on Tuesday, and then Nixon joined him a day later with an oblique tear. But the real killer came on Friday when Torii Hunter fractured his ankle while trying to make another amazing catch.

After all three injuries, and my drop of Womack, my outfield is now Magglio-Cameron-Sizemore-Catalanotto-Hairston-Duffy. That’s 36 combined home runs from six guys — four fewer than Andruw Jones’ total this season.

John Smoltz

How can a guy who’s won eight straight make this list, you ask? When his fantasy manager (that would be me) forgets to put him in the starting lineup and instead leaves in five starters who aren’t even pitching.

There are few feelings worse than going online to check your stats in the morning and seeing that you were dumb enough to leave a Hall of Fame pitcher who won his eighth straight game on your bench.

Joe Blanton

Blanton was one of my better pickups of the season, but after a pair of not-so-great starts in mid-July, I decided to cut him loose.

Great move on my part. In his next two outings after being dumped, he has pitched 14 innings, allowed five hits, two earned runs and six walks, while striking out 11 and picking up a win.

Chris Carpenter

Flashback: It’s March 28, it’s the 11th round of my fantasy draft, and I’m looking to add a fourth starter. The top two remaining names on my list are Zack Greinke and Chris Carpenter. I think about if for a second and decide that Carpenter is a better bet than a second-year arm. But right as I’m about to pick, I remember that Carpenter was having arm trouble at the end of 2004 (biceps tendinitis). Since injuries had forced him to miss a good part of 2002 and all of 2003, he seemed like a bigger risk all of a sudden. I end up going with Greinke, and a few picks later Carpenter is off the board as well.

Four months into the 2005 season, and this is looking like one of the worst decisions anyone has ever made. The numbers tell the whole story:

Carpenter: 16-4, 2.26 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 151 K

Greinke: 3-13, 6.14 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 72 K

I dropped Greinke a month or so ago, never getting a single win when he was in my lineup. If I add in Carpenter’s 16 wins, I jump from 10th to first in my league in W’s. Throw in 80 more Ks and I’m in second instead of fifth in strikeouts. I also figure my ERA would be about 0.20 better and my WHIP 0.05 — helping me jump five points in each of those categories. That’s a 22-point difference because of one 11th-round decision.

And this week’s Klayman Katastrophe Award winner is…

It’s a close call between Womack and Carpenter, but when I also factor in that I drafted Womack ahead of Brian Roberts, I think the Yankee pinch-runner edges out the All-Star hurler.

July 28, 2005

While I could run off my usual list of awful moves this week (benching Grady Sizemore (HR, SB) on Tuesday in favor of Larry Walker (placed on the DL) ), let’s turn to a number of fan questions and stories that have little to do with anything relevant to fantasy baseball. ?

Q: Should I trade Rondell White for Magglio Ordonez? Seems like a good move with Ordonez starting to hit. — M. Benninghoven, NY

A: Simple answer. I don’t own White in any league and I have Ordonez on two of my fantasy teams. Assuming you’ve been reading my column (since you did e-mail me), this information should be enough to let you know this is probably not a wise decision on your part. Expect Ordonez to bat .182 with one homer in the next month, as long as he is in my lineup.

Q: In early July I traded Scott Rolen and Troy Percival for Morgan Ensberg and Derrick Turnbow. With Percival and Rolen both likely out for the year, this has to be the best trade I’ve ever made. I know you always complain about awful moves, but what is the best trade you’ve ever pulled off, if any? — Jeff from Minneapolis

A: Great question, but tough to answer since it has probably been a decade since I’ve made a trade that has really benefited my team.

The one that always stands out was when I dealt Barry Bonds in 1994, and got Paul O’Neill, Mo Vaughn and John Valentin in return. My team was lacking in the infield, so I gave up the No. 1 fantasy player for a trio of potentially good players in an early-season deal.

Bonds would up with awesome numbers (.312-37-81-29) in the strike-shortened season, but O’Neill (.359-21-83), Vaughn (.310-26-82) and Valentin (.316-9-49) all had great seasons. While I lost some steals, I was playing in a points league, so SBs didn’t really matter all that much anyway. If I’d held on to Bonds, I also would have suffered through a season of John Jaha and Joey Cora, so the deal really worked out (I finished second in the league, and may have won had the season not ended on Aug. 11).

However, my favorite trade of any sort happened in Strat-O-Matic Baseball in 1987, when I sent Lou Whitaker and Joe Carter to my friend Chad in exchange for Roger Clemens and Steve Sax. Chad was desperate for a slick-fielding second baseman, and decided he would trade Clemens (whose card was based on his 1986 season — 24-4, 2.48 ERA) to acquire one (Whitaker).

The addition of Clemens meant that I had Mike Scott and the Rocket in my three-man rotation (that was our rule), and that I’d be able to pitch them five of seven games in the World Series (while deciding between Mark Gubicza and Bruce Ruffin for Games 3 and 6). Needless to say, I easily won the World Series in five games (losing only Game 3 of course).

The best part is, our rules back then gave us rights to players for their entire careers, so if we ever decided to start our league back up (it’s been 11 years since we last played), I’d still have rights to Clemens today. I still get tons of pleasure pointing out to Chad how the trade still hurts him 18 years after it was executed.

Q: Is there anything that annoys you more than fantasy baseball? After reading your column the past three years, I can’t imagine anything can upset you more than finishing near the bottom year after year. –Darrell Williams, Pittsburgh

A: Darrell, I could easily list 691 things, but I’ll stick to the first nine that come to mind:

? Small people who put their seats back on airplanes, without at least checking to see who is sitting behind them. If you are 5-foot-2, and I am 6-foot-1, and we are going to be flying for the next five hours, don’t even think of crushing my legs. I actually bought a product a year ago called the knee defender than prevents people from putting their chairs back, but I’ve been too afraid to use it after reading articles about fights breaking out between passengers.

? People who claim they used to play professional sports, but are lying. This holds true about 92 percent of the time by the way. Next time someone tells you their dad played in the Phillies organization in the late ’60s, don’t believe them. Odds are their dad was on the Phillies in his local little league when he was 11.

? Waiting in line at a store/toll booth, and then watching the other lines move faster than the one you are on. This becomes much worse when you switch to a different line, and then the line you were originally on starts moving faster than the one you are on now.

? Anyone who blows cigarette smoke in my direction. Thanks for the cancer fumes.

? Anyone who talks loudly on cell phones at sporting events (or really anywhere). If I were in charge of things, I would automatically ban you from arenas until 2067.

? People who walk into movies as they start, act shocked that a theater could be full on a Friday night, then precede to ask folks in every row if seats are taken, right as the movie is starting. My friend Dmitry is the master of this, which is why the last movie we saw together was "Regarding Henry" in 1991.

? The lack of Boo Berry cereal in the N.Y. area. It is so hard to track down a box, that my friend Brett and I had a bet that lasted six months on who could find a box of Boo Berry first. He won when he found a store 100 miles outside of NYC that carried the impossible-to-locate cereal, and now I owe him dinner.

? Movie box office records. Possibly the dumbest stat in the world. I love hearing things like "’Million Dollar Baby’ made more money than ‘Raging Bull’ and ‘Rocky’ combined, in its first weekend." Really? Maybe it’s because movies cost $10 now as opposed to $2 back then, and that there are a zillion theatres and more people living in the U.S. than there were 25-30 years ago. Hey you know what? The 2004 Expos also made more money on ticket sales than the 1927 Yankees. Wonder why?

? WNBA and preseason NHL scores appearing on TV sports tickers during NFL Sundays. I’ve complained about this several times before, but please find me one person who cares what the Nashville-Columbus exhibition score is at 3 p.m. on a Sunday in the early fall. When there are tens of millions of people worrying about their fantasy teams and other interests, why make people stare at the scores of games no one in the world could possibly care about.

And finally, the top sob story of the week:

Dr. Doom:

I am currently in ninth place in a 10-team, mixed, modified 5×5 (weighted categories). My season to date can be summarized in two examples.

1. I arguably get the steal of our initial draft with the best rookie in the league (Barmes) in the 21st round, and bench him in favor of the twitchy Mr. Hamm, who promptly gives me 51 ABs @ .157/0/4/6/0 and rips his leg apart. Now I must play Barmes, who promptly gets hurt. Barmes prior to his injury: 225 ABs @ .329/8/34/40/4. So I had the knowledge and luck to draft him, but was just stupid enough not to actually play him!?!?

2. I get what I believe to be a great deal with Godzilla for Abreu. Consistently annual five-cat stud that I’ve always wanted finally gets his due at the Derby. Phillies are playing better in what has been described as a "launching pad" of a home stadium. Godzilla goes 26 games without a dinger, falls and twists his ankle (just like the blondes in his Japanese movies), and ends up the DH on a sinking Yankee ship. Post-trade stats:

Abreu: 82 ABs @ .195/1/9/14/5.
Matsui: 87 ABs @ .333/8/19/21/0.

–K. Lee

Between Nomar’s 73rd injury in four years, Barmes’ problems carrying deer meet and Abreu apparently using up all of his stuff in the HR Derby – you’ve had a pretty tough run this season.

Unfortunately I can relate quite well.

July 21, 2005

After a week off for the All-Star break, Katastrophes is back with these six award nominees…

Aaron Hill and Mark Grudzielanek

What a joke. I picked Hill up on June 20 after he homered, stole a base, knocked in two runs and went 4-for-4 vs. Baltimore. I kept him in my lineup every day since then, watched his average dip from .382 to .333 and suffered as he failed to produce one home run or steal over that time frame.

So yesterday, a day after Hill posted an 0-for-4 in a 12-run, 17-hit thrashing of the Mariners pitching staff, I dropped him in favor of Mark Grudzielanek. I was sick of owning Blue Jays players this season who haven’t produced (Eric Hinske in June, Orlando Hudson in May), and needed to rid myself of my final Toronto hitter.

Then, of course, I’m watching ESPN late last night and sure enough good ol’ Aaron Hill decides to hit his first home run in exactly a month. Unbelievable how this stuff works.

The only saving grace would have been if Grudzielanek had a big night. Unfortunately for me and anyone else who owned him yesterday, he was on the bench, watching Abe Nunez start in his spot.

It’s always fun to pick up a guy and not have him play the first day, especially when he has 11 hits in his last five games and you thought you got a steal by plucking him off waivers.

Jeff Francis

After Francis put together three solid starts in a row (3 wins, 20.1 IP, 20 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 17 K), I decided to take a chance on a Rockies starter for the first time since Shawn Chacon in 2001.

I still haven’t recovered from Chacon’s 12-hit, 11-run outing on July 8, 2001, that knocked my team out of first place in the MLB.com office league for good. In fact, I have never reached the top of our league here since that day, and still blame Chacon for ruining my fantasy career. Prior to that outing, I’d finished in the top three of all my other leagues — every year from 1995-2000. Since 2001 (the debut of the MLB.com office league), I have only cracked the top three once, and finished eighth last year and will probably wind up 11th this season.

But exactly four years to the day after I dumped Chacon, I picked up Francis prior to his July 10 start at home against San Diego. It seemed like a good move since Francis had a 6-1 record at Coors Field with an ERA in the 3.00s.

Despite his recent track record, the move proved to be costly, as Francis was beaten up by San Diego (4 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, loss). His next start didn’t get much better as he allowed four runs and eight baserunners in five innings.

The good news is that I’m already stuck in 11th place, so I didn’t drop despite his two bad outings. The bad news is that I’m 17 points out of 10th and will have plenty of work to do to avoid finishing at the bottom of our league.

You can only imagine how much fun it is to be the Director of Fantasy Games for MLB.com, and have folks from marketing, design and tech all kicking your butt.

Daryle Ward

Needing power and ribbies (as well as pretty much everything else), I acquired Ward a couple weeks back as part of a five-player deal. I knew that he had struggled hitting homers in June (only one), but he still managed to bat .292 for the month and drive in 22 runs, so I figured he would at least help in the RBI department. Plus I enjoy seeing his name on the ESPN ticker when it says "PIT: Ward" because I always think it is Hines Ward for a brief second until I remember that football doesn’t start until September.

Since he landed on my roster on July 5, Ward is a stellar 3-for-45, including a current 0-for-30 streak. Even I had a better success rate (.033) at asking girls out in high school than Ward has had recently at the plate.

Ward hasn’t gone deep since June 7 and hasn’t even driven in a run since July 3. His last run scored was on July 8, and he hasn’t stolen a base since he victimized Kelly Stinnett for his only career steal — on August 19, 2002!

It is safe to say that Ward is sitting on most mixed-league waiver wires at this point, including mine after I finally turned him loose this morning.

Translation: It’s time to pick him back up.

All-Star Trivia

For the past five years I’ve hosted a live baseball trivia show from FanFest, the weekend of the All-Star Game. Since someone a long time back decided I was a baseball trivia guru, my job at FanFest is to try to answer hundreds of fans’ questions for two hours a day — and if I get them wrong, the fans win prizes.

While I normally do a lot better at this than I do in fantasy baseball, this year in Detroit I got bombarded with a bunch of impossible-to-answer questions. Some of the more ridiculous ones included:

1) Name the cemetery and cross streets where Norm Cash is buried. (I don’t remember what the answer was to this)

2) What year did the Rams move from Cleveland to LA? (the person said the answer was 1958, but I looked it up later and it was actually 1946. Close)

3) Who was the only NHL player to hit a home run in Tigers Stadium? (Gordie Howe apparently did this in some exhibition game)

4) Who was the Pirates’ 22nd round draft pick in 2002? (I forgot who the person said the answer was, and I don’t care to even look it up now)

5) Who is the only man ever to steal first base? (answer I’m told is Paul Noce of ’87 Cubs fame)

6) What former Tiger appeared in "The Natural"? (Phil Mankowski — of course)

7) What high school did former pitcher Steve Avery go to? (Obviously Kennedy in Taylor, Mich.)

8) Who did the Tigers trade to get Norm Cash in 1960? (Steve Demeter, who had 23 career ABs)

In addition to these simple questions, I had 21 different people ask me questions about the Tampa Bay Devil Rays — more than any other team besides the Tigers and Yankees. Remembering who got the first double in D-Rays history is not something that comes to mind right away.

The best part is when fans shout into the microphone the answer, and give me the "You think you’re so smart, you don’t know anything since you couldn’t answer my question" face. Sorry, knowing where Norm Cash is buried is not in my forte.

Local news in Detroit

One morning before I ventured over to my trivia show, I was watching the local news do a live report from FanFest. Two sports "experts" were standing near an autograph area, where Tigers legendary pitcher Mickey Lolich was signing for fans.

The report was pretty boring, until the following exchange took place between the two reporters (this is not even close to being word for word, since I didn’t have TiVO in the hotel room and couldn’t go back to write it down).

Guy 1: "Behind us you see Mickey Lolich on stage. What position did Lolich play?""

Guy 2: "Center field, I believe"

Guy 1: "Mickey Lolich, the great Tigers outfielder. Reporting live from FanFest, I’m…"

Doesn’t get much worse than not knowing the position of one of your city’s 10 greatest players of the past 50 years. And yet, these people get jobs that others would kill for.

ESPN in the Hotel Room

I’ve had this weird thing since I was about 10 year old where I need to have ESPN in my hotel room to feel fully comfortable. Since 99 percent of decent motels or hotels have ESPN, this hasn’t been a problem since the pre-Stuart Scott era.

But when I turned on the tube, ESPN was inexplicably frozen on the TV. I tried changing channels, then going back, but that didn’t work. I turned off the TV, then back on, but no luck. Finally I unplugged it from the wall for 10 minutes, plugged it back in, but still all I saw was a frozen Steve Berthiaume with a frozen Tim Brown graphic behind him — for the first 30 hours I was in Detroit. Finally, 30 hours later, Berthiaume unthawed and everything was back to normal.

I’m not even sure how it’s possible for a channel to freeze. Has this ever happened to anyone else?

And this week’s Klayman Katastrophe award winner is…

Ward. Failing to get a hit in 30 straight ABs is not an easy thing to accomplish, even if you are a pitcher.