Fantasy Baseball: Pitcher rankings

Fantasy Baseball: Pitcher rankings

1. Felix Hernandez, Mariners
NOTE: It's good to be king.
2. Justin Verlander, Tigers
3. Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
4. David Price, Rays
5. R.A. Dickey, Mets
NOTE: Second half just fine, thanks.
6. Cole Hamels, Phillies
7. Matt Cain, Giants
8. Johnny Cueto, Reds
NOTE: Most misunderstood ace in baseball.
9. Jered Weaver, Angels
10. Gio Gonzalez, Nationals
11. Chris Sale, White Sox
NOTE: Slider is just about unhittable.
12. Adam Wainwright, Cardinals
NOTE: Back up to ace level.
13. Madison Bumgarner, Giants
14. Jake Peavy, White Sox
NOTE: Comeback story out of nowhere.
15. Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals
16. Mat Latos, Reds
17. Stephen Strasburg, Nationals
NOTE: Top 5 if shutdown weren't looming.
18. Roy Halladay, Phillies
19. Matt Moore, Rays
20. CC Sabathia, Yankees
21. A.J. Burnett, Pirates
22. Yovani Gallardo, Brewers
23. Zack Greinke, Angels
24. Cliff Lee, Phillies
NOTE: He's made some of that bad luck.
25. Ryan Vogelsong, Giants
NOTE: Don't sweat two bad starts, he's fine.
26. James Shields, Rays
27. Tim Hudson, Braves
28. Hiroki Kuroda, Yankees
NOTE: Big surprise, he beat the park.
29. Wade Miley, Diamondbacks
NOTE: The NL frontrunner for ROY.
30. Kris Medlen, Braves
31. Paul Maholm, Braves
32. Jon Niese, Mets
33. Chris Capuano, Dodgers
NOTE: Tiring in the dog days of August.
34. Max Scherzer, Tigers
35. Jeff Samardzija, Cubs
36. Kyle Lohse, Cardinals
37. Jaime Garcia, Cardinals
NOTE: Was dominant in first start back.
38. Clay Buchholz, Red Sox
39. Edwin Jackson, Nationals
NOTE: Most underrated arm on a deep staff.
40. Doug Fister, Tigers
41. Jon Lester, Red Sox
42. Ian Kennedy, Diamondbacks
43. Josh Johnson, Marlins
44. Jeremy Hellickson, Rays
45. Chad Billingsley, Dodgers
46. Mike Fiers, Brewers
NOTE: Regression starting to catch up.
47. Lance Lynn, Cardinals
48. Matt Harvey, Mets
49. Carlos Villanueva, Blue Jays
50. Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners
NOTE: Misused in bullpen, super in rotation.
51. Derek Holland, Rangers
52. James McDonald, Pirates
NOTE: It was fun while it lasted.
53. Tommy Hanson, Braves
54. C.J. Wilson, Angels
NOTE: Hasn't won a game since June.
55. Yu Darvish, Rangers
56. Patrick Corbin, Diamondbacks
57. Tim Lincecum, Giants
NOTE: Shows flashes, but you can't trust him.
58. Ben Sheets, Braves
59. Joe Blanton, Dodgers
60. Jake Westbrook, Cardinals
61. Brandon McCarthy, Athletics
62. Jason Vargas, Mariners
63. Dan Haren, Angels
NOTE: How much does the back still hurt?
64. Wandy Rodriguez, Pirates
65. Homer Bailey, Reds
66. Ryan Dempster, Rangers
NOTE: A shame he didn't go to Atlanta.
67. Trevor Cahill, Diamondbacks
68. Francisco Liriano, White Sox
69. Dan Straily, Athletics
NOTE: Coming back soon with the Colon suspension.
70. Clayton Richard, Padres
71. Wei-Yin Chen, Orioles
72. Justin Masterson, Indians
73. Josh Beckett, Red Sox
NOTE: Desperately needs a change of scenery.
74. Erik Bedard, Pirates
75. Vance Worley, Phillies
76. Mike Minor, Braves
77. Jeremy Guthrie, Royals
NOTE: A solid pitcher outside of Colorado.
78. Jeff Karstens, Pirates
79. Phil Hughes, Yankees
80. Matt Harrison, Rangers
81. Mark Buehrle, Marlins
82. Zach McAllister, Indians
83. Marco Estrada, Brewers
84. Scott Diamond, Twins
NOTE: Good command but pitches to contact.
85. Mike Leake, Reds
86. Bronson Arroyo, Reds
87. Jarrod Parker, Athletics
88. Anibal Sanchez, Tigers
NOTE: Another NL arm who collapsed in the AL.
89. Tommy Milone, Athletics
NOTE: A home-park story, hit hard on the road.
90. Jeff Niemann, Rays
91. Gavin Floyd, White Sox
92. Lucas Harrell, Astros
NOTE: Solid year amidst the wreckage.
93. Ross Detwiler, Nationals
94. Bud Norris, Astros
95. Alex Cobb, Rays
96. Jose Quintana, White Sox
97. Ricky Romero, Blue Jays
NOTE: One of many crashes in Toronto this year.
98. Joe Saunders, Diamondbacks
NOTE: They'd like to deal him.
99. Edinson Volquez, Padres
NOTE: Big park doesn't hide all the warts.
100. Henderson Alvarez, Blue Jays
101. Aaron Harang, Dodgers
102. Luke Hochevar, Royals
NOTE: Occasional tease, but look at the ERA.
103. Ricky Nolasco, Marlins
104. Freddy Garcia, Yankees
105. Ervin Santana, Angels
106. Franklin Morales, Red Sox
107. Felix Doubront, Red Sox
108. Scott Feldman, Rangers
109. Nathan Eovaldi, Marlins
NOTE: Scribble him down for 2013 sleeper list.
110. Kyle Kendrick, Phillies
111. Rick Porcello, Tigers
NOTE: Will he ever take the next step forward?

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Reflections on Rich Tandler and a life well lived

NBC Sports Washington

Reflections on Rich Tandler and a life well lived

I haven’t felt this way since my father passed last April. I’m not comparing the two, at all, but there were some similarities.

Rich Tandler had life experience. Few people accomplish what he did; total life reinvention. 

Think about that. 

After raising his two successful children and a lifetime in the restaurant business, Tandler created a blog. That blog became big enough to eventually become a full-time job, and over time, put him on television and send him all over the world. 

That’s wild. 

We get so caught up in the “startups” and “disruptors” from Silicon Valley that we missed a true internet success story in Rich Tandler. Our world has become extra cynical. The loudest snark wins, especially on the internet. 

Tandler didn’t trade in those currencies. 

He provided good, quality information. He provided insight and analysis from six decades of obsessing over a football team. 

And fans loved him for it. 

The outpouring from folks that read "Need to Know" or listened to the podcast has been incredible. I’ve been flooded with messages from people, and one overwhelming response is that while they didn’t really know Tandler, they feel like they did.

Well, I was lucky to know him pretty well. And his persona on air was the same way off air. 

Tandler helped me a in a lot of ways. I can be impulsive and have a temper, Tandler would calm me down. Whenever I had something important to say, news to break or a sharp angle of criticism, I would run it by Tandler first. Sometimes, maybe often, I would say too much, and he would reign me in. 

Tandler loved pointing out mistakes. If the universe gave honorary degrees for pointing out minor math errors in salary cap blog posts, Tandler would have a Ph.D. 

He was smart and he was sharp. Good natured but feisty. 

He could dish it out plenty in a media room full of alphas. And he literally dished it out; Tandler controlled all the plastic utensils and paper plates that every media member used at Redskins Park. When we were running low on forks, Tandler would put out some not too subtle calls to action. 

I think for a while he considered the podcast an annoyance, but somewhere along the way, we had a breakthrough. He realized its potential, and everywhere we went, listeners came up and told us how much they enjoyed it. 

That made an impact on RT. And seemingly overnight, he was all in. That’s when things really started to gain steam. Wherever I am in my career, Tandler played a huge role in it. 

But that kind of doesn’t matter now. We will keep the pod going but it will never be the same. Not better, not worse, but way, way different. Same thing with writing and TV. The show will go on, but it won't be the same. It will never be the same. 

In the hours since I learned of Tandler’s passing, I’ve done some reading. I drank a bunch. And I ended up landing on some YouTube videos. 

The one I kept going back to was Jimmy V’s famous ESPY speech. Before he died, Jimmy V implored us all to think, laugh and cry every day, and that would lead to a good, full life. 

If there was ever a dude that laughed, it was Rich Tandler. 

His belly laugh was contagious, and his wit was superior. There were the wacky Tandler’s Got Jokes, and the sly one liners about players, plays and our road antics. 

It wasn’t all laughter either. Tandler was smart as hell, and he was always thinking about new ways to present content for Redskins fans. 

Seriously, our organization employs an army of young and talented digital-first thinkers. And Tandler generated more web traffic than all of them. He constantly tried to figure out why people would read something, or the optimal time for us to drop a new podcast. 

Where I’m an idea guy, Tandler was all execution. I’m a terrible planner and constantly late. Tandler would be on time and busting my chops about our lack of schedule. It’s just how we operated. 

As for crying, Tandler wasn’t much of one. I did see him tear up from laughing a few times, and once because it was real windy when we were taping a segment and something got in his eye. 

I’m not much of a crier either. I’m glad that Jimmy V was, but it’s just not me. 

Thinking about Tandler though in the last 36 hours, there have been some truly hard moments. He was kind and gracious. A true gentleman. 

He never took personal shots at the team we cover, or their front office. Plenty do. He would certainly say when things were bad, and say it loudly. He was binary in a world full of context. 

He was a good dude. He was my coworker, my partner and my friend. 

And damn if it isn’t getting dusty in here all of a sudden. 

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Three things to watch for Wizards' regular season opener against the Heat

Three things to watch for Wizards' regular season opener against the Heat

The Washington Wizards open their regular season on Thursday night against the Miami Heat. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington. 

Here are three things to watch...

Will Howard play?

Just one week ago, it would have seemed near impossible that Dwight Howard, the Wizards' biggest offseason acquisition, would be ready to play in the season opener, but after three solid days of practice, it can't be ruled out. The Wizards plan to evaluate him throughout the day on Thursday to determine if he can take the court in what would be his first live game action with his new team.

Howard, 32, missed the entire preseason and nearly all of their practices leading up to the opener with a strained piriformis muscle. Though reports have been encouraging from his three practices, he is not yet in game shape. Even if he can play, expect him to be limited. If he can't play, Ian Mahinmi will get the start.

Heat are banged up

Miami is not only coming off a game the night before, as they lost in their season opener to the Orlando Magic, but they are missing some key guys. Dion Waiters, James Johnson, Wayne Ellington and Justise Winslow are out due to injuries.

That will leave Miami perilously thin at the guard and small forward position. That happens to be an area of the roster where the Wizards are especially deep, now with Austin Rivers as the backup shooting guard behind Bradley Beal and with first round pick Troy Brown Jr. behind Otto Porter Jr. and Kelly Oubre Jr.

That said, Waiters and Ellington being out means Dwyane Wade may get more run and, as we saw in the preseason, he is still very hard to stop. He is capable of a big night, especially given it's so early in the year and he doesn't yet have the wear-and-tear of a long season.

Can Beal reach the next level?

One of the most important indicators of how much better the Wizards will be this season is the continued improvement of their young players. John Wall, Porter and Oubre are included in that and particularly Oubre, who is entering an important season in the final year of his contract.

But the guy who improved more than anyone last year and has a chance to take another big leap this season is Beal. Now with one All-Star nod under his belt, what does he have for an encore? 

If Beal can get his scoring average up even higher from the 22.6 he put up last season, he could enter the All-NBA conversation. And he now has more help than ever with Rivers behind him. Beal should, in theory, be more fresh each night with Rivers taking away some of his workload. 

The Heat offer a good matchup defensively for Beal with Josh Richardson. He is one of the more underrated players in basketball and is a menace on the perimeter.

"I've been a fan of his since I played him in college at Tennessee," Beal said. "He's always been a pest. He's super athletic, sneaky athletic. And I feel like he developed his shot to where you have to respect it. If you go under [on screens], he's shooting it."