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News Flash: Joc Pederson Got A Hit That Didn’t Go Over The Fence

(Gus Ruelas / AP)

Well some people may consider Joc Pederson’s 0.264 batting average (9-for-34) with 16K’s over the past 10 days a failure.

Joc Pederson says the heck with them because 7 of those 9 hits were home runs. In fact, he had 7 hits in a row that were all home runs. He ruined that streak today by going 1-for-4 with a single against the Brewers.

Thanks to that streak of home runs, the rookie is on pace for 52 home runs this season, which would barely beat the record for a rookie which was 49 homers by Mark McGwire (was he on roids that early???). I love early season projections because only Hanley Ramirez, Mark Teixeira (both at 58), and Nelson Cruz (81) are projected to hit more and would be an awesome home run chase reminiscent of the 1998 chase.

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Schnide Update

Someone always has to be picked last in dodgeball. And someone always has to be the last one to hit a home run in the Kings of Cork Home Run Derby.

What really surprised me is that Evan Gattis got off the schnide prior to our schnide rider, Cedar Rapids Skip. Gattis currently has 1 HR (thanks to tonight) and 14 strikeouts. That doesn’t sound that awful, until you multiply those numbers by 20 where 280k’s in a season is straight up ridiculous.

Our lone goose egg team Cedar Rapids Skip doesn’t have a bad team. Stanton is the clear favorite in group A. Tulo isn’t on the DL so he should be hitting them out any day. And Cespedes hasn’t lost 90 lbs this offseason. It’s only a matter of time before The Skip gets of the schnide and mounts a comeback towards the top of the standings.

I always like to state that no one is out of this competition after April. And the current leader Cruzin’ for a Bruisin’ is the perfect example. That little *2013* next to their team signifies one of the best comebacks in Kings of Cork history. Their team started May in dead last of the 2013 season after a horrible April. I think their team had like 8 total home runs and their team put the pedal to the metal the remaining months and took home the crown.

So don’t give up if your team is looking pathetic after 10 days of baseball. If you are in the top 10, take a picture because you may not see those beautiful single digit numbers in your team ranking ever again.

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Pack Your Bags, It’s Moving Day: Week 12 Derby Review

If you still find your team near the bottom of the standings, you may want to look into hiring Bobby Henry, Seminole Medicine Man, like the Tampa Bay Rays did to turn their season around.

I know it seems like I’ve been absent this month, and I’ll agree with you. Sometimes due to my schedule (it’s bachelor party and wedding season ya know), and sometimes due to Mother Nature (it sounded like a bomb went off on my block but it was only my internet providers main junction box). No promises in an increase in posts to read, but I’ll at least try to keep up on weeks in review.

Moving On Up:

    If your team has over 20 homers in June, you probably noticed you are in the top-10 for the month and that you stand a great chance at taking home the third monthly crown. But another observation is that 8 of the top-10 teams in the month of June are also in the top-20 overall standings, which is pretty impressive that the leaders are maintaining such a high pace of home runs. Typically, someone near the middle or bottom of the pack makes a charge each month. But Kettle Poppers finds themselves in a similar situation in June as they found them in May (top-10 for the month) and April (top-5 for the month). This month, they are trying to stop taking home top-10’s and top-5’s and just take home the top spot. They own Abreu and Donaldson whom are the top sluggers in groups D and E (that’s how you win, not with your selections in groups A and B). Not to be outdone, Yeah, and he scrambled the son of a bitch also has 23 home runs this month and also owns Donaldson. But he also owns the recently awakened sleeping giant, Andrew McCutchen (who is not Scottish), and has hit 7 of his 11 total homers in this month alone. There are still 8 days left in the month, so there are still 10-15 teams that have a chance of overtaking the lead from these two teams.

    Claim Crushers

    Claim Crushers

    This last week there were 6 MLB players (that were selected in the HR derby) that hit 3 home runs: Ryan Howard, E-Squared, Adam Jones, Carlos Santana, Trout, and LUUUUUUUCROY. And if you own any one of them, odds are you made some movement to the top of this standings this past week. Only one team managed to jump 20+ spots and that was Claim Crushers jumping 28 places to 37th. Their team ditched the crippled Prince Fielder and added E-Squared on June 5th. This move gave him 3-homers this week and everyone but Freeman (who hit 1) pitched in another 2 homers from his team this past week for a total of 10 homers this week. That double digit HR mark was also the highest in week 12. Another pair of teams that made it into the top-20 this week were the father/son Bombers duo (Darrel’s Bombers and Bronx Bombers). They had 8 and 9 total homeruns in the past week which were 2nd and 3rd best.

Moving On Out:

    The bottom of the standings in the month of June don’t need to be called out (one of them is a previous HR derby winner). Thankfully, every team has at least hit more than 5 homeruns this month but not by much. Only one team managed to drop 20+ spots, Chicks Dig The Long Ball (-21 places to 67th), and they have been playing with 4 players for 20+ days thanks to Wil Myers. Their team did get one ball to leave the yard the last week but one other team couldn’t even accomplish that. Let’s Do Better This Year! owns the only goose egg in week 12 which dropped them to 84th place. They have had a lot of bad luck this season by owning JP Arencibia (who is now in the minors but did get married to a country superstar) and also owning injured Justin Smoak and Car-Go. So their team is really playing with only 3 healthy players at the moment.

Kicked To The Curb – Trades In June:

      Team – Arrango’s Draft Picks
      Owner – The Commish
      Player Dropped – Prince Fielder (June 5th)
      Player Picked Up – Chris Davis

      Team – Let’s Do Better This Year!
      Owner – K. Wilderman
      Player Dropped – JP Arencibia (June 5th)
      Player Picked Up – Carlos Gomez

      Team – Powerbombers
      Owner – K. Schultz
      Player Dropped – JP Arencibia (June 5th)
      Player Picked Up – Jose Abreu

      Team – Claim Crushers
      Owner – B. Mindock
      Player Dropped – Prince Fielder (June 9th)
      Player Picked Up – Edwin Encarnacion

      Team – What’s 5 Bucks?
      Owner – A. Staudinger
      Player Dropped – Prince Fielder (June 10th)
      Player Picked Up – Jose Bautista

      Team – Big City Walk Offs
      Owner – B. Elmquist
      Player Dropped – Wil Myers (June 20th)
      Player Picked Up – Jhonny Peralta

      Team – Because I Win!
      Owner – A. Hakes
      Player Dropped – Bryce Harper (June 21th)
      Player Picked Up – Brandon Moss

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    Pack Your Bags, It’s Moving Day: Week 8 Derby Review

    Hopefully everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend. Yes, it’s a weekend full of beer, baseball, and burgers. But the real reason for the long weekend is to show thanks and support to all our uniformed Men and Women who have or are or will be serving our country. So Thank You to all of you.

    While, it’s that time again, time for a week’s worth of baseball in 10 minutes.

    Last Tuesday, May 20, a fan at a Boston Red Sox game made a Baseball Bucket List item look ridiculously easy. He’s just sitting on the third base line when a ball just happened to land in his hand that wasn’t holding his popcorn. His reaction was priceless. I can only imagine his thoughts were ‘Hey, check out this large piece of popcorn.”

    Then on Thursday, a minor leaguer broke a record by hitting 5 home runs in 5 consecutive at-bats (over the course of two days). Keep that guy’s name in your memory. He may be a steal in Group E sometime soon in future Home Run Derbies.

    Also on this past Thursday, Danny Worth (who?), the Detroit Tigers back up shortstop, got to pitch an inning in relief. This isn’t anything that abnormal. It’s sometimes common for teams to use position players in blowouts to conserve the team’s bullpen for later games. But what made Worth’s appearance spectacular was that he is a knuckle-baller. And it wasn’t like he was serving up meatballs to the Rangers, he was doing the exact opposite. He logged 2 strikeouts and a lone single in his 1 inning of relief, but his strikeouts made the opposing batters look silly. Leonys Martin didn’t know what to do with that last pitch.

    On Saturday, another foul ball was caught in spectacular fashion, but this time it was a beer vendor and not a fan.

    I just liked how all the fans in that generally vicinity erupted in applause all at once. He enjoyed it so much that I may start tipping my beer vendors with foul balls.

    And lastly on Sunday, the first No-No was thrown in 2014 which means that some lucky fans got to cross off another item off of the Baseball Bucket List. It was accomplished by Josh Beckett of the LA Dodgers. What’s impressive is that Beckett didn’t win a game in all of 2013 and now here he is in 2014 being owed $17 million and looking unbeatable with a sparkling sub-3.00 ERA.

    Time to review last week’s home run totals:
    Moving On Up:

      There were a lot of homers hit this last week. Encarnacion hit an unbelievable 6 in the past week for Group A. George Springer (the Astro’s young phenom, no one owns him in the derby), Nelson Cruz, and Chris Davis hit 4 each. Davis actually hit 3 of his in a single game last week. These players have caused a surge for teams at the bottom of the standings since these weren’t very popular picks in their respective groups.

      Sons of Pitches, Swing and a Mrs., Sweet Swingers, and The something clevers all managed 9 total homers this week thanks to one of the three players listed above. And two of the four teams managed to be some of the biggest movers in week 8. Sons of Pitches was the biggest mover at 30 spots (from 66th to 36th) and Sweet Swingers jumped 22 spots up to 37th. Fo-tastic blasted 8 home runs and moved up 23 spots to 44th thanks to his traded player A-gon hitting 2 last week. Lastly, a pair of brothers also managed to hit 8 homers and jump almost 20 spots each. Freddie’s Smoaking Brown Trout and Don’t Plouffe in your Hanley are in 26th and 25th spots respectively with 36 total home runs. I’m sure they will have a battle royal at home to use as the tie-breaker.

    Moving On Out:

      We had 5 goose eggs this week: Break Even, Home Run Kings, Let’s Do Better This Year!, California Penal League, and West Coast Useless Fools. Three of those five dropped more than 20 spots this last week with California Penal League, West Coast Useless Fools, and Mr Fluffy 3000 dropping 22 spots to the bottom half of the standings. Bucky Ballers and Let’s Do Better This Year! rounded out the worst of the worst dropping 21 and 20 spots, respectively.

    One week won’t kill your chances at wearing the crown at the end of the season. But if one turns into two that turns into eight, you may want to start looking into the 2014/15 football season.

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    Pack Your Bags, It’s Moving Day: Week 6 Derby Review

    It’s Deja YU all over again. At least to make him feel better, MLB overturned a score ruling so the No-No was officially broken up in the 7th inning and no longer the 9th inning. It’s still unbelievable that he has already had three close calls with destiny since being in the big leagues only 3 seasons. It’s only a matter of time before he completes one of the two biggest accomplishments for a starting pitcher.

    Moving On Up:

      Up, Up, Up-ton Away Wins Month of April

      Up, Up, Up-ton Away Wins Month of April

      First, congratulations again to Up, Up, Up-ton Away for winning the first month of the HR derby with 31 dingers. We didn’t even need to go to the tie-breaker for crowning them the Kings of April.

      But that was April, and now we are on to May. And our current leader on the 14th day of the Month of May is Cuba AWESOME Libre with 16 round trippers. Mainly thanks to the amazing Abreu and already having 5 home runs this month and his 15 overall makes him the 8th player ever to hit that many in their first 50 games (along the likes of Pujols, Braun, and McGwire). Cespedes and Puig have almost already doubled their total home runs this month as well for Cuba Libre.

      Reviewing Week 6, our biggest mover is Deja Vu from week 3… it’s … but when I do, I Profar Dos Equis once again with a 26 spot jump from 55th to 29th. Thanks to 9 total home runs led by Beltre’s and Cespedes’ 3 home runs last week. Close to being the top spot in week 6 was Keeping Up With The Joneses moving 25 spots from 59th to 34th also with 9 total home runs. But their team is riding a waking giant.

      ... but when I do, I Profar Dos Equis leads week 6 movers

      … but when I do, I Profar Dos Equis leads week 6 movers

      Miguel Cabrera had 3 home runs last week along with Adam Jones.

    Moving On Out:

      Congratulations there were no teams with goose eggs in the HR column in week 6. There were 8 teams that managed only a single tally but most of the team names are really, really, really long and I’m too lazy to copy and paste them all in. Ok, just for the point of shaming them in week6, I’ll do it. Dawg Pound, The Bryce is Wright, JoseyWales, Yeah, and he scrambled the son of a bitch, Scott’s Jogging Shorts, I picked all Ryans so I can remember who I have, Cheaters Might Prosper, Sons of Pitches are the guilty parties for forgetting that chicks dig the long ball.

      Two of those eight teams also managed to be our biggest movers to the bottom of the ranks. Sons of Pitches went from 44th to 68th dropping 24 spots. And Cheaters Might Prosper might need to start cheating again because they dropped from 50th to 73rd or 23 spots in the wrong direction.

    On to week 7, and remember… CUBA LIBRE!!!

    Pack Your Bags, It’s Moving Day: Week 3 Derby Review

    If you aren’t like me who is constantly monitoring score updates or watching multiple games with a sweet multi-screen setup in your basement, then don’t worry, I have all of your Kings of Cork Home Run Derby news over the last week wrapped up here in this small summary.

    MLB Review Studio in NY

    The goal here is to get your team mentioned in the ‘Moving On Up‘ portion and not in the ‘Moving On Out’ portion of the review. And if you are lucky and I’m feeling ambitious, you may get a sweet team name icon posted if your team traveled long distances in the Standings.

    Moving On Up:

      Before I review the movements in week 3 of the Home Run Derby, I’d like to point out that ESPN has finally acknowledged the existence of a baseball team in Milwaukee. That’s right, the Brewers are #1 in the ESPN Power Rankings. That may be a first… ever. So I will enjoy it while it lasts (and so should all Brewer fans).

      Back to regularly scheduled programming…
      Again, we are still early in the season so A LOT of teams are bunched up in the standings which makes it fun to look at the +/- column every day. This week there were 8 teams who managed to jump 30+ spots in the ranks and all of them had more than 6 home runs in week 3. The biggest jumps belong to … but when I do, I Profar Dos Equis and our 2011 Champion What’s 5 bucks(both +37 with 6 homers), and the largest jump in week 3 of +40 spots with 7 homers goes to Mindock’s Claim Crushers who moved from 72nd to 32nd.

      Claim Crushers

      Claim Crushers

      Their team was lead by the Cuban sensation Yoenis Cespedes with 3 homers. Prince Fielder also woke up last week with his first 2 homers, and Freddie Freeman contributed another 2 homers in Group D (maybe he was grouped too low?!). Cespedes and Freeman also contributed to “The Most Interesting Team In The World” 6 home run, +37 week.

      Ruby In The Rockies

      Ruby In The Rockies

      Even though Claim Crushers had the largest jump, they didn’t hit the most homers in week 3. There were a lot of teams that hit 6 and even 7, but only one team managed to hit 8 big flies… Ruby In The Rockies. Their team was swinging for the fences lead by Justin Morneau’s 3 homers and Albert Pujols week leading 4 homers. Pujols now sits only 2 homers away from the elite 500 HR club which would make him only the 26th player to complete this feat. He’s definitely not starting cold this April like seasons past.

    Moving On Out:

      And now for the dreaded moving on out awards for week 3… Thankfully, no one moved in the wrong direction as much as our Moving On Up leader did this week. But several came close.

      Five teams were caught moving more than 30 spots in reverse. At -30 spots, Let’s do Better this year! moved from 47th to 77th. At -34 spots, The Bryce is Wright fell from 27th to 61st. At -36 spots, Keeping up with the Joneses went from 50th to 86th and Bucky Ballers (last season’s champion) went from 38th to 74th.

      But the biggest move in the red for week 3 belonged to the team of Little Easy’s. They managed to go from 33rd to 70th by collecting only a single home run this past week. Their team wasn’t the only one to only muster up a single long ball. There were 13 other teams that also tallied only a single home run including 4 of the 5 teams listed thus far. But there are always teams that manage goose eggs every week. Keeping Up with the Joneses and LutherDad accepted the home run halos this week. The halos don’t mean you are eliminated from competition but it does mean you have a large climb ahead of you.

      Looking forward to another week of baseball in April and the weather is warming up which means one thing… more home runs.

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    June Swoon Is Over, Mid-Summer Classic On Horizon

    The annual June Swoon has concluded (that’s true for both my Brewers and my HR Derby Team) which can mean only one thing… bring on the Mid-Summer Classic.

    ‘Classic’ doesn’t seem to be the right term anymore for the All-Star game. It seems that every year the High School popularity contest takes over and we (baseball fans) get stuck with All-Star starting rosters including several injured players (Tulo), several players barely old enough (Harper, Trout, Puig) to enter a bar (outside of Wisconsin of course), and several players who are rewarded for that great season they had years ago (Bautista, Hardy, McCutchen).

    Why do the fans get a vote? Let me clarify, why do ‘fans’ get to vote? All it takes is a well placed Facebook or Twitter message to cause a stampede to the online voting booths where Joe Schmo in Southern Texas votes for all Astro players via dial-up. And they get to vote up to 10 times… on that email address. Or if you are smart, you ask Jeeves or Google or Siri how to vote unlimited times and they respond with this blog post.

    The MLB needs to figure out something, and something soon. It’s starting to become a problem when almost an entire MLB team composes the starting lineup of an All-Star team (and the Braves organization agrees). One suggestion may be that they need to figure out how to poll true, non-biased MLB fanatics. Or, develop some sort of academy or group that gets to nominate players, similar to the Emmys (could you imagine if movie fans got to vote for Emmys… never mind, that exists already. Thanks MTV Movie Awards). That group should not be the same as the Hall of Fame committee. Otherwise, we would never see anyone in the All-Star game accused or suspected of ‘tampering’ with the game. Or how about letting the numbers do the talking. Say, the leader in RBI, HR, AVG, SB, Runs scored, Defensive Assists, Defensive Put-outs, etc, they each get a guaranteed place on the roster. They can even span the stats from the previous All-Star game to this season’s All-Star game. Maybe that way the season’s best get rewarded for their excellent play. Some may be opposed to this because some believe it’s about bringing in the fans and the money to the game. But I would argue it drives the most loyal fans away from the Mid Summer Classic (I can’t remember the last All-Star game I actually watched from start to finish).

    Another suggestion… change the format, rules, prizes, or anything for the All-Star Home Run Derby. At least make it mandatory for the heavy hitters to play. Not having Chris Davis, Miguel Cabrera, or Carlos Gonzalez in the derby this season would just be a travesty to the competition. They are the HR leaders after all for the first half of the season. This is the contest that fans want to see the entertaining names. Give them Manny, Sosa, McGwire, etc here, but leave the All-Star game to the statistically deserving players of the season.

    Speaking of the HR Derby, there’s currently a season long HR Derby going on here. And it’s time to recap those teams and players who did not have a June Swoon.

    • Chris Davis continues to show off his raw power for a team not named the Rangers. He hit another 12 homers in June and now has a commanding lead in the overall home run total (Miggy is 5 behind, with a slew of players 9-10 back). He actually has the most homers through the first 83 games since Bonds had 39 in 2001. What usually comes with this power dominance… steroid talks.
    • One team originally picked Chris Davis in Group C for the Kings of Cork HR Derby. And because of that, Attention V-Mart Shoppers… has cracked the top-10 list. If only they had players not named Giancarlo or V-Mart, they could be sitting with a huge cushion in first place.
    • Not to be outdone, Ibanez, Bruce Almighty, and Vote for Pedro (Alvarez) all hit 10 long balls in the month of June. That’s more homers in one month than each of them hit in the first two months of the season combined.
    • Hosminators almost had that tri-fecta in June by pairing Bruce and Alvarez in Groups B and C respectively. Their team didn’t get hurt by the other 3 groups either which allowed them to own the Month of June Crown with 34 homers. This June surge also catapulted his team for 84th to 35th. A jump of 49 spots. By far, the largest leap in the standings in June.
    • Speaking of Jay Bruce, he also hit the longest home run in the month of June. A mammoth shot off the D-Backs scoreboard on June 22. Hit was recorded of having a true distance of 472 feet (only 2 homers have flown further this season, Rizzo and Trumbo have both hit homers at 475 feet).
    • Sneaky Pete is the definition of June Swoon. Their team managed to hit 12 homers the entire month of June (not the worst), but saw their ranking drop from 24th to 57th. A 33 spot jump in the wrong direction.
    • The overall standings had some familiar faces from May. Ready, Wilin, and Able and Mayer’s Mashers were tied at 85 homers which is enough for first place. However, both have hit a dry spell in early July with their only 3 homers coming from Miggy. That has opened the door for teams like Big Deihl’s Bombers (May’s leader) and Geezerhawk(May’s largest mover). They were sitting in 3rd and 4th respectively after June. And if Rios or Ibanez keep hitting, one of them will be leading at the end of July.
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    Revenge of the Sixth: 5th Week in Review

    For those of you that missed Star Wars day due to Cinco de Mayo preperations, we bring you the 5th week of the HR Derby in review on the Revenge of the Sixth.

    • Leader – Wahoo’s Wallbangers – My team is finally stalling out as expected. Narrowly holding on to the overall lead at 36 homers, my team managed to hit 5 homers last week. But as of tonight, the wallbangers are more like warning track bangers and have managed to only hit 2 home runs in the early part of May. The shark’s are circling beneath me and its only a matter of time…
    • First Shark in line – Mayer’s Mashers (M. Mayer) – Now that Upton has stopped hitting home runs every game, Mayer’s team had 6 long balls in the last week and none of them came from J-Up. His team also has 6 in the month of May and now sits at a total of 35 during the Revenge of the Sixth. If Cabrera, Pence, or Desmond heat up, his team is first in line to overtake the throne.
    • Third place – Team Mrs. Dziedzic – (L. Dziedzic) – All hail the Matt Joyce write-in… As the only team to choose Matt Joyce in Group E, her team is enjoying the benefit of him hitting 4 home runs in the 5th week of the derby. It may be the only time she gets to enjoy that type of benefit from Joyce but with 7 homers in the past week. Sitting at a HR total of 33 and having three unique choices among the top-20, if her team gets any hotter she will be leap frogging to the top.
    • 1c3p41nc355

    • Largest Jump – Ice Prince Fielder (M. Carapella) – Four teams gained 30+ positions in the 5th week, but the most belongs to the Ice Prince Fielder. Their team moved 35 places thanks to 11 home runs in the week. Mark Trumbo was the leader during that week with 5 jacks, while they got 3 more from their team’s captain, Prince Fielder. They have since reached the top-25 (started at 27th this week) after a very slow start in the Derby. What I’m really hoping to see is Prince Fielder to land a triple axel on home plate after a home run. Although that will never beat this home run celebration from Prince.
    • m2w143

    • Largest Fall – Hitting homers like Mark McGwire in RBI baseball (M. Parker) – Thanks to the longest team name entered in the derby, I had to do some reformatting this season (next year expect a character limit). Their team’s punishment… taking the largest fall in the 5th week of the contest. Their team failed to hit a homer in the week and subsequently fell from 41st to 79th. Although they are at a slight disadvantage with only 3 active players (Heyward and Viciedo on the DL). Time is ticking for the trade date for either one of those players, and it serves as a reminder to check the DL list at the bottom of the standings page to see when you can trade any of your injured players (if you still have your 1 time trade left).
    • g33534h4w75

    • Foreshadowing Award – Geezerhawks – (P. Schultz) – This team was mentioned in the month of April review simply because of their past performances in the derby (finishing 2nd and 5th). The dynasty seemed dead at the end of April with The Geezerhawks sitting in 81st out of 94 teams. But enter week 5 and watch their team hit 9 homers and jump 33 spots up to 48th place (now up to 41st on the night). Just another sign that no one can count their team out yet. It’s still way too early.
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    Commish Rigged Month of April

    You caught me… you caught the tater.

    I know what you are all thinking, “This thing is rigged” or “How did he get four guys from Group A”. The truth is: my team is usually pathetic (I mean, bottom 10 teams) if it doesn’t have Michael Morse on it. They way I look at it is that everyone threw the month of April because they feel sorry for me. So, I’ll take winning the month of April as payment for my time running the derby. Thanks for being so considerate of my feelings (now where’s that sarcasm font…)

    Another thing you might be saying is “Hey, where is my week 4 HR Derby recap?” Don’t worry impatient ones… This delay was all part of my plan knowing that April was ending. What does that mean? You get an entire Month in Review. So let’s get on with it:

    • First Winner – Wahoo’s Wallbangers (The Commish) – We already covered the conspiracy of April, but I should receive some props for having picking a team in January and only changing to Chris Carter in March after he was officially named a starter. Again, my team’s usually are awful except for when they have Mike Morse on them… as the MLB Network analysts like to say in their caveman voices, “Morse hit ball hard”. With the homer he hit tonight, he is now tied for the lead in home runs in the AL and only J-Up has more long balls than 9.
    • If you ain’t first, you’re last – The Wolfpack (N. Wolf) – I love that Ricky Bobby quote because it makes no sense. The Wolfpack was the first team submitted (besides mine) all the way back in February. He’s also the first entry that found my player sorting mistake and promptly picked Yoenis Cespedes in Group E. Now that Cespedes is healthy, The Wolfpack may be overtaking the lead in the month of May as long as Encarnacion and Rizzo continue to hit.
    • April Thunderstorms – Billy Goat (K. Corson) – The curse of the Billy Goat must be carried by this team. If I told you that Alfonso Soriano and Matt Kemp would be tied for home runs, you would probably guess that either Soriano got out to a fast start or Kemp is at the league average. But the truth is that they both have 1 home run… one. What is wrong with Matt Kemp? Now throw in Stanton who FINALLY hit a home run (actually three) in the last week of April but is now injured. And add Yadi who hasn’t found the power stroke from 2012 yet and you have 4/5 of a team that is struggling to hit balls over the fence. The current last place team had one more HR than last place at this time last year (seven) and that team went on to win the whole competition. There is still hope for every team.
    • It’s a roller coaster – Red’s Winners (D. Schultz) and Opto Slugger (C. Eisenhardt) – Week 4 of the home run derby also came to a close on Sunday. There are still teams moving a lot of places in a week and two of them actually jumped over 40 places. That large of a jump in the standings isn’t the only thing these two team’s have in common, they both have Encarnacion who hit 7 homers last week. That is not a typo… seven. Encarnacion is tied with ‘Morse hit ball hard’ at 9HR which leads the American League. Moving up 46 and 41 spots respectively, both of these teams are now in the Top-25 so their next moves of 40 will have to wait until they fall a few places or fall 40+.
    • 834GE2EZ

    • Struggling Dynasty – Geezerhawk (P. Schultz) – On the other end of week 4’s travels, Geez dropped 42 spots in the standings which was the largest drop. For the newbies, Geezerhawk has been building a dynasty in the Kings of Cork. They lost first place and ended in second on the final pitch of the 2011 HR Derby thanks to a Longoria walk-off Home Run. Then in 2012, Geezerhawk finished in 5th, so he’s two-for-two in the prize category. But in week 4, their team managed to hit 0 home runs and dropped from 39th to 81st place. This team is like the Yankees though, you can never count them out even when they are at their lowest.
    • Polar Opposites – Team Mr/Mrs Dziedzic (R/L Dziedzic) – I can’t end a HR Derby update without mentioning the third place team. Mrs. Dziedzic is a new player this season and was recruited by none other than last season’s champion. But her team isn’t playing like the new team and the previous champion team isn’t playing like champions (or are they). The Mrs. is sitting in a comfortable 3rd place after the month of April. She’s riding the only true power hitting 2B, Cano-DontchyaKnow, and JP Arencibia, while Adam Dunn’s sub-0.200 BA doesn’t matter but his 6HR does. I would rather be in her shoes than Mr. Dziedzics. Although, he may think otherwise. Last season his team had a total of seven home runs in April but ended up with 161 without using a trade. So even though his team may only have 14, he is on pace for either 7 more than last season or twice as many total home runs. I won’t be the one to wake him up from dreaming, but you can.

    Home Run Derby: Week 3 Recap

    P0w346411Time for the HR Derby’s week in review (Sunday April 14 to Saturday April 20). You will have to pardon my tardiness as I was watching the red hot Brewers sweep the Cubs in Milwaukee.

    This week’s biggest movers:

    • The PowerBombers had a strong week 3 moving up 35 places with 6 homers. He didn’t have any real bog power surges in his lineup of Cabrera/Trout/I.Davis/Pence/Plouffe, just consistency.
    • On the opposite end of week 3 was Chicks Dig The Long Ball whose team of Pujols/Kemp/Willingham/Freeman/Molina failed to hit any home runs in week 3. It doesn’t help that Freeman was on the DL and Kemp is still on the schneid.

    This week’s power team:

    • Just because your team is the biggest mover doesn’t mean your team hit the most home runs that week. Just look at Mayer’s Mashers and Juuuust a bit outside. Both of their teams hit 10 homers this past week.
    • Juuuust a bit outside had a well rounded team that caught fire and doubled his home run total from 9 to 19. Braun lead his team with 3 last week. The roids are kicking in.
    • Mayer’s Mashers had help from Week 3’s home run leader Evan Longoria. Longoria has hit 4 total home runs this season, all of them came last week.

    The Leaders:

    • Wahoo’s Wallbangers was still leading after week 3 with 22 homers, but is slowing down in the home run department (but Chris Carter’s strikeout department is still rapidly increasing).
    • Baseball King remained in 2nd but gained some ground and moved into a tie for first. That tie-breaker has been known to haunt a few teams in the past.
    • Mayer’s Mashers had that strong 10 home run performance which catapulted his team into 3rd
    • Juuust a bit outside had the other 10 home run performance which allowed him to move from 29th to 4th.
    • And look out for What’s $5 bucks who was our 2011 King of Cork Champion on what was one of the most epic nights in baseball history. He has moved his way into 5th place.

    The Loser:

    • Only two teams were shutout in week 3, we already covered Chicks Dig The Longball‘s issues. The other team was Ice Prince Fielder whose team of Fielder/Trumbo/McCutchen/Kubel/Zobrist also failed to log a home run last week.
    • And we have a new derby doormat, BiLLy GoaT managed to get 1 home run in week 3 from Alfonso Soriano. The rest of his team was stagnant (Stanton/Kemp as a 1-2 duo doesn’t help). He may need to try to reverse the curse of the Billy Goat from two weeks ago.

    On to week 4 as we quickly approach the first month crowning…

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