Archive for » February, 2011 «

Kings Of Cork Swimsuit Issue Featuring The Cubs

Hopefully something better than the Cowboys and Indians of the future.

It’s official… Baseball Season has begun. Pitchers reported to camp today and someone has to catch their feeble fastballs, so catchers reported as well. But the countdown to pitchers reporting to camp is not the biggest countdown in the baseball world. Nope, the most important countdown ends on Wednesday. No we aren’t already at December 21, 2012. But the (baseball) world may end this off-season when the biggest offensive name in recent history becomes a free agent. And Wednesday is the last day Mr. Albert Pujols will talk contract negotiations with the Cardinals. It already sounds as if they won’t reach an agreement, so let’s start talking “Where will Pujols land?”

The benefactor to the Cardinals’ problem obviously has to have money. And lot’s of it. So you can throw out the two biggest names right away… Yankees and Red Sox. But both already have top tier first-baseman, so who’s going to DH? Teixeira or Agon?

However, there is one other team that I believe has a decent shot at landing Pujols… the Cardinals Archnemesis, the Chicago Cubs. They will be able to wash their hands of the Fukudome contract, as well as Silva, Garza, and Pena deals (they may opt to keep Garza). And let’s face it, the Cubs are known for giving out ridiculous money (see Alfonso Soriano). I honestly believe this is why Pena is only a 1 year deal, the Cubs are going to try and steal an NL Central 1B. Whether its Pujols or Fielder, I think one of them dons the enemy colors in 2012.

Kings of Cork tried its best body painting impersonation from the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.
So, who looks worse in the Cubs logo (personally, I hate both)?

Kings of Cork Home Run Derby Returns For 2011

Congratulations. You have survived the MLB off-season and got to watch the GreenBay Packers win the big dance (most of the group are Cheese Heads). Which means, it is time to focus on the greatest American past time… baseball.

The off-season has brought both excitement and heart break to several teams. The Brewers acquired the starting rotation they were missing but it cost them all of their prospects in MLB’s top 50. The big trade increased the Royals farm system and I am putting my money on them in the year 2014 to win it all (you can write that one down). The Cubs decided to rebuild but then splurged on a top starting pitcher that they didn’t need for 2011 (but there is still confusion on if they got Garza or Benoit. The Cardinals kept the majority of their roster but still have the biggest question mark… where will Pujols go in 2012? The NL Central is up for grabs and so is every other division in the MLB (except the NL East which the Phillies will walk away with).

Even though there was a three to four month drought in actual baseball. I still managed to post some interesting materials on the site. Not as much as I liked as I was a bit busy, a) getting married, b) working to actually receive a paycheck, and c) creating a new and more improved fantasy baseball scoring format (don’t worry a post about the creation will be coming shortly). If you happened to turn a cold shoulder on the Kings of Cork site while the MLB season went into hibernation, here are a few stories you may have missed: Brian Wilson enjoys the touch of leather, The Brewers Marketing department sold out, Cheating is possible in Head to Head Baseball, and Jeff Suppan got signed (I hope it wasn’t your favorite team).

But put aside all the division talk… don’t even mention fantasy baseball for just one second. It’s time to think about the chicks… and how much they love the long ball. That’s right, the 2011 Kings of Cork Home Run Derby has officially returned. No need to predict the ERA of the Phillies ridiculous starting rotation. No need to think about how many bases Jacoby will take without the pitcher’s permission. No need to worry if Mark Reynolds will hit above 0.200 at the plate this season. There is only ONE strategy… pick the players who will hit the most Home Runs.

We are changing the rules slightly from 2010. Instead of picking 4 players… you get to pick 5. One player from groups A, B, C, and D and a write-in player (group E is full of suggestions but it can be any player not in the top 4 groups). Instead of waiting for a player to land on the DL for 20 days, if one of your players is inactive for 20 days (benched, demoted, injured, traded to Japan) you can trade that one player for another player in that group. But once again, you only get ONE trade the entire season. So, use it wisely. Buy in is still only $5. How much more fun can you get with $5 over a 6 month period? You can’t.

This season we are going completely viral. We aren’t keeping our prestigious society a secret any more. It’s time to take on the world. So spread the word, share the link, the more the merrier (and bigger prizes). Let’s try to make this contest epic. But remember, only 1 entry per person (A MLB manager only gets one team a year, so why should you get more than one?). Prizes are still TBD, but we will distributed at a minimum for 1st in the first and second half of the season, and for 1st through 3rd for the overall season.

The 2011 entry form is located here: Entry Form
The 2011 official rules are located here: 2011 Rules

The deadline to enter is March 21st. So you have roughly 40 days to fill out the entry form. Deadline for payment is April 30th. If the entry fee isn’t received by then, your team will be forfeited.

I can’t wait to see what this season brings. Will $5 Donation defend his title (NO!)? And who will be the next Jose Bautista?

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Brewers 2009 Roster Signs Million Dollar Minor League Deal

Something to read before watching the Green And Yellow blow out the Black And Yellow in Superbowl XLV.

With MLB baseball less than 2 months away, every team is still acquireing players as stop gaps for all their injury prone batters and glass arm pitchers… aka Rickie Weeks. And it looks like teams are turning to the entire 2009 Brewers roster for this help. Or so it feels like.

Just reported today via MLBTradeRumors, three of the Brewers 2009 starting rotaion was picked up for $1 million dollar minor league deals along with the Brewers 2009 utility infielder. The three starters managed to combine for a 5.53 ERA in 2009, so they probably don’t deserve much more than these deals (if any deal at all).

Reports:

Jeff Suppan – If you are an avid reader of KingsofCork posts, you know my dislike towards this man. I might as well be called “The Soup Nazi“… and was happy to chear “No Soup For You” when the Brewers finally released him. So I am more than happy to announce that there may be more Jeff Suppan Hate Posts here on Kings Of Cork for the 2011 MLB season. Reports say Suppan signed a minor league deal with the San Francisco Giants for $1 Million this season. If Suppan ever gets called up, it most likely means that the Giants will not be repeating as National Champions. I do hope Soup gets called up for a game against the Brewers just so the team can get a little payback for the money they lost investing into him.

Dave Bush – “Fear the Beer with the Beard”. Dave Bush had one mean beard when he was on the mound but that was the only thing mean with this pitcher. No mean fastball, no mean changeup, no mean curve, he was just hittable and hoped his defense was strong enough behind him to stop the bleeding. However, this is a pitcher who recieved 8 Rookie Of The Year votes in 2004 with Toronto. He just never lived up to that hype again. Instead, Bush is now going to be pitching for the minor league Ranger affiliates for $1 million. The Rangers do have the Brewers ex-pitching coach, Mike Maddux, so he knows what he’s getting into.

Braden Looper – Another ex-cardinal that is almost over-the-hill that the Brewers overpaid for. He has been out of work for over a year, but that didn’t stop the Cubs from giving him a $1 million contract. Anything to make the Cubs worse, I’m ok with. Although, it’s a bit safer than the Oakland A’s Ben Sheets contract last season.

Felipe Lopez – An everyday utility man who can play 8 positions… he only hasn’t played catcher. Also a member of the 2009 Brewers that didn’t pan out, the Rays have taken some of there off-season savings and spent a million on a minor league deal for Lopez. Out of the four, this is the one player I would want.

Hey, if teams are just giving away a million dollars these days, I will gladly accept a deal to catch and throw a ball around for a minor league team. Because let’s face it, none of these guys will or should be in the bigs this season.

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The All-Star Head-to-Head 2011 Fantasy Baseball Team

Something to read while the Flying Tomato lands a four-peat.

With fantasy football a few weeks behind us, the real American pastime can begin to grasp hold of America. Don’t even attempt to begin a battle you should already know you will lose. Football is just another easy out for American sports enthusiasts and should not even be mentioned in the same breath as Baseball. (This blogger should be beat with Pa’s Ol’ Beatin’ Stick… his only valid point is #5)

According to the countdown in the upper right of the site, Pitchers and Catchers report for training in roughly 10 days, 23 Hours, and 20 minutes. And since we are within the 2 week period, it is officially time to start talking Fantasy Baseball… and it isn’t a minute too soon as I was beginning to go bananas.

Fantasy Baseball comes in two opposing identities (there are other formats but not nearly as popular)… similar to Cinderella and the Ugly Step-Sisters. Rotisserie and Head-to-Head. One may ask… so which format is Cinderella and which format is the Ugly Step-Sisters. The Commish’s opinion is only one small opinion, but seeing as you are reading this post, it’s an opinion that you care about (I’m just stroking my own ego at this point). But, Cinderella only plays in Rotisserie format Fantasy Baseball, for several reasons.

  • It encourages building a superior all-around team.
  • It encourages research on all players and trying to find that turd to polish diamond in the rough and not streaming pitchers.
  • The best team always wins.
  • There is no luck involved because there is no ‘easy schedule’.
  • You can’t cheat (I’ll explain this comment below).

The one thing Rotisserie lacks in compared to Head-to-Head is the ability to provoke competitiveness, friendly banter, and managers in last may stay interested longer (although no manager should walk away from a team). In Head-to-Head, your team always has a specific opponent. Sure your team may be in last and out of the playoffs in August, but the ability to play against your arch nemesis (probably your boss), who is ranked number 1 in the league, and pull off a week victory leaves you feeling as if you had just won the World Series. Yes, Head-to-Head is perfect for the league that survives on cockiness and not necessarily on baseball knowledge and wits.

What fuels this hatred of Head-to-Head of mine? It’s the idea that one can walk into a league with very little baseball knowledge but has a fined tuned ability to dissect the rules and scoring. For anyone who has any morals and participates in Head-to-Head Fantasy Baseball leagues, please turn away and do not continue any further with this post. Because what follows next will give you the tools to be almost unstoppable in any Head-to-Head league.

Are you sure you want to continue reading? If you continue, I cannot be held responsible for you being banned from your high stakes league with all your old high-school buddies for using “the force” for evil and not for good.

To Learn About The Force: Follow the Jump…