Henrik Lundqvist
– 38 Saves

Hat Tricks

3-Point Club
Enver Lisin
– 2 Goals, 1 Assist
Petr Prucha – 1 Goal, 2 Assists
Mike Ribeiro – 3 Assists

Double Lamp Lighters (Two Goals)
Scottie Upshall
Enver Lisin

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30 Point Club
Dwyane Wade
- 42 Points

Chairman of the Boards (12+ Rebounds)
Dwight Howard
- 18 Boards
Anthony Randolph - 12 Boards

March of Dimes (10+ Assists)
Deron Williams
- 13 Dimes
O.J. Mayo - 10 Dimes

Thieves & Swatters (5+ Steals or Blocks)
Mario Chalmers
- 5 Steals

Double-Double Trouble
Dwight Howard
- 22 Points, 18 Rebounds
Deron Williams - 24 Points, 13 Assists
Richard Jefferson - 29 Points, 10 Rebounds
O.J. Mayo - 24 Points, 10 Assists
Carlos Boozer - 21 Points, 11 Rebounds
David Lee - 21 Points, 10 Rebounds
Brook Lopez - 10 Points, 10 Rebounds

Messed Around and Got a Triple Double

Face of the Franchise
Dave Stieb
Illustration by Dave Lemanczyk

I continue the All-time tour with the Toronto Blue Jays.   Since we’re dealing with over a century and thousands of players I will assume the DH role for both leagues.  I will limit the teams to 25 players.  I’ll carry 13 batters and 12 pitchers for each team.  With baseball season around the corner, what better time to take this journey.  The teams are based on the stats the players produced with the team so Alex Rios, for example, isn’t there yet for the Jays.  I may tinker with the lineups slightly to get the best roster possible.

Manager: Cito Gaston

C – Ernie Whitt
1B – Jon Olerud
2B – Roberto Alomar
3B – Kelly Gruber
SS – Tony Fernandez
OF – Vernon Wells
OF – George Bell
OF – Joe Carter
DH – Carlos Delgado
Bench: 2B Damaso Garcia, 3B Rance Mullinkis, OF Devon White, OF Jesse Barfield
SP – Dave Steib
SP – Roy Halladay
SP – Jimmy Key
SP – Pat Hentgen
SP – Roger Clemens
P – Jim Clancy
P – Juan Guzman
P – David Wells
P – Doyle Alexander
P – Todd Stottlemyre
RP – Duane Ward
RP – Tom Henke

That’s the team I came up with. Do you have any changes you’d like to suggest? I’m always open to them.

Past Teams
Red Sox

Photo Courtesy of Shelly Castellano ICON SMI 

Need some help with your fantasy hockey team?  You’ve come to the right place.  Try these hot players on for size. 

 T.J. Oshie, St. Louis Blues – T.J. has 11 points (4 goals, 7 assist) and a +4 rating in his last nine games (1.22 points per game).  He had 25 points and a +12 rating in his first 42 games (0.60).  He has a salary cap of $0.50 in the SportingNews salary cap game, and is owned in 2.6% of ESPN and 5% of Yahoo leagues.

Ales Kotalik, Edmonton Oilers
– Ales is riding a four-game goal streak.  He has a +2 rating during that stretch.  He had 36 points (14 goals, 22 assist) and a -8 rating in his first 65 games (0.55).  His SN cap number is $1.79M, and is owned in 30% of ESPN and 21% of Yahoo leagues.

Brent Seabrook, Chicago Blackhawks
– Besides having a killer last name, Seabrook has five points (1 goal, 4 assists) and a +2 rating in his last five games.  He had 18 points (6 goals, 12 assists) and a +18 rating in his first 69 games (0.26).  He has a $1.29M SN cap number, and is owned in 94.7% of ESPN and 50% of Yahoo leagues.

Chris Mason, St. Louis Blues
– I’ve profiled him before, but judging by his $3.47M SN cap number and ownership (44.4% in ESPN and 60% in Yahoo), I need to call attention to him again.  Chris has won his last five games with a 1.80 Goals Against Avergage and 93.3% Save Percentage.  He was 18-20-6 with a 91.5% Save Percentage before his streak, which help lower his season GAA to 2.44.

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI

In what’s apparently not an early April Fools’ joke the Tigers created waves by releasing slugger Gary Sheffield, according to MLB.com’s Jason Beck.  Sheffield is just one Home Run away from reaching the 500 HR club.

The Tigers figured Sheffield was a defensive liability in the Outfield, and did not want to hold a roster spot for someone who would just DH.  The move could also have been a Domino Effect of Jordan Schafer winning the Atlanta Braves Centerfielder job, which led to Josh Anderson’s trade to Detroit. 

Sheffield struggled with injuries and hit just .225 last year, but did manage 19 HRs in 418 At Bats.  Sheffield’s struggles continue this Spring as he had just five hits in 29 ABs (.172).

Although he is cantankerous at times, he still wields a pretty good stick, and could catch on with a team in need of some right-handed power.  The moves costs the Tigers $14 million.

If you’re looking to get an early jump in the Saves department Kevin Gregg of the Cubs, Carlos Villanueva of the Brewers and Detroit’s Brandon Lyon could be short-term solutions.

Gregg won the starting job over Carlos Mármol, but Mármol turned in a better 2008 season, and could earn the role if Gregg struggles.  Mármol sported a 2.68 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, .135 BAA, and 114 Ks in 87-1/3 Innings last year after posting 1.43, 1.10, .169, and 96 in 69-1/3 2007 Innings.  Gregg, on the other hand, posted a 3.41 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, .203 BAA, and 58 Ks in 68-2/3 2008 Innings, and 3.54, 1.23, .206, and 87 in 84 2007 Innings.  Gregg did manage 61 Saves over the last two years, but Mármol could work his way in the Closer role if he shines and Gregg struggles early.

Villanueva is truly a short-term fix.  Trevor Hoffman simply needs to get up to speed after missing a couple weeks with a strained oblique.  It’s only Hoffman’s second stint on the DL in his brilliant career, and it won’t be a lengthy one.  The Brewers open up with San Francisco so it’s quite possible Villanueva snags a couple of Saves in the first week.

Lyon’s situation is a little more tenuous.  He hasn’t exactly excelled in Spring Training going 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA in 9 Innings.  His counterpart Fernando Rodney wasn’t any better posting a 7.88 ERA in 8 Innings with a matching 0-2 mark.  Lyon has a little more experience in the Closer role recording 26 Saves last year for Arizona.  My guess is if Lyon struggles early, Rodney will get a shot.  They both will be bumped in that role though if Joel Zumaya can comeback from a shoulder injury AND stay healthy.  Unfortunately for the Tigers and Zumaya, he’s as injury-prone as he is talented. 
There you have it.  Three options that could get you off to a good start.  Just beware they all could evaporate rather quickly.

You can add John Lackey to the growing list of disable Angels Starting Pitchers.

Lackey’s elbow has once again proven troublesome.  He got a cortisone shot last week, but will spend some time on the shelf.  Lackey owners shouldn’t be too alarmed.  They say the injury isn’t as bad as last year’s.  He didn’t pitch until mid-May and finished 12-5 with a 3.75 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and 130 Ks in 163-1/3 Innings.

Also slated to miss the start of the season are Ervin Santana (elbow) and Kelvim Escobar (shoulder).  Santana has been responding well to treatment and could be back in a month or so.  Escobar is also doing well as the team brings him along at a steady pace.  According to the L.A. Times, the Angels want to have Escobar on a 100-pitch count in a couple weeks and in the rotation by the end of April.

With the talented trio out of action, the Angels will lean on Nick Adenhart, Dustin Moseley and Shane Loux.  The Angels face the Red Sox, Yankees, and Twins in April, which means their 2009 season may get off to a bumpy start.

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