Fowl Ball: Ryan Fowler Fantasy Baseball Blog From WhatIfSports.com image

Fowl Ball: The -- --- .--. ... . Code

Washington's Michael Morse thinks it's spring training

By Ryan Fowler - WhatIfSports.com
June 1, 2011

I love long weekends. Let me rephrase that, I loved long weekends.

Long weekends in the world of sports journalism are the abyss, the Bermuda Triangle and an Inception-esque limbo. Ground breaking stories are a crack in the sidewalk over the 72-hour respite. The national and local networks place their B, if not C, team on three-day weekends. I would know because my big break presented itself on a long weekend. As a proud member of the C-team, my certificate of broadcast participation during a holiday weekend is hanging proudly at home next to my 7th place ribbon from a middle school track meet.

Breaking news on a holiday weekend turns members of the media into Joe Office Space anxiously waiting on Bob from accounting to meet him at the water cooler, but he never shows. I could write something on Jim Tressel, but a "Bueller, Bueller, anybody" analogy presents itself. So, for the past four days, ideas, thoughts and observations have been marinating inside my dome.

It's time to throw them on the grill.

Kris Humphries The Golden Gopher turned diamond cutter

Fowl Facts

First, Kim Kardashian is off the market via a 2-million dollar assist from Kris Humphries. According to Basketball Reference, the 20.5 carat diamond crushing Dash's finger is over 11 percent of Humphries career earnings in the NBA. The size and cost of K-Dash's ring pale in shock value to the fact Humphries has made nearly 17 million dollars in the NBA. Outside of this past season where he averaged a double-double for the New Jersey Nets (10.0 and 10.4 rebounds per game), Hump Dog's career averages are 5.6 ppg. and 4.6 rbg.

Kim Kardashian ring pic This ring alone may lead to a new NBA CBA
Humphries Salary by Season (NBA Reference)
  • 2004-05 Utah Jazz $1,481,400
  • 2005-06 Utah Jazz $1,592,400
  • 2006-07 Toronto Raptors $1,703,520
  • 2007-08 Toronto Raptors $2,522,913
  • 2008-09 Toronto Raptors $3,200,000
  • 2009-10 New Jersey Nets $3,200,000
  • 2010-11 New Jersey Nets $3,200,000
  • Career (may be incomplete) $16,900,233

When I learn of facts and figures (including Kardashian's) like these, my brain is certain to cue up Skee-Lo. I'll just admire my 7th place middle school track meet ribbon until the pain subsides.

Let's talk fantasy baseball.

Fowl Tips

I took a gamble on Washington's Michael Morse at the end of a few fantasy baseball drafts this past March. His spring training stat line boasted a .364 batting average (with a .421 OBS), 14 runs, 18 runs batted in, and nine home runs.

Naive? Maybe. Worth the late-round flier? No question.

The month of April proved Morse wasn't facing double-A pitching in Florida. He finished the month with a regressed stat line of: .224 BA, four runs, nine RBIs and one homer. What stung fantasy owners the most were the 19 whiffs in 67 at-bats.

Mr. Waiver Wire meet Mr. Morse ... Mr. Morse meet Mr. Waiver Wire.

Michael Morse Michael Morse has found his spring stroke.

On May 2nd, Morse was hitting .216, but by May 22nd, Morse's batting average shot up to .267. National's first baseman, Adam LaRoche, was placed on the disabled list on May 23rd. Since then, Morse has been Jim Riggleman's go-to-guy at first base. Just like that, spring has sprung again for Morse.

Morse's Month of May (22 games)
  • Average: .403
  • Runs: 9
  • RBI's: 15
  • HR: 6
  • SO: 13

Morse is owned in 16.7 percent of FOXSports.com Fantasy Baseball leagues. You have a good chance at snagging him.

Raul Ibanez's .246 batting average may turn a lot of fantasy owners off. I would give him a second glance. Sure, the fantasy numbers he put up in 2009 were collected under a cloud of skepticism, but the Phillies slugger is warming up and he only gets better in June.

Raul Ibanez Stat Line
Time FrameBat Avg.HRRBIR
Last 14 Days.30451312
June (Career).29540165122

Ibanez is owned in 65.7 percent of FOXSports.com Fantasy Baseball Leagues.

Fowl Territory

Ryan Franklin

Remember Ryan Franklin? The St. Louis Cardinals' closer endured an epic meltdown at the beginning of the season and fans demanded management release him. Well, over his last three outings, the guy with the goatee (now a full beard, shame) has pitched 4 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball, allowed only two hits and punched out six batters.

Unfortunately, the baby steps of progress won't equate to earning his old job back anytime soon. Fernando Salas is a perfect 10 for 10 in save situations with a 1.52 earned run average as the St. Louis closer.

Fowl Out...At the Plate

I feel bad for Buster Posey. The collision between him and Scott Cousins that resulted in a broken fibula, torn ankle ligaments and cost the catcher his season was unfortunate.

Then I hear Posey's agent, Jeff Barry, wants MLB to review the rules regarding collisions at the plate. He wants a change.

I don't remember any public outcry after Carlos Santana's knee got chewed up following a Ryan Kalish slide. Was there less contact? Absolutely. But at the end of the day, two young rising stars lost their season to a nasty injury.

Like the NFL cracking down on concussions, MLB got out ahead of a problem by instituting the seven-day disabled list for head ringers. But to think Posey's agent and any other petitioning for a home plate rule change should check out this quote by Pete Rose to the Palm Beach Post.

"Oh, come on," Rose told the paper when asked about a potential change to the rules. "Can you break up a double play and knock a second baseman on his ass? Are we just going to protect these players like you don't want them to play the game?"

If Posey's agent is looking for change, how about suggesting his client cover first base?


Ryan Fowler is the Content Manager for Whatifsports.com. He can be reached at rfowler@whatifsports.com.

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