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Fantasy Clicks: Konerko, Rolen, Ichiro lead 'The Attainables'

Fantasy Clicks
BY JAY CLEMONS
Meet 'The Attainables'
Paul Konerko: Ron Vesely/Getty Images

I'm ashamed to admit the following: The inspiration for this mini-section came only after seeing the can-you-believe-this-is-an-actual-movie? trailer for The Expendables, a head-scratching conglomeration of action-movie stars, past and present, due out in theaters Aug. 13. And it was only after seeing Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger engage in some mindless scene that gave me a new appreciation for old athletes who haven't lost their fastball -- or the ability to blast one 420 feet for a home run. So, without further ado, may I present an all-star list of over-31 fantasy stalwarts who could be easily had, via creative trade, on the (baseless) assumption they'll fall apart come September. Yes, these graybeards could be the difference-makers in your quest for a fantasy pennant:

Hitters:
Catcher: Jorge Posada, Yankees (9 HRs, 28 RBIs, 26 runs, 0 steals, .268 average)
First Base: Paul Konerko, White Sox (20 HRs, 60 RBIs, 47 runs, 0 steals, .298 average)
Second Base: Placido Polanco, Phillies (5 HRs, 27 RBIs, 39 runs, 3 steals, .318 average)
Third Base: Scott Rolen, Reds (17 HRs, 57 RBIs, 43 runs, 0 steals, .296 average)
Shortstop: Derek Jeter, Yankees (8 HRs, 41 RBIs, 57 runs, 9 steals, .280 average)
Outfield: Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners (3 HRs, 22 RBIs, 34 runs, 22 steals, .324 average)
Outfield: Magglio Ordonez, Tigers (10 HRs, 52 RBIs, 48 runs, 1 steal, .308 average)
Outfield: Manny Ramirez, Dodgers (8 HRs, 39 RBIs, 31 runs, 1 steal, .322 average)
Outfield: Aubrey Huff, Giants (16 HRs, 50 RBIs, 49 runs, 3 steals, .295 average)
Outfield: Juan Pierre, White Sox (0 HRs, 14 RBIs, 44 runs, 32 steals, .262 average)
Designated Hitter: Vlad Guerrero, Rangers (19 HRs, 72 RBIs, 54 runs, 4 steals, .330 average)

Pitchers:
Starting Pitcher: Barry Zito, Giants (7 wins, 74/40 K-BB ratio, 3.75 ERA, 1.25 WHIP)
Starting Pitcher: Tim Hudson, Braves (8 wins, 58/41 K-BB ratio, 2.44 ERA, 1.15 WHIP)
Starting Pitcher: John Lackey, Red Sox (9 wins, 66/40 K-BB ratio, 4.40 ERA, 1.54 WHIP)
Starting Pitcher: Freddy Garcia, White Sox (9 wins, 60/29 K-BB ratio, 4.36 ERA, 1.33 WHIP)
Starting Pitcher: Derek Lowe, Braves (9 wins, 66/42 K-BB ratio, 4.40 ERA, 1.38 WHIP)
Starting Pitcher: Jamie Moyer, Phillies (9 wins, 62/20 K-BB ratio, 4.51 ERA, 1.08 WHIP)
Relief Pitcher: Billy Wagner, Braves (19 saves, 5 wins, 55/12 K-BB ratio, 1.27 ERA, 0.91 WHIP)
Relief Pitcher: Kevin Gregg, Blue Jays (19 saves, 0 wins, 37/18 K-BB ratio, 3.82 ERA, 1.39 WHIP)
Relief Pitcher: Heath Bell, Padres (23 saves, 4 wins, 49/14 K-BB ratio, 1.72 ERA, 1.34 WHIP)
Relief Pitcher: Francisco Cordero, Reds (24 saves, 3 wins, 34/20 K-BB ratio, 3.83 ERA, 1.50 WHIP)

Note: Megastars like Roy Halladay and Mariano Rivera are essentially untouchables in the fantasy trade market -- despite their age; so why would worry about 'em?

WHIP Masters

Here are MLB's top performers in the hallowed WHIP category since June 9 (min. 15 innings):
SP Josh Johnson, Marlins (0.76)
SP Mat Latos, Padres (0.78)
SP Felix Hernandez, Mariners (0.82)
SP Trevor Cahill, Athletics (0.84)
SP Gavin Floyd, White Sox (0.84)
SP Carl Pavano, Twins (0.85)
SP Vicente Padilla, Dodgers (0.88)
RP Mike Adams, Padres (0.89)
SP Jake Peavy, White Sox (0.91 -- potentially out for the season)
RP Evan Meek, Padres (0.91)
SP/RP Andy Sonnanstine, Rays (0.94)
SP Cliff Lee, Mariners (0.98)
SP Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers (0.98)
SP Joel Pineiro, Angels (0.99)
SP Jered Weaver, Angels (0.99)
SP Jonathon Niese, Mets (0.99)
SP Ted Lilly, Cubs (0.99)
SP Zack Greinke, Royals (1.00)
SP Colby Lewis, Rangers (1.00)
SP Max Scherzer, Diamondbacks (1.00)
RP Ryan Webb, Padres (1.00)
SP Madison Bumgarner, Giants (1.00)
SP Brian Matusz, Orioles (1.01)
SP Kameron Loe, Rangers (1.02)
RP/SP Jason Berken, Orioles (1.02)
SP Kris Medlen, Braves (1.02)
SP Jon Lester, Red Sox (1.03)
SP Javier Vazquez, Braves (1.03)
SP Jeff Niemann, Rays (1.05)
SP Stephen Strasburg, Nationals (1.06)
SP Carlos Silva, Cubs (1.07)
SP Bronson Arroyo, Reds (1.07)
SP Jamie Moyer, Phillies (1.08)
SP Tim Hudson, Braves (1.08)
SP John Danks, White Sox (1.09)
SP CC Sabathia, Yankees (1.09)
SP Roy Oswalt, Astros (1.10)
SP Adam Wainwright, Cardinals (1.11)
SP R.A. Dickey, Mets (1.12)
SP Francisco Liriano, Twins (1.12)

Depth Of Knowledge

There is no greater resource than the official (and up-to-date) depth charts for each MLB club. In no particular order ...

National League
East: Marlins | Braves | Mets | Phillies | Nationals
Central: Reds | Pirates | Cubs | Brewers | Cardinals | Astros
West: Dodgers | Diamondbacks | Padres | Rockies | Giants

American League
East: Red Sox | Orioles | Rays | Yankees | Blue Jays
Central: White Sox | Tigers | Indians | Royals | Twins
West: Rangers | Angels | Athletics | Mariners

Dare To Compare

In a nod to the classic Pepsi Challenge of 1980s lore, here's a blind taste test for fantasygoers (based on Accuscore projections): Which of the five high-profile second basemen would you most prefer from this point forward (July 9-Oct. 1)? And can you guess which projections represent that of superstars Ian Kinsler and Aaron Hill?

Player A
Projected stats: .271 average, .371 OBP, 43.8 runs, 1.2 HRs, 22.6 RBIs, 20.7 steals

Player B
Projected stats: .296 average, .350 OBP, 47.8 runs, 10.1 HRs, 35.5 RBIs, 10.3 steals

Player C
Projected stats: .306 average, .406 OBP, 44.4 runs, 9.4 HRs, 43.4 RBIs, 12.2 steals

Player D
Projected stats: .280 average, .370 OBP, 48.8 runs, 9.7 HRs, 36.6 RBIs, 12.1 steals

Player E
Projected stats: .260 average, .322 OBP, 44.5 runs, 16.1 HRs, 46.4 RBIs, 2.2 steals

A -- Chone Figgins, Mariners
B -- Ben Zobrist, Rays
C -- Brandon Phillips, Reds
D -- Ian Kinsler, Rangers
E -- Aaron Hill, Blue Jays

Earning Their Stripes

One good turn deserves another. Here are the ERA shamans since June 9 (min. 15 innings):
SP Josh Johnson, Marlins (1.00)
RP Evan Meek, Pirates (1.17)
RP Mike Adams, Padres (1.23)
SP Gavin Floyd, White Sox (1.27)
SP Mat Latos, Padres (1.35)
SP Joel Pineiro, Angels (1.45)
SP Jake Peavy, White Sox (1.47)
SP CC Sabathia, Yankees (1.58)
SP Cliff Lee, Mariners (1.71)
RP Jonny Venters, Braves (1.76)
SP Kameron Loe, Rangers (1.84)
SP Max Scherzer, Tigers (1.98)
SP Johnny Cueto, Reds (1.99)
RP/SP Jason Berken, Orioles (2.04)
SP R.A. Dickey, Mets (2.18)
SP Tom Gorzelanny, Cubs (2.25)
SP Tommy Hunter, Rangers (2.30)
RP Ryan Webb, Padres (2.40)
SP Jeff Niemann, Rays (2.41)
SP Tim Hudson, Braves (2.43)
SP Yovani Gallardo, Brewers (2.45)
SP Stephen Strasburg, Nationals (2.45)
SP Jason Hammel, Rockies (2.51)
SP C.J. Wilson, Rangers (2.56)
SP Felix Hernandez, Mariners (2.59)
SP Clay Buchholz, Red Sox (2.66)
SP David Price, Rays (2.66)
SP Adam Wainwright, Cardinals (2.68)
SP Mark Buehrle, White Sox (2.70)
SP Carl Pavano, Twins (2.76)
SP Jon Lester, Red Sox (2.83)
SP Jonathon Niese, Mets (2.83)
SP Bronson Arroyo, Reds (2.85)
SP Colby Lewis, Rangers (2.86)
SP Madison Bumgarner, Giants (2.86)
SP Dave Bush, Brewers (2.87)
SP Wade LeBlanc, Padres (2.90)
SP Roy Halladay, Phillies (2.93)
SP Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers (2.94)
SP Derek Lowe, Braves (2.97)
SP Vin Mazzaro, Athletics (2.97)

Take This To The Bank

Based on Accuscore's sophisticated statistical evaluations, here are the top 20 projected home run leaders amongst first basemen from this point forward (July 9-Oct. 1):
1. Albert Pujols, Cardinals -- 19.7
2. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers -- 18.7
3. Carlos Pena, Rays -- 18.5
4. Adam Dunn, Reds -- 18.1
5. Prince Fielder, Brewers -- 17.8
6. Adrian Gonzalez, Padres -- 17.7
7. Paul Konerko, White Sox -- 17.3
8. Joey Votto, Reds -- 16.9
9. Justin Morneau, Twins -- 16.8
10. Ryan Howard, Phillies -- 16.7
11. Mark Teixeira, Yankees -- 16.3
12. Russell Branyan, Mariners -- 15.3
13. Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox -- 14.7
14. Derrek Lee, Cubs -- 12.5
15. Lance Berkman, Astros -- 11.6
16. Aubrey Huff, Giants -- 10.9
17. Adam LaRoche, Diamondbacks -- 9.5
18. Ike Davis, Mets -- 9.4
19. Matt LaPorta, Indians -- 9.0
20. Troy Glaus, Braves -- 9.0
21. Billy Butler, Royals -- 8.9
22. Justin Smoak, Rangers -- 8.8
23. Lyle Overbay, Blue Jays -- 7.9
24. Gaby Sanchez, Marlins -- 7.2
25. Scott Moore, Orioles -- 5.4

The Switch Happens In 17 Days

Without a doubt, we all love fantasy baseball. But let's be honest: The bread-and-butter sport in fantasyland is not baseball, basketball or hockey -- it's professional football, as in celebrating the NFL in all its glory. That's why on July 26, we'll make the seamless transition of expanding NFL Fantasy Clicks to twice a week (Mondays/Fridays) ... while moving the MLB Clicks to Wednesdays for all of August.

Take This To The Bank, Part II

Here are Accuscore's top 30 projected runs leaders amongst outfielders from this point forward:
1. Carl Crawford, Rays -- 56.1
2. Johnny Damon, Tigers -- 50.5
3. Denard Span, Twins -- 49.9
4. Chris Coghlan, Marlins -- 49.8
5. Ryan Braun, Brewers -- 49.4
6. Austin Jackson, Tigers -- 48.8
7. Shane Victorino, Phillies -- 48.8
8. Andrew McCutchen, Pirates -- 48.3
9. Michael Bourn, Astros -- 48.2
10. Jayson Werth, Phillies -- 47.6
11. Coco Crisp, Athletics -- 47.1
12. Nick Swisher, Yankees -- 47.1
13. Jason Bay, Mets -- 46.7
14. B.J. Upton, Rays -- 46.5
15. Michael Cuddyer, Twins -- 46.2
16. Brett Gardner, Yankees -- 46.1
17. Matt Kemp, Dodgers -- 45.9
18. Matt Holliday, Cardinals -- 45.8
19. Josh Hamilton, Rangers -- 45.7
20. Vladimir Guerrero, Rangers -- 44.8
21. Torii Hunter, Angels -- 44.5
22. Magglio Ordonez, Tigers -- 44
23. Curtis Granderson, Yankees -- 44
24. Adam Jones, Orioles -- 43.2
25. Alex Rios, White Sox -- 43.1
26. Bobby Abreu, Angels -- 42.9
27. J.D. Drew, Red Sox -- 42.4
28. Andre Ethier, Dodgers -- 42.4
29. Vernon Wells, Blue Jays -- 42.2
30. Colby Rasmus, Cardinals -- 42.1

The Great Divide

I glean real joy in obsessing over K/BB ratios in fantasyland baseball -- especially when faced with the daunting task of rebuilding WHIP totals from April/May shambles. To wit, here are the 20 best strikeout-to-walk pitching ratios since June 9 (minimum 30 Ks):
1. Josh Johnson, Marlins -- 46/4
2. Scott Baker, Twins -- 35/2
3. Cliff Lee, Mariners -- 32/2
4. Stephen Strasburg, Nationals -- 53/10
5. Felix Hernandez, Mariners -- 48/11
6. Ricky Nolasco, Marlins -- 34/4
7. Roy Halladay, Phillies -- 42/5
8. Zack Greinke, Royals -- 41/5
9. Felix Hernandez, Mariners -- 48/11
10. Yovani Gallardo, Brewers -- 45/11
11. Max Scherzer, Tigers -- 45/13
12. David Price, Rays -- 47/16
13. Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers -- 36/8
14. Jon Lester, Red Sox -- 37/7
15. Mat Latos, Padres -- 35/7
16. Gavin Floyd, White Sox -- 37/9
17. Trevor Cahill, Athletics -- 34/8
18. Jonathon Niese, Mets -- 34/9
19. CC Sabathia, Yankees -- 42/16
19a. Tim Lincecum, Giants -- 42/16

Gifts From The YouTube Gods

As a serial YouTuber of sports-related events from the 1970s and 1980s, I recently stumbled upon a gem from 1978-79: Hall of Famer, er, legendary hit king Pete Rose introducing the world to Atari Baseball, with some assistance from an unknown umpire (definitely not Ron Luciano) and the world's clunkiest television set -- one that undoubtedly forced viewers to manually change the channel every five minutes. And as an added bonus, check out Don Knotts' borderline-creepy cameo for the game Breakout.

It's hard to believe now, but Rose was one of the most bankable product pitchmen of his time. From Atari, Kool-Aid and Wheaties to Tegrin and this jewel from Aqua Velva ... which might go down as the last sexist commercial toward women journalists in sports history. And for sitcom buffs, check out Vic Tayback, aka Mel from TV's Alice, giving Rose the business in an Aqua Velva spot that predates his sitcom rise to fame. Good stuff!

The Missing Links

Here are the Web sites I check every morning -- in the name of 24/7 roster improvements:
**Baseball America
**Baseball America's 2010 Top Prospects
**Rotowire Player Search Database (great for targeting prospects)
**MinorLeagueBaseball.com's stats page
**MLB.com's fantasy page
**Baseball-Reference
**Baseball Prospectus
**Accuscore.com
**Retrosheet
**The Hardball Times
**Dallas Morning News' Rangers blog (co-writers Richard Durrett, Jeff Wilson)
**Seattle Times' Mariners blog (Geoff Baker, author)

Hot In Cleveland

I bet you thought this mini-section would feature a capsule review of the new TV Land sitcom, Hot In Cleveland, huh? Or maybe it would have detailed the temperature readings of Ohioans scorned from the loss of LeBron James to the NBA's Miami Heat? (Speaking of which, did you see Cavs owner Dan Gilbert's scathing letter to the fans, ripping The King? A truly stunning turn of events!) Instead, it's a reminder to the fantasy masses that Indians closer Kerry Wood (4 saves, 0.96 WHIP since June 9) is looking like his old 2003 self ... and rookies Carlos Santana and Matt LaPorta are primed for big, big things after the All-Star break. So, act now (especially in AL-only leagues).

As for Hot In Cleveland, starring Jane Leeves, Valerie Bertinelli, Wendie Malick and the red-hot Betty White, it's good to see that TV Land proffered a hit in its first-ever foray into original sitcoms ... but still, is it wise to construct a show around four independent women -- without Meshach Taylor?

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