Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Media Guide: A Fantasy Swiss Army Knife

Used as a go to piece of information by journalists, and a collectible item by diehard fans, the media guide has always been a multifaceted tool.  But in today's fantasy leagues in which players delve deeper and deeper into the control and building of a franchise, the media guide offers valuable information to the fantasy manager on all levels.  By bringing to gather valuable statistical information on players of all levels, the media guide also breaks down a players career, how they got to where they are today, and other personal information as well.

In leagues that try to mimic the professional organizational structure as much as possible, the media guide offers a fantasy manager a one stop shop for all of the player information, from the major league level down to the minor league affiliates.  Leagues that allow players to take control of a franchise and build it over years and years much like a team would in real life can use the media guide to see the most recent draft selections, and also look at the Rookie league rosters as well.  Most media guides are roughly 450 some pages, and provide background information on the organization, as well as the executive and coaching staffs that make the team tick on a day to day basis.

Beyond being incredibly useful for fantasy players and stat geeks, the media guides are just plain fun to read and browse through.  I stumbled upon the 2011 Oakland A's media guide this past week online, and found myself turning through the pages for quite some time.  For baseball fans, nothing is more interesting than seeing individual players broken down, both statistically and on a career wide level.  Fore example, a large number of players currently on the Oakland roster were all originally drafted by the Chicago White Sox.  The media guides also provide historical information on the teams, previous first round draft picks, former award winners, team record holders etc.  Some interesting draft picks I cam across in the Oakland media guide:

6a01157061294d970b01156f8a556d970c-800wi.jpg1966: Reggie Jackson, OF
1984: Mark McGuire, 1B
1985: Walt Weiss, SS
1990: Todd Van Poppel, RHP
1994: Ben Grieve, OF
1996: Eric Chavez, SS
1998: Mark Mulder, LHP
1999: Barry Zito, LHP
2001: Bobby Crosby, SS
2002: Nick Swisher, OF
          Joe Blanton, RHP

Most media guides can be found at the ballpark, and some are found on the teams website, or eBay if you're attempting to look for a bargain.  TPD did a little research and was able to find three media guides offered for free online, and those are listed below:

Oakland Athletics 2011 Media Guide
Detroit Tigers 2011 Media Guide
Cincinnati Reds 2011 Media Guide

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


ALDS Match Ups

1. New York Yankees (win in 4 games)
4. Detroit Tigers

2. Texas Rangers
3. Boston Red Sox (Wildcard) (win in 7 games)

TPD foresees a common matchup taking place in the ALCS this coming fall.  A classic match up between the Yankees and Red Sox will determine the AL representative in the World Series, and it will place arguably two of the best teams in the entire league this season.

Yankees vs. Tigers
The Yankees will make quick work of a far inferior Tigers team.  TPD was tempted to give Detroit one game in the series when they have Verlander toe the rubber, but he'll be matched up against Sabathia, and we feel that those two cancel out, ultimately allowing the better offense to win.  Despite a solid core of batsmen in their lineup (Cabrera, Ordonez, and Martinez), they can't stand up to the slug fest that is the New York roster.  Overall, New York's depth will be too much for the Tigers to handle, and a much deeper pitching staff overall will lead the Yankees to victory.

Rangers vs. Red Sox
The matchup between the AL West champ and the AL Wildcard should be the most interesting of them all in the Division Series in both leagues.  TPD firmly believes in the pitching staff the Red Sox have put together, and with the resurgence of Josh Beckett, the Red Sox look to have a formidable pitching staff set for the playoffs.  Texas, on the other hand, is more of a toss up when it comes to their staff.  The Rangers are going to be relying on a lot of young, inexperienced arms to lead their team during the playoffs, and despite their juggernaut like offense, their youngsters will ultimately be their achilles heel.  We expect the Red Sox offense to also be in good shape, and feel that the early struggles of Carl Crawford will ultimately blow over and he'll be to true form far before October comes around.

Note: Two Point Diversion is proud to announce our new endeavor with the website  We will be posting content on their site a few times a week.  Be sure to check us out on ProFSL, as well as our Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The 2011 UFL Season

With the NFL in constant limbo, there are two football seasons that seem to be set in stone to play this coming fall.  NCAA football as always will dominate Saturdays, but if you still haven't heard, the United Football League (UFL) plays under it's lights primarily on Thursday nights during the fall season.  Created two years ago in 2009, the UFL has been a haven for castaway NFL'ers looking for a second chance, and those not-so-marquee name players from the college ranks looking to continue their playing careers and move a step closer to the big time Sundays of the NFL.  The UFL this year has a golden opportunity with the chance of an NFL lockout, to be the primary supplier of professional football, and could make an entry into the fantasy sports market as well.

The past two seasons, the UFL has done it's best to attract bigger name players onto their rosters, and this year, two players in particular caught our eye.  You may remember quarterbacks Colt Brennan and Pat White from their days at Hawaii and West Virginia, respectively, but we can almost guarantee you don't remember them for their playing days with the Redskins and the Dolphins.  Both Brennan and White have been listed on the 10 man reserve list for the Hartford Colonials (Brennan) and the Virginia Destroyers (White), the UFL's newest franchise.  Brennan's place on the Colonials has an added bonus for the quarterback, a chance to be reunited with Jerry Glanville; the two were together at Hawaii when Brennan set the NCAA record for touchdowns in a season.

 TPD predicts a breakout season for the young Brennan, who despite limited playing time in the NFL, has always possessed the skills to be an effective passer when placed in the correct system.  We predict Pat White to be competitive as well.  Last season, Daunte Culpepper joined the UFL with the Sacramento Mountain Lions, and had the most rushing yards amongst quarterbacks in 2010 with 94.  Pat White, if given an opportunity, could smash that number and bring some of the flare seen in the NFL to the UFL if Virginia chooses to operate out of a Wildcat package now and then.  Both quarterbacks are in positions to compete for the starting jobs, Brennan competing with Josh McCown, and White's field being wide open on the brand new Destroyers.

Some other names perk our interest quite a bit as well.  Former Cal running back J.J. Arrington joins the Las Vegas Locomotives, and the Omaha Nighthawks welcome back Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett.  Arrington joins the two time defending UFL champion Locomotives, who were led on the ground by back DeDe Dorsey, who was second in the league in rushing behind Florida's Dominic Rhodes (547) with 439 rushing yards.  Arrington has a chance to join a platoon of RB's that were both equally effective last year, as fellow Locomotive back Marcel Shipp gained 318 yards on the season.  Maurice Clarett accumulated 154 yards on the ground running as the primary backup to former Green Bay star Ahman Green (253).  However, we see Clarett's role increasing and expect him to have a standout season as well.

Stay tuned to TPD as we'll continue to provide coverage of the UFL and breakdowns at each position.  Despite the low key nature of the league, TPD sees the UFL as a great league to follow and watch, especially if you're looking to follow some players from your alma mater that may have made rosters.  It's also a great opportunity for a nice little fantasy league as well, and there are enough players with names that are recognizable to football fans that you don't have to be a diehard to be competitive.

Monday, April 25, 2011


NLDS Match-Ups

1. Philadelphia Phillies (win in 6 games)
3. Milwaukee Brewers

2. Colorado Rockies
4. Atlanta Braves (Wildcard) (win in 5 games)

TPD likes the NL East this year, particularly the two teams sitting atop of the division at the end of the year.  With Atlanta winning the wildcard and Philadelphia having the best overall record in the NL, we see them both moving on through the NLDS.  Here are our breakdowns of the two series:

Phillies vs. Brewers
We have this one going six games, but to be completely honest, we're not totally sure we picked the correct winner.  Part of TPD really wanted to go with the Brewers, as we feel this series will be pitchers duel after pitchers duel.  We like the Milwaukee offense a lot more than Philadelphia's, but we like the Phillies starting staff more than Milwaukee's, if only by a hair.  However, the playoffs are all about pitching, and a great pitching staff can find more ways to silent a great order than the other way around.  We see Philly taking this series, but not by much.

Rockies vs. Braves
This series is much like the one above.  We like Colorado's offense a little more than Atlanta's, but we're head over heels about Atlanta's pitching when compared to the Rockies' staff.  TPD thinks the top three starters for the Braves will be too much for the Rockies to handle, and that Colorado doesn't have enough pitching to keep the series close.  We see Ubaldo Jimenez getting the Rockies one win, but the Braves will take the other four in efficient fashion.

As always, please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.  Comment on the posts if you agree, disagree, etc. and spread the word about the Two Point Diversion!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

MLB Picks: NL West

NL West
1. Colorado Rockies
2. San Francisco Giants
3. Los Angeles Dodgers
4. San Diego Padres
5. Arizona Diamondbacks

The NL West is really a very dull division this season.  Despite the fact that the eventual World Series Champs came out of the West last season, TPD really is not too excited about any of these teams, that is except, Colorado.  The Rockies are off to a hot start, and that offense is going to be a tough customer all season long.  The only issue we see Colorado running into down the road is their pitching, but with an offense like theirs and Tulo leading that club, their pitchers will have plenty of breathing room.  We have the Giants coming in second in the division, and its mainly because they don't seem to have any consistency.  That pitching staff looks great on paper, but when game time comes around, you can never be quite sure what you're going to get.  Brian Wilson may have had the "fear the beard" mojo working for him last season, but we don't see the dominating stuff that carried this team in the late innings of the playoffs.  Plus, that lineup isn't all that intimidating, and really can't hold up against to better pitchers in the league.

Of the three teams that round out the bottom of the division, only San Diego gives us any hope.  With all of the off-field issues surrounding the Dodgers, its anyones guess as to how their season will play out, which is too bad because guys like Andre Either and especially Matt Kemp (who's been really pulling his weight in fantasy ball this season) are having great starts to their 2011 campaign.  San Diego was hurt by the loss of Adrian Gonzalez, but still has a young, promising pitching staff.  However, they have NO offense.  Truly, absolutely NONE of it.  There isn't a bat in that lineup that would make any pitcher worth his salt take a second look.  TPD doesn't see much success in Arizona either, as the D-backs really don't look to pose much of a threat this season, but they too have a young core of players that could be built around in the years to come.

MLB Picks: NL Central

NL Central
1. Milwaukee Brewers
2. Cincinnati Reds
3. St. Louis Cardinals
4. Chicago Cubs
5. Pittsburgh Pirates
6. Houston Astros

TPD believes in the Brew Crew big time this season.  With a pitching staff that will soon feature Zach Greinke, Shawn Marcum, and Yovani Gallardo (Who finally doesn't have the burden of carrying a staff), we see Milwaukee taking charge of the division.  The only thing that could through a wrench into their success is the decision on what to do with Prince Fielder at the deadline.  Many believe Prince won't be coming back, so it will depend in large part as to how the Crew is competing at that point.  If they're in charge of the division and rolling right along, we predict they'll keep Prince, or if they do deal him, trade for something adequate as well.  Any sign of trouble however, and Prince might be out in exchange for players that will payoff a few years down the road.

Cincinnati and St. Louis are interchangeable in our book.  The Reds are showing why they won the division last year, and they aren't just a one hit wonder, and St. Louis is now turning their season around as Pujols starts to heat up.  Our only concern with both teams is the starting staff.  With Wainwright out, St. Louis is lacking a third solid arm in their rotation, and the Reds staff still seems unproven.  Looking at the lower half of the division, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Houston all seem a bit hopeless.  Chicago is a team lacking any excitement as there is really no marquee player in their order, and they have a staff that just doesn't do it for us either.  TPD really likes the roster the Pirates have put together, but they're still a few years away from really competing.  Keep an eye out on Pedro Alvarez, we really think he has the makings to be something great.  And Houston is perhaps the most helpless.  A staff without a pitcher that would make you even slightly scared, and a lineup thats a yawn fest as well.  Look for a tight three way race for the top, but ultimately St. Louis will fall off and Milwaukee's pitching will take them to the next level.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

MLB Picks: NL East

NL East
1. Philadelphia Phillies
2. Atlanta Braves
3. Florida Marlins
4. New York Mets
5. Washington Nationals

As big of fans of Atlanta as TPD is, we don't see them being able to beat out the stable of aces the Phillies have on their roster.  Halladay, Lee, Hamels, and Oswalt are too good to be consistently beat, making them a long-term threat in the playoffs as well.  With that said, their offense is still shaky especially with the loss of Utley, and that bullpen isn't as solid as they'd like either.  Atlanta's starting staff is no slouch either, with Lowe, Hudson, and Hanson.  They'll be competitive all year long and with the solid start Chipper Jones has had, he brings an extra bat to a pretty decent lineup.

Florida always seems to be frisky, and this year again is no exception.  Mike Stanton is thought to be the real deal, and this season will be a good test.  Combined with Chris Coghlan, Gaby Sanchez, and Hanley Ramirez, this is a young Marlins team that will give the top teams a run for their money.  The Mets are almost to the point where they really don't matter.  Gone are the days of 2001 when Piazza and the crew led the Mets to the series, and now you rarely hear anything but disappointment out of Citi Field.  The team is highlighted by Bay, Beltran, Wright and Reyes, but rarely are all of them able to put it together at the same time.  And unfortunately, with Washington, they lost their big ticket name in Stephen Strasburg, who is currently on the 60 day DL but not really likely to see much time this year.  You know things are rough when Livan Hernandez is leading your rotation, but the Nats are young and are looking to just get better with each game.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Chipper Jones

In honor of Chipper's great start to the season, here's a link to a video we think is just about as good as it gets.

MLB Picks: AL West

AL West
1. Texas Rangers
2. Oakland Athletics
3. Los Angeles Angels
4. Seattle Mariners

This season is highlighted by a number of teams in contention that are depending upon young pitchers to carry their staff.  The two teams TPD sees finishing at the top of the AL West are among those teams.  With the loss of Cliff Lee, the Rangers are now depending on hurlers like Colby Lewis, and youngsters Matt Harrison and Alexi Ogando to carry the team on the hill.  The plus for the Texas pitching staff is that the Ranger lineup can absolutely mash, which gives their pitchers plenty of wiggle room as they grow throughout the season.  The Oakland Athletics are another team depending on a stable full of young promising arms.  Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, Gio Gonalez, and Brandon McCarthy (who TPD thinks has the makings of a really great pitcher) make up the A's starting staff, and all show great promise.  Oakland's only issue lies in their batting order, which is made up of consistent hitters, but lacks the few great stars needed to carry an offense.

At the bottom of the division, we find the Angels and the Mariners, both predicted their by TPD because of their pitching staff.  L.A.'s offense has some staying power, and they'll prove to be a formidable opponent, but beyond Jared Weaver, the rest of the staff is a number of question marks.  Look for them to compete however, and TPD wouldn't be shocked if they were in a tight race for the top spot coming down the stretch.  One thing we are certain of however, is a last place finish by the Mariners.  One can only watch in disappointment as an aging Ichiro Suzuki finds himself on a poor Mariners team again.  The pitching staff is highlighted as always by King Felix, but also has added interest with rookie Michael Pineda.  Ultimately, the Mariners will falter in large part because of their inability to produce runs.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tecmo Super Bowl

Hey all,
Just found a great link to a website that will let you play old school Tecmo Superbowl Football.  The game is a classic and lets you play as Bo Jackson and other greats of the game.  Check it out:

P.S. How awesome is the music for the game.

MLB Picks: AL Central

AL Central
1.Detroit Tigers
2.Kansas City Royals
3.Cleveland Indians
4.Minnesota Twins
5.Chicago White Sox

TPD predicts a huge swing of power in the AL Central this year.  As of this moment, Cleveland and Kansas City sit atop the division, but similar to the young pitching staff of the Orioles, we're not sure how long they can hold out.  To be completely honest, this is just a shot in the dark, and this division could go any number of ways.

TPD likes Detroit to pull out the division because of their offensive power and a pitching staff headlined by Justin Verlander, one of the only true go-to aces in the division.  Kansas City and Cleveland are interchangeable as far as we're concerned, and it's obvious that they are trying to change the culture in their respected cities, whether or not that will last is yet to be seen.  The Twins and the White Sox are huge question marks to us right now.  Minnesota has perhaps the most boring and un-intimidating starting staff in the majors.  It's a yawn fest from Pavano to Duensing to Blackburn and Slowey.  The only pitcher who shows promise is Liriano, and thus far he's had a down year.  Combine that with a shaky bullpen with a battered former closer and an offense that can't seem to string hits together, and you've got a team that unless it can put itself together, will find its way to the bottom of the division.  The White Sox, on the other hand, we believe are just off to a slow start, but they also could just not have the "it" factor this season.

Like we said, TPD has know idea how this could end up.  We could just as easily seeing the normal order of power come back into place with Chicago, Minnesota, and Detroit all fighting for the top spot while the Indians and Royals settle back into the cellar.  But why not shake it up a bit, right?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

MLB Picks: AL East

Two Point Diversion is starting a six part blog post over the next few days that will name our predictions for this young MLB season.  We'll go division by division, offering some explanation for our predictions ultimately leading to our playoff and World Series picks.

AL East
1. New York Yankees 
2. Boston Red Sox
3. Baltimore Orioles
4. Tampa Bay Rays
5. Toronto Blue Jays

TPD has the Yankees taking the AL East this year.  Unlike Boston, New York has the swagger of a team that can win, and their starting staff continues to make strides later in the rotation.  An absolute front man in Sabathia will lead that team to the top of the East.  Despite their recent funk, Boston has too much talent to stay at the bottom of the division for too long, and a re-emergent Beckett and Dice K are pivotal to their season.  Baltimore is the up and coming team, and its about time.  A staff thats carried by a group of young arms and a lineup that rivals some of the best slow pitch, 12 ft. arch softball teams, TPD thinks the Orioles show promise, but look for them to take a dip in the middle of the season once teams start seeing the young pitchers a couple times around.  Tampa and Toronto both show some promise, but are shells of their former selves after both teams lost key players this past offseason.  We feel legitimately upset for David Price, and feel that Kyle Drabek has the tools to be a consistent starter down the road.  Post a comment if you agree or disagree with any of our decisions, and check our Facebook page and our Twitter for updates!

Book Recommendation

With college basketball ending a few weeks ago and the NBA beginning their playoffs, we felt that some of you basketball lovers out there were looking for a good read to go along with all the recent basketball action.  If interested, check out Play Their Hearts Out by George Dohrmann.  The book follows an AAU coach and his team throughout their careers, and most of the players are now playing college ball around the country.  It's a solid read and very well written, as Dohrmann has quite a list of accomplishments under his belt, including a Pulitzer Prize for his work with the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Nonetheless, check the book out, its a solid read for any sports fan and a great one for a basketball fan, especially if you liked Hoop Dreams.  Also, you can check out Dohrmann's website,, on which he updates information about the players followed in the book (we recommend that you read the book first before going to his website, the end of the book lists where all of the players are attending and it's an added level of suspense throughout the book).

Welcome to Two Point Diversion

Hello and welcome to The Two Point Diversion, a sports blog that is meant to entertain, inform, and interact with it's readers in a variety of ways.  We'll post columns, our takes on stories and issues in sports, short news pieces, and other opportunities available to our readers.

One of the first things The Two Point Diversion is planning on offering is a UFL Fantasy Football league.  With the unpredictable future of the NFL this coming season, we thought it would be a great way to get to know the other professional football league in U.S.  The TPD has been a huge fan of the UFL from the start and wants it's readers to join in on the fun.  So stay posted as more information will be coming soon.

As always, feel free to contact us at, or find us on Facebook or on Twitter @twoptdiv.