As you may or may not know, us authors can check out the traffic statistics for Fake Teams. This includes page views, referral sites, and searches that lead to our stories.
I was looking through the info for a minute, when I stumbled upon one of the searches that led a Google (or Bing or Yahoo) user to my last article, Home Runs and Hate Mail.
"What percent of baseball fans hate Joe Morgan"
Who searches that? Aside from the slight grammatical error that I want to let go but can't, does anyone honestly believe this is a quantifiable amount?
Did this guy (or girl) think there was going to be a clean WikiAnswers page that promptly told him: 44 percent?
For whatever reason, this guy (unwittingly) got into my head. Seriously, I wonder what the percentage actually is. Even as a kid I remember thinking, "I want to like him commentating, I just don't." But I assume someone out there, a Reds fan probably, gets jacked up for the games Morgan is on. I just haven't met that guy yet. (By the way, when I write about Morgan, I'm writing about Morgan announcing. I don't think many people besides Billy Beane/Michael Lewis have a problem with him personally.)
See what this one little search did to me? I've written over 200 words on Joe Morgan--and he has nothing to do with the baseball portion of this article. Nothing.
Before this unrelated open gets to become the story itself, let's just dive right into some red-hot players.
Chris Johnson, 3B
It's nice that the kid is hitting. And if you picked him up once he started, that's nice too. Let me put it this way. His BABIP is .426. His xBABIP is .325. Now that isn't going to last. He also has never hit more than 14 HRs in a season in the minors. Don't go expecting 10 more.
Adam LaRoche, 1B
I'm going to go ahead and prematurely pat myself on the back. Look, I have to. The guy is playing great right now and was probably my No. 1 sticking-my-neck-out-for-this-guy player in the midseason rankings. So far (fingers crossed) it looks like I've been right. I'm confident he'll keep it up.
Clay Buchholz, SP
If I were a Buchholz owner, watching him give up three earned runs while walking no one would be fine by me. My concern all season long with Buchholz has been the walks. So starts like his last one against the Yankee is a good sign. I'm still wary of the BBs, but am reasonably comfortable with Buchholz going forward.
Ted Lilly, SP
Another one of the pitchers I liked more than most at the break. Lilly is pitching well right now, and he would be pitching better if can avoid the long ball. In the (mostly) cavernous parks in the NL West, I look for that trend to improve with time. Still a fan of Lilly.
Aaron Hill, 2B
It's not been a fun year to own Hill. I stuck it out with him in a couple leagues, believing that his impressively low line drive rate could not be sustained. That was true, but not by much. At this point, I'm not expecting anything out of the batting average besides maybe .240 from here on out. But that .240 will come with power, making him a fine option at 2B.
Juan Pierre, OF
I know I've written this before, but Pierre is a lifetime .298 hitter. And he's still 32 (for two more days...). The batting average was holding Pierre back, but with him hitting better it should really help his SB and run totals, which it has recently. I expect that to continue.