Sunday, May 27, 2007

Ladies & Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!!!

Memorial Day weekend is a time to remember all of those who selflessly have served and are serving our great nation... it's also a time where they traditionally run the Indianapolis 500, also known as the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing"... Since 1911, "the Brickyard" has hosted racing's most prestigious event. It was "the race" to watch throughout the decades - with names like Foyt, Unser, Mears, Rutherford, Johncock and Andretti amongst those who made history there... With the split between CART and the IRL in the mid-90's, people began to watch the race less and less... in the early 2000's it was to the point where there was some genuine concern about the race's future... Two years ago, Danica Patrick burst onto the scene and unlike any other woman racer before, she was actually VERY competitive even leading the race for a few laps before fading to a fourth place finish. Danica helped bring in a whole new legion of fans, both old and new - as a result, people are actually tuning into the race again!!! Last year's race was truly amazing as Sam Hornish Jr. passed Marco Andretti on the final straightaway for a dramatic victory. This year is notable because for the first time, three women have made the field including the aforementioned Patrick, who starts in 8th. Live coverage of the race begins on your local ABC station at 12 noon ET/9 am PT.


Today is the second installment of my "Don't Forget To Remember Me" series... Yesterday, I covered the great Pedro Martinez... Nick Johnson of the Washington Nationals is today's subject... At 28 years of age, Nick is in what should be the prime of his career. Looking at last year's numbers, it seems that this indeed is the case, as Nick posted many career bests including a .290 batting average, 46 doubles, 23 home runs, 77 RBI's and 10 steals in exactly 500 at bats. He also drew 110 walks, and finished the season with the 4th best on-base percentage in the National league (.428), and also an impressive .520 slugging percentage. His .948 OPS (On Base + Slugging Pct.) ranked 10th in the NL in 2006. Nick has always been immensely talented, but he's also always been injury prone, and his career best season came to a crashing halt quite literally as he broke his leg in a collision with teammate Austin Kearns on September 23rd of last year. Nick was originally hoping to be back before the season started, but it's been a slow healing process for him... Nick is now participating in fielding drills and batting practice and is targeting a return by the end of June. Nick is a huge asset in regular rotisserie leagues, but he's an even bigger one in the so-called Sabermetric leagues due to his propensity to draw walks... If you have an empty roster spot, now would be a good time to stash him as he should definitely provide a huge boost to your fantasy team in the second half of this season!!!


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