I don't always play fantasy baseball, but when I do, I use the Rotoworld Fantasy Draft Guide

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RW.jpgWe interrupt this program for some shameless promotion. Partially self-promotion, actually, which you’re used to from me by now, so it shouldn’t be a big deal.  Anyway:

As you all know, Aaron, Matthew, D.J., Drew and many others spend a huge amount of their time making your fantasy baseball life better over at Rotoworld.  Their biggest labor of love with that stuff, however, is putting together the annual Rotoworld Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide.  The 2010 edition is on sale now, and it’s more than worth the Andrew Jackson plus shipping they’re asking for it.

What do you get for your money? Plenty: analysis, projections, and profiles for over 1,000 players ranging down to A-ball.  Articles covering prospects, keeper-league strategies, mock drafts, sleepers and busts. There are customizable, printable cheat sheets, updated depth charts for
all teams and all manner of other goodness.

I’m a fantasy baseball moron, but I wrote a couple of articles for the thing too, most notably the 2010 “Year in Preview” in which I make hilarious predictions of what might come to pass this year, such as “Joe Mauer gets his tongue stuck to the flag pole of Target Field, ‘Christmas Story’-style following a triple dog dare.” Of course, the piece went to press before the McGwire stuff broke, rendering my “hilarious” prediction that, no matter how much candor McGwire displays, reporters will still call for him to “come clean” and call him a “distraction” less humorous than prescient. This could bode ill for Joe Mauer.

Anyway, I don’t try to sell you a lot of stuff around here, but the Rotoworld Draft guide is definitely worth buying.  Details here. Order here. Operators are out having a smoke break, so some automated order-fulfillment application is standing by!

Umpire ejects Adrian Beltre for moving on-deck circle

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As far as ejections go, this is one of the stranger ones you’ll hear about. Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre was ejected in the bottom of the eighth inning of a game his team trailed at the time 18-6. Beltre was a few feet away from the circle towards home plate and was asked by Marlins pitcher Drew Steckenrider to get into the circle. So rather than step a few feet back to his right, Beltre picked up the circle and dragged it to where he was. And that got him ejected by second base umpire Gerry Davis. Manager Jeff Banister was also ejected after having a word with Davis.

Here’s a video from Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports:

Beltre, by the way, went 3-for-3 with a walk, a pair of doubles, and a solo home run. He’s now four hits away from 3,000 for his career.

Video: Phillies prospect J.P. Crawford hits an inside-the-park grand slam

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Phillies shortstop prospect J.P. Crawford’s stock has fallen sharply this season. He had an abysmal first three months, batting .203/.321/.276 in 291 plate appearances. Baseball America rated him the 12th overall prospect in baseball going into the season and rated him No. 92 in their midseason top 100. It was bad.

Since the calendar turned to July, however, Crawford has been more like his normal self. In 92 at-bats this month entering Wednesday night’s action, he was hitting .300/.391/.650 with six home runs, 13 RBI, 18 runs scored, and a terrific 15/12 K/BB ratio.

Crawford padded his stats more on Wednesday night as he circled the bases for an inside-the-park grand slam. Via the IronPigs Twitter:

Crawford was actually dead-to-rights at home, but he fooled the catcher with a great late slide.

Crawford finished 1-for-3 with a walk along with the slam on the night as the IronPigs beat the Gwinnett Braves 8-2.