The Moonball Blog

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Moonball Opening Day

The NBA season begins tonight - and I realized that after the draft we forgot to make our predictions for who will make it to this year's playoffs, NBA Champ, MVP, ROY, etc.

So before the season gets too far underway, here is an online form that will allow you to prognosticate. Close your eyes to the present, see the future, and tell me who it's gonna be.


Thanks to the Knicks cutting Jalen Rose, I got a chance to learn the commissioner tools on Yahoo last night in a live situation. Truth is, they're pretty weak. I can't do much except change your rosters and change league settings. So think of me as an MC, not as a God. I know it will be a change from last year.

I also discovered Yahoo needs time to "digest" any moves you make...not only trades, but all moves. These deadlines are important to understand, since our rosters are set weekly so they can have a longer impact than just the processing time.

Here's how it looks right now, working backwards:

Monday - Rosters are due
Sunday - Free agent and waiver pickups are due, if you want them available to you Monday when you set your roster. Also, if you're out of town and need me to put in your roster for you, I will need it by Sunday.
Friday - Trades are due
Thursday - Trade-Supermoves? I am guessing that it will take trade time, plus a day to pick up your free agent. Not sure yet. I will try to verify this before anyone tries one.

As you can see, this is not the rapid-fire league we are used to...and with a weekly format the timing of all moves will be important. So please try to pay attention.

And now, friends, let's get it started...

Monday, October 30, 2006

Good analysis of the game

Read it, live it, learn it.

Troubles for HP All-Stars Even Before Game 1

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Another way to list players...

At least our draft and the NBA Salary structure agree on one thing.

2006-07 NBA Top 30 Salaries

1. Kevin Garnett Minnesota Timberwolves $21,000,000
2. Chris Webber Philadelphia 76ers $20,718,750
2. Allan Houston *Retired $20,718,750
4. Michael Finley ** San Antonio Spurs $20,154,625
5. Shaquille O'Neal Miami Heat $20,000,000
6. Allen Iverson Philadelphia 76ers $18,281,250
7. Jason Kidd New Jersey Nets $18,084,000
7. Jermaine O'Neal Indiana Pacers $18,084,000
9. Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers $17,718,750
10. Tim Duncan San Antonio Spurs $17,429,671
11. Brian Grant *** Boston Celtics $17,370,625
12. Stephon Marbury New York Knicks $17,275,781
13. Grant Hill Orlando Magic $16,901,500
13. Jalen Rose New York Knicks $16,901,500
13. Tracy McGrady Houston Rockets $16,901,500
16. Eddie Jones Memphis Grizzlies $15,680,000
17. Antawn Jamison Washington Wizards $15,101,626
17. Vince Carter New Jersey Nets $15,101,626
17. Dirk Nowitzki Dallas Mavericks $15,101,626
17. Paul Pierce Boston Celtics $15,101,626
21. Baron Davis Golden State Warriors $15,070,000
21. Shawn Marion Phoenix Suns $15,070,000
21. Steve Francis New York Knicks $15,070,000
24. Ray Allen Seattle SuperSonics $14,611,570
25. Elton Brand Los Angeles Clippers $14,248,000
26. Larry Hughes Cleveland Cavaliers $13,363,012
26. Michael Redd Milwaukee Bucks $13,260,000
28. Joe Johnson Atlanta Hawks $12,744,190
29. Mike Bibby Sacramento Kings $12,500,000
30. Lamar Odom Los Angeles Lakers $12,489,000

* New York still owes the retired Allan Houston $20 million this season
** Dallas will be paying Michael Finley $35 million over the next two seasons
*** The Celtics have kept Grant on the roster but ruled out that he will ever play a game for them. The Lakers still owe him $15,000,000this season

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Position List

Do we have a position list in spreadsheet form as in years past?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Draft Day Details

After a summer of much preparation, we're finally getting down to it. Are you ready to go 14 deep?

The draft begins Saturday at 2PM EST. I've set up a chatroom on this webpage ( I think will be easier than using the messaging system on Yahoo. Go there right now and try it if you like.

Even though we can't be all together at HP's work like last year, I'm hoping that some of you get together in other towns. We'll be having Ted's 19th Hole BBQ at my house for the Minneapolis draft...and if anyone will change your mind and come to Minneapolis, I will buy you half a chicken. Also, at 1:59PM EST if everyone could start humming Enter Sandman wherever you're logging in from, that would be great.

Once we've drafted, I'll set up the teams in Yahoo. Then you can go in and change your weekly starting lineups as often as you like by Monday 11:59 PM PST, and be ready for games Tuesday.

Questions? Lemme know.

Friday, October 20, 2006

What's in a Name?

With a week to kill before the moonball draft, I thought I’d tell you about Red Black N Blue. A lot of you used to ask me what Key Off U meant. So I thought I would expound a little on my new team name, to help pass some time as we count down to draft day.

Before you continue reading, however, you should know that blogging of this sort is considered unhealthy by the Restored Church of God. They point out the perils of talking about yourself online in blogs. (The irony of making their missive available online seems to have been lost on the Church.)

Here is an excerpt from their website:

Perhaps the largest problem with blogs is they cater to one’s vanity. Human beings are naturally self-centered and proud, and young people are certainly no exception! Note how the Bible describes this generation: “There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness. There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! And their eyelids are lifted up” (Prov. 30:12-13).

If you post mundane details of your life, you are in effect saying that your life is important and that people should read about it. Also, whether or not you admit it, having a blog with your name, your picture and your opinions strokes the human ego—it lifts you up. It essentially advertises the self! Many teenagers say, “Listen to me, world, and what I have to say,” when they should be focused on changing and cleaning up their lives.

If you blog, are you sure you do not partially enjoy it because your carnal nature is inclined toward vanity?”

Even though blogs may promote excessive navel gazing, they can help you point others to other cool content on the web. And I freely admit that Moonball stirs my carnal nature, so I will continue. First, I’m proud of Hello Shooters, especially after jumping deep into the money last year for the first time. Hello Shooters will someday make a triumphant return, just like Me-Wolves claims he will do. But I’m sure you’ll all agree that this year feels different, so I chose to make a break and do something new.

The name Red N Black comes from a Blue Oyster Cult song, which was also covered by fIREHOSE on their Live Totem Pole CD. You can listen to it here.

The Red and the Black has been the theme song for my Moonball teams since I turned to it for inspiration during the dark days of my 2nd moonball season. That was the year I lost Ron Artest for the year after the brawl at the Palace, and then traded DCassel Elton Brand for an injured Baron Davis. Also included in the package was Shareef Abdur-Rahim, who suddenly rediscovered a bone chip in his elbow dating back to his high school days…and he proceeded to sit for most of the rest of the season. Hello Shooters plummeted into the Moonball basement, and into the depths of despair. That is also the year that things started to turn bad for the Wolves, who I had fully expected to contend for an NBA championship.

It was a long cold winter. And the Red and the Black gave me a ray of hope in the darkness. The song describes the cold tundras of the north, backed up by some over the top rock and roll. There are nonsensical lyrical gems like “Hornswoop me bungo pony, dogsled on ice" between shouts of “C’mon my husky” (Hello! Shooters!) But the part that drew me in was that in each chorus Mike Watt keeps yelling, “It’s all right! It’s all right! My honey knows it’s all right…” And that is what I needed to hear right then. I was hoping my own men in the Red and Black, Abdur-Rahim, Darius Miles and Luol Deng would come back and save me. They didn’t. But Baron Davis (and a little bit of Matt Harpring) helped pull me back to a respectable 8th place finish.

Later on, I came to find that the song is about Canadian Mounties, like the benevolent cartoon character Dudley Do-Right. Since I’m commish this year, I’ll probably have to be a cop sometimes. So, I figure…may as well be a mountie. Red N Black.

I also liked the colors Red N Black because they are the color of the Portland Trailblazers, the first NBA team I loved. (No way could I abide the Laettner-era Wolves.) And there’s a shout to the remedial graphic splendor of our old Moonball site site, TQStats.

The Blue represents the Timberwolves, whose slogan these days is “True Blue.” They have lived up to their slogan, and mostly made fans blue lately, but here’s to another year. Blue is also how I felt when I thought the Rat House Gang was leaving, and I decided to extend my new team name to include that, and not take our league for granted. You’re all awesome.

Red Black n Blue also reminds me of the colors of the American flag after it’s been dragged through a slimy tar pit. These are indeed dark times, but you can read about that on the political blogs.

Thanks gentle reader. Now you know who your commishin’ competition is …I am a Wolf-loving Mountie man who just wants you to know that if your season turns blue, take heart and remember the Red and the Black. Cuz Honey knows it’s all right.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I've heard it said that this is already the worst Moonball season ever...maybe we just need to change games.

Who would you draft first?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Keep MoonBall Alive!

First we have a near-defection from the ranks, now we're looking at the lowest turnout for the MoonBall Draft since we started having a Draft Central. Look, I realize that this is already turning out to be the worst MoonBall year yet, and the season hasn't even started, but the Draft is always the highlight: the comaraderie, the mockery, the endless pre- and post-draft analysis, the calm before the storm. Besides, you each have very compelling reasons why coming to Minnesota for the draft is an essential journey.

Knick33 - With the imminent arrival of a second child, Mariann and Sam need a chance to bond before he is usurped by the new addition. For you to stick around the house at this pivotal time in their mother-son relationship is just selfish. And if she does happen to go into labor while you're here, the wonders of video conferencing will make it seem like you're practically in the delivery room.

HP All-Stars - The Mayo Clinic has some of the finest care for head and spinal trauma in the world. And if you stay in the Meiers' lovely first-floor guest room, you won't have to contend with that treacherous modern convenience known as stairs.

CCK - You have a serious PR deficit to overcome. Not even bothering to draft your own team last year made you an outcast in our eyes. If you make the trip to Minnesota this year, we may actually ask you to be in the league again next year. Otherwise, no promises. And bring the whole family; we've never met your kids!

WeedBlazers - I know you have a scheduling conflict on Draft weekend. This isn't a threat, but it would be a shame if the rest of us had "scheduling conflicts" on the weekend of July 28, 2007. I'm just saying.

Ironwood Flash - If you fly Northwest, you can get a stopover in Detroit on the way back and join the World Series celebrations, Motor City style --- burning cars, looting, throwing beer at opposing players. Game 7 is October 29.

Rec Leaguers - Dude, the only way you're going to break the Layden streak is a change of scene on draft day. Drafting from Chicago will only ensure failure once again.

monkeyshoes - We were telling our daughter Madeline about who was and wasn't coming here for draft weekend, and when we explained that you weren't coming, she said: "Figures. That guy's a fucking pussy." You gonna let a two-and-a-half-year-old call you out like that?

Me-Wolves - Are you changing your team name to Me-Hate-the-Wolves or something? You won't even bother to come and support your so-called team, or at least stalk McHale and punch him in the face? It's disgraceful, really.

Angry Rabbis - I know that you are the only one making the trip to the Twin Cities --- and we thank you for that --- but I wanted to mention it as a reminder to everybody else that another benefit of coming to Minnesota is that they get to make fun of you in person. Not to be missed.

I think I've made my point. See you all on the 28th.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Monday Monday, So Good To Me

So far, not much feedback about the constitution, outside of a small group of freedom fighters who would prefer roster switches Monday 11:59 PST vs. Sunday 11:59 PST. You go, people!

Several arguments are spelled out here. No matter which day we choose, you can edit the following week's roster at any time. What's probably most important is what's convenient for everyone. So an informal poll...what works better for people, Sunday or Monday?

If you have any opinion, please state it in Comments. Thanks!

Also, 2PM EST 10/28 is the draft right now, please contact me with any conflicts. I've arranged for a message board so we can have a live draft online. Details to follow soon...Any chance any one has freed up to come to Minny?

Proposed change to the Constitution

We need to change one of the rules. As the constitution currently reads, everyone makes their weekly picks and the rosters lock at 11:59 Sunday night.

I propose to amend the document and make the weekly switching hour Monday night.

The Sunday structure is out of touch with the NBA week. Most teams play on Sunday, even some on Sunday night. As a result, a hardworking Midwesterner will not be able to rest until games close and players hit the showers on two good ankles for fear of missing a whole week of games.

Monday night is a totally different story - 1 or 2 NBA games at most, often out East.

In the comments on the Constitution posting below, Commish gives some explanation about how the season ends on a Wednesday and everybody getting a good last week. This is watering the plants while the house is on fire.

Lastly, on Monday morning everybody needs something to do besides work.

Vote in the comment section - Sleepless Sunday or Mulled Over Monday

Friday, October 06, 2006

If you want to get yourself fired up...

Download this. Just do it. BTW, did you know this was called Roundball Rock? And that it was composed by John Tesh? True that, double true.

The New Ball

Hopefully, our new, improved moonball site won't be as big of a fuck-up as the NBA's new, improved ball. You gotta love Cube's latest post (including the classic "it's too early in the year to get fined" post), but when Mad Dog is bitching, the Stern-bot ought to pay attention. Seriously, this was a stupid decision - whatever extra cash the league is bringing in by marketing a $100 basketball has to be off-set by the negative publicity of making your employees use a ball they hate.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Position List

Positions are now determined by Yahoo, and available at I think they're pretty accurate. But be advised that they can change throughout the year as players take on new responsibilities. Not only at mid-season draft...but all year long.

For your draft assistance, Weedblazers compiled a handy position list, including last year's fantasy points, available for download here.

Position eligibility, like last year, will never be taken away. It can only be added if a player takes on new responsibilities. I don't think this will change at all before the regular season. But Yahoo is now the last word, so check the site for the most up-to-date information.

Celtics=RuPaul, Knicks=Joan Rivers

NBA teams as celebrities. Via TrueHoop, in case folks missed it.

Updated Moonball Constitution

Here is a copy of the newly-revised Moonball Constitution, which includes updated rules we've been discussin'. To help you get to the new juicy parts, I've used Microsoft Word's highlighter to put all new changes in yellow.

The changes are mostly what we've discussed -- with a 14-player roster (10 active, and 4 bench), and the ability to change rosters weekly. You may edit your roster at any time throughout the week, then the changes take place Sunday 11:59PM PST. At that point your roster will be locked again until the following week.

No question it will take some getting used to. Even though rosters only change once a week, there can still be moves made on the overall roster. For example, you could use a supermove on Wednesday and a trade on Thursday -- however, those new players would not be available to your roster until you could be playing a few days with a player you've already dropped or traded.

On trades -- I hope we'll have more trade flexibility this year with the addition of a bench. However, be advised that trades will be a little different under Yahoo's system. Trades take the website about 48 hours to process (1 day for me to review the trade, and 1 day for Yahoo to make the change.) Therefore, to be safe, I think trades need to be done by Thursday for you to have those players available for the following week. However, you could always do a trade later, knowing that you may need to wait until the following week to have access to your players' services. All trades should be posted to the league board.

On supermoves -- You can make a supermove anytime, just use the website to acquire a free agent. You get 4 per half-season. I will track supermoves. Again, you won't have the new free agent's services until the following week. All supermoves should be posted to the league board.

On trade supermoves -- Because of the 48 hour waiting period surrounding trades, trade supermoves will be trickier than I originally anticipated. In Yahoo's world, you would not be able to pick up a new player until you have a roster imbalance....which is officially after the trade is finished processing. In my world, that's 48 hours that you could potentially lose your free agent to another team. Therefore, since it is assumed that most if not all trades will be fair and equal, you should be able to claim a player immediately while the trade is pending. So, if you wish to use a trade supermove immediately, you must post the transaction to the league board to reserve the player that you wish to claim, then you can go claim them when the trade is done processing. Make sure to include the player's name IN THE TITLE OF THE POST so that other managers will see it, and won't pick up your free agent by mistake.

I will still have some control to reverse illegal transactions and edit rosters, but because the game (and points) are happening in real time without the ability to fix errors, let's try not to claim any players others have spoken for with trade-supermoves. K?

Please post with any questions, concerns or discussion. For your reference, here is the link to Yahoo's FAQ on fantasy basketball. I can also answer any additional questions, or refer them to their help desk.

Michael Aint Michael, A Coach Ain't A Coach

I was reading this cool article on the Bucks in which Toni Kukoc gives a pretty tough assessment of Michael Redd’s free reign on Milwaukee’s offense last season. Toni is harsh, but Redd takes it well.

But at the end of the article this crazy thing:

“[Stotts] was much more of a presence during the practice than he was at this time last year in his first season as Bucks head coach. Stotts was more vocal and more in command of the situation. On several occasions, he halted practice to get his players' attention and tell them how he wants things done.”


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

There goes me, but for...

I damn near killed myself late last Friday night. After a few too many, I fell from the top of our second floor stairs to the kitchen - missed the first step, landed half way down on my back and flipped over the next 6 stairs, only to be stopped when my head hit the floor wall corner combination.

Danielle managed to pick me off the floor and walk me to bed. I got up the next morning and headed to the ER for some dilaudin. Sweet sweet dilaudin. A CT scan and x-ray later, I limped out of the hospital giving thanks that I had only a really sore body. No shattered kidney, no internal bleeding, no broken ribs.

Sounds worse than it is - each day it hurts a little less. Picking up kids is an act of love. I am moving slowly, especially when getting up from a chair or bending over.

Perhaps a little more sober in my perspective on life too.

Who Thought This Was A Good Idea?

Wolves sign Vin Baker to MENTOR Eddie Griffin. At least the contract isn't guaranteed.

"I definitely hope I can be an inspiration on Eddie," Baker said. "I certainly hope I can be an influence and help him. I think he's a tremendous young talent and a tremendous young kid."

I love the optimism that comes with training camp and the thought that any player can all of sudden get it together and be good for the first time in like 10 years.

Who Needs Steroids When You Can Set Your House to "Colorado Altitude"?

I love Gilbert Arenas. He may just well be my favorite player in the league. The hardest part about leaving DC may have been leaving him and a really fun, young team behind. This plan to thin the air in his house and bring an altitude tent on the road really says it all. He's starting to look more and more like the #8 pick in the Moonball draft... especially if he really can drop 100 on Phoenix and Portland as he promised upon leaving the National team.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

My Sunday Afternoon

OK, I'm the first one to admit that I haven't been a fan of Twins catcher Joe Mauer.

1. He's from St. Paul (yes, I know, so am I - but I have mixed feelings about it, and the other St. Paulites are so smug about their hometown boy)
2. He went to the high school all the assholes from my junior high attended (what idiot names an institution of learning "Cretin"?)
3. The fact of the Twins drafting him ensured that my favorite Twin, catcher A.J. Pierzynski, would be eventually traded
4. He's so damn fresh-faced, earnest and good. And I won't even comment on those sideburns.

But, today, on a beautiful 80 degree Minnesota fall afternoon (the perfect weather to be indoors at a baseball game), in the process of the Twins beating the f?#@#ing White Sox to (eventually) become the Division Champs, Mauer went 2-4 and dashed the hopes of one Derek Jeter to clinch the American League batting title.

I think I may just come to love those sideburns after all.