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A tip of the hat to Willie "Pops" Stargell who passed this week at age 61. Stargell, who played for 21 seasons and slugged 475 HRs, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988. I, like seemingly everyone else, can only remember the soft-spoken slugger from the "We Are Family" 1979 Pirates. The 1979 Pirates were nicknamed "the Family" from the famed Sister Sledge song. The '79 series was one of the first World Series that I can remember watching every game. We forget that Stargell batted cleanup for the Pirates as they won 2 World Series championships and 6 NL East titles from 1970-79. He really was the heart and soul of the Pirates. Pops is now going to the Big Dugout in the sky. Goodbye, old friend.

Hot Stove Update

April is a great time of the year. Teams like Minnesota and Montreal better enjoy their time atop the standings - because it's not gonna last. While everyone was busy watching Pedro in Boston, P Hideo Nomo pitched his 2nd career no-hitter in his first start of 2001. Nomo, written off as a flash in the plan, has bounced from Milwaukee to Detroit since his fall from grace in LA. Nomo, in normal Japanese style, remained humble in the post-no-no media onslaught. Fan spin: get him if you can, he's cheap in most leagues. 

LA 2B Mark Grudzielanek is suddenly a power hitter? Gruds hit his 5th homer over the weekend, nearly surpassing his 7 HRs for all of 2000. Fan spin: he's roughly a .300 career hitter. Forget trying to cash in on his newfound power - it WILL go back from where it came.

Marlins P Ryan Dempster is starting to make me look like "Carnac the Great." I said to avoid the up-and-comers and go for the vets in your drafts. Dempster has been all hype so far. In his first 2 starts, he has walked 8 in 11 innings, which bloated his WHIP to 1.55. He was barely .500 last year, and had a poor spring. Don't get me wrong, the kid has good stuff. But he's 23 years old and needs more time to develop. Fan spin: bench him before he torpedoes your team stats any further. Don't trade him now because his value obviously has dropped at this point. 

Masters Update

Tiger won. I know that you didn't have him in your Masters office pool because most pools either excluded him or put him in every foursome. I don't normally point folks to other web sites but you might enjoy http://www.tigerwoodsisgod.com/

This kid is only 25? I am DEFINITELY going to get some Wheaties!

Locker Room is written by Michael Skordeles

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