Fantasy Baseball Category Killers: Steals

Fantasy Baseball Category Killers: Steals

Anthony Gose, Blue Jays: Nobody has been hotter on the bases than Gose, as he's collected six steals during the past week, giving him a total of eight during the month of August. Gose is still struggling a bit with the bat (.208), but is hitting .250 during the past week so there is hope that he's finally turning the corner.

Darin Mastroianni, Twins: Denard Span is missing his sixth straight contest on Monday night due to shoulder issues, clearing the way for Mastroianni to see continued at-bats. He's been great all season on the bases, going 14-for-16 in stolen base attempts, all in part-time duty. If he ever got the chance to be a regular, he'd have a chance at a 50 steal season.
Jose Tabata, Pirates: With Starling Marte landing on the disabled list, it appears Tabata will have another crack at proving his worth in the majors. He was 2-for-7 in his return, and was caught stealing twice, with the good news being that he's active and looking to make things happen on the bases. He could be a sneaky play for those in need of steals over the course of the next two weeks.
Eric Young, Rockies: Young is thriving in regular duty in August, batting .406 with three homers and three steals. He's always had elite wheels, but has rarely gotten the chance to put them on display regularly. Remember, he swiped 27 bases in just under 200 at-bats last season, so the upside here is enormous.

Erick Aybar, Angels: Finally healthy, Aybar has been heating up recently, especially during the past week (.346, 2 HR, 2 SB). With four steals already in August, we may finally be seeing the speed that allowed him to tally 30 during the '11 season. At 41 ownership at Yahoo, he's likely freely available in your league.

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Brooks, Beal impressed with Wizards' passing this preseason

Brooks, Beal impressed with Wizards' passing this preseason

With their regular season opener set for Thursday (6:30 p.m. on CSN), Wizards head coach Scott Brooks was asked after practice this week what has impressed him the most about his new team now that their seven-game exhibition schedule is over. Brooks was quick to point out what has been an established strength for the Wizards in recent years.

"If I had to pick, our offense and our passing has been really, really good," Brooks said. "We're a very good passing team. I thought throughout this exhibition season that has been displayed."

The Wizards have ranked no lower than seventh in assists per game among NBA teams in the last three seasons. It certainly doesn't hurt to have John Wall at the helm of their offense. Wall, 26, has averaged at least 10 assists per game in the past two years. He ranked third in basketball last season with 10.2 per contest.

Wall, in fact, is seventh all-time in career assists per game (9.0) among players with at least 400 NBA games logged. Four of the six ahead of him on the list - Magic Johnson, John Stockton, Oscar Robertson and Isiah Thomas - are Hall of Famers. The other two - Kevin Johnson and Chris Paul - are also good names to be associated with. 

Paul, for one, will likely join the others in the Hall someday. He's the only NBA player with more assists than Wall since the latter entered the league in 2010.

[RELATED: Rookies, good friends come full circle by making Wizards roster]

Brooks spoke glowingly about Wall's abilities and his rare his combination of speed and court vision.

"It's uncanny, his speed with the basketball and that he's able to make good decisions at that speed," Brooks said. "He sees it slow motion as he's going fast and that's very rare."

Wall isn't the only one passing the rock, of course. Brooks hopes shooting guard Bradley Beal can get more involved in the cause. Beal has a 3.0 assists-per-game average in his career, but his new coach thinks Beal can average four or five.

That may come naturally, given Beal's thoughts on the subject. He believes the Wizards' offense reached a new level this preseason.

"That's probably the best we've passed since I've been here," Beal said. "That's just everybody having fun and not caring about who scores, just getting the best shot available. When we play like that, it's fun for everybody. It's fun for coaches, it's fun for the players, fun for guys coming in the game with momentum and energy."

The Wizards as a team notched 33 assists in their preseason finale against the Raptors in Friday night. Beal alone had nine of them and no turnovers, to boot. 

That's exactly what Brooks likes to see and he hopes it carries into the regular season.

"We have to continue to trust the pass," he said. "I think our passing has been impressive. We need to continue that."

[RELATED: Brooks learning Wizards roster an ongoing process]

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Pittsburgh Zoo takes shot at the Capitals with Halloween decorations

Pittsburgh Zoo takes shot at the Capitals with Halloween decorations

It's almost Halloween and the penguins are getting into the spirit. No, not the Pittsburgh Penguins, but actual penguins from Pittsburgh and they're taking shots at the Washington Capitals.

The Pittsburgh Zoo decorated its penguin exhibit for Halloween complete with tombstones. Go ahead and take a look at who is on those tombstones.

The Penguins defeated the San Jose Sharks for the Stanley Cup last season and they just plain don't like the Caps and Flyers.

RELATED: Containing McDavid is the Caps' challenge Wednesday