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Fantasy Quiz: The holidays and interleague edition

Senior Fantasy Writer
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It's time, once again, to get in touch with our inner nerd and take the Fantasy Quiz! We'll do this the same way as last week: 15 questions of varying difficulty, with four bonus pop culture questions just to keep your brain in touch with the real world.

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Take a deep breath, cover up your answers so friends and co-workers can't cheat, and let's get to the quizzing! (All stats are through games played on Wednesday, June 20):

1. Players born on which holiday have produced the most combined All-Star Game appearances?:

a. Halloween (October 31)
b. Independence Day (July 4)
c. Christmas Day (December 25)
d. Valentine's Day (February 14)
e. Boxing Day (December 26)

2. In standard points leagues, which shortstop has the most points (217) so far this season?:

a. Starlin Castro
b. Elvis Andrus
c. Jose Reyes
d. Derek Jeter

3. Of the top 25 batters and the top 25 pitchers, which group has the higher average number (256.26) of Fantasy points so far this season?:

a. Batters
b. Pitchers
c. It's a tie!

4. How many pitchers age 35 or over have five or more saves this season?:

a. Two
b. Four
c. Five
d. Seven

5. How many pitchers age 25 or younger have five or more saves this season?:

a. Two
b. Four
c. Five
d. Seven

Bonus Pop Culture Question #1: Which Monty Python member provided the voice of Wreck-gar in 1986's Transformers: The Movie?

a. John Cleese
b. Terry Jones
c. Eric Idle
d. Terry Gilliam

6. Which player has the most home runs from the leadoff spot (eight) this season?:

a. Ian Kinsler
b. Derek Jeter
c. Mike Aviles
d. Ian Desmond

7. Which player has the most home runs from the ninth spot (five) in the batting order this season?:

a. Mitch Moreland
b. Russell Martin
c. Dexter Fowler
d. Scott Rolen

Random interesting bit of trivia that can't be asked in the quiz, because it would be too quickly smoked out as a trick question: Josh Willingham is owned in more leagues than Stephen Strasburg (99 percent to 98 percent)

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8. Who has more Fantasy points this season?:

a. Curtis Granderson
b. Zack Greinke

9.: Over the last 21 days, one team has placed all five of its starters in the top 30 for Fantasy points scored among pitchers. That team is the:

a. San Francisco Giants
b. New York Mets
c. Washington Nationals
d. New York Yankees

Bonus Pop Culture Question #2: Who was the host of MTV's Remote Control?:

a. Ken Ober
b. Colin Quinn
c. Denis Leary
d. Kurt Loder

10. Of all the players with 30 or more at-bats in day games, who has the highest (1.406) OPS?:

a. Carlos Quentin
b. Paul Konerko
c. Joey Votto
d. Allen Craig

11. Of the teams below, which has scored the most runs (83) so far in June?:

a. Texas Rangers
b. Tampa Bay Rays
c. Pittsburgh Pirates
d. Colorado Rockies

Bonus Pop Culture Question #3: Who is the only elected official in McDonaldland?:

a. Governor Goodstuff
b. Mayor McCheese
c. President Fry
d. Burgermeister Meisterburger

12. Which National League team has hit the most home runs (20) against American League opponents so far this season?:

a. Milwaukee Brewers
b. Arizona Diamondbacks
c. Colorado Rockies
d. Philadelphia Phillies

13. Which Ian has more Fantasy points this season?:

a. Ian Kennedy
b. Ian Desmond

14. Which A.J. has more Fantasy points this season?:

a. A.J. Pierzynski
b. A.J. Burnett

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Want more? Join the discussion on our Facebook page and Google+ and follow us on Twitter for additional insight while interacting with a community geared toward Fantasy Baseball.

15. Which Felix has more Fantasy points this season?:

a. Felix Hernandez
b. Felix Doubront

Bonus Pop Culture Question #4: Which of the following is not a character in Nintendo's Super Mario Bros. video game?:

a. Goomba
b. Koopa Troopa
c. Occa Pinti
d. Buzzy Beetle

How'd you do? Check your answers below, and post your results in the comments section for the world to gaze upon and see. You can also post your answers on Twitter . The winner gets a Very Special CBSSports.com reward: the admiration and respect of your fellow readers:

1. C (Players born on Christmas Day have 42 All-Star Game appearances. Boxing Day has 31, Halloween has 18, Valentine's Day has five, and July 4 has produced three)
2. B
3. B
4. D (Fernando Rodney, Joe Nathan, J.J. Putz, Rafael Betancourt, Scott Downs, Mariano Rivera, Brian Fuentes)
5. C (Craig Kimbrel, Kenley Jansen, Henry Rodriguez, Aroldis Chapman, Addison Reed)
6. C
7. A
8. B (Greinke has 238.5, Granderson has 232)
9. D (Ivan Nova is 15th with 83.5, CC Sabathia (16th; 82.5), Phil Hughes (20th; 77), Hiroki Kuroda (24th; 73.5), Andy Pettitte (29th, 66)
10. D
11. C
12. A
13. B (Desmond has 191, Kennedy has 174.5)
14. A (Pierzynski has 185.5, Burnett has 182)
15. B (Doubront has 197.5, Hernandez has 190.5)
BONUS 1: C
BONUS 2: A
BONUS 3: B
DONUS 4: C

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Nando Di Fino at @NandoCBS . You can also send our staff an e-mail at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

Want an edge in your draft? Download the Fantasy Draft Kit App.

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Player News
David Murphy begins physical activities
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12:02 pm ET) Indians outfielder David Murphy began core exercises Thursday, manager Terry Francona told reporters.

Murphy began his exercises Thursday, though it sounds as if he is limited at this point. Murphy is expected to be out until at least mid-September due to a strained right oblique. 


Steven Souza starting rehab at Class A Hagerstown
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(11:50 am ET) Nationals outfielder Steven Souza will begin his rehab assignment Thursday at Class A Hagerstown Thursday, as he continues his recovery from a shoulder injury.

According to the Washington Post, Souza is expected to play at Hagerstown before moving to Class A Potomac for a few more games. It is not clear when he will be considered a candidate to return to the majors.  


Justin Verlander appears set for Saturday start after bullpen
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(11:40 am ET) Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander seems likely to make his scheduled start Saturday against the Twins, after getting through a bullpen session Thursday.

Verlander, who missed his last turn in the rotation with shoulder soreness, got through a 35-pitch session without issue. According to MLive.com, he walked into manager Brad Ausmus's office after the session to deliver a high five, undoubtedly a good sign.

Verlander has not pitched since lasting just one inning in his Aug. 9 start against Pittsburgh. 


Miguel Cabrera serving as DH with ankle issue
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(11:38 am ET) Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera was serving as the designated hitter for Thursday's game against the Rays after aggravating an ankle injury Wednesday, manager Brad Ausmus told reporters.

Cabrera has served as the DH in 13 of his 123 games this season. Ausmus does not think this injury is much of a concern moving forward. 


Masahiro Tanaka set for live BP Saturday
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(11:12 am ET) Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka will take another step forward this weekend, as he is set to face hitters in a live batting practice session Saturday, manager Joe Girardi announced.

Tanaka, who is working his way back from a partially torn UCL, will face hitters for the first time since suffering the injury. He has been working in bullpen sessions in recent weeks as part of his rehab, and the next step will likely be determined after he gets through Saturday's session.

Tanaka has been out since early July due to the injury, but remains hopeful he will be able to return to action this season.  


Carlos Beltran sidelined again Thursday
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10:52 am ET) Yankees outfielder Carlos Beltran is out of the lineup for the second day in a row Thursday against the Astros, as he continues to deal with an elbow injury.

Beltran was examined Wednesday, but the results of that are not yet known. He had a cortison injection in the elbow, his third of the season, and manager Joe Girardi told reporters Thursday he expects to know if Beltran will be available moving forward by Saturday. 

The elbow began bothering him again in recent days, possibly as a result of his return to the outfield last week. He has just one hit in his last 28 at-bats.  


Following bullpen struggles, Chase Whitley sent down
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10:47 am ET) The Yankees optioned pitcher Chase Whitley to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Thursday, to clear a roster spot for a callup.

Whitley has spent the last month pitching out of the Yankees bullpen, but has struggled in that role. He has allowed 10 runs over his last 7 1/3 innings, raising his season ERA to 5.43 overall.  


Zelous Wheeler gets the call from Triple-A
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10:43 am ET) Yankees infielder Zelous Wheeler was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Thursday, the team announced.

Wheeler was sent down in early August to make room for the team's trade deadline acquisitions. He hit .267/.267/.467 in 30 at-bats with the Yankees earlier in the season. 


Manager encouraged by Bryce Harper's approach
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10:37 am ET) Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper put together a three-hit game Wednesday against the Diamondbacks, his second since returning from the disabled list, the Washington Post reports.

Harper sparked the team's game-winning rally in the ninth inning with his third single of the game, and manager Matt Williams said how he got the hit was the most encouraging part of the performance.

"He hit the ball back through the middle [Wednesday], which is really important for him," Williams said.

Harper has struggled to find his power swing this season thanks to a thumb injury, but he is hitting .282 with a .375 on-base percentage since the All-Star break. Impressed by his approach Wednesday, Williams believes the power will follow.

"But if he stays through the middle like that, he's going to get a lot of hits, and I feel if he trusts himself to do that, the home runs will come," Williams said. "They will come. They'll come on hanging breaking balls and change-ups up in the zone, if he can stay middle of the diamond. And he's working hard on that. So I'm proud of his approach."


DL stint not ruled out for Joaquin Benoit
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10:07 am ET) As of Thursday, Padres closer Joaquin Benoit has not appeared in a game in over a week, due to a shoulder issue, and MLB.com reports he might not be close to returning.

The Padres have apparently not yet ruled out a DL trip for Benoit to allow his shoulder to heal, though it is also not yet clear what the specific issue is at this point. A decision is expected to be made in the next few days, with Kevin Quackenbush expected to continue filling in as closer while Benoit is sidelined.


 
 
 
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