We are reaching that time of the baseball season where this series offers more of a prospective look. What I mean by that is that the players we look at from here on out may not contain any real-time analytical value. That’s sort of of an eccentric way to say that it’s too late for me to help you now. In fact, I was thinking of arugula when I typed that sentence. But it’s never too early to begin and gather what we’ve learned from this year and apply to the next. Of course, we’ve been doing that with every single post, but the focus has been mainly on the now and soon-to-be now. The time has arrived when we can officially start laying our eggs in the proverbial futuristic basket. A robot basket, with The Matrix twins and lasers. Wait, is there a proverb that involves a futuristic basket? Virginity like bubble, one prick all gone. No, that’s not it. Man who leap off cliff jump to conclusion. Eh, close enough. Today’s focus is an interesting one — taking a player who has never really done anything great, but done a lot of things well, and when’s he’s done those things well, he’s done it with multiple positions. That’s what she said.
I speak of none other than Ben Zobrist. Now, as stated above, he brings a lot of things to a fantasy team. There’s a mediocre batting average, a sprinkle of power and speed, multi-positional eligibility, and also consistency within all of those things. The old adage that when it rains, it pours, doesn’t really describe the production you get there. Rather, you get The Drizzle. Please, blog, may I have some more?
The 2013 Fantasy Baseball season is heading into its stretch run and the playoffs are right around the corner. My fair Razzballers, it seems like only yesterday we were complimenting Grey’s mustache and singing voice in exchange for roster autopsies, trade advice and grooming tips. We were all so young and naïve with big dreams for Ike Davis and Josh Rutledge back then. Now we are just bitter old men (and four ladies), wondering where it all went wrong and yelling at those kids to get off our lawn. If you’re still in the fantasy hunt *high five/chest bump/headbutt* it’s time to drop any dead weight still rotting on your roster. If you are out of it and still waiting for Josh Hamilton to carry your team, Sky would love to hear from you over on Fantasy Football Island. For the rest of us, we are either trying to hold onto first, grabbing some stats to gain on the leader or getting in position for the playoffs. There is no hope and loyalty left at this point in the season. It’s time to drop the duds and find the studs that may carry you to a fantasy championship. It’s time to jam it or cram it. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Common misconception, the A’s know what they’re doing. As of Thursday night, they didn’t even know who was pitching on Saturday. Billy Beane told me confidentially, “I’ve been winging it for fifteen years. I just have a sex tape of Michael Lewis with a contestant from Flavor of Love, so it was write Moneyball or him and Deelishis would be all over the internet.” A lot of sites are listing A.J. Griffin as Saturday’s starter, but I have it on good authority that that (stutterer!) is incorrect. A’s have Straily looking like a lesser-known Muppet Straggly, Alfredo Jettuccine has been getting creamed, Milone is in Sacramento saying to himself, “What have I done to deserve being sent to the Sacra-Ghetto?” and the whole staff needs a Colon cleanse. So, who’s left? My almost-name-sharer and all-around Bubb Rubb-extraordinaire, Sonny Gray. He has nearly a strikeout an inning in Triple-A and a 2.74 FIP. (Yes, I only use FIP when an ERA doesn’t back up my case as tidily. Leave me alone!) I don’t love a start in Toronto, but if he stays in the rotation, the A’s are about to get a great schedule at home. Even if it’s not Saturday, Gray should be up shortly, and no that’s not a height crack, but Gray is tiny. I will call him Mini Me even though he’s taller than me. What? My photo is actual size. So, grab Gray now, because mother says you should buy Gray Gardens– I mean, Gray’s starting. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?
Has anyone noticed the year Derek Holland is having? This is me raising my hand. You can’t see it, but you’ll just have to trust me. I’ve noticed. And I’m sure those in Arlington have noticed. And perhaps even a Derek Holland owner here and there has maybe gotten a whiff of what he’s cooking. Hopefully it’s brisket. I mean, yes, he’s certainly cooking some great pitching stats (3.18 ERA, 8 Wins, 135 K’s) for teams throughout the fantasy baseball universe. But what I’m saying is, why can’t he also be cooking brisket? Furthermore, why am I not cooking brisket? These are all fantastic questions. Does this have anything to do with baseball at all? Fantasy baseball even? No, it doesn’t. So? I’m not even going to bother justifying it. It’s brisket. I should be able to write in a superfluous fashion about that crispy burned concoction of cow breast, slowly cooked with a spicy yet savory rub… Mmmmmmm. Mmmmmmm. Err, you were saying? Derek Holland? Who the ef cares about Derek Holland? Brisket bro Please, blog, may I have some more?
John Rocker said baseball was “better with steroids.” Sure it is, if you enjoy atrophic testicles and 980 foot home runs. Atrophic testicles are also available at Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen. Winner, winner, gonad dinner. John Rocker loves his ‘roids. He also said other incredibly “poignant” things that can be enjoyed in his new children’s book, It’s a Small World (Who Let the Asians in). Hey, I’m no literary critic and I’m certainly no doctor, I’m a guru dammit, but steroids are bad for your spunk tanks and bad for your fake baseball team. This whole Biogenesis thing is ugly, but the real tragedy is the impact on the fantasy universe! The steroid hammer of death is about to fall on the junk of Nelson Cruz, Everth Cabrera, Jhonny Peralta and of course John Rocker’s new housemate on Spike TV’s I’m a Celebrity Douche…Get Me Out of Here, Alex Rodriguez. Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon may have dodged the wrath of Bud, so light a candle, kick Melky to the curb and hold onto Colon for now. The rest will be gone for the year and sipping HGH fortified Manischewitz with the original fallen hammer, Ryan Braun. If you have not got a jump start on your league mates already, consider today’s blog a syringeful of anabolic fantasy help. Hope we don’t grow man boobs. Or maybe I do. It’s time to jam it or cram it. We’re on the juice! Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’ve started that dance with Xander Bogaerts. You know what dance I mean. The dance when you pick up, drop, pick up, drop, think about picking up then decide against it, go partially through with picking him up only to sit on your team page and not have anyone to drop…Then decide against it. That dance. The dance that any middle-aged man would do if he were in Morocco and not willing to pick a side because he’d only be fighting for a woman he banged in Paris and his only friend is some guy with bugged-out eyes. Every time I start the dance, Sam starts playing his piano and I’m like, “Play it again, Sam?” I say it in the form of a question so I don’t get sued for copyright infringement. I’ve done that dance with Bogaerts for about a week. And I can’t commit. *lights cigarette* Of all the waiver wire joints in all the fantasy leagues in all the world, he walked into mine. I’m only doing this back-and-forth dance with him because he’s going to be so good and I know he’s about to be called up. The Red Sox moved him to 3rd base in the minors just to give him a bit more flexibility to get him into their major league lineup. On Prospect Scott’s top 50 minor league fantasy prospects, he was number one. Numero uno, the head cheese, the big mahoff. Between Double and Triple-A this year, he has 14 homers and 7 steals. That’s solid for a prospect. For a 20-year-old, that’s the sign of a future perennial All-Star. In all leagues, I’m going to be dancing with him until he gets the call. As I wrote this, I grabbed and dropped him two more times. If you have the room, stash him right now. He will be up within the next month and this will be the start of a beautiful friendship. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?
There’s been much consternation going on around these parts ever since I ranked Chase Headley 34th in my Top 100 Keepers for 2013 and Beyond post that came out last week. Wait, is that the correct word? Consternation? Does constipation work better? There’s been much constipation… hmmm. Decisions. Let’s just go with both. Actually, now that I think about it, no one really cared about that ranking. However, there were some eyebrows raised at not including a second baseman, whose name rhymes with Rick Danklin. But I don’t want to talk about him anymore. I already wrote about him here. ARE YOU NOT SATISFIED? And even though I also talked about Chase Headley in the same post, I want to examine him a bit further for a few reasons. And I also want to examine both your consternation and constipation. My friends call me ‘H’. As in Preparation H. But not really. Not at all. This will never be mentioned again. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Bob Seger, Chevrolet’s poet laureate, once wrote, “Who wants to play those eights and aces/Who wants a raise/Who needs a stake/Who wants to take that long shot gamble?” The tune was “Fire Lake” and while not his best, (Give me “The Famous Final Scene”) or the best thing out of Detroit (give me The Stooges any day), I do like the line on taking a long shot. I’m a ramblin’ gamblin’ man. Recently we rolled the dice on Marlon Byrd and hit it like a hard ten/a woman’s best friend (For all our Mormon readers, that’s a good thing). Sometimes taking a chance pays off big and it’s Cristal and caviar, sometimes you’re busted and it’s Pabst and pork rinds. We have taken our chances this season, often throwing stats and logic aside. I got a feelin’! Oh, it’s just gas. Stupid pork rinds. Yes indeed, fellow Razzballer’s, we had jammer/crammers that we hit on like Raul Ibanez, Nick Franklin and Koji Uehara. Others left us bankrupt. Damn you Ike Davis! I’m crying real tears over my fake baseball team here. It’s time to take some risks and find us a longshot. Time to put on some Seger, don the Ray-Ban’s and slide across the living room floor in our underwear. It’s time to jam it or cram it. Please, blog, may I have some more?
You wrote a letter to your leaguemates, but before you sent it to them, you asked me to proofread it but not share it. Too bad, here it is, “Yo, what’s up, snitches?! I have six closers and am sticking it to the rest of the league in their whole bum, then acting that out like Knight from MTV’s The Challenge. I don’t need no one! All I need is Huston Street, Kevin Gregg, Ernesto Frieri, Joaquin Benoit, Brad Ziegler and this chair, I need this chair. I got saves for days! Open up your ‘kitten-playing-with-motherf**king-yarn’ calendar and mark September 28th down for the day when you concede the championship to me. Use your rainbow-colored pencil. Is it okay to use that word? Any the hoo! Rather than recount all of that SAGNOF g’dness, let me take this time to instead ask you if you watched the most recent Top Chef Masters. I’m lonely and looking for friends.” Solid letter, I probably wouldn’t put single quote marks around kitten-playing-with-motherf**king-yarn but it’s fine to send it off as is. The only other problem is you might also lose more than half of your closers in less than a week. This is also the last week when you and your opponents can gain major saves if you’re hurting in that category. On July 31st there could be as many as 10 new closers. At no point from now until October do you have a chance for this much turn over. Guys that could move into the closer role in under a week includes, but is not limited to: Luke Gregerson, Blake Parker, Ryan Webb, James Russell, Antonio Bastardo, Carter Capps, Dale Thayer, John Axford (still even with Henderson taking over the job), Jose Cisnero, Pedro Strop and Antonio Alfonseca, because he has six fingers on each hand and you can’t ever count him out, at least not without removing your pants and a shoe. Granted, guys like Huston Street or Tom Wilhelmsen or Glen Perkins might be traded and stay in the closer role on their new team, but that means someone else would lose their job. Or maybe Huston Street will go to the Yankees and become the 8th inning man and Robertson moves to the 7th. Or maybe Jonathan Papelbon goes to the Tigers and Benoit owners have to call the Ben-wambulance. A lot could happen in the next few days or nothing, but I’d absolutely stash as many middle relievers as I could right now. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?
Phew! The fantasy baseball DT’s have finally subsided. It was touch-and-go for a while with many Trainspotting-like moments. Choose life. Choose a job. Choose Razzball. We are 90 games in and while I’m not so good with the math (look I spelled “boobs” on my calculator) me thinks that’s more than half-way through this fantasy season. If you were one of the lucky ones that drafted Miguel Cabrera, Chris Davis or Carlos Gonzalez good for you. If you happen to own all three, I tip my turban in your general direction. But for the rest of us that drafted Jason Heyward, Matt Kemp and Brett Lawrie, we have some ground to make up. Hurry, everybody in the El Camino and let’s cruise over to the waiver wire flea market. While sifting through Mexican blankets, Blue Oyster Cult 8-tracks and old Playboys (Jaywrong, put that down! Oohh, Suzanne Somers), we might just find the player that catches fire in the second half and sends us to a fake baseball championship. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose to jam it or cram it. Please, blog, may I have some more?