After Jada Pinkett Smith started the #closerssowhite controversy, boycotting SAGNOF until there were more black closers, because her husband, Will Smith, wasn’t immediately anointed closer of the Brewers, the entire MLB began a well-needed discussion about race. Our Commissioner Manfred said, “I thought about this for a brief second, then I realized the entire league is Dominican. I mean, before I was chosen as commissioner I had to vacation in Punta Cana for a long weekend just to ‘feel the vibe’ as Selig said.” Jada Pinkett Smith said she will not sleep until her husband gets saves or Torii Hunter comes out of retirement and is made closer of one of those real white teams, “Maybe Minnesota.” Closers So White lives on. Will Smith’s closer season, however, looks about as promising as an After Earth sequel. On Saturday, it was reported he tore his LCL. He tore his 150? That’s like when Pablo Sandoval’s dyslexic cousin saw Pablo tore his 501’s. My money’s on Jeremy Jeffress getting the most saves in Milwaukee this year. My money also has Alfred E. Neuman on it. Jeffress is the top guy from the Brewers pen in my top 500 with Corey Knebel up next. The fantasy baseball war room has been updated, as well. (By the way, some rejected titles for this post were Collateral Ligaments of the World Ain’t Nothing But Trouble and Will Smith Gettin’ Limpy With It.) Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Seems like Andre Ethier followed Natalie Portman’s advice in Garden State a little too closely when she told Braff that The Shins will change your life. Dodgers announced that Ethier would miss 10 to 14 weeks with a fractured tibia. What is that, two days after I drafted Ethier in Tout Wars? Two and a half? One and one three-quarters of a tibia later? All you can do is laugh. A high-pitched, crazed laugh like when you lose your job, then step in an empty elevator shaft. One of those real crazy laughs that you expect to hear from someone pushing a shopping cart filled with Ho-Ho boxes that have been removed of Ho-Hos and replaced with dog turds. One of those kind of laughs. Filling in for Ethier will be some combo of Scott Van Slyke, Carl Crawford, Kike Hernandez and Trayce Thompson, a group that could be summarized with: Bleh, Meh, Jewish, Girl. I removed Ethier from my top 100 outfielders and top 500. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Astros announced that Lance McCullers would start the year on the DL. Just like a Mick to skip out on work on St. Patty’s Day. Keeping an eye on you, Andrew McCutchen! At least we don’t have to start the year with tears for Fiers. Everybody wants to rule the Astros rotation! With it being announced that McCullers would start the year on the DL, I dropped him 15 spots in my starting pitcher ranks and lowered his projections. He’s now in the top 60 starters vs. the top 40 starters. He’s a young pitcher with a shoulder issue, so if you take my previous excitement and divide it by my current hesitation, you get the entire Angels team dancing on the head of a pin. Okay, my math might be off there, but I’m trying to weigh my current cautious optimism with my realistic pessimism. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
True Story Alert! Socrates Brito used to pause the Diff’rent Strokes credits for Dana Plato’s title card and would argue with the screen, calling himself a Socratic method actor. This drove his family crazy. For many years I’ve spouted off like Tom Selleck’s sprinkler the need to ignore spring training stats. You should only concern yourself with injuries and position battles. With that in mind, Brito is winning a position battle with Yasmany, leaving Yasmany baffled, “Do you people just want an outfielder with a long-flowing beard? Is that what this is about? What’s the argument for Socrates? Am I making an argument for Socrates by annoying you with questions? Is this table still blue to a blind person?” In the top 80 outfielders, I added in Socrates into the Brendan Dassey tier. Appropriate that he’s in the Brendan Dassey tier because if there’s any justice, there will be Socrates. In Double-A, Socrates had nine homers and 20 steals, and Yasmany looks to be headed into the same Cuban abyss as Rusney Castillo and that guy that played Tony Montana’s buddy, Manny. For 2016, I gave Socrates the projections of 56/7/47/.264/18 in 410 ABs, and if your league counts arguments with Plato, he has added value. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Austin Jackson signed with the White Sox to rid the world of any hope for Avisail Garcia. “We will trade you Avisail for Jered Weaver wearing a Trout jersey.” That’s Avisail pretending to be the White Sox GM and attempting to trade himself to the Angels. Jackson should see action (BAM!) every day in the outfield in south Chicago and steal some bases. On a related note, in the last two weeks, the White Sox have signed Austin Jackson and Jimmy Rollins, knocking out Avisail and any chance for Tim Anderson. In other words, Brian Sabean is now GM’ing the White Sox. “Guys, can we get a check on Mark Buehrle’s availability?” That’s Sabean sneaking in to be the White Sox GM. For 2016, I’ll give Austin Jackson the projections of 58/7/52/.258/15, and added him to the top 80 outfielders for 2016 fantasy baseball, updated my top 500 and Fantasy Baseball War Room while deleting Avisail, who looks like he’s not shaking the Avifail label unless he’s traded. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Baseball commissioner, Rob Manfred, took the podium yesterday and said, “Whether it’s the speed of the game, popularity of the game — as indicated by TV ratings — the amount of open-handed palm grabs of a crotch or spousal abuse, we will not become the NFL. For better or worse, the number seven is indivisible under God and so are we!” And with that, Our Man Fred suspended Aroldis Chapman for 30 games. Trying to stay positive, Aroldis commented that he would not appeal the suspension but that “I am very glad I can still own a gun; I am getting married, after all.” One of the top closers takes a huge hit in value, I knocked him out of my top 100 for 2016 fantasy baseball, and took him down in my top 500. His auction value dropped from $20 to $9. Hopefully, he can make up lost salary with endorsements for Smith & Wesson and as the opening act for Smif-N-Wessun. A double threat of new income! Andrew Miller received a slight boost, as well. There’s also a long shot scenario that the Yankees are comfortable with Miller in the ninth, when Aroldis returns, and Chapman becomes the world’s best setup man. Before you scoff, you scoffer, it’s not like Miller isn’t good. Gun to my head, I’d draft Miller in any league. Unless it was Aroldis’s gun, then I’d politely ask him who he wants me to draft and tell him I’ll happily marry him. By the by, in just a few short years, Aroldis has been caught leaving a woman tied to his hotel room bed, choking a woman and firing gunshots. It’s no wonder this is his new Topps baseball card. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Kenta Maeda signed with the Dodgers and has been labeled as “Not as good as Yu and Masahiro.” Looks that good though. Right? I guess one can edit together 200 IP into a three-minute video to make Bartolo Colon look skinny too. Okay, with some funhouse mirrors. I say Maeda could be getting a favorable edit like CT after he started dating Diem because his K-rate was just 7.4 in Japan, which is solid, but not spectacular. Baseball in the Land of the Rising Sun has often been compared to playing in Triple-A. I’d like to add the Nippon Professional Baseball league is like Triple-A, but almost everyone is Japanese. Perhaps an unnecessary distinction. So, if a guy is 7+ K/9 in Japan (or Triple-A) that doesn’t land him in the elite class of pitchers like Yu and Masahiro. If Darvish and Masahiro are toro, Maeda is the tuna they chop up for the spicy tuna roll. Since it’s impossible to not compare one Japanese pitcher to another, a 7+ K/9 compares more favorably to Iwakuma. Iwakuma is still a solid comparison for a pitcher to receive; that’s still a number two to (stutterer!) three fantasy starter. Unfortch, I think Maeda is likely a notch below Iwakuma. For 2016, I’ll give Maeda the projections of 14-10/3.66/1.16/152 in 200 IP. On a real baseball note, Maeda’s deal was an 8-year deal for $24 million. I’m guessing the Dodgers hired Melky Cabrera to hack into Japan’s Google, or as it’s known there, Googre, and change all recent baseball salaries to thousands rather than millions. “So, David Price will earn two hundred and seventeen thousand dollars? I’m definitely taking a deal for three million a year!” That’s Kenta reading off of Googre. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2016 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Overheard at my house on Christmas, “Why isn’t it Jesusmas?” Then someone who you only see once a year chimes in, “‘Jesus, mas’ is what I say to the waiter when I want more cheese and his name is Jesus.” Ah, family over the holidays. Arriving a few days late for Christmas for Yankee fans was Aroldis Chapman. It didn’t come in their stocking, but he will probably be wearing a stocking on his head while he tries to board a domestic airline with a gun. “You know, in Cuba, no one cares if I wear a stocking on my head and try to rob people, because Fidel owns everything anyway.” That’s Aroldis sitting next to someone in First Class who is being polite but just wants to watch Jason Sudeikis in Vacation. So, Aroldis joins an already stacked Yankee bullpen and does nothing but makes it more sizzling, obviously. I could make the case that Aroldis is the best closer of all-time, not just the best one in the majors right now, so, yeah, he’s definitely a $12 Salad and that doesn’t change in New York. He could miss a couple of weeks of the season, due to domestic abuse charges, but that’s not set in stone, and, if baseball is ever going to become as popular as football, then the league will turn the other cheek while asking his girlfriend to do the same. For 2016, I’ll give Aroldis the projections of 4-2/2.04/1.03/110, 40 saves in 60 IP. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2016 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Reds are like the slowest team ever to rebuild. They sell off a piece every few months or so. “We’re getting rid of Cueto as we look to the future.” Dot dot dot. A month later, “Someone make us an offer for Leake. We’re rebuilding…kinda.” Dot dot dot. A few months later, “Okay, who wants Aroldis? For what it’s worth, he has a gun permit.” Dot dot dot. “Todd Frazier anyone? Everything must go…eventually!” Dot dot dot. “Hey, what do y’all think of Brandon Phillips?” The teamsters on three hours of sleep broke down the Titanic set quicker than the Reds. By August of 2016, Votto may be hitting between Kyle Waldrop and Cozart, and, knowing Votto, he will still hit .320. Any hoo! Moving to the White Sox doesn’t hurt Frazier, in theory. I say that because I feel like everything the White Sox touch turns to the wall of a Porta-Potty. Maybe it’s the Curse of Bill Veeck. Or just the Curse of the “Ill, Eek.” Capital I’s with an L next to it are weird, right? Okay, back to baseball! Frazier had 35 HRs last year and a 15.1% HR/FB, which is nothing. That’s around his career norm. He achieved this by hitting everything in the air. If he keeps that up — literally — in Chi-town, good things can continue to happen. Of course, every action has an equal opposite reaction, and more fly balls could hurt his average, which would hurt his runs and RBIs. Brucely, I’d take that trade off. Then throw in his 15-ish steals and you have a guy that should be near the top 25 overall for fantasy. For 2016, I’ll give him 86/30/98/.250/14. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason in 2016 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Javier Baez takes another shoveling of dirt as he gets buried further. “Is this a staged Off Broadway adaption of The Revenant?” Javier asks as he spits dirt out of his mouth. “You have a toothpick? I have dirt stuck between my teeth. Hello?” Baez doesn’t know why this shadowy figure won’t stop shoveling dirt on top of his body; he’s obviously not dead. Or is he? Just then, the camera swings around, and, in a crazy twist that only M. Night Shamalamadingdong could’ve came up with, the person that is doing the shoveling is Arismendy Alcantara. “If I can’t have fantasy value, then never can you!” Arismendy yells as he cackles maniacally. Then, “You still want that toothpick?” And…scene! So, Jason Heyward signs with the Cubs and moves Arismendy and Baez even further down the depth charts. At this point, they are closer to playing on the Padres after a trade than they are at playing in Chicago. Heyward had sneaky value last year, as in it seemed like he disappointed, but since steals are scarce (only seven players last year stole 30 bags), and since Heyward provided some value in all categories, he wasn’t that bad. His numbers last year seemed like a poor man’s Lorenzo Cain. I will call him Crack Cocaine. Moving to the stacked Cubs lineup and into Wrigley could provide Heyward’s best season to date. I’ll give him the projections of 87/22/77/.274/15, which has him hitting leadoff for about 80 games and shuffling between 2nd, 3rd and 5th in the other games. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason in 2016 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?