This offseason I’m going to recap sixteen-after-twenty, then I’ll go over the best rookies for next year, then I’ll go into sleepers and, finally, the new rankings. Holy crap! We’re already at the new rankings?! Oh, no, we’re not. Sorry, I sometimes confuse exposition and reality. Like, right now, am I explaining I confuse the two or am I really confused? Any hoo! I mention some offseason business now as an on-the-nose prelude to what’s to come, but also because I’m excited to talk about Alex Reyes for each one of those upcoming categories. Best rookies? Reyes still has eligibility, so check. Sleepers? He has a 1.57 ERA, more than a K per inning and averages 97 MPH, so check, check. Rankings? I want Reyes on every team next year so where do I rank him? Check, check, check! Check pah-vodka-sha! He trap me with that alligator blood! Damn, I haven’t seen Rounders in a while, I wonder if it holds up. *looks to see Rounders DVD holding up crooked bookshelf* Oh, yeah, baby! Yesterday, Reyes went 6 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 6 Ks with the same superb — samperb? — pitching he’s done since he was called up. I can’t imagine he’s not in the rotation to start 2017, but, as Teddy KGB would say, Cards speak. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Imagine the Cubs decided to use Lester, Hendricks, Hammel and Lackey in the playoffs, and not Jake Arrieta. Not sure it would be the wrong move either. Arrieta isn’t just out of gas, he’s on a late-70s gas station line, cursing Jimmy Carter. He’s eaten six Chalupas and a Pintos ‘n Cheese from Taco Bell, washed it down with a 16-ounce Coke, and can’t produce any gas. He’s staying at a Marriott in Saudi Arabia where OPEC is meeting and all hotel guests get a complimentary barrel of petroleum and Arrieta can’t produce any gas. Yesterday, Arrieta went 5 IP, 7 ER and his ERA went up to 3.10. About five months ago, I said Arrieta doesn’t look right. I said it around the time of his no-hitter. That took some pants grapes. What’s funny (not funny) when you’re super early at calling something out, people write you off as cuckoo in the coconut. On April 29th, I said, “It’s hard to find a positive when you take this year’s numbers vs. last year’s (of Arrieta). Velocity is down, K-rate is down, walk rate is up, xFIP is up, luck is up, homers are up, ground balls are down and fly balls are up. It’s like looking under a Maserati’s hood and seeing a Mercedes engine. It’s not bad, but it’s not a Maserati.” And that’s me quoting me! On May 9th, I said, “Not to sound like a broken record, but his peripherals just haven’t been as good as last year thus far.” And that’s me quoting me sounding like a broken record! I continued to say more or less the same for a few months, then SUDDENLY everyone else started saying it. For 2017, I picture Arrieta being drafted a lot like Felix Hernandez in the preseason this year. People are concerned, but he’s so good, they’re still drafting Arrieta around 60th overall. Yeah, and it won’t work out either. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
You literally can’t find a middle infielder with less than 20 homers. You can’t. Try it. See? This year there are more players with 20 homers than any other season in the history of baseball. Some conspiracy theorists have said the new commissioner, Our Manfred, is sticking Capri Sun straws into baseballs and juicing them, but this year is odder than that and deserves a better conspiracy theory. No one is hitting 50+ homers like during the Steroid Era. Only one guy is even close to 50 homers. Instead of a few guys doing insane damage in the power department, everyone is doing better, moderately. It’s the trickle down theory. If you’re not familiar with that, I’ll explain it. When Kim Kardashian first appeared on the scene, only she was smoking hot, but rather than Kim hogging the hotness to herself, it trickled down. Khloe went from a 3 to a 5, Kourtney went from a 5 to a 7, Kris went from a 6 to a 8, the two Jenner girls came of age, going from untouchable to 8’s, and even Bruce went from a zero to a three, becoming a woman that you’d throw one if you were drunk enough. This is also what’s happened in the majors. Jean Segura, and all middle infielders, went from fours or fives to 20s. Yesterday, Segura went 1-for-4 with his 20th homer, hitting .316, to go with his 30 steals. It’s going to be hard in 2017 to know if these are legitimate gains in power, for Segura and a whole slew of other players, or if half the league is going to regress. Kinda like Brody Jenner, who was so popular before Kim, ahem, came on the scene. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, was the first time the Cubs have won 100 games since 1935. Though, in 1994, the Cubs were so gonna win the final 49 games if the strike didn’t happen, giving them 98 wins, then two losses were going to go under review and get reversed. What? My crystal ball is very specific. Why don’t you people believe me? Kidding, I know you believe me because I can see you in my crystal ball. Put on some pants that don’t have an elastic band, would you please! Kyle Hendricks (6 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners (0 walks), 5 Ks, ERA down to 1.99) did his usual magic. I say let him sit out his final start so he can end the year with a minus-2 ERA, and I bet the Cubs say the same thing as me. Know why? I have the best words. People love my words. No one has words like me. Carrying them offensively was Javier Baez (2-for-5, 6 RBIs and his 14th homer). Whenever Hendricks grooves, Baez seems to play himself a little ditty, too. Must be their Woodstock connection. If Joan Baez didn’t perform at Woodstock, don’t tell me, for folk’s sake. Baez is going to be a tough nut to peg (totally a saying) for 2017 fantasy. He’s made great strides with his strikeouts. Looks like an easy bet for a 17/17 season if he were to play every day, but 17/17 is just a tad boring compared to 20/20. By the way, Tad Boring never gets any dates on Tinder. Also, we’re not sure if Baez will have an everyday job. Cubs’ playing time can be Maddon’ing. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
On Sunday morning, I woke around 8 AM to read a text from Rudy saying, “Awful news, Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident.” I put on my glasses, no time for contacts, and turned on the TV. It was still on Fox Sports West because I was watching Vin Scully tributes all weekend. Yesterday morning, Fox Sports was playing Anglers Chronicles, a fishing show, which is wrong in so many ways. After switching the stations, groggy-eyed and still half asleep, I realized TV was not the place anymore to go for breaking news. I shut it off and turned to the internet. I’m still piecing together my thoughts. He was 24 years old, even if he never played baseball this is a horrible loss of life. I’m reminded of all the friends I lost to motorcycles in their twenties. I’m struck by how inconsequential fantasy feels. There’s a giant pit in my stomach. Then, I think about how I never saw Jose Fernandez not smiling. Not having fun. I think about how on that boat, Saturday evening, you know Jose Fernandez was having a great time, because he was always having a great time. That exuberance came through in everything he did. I think about how he spent time in prison after one of his numerous failed attempts of escaping Cuba, and how, even then, he was likely making fellow inmates smile. How the excellence he brought to the mound every fifth day was felt all the way back in Cuba to raise up even the darkest corners of Cuba’s prisons. “That was us. That is us,” the inmates, who are still incarcerated for trying to escape, likely said. How baseball does that. How special that is. You see what you’re going to see in tragedy, but I see Jose Fernandez pitching, and baseball, and making himself and others smile. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Mets outfielder Michael Conforto was 2-for-3 last night, scoring two runs with his 12th home run, and three RBI. Could this be the start of something big? Who’s Conforto, you ask? Lol, you pleb–Don’t you know anything? He’s just an uber prospect for the New York Mets. *Sips cold brew coffee, adjust horn rimmed glasses, strokes beard* Sigh. You’ve probably never heard of him. Have I mentioned he’s the hipster’s favorite player? Do I really have to mention that? The man hit .365 with four homers, 11 doubles and 18 RBI in April, then completely fell of the planet. He was busy working on his documentary film/visual novel/app for dogs. Sitting in an abandoned warehouse turned secret speakeasy/corn hole arena/craft cider house/live-bluegrass music cafe, I sip my gluten-free organic cold brew coffee (cage-free beans, obv) and curl my finely waxed mustache, pondering what life would be like with a fantasy baseball championship. I put down my Gabriel García Márquez book (I only read South American novelists), let my hair free out of its man-bun, and realize that Michael Conforto could be the key to everything. All that magical realism is really paying off! Sure, he struggled mightily all year, and sure, Jay Bruce threatens to steal some of his playing time. But Bruce is also 2-for-31 (.065 BA) in the past two weeks, and Conforto’s got all the upside. If I were you, and I’m not, because I’m obviously way hipper than you, I’d grab Michael Conforto, who’s available in about 90% of fantasy leagues, before he gets hot. In fact, this could only make you cooler because when he does finally break out, that means you picked him up before he was cool. And there’s nothing cooler than that!
Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I don’t understand this. The Padres’ Triple-A affiliate made a run for the Triple-A championship against the Yankees’ affiliate, so the Padres were holding down their top prospects to play in the championship. On the surface, it seems straightforward enough. Making run for championship, want best players there. Okay, I get that part. The part where I get lost, WHY DO YOU CARE IF YOU WIN A TRIPLE-A CHAMPIONSHIP?! Sorry, my keyboard got sticky the other day when Giancarlo returned. Don’t ask. The Padres are in the business of winning AAA championships? I don’t remember the Yankees keeping Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin in Triple-A to help their Triple-A team. I’d love to go into the Padres’ front office, throw some furniture against a wall and start screaming, “Let’s win some major league games for a change!” They need a organization-wide readjustment, and Grey Albright, Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbreviate it), is just the man to do it! So, with this said, the Padres called up Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot (and some other guys). Margot and Renfroe, who sounds like a name that exists to only be said by Scooby Doo, are top 100 prospects. Margot is straight SAGNOF this late in the year, maybe could provide a few steals in the last ten days, and Renfroe is the exact opposite, with a chance to provide a few dingers. They’re not going to make much impact in ten days. Too bad they had a Triple-A playoff run to attend to first. Which they lost! Anyway, here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
In order to be competitive, the Marlins would need All-Stars at every position all farmed from their minor league system. Sorta like what the Cubs have managed to do. Not impossible, but that’s what it would take for the Marlins because they are cheap AF. By the way, AF is my favorite acronym. Props to whoever first started using it. Feels like it started on Twitter because of the character limit. Keeps shizz short and simple AF, kinda like me (short and simple). Any the hoo! I was saying the Marlins need to be precise AF (I’m overusing it now) with their minor league system like they were with Jose Fernandez. He’s AF as AF comes. His nickname should no longer be Jo-Fer but AF. Or maybe AF-Fer. Nah, that looks like a trade union. A-Fer? That looks like algebra. Fernandez should own Abercrombie & Fitch he’s so AF. Yesterday, Jose Fernandez went 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 hits, zero walks and 12 Ks. He has 253 Ks in 182 1/3 innings. Seriously, digest that for a second. WTF AF?! Of course, I wish the Marlins would shut him down until 2017, but I have no chance of owning him next year. Not that I don’t love him. He’s the best pitcher in the game if I’m building a dynasty league. Yeah, I said it. I want him over Kershaw. Kershaw has been durable up until this year, but all pitchers are durable up until the point when they’re not. At one point, Jake Peavy was durable AF, too. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’m OCD about my iTunes. I listen to a new album a few times, pick out some songs that I like, five star them, and then play them endlessly until I’m sick of them. My top 20 for most played is embarrassing. I like Lil Wayne more than anyone should ever admit. Sometimes I have a song on repeat, and I’ll get a phone call (rare; only old people use the phone for calling people), the doorbell will ring (less rare; Cougs orders a ton of shizz on Amazon) or I’m just called away from my desk for some reason. Then I’ll forget I have a song on repeat and I’ll go to lunch, dinner or…No, those are the only reasons I leave my fantasy cave. When I come back and see a song’s play count has been artificially boosted with me not listening, I will edit info in iTunes and reset the play count to where it was before the accidental repeat. It’s important to have a gage to tell how much you like a song. Do you like it enough to play it 200 times like, say, Aloe Blacc’s Red Velvet Seat or do you like it enough to listen to it 120 times like, say, Tom Petty Yer So Bad (actual play counts)? Why do I bring this up now? Because Rick Porcello should roll his win count back to 15. 21 wins?! C’mon! That is misrepresenting him in every conceivable way. Yesterday, Rick Porcello went 9 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.08, to move his record to 21-4 <–LIES! He’s pretending to be Eazy E vs. Johnny Cash (great song; play count 278) when he’s really Randy Newman’s Short People (good song, but you ain’t listening to that nonsense more than once every few months; play count 59). His ERA isn’t even accurate. It’s saying, “I’m Bon Iver’s Skinny Love (play count 175),” when it’s really You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb by Spoon (play count 96). The only thing that is sort of legit is his 0.98 WHIP, but that’s more Men At Work’s Overkill (play count 186) legit. Have a season, Rick Porcello, but you are so Rihanna’s Diamonds (play count 86) and not Martians vs. Goblins (play count 365). Also, if you want more, we talk about Rick Porcello on today’s podcast. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I blame Jonathan Villar, Dusty, Francisco Lindor and Rougned Odor, in no particular order. Those players and Dusty are the reason why I owned Trea Turner and dropped him. I mean, no one would be crazy enough to put Turner in at Utility when he was first called up. Wasn’t gonna play him at outfield. He’s a middle infielder, and I had no room. *puts thumbtacks on desk, takes particular care to make sure the sharp ends are facing up, slams head onto desk* If I owned him, Turner would solve so many of my problems. He’d even fix my irregular bowels! This weekend Turner had three homers (11), three steals (27) and is hitting .355 in only 60 games. Trea magnifique! I haven’t seen this kind of emergence since…Damn, I don’t know how long. Maybe last year with Carlos Correa? Ouch, that comparison means Turner could disappoint in 2017? Don’t hate the player, hate the knowledge that the player possesses that makes him say things that are unlikable, which I guess could be lumped in with ‘hating the player,’ making it okay to hate the player. About a month ago, I thought Turner was going to be drafted around top 100 in 2017, but that was prior to the power showing up. With each homer, he’s moved up about a round, and now he’s breathing down the 2nd round for 2017. Depends if you think you ain’t seen nothing yet with Baseman Turner Overdrive. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?