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Despite a season of disappointment and injury, Stephen Strasburg won me my points league championship. As one of my keepers coming into this season, I was excited for the potential of a Cy Young campaign. Instead what I got was a season of heartache and despair as he spent more time on my bench than he did in my lineup. In his last three starts however Strasburg threw a total of 23 innings, striking out 37 batters, walking 3 and yielding only 2 earned runs. During that three game stretch he scored 103 fantasy points for an average of 34.33 points per start. I’m happy when I get 25 points from a start. Just when I thought I had my keepers figured out for next season, Strasburg has to go and do this and put his name solidly back into the mix. On a side note, a few weeks back I suggested he grow a Bumgarner-like beard in hopes of helping him find his lost ways. Instead he seems to have shaved himself clean and I am thrilled with the result it has had on his performance. I just re-read that sentence and it can certainly take on a different meaning.

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In the preseason I projected Dee Gordon to finish this season with 272 points. Those projections included 1.8 home runs, 33.83 RBIs, 71 runs scored and 51 stolen bases. Through 135 games Gordon has 333 points, with 3 home runs, 42 RBIs, 78 runs and 53 stolen bases. Had he not missed about three weeks with a thumb injury those numbers would be even a little better. All told my projections were pretty accurate. So where did the extra 61 points come from? Singles. Dollar dollar bills y’all. I projected 115.75 singles and a .268 batting average. He currently has 157 one-baggers and a .332 average. When asked how he felt about my 272-point projection, Dee responded with “do you like tapes or CDs?”

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While I like to come up with witty original titles, I realize that today’s has already been played. So has “Cespedes For The Rest of Us”, another solid specimen. I tried to figure out a way to use the video game Centipede, but came up empty. So I decided I would just recycle. There’s no getting around it, today’s post needed to center on Yoenis Cespedes. With 139 points, no other batter has scored as many points as Yoenis in the last 28 days. During that stretch he has 15 homers, 34 RBIs and 28 runs scored. He leads all batters in all three of those categories. He even has 3 triples and 2 stolen bases. Cespedes is like a man obsessed. Obsesspedes! I’d love to know how many teams that have made the fantasy playoffs have him on their roster.

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FILE - In this Sept. 13, 2011 file photo, Milwaukee Brewers' Ryan Braun reacts after hitting a game-winning home run during the 11th inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, in Milwaukee. Braun won the National League MVP Award in voting announced Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
When I think of the term “Hebrew Hammer” I think of Moishe Steinbergowitzman, the handyman that put the deck on my neighbor’s house. That dude was out there every morning at 8am hammering away, except for Saturdays. Friday nights must have been his night to cut loose and throw back some Manischewitz. Of course there is also Mordechai Jefferson Carver, the baaadest Heeb this side of Tel Aviv. However, neither of these descendants of Abraham are the Hebrew Hammer to which I am referring.

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During the preseason I made a strong case for selecting Clayton Kershaw as the top overall pick ahead Mike Trout in points leagues using total points, Z-score and FVARz. Kershaw edged out Trout across the board, but I’m sure that didn’t convince most of you to pull the trigger. Actually I’m pretty positive of this because Trout’s average draft position (ADP) was 1.3, while Kershaw’s ADP was just under 2 at 1.9. That means that there were a few of you that joined the dark side, but the rest of you just didn’t have enough balls. Let’s see if I made a jacka*s of myself taking such an outrageous stance.

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Did you ever wonder why, back in your school days, that there was no “E” grade? What happened to “E”? The apparent reason for the lack of an “E” grade is because most systems are based on four passing grades. “A”, “B”, “C” and “D”. After these passing grades come failure, and since failure starts with the letter “F”, “F” is used to denote a failure. It’s really quite simple. It just happens to be that “F” is the sixth letter, but had it been the tenth or even the last, an “F” would still be used to let you know that you just flunked. Someone who fails is a failure. Does that make someone that flunks a flunky? I actually had a teacher one year, I think it was the 7th grade, that incorporated “E” into his grading system. It was actually higher than an “A”, if that makes sense, and stood for “excellent”. I always thought that was an A+. I’m pretty sure that teacher was a major pothead. I liked him. I had an entirely different teacher that had a completely different set of grades that included an “E”. In this class it stood for “exceeds expectations”. There was no “A”, “B”, “C”, “D” or “F”. Instead we had “E”, “M” and “N”. The latter two standing for “meets expectations” and “needs improvement”.

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In 1847 in Self-Reliance, Ralph Waldo Emerson said “consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”. He actually said more than that, but I have taken just those words. Did I just start out my fantasy baseball post with a partial Emerson quote about goblins?! For some reason I apparently have. In one of my preseason rants, I said something about consistency being key. I’d much rather have a hitter that scores about the same number of points each week, than one that is hit or miss. For example, over a five week span, I’d rather have my hitter get 20 points a week than have him score 5 the first week, 45 the second week, 5 week three, 5 week four and 40 in the fifth week. While the two 40-point weeks are awesome, the 5-point weeks are awful. That might now have been the best example, but I believe it sufficient enough to get my point across.

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Google defines disappointment as “the feeling of sadness or displeasure caused by the nonfulfillment of one’s hopes or expectations”. So far in 2015, I define disappointment as Ian Desmond, Victor Martinez, Jonathan Lucroy, Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Robinson Cano, and Jorge Soler.

In 447 plate appearances Ian Desmond might have 14 home runs and 9 stolen bases, but he also has 128 strikeouts, a .223 batting average and a pathetic 135 points. Spread over 19 weeks, that’s an average of 7.1 points per week. That’s shit! There’s just no sugar coating it. His points per plate appearance is 0.308, which among batters with at least 300 plate appearances, is the third worst. Only Michael Bourn (0.279) and Addison Russell (0.296) are lower. So aside form this, what makes Desmond such a disappointment? In points leagues he had an average draft position (ADP) of 61 as the fourth shortstop to be taken. I would say the fact that he is the 28th ranked shortstop and most certainly should not be owned is more than enough reason.

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In the last three weeks Adam Eaton has seen his ownership in points leagues nearly double, reaching a level greater than his draft percentage. During that time he has scored 72 points. Only a few other players have scored more. He is on pace for 14 home runs and 17 stolen bases. His preseason projections were 4 homers and 17 stolen bases. I liked him preseason. I like him even more with the 10 additional home runs.

In the last month only Lucas Duda has as many home runs as Carlos Gonzalez (11 HR). However Cargo is batting .392 and has more RBIs and points. As a matter of fact, as crazy as Duda’s tear has been, Cargo’s 108 points are 27 more points than Duda’s 81. I’m taking Cargo over Duda if I have the choice. If only Duda had stolen a few bases, then I could have gone with “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” as my title.

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Let’s play a quick game of Jeopardy. I’ll take “Inappropriate Clues for $1000 Alex”. Ok, here’s your clue. “It’s not wise to upset a wookie.” If your answer is “what did Han Solo say to C-3PO regarding the holographic game between R2-D2 and Chewbacca aboard the Millennium Falcon?” then you’d be wrong. The correct answer is “what did Hisashi Iwakuma say when I asked him what he thought about playing a prank on Carlos Correa“. And before anyone goes and gets offended by that I’d like to point out that the category was “Inappropriate Clues” and before I moved forward with it I got the approval of Yu Darvish, Norichika AokiMasahiro Tanaka and Ichiro Suzuki. They all got a good raff out of it. So should you.

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