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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Since returning from the All-Star break, no hitter has scored more points than Joey Votto. Votto-D2 (for you Star Wars geeks) has 10 hits, 2 home runs, 3 RBIs, 8 walks and a stolen base to give him 39 points over 7 games. On the season he now has 265 points which puts him in the top ten first basemen, where he has quite the company. He’s currently on pace for 30 ding dongs, 10 stolen bases and a .300 batting average. But what I really hope is that he has a son name Otto.

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Last week I put together comprehensive year-to-date, rest of season and end of season rankings for batters. Quite honestly I think it was the bees knees, but that’s just me tooting my own horn. Do bees even have knees? If you are in a points league and missed it, I highly recommend you check it out. And when I say I “highly” recommend it, that does not mean I ate pot brownies two hours before making said recommendation. I was just standing at the top of a 30-foot ladder.

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lindy

I don’t know many guys over the age of 35 that haven’t stood on the edge of a diving board, tested the wind with their thumb and casually fired off a series of armpit farts before triumphantly diving into the water. The Triple Lindy is a legendary 80’s movie scene courtesy of the late great Rodney Dangerfield, ranking right up there with Daniel LaRusso’s crane kick to win the All Valley Karate Championship.

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busta

When did Busta Rhymes get so fat? Dayam!!! Dude looks like he ate the Busta Rhymes I remember that put out some great music back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. I’m not much of a rap fan, but I was always a Busta fan. When he sang “Gimme Some More” who knew he was talking to the guy that was putting food on his plate. Did you hear what the talking M&M said to Busta in that unreleased M&M’s commercial? Put your hands where my eyes can see. Sorry Busta, it’s too easy. Please spend less time at the all you can eat buffets with Billy Butler and CC Sabathia and more time making dope music. I’m sure there’s a spot in the Fast and Furious 8 Soundtrack for you.

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mb

Coming into this season Kris Bryant was the rookie third baseman that had everyone going coo coo for Cocoa Puffs. After the year he had in the minor leagues in 2014 and the home run display he put on during Spring Training, who could blame anyone. Yet despite hitting 10 homers, driving in 42 runs and stealing 6 bases for 152 points, Bryant is not the rookie you were looking for. Be sure to read that last part in your best Episode 4 Obi-wan Kenobi voice. In 148 at bats (85 less than Bryant), Maikel Franco also has 10 home runs to go with his 123 points. With 0.783 points per plate appearance (PPPA) Franco is on pace to finish the season with 408 points (126 games), making him a top 10 3B, just ahead of Bryant who is on pace for 375 points. Considering Maikel has played 24 less games than Kris, that makes this even more noteworthy. Bryant is still the one I’d prefer to own long term, but if I had to settle for Franco, I wouldn’t be very disappointed.

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