The night was… humid. In the hospital hallway, Guillen was calling doctors, nurses and a janitor putas. I was by his bedside early in the day. We talked for a long time before he went under the knife. Talked about life, name changing and fantasy baseball. He understood how much I had invested in him and his knee. He gripped my hand tightly and apologized profusely for letting down so many fantasy teams. He told me he’d be back in 4 to 6 weeks. I told him it would sound a lot more sincere if he could give me an exact timetable. He then asked me who kept calling my cellphone. I said no one, probably a wrong number. He asked if it was a wrong number, why did the caller ID read, “My Trout.” I promised him I wouldn’t abandon him while he was out of commission. Our bond was tighter than any “What have you done for me lately?” fickleness. As a nurse wheeled him away, he called to me, “Grey, I can still mollywop. I promise you.” I nodded. As I walked out of the hospital, I called My Trout and asked him, “What do Giancarlo Stanton and ineffective handshakes have in common?” Trout, “They’re both limp fish!” And we laughed. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Psyche! Before we get into the roundup, just wanted to put it out there that tomorrow there’s gonna be a Top 100 for the 2nd half of the 2012 fantasy baseball season. Check back tomorrow morning, because this f*cker is a b*tch to write. Anyway II, the weekend roundup:
Juan Carlos Oviedo – Ozzie announced that The Pitcher Formerly Known As Leo Nunez could share closing duties with Heath Bell. This sounds like announcement that is meant simply for Ozzie to prove he’s still crazy. “A lot of people are saying Maddon or Dusty or Bochy are crazy, but let me confirm I am still the craziest!” Ozzie sticks with Heath Bell through so many terrible outings, Heath Bell probably couldn’t even believe he was still the closer, then he says he might use J.C. Oviedo? I’m shocked he even knows his name. Did he call him ‘that guy that used to be called something else’ and the media at first thought he was talking about Stanton? Does he know that Oviedo, prior to the name change, had lost the closer job himself? Such a bonkers announcement. I wouldn’t go near Oviedo until I actually saw a save in his stat line. That is not to say Bell shouldn’t or couldn’t get replaced. This blurb’s reaching capacity, so let’s move to the next one.
Heath Bell – Hey, everyone from the last blurb! Long time, no see. Yesterday, Bell went 2/3 IP, 3 ER to raise his ERA to 6.75 with his 6th blown save. My man’s a complete mess. In the new Faces of Death, there’s a 15 minute segment devoted to Heath Bell’s outings. He hasn’t been right all season and should be sent to the Disgraceful List. I’d grab Steve Cishek.
Evan Longoria – Damn, Longo’s pulling a Kotchman with his hamstring. Maddon said that he had “no idea’ when Longoria would return. I’m gonna guess he has an idea when he’s going to return, because the alternative is the manager is incommunicado with his star player and all of his staff. I like how in baseball, managers think it’s a good idea to come off as the dumbest guy in the room. Might make some of their on-the-field moves easier to digest that way. My guess is Longoria will return mid-August.
Luke Scott – 2-for-5 yesterday, 5 for his last 14 and two homers. Luke Wigginton– I mean, Luke Scott is at it again, and when he goes to it, he gets it. Take it to the bank! But put it in one of those short-term, tax-free vehicles that you can get out of easily.
Pedro Ciriaco – 3-for-4 and his 2nd steal since his call up as he fills in for Pedroia. He has speed, but Frankie Muniz has a race car and it doesn’t make him a race car driver. In Triple-A, Ciriaco stole 14 bases with 8 times caught stealing. I could see taking a flyer on him for SAGNOF, but I’d keep my expectations in check.
Adrian Gonzalez – Left yesterday’s game in the 2nd due to illness. Maybe he looked at his home run total.
Carl Crawford – Says he’ll need Tommy John surgery at some point in the future. Probably from throwing so many curveballs to his fantasy owners.
Michael Young – 4-for-6, 2 RBIs. So he didn’t retire at the end of last year. Sweet!
Andrelton Simmons – Headed to the DL after leaving yesterday’s game with a broken pinkie that he got sliding into 2nd base. “Now, if you’ve injured yourself, that means you’re safely into the bag.” That’s Chipper giving sliding advice.
Brian McCann – 2-for-5 with a homer in his 4th straight game. Member last month when I sat behind you at your computer and kept buzzing you with an electrical current every time you wanted to drop McCann? Yeah, I just got my electric bill.
Jon Niese – 7 IP, 7 ER, 9 baserunners, 3 Ks. The long shadows from his old nose could’ve helped him in this game. Obviously not an ideal outing, but nine hits and no walks with seven earned runs equals a bit of bad luck.
Starlin Castro – 2-for-3, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 7th homer to end the 1st half with a .291 average and a .314 OBP. Wow, not easy to do that. There should be a glossary term for guys that are allergic to walks. Suggest in the comments. Thank you.
Zach McAllister – 5 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 8 Ks, but was a bit of a ticker shock as he gave up 4 unearned runs. Still, McAllister has near a 9 K-rate and 3.40 ERA/1.28 WHIP with nice control. At this point, there’s no reason to not to take a flyer on him. Yup, even you. Hey!
Salvador Perez – 1-for-3 with his 4th homer in his 13th game back, now batting .383. Hey, Sal’s putting some extra cheese on it for free!
Max Scherzer – 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners (1 walk), 7 Ks. The Scherzerphrenic now has 121 Ks in 97 1/3 IP and only 33 walks. It must have been, it must have been, it must have been a happy time. Though I don’t remember that from owning him.
Delmon Young – 2-for-4 with his 4th straight game with a homer. Just the other day I was saying Delmon’s managed to not get hot once all year, well, tuck me into bed and call me a liar.
Jhonny Peralta – 3-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 5th homer. Most days I’d prefer a superfluous nipple on my shoulder that barn animals are always trying to nurse from than owning The Superfluous H, but 5 homers on July 8th means he has 12 homers in his bat for the 2nd half.
Ian Desmond – 2-for-4 with a slam (17) and legii (10 & 11). Wanna hear something crackers? He’s on pace for a 33 homer, 21 steal season with a .285 average. Hopefully, Tulo doesn’t sue for copystat infringement.
Ryan Howard – 2-for-6 since he returned as he sat out Saturday. The wedding march is being played by your 97-year-old Aunt Babka, your bride is coming down the aisle and you get a fantasy alert that Howard just homered. You motion for Babka to do an extended remix and you immediately send out trade flyers to unload Howard.
Mark Trumbo – Homered on Friday and again yesterday. There are two guys in the major leagues with a higher strikeout percentage and a .300+ average than Trumbo. Austin Jackson, who has the speed and a crazy high BABIP to prove it, and Josh Hamilton, who has a much better line drive percentage and doesn’t hit as many grounders. I like Trumbo, but he could hit .250 with 12 homers in the 2nd half.
Mike Trout – Ends the 2nd half with 12 homers, 26 steals, .341 average, 57 runs and 40 RBIs in only 64 games. On pace for 25 homers and 50 steals this year and he missed a month. If you ran an ultraviolet light over my bed sheets, the stains would form the shape of a fish.
Colby Rasmus – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 17th homer. May as well put the two guys I touted incessantly in the 1st half next to each other. And if any of you think there’s bias towards players we own in leagues, we only have Trout and Rasmus in one league apiece, and the Rasmus league is being run by Scott, our minor league guy, and he’s got that team in first.
Edwin Encarnacion – 1-for-4 with his 23rd homer. Maybe after this year, E-5 will be overrated for the next 8 years (See 173 years after our savior, Abner Doubleday, supposedly invented baseball and Beltre had a career year).
Ivan Nova – 6 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 10 Ks. One of 24 major league pitchers with 100 Ks going into the break and one of 14 with 10 wins, while getting his ERA below 4 for the first time since April. He won’t be in tomorrow’s top 100 for the 2nd half, but he was strongly considered.
Oliver Perez – 2/3 IP, 1 ER. Heeeeeeeee’s back! Don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys, instead let them grow up to be left-handed pitchers because they will always find work.
Bartolo Colon – 8 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 5 Ks as he battled F-Her (7 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 6 Ks). In the 13th inning, the A’s finally scored to beat the M’s 2-1. This reminded me of a Little League game where the parents just want to go home so they make up a rule that after the third tied inning teams start each half inning with two runners on.
Yoenis Cespedes – Left the game with a thumb sprain. He should be fine when the 2nd half starts, but it could hurt his dancing since he learned it in Cuba from watching Elaine Benes.
Jay Bruce – Ended the 2nd half with a slam & legs, so you wouldn’t spend the entire All-Star Break wondering when he’d get hot again, but instead wonder if Sunday was the start of a hot streak.
Tim Lincecum – 3 1/3 IP, 6 ER. On the bright side, you dropped him last week when I told you to. Oh, you didn’t? Your bad. (Actually, we told you to drop him about a month ago, but whatevs.)
Santiago Casilla – Romo got a save the other day, but simply because Casilla is out with a blister. Sounds like it’s dire straits in lyrics only.
Andrew McCutchen – 3-for-5, 3 runs, 4 RBIs with two homers as he hits .362. Since everyone else I ever loved in this fantasy baseball world has been injured, let’s pray for The Dread Pirate. C’mon, let’s join hands in a prayer parallel line.
Neil Walker – 5-for-5, 4 runs, 2 RBIs and 6th homer. I almost wrote Todd Walker. Ha, ‘member that middle infidel? Are they related? Someone check Ancestry.com, then write a 500 word essay explaining better ways you could spend your time than checking Neil Walker’s lineage. Walker now has a 12-game hitting streak and he’s producing solid counting stats (which is a polite way of saying he doesn’t have much power or speed).
Trevor Bauer – 6 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 6 Ks. I wouldn’t say he was exactly facing off against the 1927 Blue Jays. The Dodgers he pitched against have an entire lineup of guys that aren’t mixed league worthy, which is hard to pull off. Last team to pull that off was the 2012 Padres, then to find another team you have to go back to the 2011 Padres. Either way, or eyethurr if Chingy is reading, Bauer will be completely unpredictable, but as previously mentioned his upside is worth the gamble. Just have to watch out for the roofie.
Paul Goldschmidt – 2-for-3, 4 RBIs and his 12th homer. The bigger surprise is he’s hitting .302 with 8 steals. Aushizz!
Rickie Weeks – 3-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 2nd homer in the last 3 games to enter the All-Star Break with a .199 average. Half of me (the Lily Tomlin half) wants to say buy Weeks for the 2nd half.
Zack Greinke – 3 IP, 3 ER and this comes after he started Saturday’s game, threw 4 pitches and was ejected. The ump has some nerve kicking Greinke out that quickly. Imagine your kid, let’s call him Timmy, wants to see his favorite player, Greinke. You load up Timmy and his sister, whose name you can’t recall, into the minivan. Spend money on gas, frankfurters, tickets, nachos, soft-serve ice cream in a novelty baseball helmet — $120 before you even get to your seat — and just as you sit down the ump ejects Greinke. No wonder why baseball’s bleeding fans. Something should be done to neuter umps. Literally. From now on, only eunuchs for MLB umpires. Let them wince every time they call a ball.