I’m currently watching Freaks and Geeks (thanks, Instant Streaming!) for the first time. At this point, I bring a lot of baggage to the show. It was hard for me to watch the first couple of episodes without putting more attention to Seth Rogen and if he’d be skinny by episode three. Or if the mother of an eighteen-year-old on the new season of Mad Men, Linda Cardellini, would have an affair with Biff Tannen by episode five? Would James Franco sing a song with Anne Hathaway? Why was Brandon Belt hanging out with the geeks (Samm Levine looks just like Belt)? Eventually, I got lost in the show, and then just started to dread that there were only 18 episodes. I got to thinking — I think, y’all! — is there any fantasy baseball version of this? Where a player goes from completely recognizable in a bad way to recognizable in a new, different way? It’s not really a Zombino. It would be like seeing Andrew Cashner on the Yankees in three years, throwing a 5+ ERA and then suddenly being transported back to today. (And you thought I’d never come around to Cashner — HA!) Today, Cashner becomes the wise-cracking Seth Rogen that some of us fell in love with back in 1999 before getting jaded by his doucetardness. Cashner doesn’t have to live down the expectations of being James Franco, the twit who thought shticking it up at the Oscars was a good idea. Cashner doesn’t have to worry about never growing into an adult body like Samm Levine, though I’d be worried if I were Brandon Belt. (Notice I didn’t say anything about Jason Segal, because I’m not sure he’s ever done anything bad, which is hard for a handsome and totally straight mustachioed man to say.) It’s 1999, and Cashner can be terrific without any preconceived notions. I’d grab him in all leagues and hope this summer he stays healthy and gives us one terrific season, then disappears into oblivion like Sam Weir. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:
Jose Quintana – This is the third week in a row I’ve told you to go for The Mighty Quintana (the Eskimo). Or at least Bob Dylan keeps telling me he’s an Eskimo. Well, the Eskimos have 4,230 words for snow, but only one word for facing the Rangers in Arlington, “Belch.” Those Eskimos are lyrical! Quintana is there in Texas next, so I’d pick him up and bench him or just wait until that start is done.
Patrick Corbin – Not 100% sure where his Ks have been, but everything else is like butter on hot toes. That’s the expression, right? Yeah, Corbin’s been getting hella lucky (as the kids said in the naughts). His men left on base percentage and BABIP will see the corrections (most overrated book of all-time), but he’s gained a mile on his per hour and he’s in the NL West. It’s Pat!
Carlos Villanueva – The Village of the New will get his with a huge amount of Liquid Paper at some point, but you don’t need me to explain he’s not a 1-something ERA pitcher. That shizz is obvious. For the time’s being now, go New… Town, that is.
Travis Wood – Okay, are you sitting down? Eh, it don’t matter. You can stand for this, but you’re gonna have to sit down at some point; your gams is gonna be hurtin’. Travis Wood gets the MIA Marlins tomorrow. You don’t need the Stream-o-Nator to tell you that’s a solid start. Wood’s peripherals are sketchy at best, so after the Marlins start he could be risky because I think there will be some rough waters ahead… Too bad he’s not Balsa Wood. That floats. It’s never better to explain a joke, but when you make a running joke out of how awful a joke is it eventually gets funny. See David Letterman’s career. Oh, simmer down, Letterman fans. It’s like you hate New York and side with the terrorists if you don’t like Letterman.
Kevin Correia – In many years we’re gonna look back at this week and remember how it was the week of borderline starters. Or we’ll look back in a few years and think, “Was 2013 the year Lindsay Lohan died?”
Jason Hammel – I just went over him this morning. Scroll down. No, that’s rolling on the ground, not scrolling down.
David DeJesus – Hitting near .400. Don’t approach him with that Atari. That ain’t good game, homie, sorry. Groove is in the DeJesus.
Peter Bourjos – Yeah, the Angels look like they could’ve spent the same as the Astros (which is pocket lint) to get the same results, but Hamilton, Trout and Pujols won’t be dreadful forever. Bourjos is batting lead-off and is hitting.
Krispie Young – I just went over my Krispie Young fantasy. I wrote it while extreme couponing.
Nate McLouth – Sure, he’s no Rutledge for runs (who somehow has the 6th most runs in the majors, with more runs than hits, an under .300 OBP and not even playing every game; are the Rockies pinch running him with no outs at third base every game? Okay, enough about Rutledge… No, I wanna talk more about him! All right, fine, I’ll move on.), McLouth has been solid in runs, average and has a .429 OBP thus far. It won’t last, but while it does it can be on your team, yah? Yah, says the guy who started Ikea.
Eric Young Jr. – We have a bit of a Young theme going here. Gary Glitter’s Google alert just went off. EYJ is all about the SAGNOF!
Nolan Reimold – Maybe I’m being foolish sticking with this guy. Maybe he’ll forever disappoint me like an Adam Lind in orange. Maybe I’m saying this in my head like a Morgan Freeman voice-over.
John Axford – “The Ax Man is back, and you know he can be very whack. Now shake your belly.” That’s the commercial director filming the remaining Fat Boys for the new Brewers commercial.
Carlos Marmol – Maybe this is why the Cubs have Jim Belushi throw the opening pitch for at least 25 games a year, they’re scouting him for the closer job.
Josh Donaldson – The player who in Japan goes by Sondonald Josh (I’m cultured like yogurt!) is currently hitting and will probably be interesting to own for about three weeks this year. This week is one, there’s no saying when the other two will be, except I have a dollar on the week of June 17th.
Mark Ellis – Isn’t it surprising that the Braves are getting all this attention for having the Upton brothers, but no one ever talks about the Ellis brothers on the Dodgers? *Craigslist intern whispers in my ear* It’s come to my attention that they aren’t related.
Didi Gregorius – You’re probably saying to yourself what could I want with the talkative ice cream sandwich maker from Westwood (hey, fifteen Angelenos!) that didn’t show much offense in the minor leagues. Probably not a whole lot in most leagues. He’s really much more of an NL-Only guy, but while he’s hitting you may as grab him.
Dustin Ackley – Is it me or does it seem like there’s only diehard Mariner fans that love their prospects and are able to convince themselves that the club makes smart moves? They don’t seem to have any casual fans. Maybe because you have to delude yourself to like them. Hey, don’t shoot the messenger! So, Ackley arrived at the majors with a whole lot of love from a very small subsection of Pacific Northwesterners. Since then he’s looked like the Padres best prospect, Nadir Bupkis. Over the last week, he’s hitting near .400, so I’d grab him for a little quick hot schmotato action.
Albert Pujols – I’d be seriously concerned if I owned Pujols. How is he going to heal if it hurts when he’s ambling like E.T.? Is he gonna Ron Kovic around the bases? That worked for only so long by former Angel, Vlad, until he had more ice on his knees than he had knees. Yo, man, he got kneesicles! Am I gonna trade Pujols for an empty whiskey bottle found in Richard Lewis’s closet? Oh, hell to the no, don’t have a cow, man, and other 90′s catchphrases. I do think you need to start exploring options before Pujols is DL’d and you’re looking at only getting 28-30 homers and a .280 average from him rather than his perceived 35 homers, .300+ average.