Yesterday, James Shields yields 15 Ks, 1 run, but a win ain’t won. Murray Chass just bid a penny on the world’s smallest violin on eBay so he can play it just for Shields. Murray had this to say, “When men were gristled, and ladies were more gristled, we had a name for yellow-bellies like James Shields. That name was ‘Can’t do what needs to be done for a win.’ It may not have been the most succinct of names, but before Al Gore went and invented the Internet, we didn’t need succinct. We needed appropriate. Now you only have 140 characters to say something and it’s never appropriate!” I’ll say this for Murray. He sure has ornery in spades. ”Now kids are playing spades on their phones. When I was a kid, we’d play spades with fallen blisters from our feet!” All right, Murray, that’s enough. ”What’s the matter, over 140 characters?! Bah humbug!” So, Shields went out and threw his best game of the season when it all didn’t matter except your fantasy championship. Who loves you, Kojak? James Shields does. In 2013, I’m gonna be back in James Shields like a cow in Sizzler. Hmm, I’m not sure what that means, but I’m hankering for some of it! His K-rate is slightly up this year, his walk rate slightly down and his xFIP is about where it was when he had his 2.82 ERA season in 2011. Yes, please and gristle me some of that. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Ben Sheets – Will start today then retire. And that’s Sheets folding. In honor of his retirement, we go into the Razzball vault for this blurb about him from a few years ago, “Because he’s so injury-prone, I wonder if Sheets’s family is constantly trying to get him out of harm’s way. His wife, “Let Ben Jr. go get you some more flapjacks from the buffet. There’s a lot of sharp objects up there.” Sheets replies, “No, I got this,” and then he goes for flapjacks, knocks into a heat lamp, burns the IHOP down to the ground and pulls his oblique. A few starts ago, he complained of groin tightness. That was obviously bull–Sheets and is now complaining of elbow pain.” And that’s me quoting me! Fairly well, Sheets. May your obliques remain vaguely bothersome.
Manny Banuelos – Will have Tommy John surgery on Thursday, and hopes to stay on track for a 2014 return, so he can follow in the footsteps of other great Yankee pitching prospects like Joba and Phil Hughes.
Edwin Encarnacion – Out again yesterday with an injured trapezius. Remember, getting on the rope is the easy part, walking across it carrying the pole is the tough part.
Yovani Gallardo – Will not start the final game of the season so he can keep his .300 average…Or make that so he can get an extra five days of offseason. Luckily, the Brewers didn’t make the playoffs. He would’ve need to change his vacation plans.
Dustin Pedroia – 2-for-5, run and RBI. I give a lot of players crap for not playing through smaller injuries, so it’s only natural I’ll give a player a break for playing through a bigger injury, right? Yeah, that would be a wrong assumption. The Po’ Sawx are playing for nothing, so you gotta wonder the logic of letting Pedroia play with a broken finger. What if he were to injure himself worse while favoring the finger in a totally meaningless game? Really dopey move. Oh, no, Murray’s rubbing off on me.
Andrew Bailey – Blew the save with 1/3 IP and 2 ER. I mentioned this in the comments yesterday, but anyone who trades for a closer whether it’s in real baseball or fantasy deserves what the Red Sox got from Bailey this year. SAGNOF or SAUGNOF, if you want to go all non-rhotic (Word of the Day!).
Garrett Jones – Hit his 27th HR and tied his career high in RBIs with 86. Garret is now a near shoo-in for the ‘Two Last Name HOF,’ joining Brooks Robinson, Brady Anderson, and Murphy Fitzpatrick of the Federal League’s South Boston Potato Blights.
Starling Marte – 3-for-5, 2 runs and 2 steals. For the past four years, I’ve fallen in love with an upside Pirate outfielder, and next year is shaping up to be more of the same. Maybe I should name my next e-book, “Many Lives, Many Pirates.”
Adam LaRoche – 2-for-3, 2 runs and his 33rd homer. I have two real baseball notes. I can’t wait to root for the Nationals in the playoffs. Second note: I geek out on this afternoon’s podcast because we have an ex-major league player, who has Hall of Fame credentials, and once won the MVP. This is an Easter egg for the diligent people who read the whole roundup. Finding typos are also Easter eggs. Yeah, that’s the ticker.
Miguel Gonzalez – 6 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks. You know how I’m gonna have to look at Gonzalez this offseason? Like I’m a cyclops with a monocle.
Chris Davis – 1-for-3 and his 7th homer in the last six days. Right now, Bill James is a nerd in a 1980′s movie and Chris Davis is Kim Cattrall. Young Cattrall. Or old Cattrall, I guess. What, she’s the original cougar.
Jose Reyes – 3-for-5, 2 runs and stole his 39th base. I guarantee he steals his 40th base today. How much can we wager on this? Does Vegas take this bet? FanDuel? Pete Rose? Give me someone to bet with.
R.A. Dickey – 6 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 8 Ks vs. the Marlins. You think when MLB had Reyes and the Marlins take on the Mets in the final series they envisioned “Would R.A. Dickey boost his Cy Young case?” being the main attraction? Ah, baseball, you befuddle me and that’s why I love you. Now come here and let’s snuggle! Oh, and Dickey revealed he had an abdominal tear since May and will have surgery to correct it, but will be fine for Spring Training. Dickey and a torn abdomen? Wasn’t that a Rod Stewart rumor?
Scott Hairston – 4-for-5, 1 RBI. Good thing the Mets never played Valdespin. They found a real gem in Hairston to build the club around next year.
C.J. Wilson – Will have minor elbow surgery to remove bone spurs and compete with Chris Carpenter for the BBWAA’s Cy Spurling award. On a side note, my mechanic’s name is Cy, which is absolutely perfect to express audibly my feelings with him. ”I went in for a tune up and walked out with a $500 bill… Cy…” ”Hey, can you do my smog check?” ”Can’t today, Grey.” ”Cy….”
Alcides Escobar – 3-for-4, 2 RBIs and a slam (5) and legs (34), to raise his average to .292. I’m gonna go out on a pretty sturdy limb and say you probably should’ve held onto him when you drafted him.
Paul Konerko - Will have offseason wrist surgery and should be good to go for Spring Training. He’ll be 37 years old to start next season and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s never the same. I’ve also said that about him every year, except this one when he actually wasn’t the same. Dah!
Dayan Viciedo – Hit a homer yesterday because I said yesterday that he never hits only one homer and would hit a homer on Tuesday. Viciedo = he came, he saw, he homered.
Jake Peavy - His last start was the perfect microcosm of his season. 8 innings of dominant pitching (3 hits, 1 walk, 8 Ks) and a no-decision because he gave up 3 runs on 2 HRs, including a 2-run HR in the 9th. Finishes at 11-12 despite a 3.37 ERA and 1.12 WHIP (Chris Sale was 17-8 with a 3.05 ERA and 1.14 WHIP). Even worse, the woman he loves was killed in an accident while trying to flee her father who raped his granddaughter just like he raped his daughter. Ah, forget it Jake….
Darin Ruf - 2 homers as he shows some of that minor league homer champ power that the Phillies will somehow find a way to only start two or three games a week next year. Wonder if we can convince Ruf to grow afro puffs? Prolly not.
B.J. Rosenberg - 4 IP, 1 ER, and now officially qualifies for the pamphlet about famous Jewish athletes.
Buster Posey – 2-for-4 with his 24th homer as the Giants eliminated the Dodgers from playoff contention much to the chagrin of Magic Johnson who thought 8 teams from each league made the playoffs. Give Selig a few years and he’ll get there.
Mat Latos – 5 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 4 Ks as he ended the year with a 3.48 ERA after having a 5.20 ERA on June 18th. Oh, and, yeah, June 19th would be the day that I dropped him. Hello, maiden of the Renaissance Faire, would you mind sharpening this sword for me? I want to fall on it.
Everth Cabrera – 3-for-5 and no steals. Zoinks! With three hits you should’ve had 12 steals. C’mon, EverCab, you need an EverAbacus?
Aaron Hill – 3-for-5, 3 RBIs and a two-out, 9th inning, game-winning homer guaranteeing the Diamondbacks finish with at least a .500 record! That sounds like something Ervin Burrell would get excited about after juking the stats. We have a non-losing season, yay!
Bud Norris – 6 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 4 Ks as the 106 loss-Astros took on the 101-loss Cubs. You know what would be really cool in the non-cool but really geeky way? If both teams’ records were tied and they were trying to lose on the last day of the year for the best pick in the draft. ”Ooh…the ball gets passed Jason Castro and the runner from third is coming home…And the runner from 2nd is going to take 3rd… No, wait, the runner from third and 2nd are going back to their original bases…”
Max Scherzer - Having his last start skipped because he twisted his ankle. Is it really necessary to make up an injury when you’re obviously skipping your starter because you’re headed to the playoffs? Are MLB teams so accustomed to lying to reporters that they can’t even tell the truth when it’s okay? ”We regret to inform our fans that Prince Fielder will not be attending our Tigers Father-Son softball game. He hurt his hamstring on, uh, treadmill.”
Miguel Cabrera - 2-for-3, 2 RBIs, but no homer which will leave room for Hamilton to steal homers and deny Miggy the Triple Crown. Miggy, “As long as no one denies me my Crown Royal.”