Are the Red Sox grasping at proverbial straws here?  I mean, let’s go to the waiver wire in real life… Grab a reliever, Jean Machi, that has three career saves, and let’s say we’ll think about him being the closer for our team.  It sounds weird and crazy, but then you look at the Sawx record (it’s the worst in the AL by the way), and realize maybe it’s not such a far fetched idea.  Hanley Ramirez has nine freaking doubles all year. NINE!  I just hit four at Fenway the other day, until I realized they were hamburgers.  Okay, back to closers.  So the Red Sox, with the loss of Koji Uehara to the DL, will turn to just about anyone to see if they can close the 8-10 chances they will get the rest of the year.  The front runners are Junichi Tazawa (has 4 blown saves in the last 30 days) and Jean Machi, and the sleeper candidate is the former All-Star closer Ryan Cook.  Who in himself was traded for that spectacular fantasy asset: PTBNL.  The situations for closers is getting bleaker with the bad teams losing actual options and not having a genuine fall-back option that you could tie your waiver wire dollars too.  Best advice is don’t chance saves from all these guys, it will nuke your numbers elsewhere.  Concede that you will only get seven points from saves instead of nine. Friends don’t let friends drive drunk while texting or making waiver claims.

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I’m picturing Droopy Dog saying, “Going down,” to my Excitement for Jose Fernandez. My Excitement for J-Fer is hooking up with a strobe light honey at a club, and my Excitement for J-Fer’s friend later tells my Excitement for J-Fer, “She was cute, except for that protruding Adam’s apple.” My Excitement for J-Fer just got a $300 red light camera ticket. My Excitement for J-Fer put the green trash can at the curb the day it was supposed to put the blue can and then puts the black can at the curb the day the green can was supposed to go out. My Excitement for J-Fer exclaims, “Why can’t I even throw out the trash right?!” My Excitement for J-Fer sighs and puts an emoji in its text messages that symbolizes its childhood hero Hulk Hogan being a racist. As you’ve likely heard, Fernandez is out indefinitely with a bicep strain. Hopefully, he can be fine for next spring, i.e., I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t return this year. Otherwise, as the old beer jingle will tell you, J-Fer, the pitcher to draft when you’re DL’ing more than one. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Luis Severino will be called up to face the Red Sox on Wednesday and presumably will stay in the rotation for the busted, no-candy-giving Pineda. I say presumably, because can we really be sure about anything other than smart stuff coming from my brain, but not being able to come up with a synonym for stuff? It’s rhetorical, don’t rack your brain custard. Severino’s minor league numbers are eye-popping like John Lithgow in The Twilight Zone: The Movie (not a dated reference at all!). In Double-A, a 11.4 K/9 and a 1.91 ERA in Triple-A. Yup, I’m like a migrant worker cherrypicking stats, but I’d gamble on Severino in all leagues for upside. He looks like he might be the 2nd coming of wonderful with a splash of yummystiltskin. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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All the fantasy world was hoping that Jonathan Papelbon would be traded to a team without a reliable closer.  Instead, he goes to a team and kicks in the door swinging with the “I make more money than you” swagger that only comes with wearing Jordache jeans. And then he takes Drew Storen‘s job.  From a relief pitcher standpoint, Papelbon jumps from the worst save-driven team to top 10 overall.  The Phillies generated only 26 save opportunities to the date of his trade.  The Nationals were a far better team, and their record says so with 43 save opportunities.  The Nationals have also had a lead 32 more times than the Phillies, so Storen isn’t a completely wasted roster spot. If you got skunked by this, you need to keep him rostered.  He will still get the off-day save chances, and should pitch in a ton of high-leverage situations based on the bullpen shape of the Nationals, which isn’t a blue ribbon. Papelbon immediately jumps to elite status for me because of his history, and the whole contending team thing. He will easily double his saves total (in less games) to date, which stands at 17.  On the flip side of this trade, it opens up the gates to wunderkid Ken Giles to close in the land of steaks covered in cheese.  Giles immediate value is that of a closer, but with the Phil’s, he’s going to basically have a worse representation of what Papelbon had, but he still has moderate save appeal.  I can see him getting 10 saves the rest of the way.  This is posting a day before the deadline, so things could be in flux. And make sure to check out Ralph and myself over on Razzball Soccer, as the FPL is in full go.

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“Who is the Dodgers ace?” asks the Fox Sports newscaster in Los Angeles, after the special report on “Where are the stars shopping for their Emmy gowns?” and “Juicing? Is it good for you?” and “A high-speed pursuit ends in an In-N-Out drive-thru,” and “Actresses over 24 years old may not be washed up after all,” and “Shopkeeper puts up sign to ‘Vote Republican’ and gets looted.” So, who is the Dodgers ace? On Saturday, Clayton Kershaw went 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners with 14 Ks, ERA down to 2.68. My Magic Eight Ball says this is the year the Dodgers hop on Kershaw’s back, march through the playoffs and justify every crackers move Mattingly’s done in his managerial career. Sometimes knowing the future really bums me out. Not to be outdone, on Sunday, Zack Greinke went 8 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners with 11 Ks, and lowered his ERA to 1.30. Soon he won’t be able to lower his ERA anymore (math is my strong suit). I’m totally done doubting Greinke…or am I?! No, not the ellipsis reversal! Ah! As I ranked in the top 100 for the 2nd half, Kershaw is way above Greinke in terms of, well, everything. Greinke is also not a 1.30 ERA pitcher, but no one really is, except maybe Kershaw. Greinke is definitely a number one though; this isn’t all luck. He has a 8+ K/9, 1.4 BB/9 and 3.05 xFIP, which is essentially nice, aw sooky, nice. A “nice aw sooky” sandwich, if you will. Then there’s the fact that Greinke hasn’t allowed a run in 43 2/3 IP. Orel Hershiser doesn’t scoff at that, maybe he yawns, then does a small double take when no one is looking. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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So with the festivities of All-Stardom concluding, thus comes the second half.  It’s an inevitable thing, you eat half a cookie the other half remains.  So this week I am going to run down a list of the closers for the remainder of season.  So sorry for not doing salads with donkeys this week, I felt this was more noteworthy since we are about two weeks from the trade deadline in real and fake baseball life (in some leagues).  The closer rankings that I came up with will be based off of a few things: saves (no durrr), team success, likely hood to remain a closer, and peripheral stats.  So we lump all those together and we get the ROS STSLRCPS.  Which basically looks like a pretty good scrabble deck.  Bare with me, it’s a busy time of year, and for those in the know, Fantasy Soccer is live and in full effect.  Go check it out, it’s fantasy baseball with an accent.  So now onto the closer ranks for the rest of the 2015 campaign…

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You ever look at a pitcher and just realize that he’s running out of gas much sooner than you expected him too?  Well, that’s what I am noticing from the Mets closer of the moment, Jeurys Familia.  He is pitching like his best friend died or his pet rock was used in a terrarium for a science fair project.  I am not liking the trend of the K’s disappearing, hell he went four appearances without getting one.  For a guy with a 10-plus K/9, that is worrisome.  The BAA is up for the month, walks are triple from what the previous two months were, and he is trying to pull of a mocha shoe with a green suit.  I mean, come on.  So just the other day, Bobby Parnell came in got a nice tidy 5-out save and it made me think, the way the Mets are and what their needs as a team are, is this the solution that they need?  They needed bullpen help, a nice veteran returning who knows the ropes, walks with a pimp skip (no cane on the field though), and has the ability in previous years to get the job done if need be.  I personally just think Jeurys needs a lessened work load to make him bounce back.  Still, it is worth noticing or monitoring that Bobby P is back, and he is rounding up his bottom and top slags from Queens Point and is in waiting.  Lets see what other bits of delusion I have to scour up for ya.  Enjoy the week… cheers!

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For a few days it’s been all quiet on the closer front.  Usually in the lede, I talk about a change in regime and the pluses/minuses and my opinion on it.  There hasn’t been one for two whole weeks…  It’s crazy.  MLB is putting me outta business in the jibing about fantasy closers market.  Where does the unemployment line start?  I am only half kidding, and I’m also half crazy too. So that makes me half-something.  So believe it or not, the season is officially 3/8 of the way over.  That is just crazy in itself to even fathom.  I think I have rambled on about nothing long enough… let’s talk about someone, anyone, shall we?  I like the rebound to form that Mark Melancon has shown, due to a K/9 of 4.68.  I haven’t seen a true one-outcome reliever before, but if you own him, I would sell for a better product.  You can probably get by on two things in your favor.  One, his name uses letters that can be read in a left-to-right format, which, from what I am understanding, is standard for reading purposes.  Two, he has 6 saves in the last two weeks and when people look to see how he has been doing, they will see that he is tied for the lead during that time frame in saves.  Listen, if you need saves and you own Melancon, I am not saying go out and sell him cause I said so.  I am saying swap him and a extra player and see if you can get an improvement on the K category.  The other owner will be so smitten that he got a closer and another player for just a closer, he won’t realize that he was jobbed.  Side note, make sure he doesn’t read this blurb first or the jig is up.  Stick around more snippets of informative justice are on the way…

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Did you guys seriously think I was doing a theme based on the 1980 classic film 9 to 5? Now don’t get me wrong, I have seen that movie more times than I care to admit. Working for Grey is like working for Dabney Coleman in the movie. Damn, I miss Dabney, always enjoyed his work (here is my top five movies of his in no particular order: 1,2,3,4,5). I’m not even going to go down how the other writers fit into that cast. Okay, twist my arm why don’t you… if I must, Tehol is Dolly Parton for obvious reasons, Sky is Lily Tomlin with that big brain of his and I’m Jane Fonda. Wait, no, I mean Jay is Jane, Fonda because he has silky smooth skin. [Jay’s Note: I do.] I’ll be Margaret, the drunk wise cracker. Hey, I can’t be doing this, I said I wouldn’t I have some update issues to discuss. You have to excuse the mess above, I get sidetracked more than a meth head with ADHD. This week we won’t be having the weekly leaders due to some computer issues. I apologize for that, and hopefully they will return next week. If you had a good week, then please share in the comments… or if you’re SteveNZ, share if you had a bad week. That guy is always having a bad week. Instead of the weekly leaders, I’ll be highlighting the category counting stats leaders for the first third of the season, as I feel a need to show love to more people. My therapist says its good for my anger issues. That guy is a pain in my ass.

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The closest David Wright is to getting on the field is to smell the glove. The doctors have diagnosed him with spinal stenosis, which is the narrowing of the spinal column. “That sounds awesome, my column’s way too wide,” says a runway model. Has there ever been a situation, besides This Is Spinal Tap, where the word spinal has been good? Misspellings of spinal with l’pinas, the French Colada, does not count. The plains in Wright’s pain fall directly on the spinal. Honestly, this sounds like an issue that will plague him this entire year and he’s going to have a lost season. Not honestly, good news. On our podcast that is coming later today this ailment is compared to some football guy no longer doing football things due to spinal stenosis and how dropping Wright, if you don’t have DL room, could be the, uh, right move. I sorta agree, but would try to hold him a bit longer, until we hear more. It does sound like this has the makings of “Can Wright bounce back in 2016?” articles. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?