On Sunday morning, I woke around 8 AM to read a text from Rudy saying, “Awful news, Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident.”  I put on my glasses, no time for contacts, and turned on the TV.  It was still on Fox Sports West because I was watching Vin Scully tributes all weekend.  Yesterday morning, Fox Sports was playing Anglers Chronicles, a fishing show, which is wrong in so many ways.  After switching the stations, groggy-eyed and still half asleep, I realized TV was not the place anymore to go for breaking news.  I shut it off and turned to the internet.  I’m still piecing together my thoughts.  He was 24 years old, even if he never played baseball this is a horrible loss of life.  I’m reminded of all the friends I lost to motorcycles in their twenties.  I’m struck by how inconsequential fantasy feels.  There’s a giant pit in my stomach.  Then, I think about how I never saw Jose Fernandez not smiling.  Not having fun.  I think about how on that boat, Saturday evening, you know Jose Fernandez was having a great time, because he was always having a great time.  That exuberance came through in everything he did.  I think about how he spent time in prison after one of his numerous failed attempts of escaping Cuba, and how, even then, he was likely making fellow inmates smile.  How the excellence he brought to the mound every fifth day was felt all the way back in Cuba to raise up even the darkest corners of Cuba’s prisons.  “That was us.  That is us,” the inmates, who are still incarcerated for trying to escape, likely said.  How baseball does that.  How special that is.  You see what you’re going to see in tragedy, but I see Jose Fernandez pitching, and baseball, and making himself and others smile.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ryon Healy couldn’t have come at a better time for the A’s.  Their corner infidels were about as weaksauce as they come.  Mark Canha?  More like Can’t-hit.  Andrew Lambo?  More like ‘that Lambo is bahhhd.’  Yonder Alonso?  More like ‘over Yonder’ as in everyone’s over him in value.  Though, looking at Healy’s minor league numbers, he doesn’t look much better.  However, Josh Donaldson wasn’t much to look at in the A’s minor league system either.  It wasn’t until he came up and the A’s adjusted his swing to get more lift than a Beverly Hills surgeon.  Not saying in 2017, Healy will be Donaldson, but we shouldn’t write him off as a 15-homer hitter either, as his minor league numbers may indicate.  Why didn’t the A’s give Canha, Lambo, Alonso and others the patented lift?  An anecdote to illustrate:  for a few months, I wore shoe heels like Tom Cruise to give myself an extra two inches.  It was impossible to tell I had them in, they elongated me!  I looked like Fred Astaire (as old people told me)!  But after a few months, I got bunions the size of pearl onions and couldn’t walk.  I had to stop with the lift because it wasn’t natural and making things worse.  Maybe those other players couldn’t do the lift because it didn’t feel natural to them.  Of course, none of this matters for this year.  I’d grab Healy for the last ten days.  Doode’s fahrenhot!  Doode is straight butter that a professional hibachi chef puts on a sizzling lobster tail!  Doode’s Kurt Russell in Backdraft!  Healy is a social worker at a female prison that married a Russian mail-order bride!  Wait, that last one is a plot point for a Netflix show.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In order to be competitive, the Marlins would need All-Stars at every position all farmed from their minor league system.  Sorta like what the Cubs have managed to do.  Not impossible, but that’s what it would take for the Marlins because they are cheap AF.  By the way, AF is my favorite acronym.  Props to whoever first started using it.  Feels like it started on Twitter because of the character limit.  Keeps shizz short and simple AF, kinda like me (short and simple).  Any the hoo!  I was saying the Marlins need to be precise AF (I’m overusing it now) with their minor league system like they were with Jose Fernandez.  He’s AF as AF comes.  His nickname should no longer be Jo-Fer but AF.  Or maybe AF-Fer.  Nah, that looks like a trade union.  A-Fer?  That looks like algebra.  Fernandez should own Abercrombie & Fitch he’s so AF.  Yesterday, Jose Fernandez went 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 hits, zero walks and 12 Ks.  He has 253 Ks in 182 1/3 innings.  Seriously, digest that for a second.  WTF AF?!  Of course, I wish the Marlins would shut him down until 2017, but I have no chance of owning him next year.  Not that I don’t love him.  He’s the best pitcher in the game if I’m building a dynasty league.  Yeah, I said it.  I want him over Kershaw.  Kershaw has been durable up until this year, but all pitchers are durable up until the point when they’re not.  At one point, Jake Peavy was durable AF, too.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Gerrit Cole‘s start yesterday — 9 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 2.78 — wasn’t the most impressive start.  *walks around, shaking people out of their slumber*  Hey, what’s going on, guys and five girl readers?  Was it the opening sentence?  Okay, so Gerrit Cole didn’t look as good as, say, Dylan Bundy over five innings.  Cole looked solid, salt-of-the-earth, lumberjack-shirt-for-a-tablecloth-middle-class-sturdy-as-oak-workman-like for nine innings.  By the way, you know what they call a hyena with lines instead of spots?  Hyphena.  Take it, Highlights, it’s yours.  Do we have to have starters that are all lordy-me-I’m-fainting-with-a-handkerchief-to-my-forehead filled with upside?  Well, I’d like it, and Cole prolly has it somewhere in there.  *knocks on Cole’s chest*  Is a near-9 K/9 in there still?  Hello?  Okay, I think it is, but it’s just not answering now.  Maybe it’s taking a nap from Cole’s less-than-stellar K-rate.  That’s been the story of his season, actually.  Great results for real baseball, but a little lacking on the flash (7.5 K/9).  He’s still throwing hard (95 MPH), maybe he fell asleep while Contact was on late-night TV and woke up deciding to throw to contact.  Not sure, but if I had to bet, I’d bet every day on a 25-year-old who throws 95 returning to his previous flashy Ks while maintaining his excellent ERA results.  But there’s nothing wrong with a lumberjack shirt for a tablecloth.  It’s Murica!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Aw, man, now we’re left with the ominous team updates of “Giancarlo Stanton is not in lineup, no other news available.”  I think I need to have a talk with him.  Maybe I’ll hide in the trunk of his car and get out when he parks in his four-car garage, then go in through the kitchen that’s got the espresso machine on the left; not the kitchen with the soft-serve machine.  What?  I memorized his Cribs episode, I never snuck in his house.  So, times are rough for Giancarlo.  The Marlins score 13 runs and he’s not even playing.  Holy sit!  Giancarlo has the lowest batting average for a qualified hitter.  Things are so bad, the other day he hit the hardest recorded ball in StatCast history, 123.9 MPH, and it was a double play.  Digging through his numbers is a little bit encouraging.  His BABIP is way below his career mark; he’s hitting .192, but could hit .250 the rest of the way.  You don’t get him for average; it’s homers you desire like I desire him.  His ground balls are through the roof.  Not literally, unless we’re talking about roofs of ant farms.  All he’s hitting is fly balls and ground balls.  His line drive rate is poor.  He usually kills fastballs.  So far, he’s a negative on them.  That was his bread and butter, and right now he’s toast.  He’s 26 years old; this should be the prime of his beef.  Instead, he’s been getting a steady diet of sliders.  That’s not real beef!  What I think is going on, he’s dealing with some health issues after his collision with OZUNA, he’s not spitting on sliders and waiting for fastballs.  Then when he gets a fastball, he hits it hard, but gets unlucky.  Can all of this be changed with me appearing mysteriously in his Snuggie?  I’m not sure.  The health is an unknown question mark.  Eventually, he should get luckier and do damage on some fastballs, assuming he’s healthy.  I wouldn’t count him out, but health has been an issue for him in the past.  If I were able to get a tasty offer for someone buying him, I could see letting him be someone else’s problem.  For now, I will wait in his bathroom wearing a shirt that matches his wallpaper, and try to ‘talk’ some encouragement into him.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You wanna know frustration?  Of course, you do.  You play fantasy baseball!  We’ve chosen a hobby that is the least relaxing hobby possible.  May as well have a hobby of picking cheese off mousetraps.  If the mousetrap doesn’t smash your finger, you win.  What do you win?  A virtual trophy!  Oh, and bragging rights.  Awesome!  Okay, wanna really know frustration?  Wait to see how Dusty uses Trea Turner upon his call-up.  This is gonna be so fun!  Will Lloyd’s of London insure the ulcers of all Trea Turner owners?  Yesterday, he was called up to replace Ryan Zimmerman, who went on paternity leave.  So, unless Zimmerman’s wife takes as long as he does to get hot, I’m assuming Zimmerman will be back in three days tops.  At that point, Turner will stay with the club and play, stay and get benched or get demoted again.  If he stays with the club, do you think Dusty is going to play him over Espinosa?  Well, he could.  I guess.  “So, how do you play this mousetrap game again?”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you’re one of the seventy percent of ESPN fantasy owners who haven’t jumped on board the A.J. Pollock train, let’s fix that for the weekend. The Diamondbacks’ 26-year-old outfielder has hits in 9 of his 13 games since returning from the disabled list and also has four steals. He’ll get a four-game set in Colorado heading into the weekend which is great for any hitter, but especially good from a steals perspective. Colorado owns baseball’s worst caught stealing percentage at 17%. The league average mark on the year is 27%. With Pollock currently owned in just 30% of ESPN leagues, he should be available to pick up. If he happens to be gone in your league, here are some other good steals matchups for this week in fantasy baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Koji Uehara has been removed from the closer role temporarily after surrendering two homers in a blown save on Thursday night. This was just the latest in the series of unfortunate innings. In his last six appearances he’s given up a total of 10 runs and 14 hits. Owners know Uehara has been very un-Koji like for a while now, posting a 5.09 ERA in 17.2 innings since the All-Star break, while opponents have batted .307 against him. Bad news for Koji owners, but for those desperate for saves in these final weeks, this news could be Mujica to your ears. Edward Mujica will reportedly take over as closer for the next few days. If you’re scrambling for saves,  Edward could be one of the last of the Mujicas available as far as closers go. Is that enough Mujica puns for you? Because I made a whole list of them. Sorry, they’re all pretty bad. Mujica’s numbers aren’t quite as bad, but they’re not great either. He’s got a 4.13 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP on the season, but he’s been much better since the All-Star break posting a 1.53 ERA in 17.2 innings, with batters hitting just .242 off him. He should be able to net you a couple saves over the next week, but he’s no sure thing to lock up the job for the rest of the season. Manager John Farrell said the plan is for Uehara to regain the role, but its certainly possible Mujica could run away with the job. Just don’t drop your Koji Uehraras just yet. Regardless, if you’re as desperate for saves as I am for compliments and affection, Edward Mujica in the closer role could help save your fantasy season.

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Wada start! Wada player! Wada guy! Tsuyoshi Wada continued to pitch well last night, tossing six innings, allowing just four hits and one walk, while giving up two earned runs and striking out six. He didn’t get the win but Wada you gonna do? After dominating AAA earlier in the year (113.2 IP, 2.77 ERA, 120/28 K/BB ratio), he struggled a bit in his second big league outing versus San Diego (4.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 BB, 5 K), but T-Dubs has rebounded since then, letting up just 2 ER or less in his past three starts with a 2.41 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 18/4 K/BB ratio. Maybe you’re thinking, Wada crock! But the next level stats don’t suggest any regression is coming, although it is a small sample size.  His 3.60 xFIP is great, as is his .292 BABIP and 7.7% HR/FB.  In addition, his excellent 21.7 K% demonstrates he can be a plenty useful starter for your fantasy leagues. He gets the Brewers next week and I’d take a flier on Tsuyoshi Wada if you are in need of a starter. He’s available in over 90% of ESPN and Yahoo! leagues. So Wada you waiting for… pick him up!

Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When I was growing up, we had a hutch. For the life of me, I couldn’t remember what piece of furniture it was that my grandparents used to call a hutch. So, like a child of the naughts, I Googled it. On Wikipedia, it says a hutch is where one prepares an evening tipple. Let me just say, I don’t remember anyone in Jersey ever preparing an evening tipple. An evening Sloppy Joe? Sure. An evening ‘bang on the side of the TV so the picture would come in?’ Yup. An evening ‘curse at the neighbors?’ Definitely! An evening tipple? Not in my Jersey. But, for the sake of argument, let’s all pour ourselves an evening tipple for Drew Hutchison. Last night, he went 8 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hit, 1 Walk and 8 Ks. See, nothing to it. The only mistake yesterday was a long ball surrendered to Chris Davis (now has back-to-back games with ding-shots). As I said when Hutchison was called up, he could be as great as any pitcher to come up this year. Sadly, it may not be this year that he is great. It’s the pickle that is young pitchers. I would own him, shoot, I’d even have a tipple with him, but I wouldn’t fully trust him until he has a longer track record. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?