Nothing captures a reader’s interest more than an Al Gore reference. At this point in the long fantasy baseball season you don’t need me to tell you that Jarrod Dyson is a good pickup for SAGNOF. Likewise, it’s not in anybody’s best interest for me to write a thousand words on a player who may only hold steals value in some deep AL-only league. However, there are still schedules to look at and several players that have speed were called up to their respective clubs in the past week. Billy Burns of the Athletics didn’t do much with his first stint in the majors, but could chip in a steal or three down the stretch even if his role is as a pinch runner. Likewise for Terrance Gore of the Royals. Gore stole 47 bags in the minors this season and was caught only seven times. In 2013 he swiped 68 bags and was caught only 8 times. Gore has already recorded a steal as a pinch runner and should see opportunities for more of the same in the weeks ahead. Other speedy call-ups include Jonathan Villar, Dalton Pompey, and Aaron Hicks.

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Sam Fuld already has four stolen bases since his trade to the Athletics. He’s seeing time batting second in the A’s lineup now that Coco Crisp has returned from injury, and should continue to get enough playing time in the outfield to make him relevant as a speed play in most fantasy leagues. He’s basically owned nowhere with less than 2% ownership on ESPN, so he’s likely available as a play in leagues that make daily roster changes. Fuld is getting on base at a .347 clip this season and he’s only been caught three times in 19 stolen base attempts. His 16 stolen bases have come in only 262 plate appearances. That’s a rate of one steal for every 16 plate appearances. In the A’s lineup he’ll have opportunites to score runs, but outside of that and his steals he’s not going to bring much to the table as a .260 hitter with no power (hence the appearances in these SAGNOF columns). We’re getting closer to the finish line here folks and we need to get the stats where we can. Give Fuld a look this week against the Braves, who are tied for 8th in baseball with 73 stolen bases allowed. Here are some other steals picks for this week in 2014 fantasy baseball…

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With the Twins saying th-th-that’s all Fuld, it opened up a spot for Kennys Vargas in their lineup. My God, they killed Kennys (with kindness by promoting him)! He’s a David Ortiz clone. Too bad the Twins can’t have the real thing. Oh, wait. They used to! Oh, God, Twins, you fell for the oldest trick in the book, mon. Hopefully they don’t trade Lil Papi for a piece of spearmint gum the Red Sox find on the Pesky Pole. “So, you’re saying Denis Leary once touched this gum? We’ll take it!” The Twins trade for once-touched-by-Denis-Leary gum, and execs are lauded by Twins fans! Here’s the thing, if the Twins were in a different market, their moves that are ‘lauded by their fans’ would not be lauded. Sorry, but it’s true. People in Minnesota are too kind. With that said, I do like Vargas and he looks like he’s going to play every day. You don’t become Lil Papi without some power and Vargas has it to spare. In Double-A, he had 17 homers in 356 ABs, and a rock solid OBP and K-rate. He slugs, but doesn’t do it like most sluggers with huge strikeouts. He could hit .275 and 25+ homers over the course of the season, and I’m going to like him a lot next year if he has a starting job (which he should). For this year, I’d take a flyer on him if I needed power. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Signs you should’ve had someone else name your group: mispelling a common word is NOT a band name. Seriously, try it. Tom Petty Andd The Heartbreakers…yeah, did ya need the extra ‘d’? Rhetorical. No you didn’t. Hrm, maybe it’s just a sign you’re a bad group and should give up music entirely? Well, history has made it so. In many ways, streamers are just like one hit wonders, even when you look back and wonder how they even had a hit at all. By the end of the year, the Reds should get guys like Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips back, making Cincy’s lineup a bit more imposing down the stretch. But we’re not there now, we’re here where guys like Ramon Santiago is batting second in the lineup and they’re starting two catchers. You shouldn’t even do that in a fantasy league that doesn’t require two Cs. Every fantasy player knows this but the Reds literally have no choice right now. All this to say, maybe some day you’ll look back with nostalgia on that one time you started Tom Koehler against the Reds and came out with some major DraftKings change for doing so. Prior to yesterday’s game, the Reds owned the worst team wOBA of the major leagues over the last 14 days while striking out 25.7% of the time. Though Koehler’s numbers on the season aren’t that inspiring, he does average 6 more DK points at home then he does on the road. Considering he’s only $6,400, he’ll leave you all the room you need to roster a big arm or big bats. And when he’s done, I’ll probably never start him again and forget how awesome he was for that one day. But for the time being, Koehler, I Wanna Sex You Up.

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The Cardinals traded for one of the most unreliable starters this year, Justin Masterson and his 5.51 ERA. Ouch. The Cardinals fell asleep and the Indians drew a shaft and balls on their forehead. People are snickering at you, Cardinals, because you have a shaft and balls on your head. Unless it’s a non-Leaning Tower of Pisa that is partially obscuring a tractor trailer so all we’re seeing is its giant wheels. Then, it’s a lovely scenic landscape, but you still got had. This saves the Brewers a lot of trouble because I heard they were going to trade for Masterson and then ‘accidentally’ leave him behind on their next road trip to St. Louis. No reason to obfuscate, my dear Milwaukee friends. Masterson gets a slight uptick in value just going to the NL, but he needs to prove he’s healthy and able to throw a Quality Start before I’d start him anywhere. So, he’s gone from a Waiver Wire guy, to an On My Bench Until He Shows Something guy. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Emilio Bonifacio was activated from the disabled list last week. Entering Sunday’s slate he’d recorded a hit in each of his games since his return and threw in a steal for good measure. Part of Bonifacio’s charm is his position flexibility. He’s eligible at both second base and outfield in ESPN leagues. He’s a nice option for steals with 14 stolen bases in 282 plate appearances. With Arismendy Alcantara able to play the outfield and Bonifacio really able to play anywhere, he should see regular playing time. At this point, Bonifacio is owned in less than 20% of leagues, but his ownership jumped 5% in the last week. Now’s a good time to add him if some of the other SAGNOF options in your league have been taken. In 10-teamers he’s a stretch, but for 12-team leagues and deeper I’d look to add Bonifacio and use him as a solid bench bat similar to what Danny Santana brings to the table. For this week, Bonifacio has a full scehdule of seven games against the Rockies and Dodgers. The Rockies have allowed 59 stolen bases this season (17th in MLB) but as a commentator pointed out last week they have caught a league-worst 15% of base stealers. The Dodgers have allowed 60 stolen bases on the season (16th in MLB). Here are some other steals options for this week in 2014 fantasy baseball…

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How great would it be for the Braves to trade for Marlon Byrd? Byrd and Ervin reunited. Byrd, of course, would have to bleach his skin like Sammy Sosa, put a giant yellow Brillo pad on his head for hair and wear some butt-hugging shorts that even white boys got to shout, “Baby got back!” Then Isiah can show up early, kiss them all on the cheek and watch from the sidelines. Ah, to dream (team). Due to a slightly inflated BABIP, Ervin Santana‘s ERA is up a tad from where it should be. Right now, he has the 27th best xFIP, right in front of Adam Wainwright. Speaking of Wainwright, Ervin’s K-rate is better than his. Is Ervin Santana pitching better than Wainwright? I wouldn’t go that far, but I wouldn’t go so far away from that statement either. Doesn’t anyone stay in one place anymore? It would be fine to see your face– Sorry. The great thing about Ervin compared to a Wainwright, he’s not even owned in some leagues. In the leagues where he is owned, how much would it take to get him in a trade? A Brain Freeze? A potato chip that’s in the shape of Sloth from The Goonies? A free ticket to an autograph show where Shelley Duncan is dressed up like Tackleberry from Police Academy? I.e., not much. Go, get Ervin, he’s magic, abracadabra. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Like a good Jewish boy, Brad Ausmus said to his Bubbie, “Bubbie, I love sulfites, nitrates and pig a**holes, but every time I see a Nathan’s, I get the runs. Bubbie, do you have a remedy?” His Bubbie lowered her knitting and said, “You need to get a goddamn decent closer!” And so it was done. Unfortunately, due to being wracked with guilt (or possibly due to a rather hard knock on the head), Ausmus couldn’t pull the trigger and said Nathan will remain the closer. Oh. WHAT?! The Rangers traded Joakim Soria to the Tigers because Joe Nathan is making Detroit look even lousier. I can’t imagine Soria remains the set-up man for very long, since Nathan owns a 5.89 ERA and has looked completely lost for the better part of the season. For now, I’d hold both of them. Over in Texas, I have a rooting interest in Neal Cotts getting saves, because I own him and not Neftali Feliz. If I had my druthers, and knew what the hell druthers were — hmm, maybe then I do have druthers — I would grab Neftali first. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Something many of you don’t realize, but one of the first people to talk to a player that was just traded is his new team’s tailor. The Yankees tailor got on the phone with Chase Headley to find out what size jersey he wears, and Headley looked down, beaming to be out of Petco, and said, “Giuseppe, you might want to take out my inseam too.” I wonder if the flowers smelled a little better as Headley stepped into Yankee Stadium for the first time. Sure, in contrast to his hour long ride through the Bronx, getting lost in Hunts Point, anything would smell better, but it can’t be worse, can it? His career in away games prorated over a 162 game season is: 79/19/79/.286/14. Doode’s David Wright! Well, almost. Which is sad for Headley and Wright. More sad for Wright. What a guy does in only half a season can be anywhere from bupkis to I-want-to-bump-grind-and-kiss. Will Headley suddenly be mixed league worthy? Yeah, for at least a flyer, if nothing else. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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It’s deja vu all over again. It was almost a year ago that Tim Lincecum threw a no hitter vs. the Padres. Only thing better would be if they both came on 4/20. After the game, Lincecum said, “I felt unstoppable the whole game. Even if something was hit, I felt like there was a giant baseball mitt in the outfield,” then seeing the giant baseball mitt sculpture in AT&T Park’s outfield, Lincecum slowly looked around to see if anyone else saw what he did, then said, “Dude,” five or six times, then refused to answer any more questions. The Padres are a team that could be no-hit any time they step on the field, so, in some ways, they fulfilled their destiny yesterday. What’s the difference between the Padres bats and Tony Gwynn? I remember when Tony Gwynn was alive. “Dude, seriously, do you see that giant mitt?” Yes, Lincecum, leave us alone. In the game following Lincecum’s no-hitter last year, he threw three and two-thirds innings and gave up eight runs, so, while this was a nice game, I wouldn’t go thinking Lincecum is suddenly the pitcher he was in his Cy Young years. A paranoid Lincecum runs by, “There’s a giant mitt out there!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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