What is a finale in fantasy without a final closer report?  Nothing I tell ya.  It’s like a compound without an element, or a really cool shout out to the Low End Theory.  I salute the 14 sober readers of that “not firmly planted” on the porcelain thinking throne.  So this is it my friends, the last of the last of the last.  I was debating on what to do for the last post of the year.  Something cliche, something with recycled jokes that you see all the time… wink.  Nah, I am an original, I survive millennials and the whole generation X by just being me.  Not loved by all by liked by most and yet here I still sit.  Shout out to all the readers I lead astray, and the ones I actually helped.  Not everyone gets everything right all the time, but I try.  I am human.  You would think a computer generated version of Smokey would have a cooler avatar than a bear that looks like an extra from the Fat Boys movie Disorderlies.  So to keep it chalk, I will keep it plain and simple and do what I have done for years.  Give you a final ranking of all the closers this year and a glimpse into the future of closers.  As in the who will be closing next year for every team or at the very least an estimated guess straight from my basement.  So with the final post of the year for me from a baseball perspective about to wrap, I enjoyed bringing you the jazz and the haps on the relief game again, this my eighth year at Razzball nation.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I don’t understand this.  The Padres’ Triple-A affiliate made a run for the Triple-A championship against the Yankees’ affiliate, so the Padres were holding down their top prospects to play in the championship.  On the surface, it seems straightforward enough.  Making run for championship, want best players there.  Okay, I get that part.  The part where I get lost, WHY DO YOU CARE IF YOU WIN A TRIPLE-A CHAMPIONSHIP?!  Sorry, my keyboard got sticky the other day when Giancarlo returned.  Don’t ask.  The Padres are in the business of winning AAA championships?  I don’t remember the Yankees keeping Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin in Triple-A to help their Triple-A team.  I’d love to go into the Padres’ front office, throw some furniture against a wall and start screaming, “Let’s win some major league games for a change!”  They need a organization-wide readjustment, and Grey Albright, Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbreviate it), is just the man to do it!  So, with this said, the Padres called up Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot (and some other guys).  Margot and Renfroe, who sounds like a name that exists to only be said by Scooby Doo, are top 100 prospects.  Margot is straight SAGNOF this late in the year, maybe could provide a few steals in the last ten days, and Renfroe is the exact opposite, with a chance to provide a few dingers.  They’re not going to make much impact in ten days.  Too bad they had a Triple-A playoff run to attend to first.  Which they lost!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When it’s fourth and long and 20 years ago, I believe the old song from the sea goes… You don’t look at the stats to date, especially when it’s with two weeks to play. What is ahead of you is all that matters. There is no loyalty, this isn’t the time to dance with the date you brought to the dance. You are looking for stats in any shape or form, period. So I give you the list, yes, the list is the bible of what guys are and what they have done for the year, but if you have an inkling that player A is going to save three games compared to player B getting one, then that answers your own question and you have deemed me useless. It kinda hurts that you deem me useless, but I will move on. I have been through a few relationships where it was a “it’s you not me” type scenario. Regardless, I have taken pride in bringing you the best that I can give in terms of fantasy bullpen type goodies on a weekly basis. After all, it is the readers of fantasy that make fantasy go round. So I would like to say thank you, no there is at best two more post to end the year but I wanted to say thank you now since we still have some attention span left instead of steering it towards fantasy football, which is awesome and you should go check out what Jay and the boys (and girls) are dishing out top notch type stuff. Before you click over to that, stay here for some fantasy bullpen chicanery and knowledge courtesy of your’s truly.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When I was fresh out of college, I worked at a web company (everyone did in the 90s).  There was four of us.  The other three had real job titles; I was the gofer/do-whatever.  It was about a month before I was going back to school for my Master’s.  I had no intention of keeping the job.  Honestly, I doubt they would’ve kept me for that full month if I weren’t leaving.  I failed at everything they assigned me, but they kept giving me new tasks, hoping I’d succeed.  The only task I seemed capable of was heating up pre-cooked sausages from Trader Joe’s.  I made sausages on a grill for three weeks straight, so, when I finally did leave, they gave me a plaque that reads, “Who wants some sausages?”  This brings me to the sudden and incomprehensible rise of Yulieski Guerriel.  The Astros are that company, and YuGu is me.  The Astros seem between a rock of “We really want this guy to succeed” and “We have about a month left and we’re just hoping something works.”  Yulieski hasn’t failed in the minors, he’s looked completely lost.  He hit .118 in Double-A, was promoted to Triple-A and hit .222.  I could see grabbing Guerriel in all leagues to see if he can get lucky, and figure out how to make something other than pre-cooked sausages for lunch, but the Astros are not promoting him because of how well he’s looked.  They’re promoting him because there’s about a month left.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I wish that he wasn’t… and I wish I could parse my words a little better for a good pun’s sake, but the fact is in the stats.  Sam Dyson is allowing more baserunners, more baserunners to get on via the walk, and a higher slugging percentage in the second half of the year.  Add in the fact that batting average against and K-rate are down since 30 days ago, its never a good sign for someone to be all cozy and buy long-term property in the town of closerville.  Listen, he already wasn’t elite in the K-rate department, but to be hovering in the mid 5’s for the past 20 appearances is just bad.  From what I am noticing, his velocity has leveled out, but he isn’t using his arsenal as much or as frequent, relying mostly on his sinker and moving away from his ancillary fastball and slider.  Not all awful things in the immediate world in the result-driven world of fantasy, but troubling nonetheless.  When a reliever doesn’t trust or use his stuff in a way that was once successful, it shows a lack of confidence in it.  The guests knocking at the door have been a phenomenal swoon for almost all fantasy leagues with the likes of Diekman, Barnette (who has been sneaky great), Bush and Kela.  The saves that have been divided up show that Bush and Diekman look like the guys to watch most for in a change.  So with about a month of useful fantasy to go, now is not the time for a 20-save guy to spin his wheels… grab the cuff in advance and cover yourself like it was your Linus blanket or a just in case of emergency fantasy glass thingy.

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

Twenty-six years after my Lord and Savior, Reggie Jackson, retired from professional baseball to collect cars, full-length fur coats and start a business where you use cocktail franks as cocktail stirrers, I saw a young Mariner by the name of Brad Miller.  To this day, when you Google “Brad Miller sleeper,” you still see archival footage of Grey’s massive excitement — that’s not what she said!  I was jazzed back in 2013 because Miller had hit 20 HRs, stole 11 bases and over .300 between the majors and minors.  Then 2014 and 2015 happened, Miller did nothing, and I retreated into my cubby hole of snack food that I eat out of sight from my Cougar wife.  “I’m snacking on kale, baby doll!”  “Grey, you sound louder than usual.”  I was being amplified due to eating a nacho cheese Bugle.  Finally, this year I was sure not to own Miller anywhere.  So, of course, he breaks out.  Yesterday, Brad Miller went 3-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 25th homer, 5th homer this week, while hitting .265.  On our 30-day Player Rater, Miller is 5th most valuable for hitters.  The top 4 –> Blackmon, Hamilton, Braun, Betts.  Yeah, pretty good company, like Reggie’s cocktail frank stirrers’ company, The Dog That Stirs The Drink, Inc.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Rough year to be a Prince.  Watch yourself William, Henry and the kid who played Fred in the atrocious Scooby-Doo movies.  Prince Fielder is done from baseball with 319 homers.  Of the tens of thousands of other baseball players that have played the game, the only other person retired with exactly 319 homers is Cecil Fielder.  They are also the only two members of the 300-300 club — 300 HR/LB.  This also leads me to believe we’re on an 18-year loop with 1998.  Wait until Hillary Clinton meets a young Jewish intern in the White House who is just back from Cuba with some cigars.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The price that was paid, and the results that led him up to the trade had everyone believing that Andrew Miller would trump the incumbent Cody Allen in Cleveland.  Through two-pitched games, he has seen one save opportunity in the 6-7th inning, and the other was in a losing effort.  Now, I am not reading the tea leaves here, but after just two appearances and five games overall, I think Cody is not a droppable player in any format, saves holds or NSVH.  I mentioned it out loud to myself after the trade was completed, and also to Prospector Ralph.  With 55 games to play and save chances in 52 percent of games won… so that would leave 14 or so chances for the Indians and Miller to retain value.  And don’t get it twisted, he still has a ton of value with a ridiculous K-rate over 16, and the Indians are still a first place squad.  Just everyone that seems to matter has struggled with the Twins. It’s crazy that they are 20-plus games under .500.  So for the Allen owners, hold firm, like Gi-Joe style grip type stuff.  Miller owners, you have most likely owned him all year, so your peripherals aren’t going to be flawed because of him.  As far as saves go, I think it could go 70/30 the rest of the way and be a situational thing on occasion.  Let’s look at the plethora of changes that are basically pillaging the relief ranks around baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Brewers should be in sell mode, or is that should have been in sell mode? Well, I guess it’s not either here nor there.  The unheraldness (totally a word) of the infielders as of late is becoming a fantasy monsoon.  The play of and the eligibility of Hernan Perez of late is becoming quite the fantasy add.  He qualifies at both the third sack, which isn’t something you pay an extra 50 cents for at the county fair to see, and as an outfielder in most formats.  Over his last 15 games, he has more HR, RBIs, and runs than the top-3 corners in baseball.  Now you add the SAGNOF goodness and it makes me shake my head at the minuscule 23% ownership in ESPN leagues.  Someone is paying attention on the ownership tip, but he deserves a ton more accolades from the millions and millions of fantasy ballers who play this game.  His at-bats aren’t going to slow down as Will Middlebrooks isn’t going to walk in and go all hot schmotato.  The added bonus for him are players in dynasty league formats, as he is only 25, should be taking even further notice on him as he is almost qualifying for SS, and has a few starts at 2B.  So I am grabbing my lucky dice and saying that he can’t continue to put be a top-10 fantasy player (like he has just done over the past 15) over the next 30 days, but if he can possibly do top-10 fantasy 3B over that time, he is a waiver wire darling that can carry you to where flags fly forever.  Let’s see what else is going down with steals and saves for the week…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I was going to just delay this post due to inclement weather, but Grey’s super Doppler 5001, which is also a giant B.S. detector, wouldn’t let me.  So here we sit, some 48 hours before the list that you are about to see means about as much as single-ply toilet paper…  Really, what cheap s.o.b. concocted this idea of pinching pennies?  I mean everyone has had a run-in with it at some point.  Awful.  It’s part of the reason I have a salt-water bidet in all three outhouses at the Smokey compound.  So back to the deadline… closer gossip teams are lining up other contenders closers in such a bullish market, namely the rumors surrounding Mark Melancon.  The market and teams that need reliable relievers, let alone closers, is the Nationals, Indians, Rangers and Giants.  It is just the land of confusion and there is not enough LOOGY’S to go around.  I will touch on who I can see where after the bump to prolong the suspense, but the teams I just mentioned are teams to monitor on the opposite end of closers, because if the big names start rolling, all but Cody Allen looks to be out of a job.  Here’s what I can see going down by the deadline in the bullpen game, plus some rankings and next in line stuff.  Plus, Razzball Soccer has started pumping out quality, so go over and check it and join the official game…

Please, blog, may I have some more?