Seinfeld is on. George — the show’s best character, I do not care what you think — just brought a book into a bookstore’s bathroom, which is apparently frowned upon. As George tries to put it back on the shelf, a store clerk sees him and forces him to buy the book. Being a cheap bastard, George’s plan is to return the book later that day once the bookstore’s employee shifts have turned over and new people are working. Unfortunately for the now trapped cheapo, the book’s been flagged in the bookstore’s computer and is unreturnable, which is not an actual word. What is George now? Well, everyone, George is now trapped. The book now stinks, smells like poop, is unwanted, yet there’s no way to get rid of it. Also, for the sake of metaphor, throwing it in the garbage is not allowed. This might seem like something you’ve experienced recently or are experiencing right now — this might be like your fantasy baseball team, friend. Earlier this year you might have picked up a guy to test him out and see what he’d do, and now, through injuries or ill-advised bathroom usage, are stuck with the ho. Mike Moustakas comes to mind, but I’ve written about him enough. But, who knows? Maybe, some day, George will sit down on the pooper and thoroughly enjoy his French impressionist-painting book while relieving his rectum. Just like you, who feel stuck with a crappy keeper, might reap that crappy keeper’s benefits next year or down the road. Also, enough with the scatological speak; the keepers you might feel you’re stuck who you’ll enjoy, and some you won’t:

You.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You’re the only one here. And I’m talking directly to you. You, unlike so many who lost their fateful battle with attrition and the baseball season’s relentless length that still persists, are still frequenting fantasy baseball sites because you, Great One, have made your fantasy league’s playoffs. You’re currently face-to-face, hand-to-hand with some scum who dares vie to destroy you and ruin your winter — except, of course, for fantasy football. You, my friend, are smarter than everyone else — you’ve gotten this far and there’s no looking back now. You’re so close to victory and a bundle of jelly beans and winter-long cloud-nine, you… oh, you’re not in the playoffs? That’s why you’re reading a fantasy-keepers column? Your winter’s already ruined and you’re here to commiserate with fellow losers and quixotically dream big about 2014 and the glory it will bring you? Now, now, we’re here. We’re here to help you pick the right keepers for next year. Loser.

I, though, am not in your boat — and if I was, I wouldn’t tell you, because I have a credibility to hold. I write a lot about fantasy baseball and therefore am pretty good at it, so I’m in the playoffs in three out of four leagues. But, with just as much of-courseness as my not being in your boat, I’m also a keeper writer, so write about keepers I will. Because I love you. I… love… you, poor fantasy player. I love you. Let’s figure out how to salvage 2013.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In Dune, a group of nomads called Fremen are almost wiped out by a race led by a maniacal, obese lard whose fat must be held up by a series of suspenders in order for him to move. These Fremen, reputed widely as the best warriors in the universe, are restricted to dwelling in caves and hiding from giant worms for their own safety because, well, apparently being the fiercest fighters in all of existence does not go very far. In Star Wars, a useless princess and ever-failing smuggler are helped by a band of stick- and rock-throwing bears to defeat an organization who has a massive army of laser-wielding clones and can blow planets up with one quick press of a humming button. In Lord of the Rings, a midget is able to evade an all-seeing eye while traversing the entire planet en route to destroying an omnipotent piece of jewelry. Also, the all-seeing eye decides not to station any of his acolytes at the only spot where that omnipotent piece of jewelry can actually be destroyed. All of these movies made their creators very, very, very filthy rich. And yes, they’re all freaking awesome, but that’s only because each was able to make their audience take a leap of faith and believe that — at least in those respective worlds — things like that actually did happen. These stories started out as something stupid, but morphed — via a whole lot of different things — into something great, beautiful, and, most of all, successful. They didn’t have our trust at first, but we gave them our faith, and they didn’t disappoint. I mean, when movies like Battle of LA are sci-fi alternatives, we don’t have a choice. Which leads us, farfetchedly — I do not care if that’s not a word — to the leap-of-faith keepers for 2014.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The trade deadline passed in standard leagues. It’s just over. I feel like I’ve had an awesome couple of months talking to and hanging out with a girl, only to hang out with her, have an amazing night, and then find one unbelievably annoying thing about her and call everything off. It had to happen, but it still hurts. “Just try this. No, it’s not gross… it’s good. Of course the chef cooked it fine. No, it’s not going to kill you. Well how the hell do you know you don’t like if you’ve never tried it? People eat it all the time and they’re fine. Just go away. No, you’re stupid. Yes, you are stupid. No I’m not stupid, you are stupid.” Then you curse at her, she indignantly bails, and you’re left sitting there with what seems to be your pinky up your anus, a full check to pay, and some food that does actually look pretty bad. Hopefully you made your moves when you had your chance — that is, hopefully you listened to sha boi and are reaping the dividends. If not, there’s still hope, although I hate you a little. Not all keepers are acquired at the trade deadline or during a draft, but that’s obvious. At this point, we need to look at some small/disappointing/untrusted names that could pop from now until game-162, and who could see their stock skyrocket before the end of the season — we need to look at the guys we should pick up now so we can have them next year at value. Get it? Yes, you do. Know that old adage, “you’re only as good as your last game?” Well, it’s really stupid, but applies here. The ends of seasons have huge impacts on perceived value.

Quick note: so I appeal to more people, and so you’re not looking at me (my writing) and saying “HAY, I KAYNT HAFF HEEM. HE’S AWLRADDY TAYKEN,” I’ll limit it to guys who are owned in less than 50% of ESPN leagues.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We had a photo-shoot today at the mag. One of the models — that is, one of the people who were getting their photo taken because they were being featured in our next issue — was a blonde 26-year-old female. Another one of the models was a 28-year-old brunette. Neither was ugly. “Dude, that blonde is so incredibly hot,” one of my office friends said to me as we creeped covetously from a dark corner. “No, sir, she’s not. The brunette, on the other hand…” “You’re an idiot.” “LOL, why? It’s kind of subjective, don’t you think?” “Not really, the blonde has boobs, a nice bod (he did say bod), a cute face — she’s the definition of hot.” Eventually, after some high-horsing from me on the subjectivity of beauty, we agreed to poll the rest of the guys in the office, and whichever guy’s girl got more votes, he’d get $20 (I work in a weird place). This, friends, is where my metaphor goes off track, and where I start comparing guys like Everth Cabrera to beautiful women.

The beauty of keepers is mixing standard fantasy analysis and our perception of how we think baseball players will be perceived by fantasy players. It’s not just, “this guy mashes I want to pick him,” it’s “this guy mashes, how much will my enemies be willing to pay for his mashing?” I agreed on our “girl bet” because I thought that most of the guys in the office would perceive the brunette as prettier — I applied a value to her because of what I thought others would think about her. Unfortunately I screwed up, but fortunately (or maybe not) I study fantasy baseball a lot more than I do girls, so let’s just delve into keepers before I stare at the $20 void in my impecunious wallet and wallow in my geeky lameness. That is, it’s fantasy keepers time.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Today, I listened to a podcast. In that podcast, the two hosts pontificated sharply about how Kris Medlen isn’t for real and that his success last year was merely a result of a few lucky match-ups. His success this year? Unsustainable. The name of that podcast? There Is No Such Thing as a Pitching Podcast — a pun from the old baseball adage “there is no such thing as a pitching prospect”, meaning that young pitchers are too unreliable, disappoint too much, surprise too much, need Tommy John too much, die too much. What they fail to realize, though, is that sometimes we’ve thrown all our coins into Mike Moustakas and are now left in squallor on the street corner getting moosed by strangers just for a quick buck, and our only hopes of redemption are guys just like Medlen. Sometimes, we don’t have our hands on the next Wil Myers or Jurickson Profar, or even a Leonys Martin, but, HAHAHA!, we do have our hands on sexy beast Matt Harvey. Harvey, of course, is seen by many as a better keeper candidate than even Profar, so that old adage can go get moosed by Old Buck in the alley, not us. Anyway, to save ourselves the moosing — which pitchers are worth targeting as keepers going into this year’s playoff push and 2014?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Today I had jury duty for the very first time. As a lot of you know, that means I sat in a room doing literally nothing for eight hours hearing about some guy who accidentally burnt himself, while I’m sitting there wishing the trial was actually for a drug-deal-gone-bad-quadruple-homicide. After about five hours I was simply staring at the hottest fellow juror because at that point I no longer cared what she or anyone else in the room thought of me. As you might assume, all the time I didn’t spend making phony racist assertions and promising that in no way will I be a fair judge, I was fantasizing about fantasy baseball. It was the only thing that kept me from scratching my eyes out, God of War combo-punching everyone, and subsequently getting shot in the face by a security guard, which now seems like it might have been the best course of action because I have to go back tomorrow. “Who the hell is Yoervis Medina and why did he get a save last night?” “Excuse me, sir, phone usage is discouraged.” “LOL, yeah.” In a way, the entire day’s proceedings were eerily similar to a lost fantasy season — as time went on, things seemed bleaker, time moved slower, and windows seemed more appealing. Even if this season is a jury duty of a season, don’t let next year’s be. That’s why we have our beloved keepers — guys on whom we develop creepy man-crushes and who symbolize hope.

Please, blog, may I have some more?