Hey, how are you doing? Good/Bad? That’s good/bad. This is a beautiful/ugly morning/afternoon/night we’re having! What great/lousy weather. I love/hate this time of year! It’s like the beginning/middle/end of everything we love/hate. I remember when we went to (fill-in anecdote) and you said (search old emails for something they said). You are so smart/dumb about those things! I enjoy/hate your insight. Let’s please/never talk again. Oops! I meant to paste in my generic buy on Brandon Belt that I do every year and instead you got my generic break-up/let’s have sex email. Every year around this time, Brandon Belt ignites the furries in my nether regions and I go and tell you to pick him up. Here’s an idea, maybe he’s just a 2nd half hitter! I don’t know, and it’s not really pertinent right now. What is important is how he’s hitting. Since the All-Star break, he’s hitting .324 with five homers with all five of those homers coming in August, four coming in the last week. I don’t know where I’m gonna fall on Belt next year. Right now, he looks like a solid sleeper, but he looks like that every August. None of that matters, grab him now if you’re struggling at your corner infidel slot. He’s bound to do well/poorly! Hey, I found my generic Belt buy post! Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You know who’s happiest about Kolten Wong being called up? The Vatican. Finally, something non-Catholic related will show up in search results when you Google ‘Cardinal + Wong + 2nd base.’ Somewhere, Dan Brown is scribbling notes for a new thriller…the Catholic church took a page out of the playbook of the Native Americans, who having foreseen the Internet in a 1973 peyote-inspired dream, worked to make sure the practice of reselling tickets was known as scalping. So now you Google ‘Indians + scalping’ and the search results are just a way to get cheap seats in Progressive Field. Wong’s call-up crowds the Cardinals infield in the weirdest of ways. Wong can’t play shortstop. It says here. There. Where I just wrote here. He can’t play 3rd. Says there. Where I wrote it. Can’t play 1st. Says here. Next to where I wrote here. He plays 2nd, Carpenter goes to 3rd and Freese goes on ice. Sorta surprised by this because the Cardinals know that seriously reduces Freese’s trade value, but he was seriously reducing his trade value by playing. But, wait, why do we care? What can Wong do right? Here’s what Prospect Scott said just two days ago, “Wong has caught a heater at the right time, hitting .333/.429/.556 with 2 homers and 2 stolen bases through his last 10. Too bad Grey can’t catch a heater in his groin.” What? Why? On the year in the minors, Wong has a line of 10 HRs, 20 steals and a .303 average. That’s close to what I’d expect of him in the majors too. He has a great eye at the plate (60 Ks, 41 BBs) and nice speed. Maybe a handful of homers and steals in the last six weeks with a good average. In keepers, he’s a must have. In redrafts, I’d grab him in all leagues for upside. I’m excited. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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To misquote Lucinda Williams, “You don’t have to prove your manhood to me constantly, Jim Johnson.” Maybe prove it once in a while. Maybe once in a blue moon with a slice of orange to tie in your uniform. Yesterday, he blew his third save in a row and his league-leading ninth. As the Orioles vie for a pennant spot, the boo birds are probably out in full force in Baltimore. Or for the big-boned fans in Baltimore, the Boog birds. If it was simply based on performance or the will of my piercing brown eyes, Johnson would be doing mop duty dressed as a pelican and every time someone made a mess they’d point to Johnson and say, “I can’t clean it up, but Peli-can.” The Orioles really should give him a rest and turn it over to Francisco Rodriguez or Tommy Hunter. For those of you hoping to vulture some sweet, sweet saves, it’s not a clear cut case of Johnson about to be removed, Lorena Bobbit-style. He’s built up some goodwill over the last twelve months with 51 saves last year and 39 saves now. Also, the O’s are Confucius non gratis as to who is their set-up man. K-Rod, his goggles and his dyslexic dor-K lifestyle has plenty of experience, but the O’s have gone to Hunter to save a few games this year. I grabbed K-Rod in one league where I’m desperate, but this is a shituation that maybe even Peli-can’t handle. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Felix Hernandez is the pitcher to pitcher when you’re facing more than one Brewer. *sips from frosty mug* Ah…. Almost as satisfying as a good porgasm, which is the ecstasy reached when you finally find a rest stop after you have to pee for about two hundred miles. Yesterday, F-Her threw eight shutout innings with 9 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.28. He’s not even close to how good he was his Cy Young year. He’s MUCH better (caps for emphasis, not so the guy who’s reading over your shoulder can see better). He has a career high strikeout rate, which is like, “Hey, this Filet Mignon can’t get any better– Oh, wait, I don’t have to pay for it either?” And it’s not because you cut out a chunk of your hair and put it on the plate. F-Her also has a career low walk rate and a career low xFIP, which tells us his ERA isn’t even fluky. He’ll probably be overshadowed by Yu Darvish or Max Scherzer in the offseason, but F-Her is finally coming into his own at the ripe young age of 27. In 2014, when people are going Kershaw and Darvish and Wainwright, there F-Her will be again coming at a discount because of some perceived weakness due to win potential. Bunch of Murray Chasses (Chassi?), every one of you. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In the spring of 2013, Astro fans celebrated through the streets of Houston, shooting guns in the air and playing Houston’s own, Mind Playing Tricks On Me and Whitney Houston’s Greatest Hits, because her last name hailed from there. Those fans (all 17 of them) were celebrating the Astros’ National League exodus. “Let my people go, NL!” That’s what they chanted for years. “We need a fresh start like our entire body is covered in deodorant.” That’s what they told each other. Unfortch, no one explained to them that they wouldn’t just be able to play split squad games in their own league, they would have to join the AL. Yesterday, the Sawx destroyed them for 15 runs. Jacoby Ellsbury hit two homers (6 & 7), scored four runs, knocked in three and went 2-for-4. David Ortiz went 4-for-4 with 2 runs, 2 RBIs and one big belly laugh at what A-Rod is going through. Shane Victorino went 3-for-5 with 4 runs and even walked once in honor of Jackie Bradley Jr. Jonny Gomes hit a homer and knocked in four runs and he didn’t even start. This was also a reminder to not go near any Lastro pitcher. A sad, sad reminder. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

First off, Jose Iglesias is gone. The less intelligent Red Sox fan screams bloody murder like Schilling’s sock, “But Julio Iglesias was batting .400 after ten games about two weeks ago! His name’s Julio, right? RIGHT?!” The intelligent Sawx fan screams, “Does this mean Xander Bogaerts is coming up?!” The drunk Sawx fan screams, “We’re fine with this trade no mahder what ‘cuz Jackie Bradley Jr. wok’d three times in his first game! I need more Sammy A!” The Sawx fan who doesn’t play fantasy says, “Um, what about Jake Peavy?” The Sawx fan who does play fantasy says, “His value doesn’t change with this trade, maybe a few more wins.” The drunk Sawx fan butts in, “I’m going to the packie, you wahnt anything?” The less intelligent Red Sox fan says, “I’ll take a packie of Pahl Mahls.” Then the drunk Sawx fan shakes his head, “Yah more stoned than Robert Parrish.” Then Will Middlebrooks says, “Hey, I could get called up instead of Bogaerts.” Then all the Sawx fans in unison say, “Shaddup!” So, Iglesias goes to the Tigers, which is a solid landing spot for him. He’s known for his defense, which puts his fantasy value at slim to anorexic, unless you have a Web Gems category in your league. He’ll act as insurance for when the steroid hammer drops on Jhonny Peralta. Avisail Garcia goes to the White Sox, and he’s a light hitting corner outfielder who will probably take over once Rios is moved. Bogaerts or Middlebrooks will take over shortly (or third basely) and I stashed Bogaerts immediately when I heard this trade go down. Finally, Peavy is who he is as the Sawx fan pointed out above. He doesn’t have substantial innings in Fenway in his career, but that doesn’t matter because they would’ve been against the Sawx. He’s a terrific addition in real life for Boston, but he’s a 3.70-ish, 8+ K-rate starter for fantasy, which is around a fantasy number three. Jake Peavy will definitely do better than Jack Pervy, who Rudy and I went to school with in Boston. He used to hang out with someone we named Tim Wackfield and you can imagine how we mangled Keith Foulke’s name. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

By now you’ve probably seen Giancarlo Stanton in ESPN’s magazine completely naked. Coincidentally, I looked at the pictures completely naked. Did I say looked? I meant took with a telephoto lens. In all seriousness, I know ESPN loves to copy other people’s successes, but if they’re going to blatantly try to do an equivalent of SI’s swimsuit issue, can they at least do a bikini issue or a thong issue or a Brazilian wax issue? Does the majority of their audience have any interest in seeing guys naked, showing their muscles? If I did, I’d subscribe to Men’s Fitness or Playgirl. I mean, for serious, who do they think is buying their magazine? Wait, a bigger question, who even buys magazines? Any the hoo! So far Giancarlo hasn’t been the hot butter slicing through a fat man’s veins that we’ve come to expect. He had a near-pulling a Kotchman hamstring injury where he went from fundamental crawling to fundamental running to fundamental running away from me as he exited the shower. It was all very tedious, but he’s healthy now and simply slumping. If he can get over the hump with my help, there’s very few players that could have the type of 2nd half Giancarlo is capable of. You can count on one hand the guys capable of a 25+ homer 2nd half. Giancarlo would be the player sitting on my thumb. At this point, a down season seems impossible to avoid, but 30 homers overall wouldn’t surprise me. That means 22 more. 35 homers would surprise me, but it wouldn’t be out of the question. I’d absolutely buy him, and I hear you can get him cheap. What? I’ve been inquiring. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Marlins parted ways with Ricky Nolasco on Saturday. He was the longest-tenured Marlin. That’s about the same length as a Gary Busey train of thought. Nolasco was also their highest paid player, which on the Marlins is like being the highest paid paperboy. Jeffrey Loria was sad to see Nolasco go, because as the highest paid player he also had in his contract that he had to dust Loria’s artwork. Loria said, “Adeiny Hechavarria is nimble on the field, but how is he with a 700-foot, post-modern statue of unicorn vomit?” Nolasco was more than usable in Miami, with his only big drawback being his inability to win on a club that put swindling nearby residents before winning. On the Dodgers, Nolasco no longer has that issue. He’s a solid #4 fantasy starter with a 7+ K-rate, 2 walk rate and 3.70 xFIP. I’d pick him up in all mixed leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There hasn’t been much turnover from our last revision until now, so the names here are pretty much the same ones we’ve been talking about for a few weeks. There are a few exceptions, though: Grant Green was on the list much earlier this season, but disappeared from these ranks for the last several weeks. His recent hot streak in conjunction with Oakland’s need of a reliable second baseman has propelled him all the way up to #3. Xander Bogaerts also makes his top 10 debut this week. Other than that, there’s a little bit of shuffling around, but the core group (Erasmo, Yelich, C-Mart, Taveras, Castellanos, Hamilton) is still intact.

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The Futures Game will take place on July 14th at Citi Field as part of the MLB All-Star Game festivities. Rosters were announced earlier this week. Of the various all-star contests throughout Minor League Baseball, the Futures Game is King. Instead of league-specific all-stars, the Futures draws its talent from leagues at all levels, class-A to Triple-A. What we’re left with, then, are rosters that are crammed with real-deal prospects. The format is USA versus the World, and there’s still time to vote on the final roster spot for each squad, although that poll closes today. I went with Nick Castellanos and Javier Baez on my ballot. Who you got?

Please, blog, may I have some more?