Oh, how we are going to miss Mariano Rivera. I’ve never owned him, but always wished I did. Personally, I’m a Yankee hater, but I always enjoyed watching him work his ninth inning magic like a smooth pick up artist. So now we are left without one of the greatest closers to ever play the game and a permanent fixture on the $12 salad menu. But like all things fantasy, we must move on and start prepping for next season by keeping our minds sharp and our cheat sheets easily accessible. The great mix up called free agency and the winter meetings are just a stones throw away and will hopefully give us some clarity into what comes next.

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We started this thing like boys and four girls (but, let’s be honest, one or two of the girls are kinda manly), and we leave this season as men and four women. In March, we dazzled each other with our drafted lineups in the comments. Today, most of those people are playing fantasy football, fantasy basketball or fantasy hockey and forgetting all about their one-two punch of Ryan Braun and Josh Hamilton, that, in their words, they were just shocked to be able to draft both. Fantasy baseball isn’t made for the water cooler like the Breaking Bad finale — holy crap! — it’s made for the vending machine, because you don’t walk away from your team to talk. You rush away to get snacks and run those snacks back to your team, so you can watch as your team accrues stats or just ‘a-screws’ you. Some of you will sit with your fantasy team’s lineup open on your desktop through November like it has been for the last six months, hoping for one more day to save your season. Some of you will just close that team lineup browser window, ripping off the Band-Aid. But even if the lineup isn’t open, the player’s names will be burned into your screen because you shut off your screensaver six months ago. You should go ahead and turn that back on, or buy a new monitor. If you won your league, the salary hours you put into your teams could’ve saved the economy. Well, eff the economy, you won bragging rights! If you won your league with Henderson Alvarez and his no-hitter, then God bless your foresight, but I wouldn’t be shocked if you were really a witch. Conspiracy Theory Alert! The Tigers are securely in the playoffs and Henderson Alvarez is in the on-deck circle. Bases are juiced with two outs. The Tigers don’t want extra innings right before the playoffs and the Marlins can’t score with a prostitute and a roofie. Leyland sends the pitching coach out and tells Putkonen throw a breaking ball to the backstop and give the kid the no hitter. Either way, what a great way to end the baseball season. A sport that you just can’t ever predict gives a guy no one would’ve predicted a no hitter. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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So the end is Bill Nye the science guy. The last hurrah for the year of 2013 in regards to bullpens. Don’t be upset, you won’t even know that I left, I’ll even make it less awkward and do the Irish goodbye and just sneak off to the bathroom and never come back. So, it has been a fun year from start to finish, it wasn’t as exciting as last year but we still had 19 guys over 30 saves as compared to guess what from last year. The suspense isn’t that awesome because it’s also 19. Crazy how things change but never ever really change, stats are a finicky bunch all muddled with consistency. Damn you numbers and your ever chronologically ordered entanglement. So it saddens me as a Yankee fan to have to write the final time the name of Mariano Rivera. There is nothing else to say about Mo that hasn’t been said by numerous other more famous sites. The stats are crazy and to me he is my Tawny Kitaen crawling across the hood of that car looking all 80′s, but an awesome 80′s. Unfortunately that makes Joe Torre David Coverdale and that just ruins it all. So happy trails GOAT, it’s been real and we appreciate your fantasy aptitude for as long as you have supplied it. So have at the final rankings of the year for the closers and the dudes who wait for injury or next year.

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So I was semi-bored this week, only semi, because I am a guy and porn still does exist. I was looking at the save totals this year as compared to last year, so I went to my local library and to my surprise it still exists, although I had to google directions on how to get there. So, the numbers this year through Tuesday — that’s 8/26 for all of you keeping score on your watch calculator — are as follows: there have been 1971 games played, 1971 wins and losses (if they don’t equal then something is wrong) and the total saves for MLB to date is exactly 1,000. You’re asking yourself how does this help you? Well this is a numbers game where the games left play against you in order to move up in the standings. So, if save totals are averaging at 50.8% of the wins, and this number is fairly consistent (2012: 51.4, 2011: 51.1), and there are 459 (there are 2,430 wins and loses every year, minus rain outs) wins left to garner a save in, that gives you 233 saves left to collect in your league. That may look like a lot but you prolly only have anywhere between 2-4 closers on your roster, so the accumulation for your gain may be slim. Stick around for some opines on some closers, I can’t promise there won’t be anymore numbers though.

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Rod Stewart knows how to pick venues. Masterful choice.

Hey now, somebody likes someone, or so says Marc Topkin, who, by-the-way, sounds like a X-Wing pilot. He has reported that there is mutual interest between Delmon Young and the Tampa Bay Rays. Ooo-la-la. They should get a room to rekindle the fire that once burned. Hopefully not in Tampa, because I’ve been there. It has bridges and old people. That’s… about… it. However, there are two things that I can say about this that are rock solid facts. First, Delmon Young is most certainly hanging out on your waiver wire. Maybe throwing bats at people. As pictured above, hopefully one of those people is Luke Scott. And second, he’s supposedly heading back to a team that utilizes match-ups correctly, and, most certainly, would utilize him correctly. Like if there’s a bat throwing contest. Now, forget everything you know about Young. I mean, don’t forget *that* much. He’s still kinda stinky, in, you know, a hobo sort-of-way. And if you’re wondering, there’s really no downside here, since hobo’s don’t own computers. I think. But if you’re actually wondering about why I’m talking about Delmon Young, it’s not because he’s hit .266/.300/.402 since 2011 and .261/.302/.397 so far this year. It’s because he’s hit .286/.361/.397 against lefties in 80 games. Which brings me back to the second point. Tampa Bay will play the match-ups here, and perhaps you should too. Who knows, he could get on fire, do some damage, and help your team for the stretch run. Or, you know, throw bats at people. Here’s what else I noticed yesterday…

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So the All-Star break has come and swept us away and now its onto the last 19/32 of the season. The chase for saves is becoming more and more concrete as the season grows, and the closepocalypse of 2012 is just a great conversation starter, just like super storm Sandy. The list of reliable closers with concrete gigs is growing and the rankings this week show a reflection of that. There is a huge have and have not factor going on, it’s either reliable and tried and true or it’s a 2 AM special where you’re trying to convince her to give you a Bryant Gumbel. The top of the list remains stout and the names are fairly consistent, it’s just getting to be a very swanky restaurant and the salad menu is expanded to accommodate more guests…so to speak. So enjoy the ensalade and don’t forget to ask for the endless breadsticks.

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Friends
How many of us have them?
Friends
Ones we can depend on

So it dawned upon me that, in the Whodini song, “Friends”, can be replaced by any good word, from your favorite lady parts to my personal favorite, relievers. That’s the hard part, reliability. The reliability of a great conversation with say, and in this instance, a Bartender. Who just happens to be in the news again this week. Tom Wilhelmsen is back, as was inevitable. I mean, come on, Ollie Perez, really? Really? Eric the Wedge has seen the light and by hallelujah from up above realized the error of his ways. Now, he wasn’t laying blame on anyone, though I think it may have been Radames, at least that’s what my boy Bishop was sayin’. So, not if, but when he gets back, what has he learned, walks need to come down, K’s need to come up. Shot specials or a bucket special wouldn’t hurt either. Tom Will needs to forget that month long stretch where he was about as good as a 12-pack of Schafer light. I have some confidence, but the chances will be limited as the Marginers have only had 1, yes I said 1, save opportunity in the last 14 days. Hooray for stats. Stick around for some other tidbits and rankings. Oh and Enjoy the glorious celebration of our nation’s birth.

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Every good conga line needs a caboose, so the Miami Save Machine is bringing up the rear this week. Feel the rhythm of the beat getting stronger. No? Me either. Moving on. The Midwest is getting mauled by injuries, it’s like that time the flu virus swept through the cast of Laverne and Shirley, you know the one where the Big Ragu, sneezed on everyone and it spread all the way to Squiggy and Pop. Well I guess I am the only one that remembers that stuff. Chris Perez, and not to be outdone, Jim Henderson, both came up lame just in time for the Belmont Stakes, looks like horse meat is back on the menu. Perez’s shoulder came up gimpy after his pitching came undone over the last week. He is expected to take a week off, try to throw and then work on curling his mullet. Vinnie Pestano is the heir in Cleveland, he himself isn’t healthy, and personally I have stashed Cody Allen everywhere in preparation of the H, for hurt.

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I wish I knew what Donnie Baseball was doing, he says what he doesn’t mean but means what he doesn’t say. I personally think we need to get Rand Paul involved in this and get some filibustering going. Maybe Magic can open a movie theater or something to show us a preview of what is actually going to happen. Well my theory is this, Donnie is a player’s manager and doesn’t wanna step on anyone’s feelings, so instead he will have no common decency and piss all over everyone’s fantasy teams. He kinda makes me feel the same way I felt when I watched Iron Eagle for the first time and I really thought Chappy died. Cheated is the reference, if that movie escapes you. So for my own personal rankings below I have inserted Kenley into the chart, while I am not completely sold that we know which way is loose. So screw it, it’s my list so I am placing him there just like the Gideons place bibles.

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