I’m staring out on a prairie in the middle of Palm Springs. Okay, it’s not a prairie. It’s more of a dirt field with a bingo card blowing through it. But let’s pretend it’s a prairie. Why am I standing in a prairie that’s not really a prairie? Because all great baseball moments happen this way. Just one man and rows of corn. Except those aren’t rows of corns, but walkers lined up against the window of a Starbucks. But let’s pretend they are cornfields! I’m pulling off my cap (not wearing a cap; don’t want to mess my hair), staring directly into the sky (wearing sunglasses) and screaming at the Fantasy Baseball Overlord, “Why do you have to make the rest of us suffer for the childhood you never had?!” Okay, I need to move on before the OPP (Old People Police) come after me. We should’ve known a rather pedestrian 7 IP, 4 ER from Masahiro Tanaka was a sign that he was hurt. We should’ve known! Or an even worse 6 2/3 IP, 5 ER start the next time out. We should’ve known! Alas, we didn’t know. So, Tanaka’s going for a variety of tests, and hopefully it’s nothing, but any time there’s something wrong with a pitcher’s elbow it’s something. Are we sure he didn’t inflame his elbow using Hideki’s porn collection? Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

At least one of you is reading this with a bandaged thumb from a fireworks mishap. I had a Cousin Pete (Italian side of the family) who lost the tip of his thumb on the 4th, but rather than stop the festivities, he taped the tip of a hot dog on his thumb to act as a tourniquet for the rest of the 4th, so we could all go about our fun-having business. I suggested my Cugino make a PSA about hot dog tourniquets, but I was turned away by NBC Cares. Let us bow our heads and pray that if anyone loses a finger, may there be a proper-sized hot dog nearby. Robinson Cano hasn’t been bad. Let’s put that misconception behind our ears like the baby ounce of Drakkar you do every morning. Not bad. Low on homers? Yes. Not bad though. The perception is he’s struggling. Having a real hard time of it in Safeco. He’s on pace for better numbers than last year, except for power. So, where did all the power go? (I sang that like Paula Cole.) He’s insanely off for homers per fly ball, and down in the fly ball department, in general. Those aren’t great things, but — what are you gonna do with that big fat but? — his April/May are dragging down the homers per fly ball. He had four homers in June and looked relatively the same as he’s always looked. There’s no way he makes it to 25 homers on the year (he’s at 6), but four homers per month is doable and about what you always got from Cano. As already pointed out, he’s still doing everything else that made him a top 12 player in March, so if someone is down on Cano, in the non-sexual way, I’d look to see if I could buy him a little cheaper than he’s actually worth. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As many of you know, Bruce Bochy has the biggest head in the major leagues. As a player, when he was traded, he would have to take his helmet with him to his new club because the new team wouldn’t have a helmet big enough for him. It made traveling easier, since everything he needed would fit inside the helmet. We all know the story about how when Giants rookie, Joe Panik, was called up, he forgot to make arrangements to stay somewhere in the San Fran area, so he draped a sheet over Bochy’s cap and slept in there. Lots of good has come of Bochy’s giant melon. Of course, the 27-pound bowling ball has its drawbacks. Like when he went to see Toy Story and blocked half the audience. Lots of angry parents that day. Or the time he was in South Dakota and people starting climbing up his side thinking he was Mount Rushmore. Sometimes what would take a person with a normal-sized head a week or two to figure out, thoughts bounce around in Bochy’s Metrodome much longer. So when Sergio Romo wasn’t good for the month of May, then again in June, it took longer for Bochy to realize a change was needed, but he finally figured it out. Bochy said Santiago Casilla would replace Romo, then he banged the side of his head for 15 minutes waiting for another thought, and finally it came out that Jeremy Affeldt would see some situational saves, as long as Gilbert Gottfried isn’t introducing Affeldt at games. Yesterday, Affeldt got hit, and Casilla looked solid as he has all year. I’d grab Casilla in all leagues if you’re SAGNOF’ing around for saves. Hopefully, even if Bochy thinks about putting Romo back in the role, it takes a few weeks for that thought to land in the right spot in his cavernous whale head. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Well, you should be sorry, Ronald Belisario. You have been pretty rough on your owners since stepping into the closer role, testing the limits of SAGNOF and just how much pain a fantasy owner will endure to capture those elusive saves. Belisario was at it again last night and gave up three hits and two runs to the Blue Jays, recording just one out before being removed from the game. In just 12 innings pitched since inheriting the job, Ronny has surrendered 10 ER on 20 hits with three blown saves in in that time. More like RonaldO-No! Hey, a World Cup pun, how topical. In Belisario’s defense, he did manage eight saves during his stay as closer, but that’s more a testament to Manager Robin Ventura sticking with him this long. Well, Ventura has had enough. Alrighty then, Ventura, who’s your closer now? Jake Petricka finished out the game last night and notched his second save of the season. Petricka has a 2.08 ERA and 1.27 WHIP on the year and looks like the most likely choice to take over the closer role. Javy Guerra, Zach Putnam and Daniel Webb could also be names to watch and see chances were the Sox to go to a committee. Whatever the case, Ronald is out. And although he may not apologize for killing your ratios over the past month, you can drop him now, which is definitely something you won’t have to feel sorry about.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With the trade deadline in the bag and closers moving, we have a lot to talk about.  Some of it refreshing like a glass of ice cold lemonade on a summer’s day.  Some of it less so like being asked to write something for Lainie Kazan, wondering who Lainie Kazan is and Googling her to find Playboy pics from the 1970’s juxtaposed with her present-day pics.   Please, blog, may I have some more?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Andy Pettitte managed to shut out the Rays yesterday for 7 1/3 IP with only 4 baserunners and 10 Ks.  No wonder why he returned.  He was probably sick of beating his kids at MLB 2K12.  “Dad, we don’t mind you playing our video games while we’re at school, but could you stop spitting tobacco onto our all-terrain robot?”  That’s Andy’s kids after a powwow about how to address the problem.  Please, blog, may I have some more?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Closer Look was only six days ago and we’ve already lost a $12 Salad (Mo), a Donkeycorn (Huston Street) and three Brain Freezes (Santiago/Thornton, Bell, Downs).  If you think the Closepocalypse is something created by the media (me) to sell newspapers (no one buys newspapers), then continue to disbelieve.  Please, blog, may I have some more?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I blame the media: every manager has an itchy trigger finger early in the season when it comes to the bullpen. Or I blame myself and everyone else who obsesses over fantasy as we’ve created a culture where 5.2 IPs are something that need to be dissected and reacted to as if a reliever is only going to throw 10 innings, not 60-80 innings, in a season. Please, blog, may I have some more?

Please, blog, may I have some more?