Happy Black Friday!  Oops, sorry, I mean Happy African-American Friday!  As I type this, I’m being trampled at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  “There’s enough Scrub Daddys for everyone!”  The Diamondbacks got a head start on Black Friday sales on Wednesday when they traded Jean Segura, Mitch Haniger and Zac Curtis to the Mariners for Taijuan Walker and Ketel Marte.  What’s that old axiom, if you don’t know who the sucker is at the table, you’re the sucker.  Mariners, you’re the sucker.  If anyone forgot that the Diamondbacks fired Dave Stewart immediately following the end of the season, this was a reminder.  If Stewart were still there, the Diamondbacks would’ve traded Greinke for Todd Walker.  As Dave Stewart would say after reading that, “I’m not mad at ya.”  Don’t love the move to Chase Field for Walker, but the NL West makes that medicine go down a little easier, chim chiminy chim chiminy chim chim cher-ee!  Walker had a 8 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 last year in 134 1/3 IP.  That goes up to 8.5 in the NL West and he’s pretending to yawn as he puts his arm around a low to mid-3 ERA.  The only thing that’s stopping you from nodding your head like a plus-size Pez is that Walker hasn’t done it yet.  He’s only 24 years old, not doing it yet isn’t a great excuse for never doing it.  For 2017, I’ll give him the projections of 12-11/3.44/1.18/153 in 160 IP.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2017 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We’re gonna find out if the top 20 shortstops are as Ken Bonerific as the top 20 2nd basemen.  Hint:  they are.  Damn, I gotta work on building suspense.  That hint pretty much gives the whole kit away and tacks the kaboodle onto its back as it’s walking out the door.  Goodbye, kit and kaboodle, I just gave you away for nothing.  I am very charitable.  When I go to Whole Foods, I only throw a small hissy fit when they ask me to donate money, “Take a dollar out of the $12 per pound olive bar and you donate!”  To recap, this final ranking is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments.  The Player Rater allows me to be impartial while looking at how I ranked them in the preseason.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2016 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We already went over the top 20 catchers and the top 20 1st basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball.  Today, we dip our big toe into the top 20 2nd basemen pool.  Okay, it was actually more like a lake where lots of spring breakers are partying, and, instead of throwing beads at girls, they’re throwing 30 home run hitters.  It’s a little scary, for unstints (how I say it), that there were only six 2nd basemen that you wanted to own all year in 2015, and, this year, there’s a 30-homer hitter 2nd baseman that didn’t even make the top 25 2nd basemen — Jedd, you Gyorko!  1st basemen were still a little deeper, but barely.  2nd basemen, and the soon to be released shortstops got their sea legs in 2016.  To recap this crap (rhyme points!), this final ranking for last year is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments.  The Player Rater allows me to be impartial while looking at how I ranked them in the preseason.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This offseason I’m going to recap sixteen-after-twenty, then I’ll go over the best rookies for next year, then I’ll go into sleepers and, finally, the new rankings.  Holy crap!  We’re already at the new rankings?!  Oh, no, we’re not.  Sorry, I sometimes confuse exposition and reality.  Like, right now, am I explaining I confuse the two or am I really confused?  Any hoo!  I mention some offseason business now as an on-the-nose prelude to what’s to come, but also because I’m excited to talk about Alex Reyes for each one of those upcoming categories.  Best rookies?  Reyes still has eligibility, so check.  Sleepers?  He has a 1.57 ERA, more than a K per inning and averages 97 MPH, so check, check.  Rankings?  I want Reyes on every team next year so where do I rank him?  Check, check, check!  Check pah-vodka-sha!  He trap me with that alligator blood!  Damn, I haven’t seen Rounders in a while, I wonder if it holds up.  *looks to see Rounders DVD holding up crooked bookshelf*  Oh, yeah, baby!  Yesterday, Reyes went 6 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 6 Ks with the same superb — samperb? — pitching he’s done since he was called up.  I can’t imagine he’s not in the rotation to start 2017, but, as Teddy KGB would say, Cards speak.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You literally can’t find a middle infielder with less than 20 homers.  You can’t.  Try it.  See?  This year there are more players with 20 homers than any other season in the history of baseball.  Some conspiracy theorists have said the new commissioner, Our Manfred, is sticking Capri Sun straws into baseballs and juicing them, but this year is odder than that and deserves a better conspiracy theory.  No one is hitting 50+ homers like during the Steroid Era.  Only one guy is even close to 50 homers.  Instead of a few guys doing insane damage in the power department, everyone is doing better, moderately.  It’s the trickle down theory.  If you’re not familiar with that, I’ll explain it.  When Kim Kardashian first appeared on the scene, only she was smoking hot, but rather than Kim hogging the hotness to herself, it trickled down.  Khloe went from a 3 to a 5, Kourtney went from a 5 to a 7, Kris went from a 6 to a 8, the two Jenner girls came of age, going from untouchable to 8’s, and even Bruce went from a zero to a three, becoming a woman that you’d throw one if you were drunk enough.  This is also what’s happened in the majors.  Jean Segura, and all middle infielders, went from fours or fives to 20s.  Yesterday, Segura went 1-for-4 with his 20th homer, hitting .316, to go with his 30 steals.  It’s going to be hard in 2017 to know if these are legitimate gains in power, for Segura and a whole slew of other players, or if half the league is going to regress.  Kinda like Brody Jenner, who was so popular before Kim, ahem, came on the scene.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, was the first time the Cubs have won 100 games since 1935.  Though, in 1994, the Cubs were so gonna win the final 49 games if the strike didn’t happen, giving them 98 wins, then two losses were going to go under review and get reversed.  What?  My crystal ball is very specific.  Why don’t you people believe me?  Kidding, I know you believe me because I can see you in my crystal ball.  Put on some pants that don’t have an elastic band, would you please!  Kyle Hendricks (6 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners (0 walks), 5 Ks, ERA down to 1.99) did his usual magic.  I say let him sit out his final start so he can end the year with a minus-2 ERA, and I bet the Cubs say the same thing as me.  Know why?  I have the best words.  People love my words.  No one has words like me.  Carrying them offensively was Javier Baez (2-for-5, 6 RBIs and his 14th homer).  Whenever Hendricks grooves, Baez seems to play himself a little ditty, too.  Must be their Woodstock connection.  If Joan Baez didn’t perform at Woodstock, don’t tell me, for folk’s sake.  Baez is going to be a tough nut to peg (totally a saying) for 2017 fantasy.  He’s made great strides with his strikeouts.  Looks like an easy bet for a 17/17 season if he were to play every day, but 17/17 is just a tad boring compared to 20/20.  By the way, Tad Boring never gets any dates on Tinder.  Also, we’re not sure if Baez will have an everyday job.  Cubs’ playing time can be Maddon’ing.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

At this point, points leagues should be over or wrapping up today (Sunday). I hate when fantasy leagues carry on into the last weeks of the MLB season and teams are handicapped when their players, usually pitchers, are shut down. In my main points league the World Series ended with week 22. No championship should be decided because one team lost its ace because he had reached his innings limit. Although there are some that will contend that is all part of the package when you roster said player. After all the Nationals did shut down Strasburg in 2012. Regardless, it is now week 25, sh!t or get off the pot!

Now that the points leagues season is over, at least as far as I am concerned, I have decided to announce my 2016 Points League Awards. Television has the Emmys. Broadway has the Tonys. Movies have the Oscars. Music has the Grammys. And points leagues have the Malamoneys.

Just a quick explanation. The “Best” category is awarded to the best overall player at a position. The “MVP” award considers other factors such as average draft position and position eligibility into its equation.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s never too late to start talking about next year, is it?  Well, that is the direction I am heading.  I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but second base, and for that matter middle infield, is going to be an interesting position come draft time or even for some keepers.  This is the first time in a few years that there will be a dearth of players with a value at the position, so I am personally sorta excited, about as excited as getting a onion ring in my french fry order.  The middle rounds for these second base eligible guys is going to be an interesting pecking order of who covets who more, and what we have seen this year steers them.  Now, this is a steals post and most of the guys I am talking about are going to have value there and in some ancillary stat contributions, I am not talking about the over-drafting of Brian Dozier, and to some extent, Robbie Cano.  Steals only guys, they in this case, have faces until at least your draft or keepers are pot committed. So this week, I am looking at some second sackers that will shine for you next year based on the second half stats.  For giggles afterwards, since the season isn’t over, some two-week guys that will help you down the stretch and of course some save stealers…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

All season long I’ve been using points per plate appearance as my metric of choice when it comes to comparing players. It’s certainly not the only stat I look at, but it definitely holds its weight when I’m punching numbers into my calculator. After some consideration I realized that points per game deserves a mention as well, especially daily leagues. Knowing how many points a player averages per game is an extremely useful statistic when deciding which players to start each day. Even in weekly leagues PPG is a strong indicator of value.

Here’s a look at all batters for 2016 organized by position…

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You know one of those posters where they feature celebrities from different eras that may or may not have ever been together in the same room?  Like James Dean, Mickey Mouse and Lenny Bruce standing at a bar, smoking cigarettes.  Okay, I’m pretty sure those three never hung out.  In 75 years, when we’re all dead and buried, except for maybe some of my preteen readers — YASSSSSS I never forget you! — they will decide to make a poster featuring some standouts from this year:  Trump, Hillary, Nadiya from The Great British Bake Off.  Also, on that poster will be one player from the 2016 World Champion Cubs team, the last Cubs team to win the World Series in 75 years.  Which player will be on that poster made from the last remaining tree?  I don’t think it’ll be David Ross, prolly not Arrieta, not for this year, maybe Bryant, maybe Rizzo, maybe Hendricks and maybe Jon Lester.  Yesterday, pushed forward Lester’s agenda to get on the “last tree poster” — 8 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 8 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.40, moving his record to 17-4, and, since the All-Star break, it’s a 1.47 ERA in 73 1/3 IP.  His ERAs over the last four years:  3.75, 2.46, 3.34 and 2.40.  And you thought Saberhagenmetrics were some contrived statistical model.  Look in the mirror, and pfft yourself.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?