At some point, you look at your roster, then look at yourself in the mirror and the repeat that 31 more times and ask yourself this question…  When is chasing saves from the worst possibilities a bad idea?  My best advice, as your advocate of bullpen swagger, is never.  Realize the talent that is in the bullpen and say: is 1-2 saves really worth a waiver claim, a roster drop of someone else and a complete destruction of your rates and quite possibly your dignity?  If you haven’t guessed it, I am discussing the shatuation in the ‘Nati.  Just to get everyone up to speed on the demise, their (and keep in mind that it has only been two-plus weeks of games roughly) Hoover sucked. Jumbo is demoted to minors, Hoover back in and bad again, Cingrani more like Cingran-no.  Now all the hype is on Caleb Cotham.  Who has the time and rosterbatory rituals to have the right frame of mind to roster these guys from change to change?  I get that if you are in a NL-only league, it makes sense to be on the ball, but in mixed league… well, these guys are poop.  I was searching for a better word, but I can’t, and poop it is.  The combined ERA this year of Reds relievers in a save situation is over five.  That, my friends, is not worth the stretch for the sexy total of one save as a team.  Seriously, one whole save… you could have been rostering Ivan Nova and gotten the same total number so far. So anyone who likes the punishment, keep an eye on the health of Michael Lorenzen, as he could be next up. So what I am saying is: yes it’s cool and swanky to be the first guy on your fantasy block to unlock the new closer somewhere, but use common sense.  If a team is a pile of dung and will kill more stats then the assist, then, well, you already know my response because this is the end of the lede and I just went over it.  Stick around for some rankings, general chicanery with words on a page, and hell, maybe a whole pack of lies wrapped around stats.  Cheers!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

A week into the season and everyone has basically contracted closer asthma.  Breathe…  I know it’s tough from time to time to fathom that the fantasy kingdom that you drafted two weeks ago is coming crumbling down because Shawn Tolleson just wet the bed and is shaking the Walker Texas Rangers bullpen.  He has guys behind him that have been gone over, which in most leagues that count pitchers who throw the bal,l should have been rostered. Namely Kela and Dyson.  So what is all this bad karma at the beginning of the season good for, besides chasing saves?  It is good for people who panic and drop the top set-up guys too early.  Dellin Betances was dropped four times more then he was added this week.  That is a coup for you, don’t run to that, hop on a tricycle and find a hill to roll down as fast as possible.  Early season turnover and panic buttons are what make your team weak in one department now, and especially strong in the next several weeks by “calculated” guessing.  So with that, here is the first installment of the 2016 Closer Report with the changes and job winners from Spring Training newly nestled into their respective spots. I will tackle Holds and the set-up crews next week when we start seeing usage and match-up based stuff.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ve begun working on a program that aims to harness the collective super powers of some of the greatest minds in the last five hundred years. Think of it as a digital hybrid of Nate Silver, Tom Tango, Billy Beane, Kenny Powers and Nostradamus. The beta version, however, was just Powers and Nostradamus. I called it Nostradumbass. According to its calculations I was supposed to draft Adam LaRoche, Torii Hunter and Reggie Jackson. Now call me old fashioned, but if I’m going to get screwed, I’d at least like to get dinner out of the deal. The only guaranteed prediction you can make from those suggestions is that my team is going to suck. If something is a “guaranteed” prediction, is it really a prediction? The aforementioned players project to zero fantasy points for the remainder of the season.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s been a long offseason, but now that we’re less than a week away from the start of the 2016 MLB regular season, it’s time to dust off the trash/treasure column and take a look at a few of the players who have made fantasy owners take notice in recent weeks. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this series, the concept is pretty straightforward: identify a few of the players who have experienced the largest change in ownership percentage over the previous week and determine which of these players are deserving of their sudden gains or declines respectively. The players who I believe carry limited value moving forward will be deemed TRASH while the potential waiver wire gems will have the coveted TREASURE label bestowed upon them. Dig it? Cool. Now let’s take a look at some of the buzzy Spring Training names as Opening Day approaches…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

After Jada Pinkett Smith started the #closerssowhite controversy, boycotting SAGNOF until there were more black closers, because her husband, Will Smith, wasn’t immediately anointed closer of the Brewers, the entire MLB began a well-needed discussion about race.  Our Commissioner Manfred said, “I thought about this for a brief second, then I realized the entire league is Dominican.  I mean, before I was chosen as commissioner I had to vacation in Punta Cana for a long weekend just to ‘feel the vibe’ as Selig said.”  Jada Pinkett Smith said she will not sleep until her husband gets saves or Torii Hunter comes out of retirement and is made closer of one of those real white teams, “Maybe Minnesota.”  Closers So White lives on.  Will Smith’s closer season, however, looks about as promising as an After Earth sequel.  On Saturday, it was reported he tore his LCL.  He tore his 150?  That’s like when Pablo Sandoval’s dyslexic cousin saw Pablo tore his 501’s.  My money’s on Jeremy Jeffress getting the most saves in Milwaukee this year.  My money also has Alfred E. Neuman on it.  Jeffress is the top guy from the Brewers pen in my top 500 with Corey Knebel up next.  The fantasy baseball war room has been updated, as well.  (By the way, some rejected titles for this post were Collateral Ligaments of the World Ain’t Nothing But Trouble and Will Smith Gettin’ Limpy With It.)  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

My initial thought regarding the NL Central was that it was the best division in all of baseball. The St. Louis Cardinals won 100 games last year, while the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs won 98 and 97 games respectively. To put that into perspective, since 1969, there have only been 47 teams to reach the 100 win mark. The division almost had three in the same season! Wilt would chuckle, but wouldn’t be impressed. Anyways, most of the great philosophical enlightenments come from cartoons. This one being particularly relevant. Put another way, the Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds are the cellar dwellers, both failing to win 70 wins last year. I guess the division is a microcosm of mankind. You got the “haves” and the “have-nots.” With two punching bags in the division, which elevates the win totals of the other teams, the NL Central cannot be considered the best division in baseball. That distinction probably goes to the AL East, but we are not here to talk about that. We are here to discuss the position battles in the NL Central. So without further adieu Pepe Le Pew….

Please, blog, may I have some more?

No, you haven’t stumbled onto a WebMd bait page.  Well… this is an advisory blog, none the same, but we won’t scare you into believing that you have clinical depression with every symptom.  I mean, I’ve seen some other fantasy sites that attempt to advise on bullpen strategy.  It’s easy to throw stuff up about closers and bullpens and say this guy will fail because of this and that.  Heck, I like watching Jeopardy and guessing at the stuff I don’t know about either.  Add in the fact that I remember my first beer…  So this is one of the last pieces of the fantasy bullpen puzzle before we get down to brass tacks.  The NSVH question…  I always get it from the fantasy inspectors of the net of how and what to do about it.  Do I stick with what I know, or do I go complete rover and draft whatever, whenever?  That’s why I am here, hopefully to quell all ills in the race for bullpen dominance.  The NSVH leagues are tricky and can be described as: people don’t know until they have to know.  I know that really isn’t a draft strategy that I am going to “learn” you with this post, since I am better than that and take pride in leading my disciples into reliever bliss.  So go get a comfy seat upon the porcelain throne of fantasy knowledge and let me guide you, for I am the fantasy bullpen shepherd.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Astros announced that Lance McCullers would start the year on the DL.  Just like a Mick to skip out on work on St. Patty’s Day.  Keeping an eye on you, Andrew McCutchen!  At least we don’t have to start the year with tears for Fiers.  Everybody wants to rule the Astros rotation!  With it being announced that McCullers would start the year on the DL, I dropped him 15 spots in my starting pitcher ranks and lowered his projections.  He’s now in the top 60 starters vs. the top 40 starters.  He’s a young pitcher with a shoulder issue, so if you take my previous excitement and divide it by my current hesitation, you get the entire Angels team dancing on the head of a pin.  Okay, my math might be off there, but I’m trying to weigh my current cautious optimism with my realistic pessimism.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ever get an invitation to a party you shouldn’t have been invited to? You know, like that IQ party you got invited to junior year of college, because you dated way outside your social circle, and spent 6 months with the hot girl from the rockets and brain surgery school. You had no idea how you got there, but there you were, with the future rocket scientists and Ben Carsons of America. Hopefully you wore your largest belt buckle to protect you from the brain surgeon’s steely knives, and also steered clear of any conversations involving jet propulsion, or other “rocketry”. So why am I asking you to dig through the painful cobwebbed recesses of your brain? Because I found myself in a similar position just a few short weeks ago, and was hoping to draw upon your ability to feel empathy. I know, look at me treating you like a fully developed well rounded adult. What can I say? I think highly of you. But why this long diatribe, begging for empathy? Because I somehow weaseled my way into the Couch Managers Expert Mock with some rather reputable names. People like Adam Ronis, Mike Gianella, and you know yada, yada, yada, I’m in the draft. Me!….Ralph, the Prospector, or whatever I am, so here’s my team..

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Baseball commissioner, Rob Manfred, took the podium yesterday and said, “Whether it’s the speed of the game, popularity of the game — as indicated by TV ratings — the amount of open-handed palm grabs of a crotch or spousal abuse, we will not become the NFL.  For better or worse, the number seven is indivisible under God and so are we!”  And with that, Our Man Fred suspended Aroldis Chapman for 30 games.   Trying to stay positive, Aroldis commented that he would not appeal the suspension but that “I am very glad I can still own a gun; I am getting married, after all.”  One of the top closers takes a huge hit in value, I knocked him out of my top 100 for 2016 fantasy baseball, and took him down in my top 500.  His auction value dropped from $20 to $9.  Hopefully, he can make up lost salary with endorsements for Smith & Wesson and as the opening act for Smif-N-Wessun.  A double threat of new income!  Andrew Miller received a slight boost, as well.  There’s also a long shot scenario that the Yankees are comfortable with Miller in the ninth, when Aroldis returns, and Chapman becomes the world’s best setup man.  Before you scoff, you scoffer, it’s not like Miller isn’t good.  Gun to my head, I’d draft Miller in any league.  Unless it was Aroldis’s gun, then I’d politely ask him who he wants me to draft and tell him I’ll happily marry him.  By the by, in just a few short years, Aroldis has been caught leaving a woman tied to his hotel room bed, choking a woman and firing gunshots.  It’s no wonder this is his new Topps baseball card.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?