So team success helps everything, from team building exercises to a secret program that siphons money into a bank account at fractions of a penny at a time. Whatever works, works, but at the end of the day the stats are what matters. Take for example the Texas Rangers’ bullpen. The trio of Neal Cotts, Tanner Scheppers and Jason Frasor are getting it done minus the flair. They have combined for 17 Holds in the last 30 days and are tied for the AL lead in Holds with 50. Earlier in the year, I was asked the best strategy for NSVH, and I said the best way is to grab a top 10 closer and 2 middle relievers from the same team. This is why this theory makes all the sense. Take a resurgent Cotts, who has dominated batters to a BAA of .187. “It’s Murda.” Thanks Ja Rule, for having nothing else to do. Throw in Scheppers and as of late a rejuvenated Frasor and you have a nice drunk punch of goodness for a Holds factory. Holds are a streaky stat, take a look at Mark Melancon, he is still leading MLB in holds only because he had 14 thru the first 30 days. The leader since then? Hmmm I betcha I just mentioned him above… Tanner Scheppers with 8. Enjoy the week to come.

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We are halfway through the fantasy season and it’s another week, another closepocalypse. Didn’t Smokey predict this back in March?! Andrew Bailey’s job was outsourced, Jose Valverde was sent packing, Heath Bell is absolutely stuffed and the Mariners closer by committee is as uncertain as a child’s bottom. That’s a straight up Ulysses quote my literate homies. SAGNOF! While in the real baseball world it has become quite obvious that saves are overrated, in our fake baseball world closers are one of those necessary evils. Kind of like root canals and prostate exams. Fortunately, I get both taken care of at the same place. One-stop shopping. Thanks ObamaCare! While closers can be a pain in the fanny perpendicular, I’m not one to punt a category. Even one as frustrating as the save. Who invented this dastardly stat? Apparently the dean of baseball beat writer’s, Jerome Holtzman is to blame. He invented the save in 1959. There wasn’t much to do in the late 50’s except “like Ike” and cower in the bomb shelter with a tin of beans and a deck of nudie cards. According to Razzball historian Paulie Allnuts, the very next year the term “Sagnoff” was first uttered by one Winston Greystone Albright II after drafting Moe Drabowsky with his first pick in the inaugural drunken fantasy draft at The White Horse Tavern in New York’s West Village. An ‘ol fashioned donnybrook soon ensued, but not a mustache was harmed according to reports. Thanks Paulie. This week let’s run down some candidates for saves that just could mean the difference between fantasy glory and fantasy defeat. Time to jam it or cram it. Dr. Pfister, I’m ready for my… Do you really need to wear the dive watch?

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In mythology, Hector was the Trojan prince and the greatest warrior in the Trojan war. So step aside Brad Pitt, while you were fighting the undead in World War Z, Hector Santiago was in warrior mode last night as he dominated the Royals, pitching 8.0 innings, surrendering just 3 hits, 1 walk, 1 ER and striking out five for his third win. Hector could be seen rallying his team in the dugout, “Troy is mother to all of us. Fight for her!” An unorthodox approach for sure, but it worked as the ChiSox managed to score nine runs of support for Santiago. The eight innings was his longest outing of the year, and it was certainly his best, the only blip being the solo home run to Eric Hosmer in the sixth inning. Even if it was only the Royals, Hector seems to have figured things out. Since taking over for the injured Jake Peavy, Sanitago has given up just 5 ER in 19.2 IP, with 2 wins and a 19/7 K/BB ratio. Not bad for the Prince of Troy. Hector is owned in just over 30% of RCL leagues and gets the Cleveland Indians next Friday. If you’re feeling brave like a Trojan warrior I’d start him, but he’s worth the add either way. As long as Peavy is sidelined, Prince Hector should see plenty of opportunities to succeed going forward, and he will fight for your fantasy team.

Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball last night:

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The love has been sucked out of the room for Justin Upton. His fantasy value went skydiving. After it went Rocky Mountain climbing. He went from totally chic to totally geek in 2.7 seconds on the back of a bull named “You, Man, Are Phooey.” (Where I grew up bulls had thoroughbred-like horse names.) If we can all remember back to April, with her freckles– Oh, wait, was thinking of the wrong April. I meant the month. *embarrassed Lisa Simpson giggle* In April, Upton look the world by the nuts and put a roof over every homeless person’s head. Turned out that those roofs were just sheets of matzoh and they got soggy during a rain-out in May. May you’re supposed to bring flowers! Upton’s HR/FB in April wasn’t maintainable (38.7%) and his badonkadonks flattened. He’s also not a 1 homer per month guy. On our last 30-day Player Rater, he has a -$7 value. That’s the same as Sugar Shane Robinson and Pedro Flori-none and Lyle Overbite. That’s not even near Upton’s value. His owners are panicked. Was Upton a one month guy? If he’s healthy, he’s not. He’s just slumping. This is a guy that regularly touched .800 OPS and is now barely cracking .550. I see no reason why he can’t be a 5-homer, .280 hitter every month for the rest of the year with a handful of steals. If someone has him and is sick from his roller coaster ride, I’d strap myself in sans barf bag and trade for him. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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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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Mark Twain wrote there are three types of lies; there’s lies, damned lies and baseball stats. That’s from Huckleberry Finn, Page 84…I think. I’m not entirely sure as I went to an “alternative high school” in Maine which was a flannel-clad cross between Glee and Lord of the Flies. Now everybody sing “Don’t you Forget About Me” while I impale this pig’s head on a spear. Happy Mother’s Day!

*Now back to our regularly scheduled blog*

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Well, last week I said the Boston situation would go swimmingly, results so far have been 2 drowning victims and an all-Asian rescue team. First, Andrew Bailey went down with triceps injury, then Joel Hanrahan said, “anything you can do I can do better,” and has a forearm strain. Now, I’m no doctor, I pretend to play one at 2 AM and it’s last call, different story, but you get my point, but isn’t it only one arm, not fore? So to the rescue in their tight red water panties are the best combo since Chico found the man, Koji and Junichi. The eighth and ninth innings for all games on NESN now will be in full anime, and Rem-Dog will be eaten. I fully expect Tazawa to be the focal point of save situations until either Bailey or Hanrahan return. He was closing for a tick last year at Pawtucket, which is like me fishing and saying I’m Gordon’s fisherman. The numbers this year are pretty outstanding (18 K’s in 14 In) so he has momentum, his only flaw is he is a fly ball pitcher and that tends to bite ya in the oshiri…sometimes. Stay tuned to see what else I see/saw or foresee coming up in the world of conclusionary pitchers and the gents that set them up.

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The week was going swimmingly, with inflatable swim muscles, I may add, then Kevin Gregg showed up and said “Oh, I thought everyone wore these glasses now.” I don’t trust Kevin for 2 reasons, closers come and closers go (Kyuji is coming back) so add that into your closer entree like a good splash of adobo. The second reason is he has two first names, I’m sorry, it’s a phobia of mine ever since I went to school with a kid named Ferris Ferris. No I didn’t stutter, that’s a true story. Next we move to Boston, where Joe-L is returning from the DL; John Farrell has said what is typical, we will see what happens. My 2 cents is that Bailey keeps it until he falters or Hanrahan whines enough to make a stink. If I could call Joel, this is how the convo would go. Sup Joel. Who is this? Then I would hang up and not answer when he star 69’s me. I do that cause I don’t like people messin’ around on my phone. Lastly this week, I have moved Jim Johnson, minus his cult following, into the top tier. He has shown me enough to warrant a bump up. The games he pitches in are showing the confidence that Buck has in him, like a great illegitimate dad would in his Maury Povich type son. The bump over Papelbon is based purely on stats and accumulation right now, Paps just isn’t seeing the chances that some other closers are seeing and that inevitably hurts my feelings and his stats/value. Enjoy the week as if you were listening to the soundtrack from Rocky 4, what could get better than that.? If you said that talking robot Pauly got, then we are on the same page my friend.

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So we come to another week of debauchery known as bullpendom. Yeah, I like to make up words, Dr. Seuss did it and he is considered a genius, me will settle for 700 on my SAT’s and just scraping by. What can I say – I’m a settler minus the funny hat and the flashy yet obnoxious buckle on my shoes. The Red Sox seem to be leading the pack of news this week with Joel Hanrahan being pipped by Andrew Bailey. It’s going to be a non-fluid situation when Joe-L returns as I see him setting up and waiting for Bailey to go on the rocks. It’s not a bad thing to have if you’re in Boston, 2 closers that have the ability to close out games with some sort of success, for fantasy it sucks worse then burning your toaster strudel cause it gets stuck in the toaster. Best part is there is still some of that glaze that you can just free base as a non-essential part of your daily vitamin allowance. Lots more in this week’s episode of bullpen report so keep on reading and click that red button, or gray button for our color impaired people.

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I’ll be honest here, I had no idea that Shelley Duncan was still playing. Not only is he playing, he’s, um, well, I’m supposed to put something he’s doing well here to make the play of words work. But that’s not really possible. Oh, he does have two homeruns. Does that help? With a career slash of 230/306/427, I think I’ve actually found a worse outfielder than Don Kelly. What’s next, stigmata? While, if given regular at-bats, 260/330/480 represents the very high end, I could foresee 10 homers and 50 RBI’s if he play’s for 50% of the season’s games.

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