You wrote a letter to your leaguemates, but before you sent it to them, you asked me to proofread it but not share it. Too bad, here it is, “Yo, what’s up, snitches?! I have six closers and am sticking it to the rest of the league in their whole bum, then acting that out like Knight from MTV’s The Challenge. I don’t need no one! All I need is Huston Street, Kevin Gregg, Ernesto Frieri, Joaquin Benoit, Brad Ziegler and this chair, I need this chair. I got saves for days! Open up your ‘kitten-playing-with-motherf**king-yarn’ calendar and mark September 28th down for the day when you concede the championship to me. Use your rainbow-colored pencil. Is it okay to use that word? Any the hoo! Rather than recount all of that SAGNOF g’dness, let me take this time to instead ask you if you watched the most recent Top Chef Masters. I’m lonely and looking for friends.” Solid letter, I probably wouldn’t put single quote marks around kitten-playing-with-motherf**king-yarn but it’s fine to send it off as is. The only other problem is you might also lose more than half of your closers in less than a week. This is also the last week when you and your opponents can gain major saves if you’re hurting in that category. On July 31st there could be as many as 10 new closers. At no point from now until October do you have a chance for this much turn over. Guys that could move into the closer role in under a week includes, but is not limited to: Luke Gregerson, Blake Parker, Ryan Webb, James Russell, Antonio Bastardo, Carter Capps, Dale Thayer, John Axford (still even with Henderson taking over the job), Jose Cisnero, Pedro Strop and Antonio Alfonseca, because he has six fingers on each hand and you can’t ever count him out, at least not without removing your pants and a shoe. Granted, guys like Huston Street or Tom Wilhelmsen or Glen Perkins might be traded and stay in the closer role on their new team, but that means someone else would lose their job. Or maybe Huston Street will go to the Yankees and become the 8th inning man and Robertson moves to the 7th. Or maybe Jonathan Papelbon goes to the Tigers and Benoit owners have to call the Ben-wambulance. A lot could happen in the next few days or nothing, but I’d absolutely stash as many middle relievers as I could right now. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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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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For all you Jersey kids out there, yesterday’s game title is, “Holland Tunnels Yanks.” For all you Jersey kids out there who have been stuck in traffic in the Holland Tunnel on a hot day, “Holland Dutch Ovens the Yankees.” For all of you history nerds, “Holland Takes Back New Amsterdam.” By the way, I’d be surprised if I was the first person who thought of this, but I’ve never heard it before, so here goes: What is New Jersey shaped like? Kid from Kid ‘n Play. It is totally rocking the flat-top. Right? Damn, I totally would’ve failed me a Rorschach test. So Derek Holland put two peaches together yesterday and made a plum of a start with the line: 9 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs and 7 Ks. Holland is what he is, which is a decent 3rd to 4th fantasy starter. The Stream-o-Nator predicted this beaut. Know why? The Yankees aren’t good usually (23rd overall for OPS), but are hideous vs. lefties (27th overall). These aren’t your slightly older brother’s Yankees. Right now, George Steinbrenner is rolling over in his grave, though that is partially because he was facing Billy Martin. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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So at the middle post of the real year, the ever-changing scenarios that are closers continue to fire on. This week I am going to speculate on some popular names that have been bantered about in trade rumors so far and add in some of my own because that’s what hippies do, we give. This week marks the return of Chris Perez and Rafael Betancourt, soon to displace Rex and Vinnie, so sad. It was so much more fun writing their names than the dog smokers and the pride of Isaac Newton College (True statement — go look it up). Now both of these guys may be coming up later in my trade speculator, because I think they are a good mix of hot garbage and tradeable commodity. Sorta like a great combo of mayonnaise and milk…yum. This year I have a gut feeling there will be a glut of trades involving current teams’ closers making the waiver wire a cavalcade of shenanigans. If nothing else, it leads to some good conversation, some yelling and maybe some new-un-found friendships. So shall we get on with the speculating..I think we shall.

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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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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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On this Memorial Day, I’m left thinking about things as American as apple pie and fake-breasted women, but mostly I’m left contemplating how similar Memorial Day sounds to Michael Bay. What better way to think of our country’s great holiday, than our real-life Uncle Sam of excessive special effects-laden movies. You can make cars better than us Asia, but can you blow crap up on celluloid and make apocalyptic tripe like World War Z? So, today, go outside and wish someone a Happy Michael Bay, he’s ours. Also, ours is baseball, and a branch off of that is fantasy baseball, and a sub-section of that sub-section is hoarding prospect pitchers that are called up like Michael Wacha. First (immediately after all that other first shizz), let’s see what our prospect writer, Scott, has said about him, “Wacha’s 2012 numbers were just plain silly: 0.86 ERA, 0.57 WHIP, 17.1 K/9 in 11 appearances across three levels (Rookie, High-A, Double-A). Those 11 outings, however, only tallied up to 21 IP. The Cardinals were keeping his workload light, and Wacha never worked through a batting order more than one time through. That was the only criticism, the only reason to expect regression as he stepped up to Triple-A ball this season. Well, Wacha’s done a fine job of quelling those concerns so far. If only we could quell Grey as easily.” Hey, what’s the big idea!? I’m not sure where Wacha’s Ks have been thus far in Triple-A (under a 6 K/9), but his walks have been in check (~2.5 BB/9) and he has an ERA of 2.05 in 52 2/3 IP. If he keeps his K-rate around there in the majors, he’s going to be strictly an NL-Only or 15-team mixed leagues and deeper play. But he looks closer to a 7+ K-rate guy and someone I’d grab in all mixed leagues. The upside is here for greatness; of course the downside of any rookie pitcher is here, as well. All of this is assuming the Cards officially call him up, but the word around town is they’re about to. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend 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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