Jonathan Papelbon has a contract that insures that he remains the closer if he’s traded. He would likely be the closer in Washington even without that stipulation, but it’s so like Papelbon to have that in his contract. Should just call that the douche clause. To fix him, the Nationals should bring him into games where they’re up one run in the seventh and run him out there for three innings every night until his arm falls off. Sure, they’d cost themselves a closer and games, but isn’t spite worth it? I know it is when Cougs says she has a headache and I say, “Fine, I’m gonna sleep in the bathtub!” Sure, I could stay in the bed, or even opt for a couch, but the spite wouldn’t be driven home as well. Papelbon’s trade obviously kills all value for Drew Storen. Shame, his career feels like the exact opposite of Fernando Rodney. No matter how well Storen pitches every year he seems to lose the job for some unforeseen reason. Maybe he can figure out a way to work into his contract, “Must pitch after any white guy that is a terrible dancer whether that is Mark Madsen, Grey Albright or Papelbon.” Of course, in Philly, this means that Ken Giles gets his long-deserved chance to close for the Phils. All three games where they’re leading. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Does this happen to people? You’re working on something, and listening to certain tunes and that informs the way you go about your work. I’ve never had a real job in my life, so I don’t know how this works for those. Does a toll collecting juggalo listen to Insane Clown Posse while working and violently throw change back at drivers? Is this why a building’s roof caves in because the construction crew was listening to Because I Got High by Afroman? Or if you were to suddenly change a hitter’s walk-up music from say Next Episode by Dr. Dre (which seems to be at least one hitter’s song on every team) to The Pina Colada Song would that change everything? I don’t know, but I’m a deep thinker, and I saw Johnny Cueto‘s start yesterday and thought he had to be listening to the Silver Jews, specifically this one section, because that gets me so jacked I could jackhammer a driveway with my foot. I took a hammer to it all! *banging foot on cement* Right?! Okay, maybe it’s me. That’s why we’re having this one-sided conversation, to better understand each other. Yesterday, Cueto threw a farkin sparkler — a farkler, if you will — 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA down to 2.61. Cueto’s the bomb dot gov. He’s almost exactly in line with what he was doing last year when he had a 2.25 ERA in 243 2/3 IP. And, if anything, he’s actually pitching better this year, lowering his walk rate from 2.4 to 1.7. For whatever reason, he seems to stay out of the conversation for the best pitchers in the major leagues, but yesterday he took on Max Scherzer (4 2/3 IP, 5 ER) and took a hammer to it all. A hammer to it all! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

George Springer will miss six weeks with a broken wrist. I find in these times of sadness it’s best to turn to the ones you love, your family. But it’s also important to not forget why you were sad either, so you don’t lose perspective. So print out pictures of Springer’s face and paste them to your wife, kids and dog’s faces. See, aren’t you glad you have family. It’s that kind of moral support that one needs at a time like this. If they don’t allow you to paste pictures on their face, you can leave your family or paste it on their faces while they’re asleep. Fun Fact! I always fall asleep during the movie While You Were Sleeping. Power of suggestion? Perhaps. This is obviously terrible news for Springer’s owners, and I wouldn’t get too cutesy with trying to trade for him on the cheap in redraft leagues. Wrist injuries can be tricky to rock around, it’s right on time, they’re tricky. Oh, oh, oh, they’re tricky! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Dude’s on fire. No. Need better! He is a high-speed torrent download of a yule log burning. Need better! He is Smokey the Bear at a Porno for Pyros concert, wearing earbuds and listening to Firestarter by Prodigy. Need better still! He’s a pyrotechnician smacking a sparkler out of your hand and giving you instead the detonator for the Statue of Liberty’s 4th of July celebration fireworks. Yesterday, Mitch Moreland went 2-for-3 with 4 RBIs and his 13th and 14th homers, and now has five homers in four games and six homers in six games. I already told you yesterday that Moreland has been better than Brandon Belt, Lucas Duda and Brandon Moss, and some other corner infidels, according to our Player Rater. That’s on the year, not in the last week. In the last week, Moreland’s been better than everyone. Let’s take a hootie-hoo at who Moreland has more homers than on the year: Prince Fielder, Beltre (not close), Adam Jones, Big Papi, Tommy Tomstein, Freeman, Yoenis, Billy McDugal, Kris Bryant, Tulo, McClutchin and Sandoval. Sure, some of those guys I only named to rub salt in my own wounds — I hate you, Sandoval! — and other guys I mentioned don’t even exist, but Mitch don’t kill my vibe for the better part of the season now, and, if he’s available, I’d grab him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Masahiro Tanaka hit the DL with a strained forearm. It’s not related to his partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. So, here’s my question? Why not just play through the forearm strain too? That’s where he draws the line? It’s like, “I was fine sleeping with my wife’s sister, and having a baby with her that no one knows about, and plotting to kill my wife on a weekend jaunt to Mexico, but I will not jaywalk. Those people in New York are crazy!” You have nothing to lose, Tanaka, get in there and shank someone in the yard and Hacky Sack the ball to the plate! The Yankees haven’t announced how long Tanaka will be out, but maybe they’ll try to sneak in Tommy John surgery while he’s sleeping. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Last night, Mat Latos looked like he was headed for the Disgraceful List. He didn’t fool anyone. I didn’t say he didn’t fool any hitters because he was facing the Braves, they don’t have any hitters besides Freeman. After giving up seven runs, he didn’t get out of the first inning, replaced by Brad Hand. Here’s some tweets Dallas Latos wanted to write, “Keep pitching like that and Hand will replace me too.” “My third collagen injection blew up less than you.” “I knew I should’ve slept with Cueto.” In the preseason, I should’ve dropped Latos in my rankings when Rudy wrote his warnings. I screwed up. I did mention last week about staying away from him, but it was likely too little, too Latos for most of you. I think you could likely sell very low right now — like for a Brain Freeze closer — and still be happy just to get Latos off your team because he looks like Latoast. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Dustin Pedroia will hit you two homers (3-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) and then run out after the game to help hawk papers, “Extr-ee, extr-ee, read all about it!” “Keep the change, kid.” “Thanks, mister!” While Pedroia sold Boston Heralds on the corner, Hanley Ramirez (also homered twice; 2nd one was a grand slam; 2-for-4, 2 runs, 5 RBIs) was tricked into a youth-rejuvenating oxygen chamber by piping in the smell of roasted pig. All the Red Sox did was put a game-used Sandoval jersey over a fan. Buncha tricksters! Or maybe that’s trickstahs in Boston. Also homering yesterday was Mookie Betts (2-for-4, 2 runs). Well, in this game. In other games, everyone homered at least once. If your fantasy team didn’t hit at least three homers yesterday, check again, you might’ve been accidentally looking at your fantasy football team. New commissioner-slash-new-step-dad, Rob Manfred, wants your love and if that means using juiced balls and no curfews, so be it! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Out on the road today, I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac, and the illustration next to it was Salvador Perez’s abuelita. A little voice inside my head said, “Don’t look back. You can never look back.” I thought I knew what love was. I owned Javier Baez in every league I could grab him, but what did I know? Those minor league days are gone forever. He’s got to let them go! I can see you, Baez, your brown skin shinin’ in the sun. You got your hair combed back and your sunglasses on, baby. And I can tell you, my love for you will still be strong. Not Giancarlo strong, but strong never the hoo! Baez’s minor league numbers are eye-popping like John Lithgow in The Twilight Zone Movie — 23 homers, 16 steals and a .260 average in only 104 games. What are you? A 35/25 guy at shortstop? Why stop there? Why not just dress up like the Sun-Maid girl and feed me shrunken grapes? What? It’s my fantasy! Like Don Henley and later The Ataris sang, I grabbed Baez in every league that I could. He might not be any better than, say, Danny Santana this year, his K-rate in the minors is a little scary, and he might hit .220. Whatevs, it’s an upside gamble, which I like at middle infield. I’m guessing Baez will play 2nd base, Arismendy (I still love you!) will move to center field and one of the Cubs platooners will sit. To paraphrase Harry Caray, if the moon was made of Javier Baez would cha eat it? Well, would cha? I would! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As I type this, I’m in a small, but expected depression as a disgruntled Mets fan living in Minnesota after today’s non-waiver trade deadline. In the middle of thermal packaging related activities, I saw deal and deal and deal swing by. All I get from both the teams that I follow most? A Kurt Suzuki extension. Oye. All that did was disgruntle me more, as I like Josmil Pinto quite a bit. I figured at least Bartolo Colon would get traded for some PTBL or a BoB (bucket o’ balls). Ah well.

On the other hand, if you’re a Tigers fan (I’m not a bandwagon A’s fan until the Mets are good, I decided today), you must be pretty excited. Drew Smyly wasn’t as dominating as a starter and Austin Jackson continued to short-come expectations. Instead you have an second ace, and can now appropriately consider Justin Verlander your number 3 or 4 or 5. [Jay’s Note: Or playoff closer?] Verlander has not been good, but he’s also been almost as unlucky as he’s been bad, or he’s hurt and isn’t saying anything/doesn’t know it.

July 1st, I noted the luckiest pitchers to date, but the one thing I didn’t do at that time was look at the pitcher’s luck/bad luck relative to their career rates. So for this post, for luck, I z-scored each pitcher’s luck stats relative to their career stats (homerun to flyball ratio, left on base% and BABIP). I weighed each z-score by the stats correlation to ERA. Therefore the luckies pitchers (using luck alone and excluding skill) as of 7/27 is: Josh Beckett, Jake Arrieta, Collin McHugh, Scott Kazmir, Garrett Richards, Zach Britton, Jordan Lyles, Drew Pomeranz, Dellin Betances, Alfredo Simon and Danny Duffy. Chris Young, Jason Hammel and Jesse Chavez (update: both Hammel and Chavez were rocked in their last start). However, this all excludes skill (contact rate, strikeout% minus walk% and ground ball to flyball ratio). Incorporating this, here are the actual luckiest pitchers as of 7/27:

Please, blog, may I have some more?