It’s the 4th of July everybody and life is good. You’re probably spending your day with loved ones grilling, drinking, swimming, and reminding yourself why you hate your cousin Gary. Pretentious prick! Do I really care that you do Andrew W.K’s taxes? Do we always have to listen to “Let’s Get The Party Started” at every July 4th pool party? Oh BTW your wife Cheri propositions me every time we’re alone. What can I say she wants the Lifshitz naknik. Enough about me I mean you, yes you. This in no way bears any resemblance to my life. I don’t even have a cousin Gary! In fact if you’re here reading this then you probably have no friends or family and more than likely own cats or have dead bodies in your basement. It’s cool I’m not going to say anything. So I know the question on everyone’s mind “Ralph you’re rambling what’s the theme this week?” Well it’s the 4th of July. So that’s my theme, 4th of July’s of Lifshitz past. So each tier will include an offbeat story about my Independence Day misadventures. No these misadventures will not feature Will Smith, Bill Pullman, or aliens. Or will they? Week 14 Two Start Pitchers are upon us….

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Kennys Vargas was demoted to Double-A. Shouldn’t it be Double-Kenny? It’s official, the Twins hate Vargas. They gave him all of about ten days to prove himself this time around. Maybe they just get off on killing Kennys. Oh, well, that’s all I wanted to say in the lede. Nothing else. Just gonna pick my cuticles until I get to that “Anyway, here’s what else” jazz that I always write. Oh, I guess I could mention Miguel Sano is being called up. I buried the lede worse than Kendall Graveman! First Buxton and now Sano, this is the most excitement Minnesota’s seen since Prince was spotted at a Cold Stone Creamery ordering raspberry sorbet, and, without missing a beat, the cashier said, “And if it was warm, you’d order much more,” then high-fived his oblivious co-worker. I just gave you my Miguel Sano fantasy. I wrote it with an 80’s glam Sharpie. I’ll add one thing to that. Grab him right now! He could hit .180 with power or he could hit .250 with power, but, either way, at corner infidel, you do worse, as my Jewish grandmother would say. After saying, “Oy, it’s hot in here.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The election for the Sons of Sam Horn government would be an ever-evolving oligarchy. David Ortiz (1-for-3) would be the honorary Papi emeritus, Dustin Pedroia would be the Secretary of Sparky Anklebiters, Alejandro De Aza (2-for-4, 1 run, 3 RBIs) would be a stunt double in case of an assassination attempt, Pablo Sandoval (2-for-4, 2 runs) would be the ambassador to the International House of Pancakes, Wade Miley (6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 4.88) would be in charge of the Armed Farces and the election for president would be a popularity contest between Brock Holt (4-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 2nd homer, hitting .309) and Mookie Betts (3-for-5, 2 runs, 1 RBI) after Jackie Bradley Jr. was told to take a walk. For a half season last year, Holt hit .327 with three homers and six steals. So, he’s done this over an extended period of time before, and yesterday was the first day the Red Sox really have looked themselves all year, so I highly doubt Holt will fall much lower than the two hole in the lineup any time soon. If he’s available in your league, I’d definitely grab him. Brock Holt! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Son of a plumber, the real American dream has returned for another week of two start scrutiny. I’m here to do the dirty work. I drop the bionic elbow on your dome to enlighten you to the two start knowledge that I possess. I’ve seen hard times recently, and it’s due to Rick Flair, Nate Karns, Mike Foltynewicz, and Tom Cruise! You don’t know what hard times are Daddy! Hard times is when the factory workers are out of work and got 4 or 5 kids. Hard times are when the Auto Workers are out of work! Hard times are when a man who’s worked at a company for 30 years gets a watch and gets told a computer can do his job! Hard times Daddy! I’ve been stuck in hard times. Well screw Mike Foltynewicz until he tricks me into believing in him again. We’re back this week and it’s no holds barred we’re taking the folding chairs out of the front row and fighting dirty. We’re going with the theme of 1980’s and early 90’s wrestling. This is pretty much the last time I watched wrestling. They ruined it with all the complex storylines and other non-sense. Remember when it was just sort of some meaningless beef and you got to watch them duke it out on Saturday morning? In my humble opinion it was the best it ever was, but what do I know?

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Member how I was saying yesterday that I owned Zack Cozart in multiple leagues, and he was a top five shortstop this year on our Player Rater, but I didn’t really appreciate him? Do I even need to tell you what happened next? Can you guess? If you hold your ear to the computer, does it help you guess? Cozart lunged for the 1st base bag as he was going down the line, hyperextended his knee and is headed to the DL. Einstein was right, “Absence does make the heart grow fonder.” Or maybe that was Peabo Bryson. I always confuse those two on attributing quotes. It’s usually one or the other. Was it Peabo Bryson who did the theory of relativity? Why can’t I spell genius without spellchecker? Questions for another day. One potential fill-in is Ivan De Jesus (1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 2nd homer). De Jesus now has homers in two of three games, that’s twice as many homers as his dad had in his final 600 plate appearances. With Cozart out for who knows how long, De Jesus Jr., or as Christians and Nike marketers like to call him Lil’ Jesus, could be the shortstop, but so could Kris Negron (1-for-4). Negron, please! If it’s Lil’ Jesus, well, it’s worse than Negron, please! Lil’ Jesus doesn’t have much power or speed, while Negron, please, at least swiped 30+ bags one year in the minors. Neither are advisable outside of NL-Only leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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This was just announced by the Yankees’ front office. “No Yankee will ever wear the last Monday of May on their jersey. 5/25-5/31 will all be retired. We dedicate this to all the Yankees who served honorably on federal holidays.” When asked why Memorial Day and not Veteran’s Day, the Yankees’ brass said their roster celebrates Veteran’s Day every day. The Yankees exploded for 14 runs yesterday on five home runs as Jeremy Guthrie (1 IP, 11 ER) got Vin Mazzacred! Chase Headley went 3-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 6th homer as Headley helped *pinkie to mouth* Chase! Guthrie. In the 1st inning, Brian McCann got into the action (1-for-3, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) with his 5th homer as he put up the bangfizzle, Stephen Drew added his one hit in five at-bats, his 5th homer, and, because Guthrie was doing a special Memorial Day giveaway with homers going to the first seven batters in attendance, even Slade Heathcott (2-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) got into the action, hitting his 1st homer, and Slade Heathcott is merely just a name spit out by the Preppie Name Generator. But the one I really want to talk about after this clunky sentence intro is Brett Gardner (2-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 4th homer, hitting .285 and has 12 steals). Gardner gives you around the stats you were hoping to get from Jacoby Ellsbury, and at a fraction of the draft day cost. To quote Fonzie’s horse, nay! It’s not just Gardner’s draft day cost, he’s still likely cheap as dog balls to acquire in a trade. Everyone on the Yankees gets overrated, but somehow Gardner never does. Weird and interesting and everything you could want from a novel you find tucked away in someone else’s beach blanket that you steal. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Sorry my loyal musicfiles, but this week I’ve moved on from our weekly music discussion mixed in with some fantasy baseball edu-ma-cation, to a weekly discussion of my favorite of all foods….the all-mighty fast food cheeseburger.  I’m guessing regular commenter Happy Vegans will have to talk about boca burgers or something made of grass.  Sorry homie, your avatar still has a rocking stache.  Take solace in that.  Either way we’ll once again awkwardly navigate our way through the two-start pitching options for the week and mix in some auxiliary discussion of the delicious, greasy, delicacy we call the cheeseburger.  If you’re kosher remove the cheese, cool?  Looking forward, we have some seriously tasty doubles piled up in the top tiers this week and some dollar menu values spread across the middle tiers where streamers are to be had in super-sized portions.  Some one and done guys that might be In N Out of your lineup depending on the matchup.  There’s also a whole lot more garbage in a bag then there has been in previous weeks…. I know, I know, I’m so topical I should be an ointment!  Quite a few streamers I like this week, one in particular is Mariners Lefty Roenis Elias.  Over his last 15 starts dating back to last July Elias’ ERA is 2.48 with a 7.78 k/9, 3.56 BB/9, and a .65 HR/9.  His pheriperals scream regression (3.71 FIP, 4.02 xFIP, 1.36 WHIP), but they don’t scream awful either.  His control has improved this season and he’s faced some solid lineups thus far in Minnesota, Baltimore, and Houston.  Roenis is slated to go against two clubs this week that are middle of the road when it comes to hitting lefties, in the Rays and Indians.  But I like his chances to continue his string of quality starts.  Now that’s a tasty burger!

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Victor Martinez hit the DL. I told you he was overrated in the preseason, but rather than just say I told you so, let’s tell you exactly what I told you, “Wah-wah. Sad trombone. ‘Those aren’t pillows!’ Or whatever signal you want for a reversal from good to bad. That was what I heard when it was announced that Victor Martinez had a torn meniscus, which reminds me of a conversation I had when calculators were first introduced in 1961 and I had to abandon my loyalty to my other counting device, screaming, “I’m torn, abacus!” I got sad when Martinez was hurt, not because I wanted to draft him and now he had an injury. I was saddened because now I figured my ranking of him in the 110’s wouldn’t be as low as other ‘perts. You know, they’d hear this news and lower him. Much to my surprise, I overestimated the rest of the ‘pert world. They still have him ranked 75 overall on average. *scratches head* You know, head scratching really doesn’t help one understand anything, which sounds like a line from C.J. Wilson’s latest dandruff commercial. CBS has V-Mart ranked 15th overall. I’m not even joking. I wish I were. “Your final wish is granted.” No, Genie in a Bottle, it’s a figure of speech! Okay, it looks like CBS has changed his ranking slightly, that ranking was before the knee surgery. Stupid, wish-taking Genie! Martinez is still ranked way too high, and it has nothing to do with the surgery.” And that’s me quoting me! See, I told you I told you so. This will likely be a nice boost in playing time for Anthony Gose and Rajai Davis, the King of SAGNOF and his Golden Gose. Also, hitting the DL is Corey Dickerson with his plantar fasciitis, a garden variety injury. This helps Drew Stubbs see playing time, but takes him away from his BBQ sauce manufacturing. While the Rockies are home, I’d give Stubbs a shot. Martinez and Dickerson share something in injury; these aren’t ailments that DL stints are going to fix. These will linger all year and I would sell low on both guys. Sorry to bum you out, unless Evan Gattis is reading. He can bum out all on his own. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Maybe I shamed the Marlins into caring about their bullpen. Maybe I’m just like my mother, she’s never satisfied. Why do we scream at Steve Cishek? This is what it sounds like, when fantasy baseballers cry! Damn, I’ll never get sick of Prince. Well, except when I have to rely on him to hit homers from my 1st base slot. As they removed Cishek from the closer role, the Marlins said, “Shrek has done a tremendous job for us, but at the end of the day, it’s about winning games.” They call Cishek Shrek? Is that so the 12-year-old Yelich isn’t scared to room with him? Holy cow, have you seen Cishek?! He looks like he could be Yelich’s younger brother! Do the Marlins pay their prospects in Girl Scout cookies? Does the team bus have to wait an extra five minutes every day so they can finish their paper route? Are Yelich and Cishek extras from the off-Broadway adaption of Drake & Josh? I have questions, y’all! So, Cishek is not only out, but looks like a flaming Pu-Pu Platter. I’d grab A.J. Ramos immediately, stash Mike Dunn and Bryan Morris and would even look at Rafael Soriano, since the Marlins said they might sign him. Oh, and once Henderson Alvarez returns, there’s speculation Tom Koehler could close. A Koehlser?! In other words, this shituation is a closerousel, so hold on for your life. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Another week of two-start pitchers and another music focused theme to guide you in your conquests. Wait that sounded sexual, you’re not trying to sleep with two start pitchers right?  I mean it’s fine if you do this is a judgement free zone, but I wanted to be clear about my usage of conquests.  I don’t want to start showing up for searches based around jersey chasing.  Then my comments might be questions like “What’s the best type of underwear to wear when trying to seduce Max Scherzer?”.  Jesus, how did I get here?  I just want to talk a little 90’s grunge and throw a few stats at you.  Stream of conscious writing isn’t for everyone.  Let’s put aside my ramblings for a moment and get into the meat of this sandwich shall we?  Anyone see the Kurt Cobain documentary “Montage of Heck”?  I watched it three times this week and was reminded of how much I loved Nirvana as a 10 year old Ralph.  For anyone that’s a Nirvana fan it’s a worthy take.  So thanks to the film and last week’s spirited music debate in the comments I’ve been inspired to base this week’s tiers on my favorite groups from the Seattle Grunge scene.  Hell it’s probably the last good thing to come out of Seattle. I see you Tehol.

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