It’s deja vu all over again. It was almost a year ago that Tim Lincecum threw a no hitter vs. the Padres. Only thing better would be if they both came on 4/20. After the game, Lincecum said, “I felt unstoppable the whole game. Even if something was hit, I felt like there was a giant baseball mitt in the outfield,” then seeing the giant baseball mitt sculpture in AT&T Park’s outfield, Lincecum slowly looked around to see if anyone else saw what he did, then said, “Dude,” five or six times, then refused to answer any more questions. The Padres are a team that could be no-hit any time they step on the field, so, in some ways, they fulfilled their destiny yesterday. What’s the difference between the Padres bats and Tony Gwynn? I remember when Tony Gwynn was alive. “Dude, seriously, do you see that giant mitt?” Yes, Lincecum, leave us alone. In the game following Lincecum’s no-hitter last year, he threw three and two-thirds innings and gave up eight runs, so, while this was a nice game, I wouldn’t go thinking Lincecum is suddenly the pitcher he was in his Cy Young years. A paranoid Lincecum runs by, “There’s a giant mitt out there!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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King Hodor of the House of Hodor. First of his Hodor. Long may he Hodor.

At this point, there appear to be more trades occurring after the July 31st deadline. In fact, just yesterday, Mike Morse was acquired by the Orioles, Jason Kubel was acquired by the Indians, and, as you may or may not have realized yet, John Axford and his, well, what ever you call the things he grows on his face, has been acquired by Ozark nation. Which, if you don’t know the area, is known for abandoned El Caminos and the second highest murder rate in the nation, next to Detroit. Err, Detroit, the RoboCop version. What’s the fantasy impact? I’m sure glad I just asked myself that question. Mike Morse’s situation changes a bit, a better hitting environment and a better lineup could lead to some stat boosting. Jason Kubel, well, he remains the same. Insignificant. Frankly, I don’t even understand the move, since the Indians are already paying for a player (cough, Mark Reynolds, cough) that’s doing better right now, yet plays for the Yankees. Ballsy strategy if you ask me. And then there’s John Axford. I’ll be honest, since I lie all the time I guess, the impact here is not much, if anything. But I do like Axford drinking the same water those other Cardinal pitchers are drinking, and would not be surprised if his situation improves next year. So keep a look out. Here’s what else I noticed yesterday…

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Fact: Ron Washington is a giver.

MLBtraderumors found a reason to stay significant post-trade deadline yesterday, and now it’s official — Alex Rios has been traded to the Rangers for Leury Garcia. Who? Basically. (To be fair, he does have some speed, but the hit tool is a bit lacking. So close, yet Profar. HUUUUR.) You can check on the complete, gory details here. But don’t complain about the lack of gore. So, what’s the fantasy impact here? No, silly, I’m not asking you. Unless you know the answer, then by all means, go for it. You can’t tell, but I waited a good five minutes. Thanks for nothing. Allow me. While U.S. Cellular Field can be homer happy, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington is right behind in offensive park factors. I do prefer the Texas lineup, so a boost in projected runs and RBI’s may occur. Grey projected a 37/10/30/.284/14 line for him in the second half, and while Rios has gotten off to a slow start, these are still achievable numbers if going into a playoff situation can get some of those juices flowing. Or there might not be any juices. I am unaware of Rios’ juice levels. But let’s hope its cranberry. Because that’s my favorite juice. Honestly, it’s just really hard to tell if a player is going to pull a CC Sabathia or Ryan Ludwick. Overall though, I don’t see a huge change in the dynamic, but there’s certainly nothing to complain about. Here’s what else I noticed yesterday…

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We’ve reached it folks, the All-Star break. Though not really the halfway point of the season, it’s a good time to assess our teams and start thinking about how to make the final push for championship glory. Use this in tandem with Grey’s list of top-100 for the second half. I’m writing this assuming Grey is writing his. While Grey is quite the dependable guy, I don’t fully trust that mustache. Shhh. Wait, is it staring at me? Quick, hide! Does it see me? I think it hears us. I’m getting the ef out of here bro. You go left, I’ll go right. If I don’t ever see you again, let Grey know that Braun has a great line of shavers and trimmers, as stated here.

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Looks like Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez are doing the DL Time Warp aaaaaagain. Then they started screaming for Dexter Fowler to do the DL Time Warp aaaaaagain. It’s just a dive to the left, a foul ball to the right, put your hands on your hips and yell, “Ow, that smarts!” Let’s do the DL Time Warp aaaaaagain. Let’s do the DL Time Warp aaaaaagain. You feel your knee get tight. You can’t make a pelvic thrust. Owning these guys really drives you insane. Let’s do the DL Time Warp aaaaaagain. As of right now, CarGo’s day-to-day after being pulled from the game with a bruised ankle after taking a foul ball off it from Pacheco. I’ve seen that game on Price is Right and don’t recall “Knock A Top 10 Hitter Out Of The Game” as one of the outcomes. Fowler’s day-to-day with a bruised finger after a poor attempt at a bunt. Using salt instead of sugar is also a poor attempt for a bundt. We’ll see on him. Meanwhile, Tulo’s got a broken rib. Shocker! Hopefully, he remembered his DL stamp card. He’s expected to miss 4-6 weeks. That’s two months in Tulo time. Hey, I told you to sell him. Of course, he’s hurt. When isn’t he hurt? Doode’s a joke. He broke a rib diving for a ball. Are you Mr. Glass? Sorry, if I’m not terribly sympathetic because this means… Josh Rutledge is back! The Rockies beat writer, who doesn’t write about beats, rhymes & life, but about baseball, said Rutledge was hitting the melons out baseballs down in Triple-A. I say he should’ve never been sent down! Walt Weiss thinks his team would be better with eight Brendan Ryans. Weiss should be the fielding coach for the Padres. Well, whatever, he sucks. Now, go pick up Rutledge! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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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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Jedd Gyorko wins 2nd base job, yay says fantasy baseballers and Richard Kelly. The next thing you know, ol’ Jedd will head off to Beverly, Hills that is. On road trips to Los Angeles. Or Magic Johnson will just give him $100 million to sit next to Dee Gordon and Ryu. “You use your free tickets yet to see Jack the Giant Slayer at Magic Johnson theaters?” That’s Ryu talking to Gordon. They’re good friends. So, Gyorko is reportedly the new 2nd baseman in San Diego. I say bravo to the Friars. In one week, a new Pope and a new 2nd baseman. What did you do this week? Stretch your Sunday meal out into Thursday? Nice work! This might be the Year of the Snake, but it’s the week of the Gyorko, after mentioning him already three times. The hype’s been building in my pants for a while. Did I just say in my pants? No, I don’t think I did, but this post is a locomotive that can’t be stopped. In November, I wrote a Jedd Gyorko fantasy. There, I said I’d be surprised if he didn’t start the year in the majors. *shrugs, combs mustache, waits for balloons to fall from ceiling* I wrote that shizz in November! Okay, no ceiling balloons, fine. Blowing a frickin’ noisemaker wouldn’t hurt you. Gyorko has been a beast through the minors, and should hit in the majors + Petco = Linda Ronstadt. Wow, my math was way off there. It was supposed to equal a 2nd baseman with upside. Since I figured Gyorko would be in the majors to start the year, his projections were already in my top 400 for 2013 fantasy baseball, but I did move him up in the top 20 2nd basemen and top 20 3rd basemen posts. I almost moved Jedd up even further, but Petco and cold sores from previous bouts of rookie nookie kept him in the early 200′s overall range. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2013 fantasy baseball:

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Gird your loins – we’re going to be navigating positions battles in each division. Today I’m talking about the NL Central, which loses the Astros this year, so you can basically knock off five wins from each team’s 2012 win total. It feels like this could be a close race for the first couple months until the Reds replace Dusty’s toothpick with bubblegum at the trade deadline. There’s also a good amount of both young and rebound pitchers spread out across the division, so this could be a boon for late round draft picks in mixed leagues. Am I telling you to draft a pitching staff solely from the NL Central? Those are your words, not mine. Although I kind of wish they had been my words (you quick thinker, you). You can also read about the position battles for the NL East and the AL Central. Anyway, here are some of the position battles to watch in the NL Central:

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That title is lifted from Jimmy Dickens’ A Tale of Three Cities, the younger brother’s blatant ripoff of the classic novel.  For what Jimmy Dickens lacked in originality, he made up with his ability to avoid cholera and scurvy.  His brother, Charles, used to say it was because Jimmy was the rat spreading the dreaded disease.  

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