As we always do about this time!  *beat drops, Grey does the worm, Grey’s iPhone alarm goes off, time to put more money in the meter*  Damn, how long was I worming for?  September 1st hits and teams expand their rosters to the Four-Oh.  Now pour some extra bullpen guys out for all the dead moments between pitcher changes.  So, what does this mean for all of us, fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!)?  It means call-ups and rookie nookie is aplenty.  Aplenty, I tell ya!  By the by, for big boned people, rather than an X-Large t-shirt, they should call them aplen-Tees.  Yeah, I just made the English language better.  High-five yourself for even knowing to read me.  *Grey worms, alarm goes off*  Damn, I need to get more coins.  At this point in the year, you need guys that are getting everyday playing time, so I’m pumped up the jam on Javier Baez (0-for-4) being called up — Javier Na Gila! — but if he’s not playing every day, he’s not helping me in redraft leagues.  I’m intrigued by Brandon Drury (0-for-4), but I’m also hesitant if he doesn’t play every day.  Hector Olivera (0-for-4) was called up, and I’ve already gave you my Hector Olivera fantasy and I do think he plays every day.  It’s a most exciting time to be alive and be fantasy balling, but don’t lose sight of the real goal here.  To get quality at-bats from guys that are playing, not to pick up a guy that will be great in 2016.  (Unless you’re in a keeper league; then, by all means, knock yourself out!  Not literally!  Ouch.)  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Papelbon, your new Nationals closer

Maybe the worst thing to happen on the trade deadline was something that didn’t happen.  Carter Capps to the Yankees would have been stupendous.  I wanted to see the media and baseball people lose their mind over Capps’ delivery and I think that’s exactly what would have happened had he ended up there.  But the thing that really has fantasy baseball managers in a tizzy is Jonathan Papelbon to the Washington Nationals.  As their closer.  (Yeah this old news, Grey and Smokey already beat me to Paplebon/Nationals puns.  Whatever.)  Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard, Joakim Soria and Jim Johnson are out of their closing job but jobs were created in the form of Ken Giles, Edward Mujica, Alex Wilson, and Arodys Vizcaino.  Now some of us might still be scrambling for players that can get some saves.  Well the Rockies have a closer spot up for grabs.  It sure took long enough, but this is something I’ve been saying would happen since Axford took that role.  Justin Miller, Rafael Betancourt, and Tommy Kahnle are the candidates to close there and that’s the order I would own them in.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Who is the Dodgers ace?” asks the Fox Sports newscaster in Los Angeles, after the special report on “Where are the stars shopping for their Emmy gowns?” and “Juicing? Is it good for you?” and “A high-speed pursuit ends in an In-N-Out drive-thru,” and “Actresses over 24 years old may not be washed up after all,” and “Shopkeeper puts up sign to ‘Vote Republican’ and gets looted.” So, who is the Dodgers ace? On Saturday, Clayton Kershaw went 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners with 14 Ks, ERA down to 2.68. My Magic Eight Ball says this is the year the Dodgers hop on Kershaw’s back, march through the playoffs and justify every crackers move Mattingly’s done in his managerial career. Sometimes knowing the future really bums me out. Not to be outdone, on Sunday, Zack Greinke went 8 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners with 11 Ks, and lowered his ERA to 1.30. Soon he won’t be able to lower his ERA anymore (math is my strong suit). I’m totally done doubting Greinke…or am I?! No, not the ellipsis reversal! Ah! As I ranked in the top 100 for the 2nd half, Kershaw is way above Greinke in terms of, well, everything. Greinke is also not a 1.30 ERA pitcher, but no one really is, except maybe Kershaw. Greinke is definitely a number one though; this isn’t all luck. He has a 8+ K/9, 1.4 BB/9 and 3.05 xFIP, which is essentially nice, aw sooky, nice. A “nice aw sooky” sandwich, if you will. Then there’s the fact that Greinke hasn’t allowed a run in 43 2/3 IP. Orel Hershiser doesn’t scoff at that, maybe he yawns, then does a small double take when no one is looking. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So with the festivities of All-Stardom concluding, thus comes the second half.  It’s an inevitable thing, you eat half a cookie the other half remains.  So this week I am going to run down a list of the closers for the remainder of season.  So sorry for not doing salads with donkeys this week, I felt this was more noteworthy since we are about two weeks from the trade deadline in real and fake baseball life (in some leagues).  The closer rankings that I came up with will be based off of a few things: saves (no durrr), team success, likely hood to remain a closer, and peripheral stats.  So we lump all those together and we get the ROS STSLRCPS.  Which basically looks like a pretty good scrabble deck.  Bare with me, it’s a busy time of year, and for those in the know, Fantasy Soccer is live and in full effect.  Go check it out, it’s fantasy baseball with an accent.  So now onto the closer ranks for the rest of the 2015 campaign…

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?

With three full months of baseball left to be played, a third horse may be emerging in the race for the first Razznasty dynasty league crown. R’azbahl Al Ghul has made solid win-now pickups and finds himself gaining some ground on the two frontrunners – Hannibal Montana and J-FOH. This month saw a group of about five or six teams ping-ponging around behind the leaders, but it’s been Ghul who has come out of June with sole possession of third place. Here is what else is happening around the league – including full standings, trades, and our league’s FAAB report…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Chi Chi Gonzalez went 7 IP, 1 ER, 11 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 0.42. Hey, Major League Baseball retired that number! If this pitching thing ever stops working out for Gonzalez, he can go into Eastern medicine, and open a clinic called Chi Chi’s. Or a tea shop called Chai Chi. Or a tea shop where all the workers are dressed in karate apparel called Chai Tai Chi. Or how about a karate, Eastern medicine clinic that serves tea called Chai Tai Chi Chi’s? Or how about a Mexican restaurant called Chi-Chi’s? Or how about a karate, Eastern medicine clinic that serves tea and Mexican food called Chai Tai Chi Chi Chi-Chi’s? I can keep going. So what’s the deal deal with Chi Chi? He had a 5.4 K/9 in Triple-A with a 4 BB/9. I don’t even know why he was called up let alone has done so well. Sure, he gets ground balls, but how big is Elvis Andrus’s mitt? Seventeen feet wide and twenty feet long? I mean, this is ridiculous. Through three games started in the majors, he has a 3.3 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9. Hahahahaha…Breathe, Grey, breathe! I almost lost it there. Wow, is that silly. So, Chi Chi has been cha-ching, but if I owned him, I’d cash out my Chi Chi chips. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When Chris Heston entered the 1st inning and said, “Keep your stupid bats off my pitches, you damn dirty Mets,” we should’ve known we were in for a historic night. Or at least a histrionic one. I was between Mike Foltynewicz (5 2/3 IP, 5 ER) and Heston to stream yesterday, and, well, you can imagine who I went with. What’s wrong with me, Dr. Zaius? Dr. Zaius, Dr. Zaius, Dr. Zaius, Dr. Zaius, Dr. Zaius, Dr. Zaius, ooooooooh, Dr. Zaius. Help me, Dr. Zaius! Yesterday, Heston pitched a no hitter against the Mets, striking out eleven, and just missed a perfect game, due to hitting three batters. Those batters Heston plunked likely critiqued his acting in Soylent Green or supported the Brady Handgun Bill. After this game, Heston’s numbers look like a fantasy #2 (8 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 3.21 xFIP), but, since he throws around 89 MPH, I’d limit his exposure against tougher hitting teams on the road. Obviously, he’s worth owning. On a concluding note, I hate every streamer I see, from streamer A to Chumpanzee. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Thank you, Jesus Guzman! Or Jesus Alou or Jesus Colome or David DeJesus or whatever baseball Jesus you pray to! Anthony Rendon was activated! “Hello, God, it’s me Grey. I have no more requests…Well, maybe one more. Could you allow Rendon to hit? Okay, you being such a literal God will prolly take that to mean, he’ll get at-bats and ground out. I mean, can you allow him to hit for a high average, some power, some speed and just be better than Logan Forsythe? I’ll take my answer off the air.” Honestly, I have no idea what to expect from Rendon. Some players — Josh Hamilton comes to mind — get countless injury updates from the media no matter how small the news. I feel like with Rendon it’s been radio silence since he was DL’d. Every few weeks there would be a ‘playing in rehab games’ update, but very little else. So, the realistic side of me wants to think he’s going to struggle like it’s spring training for him. The fanboy side of me thinks he’s gonna hit a zillion homers and steal a trillion bases and make everything right. Likely, he’ll be about as good as Yunel, but, due to his name recognition, will soothe my middle infidel nerves for a few weeks. Yesterday, he went 2-for-4 and, well, he’s back, and that’s all that matters. Thank you, Jesus Montero! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Hello, this is the Liquid Paper corporate office. How may I direct your call?” “Well, I’m not sure, to be honest. I run this fantasy baseball blog and–” “You want marketing. I’ll direct your call.” “No! No, sorry, I don’t want marketing. See, I have this pitcher, Corey Kluber, and his stats are saying he’s doing one thing, but it’s all a mistake and I see a big correction coming and…” “You want shipping and orders?” “No, I don’t think I do. I’m not looking to purchase anything.” “Sir, I can’t hear you over your cackle. Is someone tickling you?” “I’m trying to get a pitcher to correct himself, and I thought corrective fluid could work. Maybe I’ll try R&D.” “Transferring you.” “This is R&D. How may I direct your call?” “I want to know how I can get Corey Kluber’s stats to reflect his ability.” “BABIP problems?” “Yes!” “Just have him strike out everyone, get out of the first inning without surrendering any runs, have Roberto Perez consult with Yan Gomes on a game plan, and trust his stuff.” “Thanks so much!” “Would you mind taking a quick survey after the call?” “Sorry, I don’t have time.” Yesterday, Kluber went 8 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, zero walks and 18 Ks. The best baseball fans are in St. Louis. At least when Kluber pitches to them! Hey, I told you to buy him about two weeks ago. Whether you did is on you. Now, please someone talk to Strasburg! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?