“Richards is talking to trainers but remains on back. Injury appears to be serious.” That’s how the news was tweeted out yesterday by the Angels beat writer. If Agatha Christie were around today, she’d adapt that tweet and name the novel, 140 Characters On A Train Wreck. Then it would be re-released after a train disaster with its new title, The Pitcher’s Trap. No matter the title, there was and will only be one antagonist, the Fantasy Baseball Overlord, who gets his jollies from the misery of fantasy baseballers. You sit on his lap; he says, “What do you want this season?” “A healthy pitcher.” “Ho, ho, ho, no.” Arm injury, oblique, hip impingement, parallel parking impingement because of a stupid cone, broken toe, Tommy John surgery, Tomas Juan surgery in Mexico, forearm strain and now a knee. The Angels best options are Wade “Joey” LeBlanc, Randy “Team Jacob” Wolf and Chris “Lord” Volstad. They are all horror shows. Mean’s while, it sounds like Garrett Richards will miss the remainder of the season, but hopefully will be fine for next year. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Chris Tillman went 8 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 9 Ks, lowering his ERA to 3.55 while dropping his 2nd half ERA to 2.14 in 46 1/3 IP. Still, the best thing about him is he doesn’t currently have a duet with Nicki Minaj on the radio. He’s the one person in the western hemisphere. You are so lucky, eastern hemisphere! Assuming you, Eastern Hemispherers, move to the western hemisphere in the next six months and don’t get all of our hand-me-down crap songs next. I lived in London in the fall of 1996, so I had a jumpstart on “Tell me what you want what you really want, what you really really want” by the Spice Girls, then when I moved back home, it just got here. I had a good solid 12 months straight of one stupid Spice Girls song. I called it A Clockwork Spice. Ready for me to tie this in? I bet you are! I was in on Tillman in the preseason the past two years, convinced he could make the jump to fantasy number two. I held him both years in the 1st half, as he got battered around, then in the 2nd half of both years after I dropped him, he buckled down and showed the kind of pitcher he can be. Unlike last year, his peripherals this year are pretty poor — 6.2 K/9, 3 BB/9, 4.31 xFIP. I’d definitely own him while he’s going well, but I don’t think he’s become anything more than a decent fantasy number four to five. Right now, he’s a Wannabe. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Low voice, “Wow.” Digs ditch, steps down, “Wow.” Need more emphasis. Buys a mini-excavator, consults with architects about installing a down escalator, begins construction, gets behind on schedule, fires a guy that smokes more than he digs, hires a foreman that seems like he knows what he’s doing, foreman runs off with money, tracks foreman down in Aruba hanging out with Andruw Jones, punches foreman, watches Andruw Jones make diving catch of forearm’s body, heads back to the States to oversee completion of down escalator, breaks champagne on escalator, travels down a full story and, “WOW!” Do you see what I go though to emphasize something for you? After Mike Fiers struck out 14 Cubs in 6 innings, he can have anything he wants. Sleep with my Cougs, she’s all yours! He now has a 1.29 ERA, a 10.3 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 after 21 IP, after blowing through the minor leagues with a 11.3 K/9. I grabbed him in one 12 team league and looked to pick him up in every league, but he wasn’t there. I forgot the most important lesson, you couldn’t get Michael Fiers if you were f***ing Michael Fiers! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Au Shucks, Au No, Au Crap, Au Whatever You Want To Say, it’s Au Not So Good. Au contraire mon frere, it’s auful. On Friday night, in a meaningless at-bat in a meaningless game in a meaningless season by the lowly Diamondbacks team, lowly’s meaning: less, Paul Goldschmidt entered the game as a pinch hitter and was plunked* (*trademark Eric Plunk), and now has a broken hand. Au, c’mon, can’t we have anything nice? Au, guys and four girls, it’s au so bad. Am I au right? Au, sadly no, I’m not au right; shizz has gone pear shape and au wrong. Maybe I shouldn’t have paid retail for this word ‘au;’ now I feel compelled to use it so auften. Aufortunately, Goldschmidt is droppable in redraft leagues. Here’s hoping he’s fine for next year. Au please. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Gerrit Cole, one of the better young pitchers in the game, landed on the DL Sunday with “right shoulder fatigue”.  What does this mean for the Pirates?  Well, they have been playing much, much better of late, and this is gonna put a wrench in their chances of making a run at first place in the division.  Yes, they are still eight games back, but with Gregory Polanco likely getting called up this week, if they had a push in them, now was the time they were going to have to make it.  Instead, 2013 All-Star Jeff Locke, who was so bad post-break that he finished the year in the minors, will fill the void left by Cole and his 6-3 record.

Fantasy baseball owners are also going to be affected by this.  The Pirates hope Cole will only miss one start, but this sounds like it could develop into a multi-week recovery.  Concern arose when Cole, who normally throws in the 95-98 MPH range, was showing decreased velocity in the mid- to-late innings of games.  Assuming the Bucs fall further out of contention, the team will be in no rush to bring back their 23-year-old stud.  For what it’s worth, the Reds’ Tony Cingrani landed on the DL in May for the same reason (left shoulder fatigue) and missed just the minimum time, but he hasn’t been good at all in the weeks since.  For now, fantasy owners will just have to stash Cole on their DL and hope for a speedy recovery.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On Tuesday, the Gods befriended my plans, making the only effect of scattered thunderstorms in the New York area a simple hour rain delay in the Yanks-A’s game. After that, it was a beautiful night for baseball. What began as an unexciting, low-scoring affair, ended in a thrilling come-from-behind, extra-inning A’s victory. Before the game, I was most looking forward to groovin’ to Josh Reddick’s walkup song “Careless Whisper”, and embarrassingly, it wasn’t until I was sitting in my seat and saw the lineups posted on the scoreboard that I remembered he was on the DL. No slow-dancing  for me tonight.

I highly encourage everyone to watch the full MLB video I linked to above about, what was at that time, Reddick’s new walk-up jam. For those of you who need the quick fix, here’s the payoff of the video.

From the professionalism of his attire, you get the sense he’s really letting loose in the moment. And then as soon as the music stops, his demeanor flashes instantly back to his normal stodgy self. This is purely speculation on my part, a modern version of the people-watch-and-invent-stories-of-their-lives game that can make any trip to a metropolitan area more interesting.

Anyhoo! Let’s get down to business with regards to Monday’s games…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Wil Myers was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his hand. Experts are saying, “Guess you shouldn’t have drafted him!” Those are experts in schadenfreude. Other experts are saying he should’ve been wearing iron gloves called járngreipr. But those experts are in Norse mythology. Then there’s experts that say when he was injured he should’ve been going for a Chocolate Silk Pie Blizzard, but those are experts in Dairy Queen. Are there any experts on injuries that weighed in?! Oh, here’s one that says he’ll have his cast removed in about 6 weeks and could return in August. Ugh. I think I need a Blizzard. In shallower leagues where DL spots are already filled, I could see dropping him. In one 15-team league, I’m holding him, but Taijuan Walker is about to come off the DL, so I have room. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“All this time, I had a dead possum on my head and I didn’t even realize it.” That was overheard recently by Selig. There should be a rule that anyone that can’t make the determination that their toupee is obvious to everyone should not be in any high-powered position. Rule number two: They should be able to hear. Or maybe he’s saying to an off-camera female reporter, “Where can I get one earring like that for this ear?” But since Selig can’t figure out the most-basic concepts, I’m going to break it down to him real simple as I did on yesterday’s Razzball TV on the Radio. How do people get excited about a particular day if no one knows when the hell that day is? Super Two status day is, um, well, no one has any idea! It changes for every player. A team could think they’re delaying it now and in two years realize they haven’t delayed it. Major League Baseball should say all rookies keep the extra year of eligibility if they stay down until May 31st. So this way everyone can focus on June 1st as the big day. Or make it June 5th. I don’t care, just make it one day so fans can get excited about a specific day. Like how there is a trading deadline. Any the hoo! For Jon Singleton, it’s irrelevant because the Astros gave him a contract and he will now be their starting 1st baseman. I already gave you my Singleton fantasy, it went like this, “Singleton was suspended for 50 games last year for smoking marijuana. Singleton wasn’t even tested until he kept forgetting the pitch count and called time out to grab some nachos. After his suspension, Singleton said, “I made an error in judgement. I should’ve cleansed by downing a 3-liter jug of cranberry juice rather than Nature’s Way Detox Tea. Damn you, Tommy Chong, for endorsing that inferior product!” Any self-respecting marijuana smoker will tell you that players aren’t suspended for DUIs but marijuana gets them… Then they trail off and their argument becomes less coherent and they’ll ask if they can borrow your Snuggie so they can take a nap. We should throw out his 2013 season. Who knows how long it took for him to return to form after his suspension. He’s still a prospect and only 22 years old. In 2012, Singleton hit 21 homers with 7 steals and a .284 average in 131 games. That’s more like what his minor league season should look like, and he does have 30-homer power, but won’t hit for a huge average. He strikes out too much. Singleton reminds me a lot of fellow Astro, Chris Carter. See, the truth is out there. Maybe Chris Carter and Jon Singleton can get together and make an X-Filez movie. Last year, Carter hit 29 homers and .223 with an insanely terrible 36.2% strikeout percentage. Singleton could do the same. More than likely, he won’t be quite that bad for average. Singleton could hit for the same amount of power and hit for a .260 average. Singleton will give you a line of 32/14/39/.258/4 and be up in June.” And that’s me quoting me! I’d grab him in every league for the chance for some sweet, sweet upside, and have already. Here’s hoping he can fill my giant gaping, Fielder-sized hole at 1st base. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Braves called Tommy La Stella up to replace Fuggla. Here’s what I said about a month ago, “Incredibly, we already had a Tommy La Stella fantasy post. Don’t you people sleep?! There, Dano compared him to Pedroia and not because he needs his tippy toes to get on a roller coaster. I think that comparison might be a tad bizzonkers. Or as the gentle fantasy writers of our day would say, “That’s a bit more bullish than I’d say.” Has any group of people said the word bullish more? This word feels like it’s dominating all fantasy conversations. It’s a polite way to say, someone is smoking more crack than another person. Of course, in a world of small sample sizes, anything could happen, but La Stellllllllllla looks like an NL-Only play with a chance for 5 homers, 7 steals and a decent average if he were called up in June.” And that’s me quoting me! Now that he’s been called up, I’d add him in deeper mixed leagues (think 15+), but I still don’t have high hopes for him outside of maybe a decent average. He’s basically a forty-twenty. If Fredi Gonzalez had any brains in that squishy melon on his shoulders, he’d bat La Stella leadoff and move Heyward down the order. Smarts and managing baseball teams don’t always go hand-in-hand though. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With 11 of the 15 games pegged for the early contests on DraftKings, it’s a weird day to be a DFS baseball player, but a damn proud day to be an American. Thousands of men and women died for our freedom; so first and foremost, honor those brave souls any way you can, because without them, we wouldn’t be “enjoying” the daily grinds and the sweats (amongst many other [more important] things). Quit ogling the X-Men for one second and embrace the real heroes.

Now, back to the unique Memorial Day schedule – for the sake of not wasting research cycles, and in honor of my right to a Sunday Fun Day, this column will focus solely on the nighttime four-game set (i.e. the late games). To stand out in GPPs with such limited selection, it will take some creativity and a diamond in the rough or two, but let’s see what advantages we can find in just eight lineup cards. Of course, in-house tools like Hitter-Tron, Steam-o-Nator, and DFSBot are also here to help too. Oh, and on a random side note – why doesn’t Mike Olt change to #45? Olt 45 – it works every time. Billy Dee would be proud. Someone pass this along to Olt 45 – he can thank me later.

Please, blog, may I have some more?