In 1778, Benjamin Franklin pulled the first American flag from Betsy Ross’s, uh, clutches and proclaimed a holiday to be called Labor Day in the then-resort city of Philadelphia. Since then there’s been a long history of great Philly pitchers: Steve “Lefty” Carlton, Jackie “Kid” Gleason, Robin “ESPN anchor” Roberts, Curt Schilling, who later went on to be known for saucing his French fries with ketchup out of his sock, Jim “Beds Are” Bunning and Brett “I’ll Show You Slap Hits” Myers. Philly’s not the same town now as it was in Ben’s day, as the battle for best cheesesteak tore up most of the city. “Geno’s? How about I give you a jihad wit wiz?!” It’s ugly, without much joy in the City of Brotherly Love, a nickname adopted due to the popularity of a WWF manager in the early 90’s. Yesterday, for a moment, all of that sorrow was told to go to ‘morrow, as Cole Hamels and Jacob Diekman, Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon combined for a no hitter. Hamels only made it through six innings, because he took Labor Day literally and struggled with five walks. If I had to give an award out because I had an award and didn’t know what to do with it, I’d ask someone next year if Jacob Diekman ever threw a no-hitter, and would reward them with that unwanted trophy if they said yes. A great day for Philly fans everywhere (except for the fans that came to the game with D batteries hoping for a reason to throw them at a player). Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Last night, I finally took a break after nearly 30 non-stop hours of watching the Every Simpsons Ever marathon to watch Wil Myers at bat. Much like Grandpa Simpson, I imagine someday I’ll tell my grand kids about watching the at-bats of a young Wil Myers, before he went on to achieve fantasy superstardom. Also like Grandpa Simpson, I imagine my story won’t really go anywhere. Like, “Back in ought-14, I had to use a remote to change the channel, because the cable companies had yet to implant the channel-changing chips in our brains. However, the important thing was I had an onion on my belt. Wil Myers stepped up to the plate in the 8th and sent a ball 400 feet into the seats for his first homer since May. Back then, before we switched to the metric system officially in 2042, we still measured things in feet because, Amurica. Twelve inches, you know. Myers ended 1-for-3 with 2 runs, 2 walks, his fifth home run, and his fourth stolen base. Mmmm, HRs and SBs. In those days, fantasy players like that were hard to come by, steroids were still illegal in baseball at the time, and did I mention I had an onion on my belt?” Anyway, I managed to pry myself away from #everysimpsonsever to watch Myers impress for the first time since returning from the DL three days ago and was shocked to find he’s unowned in a little less than 50% of ESPN and 30% of Yahoo leagues. Why am I not in any of these leagues?  Wil “I Passed the Other L to the Player on My Left” Myers struggled earlier in the season (.227 batting average in 53 games) but the 23-year old phenom is just a year removed from being baseball’s top prospect, and hit close to .300 with 13 homers and 5 stolen bases in just 88 games in 2013. Dude could catch fire any minute! Grey told you to BUY him this week, and Myers has all the tools to Wil your fantasy team to victory in the last few weeks, so if he’s out there on waivers somehow I’d grab him immediately, then maybe someday you can bore your grand kids with the story of how Wil Myers saved your fantasy season.

Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If Miggy were a Russian nesting doll, the first doll under him would be Avisail Garcia. They look like so similar they could do Sister, Sister-type stunts. “I don’t want to face Felix Hernandez today, you take my jersey and you face him…Then take my algebra exam.” “Okay, sis, but you have to go out with Bobby for me. Pinky swear!” That’s them conspiring to use their physical similarities on unsuspecting people. (Bee tee dubya, I’ve never seen an episode of Sister, Sister, and if I missed the general gist of the show, I apologize to all the prankster twins reading for generalizing. But, I will say, twins should apologize for looking similar, it’s disconcerting. The first time you see them you have to ask yourself, “Am I on peyote right now? No, I’m not, I’m looking at a twin.” Any the hoo!) Comparing him to Miggy doesn’t give the whole picture of Avisail. Well, it does, but, okay, bad choice of words. It doesn’t tell you what kind of hitter Avisail is. He’s not a 40-homer hitter. At least not yet. He has some speed, even stole 20 bases one year in the minors, when he was only 18 years old. He also probably won’t hit for more than 25 homers all of next year. He can hit for a solid average. Last year, while only 21 years old for half the year (no, he doesn’t have two birthdays a year; I mean he was 21 for half the season), he hit .370 in the minors. He reminds me more of a young Matt Holliday — think around 25 HRs, 15 SBs and .315. Definitely someone I would be aggressive about in keepers. As for this year, now that he’s fully recovered from his torn labrum, an injury that sounds like it would happen to a gymnast, he’s someone I’d look at in all leagues. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“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?