I’m staring out on a prairie in the middle of Palm Springs. Okay, it’s not a prairie. It’s more of a dirt field with a bingo card blowing through it. But let’s pretend it’s a prairie. Why am I standing in a prairie that’s not really a prairie? Because all great baseball moments happen this way. Just one man and rows of corn. Except those aren’t rows of corns, but walkers lined up against the window of a Starbucks. But let’s pretend they are cornfields! I’m pulling off my cap (not wearing a cap; don’t want to mess my hair), staring directly into the sky (wearing sunglasses) and screaming at the Fantasy Baseball Overlord, “Why do you have to make the rest of us suffer for the childhood you never had?!” Okay, I need to move on before the OPP (Old People Police) come after me. We should’ve known a rather pedestrian 7 IP, 4 ER from Masahiro Tanaka was a sign that he was hurt. We should’ve known! Or an even worse 6 2/3 IP, 5 ER start the next time out. We should’ve known! Alas, we didn’t know. So, Tanaka’s going for a variety of tests, and hopefully it’s nothing, but any time there’s something wrong with a pitcher’s elbow it’s something. Are we sure he didn’t inflame his elbow using Hideki’s porn collection? Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Cubs.  The lovable losers.  The trade first and ask questions later…ers…

Say what you want about what the Cubs are doing, but I liked their blockbuster deal with the A’s.  John Kruk was slamming it on Sunday Night Baseball (while my boy Rick Porcello got a bitch slap of regression), but then again I’m a Brewers fan and not a Cubs fan!

Last year, the Cubs sold Scott Feldman for current pickup of the year nominee Jake Arrieta.  So that’s one thing they’ve done right!  Both the Shark and Jason Hammel weren’t re-signing, and this ridiculous emergence from Arrieta eases the pain of rebuilding a rotation.

But we don’t really care about Wrigley politics, we just want some nasty stats on our fantasy teams.  Arrieta has been absolutely unbelievable (only Clayton Kershaw has been better the past month) and he had back-to-back no-nos through 7 prior to Sunday’s start.  How legit is this breakout?  Is Arrieta a sell high?  I’ve seen the highlights and bits of some of the previous starts, but I wanted a deeper look into his stuff and decided to Profile how he looked in yesterday’s great outing against the Nationals:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So, we had our first July 31st trading deadline deal, and it paid off for all the A’s fans who paid Oaktown’s own, Bubb Rubb, to break into Billy Beane’s office and turn his iCal forward a month. “Any ideas what you want to do for the 4th of July, Billy?” “I celebrated last month with some friends.” Screen spirals out and slam cuts to Bubb Rubb, maniacally (bubb)rubbing his hands together. When the A’s are playing like it’s playoff baseball in September, don’t say your mustachioed over-the-internet friend didn’t warn you. So, the trade that went down was Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel for David Addison Leave Me Alone Maddie Russell, who I will get to after this lede. Samardzija and Hammel both gain value going to the A’s, which isn’t often the case with an NL pitcher going to The Land of Milk and Honey-Flavored DHs. Wrigley isn’t a great place to pitch — one day it’s overcast with winds blowing straight out, another day winds are just swirling overhead like a toilet bowl genie. As we’ve seen in the past, pitchers can do just about anything in a short period of time. Could Hammel and Samardzija completely poop the sheets? Fo’sho. Likely? Prolly not. O.co is like Petco and Metco, a big cavernous wasteland for hitters and they have more foul territory than Roseanne Barr’s privates. Samardzija brings strikeout stuff to hitters that aren’t as familiar with him and could be the 2nd half’s Kazmir. Yesterday, in his first A’s start, he had a line of 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks. Dividends paying out quick there. Hammel keeps the ball down and O.co will love him. This trade only really hurts Tommy Milone, who was shipped to the minors. The A’s just made themselves a serious contender and having a friend in Bubb Rubb pays off once again. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

At least one of you is reading this with a bandaged thumb from a fireworks mishap. I had a Cousin Pete (Italian side of the family) who lost the tip of his thumb on the 4th, but rather than stop the festivities, he taped the tip of a hot dog on his thumb to act as a tourniquet for the rest of the 4th, so we could all go about our fun-having business. I suggested my Cugino make a PSA about hot dog tourniquets, but I was turned away by NBC Cares. Let us bow our heads and pray that if anyone loses a finger, may there be a proper-sized hot dog nearby. Robinson Cano hasn’t been bad. Let’s put that misconception behind our ears like the baby ounce of Drakkar you do every morning. Not bad. Low on homers? Yes. Not bad though. The perception is he’s struggling. Having a real hard time of it in Safeco. He’s on pace for better numbers than last year, except for power. So, where did all the power go? (I sang that like Paula Cole.) He’s insanely off for homers per fly ball, and down in the fly ball department, in general. Those aren’t great things, but — what are you gonna do with that big fat but? — his April/May are dragging down the homers per fly ball. He had four homers in June and looked relatively the same as he’s always looked. There’s no way he makes it to 25 homers on the year (he’s at 6), but four homers per month is doable and about what you always got from Cano. As already pointed out, he’s still doing everything else that made him a top 12 player in March, so if someone is down on Cano, in the non-sexual way, I’d look to see if I could buy him a little cheaper than he’s actually worth. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jackie Bradley Jr. walked three times in one game. Have you people forgotten he walked three times…IN ONE GAME! Yeah, that’s old news for the Sons of Sam Horn. They have a new fish to park in Harvard Yard. There’s going to be a new man in Bo’ town soon. The master of no disaster, the king of that’s a purdy swing, the man who once impregnated a lady by looking at her while he was in the batter’s box, Mookie Betts. Oh, you better, you better, you Betts! I usually don’t get caught up in the thrill of the rookie chase (Ha! Of course I do, I’m a damn fool!), but this one looks like he might be mollywhopping like, well, a middle infielder and stealing bases like, well, a middle infielder. Now, now, no deflating. He does look like he can be special and should have middle infield eligibility, which ups the how’s your father just a bit. He stole 22 bases in 54 games in Double-A, but he was completely overmatching people there. Okay, in Triple-A, he’s doing the same. He’s putting up Atari numbers everywhere he goes in the minor leagues. Hard to imagine it continues in the majors, but, if it did, he’d be a 15-homer, 35-steal guy. Sounds like another Red Sox middle infielder from once upon a time ago (no, not dyslexic Ramon). The one that they shipped off to Florida (Hanley Ramirez). If Mookie is available in your league and you have room, I’d stash him. It sounds like he could be up in the landmark case of sooner vs. later. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Pitching my life with his words. One time, one time. What, you don’t get down with The Fugees remix? By the by, Wyclef, musical talent, instrumental to success, pun noted. Lauryn Hill bonkers talented, pun noted. Pras? Um… Well… An actual refugee? True story, Wyclef once walked into my mom’s chiropractor office and asked her to massage his butt. My mom declined…Or so she tells me! Marcus Stroman did a little dazzle number last night — 8 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks — that hinted at his true talent level. Why has he looked like Pras’s career post-Fugees? Because he’s a rookie and prone to roofies. The pretty remarkbuehrle thing about his numbers thus far is he averages a 94 MPH fastball (that’s terrific) and an under 2 BB/9 (also terrific). A guy that can throw bullets and aim them will translate into an ace very quickly. To see what kind of thing the Royal We is talking about — his Triple-A numbers were 11+ K/9 and a 2.3 K/9. If that happens in the majors, he’ll be a top 10 starter. For serious. Unfortch, for now he’s a streamer in most mixed leagues with a chance for upside. Yesterday, the Stream-o-Nator liked him and next time out it loves him, so I’d give him a little how’s your father, good, thanks for asking, but he’s still risky. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Injuries?  You want injuries?  Well, good sir (ma’am, Donkey from Shrek, Borg or whatever), you’ve come to the right place. 2014 is no stranger to the maimed, sick and downtrodden.  If the 2014 baseball season were a movie, it would be a combination of Outbreak, Hostel, Saving Private Ryan and The Fan (man, that sh*t was terrible). The All-Star break is just a few weeks away, so here are some players hitting the DL or coming off of it that you need to be keeping an eye on…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

A lot of talk has been made about the Fantasy Baseball Overlord causing all of these injuries this year. What people haven’t mentioned as much is the why. FBO was born in a small Jamaican village outside of Kingston. His family was wealthy from manufacturing fertilizer, though this came with a severe downside — the smell of manure. Knowing how cruel kids can be, it’s no surprise they would pick on FBO. The school jocks, specifically the baseball players were the worst. Constantly mocking his ever-present stench, they nicknamed him Fecal Body Odor, or FBO for short. It got so bad that teachers and adults started calling him FBO. Eventually, people called him FBO without even knowing what it stood for. Rather than trying to shake the nickname, FBO decided to have it empower him. First, he tried to get into banking, thinking he could convince people it stood for Fixed Buyout. Then he got an internship with the Field Botanists of Ontario. Neither worked for him, but he did have some knowledge of voodoo from his Jamaican aunt and always harbored hate for baseball players, so Fantasy Baseball Overlord – or FBO, for short, was born. With that said, Adam Wainwright went for an MRI on his elbow and the FBO said, “Eat it, Wainwright!” The Cards are saying his UCL is fine and it’s just tennis elbow. Hopefully this isn’t game, set, match for him. He received a cortisone shot, and there’s no word yet on a DL stint. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hold onto your Taco Bell-made Doritos hat because yesterday Eric Hosmer hit a homer. Sung like J.J. Fad, “The S is for super, the Homer is for about freakin’ time!” More of an 80′s rock kid? Hosmer’s been Poison so far this year, but look what the cat dragged in! Prefer the punk scene? After Billy Butler goes to the bathroom, they say the john’s rotten. Okay, that had nothing to do with Hosmer, but I’m a man of the people and the people in my head demanded a punk reference. The Royals power has been so bad this year, Lorde released a remix titled, “Blue Jays.” At the forefront of the Royals abomination has been Hosmer. Entering today he had two homers. Who do you think you are, Robinson Cano? His homers per fly ball is abysmal, but his ground ball to fly ball ratio is about the same as previous years, his line drive percentage is fine, his at-bats per homer was around 30 for every year, except this year where it’s at 129. The only true red flag in his numbers is he’s hitting a ton of infield flies. I think that might’ve been him pressing due to the homer drought and now that cloud of doom can lift. I don’t think he’s suddenly going to jack 30 homers and start walking around in a crown like Jerry “The King” Lawler, but I also don’t think Hosmer will stay this terrible forever. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Years ago, the movie industry left Mickey Rourke for dead. He couldn’t get a job with anyone. His face looked like pot-holed road that a Doberman took a dump on. His attitude was more disagreeable than Jack’s white supremacist gang from Breaking Bad. The rumors were he gave up acting prior to his last few movies and what you saw in those last few was simply a cardboard cut-out of Rourke that he bought in Chinatown in the 80′s. When Darren Aronofsky found Rourke for The Wrestler, Rourke was ice fishing in a tenement in West Virginia. The ice was methamphetamine and he’d toss a fishing line out a 4-story window and try to fish it out of a drug dealer’s hidden stash. Then The Wrestler happened and he acted well enough to distract from his face. Suddenly, the contracts started streaming in and Rourke was hot again. Then a funny thing happened. He brushed off the cardboard cut-out for his next few movies and started calling Marisa Tomei at four in the morning to see if she wanted to go get waffles and blow him. In the life cycle of Mickey Rourke, Nelson Cruz is now receiving acclaim for his performance in The Wrestler. At 33 years old, it is possible Cruz could have a career year, but he is 12 homers from his career high. What does he get the rest of the year? 15 homers? Maybe. That means you already got the bulk of his stats and it’s barely June. He’s also a .270 hitter that is currently hitting .313, so what does he do the rest of the year? 15 homers and a .260 average? That’s Khris Davis. If you have someone in your league with visions of Diner and Rumble Fish, I’d absolutely explore offers selling Nelson Cruz. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?