Around six months ago, your mother left us in the middle of the night with nothing but each other and our drafted fantasy teams. I tried to make you French toast as you stood on a stool and watched, but we got egg shell in the batter and you cried about drafting Brad Miller. I was trying to do work one night, looking for a middle infield replacement as you played with your toy airplanes and — crash! — you spilled your milk all over my fantasy team. I screamed, you cried and Prince Fielder hurt his neck. Then your mother reappeared and began a custody battle to take over our teams right as Wilin Rosario seemingly lost his job. It was the Fourth of July, and no one was available, but I frantically searched for a replacement catcher with a job. If your mother’s attorney got wind that we couldn’t even manage to have a catcher with a job, we’d lose our teams forever. With a last ditch effort, we grabbed Yan Gomes off waivers, and another crisis seemed averted. It wasn’t all smooth sailing the final stretch, like when you fell off the jungle gym, and I carried your through Central Park screaming, “We have to replace David Wright and Alex Rios!” But you just needed a few stitches and Xander Bogaerts with 3rd base eligibility and a hot schmotato for the outfield. The final test was making French toast again and seeing how well you adapted to finally cutting the cord on Jay Bruce. We did it, seemingly conquering a mountain, just the two of us, but due to a hot week from Ryan Rua we lost in the H2H playoffs. As you packed up your stuff to leave, we sat on the couch in silence. The weight of the summer on our minds when you turned to me and said, “What do you think about Dallas Keuchel for 2015?” Today, we close our fantasy baseball team window for the first time in six months. Of course, you can never remove those teams from your mind’s eye because you turned off your computer’s screensaver months ago and your team is burned into your monitor screen. Last year, Henderson Alvarez pitched a no hitter on the last game of the season, and this year he pitched against Jordan Zimmermann, who returned the favor with his own no hitter, with the help of an incredible, diving catch from Stephen Souza. Of course, a guy named after a composer known for patriotic marches secures it for the Nationals. In a season that saw seemingly every pitcher have a sub-3.50 ERA this was about as apt of a way to close out a season as any. As Bud Selig doffs his toupee, bidding baseball adieu, let us bid this season adieu too (almost stutterer!) and say hello to the offseason. Seriously, what about Dallas Keuchel for next year?! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Ian Desmond – 1-for-2 and his 24th homer. Another year for Desmond, another year at the top of the Player Rater for shortstops. That’s now two straight years. The most unheralded fantasy player of our generation? If you don’t think so, then randomly text a buddy and ask him Desmond or Tulo for next year. Preferably a buddy that knows fantasy baseball otherwise, he’ll think you misspelled Desmond Tutu.
Masahiro Tanaka – 1 2/3 IP, 5 ER. So, what does that mean for his chances to avoid Tommy John surgery? Are the Yankees going to send him to the Arizona Fall League so he can get a few more starts until it seems like he doesn’t need surgery again? Are they going to just wrap his elbow with duct tape and hope for the best? I got questions, y’all! One thing I don’t have, any inclination in owning Tanaka next year.
Derek Jeter – 1-for-2, 1 RBI as he played DH in his final game. Not playing shortstop in Fenway for the final series is the same as the argument that oral sex isn’t cheating. You still played, you may as well slept with her.
Jose Altuve – 2-for-4, 1 RBI, hit .341 to lead the major leagues. At first, Altuve wasn’t going to start the game since the batting title was on the line, but then people took to Twitter and called him half a man for sitting to preserve his batting title, and he doesn’t like being called accurate names, so he played. If only everyone took to Twitter and asked Justin Bieber to stop making music.
Lucas Duda – 2-for-4, 4 RBIs and his 30th homer. Wet Tail! One small note on Wet Tail, he was only one of three NL hitters to get 30 homers. The entire Padres team only hit 28 homers. My other note on this game was the Astros and Mets played each other in the final weekend series because the MLB scheduler thought the Astros were still an NL team. No one really expected either team to be in the playoff picture, but what a slap in the face to their fans. The Yanks fans get their hated rival Red Sox, and Mets fans get a team in the AL West.
Jonathan Schoop – 1-for-3 and his 16th homer. Schoop Schoop a-doobie like Scoobie Doobie Doo we will see you again in December when I start rolling out my sleepers.
David Price – 7 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 8 Ks, ending with a 3.26 ERA as the Tigers won the AL Central. Fun Fact! The AL Central was originally named as a homage to Al Molinaro. By the by, Al Molinaro has cost more savvy gamblers money in “Alive or Dead?” than any celebrities outside of Abe Vigoda.
Ian Kinsler – 3-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 17th homer. What a perfect way to end a season since I don’t plan on owning him again. I feel like I dodged some kind of bullet by having Kinsler for a whole healthy season, and, if I drafted him again, I’d just be pressing my luck. No whammy, no whammy, no whammy…Stop! Ooh, whammy, Kinsler’s injured in April 2015.
Kris Negron – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 6th homer. Due to the silent 2nd N in Negron, he is Marge Schott’s Ghost’s favorite player.
Johnny Cueto – 8 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 7 Ks, ending the year with 20 wins and a 2.25 ERA. Hopefully his maid of honor speech is short at the Cy Young award ceremony. That will be Kershaw’s day, not Cueto’s day to start crying and talking about the time they went to Cancun.
Gerrit Cole – 7 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 12 Ks, ERA ending at 3.65. Damn, just when you thought it was going to be easy to write him off this offseason, he goes and does this. Honestly, I have no idea which way I’m going with Cole yet for 2015. Could see myself pouring over his numbers and realizing he should be a top 20 starter or not even in the top 40 starters.
Neil Walker – 2-for-4 and his 23rd homer. “Yeah, uh huh, you know what it is. Black and yellow (repeat four times).” Oh, sorry, I didn’t hear you come in. I was just singing my team’s playoff song that is old, but will be played numerous times this offseason by Fox like it’s new. Yeah, I’m bandwagoning for the Pirates. Whatevs. Yeah, uh huh, you know what it is. Black and yellow (repeat four times).
Paul Konerko – 0-for-3 as he played the final game of his career. Before he exited, he wrote the names of his children in the infield dirt. In related news, some teenager got lucky yesterday on the infield dirt while his girlfriend thought of Jeter.
Sonny Gray – 9 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks, ending the year with a 3.08 ERA. Talk about having mixed emotions. In the preseason, I bet on the Mariners to win the World Series, and Felix Hernandez was throwing a gem elsewhere (5 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 1 baserunners, 7 Ks, ending the year with a 2.14 ERA), and if the M’s won and A’s lost the Mariners would’ve had a chance for the playoffs. This was like when you promised to take your kid’s Little League team out for ice cream if they won, and you didn’t want to spend $75 on ice cream, so you were secretly pulling for the other team that looked like a bunch of eleven-year-old ex-cons. Oh, well, I guess Carvel is on me. Thanks, Sonny!
Josh Collmenter – 8 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA ending at 3.46. Not bad if you were able to handle all of Collmenter’s catcher questions.
Miguel Gonzalez – 5 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 2 Ks, ending the year with a 3.23 ERA. That’s an under 3.25 ERA for a guy who I’m not sure ever was owned in more than 50% of ESPN leagues all year. Men and four girl readers (let’s be honest though, one or two of you ladies are probably a little manly), no offense.
Alex Cobb – 6 IP, 4 ER, 10 baserunners, 5 Ks, ending the year with a 2.87 ERA. Rudy will be along in the coming days with a ranking of all major sites’ preseason rankings. Let’s just say yours truly and his love of The Tampa Bay Peach didn’t do that shabby. *blows air on knuckles, rubs knuckles on shirt, sees I just rubbed tomato sauce on my shirt* Dah!
Buster Posey – 1-for-2, 2 RBIs and his 22nd homer, ending the season with a .311 average. Prepare yourself to see Posey in the top 20 overall next year at just about every site, except this one.
Wilin Rosario – 1-for-4 and his 13th homer. If September were the first month of the season, and if the season didn’t end until March, Rosario would have a great year! And if “ifs” and “buts” were candy and nuts, we’d all be diabetic squirrels.
Adrian Gonzalez – 2-for-2, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 27th homer. He was pulled early from yesterday’s game by Don Uribe, who acted as the manager. Meanwhile, Juan Mattingly swung for the fences and hit a slow dribbler to shortstop. This reminded me of an omelet my friend had this weekend. It was supposed to be with wild mushrooms, and instead it was just an omelet gone wild. Food porn.
Anthony Rizzo – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 32nd homer. HR to the Rizzo!
Ryan Braun – 0-for-3. Will have thumb surgery on Thursday. He will be having a cryotherapy procedure, which is the freezing of damaged tissue, and it has never been performed on a thumb before. This freezing process was last used successively on Larry King in the late 90’s moments before he passed in his sleep. There’s no timetable for Braun’s recovery since this is uncharted waters. Best case scenario, he’s fine for spring training. Worst case scenario, his thumb can no longer move and never realizes its dream of playing a part in a Thumb Wars prequel.