Baseball’s Rat Pack is back! A classic saxophone beat starts playing. It’s Bobby Darin’s Don’t Rain on My Parade. A disembodied voice can be heard, “Hey world here I am!” Just then Jose Altuve stands up from an umbrella stand, “Don’t tell me not to hit a deep fly, I’ve simply got to!” George Springer walks out banging on a bucket, “If someone takes a spill, it’s me and not you! Ow, my hamstring!” Alex Bregman walks out, and faux bashfully closes Altuve’s jersey, “Don’t bring around a cloud to rain on our 2017 World Series parade.” Yesterday, was a sign of old stolen signs. Alex Bregman (3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 5th homer, and came within a single of the cycle. The Hungry Man cycle! For 2021, Bregman seems less impacted by this egregious season. He was never going to reach last year’s peak, but he can also avoid this year’s nadir. Speaking of low points (segue!), Jose Altuve (3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 4th homer, and his 1st homer in more than a month. Mentioned this a few times on recent podcasts, but I tested positive for a 2021 Jose Altuve not being on my teams. He won’t be drafted in the top 25 again, and I’m not sure if he’ll be in the top 100. Finally, George Springer (3-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 14th homer, and, well, he’s acksually been good, when he’s been on the field, which, like usual, is nowhere nearly enough. Now watch the Astros get hot at the perfect time for the playoffs, and give MLB one of the worst storylines for a team contending for the playoffs since the 1920 White Sox were led by “Wearing Shoes” Jim Jackson, Joe’s dandy brother. “Take your shoes off, Jim! You’re embarrassing yourself!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Trevor Bauer (8 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 12 Ks, ERA at 1.73) is going to win the NL Cy Young. Sooner you come to terms with that, the better for your own mental well-being. You’ll be able to listen to relatives talk about how they saw Trevor Bauer on HBO’s Real Sports, and how Trevor Bauer invented ‘a ball spinning,’ and how he’s so old school with his notebook, but not a spiral notebook. No, no, no — a laptop that Bauer calls, “My Notebook.” You can hear about how Trevor Bauer’s best friend is his dad and how he can make any other pitcher better just by talking him through ‘The Process.’ You come to terms with all of this now, you’re gonna be happier later. Trevor Bauer does have two Cy Young-worthy years in the last three, so maybe there’s something to it. Not sure how that circle is squared with last year, which I still haven’t forgiven him for — 4.48 ERA in 213 IP absolutely killed me. For 2021, it’ll be hard for me to stay away, as it always is with Bauer. Hey, I’m a sucker for 12+ K/9 and the promise of a 2.5 BB/9 or lower. If Bauer can do that, he could have this level of success every season. Wonder if there will be people drafting him in the top five starters. Maybe if I’m in a league with Bryant Gumbel, or your uncle who watches him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
This is what they call in the biz a GAP — a General Appreciation Post. It has not been a general appreciation type year, but Juan Soto (1-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and a slam (12) and double legs (4, 5), hitting .345) aka Sexy Dr. Pepper makes me wake up at quarter to 6 every morning, jump out of bed like Dicky Fox and scream, “I love Juan Soto!” Then Cougs rolls over and mutters, “865,” which is the number of times she’s said to stop screaming that first thing in the morning. Listen, it’s been a trying year, and I appreciate all of you sticking with us through what was the craziest year on memory, and I’m not gonna get choked up, because I’m way more appreciative of Juan Soto. HE’S BETTER THAN TROUT. Sorry, but Mr. Al Caps is right. Sexy Dr. Pepper is 12 years old and he’s doing things not seen since 2002 when a headless ghost Ted Williams was teaching a bone-sober and dead Babe Ruth why he was striking out so much. It’s an absolute joy to watch. I think I like Treat Urner (3-for-6, 1 run and his 11th and 12th steals) partially because he plays with Juan Soto. In 2021, I’m not sure yet if I’m going to have Juan Soto in the top two, three, four or five, but this is only the beginning of that discussion which will go until 2030, when we’re all finally stepping out of quarantine like a bunch of vampires. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Lance McCullers‘s middle name is Inconsistent. It’s Irish. It was O’Inconsistent, but assimilation through Doc Ellis Island softened the edges. There’s some pitchers I love. That’s it. Just love them. Trevor Bauer, you seem like a total douche, but welcome to my teams! There’s a few pitchers I hate. Good luck getting on any of my teams aging pitcher who doesn’t throw strikeouts. Yo, have fun, Jon Lester, but not here, homey. Finally, there’s pitchers I go back and forth on. Do I love, hate or something else…indifference? This year was indifference for Lance McCullers (6 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 4.24), due to coming off Tommy John surgery. For 2021, it’s going to be hard to figure out what to expect from him. Will I love, hate or…indifference? McCullers-Cullers-Cullers’s velocity returned, but his Ks have been kinda flat. He’s not getting a ton of guys to chase outside the zone, and hitters are making contact. The zone numbers are pretty average, but he’s also battled back from major surgery, and may not yet be at 100%. Do you really hold against a guy a goofy six weeks of stats with his stuff? Maybe, but if you’re holding anything against a guy to love to hate, then that sounds more just like love and you don’t know how to show it. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
“Ask not what your fantasy team’s pitchers can do for you, but what you can do for your fantasy team pitchers.” The number one thing you can do is have your fantasy team page open and curse and scream whenever a reliever comes into the game in a non-save shituation and gives up runs, or when you have a pitcher give up five-plus in under five innings, or when you bench a guy who throws a gem. That’s the least you can do for your country and your team. Yesterday, the Kennedy curse lifted, and Jack and Joe did you right: Joe Musgrove (6 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 4.68) vs. Jack Flaherty (6 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 4.84). In 2021, Jack Flaherty could be underrated. Imagine he’s not a top five starter next year, because of one bad start. Sign me up for some of that nonsense. Joe Musgrove is a trickier proposition such as, “I’ll do whatever for $50.” Wait, that’s a trick’s proposition. Since Musgrove’s IL stint, his fastball velocity wasn’t quite there, but yesterday saw him touch 95 MPH, and his slider was working for him. For 2021, I could see getting sucked in again by Musgrove, which inevitably will leave me mumbling, “Era, era, my ERA is a mess.” That’s JFK struggling to the finish line of a fantasy season, like all of us. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY YESTERDAY ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $5/MONTH.)
You walk into the banquet hall where your cousin, Jared Walsh, is having his bar mitzvah, and the first thing that hits you is the macho-aggressive tones of Kenny Loggins. Kenny shouts at you a question, “Are you gonna wait for a sign, your miracle?” Down by your side, you snap your fingers, and quietly answer, “Stand up and fight.” As if he’s talking directly to you, Kenny’s pulsating voice hits you with another command, “Make no mistake where you are,” and under your breath you quietly respond, “This is it.” Kenny, “Your back’s to the corner.” You slide your back against a wall and louder now, “This is it.” Kenny’s fighting you to be better, “Don’t be a fool anymore.” You, fighting back tears, “This is it.” Then your aunt comes over and asks you if you’re still dating that goy, sees tears streaming down your face and uncomfortably waits for you to compose yourself. Kenny’s back, “The waiting is over,” you run to the stage, but Kenny sings, “No, don’t you run.” Finally, you get to the stage where the deejay has his back to you. All you see is his Orioles’ jersey and his last name Stewart. When he turns to you, you see DJ Stewart, the epitome of cool, and not just because he’s in front of a wind machine. He leans down and says with the wisdom of a great sage, “I’m just a hot schmotato, you’re the real star.” He’s right, of course. That’s all you need for the final ten days. Jared Walsh looks like a Quad-A player, but he’s hitting in front of Mike Trout, and it doesn’t get any better. I’m grabbing Walsh, DJ Stewart and everyone from this bar mitzvah — even you, Aunt Marilyn! Also, everyone is expendable (except Aunt Marilyn, bless her heart). Play only hot hands. You need to play footloose and fancy free with your teams in this final stretch. “Did someone say Footloose?” That’s DJ Stewart readying up the next Kenny Loggins. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Byron Buxton went (3-for-4, hitting .270) and hit his 11th and 12th homer. This is the 2nd time this year he’s homered in three straight games. Prior to this year, he had never homered three games in a row. What could be if Buxton could only stay healthy…*wavy lines* “Whoa, dream sequence! What’s this, a rainbow with a map to its natural end? I will follow this! Wow, only three years later to find the end of this rainbow, I should’ve drove! Hey, look…a pot! Let me see what’s in it…neat, there’s gold, and Buxton being a 40/20/.260 hitter in 162 games, and a young Pamela Anderson, and a battery for my calculator watch that I couldn’t find after the Radio Shack by me went out of business…this dream sequence is amazing!” *wavy lines* Oh, man, here I am still with a constantly broken Buxton and calculator watch. Dreams don’t exist. For 2021, Byron Buxton is going to once again be a total wild card who could be a top 20 outfielder, or act like one for about 80 games. 80 games of Buxton still comes out to…*plugs numbers into calculator watch*…8.6? Ugh, why’d Radio Shack abandon me? Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Another huge Yankees’ threat was activated last night, and he’s a big, big threat, I mean, big, big, big, it’s Aaron Judge, guys and five girls! And, wouldn’t you know it, the Yankees hit seven homers, with three of them from Kyle Higashioka (3-for-4, 5 RBIs with his 2nd, 3rd and 4th homer); DJ LeMahieu (3-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs) hit two homers (8, 9); Luke Voit? Oh, you know Voit (1-for-4, 3 RBIs) hit one of them! He has 19! Clint Frazier (2-for-3, 2 RBIs) even got in on the action, hitting his 7th homer. Oprah screaming like a lunatic, “You get a home run! You get a home run! You get a home run!” Aaron Judge looks under his seat, pulls out a gift-wrapped box, “I get…an 0-for-4?” *hears Final Jeopardy music* “What is six games?” “Oh, I’m sorry, that’s wrong. Aaron Judge will be injured again in four games.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Yankees scored 20 runs and Giancarlo Stanton returned from the IL with an 0-for-4. Giancarlo Stanton really impressed me last night by staying on the field for numerous swings without oblique, hammy, calf, forearm, torso, shin, neck or shoulder issues. Stanton has a chance to pass his games played total last year of 18. He’s currently at 14, but there’s no way he plays four more games, right? *pop, pop, pop* Paul O’Neill from a remote location, “What is that popping noise?”
Michael Kay in his trademark baritone, “Paul, that’s Giancarlo wrapped in bubble wrap!”
“Ah, that’s great to see.”
“Yeah, really cool. What a team player.”
“Hey, you ever notice our Yankees’ broadcasts are the boringest broadcasts?”
“Is boringest a word?”
“I bet it is.”
“Interesting. Like this conversation.”
Also, in this game, Luke Voit went bazinga two times (3-for-5, 5 RBIs), hitting his 17th and 18th homers. He was the late-round corner man to draft. Sigh. Speaking of sighs, Gary Sanchez (1-for-4, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 8th homer, hitting .131) had his first ball hit that didn’t include his crotch. Then, DJ LeMahieu (4-for-6, 3 runs, 5 RBIs) hit his 7th homer, as he hits .363. He’s so adamant to defy me it makes him a real pest. Finally, Aaron Hicks (1-for-4) hit his 5th homer on my bench. *breathes in 95% smoke-filled air mixed with pandemic* What a time to be alive! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
“Keep on go on wondering why, I got out of bed at all,” which are the lyrics for Thank You by Dido, which was the chorus for Stan by Eminem, and I want to thank you, Kwang-Hyun Kim (7 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 0.63) as he was activated from the IL after having kidney problems, and to misquote Eminem, “I Stan Kim.” Actually, here’s Eminem singing The Golden Girls theme song, “Stan Kim for pitching a gem.” Eminem is a big Golden Girls fan, obvi. Any hoo! What a year by Kim, whoa. He has 24 consecutive scoreless innings, and has allowed only one home run all year. Granted, he’s only thrown 28 2/3 IP all year, has allowed only two earned runs all year, and that’s less than a month of a regular season. But, wow, what a year! We’ll leave it at that. Will Eminem, or us for that matter, be singing The Golden Girls theme song, “Stan Kim for pitching a gem” in 2021? That seems less likely. His peripherals are not particularly inspiring, but for this year *genuflects* Stan Kim, Stan Kim, Stan Kim. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?