Fellow Blurbstompers, witness lust:

Julio Rodríguez went 2-for-5 with a two-run homer on Monday in a 7-4 victory over the Astros. 

With the score 5-4 in the top of the ninth, Rodríguez added some insurance with a two-run roundtripper to make it 7-4. That’s the seventh homer of the season for the outfielder, and he’s now plated 26 over his 55 games. After a shaky start, the 21-year-old has looked like a star, and while there will likely be some ups-and-downs, it’s reasonable to expect more good than bad from one of the most talented young players in the sport. He’s going to be a superstar (Rotoworld).

You know this feeling. It searches, fumbles, and excites. It feels akin to remembering that person you almost asked out in high school, who ends up being a successful entrepreneur and model, who years later admits they would have dated you. It’s not enough that you got cold feet, but to receive confirmation that your own lack of confidence and self-love obstructed your path to a more interesting and maybe fulfilling life? Talk about getting hit with a steam roller going 60 mph! Julio gives me that feeling all the time, and I am a prisoner to this feeling.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In what felt like a lifetime ago, on a Twitter DM thread long, long ago, the Razzball Elite were talking about the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and their manager, one Joseph John Maddon. He is a man of mischief, less of a Loki, more of an Iago in following his caprices. I like to set a blowtorch to an effigy of Bud Black as much as the next fellow, but Maddon has inspired a new level of paranoia in my personal fantasy baseball life.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Folks, the internet has declared we are no longer allowed to take “victory laps” when we correctly guess a baseball outcome. This is an incredible turn of events. The very foundations of FMLB are based on the amphetamine-like go-for-leather brain blast that occurs when someone like Aristedes Aquino births one half-season’s worth of statistics in less than two months. It’s a community-based game full of hopeful clairvoyants vying for a triumphant future-rainbow-of-numbers whose pot of gold might land on their doorstep. Congratulating yourself for getting it right every once in a while feels good. Don’t police feeling good! Feeling good is good, man! 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In a medium whose format champions concision, I assume blurb writers follow a style mandate: Say as much as one can, in the fewest words possible. They surely must have a Strunk & White guide of their own. Imagine if Strunk & White had Twitter. Imagine their replies. “Gadzooks,” they might say, “I am agog at the critique I posted this evening!” they might say. Those dudes would post grammar rules every day and get roasted. Meanwhile, I find myself flummoxed when facing and critiquing wordy blurbs, as I preach brevity on a pedestal hewn from my own satirically tangled diction. It’s one thing to giggle at the classic, “Do as I say, not as I do.” It’s another thing entirely to throw rocks at a glass house, especially when my glass house follows the architectural logic of the Winchester mystery mansion. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We have agency in our life. Also advertising agencies. We have many agencies in our life, but our personal agency is rooted in medieval Latin agencia, roughly translated as “doing.” Even when we’re Busy Doin’ Nothing, as Brian Wilson once splendidly wrote about, we are still using our agency. In fantasy baseball, there are only a few actions that can be considered primary after the draft is complete:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When one hard-boils an egg, one toys with an intense set of expectations and potential regret. Will these be perfect ovals, with a bright yellow yolk that crumbles in delicate sheets, or are you a fraud who produces dank green yolks that only Dr. Suess could truly love? Did you use the right pan? How much water did you use? Did you account for your current sea level and general elevation?

Right now your team is a dozen hard-boiled eggs. Their shells are the preseason projections and your own feelings of love and bias. Hope is the thing with bright yellow yolk. We desire all of our players to be of the same beautiful, creamy consistency of those yolks. Every projection met or exceeded. As we enter this last week of April, you will be keening to smack your eggs against the side of your bowl and find out whether your team is bright yellow or dank green. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The blurbs have a lot to offer in the early going of a given fantasy season. A ton of players get micro-levels of attention at this point, and you must zoom out like me hate-quitting a video conference to remember that we drafted a team of players we like. Stick with that team. Let it accumulate a significant girth of numbers. Give your hitters at least 100 at-bats to normalize, and know that you should probably wait for 150 at-bats. Well, let me tell you a fable.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The season starts next week, and bless sweet Dexter Fowler’s knee-high socks because it snowing in Chicago as I rewrite the second draft of this week’s Blurbstomp. Every year, we have a false Spring in the middle of March, which is then followed by another three weeks of Winter that everyone laments as “bizarre” or “unfair.” No. It is expected, which is why I’m both sad and happy there is no baseball this week. Sad because ownership is garbage, as evidenced by John Fisher and Bob Nutting, both trust fund infants, laughing as they steal the Competitive Balance Task funds from the piggy banks they call baseball teams and decimate their Opening Day lineups. I’m happy because a slew of games would have been canceled, which always shatters my fragile excitement for the beginning of the great stat-stuffing extravaganza. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Two things have happened this week to add texture to this Blurbstomp. The first – I came down with a sore throat and it wasn’t COVID. There is truly nothing wrong stranger than getting a sore throat. One takes for granted the supple glory of a functional throat. The air, spit, food, drink, and post-nasal drip that travels its comfortable moving walkways treat it like so much airport art; like an umpire, or even a sports commissioner, their good work goes unappreciated because it is expected. When things go wrong, when every breath brings discomfort, we pine for the days of innocence. We forget that things go so bad, so fast, and worst of all, for no real reason other than the perpetuity of biological organisms crashing together like so many bumper cars in a given petri dish. My throat hurts, friends, and I’m a big large baby.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Life looked bleak around these parts in February. Life looked bleak as recently as two weeks ago. But lo, the players and owners have agreed that baseball shall be bestowed upon us, and so the blurbs have come tumbling down. For the uninitiated, this is a weekly column that chronicles the creamiest of player blurb crops, discusses ways in which these daily breakdowns influence how we evaluate players, and also whatever else Grey and Truss let me get away with.

Please, blog, may I have some more?