MLB teams were whistling 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover yesterday:

Just slip out the back, Zac, make a new plan, Tanner,
Don’t need to be coy, Greek God of Hard Contact, just listen to me,
Hop on the bus, Jesus, don’t need to discuss much,
Just drop off the key, Greinke, and get yourself free.

The deadline seemed to be lulling people to sleep, then the Diamondbacks stepped up and decided they were contenders, be-bopping Jazz Chisholm to the Marlins for Zac Gallen. But it turned out they were Indiana Jones, when he would replace an ancient artifact with a sand bag by switching one Zack with another Zac, so the booby trap wouldn’t expose them to trouble. See, and I always thought the idea of the outfield hot tub was to expose booby traps.  Incredibly, the Cardinals announced the Zack Greinke to Astros deal hours before the Diamondbacks. The Astros rotation is now, as they would’ve said in the 20’s, bona fide. In good spirits, Justin Verlander tweeted out, “As long as we don’t get Bauer, we good.” I hear that, JV.  I don’t trust home/away splits much at all, unless it’s Coors vs. non-Coors, but, if you must know 2.96 home ERA vs. 2.80 away. Usually it’s the inverse, but Greinke is a 15-year vet; you really think he’s going to pitch that differently in Houston? The answer you’re looking for is no.  He’s a control artist whiz like you’d want from your child when they’re doing the pee-pee dance. Speaking of which, did every team relieve themselves of their relievers? Let’s find out!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Had our 1st mega trade. Or as far as Trevor Bauer is concerned, might be our first MAGA trade too.  Take it easy, it’s a joke.  An everyday occurrence and tempers flaring might be hard to distinguish for Trevor Bauer since he will now see red all the time. Interestingly, Bauer wasn’t throwing his last pitch for the Indians the other day, he was throwing his 1st pitch towards Cincy. The Indians should be embarrassed of themselves for selling off their big frontline pitcher as they hold their Wild Card chances in their hands.  Notice I didn’t say the Indians should be red-faced.  Hey, they’re the ones still with the name. Bauer has been down a tad this year compared to last. Not just obviously in ERA, but his Ks are down, walks are up, homers are way up, which won’t play well in Cincy, but I will say he was way over his head last year with a 2.21 ERA, so he’s likely still a 3.50-ish ERA pitcher with great Ks in Cincy and the NL.  He should be able to chuck balls over Great American’s fence with greater ease too. So win-win.  Going the other way and the rest of the news, well…Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, Jason Vargas was traded to the Phillies. Good luck, Phillies reporters! Vargas will be the 1st player to throw batteries back at fans. “What’s with that stupid grin?” Rhys Hoskins pulls Vargas by the arm, “Hey, Vargy, that’s, uh, the Phanatic. His expression doesn’t change.”  “I’ll knock that smirk off his face!”  So, Vargas now becomes the ace of the Phillies’ staff, which means he’s a league-average starter.  I keed. A little. Aaron Nola is good, just not this year.  Since Vargas doesn’t even change divisions, his value stays pretty level, except Citizens Flank is a worse park than Metco, so there’s a slight tick down, if anything. How about this trading deadline so far?  Huh?  It’s almost as good as the Winter Hot Stove.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Oh, Marcus Stroman.  You poor, poor soul. Can we take bets on how hard the Mets tried to include Mickey Callaway in the deal? It is so Mets to suddenly think of themselves as contenders. Blue Jays to Pirates, “Thank you for making the Mets believe again.”  We’ll see how much Stroman enjoys throwing ground ball pitches with that defense behind him. Amed Rosario plays balls two feet to his left into a diving try. Honestly, I wouldn’t be shocked if this move leads to the Mets trading away Wheeler and Syndergaard, as they change their rotation vs. thinking Stroman is some catalyst. He has a 7.2 K/9, 2.5 BB/9 and 3.52 FIP, so he’s not bad. A bit yawnstipating, but in the NL out of the AL East makes me a buyer of Stroman vs. ignoring him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Snap, snap, claw, claw, save.  That’s The Save Vulture Dance.  Sing it like it’s The Electric Slide.  The save vulture is a scavenger bird.  They see weakness in others’ misfortune.  A closer goes down or struggles or gets traded and the save vulture swoops in and gnaws on the closer’s handcuff. Snap, snap, Reyes Moronta, Mark Melancon, Sam Dyson, Tony Watson, claw, claw, save.  Save vultures have trouble reproducing because they’re usually overweight guys who would prefer to listen to sports news than what the girl they’re dating is talking about. Snap, snap, Freddy Peralta, claw, claw, save. The save vulture’s claws are orange from Cheetos dust. Snap, snap, Joe Jimenez, claw, claw, save. Teams are trying to flip their closers for prospects at the trading deadline. Snap, snap, Yoan Lopez, Yoshihisa Hirano, Archie Bradley, claw, claw, save. If you can stash setup men right now, it’s advisable because over the next week closers are going to change rapidly. Snap, snap, Daniel Hudson, claw, claw, save. You may not be able to get to waivers to grab the closer replacement, so I’d forget bench bats until the trading deadline and hold some setup men in case your closers are traded. Snap, snap, Aaron Bummer, claw, claw, save. It’s especially important to make sure you have new closers coming in if you’re about to lose closers who will become setup men on contenders. Snap, snap, Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman, Kyle Crick, Nick Anderson, Nick Wittgren, Craig Stammen, Chris Martin, Jose Leclerc, claw, claw, save. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Rob Manfred presses the button on a contraption that looks like a skinny hose, and juices spurt out. Rob looks up to the store clerk, “So, I just push this end of the hose inside the baseballs and juice comes out and balls go zoom?”  “Zoom, baby, zoom.”  “I’ll take 300 of them.”  “You only want 300 homers?”  “You’re right, I’ll take 45,000.”  “Will do, Kemosabe. Hey, wanna see where I store the white pine tar that pitchers can use undetected?”  “No, that’s illegal!”  So, what’s this, three days in a row with a hitter hitting three homers in a game? Shizz is bizzonkers. Every year I say the same for Nelson Cruz (3-for-5, 5 RBIs and his 23rd, 24th and 25th homer) and Edwin Encarnacion. They will hit home runs until they’re 50. That’s if they’re not already 50, then make it 70.  When reached for comment after the game, Cruz said, “I could’ve hit four homers, but then you find out why Mark Whiten was called ‘Hard Hittin.'” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Shane Bieber went 9 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 1 walk, 10 Ks, ERA at 3.44. Donkey Teeth and I made a trade the other day. My first trade of the year. I sent him Kenley Jansen for Shane Bieber. I discuss it on this week’s podcast. I receive Shane Bieber in this trade…TOMORROW! I don’t even want him now! He’s tainted with Donkey Teeth juice. That one-hitter is supposed to be mine! Mine, I say! Only thing worse would’ve been he threw a one-hitter and broke his hand high-fiving Bauer. Ugh, why couldn’t Donkey Teeth offer the trade the day before so I had Bieber on my team? I want him. Me! Me! Me! *Idris Elba opens an envelope* “…and Best Dramatic Retelling of a Fantasy Baseball Trade goes to…Some guy in his mom’s basement you never heard of.” Damn, I lost that too!  Donkey Teeth offered me Rhys Hoskins, Madison Bumgarner or Bieber and I jumped at the lattest (totally a word), because Bieber’s peripherals are gorge — 11.2 K/9, 2 BB/9, 3.19 xFIP. Bieber was a preseason sleeper of mine, and he is essentially a top ten pitcher. So, put that in your natch and natch it!  Too bad I own him in one less league as of yesterday.  Me!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, Robinson Cano went 4-for-4, 5 RBIs and became the oldest 2nd baseman to ever hit three homers in a game (and he still has 4+ years on his contract!), hitting his 7th, 8th and 9th homers, and nearly had a fourth homer, but pulled it fowl (Mets sold the rights to their foul poles to Chick-Fil-A; don’t ask).  Kill me now:

Seriously, lay me down on the hot pavement and let Tawny Kitaen stomp my genitals like I’m Chuck Finley. The awfulness of owning Robinson Cano coupled with actually owning him for a three-homer game while he’s on my bench is too much to bear.  Sprinkle Doritos dust on my head, put me in an office chair, and roll me towards Billy Butler, then run the other way so you spare yourself.  He was going against Chris Paddack (5 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 2.84) — my baby boo! — how could I start Cano?  How? *screaming in the rain, shaking fists at the heavens* How?! So Cano hasn’t been good, but maybe this is the turnaround he needs.  More than likely, I’ll now put him in my lineup for an 0-for-45 stretch.  HOW?! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Andrew Benintendi has been…Actually, we should stop there and dissect those first four words.  He is Andrew Benintendi, as far as I know. ‘Has been’ is interesting, but more of the hyphenated word ‘has-been,’ as in ‘once was’ as in, “I saw Tom Arnold at the Whole Foods near me, what a has-been.”  Funny side note that is actually related, as most of you know, Rudy does the titles, I write the posts. So to get a title, I text him what I want the lede to be. Yesterday, I texted him, “Benintendi is a sh*tbird, but might be coming out of it with a homer, title ideas?”  That really is it, isn’t it?  What more is there to say?  His strikeout rate is egregious (for him), up from 16% to 23.6%.  His home run per fly ball would make Juan Pierre be like, “Nuh-uh, cuz, you don’t play with that turd.”  On top of the vomitorium that is housing his stats, he’s hitting so many fly balls (46%) that are going nowhere (87.5 MPH average exit velocity). This is actually a recipe for disaster I just made-up:  Benintendi has 17th most extreme launch angle and the 7th (!) worst HR/FB.  In layman’s terms, he’s hitting everything up and nothing out.  That’s awful.  So, yesterday was a solid game (3-for-5 with his 8th homer, hitting .266), but I’d be careful thinking he has been good, without the hyphen.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The Astros got two great starts this weekend from two guys who weren’t in the conversation until recently.  On Saturday, Jose Urquidy went 7 IP, 1 ER, 2 hits, zero walks, 9 Ks, ERA at 5.54.  He made my pants up-jump-the-boogie a little from his pitching.  I expect multiple roofies from him still, but Urquidy is […]

Please, blog, may I have some more?