*insert musical note* Hello, darkness, my old friend. It’s something-something, me again. So, I don’t know the words. Are you here for musical theory or for a recap of the craziest season in recent memory if one can only remember a year or two? I thought so! Today’s jazz handsy recap is of the catchers. Please don’t ask if this is ranking for next year. It’s not a ranking for next year. It’s me recapping last season. Please, for the love that all is holy, understand this. It’s all I ask of you. Well, that and shower me with praise. The latter isn’t hard, the former is. Also, remembering which is the ‘latter’ and which is the ‘former’ is hard too. Quibbles and semantics, my good man and five lady-mans. It wouldn’t be fair for me to preseason rank the players, then rank them again in the postseason based on my opinion, so these postseason top 20 lists are ranked according to our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. It’s cold hard math, y’all! Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2019 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This year the Razzballies are going without a host. I, Grey Albright, Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbreviate it) am merely a long-form presenter. Remember, you can’t spell ghosting without host. You also can’t spell hostage, but no one is forcing you to stay for the award show. You’re going to want to, though, because without these awards, you’ll have no idea who was the best and worst hitters and pitchers this year, and you’ll be left giving out your own awards and no one cares if your “Low sodium tomato soup in a sourdough bowl” won your “Whitest Lunch Of All-Tme” award. Stop making up fake awards! For all of you winners and losers, I ask that you please keep your acceptance speeches down to a minimum. As a hero once said, “I’m going to thank everyone in private.” So, before I’m talking to no one but a room full of seat-fillers, here’s the year-end awards for the best and worst of fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You emerge from mother’s basement, holding your hands up to your eyes to block the sun, and scream, “Ma! I won my fantasy league! Ma!” You stop to look around; it’s a fiery landscape reminiscent to an apocalypse. You open further the basement door, and it falls off its hinges. You, scared, “Ma?” There’s no walls anymore on your house, which gives you a vantage point to the entire surrounding area that smolders. Coming up your once-tree-lined street is a posse of thousands of–An army from another country? Another world? Who are they? What have they done with your family? Just as the questions dissolve over you, a warrior spots you and grunts for you to get in line. You reach for the only weapon you can get your hands on, a Lou Pinella commemorative mini-bat from a 1981 stadium giveaway, and join the post-apocalyptic army. As you scuttle into position behind the marching forces, you see a group of warriors carrying your mother’s head on a pitchfork. Overcome with emotion, you run up and scream, “Ma! I gotta tell you about the fantasy league I won!” In this scenario, I am your mother, and the army is Razzball. You’re welcome! Today is the day when you realize you’ve spent 27,000 man hours this summer beating eleven other strangers to win a virtual trophy, and it feels great! That’s if you won your league, if you came in 2nd or worst, you get an A for effort. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

For some of you too young to remember (ya know, all of you 4-year-olds reading a fantasy baseball blog), Jose Reyes sat out after a 1st inning single in order to win a batting title in 2011. A weasel move if there ever was one. It’s like sleeping with Kate Hudson, Kate Upton and Kate Beckinsale then declaring you’re off the market for life because you’ve got the Triple Kate Crown. Not even trying for Kate Bush, Kate Gosselin or a Kate Spade handbag. You sold yourself short, just like Jose Reyes. Well, yesterday was, well, have I said ‘well’ yet, well, um, well, Mike Minor (8 2/3 IP, 5 ER, 12 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 3.59) got 200 Ks on the season. He did. There’s no denying it, but here’s the path he took: He gave up five runs, didn’t look great, was at 117 pitches and came out for the 8th inning because he needed one more K for 200. Much to his chagrin, he threw a 1-2-3 8th inning on three pitches. So, would he come out for the 9th? You betcha, home slice! Skullduggery was afoot! He got another out, then a two-strike count to Chris Owings, when Owings popped up to Ronald Guzman in foul territory. Guzman, knowing Minor needed another K for 200, dropped the pop-up and his dugout cheered. Baseball:  team sport.  Then, on the next pitch, he struck out Chris Owings and got his 200th K on an 86 MPH winded-as-all-get-out fastball that was called a change with an eye roll on the 126th pitch. So, does this make Minor as bad as Reyes? Much worse? Or better because he was at least trying to do more? No one will ever be as bad as Jose Reyes! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Adalberto Mondesi will have surgery on his shoulder and miss the next five to six months. *insert GIF of King Tommen falling out of the window* Mondesi likely won’t be ready for Opening Day. Cancel 2020. Don’t even want to go on. Please, don’t try to cheer me up. I’m wallowing! Let me wallow! Guess it’s better to get the injury out of the way now vs. in March. Ha, you thought I was being positive! Screw you for misreading my intentions! It’s not good news, this means his shoulder could re-injure at any point in 2020 and become a recurring issue. Give me a tissue. I already miss you. I’m a sad poet and aware of it. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Remove Giancarlo’s hamate bone! Please! Actually, remove all players’ hamate bones immediately! Sorry, not to get all The Handmaid’s Tale here, but have Aunt Lydia line up all hitters and scalpel their hamates out of their hands. No, no, no, seriously! What if the hamateless hand is just a millisecond quicker around on a swing adding to exit velocity and–Ugh! Can’t that be a possibility? I will remove my tinfoil hat for you to answer me. Okay, I can’t risk Thetans invading my between-the-ears-space so I’m putting the hat back on. Sorry. So, Jose Ramirez returned from the IL, hamateless, and did what Matt Olson and legions of others (maybe no one else) have done before and homered a bazillion times. Yesterday, Jose Ramirez went 2-for-3, 7 RBIs with his 21st and 22nd homer. In 2020, I imagine Jose Ramirez will be ranked in the preseason by everyone like I ranked him coming into this year — at some point in the 2nd round vs. that top five ranking everyone was giving him like a bunch of loons. Though, now that hamate removal surgery is the new cortisone shot… Hmm…  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Juiced ball? Whatever. Honestly, I don’t care if balls go bazinga all over the place. If everyone’s using the same ball, it’s all good. It’s more fair than when some were using ‘roids and others weren’t. Pace of game? Doesn’t bother me at all. More the merrier, and more is time. Let games go five hours with no commercial breaks. Sounds awesome to me. Teams not fielding their best team? That’s the biggest issue and it effin’ sucks. Austin Hays didn’t exactly tear up the minors this year, but you can’t tell me a 24-year-old potential future All-Star should’ve been in the minors at all. Same goes for Ryan Mountcastle. The O’s are the worst (literally) and that’s made even worse by them holding down prospects. Can the worst be made worse? Yes, that’s what I’m saying and the Orioles did it.  I’m not saying this simply because I drafted Mountcastle and Hays in leagues this year expecting them to be up by May. Actually, it is the reason!  So what? It makes logical sense the O’s would’ve promoted them. Stupid me using logic. They really needed to see what they had with Rio Ruiz, Mark Trumbo, Dwight Smith Jr.– Do I need to go on? Yesterday, Austin Hays went (3-for-8, 5 RBIs) and a double slam (3, 4) and legs (1), as he bats 2nd. If the O’s start the year with Austin Hays in 2020, and they should, he’s going to be a guy I target everywhere with his 27/10/.260 potential. Too bad he’ll spend all of next year in the minors because the O’s want to infuriate me.  Stop inflaming my ulcer, you bastards! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Even though I wanted to bet on the Twins to win the World Series and didn’t, I still have to root for them this offseason. With all the bad publicity on baseball, it will be nice to see a team as pure as one led by Polanco, Pineda, Cruz–Wait, has everyone on their team been suspended at one point for PEDs? At least they have Miguel Sano (2-for-4, 4 RBIs and his 32nd and 33rd homer). Hmm…I remember something with Sano.  Hold on…*googling Sano and suspension* Oh, he just tried to force a smacker on a photographer and broke a police officer’s leg in the Dominican Republic. As Young Grey used to dream about, screw the Twins. Any hoo! Miguel Sano now has the 2nd lowest HR/AB (11.1), only being beat by Mike Trout. If we can get a full season from Sano (no guarantee with him) in 2020, I wouldn’t bet against a 45+ homer season. Mean’s while, his price will be that of what? $5 and/or the 12th round in a 12-teamer? There’s gonna be some crazy value for Sano in 2020. You could say *pinkie to mouth* In-Sano.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The other day I stumbled on this: Highest average for a 22-year-old in the past 100 years (min 300 PA): .406 Ted Williams; .358 Freddie Lindstrom; .357 Stan Musial; Luis Arraez; .346 Joe DiMaggio — four Hall of Famers and Arraez. Since that faithful day (three days ago), I’ve been on Team Arraez. I’ve called six local-area Spanish restaurants and asked them to change “arroz” to “Arraez.” I called a local biker bar, where the Spanish Kings Motorcycle Club hangs out, and asked them to change the “mind eraser” to the “Mind Arraez” and asked them to tell people it’s “mind” as in to pay attention to like, “Mind the Gap.” Finally, I called the Kiwanis Club of Madrid and said, “Hola, yo quiero Arraez to tengo a key-o to the ciudad.” In each case, the person I talked to said either, “What?” or “¿Que?” and hung up on me, which is why I’m here to tell you all about Arraez! Wait! Don’t hang up! I’m not done yet! With a minimum of 300 PAs, Arraez has the lowest strikeout rate in the major leagues (8.5%), and his walk rate is around top 50 (10.3%). No one in the league is particularly interested in OBP — sorry, Michael Lewis! — but Arraez would be top 5 in OBP if he qualified. Not exactly a guy who gives a ton of power or speed, which hurts his 5×5 redraft value, but he gets a ton of hits, and I got this stupid Team Arraez jersey and I was obliged to shine a light on him. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Rarely does a fantasy season derive itself from an actual fantasy. An honest-to-goodness, real-life, sleepwalking-in-your-pj’s fantasy. A I-walked-in-on-Marisa-Tomei-and-she-was-like-come-join-me fantasy. Ronald Acuña Jr. aka Tildaddy comes home with Brillo pads you have to use your favorite shirt to clean the dishes aka The Truth is having a fantasy fantasy season. Can’t even remember the last time someone was a top fantasy player and seemed to be trying to accumulate stats. That is an absolute treat. Yesterday, he hit his 40th homer, and now his likely sole goal is to get to 40/40. Who wants to get stats for us, fantasy baseballers? No one usually! They’re all bastards!  But Acuña does! He has 123 runs and 99 RBIs from predominantly the leadoff spot. I’m sorry, I’m going to kiss my computer screen where you reside. He’s averaging 418 feet per homer; Trout and Gallo ‘only’ averaged 419 feet. Speaking of Trout, Acuña or Trout for 2020? On the Player Rater, it’s clearly Tildaddy. At an ADP of 5 this year, he was a steal! If only I owned him in one league…*wavy lines starting a dream sequence* Hey, look, I have Acuña on all of my teams. *turns to mirror* Oh my God, I’m bald! Damn you, O. Henry! *wavy lines* I hate ironic dreams. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?