Welcome to September!

Fall has always been a time for baseball to get weird and bring all the kids along. The rules will change in 2020, dropping active rosters from 40 players to 28, so I’m thinking organizations might be even thirstier than usual for this last red-rover run through the end-of-summer sprinkler.

The thing about September: it used to be the seventh month, leading into months eight (Oct), nine (Nov) and ten (Dec). Eventually some guy named Greg came along and switched the script, so now the names don’t match the numbers. This reminds me of Fantasy Baseball: a game of numbers masquerading as a game of names, meaning the real game is navigating those gaps among the names and numbers. In that spirit, today’s dispatch will feature some players in that space between perceived and real value. These are not meant as Buy-Low suggestions as much as they are Buy-if-you-Can opportunities.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Cincinnati Reds have not enjoyed a lot of good off-seasons. Not many good in-seasons, either. Perhaps you remember the winter they thought domestic violence was bad enough to Aroldis Chapman for peanuts. Maybe a pretzel. The way I remember it, the press they received for this decision was largely negative, criticizing the Reds for not getting more back from the Yankees, who received little if any negative press for their support of a domestic abuser. They Reds had obtained, among other pieces, a man whose last name looked strikingly similar to gigolo. Perhaps this was their error. Perhaps part III, if this transaction happened today, I hope the media would more readily praise that front office’s zero-tolerance stance on choking in the kitchen and gun-play in the garage.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Do you remember the last time you swung and missed?

Maybe it happened at your beer league softball game? Or maybe it was during last week’s company-wide meeting when you thought you’d tell that funny story about the peanut butter thing but screwed up the beginning, and nobody laughed—not even Amber from accounting who giggles at everything—so you sat down all hot faced, feeling stupid all day?

Or maybe you’re thinking of that day you finally asked out Amber from Accounting, and that time she did laugh?

Nobody likes to swing and miss, is all I’m saying. And nobody likes that awkward what-what of trying to save a story from a bad opening line. Here’s some baseball-related proof:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Prospecting is hard work. Have you seen Deadwood? Bottom line, people can die out here looking for gold. Al Swearinger will see to that. 

On the off chance you find some gold, shizz just gets more dangerous. Remember what happened to Tom Waits in that Ballad of Buster Scruggs? He was all alone out in the nothingness of nature’s beauty, working his ass off surrounded by an embarrassment of resources waiting to be swallowed up by the coming monsoon of hyper-capitalism. 

Scary solitude. 

And that’s kind of my goal here. I want to be early on scene, digging for veins of gold that’ll be just waiting for you to take back to your leagues anytime you happen upon my efforts. 

So welcome to the Prospect Index—your portal to a rundown for every minor league system in baseball! 

Please, blog, may I have some more?