Every off-season my phone prepares itself to get a lot less use; not checking it every five minutes to see stat updates  makes my wife happy.  For me, there’s a bittersweet feeling.  It almost seems like the baseball season isn’t six months long (wait, yes it does). In a week it’s bye-bye to Stat-tracker, Yahoo! and ESPN apps, MLB Network and MLB AtBat; now it’s time for just watching baseball.

I’m talking a whole nine-inning game, not just highlights and live look-ins or catching three innings of a game when I can; or hitting up a few games, getting a hot dog, complaining about parking and overpriced beer, never catching a foul ball, leaving early because it’s a blow out; I’m talking playoff baseball.  My Cubs are in it and I’m ready to see them get to that World Series.  Yes, this is the year.  No more curses, stupid goats or nerdy scapegoats.  This is the year!  And now that I’ve sufficiently jinxed the Cubbies, back to fantasy baseball.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Entering the last weeks of the season, a few things have become crystal clear #1: No one wanted Crystal Clear Pepsi in the first place, why is it back? #2: OPS Leagues are the best in fantasyland and #3: It hasn’t been my best season overall.  I know, I know, anyone that writes for Razzball should dominate every league they are in.  I’m doing well in more leagues then I’m not, true; however I’ve had an epic collapse in my home league that has messed with me as I owned the first half; another I know I should be doing better in  but moving across country, starting a new job; life really got in the way this summer (not that’s it’s an excuse…well it is, life happens).  So I’m taking responsibility (or at least placing the blame).  However one thing I didn’t need to be reminded of is the luck of it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The post could’ve been about Paulo Orlando; but it’s not, so Royals fans need not apply.  Well, they can, I don’t discriminate, I regulate every shade of OPS.  Anyway this post is about Orlando Arcia, and you should go add him if you need SS or MI help the rest of the season; let’s get that out of the way first.  We’ll dive into him (wait and see, it’s a neat trick) here in a minute but just thinking about Orlando makes me wonder why Orlando, FLA doesn’t have an MLB team.  True enough, Tampa is nearby (an hour and ten if you’re not driving with Grandpa) and they don’t draw well; the last time I was at a Rays game we spent most of our time playing pool in the cigar lounge, which was decent enough for a cigar bar in a terrible baseball stadium.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Well I fought the off mayonnaise malaise, survived and I’m back! Large, in charge, and ready to finish off the 2016 season on a high note.  There’s still five weeks left in the season and it’s slim pickings out there but consider some of these guys and they’ll take you to the promised land like Moses (topical!).  So let’s dive right in.

Looking at the last two weeks OPS it’s time to get back on the Randal Grichuk train.  Choo-choo!  Grichuk was a popular sleeper going into the season after finishing last season on a high note; he’s had an up-and-down first full season in the majors as he’s been sent down a couple times.  The Cardinals need his help if they want to make the playoffs; his ownership has sunk to only 27% in Yahoo and 22% in ESPN. Since being recalled from AAA he has five homers, 11 RBIs and an OPS of 1.205!  That’s good!  Not so good?  He’s walked once.  Ah well, you can’t walk them all, or something like that.  He’s gets Oakland at home then travels to Milwaukee and the Reds; loving those matchups for the week ahead.  I’ve added him where I can and expect some power, no walks (obviously) and a decent OPS to finish out the season.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I call it mayonnaise malaise because those words go together as cool as words can, and that it reminds me of how my wife always make fun of me for how I say mayonnaise (I say it May-naze, which is the Chicagoan in me I guess though Tony Soprano says it similarly so maybe it’s my Italian side) even though I didn’t even like mayo until my late twenties and my wife is a fan of Miracle Whip.  Now though my wife makes her own mayo (we did move to Cali this year) and I’m stuck with the mayo malaise blues.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I was talking to a couple of friends about baseball and the necessity of pitching and we agreed that we don’t need it.  IN Fantasy that is.  Don’t get me wrong, I like pitchers and realize they are an integral part of the game; I mean someone has to throw the ball.  Or do they?  We have pitching machines already, and we don’t have to worry about them getting hurt.  All we have to do is make them look cool.  Let Kayne design them.  Nah, you say, c’mon man, that’s crazy.  I know it is; I’m just looking forward to when we have half man/half machine and full on robots like Super Baseball 2020 for the Super Nintendo (or if you were a rich kid back in the day you had it on Neo Geo).  I don’t expect we’re getting there soon, and definitely not by 2020, but when we do I will be there cheering on Barry Bonds (if anyone is getting fused with a robot to play baseball it’s him, right?).

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So since my last post Yahoo! decided to update their app.  They didn’t tell me it was coming (I sent them emails for months asking for an update I guess [email protected] isn’t their email) but I like to think that I had a direct cause of the outcome (since I didn’t) as I did talk about it a few weeks ago, and now that we have an updated app it’s time to talk about it again.

First off, appearance: the drastic change in contrast from black to white (first thought: Michael Jackson, second thought: Seinfeld and the black & white cookie).  I am decidedly not a fan.  I have to turn down the screen brightness, and that’s just silly.  Why can’t I choose what color I want the background to be?  I’d like a light green personally but since we are all unique snowflakes we should all get the color we choose.  This is America dammit!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I was watching the PCLInternational League All-Star game (Psyche! You thought it was going to be about the MLB All Stars; well it is, we’ll get there and Psych was an underrated great show) and took note of a few older All Stars.

1). Casey McGehee still plays!  And still spells his last name weird.  He was fantasy relevant for a short time in Milwaukee and this season in the PCL he’s got five homers and an OPS of .837  at AAA(and little chance of getting a call-up, but shout out to him anyway).

2). Jesus Montero was also around (hitting 11 homers with an .810 OPS in AAA).  Fun fact.  He’s got a brother named Jesus Montero.  Another fun fact, too many 1B in Toronto in front of him for now, but it is Edwin splitting time at DH and Justin Smoak.  So keep an ear to the ground (don’t do that, the ground is dirty) and maybe Jesus rises again (yep, should’ve seen that one coming).

3). The immortal Tuffy Gosewisch, familiar to Diamondback fans only (or at least he should be), who has a .952 OPS in the PCL and a career MLB OPS at .531.  It’s certainly true, the PCL is where you want to hit.

4). I’m not a fan of Billy Ripken.  Love the F Face baseball card.  Not a fan of his announcing nor his appearances on MLB Network.  More a fan of Al Leiter who’s pretty decent on MLB Network and the Marlins and Yankees games I’ve watched.  While we’re at it can we send Harold Reynolds back to ESPN?  Keep Byrnes, who I’m glad they toned down and Smoltz and Pedro (sometimes) with Amsinger and MLB network is good to go.  There were a lot of good prospects at the PCL-International All-Star game, but that isn’t my bag, so I’ll refer you here.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jason Heyward has really been a thorn in my fantasy baseball (and real baseball) side for too long. He keeps poking me with his thorns and I do not like it.  It’s been an up-and-down ride with him for me the last couple seasons.  Prior to 2015 he was a member of the Atlanta Braves and he had the look of a future 30/20 guy at worst.  In 2012 he hit 27 homers with 21 steals at age 22!  He looked like a power hitter, and he had a solid defensive game to boot.  A future superstar.  But there were signs he wasn’t all that (his minor league numbers showed little power) and they continued in subsequent seasons with the Braves, where he only stole bases and never hit more than 14 homers.  The Cardinals thought they were getting a good deal for Shelby Miller (not as good as the Braves got for Miller sheesh) and Heyward produced a decent fantasy season with 13 homers and 23 steals and a .797 OPS.

So, being a Cubs fan and a (now former) St. Louis resident when he signed with the Cubs I was pretty excited.  He was a bonus to the Cubs and it made Cardinal fans pissed; that’s a win-win for me.  Now all he had to be was as good as he was on the Cardinals and it’d be a win-win-win.  Even though the Cubs are doing really well Heyward has stunk.  Like terribly as many of you are aware. In 75 games so far he has four homers and seven steals and a .089 ISO and an OPS killing .649.  If he’s bringing steals then you could argue him as a fifth OF, but he’s not even doing that.  At least Joe Maddon finally, this past week, put him down, er, moved him down in the order.  I can’t believe it took that long…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The BFG movie is coming out, based on Roald Dahl’s book; I remember back in junior high every girl and a few guys reading all his books, and if you were really cool, you knew how to pronounce his name.  I was not cool and didn’t read his books, but did enjoy Willy Wonka. Back in those days though, BFG to me was a gun in DOOM, which they said stood for Big Fragging Gun, but we all knew better.  Wow, I feel like I have pimples and am wearing flannel all over again.

Anyway, BFG stands for Big Friendly Giant in the book; but shouldn’t it stand for Big F***king Guy?  I can’t think of a better description right now for Steven Moya.  Moya measures at 6’7, 260 pounds (making him just taller than Roald Dahl at 6’6; I get the sneaking suspicion that at least some of the BFG is about Dahl himself; furthermore Dahl was a pilot all over the world in his youth.  My question: how did he fit into the cockpit?  Now that I think about it, I’ve never seen a tall pilot which makes sense since that cockpit is small – that’s what she said!)

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I have a serious question (not that serious).  Why does ESPN have a separate section to “Manage DL”apart from setting rosters?  It should work the same way as putting a guy on the bench, like Yahoo does.  Or just have no DL spots and larger rosters, like ottoneu.  ESPN works the same way on the app too, like why couldn’t they fix that for the app?  I don’t often go on the website for my ESPN leagues; really I don’t find it a good setup, and it’s never improved.  Yahoo I’ll look at a little more often because it’s easier to search for free agents.  Both sites are way better when looking at trades as there is a lot more information and Yahoo even has their feature about how it changes your future projections.  Also you can decline a trade and counter on the website, which you can’t do on the apps.

Furthermore I’m actually wondering how many people don’t even look at the website anymore; I’ve found it’s much easier to change lineups using the app for both sites.  Even more further how many people even have desktop/laptop computers and actually use them to play fantasy baseball?  I know I do but a lot of people in my leagues just use their phones.  In short I like Yahoo’s app better than ESPN, and I like ESPN’s website better than Yahoo’s.  What do you guys think?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Now that the closest baseball stadium to me is in Anaheim I’m watching more Angels games.  Truthfully I’m watching more MLB network, and then Cubs games, and then Angels games.  It’s still more than just the Mike Trout highlights I would normally but in any event I’ve seen some of this guy, Jefry Marte.  Jefry Marte?  Who is that?  And why can’t he spell Jeffrey right?

Well this Jefry is seeing time in left field for the Angels, who really stink out there to the tune of an MLB worst .550 OPS (thanks Yahoo!, as that tidbit is on his player page).  That is pathetic.  So they’re running Marte out there, who is normally a corner infielder.  Only 24 years old from the Dominican Republic, which is on the island of Hispaniola (which is such a fun word to say, especially if you throw a lisp in there), Marte has been around in his short career.  He originally started with Mets at age 17, played in the Futures game at the 2011 All-Star Game, was traded to the A’s for the not aptly named Collin Cowgill (he’s not a cow at 5’9, 190), and then was released by Oakland after the 2014 season.  Signed by Detroit two weeks later, he wound up being designated for assignment so the Tigers could sign Justin Upton (I can’t imagine that Detroit could foresee that Marte would be almost as good so far in 2016 as Upton) and traded to the Angels.

Marte did play in the majors in Detroit last year, hitting four homers in 80 at-bats; this season in limited action he’s hit four homers in 42 at-bats and has an OPS of 1.078; which is good.  His 4.5% BB and 29.5% K are not.  Those numbers last season on the Tigers were 8.9% BB and 24.4% K.  So he looks like a hacker.  A power hitting hacker in the same lineup as Mike Trout?  Are you sure I’m not really talking about Albert Pujols?  No, I’m not.  Not even I can recommend Albert anymore.  Just think, the Angels get him for how many more years?  Five more?  And full no-trade protection? Ha!

Please, blog, may I have some more?