There have been three Jake the Snakes that I can recall. There was Jake “The Snake” Roberts who starred in the WWE, letting his python terrorize and constrict his opponents, sometimes before but usually after DDT’ing them into submission. Jake “The Snake” Plummer excelled in football at the Arizona State University, leading them to a one-loss season and fourth overall ranking in 1996. He did play in the NFL for 10 seasons, albeit a middling career with 161 touchdowns and 161 interceptions. I respect the symmetry. The sequel is rarely better than the original iteration. Now we have Jake “The Snake” McCarthy of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Has anyone called him “The Snake” but me? Niet, but this is the power that I wield from my mom’s basement. He doesn’t have the ferocious power of Roberts’ DDT and never got as many panties wet as Plummer did at ASU, but McCarthy has been doing his thing and been a viable edition to “The Snake” triology. Let’s dig in if he is truly worthy of it. 

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The Angels are not from Los Angeles. Get the F outta here with that Manute Bol s**t. Grey has ranted about the topic more than once in the past but this is a topic that must never be left to die. The distance from Los Angeles to Anaheim is around 26 miles which equates to approximately a 45 minute drive with minimal traffic. Narrator: There is never minimal traffic. Do you know what’s around 25 miles away from New York City? White Plains. If you drive 14 more miles, you’re in Stamford, Connecticut. From San Francisco, add 12 miles and you’re in San Jose. After I start my GoFundMe account and get enough funds to purchase the team from Arte Moreno, my first order of business is to change the logo:

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Clink. Clink. Clink. The sound was mesmerizing as the blacksmith expertly smushed his hammer down onto the glowing piece layed before him. Clink. Clink. Clink. It’s an arduous process to turn a raw piece of steel into a weapon of extraordinary magnitude. Heat it up so that it becomes malleable, dump it in water to strengthen it, then repeat the process until a sword emerges, blings, mesmerizes, then slices and dices as it’s intended to do. Unfortunately, the proliferation of weapons powered by gunpowder made swords obsolete, but swords could still have utility in the right situation. At the end of the day, in close quarters, they can still slice and dice. Justin Steele of the Chicago Cubs has taken time to be forged, and doesn’t have the explosive nature of some of his contemporaries. That said, he has been useful and could be employed in the right situation. Let’s dig in to see how potent this Steele truly is.

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Being in the zone has been characterized a multitude of ways. Having no worries. Being in complete control. In sports, it has been associated with hot streaks. Even the analytics community knows that they are a thing but, unfortunately, many try to use the small sample sizes of hot streaks in order to predict the future. As a result, hot streaks and being in the zone have been tainted somewhat. I used to play volleyball competitively and there were numerous times when the action would slow down and I’d know where to go before it happened. In hoops, there were times when I would just throw up junk (Heat Check!!!) and voila….buckets. In most games I’ve played, especially video games, there have been times when I’ve been at one with the game ala Neo in the Matrix. That is what Ramon Urias of the Baltimore Orioles has been doing over the past month: .397/.426/.707 slash with five home runs and a .310 ISO! Over the last 30 days, he’s number 29 on the Razzball Player Rater. I traded for him in 30-teamer at the end of June and I didn’t realize the extent of his recent heater. Back in early June, Laura recommended Urias. He was a meh player back then with multi-eligibility, but now? He’s In the Ramon. Can it last? Let’s dig in.

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The most famous carpenter in all of history is Jesus. Some may argue that he never built any buildings. That may or may not be true. We just don’t know. That said, he basically layed the foundation for a religion that has existed for thousands of years. Whether you’re religious or not, the fact that millions celebrate his birthday and know his name is testament enough. For those who cannot relate, it’s akin to someone getting millions of likes and retweets two thousand years after their death. Yeah, it’s like that so pay some respect. One of the most important events in the life of Jesus was his death and subsequent resurrection. Matt Carpenter died from a baseball perspective three years ago, but he has risen in 2022 and is doing something that could be greater than the advent of Christianity! Hyperbole alert! Fine, maybe not on that scale but it’s been historic. Normally, I break down a player in this piece to decipher if one should buy or sell. While that information will be illuminated, this will be more of an homage to what Carpenter has built so far.

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I used to live my life a quarter mile at a time, pressing the Nos button whenever I could. It was a glorious time but filled with many aches and pains. Lots of ideas bursting into flames. So much shame with no one to blame but my stupid brain. That said, without pushing the envelope from time to time, I would’ve never elevated from the plains and experienced what lies above the clouds that make it rain. Josh Rojas of the Arizona Diamondbacks has skyrocketed into space over the past few weeks with his play. That’s not just Nos. NASAos perhaps? Since July 1, the slash has been .415/.478/.659 with a .244 ISO. Daayamm. He’s been the number eight player on the Razzball Player Rater and was the most added player in ESPN leagues with a 21.2% increase. Does this Rojas ship have enough fuel to continue it’s journey or will there be a Roberto Duran-esque “No Mas, No Mas” decline in the immediate future?

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I traded through the dot com and housing bubbles, so I know that things never go straight up and it’s never different this time. The ride up is usually a magnificent one, though, with rampant speculation and drool-inducing euphoria. But things always turn, as roller coasters do not click and clat upwards forever. There is a point where the upside-down U takes shape and the precipitous decline begins. This is when the buy-the-dip crowd latches onto hope and buys every freaking dip, but hope is not a strategy! The puzzles are always morphing when new information and variables are introduced. If stock “investors” would inject some fantasy baseball into them, then they’d be gazillionaires. DISCLAIMER: This is not investment advice. It is purely for informational purposes written by some guy in his mom’s basement. With that out of the way, fantasy baseballers have excellent risk management and stop losses. Granted, sometimes they overtrade but, more often than not, they are quick to cut a player if they don’t produce for a week or so. You know what the funny thing about stock trading is? Most look to sell when a position goes their way while many look to buy when a position goes against them. That’s the opposite of what should be done. Fantasy baseballers execute this well, for the most part. When a player is hot, they clutch onto them like a newborn baby. When a player cools off, they toss them to the trash. Now, there is always a time to sell high and a time to buy low, but only when certain reasons are presented to the matrix, and usually when there’s capitulation. Tarik Skubal has been trash lately, after starting the year Paris Hilton Hot. As a result, he’s been dropped in 6.8% of ESPN leagues. Is this capitulation and are there reasons to buy, or is this another example of hope being a strategy?

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I’m a cruise guy. The all-you-can-eat buffet. Mmmmmmm. Yes, I’m 230 pounds of Grade A (sian) fatness. Walking the deck with the salty ocean breeze tickling the pores of my skin while in the middle of the ocean is nurturing. Playing the soft poker games in the casino is heavenly. In this COVID environment, though, not so much. Regardless, cruises are not for everyone. My parents despise them because they feel constricted. I get it. I no longer drink but many consume the occassional adult beverage once, twice….sheeiitt….Who am i kidding? That’s all they do on a cruise. That is heaven for them. To each their own. Now, who is their God? The bartender, of course, and there was no more inviting bartender than Isaac on the Love Boat. Yes, I’m an old but it was a popular show in my day. He’d chat, mix up the concoction to take you from Point A to Z, then send you on your way. Isaac Paredes of the Tampa Bay Rays may not be chatting fantasy nerds up, but he’s definitely provided a hypnotizing concoction that has gotten many to fall in love and scamper to jump on his boat. He was added in 26.6% of ESPN leagues. What kind of boat is actually being boarded?

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What do you think of when you see AA? If you said Aaron Ashby, then you are the nerdiest of fantasy nerds. Kudos! While Ashby is on the short list for me, I have to admit that Alcoholics Anonymous and American Airlines were front and center. The beautiful thing about the simulation…err….universe that we live in is that there are connections galore. Alcoholics Anonymous consists of humility, discipline, and a spiritual awakening. American Airlines has vehicles that fly above the clouds but can plummet to the earth due to a confluence of factors. That sums up Ashby for fantasy baseball. He can strikeout batters with the best of the best yet he’s been dropped in 12.6% of ESPN leagues over the past week. Is this a time to be humble and acknowledge the current reality over his last two starts (10 earned runs allowed) or is it a time for analytical discipline in order to achieve the upcoming spiritual awakening?

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My oldest child has always been a cautious, cynical kid. When he was starting to travel to the light after nine months of darkness, he probably grabbed onto the walls, opened his eyes, and tried to peer out before coming out. When we’d go to the playground, I never had to worry about him because he’d always assess the risk/reward of any endeavor before progressing. When someone he didn’t know would approach him, he’d always give them the stink eye, look them up and down, and try to figure out if friend or foe. My daughter, on the other hand, is a free spirit, wild child. She hops and skips around with no regard for anything. If a guy with a windowless van approached her and offered a lollipop, she’d hop right in. So, stranger danger is something that the wife and I have had to sear into her brain from day one. In fantasy baseball, stranger danger is applicable as well but the appeal of the unknown upside always sings to us. Hook, line, and sinker. Ranger Suarez gave us plenty of lollipops last season but we are beginning to realize that the van has no windows. Let’s dig in to see what is reality.

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It is often said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. At the same time, repetition is the key to anything, as it helps “transition a skill from the conscious to the subconscious.” Malcolm Gladwell and his 10,000 hours would agree. That said, walking to the garage, grabbing the hammer, then swinging it repeatedly towards one’s genitalia will bring pain. Every. Single. Time. Without fail. Trust me on this. But for some reason, we humans are an interesting species because we often get transfixed on the “This time is different” mantra. Man, life is too complicated. Anyways, for fantasy baseball, the huge sample size of stats allows us to ascertain a good lay of the landscape but there are always ebbs and flows, hot and cold streaks. In addition, one small tweak could alter the entire landscape. Martin Perez has had a FIP of at least 4.5 in each of the last six seasons but, in 2022, that number is at 2.44. He’s the 26th-best pitcher on the Razzball Player Rater to date. He’s been added in 34.1% of ESPN leagues over the past week and is coming off a complete-game shutout of the Houston Astros. I’ve been on this ride before and it’s rarely been pleasant, but I felt compelled to dig in further. Will I be falling for the Martin Perez in the tailpipe again?

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