As we begin our autopsies of the 2022 FMLB season, let us gain a unique perspective to better understand the performance of a handful of players. A paradigm shift such as this will help you better evaluate your boys going into 2023! Presenting fantasy baseball player’s season represented by various Coen Brothers films!
|Blood Simple||Bo Bichette||As I remember it, this is a slow burner that achieves a remarkably terrifying and powerful conclusion, much like Bichette’s Redemption September|
|Hudsucker Proxy||Oneil Cruz||Most people think he stinks but will gain a cult following next season|
|Barton Fink||Cody Bellinger||Barton/Bellinger are in California chasing their dreams, only to realize their dreams belong to someone else. Apparently, fantasy baseballers were dreaming of a great season, while Cody dreamed of what clouds might taste like if he could fly and had a magic spoon|
|Miller’s Crossing||Luis Robert||He crossed us so many times with his injuries and the White Sox mismanagement that it’s tough to forgive. Yet when looking at what he accomplished despite being cursed, you know he’s really good.|
|Fargo||Jon Berti||Like William H. Macy’s character, he seemed like such a good guy to most people (he’s leading the league in steals with 3 months left) but by the end of the film, you’re pissed b/c the cops were too easy on him (not like they could hurt leg anymore!).|
|Big Lebowski||Christian Walker||Turns out that Christian Walker was the good Lebowski this season, not the Big one. And if you don’t know the difference, I feel a sense of great sadness for you.|
|O Brother Where Art Thou||Shohei Ohtani||So insanely perfect that people are somehow a little underwhelmed with the results. A result of greatness burnout.|
|No Country for Old Men||Tony LaRussa||I shouldn’t have to explain this.|
|Burn After Reading||Michael Harris||Not enough people are watching this guy go 20/20 in 400 AB’s! Ya’ll are fools!|
To the blurbs!
A Blurbstomp Reminder
We will analyze player blurbs from a given evening, knowing that 1-2 writers are usually responsible for all the player write-ups posted within an hour of the game results. We will look at:
- Flowery Diction – how sites juice up descriptions of player performance
- Q and Q – when a site contradicts a player valuation on back-to-back blurbs
- Stephen A. Smith IMG_4346.jpeg Award – Given to the player blurb that promises the most and delivers the least.
- Bob Nightengale Syndrome – instances of updates that don’t update anything
The hope is that by season’s end, we’ll all feel more confident about our player evaluations when it comes to the waiver wire. We will read blurbs and not be swayed by excessive superlatives, faulty injury reporting, and micro-hype. I will know that I have done my job when Grey posts, and there isn’t a single question about catchers that he did not address in his post. Onward to Roto Wokeness!
Ortiz allowed just three baserunners and was pulled after just 80 pitches (55 strikes) following a two-out walk to Zach McKinstry in the fifth inning. The Pirates have understandably been extremely careful with his pitch counts and workload so far, but the hard-throwing 23-year-old rookie sensation has recorded a stellar 1.17 ERA, 0.78 WHIP and 17/7 K/BB ratio across 15 1/3 innings (three starts) since being called up earlier this month from Triple-A Indianapolis. He should be rostered in all fantasy formats and represents a must-start option for fantasy managers when he faces the Cardinals on Saturday in his next outing.
Props where props are due: Calling Luis Ortiz a “rookie sensation” after three starts with a 3.86 SIERA is homerism I can get behind. The Pirates need to get good, but not for what you think. You see, I’m caught in a web of conspiracy that posits Pirates owner Bob Nutting would like the baseball team he owns to be as terrible as possible. He can then continue to fire people, hire new people at a lower salary, and gut the team like the human VC he is.
On another note, I need someone besides Bryan Reynolds to get good press. Oneil Cruz is incredible to watch, but he’s got holes in his swing. That being said, he’ll be a perennial 80/35/100/20/.220 threat every year. It’s like taking a chance on Adam Dunn, only he can steal bases and also hits line drives in bunches. Yet find a thread on Twitter about Cruz, and even Pittsburgh fans are lining up to throw tomatoes at the clown. It’s incredible what he’s already done (notice that I’m ignoring the double-digit errors because fantasy baseball), but that he’s derided for hitting the ball really hard? What’s next? Are you going to deride him for a higher contact rate as he adjusts to the league? Are you going to be a Derider or a D-Rider?
Welp, that became crass.
Stephen A. Smith Award
Even worse was that Gonzalez threw wide of first place on a double-play ball in a 1-1 game in the eighth, opening the door for the Tigers to score three runs. This one certainly won’t help his case for playing time the rest of the way.
Seems like either a 13-year-old or a 45-year-old fan wrote this blurb, and I say this without attempting to denigrate any one person. We again have the player’s defensive play highlighted in the flavor text as if it affected the outcome of his offensive performance. Even though this is the same White Sox team that insisted a .250 OPS’ing Leury Garcia was an everyday player; nay, even a clean-up hitter? It would be naive to think that this team does any kind of evaluation outside of trolling their fanbase to improve online engagement.
Final point: There is no reason for me suddenly “bullet point” this paragraph. I could start the paragraph with my thought. This is the kind of extranea that maddens me to the point I use it to make a point to myself. Don’t do as I do, as they say. Right? Anyways, blurbs like this serve no purpose, hence the Stephen A. Smith Award. We learn about a player as our blurbist reconciles with their own life choices, staring into the abyss and insisting to their audience that despite the void that has enveloped us, we should all be very angry that Romy Gonzalez is allowed to play baseball.
I would gently agree with the Romy-bashing if was blocking a promising youngster. But lo, it’s always worse than you can imagine. To whit, Romy Romero’s previous blurb:
Gonzalez walked twice in his first five games for the White Sox this year, but he’s sporting a 25/0 K/BB ratio in 65 plate appearances and 18 games since. Perhaps he shouldn’t be playing second base ahead of veteran Josh Harrison.
Seems kind of cruel to point out a player’s futility in this manner twice, just to petition that Josh Harrison get more playing time. Every hitter goes through stretches like this, but don’t let my empathy tell you Romy Gonzalez is even a good baseball player. That’s not where my jib is cutting. Again, we have learned a player we did not know about is having a real bummer of a time playing at a level of baseball that almost all of us will never achieve. If the toilet’s already overflowing, there’s no reason to poop on top of the mess, as my fifth cousin thrice removed always said (I’m sure someone has said something similar, but I just made all of this up. I don’t even have five cousins. Is anyone else in my boat where it seems the rest of the world has a stadium-filling extended family? It’s a lonely boat. Also, how do cousins get removed? What an odd turn of phrase).
Alonso got the Mets on the board in the first inning when he scampered home off the bat of Tyler Naquin’s single to right field. The potent Mets offense would chase A’s started JP Sears in the fourth inning but the Polar Bear would welcome A’s reliever Norge Ruíz to the came with a majestic 451-foot two-run bomb to give the visiting Mets a comfortable 7-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning. The 27-year-old slugger is hitting a cool .270/.349/.519 with 39 homers and holds the Mets single-season RBI total with 125 runs scored, which should extend for the week and a half.
Weird phrasing at the end. If I see: “…holds the Mets single-season RBI…” I expect the word “record” to follow. Instead, Young Peter is “holding” the team’s RBI lead by…well, by. Hmm. Does it seem that he’s leading the team in RBI’s using his Runs Scored as the defining metric? I, um, well gee whiz.
Not to diminish anything Shohei Ohtani is doing, but all of those stats being passed around last week showing him leading the Angels in all of the offensive categories were mostly a function of Trout having missed a significant chunk of the year. In spite of his absences, Trout now has 37 homers to Ohtani’s 34. At 464 plate appearances, he’s still a little shy of qualifying for the batting title (475 plate appearances is his cutoff), but there’s a good chance he’ll get there if he doesn’t miss any additional time, and he currently leads the Angels in average (.278), OBP (.364) and slugging (.619).
“Not to diminish anything Shohei Ohtani is doing….”
THEN DON’T DIMINISH SHOHEI OHTANI AND JUST TALK ABOUT MIKE TROUT HE’S REALLY GOOD.
Bob Nightengale Memorial Plaque
Escobar had just one hit on the day, but he made it count. With the bases loaded in the fifth inning, he took Cole Irvin deep for a grand slam to break the game open. He later reached base on a fielder’s choice and scored on a double by Jeff McNeil. The 33-year-old infielder is hitting .236/.289/.431 with 19 homers and 61 RBI across 505 plate appearances.
Ah yes, a grand slam for Eduardo. Very good. How has he been doing lately? Seems like he has turned it around? Ah, I see that you’re quoting his season-long triple slash, which looks poorly. Too bad he’s not contributing to anyone winning their team’s playoffs or season-long leagues at this point! It must hurt that he’s this awful. Oh, what’s that you say?
Last 7 games: 2/1/6/.250
Last 14 games: 7/2/10/.240
Last 30 games: 15/7/19/.323
By Jove the man has simply dashed the very essence of out of this baseball! Methinks he is being treated harshly by this scriber of blurbs! Ah, but do you think the larger point stands? But what if I were to show you a blurb from the same evening about a very different player?
Last 7 games: 3/0/5/.261
Last 14 games: 4/0/7/.222
Last 30 games: 11/0/9/.266
Season: 43/5/37/1/.251 in 342 AB
Would it bring you sweet mirth if I told you that Rotoworld announced this mystery player is “finishing out his rookie season strong” with that absolutely David Fletcher-on-downers stat line? Lady and Gentlefriends, remember Riley Greene?
Ah, you don’t remember him? That makes things easier!