Editor’s Note: As CA alludes to at the end of this post (spoiler warning!), his family is currently welcoming a little CA into the world.  As a man of the people, he still got this article out on time but he didn’t get a chance to write a witty intro.  Is a witty intro just the penny of fantasy baseball articles?  Is this intro the equivalent of the plan for world domination that is written in the first 30 pages of every recipe blog before you actually get to the dang recipe but no one ever reads it, so the villain’s plan is never thwarted?  Perhaps.  The thing I’ve always loved about Razzball is the entertainment value though, and if you’re reading this, that’s likely why you’re here too.  Too many ‘perts take this game (louder, for those in the back: GAME) way too seriously.  I’m not saying we’re not trying to win, because we are, and you can bet your sweet tushy we’re going to victory lap the heck out of the joint when we do, but we’re also going to have fun along the way.  We’ll make fun of ourselves…we’re playing fantasy baseball, y’all, if you can’t make fun of that…I can’t help you, we’ll make fun of each other (Hey, CA still hasn’t made an add/drop in the ‘Perts league RCL) and we’ll poke fun at players by making up funny nicknames or calling them out for their BS (looking at you Josh Donaldson).  Have fun, be distracted from the news of the day, but also remember to speak with your vote when the time comes and that’s all I’ll say about that right now.  Thanks for reading this pocket change introduction and now, prepare to be wildly entertained in a way only CA can accomplish, avoiding the blurbstomp.

 

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
  • Friendly Reminder – when a blurb insists upon itself
  • Q and Q – when a site contradicts a player valuation on back-to-back blurbs
  • The Blame Game – a player takes on the fault of the team as a whole
  • 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!

 

Flowery Diction

Los Angeles Dodgers 2B Max Muncy went 0-for-3 at the plate on Tuesday, walking twice which included one being for a RBI, and striking out once in the Dodgers’ 9-4 win over the Nationals.

Muncy showed patience at the plate on Tuesday as even though the bases were loaded and he could have attempted to drive in more runs he did the veteran thing of being patient and taking the walk which still helped score a run. Now as much as the mature baseball move was talking the walk it is surely disappointing to see Muncy go another game without a hit as he is now batting .154 on the season, but he should be held on to purely due to him being able to play on what could be considered the best baseball team of all time when all is said and done at the end of this year.

Source: Rotoworld

Unfortunately, Nick Lowe’s signature tune, “Cruel to Be Kind,” will be applied to this blurb. Typos notwithstanding, that final sentence is 73 words long. According to multiple publications, the average word-per-sentence is 15-30. A wide range, but one that accounts for more complex prose. It turns out that this blurb would have worked nicely in the 16th century, as the average sentence length sat somewhere between 60-70 words-per-sentence. . I started to read the too-amazing-to-exist “The History of the English Paragraph,” but I immediately died from boredom and suffocation-via-hysterical-giggling.

Conceptually speaking, the awkward prose does little to hide the strange takes hidden therein:

  • Taking a walk is a “veteran” move with the bases loaded
  • Taking a walk is a “mature” baseball “move”
  • Muncy should be held in leagues because he plays for the best baseball team of all time, a fact which will be confirmed at the end of this season.

My goat has been gotten. The temerity of that last bullet point almost made me designate this blurb as a Stephen A. Smith all-timer. It has to be a troll post. There can’t be worse fantasy advice than holding onto any player because their IRL team is great. On top of that, proclaiming that any team is the greatest ever, two months into any season, has caused me to dissociate entirely from writing this column. As far as I’m concerned, I’m writing the 30 paragraph introduction to my Simple Biscuits recipe, which only has five ingredients. However, I’m going to make sure I tell you how I stole this recipe from another food blogger, made it better by adding a teaspoon of baking soda, and then humblebragged about my seven home-schooled children loving these with a bowl of fresh fruit because god knows your children don’t eat any fruit. I can tell that you’re a pretzel and soda family. Aren’t you glad you didn’t click “Jump to Recipe?”

 

Q&Q

Marcus Stroman pitched five innings, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out eight to earn the win in the Cubs’ 11-4 victory over the Reds Tuesday night.

Stroman now has 36 strikeouts in 36 1/3 innings. His ERA is still an unsightly 4.71, but his WHIP remains low at 1.16. Unfortunately, his xERA is at 4.65, so there isn’t a lot of positive regression to look forward to. He is a matchup-dependent starter for fantasy managers at this point.

Source: Fantasypros.com

I can’t say this enough: Coins are terrible, and pennies are the zenith of futility. Oh, also that SIERA, FIP, xFIP, ERA, and xERA are not predictors of positive or negative regression. They are fun to use as tools to analyze why someone like Robbie Ray has gotten terrible results, while Paul Blackburn is ripping it up. None of those aforementioned acronymical analyzers claim any crystal ball glimpsing skills. Do not listen to anyone who is willing to sell you down the river regarding xERA, FIP, or xFIP. That’s like me saying I’m fast because at the age of 16 I ran a four-and-a-half-minute mile. I am not sixteen, nor do I ever want to be 16 again.

Let us memorialize or eulogize our past in peace. Live not there, for it is a place of dead memories.

 

Double Take

Austin Hays went 3-for-4 and doubled twice for both of Baltimore’s extra-base hits Wednesday against the Yankees.

Both doubles came off Gerrit Cole. Hays has been the Orioles’ best position player this year, hitting .296/.364/.456 in 140 plate appearances. He’s still rather lacking as a mixed-league outfielder, since his team isn’t scoring much and he’s not a basestealer.

Source: Rotoedgesportsworld.com

This is a classic double-take, for those who partake. On May 18th, the above blurb bemoaned Hays’s lack of counting stats, especially in regards to his stolen bases. This is not an unfair assessment. However, four days later, Rotoedgesportsworld.com gave him this brand new blurb:

Austin Hays delivered a game-tying two-run single Sunday in the Orioles’ extra-inning victory over the Rays.

Hays came off the bench to slice a line-drive two-run single to left field off Rays’ reliever Ryan Thompson with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. The 26-year-old outfielder has been on fire lately, hitting .281 (18-for-64) with one homer and six RBI in 18 games since May 1.

Source: Rotoedgesportsworld.com

Ah, from not mixed-league worthy to “on fire” in four days. The numbers that go along with being “on fire” are so dang not on fire, they’re on the bottom of the Mariana Trench. That’s a place where fire can’t happen because it’s the deepest part of the ocean. It’s so wet with, uh, water, that it’s impossible. So yeah. That’s where Austin Hays lives. Not fiery. On fire in an 18-game sample is something like 10/4/13/2/.305. That’s on fire. You could hoist me on a spit and I’d gladly get roasted over the flames of that statistical output. Heck, you could grill my arm over an 8/3/10/1/.290 line in 18 games at this point. I would not complain. I own Teoscar Hernandez, who has been playing like his arm was burned off his body for a month now. Flame on, people!

 

Stephen A. Smith

Ryan Helsley hurled a scoreless ninth to pick up a save against the Pirates on Saturday. 

Helsley didn’t give up a hit, and he issued a strikeout while throwing 9-of-13 pitches for strikes. The right-hander has not given up a run thus far — our analysts tell us that equates to an ERA of 0.00 — and he acquires his second save of the season. If Helsley ever got the chance to be the stopper he’d be a must-add, but in his current role, his fantasy value is limited. 

Source: Rotoedgesportsworld.com

Ah yes. Ryan Helsley, he of the “limited” fantasy value. The seventh-ranked RP on the Razzball year-to-date player rater. The guy who you admit hasn’t let in a run this season, who strikes out more than a batter an inning. What is limited about this situation? Ryan Helsley is the living incarnation of the film “Limitless.” He does not need Bradley Cooper drugs, or even a defined closer role, to help your team. This blurb was meant to keep you off the man so the blurbist could keep Helsley for themselves. Don’t let The Man win!

 

I struggled to write this column. It’s hard to find silliness right now, and I don’t think this is my best work. My thoughts go to Tim Anderson’s reckoning with systemic racism. My thoughts go to Buffalo and Texas. I think about my ten years teaching in West and South-side Chicago. I think of the students who I lost to gun violence. I think of my kid, and that at least twice a year, they run a drill and tell her to hide against a wall away from windows and doors. And that a boogeyman, an unknown administrator, rattles the doorknob, play-acting as Death too stupid to simply pass through the door.

I also think about the people that now know about these drills, who might perpetrate future violence on children. They know that a locked door and a darkened classroom mean nothing now. It scares the hell out of me.

I might miss my column next week. My family is hoping to welcome another child into this world. I think about that a lot now. I feel guilty and scared and sad today.

I hope I get the courage to change something about this situation, rather than write another sentence about hope and change. I desire that courage more than anything in the world.

If you don’t hear from me next week, assume the best. Thanks for reading to the end, friends.

 

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