We have entered the zone of fantasy baseball sample-size settling, where statistics have gelled significantly. Managers in season-long leagues are feeling the heat if their teams have struggled thus far. Similarly, blurb site’s analysis will begin to change in their tone. You will catch actual whiffs of disappointment in their prose when regarding a player that has not delivered on statistical progress. Much like the comments on a report card next to the letter grade, it’s best to ignore the subjective opinions of blurb writers.
I recall getting “Talkative/Chatty” next to my fantastic grades in school for years. My parents eventually got annoyed enough to tell me that I needed to focus on not getting “Talkative/Chatty” next to my grades. I did as I was told because I was a small boy who avoided conflict like highway rest stop restaurants avoid making you feel at home on the road. Next report card, I received no “Talkative/Chatty” designations and my grades had plummeted. When my folks asked my teachers what happened, they said that I needed to speak up more in class. My parents agreed. I was left agog. Which was it? Talk or no talk?
Now I thrust my opinions on to you all, with only a friendly editor able to hold me back from full, unrelenting word diarrhea. I appreciate everyone in this equation more than you can know. Don’t listen to your critics and receive your “Talkative/Chatty” with pride. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you otherwise. You couldn’t hear them if you wanted to, due to all of your talking and chatting. Hello? Hello?! Remember this applies to blurbs too! This anecdote was meant to illustrate a point, but I’m worried you weren’t…well. Maybe I’m advocating for mansplaining, which isn’t a great look. Everyone’s too busy talking while reading, I should be safe here. Anyways, onwards!
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 & Q – How a site’s Qualitative and Quantitative analysis drives blurb composition
- Hex Enduction Power – where a blurb can make an injury much, much worse
- Bob Nightengale Syndrome – instances of updates that don’t update anything
- Stephen A. Smith IMG_4346.jpeg Award – Given to the player blurb that promises the most and delivers the least.
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!
Britton wound up missing the opening two and a half months of the 2021 campaign after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone chip from his left elbow. The 33-year-old southpaw, who has recorded a microscopic 2.19 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 74/43 K/BB ratio over 86 1/3 innings since being acquired from the Orioles back in 2018, should provide a massive boost to the Yankees’ bullpen moving forward.
Ah, one of my favorite blurb terms: Microscopic. Often this is used to accurately report on the on-going human Konami Code Jacob Degrom’s ratios, or his run support (if the jokes are running on empty). Most “lights out” (another over-used idiom) relievers are in the 1.00-2.00 ERA range, and the WHIP is as tidy as a living room staging in Better Homes and Gardens. Those magazines are Shame Vampires. Imagine running a magazine whose sole purpose is to make people feel like their magazine spreads are attainable in an actual living room. That’s like trying to take a bite out of a photo of food. I don’t recommend.
Zack Britton’s ratios aren’t microscopic, but they sure are grand. He’s a great handcuff for Aroldis, but that’s where his value ebbs. Degrom’s ratios are microscopic. Alex Reyes’s ERA is microscopic. Trevor Story’s HR total is microscopic. Juul’s chances to remain solvent based on current court proceedings in North Carolina are microscopic. Nay, I cannot lay the same name upon the ratios of one Zack Britton. His ratios are grand. Let’s leave it at my own arbitrary designation, because who doesn’t like a heel turn?
Q and Q
Tromp’s RBI single plated Steven Duggar to tie things up in the fourth inning; the Giants later put a few more runs on the board for an eventual 4-3 win over the Cubs. Since being called up to the Giants on June 1st, the 26-year-old catcher is 2-for-5 with a .400 OBP.
Once again, Rotoworld provides. I swear I’m looking for other updates that the general population absorbs. I am a glutton, and the blurbs my feast. However, this blurb gave me pause. Instead of joyfully screen capping it on my phone, I did so with a creeping sense of dread. This blurb seemed too perfect. As if the blurbist is handing me the red herring, insisting it is the red herring, but also that the red herring is my actual reward. Glad I screen capped it though, as the ending line of this glorious blurb has disappeared from history.
Citing someone’s OBP after they had received all of five total at bats is equivalent to giving kids a cub scout badge for reading the book about earning cub scout badges. We all joined cub scouts for that one soapbox derby badge, right? And then you all quit like me? We are winners in our cowardice. As for the blurb, they cut out the last line about OBP and replaced it with a line about his 2-5 batting line since being called up. I’d love to think this absolutely sarcastic and not at all meaningful weekly article had something to do with this blurb and it’s subsequent edit. I’d also love to think about making enough money writing that I can have a house with hot tubs on each floor. What can I say? I’m a dreamer. And I’m not the only. Maybe the only dreamer ignoring how disgusting hot tubs can get. Hmm. Can I change my dream? Is it too late?
Gittens compiled a robust .283/.486/.585 triple-slash line with four homers across 74 plate appearances at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season. The 27-year-old first baseman will provide the Yankees some additional pop at the cold corner. Hard Hittin’ Chris Gittens could be a real thing by the end of the weekend, especially if he comes up with a pivotal hit or two against the Red Sox. He’s starting at first base and batting sixth in his major-league debut on Saturday night.
Yankees post-hype prospect hyped again? With a catchy nickname? Yeah, not much to say here other than what I will now type another 100 words about. This blurb is a weapon meant to entice managers to churn their rosters and swap out somewhat useful/boring bench bats for a shot at Another Aristedes. To that I say poo poo. Literally. He isn’t a great hitter, he isn’t worth picking up anywhere, and he’s going to get sent back down with Voit making quick work of his oblique rehab. What kind of rehab was it? I get it, the description used the word oblique. Is he avoiding his rehab? So strange. TLDR: Every human called up by any major league team has the ability to “be a real thing.” These fringey bros get a small blurb. Not Gittens. New York teams get all the press. Now, back to every other article about the Padres and Dodgers.
Hex Enduction Power
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said that Bellinger tested out his injured hamstring pregame but he “just didn’t feel right”. He’ll be re-evaluated on Monday. While this still sounds like a day-to-day type of injury, the Dodgers are going to take every possible precaution with their superstar outfielder.
Cody Bellinger is a nightmare to own. I absolutely dislike his playing style, his profile picture, basically everything. I stumbled into him on draft day as one does on the 12/13 pick in a roto snake draft, and by god, he’s been worse than I could ever imagine. I can’t even trade this fart knocker.* Love the back-to-back blurbs on Rotoworld where the the gist is, “He’ll be fine,” only they said that about his last injury, which was also in the dang leg. You cursed him Rotoworld! All you had to say is that he might miss the weekend, but look out for updates. Instead I’m sure he’s got a meta-fracture of his subdermal fibromyalgia, or he has a sudden allergy to wifi. Allergies to wifi are the old “vaccines make you magnetic.” That was a sentence I never thought I would write in my lifetime. Congratulations to etymology and zeitgeist!
Bob Nightengale Award/Stephen A. Smith IMG_4346.jpeg Award
Seth Lugo allowed one run over two relief innings in his season debut Wednesday in Arizona.
In hindsight, perhaps Mets manager Luis Rojas wished he’d have pulled Lugo after one inning. After a 1-2-3 fifth, Lugo came back out for the sixth and yielded three straight hits and a run which tied the game. Lugo’s velocity Wednesday was down just slightly from what it was last year, but his stuff looked fine. He should be rostered in virtually all fantasy leagues.
Seth Lugo should not be owned in “all leagues.” This is a blurb that is not trying to hide it’s cruel intentions. No, I’m not insinuating this blurb wants to make out with its sister blurb all while planning out the social/emotional destruction of another blurb they view as chaste. This is a true love blurb triangle, as I feel confused, but also curious! Seth Lugo is currently below 10% owned in all leagues, so whatever mission the blurbist was on when he made this extremely wrong statement has failed.
In 2021, the elite middle reliever does not hold the same statistical edge that it did only one year ago. These days we aren’t sweating ratios (for the most part). Even when pitchers get shelled, they’re ERA/WHIP is less Chris Farley, more David Spade. It hurts, but it’s not crippling. Again, I could understand language like, “Lugo could help NL-only pitchers with K/9 and holds. He could also luck into a fair share of wins and saves if the Mets keep Metsing.”
That is all for this week. As I depart, I send my condolences to the the Yahoo message boards on each player’s profile. It took a year, but simply checking in on Trevor Rogers’s IL status reactions gave me flashbacks to my long dead Facebook feed: Pelosi, China Virus, death threats, snowflakes accusing others of being snowflakes, people insisting that Trevor Story is worse than JP Crawford. It’s sick stuff. I can’t imagine Yahoo is actually moderating any of it. Can’t even begin to understand the inner-darkness it takes to troll people on those forums. Probably the same amount it takes me to ask that question to the internet. Things that make you Hmmmmm. Amiright?
Adios, blurbees. Don’t let the slog get you down. Super Two has passed, so I look forward to far more passive aggressive blurbs complaining about either prospects not being called up, or scrippy veterans losing play time to prospects. It should be fun! See you next week!