It’s the dog days of summer, I think? I could look that up, but Google broke the other night, and I’ve been having a recurring nightmare about the AskJeeves butler tearing me to pieces using the lawnmower from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. I have been shrunken down in the dream, to give you proper context, and yes, Amy O’Neill is my girlfriend. What I’m trying to say is that it may or may not be the dog days of summer.* Much like that lull that occurs at the beginning of the last quarter of any given school year, the time seems to stretch like taffy. However, we begin to make moves as if MLB’s season ends in the next week. Articles begin to appear talking about stretch runs, which is gross (Keep bathroom humor in the bathroom!). One reads another article explaining how you should spend your FAAB now, as the chances that a new closer or impact bat appearing on the wire is slim to none.

I would argue on the behalf of slim, and not simply because of my XL Tall Slim shirt size. Well, partly because of that. I mentioned it, so some vanity has been attached to this article, but I’m told I need to be more comfortable receiving compliments. Therefore, I’ve decided to compliment that the frame of my body supports the XL Tall Slim Fit shirt size, which really only applies to Bonobos. It’s a large frame that is as much part of my personality as my unique first name that I hide behind a paywall at BaseballHQ. You cannot give all of yourself to anyone, friends, you must parcel it out in doses to give others the impression that you are a secret being revealed, not an oversharing info dump. You know, the type of guy who would tell you about their vasectomy appointment.

I would again argue on behalf of slim, because I did not even begin my argument in that last paragraph. There are pickings to be had, potential call ups, temporary closer fill-ins for paternity leaves, the random Paul Dejong outburst that seems to Michael Myers itself back to life every single season. There’s two months left in the season, give or take a week. Stop acting like we’re moving on to FNFL. Crunch the numbers, let loose the spreadsheets, destroy all past projections and balance the new ones against current playing time, keep proposing trades, and wear down the iron spike of malaise until it’s a nub. We are warriors, are we not?! Something, something, Braveheart speech (is Braveheart canceled? Remember when actor/directors like Mel and Kevin were a thing like singer/songwriters in the 70’s? And look, the term “singer/songwriter” never seemed to fit. When I hear that term, I expect a voice and an instrument playing an original song. I did not realize that Nick Drake and a handful of others would be the exception and not the rule. I get that there was a whole industry of performers who either recorded Bob Dylan or Brill Building songs, but to then come up with the genre “Singer/Songwriter?” People complained about the terms Shoegaze or Triphop back in the day, but at least the music was partially steeped in hip hop culture and sonics. Singer/Songwriter records would feature a singer and their songs, but then also a backing band, sometimes a full orchestra, Stockhausen-ian patiche, modal jazz, literally anything they could put on top of the actual singer/songwriter. Now for my top 5 most overlooked Singer/Songwriter albums from the late 60’s to mid 70’s:

  1. Judee Sill – Heart Food
  2. Gary Higgins – Red Hash
  3. Tim Buckley – Starsailor
  4. Roy Harper – Stormcock
  5. Skip Spence – Oar
  6. Caetano Veloso – 1969
  7. Richard Thompson – Henry the Human Fly

This list is incomplete, out of order, misnumbered, and I hate it already, so I think it’s pretty honest. Again, points to Drake’s “Pink Moon” for being the truest to the genre title. “Chelsea Girl” would be there too if Verve hadn’t screwed over Nico and overdubbed jazz flute and other garbage on top of the simple guitar/voice combos, and also if she wrote any of the songs. So I guess I wanted to point out that you should find a version of the record without the overdubs if at all possible. If they can get the masters of R.E.M.’s “Murmur” for a video game so we can actually understand Stipe’s isolated vocal tracks on Youtube, then someone can do this for me).

So yeah, do that for me, and also find a rousing speech on the internet to inspire you to fantasy greatness! I can’t be bothered! I’m too busy beseeching others to do my video-finding gruntwork for me!


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.
  • Bias Babes – that meme where the man is turning towards the one woman while his GF rages, only it’s blurbs

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

Kyle Tucker (illness) is back in the Astros’ starting lineup for Tuesday’s series opener against the Rangers.

Tucker returns to the Astros’ lineup after missing four consecutive contests due to a non-COVID illness. The 25-year-old five-category fantasy stalwart is hitting .241/.330/.448 with 19 home runs and 16 stolen bases across 404 plate appearances in 100 games this season.


What makes a five-category fantasy stalwart? Let us count the qualifications.

Stalwart (adj) – loyal, reliable, and hard-working

I would assume the second and third descriptions of the word stalwart might describe Kyle Tucker. Not a five category superstar. Nay, he is merely reliable and hard-working. Now, to the categories:

Runs – 45
Home Runs – 19
RBIs – 68
Steals – 16
Avg – .241

Hitting .241 is maybe not a qualification for a five-category fantasy stalwart? Give me a .280 and I’m all the way in. He’s a top 50 player in the league and boy do I wish I drafted him over Luis Robert (and yes I hope I just enacted a reverse jinx on Robert). He’s a four category stud in a league where steals are king. If .241 is the new .275, then I don’t know what I’ll do. I don’t like planning that far ahead. Don’t ask again because I don’t know. It could be three years from now. Maybe I’ll be at a carnival when I find out, having finally conquered my motion sickness on some knockoff spinning tea cups? I still might not know.



David Peralta is batting leadoff for the Rays on Wednesday versus the Brewers.

It will be his first start out of the leadoff spot since 2018. Brandon Woodruff is on the mound for Milwaukee and Peralta carries an .802 OPS this season against right-handed pitching, compared to a .502 OPS versus lefties. The veteran outfielder is 8-for-29 (.276) overall since being acquired from the Diamondbacks on July 30.


Maybe you want to mention the Rays are facing x amount of righties in the next x amount of games? Perhaps you could comment on the quality of Peralta’s contact since joining the Rays? Could I suggest adding some flavor to this blurb by mentioning the switch of ballparks? Any kind of fantasy advice that isn’t a recitation of a player’s batting average? Bueller? I mean, Buehler? Mueller? Murder? Murder She Wrote? Angela Lansbury? Emily Blunt? Meryl Streep? Kevin Bacon.


Bias Babes

Dustin May (elbow) tossed five innings of one-run ball in a rehab start Tuesday with Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Sharp on the farm yet again, May struck out eight batters over the course of the 68-pitch outing and at one point touched 99.3 mph with his fastball. He’s sporting a 1.69 ERA and 26/5 K/BB ratio through five rehab appearances covering 16 innings, and the Dodgers might have to seriously consider activating him next week. The 24-year-old right-hander is almost a full 15 months removed from Tommy John surgery.


Sounds like they’re really happy with Dustin May returning from his injury! I’m glad they write about all injured pitchers returning with the same hopeful prose.

Jack Flaherty (shoulder) will begin a minor league rehab assignment Wednesday with Triple-A Memphis.

The target is 30-35 pitches for his rehab debut and then Flaherty can progress from there. The 26-year-old right-hander has logged only eight major league innings across three starts this season due to a nagging shoulder issue, and it’s difficult to know what to expect from him down the stretch. Flaherty could obviously be a huge weapon for the NL Central-leading Cardinals if he’s able to work back to full health.


Only eight innings this season. But May hasn’t logged any. Well, must be a one-time thi…

Trevor Rogers yielded two runs — one earned — over 3 1/3 innings Tuesday in his rehab debut with Double-A Pensacola.

Rogers surrendered three hits but issued no walks and struck out five of the 14 batters he faced. He threw 56 pitches, 39 of which went for strikes. The 24-year-old lefty might be asked to make one more appearance on the farm so that he can return to the Marlins at full strength. He’s been on the IL since July 26 due to lower back spasms and holds a highly disappointing 5.85 ERA across 19 major league starts this season.


When I think of Dustin May, I think of a pitcher I will never own in fantasy. He’s that perfect cocktail of being a successful prospect (small sample though), playing for a big team, and then being very injured. He will either pitch very well for someone who is not me or get injured or be ineffective for someone who is me. I need to limit my pitching variance, and avoiding May is part of that math.

I’m trying to understand the bias here though. Here are the IP’s for each of the blurbed pitchers:

May – 113 IP

Rogers – 248 IP

Flaherty – 500 IP

May never pitched a full season of baseball. 56 innings has been his cap. We don’t know if May will be spot starting. As of midnight on August 10th, there’s an article stating that May does not even know whether he’ll be starting or doing relief work for the Dodgers. In the same article, it’s mentioned that May is used to having a “large role” for the team. 113 innings over three seasons is not large, friends. There is a lot of bias working in May’s favor.

If you’re holding him, I’d sell to someone who reads the newest Rotoworld blurb for May:

Dustin May (elbow) will make another minor league rehab start at Triple-A Oklahoma City on Sunday before rejoining the Dodgers rotation.

Here’s the source I had to hunt down to confirming that he’ll pitch in some capacity for the Dodgers:

“The high-end stuff is in place,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said. “Now I think it’s just that last mile of the execution and getting everything in good order and built up to the point where he can take down a fairly normal starter workload. Exactly how that works, we’ll be able to take a little bit of time to find that out. But everything we’ve seen to this point has been incredibly encouraging.”

Sell him as if the Dodgers aren’t going to play games with his innings and role.


Stephen A. Smith IMG_4346.jpeg Award

Alex Verdugo went 2-for-4 with a homer in a loss to the Royals on Saturday.

Verdugo swatted his 11th homer with a solo shot off Daniel Lynch. While he’s hit a decent .271 on the year, it’s come without much power or speed in the 2022 season.


Yet another batting average blurb, but it’s the final dependent clause that causes me to mutter to myself in the shower. Alex Verdugo is providing average with not much power or speed? Are you kidding me? How could that be possible? He couldn’t possibly have established an entire career as a good IRL baseball player, but one who is over-valued every single season since the Mookie Betts trade in traditional 5×5 category fantasy leagues. Yes? No?

Last year in over 600 plate appearances, Verdugo managed 13 home runs and 6 stolen bases. How in the world did Verdugo ever create the narrative that he was going to be a 20/20 guy in the majors? His hit tool is excellent, but this has to be one of those “he’ll grow into his power” conversations that tends to follow fantastic hitters who’ve shown no over-the-fence pop in the minors. I think the bigger issue with Verdugo at this point is that he only has one steal. We talked about Fantasy Stalwart Kyle Tucker being a 4-5 category guy. If we take the steals away from Verdugo in 5×5 leagues, he is Jose Iglesias, except he’s hitting 40 points lower. I’m not sure that Verdugo is even one category at this point outside of non-standard scoring leagues.

Oh no. Verdugo’s totally going to the Rockies next year, right? And he’s going to get helium because people think Coors is a haven for home runs when really he’ll just hit .300 with a ton of doubles. Perhaps we can start selling this narrative now so Monfort the Younger makes the move, opening up an OF spot for Jarren Duran so I can overdraft him next year as he goes sub.650 OPS and is sent back to the minors at the end of April with no steals.

Ahem. I’m getting ahead of myself. Do not do this. It’s still maybe the dog days of summer!** We have a third of the season to turn the tide and win any of our prospective leagues. See you next week, where we all still have not given up.

* Look, I still haven’t looked up dog days of summer. I have a problem with task initiation and even worse with completion due to working from home with two cats, an infant, a child, a wife who absolutely rules, and a toilet whose fill valve erupted like a geyser when I was in the middle of writing this article. Maybe I’ll look up dog days of summer when I’m done seeing how much more I can damage my toilet via Google and Youtube Bob Vila-lite videos

**Still haven’t looked it up. I found a diagram of a toilet that I accidentally took a screenshot of. Before I die, I’m going to make a slideshow of all the times I screenshot my home screen and call it La Jette 2060. They’ll play it behind whoever is delivering a eulogy I never asked for, while a continuous loop of Boyz 2 Men’s “On Bended Knee” plays on, specifically the weird part where one of the guys promises, “I’ll never walk again.” What a weird flex.


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