After twenty-one weeks and 163 contestants the Hey Batter contest finally has a champion. In case the title didn’t give it away, the winner is LenFuego. It seems that winning the regular season portion of the contest and earning the ability to pick one Unpickable each week of the playoffs was enough of an edge to win it all. With the help of Jose Altuve (17), Mike Trout (25), Charlie Blackmon (34), Paul Goldschmidt (27) and Anthony Rizzo (13), LenFuego ended the playoffs with 303 points. His biggest contributors, however were Giancarlo Stanton (44) and Anthony Rendon (36).

Peter guigli finished in second place with 283 points. The difference was Jonathan Schoop, who scored 20 points for LenFuego back in week one of the playoffs. Or perhaps it was Leury Garcia who only managed five points in week four for Peter guigli. We could play this game all day, but at the end it will still be LenFuego standing tall.

The top hitter over the course of this contest was Giancarlo Stanton who scored 476 points. Joey Votto (512) and Charlie Blackmon (488) were actually one and two, but since they were Unpickables, Stanton is the king. Aside from Stanton, Jose Ramirez and Marcell Ozuna were the only other batters in the top ten that were not Unpickable players.

Congratulations to LenFuego and thanks to everyone that participated in this inaugural event. Here are the final playoff standings…

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The truth is, I don’t give a shit whether you like tapes or CDs. You like what you like and that’s what you like. Besides, you probably prefer vinyl, which has seen a resurgence in the past several years. However, according to some sources, cassette tapes are also making a small comeback. In 2016 cassette sales increased by 74 percent, bringing total sales to 129,000 units. If you’re thinking “who cares”, I’m with you. If I’m being honest, I just needed a few sentences about tapes and CDs to tie the title to the post, and eventually throw Didi Gregorius a mention. No time like the present to get that out of the way…

Take me on in the Razzball Commenter Leagues for a chance at prizes! Free to join, leagues still open!

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This year Jay Bruce was an All-Star. Technically he was Dexter Fowler’s replacement, but he was in uniform in Miami. Wait a minute! Bruce was not an All-Star this year, I’m thinking of last year. While he might not have been an All-Star this season he does have 30 home runs and he has a .263 batting average. He hasn’t batted over .262 since 2010 when he finished with a .281 average. He is a career .249 hitter that is currently on pace for a career highs in home runs, runs scored and RBIs.

As of Saturday morning Bruce was the leading points getter for the week. With 38 points he is just ahead of Manny Machado (36), Josh Donaldson (33), Edwin Encarnacion (33) and Anthony Rizzo (33). That’s a solid group of players to be lumped in with.

Here’s a quick recap of week two…

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Shitter’s full! This would appear true if Eddie Rosario is the lede. Rosario Dawson would have been a much better choice, however, she isn’t leading all batters this week in points, cousin Eddie is. No, not the lovable idiot from National Lampoon’s Vacation. That’s cousin Eddie Johnson. Eddie Rosario has three home runs, seven runs batted in, seven runs scored, two doubles and a stolen base as of Saturday morning. With 35 points he had two more than Joey Votto. Rosario is not owned in many leagues. However, he is outperforming the following players that are largely owned: Kyle Schwarber, Carlos Gonzalez, Gregory Polanco, Matt Kemp and Jackie Bradley Jr.

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Even though I’m not really a Beatles fan I still like their music. Did I just contradict myself with that statement. Perhaps instead of the word “like” I should have used “appreciate”. I own some of their music, but usually when a Beatles song comes on when I’m shuffling, I skip to the next. Everyday I’m shuffling! And if I said I knew what channel the Beatles channel was on Sirius I’d be lying. All this be true, yet my hat’s off to The Fab Four. Peace and love!

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Is it just me or does it seem like the St. Louis Cardinals have a prospect tree growing somewhere in Memphis? Last week I had a beer with Tim Lincecum at a dive bar in northern New Jersey. Turns out he’s a coach/umpire for the Police Athletic League (PAL) of Bergen county. According to Tim, he shared a spliff with a dude that once toked with Alex Reyes, and he told Tim that Alex told him that John Mozeliak admitted to combining Oscar Tavares’ ashes with a seed and soil mixture to grow a prospect tree. Apparently the process is becoming quite popular. How long until we start smoking people? Inquiring minds, like Seth Romero and Jon Singleton, want to know.

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With sixteen weeks in the books we have made it to the end of this contest’s regular season. For all but sixteen of you, thanks for playing, but your time in this contest is over. Who are these sixteen survivors? Well, according to the rules, in order to be eligible for the playoffs you need to win a weekly contest or finish in the top three in the overall standings. And for those of you math nerds that are about to race to the comment section to tell me that sixteen weeks of contests plus three from the overall standings equals nineteen, slow your roll. The reason we only have sixteen in the playoffs is because we had two people win twice and one of the top three won a week.

Before I announce the sweet sixteen I need to share the results of weeks 15 and 16. Week 15 was our shortened, three-day week after the All-Star break. Anthony Rendon led the charge that week with 32 points, including three home runs. The winner of the contest was Smallwine, who also won back in week 8. Thanks to Anthony Rendon, Travis Shaw and Josh Reddick he scored 38 points. Have yourself a large wine and enjoy. El Famous Burrito finished second with 34 points. In week 16 Jonathan Schoop was the top scorer totaling 44 points. The winner of our final weekly contest was LenFuego with 75 points. LenFuego’s batters were Andrew McCutchen, Mike Moustakas and Giancarlo Stanton. B. Rabbit finished in second place with 68 points.

Here are the sixteen weekly winners…

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Fredo, you’re my older brother and I love you, but don’t ever pick up Cameron Maybin again over Tommy Pham. If you do, Maybin will find himself on the disabled list and you’ll take a one way row boat ride out on the lake. If you think I’m kidding watch the movie. Tommy is the future of this phamily. In the past thirty days he has been a top ten batter in points leagues, scoring 96 points. Here are the seven hitters that are ahead of him. Jose Ramirez (98), Carlos Correa (98), Mookie Betts (102), Jose Altuve (102), Anthony Rendon (102), Bryce Harper (105) and George Springer (113). That’s quite the company he’s keeping. Looks like the heads of the five families and two of their captains if you ask me. Pham has score more points than every other hitter not mentioned in that sentence. That includes Joey Votto (93).

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For the second time in the last five weeks, George Springer has been the top batter for the week. Back in week 11, Springer led the way with 45 points. Well, in week 14 he was at it again, slugging his way to 46 points, just edging out Jose Altuve for the top spot. How about that, I managed to squeeze three commas into that sentence. I’m not sure it was proper grammar, but I can tell you that neither George Springer or I really care. Springer hit three home runs, drove in nine, scored twelve and stole his first two bases of the season en route to those 46 points. Only Nolan Arenado, Adam Duvall and Jose Ramirez have more extra base hits than King George. At 27, it seems Springer is hitting his stride and emerging as the powerhouse he promised to be back in 2013 when he fell three home runs short of a 40/40 season in the minor leagues.

For those that are wondering if Foul balls completed the three-peat, the answer is no. The winner was jesusc97 who selected Edwin Encarnacion, Francisco Lindor and Domingo Santana. Those three batters scored a total of 65 points, which was enough to win week 14. In second place was MattH (55) with Jose Abreu, Ryan Braun and Scott Schebler.

Here are the top five from Week 14:

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Since it seems like the rest of the Razzball “professors” (notice the quotes) are putting out their second half rankings I feel overwhelmed by the pressure of doing the same. Even if there are only twelve points league readers I still owe it to them to put a little elbow grease into this and generate a solid set of rankings and rest of season projections. Speaking of the people’s elbow, it looks like The Rock is moving forward with plans to run in 2020. Ok, well maybe these aren’t exactly his plans, but there is a committee that is standing behind him. Will Dwayne Johnson become the most electrifying president in American history? Is he going to “rock the vote”. Ha! I can’t wait for the debates.

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