MLB The Show is THE greatest sports video game. To be fair, baseball is the easiest game to make due to the fundamental nature of baseball, which is essentially a one-on-one battle with cursory pieces in the background. Basketball, football, hockey, and soccer all have multiple players moving in synch simultaneously which increases the number of variables that need to be accounted for. Anyways, San Diego Studios has done a masterful job of putting the best product out there. This isn’t an ad for The Show, though, but it’s relevant for this post. In The Show, the X button is for a normal swing, the O button is for contact, and the square button is for power. But with great power comes great responsibility because while you can check your swing with the x and o buttons, it’s all or nothing with the square button. Now, I don’t use the square button much except in 2-0 or 3-0 counts. I prefer to just use the x button because even with the mashers, it’s more than enough to drive the ball out of the park. In my early days of playing, though, I used to utilize the square button with the contact guys in favorable counts. There would be a stretch when I’d bop some over the fence which would get me to start utilizing the square button with those hitters in other counts. Like Pookie from New Jack City, the more I hit out, the more my thumb moved to the left side of the controller. Even while the average and OBP declined, and the strikeouts increased, the adrenaline rush from connecting kept the gig going. Kind of like our debt-fueled economy, which is a separate topic for another day. This reminds me of Andrew Benintendi. He always showed some pop, so he wasn’t some Juan Pierre-esque slap hitter, but he was known more for his power/speed combo. But then he started sniffing the power and bulked up, gaining over 20 pounds of muscle, mashing that square button.  The strikeouts increased while the average and overall production decreased. As a result, he is no longer in Boston. Trash or treasure?

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The flowers were in full bloom. The air was gridlocked with pollen. The children were prancing in the fields looking for candy eggs. Rabbits were frolicking in the grass. As Pablo Escobar took in the sights and sounds, he turned to his wife, penetrated the atmosphere of her eyes, then proceeded to be a rabbit himself. The year was 1988. Escobar was now the richest man in the world, successfully guiding the Medellin Cartel to an entity of extraordinary magnitude for 12 years. He tried to enter the political sphere in Columbia but kept getting rebuffed. The authorities from both his homeland and gringos from the north kept hunting him, pushing for his arrest. Pablo, ever the power-hungry animal that he was, searched for another way to cement his legacy. He needed to diversify. On that April day, bringing a third Escobar into the world was the only viable solution. He would nurture him, groom him, and show him the ways so that one day he could exhibit the power as he had, prolonging the Escobar reign. Unfortunately, Pablo moved on from this world in 1993, cutting the tutelage short. After years of work, sweat, and pain, the child consummated on that April Day, Eduardo Escobar, delivered the power and fulfilled his dad’s vision as he clubbed 35 homers with 94 runs and 118 RBI in 699 plate appearances during the 2019 MLB season. Like father like son, though, the world came crashing down swiftly. In Eduardo’s case, it was the following year. Is there hope for Eduardo for this season, or will he be just a footnote in the history books?

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The crack of the bat when barrelled, the smell of my significant other (why am I craving Korean BBQ all of a sudden? I kid, I kid), watching a 6-4-3 double play being turned, and hugging the kids. These are all definitions of perfection. At least to me. They could be another person’s worst nightmare, hence the concept that perfection does not truly exist. It is but an abstraction of our minds. Now, there are things that are closer to perfection than others, but nothing can truly be perfect. We just decide what is and isn’t important. For fantasy baseball, those drafted in the first round are deemed as closest to perfection because of their elite production and having fewer flaws than the others. As you venture deeper into a draft, the imperfections rise like a pimple that hasn’t been cleaned for a few days. Some of those warts are deemed worse than others, which provides value and opportunities to be mined. Raimel Tapia of the Colorado Rockies is being drafted as the 231st overall player and 60th outfielder in NFBC drafts. There’s a reason why I’m writing him up. Let’s see if he’s treasure or trash.

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We all have different conceptions of what is/isn’t gross. I hate mayonnaise. It’s the most disgusting thing and the mere sight of it makes me want to puke. Mustard too. I can deal with ketchup, but sometimes it makes me gag as well. I know, I’m a freaking weirdo. I don’t care. I don’t care. Grossness is triggered by any of the senses. Some can’t stand the sight of toe jam, while others cringe at the sound of nails scraping a blackboard. Smell can make one float in the air like Pepe Le Pew or barf like Stewie Griffin. I traveled to Hong Kong many years ago with my wife and one day she brought a bag of durian into the hotel room. Once she opened the bag, the smell. The god-awful smell permeated the entire room. It was straight-up chemical warfare. I keeled over into a fetal position, put a pillow over my head, and held my breath. I would rather die than smell another whiff of that fruit. Then my wife kicked my balls and inserted a piece of durian into my mouth. O. M. G. Heaven. Bliss. Which brings me to Robbie Grossman of the Detroit Tigers. He looks like shit and probably smells like shit after playing nine innings, but is there some savory sweetness for fantasy that can induce a chef’s kiss?

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I used to trade stocks for a living. I started out as a market maker for NASDAQ stocks right before the internet bubble then traded my own account for over 10 years. After the kids were born, I transitioned from day trading to more longer-term, position trading. With the recent euphoric market, the day trading hat is back on. With that said, there are so many things I’ve learned from trading, mostly about human psychology but that’s a discussion for another day. The one tenet that became very important for me was price discovery. Where were buyers and sellers willing to transact and at what price would there be an equilibrium. You can glean a ton of information from watching the action and identify spots of support and resistance, which I used to limit risk. If buyers were no longer willing to support a stock at a certain price, then something has changed and it’s best to get flat and reassess. Vice versa on the sell side. The closer I could buy or sell to these spots, the more information I would have and the easier I’d be able to identify if I was wrong, saving me money in the long run because all trades are not winners. For example, say a stock was trading in the $10 to $12 range. After watching the action, buyers would always step in at $10 and sell at $12. So, buy at $10 and sell at $12, right? I wouldn’t want to buy at $12 because I know sellers are stepping in there, so what’s the point? If the price broke through $10, then I’d know it’s probably going lower and if it went through $12 then it’s probably going higher. In that scenario, I don’t mind paying over $12 once I got confirmation that the sellers there were cleaned out. The bigger the sample size the better the information. This is a simplistic example but you get the point.

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Eddie Murphy’s Boomerang is an American classic. I don’t care that Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 43% rating on its Tomatometer. Rotten Tomatoes is stupid. I don’t care the audience score is only 59%. 41% of people have no taste. It has a young Halle Berry looking mighty fine, John Witherspoon showing us how to coordinate, and Grace Jones telling us what the essence of sex smells like. Then there’s Eartha Kitt, an old who keeps trying to seduce Marcus Graham, played by Eddie Murphy, by purring, Marcus, Darling, every time she sees him. This brings me to Marcus Semien of the Toronto Blue Jays. The Athletics weren’t fond of him, as they refused to pay that man his money. Offseason drafters haven’t been particularly enamored with him, as he is the 15th shortstop and 134th overall player being selected in NFBC drafts. Many are saying that he’s an old whose best days are behind him. So, will Marcus be a darling or is he someone we should be disregarding?

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2010. What do you think of? Superior vision? A sense of nostalgia? Let’s see, 11 years ago, there was Toy Story 3, the Burj Khalifa opened, Winter Olympics, Spain won the World Cup, the Blackhawks hoisted the Stanley Cup, the Saints celebrated the Super Bowl, the Lakers triumphed to raise the Larry O’Brien, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake in Haiti killed over 300,000 people, an 8.8-magnitude earthquake in Chile, the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling platform exploded, S&P downgraded Greece’s credit rating, the Flash Crash…..ABORT! ABORT!! I want 2021 back. NOOOOOO! Take me back to 2010. AHHHHH! Time is a flat circle. Woo sah. Wooooo saaaaah. What else does 2010 conjure up? 20 home runs and 10 steals. Ahhh, that’s sweet music to my ears. Steamer has 33 players projected for 20 and 10 this upcoming season. Only nine have an ADP past 100. Ramon Laureano is being selected on average with the 142nd pick in NFBC drafts from January 1 to February 16. Trash or treasure?

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It was a cold and cloudy night. The glow from the computer screens, the only semblances of light. I looked to the heavens and asked, “How can I achieve fantasy glory?” The response was instantaneous. Select Adam Wainwright. Then thunder reverberated throughout the atmosphere as if the gods were mocking me. HA HA HA. After shaking my fist toward the sky, the clouds began to dissipate, unveiling a star that was brighter than bright. Oh, what a sight. Go forth towards the light and discover your fantasy white knight. I did what any moronic human being would do. I listened to the sky and trekked towards the light. After 40 minutes and 40 seconds, I came across a manger, situated right in the middle of the 405 Freeway, illuminated like a tornado touching ground on the Oklahoma Beltway. Cars were whizzing by, but that had no effect on the three wise men who were nonchalantly crossing the lines. Into the manger, they put gold, frankincense, and one Cody Bellinger. They waved me over. The countless hours of Frogger paid off as I was able to meet the three wise men unscathed. The trophy was glistening. I reached into the manger, picked up the trophy, then hoisted it above my head He-Man style, “By the power of Bellinger……”

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Language is a beautiful yet complicated thing. It allows us to convey thoughts and emotions to one another. Some for the better, I love you. Some for the worse, You’re a stupid m—-rf—-r, dumb wannabe fantasy baseball hack! Things get tricky when intonation is changed or context is altered. For example, the expression “take off” could mean that an airplane is going up, an article of clothing is removed, a leave of absence, to stop working or studying, or an increase in success or popularity. So when you read the title of this piece, May Day, what came to mind? Since y’all are savvy fantasy degenerates, you knew it had something to do with Dustin May but was it an emergency call for help or a reason for celebration? Let’s dig in and find out.

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A wise man once said, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” But what if that box had only one kind of chocolate in it? Then what, Mr. wise man? Because sometimes I have a favorite and just want to binge it. That reminds me of my first year in NYC. The different seasons were cool and all, but why not be in a place where it’s spring 24/7? Like LA, for example. Yes, I’m a homer. If I want some snow, I can drive an hour and half. If I want to be in a sauna-like environment, well, I can go to a sauna. Anyways, there’s a place in life for both volatility and consistency. Take the readings on an EKG machine for instance. If there are no spikes and valleys, that means the poor soul hooked up is dead. When sine waves are present, there needs to be a consistent rhythm or, doctor, we have a problem. The same can be said for fantasy baseball. It’s a game inherently based on failure, so we look for players who provide spikes in production, at a relatively consistent rate. The higher and faster spikes are produced by the superstars sitting on the pantheon of the fantasy landscape. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many. Which brings me to the pillars of the game, those who don’t stand out from the crowd but provide production across the board to allow each fantasy house to stand firm and stable. Kevin Pillar of the Colorado Rockies is such a player, yet he’s been dropped in 10.2% of ESPN leagues over the past week. Is this Pillar crumbling or is he a Pillar of Destiny to bring fantasy glory?

Please, blog, may I have some more?