Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there. Go do some dad stuff today. Put on some plaid pants, play some golf, watch some baseball, fire up the grill, drink some Schlitz, and tell them kids to get off your lawn. When it comes to Papa Guru *cue “Cat’s in the Cradle”* I got my love for baseball, gambling and fine scotch from the man we kids called “Run, dad’s home!” When it comes to this fake baseball game we spend way too much time on while ignoring our own kids it all started for me when Papa Guru introduced me to Strat-O-Matic back in the 80’s. I was forever hooked on baseball stats. It was a fun game for father/son bonding until the old man got sent to the hoosgow for safecracking – not the best profession for a man that suffered hearing damage in ‘Nam. No, he wasn’t hurt in the war, he just got a little too close to Ning Pam during her flaming ping pong ball trick. Think The Deer Hunter crossed with Porn Hub. Since I basically played Russian roulette with closers on all my RCL teams this year I’ve been getting my face blown off by the likes of Grant Balfour and Jim Johnson all season long. I’m not hurting so much with steals, but could use a multi-positional bench SAGNOFer to maximize at-bats and grab some cheap stats. Let’s fire up the Jammer Crammer© machine and see if there’s anything left for us SAGNOF! starved Razzaholics to salvage. Since it is Father’s Day, I’ll let Papa Guru give his opinion on each player – he’s going to do it whether we let him or not. It’s time for an encore edition of the SAGNOF! Jam it or Cram it.
If you’re looking for some bonus jams and crams, check out Razzball Radio where Nick and your well turbaned Guru talk jams of the week and I share why I hate the World Cup.
2014 Stats: 241 AB, 38 R, 4 HR, 19 RBI, 6 SB, .282 AV.
Availability: 53% Yahoo, 46% ESPN.
FAAB $$$ Value: $6. It’s a buck a steal.
The Gist: Dexter is killing it over his last seven games with a homer, five runs and three RBI. However, he hasn’t swiped a bag since May. What in the name of SAGNOF! is going on here?! Why else would I own this guy? Well, Fowler is currently the No. 40 ranked outfielder on the player rater ahead of guys like Matt Kemp and Shin-Soo Choo. Now Fowler is kind of a SAGNOF! tease as the speed is legit, but he hasn’t stolen more than 20 bases since 2009. However, the Astros are fifth in the league in stolen bases and Fowler is now hitting regularly in the leadoff spot.
Key Stats: Fowler is a bit of an unconventional Platoony Tune – he’s hitting over .300 at home and about .220 on the road.
Papa Guru Says: “How do I know if you should add him? You’re supposed to be the expert, Mr. Bigshot baseball man. And take that f***in’ turban off, you look like a terrorist!”
Jam it or Cram it: After a slow start Fowler’s been picking it up hitting .347 over the last month with a .430 OBP – raising his average to .282 along with 19 RBI and 6 steals. I think he’ll pick up the pace on the steals as the Astros are running more lately. Let’s say he snags another 12-15 the rest of the way. Need runs, need steals, have the room? Fowler’s a SAGNOF! starved JAM.
2014 Stats: 29.2 IP, 2 W, 0 SV, 33 K, 3.94 ERA, 1.21 ERA
Availability: 93% Yahoo, 98% ESPN.
FAAB $$$ Value: $1.
The Gist: How do you know when your team is in last place? You hear things like “We need to manufacture runs” and the dreaded “Closer by committee” phrase gets uttered. The Rays bullpen is a mess with Grant Balfour struggling with a 5.88 ERA and nearly as many walks as strikeouts. The mad scientist known as Joe Maddon will be playing closer roulette with Ball-Four, Jake McGee and Peralta until one of them figures it out. It wouldn’t surprise me if Madden did something really crazy and tabbed someone like Juan Carlos Oviedo or 50 Cent to close games. However, Peralta may be the best reliever in Maddon’s laboratory. Through 32 games Peralta has 33 K’s, 10 walks and opponents are hitting just .220 against him.
Key Stats: Peralta had 41 holds last season.
Papa Guru Says: “Pull my finger. That’s what Peralta smells like.”
Jam it or Cram it: Yup, I’m one of those “don’t pay for saves guys” and wondering why my teams are stuck in sixth place. Maddon said he wants to give Balfour some “successful moments” before giving him the keys to the ninth inning again. Maddon then ordered the team to dress like their favorite A-Team character and put a king cobra in Balfour’s locker. “Just trying to keep things loose.” Me thinks Madden prefers Peralta as his high-leverage situation set-up guy and eventually goes back to Balfour because he likes his Crocodile Dundee accent. CRAM.
2014 Stats: 90 AB, 12 R, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 5 SB, .356 AV.
Availability: 57% Yahoo, 25% ESPN.
FAAB $$$ Value: $5.
The Gist: Love those multi-positional guys as I’ve really made an effort to maximize at-bats this season. Santana is an ok OF5 option, but where his value is high is shortstop – a position that has been thinner than Victoria Beckham after an Olive Garden restroom purge. The Twins short-fielder is hitting .356 with five steals in less than 100 at-bats and is getting regular playing time.
Key Stats: Hit .297 with 30 steals at Double-A last year.
Papa Guru Says: “My son the Guru. Do you wear a Kotex with that earring? You do like girls right?”
Jam it or Cram it: In over 2000 plate appearances in the minors, Santana hit .274, but the OBP was only .314 – not ideal for a leadoff man whose game is speed. He does have 11 hits and a couple steals over his last seven games. You’re not going to get power, but when you’re scratching for the SAGNOF! beggars can’t be choosers. The multi-positions make for a great middle infield plug and play or bench bat. The SAGNOF! God’s are smiling on the smooth one and it’s a JAM.
2014 Stats:33 IP, 3 W, 6 SV, 25 K, 4.91 ERA, 1.18 WHIP
Availability: 76% Yahoo, 58% ESPN.
FAAB $$$ Value: $2.
The Gist: Belisario is the last man standing in the White Sox Closepocalypse. The ERA is almost as ugly as Beli, but the WHIP is low and Robin Ventura seems aggressively disinterested in giving the job to anyone else – “What, I’m the manager of the White Sox? Really?” Belisario has been effective over the last couple of weeks with 4 saves, a 3.60 ERA, and a 1.00 WHIP.
Key Stats: Coming into the season the bespectacled Belisario owns a 3.37 career ERA and five saves.
Papa Guru Says: “I knew a guy who got his head shot off in ‘Nam and never said a word, so stop bitching about your fake baseball team.”
Jam it or Cram it: There are not a lot of options when it comes to finding saves on the wire. Also, why is it that when I send you a trade offer for one of your seven closers you counter with LaTroy Hawkins for Mike Trout?Don’t make my dad beat up your dad. If I were ranking closers right now I’d have Belisario behind Chad Qualls, Zach Britton and the long dead Tug McGraw. Yes, my SAGNOF! loving friends, it has come to this. JAM.
**SAGNOFIAN BONUS TRACKS**
Ben Revere, OF, PHI: Revere is fourth in the league in steals and is less than 75% owned. I thought you needed SAGNOF? JAM