BASEBALL IS BACK (after players agree to health and safety measures; kiss their families goodbye for perhaps four months if they get into the postseason; get tested for Covid-19 repeatedly; report to camp; go through spring training 2.0 which could be three weeks long; avoid injuries and anyone outside the bubble of the MLB who could infect them; dip and dodge a far-reaching pandemic while keeping their eye on the prize and that prize is what exactly? 60 games to prove they can be the fastest to ten homers and push their teams to winning 32 games? If Costanza saw this season, he’d scream, “Shrinkage!” But we’re going to remain optimistic, right? We got baseball that’s what’s important…well, the players’ health is important too, so that brings us back to the health and safety measures — ya know what? I’m getting out of this parenthetical while I still have something to look forward to.), BABY, BASEBALL IS BACK! Spring Training will begin, in theory, on July 1st. By the by, “in theory” is something you’re going to read a lot from me over the next two months. “In theory” this is baseball. “In theory” the Nats are defending their title. “In theory” Luis Arraez hit .400 for the season even though he only had 175 at-bats. “In theory” Jesse Winker could stay healthy for 60 games and be the Reds’ DH. There will be a universal DH this year (not necessarily in 2021), and the season will start (in theory) on the weekend of July 24th. I told you it would start again on July 24th for the last three months. Okay, I wrote it as July 4th, but there was a 2 in front of the 4 that I was writing in .00001-point font. Not my fault your eyesight is going. Okay, baseball returning gets me to give out a little woohoo. In like 12-point font. If I’m being real and sappy, I love baseball, and I’m glad it’s going to try to return. Rudy tells me he has updated all my 2020 fantasy baseball rankings to sixty games, but since this all happened late last night, it might not happen until Tuesday afternoon. I will then go over some strategy for a 60-game season and then news from spring training, where I’m almost 100% we’re going to hear certain players are not going to play this year. If it’s possible, I’d suggest you begin scheduling some redrafts for early July. Just think, draft season is the best season, and now we’re getting it twice! Anyway, here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball:

Addison Russell – Signed with the Kiwoon Heroes in the KBO. Right before MLB agrees on a season?! Who’s the fool now?! South Korea has actually handled the pandemic surprisingly well, so that he went there might not be so foolish. Random Italicized Voice, have you been watching a lot of CNN during the break? Well, it is break-ing news.

Miguel Sano – Being investigated for kidnapping. Miguel Sano will be the first person to report to camp 175 pounds heavier and all the weight is in his trunk.

 
  1. Ante Galic says:
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    Grey!!!!

    We’re baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack, hopefully!

    a. Looking forward to the revamped rankings! Hopefully everyone will be ranked the same with adjusted statistics! Yep, same ranking though now 10-10 is the new 30-30! Good to remember.

    b. MLB quote of the day for September 4, 1991

    ‘I sign every autograph I can for kids because I remember myself at that age. I think it’s ridiculous that some guys won’t sign for a kid.’ [This was in reference to Dave Kingman (his idol growing up) refusing to sign his autograph, after Thome snuck into the Cubs’ clubhouse.]

    James ‘Jim’ Howard Thome, aka the Thomenator. Many accolades, career leader in walk-off home runs (13), 19th career all-time in OPS (.956), career .402 OBP. He finished his career with 612 HRs. When his nephew Brandon was paralyzed after an accident, Thome delivered his promise to hit a HR – hitting 2 HRs in THAT game. Also he put 22 nieces and nephews through college! Lastly, he used to play basketball in Peoria’s ‘ghetto’ as the only white but his good play gained him the respect of others playing there.

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • zombie says:
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      Solid quote, Ante. Country Strong! Always a must watch at bat. As has been these quotes. Need to get through this madness to increase their readership, and appreciation for these characters who built the game we love. Stay well! & bring on the 60 game strategy, Grey!!

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Yeah, let’s do it, Zombie!

    • cra says:
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      Thome stole that 2 HR idea from Seinfeld.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Haha

    • Cram It says:
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      Thome stole the 2 HR idea from Seinfeld.

    • lennydykstraisjustkmisunderstood says:
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      Jim Thome was a class act……………the sound when he hit the the ball is almost indescribably loud……the other who hit that hard was jayson werth…….

      were were at a marathon 16 inning game my son was about 9 yrs old and tried to keep score for the first time the usher went and got him an extract book………..i think Thome struck out 8 times that day! THey stopped putting it up on the scoreboard………the book was scribble by the end and it was the last time he ever kept score at a phillies game

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Jim Thome was first person to introduce the barrels stat, bc he wore barrels as pants

      • FrankGrimes says:
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        He refused to sign my losing horse race ticket!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          HAHA, you didn’t offer enough $$$

          • FrankGrimes says:
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            He also gave a loser in the extra race!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              I saw him once in Vegas and asked him to be on our podcast and he asked how much I was paying

              • FrankGrimes says:
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                Haha sounds right.
                Nate as a vampire… you son of a bitch. I’m in.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  DUDE! It’s so good!

                  • FrankGrimes says:
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                    Agreed. Last well written comedy I watched was Shitts Creek.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Yeah, same here — so few and far between

  2. Willie Mickey and the Duke says:
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    My son and I wanted Sano badly in our March draft but he was taken ahead of us. We took F Reyes with our pick. I guess we are better off unless that’s who Sano kidnapped

    • LOLmets says:
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      It happened in the DR and he says he’s being blackmailed for money. After Big Papi got shot over there you would think the rich athletes would steer clear but I guess they feel comfortable enough to go back. Seems dangerous AF, but I’ve never been. Come to think of it I remember reading Yordano Ventura was robbed and left for dead in the DR also after that “accident”. Ugh what a shame.

      • Cram It says:
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        They grew up there, and they’re rich. Different perspective.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Yeah, Sano might be okay, I haven’t heard anything about him being out

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ha, you might’ve lucked out there

  3. Peter says:
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    What round would you draft your first sp. I think I might stream ( most of them) weekly. 8 team league

    • Jolt In Flow says:
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      Just a quick bookholder until Grey responds. A 10 owner league is pretty shallow, let alone an 8 owner league. Especially if it’s a full AL/NL league.

      To me, you should have plenty of good pitchers available even after the draft, using the normal 8-9 slots for pitchers and 3-5 total bench slots per team.

      I think your draft would be much better spent on acquiring as many elite / near-elite bats as possible.

      I think you have the right idea in streaming. But that’s just me.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I think I’m just going to stream everything in anything shallower than 12 team

  4. Yancy says:
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    “Paragraphs are for losers. WALL OF TEXT, BABY!” – Grey, probably

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      “We cannot hold back his exuberance.” — Paragraph Breaks

      • lennydykstraisjustkmisunderstood says:
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        Lol ….that is a mass of text

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Sorry

  5. Looks like Rudy has updated all the projections for a 60 game season. We have by far the best numbers guy in the industry. Big thanks to Rudy for all his work. Also many thanks to Grey and all the writers for keeping us entertained throughout the lockdown.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, of course!

  6. Dave D says:
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    My biggest question with things is regarding the difference between the MLB offer and Manfred’s “order”. They were talking about universal DH and starting extra innings with a runner on 2nd. Are they going to do that or is it dead? I’d think it’d have to meet MLBPA approval. But if they do I imagine it’d have to be kinda like a DR (designated runner). It wouldn’t make any sense for it to be a guy in the lineup already because what would happen if he’s still on base and his spot in batting order comes up? That is my biggest question mark:

    • Cram It says:
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      They already do that in the minors. I’d bet they can figure it out.

    • lennydykstraisjustkmisunderstood says:
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      If they start with a runner on second handicapping the pitcher, they should handicap the batter as well maybe put him at a 2-1 count? Keep batters from taking pitches

      • Dave D says:
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        That’d increase a sense of urgency for sure

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Runner on 2nd appears done for now, universal DH is not a definite yet, but sounds like it’s headed that way… I think there’s a pinch runner for the DR is how it works

      • Dave D says:
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        That might give a few guys a slight bump in value if they score a few extra runs. But nothing like the NHL DH will help guys like Aquino, I. Happ, etc. There also seems to be a benefit to AL West and both Central division teams if they all play in their “zone” exclusively. A’s and Angels players having games @COL, AZ and vs. SF could really be desirable compared to facing NYY, TB, BOS pitching.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Think the zone thing is off table (last I heard, not sure) — DH will be big, for sure…I hope they do it — 60 games is already goofy, just go for it

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Oh, wow, hadn’t heard that…Interesting…Guess it makes sense, as much as the rest of this does

              • Dave D says:
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                Looks like I’ll be streaming Brian Goodwin at Coors in August.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Just thinking the Angels get a nice little bump there

                  • Dave D says:
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                    Just think if David Fletcher hits both his two homers for the year there and also swipes a bag? One big weekend will carry tremendous weight.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      A player will be in the running for MVP if he has two good weeks! Haha

                  • Dave D says:
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                    Yeah if 2020 happened in 2019 we might have Yumi Gurriel as AL MVP and Aristides Aquino as the NL MVP.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Exactly!

  7. Coolwhip

    Coolwhip says:
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    MLB: Everything’s perfectly all right now. We’re fine. We’re all fine here now, thank you. How are you?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha — MLB might be the only sport where it’s: We’re back! (Maybe.)

      • krazyivan says:
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        Coolwhip! “I got a bad feeling about this”. Haha

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Same same

  8. Stat Man says:
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    Will you be doing updated player projections / rankings now that the number of games has been settled?

    • Stat Man says:
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      Never mind. Saw they were updated.

  9. MattH says:
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    I bet the folks at Fantrax are doing a drinking lunch today. I know I am. Thanks for being here for us, Grey!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha, No problem

  10. Gigorilla says:
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    Grey — with the short season and ‘playoff’ atmosphere for many games, the managers will be super aggressive with their pitching staffs.

    Is the new 3 batter minimum for relief pitchers still happening?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      My guess is yes since that was already in the books, but I honestly don’t know

      • Gigorilla says:
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        With all the SP openers that will be used this year, the manager’s use of the bullpen will be very interesting, and play havoc on traditional roto stats.

        The 3 batter min could not have come at a worse time for the managers.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, agreed…they should pull back on that rule this year

  11. Sebastian says:
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    I literally forgot everything I knew in March

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      When was March?

      • LaRockakis says:
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        Dude, same.

  12. Nitro says:
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    May be a silly questions, but with the expanded playoffs, any chance leagues can work the playoff games into counting stats for leagues? It is already a messed up season with asterisks galore, why not add the playoffs to the fantasy seasons? You all can pile on now,…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Nah, bc what if your players don’t make the playoffs?

      • Nitro says:
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        I get it that that is the biggest drawback. But in such a crazy year it could be a nice wrinkle. I also get that it is stupid.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Haha, yeah, indeed

  13. Joe Shmoe says:
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    Hi Mr. Grey,
    a. So just eyeballing the new projections… Does anyone move significantly in a shortened season? I imagine they stay the same. Good hitters and such.

    b. If one top pitcher has a crap game it ruins your stats for the entire season and is much harder to correct.

    c. You almost need to consider drafting players based on their regions. Let’s say that the Rays infield contracts covid and they are out for two weeks…

    d. Using the scenario above, there needs to be a reassessment of IR spots per Fantasy leagues? A good part of your team could go down if they infect one another during a fight or whatever. (HOU vs NYY) Losing a bunch of players if they get the disease kills your team, unless you can pick up replacements. (OF course this sounds callous and these players are people, I am just interested in the wild fantasy baseball considerations).

    e. I think this will be an even more difficult year to win the WS or your fantasy baseball leagues than any other year. So there should be no asterisk.

    Peace!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      A. Honestly, I’m waiting to hear which players are sitting out — and I think there will be some — right now, I haven’t done any dramatic movements (hehe)

      B. Yes

      C. Yeah, it’s true

      D. I hear ya, I think more IL spots are in order

      E. Yeah, completely!

      • hondo says:
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        Trout’s wife is having a kid in August.IF he has to quarantine in the first redraft I’ve ever owned him I’m going to be sad.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I know, same

  14. LaRockakis says:
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    Baseball is back, and so am I!

    If only Mancini was!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      LaRockakis! Let’s get it!

      • LaRockakis says:
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        Let’s get this bread, fam. You know we had to do it to ‘em.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Let’s get it!

  15. NCPhilly says:
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    Maybe this will be the year we get a “full season” out of Roman Quinn. Glad we will get at least another “season” of Nelson Cruz to enjoy. There will be lots of air quotes from this “season”.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha, yup

Comments are closed.