Emerging from your mother’s basement after six months, “I did it! I won my fantasy baseball league!” It begins to dawn on you that the world no longer looks as you remember it. Where there were once blossoming trees, there’s now decaying branches. Where flowers once sprouted, shriveled vines remained. A tumbleweed blows past. Minutes later, back in your mother’s basement, you’ve painted a face on the tumbleweed and you say to it, “Can you believe I won my league by two points?” After a brief pause, you say, “Do you think I should keep Christian Encarnacion-Strand in an 11-team keeper league with no restrictions? Mr. Tumbleweed, I’m asking you a question.” On a serious note, as many of you know, I started Razzball during the WGA strike of 2007-08, because I was laid off from a job and didn’t have shizz to do. (Since it is invariably asked, I was working with a Zucker brother of Airplane/Naked Gun fame.) This summer with the WGA strike happening again, I was reminded how lucky I am to have this gig, talking about fantasy baseball and just generally goofing off with all of you. Thank you for another great year! (Crazy that those trees were decaying and I still got some freakin’ sap!) Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Giancarlo Stanton – Didn’t play on the final day. Clearly, Giancarlo is a better fantasy player than real-life:
Frankie Montas – 1 1/3 IP, 0 ER, as he was activated from the IL. Wow, he’s about to take a 0.00 ERA into his free agency year. Watch out!
Edward Olivares – 1-for-4 and his 12th homer. Told you he was a sleeper! *dodges tomato* Sorry! There’s always next year! *doesn’t dodge next tomato and splats in face* Yum, heirloom!
MJ Melendez – 2-for-4 and his 16th homer, hitting .235. Will be going over a catcher recap in the coming days, and Melendez sucked. Sorry, should I have said spoiler?
Zack Greinke – 5 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 2 Ks, ERA at 5.06. If this was his final game, he went out on a high note, moving his record to 2-15. Well, high note in the micro vs. macro, which sounds like a conversation you overhear at a wheatgrass shop.
Triston McKenzie – 4 1/3 IP, 1 ER, ERA at 5.06. He was expected to go five innings, but a strong gust of wind blew him out of the stadium.
Lucas Giolito – 5 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 4.88. *curtain lifts* “…A brand new car!” I shake my head, and say, “I want more.” That’s a scene from someone trying to coax me into drafting Giolito next year.
Tylor Megill – 7 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 4.70. If you streamed him, then you use the third person and he becomes, Yougill.
Alec Bohm – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 20th homer, hitting .274. Bohm feels like a guy I will be targeting a lot next year when employing my new brand of fantasy baseballing — the “Stop losing, you giant dingus” strategy.
Michael Wacha – 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.22. Will be going over the top 20 for all positions, starting later this week, and top 40 OF and SP, and Wacha easily made that on the latter (sounds like Altuve getting down cereal).
Yandy Diaz – Didn’t start on Saturday, and didn’t play on Sunday to guarantee he won the AL batting title with a .330 average. That’s not how Ted Williams would’ve done it. He risked a .400 average to take all his ABs in the last game of the season. The only time he quit while ahead was after death.
Junior Caminero – 2-for-6, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 1st major league homer. And I’m going to draft him way too early in all my 2024 leagues!
Brandon Drury – 3-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 25th and 26th homers. Hot schmotato–Oh, right.
Kyle Harrison – 5 IP, 0 ER, 0 hits, 2 walks, 4 Ks, ERA at 4.15. Gabe Kapler was fired over the weekend. Giants’ front office said they put in place a team that should easily win 82 games, and they only won 79.
Casey Schmitt – 2-for-3, and his 4th and 5th homer. So, my last round pick hit on the last day; where do I complain about my first 23 round picks not hitting on the other days?
Clayton Kershaw – 5 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 2.46. His career ERA is 2.48. So, solid year this was, just a bit better than average. Try harder next time, ya hear?
Justin Verlander – 5 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.22. Since I have two Hall of Famers back-to-back here, who’s better for their careers, Kershaw or Verlander? Sure, it’s kinda like asking which chocolate do you prefer in a chocolate fountain. Just put one in and let it percolate!
Cristian Javier – 6 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 4.56. Be awful for three months, then throwing a gem on the final day did it to me. “It” being making me chortle.
Spencer Strider – 5 IP, 3 ER, 9 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.86, and ended the year with a ridiculous 281 strikeouts. Is there anything a person with a mustache can’t do? (Drink coffee with foam.)
Nolan Jones – 1-for-3 and a slam (20) and legs (20), hitting .297. He went 20/20 in 106 games! By the time your last draft of 2024 comes rolling around, he’s going to be going in the top 30 overall. Top 20 if you’re in a league with Giancarlo.
Luis Castillo – 2 2/3 IP, 4 ER, ERA at 3.34, as the Mariners got eliminated. Baseball is so amazing that you can play 162 games, and go back to two tough-luck losses and blame those for missing the playoffs. I like the Mariners a lot, and they’ll be back on the strength of JRod alone.
George Kirby – 6 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.35. Who needs 100 pitches when you have dazzlers for 75? Seriously, when you walk as few guys as Kirby (19 in 190 2/3 IP), you don’t need to throw 100 pitches per game.
Felix Bautista – Will have Tommy John surgery, and only a month after it was announced he needed it but would try to rehab. Asking again that a team employs me as their Tommy John expert. Am I doctor? No. I don’t even know where the fibula is. I’m guessing leg. No, I am a Tommy John expert, and I work in conjunction with actual doctors. They say, “You need Tommy John surgery,” then you hire me to say, “No, really. No, there’s no rehab. No, you have to get Tommy John. No, I’m sorry. Yes, I know this sucks, but you need the surgery. Yes, I’m serious,” and I do that incessantly until they get the surgery. I take most major insurance carriers.
Hunter Greene – 5 IP, 4 ER, 10 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 4.82. When you can stop loving Hunter Greene, I believe that’s when you will have transcended normal fantasy ‘pert brain and achieved nirvana, by drafting guys who are good vs. sexy. We will see if I can do this next year. I have no faith in myself.