The first half is over and the second half has begun. Of course the season is more than half way over. In fact, I think there are only 6 or 7 more weeks until the playoffs. Somewhere along writing this blog I got away from insulting the other teams. I thought why not start again today?
Let’s review each team. We’ll start with the West Division.
The West is currently led by the Miami Carlins with a 9-6 record. After getting off to a 5-0 start, the Carlins saw a long losing streak take some steam out of the…something that has steam. Cleveland? Consistently scoring high and back on track, the Miami Carlins look to either finish with a first round by or at the very least with home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Really, I’m not going to insult my own team unless it’s Pablo Sandoval’s weight.
In second place are The Fuzzy Taints. A team nobody expected to do well because of the gene pool it comes from (the name didn’t help much either) The Fuzzy Taints have proven to everyone they are a playoff team. The first team to beat Jimmy Dean Vienna Sausages, The Fuzzy Taints enter the second half with a 9-6 record, only trailing the Miami Carlins because they haven’t scored nearly as much. The team’s greatness strength is perhaps signing subpar level players on the New York Mets and playing them at the right time. It takes real balls to have Omar Quintanilla on your team. Or maybe it just takes a fuzzy taint.
Third place is where it gets interesting. Right now we see Drunkin’ Drafters, brother of The Fuzzy Taints, there. Drunkin’ Drafters suffered a few tough luck losses this season and are nibbling at a final playoff spot. Drunkin’ Drafter’s biggest issue this season has been its pitching. The first pick they took in the draft was the under-performing Justin Verlander and not long after David Price was selected. Only because Edwin Encarnacian has played so well have Drunkin’ Drafters been able to make up for Verlander and Price. Drunkin’ Drafters need a few other teams to collapse to get into the playoffs. I wish I could have thought of a better way to word this where the collapsing has something to do with being drunk. Stumbling into the playoffs? That works.
Next we find Team Boyle. Tied with Drunkin’ Drafters with a 7-8 record, Team Boyle has not been able to score this season at all. Strikeouts have been their problem. An outfield that looks like they should have “Chico’s Bailbonds” on the back doesn’t help either. First pick Matt Kemp has been injured or a singles hitter and Stephen Strasburg has been more like SNL alumni Andy Samberg on the mound. Will adding Troy Tulowitzki in a trade with the Houston Asterisks get Team Boyle a few more points? The loss of Adrian Beltre, an iron man compared to Tulowitzki might come back to bite him in the ass. Considering Team Boyle is managed by my father, I have seen his ass and it’s so small that a single bite could do some real damage.
Finally in last place we find the Houston Asterisks. A team that spent much of the season on strike due to management’s hatred of facial hair. Somehow even while on strike they managed to pick up 3 wins and another last week against Team Gold. The strike is over in Houston and the Asterisks are looking to play spoiler. With a “swing for the fences” and “hope Homer Bailey pitches a no-hitter” strategy, the Houston Asterisks play a risky game. Unless they go undefeated for the rest of the year, look for the Houston Asterisks players at your local golf club this September during the playoffs.
Moving along to the East Division now…
First place finds a familiar name, Jimmy Dean Vienna Sausages. The team that averages a loss only once every 6 or 7 weeks haven’t had much to complain about this year other than the one trade made. The only real weakness in Jimmy Dean Vienna Sausages lies in their reliability on a few players. Most notably they are their three big pitchers; Clayton Kershaw, Adam Wainwright, and Madison Bumgartner. The team not afraid to take risks with the likes of Jose Fernandez or an injured Matt Garza has been farting roses all season long. I see another loss or two coming soon in these warm months as the JDVS offense is its weak point. They have all but locked up a first round bye and my hope for a Yasiel Puig deportation.
Stone Cold is the next team in the East Division. Starting off poorly, Stone Cold has been playing well of late. Like Team Boyle, Stone Cold has an outfield that reminds me of Shane Mapps, that black kid Andre, and me. This was the starting outfield for my little league team in 1998. And by starting I mean starting in the 3rd inning because the coach didn’t want us actually starting the game. Stone Cold has had guys like Max Scherzer and Justin Masterson put up career highs. More than likely, Stone Cold will cool off a little bit. Ha! So clever.
Next we find Team Gold. With a similar start to the season as Stone Cold, Team Gold may be one of the better offensive teams at some positions and at others the weakness is clear. Overall Team Gold has become a well-rounded team and I like their shot in the playoffs. That is of course unless Team Gold’s wife gets in the way. Team Gold of course might be best known as having the first overall pick then having to leave the draft to watch television with his wife. I’m not married so I don’t comprehend the full power a wife can have over a husband. Whatever happens, at least I can say I’m allowed to do whatever I want while Team Gold is out at the Flower Festival.
Cecil Cantrell is the team that went on the most similar journey to the Miami Carlins. A great start followed by struggles, Cecil Cantrell is back on track with an 8-7 record. Cecil Cantrell’s biggest problem this season has been the lack of commissioner updates. The occasional video or statement has been made, but nothing concrete or consistent has occurred. The man is busy though, participating in many other leagues and having never once placed a player on the disabled list despite having many candidates. It’s something to respect about the man. He makes his players play through the pain rather than do what’s best for everyone.
Rounding out the division and the league for that matter are the Si Hurricanes. At first I saw the Si Hurricanes as a big threat. The 2-13 record says otherwise. Poor pitching, the disappearance of Ryan Braun, and still having Carl Crawford on the disabled list even though he is not injured are the cause of this. The Si Hurricanes don’t look to spoil so much anymore unless they happen to get lucky like the Houston Asterisks did a few times. It’s hard to say something about a team that has performed so bad without making myself look like an ass. It’s like making fun of the fat redheaded kid with glasses and dead parents. It’s just not worth it.
Two teams, Cecil Cantrell and Drunkin’ Drafters have been hard at work trying to fill in some missing pieces to their rosters. Cecil Cantrell was the first to start these trade rumors.
Yesterday, Cecil Cantrell management sent out a message to the rest of the league with the subject “I hate Albert Pujols.” In the body of the message, management said that Pujols along with Manny Machado and Chase Headley were on the trading block.
When asked to comment on being in the subject of an email, Albert Pujols told reporters he was “too busy not working on my swing” and “hoping it was a typo.” Pujols has been a big disappointment this season and Cecil Cantrell is willing to part with the first baseman.
Drunkin’ Drafters on the other hand are more interested in loading off starting pitchers. Management said that both Justin Verlander and James Shields were “up for grabs.” Chances are it would take a lot to steal Verlander away considering he was the first pick by Drunkin’ Drafters this season. Shields will probably be available for far less, but may cost a mid-upper level outfielder.
“I’ve just been so distracted by Kate Upton this season,” said Verlander when asked about his struggles. “Don’t get me wrong, the sex is great. It’s just…I feel like a creepy old man. I just found out she’s like 20.”
Of all those available I only have interest in Machado and Verlander. You can never have enough pitching and Machado has been putting up big numbers. It would all depend on what I would have to give up. Someone like Torii Hunter who doesn’t see as much playing time as he deserves would be shipped away from the Miami Carlin’s locker room in a second if it meant landing one of them. With potential suspensions to Nelson Cruz and Jhonny Peralta though, I am not quite ready yet to make any drastic moves.
Jeremy Guthrie you had one job to do,
Jeremy Guthrie success this season for you was new,
Jeremy Guthrie why’d you have to get minus 8 points,
Jeremy Guthrie in your body I wish to break every joint.
That’s just a little poem to express my dismay for Jeremy Guthrie who was signed to replace Yu Darvish whose start was pushed back this week because Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington hates me. Jeremy Guthrie was going to pitch against the worst offense in baseball, the Chicago White Sox. He had already pitched a shutout against them a few weeks ago. This should have been a breeze. Instead he only lasted 2 1/3 innings. This was probably for the best because surely he would have given up even more runs and walked even more guys if he was in there for longer.
Yesterday was supposed to be a day where the Carlins got way out ahead. The team should have closer to 250 points. I’m not greedy. That’s all I expected. Instead Guthrie gets -8 points and Cole Hamels gets 7 in his loss. The bullpen was a saving grace of the team though. Joe Nathan and Grant Balfour got clean saves and Francisco Rodriguez for some reason was used in the 8th inning and pitched perfect with 2 strikeouts. By the end of the day’s games, the Carlins only lost 1 point on their lead over The Fuzzy Taints. The score rests 224-185 in favor of the Miami Carlins, but for how long?
The Fuzzy Taints have three starts left in their rotation. Jered Weaver played yesterday and only got 3 points so I’m going to hope this happens a few more times. The Carlins offense is do for a breakout day so I’m expecting that to happen too. I can only recall two times this season where offensive players on the Carlins hit two home runs in one game. Earlier this week with Nelson Cruz as well as earlier in the season with Carlos Gomez. It seems like it’s always happening against me though.
The final three starts for The Fuzzy Taints go today. Let’s hope the Astros, the Angels, and the Reds all have good steroid masking agents and corked bats ready to help me out. Maybe they could ask Jhonny Peralta and Nelson Cruz? After all, it was the paper trail that got them in trouble.
81-62 is the score right now in favor of The Fuzzy Taints. This lead may look pretty large and it is a decent lead. It makes me begin to sweat when I think about it. Then I remember, I’ve only used one start this week and he’s used two. A 19 point pitching performance makes this thing completely even. The week is young still. There is plenty of time to catch up.
I’ve noticed lately I have been over-thinking things. In life in general I do this and now it’s the same with fantasy baseball. Rather than rarely make lineup changes, I’ve been doing it a lot more often. I’m constantly seeing guys like Torii Hunter and Daniel Nava on my bench play well and when I get the courage to put them into the lineup they don’t do much at all. I need to stick with a plan. Either I go off Batter vs. Pitcher stats or I go off overall. Sometimes this works out. There have been days I’ve started someone who has great numbers against a pitcher and it has worked out. There have been days I’ve benched a guy like Nelson Cruz who career is 0 for 12 against a guy and he’s finished with -2 points.
Or maybe the problem is I shouldn’t kick myself when things go wrong. After all, this is only fantasy baseball. Unlike life, it eventually ends. Okay, bad example. Life ends too. I may need to start doing a few Bush League moves though and take a risk in the league. I haven’t decided yet if my dignity is worth it. Hell, I haven’t decided whether or not I have dignity. We’ll see.
Sorry for the lameness of this post. I’m hungry, I’m tired, and I need caffeine.
Above is an animated stick figure GIF explaining how I feel right now. Another loss. Another week where I finish in the top half of points scored and the team I’m up against finishes with more. How does this happen?
The final score in Week 11 was Drunkin’ Drafter 287-267. How could this have gone better? If I had started John Lackey over Jake Westbrook it would have been a tie. If I had made a few different changes to my lineup, like putting Torii Hunter in yesterday. There are a million things I could have done to put me over the edge. I didn’t though so I’m looking at another loss. It’s okay though because I still have the first round bye and I’ve scored so many points this season that it will be mighty hard for any team to beat me in the tie-breaker.
Player of the Week honors go to Carlos Gomez who earned 29 points. Disappointment of the Week goes to Jake Westbrook. The hired gun earned 0 points in his one outing. Enemy of the Week goes to Jason Kipnis who somehow snuck in and earned 29 points for Drunkin’ Drafters. I was sure it would have been Jose Bautista, but he slowed down after hitting a bunch of home runs and Kipnis played very well yesterday, sealing the fate of the Miami Carlins.
Now for scores from around the league:
Jimmy Dean Vienna Sausages destroyed Cecil Cantrell 322-216
Team Boyle got lucky and was up against a for once low-scoring The Fuzzy Taints, getting a 257-174 win
Houston Asterisks, despite remaining on strike, had a fantastic week beating the Si Hurricanes 258-178
Stone Cold ripped into Team Gold with a 340-197 win
Notice how the next lowest scoring team to lose this week was 216, about 50 points less than me. Why?
Now for Atlanta Slaves news:
The Atlanta Slaves remain in first place by only a game. This week though separated the league in half, the 4 teams that will make the playoffs and the 4 teams who will not. The Atlanta Slaves have a 1 game lead, a 3.5, a 4.5, and then an 11 game lead over the other teams. The Slaves have been in the top tier all season long, spending all but two weeks in first place. Both seasons still have a long way to go, but it’s looking as if there will be playoff baseball for both my teams as long as things don’t take a turn for the worst.
This week the Miami Carlins will play The Fuzzy Taints. They may not have the best record, but The Fuzzy Taints have suffered similar problems to the Carlins, scoring a lot and still losing anyway. I’m hoping for 3 straight wins here as the opponents are all under .500. This last week was the first time the Carlins have lost to a sub-.500 team and I don’t want that happening two weeks in a row, especially since this will put us at .500. Good luck to me.
The way this inaugural season for the Miami Carlins is going is suspicious. I can score the third or fourth most points for the week and I will have been matched up against whoever scored the most or second most. This week looks like it may end up one of those weeks. The Miami Carlins have scored the third most points. Our opponent, Drunkin’ Drafters, have scored the fourth most points. Then there’s a huge drop off by about 50 points to the fifth most scoring team. Whichever way it goes, someone is going to get screwed.
The score is 253-242. Drunkin’ Drafters is one of the more active teams in the league and I’m not referring to his sex life either. He managed to get online this morning, drop Josh Johnson and sign Miguel Gonzalez of the Baltimore Orioles to pitch against the Boston Red Sox this afternoon. I was very tempted to drop a couple pitchers and sign all of the best pitchers going today just to block him from getting someone good. I thought it over and not only would this be Bush League, it would probably end up backfiring on me somehow.
Jordan Zimmermann struggled yesterday and Mike Minor didn’t have his best performance. That’s why the score is so close. If Zimmermann had a typical 25 point start and Minor did the same, we wouldn’t even be talking about the possibility of a loss. We get lucky that Drunkin’ Drafters starter Alex Cobb got carted off the field in a stretcher, taking away the possibility of a win for him.
I’m not a dad so this Father’s Day will be spent for me wishing and hoping that my fantasy baseball offense hits a couple home runs and that Miguel Gonzalez gets him early to his children. I’m not sure if he has children or not, but judging by his last name, he probably does. That wasn’t a racist joke. That was a “I’m being stupid” joke because I’m assuming he’s related to all of the other Gonzalez’s in the world. I guess that’s still a bit racist. My bad.
Up and down, up and down. That’s how some of the scores go on a weekly basis in fantasy baseball. This week I’ve had the lead for the entire time, sometimes very narrowly. After yesterday’s poor performance from Jake Westbrook and Matt Moore combining for 1 point, the Drunkin’ Drafters have something to drink to. They lead the Miami Carlins 213-207.
Look at me, acting as if this is the end of the world. A single home run gives the Miami Carlins the lead. It won’t even take a home run. Jordan Zimmermann and Mike Minor pitch today for the Carlins and they WILL persevere because if they don’t there WILL be trouble.
“Skip isn’t afraid of taking away the things we enjoy when we fail,” said Carlins short stop Starlin Castro. “And believe me, I know something about failing. I’m hitting like .250 and I was a fourth round pick or something like that.”
Drunkin’ Drafters will use his final starts on, who knows? I may get lucky this week again and he may not realize one of his guys is getting a start pushed back. Today it looks like Alex Cobb. I’m hoping he doesn’t realize and even more so, I’m hoping no one else in the league warns him. Since my sworn mortal enemy in this league, Jimmy Dean Vienna Sausages, also happens to be one of only a few from the league who come to this blog for advice (yes, I’m taking credit for their 9-1 record), I have to worry about pointing out such things in public. We’ll see what happens. I got lucky last week against Cecil Cantrell only using 5 starts, not that it would have mattered. This week it matters though and my emotions are yo-yo’ing all over the place.
This week feels familiar. Not only am I back to being jobless and describing myself as a “starving artist” as I sit around in my underwear watching YouTube videos all day (I’m kidding, I’m very productive…) but the Miami Carlins are also performing well and without much worry.
The Miami Carlins have a nice 185-157 lead over Drunkin’ Drafters. We’re tied up in starts with 3 and will remain tied after today with 5. For the Carlins, Matt Moore and newly acquired Jake Westbrook will look to add to the team’s point scoring deluge. For Drunkin’ Drafters, C.J. Wilson and Kyle Lohse will be pitching. Moore has had some bad starts lately, many of which he hasn’t been in the starting lineup for the Carlins during. I’m hoping he’ll bounce back from his last start and put in a good performance now that he knows I’m relying on him.
Not much other news has happened in the league or for the Carlins specifically. It’s almost as if many of the teams in this league are counting on free agent signings to help them win this season. Currently in the Carlins starting lineup Matt Carpenter, Jhonny Peralta, and a combination Torii Hunter/Carlos Gomez/Daniel Nava are all free agent signings. The only player I dropped this season I wish I had not dropped is Domonic Brown, who I guess only had one good month and has since cooled off. I have him in my Yahoo league so not all is lost from releasing him.
Matt Carpenter, Carlos Gomez, and Daniel Nava are 3 of the top scoring players on the Carlins and in the league. I never thought so much of the team would be created in free agency. Pitchers are of course different as those are changing much more frequently such as signing whoever is pitching against the Astros or Marlins. You may at this point be able to add the Chicago White Sox to that list, a team that seems to rely on Adam Dunn home runs to get by. Surprise teams near the bottom of runs scored are the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers. The Houston Astros are actually 21st in runs scored this season. Why are they so bad? It’s their pitching, the worst in the majors. When the Astros win, they win 10-8. When the Astros lose, they lose 8-1. You should still feel confident enough starting a pitcher against them though. Younger guys may be a little riskier, especially rookies considering many of the guys on the Astros probably faced them in the minors.
This post was ridiculous and gave no real insight into how to help your own fantasy baseball team. I’m really getting the hang of this expert thing.
Back in the 1800s and early 1900s, police officers were instructed to say “Move along, nothing to see here” whenever people got nosy and tried to watch them work. The same can be said about this week of fantasy baseball. The Carlins have a 91-71 lead over Drunkin’ Drafters, and this is about what the score should be. Drunkin’ Drafters used one start, one by Alex Cobb and earned -1 points from it. The Carlins used two starts. One was by Cole Hamels that earned 14 points and the other was by Tony Cingrani which earned 23.
The only peak performer on either team comes in the form of Jose Bautista for the Drunkin’ Drafters who has already hit three home runs this week. Bautista might be one of my favorite players of all-time. He has never been linked to steroids and still somehow “Brady Andersoned” his career and is now a pure home run hitter with some average. He’s cocky too in a good way. Two seasons ago I remember someone saying he wouldn’t repeat his home run tear. The first game of the season he went deep. He said, “One game, one home run.” He did the same thing the next night.
Jose Bautista is Canada’s baseball player. When I went to Toronto two years ago, he was all anyone cared about. He’s also the guy on the cover of the Canadian version of baseball video games. I’m not sure how much they care about baseball in places like Vancouver or Edmonton, but Bautista is a Canadian Baseball God. I’m happy for the guy. In an old baseball video game I used to have, MVP 2005, whenever Travis Chapman would come up to bat they would call him Jose Bautista. I might be the only person who remembers this mistake. It’s a good mistake to remember. I can now see there is some justice in this world.
Justin Verlander and James Shields will pitch today for Drunkin’ Drafters. Nobody takes the mound for the Carlins so more than likely the lead will be lost. The only positive is that Verlander and Shields are pitching against each other so like Highlanders, there can only be one winner.
There was no interview last week and this will be the final one because, how many questions can I really ask the same people over and over again? Before I get into the interview, I would like to update the score. One day left and the Carlins are leading 284-250. I’m not going to say anything else other than the score because I don’t want to jinx anything.
Now let’s get on with the interview with the league commissioner, Cecil Cantrell.
Me: Have you ever won a fantasy baseball league before? If yes, how cool was it? If no, who do you blame?
Cecil Cantrell: No, I have never won before. I tell my friends and family that I win every year though. It makes them proud. Who do I blame? I blame my friends and family. All of the pressure they put on me to succeed is too much to handle sometimes that I make bad moves or don’t use my star pitchers.
Me: What player on your team has become your favorite this season?
Cecil Cantrell: Clay Buchholz is easily my favorite player. I’m not sure when his next start is though… (Cecil Cantrell completely missed starting Clay Buchholz this Saturday)
Me: Of all the teams in the league, who do you think is the best? Who do you think is the worst?
Cecil Cantrell: I think The Fuzzy Taints are actually going to make a good run at in the end. You also have to respect a guy willing to let us know what his private parts are like. Worst team would probably be the Si Hurricanes. He tries really hard. At least the Houston Asterisks are on strike which explains why they’re so bad.
Me: The disabled list, have you ever heard of it?
Cecil Cantrell: I prefer to call it the “differently abled” list. It’s not nice to call people disabled.
Me: You got off to a really good start like me and it looks as if you’re fading a bit. How does it feel?
Cecil Cantrell: It feels terrible. My acid reflux is back, I have diarrhea, and I don’t enjoy the things I used to enjoy. Although these may be symptoms of something else. Not sure.
Me: What is the most difficult task when it comes to being a commissioner in a fantasy baseball league?
Cecil Cantrell: Having to talk to Drunkin’ Drafter in a sensible way.
Me: If you win, what do you plan on using your winnings on?
Cecil Cantrell: I’m going to pay the Red Sox manager to use Clay Buccholz at least once a week. Seriously, his spot in the rotation should have come around again, right?