Note: It is 2019 and the world is as bleak as ever. WITH THAT IN MIND, gonna start tracking the bleak Backyard #s as well. Same rules as the records likely apply here but that’s for me to figure out.
Runs: 29 — LTBS(Doch) ; OGFC(Heroy) Doubles: 6 — IBB(Sean) ; RRF(Rojo) Triples: 0 — I’m sure a buncha folks throughout BY history Home Runs: 4 — PBX(Odom) RBI’s: 23 — LL(Shane) Stolen Bases: 0 — I’m sure a buncha folks throughout BY history OBP: .254 — BBS(Brian)
Strikeouts: 57 (12) — LL(Shane) Quality Starts: 1 (10) — IBB(Sean) Complete Games: 0 — I’m sure a buncha folks throughout BY history Wins: 0 — PERHAPS a few folks throughout BY history but maybe just BBS(Brian) Saves: 0 — I’m sure a buncha folks throughout BY history Holds: 0 — I’m sure a buncha folks throughout BY history ERA: 7.64 (12) — IBB(Sean)
NEW YORK, NY — So they say the best team doesn’t always win it all. Sometimes it’s a Cinderella story, sometimes it’s a really good team that gets hot at just the right time, but sometimes…sometimes the best team is the hot team. As the 2018 Redsox so forcefully displayed, that is a serious problem to anyone else who wants to win. Only 3 other times in the history of the Backyard have we had a #1 seed take home the cup, proving that the championship ladder is quite a toss up. Your 2008 River City Mashers rode a tidal wave of New York Mets and we thought perhaps the #1’s would rule the world forever… It was a different time. A happier time.
Some of us have long considered a regular season championship to be more impressive (Hey, anyone can win two or three games in a row!) than a bracket victory, as this league is a true test of endurance. However, this season, Dochney and his Sliderz quite simply… broke the league. Starting the season with a full rack at 9-0-0 was impressive enough, then he just kept going, and going, and going, until… he clinched a playoff spot with 7 weeks to go! This type of domination is nothing short of shocking in the era of no-cupcake-games and a million roster moves. If we hadn’t already switched to the balanced schedule, this would have been the most unbalanced year ever for the two poor schlubs facing him three times. Greg and his #3 Trouts had a pretty nice season, and possibly completely burnt out beating your favorite Topes in Round 1’s 50-homer affair, but really had no hope at any point in the title game. To cap it off, Verlander casually tosses a no-hitter (Seinfeld voice- ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!) to send this 2019 team into the Backyard Hall of Fame as the #1 of all time. Congrats to the new guy. Two in a row. Very well deserved.
Where Do We Go From Here?
No, I don’t think we need to revamp the league because Dochney coasted to 17-1 (thank you Sean for the sanctity of the league) and an easy championship over two good opponents. However, I know we need to make some necessary changes to … err… Make the Backyard Fun Again?? As I see it, the number one problem right now is the drain on time and mental energy required to compete on a weekly basis. We used to laugh when Lobman was making what we thought were a TON of moves. His 209 transactions lead the league in 2009 and there were 7 teams that did not even crack 100. In 2018 the least was a puny 231 with the median being 365.
So I have a question for all of you — Were we a Dynasty League then, or are we a Dynasty League now?
When I think of a Dynasty, I am envisioning a world where teams actually hold the players that they have. Not just the franchise faces, but the “middle-rounders” that had we been still only keeping 10 at the end of the season, would be back in the FA pool. One of my favorite things about the league is seeing a highlight or a player in person and saying… oh that’s a [insert team] guy. He’s been with them for years. And, in some cases, even though he is having a terrible year, Owner X just will not drop him because that is one of his guys. When you see a Chris Archer or a Jean Segura dropped while in a slump even though he has been with the franchise for years… something just doesn’t feel right. However, this season more than ever, we needed to fill the lineup card. Having four open reliever spots on a Monday? Six rostered bats and two of them are in a rain delay? Might as well just give up!
Another factor currently driving managers crazy is monitoring their low minors and high minors guys, because ESPN will not do this for us. Adding the minors was probably my best act as commissioner, you know outside of setting the roster construction, scoring, custom rules, weekly articles, an absurd video series, and oh so, so many more things… Wait where was I? Oh, right… high/low minors. What are we going to do with this? Personally, I love the minors element but I think the intent behind having them has changed. It seems now the minors are just a way to get more guys into your daily lineup – Gotta have that low-minors SP reliever! Even though he is complete SLOP and has one career hold. I thought the goal of having minors was to be adding top prospects that will stay on your roster, or a roster, for a very long time and not just picked up for one day and dropped before they hit 130AB.
I would like to propose the following as it relates to both of these pressing issues. We currently have 35 roster slots (25 MLB, 4 max high minors, 6 low minors). I would like to expand that by 5 additional slots and eliminate the high minors, making 10 low minors guys mandatory. In addition, the guys who are currently owned and not in the ESPN system would count towards the 10 low-minors. I would also open up the rights list to be completely open and unlimited to how many non-system guys you can own. If you want to have 10 rights guys, that’s all good. Why should it matter if someone is in the system or not? If they are in the minors, they should be minors eligible. We should clear out as many roster spots as an owner feels is necessary before the ASB draft and then we draft rights guys until all of the slots are filled.
With 5 more bench slots, we would be taking, theoretically, the 50 best players out of the FA pool. Or, at the very least, if your argument is 4 high-minors guys are going back into the pool, a minimum of a top 10 would be skimmed. In practice, we know that most teams do not employ 4 high-minors guys and definitely not 4 guys who are all better fantasy options in the current year than guys on the FA list. I am not trying to start a #WarOnFA, but it is sounding like that, I’ll admit.
Part of the reason why it make sense to expand rosters is that so, so many more players are fantasy viable now (Read: Everyone Has 30 Homers by MikeyT it’s a great book) versus 2008 or even 2016. Looking back at 2008 the league leader in homers had 286. In 2019, the two teams with the least had 278. The depth is certainly out there. Also, having more bench guys will allow you to fill those light Monday and Thursday lineups without dropping as many to do so. At the same time, your opponent will be choosing from a diminished field of viable players likely to score against you. We will just need to get used to the frustrating Sunday when someone on your bench homers. But, think of it this way, if they weren’t on your bench, where would they be? On Waivers? On someone else’s team?
Now, on the topic of Waivers. We all know that adding a guy before roster lock and dropping him same-day will bypass waivers (Or, if you don’t know…now you know). I think this got really out of hand this year and I am not too sure what should be done about it. This is a topic that needs some thought and further discussion.
Fantrax or BUST!
There are many members of the league who have grown so frustrated with ESPN they spouted into curse-laden tirades on live TV. Well, BackyardTV, but still live. You know who you are (I know who I am). Whether it be the missing players, missing stats, position eligibility, you name it, ESPN has been a problem and it got much worse this season. However, perhaps some of the above changes will relieve some pressure. Perhaps, the backlash is starting to get to ESPN, as they reinstated some of the historical information which was oh so unceremoniously erased, and we can live with it’s faults. So many of the cool features of Fantrax (contracts!) would be really great if we were re-drafting and starting from scratch. If it were up to me, I would wait until February to decide after we see the player pool, 2020 league rollout, etc. Unless folks feel that we want to keep High Minors and Fantrax will solve our AB/IP limit problems. I am open to discussion on the platform.
Looking Further Ahead
If we are considering switching platforms, what better time than now to consider changing a category?! If there’s one thing that I am 100% stubborn on, it is changing any of the positions or scoring categories. You know, sanctity of the league and whathaveyou. But, wait just a minute…
A question – Have CG’s become too powerful and gotten to the point that they are tarnishing our oh-so-important sanctity? How measly do the CG numbers need to get before getting 1 in a week is an automatic category win? In 2008 there were 93 Complete Games (NINETY THREE)! 93 on rosters and counted in the standings. Sure we played 22 weeks then, okay, but still. R-mac had 17 on the year. Five teams had 10 or more. This year the leader was 8 and five teams had 2 or FEWER. Eight teams had 4 or fewer. CG’s have dwindled to the point where we can expect one per month. Far too many of those CG’s are “fake” being of the 8IP or rain-out variety. So what are we doing here? Should this category be replaced? And, if so, by what?
Lastly, and I am talking to the fans of pitching again here… oh wait this is an empty room. Hmm.
Well, we need to make Backyard pitching fun again. Is the most fun thing about Backyard pitching getting that random SP/RP hold in a tight matchup? That rando on Thursday night getting a magic 0.1IP W? Is that really something that we even want? I think Lobman said it best when he said, “When did this become a league where the teams with the better players lose every week?“. Maybe I’m paraphrasing. Or maybe that’s what I heard in my head when he was talking about something else. I donno that night in Dallas was a little blurry… But the point stands. Do we make CG’s a more usable stat? We need to get out of the old generation and be on the forefront of fantasy leagues again. If any league would have Clean Openers, Quality Bulks, shit that doesn’t even exist yet, it would be the Backyard. Because that’s who we are and that’s what we do.
First Thank You to everyone who is still playing after 12 years! My goodness we are old. Owners come and go, but the league keeps on rollin’… More importantly, Thank You to a one Michael C. Odom for masterfully commanding the Commissionership for three wonderful seasons. He brought a lot of new energy, content, ideas, and ushered in the most dominant figure in recent Backyard history (I’m talking about Dochney, not you). Your contribution is greatly appreciated and we hope that you will continue in your capacity of Director of Creative Marketing and co-director of the Backyard Hall of Fame and Historical Library.
AT LONG LAST the 2019 season nears its conclusion, as we are actually on like DAY THREE of the BCS and it’s anyone’s chip to win. First I need to tell you how the two teams still standing got here. Let’s do that, using my own personal fave KEY CAT format (the cat key is so kewt)…
(ps if you think I’m covering the consolation bracket you have another thing coming bucko)
Ocean Gate Fishing Club Defeat What Were At The Time Known As The East Coast Kings – 7-5-2
MVP: Lucas Giolito – If Lucas Giolito is even a smidddddge less dominant in his lone start of the week perhaps it’s the Kings that move on to the BCS. But that isn’t what happened, Giolito dominated and the Kings lost. 9 IP, 0 ER, 12 Ks, 1 QS, 1 W, 1 CG, 0.00 ERA
LVP:Brendan McKay – On the flip side of the young stud pitcher coin you have Mr. McKay who was NOT dominant, and only lasted 2 innings in his lone start. First time in the Bracket jitters, one surmises. 2 IP, 3 ER, 1 Ks, 13.50 ERA
Quality Starts. It isn’t too often that you see a QS matchup end 9-7, not in TODAY’S BASEBALL no sir. But that is what happened, in a week where both teams got on base at a pretty good clip and pitched WELL with the Fishing Club pitching well-er. Giolito had that dagger CG shutout, Shane Bieber (2 QS) continued being a lot better than I thought he was gonna be, and some guy named Brock Burke also contributed 2 QS of his own. The Kings got 2 QS apiece out of Kershaw and Strasburg, and pitched quite well overall, but ultimately that slight edge in QS pointed to slightly better numbers across the board for the Fishing Club staff. And because of that, they move on.
Assorted Musings Should I Feel Like Musin’: The Fishing Club had the most QS, most Ws, best ERA in Round 2…Jose Abreu had the most RBIs in the round (11)…The Kings had the best OBP in R2 by a pretty good margin, they also owned one of the two players in the whole damned round with 3 or more HRs (GleyberTorres, 3 HRs)… LOOK WHERE THAT GOT EM.…
Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz Defeat Point Loma X-Rayz – 9-5-0
MVP: Justin Verlander – Nobody really JUMPS off the page for their performances here (though there was plenty of decent performances) and I just think that a CG in a playoff matchup is super clutch, particularly if you’re the higher seed, and so fuck it I’m giving it to the other pitcher that threw a CG.9 IP, 2 ER, 11 Ks, 1 QS, 1 CG
LVP:Jon Lester – Gonna pin this one on Jon Lester because he’s still a Sawk to me. THANKS FOR NOTHIN’, JON LESTER. 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 2 Ks, 12.46 ERA
ERA. LIVE BY THE BULK DIE BY THE BULK. The X-Rayz are alway at the forefront of Backyard innovation and the bulk reliever strategy has served them well on many-a-week (it basically did its job of winning Ks and Ws in this week, tbh) BUT the dark side is sometimes your bulk relievers get lit up and sometimes your actual starters don’t pull their weight either and then boom you lose ERA 2.74 to 5.60. Truthfully the ERA is not entirely the fault of bulk relievers (the X-Rayz managed just 2 QS to the Sliderz’ 7) BUT guys like Jalen Beeks (9 ER in 10 IP), Austin Pruitt (6 ER in 5.2 IP), and Wade LeBlanc (4 ER in 4.1 IP) did the X-Rayz no favors. Conversely you have the BackdoorSliderz getting 2 QS out of Aaron Nola (oops) and a CG out of Justin Verlander and a gem out of deGrom (7 IP, 1 ER, 13 Ks) and so yea that team was the one that won. The X-Rayz needed near-perfect pitching to have a shot at the upset and they did not….get…..that. The ERA tells us so.
Assorted Musings Should I Feel Like Musin’: The X-Rayz tossed ONE HUNDRED NINETEEN innings utilizing 31 pitchers in this matchup (92 IP from 21 pitchers for Lacey Twp)….The X-Rayz also racked up 7 triples which feels excessive…Freddie Freeman had the most HRs in R2 (4), Juan Sotohad the most Rs (13)in Week 16…
BACKYARD CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES PREVIEW
AND SO IT IS FINALLY UPON US……once again……cuz this happens every year we have a league obviously….
#1 LACEY TWP BACKDOORSLIDERZ VS. #3 OCEAN GATE FISHING CLUB
I mean in a way WHAT IS TO REALLY PREVIEW HERE, it’s Cody Bellinger & Ronald Acuna Jr. vs. Mike Trout & Mookie Betts. But in another way, that’s not entirely accurate as these two teams sneakily finished 1-2 in overall ERA. So let’s try and touch on that as well. In the past I’ve done this corner by corner so let’s start with the CHALLENGERS to the throne, the Ocean Gate (sometimes Trout) Fishing Club. The OGFC finished with this season with the #3 seed, which certainly came in handy when they tied the #6 seed in the first round. They did so riding the bats of the guys I mentioned above but ALSO Josh Bell has 33 HRs and 104 RBIs right now and ALSO Jose Abreu was a smart deadline addition and ALSO Trea Turnerand that trio of Cubs sluggers are still here and ALSO Yordan Alvarez (21 HRs in 219 ABs, .420 OBP) has been on fucking fire. If there’s a team in the league that can challenge Lacey Twp in the Bats Dept., this is the team. And FORTUNATELY, for those rooting against back-to-back championships just on general principle (not sure who would do such a thing), this team isn’t built on bats alone. Gerrit Cole, Shane Bieber, Luis Castillo, & Lucas Giolito are all very good starting pitcher mens and Felipe Vazquez, Josh Hader, & Seth Lugo are good reliever mens. And the Fishing Club will need just about everyone I name-dropped and/or alluded to in this paragraph to be on their fucking game because uhhh, they’re challenging a team that’s lost once in 19 matchups (TO THE BEARS MIGHT I ADD).
And that team, is of course and unfortunately the top-seeded defending champeen Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz. The Sliderz have breezed through the entire season by pairing a feared group of youthful hitters with an equally impressive pitching staff, truly there’s been no real holes on this team all season (hence only losing once, to the Bears). Acuna Jr., Soto, Bellinger, Albies, Bregman those are all good players and that’s from the paragraph I wrote last season and OH they also have KestonHiuranow and Freddie Freeman is still here and still good and at this point it’s just a small blessing that Fernando Tatis Jr.is donezo for the seasono. Every time I write out these names I feel like apologizing to the rest of the league, so lets switch to pitching so I can just quickly apologize for Aaron Nola (overrated) and move on to the other guys. Verlander, deGrom, Greinke are all older or old-ish but very good, they also have Walker Buehler whom is very young but very good. Their bullpen is solid enough to where I don’t feel like mentioning them but ALSO I probably should because they had 7 Saves in Round 2 (I assume Roberto Osuna is to blame but fuck him). ANYWHO, this team lead the league in Runs and HRs and OBP I do believe and they also were basically top 5 across the board and that’s why they are at where they are at, which is one win away from back-to-back championships for the first time since 2013 (I think we all know whom that was but A REFRESHER IF NEEDED: https://backyardviewsblog.com/2016/08/31/the-history-of-the-league-2011-2013-special-dynasty-edition/).
Overall, it’s hard to argue that these two teams don’t deserve to be in the BCS because ON PAPER they have perhaps the two most impressive rosters and IN ACTUAL PERFORMANCE yanno……one team only lost once all year, the other grabbed the 3 seed (and they’re notorious underachievers). Fortunately this preview is being released while everything’s pretty much a toss-up, everyone feel free to take your sides now because EITHER WAY the league is saddled with another unfortunate champeen. Pick the lesser of two evils I guess? If you give a shit at all?
Well, this is a weird feeling. For the first time in the history of the league, yours truly the TWO time champeeen River City Bad Dude–Margs are not chasing another title run. I know the rest of the league is as broken up as I was about this fact, but in respect of the remaining playoff chasers, we will press on and give a QUICK review of this first round of the playoffs in the year of our lord 2019. Without further ado:
BYE Weeks: Lacey Twp backdoor Sliderzzzzzzzz(z), East Coast Kings
They both did a nice job managing (not managing) their rosters and setting themselves up for their respective weeks in Round 2. Good for them.
Lakehurst Leviathans defeat THE NEW LOOK River City Fightin’ Margs – 9-3-2
NOTES: Shane keeping Mike Fiers has paid immediate dividends, as his centerpiece for 2020 throw a 6 inning 5 earned GEM. This start further entrenches him in the Leviathans 2020 rotation (I assume). Anyways, nobody really gives a fuck about the consolation bracket, but its really fucking swell to see Bryce Harper hit dingerZ when they don’t actually matter. Both teams had solid OBP’s (Shout out to the 2019 OBP record for Shane this week BUT THE MEDIA ISN’T REPORTING THAT) and didn’t start the requisite 12 which is just fine for this situation.
Next Up: Honestly who cares.
Rojo’s Renegade Force defeats Barnegat Banana Slugs – 7-3-4
NOTES: I dunno. Aristides Aquino had a very nice week. The Renegades got some strong Japanese power with an Ohtani JROLL, as well as a lovely outing from Yu Darvish. One must think that this momentum will really push The Renegades into good form for next seas…………. Nevermind. Uh, moving on!
Next Up: Again, Nobody Cares
Pacific Beach X-Rayz Start lots of guys, defeat Island Beach Bears – 9-3-2
You just know you’re in for a long playoff week when you look at your opponent’s starting roster on a Monday and find 8(!) random pickups on for a doubleheader in Yankee Stadium. That’s not what you want, and for Sean’s Bears, the random beat-down continued throughout the entirety of the week. There’s no way to know if Sean actually paid attention this week, but if he did, he would have seen that the X-Rayz started 40 FORTY different batters! If I were Mikey T, I’d make some claim that this was DEFINITELY a record. I’m not sure if it was, but it was a record. Anyways, Jose Ramirez is good again, so he gets my MVP of the week award for this matchup. Also, it can’t feel good to see FORMER Bear, Domingo German tossing a 7-inning gem against his former team. Again, I’m not sure Sean noticed.
FOR THE BEARS, Max Munchy had a nice week, and the team sure got a lot of holds. Marcus Semien rung up a JROLL moral victory, and the Bears did not start 40 batters this week. That’s like all I got here. The real winner here are the Bears, as now their owner can paddle out to sea on his boogie board without having to worry about checking his roster. I think at the end of the day, both teams got what they wanted, and that’s really what this league is all about.
Next Up:Pacific Beach X-Rayz travel to the back woods of Lacey Township to face our defending champion. I expect too many wrestling comments.
Matchup of the Playoff Week, SPONSORED BY DICK’S SPORTING GOODS:
The Ocean Gate Trout Fishing ClubTIE and DEMORALIZEand END the SEASON of the Astoria Isotopes – 6-6-2
Wooooo boy. I mean, where to begin here. This matchup had EVERYTHING, and by everything, I mean that I really started following what was going on around 5:30 on Sunday night. But the drama was palpable heading into that 7pm Little League whatever the fuck that is that they do every year now. It honestly looked like the Fishing Club had this thing all done and dusted at the end of the day on Saturday, but low and behold the #Dopes decided to go out and have a fairly RIDICULOUS 6 homer 14 RBI Sunday afternoon (along with 2 holds and 2 saves) to take a 7-5 lead into this now historic 7pm game. Now, I didn’t watch the game, mainly because A-Rod is so terrible to listen to and he wears uncomfortably tight dress shirts, but the situation had the Topes getting into the semifinals if the score held. The OGFC needed a homer and a double from one of the Bell/Bryant/Rizzo trio, which in hindsight was entirely plausible.
The chat was FILLED with T comments saying, “I WANT THE CHAMP” and talking about his impending matchup with The BDSliderz. I remember thinking to myself “Just how much will I laugh if Bryant doubles, then Rizzo homers right behind him?” very early on in the game (while tracking on my phone, again A-Rod isn’t good). WELL GUYS you’ll never guess what happens in the 5th inning! Mitch Keller gives up a quick double to Kris Bryant, to prompt Mikey T to say something along the lines of “Uh Oh”. Now, we all knew what was coming next, which was inevitably the end of the Dopes I mean Topes season. Trying to rile up my good friend T, I said “Hey wouldn’t it be funny if Rizzo homered here?”. The chat BLEW UP. Rizzo had done it, something ALL TOO MANY have done off of Mitch Keller this season, but this one mattered. The Bryzzo combo had officially sent the hopes of Topes 2nd title crashing down in the Williamsport night. Many little leaguers were cheering. I assume T was not. Heroy was hungover and somewhat down about his victory. Nobody wins sometimes.
Let’s just give a big ole MVP to Bryzzo here for disemboweling the Topes on a late Sunday night.
Next Up: The OGFC head to the East Coast (?) to face the Kings, where there’s no doubt where Heroy will concede victory to R-mac about 15 times and proclaim that he doesn’t really care about this league anyways and wants it all to end.
BECAUSE everyone else is SELFISH (and because I want to properly memorialize the death of the Bad Dudes, and because look how adorable lil Tony Kemp is) I am here to crank out a Quick Hitters despite currently BATTLING for my BRACKET LIVELIHOOD with an X-Rayz team that just blew the doors off us in the Thursday games portion of the matchup. Fortunately these things tend to be decided Friday-Sunday and fortunately, even if I lose it’s just to Odom <3, but STILL. This weight shouldn’t fall on my shoulders, and yet here I am, carrying this pitiful operation to the finish line. I’ll go back and post Quick Hitters for some random weeks we missed in Like November.
But yea Doch you’re selfish, Bad Dudes you’re dead, let’s cover Week 18 so its spirits can finally rest….
Bears (8-9-1) over Kings (10-8) — 10-3-1
MVP: Jonathan Villar (1 JROLL, .519 OBP)
lvp: Gleyber Torres (0-12)
Banana Slugs (7-10-1) over Isotopes (8-10) — 9-3-2
Lets get this out of the way first, shall we? The BackdoorSliderz put the finishing touches on the best REGULAR season in Backyard history, by winning percentage, and did so in LOUD fashion by setting the Runs record and shattering the HRs record and sending the Renegade Force straight to hell. A fitting end for both, now lets all root against Lacey and root for 2007 Patriots memes.
Lets also get this out of the way, The Bears are BACK IN THE DANCE (at least for now) for the first time since they became the Bears in fact. Last season the squad infamously lost 5 in a row to miss the playoffs, this season they won 3 in a row to make the playoffs (#4 seed) after publicly declaring they wouldn’t be able to win said 3 in a row based upon the quality of their opponents. Well turns those opponents all SUCKED, and can suck IT….nerds. But yea lets all root for this team but not too hard, we can kinda take it or leave it at this point in terms of “winning a playoff matchup”. Seems like a chore.
The X-Rayz ended their season in a fitting manner, establishing a new Strikeouts record with their signature (for this season at least, and lets face it probably forever this is Odom we are talking about) bulk-relief strategy. Somehow this team is once again in the playoffs, despite having the ugliest Opening Day roster for like the second or third season in a row, slotting in as the #5 seed….. again despite a truly hideous roster at times, times that extended beyond Opening Day. The roster is less hideous now, Jose Ramirez in particular is less hideous now, and they’re using the Age of the Opener to their full advantage as only they can. Everyone should know better than to sleep on this franchise in the Backyard Bracket.
UNFORTUNATELY the Astoria Isotopes clung to a playoff spot when it was all said and done, but at least the Barnegat Banana Slugs didn’t?
And LAST BUT NOT LEAST, RIP to the last active “never missed the playoffs mehhhh” streak that The Old Heads liked to lord over the newer generation (we are not counting 2 in a row shut up Doch)…. and with it RIP to the River City Bad Dudes. The Dudes had a shot at a spot had a few things broke their way but first they needed to win and THEY DIDN’T, and those things didn’t break I don’t think, and I’m sure there’s a bunch of excuses they’ll give you about all of this but don’t listen to them they are just some loser non-playoff team why would you ever listen to them. The blender half-full view on all this is now they can’t quit the league or whatever and also now they have this delightful new team name: River City Fightin’ Margs LOOK HOW KEWWWWT…….
Oh yea also the Ocean Gate Fishing Club still exists and they’re in the #BYB as the 3 seed. Also the Lakehurst Leviathans still exist and they are not in the #BYB but TRENDING UP. There now I’ve named everyone I think. Oh The East Coast Kings….. they have the 2nd bye, well-deserved, we here in Island Beach appreciate the tenacity with which they approached our Week 18 battle (jkjk look at the #s BRIAN, extra starters wouldn’t have mattered)
MVP OF THE WEEK:
RONALD ACUNA JR.
13/31, 12 Rs, 6 HRs, 10 RBIs, 3 SBs, .471 OBP
LVP OF THE WEEK:
1 Spineless Quitter
Jonathan Villar (IBB, 2) [11/24, 6 Rs, 2 2Bs, 2 3Bs, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 2 SBs, .519 OBP]
Fernando Tatis Jr. (LTBS, 3) [7/25, 5 Rs, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 HRs, 7 RBIs, 2 SBs, .379 OBP]
MOST JROLLs BY TEAM: Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz & Barnegat Banana Slugs – EIGHT (tie)
FEWEST JROLLs BY TEAM: Astoria Isotopes – ONE, and it was Freddy Galvis, so gross.
AND SO, AS CLEARLY ILLUSTRATED ABOVE, YOUR 2019 JROLL AWARD WINNER…….
ADALBERTO MONDESI. Adalberto was the early season favorite once it became clear that trading him for Carlos Martinez was actually a bad idea, and he takes the JROLL crown despite only appearing in 82 games. WHICH IS IMPRESSIVE. Congrats to Adalberto and to the Lakehurst Leviathans for rostering Adalberto.
Thank you for tuning in to Week 18 QUICK HITTERS. ENJOY THE BACKYARD BRACKET EVERYONE (particularly all you losers that are watching from home)(whom I will eventually join)
-OK, so the league is still fun. Its the first thing I check during the season, and I get great joy in spending an hour or two just perusing the FA list for the next gem or SP eligible reliever. I do, however, feel that there are all very valid concerns (at times) about how sometimes people get frustrated about the setup or the monotony of the league day to day. This has led many of us to openly complain or even threaten to leave the league at the end of the year. Maybe we’re all getting older, or busier, or whatever. The thing is: This league is still great and could be even better if a couple of tweaks are made. Below are the beginnings of some referendum I intend on bringing to the table in the off-season, most of which have come from conversations I’ve had with some other owners throughout the past year and change:
Fantrax – Maybe the biggest and most important decision we have this year will be the potential move from ESPN over to the Wild Wild West of Fantrax. Fantrax is uncharted territory for us, fantasy baseball wise. The football experience we had was downright awful, but from all accounts Fantrax has improved leaps and bounds. Despite what Fantrax lacks in a workable app (They’re supposedly making one for next year), they make up for in having all the customization data and options that our league DESPERATELY needs. Sure, ESPN has the interface that’s easy to use, but what good is it if pitchers are given PP stats for 2 consecutive days? We have to manually monitor our dynasty situation because ESPN doesn’t care about that portion of fantasy baseball. With a potential move to Fantrax (WHICH WILL BE FREE THANKS SHANE), we would have all this managed for us. Players who are currently FUCKING high schoolers are in their system, which negates the need for a rights system. Its easy for all of you who don’t attempt to manage this whole process to scoff at moving just for a few high schoolers, but it’s going to safeguard you from making really dumb roster decisions in an effort to get that last 2 AB’s from a rookie infielder. Honestly, I think its all worth risking a year and taking a chance at making our league everything it could be in the end.
League Expansion – This might be a big ask nowadays, but I think expanding the league to 12 teams would be a major positive to the league. Adding 2 additional teams will dilute the FA Pool to a point where people will have LESS options to stream with during the season, which will allow for more trades and careful thought regarding your roster construction. With the impending departure of The Renegades (is he really going?), MAYYYYBE this is a tough ask, but I feel like this would be a major enhancement to the league. I have thoughts about how an expansion draft would work, but that could be discussed if this idea makes it past conception. Even IF Rojo leaves, I heard rumblings that Brian/Shane/Doch ALL have potential owners to replace him, so to me it’s a thought to let them all the fuck in… Let’s get weird!
Roster Expansion – OK, so if adding more teams isn’t as palatable to you as is it is to me, maybe think about expanding our rosters to add 3-5 additional bench spots. These spots would be free for anyone on the FA list, which helps diluting the pool (like I discussed in bullet 2). Taking 30-50 halfway decent players off the FA list will again enhance the potential for trade discussions and allow for people hold onto certain borderline players and not stream as much. Just how many roster spots we’d add is certainly up for debate, but I think this is a logic solution to a problem we have.
Extend the Waiver Period – Sounds controversial, but really there’s sense behind this idea. Currently, we’re at a 2 day waiver period. This allows you to stream through a litany of pitchers, and still catching them for a 2nd start later in the week. The way this league has evolved, teams (such as myself) only have to roster 2-3 starters at a time while streaming the rest of their starts. Sometimes that works, other times it doesn’t, but you shouldn’t be able to construct a roster that just filters thought players like it’s a DFS pick em league. Extending the waiver period won’t cure this entirely, which is OK, but it’ll curb some of the quick drops and adds. In turn, maybe we see some more trade negotiations? Its hard to say, but it feels to me like a 5 day waiver period will place more emphasis on who you drop and not the frequency in which you drop them over the course of the year.
Summing this up: Not all of these changes NEED to be made in order to make this league as good as it could be, but any one of them could surely improve some of the intricacies that we have currently. Maybe it wont cure all the complaining and fatigue, but I think these changes could bring some fun to the league again in 2020.
OH YEAAAA FEELIN goooood here at the blog. Not so good that I actually want to write out a Week Review but good enough to write out a QUICK HITTAZ. Which honestly will likely offend the people that tried to HIJACK this blog even more. I suspect SOME PEOPLE find Quick Hitters offensive because of its brevity and to those people I say:
“Brevity is the brother of brilliance” — George Steinbrenner, allegedly, like at least once…
I also say fuck you, write a review yourself then you illiterate bastards. ON TO Week 17 Quick Hitters…
BUT FIRST, an important note on the tie-breaking procedures that will undoubtedly affect that whole Backyard Bracket thing that’s gonna start in another week….
Head to Head playoff tiebreakers:
Head to Head
Total Season Stats
Record Last 9 Games
Longest Win Streak
Most 10+ category win weeks
More than 2 team tiebreakers:
Head to Head (requires a complete sweep by one team)
Record Last 9 Games
Longest Win Streak
Most 10+ Category Win Weeks
What does all of that mean for The Backyard Bracket this year?! FUCK IF I KNOW, I thought about writing up detailed scenarios but that already seems really hard. Please refer to Mike’s crudely written charts as a starter course:
BBOTW: BackdoorSliderz (16 and ONE) over Bad Dudes (6-8-3) — 11-2-1
MVP: Walker Buehler (MVPOTW)
lvp: Wilson Contreras (3-16, 1 R, 1 RBI, .188 OBP)
WEEK 17 QUICK NOTES:
The Kings wrapped up the #2 seed in Week 17, and those fux in Lacey have had the #1 seed wrapped up since like early June, so we have our top two all set for the #BackyardBracket. #s 3 through 6 will be an ABSOLUTE MESS, but that mess will have sorted itself out by this time next week (hopefully).
The Isotopes stopped the bleeding in Week 17 with a much-needed win (previously had lost 4 in a row, previous to this previously had won 7 in a row, previous to the previous to the previous previously had lost their first 5 to start 2019) over the Renegade Force. With the victory they now find themselves poised to grab the #3 seed or the 4 or the 5 or the 6 or the 7.
The Bears lead the league in runs scored for the second week in a row, perhaps coinciding with Jose Altuve having two working legs perhaps coinciding with the team trolling their owner for declaring they couldn’t win out. They still might not win out, but probably need a W combined with a Renegade Force L to make the playoffs. They’ve already won though, when you really think about it.
The Banana Slugs managed to stave off formal elimination in Week 17 with a victory over the X-Rayz, both teams would be out if the playoffs started today (I think? I know for da Slugs) but THEY DON’T, so that’s fortunate for them and for the league as a whole. Need to sort this mess out.
UNFORTUNATELY that means there is one team that has been eliminated from #BYB contention and that team is the Lakehurst Leviathans, a blog favorite. Regardless of coming up short of their goal in the 2019 season the Leviathans can hold their heads hight for TWO (2) reasons: 1- They have more wins this season than their first two seasons combined, in a particularly brutal year within the Backyard. and 2- They called out ESPN in a tweet which netted us a potential free trial on Fantrax, or maybe it inspires ESPN to get their shit together, or maybe some combo of the two. Hats off to the 2019 Lakehurst Leviathans, look forward to seeing what they can do in 2020 (should the league exist, @Brian ;)).
WEEK 17 QUICK AWARDS / JROLLS
MVP OF THE WEEK:
WALKER BUEHLER (partly cuz he was last time so it saves me from finding a new GIF)
OUR LONG BACKYARDONAL NIGHTMARE IS OVER. A few weeks ago the Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz were some sort of undefeated unstoppable juggernaut (likely influenced by some wholly unsustainable BABIPs but I digress), their heel of an asshole of an owner had taken over the blog with promises of timely content and copious wrestling references, and things looked bleaked folks. Fast forward a few weeks and there has been very little content (FRAUD), and the BackdoorSliderz have finally tasted defeat in the 2019 Backyard season (FRAUD), and now I have returned to write about it in longform while also restoring Jimmy Rollins to his rightful JROLL throne. If you’re threatening an undefeated season culminating in a second straight championship we are forced to take you seriously because that THREATENS the 3PO greatest team of all time narrative. And that allows you a little leeway within the blogosphere. But now you’re just some fraud that’s got a first round bye that’s got to HOPE AND PRAY their team’s insanely good fortunes aren’t running out all at once at the worst possible time. Better to be .450 BABIPing in August and not April, folks. To be fair they also have insanely good players BUT you also have to yanno, HOPE AND PRAY those guys don’t slump or get injured. I see vulnerability in the Lacey’s beady little eyes…..
Oh yea there’s also some other matchups that happened, the X-Rayz finally bulk reliever’d their way to the Ks record, etc. etc. etc. all will be covered BUT FIRST…..
East Coast Kings Perhaps Permanently Pummel Playoff Plans Pertaining Towards The Barnegat Banana Slugs (Probably?) – 12-2-0
MVP: Nelson Cruz – Honestly I forgot the Kings even HAD Nelson Cruz (been kinda outta the review game for a minute) but LOVE IT LOVE HIM love the energy, he’s my second favorite Old Man Masher in baseball (see opening GIF for #1).12/29, 10 Rs, 1 2B, 7 HRs, 13 RBIs, .485 OBP
LVP:Yasiel Puig – Yasiel just didn’t contribute much stuff this week, and that’s about as much analysis as I intend to give here. On the Yasiel front. 4/21, 4 Rs, 2 2Bs, .292 OBP
JROLLs: Francisco Lindor (2, ECK)
HRs. The poor Banana Slugs likely mashed as hard as they’ve mashed all season (7th in HRs) but it still wasn’t enough against a locked in Kings squad, and they lost the HRs cat 25-17. That means 8 more runs for the Kings (the won Rs 60-48), at least 8 more and obviously more than 8 more RBIs for the Kings (they won RBIs 70-57), perhaps a slight OBP bump (the won OBP .363 to .357). Put it all together and you have two teams that had impressive offenses in Week 16 but yanno, one was more impressive. And so that one….won.
Assorted Musings Should I Feel Like Musin’: Haven’t talked pitching in a Kings matchup so let’s do that, shout out to a weirdly dominant streamed Steven MatzCG shutout for the Kings. Also shout out to the fact that mayyybe just maybe Trevor Bauer isn’t the super-established ace Trevor Bauer likely thinks he is. I consider him a super-established whiny little bitch, however…
What’s Next (Week 17): ECF v. LL (9-7 v. 6-10)
RRF@ AI (7-8-1 @ 7-9)
Pacific Beach X-Rayz Rack Up A Shit Ton Of Strikeouts, Also Do Other Things Well In Big Beatdown of Astoria Isotopes – 10-1-3
MVP: Jose Ramirez – JOSE RAMIREZ SIGHTING. The X-Rayz have turned around an ugly start to the season but Jose has mostly been an afterthought even during said turnaround. That is up until July; 9 HRs in a month that has seen the X-Rayz go 3-0. If J-Ram keeps it going into the #BackyardBracket this team can make noise folks.12/30, 7 Rs, 3 2Bs, 4 HRs, 9 RBIs, 2 SBs, .441 OBP
LVP:Mike Moustakas – More like Mike MOSTSUCKASS, AMIRITE? I hate that I’m dignifying that bad name joke, and also this was a real toss up between Mike and Khris (2/22, 2 RBIs), but ultimately we are going with Moustakas and with that shitty name joke and that is just how things are. 1/15, 1 R, .182 OBP
Strikeouts. In a week where the X-Rayz set a new and rather tough to top record in the Ks department, I guess I have to go with Ks here. Ever the Innovator Odom has really taken a shine to this whole “bulk reliever” craze because of course he has, but it’s worth noting the EFFECTS here. The ‘Topes rocked a 9.513 K per 9 in Week 16, better than the X-Rayz 9.217, but WHAT’S THAT MATTER when the latter team tosses 116.2 innings to your 84.2, THIRTY TWO MORE INNINGS THROWN on the Pacific Beach side. And that’s how you set a Ks record and win the cat 119-89, and that’s how you grab 11 wins, and usually there’s a risk of ERA ruin but the ‘Topes managed to suck more (X-Rayz won ERA 4.71 to 5.53), and that’s how you get your doors relatively blown off (also only hitting like 6 HRs doesn’t help) and get leapfrogged in the Backyard Bracket Standings.
Assorted Musings Should I Feel Like Musin’: Eight bulk relievers used by the X-Rayz in Week 16, not sure what his usual is but SEEMS LIKE A LOT… ‘Topes were league-worst in Wk 16 in Runs, HRs, RBIs and I guess that’s just what happens when Khris Davis is slumping HARD… Also a real rollercoaster of a season for Astoria, whom started out 0-5 then won 7 in a row and have now lost 4 in a row…
What’s Next (Week 17): PBX v. BBS (6-7-3 v. 5-10-1)
AIv. RRF (7-9 v. 7-8-1)
River City Bad Dudes Best A Super Invested Definitely Started Twelve Pitchers* Rojo’s Renegade Force Squad – 9-4-1
*one was an opener but beggars can’t be choosers
MVP: Miguel Sano – Miguel Sano is a fat turd (whoever had “turd” twice in Blog Bingo gets a prize) who strikes out too much and is probably a piece of shit, BUT he’s mashing taters this season and mashed some taters in Week 16 and I guess that’sa ll the MVP of the week part cares about. Nice tie-in to the River City Mashers hidden in this paragraph, FAN SERVICE for longtime Backyard fans. The Doch Blog never delivered this sort of stuff, or any sort of stuff really. A totally Weak and Low Energy blogger. ANYWHO YEA MIGUEL SANO. 9/27, 6 Rs, 4 HRs, 11 RBIs, .379 OBP
LVP:Masahiro Tanaka – I mean, FOR FUCKS SAKE Masahiro. You get LVP of the Week cuz I’m not sure I’ve seen that many runs given up in quite some time. And it was against the Red Sawks so SHAME ON HIM. 3.1 IP, 12 ER, 4 Ks, 32.40 ERA ***LVP OF THE WEEK***
Holds. You lost AT YOUR OWN GAME ROJO. The Bad Dudes won Holds 4-1and that isn’t necessarily why they won the MATCHUP (the .342 to .311 OBP disparity probably more damning) but it IS necessarily all I want to talk about here cuz this matchup bores me.
Assorted Musings Should I Feel Like Musin’: Renegade Force perhaps making league history as the first team to knowingly (I think) start an “opener,” THIS LEAGUE JUST GETS WACKIER AND WACKIER…
MVP: Didi Gregorius – Both Didi and JD Martinez did real work in Week 16 (pretend Judge is JD in the GIF above) but Didi did slightly better work and fuck the sawks and so on and so forth.11/26, 5 Rs, 4 2Bs, 1 3B, 2 HRs, 13 RBIs, .448 OBP
LVP:Francisco Mejia – On the opposite end of the spectrum, Mejia did the very opposite of work and contributed nothing but a few base hits and no wonder this goddamned owner always harrasses me about Gary Sanchez. 4/16, .294 OBP
JROLLs: Trea Turner (2, OGFC) ; Adam Eaton (1, LL)
Triples. This matchup was tiiiiiiiight all over the place man, but it’s always an unfortunate circumstance when your team musters more than one three-bagger and still loses the cat. And that was the case here so lets highlight Heroy sadness, two triples (AND ONE JROLL) out of the OGFC and they get bested by a Leviathans team that put up four despite the absence of Adalberto. Tough break kiddo. Other tough breaks include 1 “point” losses in SBs, QS, and Holds but this paragraph was about the triples so we are gonna STICK TO THE TRIPLES.
Assorted Musings Should I Feel Like Musin’: The Leviathans had 69 RBIs (nice.)… ALSO, with this victory the Leviathans have more wins in Year 3 than they had in Years 1 and 2 COMBINED (double nice.)(#TrustTheProcess)…
What’s Next (Week 17): LL @ ECK (6-10 @ 9-7)
OGFCv. IBB (8-7-1 v. 6-9-1)
2019 WEEK 16 BACKYARD BATTLE OF THE WEEK, SPONSORED BY THE 1985 CHICAGO BEARS’ WEEK 13 DEFEAT
Island Beach Bears Accomplish Everything They Needed To In 2019 Season, Slay The Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz Beast Fucking Finally (they are now allowed to go win the championship or whatever I guess*) – 7-6-1
*jkjk we root against any and all back-to-back chamPEEN challengers ’round here, fuck them I want ’em bounced in Round 2..
MVP: Edwin Encarnacion – Were there better performers in Week 16 both on the Bears and on other teams? I mean yea PROBABLY (definitely). But this was another performance in a long line of CLUTCH PLAYOFF PERFORMANCES (as far as I’m concerned I just won the playoffs) wherein Encarnacion, win or loss, gave us a heroic effort. In this case we needed doubles and he HEROICALLY contributed FIVE, 45% of his total heading into Week 16. Good. Man. 11/32, 6 Rs, 5 2Bs, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, .400 OBP ***MVP OF THE WEEK/PROBABLY YEAR***
LVP:Alex Bregman – Bad week outta Breggy and a quiet week outta a few other ButtSliderz Starz in Week 16, it’s almost like that’s how baseball is supposed to work as opposed to having EVERYTHING GO YOUR WAY ALL YEAR LONG. Suck it, turds. 1/17, 3 Rs, 1 2B, 1 RBI, .238 OBP
Bears Hitter Of Note: Jonathan Villarheard rumors of other owners BALKING at requested returns (probably justifiably so) when those owners came asking about himand so he went out and had himself a week on them basepaths (10/33, 9 Rs, 1 2B, 2 HRs, 5 RBIs, 5 SBs, .361 OBP).
Bears Pitcher Of Note: When you trade away all of your other good pitchers you’re left with one good pitcher and then that good pitcher likely ends up your pitcher “of note” in these winning situations, and his name is Mike Clevinger (14 IP, 4 ER, 14 Ks, 2 QS, 2 Ws, 2.57 ERA).
BackdoorSliderz Hitter Of Note: Lets all point at Cody Bellinger and laugh because he DIDN’T absolutely bludgeon me in Week 16 and perhaps he isn’t Barry Bonds, which would be nice for me and my trade psyche (he’s still really good and young and I regret that trade and that trade only)(I’ll still trade any mothafucka)(4/18, 4 Rs, 1 2B, 2 RBIs, .333 OBP).
BackdoorSliderz Pitcher Of Note: And just for FAIR and BALANCED reporting of the FACTS I’ll not do the thing where I try and single out a bad performance here… Robbie Ray had double digit Ks in back-to-back starts so good for him, STILL LOST LOSER (12 IP, 5 ER, 21 Ks, 2 QS, 1 W, 3.75 ERA).
How many words does one owe history? When will enough be written about our triumphs in WWII, about the moon landing, about the moments that DEFINED civilization? Can enough words ever be written? I posit that they cannot, which is why this blog will fail regardless of how long I write about one of the greatest regular season victories (if not THE greatest) in Backyard history (and I intend to write a buncha words and they won’t even be particularly interesting but THE WORD COUNT, oh the word count). Sure teams have gone on some runs, won some games in a row, even won some championships in a row 😉 . But has there ever been a team that remained undefeated this late into one of our regular seasons? No seriously I am asking. And IF SO, could that team have possibly been helmed by a more despicable owner than the one that currently presides over the Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz? This one I can answer myself: no, for that would be impossible.
Comeuppance has been a long time coming for this team, a talented unit to be fair but one that also has been hashtag BLESSED with some lucky bounces in its day. I think they beat the Banana Slugs in a week when they had like a .270-something OBP, I think Fernando Tatis Jr.and Keston Hiura have had UNSUSTAINABLE BABIPs to begin their respective careers, I think this had to happen the way it happened. At the hands of your fearless, really at this point less-than-part-time, blogger (and perhaps part-time lover) because only HE would then chronicle the great moment in glorious detail. And only HE, thanks to his own human failings, would be able to perfectly set up a Sunday Night Scenario that quite frankly I didn’t see enough applause for the in chat. Edwin Encarnacion is a BACKYARD TREASURE and he deserves your respect. Perhaps no player is more synonymous with their respective franchise, and obviously no player more perfectly epitomizes the GLORY DAYZ of back-to-back-to-back championships for this (once proud, now multiple times renamed) franchise, and now he has basically delivered a fourth championship. Feels like I’ve won the championship this season. You’re all free to keep playing and do the whole “Backyard Bracket” thing but yanno…..whatever.
There was a time when I planned to break down each day of this HISTORIC VICTORY FOR THE ISLAND BEACH BEARS, but holy shit that sounds exhausting and its difficult enough to piece together the play-by-play just from Sunday. So yea with that caveat in place lets now get fucking pumped up and lets fucking LETS BREAK DOWN THIS HISTORIC MATCHUP’S HISTORIC SUNDAY, SHALL WE?! FUCK YEA LETS:
DAY 7 (Sunday, 7.28.19 Anno Domini)
The Island Beach Bears enter day 7 of their battle WEARY and sensing defeat. Things were lookin’ kinda solid with the BackdoorSliderz offense scuffling, and then Saturday they uhh unscuffled. Categories as of Sunday AM were as follows (not because I think anyone wants to read this shit, but because I want to pump up this word count to up the obnoxious):
Runs – Bears lead 53 to 38
Doubles – Sliderz lead 14 to 12
Triples – Bears lead 2 to 0
HRs – Bears lead 11 to 9
RBIs – Sliderz lead 44 to 37
OBP – Sliderz comfortably ahead just take my word for it
SBs – Bears lead 7 to 4
Ks – Bears lead 80 to 69 (nice.)
QS – Bears lead 9 to 5
CGs – Bears haven’t had one all goddamned year, surprised the ButtSliderz didn’t grab one but yea this ended up 0-0
Ws – Tied 6 to 6
Saves – Sliderz lead 4 to 1
Holds – Bears lead 5 to 1
ERA – Sliderz lead like 2 something to 3 something
BEARS LEADING 7-5-2
This lead, this lead is a mirage and the Bears know it. For what you DON’T see up there, though certainly I had the room to note it, is the Bears have maxed out their starts by Sunday AM (and amassed a measly 80 Ks doing so) while the BackdoorSliderz would be trotting out four arms for the final day: Kyle Gibson, Robbie Ray, Walker Buehler, and AARON NOLA. The last arm is of obvious added significance, it’s an arm that already logged a start for the Bears earlier in the week and an arm they then traded away because dynasty is boring make some trades you pussies. It is also an arm that what was SUPPOSED TO BE starting only once in Week 16, was sort of important to me to avoid facing my sweet sweet Aaron in 2019. Alas he ended up getting bumped up to Sunday, and Lacey ownership did what Lacey ownership does best: paid lip service to sitting him as some sort of courtesy or signaling of their high moral fiber but MERELY A SIGNAL, they were never gonna sit him WERE THEY (Bears ownership wouldn’t have wanted that, but also was drinking at the time of the initial message so didn’t really offer that opinion clearly one way or the other, so could Doch have even KNOWN what I wanted? Has he ever known what anyone else ever wanted? Has he failed to please everyone in his life?)?! ANYWHOM, ultimately Nola got the nod and that was the right move I wouldn’t have wanted a bullet left in the chamber.
SO, and stay with me now, what we have at this point is the Bears BASICALLY expecting Ks and Ws to go to Lacey, with a possibility of them going 4-4 in QS and tying that up as well….. things seemed bleak to say the least. As I alluded, the BackdoorSliderz had already used a 16 run/4 double/5 HR/15 RBI/.460 OBP Saturday to overtake OBP and generally signal the end times for the Bears upset chances. Or so we thought :))))))))))))))) It would require a good amount of good Lacey pitchers pitching poorly for the Bears to retake the ERA lead, and we had already done everything in our power to try and grab more Ks or more Ws or whatever by signing a buncha shitty SP-eligible relievers and treating it like BCS Sunday. And so at this point Bears ownership was on the beach not paying much mind to these sorts of longshot hypotheticals, is what I’m saying.
FAST FORWARD to late afternoon and suddenly the BackdoorSliderz pitching staff has managed to blow the ERA lead by pitching jusssttttt poorly enough, suddenly the Bears are told they’re clinging to a 7-6-1advantage, and even more suddenly they must reckon with all of those fucking random SP relievers they brought in to try and grab additional pitching stats. Pretty quickly it was assumed by Bears ownership, QUITE CORRECTLY (because they’re actually super smart and stuff), that those shitty relievers were shitty for a reason and so they would fuck said Bears and return said ERA lead and the overall lead with it probably upon their first opportunity…. almost instantaneously Colin McHughdid just that. Around the same time just GENERAL LIFE LIVING, the sort of thing Rojo has tried to tell us all about from high atop the mountains, prevents Bears ownership (me) from subbing out a resting Nicholas Castellanosfor a not-resting Hunter Renfroe. By the time of this realization the DEFINITELY EXPECTED Luis Perdomo earned runs have also crossed the plate and we’ve officially written off ERA (evidently we shouldn’t have we only lost 3.90 to 3.86, I would have been haunted by Josh Tomlinif things broke poorly), now turning the attention to catching the evil LTBS RBIs and/or 2Bs while also defending a slim lead in HRs.
This is gripping stuff, one would imagine, if both owners were both scowling MLBTV and furiously refreshing computer screens to follow along. And in fact for the sake of this blog post we are going to say that Doch definitely was doing precisely that, in some sad little Lacey cave like the ones people used to pretend Bin Laden was hiding in. There’s some parallels there. At some point we know the LTBS closed the HR gap to one (thanks to Soto or Confortoor Santana or one of those fucks, but this isn’t their story) and at some other point we now know Marcus Semien and Danny Santana have homered to give the #DongsCat it’s final margin of victory for the Bears. Small margin, small total overall but it’s not the size that counts. So ALL GOOD ON THE HRs, hooray for the good guys. RBIs inched close (another size pun in here somewhere), some thanks due to Travis D’Arnaud for contributing 7 RBIs for the IBB while only bequeathing 2 RBIs for the LTBS (he’s filled in admirably for Gary Sanchez), but ultimately despite our best efforts bad things sometimes happen to good people and good things sometimes happen to bad people (see Doch’s 2018 season) and so we couldn’t close the gap there. And by “best efforts” I mean we couldn’t close the gap because Hunter Renfroe hit a grand slam on the fucking bench, with plenty of space for him in our not-being-used RF slot.
SO RBIs weren’t working out and its down to doubles to slay the beast. Ozzie Albies knocked the lone Sunday double for Lacey, the very excellent Danny Santana and Jonathan Villar and Travis D’Arnaud chipped in their own two-baggers for Island Beach (left out a “two-bagger” joke about Dorothy here), and by the time the dust had settled we arrived at a very unsatisfying 6-6-2 tie heading into Sunday Night Sawks-Yanks. This could not stand, however….
SUNDAY NIGHT SAWKS-YANKS (7.28.19 Anno Domini)
The Yankee-loathing Lacey outfit has no participants in the Sunday night game, the Bears have ❤ Edwin Encarnacion ❤ and Aaron Hicks. The Bears need one double or 4 RBIs to finally hand the BackdoorSliderz a much-needed loss in 2019, and the presence of Edwin in this equation has them quietly CONFIDENT….. so confident they are not watching the game one bit, and are going to Mellow Mushroom. I think I’m back from Mellow by the time Edwin evidently smokes a single in the top of the 5th…..
….that moves Hicks to 3rd and no farther, so yea running out of innings but WE ARE FINE EVERYTHING IS FINE. STILL. I think at this point I’m “watching a documentary” on PFAS, Edwin would not betray this organization.
In the 7th inning, we get what we need and by “we” I mean THE LEAGUE AS A WHOLE needed:
Encarnación doubled to left center, Hicks to third.
Print that out and smoke it folks, I’m giving you PITCH TYPE and everything here. I will also note the double was hit off of Bad Dudes RELIEVER PHENOM EXTRAORDINAIRE Darwinzon Hernandez.
Bears win 7-6-1
Bears win self-proclaimed “last week they give a shit about winning”
Undefeated season for the ButtSliderz is off the table, which is a bit of a relief I think we can all agree
Bears now have to keep giving a shit until formally eliminated from playoffs (TAKE NOTE ROJO), which isn’t a relief per se but is still FINE ITS FINE we can pay attention to a fantasy baseball league while still existing in the world (TAKE NOTE LOBMAN, OR MAYBE ROJO, I am forgetting the gripes at this point)….
The league is saved and you’re all fucking welcome
Look I know this one was a bit of a coin flip in several spots and we just have easily could have allowed the LTBS to escape with yet another win and they’re still the current favorites (though clearly I think we’ve exposed some kinks in the armor, not gonna tell anyone what they are it’s a big secret) for that OTHER champeenship still to be awarded. I know all these things. But I also know that this shit needed to end and so Edwin ended it, and so nobody ever ask me if he was available to trade for ever again. Notta one of youz. ANYWAYZ Week 17 has the Bears still in the bracket hunt weirdly enough, so they’re gonna head to Ocean Gate and try and beat those jackasses. And if they don’t at least they beat this jackass. This jackass and his ButtSliderz take on the River City Bad Dudes in our Backyard Battle Of The Week.