Editor’s Note: FINALLY SOMEBODY STEPPED UP, and so we have a Trade Review for the small flurry of deals that occurred in this past week or so. Because damned if I was planning on writing one. All words and opinions here are Dochney’s so take any issues up with him, I am merely the vessel that uploaded them to this fine website and edited any typos I noticed.
“Somebody else beautifully contributing to the blog and me actually trying to check for typos, whatta world!” — the one true Sean
Offseason Trade Reviews
By Sean Dochney
The newest member of the Backyard League is getting his feet wet in writing for the league. To be honest, I can’t think of a better person to voice their opinion for the blog, because what other opinion would anyone want to hear other than mine? Blame (the one true) Sean #1 for being physically and mentally exhausted for writing countless articles and now unleashing the biased monster known as the Dochness Monster. Let the awesome tyrannical opinion of me reign free. Insert Nazi propaganda here.
RCBD traded Archie Bradley, ARI RP to LTBS
LTBS traded Lazaro Armenteros, OAK OF to RCBD
Lazaro Armenteros – OAK OF
18 years old
47 pro games played between Rookie Ball and Dominican Summer League
.276/.377/.433, 4 HRs, 4 3Bs, 12 SB, 3 CS
High profile 17-year-old international signing last year by Oakland who has not played that much professionally yet. To his credit, he did see some action in Spring Training at 17, which is impressive. But then again, I seem to remember Billy Crystal and Will Ferrell have seen Spring Training at bats, so are spring training at bats really that impressive? Just kidding, this kid is going to be good. It is believed he will develop some power and he does have some speed. Way too early to tell, and way too small a sample size to discuss his on base skills, but I will anyway. If my math is correct, he had a 9% walk rate, and a 27.5% strike out rate in his first taste of pro ball. We will see how he progresses over the next few years, but the Bad Dudes may have reacquired a future stud prospect who doesn’t turn 19 until next May (allegedly).
Hard-throwing Archie Bradley was converted from a starter to a reliever this season and it looked like a great move for Arizona. He isn’t a closer at this moment but that handsome gentleman down in Lacey is sure hoping he will win the job next Spring, with old man Rodney leaving for free agency this winter. This guy was lights out in the bullpen and will still be 25 for most of the 2018 season. He has all the stuff to be a dominant closer for a very solid Diamondback squad. His beard plays very well in the bullpen, because it is common knowledge that guys with sweet beards are awesome relievers, science! He has a fastball that sits in the upper 90s that he used at around a 70% clip. Opponents have batted .195 against that fastball with a 11.9% whiff rate. He used his curveball around 20% rate with great success as well, with a .190 opponent batting average against.
The chat voted 6 to 1 in favor of Dochney winning this trade (thanks guys!). Both players have a ton of potential for their positions and only time will tell who “won” this trade. Bradley may not become a closer and I (Dochney) will look like an idiot for giving up a nice little prospect for a reliever who is about to lose his SP eligibility. Lazaro is still years away though, so this was a risk worth taking for a potential dominant closer. Because let’s face it, Dochney by far has the worst bullpen in the league with only the ELITE (I said it!) Corey Knebel rostered at the time of the trade. This is a major 2018 upgrade for the fan favorite BackdoorSliderz. For the sake of the article right now, I will side with the chat on this one and say Dochney won the trade at this moment. Lobman may have the last laugh if we go by the “2 Year Rule” that Dochney, and now apparently Odom live by. Because a good position player will always be more valuable than a 1, maybe 2 category closer. Simple math, you win more categories you win the matchup.
OGTFC (SAD!) traded Eric Thames MIL 1B-LF to WOOD
WOOD Traded Jeurys Familia NYM RP to OGTFC (SAD!)
Eric Thames – MIL 1B-LF
30 Years Old, turning 31 in November
.236/.348/.507, 28 HR, 54 RBI, 22 2Bs
The former Korean League MVP came out blazing in his return to REAL BASEBALL. But by June we realized who gives a shit about Korean baseball and it seemed the league figured out this guy. This guy’s month by month splits make me sick. He was phenomenal in April, like best player in baseball phenomenal. He belted 11 dingers and put up a .345/.466/810 slash line in April. But then the honeymoon ended and he came right down to earth every other month. His triple slash line looked decent in July, but then you go on to see this “slugger” had 4 HRs and 5 RBI for that month of July. 5 RBI! Carried by a big April, his pre-all-star game stats were 23 HRs, 43 RBI, 15 2Bs, with a slash line of .248/.374/.562. After the all-star break has been a different story. He has had 5 HRs, 11 RBIs, 7 2Bs, with a slash line of .212/.294/.404. One may question if this guy is even rosterable with a second half like that. But who knows maybe he has another hot start next year and we forget about that second half. Weirder things have happened!
Jeurys Familia – NYM RP
27 Years Old, 28 in October
Who cares about stats this year, it was a lost season due to injury and domestic violence.
Familia was a stud closer for the Mets in 2015 and 2016, amassing 94 saves in those 2 seasons. If healthy, this is a great buy low candidate for the Devil in Ocean Gate (6-6-6 record). Familia has a career SO/9 rate of 9.1 which is not too shabby to go with his career 2.62 era. The question is if the Mets will be good again in 2018 or at least good enough for him to have more save opportunities. I don’t know what else to say besides I love the Mets.
The people voted 4-3 in favor of Greg winning the deal in acquiring Familia. I tend to think closers hold more value to the team they are on compared to the trade market, because let’s face it, they are a roster spot that you’re trying to gain 1 category advantage usually. I would love to side with Shane on this one for getting a hitter, but who knows if this hitter rebounds and is even a starter next year. If Familia is healthy and back to closing, he will be on Greg’s roster for the entirety of next season. I get the feeling that Thames is not going to rebound and will hit the waiver wire by June, maybe even May! Greg gets my very important, very well-respected vote for this trade.
X*RAYZ traded Daniel Murphy, WSH 2B to WOOD
X*RAYZ traded Beau Burrows, DET P to WOOD
WOOD traded Corey Dickerson, TBR LF to X*RAYZ
WOOD traded Dinelson Lamet, SDP SP to X*RAYZ
WOOD traded Willy Adames, TBR SS to X*RAYZ
WOOD traded First Overall Selection in Spring Draft to X*RAYZ
WOOD traded First Overall Selection in Rights Draft to X*RAYZ
Daniel Murphy – WSH 2B
33 Years Old in April
.322/.382/.550, 40 2Bs, 22 HRs, 88 RBIs, 86 Runs
Daniel Murphy is an elite 2B for fantasy purposes. He was a late bloomer with the beloved Mets and has put together back to back great seasons for the hated Nationals. He is a guy that the whole league should be happy to have on their roster. The only downside to Murphy is his God-loving, homosexual-hating ways. Oh, and his age! This guy is not getting any younger, and we may have seen the best of what this homophobic second baseman has to offer. He still has some good seasons left in the tank, maybe even 1 or 2 more great seasons. But father time will catch up to him, like he does to all of us, and Murphy’s stats will start to slip in the next few seasons.
Beau Burrows – DET SP
21 Years Old in like a week
135 IP, 137 Ks, 3.20 ERA, 9.1 SO/9 in A+ and AA
Honestly who cares about this guy, not much excitement around him as a prospect. He is just a prospect that is a sweetener for a Tigers fan in a trade. Evidenced by his availability last week until Odom was caught cheating and was forced to add other minor leaguers. Give Beau credit, decent minor league numbers this year even though he experienced a bit of a dip when moved up to AA ball, but he isn’t the first prospect this has happened too. I do not hate the guy, for he has decent K numbers and who knows, maybe he settles down starting in AA next year and improves his numbers from his first taste, which saw him pitch to a 4.72 ERA.
Corey Dickerson – TBR LF
28 Years Old
.282/.328/.503, 32 2Bs, 26 HRs, 60 RBIs,
Hey guys, I like Corey Dickerson, he helped me get the first overall selection in the Rights Player Draft last July, ironic how now he would be traded along with the next 2 FIRST OVERALL PICKS IN BACKYARD DRAFTS. Corey does not excite me all that much. He is another Jekyll and Hyde type player, nice first half, followed by a rough second half. First half he slashed .312/.355/.548, with 24 2Bs, 17 HRs, 42 RBIs. His post all-star game numbers are not as nice. He slashed .229/.278/.422, with 9 HRs, 18 RBIs, and 8 2Bs. I get real skeptical when players have such poor second halves to a season. Shows they are not making the adjustments they need to make to be successful. I’m afraid Corey Dickerson may not be that good, but trust me, he was not the big return for Odom in this deal. I truly believe he is a filler that Odom is hoping he gets a nice month or 2 out of before he hits the waiver wire next season.
Dinelson Lamet – SDP SP
25 Years Old
4.32 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 98 IP, 123 Ks, 11.3 SO/9
I love this guy’s strike out rate! Nice little underrated pitcher to have here. He is a young pitcher that will only get better pitching in a friendly environment like PETCO. He will not turn 26 until around the 2018 all-star break and there is solid upside to this guy. 98 innings is not a huge sample size, but it is a solid half season to believe in his K numbers. Lamet needs to cut down on the walks numbers moving forward, which currently sit at 4.1 BB/9 through his first season. These rates coincided with his 2017 AAA numbers of 4.6 BB/9, and 11.5 SO/9. There is improvement that is needed, but plenty to like in this young pitcher.
This is a guy that Odom once traded in part of a 3 team deal to bring Mark Trumbo to Point Loma. Trumbo has since been waived and who knows where he is now, I don’t have time to search that shit. Adames is a nice little prospect here. As of the midseason rankings, Adames ranked as the 17th prospect according to MLB.com, 13th by Baseball America, and 26th by Baseball Prospectus. Willy has a little pop with maybe a little more to grow as he progresses. He had a nice season in AAA and should be the Rays SS of the future starting early next season.
Spring 1st Overall Pick
The trade market has been disappointingly stagnant in the most recent 2 trade deadlines. In this humble stud’s opinion, all that means is that draft picks are more important than ever in building your team roster foundation. There are some solid prospects right now whose rights are not owned and will be available in this draft. Who knows maybe there is a nice international free agent to come over, and Odom will get first stab at that dude. The Cheater will have the pick of the bunch for this draft, and that is a not a bad advantage to have.
Rights Draft 1st Overall Pick
I have never been a part of a Spring draft, but the Rights Draft seems to be super juicy, especially for those with high draft picks. Half way through the season, you have the advantage to see who is a breakout candidate. May I suggest that the Japanese Babe Ruth, Shohei Otani does not come over this offseason to the MLB, causing his rights to go back into the rights pool to become easy pickings for Odom to take!
The chat voted 5 to 3 in favor of Shane for this trade, but I am going to disagree with the chat, and let you all know why at least 5 of you got this one wrong. Daniel Murphy is the best player being exchanged in this trade, as of today. But that doesn’t mean the chat is right in thinking Shane won this trade. I fully believe that Odom made a very savvy move in selling on Murphy. Odom may have been able to get more for the 2018 season in exchange for Murphy, but that doesn’t mean he will not be sitting alright in the long run here. Murphy is about to turn 33 and he is not getting any younger. 2016 was the best season of Murphy’s career, and it is going to stay that way moving forward. It is better to move a player a year to early rather than a year to late. Murphy is a nice player. He will help Shane’s team in 2018. But Odom received potentially 3 top prospects, 1 OF WHICH MAY VERY WELL BE THE COVETED OTANI! There is no chance in hell Shane gets a return like that for Murphy this time next season.
Kudos to Shane for not having to move Carlos Martinez, Happ or Vlad Guererro Jr in this deal. That is a win right there in itself. But when it comes down to it, Shane only had 3 wins last season and needs to build up trade chips and acquire some YOUNG talent. One can acquire talent and trade chips through DRAFTS. As of right now, Shane will not have a first round pick in the next 2 drafts, and some of his best talent is Greinke and JD Martinez, who are both on the wrong side of 30. Murphy will improve his roster in the short term, but he just took himself out of a chance for an elite talent like Otani. Call me crazy, I get the feeling that Otani will not accept a 10 million dollar offer to come over to the MLB next year, but wait a year to receive 150 – 200 million dollars to come play here. I don’t know why, but the math just makes sense to me. Why leave that much money on the table, I don’t care who you are, money talks. If this trade was looked at as potentially Otani for Murphy, I bet most of the league would say acquiring Otani would be the winner. Odom may have just got Otani, plus 2 other top prospects, plus a nice little K machine named Dinelson Lamet. Worst case scenario, Otani comes over to the MLB this offseason for Rojo to roster, and Odom still gets 3 top prospects and Lamet. Good job Odom.
BPMZ Traded Ronal Acuna, ATL CF to LTBS
LTBS Traded Jonathon Villar, MIL 2B to BPMZ
LTBS Traded Aaron Nola, PHI SP to BPMZ
LTBS Traded Fernando Tatis Jr, SDP SS to BPMZ
Jonathon Villar – MIL 2B
26 Years Old
.241/.293/.372, 16 2Bs, 11 HRs, 23 SB
Villar has seen the best of times and the worst of times over the tale of 2 seasons. Last year he was a fantasy stud who hit 19 HRs, and stole 62 bases. This year, well you see his stats up there. Still a big-time source of stolen bases even when having a down season. He has lost a lot of playing time this year because of his play, but Neil Walker is a free agent at the end of the season and Villar presumably will slot back in the starting 2B gig. He might not be as good as last season, but he certainly isn’t as bad as this season.
Breaking news, Aaron Nola is good. It was tough to give up Louisiana Lightning. This guy has a big-time curveball that he uses 30% of his pitches. A 49.9% groundball rate in 2017, which is lower than his career norm. He doesn’t pitch in a pitcher’s park by any means, but this guy is good and still has a lot of room to grow. I like the groundball plus strike out rates that he possesses, and he does not walk many batters. Good job Sean for squeezing him out of me. I already hate giving him up.
Fernando Tatis Jr. – SDP SS
18 Years Old
.278/.379/.498, 27 2Bs, 7 3Bs, 22 HR, 32 SB, 15 CS between A and AA
Fernando Tatis is a very young prospect who broke out this year to see himself start climbing up the prospect lists (55 on MLB.com, 100 on BA midseason list). Tatis is a very good prospect who will only see his status grow in the next few years. He has good power from the SS position, but will most likely be moving to 3B by the time he makes it to the majors. He has the bloodline to make it as a good MLB player. I do not think the steals will be there as much as he gets to the higher levels of the minors. He could also cut down on the Ks, but seeing 77 BBs this season shows he has an advanced approach at the plate at a real young age.
Ronald Acuna – ATL CF
19 Years Old
.325/.374/.522, 31 2Bs, 8 3Bs, 21 HRs, 44 SB across A, AA, and AAA
Quite possibly the best prospect in all of baseball. This guy has hit since he was 17 years old, but the power showed up this season in the form of 60 XBHs. This kid has all the tools to be a stud and this owner is hoping we will be renaming the J-Roll award after him. There is a lot to love about this guy, with a lot of room to still grow for the teenager. But was the price to acquire him too high?
The league voted that the new Sean (Dochney) won this trade in a 4-3 vote. I swung the vote by voting for myself in this poll, because why wouldn’t I vote for myself? But if I were being honest, the Mooninitez won this deal. The price was huge for a guy who hasn’t stepped foot on an MLB field. Sean McLaughlin capitalized on the hype machine and got a huge return for Acuna, and good for him. I would feel a lot better about this deal for myself if I didn’t have to give up Nola, but Sean was insistent on his inclusion, and he got his guy. I am hoping Acuna hits the ground running when he makes it to the show and we see Mookie Betts, not Byron Buxton (credit to Buxton for being a stud in the last 2 Septembers though). Dochney gave up too much to get this guy, and it will only be worth it if Acuna becomes a superstar.
Would also like to take a moment to go back to the midseason Pollock trade for all you haters out there. The pick received in that trade became Tatis Jr., who later is a part of the Acuna deal. Moving Pollock (who is overrated and has already seen his best baseball) got me the trade chips to land a potential 5 tool superstar. 2-year rule in affect for judging the tangled web of trades here.
Duvall is underrated in this league because his OBP sucks. But OBP is just 1 category, and Duvall helps a lot in the counting stat categories. He may not be sexy, but he instantly becomes the X*Rayz top slugger on his roster. And Odom won the league (albeit controversially) while having the 9th ranked OBP in the league. Adam Duvall is no fluke either, this is the 2nd year in a row he is a full-time starter, and the 2nd year in a row that he will have over 30 2Bs, 30 HRs, and 100 RBIs. Duvall is good, and plays in the hitter friendly confines of Great American Ballpark. He will be 29 for most of next season as well. Contrary to popular belief, he is not the same player as teammate Scott Schebler (Editor’s note: No he is though.). Duvall is a good power bat who will keep benefitting from hitting behind the Walking Red, which guarantees Duvall to have more and more RBI opportunities. (Whatever Duvall been slumping and moved down the lineup and is not batting behind Votto right now, don’t ever fact check my claims!)
Walker Buehler – LAD P
23 Years Old
3.35 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 88.2 IP, 125 Ks, 12.7 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 between A+, AA, and AAA
This guy slipped in the draft a few years back because of an elbow injury that people knew he would need TJ Surgery for. He watched his Vanderbilt teammates Dansby Swanson and the bum Carson Fulmer get drafted in front of him. Make no mistake, going into that final Vanderbilt season before injury Buehler was the guy, not Carson Fulmer. Buehler recently received a call up to the big club, and will pitch out the bullpen the rest of the season. He looks like a front rotation starter moving forward though, possibly forming an Ace 1 and Ace 2 with Kershaw much like when the Dodgers had Greinke. I said it, subtle Greinke comp there even though I don’t like doing comps.
Well I love this deal for myself, and so did everyone else in the poll from the chat. I get a potential future ace to go along with the other stud prospects I have. Odom gets an underrated slugger who will help him out next season, but paid a huge price in what could become a star pitcher. The Backdoor Sliderz have built themselves up an impressive farm system during their first year in the league, but they have also paid a big price in doing so. Not all prospects are can’t miss, and here’s to hoping these guys become fantasy studs for years to come.
So there you have it folks, the owner of the Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz VALIANTLY contributing a trade review on a bunch of different trades SEVERAL OF WHICH coincidentally included the Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz. I will leave it up to our loyal leaders to determine how much his bias was or was not showing (I think he did fine and objective work) but I will NOT leave it up to you schmucks to decide whether or not he deserves a round of applause for stepping up to the plate and providing us with a #ContentMonday. He deserves a round of applause. Please give him a round of applause regardless of where you are reading this right now. I am proud of him.
AND SO IN THE END, our new commissioner added himself a new championship and we will need a new rule for playoffs minors violations as a result of it…DETAILS BELOW BUT ALSO FIRST CONGRATULATIONS TO THE POINT LOMA X*RAYZ YOUR 2017 BACKYARD CHAMPEENS……
MVP: Jose Ramirez – ONLY FITTING that Jose takes the MVP on the brightest stage of all which is the BCS stage for he has probably been the X-Rayz MVP all season long. After scuffling a bit earlier in the postseason Jose TOTALLY REDEEMED HIMSELF in the last possible round and now the X-Rayz are champions. Also BCS MVP JROLL14/26, 7 Rs, 6 2Bs, 1 3B, 4 HRs, 6 RBIs, 2 SBs, .556 OBP **MVP OF BCS OBVIOUSLY**
LVP:Rougned Odor– Rougned Odor had a bad OBP in the BCS. Rougned Odor has the worst OBP in baseball (.254) and a .213 batting average. Rougned Odor also has 28 HRs and 14 SBs. River City would likely have been better off if Rougned Odor got injured in BCLR1. WHAT AN ENIGMA WRAPPED IN A PUZZLE THIS GUY IS. 3/24, 3 Rs, 1 2B, 2 SBs, .192 OBP **LVP OF BCS OBVIOUSLY**
X-Rayz Hitter Of Note:Elvis Andrus caps a pretty surprising fantasy season (fuckin’ guy is about to go 20-20 folks) with a typically excellent performance, found himself just a steal shy of a JROLL (10/28, 7 Rs, 3 2Bs, 1 3B, 2 HRs, 9 RBIs, .379 OBP).
X-Rayz Pitcher Of Note:Jeff Samardzija may have earned himself a lifetime contract with his performance in the BCS, he tossed a crucial CG on a crucial Monday for the X-Rayz and didn’t let up one bit when his turn came around again on Saturday (16 IP, 1 ER, 14 Ks, 2 QS, 1 W, 1 CG, 0.56 ERA).
Bad Dudes Hitter Of Note: Gonna reverse the trend of previous matchups and give some Bad Dudes some credit here, SO AJ Pollock put together a JROLL in a valiant and yet losing effort and here it is (6/19, 5 Rs, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 HRs, 6 RBIs, 1 SB, .409 OBP).
Bad Dudes Slugs Pitcher Of Note: And Marcus Stroman has seemingly avoided serious injury after a comebacker forced him out of a Saturday start, one in which the Bad Dudes hoped he would go 9 innings instead of 1.2 (7.2 IP, 1 ER, 7 Ks, 1 QS, 1.17 ERA).
ASSORTED MUSINGS/ANALYSIS: I think the best way to cover this one would be to break things down as they were PRIOR TO the minor league infraction heard ’round the world and then follow up with a breakdown of things AFTER the minor league infraction heard round the world. Cuz yanno that covers the entire week and all.
PRIOR TO the minor league infraction heard ’round the world…
Monday – Monday cames and wents and the X-Rayz were off to a HOT START when it was all said and done: 15 Rs, 5 2Bs, 2 3Bs, 2 HRs, 9 RBIs, 2 SBs, .473 OBP. THE TEAM WIDE JROLL. This would have been bad enough news for a Bad Dudes roster that started a wee bit sluggish (4 Rs, 3 2Bs, 2 RBIs, 1 SB, .250 OBP) over 14 fewer ABs but the bigger issue was that the X-Rayz had a Shark start and that one went well for ’em SEE ABOVE. For the Bad Dudes they grabbed a QS out of Stroman and a Save and a Hold out of other people but Monday stung River City a bit. A good bit.
Tuesday – Tuesday saw the Bad Dudes PUNCH BACK, at least in terms of establishing themselves as the power team in this matchup: 13 Rs, 6 HRs, 15 RBIs, .356 OBP, even an SB to boot. They also pieced together 2 QS (in 3 tries), 1 W, 2 Saves, 1 Hold. However this all came with a 4.98 ERA, which is kinda the bad news as you started to see the X-Rayz establish an advantage in that department with their pitching line (on the heels of the Shark CG Shutout): 3.46 ERA, 2 QS, 2 Ws across two starts. ADDITIONALLY the X-Rayz offense didn’t let up much (8 Rs, 6 2Bs, 1 3B, 1 HR, 9 RBIs, 1 SB, .458 OBP), as they put up another collective JROLL and kept the pressure on in the OBP cat with another strong showing.
Wednesday – TECHNICALLY this would be the day of the infraction but it wasn’t noticed until Thursday so we shall throw this one here. And REALLY Brandon Nimmo sucks, but yea Nimmo was the issue here. And he did in fact chip in a 1-3 day with a walk for a .500 OBP, and he was technically illegally a part of an X-Rayz offense that matched the mediocrity of the Bad Dudes offense to keep them in the driver’s seat (6 Rs, 4 2Bs, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 2 SBs, .313 OBP for the X-Rayz vs. 7 Rs, 2 2Bs, 4 RBIs, 2 SBs, .333 OBP for the Bad Dudes). The pitching side saw the X-Rayz split a pair of starts with one going rather poorly and one going rather well, while the Bad Dudes had but one start and it went but poorly. They also worked in 2 Holds, if nothing else putting themselves in strong position to take the two relief cats and make em their own. AND THEN THE INFRACTION WAS NOTICED
AFTER the minor league infraction heard ’round the world…
We all know the general story, as it captivated a Thursday AM Groupme chat and put the league on the verge of anarchy. The X*Rayz ORIGINALLY tried to wiggle their way out of their own (terrible) rule to the point of not even dropping minor leaguers, but eventually a punishment was established that allowed the integrity of the BCS round to remain: for the crime of illegally rostering Brandon Nimmo and utilizing him in a starting lineup, the X*Rayz would drop their top 4 minor leaguers by ownership (which included X*Rayz postseason hero Rhys Hoskins) and forfeit the use of any minor leaguers for the remainder of this year’s BCS, in addition to forfeiting an upcoming Chris Archer start. IN RETURN the Bad Dudes, to their credit, would not push for full enforcement of the (terrible) rule and therefore would not be handed a freebie championship. And so the battle raged on…..
Thursday – Thursday saw an X*Rayz team, now DEFIANT and EMBRACING THE HEEL ROLE and CONTINUING TO PUT UP NUMBERS in the face of league-wide razzing over their misdeeds…..no jk neither team did much of anything on Thursday. But there WAS in fact some league razzing because I think we can all admit it is kinda fun, I am kinda enjoying dancing around the edge of calling the title “tainted” in this very review and the X*Rayz were very clearly the team I wanted to take the crown in this particular matchup. So yea. Anyways the Thursday offensive numbers were a bit offensive for both sides but definitely moreso for the X*Rayz, perhaps reeling from their crimes against league integrity (3 Rs, 1 RBI, 2 SBs, .255 OBP for the cheaters vs. 6 Rs, 3 2Bs, 2 HRs, 9 RBIs, 1 SB, .264 OBP for the [self-proclaimed] “Bad Dudes”). On the pitching side the Bad Dudes were all quiet while the X*Rayz continued to keep the ERs to a minimum, while also earning a QS and a W and a Save across two starts and two relief appearances.
Friday – It would be clear at this point in the matchup for anyone actually paying attention to the matchup that the Bad Dudes would need a big weekend to steal this one back. And on Friday they started to make some in-roads in some spots. 7 Rs, 2 2Bs, 1 3B, 2 HRs, 8 RBIs, 2 SBs, .370 OBP for Bad Dudes hitters and 29 Ks in 25 innings for Bad Dudes hurlers (2 QS in 3 starts, 2 Saves, 1 Hold). The Bad News for the Bad Dudes would be they clearly could not grab a fucking Win for the life of ’em and the X*Rayz added another one of those and another QS across two starts. And another 3B. and another SB. But at least their OBP was a not great .281?
Saturday – Saturday came and went and with it went a lot of the Bad Dudes remaining hopes, as the X*Rayz once again showed themselves to be adept at pushing the right buttons in doubleheader matchups and the Bad Dudes responded by putting up a .167 OBP. Perhaps most excitement for the Bad Dudes came from Lance Lynn very nearly going 9 against the Giants, which would have been helpful clearly. But probably not helpful enough given the X-Rayz overall Saturday stat accumulations: 7 Rs, 2 2Bs, 2 3Bs, 2 HRs, 12 RBIs, 4 SBs, .391 OBP, 22 Ks in 19.1 innings, 1 QS in 3 tries, 2 Ws. Also Stroman left his start after 1.2 IP and Chris Archer, the man handpicked by the Bad Dudes to take a seat as punishment, left his start after 0.0 and 2 earned. So Saturday was a real kick in the dick on a couple different fronts for River City.
Sunday – Sunday saw the X*Rayz concede Ks but nothing else. Your final day:
Bad Dudes: 5 Rs, 1 2B, 3 HRs, 10 RBIs, .328 OBP / 12 Ks, 12 ER, 0 QS across 2 starts, 8.31 ERA
X*Rayz: 10 Rs, 5 2Bs, 1 3Bs, 5 HRs, 11 RBIs, .478 OBP STRONG CLOSEOUT PERFORMANCE FOR THE HITTERS / They were all outta starts, but they got 2 Ks and 1 ER out of 2 relief appearances.
A very strong offensive offensive performance for most of the week (any swoons on a day-to-day basis seemed to coincide with swoons for the Bad Dudes) gave the X*Rayz a 5-2 cat advantage in the BCS on offense, and a 2.620 ERA helped the X*Rayz to a 4-3 cat advantage in pitching, and THAT WAS THAT. a 9-5-0 victory secures the X*Rayz franchise the 2017 BCL Championship.
AND SO IN THE END…….In the end the X*Rayz put together a great playoff run, particularly in Round 2 and the BCS, and that is why they are your 2017 champions. The River City Bad Dudes did not lose due to some sort of unfair advantage gained by using Brandon Nimmo on a Wednesday, using Brandon Nimmo benefits no one. The Bad Dudes simply ran outta steam towards the end of yet another great playoff run of their, no doubt feeling the effects of REALLY REALLY GOOD PLAYERS being lost to injury even before they made it to the second round. This matchup was not without controversy and the entire league is better for it as now really nobody can brag about anything. River City wants to brag about reaching 3 straight BCS games? WELL SURE DO IT but their record in those 3 was 1-2 and it invites comparisons to another franchise that reached 3 straight and won all damn 3 of ’em. Point Loma wants to talk about their championship team too much until everyone is tired of getting updates about what Jeff Samardzija is up to? WELL SURE DO IT but if they start sounding too braggy surely someone else will mention that they had to ignore their own created punishments in order to not take an L in a really terrible way in the championship and now everyone is going to push for Fantrax forever and it is all their fault. IN A WAY WE ALL WIN HERE. I deem dynasty year one a success.
For the X*Rayz, this marks their franchise’s FIRST CHAMPIONSHIP and their owner’s FOURTH OVERALL championship, his first since the Great Dynasty Split of whatever year that was……that split occurred prior to the 2015 season, is when that was. Let the record show Mr. Odom has now stood atop the Backyard Mountain at the conclusion of 4 of 7 seasons in the Backyard, folks. For the Bad Dudes this is BACK TO BACK seasons of coming up short in the end, inviting comparisons to I dunno…..I wanna say Bad Dudallo Bills but they need to lose two more in a row. The early 70s dolphins lost one then won two in a row so currently they are kinda like them but in reverse, plus that one season was the perfect season so that won’t work. LATE EIGHTIES BRONCOS lost two in a row, then didn’t make it, then lost again but they’v also won a few. Here is to the Bad Dudes not making the 2018 BCS and then losing the 2019 BCS to make this comparison work. Here is to that.
Next Week aka This Week: NEXT WEEK AKA THIS WEEK ALL OF OUR LIVES ARE EMPTY. I mean jk, trades will open back up for a brief time and that should keep us slightly busy for a few days maybe. And for one team, the crushing emptiness will be slightly less empty for all of about 7 minutes. That is generally how long a championship feels enjoyable for, in my humble experience. And that team is the POINT LOMA X*RAYZ…. Congrats to the 2017 CHAMPIONS THE X*RAYZ OF POINT LOMA
WHAT IS NEXT FOR THE LEAGUE
Usually this section has a bunch of fancy stuff (usually as in like the one time I wrote one up) but THIS TIME, I am not quite sure. I would imagine a lot more calls to attempt a move to Fantrax after the SHENANIGANS above. I also envisioned a world where rosters stay open and available until ESPN shuts them down in like February to do absolutely goddamned nothing for a month and change, but that world doesn’t exist apparently so you only have like an additional week to make some early offseason trades (I imagine rosters will stay open for add/drops year round but again WHO KNOWS). SO GET THE TRADIN’. I also will be attempting to add some bread to this equation, then and only then will I make a complete effort to win a championship. Once I could win like $180 for it. Mostly we just have another successful fantasy season in the books and I want to thank all of the participants AND LOYAL BLOG READERS for making it a lovely time and special shout out to the two new owners who did damned fine work and TALK TO YOU ALL SOON. Blog will be updated randomly and without rhyme or reason, don’t think you can coax it back to life with shitty trades this week either TRADE REVIEW IS UNDER REVIEW.
THE FINISH LINE IS FINALLY NIGH FRIENDS. AFTER MONTHS AND MONTHS OF THIS SHIT WE HAVE OUR TWO POTENTIAL CHAMPEENS ALL LINED UP AND READY TO GO, AND IT TOOK A ROUND 2 FEATURING ONE SNOOZER AND ONE NAILBITER TO GET THERE. LET US REVIEW THOSE MATCHUPS FOR HOWEVER LONG I FEEL LIKE REVIEWING THEM, IN DESCENDING ORDER FROM SNOOZER TO NAILBITER…..
MVP: Rhys Fucking Hoskins Folks – RHYS FUCKING HOSKINS FOLKS. I don’t even know what to say really, other than that Rhys Hoskins has maybe already clinched the finest individual performance ever seen in a BackyardBracket and he’s done it all as a High Minors bat. WON’T SEE THIS AGAIN FOLKS. Folks counter: 3. 10/26, 7 Rs, 1 2B, 6 HRs, 15 RBIs, .448 OBP
LVP:Dominic Smith– Dominic Smith got a lot of ABs this round and maybe more than he deserved and he was not good in those ABs. 2/19, 1 RBI, .100 OBP **LVP OF ROUND TWO**
X-Rayz Hitter Of Note: CONTROVERSIALLY TRADED Trey Mancini just put together a helluva R2 performance so I bet a lot of you feel like jackasses over logging those complaints I know I would that was a picture perfect trade (11/23, 4 Rs, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 8 RBIs, .519 OBP).
X-Rayz Pitcher Of Note: Anddd Chris Archer is definitely on top of his game at this point of the season, and that is something the X-Rayz should feel good about and they should also probably feel good about his chances in an upcoming matchup with the suckass White Sox (13 IP, 2 ER, 18 Ks, 2 QS, 1 W, 1.38 ERA).
Banana Slugs Hitter Of Note: CONTROVERSIALLY (I would imagine, because you people bitch about everything) we are going to continue to only highlight the losers of the losers so here take a look at this loser named Jose Bautista (2/18, 1 R, 1 RBI, .190 OBP).
Banana Slugs Pitcher Of Note: Also check out this loser Zack Britton who simply couldn’t stay healthy this season and decided to demonstrate that ON THE BIG STAGE OF THE BRACKET following a blown save (0.2 IP, 2 ER, 27.00 ERA).
ASSORTED MUSINGS/ANALYSIS: I will start by saying the Slugs clearly had a pretty poor week at a pretty poor time to do so, that much is clear. This was a poor time to throw up single digit HRs and a mere 33 Rs and an even mere-er 32 RBIs. And despite the loss they had a helluva season and they should be commended for their work in dealing with their team’s share of injuries and the StarMar suspension. HATS OFF TO EM. But also…… hats off to the X-Rayz for their Round 2 performance, as even a “good” week outta Barnegat would likely have been not good enough against these across the board numbers for Point Loma: 47 Rs, 19 2Bs, 3 3Bs, 13 HRs, 59 RBIs, 10 SBs, .3285 OBP, 101 Ks, 9 QS, 5 Ws, 7 Saves, 2 Holds, 1.958 ERA. EASILY the best and most complete performance the X-Rayz have put together PROBABLY EVER and about as well-rounded of a week as you will ever see out of any team in the playoffs. Which is the time of year you would want to have such a week. A sub-2 ERA this time of year is a huge accomplishment and it has a trickle-down effect, if your ERA is under 2 you’ve probably done a solid job in the rest of the pitching cats. So even though the Slugs pitched pretty well (88 Ks, 6 QS, 7 Ws, 7 Saves, 4 Holds, 3.075 ERA) they only ended up taking 2 cats on that side, and none on the other side, and that’s how you get your breakdown here. THE CURSE OF THE BYE CONTINUES and it is as sloppily researched as the Runner Up Curse, which is now officially dead thanks to these dickhead (Bad) Dudes. But we will talk about them in a sec; in this one, the Point Loma X-Rayz are victorious and they move onto the BACKYARD CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES presumably with confidence at an all-time high. The Barnegat Banana Slugs move on to the offseason, but at least school starts back up or something? Maybe play fantasy football? I don’t want to play fantasy sports for a while but I don’t fault anyone that does.
Next Week aka This Week: #3 X-Rayz vs. #4 Bad Dudes, #2 Banana Slugs vs. The Man In The Mirror (perhaps asking him to change his ways?)
MVP: Giancarlo Stanton – In a matchup as tight as this one Stanton’s performance was crucial, he kinda needed to do the work of a couple superstars at once to make up for a few injuries and he kinda did. And so I hate him and I am glad that baseball hit him in the face back when that baseball hit him in the face. 13/29, 8 Rs, 3 2Bs, 5 HRs, 11 RBIs, .500 OBP **MVP OF ROUND TWO**
LVP:Keon Broxton – Keon Broxton got a lot of ABs this round and maybe more than he deserved was not good in them and THIS WILL BE REMEMBERED come next year when a bunch of young OFs come to take his job on my team (and possibly on his actual team). 2/18, 1 RBI, .111 OBP
Bad Dudes Hitter Of Note:Xander Bogaertsdelivered the one fucking triple in this matchup and we spent the rest of the week trying to spot start triples outta Kevin Kiermaier so NOTABLE PERFORMANCE XANDER GOOD JOB YOU FUCK (7/24, 6 Rs, 2 2Bs, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, .393 OBP).
Bad Dudes Pitcher Of Note:Dan Straily gave the Bad Dudes 10 Ks across 6 IP and then turned around and joined my team BECAUSE HE IS A WHORE and only delivered 5 against an equally shitty opponent, dick move Dan (6 IP, 3 ER, 10 Ks, 1 QS, 1 W, 4.50 ERA for RCBD ….. 6 IP, 2 ER, 5 Ks, 1 QS, 3.00 ERA for BPMZ).
MooniniteZ Hitter Of Note:Andrew McCutchen was no peach himself, no peach at all (3/23, 1 R, 1 RBI, .231 OBP).
MooniniteZ Pitcher Of Note: The MooniniteZ tried to draw a line in the sand about what type of player would be too Red Sawksy to get a roster spot and CLEARLY John Lackey was too Red Sawksy and so fuck him he will never be seen on a squad of mine again (5 IP, 6 ER, 3 Ks, 10.80 ERA).
ASSORTED MUSINGS/ANALYSIS: I don’t even know how to approach this one other than to say it was a fucking battle to the bitter end, as both teams put together shiite weekends (well at least Saturday and Sunday, the Bad Dudes Friday was the ultimate difference maker really) and as a result had to rely upon the machinations of a Mets-Nationals Sunday Night Baseball affair to sort this whole thing out. In the end this thing was razor thin and the Bad Dudes pulled it out.
First the weekend numbers: 10 Rs, 5 2Bs, 2 HRs, 6 RBIs for River City vs. 13 Rs, 6 2Bs, 3 HRs, 9 RBIs for the BPMZ. So hey SLIGHTLY BETTER FOR THE BPMZ RIGHT? But we had to recover from a fairly weak Friday (7 Rs, 3 2Bs, 2 HRs, 6 RBIs) against a very non-weak Friday for the RCBD (12 Rs, 2 2Bs, 5 HRs, 13 RBIs, superior OBP EVERY GODDAMNED DAY) and that put us in a wee bit of a hole.
Now a cherry-picked display of the razor-thin margins: Runs Bad Dudes +1, Triples Bad Dudes +1, HRs MooniniteZ +1, RBIs TIED, Strikeouts Bad Dudes +1, QS Bad Dudes +1, Wins Bad Dudes +1, Holds Bad Dudes +1.
Now a few words about the Sunday evening game: The MooniniteZ headed into the game needing 9 Ks or a Hold between Tanner Roark and Brandon Kintzler to advance via a Tie, presuming no Runs or RBIs for Wilmer Difo and no Holds for whichever clowns the Bad Dudes picked up for the double header (those clowns were Matt Albers and Josh Smoker). And through the first 2 innings was LOOKIN GOOD as Roark racked up 5 Ks through 2 and Difo had yet to Difuck me. But eventually Difo Difucked me (he would score twice) and eventually Roark ran outta gas one K short of the tie and then Hansel Robles Roblew it all cuz he sucks dick and then albers came in for a hold and got a k cuz he is fat and kintzler never sniffed the game not that it mattered and that was that. The Bad Dudes both SWEATIN BULLETS due to the Mets shittiness and then rescued from the jaws of defeat or defeat via tiebreaker by that same Mets shittiness. Years of fanhood validated in a strangely beautiful way. The MooniniteZ fall short after grabbing a First Round Bye for the second year runnin’
The River City Bad Dudes will advance to their third straight BCS, and fourth overall, to take on the Point Loma X-Rayz. The Bellcrest Park MooniniteZ will do none of these things.
Next Week aka This Week: #4Bad Dudes @. #3 X-Rayz, #1 MooniniteZ @ Retiring To A Quiet Cabin For Months To Ponder What Lies Next For The Franchise But Also Updating This Blog For A Bit Longer So Not Being All That Quiet And Also Not Going To Any Cabins
BACKYARD CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES PREVIEW
AND SO IT IS FINALLY UPON US, after months of annoying trade offers and transactions and complaining about trade offers and transactions and number of DL spots and whether or not people need to adhere to agreed upon start limits in the long weeks and so on and so forth man I am already burnt out on the fantasy front BUT FIRST…..we have a Backyard Championship Series to play out y’all. And it is a good one between two opponents each finding themselves in the BCS for the FOURTH time overall, the third in a row for Bad Dudes ownership and the first appearance for X-Rayz since they joined forces with yours truly to rattle off 3 straight championships in their first 3 years in this league (a league full of the still fantasy bitter and still fantasy jealous that will complain about me even citing those appearances but HEY THEY HAPPENED if “we couldn’t compete with a team with two owners in the playoffs because we aren’t fantasy good enough to do that” is the hill you all want to die on DIE LIKE A DOG ON THAT HILL)…where was I? Sometimes I use too many parentheses and they don’t necessarily function the way I think the inventor of the parentheses intended, WHOMever that person may be. Le’ts talk about this matchup a bit more below, yanno in the actual preview part.
#3 POINT LOMA X-RAYZ VS. #4 RIVER CITY BAD DUDES
We are gonna take this shit apart corner by corner, in honor of boxing being briefly relevant again for a hot moment there, and IN OUR FIRST CORNER we have the #3 Seed Point Loma X-Rayz. I dunno if you are supposed to put the lower seed in the first corner but who fucking cares, the X-Rayz are HERE ladies and gentlemen and they are here to take your beloved trophy and whisk it across the continent baggage fees be damned. And they got here with the same formula that’s gotten them into the playoffs every goddamned season since they took over their individual franchise, and that formula is speed + speed. They were 1st in Triples and Stolen Bases and 2nd in Runs on account of all those speedsters getting into scoring position, they were also last in RBIs BUT DON’T TELL THAT TO THE PLAYOFFS VERSION as they just got finished using Rhys Hoskins and co. to rack up 57 RBIs on a mere 13 HRs, six of which came from Rhys. The X-Rayz actually find themselves 9th in RBIs as a result of all this madness, surpassing those dumb OGTFC because they have everyone on their bench. “WAHHHHH BUT THINK OF THE SEASON LONG STATS.” The point is the X-Rayz can absolutely steal the RBIs category in this matchup (HRs I would likely be a bit less confident in but with Hoskins and an ailing Bad Dudes roster WHO KNOWS) while also maintaining their usual paces in the speed-centric cats and if all that comes together that could spell trouble for their opposition here. So let us meet said opposition.
In the other corner we have the #4 Seeded River City Bad Dudes, making an IMPRESSIVE third straight appearance in the BCS. Would be more impressive if they had one last year, and will end up feeling kinda sad if they lose two in a row, but FOR NOW IMPRESSIVE (take that takedown you fuckers). The Bad Dudes CONTINUE to press on despite mounting injuries to fantasy studs (Harper, Contreras, I guess Lester to an extent, Salazar and now Cespedes) and that is commendable but also fuck them is what I think. River City was the second most prolific HR and RBI team this season so you’ll get a bit of a power vs. speed matchup here, but when this lineup is on and at least relatively healthy they can put up some eye-popping numbers. Their Round 1 offense was so good that I intentionally talked up the X-Rayz Round 2 offense just as a way of ignoring it, but the numbers were the best of the playoffs in most cats and they were as such: 59 Rs, 20 2Bs, 3 3Bs, 21 HRs, 67 RBIs, 7 SBs, .4087 OBP. Just OBLITERATED the Isotopes down to their electrons. They are also as good as anyone at pushing the right buttons this time of year. HENCE the third straight BCS appearance and all. It should also be noted that with Giancarlo Stanton being on another planet the way he is right now (shades of what I presume Bryce Harper was like back in 2015?) you have more wiggle room to push the wrong buttons or push no buttons at all or what have you.
These two teams battled twice in the regular season, I suppose at some point I can stop saying that as it can just be assumed going forward, but yea they did and just as in the first two rounds the Bad Dudes will be taking on an opponent that SWEPT em. Maybe law of averages is on their side or something. In Week 8 it was the X-Rayz defeating the Bad Dudes 7-6-1, and in Week 17 SAME but with a much healthier margin of 10-4-0. Surely the X-Rayz are hoping the Week 17 matchup bodes well given its proximity to this current week (which would technically be Week 21), surely the Bad Dudes are hoping I dunno that it is really hard to beat a team three times in a row or something. And in true baseball playoffs type fashion we have the River City Bad Dudes representing our National Division or League or whatfuckingever and the Point Loma X-Rayz representing our American Division or League or whatfuckingever. So that is cute.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: JUST WATCH. These two teams are as adept as anyone at playoff maneuvering so there could be plenty of fantasy tradecraft along the way but really this is just going to be a real good championship battle, as both teams want this one badly and won’t feel badly about taking it from the other guy. PLENTY OF NARRATIVE here: the Bad Dudes attempting to beat 3 teams they went a combined 0-6 against in the regular season, the X-Rayz attempting to win their first title as a standalone franchise, uhhh they are both named “Mike” or whatever if you’re into that one. I think the Bad Dudes knocked out the X-Rayz last year so there is that. JUST GONNA BE A BATTLE and I expect it to be every bit as tense and down to the wire as the battle the Bad Dudes just endured. You know just to insert myself into the narrative. And WHILE I AM HERE the Bad Dudes would also be reaching 3 titles by going through the other two owners with 3 titles so that’s a narrative thing. LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME. No I am kidding don’t look at me but pay attention to this BCS, because this was a helluva competitive season and as such I expect a competitive finale.
AND SO IT HAS BEEN DECIDED, ONE OF THESE TWO TEAMS SHALL BE OUR 2017 CHAMPION COME THIS TIME NEXT WEEK. I EXPECT THIS ONE TO BE A BATTLE START TO FINISH SO EXPECT SOME LATE-BBQ DRAMA NEXT WEEKEND AND A BUNCH OF BUDDY BUDDY “COMPLIMENTING EACH OTHER’S TEAMS AT 11 PM EST WHEN EVERYONE ELSE IS NOT IN THE CHAT” TYPE STUFF EVERY NIGHT BEFORE THEN. MAYBE NOT SATURDAY. BY SATURDAY SHIT WILL GET REAL. I HOPE.
ROUND ONE IN THE BOOKS, LET US LOOK AT THAT REAL QUICK AND THEN LOOK AT ROUND TWO REAL QUICK AND THEN LET US JUST FOCUS ON ROUND TWO..……I NEED TO FOCUS PEOPLE. FIRST ROUND ONE REVIEW SCROLL DOWN IT IS DOWN THERE.
MVP: Manny Machado – Manny Machado has sorta struggled mightily at times this season so ONLY FITTING that he would right the ship right at the right time for the River City team that always seems to find itself with the right stuff to make it to Round 2. Right? 10/26, 4 Rs, 1 2B, 4 HRs, 12 RBIs, .370 OBP **MVP OF ROUND ONE**
LVP:Ty Blach– Ty Blach got Ty ROCKED. Twice. A thank you a thank you. 11.1 IP, 12 ER, 4 Ks, 9.53 ERA **LVP OF ROUND ONE**
Bad Dudes Hitter Of Note:Giancarlo Stanton is a big guy and is also good at hitting the baseball far and also might have been the rightful MVP here(8/20, 6 Rs, 3 HRs, 7 RBIs, 1 SB, .571 OBP).
Bad Dudes Pitcher Of Note:Danny Salazar dominated his first matchup and then ended up sucking in his second and then ended up on the DL and that is NOTABLE (11.2 IP, 7 ER, 15 Ks, 1 QS, 1 W, 5.40 ERA).
Isotopes Hitter Of Note: This is the Backyard Playoffs and in the Backyard Playoffs when you lose we only highlight your failures, and Khris Davis you were (mostly) a failure (2/19, 2 Rs, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, .190 OBP).
Isotopes Pitcher Of Note: Same goes for you Jose Berrios, you were a failure because your owner thought SO LITTLE of you that he benched you in the playoffs and so you went 7 shutout with 7 Ks and it counted for nothing (NO STATS).
ASSORTED MUSINGS/ANALYSIS: You would have thought this one had the potential to get extra spicy with the two participants sharing a room in Denver at the time of battle but MEH. We caught a Charlie BlackmonHR live but it was on the same night Machado hit 3 with 7 RBIs so there was a certain air of that Blackmon HR not much mattering by the end of that particular evening (The Bad Dudes would win HRs 21-12 and RBIs 67-43). This one was all about the Bad Dudes showing the fuck up on offense, as the victors sported an unsightly 5.004ERA (Isotopes would win ERA with a 4.286) but overcame such issues by racking up a NEAR SWEEP of the offensive cats: 6-0-1, with a 7-7SBs tie representing the only cat the ‘Topes tied in. And really that one plus a narrow 3 to 2 loss in 3Bs representing the only offensive categories that were even CLOSE here. So yes the Isotopes maybe had a slightly down week on the offensive side but also the River City Bad Dudes came to play and that is why they are moving along AS PER USUAL and the ‘Topes are going home in the first round AS PER USUAL. In Round 2 the #4 seed Bad Dudes will take on the top-seeded MooniniteZ.
Next Week aka This Week: #4 Bad Dudes @ #1 MooniniteZ, #5 Isotopes @ Another Offseason Filled With Angry Fans Clamoring For A Playoff Win In Their Lifetime
MVP: Luis Castillo – Castillo brought the Ks as usual and also kept the ER to a minimum and these two things sorta epitomized the X-Rayz first round performance. SO GIVE THIS MAN AN MVP. 10 IP, 2 ER, 15 Ks, 1 QS, 1.80 ERA
LVP:Jacob DeGrom – DeGrom had a chance to come up big for a Lacey team in need of big time pitching performances and instead he came up small. SO GIVE THIS MAN AN LVP. 13 IP, 10 ER, 12 Ks, 6.59 ERA
X-Rayz Hitter Of Note:Rhys Hoskinsdid such a fucking number on opposing pitchers last week that I had to strongly consider giving him this matchups MVP just to make HIM the MVP of Round One, here’s your runner up for that (7/21, 7 Rs, 4 HRs, 6 RBIs, .481 OBP).
X-Rayz Pitcher Of Note: And the X-Rayz also made sure to deploy their “situational pass rusher” of pitchers in Brad Peacock, whom chipped in 17 Ks in just 10 innings (10 IP, 5 ER, 17 Ks, 4.50 ERA).
BackdoorSliderz Hitter Of Note: Continuing with our theme of only discussing the losers on the losers I present to you Bradley Zimmer, the least useful batter for the BDSliderz in R1 (3/14, 1 R, .167 OBP).
BackdoorSliderz Pitcher Of Note: And the award for least useful pitcher I guess has to go to Trevor Rosenthal, who simply tacked on 2 ER to Lacey’s ERA and contributed POSITIVELY NOTHING ELSE (0 IP, 2 ER, INFINITE ERA).
ASSORTED MUSINGS/ANALYSIS: And so His Dochness has learned that Odom brought him into this world AND HE CAN TAKE HIM OUT OF IT. Or something. Odom just knocked Doch out of the playoffs is what I am saying here. And how did you ask? Or did nobody ask but I am going to explain it quickly anyways? PITCHING THAT IS HOW. The BackdoorSliderz actually battled their way to a solid 4-1-2 on the hitting cats, IMPRESSIVELY managing to win 3Bs (4-2) and tie SBs at10 (they did lose RBIs to the bad RBI team but yanno what can you do). Where the tide turned in this one is on the other side of the coin, because Lacey did THIS (77 Ks, 3 QS, 2 Ws, 4 Saves, 3 Holds, 4.725 ERA) and Point Loma did THIS (86 Ks, 5 QS, 4 Ws, 8 Saves, 6 Holds, 3.035 ERA) and THAT is how you flip a matchup with strong pitching and a strong bullpen. The 6-0-1 the X-Rayz put together on the pitching side would really turn out to be all they needed here, and with that they earn their franchise’s first playoff W and their second straight appearance in the #FieldOfFour. For Lacey Township they can hold their head high after an impressive mid-season takeover that resulted in a playoff berth. For the #3 seeded X-Rayz, I just fucking said it. They will take on the #2 seeded Barnegat Banana Slugs in R2.
Next Week aka This Week: #3X-Rayz @. #2 Banana Slugs, #6 BackdoorSliderz @ An Offseason Where They Can Hold Their Heads High During Unlike That Other New Guy That Essentially Never Won After April Essentially
ROUND 2 PREVIEW
Now that we have looked at how we arrived at this #FieldOfFour, let’s take a look at the matchups that will determine which two teams will advance to THE BACKYARD CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES and find themselves one win away from Backyard Immortality…..
#1 BELLCREST PARK MOONINITEZ VS. #4 RIVER CITY BAD DUDES
The Bellcrest Park MooniniteZ aka me finally appear on the scene, hoping to avoid last season’s fate of a First Round Bye followed immediately by a Second Round Exit. It will be a clash with old nemesis Lobman and his ridiculously-named Bad Dudes that determine their fate, and on paper at least these two teams have similar styles: adjacent rankings in 3Bs, HRs, RBIs, Ks, and Saves and also tied at the top in Wins. SO SIMILAR STYLES. A large part of this battle may be determined by which team’s sluggers show up, as the Bad Dudes are without two of their top players but are being boosted by improving play out of the Machados and Abreus of the world and of their team. Meanwhile the MooniniteZ have Arenando and a bunch of guys and they are worried all those guys wasted too many dongs on the bye week (21 bye weekdongs). TIME SHALL TELL.
These two teams battled twice in the regular season, as teams are wont to do, and the MooniniteZ took both matchups (a 7-6-1 dub in Week 1 and a 7-4-3 dub in Week 9)split their season series, with the BackdoorSliderz winning in Week 6 (7-3-4) and the Point Loma X-Rayz taking their Week 15 matchup (7-6-1). The winner here moves on to the BCS as the National League’s representative because the playoffs worked out all cute like that this season. This would also be the THIRD STRAIGHT BCS appearance (and a chance at a third title in four appearances) for the Bad Dudes franchise; for the MooniniteZ it would be their first appearance overall, and ownership’s first taste of the BCS SINCE THEIR DYNASTY DAYZ (three titles in three straight appearances).
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: STREAMER SUCCESS RATES. Injuries are a part of the fantasy game and these two teams are A BIT BANGED UP. For the Bad Dudes that means a couple stud hitters are down plus Danny Salazar, for the MooniniteZ that means no James Paxton and no Lance McCullers and no second start from Alex Wood(also no Desi but fuck him really). This means you can expect to see a HEFTY amount of streamers from the top seed and also a pretty solid amount from the Bad Dudes, and how those streamers perform will go a long way towards determining the victor here. Here is where I point out that this is a late preview and so I’ve already gotten through 5 starts with a pathetic one fucking win and an even more pathetic 20 fucking Ks out of the starters. HERE IS WHERE I MENTION THAT.
#2 BARNEGAT BANANA SLUGS VS. #3 POINT LOMA X-RAYZ
The Point Loma X-Rayz strut into Round 2 FEELIN GOOD, and waiting for them there is the Barnegat Banana Slugs POSSIBLY FEELIN’ BETTER as the they enjoy their franchises first R1 Bye. Interestingly enough for storyboard purposes these two teams are also kinda similar in certain mannerisms, namely both being BAD in HRs (Slugs 9th X-Rayz 10th)and RBIs (Slugs 8th X-Rayz 10th) and both being SIMILAR in Ks, QS, Ws, Saves, hell even ERA is kinda close. Also these are two of the 3 teams to win 5 straight weeks in 2017, the other being the top-seeded MooniniteZ over there on the other side of the bracket. So what to discuss what tooooo….discusssss. Essentially it will be important for one of the two teams to be better than the other team in all of these categories where they might feel like a coin flip if you are into reading too much into season-long stats (rosters change a whole fuck of a lot and all), while also maintaining their usual pace in the categories they should be comfortably favored in (i.e. SBs and 3Bs for the X-Rayz, again if you believe in season-long numbers and completely ignore the power of single week small sample sizes and so on and so forth). All of that will kinda add up to whom has the best chance at winning here.
In the regular season the Banana Slugs had the season sweep here, besting the X-Rayz both in Week 4 (9-3-2) and Week 13 (6-5-3). Whomever bests whomever else THIS TIME will be your American League representation in this year’s BCS.The appearance in said title game would be the second for the Banana Slugs franchise (0-1) and the first for the X-Rayz franchise, again not counting ownership’s previous dynasty of league lore (3-0).
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: POWER NUMBERS YET AGAIN/DOUBLEHEADER MASTERY. With this one featuring two HR-averse teams that cat will be weighted a weeeee bit more heavily, ONE OF EM HAS TO WIN IT UNLESS THEY TIE IT. And whichever team wins that one might well be on the right track to victory overall. ALSO again since this is a terribly late review I can also work in “doubleheader mastery” as something to watch: the X-Rayz racked up 1 2B, 3 HRs, 11 RBIs out of a fucking Twins-White Sox doubleheader using entirely streamed bats. So advantage X-Rayz there.
IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THE FIELD OF FOUR AND FOLLOWING THAT WE WILL BE AT A FIELD OF TWO AND WHOEVER WINS THAT ONE WILL BE OUR 2017 CHAMPION AND AT LEAST IT ISN’T THE TROUT FISHING CLUB AMIRITE? NOW IF YOU WILL EXCUSE ME I HAVE A MATCHUP TO TURN AROUND OR POSSIBLY NOT TURN AROUND… HOPING TO SEE SOME MORE PEP IN THE TEAM’S STEP GOING FORWARD THOUGH GOTTA BE HONEST. BYBR2 TUNE IN……………….
The Spring Draft will return in 2018!Although it will likely occur during the winter technically, it is called the Spring Draft because it happens during Spring Training. NOW that I have cleared that up, I can announce that the date is TBD. Because who knows when ESPN will open the league up again for sure in 2018. The draft will be held on the first weekend following the league being re-activated. The date will be flexible so schedules will be accommodated. The draft will consist of 3 rounds. Draft order will be decided by reverse standings, with the BCS Cup winner and runner-up selecting 9th and 10th. In order to be eligible to draft, a team must have at least 1 open roster or rights spot. A team must have one open roster spot or rights spot for each draft pick they use in the draft. Teams with no empty roster spots or rights spot will not participate in the Spring draft. They are not permitted to trade for a pick once the draft has started. The draft will take place in a GroupMe chat, separate from the Backyard Radio feed.
2018 All Star Break Rights Selection Process
The Rights Selection Process returns for the 2018 season! The event will take place on the Thursday following the All Star Game. The process will have 3 rounds. A team must have 1 empty spot in their controlled rights pool for every pick they make during the process. Draft order will be decided by reverse standing, with the BCS Cup winner and runner-up selecting 9th and 10th. Any player not in the ESPN system is eligible to be selected. The draft will take place in a GroupMe chat, separate from the Backyard Radio feed.
The Backyard Baseball Hall of Fame
Introducing the Backyard Hall of Fame! Ballots on the first class of candidates will be sent out shortly. Voting will be 100% league owners. All stats over a players 162 game season will be considered. Only stats from the 14 categories in the Backyard scoring structure will be observed. Players must receive 70% or more of yes votes to be inducted. Players are only eligible for the ballot twice. Players will enter the HoF with the team that owned them for the most total time during their Backyard career. A petition may be filed if a team feels they have a claim to a HoF inductee. If deemed valid by the league office, a league vote will be held to decide which cap said entrant dons. A maximum of 5 players may enter in any given year. A minimum of 0 players may enter in any given year. A website will be opened to display the players in our HoF. Beginning in 2018, events such as cycles and no hitters will also be logged in the HoF. The Hall of Fame class will be released 1 by 1, beginning on the Monday of the BCS Cup and released daily until the full class has been announced. The induction ceremony will be held before the start of the Spring Draft.
That’s all for now. Stay tuned for Part 2: Future Proposals.
The 2017 Backyard Championship League Fantasy Regulard Season (One of these days I will hammer down a formal name for this league) BROUGHT US MANY THINGS. But perhaps the most valuable of those things is the JROLL, inspired by Jimmy Rollins’ 2007 season and handed out to players that are able to collect a DOUBLE, TRIPLE, HOME RUN, AND STOLEN BASE all in a single week. So naturally a 2017 JROLL AWARD should be awarded to the guy who did the best job of racking up JROLLS. What follows will be that award as well as a team-by-team breakdown of JROLLS for this season. BUT FIRST LET US POST (AND POSSIBLY CRITIQUE) THE RESULTS OF THE AWARDS VOTED ON BY ALL OF OUR OWNERS. In order to highlight why you don’t get to vote on the JROLL AWARD……..
2017 AL Live Wire: Zack Cozart, Renegade Force
My vote: Luis Severino, Banana Slugs
Why you got it wrong: Sevvy Sev has just been fairly fucking dominant all year, and what’s Cozart done he’s missed like 40 games is what he’s done.
2017 NL Live Wire: Michael Conforto, BackdoorSliderz
My vote: Michael Conforto, BackdoorSliderz
Why you we got it wrong: I dunno still might have been Smoakhere though, Conforto’s numbers barely best Steven Souza Jr. and he is the guy I had to leave out in place of Smoak so SCIENCE.
2017 AL Rookie of the Year: Jacob Faria, Morning Wood
My vote: Jacob Faria, Morning Wood
2017 NL Rookie of the Year: Aaron Judge, Isotopes
My vote: Cody Bellinger, Isotopes
Why you got it wrong: Judge already had like 84 ABs in 2016 and I believe this award should reward the most High Minors production most of the time and Bellinger CERTAINLY did more with his first 84 ABs, and by extension his first 130 ABs overall. Both are good though we get it T.
2017 AL Mariano Rivera Reliever of the Year: Greg Holland, Isotopes
My vote: Greg Holland, Isotopes which I tried to change to Chris Devenski, X-Rayz after I reallllly thought about it.
Why you we got it wrong: SP ELIGIBLE RELIEVER STATS ARE LIFE.
2017 NL Mariano Rivera Reliever of the Year: Craig Kimbrel, Bad Dudes
My vote: Kenley Jansen, MooniniteZ.
Why you got it wrong: Kenley had more Ws allowed one less ER, and EVEN THREW IN A HOLD. Just had a few less Ks. And he is the best reliever in baseball and shame on you all.
2017 AL Dy Young (in honor of Jose Fernandez I am sure this name will be cleaned up next season): Chris Sale, Titans
My vote: Chris Sale, Titans but I mean shit poor Klubez should have grabbed a vote
2017 NL Dy Young: Zack Greinke, Morning Wood
My vote: Ervin Santana, Bad Dudes.
Why you got it wrong: COMPLETE GAMES ARE ALSO LIFE.
2017 AL MVP: Charlie Blackmon, Isotopes
My vote: Charlie Blackmon, Isotopes
2017 NL MVP: Nolan Arenado, MooniniteZ
My vote: Nolan Arenado, MooniniteZ
SO A BIT OF A MIXED BAG overall but clearly you can see you cannot be trusted with something as sacred as a JROLL award. So let us get to that…..
THE 2017 JROLL AWARD
FIRST SOME FLUFF…..
TOTAL JROLLS IN 2017 BACKYARD REGULAR SEASON: NINETEEN
Broken down as follows: 2 Wk1, 3 Wk5, 2 Wk6, 3 Wk8, 2 Wk11, 1 Wks12-15, 1 Wk17, 2 Wk18
Point Loma X-Rayz: 2 (Billy Hamilton, Jose Ramirez)
Rojo’s Renegade Force: 2 (Paul Goldschmidt, Chris Taylor)
Bellcrest Park MooniniteZ: 2 (Nolan Arenado, Keon Broxton)
River City Bad Dudes: 2 (Rougned Odor, Xander Bogaerts)
Toms River Titans: 1 (Javier Baez)
Barnegat Banana Slugs: 1 (Tommy Pham)
OceanGate Trout Fishing Club: 1 (Brian Dozier)
Q-Tip City Morning Wood: 1 (Brandon Belt)
PRETTIEST JROLL OF THE SEASON:
Billy Hamilton (X-Rayz), Week 5: 2 2Bs, 3 3Bs, 1 HR, 9 SBs
AND NOW, YOUR 2017 JROLL AWARD WINNER…….
CHUCK NAZTY SLIDING IN TO TAKE THE INAUGURAL CROWN. I guess this might have been fairly obvious to anyone that’s perused the season stats but LET THE RECORD SHOW I was really just planning on giving this award to whoever racked up the most JROLLS. With Blackmon and Alex Bregman tied at 2 (and me not believing in giving out ties for this most sacred of awards) we had to jump to the overall season stats, and at that point it becomes clear this award in this year should belong to Mr. Nazty. The guy has 5 more triples than anyone else in baseball and those are the reallll stickler stat for most potential JROLLERS. CONGRATULATIONS TO CHARLIE BLACKMON FOR THIS PRESTIGIOUS AWARD.
AND THUS CONCLUDES THE REGULAR SEASON. THIS ONE WAS PERHAPS THE WACKIEST SEASON YET, WITH ONLY TWO TEAMS OUT OF CONTENTION AS WE HEADED INTO WEEK 18. NOT TOO SUUREEEE THAT HAS EVER BEEN THE CASE. BUT WHEN IT IS ALL SAID AND DONE THERE CAN ONLY BE SIX HEADED TO THE BACKYARD BRACKET (UGLY PROTOTYPE ABOVE, BELOW THE GIF OF SPIDERMAN FIGHTING DUST SURELY YOU SEE IT) AND IT TOOK A WHOLE LOTTA WEEK 18 MADNESS (INCLUDING YET ANOTHER SUNDAY NIGHT HEARTBREAKER) TO GET TO THAT SIX SO LET US ILLUMINATE MORE SPECIFICALLY HOW WE GOT TO THAT SIX..……
MVP: Eddie Rosario – Neither team gave a shit, but THIS GUY was picked up just to prepare for a Round 2 Monday night doubleheader and he is out here SLUGGIN’. So fuck it maybe he stays around after that even, baseball is a funny game. 12/27, 10 Rs, 3 2Bs, 4 HRs, 9 RBIs, 1 SB, .484 OBP
LVP:JT Realmuto– Nobody gave a shit here, but perhaps JT gave the least shit of all? 2/21, 1 R, 1 RBI, .200 OBP
MooniniteZ Hitter Of Note: Again neither team gave a shit, but here look at this Joey Votto walked 12 times last week(8/22, 10 Rs, 1 2B, 2 HRs, 5 RBIs, .588 OBP).
MooniniteZ Pitcher Of Note: Anddd naturally James Paxton went and got hurt and now the BPMZ’s two best pitchers will miss the entire playoffs in all likelihood EXCELLENT (6.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Ks, 1 QS, 1 W, 4.26 ERA).
Titans Hitter Of Note: They didn’t give a shit here, but as the Titans look ahead to 2018 they can take solace in the fact that Andrew Benintendi will probably be pretty good that Red Sawks fuck (10/22, 5 Rs, 1 2B, 3 HRs, 9 RBIs, 2 SBs, .458 OBP).
Titans Pitcher Of Note: And maybe Eduardo Rodriguez, a different Red Sawks fuck, will also be pretty good which would give the Titans yet another pitching piece that could be argued to be excessive at this point (6 IP, 0 ER, 7 Ks, 1 QS, 0.00 ERA).
ASSORTED MUSINGS/ANALYSIS: This one had no bearing on the playoff picture and neither team paid much attention so I don’t think there’s much to say here, other than to note that both of these teams had PRETTY STRONG offensive numbers and both of these teams only started 5 pitchers. Although it SHOULD BE NOTED that the MooniniteZ racked up 60 Ks with only 5 starts so yanno, it is possible the strikeout record might have been in play if they kept something close to that pace. But WITH SO MANY PITCHING INJURIES HOW WOULD I EVEN FIND 12 STARTS. Anywho the Titans put up solid hitting stats in their 2017 swan song (49 Rs, 19 2Bs, 2 3Bs, 16 HRs, 42 RBIs, 7 SBs, .3469 OBP) but the MooniniteZ put up slightly better numbers in some spots (53 Rs, 19 HRs, 43 RBIs, .3828OBP) and got a whole bunch of Saves (10) and there is your difference. In Round 1 BOTH THESE TEAMS will be on vacation, in Round 2 the #1 seed Bellcrest Park MooniniteZ will return from vacation to take on the winner of the uhhhh 4 v. 5 First Round Matchup or whatever. The Titans will remain on vacation, but they will be remembered. Hopefully they change their team name in 2018 so I can avoid these Remember The Titans puns because otherwise I just can’t fucking help myself sometimes.
Next Week aka This Week: MooniniteZ vs. BYE, Titans @ DONE FOR THE YEAR
MVP: Jose Pirela – Jose Pirela out here SHININ’ for the X-Rayz’ home town team, and also for the X-Rayz. This particular week. 10/24, 8 Rs, 3 2Bs, 3 HRs, 5 RBIs, .533 OBP
LVP:Logan Morrison – LoMo you could have contributed more than 5 measly singles and 1 measly RBI but you didn’t and that is why you are here. 5/21, 1 RBI, .2611 OBP
X-Rayz Hitter Of Note: Gotta shout out to Yadier Molinahere cuz he’s like 94 years old in catcher years and still getting it done both at and behind the plate (6/26, 6 Rs, 1 2B, 2 HRs, 7 RBIs, 1 SB, .259 OBP).
X-Rayz Pitcher Of Note: Not alotta standouts for the X-Rayz on this side of the ball in Week 18 but uhhh Chris Devenski got 2 Holds with only one inning of work so let us make note…..of that (1 IP, 0 ER, 1 K, 2 Holds, 0.00 ERA).
Morning Wood Hitter Of Note: I am gonna highlight my favorite Morning Wood pickup and that is a one Whit Merrifield, everyone knows they either rostered him or considered rostering him and then just threw him back in the pond and now LOOK AT EM he might rather improbably be a guy I wanna trade for him already (10/32, 3 Rs, 1 3B, 1 HR, 7 RBIs, 1 SB, .324 OBP).
Morning Wood Pitcher Of Note: And let us also highlight the work of Carlos Martinez which has been plenty solid for this sinking ship all season say that 5x fast (14 IP, 5 ER, 14 Ks, 2 QS, 2 Ws, 3.21 ERA).
ASSORTED MUSINGS/ANALYSIS: What can weeee discuss here? Let’s see, the X-Rayz lead the league in steals in Week 18 and that prompted me to look back and see how many times they DIDN’T lead the league in steals and turns out they didn’t lead the league in steals 6 times in teh 18 weeks. So a 66.6% league-leading steal numbers percentage. Not too shabby. In other news the Bonerz had the fewests Runs in the league in Week 18 (35) and that is something that probably happened AT LEAST 66.6% of the time, they also tied for the fewest RBIs (36) and that is probably something that happened fairly frequently as well. TOUGH INAUGURAL SEASON for QTC is what I am saying here. That being said they did ride some decentish pitching numbers to a near upset here, but in the end it fell short and mercifully their season comes to a close. We will give them the first year to sort of mold their roster and learn the league ins and outs, hell even the MooniniteZ sucked in their expansion year, but NEXT YEAR I WANT LESS HEAD SCRATCHING TRADES. As for the X-Rayz, they wrap up a PRETTY IMPRESSIVE third straight double digit win season (an EVEN MORE IMPRESSIVE sixth straight if you go back to the dynasty dayz) and wrap up the #3 seed and for their troubles they draw the guy from Lacey that they HANDPICKED for the league. Did they handpick their own doom? Tune in this week to find out.
Next Week aka This Week: #3 X-Rayz vs. #6 BDSliderz (The Commish takes on THE MAN HE BROUGHT INTO THE LEAGUE, write your own storylines accordingly, Morning Wood vs. THE LONG COLD OFFSEASON
MVP: Justin Turner – Justin Turner is having himself a HELL of a fucking season, and I once owned this guy and I just straight up dropped him AND THAT SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN A MISTAKE AND EVERYTHING IS ALL ABOUT ME ALWAYS. 7/23, 6 Rs, 2 2Bs, 4 HRs, 9 RBIs, .346 OBP ***MVP OF THE WEEK***
LVP:Trevor Story – Same old Story. Which is that Trevor Story isn’t that good. IT ISN’T A “DOWN YEAR” IT IS A FLAWED APPROACH SEE ALSO RYAN SCHIMPF. 1/13, .250 OBP
BackdoorSliderz Hitter Of Note:Michael Conforto is another BackdoorSlider swingin’ a hot bat at justttttttt the right time o’ year it seems, all of his hits last week left the yard (4/21, 6 Rs, 4 HRs, 7 RBIs, .370 OBP).
BackdoorSliderz Pitcher Of Note: And Aaron Nola continues to do quite a good job of uhhh preventing others from swinging a hot bat(7 IP, 1 ER, 8 Ks, 1 QS, 1 W, 1.29 ERA).
Banana Slugs Hitter Of Note: As Brian has noted the continuing correction of Josh Donaldson‘s numbers continues, he isn’t nearly as old as he looked earlier in the season folks (8/20, 4 Rs, 3 HRs, 9 RBIs, .538 OBP).
Banana Slugs Pitcher Of Note: DO NOT LOOK NOW but Jake Arrieta looks good again, I sure as shit would take him all my pitchers are dead or dying (12.1 IP, 3 ER, 11 Ks, 2 QS, 2 Ws, 2.19 ERA).
ASSORTED MUSINGS/ANALYSIS: OH YEA THIS MATCHUP HAPPENED TOO. This is perhaps the only typo if you will that I have ever regretted because Doch really DOES deserve some discussion and some credit for coming to play in Week 18 and doing what he needed to do to set his team up for a possibly playoff berth. A berth they would eventually realize when all the rest of the chips fell where they may. BUT FIRST the BackdoorSliderz needed to take care of their own business AND TAKE CARE OF IT THEY DID: 17 Rs, 46 RBIs, .3593 OBP, 95 Ks, 10 Ws, 2.531 ERA. These are all excellent numbers folks, and all good enough for category Ws in this one, and it was 1 uhhh “point” if you will losses in QS and Saves that served as the only real blemishes on the week for Lacey Township. Just a real solid performance in a must-win week, highlighted by a 9 R 6 HR 14 RBI Sunday to come from behind in a lot of these categories, as the Banana Slugs seemingly had already started their bye week at that point. So yes for the Banana Slugs, they stop their “non-losing” streak at 6 but they remain the #2 seed and in possession of the all-important First Round Bye (as well as an always impressive double digit win season). That sentence I just typed means the Banana Slugs will be on vacation in the #BackYardBracket’s first round, biding their time and whatnot. The Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz ON THE OTHER HAND head to Point Loma for a showdown with an old friend that abandoned them, and abandoned us all really, for the sunshine of the west coast. Should be a doozy of a matchup.
Next Week aka This Week: BDSliderz @ X-Rayz (“Oh thanks for inviting me into your little fantasy baseball league NOW GET OUT OF MY WAY”), Banana Slugs vs. The Sweet Taste Of A First Round Bye
MVP: Odubel Herrera – HOWZ ABOUT A JROLL FROM A PHILADELPHIA PHILLY WHAT A SWEET WEEK 18 TREAT. I had no idea that Odubel was on the ‘Topes and have no idea that his performance was back from the grave. Perhaps I should get re-acquainted with my possible Round 2 opponents at some point. 10/22, 4 Rs, 2 2Bs, 2 3Bs, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 2 SBs, .538 OBP
LVP:Rougned Odor – Oh Rougned, what have you become? A marginal player whom will probably rebound next year but whom has negative value this year, is what you have become. 2/15, 1 2B, .188 OBP
Isotopes Hitter Of Note:Khris Davis nearly had himself a JROLL as well but couldn’t man the fuck up and get himself a steal, EVEN THOUGH HE IS BLACK @gaheroy (6/21, 6 Rs, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 HRs, 8 RBIs, .423 OBP).
Isotopes Pitcher Of Note: I think lots of people should have probably grabbed Sean Doolittle when they had the chance and now he’s out here putting up 3 Save weeks and whatnot (4 IP, 0 ER, 3 Ks, 3 Saves, 0.00 ERA).
Bad Dudes Hitter Of Note: THE BIG NEWS really from this past week was that Bryce Harper done fucked his knee up and is very likely out for our entire fantasy playoffs, so the Bad Dudes will now have to try and win a championship without the guy that CARRIED THEM to their last one (5/15, 3 Rs, 1 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBIs, .368 OBP).
Bad Dudes Pitcher Of Note: BUT MAYBE Ervin Santana CAN CARRY THEM THROUGH THIS YEAR, I am thinking a string of CGs or something (11 IP, 4 ER, 12 Ks, 1 QS, 3.27 ERA).
ASSORTED MUSINGS/ANALYSIS: Credit where credit is due here, the ‘Topes needed to win to get in here and they did their job. Not only that but they did said job against the team they would be pretty much guaranteed to face in Round 1…..so yanno now they’ll face in Round 1. BUT IN WEEK 18 this was all about the ‘Topes outslugging the Bad Dudes, and also a good bit about the Bad Dudes just having a Bad Offensive Week, and also a good bit about the Bad Dudes coping with the psychological trauma of a Saturday Bryce Harper Bad Injury. River City posted the week’s worst OBP (.2988) and second fewest Runs (39) and despite some solid pitchin’ and pen numbers (96 Ks, 3.544 ERA, 5 Saves, 3 Holds) the sagging offense was all the window the ‘Topes needed in a somewhat-typical-for-them strong offensive week (57 Runs, 18 2Bs, 3 3Bs, 18 HRs, 8 SBs, and a league-leading .4065 OBP). Astoria would take 6 of 7 hitting cats and would sneak by with one more QS (7 to 6) and one more Win (5 to 4) than their opponents and that is your spread folks. Astoria now returns to the playoffs after a one year hiatus with their most dangerous offense PROBABLY OF ALL TIME in tow, and they will be taking on the same goddamned team they just took on we literally just talked about it. For the River City Bad Dudes they will be hoping the third time is the charm (FOURTH TIME if you count the Wiffleball HR Derby), as they suffered a Season Series Sweep at the hands of the Astoria Isotopes (and a humiliating derby loss at the hands of their owner). But again the key story here is the Bad Dudes will have to do it alllll without their star player, he of the 197 wRC+ back in Lobman’s 2015 championship season.
Next Week aka This Week: WE ARE RUNNING THIS ONE BACK, #4 Bad Dudes vs. #5 Isotopes (disregard what ESPN says regarding seeding)
2017 WEEK 18 GAME OF THE WEEK, SPONSORED BY A DIFFERENT GAME OF THE WEEK THINGIE
MVP: Brian Dozier – THE DOZE MAN did all he could to try and drag this undeserving team into the playoffs. BOY he woulda been fun to watch on a playoff team, just to see if he could replicate last season’s 2nd half. But oh well I guess. Also JROLL. 13/34, 9 Rs, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 HRs, 9 RBIs, 1 SB, .417 OBP
LVP:Mike Foltynewicz– Really if someone is to be blamed here it is Folty for this Friday performance that FUCKED the Renegade Force, keep in mind they narrowly lost both Ks and ERA. 2.2 IP, 6 ER, 1 K, 20.25 ERA ***LVP OF THE WEEK***
OGTGC Hitter Of Note: Kris Bryant is an excellent hitter who will NOT be featured in this year’s #BackYardBracket and he had a ridiculous OBP last week (14/23, 4 Rs, 2 2Bs, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, .679 OBP).
OGTFC Pitcher Of Note: Sean Manaea got fucking ROCKED, ESPN described it with “may be the worst fantasy start of the year by any pitcher” so I guess that is noteworthy (0.1 IP, 6 ER, 0 Ks, 162.00 ERA).
RRF Wood Hitter Of Note: Nelson Cruz is an excellent hitter who will NOT be featured in this year’s #BackYardBracket and he is a beloved former player of mine and I wish him well in the twilight of his career (10/23, 6 Rs, 3 2Bs, 4 HRs, 10 RBIs, .440 OBP).
RRF Pitcher Of Note: Corey Kluber is a fucking PHENOMENAL pitcher who nearly carried the RRF to the playoffs all by himself and he will NOT be featured in this year’s #Backyard Bracket and he should have garnered at least one “Dy Young” vote as he’s been pretty unreal in the second half here (16 IP, 4 ER, 20 Ks, 2 QS, 2 Ws, 1 CG, 2.25 ERA).
ASSORTED MUSINGS/ANALYSIS: OH WHAT A FUCKING PAINFUL ONE for Renegade Force Fanz worldwide. They had this one, they had this one within their grasp and then they choked it all away. And to a team that was simply using the last week to get to an unholy 6-6-6 record and ALSO miss the playoffs, no less. I could talk about numbers here but numbers and charts and figures CANNOT QUANTIFY HEARTBREAK, and I am both heartbroken to see the Renegade Force miss the playoffs and also kinda happy cuz they might have been tough and DEFINITELY happy that the OGTFC also missed the playoffs. Yet again there will be no back to back champion, Odom and I will have our quiet champagne toast at some point in the near future and Mercury Morris will probably show up to that one as well. Let the record show we will also have a quiet champagne toast if anyone ever goes back to back because we know they will probably never go back to back to back that is really difficult. But where was I? BRANDON FUCKING KINTZLER, that is where I was. Sure Jordan Montgomery could have maybe gone a bit deeper in the Sunday night game and grabbed 2 more Ks (OGTF won the cat 73-72) but I mean also give the guy a fucking break he took a batting practice liner to the head Saturday and he was facing the Red Sox. But it was Brandon Kintzler’s appearance late Sunday night and the subsequent 1 K he got in it that would prove the fatal difference here. That combined with that SHITTY Folty start discussed above also combined with Rafael Devers not being in the Sunday night starting lineup to open up the possibility of the miracle SB (2-2). And YES, Devers did come in late and take Chapman deep and with that Rojo’s Renegade Force are now the sole owner of the ALL TIME HOME RUN RECORD for a week. SMALL CONSOLATION TO RRF FANS WORLDWIDE, as they continue to await their first championship.
Next Week aka This Week: BOTH OF YOU ARE HOME, GO HOME BOTH OF YOU
OH BUT THERE IS MORE……..ROUND ONE PREVIEW HERE WE GO…..
ROUND 1 PREVIEW
Now that we have looked at how we arrived at this #FieldOfSix, let’s take a look at the matchups that will determine which two teams will advance to Round 2 to take on the top 2 seeds…..
FIRST ROUND BYES: #1 BELLCREST PARK MOONINITEZ
#2 BARNEGAT BANANA SLUGS
#3 POINT LOMA X-RAYZ VS. #6 LACEY TWP BACKDOORSLIDERZ
The Point Loma X-Rayz enter the 2017 #BackYardBracket AS POSSIBLE CHAMPIONSHIP FAVORITES if group chat polling is to be believed, but first they’ll have to take out the new guy (and new guys have had some luck or success or whatever you want to call it in their playoff debuts in the past). Both of these teams would qualify as dangerous if they are to advance to the next round, the X-Rayz earn that title with their typical formula of speed speed and speed and the BackdoorSliderz earn that title with a more well-rounded attack. The season-long numbers back this up; the X-Rayz are leading the league in Triples and Stolen Bases (also 2nd in Runs) but laggards in the HR and RBI categories, and the BackdoorSliderz slotting into the top 5 in all offensive categories. Interestingly enough both teams have pitched to a near-equal ERA, X-Rayz slightly ahead 3.971 to 3.997, showing just how far the Lacey pitching staff has come in recent weeks (they were definitely towards the bottom in previous installments of the Power Rankings in that particular CAT). The rest of the pitching numbers tend to fall in the X-Rayz favor, they are the #3 seed here after all, so Lacey Township will certainly want to stream carefully if they are to try and pull off the oleeee 6 over 3 upset here.
These two teams split their season series, with the BackdoorSliderz winning in Week 6 (7-3-4) and the Point Loma X-Rayz taking their Week 15 matchup (7-6-1). The winner here moves on to take on the #2 seed Barnegat Banana Slugs; the Slugs are 2-0 this season against the X-Rayz and 1-1 against Lacey Township.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: POWER NUMBERS. Everyone knows they are likely in for an L in the SBs cat when they head to Point Loma, and it can be a bit of a dangerous trap for teams to try and alter their roster to stay competitive there. But it can be even worse if teams have a bit of a power outage that coincides with a power boon in Point Loma, as you really want to make sure you take the HR and RBI categories at a minimum when taking on this team. Watch the power numbers early to see if the X-Rayz are keeping pace with the BackdoorSliderz in these cats, it could signal some reallll trouble for Doch if one of those categories goes to Point Loma.
#4 RIVER CITY BAD DUDES VS. #5 ASTORIA ISOTOPES
The Week 18 matchup so nice we are playing it twice, or whatever, as the Astoria Isotopes now have to suffer the INDIGNITY of marching into Round 1 as the lower seed against the team they just handily defeated in Week 18. And the Isotopes will be marching in with a dominant offense: 3rd in Runs this season, 2nd in HRs and RBIs, really good at pretty much everything except stealing bases and hitting two-baggers for some reason. But they’ll be facing a pretty powerful offense in itself (ALBEIT GRAVELY WOUNDED) in the higher-seeded Bad Dudes: 3rd in HRs and 3rd inRBIs, just one RBI back of the ‘Topes there. River City might not be as strong, at least season-long rankings wise, as Astoria in some other offensive categories but they may very well make up for it on the other side of the coin: 2nd in Ks, 3rd in QS and Ws, 1st in Saves. MUCH LIKE the 3v6 matchup this one features a more well-rounded lower seed offensively (again just due to a very unscientific review of season-long numbers that is full of holes if you really think about it) but stronger pitching just about across the board from the higher seed (the ‘Topes do boast 2 more Wins and 2 more Holds than the RCBD but that is all they got on ’em). WHAT THAT MEANS I do not know, I do not know what any of this means. I think again the key here might be the power categories, as both of these teams probably generally expect to win those two (hence being 2nd and 3rd in them both, respectively) AND YET ONLY ONE CAN WIN EACH CAT. OR THEY CAN TIE.
In the regular season the 5th seed here took BOTH matchups, beating the Bad Dudes back in Week 10 (8-4-2) and then again like two days ago in Week 18 (8-5-1). The winner here gets a date with the top-seeded MooniniteZ, and INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH the 5th-seeded Isotopes boast the only current owner to have beaten the BPMZ this season and he did it twice. The River City Bad Dudes lost both of their matchups with the MooniniteZ, and actually boast a record of something like 3-7 against all of the playoff teams I think, so they can suck on that.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: LOBMAN’S DELICIOUS TEARS OVER THE BRYCE HARPER INJURY. Bryce Harper is very good we all know that. And what SOME OF US KNOW (or have decided) is that this franchise’s last title was entirely a product of Bryce’s epic 2015 season, in the same way that your author’s lone fantasy football championship coincided with CJ2K. The Isotopes already boost a formidable offense and it is no doubt a devastating blow for the Bad Dudes to be without their Baddest Dude in this matchup, so look out for the waterworks if things aren’t going the 4 seeds way in this one come sayyyyy Saturday evening-ish. It is easy to get dehydrated in the thin Colorado air and Lobman will be at a serious risk if he is losing water through his tears. Is all I am saying.
AND SO THE STAGE……….HAS BEEN SET. BUT FOR REAL THIS TIME, THE BACKYARD BRACKET HAS BEEN COMPLETED AND THE BACKYARD CHAMPIONSHIP LEAGUE’S (BCL) 2017 PLAYOFFS ARE UNDERWAY AND WHO WILL MAKE THE BCS (BACKYARD CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES)? I KNOW I HAVE MY GUESSES. APOLOGIES TO THE FOUR LOSERS WHO ARE ALREADY GUARANTEED NOT TO MAKE SAID BCS, YOU HAVE ONLY YOURSELVES AND THE CRUELTY OF FANTASY SPORTS AND RANDOM CHANCE AND LUCK TO BLAME. FUCK Y’ALL. BYBR1 TUNE IN……………….