2017 TROLL SERIES, VOL. 5: PARTNERS IN (PETTY) CRIME

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FILE PHOTO: Sean and Odom

(Reviewing the Odom/Sean Split)

– Jon Bevilaque was too beautiful for this world. Well, this fantasy baseball world, I guess. As he left us and his floundering dumpster fire of a team (thank you for D. Wright’s productive years), a duo took his place. This duo would take the league by storm and revolutionize the way we work our teams for years to come. Established in 2011 as a team with MANY names, but settling in as the JVDG’s (Jimbo’s Vulcan Death Grip, with quite a story attached), They did the improbable and took their 9-11 inaugural roster to a championship run, defeating the 17-3 Mashers and defending champ Takeover. I mean, this was a pretty good feat right there, they did it 2 more times to become the ONLY 3 time champions in the league’s short history.

Naturally, all good things must come to an end, so when Lenny (or Mitchell or whoever) left our league, it was time to split the golden partnership to create two knowledgable and trustworthy owners. The results? We’ll just say the jury is still out. Lets just see how these two have done in their handling of individual teams:

SEAN MCLAUGHLIN AKA MAIN STREET MOONINITEZ

Lets talk about the Mooninitez’ 2015 (Editor’s Note:  THEY WERE THE “MANTIS SHRIMP” FOR MOST OF THAT SEASON FUCKING GET YOUR FACTS IN ORDER). You look at the roster and say “hey that’s a pretty good team” after their dispersement draft. Then Sean goes and trades Anthony Rizzo for Johnny Cueto because “He didn’t like Rizzo’s face”. Well, Rizzo goes to the eventual champions, and Cueto did not, in fact, finish the season on the Mooninitez roster. Couple that with trading Jose Bautista for Carlos Gonzalez (and a ride), then dropping CarGo before he exploded again, ITS REALLY HARD TO PHATHOM why he ended up in 10th place. Oh, and his pitching. It SUCKED. Cool, guy, way to have good relievers when your best starter was the incomparable Collin Fucking McHugh.

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Traded for Anthony Rizzo? NICE

So yea, he moves on to 2016, where he enjoyed a great deal of success. We’re talking #2 seed and a bye success. Helped by a good draft and the pickup of MANY MANY nice young players, the Mooninitez ripped off a crazy 8 week streak of W’s on route to a bye and a semi-final round matchup against Heroy and the OGTFC. If any of you are familiar with Sean and certain outcomes in his life, you’re JUST SHOCKED to find out that he actually blew it and lost. All that talent, and he BLOWS IT. You suck, Sean.

To sum it up, you’re looking at 1 season of downright awful roster management and results, then a fairly successful year only to completely blow it when it matters most. If that’s not classic Sean McLaughlin, then I just wasted 15 years of my life getting to know this dude. What I’m saying is he’s been a waste of talent and brains, but HEY things are looking up for 2017!

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Mooninites are stupid and so are you.

Overall Grade: C- (At least you traded Lo-Cain for Joey Votto)

MIKE ODOM AKA POINT LOMA X-RAYS

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RIP to Odom’s successful season

Audible laughter was heard during the draft in 2015, as the playful stoner buddy we all know and love was piecing together his roster. I just remember how critical Slugs owner Brian Smith was of the X-Rays roster construction. I mean, he was BERATING that draft. Almost insulting things were said. But anyways, it was universally recognized that the X-Rays were the presumptive favorites for “The Figs ©”, which is given to the biggest loser in the league much like that nickname is given to the biggest loser in real life. WELL wouldn’t you know it, the X-Rays (then Dee-generation X) worked some incredible magic to become the improbable #3 seed in the playoffs in their 1st year of existence, which is approximately 7 spots higher than what Sean’s inaugural season resulted. Fair to say that despite the BEATDOWN that the Slugs gave Odom’s X-Rays in the first round the playoffs, Things were really looking up for 2016.

Cut to 2016, where the X-Rays somehow IMPROVED on their inaugural season and finished #1 in the regular season standings. Well, as Hallowed Two-Time Champion and Established Most Successful Franchise in Backyard History Owner Mike Lobman will tell you, #1 seeds and Regular Season championship don’t mean shit unless you win something (Self-Burn). All of the good that 2016 saw in the regular season was undone by a quick but close loss to the defending champion Cuban Missiles, which was a tough way to end a very promising season.

With 2 consecutive seasons of promising regular seasons, followed by disappointing blown opportunity in the playoffs, one has to question the mental toughness or ability to make clear decisions when it matters most. Are the X-Rays constructed to win the regular season, followed by incredible flame outs in the playoffs? So far, YEP. Our now commissioner will take with him a large amount of expectation going into 2017, coupled with the actual and probably annoying task of managing the league. Safe to say anything less than a championship will be an IMMENSE DISAPPOINTMENT.

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I don’t know why I signed with the Red Sox, either

Overall Grade: C (Big steps but David Price is CLEARLY REGRESSING)

 Does that mean they are effective owners of championship teams without each other? The answer of course is no. No they aren’t.

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We’ll always remember the good times

Overall Grade: F (Fuck Both of these guys, in particular)

-Lobman

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2017 TROLL SERIES, VOL. 5: PARTNERS IN (PETTY) CRIME

A Message From The Desk of The Commissioner – The Expansion Draft

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Look at the important commissioner papers in the corner there

Point Loma —  As we begin our first official dynasty season, with a new commissioner in charge which is me, we should first give thanks to our former commissioner for his many years of service.  Just kidding SUCK IT MIKEY T, back to bizness.  It is time to move on and it is time to Make This League Great Again.  Also would like to wish a special Happy Birthday to BRUCE GRADKOWSKI.  After a great career at Toledo, Bruce went on to play QB for 6 NFL teams. He threw 21 touchdowns.  Happy Birthday Bruce!  Okay back to bizness.

The bizness at hand is the first of hopefully many “expansion drafts” to take place before the start of each new season, allowing teams to fill roster spots or swap out players for new players that are added to ESPN’s player pool.  The rules shall be as follows:

1. Draft date to be announced but will be after rosters unlock, for obvious reasons.

2. Draft will consist of 3 Rounds.

3. Draft order will be a reverse of the regular season standings, this year’s first pick will go to Shane and proceed up the standings from there.

4. You can draft UP TO 3 full rounds, but only 3 picks will be given.  You may also sit out the draft entirely if you want, if that’s the case let me know so you can be skipped during drafting.

5. You must have a compliant roster by 12 AM (east coast time you losers) on Opening Day, but a uhhh non-compliant roster is allowed prior to that.  So you can draft whoever you want without worrying about minor league spots and major league spots.

6.  Draft will take place in a separate GroupMe Backyard Expansion Draft chat, sucks to suck Connor.

Expect more discussion on this subject in the next couple of weeks, as well as an announcement on the rosters unlock date, as well as other things.  For now this is all you get.

Sincerely,

The Commissioner

A Message From The Desk of The Commissioner – The Expansion Draft

HOT FUCKING STOVE: HEROY IS A WHORE EDITION

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Official Hot Fucking Stove logo/what happens to team owners who back out of agreed upon trade deals.

Back one day later to once again talk some HOT FUCKING STOVE*.  Fair readers, the tips lines have been blowing up with additional reports of the OceanGate Trout Fishing Club working the trade wires BASICALLY WITH ANY OTHER OWNER WITH A PULSE.  No discernible restraint anywhere to be found, their team owner just trade chattin’ his days away as if there’s no sanctity in the idea of only negotiating with one partner at a time these days.  DISGUSTING.  Also rumors abound of a toolsy young owner that might make that loathsome oaf of an owner Connor expendable.  On to the rumor mill…..

THE OCEANGATE TROUT FISHING CLUB MIGHT AS WELL GO FISHING FOR DICKS LIKE THE WHORES THAT THEY ARE….

Sources inside negotiations tell me that MUCH LIKE THE ALREADY AGREED UPON TO THE POINT THAT NOBODY IS ALLOWED TO BACK OUT NOW uhhhh rumored deal between the OGTFC and The MooniniteZ of Main Street, MUCH LIKE THAT DEAL, discussions are ongoing between the Fishing Club and the Banana Slugs and these discussions are of a Slugs arm for a Fishing Club bat variety.  Now I don’t even NEED to question sources to know that the Banana Slugs are probably dangling their sham of a Cy Young winner in negotiations, because that’s what you do when you have a shame of a Cy Young winner.  Rick Porcello no doubt had a great year last year, nobody is denying this.  But you don’t get to buy Porcello’s 2016, you must instead buy his 2017 (and beyond).  And this writer thinks his 2016 was not a harbinger of great seasons still to come but rather a convergence of luck (wins are almost entirely luck, abnormally low BABIP, abnormally high strand rate) and shitty voting by baseball writers, whom excel at shitty voting.

Now this in itself might be enough to make another trade partner take a Louisville Slugger to both headlights BUT OH THERE IS MORE, sources confirm the Trout Fishing Club is also in active (although likely slow and methodical) discussions with the Springfield Isotopes as well.  Details are scarce beyond that, regarding these negotiations, but JUST GROSS.  JUST.  GROSS.  If Fishing Club ownership just wants to go TRAMPSING ALL OVER TOWN that is their business, I guess, let’s just hope FOR THE SAKE OF THE LEAGUE that the sanctity of a man’s word remains intact when the dust settles.  Or else someone else might have to get drunk and break a whole bunch of stuff and expose himself at said man’s wedding.

UNSEXY UNLOVED BY EVEN HIS OWN FAMILY CONNOR OUT, SHINIER SEXIER NEW OWNER IN?

In other HOT FUCKING STOVE* news, a source that I definitely didn’t make up claims New Commissioner Michael C. Odom might be strongly considering replacing children’s fairy tale villian and team owner Robert Connor (or whatever his fucking name is) with a tools-y young owner that in time could develop into a solid contributor at the Backyard League level.  Citing Connor’s non-participation in the (VERY FRIENDLY AND WELCOMING) league chat, as well as concerns that he might devour Mike and Ryan’s newborn children in their sleep, sources tell me Commissioner Odom has stated he will “explore possible replacements every singly day forever and that Connor (and by extension Mikey T) should never for one day feel comfortable with his place in the league because it is forever on notice and this is not at all a fake quote.”  End quote.

*TO SEE YOUR TEAM’S NEGOTIATIONS FEATURED IN THE NEXT EDITION OF THE HOT FUCKING STOVE, SIMPLY BETRAY THE TRUST OF A POTENTIAL TRADING PARTNER BY EMAILING SOME DETAILS (OR A LOT OF DETAILS!) ABOUT ONGOING NEGOTIATIONS TO SEMCLAUG19@GMAIL.COM       Note:  Latter portion of this week’s Hot Stove can also be filed under Troll Series B-Side (#TrollinMikeyT).
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Connor File Photo
HOT FUCKING STOVE: HEROY IS A WHORE EDITION

HOT FUCKING STOVE: The OGTFC And The MooniniteZ Cooking Up A Deal?

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Not gonna lie I pretty much only want to write about hot stove shit so I can use this image……. LONG LIVE THE SHIELD

Gonna take a brief break from the Troll Series to TALK SOME HOT FUCKING STOVE.  I think generally the way this might work will be this:  I shall use these little posts to talk about trades both rumored and already accepted (and thus already heavily critiqued by the entire rest of the league because that’s what we do here).  Rumored trade information will be reliant upon snitches within the negotiations tipping me off, so feel free to send me any info you may have  BOTH REAL AND FAKE.  I say this because I have already calculated that this could devolve into me being used like a WHORE, not unlike what Adam Schefter does every day of his life or not unlike when agents say they have “several teams” vying for their clients when in fact nobody wants their fucking clients.  The fact of the matter is I would probably be comfortable being a whore and writing up some smokescreens (unless I sniff them out super easily in which case I will yell at you, Mikey T, so RESPECT THE CRAFT), so feel free to do it that way.

The beauty of this first installment is that IT IS ACTUALLY PART TROLL (Troll Series B-Side) because I am one half of this trade, and it has been fully agreed upon, but I am still going to write about it in annoyingly speculative fashion as if I don’t know all the players involved.  But rest assured there are players and they are involved and I know all of them and it is a completed deal merely awaiting league re-opening (full analysis of the deal will likely follow the actual processing of said deal).

Let’s get our first rumor style hot stove post out of the way SHALL WE?!  Need to get my sea legs under me on these things.  Side note I think I am going to use even more caps lock than usual cuz that’s just good rumorin’……

The OceanGate Trout Fishing Club and the Main Street MooniniteZ ARE COOKIN’ FOLKS

A source inside these negotiations claims a deal has been struck, possibly (definitely) with as many as 6 players (and/or prospects?) changing hands.  THAT SAME SOURCE claims MooniniteZ ownership has long been weary of certain sections of their lineup (COUGHoutfieldCOUGH) and was seeking possible upgrades (COUGHupgradestotheoutfieldCOUGH) to their offense.  One doesn’t even NEED a source to speculate that there might be some uncertainty on OGTFC ownership’s behalf surrounding the pitching staff, due in part to an inability to keep their ace pitcher alive.  But also DO IN ANOTHER PART to the hard-hitting expose about the potential for every last one of the OGTFC’s young pitchers to not “put it all together” FEATURED ON THIS VERY SITE.  Combine those concerns with the fact that the Trout Fishing Club possesses a wealth of offensive talent pretty much across the positional landscape and it would certainly be fair to speculate, particularly as someone involved in the trade that doesn’t need to speculate at all, that some sort of swap of OGTFC’s offense for pitching is where these two teams have found a fit.  For the Trout Fishing Club there may also be an added incentive to avoid a sort of post-championship complacency when it comes to one evaluating one’s own roster, although recent teams have shown a willingness to tinker with championship rosters almost immediately FOR BETTER OR WORSE.  2015 champion Mike Lobman endured much criticism for a perceived teardown following his championship season, and then returned to the championship game the very next season in direct defiance of that criticism.  But still, I mean fuck Lobman right?  A source inside negotiations between Heroy and I said “fuck Lobman.”

IF NOTHING ELSE, give the Fishing Club some fishing credit for being willing to pull the trigger on a deal that sources inside the negotiations say could perhaps best be described as our league’s most recent champions dealing from depth in an attempt to shore up a relative (relative to the OGTFC’s impressive offense, to be fair) weakness.  Once deals are finalized there can be much discussion about the risk vs. reward that each club is calculating in the deal, but for now I think I speak for all owners when I just applaud Heroy and myself……..GIVE ME AND HIM YOUR APPLAUSE AND ADULATION. For we have officially fired up the HOT FUCKING STOVE* while the rest of you are sitting around and not reaching deals like a bunch of little girls.

*to see your team’s negotiations featured in the next edition of the Hot Fucking Stove, simply betray the trust of a potential trading partner by emailing some details (OR A LOT OF DETAILS!) about ongoing negotiations to semclaug19@gmail.com
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if there was a “FUCKING” in the middle here maybe this would have had a shot at the official logo but alas……there is not (also this is some sort of official MLB.com logo and we will probably get sued over it)
HOT FUCKING STOVE: The OGTFC And The MooniniteZ Cooking Up A Deal?

2017 Troll Series, Vol. 4: What’s In A Name? An Analysis of the 2016 “Rojo’s Resurgence” Season

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First cousin troll that this troll has sex with sold separately…..

Let’s hop in our way back machine to the night of our league’s LAST EVER DRAFT* before adoption of the dynasty format we are currently feeling our way through.  Spirits were high for a lot of teams, as I imagine even the Padres feel good about their shot in spring training, but perhaps no team’s draft was more hotly anticipated than ROJO’S RESURGENCE.  I can hardly remember the previous team name, other than to recall it was some sort of vague ode to WVU because CERTAIN PEOPLE IN THIS GROUP don’t realize how sad it comes across when you are insanely invested in an alma mater that gave you nothing but a useless degree in return for many thousands of dollars in tuition.  MIKEY T YOU WILL GET YOUR COMEUPPANCE SOON ENOUGH.  Where was I?  Oh yea….  call it clever marketing (waiting until the very last moment for the big reveal on the new name) or clever draft pick hoarding (3 picks in the first round) or some combination thereof, but THE ROOM WAS ABUZZ if my memory serves me correct (it is blurred by alcohol and does not serve me correct).  Rolling out the “Rojo’s Resurgence” name displayed a confidence not seen in its team owner since his TRBA days, where he felt no shame in jumping on free throws even though 8 year old girls likely feel shame jumping on free throws.  And that confidence carried him into his draft.  Let’s troll judge the Resurgence’s draft real quick:

THE GOOD

Johnny Cueto (2nd Rd) –  Cueto was a great get in a very uneven second round, as he threw 5 CGs last year and generally just provided the Resurgence with top notch production from start to finish.

And that’s all for that category.

THE BAD

Shin Soo Choo (4th Rd) – Did not pan out/is old (more on this to come).

Luis Severino (5th Rd) – Did not pan out.

THE PUZZLING

Rojo’s Entire First Round – Back to the old thing for a second.  It is almost like Rojo read some sort of article about ageism in fantasy baseball drafts, or was spending a lot of time contemplating his own ever-present mortality, because he spent a good chunk of this DYNASTY DRAFT picking up folks that are at or near the end of their MLB journey.  Which is very anti-dynasty format on its face.  Obviously this does not apply to his first pick (Hosmer), #whom wouldn’t have been my choice in that spot but hey different strokes different folks I can see where there was some perceived (2nd round) value in there.  However he followed that up with a very productive but very much retiring in the near future Adrian Beltre, and a 31 year old (at the time) who feels more like a 38 year old Matt Kemp.  I DON’T CARE HOW MANY HRs HE HIT.

So that was the Resurgence draft, a mixed bag in the way that everyone’s drafts are mixed bags.  I don’t really want to spend time dissecting his later rounds otherwise I would praise him for drafting Kendy Morales or some shit, but who even knows how long that fat fuck had a spot on the Resurgers.  ANYWHOM one cannot judge the Resurgence’s draft efforts too harshly because LOOK AT THAT START TO THE SEASON.  The Resurgence roared to an 8-2 start and were the darling of power rankings from late April through late June, more than justifying their namesake’s claim of a comeback year afoot.  But then the trouble started:  The Resurgence dropped their next 2, won 1, and then went 0-3-1 over their next four.  I am sure the trade deadline passed at some point during all this calamity.  A 3-2-1 finale to the season was far too mediocre to correct the damage already done to the former top seed, and the Resurgence limped into the playoffs as our #5 seed.  Hold that thought….

At a time when a win now move might have been necessary to right the ship and at least attempt to improve playoff positioning, Rojo’s Resurgence stubbornly held onto certain future assets.  What vague move might I be referencing?  GLAD YOU ASKED…..

ROJO SHOULD HAVE TRADED KYLE SCHWARBER

Kyle Schwarber is a much ballyhooed bat, to be sure, but it is precisely that ballyhoo that could have grabbed Rojo a “win now” haul from a team out of contention.  Also, and this to me is a central issue here, a big part of that ballyhoo relates to the idea that Schwarber’s bat will be utilized at the catcher position in fantasy (historically an offensive wasteland but maybe less so next year GARY SANCHEZ WHAT UP).  Schwarber will in all likelihood have C eligibility in 2017 but followin this season that is decidedly not a certainty.  The man just shredded his knee and there’s a good chance the Cubs decide to never again put that knee in a catcher’s crouch.  Which would make Schwarber a power bat in the corner OF come 2018, i.e. would make him far less valuable than he was in 2016.  Back to taht “win now haul”, perhaps that haul helps Rojo to win a few more of those games down the stretch, yanno in the now.  And then WHO KNOWS maybe Rojo grabs the 4 seed rather than the 5.

Which brings us back to our held thought:  The Resurgence valiantly played our eventual league champions to a tie in Round 1, and that in itself would probably be Rojo’s justification for holding onto the Kyle Schwarbers of the world.  HOWEVER it is my thesis that with some different win now-ish pieces maybe they pull ahead in one more category OR with some different win now-ish pieces maybe they are the 4 seed to the OGTFC’s 5 seed.  Usually I have to work harder to justify attempting to manage not just my own damn team in these pieces, but here THE EVIDENCE IS CLEAR:  Rojo done goofed.

And now to loosely tie this critique to the title that claimed it would be mostly about exploring a team name.  There was a lot to love about the Rojo’s Resurgence team name; undoubtedly Rojo resurged a bit, at least in the first half of the season.  But a refusal to push all his chips in the middle in the second half, coupled with a holds only bullpen strategy (that I didn’t even ADDRESS here because it would add another 1000 words) eventually lead to the narrowest (and therefore easiest to critique) of first round exits.  Dare I claim, because nobody can ever fact check it, that there has never been a more egregious example of a team DESPERATELY needing to make a move to stop a slide and having a pretty obvious move to make and failing to make it.  There I claimed it, on the internet, where things are written in permanent ink.

I have no choice but to recommend that the 2017 incarnation of Rojo’s franchise be renamed “Rojo’s MEH That Was Good Enough.”

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2017 Troll Series, Vol. 4: What’s In A Name? An Analysis of the 2016 “Rojo’s Resurgence” Season

2017 Troll Series, Vol. 3: The Unfortunate But Unfortunately Necessary Regression of Trevor Story Because We Live In A World Governed By Natural Laws

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Few rookies, if any, have ever had a start to their major league careers quite as scintillating as Trevor Story’s.  Few league owners, if any, defend their players (sometimes to the point of delusion) with the fervor that Barnegat Banana Slugs owner Brian Smith will defend his players with (see:  Jose Bautista chat discussion from yesterday).  I think you see where this is going…..

WHY TREVOR STORY WILL HAVE TO REGRESS AND WHY BRIAN SMITH WILL HAVE TO MAKE PEACE WITH THAT¹:  INTRODUCTION

Trevor Story began his big league career with a 2 HR day back on April 4th, 2016.  He would follow this with a home run on April 5th, another home run on April 6th, and finally another 2 HR day on April 8th (setting a record as the first player to ever homer in his first four games.  Young Trevor finally took a day off from hitting a HR on 4/9, before again blasting one on 4/10 (setting a record for most HRs in a team’s first 6 games of the season).  A LEGEND WAS BORN, and Banana Slugs owner Brian Smith was his typically humble self when discussing said legend.  Ultimately Story would end up hitting 10 HRs in April (tying a rookie record for the most HRs in April) and would keep up a pretty torrid pace throughout the season until a thumb injury cut said season short on August 2nd.  Now I am here TO POINT OUT THE OBVIOUS, that this was an unrepeatable performance and that regression shall come for thee, Trevor Story.  Oh yes it shall come for thee.   

¹Readers may note that this is arguably the second installment in our Brian Bait Series, an unofficial sub-series to the 2017 Troll Series.

WHY TREVOR STORY WILL HAVE TO REGRESS AND WHY BRIAN SMITH WILL HAVE TO MAKE PEACE WITH THAT:  METHODS

All date herein has been pulled from http://www.fangraphs.com and interpreted by the Main Street MooniniteZ Scouting/Stating the Obvious Department.  I will not be citing these works professionally because I don’t miss being in school quite THAT much (probably not at all actually).

WHY TREVOR STORY WILL HAVE TO REGRESS AND WHY BRIAN SMITH WILL HAVE TO MAKE PEACE WITH THAT:  RESULTS

Trevor Story 2016 ISO (slugging percentage – average):  .292

Trevor Story Previous Career High ISO:  .250 (across 218 plate appearances, Rockies A+ ball 2014)

Trevor Story 2016 BABIP:  .343

Trevor Story 2016 K% (Strikeouts/PA):  31.3 %

Trevor Story 2016 Fly Ball Ratio (FB/Balls In Play):  47.1 %

Trevor Story 2016 Home Run to Fly Ball Ratio:  23.7%

Trevor Story Home Splits:  .313/.393/.693

Trevor Story Road Splits:  .235/.292/.454

WHY TREVOR STORY WILL HAVE TO REGRESS AND WHY BRIAN SMITH WILL HAVE TO MAKE PEACE WITH THAT:  DISCUSSION

Firstly let me discuss that after looking through the numbers, I cannot definitively present an argument that Trevor Story is awful.  Which is A SHAME because it would have made for a more fun article.  And because this article is mostly to push Brian’s buttons I didn’t really include many positive stats up there in the data (we live in a post-facts world) but on the positive side Trevor Story hits the ball hard as shit, a 44.9% hard hit percentage second only to David Ortiz in all of baseball (scaled to a minimum of 400 PAs).  He also rarely hits the ball “softly” with a “Soft%” of only 14.3%, good for 26th best in baseball.  So yea he will probably be fine, whatever.  ENOUGH PRAISE.

Young Trevor will have a hard time duplicating his hot start to last year because anybody would because that hot start was really really hot.  Even if we are to assume that the thumb surgery has done nothing to his power in the short-term (not necessarily a given), his power to begin last year was unsustainable and in fact failed to sustain.  Trevor’s ISO was a bonkers .435 in April before dropping down to .196 in May (think George Springer and Ian Kinsler for the entirety of 2016, so still very good), rising back up to .235 in June (Trout, Cano, Carpenter etc. so REALLY GOOD) and rising even higher to .338 in July (think nobody at all because that can’t last for a full season, Ortiz had a .308 and he was a freak).  Pretty much everyone has this volatility but pretty much nobody expects Trevor Story to ISO close to .300 again, early projections have him around .217.

Next we have a couple of things that all work in tandem here:  BABIP, K%, FB%, HR/FB ratio.  A bunch of FANCY PANTS NEW AGE stats that some of our league’s more Goose Gossage-y owners will turn their nose at, that I will now use to annoy Brian.  Story’s K% of 31.3% was 5th most in baseball² when scaled to 400 PAs, that number should and could come down a bit but will probably not come down toooo far given his extreme pulling fly balls approach.  This should put a bit of a ceiling on the ole’ batting average, and that ceiling he probably reached last year (.270-.275ish).  Early projections expect him at about .260 this year and if you ask this troll I would cap him at about .250.  Story’s BABIP is certainly a bit on the high (read: lucky) side but for a man that hits the ball as hard as he does that can sometimes be understandable.  Where it CANNOT be understandable is when a man hits that many balls in the air, and that many of those balls in the air somehow find holes.  Trevor Story hit about HALF of all of his balls in the air in 2016 and about HALF of those found the seats, making him some sort of bizarro tiny white version of Chris Carter.  Which is all good and fine I GUESS, but Chris Carter also had a BABIP of .260.  As he should have, and kinda as Trevor Story should have.  Guys like Brandon Belt and Freddie Freeman are able to run high BABIPs with high FB percentages but that is a function of their high LD%, as line drives are far more likely to fall in for hits than your standard “fly ball.”  Trevor Story’s LD% is 34th in baseball (Freeman 1st, Belt 2nd) i.e. nothing to write home about IPSO FACTO LOWER BABIP IN 2017.

²Just for fun here’s your top 5:  Miguel Sano (36%), Steven Souza Jr. (34%), Chris Davis (32.9%), Chris Carter (32%), and Story (31.3%).

So after all of this we are left with but one simple conclusion:  Trevor Story is a fucking fraud.

MooniniteZ 2017 Trevor Story Projection:  .236/.307/.444, 22HRs, 70Rs, 80RBIs, 24 doubles, 2 triples, 10 steals.

WHY TREVOR STORY WILL HAVE TO REGRESS AND WHY BRIAN SMITH WILL HAVE TO MAKE PEACE WITH THAT:  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to acknowledge that I don’t care about hurting the feelings of Banana Slugs management.

WHY TREVOR STORY WILL HAVE TO REGRESS AND WHY BRIAN SMITH WILL HAVE TO MAKE PEACE WITH THAT:  LITERATURE CITED

http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=12564&position=SS

http://www.fangraphs.com/statsplits.aspx?playerid=12564&position=SS&season=2016

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/theres-already-been-more-than-one-trevor-story/

http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=400&type=8&season=2016&month=0&season1=2016&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=10,d

http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=400&type=2&season=2016&month=0&season1=2016&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=9,d

2017 Troll Series, Vol. 3: The Unfortunate But Unfortunately Necessary Regression of Trevor Story Because We Live In A World Governed By Natural Laws

2017 TROLL SERIES, Vol. 2: Why The Trout Fishing Club’s Pitching Is Hot Garbage

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There was also a Marlins troll doll but that one felt in poor taste……. RIP JF

Evidently almost exactly 3 months ago Lobman promised some vague “things” that would be announced “by the weekend”.  But like his daughter will soon learn, Lobman is an unreliable deadbeat who can’t be trusted to follow through on the things he says.  So we will call those “things” still in Limbo.

MOVING RIGHT ALONG, the year 2016 is now mercilessly behind us.  And what a hideous year, perfectly summed up by the fact that Heroy was finally able to get out of his own way long enough to capture his first Backyard Championship.  CONGRATS TO HIM AGAIN.  And now, I will point out the very obvious weakness with our current defending champion heading into the 2017 season aka THE INAUGURAL DYNASTY SEASON.

The Trout Fishing Club has for years boasted a strong roster, hence the whole “won the championship” thing.  But even our league’s best champions of years past are not immune to criticism (except possibly the 3-peat champion 3PO squad that beat this very Heroy back in 2013).  In this team’s case, their greatest weakness heading into 2017 is THE HOT GARBAGE PITCHING STAFF.

First there’s the rotation…….yessss the rotation, once anchored by Jose Fernandez…… just realized there is a boating pun in there NOT INTENDED…..but anyways yea he is dead now.  Boat related.  Cocaine related.  A Scarface-ian cautionary tale that has left the OGTFC rotation somewhat BEREFT of talent.  Then there’s the bullpen, which to be honest isn’t THAT terrible.  But it also isn’t THAT not terrible, and he only has 3 players in it, and fuck him.  Let’s go through his entire (current, always time to make a move Gregory 😉 ) pitching staff one by one and point out why they probably suck:

The “Rotation”

Jose Fernandez –  See above (is dead).

Tyler Glasnow –  Tyler Glasnow is the first of a repeating theme here, that theme being “young pitcher may put it all together but may also not put it all together.”  Nobody has a crystal ball, and fantasy baseball is a lot like gambling in many ways, but at the same time I do in fact own a crystal ball and Glasnow walked about 5 batters per 9 for the entirety of last year (AAA + MLB) so I can tell you for a fact he will not put it all together.

Lucas Giolito  – Giolito’s stock plummeted so swiftly within the Nationals organization that it cost him plus Reynaldo Lopez plus the Nats’ 2016 first round pick just to acquire Adam fucking Eaton.  NEED I SAY MORE (won’t put it all together).

Julio Teheran – Julio Teheran is a guy that people have been looking to as a guy that can put it all together, and maybe you look at his breakout in 2014 and/or his solid season last year and note that he’s just shy of his 26th birthday and say “HEY that young guy has put it all together.”  Well I am here to tell you that he hasn’t.  Both of those years he ran an unuuuuuusually low BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play, a measure of how often non-HR batted balls fall for hits) in the .260s.  League average these days is about .300, anything lowers tends to be mostly a function of luck maybe a function of a good defense behind you; in 2015, when he ran a BABIP of .288 his ERA snuck back above 4.  FURTHERMORE his LOB% (Left on Base %, the percentage of baserunners a pitcher strands over the course of a season) has been a tad high (77% last year, league average is around 70-72% and pitchers above or below that number tend to regress to the mean).  Ergo facto Teheran’s mediocre 2016 should regress to the mean a bit in 2017 ergo facto WILL NOT PUT IT ALL TOGETHER (had to really work for that one).

Aaron Sanchez – Sure….SURE everyone thinks he had a great year last year and deserved Cy Young recognition and yadda fucking yadda but RIDDLE ME THIS….if he’s so great why did he spend the majority of 2015 pitching out of the bullpen like some sort of schlub?  I will tell you why:  because he has not. And will not.  Put it all.  Together.

Kenta Maeda – Do not eeeeven get me started on this guy.  The king of the 5 and a third outing, is what this guy is.  And an (allegedly) 28 year old rookie I mean what exactly is that all about?!  Fishy.  Won’t put it all together.

Michael Wacha – Michael Wacha had a 5.09 ERA last year and it is not my job here to point out reasons why that would be a misleading figure, it is my job here to note that is the ERA of a young man who has not/will not put it all together.  THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDIN’.

Gerrit Cole – What makes a great pitcher?  Is it things like stats and numbers?  Is it the pitcher’s arsenal?  His fastball velocity?  Pitch movement?  Probably maybe it is some of these things, but what really makes a great pitcher is where they choose to slot you into the rotation at the beginning of the season.  Gerrit Cole pitched the FIFTH game for the Pirates last year.  FRANCISCO LIRIANO PITCHED OPENING DAY.  Sounds to me like if a Jeopardy question states “this young Pirates righty obviously has not and shan’t not put it all together” your answer should be “Who is Gerrit Cole.”

Garrett Richards – Had “stem cell treatment” cuz he was too puss to undergo TJ surgery, which I can only imagine will ultimately be a mistake.  Don’t count on this fella, OGTFC fans(s)!

Tyson Ross – Don’t count on this fella either!  Had that weird thoracic outlet surgery and waited til October to have it, and also probably throws more sliders than the human arm will allow.  Which is a shame because I am a fan (not so much of a fan that I would trade anything of value for him HEROY, nobody wants to trade for this guy, please do not send people trade offers with this guy).

The “Bullpen”

Tony Watson – Tony Watson might very well be a serviceable closer for the Pirates, but they also maybe wanted to trade him at some point so MAYBE NOT.  I like my closers to K at least 8 per 9 and Tony fails to measure up.  Also, amongst pitchers with 15 or more saves last year, only Jake McGee and Tony Cingrani had a worse FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching, FUCKING GOOGLE IT STATS CLASS IS OVER) than Tony’s 4.37.  Translation:  “Pfft.”  And also “MEH.”

Seung Hwan Oh – Ohhhhhh, Oh.  He actually had a really good year and I would have a hard time badmouthing him because I am a fan but uhhhh, YOU ARE OLD OH.  That should do it.

Francisco Rodriguez – Francisco Rodriguez is even older than Oh and also has the advantage of being far worse as a player.  Sure he saved 44 games for the Tigers (DO IT AGAIN YOU WON’T) but he also just barely scraped above 8 Ks per 9 and had an ERA above 3.  Who wants an ERA above 3 from a closer.  Nobody that’s who.

Fourth Reliever – OH WAIT THE OGTFC DO NOT HAVE A FOURTH RELIEVER AT PRESS TIME.

Sure the OGTFC can hope for young pitchers like Wacha, Giolito, Glasnow, and Cole to make leaps and there’s hope that Aaron Sanchez can build on a surprisingly strong season, but the reality is that this staff has a lot riding on young pitchers “putting it all together” and young pitchers sometimes take fucking forever (or don’t at all) to “put it all together”.  But yanno maybe he’s hoping Garrett Richards and Tyson Ross come back right as rain, or maybe he just plans on sweeping hitting cats and catching a few breaks.  WHO FUCKING KNOWS.  The point is I won’t stand for repeat champions that aren’t Odom/me and thanks to the fragility of life and the volatility of young pitchers it is very possible I won’t have to.

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Smoked em…….
2017 TROLL SERIES, Vol. 2: Why The Trout Fishing Club’s Pitching Is Hot Garbage