2017 Week 13 Review: NOW WITH QUICK PLAYOFF TIEBREAKERS CLARIFICATION AND DIVISION RECORDS!

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WEEK 13 JUST HAPPENED AND IT WILL BE DISCUSSED BUT FIRST…….FIRST NOW FEELS LIKE A GOOD TIME TO ONCE AND FOR ALL CLARIFY THE PLAYOFF TIEBREAKER SITUATION. SINCE THERE SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN A BIT OF CONFUSION FROM THE TOP ONNNNNN DOWN. SO SEE BELOW FOR THE PLAYOFF TIEBREAKERS AS DECIDED BY THE COMMISSIONER AS RELAYED TO YOU BY ME…….

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1st Tiebreaker  –  Head To Head Record  –  Pretty self explanatory, if you won the season series against a team (PERHAPS BY SSS, SEASON SERIES SWEEP) then you obviously own the tiebreaker over a team. So since everyone plays everyone twice that refers to going 2-0 or 1-0-1 against an opponent.

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2nd Tiebreaker  –  Division Record  –  A FANCY NEW WRINKLE, pretty sure nobody is thinking about the divisions at alllll right now but once we get to week 18 all of you are going to all of a sudden remember there are divisions and scramble to check your division records. FORTUNATELY I have taken the liberty of tallying those up, as all division matchups are now over weirdly enough. WOMP WOMP. The Manchester MooniniteZ went 6-1-1 against their division in 2017, CHECK YOUR OWN RECORDS BELOW!

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3rd Tiebreaker  –  Wins  –  This one seems especially poignant considering the many many ties of the OceanGate Trout Fishing Club but YEA, if two teams have the same win percentage and one team has more actual WINS then that team will have the 3rd tiebreaker, assuming you have to get all the way down to the third tiebreaker. Dear god I hope we never have to get past the 3rd tiebreaker. FANCY NEW WRINKLE, pretty sure nobody is thinking about the divisions at alllll right now but once we get to week 18 all of you are going to all of a sudden remember there are divisions and scramble to check your division records. WOMP WOMP. The Manchester MooniniteZ went 6-1-1 against their division in 2017, CHECK YOUR OWN RECORDS NOW!

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4th Tiebreaker  –  Record Last 9 Games  –  BUT IF WE DO have to go to the rare air of the 4th tiebreaker, the team that put together a better second half will be the team that owns said tiebreaker. Championships aren’t won in April folks.

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NOW WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, YOUR 2017 DIVISION RECORDS

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AMERICAN LEAGUE

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Barnegat Banana Slugs:  5-3

Point Loma X-Rayz:  5-3

Astoria Isotopes:  4-3-1

Rojo’s Renegade Force:  3-4-1

Toms River Titans:  2-6

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NATIONAL LEAGUE

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Manchester MooniniteZ:  6-1-1

River City Bad Dudes:  5-2-1

Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz:  3-4-1

OceanGate Trout Fishing Club:  1-3-4  (you jackass you)

Q-Tip City Morning Wood:  1-6-1

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Okayyyy that’s that, those looking for possible drama here can LOOK NOT FURTHER than….  Please direct all inquiries to the Commish, now let’s SOMEWHAT SUCCINCTLY review some shit…..

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Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz Use a Slumpbuster To Bust Slump, And That Slumpbuster’s Name Is Q-Tip City Morning Wood  –  12-1-1

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MVP:  Adam Duvall  –  HAVE YOURSELF A WEEK MR. DUVALL. I can barely tell Duvall and Scott Schebler apart aside from the fact that I own one of them and not the other. Last week I would have preferred to own Adam here.  9/24, 6 Rs, 5 2Bs, 3 HRs, 10 RBIs, 1 SB, .393 OBP     ***MVP OF THE WEEK***       

LVP:  Mitch Haniger    Apparently Mitch recently (recently enough) made his triumphant return from injury, not sure how it is going OVERALL but last week it didn’t go well.  1/15, .067 OBP     ***LVP OF THE WEEK***       

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BDSliderz Hitter Of Note:  Carlos Santana I believe has been publicly shopped in the chat once or twice but I think he’s a pretty solid player and DESERVES MORE, the HR pace is certainly well down from 2016 however (8/25, 5 Rs, 4 2Bs, 1 HR, 8 RBIs, 1 SB, .414 OBP).

BDSliderz Pitcher Of Note:  Two excellent 7 IP starts outta Rich Hill and nary a blister to be found WHAT SORT OF WORLD IS THIS (14 IP, 3 ER, 18 Ks, 2 QS, 1 W, 1.93 ERA).

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Morning Wood Hitter Of Note:  Jedd Gyorko valiantly joining Q-Tip City and vowing to go down with the ship (7/22, 3 Rs, 3 2Bs, 1 HR, 8 RBIs, 1 SB, .448 OBP).

Morning Wood Pitcher Of Note:  While Zack Greinke softly sings Dido’s “White Flag” in the background (12 IP, 3 ER, 13 Ks, 1 QS, 2 Ws, 2.25 ERA).

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Another week passes, another week where I have to review a Morning Wood loss. WHAT CAN BE SAID at this point? What I can say here is that Lacey Township came in having lost 5 straight matchups and so a date with the Erectionz was just what the doctor ordered here, as was a league-best 57 RBI performance from the squad. And yea this oneeee wasn’t particularly close overall, CLEARLY. JD Martinez and Brandon Belt each hit a Triple and nobody on the BDSliderz hit a triple and that is how you get your 1 category for the Morning Wood. Also there were no complete games, and that is how you get your tie. Also HRs was decently close (15-12) as was Wins (5-4) as was Holds (1-0). So REALLY a couple things break another way here and the Morning Wood are looking at sayyyyyy an 8-5-1 loss instead of this one, or something. For Lacey Twp this victory gets them back in fine position to challenge for the final 2 or 3 playoff spots, as they are now tied in record with both the 5th and 6th seeds and at least temporarily have the tiebreaker edge over the 5th (but not the 6th, SEE HOW CONFUSING THIS SHIT GETS?). The BackdoorSliderz will take on the Toms River Titans in Week 14, seeking a win because at this point everyone should just be seeking wins. And at all other points I guess, but NOW MORE THAN EVER. The Q-Tip City Morning Wood will play the Astoria Isotopes as they continue to play out their briefly up and then very much down inaugural season. Maybe they can pull off a surprise victory somewhere and play spoiler, but Vegas does NOT currently have them winning another game.

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Next Week aka This Week:  BDSliderz v. Isotopes (7 v. 9), Morning Wood v. Isotopes (10 v. 6) 

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Astoria Isotopes Fall Short Of All Time HR Record, Fall Short Of Victory, Still Manage Tie With Rojo’s Renegade Force  –  6-6-2

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MVP:  Khris Davis  –  Khris Davis is officially the best Khris or Chris Davis in baseball currently FACT CHECK IT IF YOU MUST. I personally have always been a fan. So congrats on this presitigous award, Khris. And I am referring to “Best KChris Davis” not this MVP bullshit.  6/19, 7 Rs, 1 2B, 4 HRs, 8 RBIs, 1 SB, .500 OBP    

LVP:  Brandon Crawford    Brandon Crawford YOU SIR, were dropped this morning for a reason.  1/14, 1 RBI, .071 OBP         

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Isotopes Hitter Of Note:  Robinson Canoooo dontcha knowwww, frankly I am just excited to not have to write about Judge or Bellinger for one goddamned week (7/20, 4 Rs, 4 HRs, 9 RBIs, .381 OBP).

Isotopes Pitcher Of Note:  And while we are at it, Jose Berrios REGRESSED slightly so lets make a note of that here as well (11.1 IP, 9 ER, 12 Ks, 7.15 ERA).

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RRF Hitter Of Note:  George Springer continues to be prolific and just a nice little pickup for RRF (9/24, 7 Rs, 5 2Bs, 2 HRs, 5 RBIs, .444 OBP).

RRF Pitcher Of Note:  And also Corey Kluber continues to be rather good (8 IP, 1 ER, 12 Ks, 1 QS, 1 W, 1.13 ERA).

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The Isotopes continue to display superior power numbers compared to every other team in the league, however in Week 13 alllll that power amounted to a tie with RRF. Astoria set a 2017 record for HRs (24, 2 shy of tying the all-time record) and went 5-2 in the offensive categories, however on the pitching side they weren’t able to get it done and ended up only winning the (usually inevitable against RRF) Saves category. Rojo’s Renegade Force came prepared to do a bit of pitching in Week 13 (92 Ks and a 3.513 ERA, both 3rd best in the league last week) which combined with an underwhelming performance from the Isotopes staff to give them enough categories to deadlock everything at 6-6-2, so maybe FOR ONE WEEK it looked like a sensible strategy to punt Saves and win Holds. But no it still doesn’t look sensible when I am looking at it here. Never. Mind. This one had a decent chance for drama with the Isotopes rostering Michael Taylor in the late game and needing only a Double to tie that category and take back the victory. However Taylor did not get it done, and probably should be dropped for his failures, and Rojo’s Renegade Force won Doubles 13-12 and the tie was preserved. Going forward the Astoria Isotopes remain in the playoffs while Rojo’s Renegade Force remain just outside of them; the ‘Topes will take on the Morning Wood in a Week 14 matchup that I am sure they welcome, while the Renegade Force will take on the Bad Dudes in a Week 14 matchup they probably don’t necessarily welcome but NEVERTHELESS this is the league now everyone plays everyone twice do work son (RIP Big Black ;( ).

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Next Week aka This Week:   Isotopes v. Morning Wood (6 v. 10), RRF v. Bad Dudes (8 v. I guess 2 currently?)

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Cleveland Indians v Chicago White Sox

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River City Bad Dudes Don’t Tie OceanGate Trout Fishing Club, They In Fact Beat Them  –  7-5-2

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MVP:  Jose Abreu  –  JOSE ABREU SIGHTING. For perhaps like the first time since that time he was called out on the Twitters by the Boners.  10/30, 3 Rs, 5 2Bs, 2 HRs, 8 RBIs, .355 OBP      

LVP:  Addison Russell    Addy got on base a lot in Week 13 but it was just an EMPTY getting on base, which this blog never respects.  4/15, 1 R, .353 OBP     

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Bad Dudes Hitter Of Note:  Bryce Harper is still very good but at least I have been finding ways to stop putting his dumb pictures up on here (9/26, 6 Rs, 3 2Bs, 2 HRs, 6 RBIs, .469 OBP).

Bad Dudes Pitcher Of Note:  Carlos Carrasco STRUGGLED in his Bad Dudes debut but then rebounded with a nice game on Saturday, at least we will always have the first game (10.1 IP, 9 ER, 14 Ks, 1 QS, 1 W, 7.84 ERA).

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OGTFC Hitter Of Note:  Mookie Betts good LAWD did he have himself a week, but mostly he just had himself a Sunday (14/29, 10 Rs, 2 2Bs, 3 HRs, 11 RBIs, 3 SBs, .556 OBP).

OGTFC Pitcher Of Note:  In a matchup where ERA was fairly important Gerritt Cole came in and screwed everything up and also I am still mad at him for his 2-start performance against the MooniniteZ so fuck him (5.1 IP, 7 ER, 7 Ks, 11.81 ERA).

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The Bad Dudes are heating up at the right time, this time knocking off the defending champs in Week 13 on their way to a 3rd straight victory. This victory was accomplished with solid power and solid pitching, as River City seemingly sacrificed some contact (league worst .2940 OBP) in exchange for socking some dongs (19, second most in the league) and socking justttt enough Doubles to steal the cat (18-17). Going into the Sunday night game OceanGate still had their sights set on a win, as a clean inning from Seung Hwan Oh could have flipped the ERA cat and given the OGTFC the WIN. However Oh did not see the field last night (and I mean clean innings aren’t guaranteed with him this season) anddd also Bryce Harper added a double, and with that a 6-5-3 victory grew to 7-5-2 and that is where it stayed. The Fishing Club didn’t pitch poorly so much as the Bad Dudes simply pitched better, with narrow losses coming in every category but Saves (5-4) for the OGTFC. I mean at least they didn’t fucking tie again.  The River City Bad Dudes will take this win and move right along, taking on Rojo’s Renegade Force in Week 14 and seeking a 4th straight victory. The OceanGate Trout Fishing Club will take this loss and fucking like it. And also they take on the Banana Slugs in Week 14.

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Next Week aka This Week:  Bad Dudes v. RRF (Presumed #2 v. #8), OGTFC v. Banana Slugs(#5 v. #3 I think? GOD THESE ARE HARD)

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Thank you for your service Jorge
Manchester MooniniteZ Tie Toms River Titans Thanks To Timely Hold  –  6-6-2

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MVP:  Jorge De La Rosa  –   And Jorge saves the day. And ended up dropped for his troubles anyways. But yea without De La Rosa’s 0.1 IP hold on Sunday afternoon coupled with a blown hold from the guy below, without those two events this would have been a loss for the MooniniteZ. Instead it was another dumb tie REJOICE.  3.1 IP, 1 ER, 1 K, 1 Hold, 2.70 ERA        

LVP:  Jose Leclerc  –  And Jose blows it. Leclerc came in on Sunday with the chance to acquire a hold that would put this one out of reach, but instead he gave up a 2 out 2 run HR to Yolmer Sanchez of all people and that left the door open jussstttt enough to pull into an eventual tie.  3.1 IP,  2 ER, 4 Ks, 1 Hold, 5.40 ERA   

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MooniniteZ Hitter Of Note:  Votto had himself a .630 OBP last week and 3 HRs but I am going to INSTEAD note Chris Owings for having 2 more doubles than Joey it turned out we needed every single double we got  is really good (9/26, 6 Rs, 5 2Bs, 3 HRs, 6 RBIs, 1 SB, .440 OBP).

MooniniteZ Pitcher Of Note:  Andddd fortunately James Paxton finally looked a bit better and a bit closer to the form he was working with prior to hitting the DL for most of May (13.1 IP, 4 ER, 12 Ks, 2 QS, 1 W, 2.70 ERA).

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Titans Hitter Of Note:  Carlos Correa remains the brightest bulb on offense for them Titans, NICE LITTLE SHORTSTOP they have here (12/24, 4 Rs, 2 2Bs, 3 HRs, 10 RBIs, .556 OBP).

Titans Pitcher Of Note:   And also Chris Sale is very good (13.1 IP, 1 ER, 20 Ks, 2 QS, 2 Ws, 0.68 ERA).

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JORGE DE LA ROSA MY LORD AND FORMERLY OWNED BUT NOT CURRENTLY OWNED SAVIOR. De La Rosa bails out the MooniniteZ to salvage a tie in a week where the power just fuckinggg disappeared for Manchester:  8 HRs 33 RBIs, both second worst in the week from a team that is second best overall in those categories. Helping mitigate the damage was a .400+ OBP (2nd week in a row the MooniniteZ lead the league in OBP) and jusssttt enough Doubles to escape with a tie against a tough-pitching Titans squad. And to that end this matchup went in a not entirely unexpected direction, with Saves as the only pitching cat the MooniniteZ could win (mostly due to David Robertson almost never receiving save opportunities) against the best pitching staff (but 2nd worst uhhh Saving staff) in the league. The Titans were able to capitalize on the MooniniteZ power outage by winning HRs and RBIs, but in the end this one came down to the Holds situation detailed above and the MooniniteZ simply SURVIVING Anthony Rendon‘s presence in the Sunday night game. The TR Titans hit an impressive 8 Doubles on Sunday to leave them just two from tying Manchester with Matt Carpenter (MooniniteZ) and Rendon (Titans) still in play, however Rendon was only able to muster MERELY one double and with that the MooniniteZ would win the category 22-21. Manchester remains the only team that hasn’t lost SINCE LIKE MID-MAY, however they are coming off two straight ties as they head into a battle with the Point Loma X-Rayz in Week 14 (a battle that will feature an extreme amount of starting pitchers used on both sides, can’t warn everyone enough about this). The Toms River Titans face Lacey Township as pretty much all of their weeks are borderline must-wins if they want to sneak into the back end of the playoffs, the door remains open but maybe only just by a sliver here.

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Next Week aka This Week:   MooniniteZ v. X-Rayz (#1 v. #4 I GUESS), Titans v. BDSliderz (#9 v. #7)

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2017 WEEK 13 MATCHUP OF THE WEEK, SPONSORED BY PLAYOFF SEEDING CONFUSION

 

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Barnegat Banana Slugs Use Bad Bullpens And Bad Man To End Point Loma X-Rayz Win Streak  –  6-5-3

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MVP:  Max Scherzer  –  I don’t watch Max Scherzer starts too often cuz why would I but I tuned in on Sunday night and good god when he is on there’s nobody better than him. Clayton Kershaw is still the best pitcher in baseball and maybe the best ever but Scherzer is right behind him for best in baseball if you ask this guy, which nobody has done, but here I am stating opinions anyways. But yea my point is Max Scherzer is fucking filthy.  13 IP, 1 ER, 18 Ks, 2 QS, 2 Ws, 0.69 ERA

LVP:  Jose Peraza    Peraza contributed pretty much nothing here and the X-Rayz could have realllllly used just like one steal outta this fucker.  5/24, 1 RBI, .208 OBP    

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Banana Slugs Hitter Of Note:  Gardyyyy put together a nice little week and we here at the blog love Brett Gardner so this will be properly acknowledged (8/28, 7 Rs, 1 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBIs, .344 OBP).

Banana Slugs Pitcher Of Note:  And Jim Johnson took one for the team by SMARTLY blowing a save Sunday evening in order to get an opportunity to grab the W in order to set the Banana Slugs up to grab the W, surely that is what happened there (4 IP, 1 ER, 10 Ks, 1 W, 3 Saves, 2.25 ERA).

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X-Rayz Hitter Of Note:  Elvis Andrus is out here hitting all kinds of dongs and I have no idea what to make of it (12/30, 7 Rs, 1 2B, 4 HRs, 9 RBIs, 2 SBs, .438 OBP).

X-Rayz Pitcher Of Note:  A LOT of members of the bullpen fucked up and allowed all sorts of runs and sadly Dellin Betances was the worst offender (1.2 IP, 6 ER, 2 Ks, 1 Hold, 32.40 ERA).

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TOUGH WEEK if you’re an X-Rayz fan or owner, as the team watched their bullpen slowly murder their ERA which in fact dropped them from 1st to 2nd in the league in ERA if memory serves me correct. I believe the final tally here wasss 18 ER in 6.2 IP, which one can learn if one reads the chat transcripts and notes Odom VOICING DISPLEASURE about the whole situation. To add insult to bullpen injury here, it was a blown save for the Banana Slugs that opened the door for them to steal a W out of the jaws of a tie here (see above). Once Jim Johnson did his thing and once Mad Max was spotted 2-0 lead (then 5-0 after 3) this thing was allllll but decided, sadly, if you’re an X-Rayz fan or whatevs. Also sadly for the X-Rayz was a bit of a speed outage, 7 SBs might be good for most squads but for the X-Rayz that is a DOWN WEEK and that down week allowed the Slugs to grab a crucial tie in that cat. Barnegat was able to use that tie and superior pitching #s, particularly in the bullpen and with Strikeouts to eke this one out. Also the battle of the bottom two for HRs and RBis played out the way you would think it would by the numbers, with the X-Rayz taking HRs and the Slugs taking RBIs. Props to thoseeee very Slugs for once again finding their way to victory despite single digit HRs (7, fewest in Week 13) and a sub-.300 OBP (2nd worst in week 14), I DUNNO HOW THEY’VE DRAGGED THEIR WAY TO 7 Ws BUT THEY HAVE. And now they are pretty entrenched in the playoff field and have a legit shot at a possible bye as well, all while enduring injuries and power outages and suspensions and everything else. IMPRESSIVE PERFORMANCE thus far.  Barnegat will travel to OceanGate seeking a 3rd straight win and firmer footing in the standings, while the X-Rayz head to Manchester to take on the top-ranked MooniniteZ and attempt to avenge the loss of their 5 week win streak. FIRST PLACE ON THE LINE there kinda maybe? Should be a realllll mess of a week folks.

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Next Week aka This Week:  Banana Slugs v. OGTFC (#3 v. #5), X-Rayz v. MooniniteZ (#4 v. #1)

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ON TO WEEK 14. USUALLY I HAVE A LOT TO SAY DOWN HERE BUT AT THIS POINT I KINDA DON’T, IT’S PRACTICALLY A HOLIDAY! CONTINUE TO EXPECT A TRADE DEADLINE PREVIEW IN THE NEAR FUTURE, PARTICULARLY ONCE I CHECK AND SEE EXACTLY WHEN THAT THING IS SUPPOSED TO BE. AND CONTINUE TO LOOK UP AND SEE THE MOONINITEZ IN FIRST PLACE. THANK YOU………….

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2017 Week 13 Review: NOW WITH QUICK PLAYOFF TIEBREAKERS CLARIFICATION AND DIVISION RECORDS!

2017 JULY POWER RANKINGS: RIP PRODIGY EDITION

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Prodigy is dead. Both the man and the band that did that “smack my bitch up” song, when you really think about it. But SPECIFICALLY we are going to focus on the death of Prodigy the man, as I still ain’t over that shit. And also WHAT CAN I DO, influential musical people keep dying…..yanno people that are in music….. so I am forced to keep cranking out these Power Rankings interspersed with Youtube videos that will slowly get taken down over the coming months. Mobb Deep was a large influence on my entire high school persona, and Prodigy’s H.N.I.C. solo album was pretty fucking solid in itself. Can’t say I copped parts 2 or 3 but STILL. Let’s discuss the top teams in descending order while also shouting out some of my favorite Mobb Deep/Prodigy songs. Not sure I have it in me to rank Mobb Deep songs for I am a fan of them all so whatever we are just gonna throw them in here in somewhat of an order but maybe in no particular order. I can pretty definitively rank the teams in order right now but Mobb Deep songs I just don’t know, so this list will just be a random list. WE ARE DOING IT. Here we go…..

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1- Manchester MooniniteZ (8-2-3) – MY WOULD YOU LOOK AT THIS, the Manchester MooniniteZ are sitting here holding onto the #1 seed with 5 weeks to go. I cannot say I am surprised but I can say fuck all y’all, is what I can say. The MooniniteZ got here on the back of a 6-1-1 division record that has already clinched itself as the best division record in the league in 2017, and by being the only team that hasn’t lost in the past 7 weeks (although the ties of late have been bothersome), and also by just some solid across the board production:  Runs 2nd, Triples 3rd, HRs t-2nd, RBIs 3rd, SBs 4th, OBP 2nd, Strikeouts 1st, Wins 2nd, Saves 3rd. HRs have primarily been supplied by the likes of Joey Votto, Edwin Encarnacion, and Nolan Arenado while Keon Broxton has been a nice source of both power and speed (14 HRs, 15 SBs), albeit at the expense of OBP to an extent (.312 OBP). The biggest buggaboo for this squad REMAINS THE SAME for like the third fucking year running:  Quality Starts, LAST. I don’t even get it anymore, as this year we are first in Ws but still can’t get a week of like 5+ QS to save our lives. If I were to turn this into some sort of Trade Deadline Preview I might suggest this as an area the MooniniteZ might look to improve HOWEVER there will be an entire goddamned Trade Deadline Preview article, so that kind of talk will be kept to a minimum here. The MooniniteZ will face their former collaborator and the current #2 seed Point Loma X-Rayz in Week 14, SURE TO BE A GOOD ONE and PROBABLY CONTAINING LOTS OF SPOT STARTS THAT WILL FUCK UP THESE PITCHING RANKING FOREVER FORWARD. Also there’s a decent chance the #1 seed is on the line here.

MOBB DEEP/PRODIGY SONG #1:  “Shook Ones Pt. II” 

Probably the perfect Mobb Deep song, and the first installment in a series of PERFECT beats used by the Mobb.  Goddamned if they don’t have good beats. You can see why Eminem used it in his dumb movie’s climactic scene. I am already realizing I should have had Brian guest spot here to analyze lyrical content but he is off blowing Mickey Mouse or whatever so we are just going to get scant analysis of songs and beats from me and we are going to like it. But yea Shook Ones Pt. II is way better than Part I when usually you should aim for the other way around.

UPDATE:  TURNS OUT after I made this list and returned to it I found this shit online where they talk about alotta these songs as part of some “Prodigy’s 25 most essential songs” thing (http://www.complex.com/music/2011/05/prodigy-25-essentials/temperatures-rising) from 2011, and this article is pretty sick, so I am going to just copy paste their shit whenever possible. This post just got a lot longer folks….

Prodigy: “I remember that clearly. We wrote that in the crib high on drugs. [Laughs.] Probably weed, probably was some dust in there, mad 40s, getting twisted. That was one of the first ones where we were like, ‘Whoa. This shit is ill. This shit sounds crazy right here. This is some other shit right here son. This ain’t normal.’ So we knew we was making some shit with that song. We were in the crib and we were spitting it to each other like, ‘Yo, this shit is some other shit right here son.’

“It was just a remix of the first [‘Shook Ones’]. The first song we had made was cool. Then we made this new beat and I think the chorus was similar. We probably didn’t even intend for it to be a remix, but the chorus was probably similar. It was probably like Matty C and them niggas that was like, ‘Y’all should call this ‘Shook Ones Pt. II.’ So that’s why we did that shit.

“We had a lot of songs. When we first signed to Loud we had a 20-song demo. So all of those songs we wanted to put on the album. But we started making new ones, and through process of elimination, we wanted all the new ones. We didn’t like the old ones no more. [Laughs.]

“We made that beat at my crib in Long Island. Hav found the sample. Hav was down there fucking with the records, he was like, ‘Listen to this.’ I was like, ‘That shit sounds ill right there.’ He did that and then we were fucking with the bass and the drums together. I seen that whole shit where they found the Herbie Hancock shit. That’s crazy. I didn’t know it was a mystery or that it was that serious to people. They were really trying to figure out where that came from.”

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2- Point Loma X-Rayz (7-5-1) – MY GUYYYYY coming in at #2, in my humble opinion, despite just having a 5 week win streak snapped at the hands of a lower-ranked team yet to be discussed. Helping to push back at the notion that either of us needs the other to win. We can win just fine on our own, and the fact is winning the chip in this league remains very difficult, and until one of you can sniff winning even TWO in a row (Lobman gave it a solid try last year I will give him that) you haters can just keep hatin’/get fucked. BUT WHERE WAS I? The X-Rayz are once again just getting it done, with their sights set on a 3rd straight year of a top 3 regular season finish, and they are once again doing it in their own unique speed-centric way:  Stolen Bases 1st, Triples 1st….. BUT ALSO Runs 3rd, QS t-2nd, ERA 2nd. The unexplainable Jason Vargas and the PUTTIN’ IT ALL TOGETHER Robbie Ray deserve some recognition for their pitching exploits and so uhhh, here it is. Probably the biggest surprise here is that for perhaps the first time in many moons we are this deep into the season and the Odom squad is not last in HRs, they are in fact NINTH (however 10th RBIs, 9th OBP).  As for the causes of this (relative to previous seasons) HR EXPLOSION outta Point Loma, credit due to Eric Thames and Daniel Murphy and Chris Davis. Let’s also just give credit to Jose Ramirez for being an all-around stud, he’s got a few dongs of his own cuz he’s got a few everything of his own. The speed kills strategy has brought success to this franchise in the past and they are once again utilizing it this year, however they have also managed to string together some impressive pitching weeks which might end up giving them jusstttt enough team balance to overcome the power (by design) and OBP (probably not by design) flaws. They’ll face their TOUGHEST TEST YET when they battle the #1 seed (me) in Week 14.

MOBB DEEP/PRODIGY SONG #2:  “Survival Of The Fittest”

“Survival Of The Fittest” AGAIN just a fantastic goddamned beat. It is becoming clear to me that I may just like their use of the piano more than their actual beats per se BUT whatfuckingever, excellent piano work and excellent intro.  “No doubt indeed, without weed” INDEED. RIP Prodigy.

Prodigy: “We made that in Hav’s crib, in Queensbridge. We’d make the beats in Hav’s crib [but lay vocals in the studio]. Or sometimes, we’d make the beat in the crib, write half of the song in the crib, then go to the studio and finish it. That was one of the ones where Hav ain’t really like the beat. He was about to erase that shit. There’s a lot of joints like that, where he was about to trash them and we had to change his mind. I was out somewhere on the block chilling probably, I came in the crib, and Hav had the beat playing.

“I was like, ‘Damn. What the fuck is this?’ He’s like, ‘It’s some bullshit, I’m about to fucking scratch this shit and do another one.’ I was like, ‘Nah, don’t scratch that nigga, hold up. Let niggas hear this.’ And I called niggas over like, ‘Yo, listen to this fucking beat this nigga just made.’ And everybody was like, ‘Yo, that shit is crazy.’ Then we both just started writing rhymes to it and it came out good. We knocked that out all in one day. So, I had to save that one.

“Hav’s pops was a DJ, so Hav had a lot of records from the ‘70s and the ‘80s. We both had a good record collection. Hav was already listening to records before I met him. He was trying to sample on a cassette player, hit record, pause, record, and pause, and making the beats like that. When he met me, we bought the equipment. That’s when he started to really get into making beats. I actually showed him how to sample, how to do this, and how to sequence the shit. Once he got the hang of it he just went in and started going crazy.”

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3- River City Bad Dudes (7-5-1) – River City once again finds itself within striking distance of a bye, one year removed from scratching and clawing their way into yet another postseason as the #6 seed. Andddd they can be extremely dangerous when they get to the postseason as we have seen time and time again, and that is about the nicest thing I want to say about this franchise. I would also add that they have done a pretty good job of weathering some REALLY POOR PLAY by some guys that they expected to be studs in 2017 (Rougned Odor, Manny Machado), with the help of some other backup studs they just had laying around (Bryce Harper, Giancarlo Stanton) but also through some pretty respectable pitching numbers. As I shall now demonstrate thusly:  Strikeouts 2nd, QS t-2nd, CGs t-3rd, Wins 3rd, Saves 1st, ERA 3rd. All solid numbers that have helped keep them in matchups even when their offense has sometimes disappointed, as I shall now demonstrate thusly:  Runs 7th, Triples t-7th, OBP 7th, SBs 9th. But I mean also Doubles 1st, HRs 5th, RBIs 4th. Basically this paints the picture of a team that has found their way to win even though it hasn’t received the strongest of performances from some of its cornerstones. If those slumping sluggers can turn things around in the 2nd half of the season this team can get scary in a hurry, but for now they haven’t so fuck them. These pieces of shit take on Rojo’s Renegade Force in Week 14.

MOBB DEEP/PRODIGY SONG #3:  “Quiet Storm”

“Quiet Storm” perhaps Mobb Deep’s most well-known uhhh non-Shook Ones Pt. II song, IF I HAD TO GUESS. Murda Muzik was actually the first Mobb Deep CD I ever possessed, I believe I made my mother purchase it for me for Easter or some shit. So Quiet Storm stood out right away and then I had to go back catalog a bit to learn about The Infamous and Hell On Earth and whatnot. Rap sucks now, is my point.

Prodigy: “Hav was in the studio all day and I came late at night and these niggas was making a beat. Hav had the old Melly Mel song ‘White Lines’ sampled. After he laid the drum pattern, he added the piano—the piano is what puts that whole beat together—and then him and Noyd were like, ‘Yo, we going to pick up shorties.’ I was like, ‘Y’all niggas leaving? Let’s do this song, this shit is fire right here.’ They like, ‘Nah, we’ll be right back.’

“They bounced and I’m in the studio dolo. I’m like, ‘Fuck it. I’m going in on this beat right now.’ I sat there and wrote the whole song in like an hour and I recorded it. I was like, ‘I’m not leaving any room for anyone else to get on this shit, this is too ill.’ I was already working on my solo album so I was like, ‘Gimme this shit. I’m taking this beat. This is for my album nigga.’ [Laughs.] That was my whole mentality.

“I was coming clean like, ‘I spent too many nights, sniffing coke, getting right/Wasting my life, now I’m trying to make things right,’ because that’s how I was living. I felt like I had cleaned my life at that time. I wasn’t using anything, no drugs, no alcohol. I was living correctly and trying to make things right.

 

“I recorded that shit and these niggas never came back to the studio. I bounced and played it for niggas the next day and they were like, ‘That’s cool.’ They didn’t understand or see the power of that record. I called DJ Clue and was like, ‘Son, I got this song that I want you to put on a mixtape.’ Clue put it on every single mixtape that he put out that year. Usually a DJ will put it on one mixtape, but he kept putting it on all his mixtapes.

“Then, we were in the Tunnel—because that was our club, every Sunday we were there—and Clue is DJing. All of a sudden he threw on ‘Quiet Storm’—it was called ‘White Lines’ at the time because I didn’t even have a title for it. This shit ain’t mixed, it ain’t mastered, it sounds like shit, but he played it in the club and people were actually dancing to it. I guess they knew it from the mixtapes.

“I’m bugging off of this shit because I ain’t never seen some shit like that before. You don’t play a song in the club unless it’s a single, it’s getting radio play, unless people know that shit. This nigga played the song from a mixtape in the Tunnel nigga. The Tunnel holds like four thousand people. That’s not somewhere where you fuck around and play a song that niggas are probably not going to like.

“I’m looking at people’s reaction to it and they dancing and having a good time. We go back to the Tunnel, he plays it again. He starts playing it every Sunday or whoever is filling in, they’re playing it too. And from there the song just took off. After he started playing it in the Tunnel they started playing it on the radio and this is the unmixed version. This is for a year straight before we actually dropped it as a single.”

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4- Barnegat Banana Slugs (7-5-1) – The SCRAPPY Banana Slugs of Barnegat have carved out a nice position in the playoff race despite their fair share of injuries (and a suspension) and for that they deserve respect. I will now respectfully point out that some combination of those injuries and ineffectiveness has lead to some reallllly ugly numbers on offense:  Runs 8th, Doubles 8th, HRs 10th, RBIs 9th, SBs 8th. Tough positioning to find yourself in for the power cats when you don’t boast the speedsters to make up for it in other areas; the Slugs may be the only team in the league that fails to place in the top 5 in any offensive category (WHAT am I saying, they are probably one of two teams). Helping to mitigate that damage, however, is some success in some pitching cats: Strikeouts 4th, CGs t-3rd, Saves 2nd, Holds 3rd, although even those cats have not been without their warts. BEEN A GRIND is what  you might say, but even with the struggles and the injuries and the CHEATING of Starling Marte Barnegat has themselves squarely positioned for a playoff berth in 2017 and could even find their way into a bye IMPRESSIVE WORK. Credit Max Scherzer and Luis Severino for being the aces of the staff, credit Cody Allen and Whoever The Orioles Have At Closer At Any Given Time for helping out in the Saves and Strikeouts cats, credit Jake Lamb and Ryan Zimmerman and Jonathon Schoop and characters like that for helping keep the offense’s head above water. This is a team that is not without its imperfections but also a team that can round into form at the right time. Also credit Trevor Story for trying to DROWNED the entire offense. The Barnegat Banana Slugs take on last year’s champs, the OceanGate Trout Fishing Club, in a pivotal Week 14 battle.

MOBB DEEP/PRODIGY SONG #4: “Drop A Gem On Em”

Be sure to read below for the fun fact here, this was a diss track aimed at Tupac in retaliation for “Hit Em Up” and then they RESPECTFULLY pulled it off the radio cuz Pac got murked like a week or two after radio started playing it. How polite.

Prodigy: “We recorded that song at Access Studios. We just went in and made that song after we heard Tupac saying some things about us because of our ‘L.A., L.A.’ song. We heard somebody playing ‘Hit Em Up’ on the block and we were like, ‘Oh word? Niggas wanna make songs about us? Aight, cool.’ As soon as we heard Tupac saying anything about Mobb Deep, we went in and made that shit about him. We were like, ‘Fuck this nigga, we going right at this nigga and whoever the fuck he’s down with.’

“‘Drop a Gem on ‘Em’ was unique and it was different. Pac just took a beat that everybody knew of already and just tried to flip the lyrics or whatever. That’s why I think with ‘Drop a Gem On Em’ people were like, ‘Yo, that shit is fire. Y’all killed the nigga,’ because it was like a new beat. Nobody had ever heard a beat like that before. The lyrics were crazy.

“We had actually pulled the song because it was the first single off of Hell On Earth. We submitted it to radio and radio put it in rotation, even in Cali. But when Pac died, we pulled the song off radio and told them to stop playing it out of respect for his family and out of respect for the dead. We were like, ‘Nah, stop pushing that.’ We still put it on the album.

“We were about to shoot a video for that. We were about to go in on that nigga, but we were like, ‘Yo, pull it.’ We were just going to go in on this nigga in the video. I mean, it was so new when Pac died that I think it was only on the radio for about a week or two. So, we didn’t really have plans for the video, but we were about to shoot a video for it. When Pac died, we switched the single to ‘Hell On Earth’ instead.”

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5- OceanGate Trout Fishing Club (4-4-5) – STRANGEST TITLE DEFENSE EVER, as OceanGate has shattered our league’s ties record (there were no ties prior to 2013 to my knowledge) and we are only 2/3 through this newly SHORTENED season. So they have a lot of fucking ties, is what the data tells us. But ALSO, in part thanks to a few lucky ties, they have only lost like once since Week 6 and their talent (WHEN HEALTHY 🙂 ) has to be respected. Back to that when healthy part in a sec, first the raw #s. Where you will find the OGTFC in decent shape, but still #s that are likely down from a season ago when it all came together for OceanGate:  Runs 5th, Doubles 3rd, HRs 4th, SBs 2nd, OBP 1st, so the offense has been holding up fairly well. Also they are 4th in Holds so good on them there, but there is a reason that is the only pitching category discussed and that reason is that the OGTFC are in the bottom half of the league in every other category (8th Strikeouts, 8th QS, 8th Ws, and the only team in the league without a CG). NOT IDEAL. Equally NOT IDEAL is the injuries that have plagued this team of late, with Mike Trout, Trea Turner, Dexter Fowler, and Danny Duffy all currently out (and MadBum but you traded for him so boo hoo) with injuries and various other players missing various other time. NOT IDEAL, and it will be interesting to see which players return soon (allegedly some are due back week) and if those players can return to form quickly enough to give this team a shot at pulling off a playoff run similar to last year, where they flew under the radar as a 5th seed and then stormed through the field on their way to their first ever championship. THE ROAD IS MUCH HARDER THE SECOND TIME, take it from a former dynasty. The OGTFC’s road continues when they take on a scrappy Barnegat team in Week 14.

MOBB DEEP/PRODIGY SONG #5:  “Eye For An Eye”

One of like A COUPLE different times they sampled Scarface for a beat, we get it you liked Scarface we alllll liked Scarface. At least as teenagers.

Prodigy: “Right after we did the ‘G.O.D. Pt. III’ beat with the Scarface sample, there was another part of Scarface that we sampled for ‘It’s Mine.’ I’m sitting in the crib watching the movie again and I hear that part in the beginning where the boats are coming in from Cuba to Florida and I’m like, ‘Holy shit! Why nobody ever took this part right here? These niggas is stupid out here.’

”I ran to the studio again and said, ‘Hurry up son.’ [Havoc] sampled it and niggas was like, ‘Oh my God, these niggas did it again. They took something else out of Scarface that niggas could’ve used.’ We sampled Scarface a third time too when we did ‘When You Hear That,’ which Alchemist produced. We took three joints from Scarface that nobody was thinking about using.

“We had made the beat first and I was like, ‘Yo man, Nas gotta get on this shit because the shit is too ill. This is one for Nas.’ We called him up and the nigga said, ‘Hell yeah.’ Nigga heard the beat and went crazy. He was like, ‘Yo, this shit is ill right here.’ He just killed that talking about Barbara Streisand and Halle Berry and all this other shit on the song. The nigga went in on that shit. [Laughs.]

“He did that hook because we didn’t have a chorus for it. We just wrote our verses and then Nas came in and was like, ‘Yo, I’ve got an idea for the chorus.’ That Brandy and Monica song just came out, it was the brand new hot shit, and Nas was like, ‘Yo, we taking that chorus and we gonna flip it.’”

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6- Astoria Isotopes (6-6-1) – THE NEW YOUTH MOVEMENT, one might call this bunch, as the Isotopes boast the two hottest hitters of dong on the planet in rooks Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger, as well as a young hurler who might have finally put it alllll together in Jose Berrios. They also have Khris Davis dinging dingers, Charlie Blackmon racking up every kind of extra base hit possible, and Will Myers slowly rounding into the form that made him a stud last year. Also Mike Moustakas has 20 HRs so maybe he isn’t as Mostsuckass as I previously presumed. All of this shit leads to this shit:  4th Runs, 2nd Triples (weirdly 10th Doubles), FIRST HRs (by a whopping 20 currently), FIRST RBIs, 3rd OBP. Make no mistake the ‘Topes are crushing the ball lately, with only the Doubles thing and the 8th in SBs thing as possible knocks to their offensive profile. On the pitching side more of a mixed bag, and by that I mean they really aren’t excelling in tooooo much of anything (Wins 5th Saves t-3rd ERA 4th, but also Ks 10th, QS 7th). Jose Quintana has been a FRAUD, and Dallas Keuchel was excellent prior to an injury but I deem that FRAUDULENT as well. All that being said the ‘Topes currently have some of the most dynamic young bats in baseball, which is something we probably haven’t ever been able to say about this franchise. If they can make their way back into the playoffs they will be feared a bit, AGAIN something we probably haven’t ever been able to say about this franchise. Fuck these guys in the face, and they face the (spoiler alert) bottom-dwelling Q-Tip City Morning Wood in Week 14.

MOBB DEEP/PRODIGY SONG #6: “Hell On Earth (Front Lines)”

The titular track off Hell On Earth and IF YOU READ ABOVE the track they chose as the first single after they had to switch off “Drop A Gem On Em” due to Tupac dying and all. Love this goddamned beat, love most of their goddamned beats. This has been established.

Prodigy: “We had a lot of people who died during the making of that album, we had at least five of our friends and family members die. It took us two years to make that album because of all the death that was happening around us. The shit was really devastating to our lives and we kept pushing on. We continued to make the album and we continued to record songs, but our minds were fucked up. We were in our zone from all those losses that we took those past two years. That’s what ‘Hell On Earth’ was about, we felt that we were living in hell.

“If you listen to that album, it’s crazy dark. You could tell that we were angry and upset making that album. When we made ‘Hell On Earth’ that was just one of those songs, but that was a single. Since we pulled ‘Drop a Gem on ‘Em,’ we put ‘Hell On Earth’ out. If you listen to that song you’ll be like, ‘This ain’t no single. Why would you use this for a single?’ It sounds like some dark, hardcore, grimy shit.

“You could tell that we didn’t give a fuck at the time. We were doing whatever the fuck we wanted. We were going against the grain. We didn’t give a fuck if it was a party record or radio record. We said, ‘This is what we want for the single and this is what it’s gonna be.’ A lot of people respected that shit when it came out because nobody was putting out songs like that.

“We lost Havoc’s brother Killer Black, my man Twin’s brother, we lost one of our man’s Yammy from the projects, I lost my father, and there were other people that were around us. The people that we lost were the strongest people around us. You’re talking about people that would kill somebody for Mobb Deep, on some real shit.

“When something goes down and we in the club, these are going to be the niggas that are going to pop off, no questions asked, no hesitation, none of that shit. It doesn’t matter who it is. These niggas that died were the reason niggas were scared of Mobb Deep. Anybody from Queensbridge knew about Yammy, Killer Black, and Scarface Twin. When we lost these niggas we lost a lot of power and strength because it’s hard to find niggas like that.”

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7- Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz (6-6-1) – Lacey Township was actually SECOND in our last installment of the Power Rankings, but since then they have learned that the Backyard can be a cruel and unrelenting place. However, The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place. And so there is still time for the BDSliderz to turn this thing around and find themselves in the playoffs in their inaugural season (and they are one win or tie away from owning the H2H tiebreaker over the team currently in front of them). Let’s go to the numbers, Jim: Doubles 4th, SBs 3rd, and in that 5th-6th range in most other offensive categories so SMACK in the middle of the pack offensively. Pitching a bit of another story:  Strikeouts 9th, QS 9th, Wins 9th, Holds 8th, ERA FUCKIN 9th AGAIN. I hinted back when this team was riding high that pitching issues might threaten their success going forward, and sure enough pitching has been a bit of an issue and certainly has contributed to the current woes. INSERT A BUNCH OF OMITTED TRADE PREVIEW STUFF HERE. There’s signs of potential turnaround on the pitching staff with Rays rook Jacob Faria pitching excellently and JA Happ pitching pretty great himself upon his recent return, aside from those two the staff has been anchored by Jameson Taillon and Jacob DeGrom, with a little bit of Drew Pomeranz thrown in as well but fuck him. SOLID LOOKING STAFF on paper and yet, the numbers are the numbers right now. On offense the standouts are Marcell Ozuna, Adam Duvall, and Travis Shaw for some fucking reason. Not sure what to say there, the BDSliderz will likely welcome back Freddie Freeman with open arms and hope the wrist injury doesn’t sap his power for the rest of the year, I will say that. And Freeman very well MAY be back in Week 14, when Lacey Township hosts the Toms River Titans.

MOBB DEEP/PRODIGY SONG #7: “Keep It Thoro”

Made when Prodigy was living in BUSHWICK. Head Hipster In Charge (H.H.I.C.)

Prodigy: “I made that when I was living in Bushwick, Brooklyn at the time. Alchemist had given me a tape full of beats and that was one of my favorite beats on the tape. I just sat in the crib and wrote that song in a couple hours. As soon as I wrote it, I was like ‘Wow. This one is crazy.’ I had to call a couple of my mans to say it to them over the phone and everyone was like, ‘Record that. Go to the studio right now, and record that.’

“The reason I did [H.N.I.C.] was for another check. Mobb Deep was dropping albums every two years, so I figured why not get a check in between that? The difference is, it’s all P. It’s P’s ideas, P picks the beat, so it’s all my influence. It’s all my choices on there. With Mobb Deep, we have to agree on things. We have to agree that we want to use that beat or agree on the type of song we want to do. That’s the only difference really.”

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8- Rojo’s Renegade Force (5-7-1) – RENEGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAADES. Once left for dead and declared the odds-on favorite for 9th place, the Renegade Force has come storming back in recent week and now moves all the way up to…..8th, in both the rankings and in playoff standings. HOWEVER they are still right there in contention for a 2017 playoff spot (HOWEVER a SSS at the hands of Astoria may come back to haunt them here). And they’ve gotten to this puncher’s chance point with some good old fashioned POWER HITTING, peep the numbers:  Runs FIRST, Doubles 2nd, Triples 4th, HRs t-2nd, RBIs 2nd, OBP 3rd JUST LOOK AT THE FORCE BEING DISPLAYED HERE. Lotta force. Lot of it due to Paul Goldschmidt, Joey Gallo, and the somewhat-recently-acquired George Springer. RRF also find themselves t-2nd in QS, 2nd in CGs, and 1st in Holds cuz duh. Credit Corey Kluber, Michael Fulmer, and Johnny Cueto for the first two and a FLAWED STRATEGY for the last one. RRF continue to assert that they can freely punt a relief category (also the wrong relief category), and at this point it would kinda be hard to acquire enough closers to reverse the trend, so it will be another year of waiting to see if the strategy can get it done in the postseason. First it will have to get them into the postseason.  Rojo’s Renegade Force have a tough matchup against the River City Bad Dudes on tap for Week 14.

MOBB DEEP/PRODIGY SONG #8: “It’s Mine (Feat. Nas)”

Putting this one in here because they somehow got Nas to sing HORRIBLY on the hook for it, and I think it was a riff on that “The Boy Is Mine” song with Brandy and Monica. Also the beat is the theme from Scarface. GODDAMNED VISIONARIES I TELL YOU.

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9- Toms River Titans (4-8-1) – REMEMBER THE TITANS WHEN THEY WERE CLOSE TO .500? I do, they got pretty goddamn close. Things have since taken a turn for the worse, and Toms River now has an uphill climb in its bid to make the 2017 playoffs. But WHY? I’ll show ya why:  Runs 9th, Doubles 9th, HRs 8th, OBP 8th. Those would be your likely culprits, this team was built to be carried by pitching but stilllll probably requires a bit more from the offense in order to get through most matchups. And the pitching has mostly lived up to the billing:  Strikeouts 3rd, QS 1st, Wins 1st, ERA 1st (although SOMEWHERE ALONG THE LINE they got converted to Rojo’s cult, so they’re 9th in Saves and 2nd in Holds). Chris Sale and Clayton Kershaw are really fucking good and Stephen Strasburg and Yu Darvish are pretty fucking good and even Michael Pineda was kinda fucking good for stretches there. On offense the pretty fucking goods are mostly just limited to Carlos Correa and Miguel Sano and ANTHONY RENDON somehow, while guys like Christian Yelich and Francisco Lindor have been kinda fucking good. Matt Kemp remains fucking okay. And these guys aren’t dead in the water quite yet, but they would need to realllllly maximize their returns outta their hitters (or yanno, trade a pitcher for more balance but shhhhhhhhhh) in order to make a late run at the last one or two playoff spots. That late run will have to start in Lacey in Week 14.

MOBB DEEP/PRODIGY SONG #9:  “The Learning (Burn)

 

 

For some reason I feel like I remember this album being poorly received but I enjoyed several tracks off it. They also had a song with Ron Isley just going “OooOooOO’ in the background the whole goddamned time, you may know Ron Isley as the antagonist from R. Kelly’s “Downlow” video, and I nearly put THAT song on this countdown as well. I did not come close to putting the “Hey Luv” song with 112 on here cuz NO. Too mainstream.

Prodigy: “We were in Freeport at our crib. We were all living together at that time and Hav was making this beat in the basement of our studio, early in the morning. It had to be like seven in the morning, Hav always gets up early. I’m in my room sleeping and I hear this bassline thumping, it woke me up. I went downstairs and Hav had this ill beat playing. It sounded like something the Beach Boys would be playing, I don’t know why.

“We wrote the rhymes right there in the crib and recorded it and then we took it to the big studio to record over. At that time, we were on our female run. We were like, ‘Let’s add a female voice on the chorus. When it’s playing in the clubs, girls will be more into it if they hear a female in the club. But we already did Lil Kim. What female are we going to add without trying to do same thing we did before?’

“We called Vita because she had that song ‘Where Would I Be Without You’ with Ja Rule that was hot at that time. She came and did it and that shit was hot.

“Noyd killed it. We try to put Noyd on only fast party records because Noyd’s style is live performance. If you see Noyd live his energy alone is going to make you enjoy the show. So we always try put him on a song that fits his character.”

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10- Q-Tip City Morning Wood (2-10-1) – THIS FUCKING TEAM, continues to wonder and amaze with its ability to be last place in a bunch of categories, although sadly the Runs gap has closed. Whereas last time they came in last in Runs by a whopping FOURTY-EIGHT, this time they are LAST in Runs by a mere 31. Let’s check elsewhere:  Triples LAST, SBs LAST, OBP LAST, Wins LAST, ERA LAST. That’s actually it in terms of LAST but the rest of the picture is more bad than good. More bad:  Doubles 7th, HRs 7th, RBIs t-7th, Saves 8th, Holds 9th. Than good:  FIRST in CGs somehow, though it only translates to 5th in QS. For the Morning Wood, the playoffs are all but guaranteed to not be a thing they are gonna see this year. AND THEY HAVE SOME SUSPECT TRADES TO THANK FOR IT.  Best bats left:  Logan Morrison, the smartly recently signed Ryon HealyBrian Dozier, Justin Upton, JD Martinez, Jay Bruce weirdly. SO SOME PIECES HERE, but ahem some pieces that are probably performing over their head (the first two) and would be better suited on a 2017 playoff team. Ahem. Best arms left:  Carlos Martinez, a rapidly returning to Earth Ervin Santana, a performing way over his head a la early season Santana Gio Gonzalez. DON’T WANNA TALK TOO MUCH ABOUT THIS STUFF YET, but the point of the name dropping is to point out there’s still plenty of assets here and if they are smart about the next few weeks they can possibly pull off a few deals as a “seller” and set themselves up for a rebound in Year 2 of their Bulldogs rebuild. The Morning Wood will host the Astoria Isotopes in Week 14 and I DUNNO maybe they can use each future matchup to start a possible trades dialogue, do a bunch of disgusting in-matchup deals or something.

MOBB DEEP/PRODIGY SONG #10:  “Where Ya Heart At”

If you just look at the title of this song it may look like I put it here as some sort of diss at the Morning Wood but IT IS NOT, this is just the song I always bumped when people died and shit and THEREFORE I figured it would be a fitting closing to the rankings. Cuz Prodigy died. RIP to one of the real ones…..

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2017 JULY POWER RANKINGS: RIP PRODIGY EDITION